(Pocket-lint) - How you like your coffee can be quite an individual thing, and having a dedicated coffee machine can help you tailor your cup each day.
No matter which type of coffee machine you end up choosing, you get to enjoy barista-level coffee and control from the comfort of your own home - and all for a fraction of the price of an on-the-go cup.
To help you lean into coffee liberation, then, we've tested and rated some of the very best machines out there.
Some are filter coffee makers, some are capsule machines that use the likes of Nespresso or Lavazza pods, and some are bean-to-cup machines that also include milk frothing.
All are worthy of your consideration, so let's dive into our top-rated picks.
- Great milk frothing
- Not too big
- Good app
- Not affordable
This well-designed bean-to-cup coffee machine isn't cheap, but it is mega impressive.
An external milk carafe ensures it can deliver excellent milk-based drinks (two simultaneously, if you like), and you can tailor these really easily if you want things like extra coffee shots.
It's one of the more compact bean-to-cup machines we've seen, and there's also an excellent app you can download and connect to the machine via Bluetooth.
The app enables you to see various settings and options, including easily setting the water hardness level and telling you when the machine's filter needs replacing. It can also be used to set a schedule, giving you the option to set specific times for when the machine automatically turns on and off, as well
All in all, the Krups Evidence is feature-packed but not hard to use, making it one of the best coffee machines we've tested.
- Super tiny
- Dead simple
- Not great for dishwashers
The Modo Mio Jolie & Milk builds on Lavazza's excellence, being one of the few capsule machines to include milk frothing.
The result is an incredibly simple coffee machine to use and operate. You can press one button for a lungo, and a smaller one for an espresso, with the machine's cup rack allowing you to adjust the size of the cup for the job.
The silver lever, meanwhile, ensures the coffee pod is pressed and ready to be drained, with this dropping into a waste compartment once you pull the lever back up. This mostly works well, though you will have the odd instance of a pod not placing correctly because the lever wasn't all the way up initially.
The real star of the show, though, is that side-car milk frother. A quick double press will see it whip up hot milk in a few minutes, while a single press produces a thicker cream - ideal for cappuccinos and the like. It's not dishwasher friendly, but it is detachable and really easy to hand clean the plastic lid and frothing instrument.
With plenty of variation in Lavazza pods, as well, and a very reasonable price-per-coffee, this is our favourite capsule machine.
Smarter Coffee Machine 2.0
- Good app
- Nice and simple
- Not too cheap
If you're after a decent bean-to-jug filter machine, the Smarter 2.0 is not only a decent machine, but it also gives you easy-to-use app-controlled elements.
You do pay a bit of a price premium for this, but it's a real convenience to have a machine that has coffee ready for you first thing in the morning.
Likewise, it's great to have smartphone notifications that tell you when the coffee is ready. Those things are both very useful, but arguably are the only smart features that give you a real advantage.
There's Google Home/Assistant compatibility, as well, but it is currently very limited as you can't start brewing coffee with a simple command.
Nespresso by De'Longhi Lattissima One
- Nice and small
- Super easy with Nespresso
- Limited by Nespresso
If you're looking for a pod machine that doesn't look like an industrial mixer, try this svelte Nespresso machine - available in white (actually more of a cream colour) or mocha.
Its brilliance is that it also has a milk frothing compartment for ace cappuccino or macchiatos, but, crucially this apparatus is self-contained, which ensures the milk doesn't make the rest of the machine dirty.
After each cup, you can remove the milk section, easily pull it apart and wash it (in the dishwasher, if you prefer). It's a brilliant answer to more expensive machines that require rinsing all the time.
If you want a bit more milk capacity, there's this slightly more expensive model as well.
De'Longhi Scultura ECZ351
- Attractive design
- Compact build
- Plenty of options
- Might be too classical for some
The De'Longhi Scultura ECZ351 is one stylish coffee machine. Available options comprise black, cream, white and grey so there should be at least one that will match your kitchen décor, plus its 310 x 300 x 250mm measurements mean it won't take up too much worktop space, either.
This machine supports ground coffee and ESE pod formats and it can make cappuccinos and espressos, the latter of which it can make two at once.
The Scultura has a removable tank with a capacity of 1.4-litres, a machine pressure of 15 bars and there is a removable drip tray for easy cleaning, as well.
You'll also find a couple of handy features with this number, including a steam pipe, auto-off function and a cup warmer, but no adjustable temperature feature.
Francis Francis Y3 by Illy
- Funky looks
- Nice and simple
- Coffee pod only
- No cup warming
The Francis Francis Y3 coffee machine's rectangle, angular look makes it perfect for a contemporary kitchen.
Like others, this model is also available in a few options but it is a little more daring with a lime green model and orange option available, alongside black and white.
The Y3 is a capsule machine that uses the Illy iperEspresso capsule system and claims to offer "true bar-quality espresso". It is smaller than the Scultura measuring 270 x 320 x 110mm and it's also a little cheaper. The removable tank has a 0.9-litre capacity and the machine pressure on this model is 19 bars.
You won't get warm cups from this model and there is no steam pipe either but the drip tray is removable so, again, cleaning should be nice and simple.
Moccamaster Filter Coffee Machine
- Classic coffee
- Looks beautiful
- Doesn't do it all
Like filter coffee? Then look no further.
If you fancy something really high-end, the Technivorm with its classy finish (various options are available) can certainly fill that spot. You can manually adjust the speed at which the coffee flows into the carafe, and it's powerful enough to brew a full pot of coffee in just a few minutes.
The Moccamaster has a copper boiling element, too - one that's fast to heat up and controls the brewing temperature precisely.
- Super simple
- Quick to work
- Pods only
- Not very adaptable
The Nespresso Inissia is good for those who are new to Nespresso. It's cheap and cheerful and it offers a simple, fuss-free design, along with a small 120 x 320 x 230mm footprint that allows it to be easily tucked to the side of your kitchen.
The Inissia is a capsule model that unsurprisingly uses Nespresso capsules and it will make one espresso at a time, meaning if you have a dinner party you'll be standing in your kitchen for a while.
It offers a machine pressure of 19 bars and it has a removable tank with a capacity of 0.7-litres and it is available in a couple of versions including white, red, burnt orange and blue.
When it comes to features, the Inissia doesn't pack them in, with no cup warmer, adjustable temperature, filter or steam pipe but does come with a removable drip tray and a nice retro style.