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Best coffee pod machine 2024: Tried and tested for easy, great-tasting coffee

A coffee pod machine with cup and a selection of coffee pods

Enjoy easy espresso, americano, cappuccino and more at the touch of a button with these tried and tested coffee pod machines

From luxurious flat whites to tasty espressos, the best coffee pod machines make it easy to whip up amazing coffee from the comfort of your kitchen. Simply insert a pod into the machine, hit a button and you’ll have a delicious, hot coffee in seconds.

In this article, we will look at coffee-only capsule machines, as well those with milk-frothing capabilities. We explain exactly which features are and aren’t worth paying out for and our mini reviews will give you a quick rundown of what we love about each machine. Over the years, we’ve tested over 60 different coffee machines, including 20 different pod machines just for this roundup. Our roundup includes machines from both niche and big brands such as Nespresso, Lavazza, Dolce Gusto, Tassimo and more.

If you just want a quick, hassle-free recommendation, then check out our handy at-a-glance list just below, which has links directly to our top five. You can also jump to the bottom of this article for our full buying guide, which we’ve designed to answer all the most important questions you’re likely to have when buying a pod machine for the first time. Alternatively, you can dive straight into our mini reviews.

Best coffee pod machine: At a glance

Best high-end capsule machineNespresso Creatista Uno (~£234)Check price at Amazon
Best pod machine for most peoplePhilips L’OR Sublime (~£71)Check price at Amazon
Best Nespresso coffee pod machineNespresso Vertuo Next (~£170)Check price at John Lewis
Best budget coffee pod machineDolce Gusto Infinissima (~from £45)Check price at Amazon
Best Lavazza coffee pod machineLavazza Jolie (~£82)Check price at Amazon

How we test coffee pod machines

Our coffee machines go through real-world testing, meaning we make and drink lots of coffee, using a variety of pods. To test the accuracy of each machine, we weigh multiple shots of espresso to determine if it’s pulling through a similar amount of coffee each time – something pod machines can be notoriously bad for. If the machine also has a ristretto or lungo option, we’ll test these too. We’re also looking for consistency, is the fourth shot of coffee as creamy and rich as the last? For coffee machines with an in-built milk frother, we test with 200ml of both dairy and oat milk, looking for froth and texture consistency during each use. A good frother will deliver similar results every time with the same amount of milk.

Testing the Lavazza Voicy coffee pod machine

Design and functionality is also incredibly important when choosing a coffee pod machine, which is why we carefully consider the build quality and style of every machine we review. While it’s hard to “test” design, there are a few things we look at. The first is size and shape – whether the machine will be a countertop hog and if the drip tray is accommodating for all cup sizes. We also consider how robust certain elements of the machine feel. Plastic components can often look good but aren’t always good for longevity. As part of our design tests, we also look at the capsule bin, if there is one, and the water tank, to consider whether these offer a reasonable capacity compared to the size of the machine.

As many coffee pod machines function in the same way, what makes a good machine often comes down to personal preference. We always take this into consideration when undertaking our tests, ensuring we highlight all the best features for a range of needs and budgets.

READ NEXT: Best Nespresso machines

The best coffee pod machines you can buy in 2024

1. Philips L’OR Sublime pod coffee machine: Best pod machine for most people

Price when reviewed: £71 | Check price at AmazonBest coffee pod machine - Philips L'OR Sublime

  • Great for… lots of espresso options
  • Not so great for… long coffees and milk drinks

L’OR’s only pod machine, manufactured by Philips, is somewhat of an unknown gem. Not only is it suitable for use with all L’OR and Nespresso original compatible capsules, including third-party ones from Lavazza and Dualit, but it can also be used with L’OR’s XXL capsules, which provide two servings of espresso from one pod. Unlike other pod machines, the Sublime has a dual spout, allowing you to pour two cups at the same time. We really enjoyed using this in our day to day testing and found ourselves wishing more pod machines would offer this option as standard. Alongside excellent pod compatibility, this machine also lets you customise drink lengths from 25ml up to 270ml, as well as offering three standard sizes – ristretto (25ml) espresso (40ml) and lungo (90ml) – via the buttons at the top.

Design-wise, the Sublime is available in black, deep red or cream and is pleasingly compact, measuring just 15.7 x 40.2 x 27.6cm (WDH). In fact, it’s one of the smallest pod machines we’ve tested, making it an ideal choice if you’re short on space or just want something compact and unassuming for your kitchen. While this means we found the water tank to be a little on the small side at 0.8l, it’s still big enough for plenty of espressos throughout the day. It’s easy to turn on simply by pressing your coffee button of choice and has an auto-shut off feature after one minute to save energy.

With so much capsule variety, a great design and bundles of customisation, we would argue this is simply one of the best pod machines you can buy right now.

Read our full Philips L’OR Sublime review

Key specs – Pod type: Nespresso original pods, L’OR pods; Drink sizes: Three (ristretto, espresso and lungo); Bar pressure: 19; Water tank capacity: 0.8l; Used capsule bin capacity: N/S

2. Nespresso Vertuo Pop: Best budget Nespresso machine

Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at John Lewis

Best coffee pod machine - Nespresso Vertuo Pop

  • Great for… small spaces and colour lovers
  • Not so great for… use with tall cups

Like the Vertuo Next, the pint-sized Vertuo Pop has a simple, single-button setup and uses Nespresso’s Vertuo pods to create delicious espresso and long coffees. With the Vertuo Pop, you can enjoy a variety of drink sizes including espresso (40ml), double espresso (80ml), lungo (120ml) and mug (230ml). Setting the Pop apart from other machines in the Vertuo range is its compact size and shape, as it measures just 13.6 x 42.6 x 25cm (WDH) and weighs 3.5kg.

In testing, we found it easy to use but found the cup height to be on the short side. Obviously this is a needed sacrifice in order to keep the Pop small, but it does mean that you might struggle to fit certain taller mugs under the spout. The Pop is also available in a new, brighter range of colours. Options to help add a pop of colour to your kitchen include: spicy red, aqua mint, mango yellow and pacific blue – which we’ve reviewed here.

This model also has a budget-friendly price compared to other Nespresso machines and it can often be picked up at a significant discount. If you’re looking for quality pod coffee at a great value price, the Vertuo Pop is one of your best bets.

Read our full Nespresso Vertuo Pop review

Key specs – Pod type: Nespresso Vertuo pods; Drink sizes: Four (Espresso, Double Espresso, Gran Lungo, Mug; Bar pressure: 19; Water tank capacity: 600ml; Used capsule bin capacity: 8 pods

3. Lavazza Jolie: Best Lavazza coffee pod machine

Price when reviewed: £82 | Check price at Amazon

Best coffee pod machine - Lavazza Jolie

  • Great for… great tasting espresso and those short on space
  • Not so great for… third-party pods

Don’t be fooled by its minimalist stature: Lavazza’s smallest, most affordable and – in our opinion – most stylish capsule machine makes a really nice espresso. It uses the same compostable EcoCaps as other Lavazza pod machines delivering great-tasting, quality coffee and is operated with just a single button.

Much like the Dolce Gusto Infinissima also featured on this roundup, pouring is controlled manually. Simply press the button to start the pour, and then press it again to stop. This is ideal for those that want full control over their cup but the lack of preset drink settings does mean that you can’t walk away while the machine is doing its thing. The size of the machine also means there’s less space in the capsule bin and while testing, we found we had to empty it out more frequently than others we reviewed for this list.

Nevertheless, if you’re after a simple, affordable coffee capsule machine that won’t take up too much space, the Jolie is a fantastic option. What’s more, if you prefer a milky drink, the machine is also available as a set, consisting of the machine and a milk frother.

Read our full Lavazza Jolie review

Key specs – Pod type: Lavazza A Mio Modo pods, Lavazza EcoCaps; Drink sizes: N/A; Bar pressure: 10; Water tank capacity: 0.6l; Used capsule bin capacity: 4/5 capsules

4. Dolce Gusto Infinissima: Best budget coffee pod machine

Price when reviewed: From £45 | Check price at AmazonBest coffee pod machine - Dolce Gusto Infinissima capsule machine

  • Great for… those on a budget and instant coffee drinkers
  • Not so great for… barista style, quality coffee

For those looking for a cheap, no-frills coffee machine, we think the unusual-looking Infinissima is well worth considering. But it’s not just its looks which set it apart: you get to decide exactly how much coffee goes into your cup.

This machine is compatible with all Dolce Gusto pods, including those from third-party companies. Simply pop the pod in the top, switch the lever to hot, then move it back once you’ve poured as much coffee as you want. You can also pour cold water through certain Dolce Gusto pods, such as the brand’s cold brew coffee, for a cold drink in the summer months. In testing, we also used the cold setting to adjust the temperature of our hot coffee.

The obvious downside is that we couldn’t take our eyes off this machine while our coffee poured and we also had to spend a bit of time figuring out how much water to pull through each pod. Otherwise, this is a good coffee capsule machine if you’re on a tight budget.

Key specs – Pod type: Dolce Gusto, Starbucks for Dolce Gusto; Drink sizes: N/A; Bar pressure: Up to 15; Water tank capacity: 1.2l; Used capsule bin capacity: N/A

5. Nespresso Vertuo Next: Best Nespresso coffee pod machine

Price when reviewed: £170 | Check price at John Lewisbest coffee pod machine - Nespresso Vertuo Next


  • Great for… big cups of coffee
  • Not so great for… espresso drinkers

If you prefer a big mug in the morning, this simple, one-touch machine has you covered. It pours big mugs of quality pod coffee exceptionally well, producing tasty drinks that you can enjoy with or without milk. In our full review, we were particularly impressed with how easy it was to use, as well as the quality of the pods. We also thought it looked rather stylish on our kitchen counter.

There’s no messing around with programming drink sizes either – though you can do this if you want to customise your machine. Simply pop the pod in and the machine will read the barcode on the pod, automatically dispensing just the right amount of water for the type of coffee inside. The Vertuo Next has been designed with large coffees in mind, but Nespresso does also offer espresso capsules for the machine, there just aren’t as many to choose from. With 29 different capsule options available and new ones being added all the time, there’s plenty to try.

Read our full Nespresso Vertuo Next review

Key specs – Pod type: Nespresso Vertuo pods; Drink sizes: Five (Espresso, Double Espresso, Gran Lungo, Mug, Alto); Bar pressure: N/A (uses centrifugal force); Water tank capacity: 1.1l; Used capsule bin capacity: 10 large capsules

6. Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus: Best Dolce Gusto coffee pod machine

Price when reviewed: £78 | Check price at AmazonBest coffee pod machine - Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus

  • Great for… lots of pod choice
  • Not so great for… those after the highest quality coffee

The Genio S Plus might be small, but we think it’s packed full of great features. In testing, we found the temperature-adjust button to be a nice touch and you can also increase the strength of the coffee with the espresso boost feature. Adjusting the drink sizes to your liking is as simple as twisting a dial too.

As far as the quality of the pods goes, Dolce Gusto’s can be a bit hit or miss. Luckily there are plenty to choose from, so you should find a decent selection to enjoy. Our personal favourites are the Starbucks Americano House Blend, Starbucks Latte Macchiato and the brand’s classic Americano – all of which we tested over a period of several weeks.

It’s worth noting that like all Dolce Gusto machines, this doesn’t have a pod bin, meaning you’ll need to dispose of the capsule each time you make a drink. While we found this to be a tad annoying when we were in a rush, it’s not a complete dealbreaker, especially considering the price.

Key specs – Pod type: Dolce Gusto, Starbucks for Dolce Gusto; Drink sizes: Seven; Bar pressure: Up to 15; Water tank capacity: 0.8l; Used capsule bin capacity: N/A

7. Tassimo My Way 2: Best Tassimo capsule machine

Price when reviewed: £70 | Check price at AmazonBest coffee pod machine - Tassimo My Way 2

  • Great for… filtered water and drink customisation
  • Not so great for… eco conscious users

Tassimo’s My Way is a capsule machine that provides lots of customisation options but also lets you save customised drinks to a designated button, so you only need to tap once for your perfect coffee. You can choose from three different drink sizes, temperatures and coffee strengths, or you can simply let the machine read the barcode on the pods and automatically pour the perfect cup. Despite there not being a huge range of capsules to choose from, the selection is nicely varied and most are from recognisable brands such as Kenco, Costa, L’Or and Cadbury’s.

The My Way 2 also comes with a built-in water filtration unit, which can be used with Brita cartridges for smooth, filtered water that’s perfect for coffee. While this is a great benefit for hard-water areas, the need to replace this, plus Tassimo’s plastic pods, mean it’s not the most eco-friendly pod machine out there. Another niggle is that this machine takes a little longer to pour coffee than most of its rivals, even if you’re using the customisable buttons. All in all, though, it’s well designed with some stand-out features.

Read our full Tassimo My Way 2 review

Key specs – Pod type: Tassimo T-Disc; Drink sizes: Three (Small, medium, large); Bar pressure: Not stated; Water tank capacity: 1.3l; Used capsule bin capacity: N/A

8. Nespresso Creatista Uno: Best high-end capsule machine

Price when reviewed: £234 | Check price at Amazon best coffee pod machine - Nespresso Creatista Uno

  • Great for… lots of drink customisation
  • Not so great for… those on a budget

If you want barista-friendly features wrapped up in a machine that’s also easy to use, then we think the Creatista Uno is a delight. The professional-looking steam wand takes the automatic milk texturing tech from Sage’s pricier manual machines and this creates silky, piping hot milk at the touch of a button.

You get three options for drink size (ristretto, espresso and lungo), as well as buttons for adjusting the water temperature and selecting the frothiness of the steamed milk. So whether you want to make a luscious cappuccino or a silky-smooth flat white, you can make it just the way you like, and without ever having to leave the house. The only niggle we have with this machine is how loud it is. Due to its size and features, we found it made quite the racket both while it poured coffee and while it produced steam.

It works with classic Nespresso capsules but there are also plenty of third-party pods suitable for use too. If you’re set on a Nespresso machine and want the lowdown on some of the tastiest pods, our best Nespresso capsules page will help you choose the perfect blends.

Read our full Nespresso Creatista Uno review

Key specs – Pod type: Nespresso classic; Drink sizes: Three (Ristretto, espresso, lungo); Bar pressure: 19; Water tank capacity: 1.5l; Used capsule bin capacity: N/A

How to choose the best coffee pod machine for you

While most pod machines work in the same way, not all are created equal. Many have advanced barista-style features, while others will just produce a simple espresso. There are also lots of different pods and prices to get your head around.

What types of drinks can you make in coffee capsule machines?

Depending on which machine you buy, all the classic coffee-shop drinks are on the cards. Cheaper machines tend to deliver basic black coffees such as espressos and lungos, while pricier models add more drink sizes and often add hot milk options.

Some of the priciest machines have built-in milk carafes that allow them to deliver creamy lattes and cappuccinos at the touch of the button, while others have steam wands that allow you to manually steam your own milk to create your own. Others simply bundle a separate milk frother that heats and froths the milk at the touch of a button.

Are there any features I should look out for or avoid?

If you’re looking for a professional barista-style drink at home, we would highly recommend choosing a machine with a steam wand. This will allow you to prepare frothy steamed milk like you would find in a coffee shop. Failing that, make sure to budget for a separate milk frother – you can read our guide to the best milk frothers.

If you want frothy coffee but don’t want the hassle of a steam wand, some machines, such as the Tassimo My Way and Dolce Gusto models, have two-stage pods that come with a creamy milk element as well as a coffee one, so you can recreate a frothy cappuccino in seconds. This isn’t anywhere near as authentic as milk frothed with a steam wand or carafe, but it’s a lot quicker and, in most cases, much cheaper, too.

If personalising your drinks is important to you, then look out for machines with options to adjust drink sizes, temperature and coffee strength. All coffee pod machines will allow you to customise the drink size in some way, but certain machines do a far better job of it, making the process quick and simple.

What pods can I use?

That depends entirely on the machine you choose. Most manufacturers use one standard pod type that’s unique to the brand. Nespresso has two varieties of pods: the classic type used by the majority of its machines, and larger Vertuo pods specific to the Vertuo range.

Most machines will also work with third-party pods. L’Or, for example, has its own line of Nespresso-compatible pods, and some coffee roasters produce their own ranges of compatible pods, too.

How much should I spend on a pod machine?

If you want a machine with plenty of customisation options, you’ll need to spend upwards of £70 on a machine. For fancier extras, such as steam wands or built-in milk features, you’ll need to go even higher – these can often set you back over £200. A no-frills manual machine can cost as little as £30, though, so it depends entirely on what you want and can afford.

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