To help you refuel for less, I've rounded up the best espresso machines under $100 to fit different lifestyles. One is portable, a few are great for single serves, and another can make 60 ounces of espresso at once. Whatever your preferences, there’s an inexpensive espresso maker for you.
To make espresso, these machines push a small amount of almost boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee. Below, I’ve included three different types: two automatic options that use either Nespresso or Lavazza pods; a steam-powered automatic model that uses espresso grounds; and a manual pump pick that's portable and uses Nespresso pods, but requires no electric or battery-based power source; although it does require access to hot water.
While pods are conveniently pre-measured for single-servings, they can be a bit expensive and a hassle to reorder and recycle (if that's important to you). While ground espresso does require measuring and a little more clean up, your options for brands, roasts, and price points is much broader.
Not all machines include a milk frother. But if frothy milk is a must-have, two picks below come with manual frothers built-in. But for those the units that don’t include a frother, this handheld milk frother is a compact, budget option or this one-touch milk frother is just as automatic as the automatic espresso machine pick.
Check out the best espresso machines for under $100 on Amazon; they're all highly rated.
1. The Best Steam Espresso Machine
This automatic steam espresso machine uses ground espresso to make coffee in two to three minutes. It comes with a reusable and detachable filter, a funnel, glass carafe, spoon, and instruction manual. Its built-in frothing arm means you don’t need to buy a separate milk frother, but you will need a frothing pitcher, if you don’t already own one.
This electric-powered unit is user-friendly as well — one single knob can make make espresso, milk foam, and pause or end either process. It brews a little over 8 ounces of espresso at once, and the temperature control keeps coffee at 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
What fans are saying: “Great coffee maker! Easy to use. I like that it’s small and doesn’t take up all my counter space. Makes a really smooth cup of coffee. The frother is awesome. A great buy at a great price!”
2. The Best Personal Espresso Machine
Measuring 13 by 5.3 by 10.2 inches, this personal espresso machine is super compact for easy storage or on display in a tight kitchen. The water tank holds 25.6 ounces, and the capsule drawer holds a maximum of five used pods. The downsides to this option are it doesn't come with a milk frother and you can only use Lavazza capsules with this unit.
However, this pick does allow you to choose from two different coffee selections — espresso or espresso lungo — to tailor your coffee's strength at the push of a button. Espresso lungo is simply a larger serving of espresso ("lungo" is Italian for "long") that uses more water, whereas the regular espresso is more concentrated in comparison.
This pick also offers a stand-by function — so it can be ready to go at any time without wasting lots of energy when it’s not in use — and it boasts a start-up time of just 28 seconds. Plus, Amazon shoppers give this pick a 4.1-star rating.
What fans are saying: “As a single person living alone, this is the perfect size. The machine works great, producing a hot and flavorful cup of espresso. I also like the design; it looks nice on the kitchen counter.”
3. The Best Portable
This super lightweight, portable espresso machine, weighing just under a pound, is ideal for use at home, the office, camping, and traveling. Made of BPA-free plastic, this pick works by a manual pumping system, which requires no electricity or batteries, just your pumping action. Even though this device doesn't use electricity, it still creates a rich crema. Just note, you do need access to hot water for this pick.
It's compatible with Nespresso-style pods, and it can hold up to 2.7 ounces of water. It also comes with a manual milk frother, but you’ll also need to heat the milk separately. Amazon shoppers give this option 4.4 stars.
What fans are saying: “I was looking for an espresso maker I could use easily when out boating, in the motor home, or traveling on the road, either by car or on the motorcycle. My husband calls me a ‘coffee snob’ because I only drink espresso. This ends up being inconvenient and costly when traveling, and some of the other hand espresso makers can get pretty messy. [...] The best of all is when you use the correct temperature of water, neither my husband nor I could tell the difference between this and our home espresso machine. Delicious!”
Also Great: A Stove Top Espresso Maker
While not technically an espresso machine, this stovetop espresso maker is a great budget way to make espresso at home. It makes six demitasse espresso servings (about 12 ounces) and is sleek enough to become a permanent fixture on your stove, or small enough to store between uses. Like the steam-powered machine, this pick also uses any ground espresso and has a convenient stay-cool handle so you can pour without an oven-mitt right when your espresso is done brewing.
What fans are saying: "This little mokapot makes outstanding espresso style coffee. producing a rich, aromatic brew and a nice head of crema. [...]"
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