Best Small Coffee Machine For Compact Countertops

Need aromatherapy of the caffeine kind, but short on worktop space?

Best Small Coffee Machine

by Natalie Knowles |
Updated on

The best small coffee machine doesn't necessarily mean small coffee. Yes, there are coffee machines like the Lavazza A Modo Mio Tiny that is specifically designed to make espresso. But there is also the Nespresso Vertuo Pop, which has a footprint of just 14cm and can brew a hearty mug-size coffee.

If coffee is an essential part of your daily grind, but your routine has been getting a bit deja brew, it's time to perk up your blend and level up your coffee maker. Standing as tall and as wide as a roll of kitchen paper, the best small coffee machines will fit comfortably between your air fryer and microwave in the most bijou of spaces. Squeeze it in between your slow cooker and smart speaker - or stand it next to the biscuit jar - we've selected a range of coffee machines, each with a footprint under 30cm. We've taken into consideration performance, usage, appearance and pods. It's a given that these smaller models are budget coffee machines in comparison to their big barista brothers. But the cost per cup can vary between brands that produce coffee pods.

Best Small Coffee Machine At A Glance

Best small Nespresso coffee machine: Nespresso Vertuo Pop - Buy now on Amazon
Best small coffee machine for pod flavours: Tassimo by Bosch Suny' Special Edition' TAS3102GB Coffee Machine - Buy now on Amazon
Best small coffee machine compatible with budget pods: Nescafe Dolce Gusto Infinissima - Buy now on Amazon

With a plethora of coffee-making apparatus, such as the Moka pot, cafetière, V60, Chemex and Aeropress - there are benefits to choosing a coffee machine over manual brewing equipment. If you don't know your piccolo from your cortado but you do love a silky smooth drink, a simple coffee pod machine, such as a Tassimo or Nescafe Dolce Gusto will give you a huge variety of flavours. Additionally, a single-use pod is convenient and much cheaper than buying a drink from a high street coffee shop.

The quest for compact doesn't exclusively mean we're looking at coffee pod machines. There are some fantastic small bean-to-cup coffee machines and filter coffee machines available too. Small does mean that the water tank size is less than a litre, and the cup capacity is only enough brew for one or two people. But if you want to put the fun-size back into your daily treat, then a small coffee machine could be a mini miracle that's waiting to happen. Finally, you don't tend to see features like built-in milk frothers on smaller models. Instead, you benefit from the baby machine being portable, lightweight and easy to use.

Best Small Coffee Machine

Best small Nespresso coffee machine

SAVE 42%

The Vertuo Pop retails at a very reasonable price for a high-end coffee experience. In terms of taste, it produces more flavoursome coffee because of the high-pressure technology (Centrifusion) used in the brewing process. This compact coffee machine is available in a range of vibrant colours, and it's small enough to fit between appliances on a kitchen counter or on a pedestal in the office. It's incredibly energy efficient and produces excellent coffee at the press of a button with no mess.

Our review: "I call the Vertuo Pop the 'Crema of the Cup'. The thick frothy top you get on these decadent coffees is incredible. If you are a coffee lover, I highly recommend trying coffee from the Nespresso Vertuo range. Other benefits that the machine offers include: speed, ease of use, no mess and compact size. Nespresso offers a premium customer journey in every way. I greatly enjoy curating my coffee experience and feeling like a connoisseur. There are nods to Italian café culture in the names of the blends and language used to describe the preparation and cup size. The provenance of the beans and the tasting notes is akin to characterising fine wine. From the brilliant simplicity of colour-coded capsules, beautiful graphics and evocative language, Nespresso's attention to detail makes every step of the coffee experience feel like a luxurious treat."

Read our full review of the Nespresso Vertuo Pop.


  • No mess
  • Quality coffee in less than a minute
  • Excellent crema


  • Only Nespresso Vertuo pod compatible

Best small coffee machine for pod flavours


Compact, it looks great on any worktop with its stylish design. Tassimo has over 70 pods to choose from, including Cadbury's hot chocolate. With one easy button operation, this coffee machine is a great choice. The Tassimo Suny has an auto-clean function between each drink, so you know every cup tastes good. Also, you can personalise your drink's temperature, volume and intensity, with up to four 'profiles' that can be stored in the machine's memory function. Cleaning your machine is a breeze too, as Tassimo produce their own descaling tablets. Additionally, this is a super energy-efficient appliance, only heating the required amount of water needed for each drink.

Customer review: "Definitely worth buying if you are a fan of milky coffee or longer Americano style drinks. However if you are an aficionado of espresso then this is not the machine you're looking for."


  • Intelligent brewing
  • Compact
  • Wide variety of pods


  • Only takes Tassimo pods
  • Noisy

Best small coffee machine compatible with budget pods

Mega 64% off

Nescafe's Dolce Gusto Infinissima manual pod coffee machine by De'Longhi is unique and stylish. Available in three colours, this slim machine will slot into any kitchen corner. Simply slide in your chosen pod, and with one easy manoeuvre, this machine will make the perfect beverage of your choice. Nescafe's Dolce Gusto range is easy to use and easy to clean. With a high-pressure system, your creamy coffee-shop-quality coffee will be ready in no time.

Customer review: "I saw a lot of bad or mediocre reviews on it but honestly it is amazing, you can personalise your drinks, it looks so good in our kitchen, the coffee is great and creamy, and I like the design because it is easier to clean than other machines I've had in the past. Also, I recommend you use a jug to pour water in, but other than that, amazing value for the price. Also, it shipped so quickly."


  • Comes with descaling tools
  • Drinks are customisable


  • Use a jug to pour water in

Best small coffee machine for espresso

Save 50%

Lavazza A Modo Mio Tiny Espresso Coffee Machine
Price: £47.50 (was £95)

Enjoy delicious espresso at home with this coffee machine from Lavazza. Use Lavazza's A Modo Mio capsules, including their new eco pod range, to make quality Italian-style coffee. This model has a powerful 1450-watt output and heats up fast. So, your shot is ready within minutes. A simple one-touch button operates this compact machine. The removable drip tray allows you to place a mug under the spout if you want to use a larger cup.

Customer review: "People complained that only a tiny cup fits under the spout… well that's by design, this machine is designed to be the smallest model Lavazza have. Also an espresso cup or shot glass will fit perfectly. To make drinks like cappuccino and latte, you add hot milk to a cup and pour in the espresso shot in last, so again a shot glass is perfect for this."


  • Quality Italian espresso
  • Removable drip tray so a mug will fit
  • Compostable pods available


  • Noisy
  • Only espresso

Best small coffee machine for gifting

On sale

KRUPS Nescafé Dolce Gusto Mini Me
Price: £51 (was £68)

This is the ultimate starter kit for coffee lovers. You will get this popular coffee pod machine, along with different packs of capsules, so you can try a variety of Nescafe Dulce Gusto drinks, including Americano, Chococino and Flat White, to name a few. The compact design means it can fit into the smallest of nooks, and like the Genio S Plus, it has a power-saving Eco Mode. Enjoy over 40 reasonably priced pods, including Nescafe and Starbucks coffees. Additionally, we think this would make a great going to university pressie or gift for a sweet-toothed coffee lover.

Customer review: "This is a great little machine to make your special coffees. I quickly got use to adjusting the quantity of water going into the pods to match our taste. Its so simple, easy and quick. Don't expect a superb Costa however the coffee you get is very acceptable and fulfils that yearning for a cappuccino at home."


  • Comes with packs of capsules
  • Eco-mode (switches off after five minutes inactivity)
  • Small and compact


  • Bit noisy when in use

Best small coffee machine for energy saving

On sale

Enjoy your favourite high street coffee brands with this small, powerful and easy-to-use Genio S Plus. This great value machine features a compact design but doesn't compromise on the quality of the brew, with the easy and fast preparation of over 50 coffee creations. Nescafe's Dolce Gusto coffee machines are convenient and easy to clean. Its high-pressure system means your creamy coffee-shop-quality coffee will be ready in no time. The adjustable temperature allows you to make drinks like hot chocolate for young (or not so young) ones and serve it at the perfect temperature for them. It comes with an eco mode which automatically switches the appliance off after one minute of inactivity.

Customer review: "Maybe Nescafe could include a pod in the box so you can get started? Anyway… now with pods and having 'cleaned through' the machine the coffee was amazing. It automatically shuts off when it's reached the level you want and also has an adjustable temperature gauge… all very useful settings."


  • Compact design
  • Adjustable drink size
  • Easy to use
  • Plenty of coffee options


  • Smaller capacity
  • Can't fit a latte glass under the spout

Best small bean-to-cup coffee machine

In a world of coffee pods, sometimes it's easy to forget that coffee is actually the seed of a fruit that needs to be roasted, ground and brewed. A bean-to-cup machine is a way of getting involved in the process of making proper coffee. Ideal for one person, this Tower coffee maker has coarse and fine grinding options and four cup capacity glass carafe. Additionally, a standard mug will fit, so you can literally create coffee from bean to cup. It doesn't use paper filters, so you need to clean the grounds out after each use, but that's no different to the process of brewing coffee in a French press. And it's great to know, if you dislike the sound of a coffee grinder first thing in the morning, this machine brews with ready-ground coffee too.

Customer review: "Grinder function is loud - very loud - but only to be expected really as some very sharp blades are whizzing round at high speed and literally chopping the coffee beans into a coarse powder. Can alternatively use ready-ground coffee if you prefer (in which case there is no noise). Grinder appears to do a thorough job. Water is heated to boiling and allowed to trickle through the ground coffee and into the waiting jug."


  • Wonderful aroma of freshly ground coffee
  • Easy to use


  • It's an involved process to make a cup of coffee

Best small filter coffee machine

This affordable and well-priced filter coffee machine from Morphy Richards does everything you need and more. The brewing system is seamless, quick and ultra-quiet, which is perfect for that early morning start. We also love that you can adjust the coffee strength, so you can get a weaker or stronger cup of joe.

Customer review: "After a few days of experimenting with water amounts and coffee amounts, along with the different programs, I got the machine to make the perfect cup of coffee. Great Device and simple to use."


  • Auto shut-off
  • Cleaning programme
  • Strength selector
  • Pour over shower head


  • Needs cleaning before/in-between uses

Best small coffee machine for travel

If you're always on the go, whether it's for work or the school run, a quick coffee fix with a stainless-steel travel mug may just be the answer to your prayers. Ready in three to four minutes, this stylish machine effortlessly prepares a tasty cup of coffee and is compatible with ground coffee as well as coffee pads. Featuring an LCD display, a 24-hour programmable timer, a reusable coffee filter and three water-level markings, this coffee machine is well-priced, easy to use and no hassle. Salter offers comprehensive instructions, including this descaling guide.

Customer review: "Absolutely love this, my daughter bought as a gift for me. I've been using it every day. Nice and simple to use and programme mode also very easy; makes perfect coffee every time. I use the thermal mug when I go out but, for indoors, she also bought me a latte cup - so always ready to go."


  • Easy to use
  • Great for one cup
  • Compact


  • Inconsistent brewing amount
  • Some customers have commented that the mug leaks

Best value small coffee machine

Save £81

Bosch Finesse Coffee Machine
Price: £38 (was £119)

This is an absolute bargain. Whether you want to enjoy a latte, cappuccino, or hot chocolate, the unique Tassimo intelligence will make sure your hot drink is made to perfection every time - and just in one three-second push of a button. The sleek and stylish machine only heats only the required amount of water and uses auto-clean between each drink to ensure no flavour is mixed between cups.

Customer review: It's easy to use and navigate and makes a lovely coffee. The machine also features an intensify so makes a strong coffee which we all love. The design of the machine is very modern and the unit itself is not too bulky which I like and it fits neatly on the worktop or drawer in our kitchen. The capsules are readily available and easy to find which is a bonus."


  • Easy to use push button operation
  • Huge range of flavours


  • Water tank is at the back, so you have to be able to move the machine in order to fill it

Best small espresso machine for portability

Currently unavailable
STARESSO Portable Espresso Maker
Price: $129.99

If you're looking for an inexpensive espresso maker you can use at the office or take with you on trips or camping, the Staresso will provide good-quality shots with little effort. It includes three high-impact plastic parts: a lower portafilter head containing the ground coffee with a removable metal filter basket, a metal-lined centre chamber filled with boiling hot water and a cover that includes a plunger mechanism. It's compact, easy to use and makes an excellent gift for coffee lovers on the go.

Customer review: "Absolutely incredible little espresso machine. Perfect BAR for the perfect shot. Easy setup and cleaning, great crema on top and excellent-tasting espresso. Highly recommend this product."


  • Perfect for travel, camping or on the go
  • Well constructed with a sturdy, functional stand
  • Affordable


  • Requires assembly and disassembly each time
  • Best for espresso shots

Our Verdict: Best Small Coffee Machine

Whether you're looking for the jewel in your home coffee bar crown or a machine to perch between your toaster and your spice rack - we say the Tassimo by Bosch Suny is versatile, packed with features and affordable. All of the machines we've looked at have eco-modes, easy-to-use controls, and are compact. But it's the sheer range of drinks that you can make with the Bosch Suny that makes it the best appliance to get your favourite treat at home.

It's worth noting that single-use coffee pods are not as harmful to the environment as they may seem. Opt for aluminium pods that can be recycled. Tassimo T-Discs are totally recyclable as long as you recycle using Podback or Terracycle.


Which Type Of Coffee Machine Should I Buy?

There are several types of coffee machines, so think about your favourite drink and how much time you have in the morning. Also, consider your budget before deciding whether to buy a coffee pod machine, one that uses ground coffee or a bean-to-cup model.

Bean-To-Cup Coffee Machines
Quite literally, a bean-to-cup coffee machine takes the whole beans, grinds them, and makes the espresso - all at the touch of a button. Your coffee is made fresh every time.

Ground Coffee Machines
Choose your packet of ground coffee, pop it in, and off the machine goes. You can buy ready-ground coffee or buy a separate coffee grinder and grind fresh beans yourself. This type of filter coffee machine is the most time-consuming, as you're prepping a lot more, but it means the coffee can be more individual. They tend to be smaller than bean-to-cup machines.

Capsule Coffee Machines
Also known as coffee pod machines, these use little capsules that are packed with ground coffee. Pop the capsule in, and off it goes. No messing around with beans or grinds, so these appliances are real-time savers and need less tidying up after. One for you if time is precious. However, you're often limited to one type of capsule. Then there's the matter of recyclability of single-use plastics, so they're not the most eco-friendly - and they can be pricey.

Which Type Of Coffee Pod Should I Choose?

When choosing the best coffee pods and capsules, range and price are key factors. But there's nothing more important than looking after our planet.

If you're environmentally conscious, opt for a coffee pod that's made from plant-based materials. Corn starch and paper pulp will break down as organic food waste. However, there's some debate over how long you can store compostable pods, as they don't have the oxygen barrier that aluminium and plastic pods have. It is, in effect, like storing your ground coffee in a paper bag.

An aluminium pod is vacuum-sealed, so the coffee stays fresh for months. In addition, aluminium pods are recyclable, but in most cases, you have to remove the used coffee grounds and arrange the recycling.

Some brands still use plastic pods, however, all the major brands have made a point of using recycled plastic. This can be recycled through schemes like TerraCycle.

Finally - if you're really cool beans - there is the reusable coffee pod. This is made from a durable material, such as stainless steel, plastic or aluminium. It requires the effort of spooning ground coffee into the pod and sealing it with foil. It's worth the extra minute or two because it works out a lot cheaper to buy ground coffee. If we haven't quite persuaded you - a coffee machine is more energy efficient than brewing traditional filter coffee - who knew?

Natalie Knowles is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in kitchen appliances. When she's not testing coffee machines, she flexes her creative flair as an artist.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us