Here at the Strategist UK, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
While we’ve written about all kinds of coffee-making essentials before — including the best kettles and the best coffee grinders — here, we’ve rounded up the best coffee pod machines, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.co.uk.
Best-rated overall coffee pod machine
The best-rated overall coffee pod machine is Nescafé’s Dolce Gusto Jovia model, which has the highest number of reviews, 81 percent of which are five stars. In 1,076 reviews, customers mentioned how effortless it was to use, while the value for money was mentioned by 303 customers, many of whom were put off by the price of fancier models. The quality of the coffee was mentioned in 163 reviews – this machine features a pressure level of 15 bars (with espresso, the higher the pressure, the better the coffee will be. Nine bars is considered standard quality).
Best-rated (less expensive) coffee pod machine
Slightly cheaper than the DeLonghi is the Tassimo Suny coffee machine, which still comes highly reviewed – 82 percent of the reviews are five stars. The Tassimo also has the same capacity as the Nescafe (0.8 litres) but uses “t-discs” rather than pods. These come in coffee, tea, and hot chocolate varieties, and as well as Tassimo branded options, there are t-discs from third parties like Costa, Baileys, and Kenco. Sixteen reviewers wrote about the value for money; one customer, who used her machine every day, said she was pleasantly surprised at how little it cost. However, 14 customers wrote that they found the water container, which makes three to four drinks, a bit small. One reviewer added that because the container is positioned at the back of the machine, it’s tricky to see when it needs to be filled up.
Best-rated small coffee pod machine
This Nespresso Essenza model is just 0.6 litres, and is the best-rated smallest option on Amazon, with 83 percent of the reviews five stars. Seventy-nine reviewers wrote about how much they liked the neater design compared to some of the other models on the market. These included one five-star reviewer who said that this was the same size as a large book (specifically Secret History of Twin Peaks) and about twice as thick. Another customer bought this after finding their Aeropress too messy – and said it was “90 percent as good” as making coffee manually. Customers were also impressed at the quality of the coffee – it was highly recommended in 23 reviews – with one person saying that it had more use in three months than their first-generation Tassimo had in ten years. The consensus among reviewers was that the machine took 20 to 30 seconds to heat up (depending on the amount of water used), and while it wasn’t necessarily quiet, one reviewer said the speed more than made up for it. As Nespresso is part of Nescafé, this machine is compatible with the same pods as the DeLonghi Nescafe Dolce Gusto Jovia, above, but reviewers also said this model uses pods from Lidl and Aldi, too.
Best-rated coffee pod machine with milk frother
This DeLonghi coffee pod machine with a milk frother has 81 percent five star reviews. Reviewers considered this an advanced option — and one wrote that, of the four pod machines they have ever bought, this was by far the most impressive. The milk frother allows for the machine to make cappuccinos, lattes, and latte macchiatos, and the quality stood out; 52 customers said it was easy to use, while a further 42 said the coffee was excellent. In fact, one customer, who has been working from home since March 2020, said the drinks were indistinguishable from the ones made in their company’s £2,000 coffee maker. Another said they’d stopped using their expensive Sage espresso machine after growing weary of sourcing and grinding beans all the time – and this neater, automated option was just as good.
The milk container holds four cups’ worth of milk, and unlike other models, users can customise the amount of milk that goes into each drink using a dial. One reviewer wrote that this made the Lattissima Touch a far better option than the Latissima One – a smaller model that uses a set amount of milk per drink. However, the milk container comes with downsides – one customer said cleaning it took longer than brewing a coffee, while a retired couple said this machine, while handy when their family used to visit, felt more cumbersome now they were in lockdown.
Best-rated coffee pod machine with water filter
This Tassimo model features a 1.3 litre water tank, and comes fitted with a Brita filter to prevent limescale buildup. In total, 85 percent of the reviewers were five stars, and like the Tassimo Suny, this can be used with a number of third party “t-discs.” One customer who lives in a hard-water area said they noticed a substantial change in the quality of their water in this machine. The filter also takes up room in the water tank, according to one customer – so the 1.3 litre capacity can’t actually hold that amount of water in total. The machine includes fully customisable options too; one reviewer who likes their espresso a little stronger after dinner and said they could save up to four preferences at a time.
Best-rated ecofriendly coffee pod machine
Lavazza’s A Modo Mio Jolie coffee pod machine is specifically designed to work with their 100 percent compostable ecofriendly capsules (we couldn’t see any reviews which mention compatibility with other brands). One customer, who identified as a “self-confessed eco geek,” said this was the best option on the market for anyone who wanted to reduce their impact on the environment. While one customer was disappointed that the ecofriendly pods only include one decaf option, this machine was well-reviewed. Thirty-six reviewers mentioned how easy it is to use, with a further four noting that the consistency was exceptional. This model also includes a milk frother, which 14 reviewers mentioned positively in their review – one customer said it made a foamy latte just as good as their favourite café.
The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.