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While there are a handful of good options, the Breville Barista Express is our top pick for the best espresso machine because it balances convenience and quality.

With so many of us working from home these days, stopping by a coffee shop to pick up a latte or other espresso drink may be less convenient than it used to be. You may consider purchasing an espresso machine to prepare your drinks from the comfort of your home.

There are many types of espresso machines available, such as manual, automatic, semi-automatic, or capsule-driven machines.

There is also a large variety in pricing, with some falling into a budget-friendly range and others being more of a splurge.

This article includes our picks of the best espresso machines for your home, as well as tips for how to choose which one is right for you.

When shopping for an espresso machine, there are several factors to consider.

Type

There are a few types of espresso machines, some more user-friendly than others. Depending on your experience level and interest in crafting espresso drinks, you may or may not wish to opt for a more advanced model.

The different types of espresso machines include:

  • Super automatic: These machines are user-friendly and more convenient than some others, as they do all of the work for you. They will grind, measure, and tamp the coffee beans for you and then brew the shot of espresso.
  • Automatic: Automatic espresso machines require you to do some work first by grinding and tamping the beans. It will then brew the shot of espresso and stop the water automatically to keep a consistent volume.
  • Semi-automatic: These machines are often what you’d find in a coffee shop. The person using the machine will grind and tamp the espresso beans, and the machine will regulate the water pressure and temperature needed to brew the shot of espresso. You control the amount of water that is pushed through the grounds.
  • Capsule: This capsule-based machine works similarly to a Keurig coffee maker. This may be the most user-friendly option because you need to make sure there is water in the tank, insert the capsule, and press a button.
  • Stove-top: To use a stove-top espresso maker, you’ll fill the container with water and ground espresso beans and then turn on the stove. As it heats up, the water will boil, and steam will push through the grounds to brew the espresso.
  • Manual: A manual espresso machine requires the most work. In addition to preparing the beans, you’ll apply pressure to push the water through the grounds by pushing down on a lever. This type of machine might be better suited to a more experienced person, but it allows for more customization in the preparation.

Features

In addition to the type of machine, you’ll also want to consider which features you’d like included with your machine.

For example, if you expect to use your espresso machine to make lattes or other milk-based drinks, you may want to choose one that includes a milk steamer.

Additionally, some machines will have a coffee grinder included, which can be convenient and removes the need to purchase a separate grinder.

If you think you’d like to bring your espresso machine around, you may opt for a portable version that will allow you to brew a cup anywhere.

Size

The size of the espresso machine can be important too, as some machines can take up quite a bit of counter space. When checking machines out, it’s a good idea to measure your own space to determine how well a machine will fit.

Price

The pricing on espresso machines can vary quite a bit. A more expensive machine may have more bells and whistles, but you don’t have to spend too much to get a quality espresso machine. There are several highly rated budget-friendly espresso machines available.

With so many different espresso machines available, it can be tricky to figure out which one is the best choice for you.

We chose the best espresso machines based on the following criteria:

  • Type of machine: We included several types of machines to allow for a comprehensive list.
  • Size of machine: Similarly, we included machines of varying sizes.
  • Cost: We also included machines with varying prices to fit different budgets.
  • Vetting: All products have been vetted to ensure they meet Healthline’s business standards.
  • Personal experience: We spoke to individuals with experience using some of the machines on our list for more insight.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($ to $$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas four dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $29.49–$999.95, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide:

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $165–$399
  • $$$ = $399–$650
  • $$$$ = above $650

Best overall

Breville Barista Express

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: semi-automatic
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Accessories: stainless steel portafilter, razor dose trimming tool, coffee scoop, integrated tamper, milk jug, cleaning disc, brush tool, water filter and filter holder
  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 15.9 x 13.8 in (31.75 x 40.4 x 49.2 cm)

This espresso machine is semi-automatic, meaning it will auto-grind the beans for you, and then you can tamp and razor the grounds before starting the machine to brew a single or double espresso in less than a minute.

The integrated grinder allows the beans to be ground fresh right before your cup is brewed, and the water is kept at the optimal temperature throughout.

If you like to make milk-based espresso drinks, you can use the steam wand to hand-texture your milk to add to your drink.

The Breville Barista Express has more than 21,000 reviews on Amazon and 4.6 out of 5 stars. Many happy customers have written that the machine feels professional, and it’s easy to use and clean — though you may have to get the hang of it first.

One of our testers, who has been using it daily since 2018, compares it to tuning a guitar. “Once you’ve got the grind size dialed in, you’re good to go,” she says. She also mentions that the customer service is amazing, and the company will service broken machines or replace them if necessary.

Key features

  • more than 17,000 mostly positive reviews on Amazon
  • integrated grinder
  • milk steamer included

Considerations

  • on the expensive side
  • takes up a lot of space

Best splurge

Breville Barista Touch

  • Price: $$$$
  • Type: semi-automatic
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Accessories: stainless steel portafilter, single and double wall filter baskets, stainless steel jug, water filter, razor precision dose trimming tool, cleaning kit, water hardness test strip
  • Dimensions: 12.7 x 15.5 x 16 in (32.3 x 39.4 x 40.6 cm)

The Breville Barista Touch is the most expensive on our list, but it’s also the most convenient and user-friendly because it’s automatic.

To prepare your espresso, you’ll swipe on the touch screen to choose from several different drink options, such as Americano, latte, or flat white. Next, you’ll select the auto grind, then tamp and trim the grounds yourself.

From there, all that’s left is pushing the “brew” button, followed by the “milk” button, if applicable.

This machine has a 4.6 out of 5 on Amazon, and many reviewers comment on the ease of use, especially with the touch screen feature. One coffee lover mentioned that the machine is so quick and easy to use that she’s stopped going to the coffee shop altogether.

However, others have written that there is a bit of a learning curve when getting started.

Key features

  • easy to use with very little work required
  • automatically prepares various types of drinks
  • integrated grinder

Considerations

  • expensive
  • not as customizable
  • takes up a lot of space

Best budget-friendly

Bialetti Moka Express

  • Price: $
  • Type: stove-top
  • Warranty: optional protection plan from Amazon
  • Accessories: none
  • Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 9 in (10.6 x 10.6 x 22.8 cm) for the 6-cup option

This stove-top espresso maker comes in 1, 6, 9 or 12-cup sizes.

To prepare a drink, unscrew the bottom section and fill it with water, then place the funnel on top and fill it with grounds. As the machine heats up on the stove, the steam will be pushed through the grounds, brewing fresh espresso that can be poured directly from the spout.

A few different coffee drinkers we spoke to feel that the Bialetti Moka Express has an authentic Italian feel and is easy to use and clean.

If you’re looking for an affordable, easy-to-use alternative to a more expensive espresso maker, this might be a good fit.

Keep in mind: You’ll have to purchase ground espresso beans or a grinder to grind them yourself.

Reviews are mostly positive, though some mention that the machine can overheat and boil over if you don’t keep an eye on it.

Key features

  • relatively affordable
  • suitable for small spaces
  • easy to use

Considerations

  • grinder not included
  • milk frother not included

Best budget-friendly manual

Flair Espresso Maker

  • Price: $$
  • Type: manual
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Accessories: custom carrying case
  • Dimensions: 12 x 6 x 10 in (30.5 x 15.2 x 25.4 cm)

If you’re more experienced and appreciate the task of manually preparing an espresso drink, this is a great option for you.

You’ll have full control of grinding the beans — though keep in mind you’ll need a separate grinder — heating the water, and pushing it through with the included lever.

Because this machine does take a little more effort and skill, it likely isn’t the best choice for someone new to preparing espresso or unwilling to take on the learning curve. While the espresso is great, one individual we spoke to eventually felt that the lengthy process of brewing a single shot was not worth it, so keep in mind this option isn’t the best if you’re short on time.

That being said, the Flair Espresso Maker has great reviews on Amazon, and many users comment on the convenience of having a manual espresso machine that can be portable as well.

Key features

  • relatively affordable
  • portable
  • customizable
  • fits in small spaces

Considerations

  • requires some experience
  • more time and effort needed than others
  • grinder not included
  • milk frother not included

Best splurge manual

La Pavoni Manual Espresso Machine

  • Price: $$$$
  • Type: manual
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Accessories: tamper, screen, screen holder, measuring ladle, and cappuccino attachment
  • Dimensions: 11 x 7 x 12 in (27.9 x 17.8 x 30.5 cm)

La Pavoni runs on the expensive side and can be more difficult to operate than other machines on our list. However, some appreciate the time and effort spent preparing and customizing their espresso drink.

One experienced espresso drinker loves that the machine is designed to last and can be repaired. In fact, this particular individual has used the machine for over 20 years, though it has needed a new gasket about every 5 years to maintain proper pressure.

Keep in mind that this machine does not include a grinder, so you’ll also have to factor in the cost of one in addition to the machine.

La Pavoni has mostly positive reviews, with happy customers mentioning that while the price is steep, the machine is great quality and lasts a long time.

Key features

  • customizable
  • fits in small spaces
  • milk frother attachment included
  • built to last a long time

Considerations

  • expensive
  • grinder not included

Best capsule

Nespresso Vertuo Plus

  • Price: $
  • Type: capsule
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Accessories: Capsule tasting pack
  • Dimensions: 5.6 x 16.9 x 12.8 in (14.2 x 42.9 x 32.5 cm)

A capsule espresso machine can be convenient and easy to use. The Nespresso Vertuo Plus allows you to brew three sizes of espressos from a capsule.

It also has the option to brew coffee, making this a great option for someone who enjoys regular coffee and espresso drinks.

The Nespresso website has a wide variety of capsules available, with varying roasts and flavors.

This espresso machine has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon and is a clear fan favorite, though a few customers wish the capsules weren’t so expensive.

A couple of Healthline editors use the Vertuo Plus. One especially appreciates the option to brew an espresso drink or a regular coffee beverage at home. “It consistently produces delicious cups of coffee that are such treats in the morning. Even without creamer or frothed milk, the top is always frothy,” she says.

Another points out the Nespresso recycle program, which cuts down on the waste created by other machines with single-use pods and capsules.

One potential drawback to consider is the price of the pods. As one of our editors points out, “They retail for about $11 for 8 pods, so it’s a pricey purchase to keep up with.”

Key features

  • affordable unit
  • easy to use
  • can brew coffee

Considerations

  • capsules can become expensive
  • milk frother not included

Best automatic

Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic

  • Price: $$$
  • Type: automatic
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Accessories: milk frother, integrated grinder, aqua clean filter
  • Dimensions: 9.7 x 14.6 x 17 in (24.6 x 37.1 x 43.2 cm)

This espresso machine can create single or double espresso drinks and has a milk frother attachment to prepare lattes, flat whites, and more.

Typically, an automatic machine means fewer customizations. However, this machine allows you to choose the grind of the beans, the temperature, and the size of the espresso.

One frequent user of this machine we spoke to told us it hardly required any maintenance and they appreciate that it’s fully automated. “All you do is fill up coffee and water every so often and attach your milk container to make coffee.”

It also has clean and decalcify buttons, making it easy and almost effortless to clean.

Happy customers comment on the ease of use of this machine, though a handful of disappointed reviewers mention that the espresso is not hot enough and the machine did not last very long for them.

Key features

  • easy to use
  • some customization options
  • milk frother included
  • integrated grinder

Considerations

  • on the expensive side

Best semi-automatic

KitchenAid Semi-Automatic

  • Price: $$
  • Type: semi-automatic
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Accessories: portafilter, coffee scoop, tamper, steam wand, milk pitcher, water tank, filter baskets, dip tray, cleaning brush
  • Dimensions: 6.4 x 13.1 x 11.3 in (16.3 x 33.3 x 28.7 cm)

A semi-automatic machine is a great choice for someone who wants some level of customization without the effort required for a manual machine.

The KitchenAid Semi-Automatic does not include a grinder, so you’ll need to purchase one separately. You’ll grind your beans before tamping and trimming the grounds. The machine takes care of the rest.

Some of the key features of this machine include a cup warmer and smart temperature sensors that ensure your cup is brewed at the perfect temperature.

Most reviews on this machine are positive, and many reviewers appreciate having some customization along with convenience.

Key features

  • customizable
  • cup warmer included
  • steamer attachment included for milk drinks
  • easy to use

Considerations

  • grinder not included
  • milk frother not included
  • easy to use

Best for small spaces

Nespresso Essenza Mini

  • Price: $$
  • Type: capsule
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Accessories: Capsule tasting pack
  • Dimensions: 3.3 x 8 x 12.9 in (8.4 x 20.3 x 32.8 cm)

The Essenza Mini is a simple capsule-based espresso machine that measures just over 3 in wide, 8 in tall, and 13 in deep, making it suitable for smaller spaces.

Despite its small size, it can still brew various espresso drinks with various Nespresso capsules. It’s also one of the less expensive versions of the different Nespresso machines.

This espresso machine has great reviews overall, though some disappointed customers have written that the espresso is not quite hot enough.

Key features

  • suitable for small spaces
  • affordable
  • easy to use

Considerations

  • milk frother not included

Best portable

WACACO Minipresso NS

  • Price: $
  • Type: capsule
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Accessories: Sold separately
  • Dimensions: 6.9 x 2.8 x 2.4 in (17.5 x 7.1 x 6.1 cm)

The Minipresso is a great option for individuals who would like to bring their espresso hiking, camping, or on other trips.

Compatible with Nespresso capsules, all you’ll need to do is add water and press a button to brew a shot of espresso directly into a drinkable cup.

This portable espresso maker is operated manually, so you won’t need batteries or electricity.

Reviews are mostly positive overall, but some mention that pumping the espresso can be a bit taxing, while other folks felt that it did not get hot enough.

Key features

  • portable
  • affordable
  • does not require power

Considerations

  • manual pump requires some effort

See how these espresso machines compare below.

Espresso machineTypePriceKey features
Breville Barista Expresssemi-automatic$$$integrated grinder, milk steamer
Breville Barista Touchsemi-automatic$$$$touch screen, integrated grinder, milk frother
Bialetti Moka Expressstove-top$$suitable for small spaces
Flair Espresso Makermanual$portable, suitable for small spaces
La Pavoni Manual Espresso Makermanual$$$$milk frother included
Nespresso Vertuo Pluscapsule $easy to use
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automaticautomatic$$$integrated grinder, milk frother
KitchenAid Semi-Automaticsemi-automatic$$cup warmer, milk steamer
Nespresso Essenza Minicapsule$$suitable for small spaces
WACACO Minipresso NScapsule$portable

Overall, there is a wide variety in price, type of machine, features, and customization possibilities.

What is a good brand of espresso machine?

There are many different brands of espresso machines. Some of the most highly rated brands include Breville, Nespresso, La Pavoni, De’Longhi, KitchenAid, and Philips, though this is not an exhaustive list.

How do you clean an espresso machine?

How you’ll clean your espresso machine will largely depend on what type of machine you have.

Generally speaking, you’ll want to take off all of the removable parts of the machine and clean each individually. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how to clean each part properly.

Over time, limescale can build up in the machine. For this reason, some manufacturers may also recommend descaling the machine from time to time with a descaling solution or vinegar.

After cleaning and descaling the machine, it’s a good idea to flush it out by running the machine with just plain water a few times before preparing your next espresso drink.

Are espresso coffee beans different from regular beans?

Technically, espresso coffee beans are the same as regular coffee beans. The difference comes in the roast and grind of the beans.

Espresso beans are roasted longer and are ground more finely than beans used for drip coffee.

How do I grind espresso beans?

Espresso beans should be ground to a fine consistency. Some espresso machines include a grinder that is designed specifically for espresso beans and will grind them to the right consistency.

You can also grind your own espresso beans, but a regular coffee grinder may not do the trick. Look for a burr grinder or a grinder specific to espresso beans.

Espresso machines can be a great addition to any coffee lover’s kitchen.

They come in a variety of types and sizes and with different features, such as a milk steamer or in-machine grinder.

Before deciding which espresso machine is right for you, consider the type of machine that matches your experience level and preferences, the size of the machine, the price, and any other features that stand out to you.