While it’s nice to enjoy a conversation and a few laughs over a flavorful coffee, sometimes it’s better enjoyed by yourself. Having a machine that accommodates you and only you is something more and more people are gravitating towards.
The best single-serve coffee maker with no pods is a great way to get the coffee you want without making a full pot. These machines are easy to use and allow you all the freedom in the world to choose your own ground coffee.
Stop wasting money and being pigeonholed into coffee you don’t even like. The world of coffee is vast, don’t let your machine dictate what flavors you want to enjoy.
Our Top Picks
- 90 seconds heat-up time
- Easy to use with simple controls
- Big water tank for busy households
- Programmable with LCD screen
- Automatic rinse feature
- Simple one-touch operation
- Includes thermal travel mug
- Very budget-friendly
- Brews a whole carafe
- Brews variety of drinks, incl. espresso drinks
- Delayed brewing feature
- Choice of strength with unique steeping process
- Easy one-touch operation
- Good build quality
- Compatible with ground coffee and pods
- 5 different brew options
- Good entry-level espresso machine
- Automatic milk frother
- Easy to use
Let’s take a closer look at each machine and see who they are made for and what they can (and can’t) do.
Summary: Built for speed and ease, this machine is a workhorse that is perfect for anyone on the go.
I’m a big fan of user-friendly machines, so it’s no surprise to my co-workers that I would rank this as number one. For single-serve coffee, I want it hot, fast, and just the way I like it; this machine does all three.
The speed is helped by the multi-use scoop and filter basket. You can use this to portion your favorite coffee grounds and slot them directly into the coffee maker. The height-adjustable drip tray allows for taller travel mugs and is removable for easy cleaning.
Easy For Anyone To Use
The only setting you have to concern yourself with is the brew-strength control. You can select a “Bold” brew setting for when your morning cup needs an extra kick. This simple operation makes this machine so accessible to everyone, even less-experienced coffee drinkers.
The stainless steel casing means you will have this personal coffee maker for a long time. It makes for easy clean-up and compliments any kitchen counter. The auto-off feature also reduces your carbon footprint and electric bill.
- Stainless steel scoop and filter basket combo
- Adjustable drip tray
- Simple controls for anyone to use
- Brews one cup FAST
- Very affordable
- Small water reservoir
- Limited drink options
Summary: The Cuisinart SS-10 is perfect for busy households because it can brew different sizes quickly without having to refill the water tank after each mug.
This is another fast brewer with a few more bells and whistles compared to our number one single-dose coffee maker. It’s perfect for a family or a couple that loves coffee and wants it in different sizes but still fast.
This machine offers different brew sizes of 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12-ounce cups to accommodate your mood. You can easily make your selection on the one-touch control panel. The backlit LCD screen also displays a clock and can be programmed to start your coffee whenever you want.
It Practically Operates Itself
A special feature of this single-serving coffee maker is the built-in rinse setting. This helps keep the inner workings of your machine clean. It automatically runs hot water through it to flush out any coffee remnants. This not only keeps it clean but for those who like to switch up their coffee beans, you always get a trustworthy and clean flavor profile.
Keeping this machine clean is easy with the rinse setting, enormous removable water reservoir, removable drip tray, and charcoal water filter. A bonus of the large reservoir is that you don’t have to keep refilling it after each cup is made.
- Brews different cup sizes very fast
- Rinse feature keeps your machine running smoothly and makes for quick cleaning
- Huge water capacity
- Programmable brewing process
- Takes up a significant chunk of kitchen countertop space
Summary: Including its own mug means this machine wants to do all the work for you. Just add coffee, water, and push a button to be served delicious and hot coffee fast.
As I mentioned earlier, I love simplicity. This is another single-serving coffee maker that emphasizes getting you a cup of coffee fast and easy. The one-touch operation needs little explanation, so anyone can use it and have hot coffee whenever they want.
For anyone on the go, this makes a travel mug-sized portion and comes with its own double-walled travel mug. It fits perfectly with this machine and will keep your java hot for a long time.
Easy To Customize Your Flavor
The permanent filter saves you the trouble of paper filters and the money you would otherwise spend on them. Use the filter to scoop your ground coffee to the perfect amount for a customized taste.
The compact design makes this perfect for apartments, condos, and RVs. It takes up very little counter space because it has a smaller water tank and only makes one size, 14 ounces. But these simple specifications make this one of the best single-serve coffee makers, no pods.
- One-button controls
- Includes a 12-ounce thermal travel mug
- Permanent filter can be used to scoop fresh ground coffee
- Compact and inexpensive
- Only makes one cup size
Summary: Impress your friends and yourself with the Ninja by making any kind of espresso/milk-based cup of coffee you can think of.
If regular americano style coffee is not your thing, then I may have a solution for you. This Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker produces barista-quality drinks that range in size and type enough to keep even the most adventurous captivated.
The secret is its built-in milk frother and its ability to make espresso drinks. With these two extra features, you can produce almost any kind of coffee in minutes.
There’s A Setting For Any Kind Of Coffee Lover
For those who do enjoy americanos, this machine specializes in that too. It can make almost any size up to and including a carafe, which is included with the maker. The thermal carafe will keep your coffee warm well after it’s brewed.
Due to the variety of options, the controls are more involved and may require a bit of practice. But baristas weren’t built in a day, and the final product and joy of experimentation will far exceed any frustration.
Besides, learning its nuances will allow you to program it to be ready whenever you want by using the delayed brewing feature. There’s nothing like waking up to the smell of fresh-brewed, creamy drinks first thing in the morning.
- Brews many different types of coffee
- Includes and brews a whole thermal carafe at once
- Built-in milk frother
- Delayed brewing feature
- Higher price point
- Controls require a bit of practice
Summary: With the unique steeping process, the Technivorm produces a custom cup of coffee that no other machine will be able to duplicate for years to come.
Many of you may have wanted to see this single-dose coffee maker ranked a bit higher, but I have my reasons for placing it here—first, the good aspects.
This machine does best to brew a cup of coffee specifically to your taste. Depending on your preference, it uses a particular steeping system that creates a stronger or weaker cup. You can make adjustments to suit your or your guest’s taste.
The Last Single-Dose Coffee Maker You’ll Buy
It’s also built with an eye for quality. This machine pumps out coffee at the touch of a button and for a very long time. The craftsmanship is outstanding, so this machine lasts.
Due to this, the current price is on the higher side and may not be worth it for the casual coffee drinker.
If you are interested in this line of coffee makers, this is the best. The only feature this lacks compared to its sister machine is that this one doesn’t have the automatic drip-stop. But for the price, I don’t think a drip-stop is worth it; I can deal with a couple of drops of coffee just fine.
- Unique steeping process gives you a choice of strength
- Made with quality at the forefront
- Parts are dishwasher safe
- Easy one-touch operation
- Great build quality
- Priced higher
- Brewing time is a bit longer
Summary: Brew cups of coffee using coffee pods from your favorite brand or experiment with freshly ground coffee in the permanent filter basket.
A single-dose coffee maker is a great place to start for anyone who wants to dip their toe in home-brewing machines. If you’re going to avoid those trips to the coffee shop and save a few bucks while learning about the joys of home coffee brewing, turn your attention to this quality coffee maker.
What makes this great for coffee rookies is the option to use it with or without pods. You can start off slow and just go for the complete automation mode. Once you’re comfortable with that, you can branch out and start sampling fresh ground coffee based on your pod preferences.
Efficient And Sleek Design That Anyone Can Use
Its operating controls are just as easy to use. You can choose your size based on your cup capacity with one touch. This can accommodate 7-inch tall travel mugs or smaller 6-ounce mugs if you’re not ready for a grande.
The automatic shut-off feature will save money on your energy bill and keep your machine safe from burning residual coffee. Even if you’re not a coffee beginner, this machine will be well-received for its simplicity and 30-ounce removable water reservoir. You can make multiple cups of coffee without refilling.
- Use freshly ground coffee or coffee pods
- Very beginner-friendly
- Brews fast in less than 3 minutes
- One-touch operating procedure
- Choose from 5 different brew options
- Made chiefly from plastic to keep costs down
Summary: Make a single serving of more flavorful and complex coffee beverages easily and quickly without any pods.
A single-dose coffee maker is not only for americano style coffee; plenty of coffee machines make one cup of great espresso, but this is one of the best. It specializes in brewing a strong shot to be enjoyed as an espresso or any other of your favorite drinks that stem from it.
It has a large removable milk reservoir. This makes for easy storage in your fridge, so you don’t have to keep refilling it. This is a massive advantage since it also has a steaming wand, so there are plenty of opportunities to incorporate any kind of milk into your next fresh coffee.
Same Method As All The Fancy Coffee Shops
The difference in this machine is that it uses 19 bars of pressure while brewing. This ensures a strong and even brew to produce authentic espresso with a professional-level layer of crema on top.
Simply fill the portafilter with a single or double-shot worth of ground coffee, then select your desired beverage with the touch of a button. This machine looks more sophisticated than it is, which will make you look and feel like a skilled barista.
- Good entry-level espresso machine
- Includes a large removable milk reservoir
- Create creamy drinks like lattes and cappuccinos using the steaming wand
- Controls are surprisingly easy to use
- Frother is quite loud
- Harder to make americano style
Here is some key information to consider before selecting the best single-serve coffee maker, no pods.
Types of Single Coffee Makers Without Pods
There are basically two types of machines you can choose from to get your ideal cup of coffee. There are machines that focus on regular coffee and ones that produce espresso-style. Here are the differences:
Regular Coffee Drip Machines
These are the most popular because they require the least amount of effort. They combine hot water and a pour-over method to extract a delicious flavor hassle-free. These are usually affordably priced and built to handle many cups of coffee.
Depending on your needs, pay attention to how big the water reservoir is. If you plan to make consecutive cups often, choose one with a large water tank. This saves you the trouble of having to refill constantly.
These are made to brew a strong shot of coffee, just like you get in coffee houses around the world. Better machines will use a brewing pressure of at least 9 bars. Anything less may produce inconsistent shots of espresso that lack body.
If you’re getting an espresso machine, it pays to get one with a milk frother. This opens up a whole new realm of drink possibilities that you may want to experiment with in the future.
Benefits Of No Pods
The main benefit of not using pods is you get to try any coffee you want. There is so much coffee out there to explore that it’d be a shame to limit yourself. With a podless machine, you can get coffee from local markets, order online, or bring home local coffee while you’re traveling.
The other benefit of not using expensive coffee pods is you’re making a difference to the environment. Single-use pods create a lot of trash,  and the more coffee you drink, the more garbage you produce. Landfills around the world are already overflowing, so if we can reduce our waste even by a little, we can make a difference and help our planet recover.
The size of your single-serving coffee maker depends on where you will use it most. The most obvious choice is in the kitchen so ensure you have a spot picked out that will accommodate it. Keep in mind the height; some machines require water to be loaded from the top so that cabinets may interfere.
If space is limited, choose a coffee maker type that has a smaller water tank. You will have to refill it more often, but that beats having to move your machine whenever you want to use it.
The most compact machine on this list is the Krups. It’s almost small enough to take traveling with you and is undoubtedly fit for camping trips.
This is a personal preference category and one that you should discuss with your significant other if you’re buying for two. Since your machine will be out in the open for all to see, it’s essential that it blend in with your kitchen or office decor.
The most common colors are black and silver. You can’t go wrong with black, and if it has some stainless steel accents like the Ninja, even better.
The Final Say
Finding the best single-serve coffee maker with no pods is an excellent idea since it opens you up to so many more flavors of coffee. The Hamilton Beach Single Serve is my favorite because it makes one cup of coffee fast and is built with quality in mind. You can customize your coffee flavor with the other machines, but the Hamilton Beach option is a versatile machine that makes delicious coffee every time.
If you're looking for a single-serve machine but want to go pod-free, this coffee maker is a great option. Built for speed and ease, it's perfect for anyone on the go. With the brew-strength control, you can select a "Bold" brew setting for an extra kick in your cup.