The 9 best pod coffee machines in the UK of 2024 - our favourites, tried and tested

All of the best pod coffee machines for your kitchen

Image of our pick of the best pod coffee machines
(Image credit: Future)
Quick Menu

The list in brief
1.
Best overall: Sage Nespresso Creatista
2. Best under £200: Lavazza Desea
3. Best sustainable: Grind ONE
4. Best under £100: Phillips L'OR
5. Best luxury: Morning
6. Best smart: Lavazza A Modo Mio
7. Best looking: Lavazza SMEG
8. Best features: Bosch Tassimo
9. Best compact: Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie
How we test
FAQs

If you love coffee but don't want the fuss of grinding and brewing with beans, look no further than the best pod coffee machines.

These nifty machines are designed to sit pretty on your kitchen counter, with mess-free brewing and next-to-no maintenance. Find your favourite pod and slot it into place for espresso in an instant.

We've reviewed every one of the best pod coffee machines in this guide, from Nespresso, Lavazza, Tassimo and Sage. There's even an entry from coffee shop faves Grind, with a sustainable design that's as functional as it is beautiful.

While they are a lot less hands-on, the best pod coffee machines still deliver on the delicious taste you'd expect from many of the best coffee machines. They're also a lot more space-efficient than the best bean-to-cup coffee machines.

The quick list

Best pod coffee machines 2024

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best pod coffee machine overall

Nespresso Sage Vertuo Creatistaproduct badge

(Image credit: Nespresso/Sage)
The best pod coffee machine overall

Specifications

Type: Nespresso (new)
Capacity : 2 litres
Dimensions: ‎41.7D x 32.1W x 22.8H cm

Reasons to buy

+
A design to rival the sleekest Sage machines
+
Easy to use
+
Great intelligent steam wand
+
Lovely tasting coffee

Reasons to avoid

-
A costly investment
-
Takes up a big amount of space on the countertop
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You're tied into Nespresso pods

What do you get when you combine the pod know-how of Nespresso and the beauty and functionality of Sage coffee machines?

This collab, and the sleekest pod coffee machine on the market. It's got a fantastic built-in milk wand, which you can operate manually or run auto-programs on, as well as a moveable drip tray to suit whichever coffee cup you're using.

During testing, we found that this machine more than just looked the part too, with excellent-tasting espressos and lattes that were so easy to make thanks to the self-operating milk frothing wand. If you love coffee but you're always in a rush, or you're just looking for something that's hands-free, you can't go wrong here.

As you might expect with a Sage machine, this is certainly a pricey one, but it's simply too good to not earn the top spot on the list. Another downside is that you're limited to Nespresso pods, which might mean budgeting your coffee addiction is a little tricky, as you're tied into the brand's prices.

Our Nespresso Vertuo Creatista by Sage pod coffee machine review has the full details.

Best pod coffee machine under £200

Image of Lavazza Desea coffee machineproduct badge

(Image credit: Lavazza)
Best pod coffee machine overall

Specifications

Type: Lavazza
Capacity: 1.1 litres
Dimensions: L50.3 x W18.8 x H35.2 cm

Reasons to buy

+
Tactile and attractive design
+
Removable water tank
+
Feels sturdy and well-made
+
In-built milk frother
+
Makes long and short espresso

Reasons to avoid

-
Milk gets a bit too hot for non-dairy options
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Foam fades quickly
-

Love cappuccinos but not the mess and clean-up that goes with frothing and decanting hot foamed milk? Then the Deséa is the pod coffee machine for you.

Compact, yet with a good-sized 1.1-litre water tank, and compatible with the brand’s eco-friendly compostable capsules, it comes with a dishwasher-safe glass cup that serves as both your frothing vessel and mug.

This means that you can fill the cup with milk, slot it into the machine, add a capsule, and the machine will do the rest, producing a café-worthy latte or cappuccino with a single button press. There’s no pouring or splashes – so you can walk away and return to find a drink that’s ready to go.

It’s not just convenience that the Deséa has in spades, it also comes with more options than the average pod coffee machine. For example, there’s a button for more foam, a coffee temperature boost and a cleaning cycle that can be run to make sure that your first beverage will always be as good as the last.

Its five milk programmes include hot and cold frothing for making hot chocolate or milkshakes, plus there’s a choice of espresso, long espresso, long coffee and a free dose for those who like their drink just so.

A final reason to love it is how quiet it is during operation – a mere 43dB during coffee delivery. Perhaps the only downsides to be aware of are that capsule disposal isn’t automatic, so you’ll still have to remember to raise the lever at the end to release the pod into the integral bin, and that the frothing boost button isn’t suitable for larger volumes of milk as it’ll overflow.

Our Lavazza A Modo Mio Desea review has the full details.

Best sustainable pod coffee machine

Image of GRIND pod coffee machineproduct badge

(Image credit: GRIND)
Best sustainable pod coffee machine

Specifications

Type: Nespresso-compatible
Capacity: 1.2 litres
Dimensions: 39.2 x 30.4 x 22.4 cm

Reasons to buy

+
Looks great on your countertop
+
Easy to use
+
Adjustable tray for long drinks
+
Gorgeous tasting coffee

Reasons to avoid

-
On the more expensive side for a pod machine
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Shows fingermarks so requires frequent cleaning
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Some leakage as you get rid of pods

Sustainability isn't something we often associate with pod coffee machines, but the Grind One pod coffee machine is designed with just this in mind. Made in Stockholm in a partnership with Sjöstrand, it's designed to be an antidote to plastic pod coffee machines, and the metal design really does feel built to last and stay out of landfill. The Grind pods are also made with plastic-free and compostible packaging, but all the convenience of a normal coffee pod.

At 22cm wide, this is a neat option for any kitchen, but it's not the smallest pod coffee machine in our guide. A step away from the curves of options from Tassimo and Lavazza, the Grind One is block-like and simple in its design. The metal exterior is very smart though, and it has Grind's classic logo on the front which pairs perfectly with the Grind pod coffee container.

It has two preset coffee lengths, but the Grind One will allow you to adjust the length of these presets by simply holding the button down, which is perfect for those who like a longer drink. You can buy it with a matching Grind milk frother or on its own. Or, take a look at our other best milk frother picks for more options.

Our Grind One Pod Coffee Machine review has the full details.

Best pod coffee machine under £100

L'Or Coffee Machineproduct badge

(Image credit: L'Or)
The best pod coffee machine under £100

Specifications

Type: L'Or pods, Nespresso original capsules, third-party capsules of the same size
Capacity : 0.8 litres
Dimensions: 15.7D x 40.2W x 27.6H cm

Reasons to buy

+
Great value
+
Easy to use
+
Pod options

Reasons to avoid

-
On the noisy side

Our tester had never had a coffee machine at home before she tried out the L'OR Barista Sublime and found it to be a huge upgrade from her cafetiere. Thanks to its wonderful value price tag, she said that she would wholeheartedly recommend it to a friend, based on its performance.

It's also a great long-term budget option, thanks to the fact it uses original-style Nespresso pods, the dimensions of which are often sold by third parties, like supermarkets, for cheaper. At the time of testing, our reviewer was super impressed with the up-front investment needed too £79.99 for the machine and 100 pods works out as a cheap cup of coffee indeed.

You can make two espresso at once with this machine if you please, and the operation of the L'Or Sublime could not be simpler. Just one touch and you're away. For zero fuss on a budget, we think it's a winner.

Our Philips L'OR Barista Sublime coffee machine review has the full details.

Best luxury pod coffee machine

Morning Pod Coffee Machineproduct badge

(Image credit: Morning)
Best luxury pod coffee machine

Specifications

Type: Nespresso original pods
Capacity : 0.85 litres
Dimensions: 40.2L x 10.2W x 25.5H cm

Reasons to buy

+
Fun interface
+
Completely customisable
+
Great tasting results
+
Looks lovely
+

Reasons to avoid

-
A seriously pricey investment

Coffee aficionados, listen up, as this is the machine for you if you want the accessibility of pod coffee but want to make customisations. With The Morning machine, you can experiment with every factor to do with the brewing process, with a 'blooming' segment built-in to every cup you'll consume.

During testing, we were impressed and simultaneously overwhelmed with the options available with this machine. If you invest time into it, you'll be rewarded with rich tastes and new flavours, as well as the perfect cup for you. You'll also get an unbelievably user-friendly and good-looking machine for your cash, and the chance to get lost in your app and receive updates to your machine over time.

If you want a pod coffee machine because you'd rather not be involved in the intricacies of the process, then this machine will likely be a too-expensive overcomplication. But if you're committed to the craft of coffee, we think you'll love it.

Our Morning coffee machine review has the full details.

Best smart pod coffee machine

Image of Lavazza Voicyproduct badge

(Image credit: John Lewis)
Best smart pod coffee machine 

Specifications

Type: Lavazza
Capacity: 1.1 litres
Dimensions: 44 x 21.5 x 35 cm

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to set up and use
+
Compact design
+
Quality speaker
+
High-quality coffee
+
Adjustable settings

Reasons to avoid

-
Not much on-board control
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Expensive

Combining the best pod coffee machine and the best smart speaker, the Lavazza Voicy has a lot going for it. It's the latest release from Lavazza's A Modo Mio range, and comes with a box of the different coffee flavour pods available to help you experiment and decide which is the right one for you. We thought they all tasted amazing, and while you do need to take them to specific sites, they can be composted as part of an eco-conscious scheme.

You can ask Alexa to make you a coffee, long coffee, hot coffee, or your favourite coffee (which can be chosen using the Lavazza app). While there are only two coffee preset buttons, you can change what type of coffee they make using the app. This adjusts the length of the brew, and we found that the pods are certainly potent enough to make a delicious and rich americano.

Yes, it's a pricey choice, but we found that everything about the Voicy feels very high quality. Of course you need to add a pod and a cup before even using Alexa, but it's still very handy to be able to use the in-built speaker to play music, tell you the weather, or even a joke.

Our Lavazza Voicy review has the full details.

Best looking pod coffee machine

Lavazza A Modo Mio SMEG coffee machine in cream colourwayIdeal Home approved 5 star badge

(Image credit: Lavazza)
Best looking pod coffee machine

Specifications

Type : Lavazza
Capacity : 09.litres
Dimensions : 29 x 15 x 36 cm

Reasons to buy

+
Sits sleekly on your countertop
+
Straightforward to use
+
Removable tray for long drinks
+
Wonderful tasting coffee

Reasons to avoid

-
There can sometimes be some leakage as you get rid of pods
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You must make sure to run the preliminary water cycle

If you love drinking espressos and covet the look of retro appliances, then I can't possibly think of a better machine for you than the Lavazza A Modo Mio SMEG.

There's no assembly required, meaning as soon as you take this machine out of the box, you'll essentially have access to Italian-quality coffee at home straight away. This machine features recipes for espressos and lungos, meaning that if If you like to mix it up with lattes or cappuccinos, then you'll have to invest in a separate milk frother (my choice would be Smeg Milk Frother - what a beautiful pairing they make).

The coffee, with the machine accepting Lavazza and Lavazza-compatible pods, is absolutely delicious and just the touch of a button away with this machine. Set up is simple once you've run the water cycle, and the aesthetics of this machine will make any decor-lover happy.

Our Smeg Lavazza A Modo Mio review has the full details.

Best pod coffee machine for custom features

Image of Bosch Tassimo MyWay 2product badge

(Image credit: Bosch)

8. Bosch Tassimo My Way 2

Best pod coffee machine for custom features

Specifications

Type: Tassimo
Capacity: 1.3 litres
Dimensions: 39.79 x 31.5 x 26.4 cm

Reasons to buy

+
So many coffee options
+
Make milky drinks and even hot chocolates
+
Setup was speedy
+
Self-clean mode

Reasons to avoid

-
Low in pressure

Select from three different strengths (think of them as ranging from all-day sipping to wake up now), three different volumes and even three temperatures – great for extra-hot drink lovers with the Bosch Tassimo My Way 2.

To make it even easier to get your ideal Americano, it’ll store up to four personalised settings, so you won’t have to constantly reset the machine to the way you like your coffee. Of course, this being Tassimo, it’ll also make tea, hot chocolate and a range of other drinks, so it’s good for a busy household who all like something different.

If you’ve used a Tassimo machine before, you’ll know it’s all about the barcodes. Each T-disc is placed into the My Way so it can read it and dispense an appropriate amount of water (keeping espressos short for example), with pressure as required.

Its warm-up time was almost instant (no waiting around for a thermoblock meant it initialised in 10 seconds), and its flow heater could keep going drink after drink without pauses to recover. It doesn’t froth fresh milk, offering creamer discs or combined discs instead, but they may not be for everyone.

A final reason to love it is that it’s low-maintenance. There’s a self-cleaning function, so your coffee will always taste great, and its parts are dishwasher safe.

Our Bosch Tassimo My Way 2 review has the full details.

Best compact pod coffee machine

Image of Lavazza pod coffee machineproduct badge

(Image credit: Lavazza)
Best compact pod coffee machine

Specifications

Type: Lavazza
Capacity: 0.6 litres
Dimensions: ‎‎33 x 12.4 x 21 cm

Reasons to buy

+
Smooth and aromatic crema
+
Compact and stylish design
+
Very simple to use
+
Low price
+
Quiet

Reasons to avoid

-
No preset for size option
-
No milk frother
-
Lack of other features

Lavazza makes some seriously high-quality machines, so the Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie is a very high-value machine when you look at its sub-£50 price. We were impressed to find that this compact coffee machine makes a delicious brew, and because there's only one button, using it couldn't be easier.

This coffee machine is seriously tiny, so it's perfect for offices, small kitchens, or even as a spare you use when you want a speedy brew. It's compatible with the full A Modo Mio coffee capsule line, so while you can only have one length of coffee, it does have lots of flavours to choose from. The machine will also automatically run another cycle when the first one finishes, so you can make your coffee longer by just leaving it to pour again. Don't forget to lift up the lever though, or it will keep going until the auto shut-off kicks in.

Our Lavazza A Modo Mio Jolie review has the full details.

How we tested the best pod coffee machines

All of the coffee machines in this round-up have been tested extensively by the Ideal Home team, either at home or at our testing facility in line with our testing protocol. If you're shopping for a pod machine, we've tested all of the features you're searching for information on, from sustainability measures to the compatibility of pods you can buy.

Our experiences have shaped this guide and the ranking of these pod machines, and you can read more about each machine in our in-depth reviews. We would never recommend a coffee machine that hasn't been tested hands-on by one of our expert team members, or an experienced freelancer. This allows us to compare between products, and because we try and test over a prolonged period, we can update our reviews to keep them as up-to-date as possible with any details of wear-and-tear.

How to choose the best pod coffee machine

There are five main factors to bear in mind when searching for the best pod coffee machine for you:

1. Tank size

Every pod machine will have a refillable water tank so check its size before you buy. Anything less than a litre will require more frequent topping up, especially if you prefer long drinks. Some can be filled in-situ (for moments when you realise the water’s about to run out). Others will need to be removed – if you have a small kitchen sink or short tap, check that you can fit the tank below the spout easily.

2. Bar pressure

This is how much force the machine uses to pump the water through the pod. Look for a minimum of 15 for a pro-style crema, though machines designed to handle a wide range of drinks can be lower.

3. Milk frothing

There are two ways a pod coffee machine can make frothy cappuccinos, lattes and flat whites. The first is by using dried or UHT milk pods – these are great if you don’t have access to a fridge but may not be to everyone’s taste. The other is by a separate or conjoined milk frother, such as the Aeroccino that often accompanies Nespresso machines.

4. Drink size

Great for those who like an espresso in the morning, but a latte at weekends, some machines have a choice of different-sized beverages. Often there is the ability to adjust the amount of water dispensed to suit your taste. You may also be able to save your favourite settings to create easily reproduced personalised drinks. The latest crop of coffee machines can even be controlled by an app, so you can set them to brew the moment you step out of the shower.

5. Spout size

Check there’s enough room for your favourite cup beneath the spout. Some pod coffee machines have narrow platforms that won’t accommodate big mugs. Espresso fans should look for spouts that drop down or adjustable cup platforms that raise smaller cups towards the spout. This not only helps prevent splashes on the worktop, but makes for a thicker crema on your espresso.

FAQs

Why do I need a pod coffee machine?

Anyone who’s ever tried to use an espresso machine only to end up with soggy grounds and a dribble of brown liquid will have learnt their lesson. The biggest appeal of pod coffee machines is that you don’t need the expertise to make a great espresso.

Instead, each capsule contains exactly the right amount of ground coffee, arranged so all you need to do is press a button.

Less costly and bulky than bean-to-cup machines, pod coffee makers also often take up less room on a worktop. This makes them a good fit for small kitchens, home offices and even bedrooms.

What drinks can your pod coffee machine make?

Most of the mainstream pod coffee machines can make basic milky drinks, but it’s common to find those that can produce anything from a chai latte to a caramel macchiato. Some coffee machines can also make cold drinks, such as chilled tea or coffee. There’s the option of branded drinks with the Tassimo T-Disc coffee system.

Machines that use ESE pods (which resemble a round teabag) will only brew coffee or tea, while other systems favour a variety of single-origin coffee types rather than a range of drinks.

Whichever of the best pod coffee machines you opt for, get ready to enjoy a quick and easy way to enjoy your favourite brew to set you up for the day.

Molly Cleary
Kitchen Appliances Editor

Molly is Ideal Home’s Kitchen Appliances Editor and an all-around baking and cooking enthusiast. She joined the team in September 2022 as an Ecommerce Editor after working across Real Homes, Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She's been reviewing products for 4 years and now specialises in weighing up kitchen essentials' pros and cons, from air fryers to bean-to-cup coffee machines. 

She's always been a keen reader, so after graduating from the University of Exeter in 2020 she was thrilled to find a way to write as a full-time job. Nowadays, she spends her days at home or the Ideal Home test facility trying out new kitchen innovations to see if they’re worth a space on your worktop. Her most beloved and hard-working appliance is her Sage coffee machine though she also takes the title of Ideal Home’s in-house air fryer expert after writing about them religiously over the past few years.

When she's not thinking or writing about kitchen appliances, she loves getting around London exploring new places, going for a dip at the Ladies’ Pond and consuming every bit of pop culture she can get her hands on.