If you’re partial to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or are looking to save some money by making barista-style drinks at home, a coffee machine is one purchase that’ll repay you every day for the investment. And with Black Friday fast approaching, we’re already seeing opportunities to save money as retailers begin to compete for your attention.
The best coffee machines are sophisticated pieces of tech that pump heated water through compressed coffee grinds under pressure. And there are a few types to choose from, starting at around £70 depending on your coffee preference.
For lovers of short, crema-topped espresso packed with intense flavour and aroma, one of the best espresso machines would be the perfect choice for your kitchen. The additional feature of a milk steamer wand opens you up to the full realm of coffee-house classics like cappuccino, latte and macchiato, and gives you space to practice your barista skills.
If it’s minimal mess and maximum convenience you’re after, the best coffee pod machines will deliver a perfectly measured single shot of espresso within 30 seconds and are conveniently compact if you’re strapped for kitchen space.
Or for the real deal at the touch of a button, our tried and tested picks of the best bean-to-cup coffee machines will take every stage off your hands, from freshly grinding the beans to pre-infusion and brewing independently for every cup. These are generally the largest and most expensive type of machine.
Our experts put the very best to the test from brands including Sage, De’Longhi, Nespresso and Smarter, to bring you impartial advice on the machines actually worth your money. We’re keeping an eye on all the best coffee deals ahead of the main event on Friday 26th November, so that you find the best price every time. Check back here regularly for all the latest opportunities to save on our tried and tested favourites.
For a little inspiration, discover the best coffee subscriptions and the best gifts for coffee lovers. Make your own homemade coffee syrup using our step-by-step recipe and discover more advice and buyer’s guides on everything from the top British gins to the best English vineyard breaks in our reviews section.
When’s the best time to buy a new coffee machine?
Black Friday is an annual event which takes place in November and sees brands and retailers discounting their products ahead of the Christmas period. Kitchen technology and appliances have traditionally seen huge price drops across the event, offering you plenty of opportunity to save money on your choice of higher value items.
Because of the technology behind them, coffee machines can be priced anywhere from £70 to £2,500 and beyond, so it’s wise to buy when there’s an opportunity to make a saving as you’ll likely be able to afford a higher spec model, or get your chosen product for less.
We’re keeping our finger on the pulse of all the best retailer price drops before, during and after the event itself.
Our pick of the best coffee machine deals this month
Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie coffee pod machine
Compact and affordable, the Lavazza Jolie model is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a quiet and mess-free coffee machine to do the basics well. Its single-button control offers single espresso or lungo drinks with a guaranteed crema on top, helped in part by the compressed grounds inside Lavazza’s eco pods. Read our full Lavazza A Modo Mio coffee pod machine review.
Nespresso Vertuo Next coffee pod machine
£199£119.99 at Very | (Save £79.01 or 39%)
- £149 at Argos | Receive 50 Vertuo coffee capsules and two months free Nespresso coffee subscription, plus a travel mug with Nespresso member registration
Crema-lovers will love the guaranteed layer of fine froth that this machine tops every coffee with, no matter the size. Rated 4/5 stars when tested, we loved the innovative barcode reading technology that enables you to make five coffee sizes at the touch of a single button. This machine is also made from 54% recycled plastic. Read our full Nespresso Vertuo Next coffee pod machine review.
De’Longhi Dedica EC685.M
£189£159 at Coffee Friend | (Save £30 or 15%)
- £182 at Currys | Receive two free bags of coffee from Beans Coffee Club worth £21.99
£279£249 at De’Longhi | (Save £30 0r 10% on the Dedica Barista Bundle)
Awarded 4.5/5 stars by our reviews experts, the De’Longhi Dedica is a slimline statement gadget packed with style, that carries an A* energy rating, 15-bars of pump pressure and a giro milk wand, all for under £200. Single, double and ESE-pod filter baskets are included. Plus the opportunity to personalise brew factors including water temperature are available through its three-button interface. Read our full De’Longhi Dedica EC685.M espresso machine review.
De’Longhi Perfecta Evo ESAM
Bean-to-cup coffee machines freshly grind the beans to produce beautifully aromatic cups of coffee. De’Longhi has given its Perfecta Evo conical steel grinders plus its patented LatteCrema system for heating and frothing milk. Six classic coffee options are initially selectable from the LCD screen with touch icons, but a larger selection is available from a full drinks menu, including the option to make a 750ml pot of long coffee for six. Favourites can be saved through the My Menu function for personalisation. Two Thermoblock heating systems work in tandem to ensure the heating and brewing creates the perfect cup of coffee.
How to choose a new coffee machine
First consider the key factors. What’s your budget? What’s your favourite type of coffee? How much space do you have on the countertop? How hands-on do you want to be in the process? Are you looking to build your barista skills? Do you want smart technology? The answers to these questions will help you choose from three core types of coffee maker available for domestic settings.
Our buyer’s guides to the best coffee machines will not only guide you through the strengths and weaknesses of each type but offer our tried and tested favourite models for a range of budgets.
What are some of the most popular coffee machine brands?
There are some key brand players when it comes to domestic coffee makers that you should keep in mind across the Black Friday event. Below we’ve rounded up a list of top-rated machines from across our category tests as a starting point.
Best bean-to-cup espresso machine: Sage Oracle Touch espresso machine, £2,099.95
Best mid-range buy for simplicity: Sage Bambino Plus espresso maker, £399.95
Best mid-range espresso machine: Smeg ECF01 home espresso machine, £319
Best bean-to-cup machine for contemporary style: Smeg BCC02 bean-to-cup coffee machine, £679.95
Best smart bean-to-cup coffee machine: Smarter Coffee Machine, £199
Best coffee pod machine for retro style: Lavazza A Modo Mio SMEG, £199
Best basic coffee pod machine: Lavazza Jolie, £79
Most stylish espresso machine: De’Longhi Dedica EC685.M manual espresso maker, £182
Best for energy efficiency: Illy ESE pod machine, £115
Best affordable bean to cup espresso machine: Breville Barista Max, £399
Best for versatility: Nespresso Vertuo Next, £149
Best bean-to-cup machine for adjustable aroma intensity: Gaggia Milano Magenta Milk, £599
Need some coffee for your new machine?
You can find all the tried and tested coffee recommendations from our resident connoisseur Celeste Wong in our coffee hub, featuring guides to everything from the best coffee beans to the best eco-friendly coffee pods to the best coffee liqueurs for making the perfect espresso martini.
We’ll be bringing you all the best deals on our tried and tested picks of the best coffee beans, best ground coffee and best coffee pods right here. Be sure to check back.
How we test coffee machines
At the centre of our tests of all the best coffee machines are the following core criteria:
Performance: Every coffee and espresso function on the machines is tested to assess aroma, flavour and temperature. Bitterness or unpleasant notes see machines scored down.
Value for money: Versatility and performance both play into this one. The price must feel right, whatever the brand.
Ease of use: We look for machines that are easy to unpack accompanied by easy-to-follow instructions. Anything from water tank access to heat-resistant coatings on hot milk steam wands were considered here.
Convenience: The need to faff around isn’t something you want from a coffee machine.
Quantity of materials: Flimsy parts are difficult to clean and are not conducive to a long product lifespan.
Design and aesthetic for keeping on the countertop: Coffee machines are designed to be statement appliances for everyday use and keeping out on the countertop.
The average scores out of five decided each product’s overall star rating. The additional criteria also played into our decision-making.
Variety of functions
Ease of cleaning