10 Best Espresso Machines

pouring coffee in the cup

Your coffee obsession started with a French press and a milk frother. Now you're moving up and you want an espresso machine with all the frills. But as you'll see, the best espresso machine is in the eye of the beholder. We've researched the best - from budget friendly to the simplest to operate, we've covered them all. The only decision you'll need to make is what machine fits your coffee style.

Comparison Table

Product FAQ

1. What is An Espresso Machine

2. What Kinds of Espresso Machines Are There?

3. Should I Buy An Expensive Machine?

4. Where Can You Buy Them? 

How We Reviewed

The products we researched were reviewed based Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty. As you'll see, some of the models are the Cadillacs of home machines. They are practically like having a barista in your kitchen. But they also have a hefty price tag. Others are budget-friendly, but they need a little more hands-on help. We even included a capsule machine to include sheer convenience for the no-fuss coffee drinker.

pouring coffee in a cup

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Overall Price Range of This Product 

Prices range from just under $100 to more than $1,000. That may sound like a lot of dough, but if you spend $5 a day at a coffee shop, you are spending about $1,500 a year on premium coffee drinks already. 

What We Reviewed

  • Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine
  • Mr. Coffee Café Barista
  • Breville BES920XL Espresso Machine
  • Gaggia Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker
  • DeLonghi ESAM3300 Magnifica
  • Ninja Coffee Bar Glass Carafe System
  • De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso Maker
  • Rancilio HSD-Silvia
  • Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine by De'Longhi with Aeroccino
  • Krups XP1000

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine

Features

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine has programmable options for softly pre-infusing the coffee, and has a control valve that monitors extraction pressure. If espresso is your go-to coffee, this is the best espresso machine for you. The machine comes with a stainless steel conical burr coffee grinder, a 1/2 pound sealed bean hopper, a 54mm tamper, a steaming wand for frothing your milk, and a frothing pitcher. Just buy espresso beans and milk.

The Barista Express Espresso Machine uses a 15 Bar Italian pump and a 1600W Thermocoil heating system. Since it's a semi-automatic machine, the Breville automatically adjusts water temperature after steam to extract the most flavor out of your beans. The machine has a 67 fl. oz water tank with handle for easy refilling and it comes with a water filter.

The built-in burr grinder is adjustable with a dial on the front of the machine. Choose from a single- or double-wall filter basket. A 360-degree swivel steam wand whips up foam in no time. The machine will alert you when it needs cleaning, and it comes with a special cleaning kit.

Pros

  • Built-in burr grinder and frother,
  • Makes great crema on your espresso
  • Comes with accessories
  • One-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Needs a bit of counter space

WARRANTY

One-year limited warranty.

Mr. Coffee Café Barista

Features

The Mr. Coffee Café Barista features an electric 15-bar pump and extracts bold, rich flavors from the espresso. One-touch controls let you choose between single or double shots and it automatically froths milk with an adjustable control knob. The removable milk reservoir can be stored in the fridge for later use. A recipe book is included.

There’s an adjustable cup tray so you can change the height to accommodate the size of your cup. A drip catcher will keep the counter clean if any spills over. The machine comes with a single and double shot filters, measuring scoop, tamper, and coffee recipes.

Pros

  • Affordable          
  • Easy to use
  • Milk frothing is automatic

Cons

  • Not as sophisticated as other machines 
  • Larger coffee drinks may overflow the cup

WARRANTY

This machine comes with a one-year limited warranty. 

Breville BES920XL Espresso Machine

Features

The Breville BES920XL Espresso Machine is the Cadillac of the machines on our list. It is the best espresso machine if you want top-of-the-line and a consistently great cup of coffee. The BES920XL incorporates a dual-boiler espresso systems, the gold standard for home or commercial equipment. The machine maintains optimum temperature for simultaneously brewing espresso coffee and for creating steam.

A backlit LCD displays brew temperature, shot clock or time. The dual boiler uses digital temperature control to minimize temperature fluctuations during extraction, resulting in a consistently delicious cup of coffee. The dual boiler also produces low pressure, pre-infusion to evenly soak and expand the ground coffee. Use the steam wand to create micro-foamed milk, perfect for latte art.

The Breville BES920XL dual boiler offers commercial features and performance, in a footprint suitable for your home. At the heart of this machine is its dual stainless steel boiler heating system. There's even a descaling function for cleaning at home and a one-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Dual boiler to heat espresso and steam milk    
  • All the frills of a commercial machine at home

Cons

  • High priced
  • Requires a bit of counter space

WARRANTY

This machine comes with a one-year limited warranty. 

Gaggia Classic Semi-Automatic Espresso Maker

Features

The Gaggia Classic  has a commercial chrome-plated brass portafilter, and brew group plus intuitive controls make the machine easy to operate. Commercial and pressurized filter baskets are included as are a coffee tamper and a 7-gram measuring scoop. This is the best espresso machine if you're looking for a semi-automatic machine made from quality commercial components. The stainless-steel housing is solid, with heavy-duty rocker switches.

The portafilter is 58mm in diameter, the standard for commercial machines. The pressurized portafilter basket makes extracting a crema from just about any coffee easy. For even more control, you can use the included commercial-style basket. The Turbo-Frother steam wand attachment makes foamed milk for cappuccinos and lattes. And finally, the three-way solenoid valve keeps coffee pucks dry.

Gaggia is one of the most respected names in the espresso industry. The company gave this machine a high-power 17.5-bar pump with a high-voltage boiler for quick warm-up times, and an independent expansion valve. The machine works with coffee pods and can deliver two cups at one time. There's a hot water dispenser for tea and a cup warmer too. It has a 72-ounce removable water tank.

Pros

  • Solidly constructed machine          
  • Extracts crema easily
  • Works with coffee pods too

Cons

  • Not as attractive as other models
  • No built-in grinding feature
  • More prep work for an espresso

WARRANTY

If you are not fully satisfied with an item, the company accepts returns within 30 days. You will be refunded the original purchase price of the item, minus shipping and handling fees. Warranty is one-year parts and labor through Gaggia USA. 

De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM3300

Features

If you have multiple coffee fanatics in one household, the De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM3300 is the best espresso machine for appeasing everyone. It can be easily adjusted and customized. Choose between regular, specialty and decaf. Grind fresh beans or load pre-ground coffee into a second chamber.  You can change roast settings and cup sizes with a push of a button.

It's a powerful espresso maker. It has an automatic milk frother and an integrated conical burr grinder. It will self-adjust depending on your programmed settings. This is also a compact machine.

Pros

  • Can be customized for multiple coffee tastes
  • Fully automated dual boiler
  • Self-cleaning and descaling

Cons

  • Not intended to produce a lot of drinks at one time
  • Needs regular cleaning

WARRANTY

The warranty runs two years from purchase date.

Ninja Coffee Bar Glass Carafe System

Features

The Ninja Coffee Bar is just that, a coffee bar in your kitchen. It can brew a single cup, a travel mug, or a full carafe of coffee. Use any brand of coffee to make a pod-free single cup just the way you like it. The 10-cup glass carafe and the intelligent warming system will keep coffee at the ideal drinking temperature.

Turn hot or cold milk into silky-smooth froth in seconds with a built-in frother - just press a button. The frother is dishwasher safe and removable. The Coffee Bar produces a full-bodied cup of coffee. Specialty Brew produces a rich concentrate that can be combined with frothed milk to create coffee house style drinks. This is the best espresso machine for people who love drip brew with an occasional need for a coffeehouse treat.

Pros

  • Pod-free single serve
  • Built in milk frother
  • Versatile
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not a true espresso machine
  • Does not have the precision of other machines

WARRANTY

This machine comes with a one-year limited warranty.

De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso Maker

Features

Use  pods or ground coffee with the patented dual function filter holder. Preparing your favorite espresso can be easy and fast. This machine has a swivel jet frother for lattes and cappuccinos, and two separate thermostats, once for water and one for steam.

You can make authentic espressos, lattes and cappuccinos to suit your taste, in the comfort of your kitchen. A manual frother mixes steam and milk to create rich, creamy froth for evenly textured drinks - just the way you like them. Don't worry, this machine is simple to clean because of a removable 35-ounce water tank. EC155's self-priming operation finishes your coffee faster.

Pros

  • Best espresso machine for a small budget
  • Good for espresso novices

Cons

  • No frills
  • Not sleek

WARRANTY

This machine has a one-year limited warranty.

Rancilio HSD-Silvia

Features

The Rancilio HSD-Silvia has a large capacity, holding 12 oz. in its boiler and 62 oz. in its water reservoir, it's one of the largest espresso machines in its price range. A steaming knob helps you adjust the pressure in incremental degrees. This machine is sturdy, durable and is built to last.

The Rancilio HSD-Silvia is the best espresso machine if you want low maintenance. It needs cleaning, but that's pretty straightforward. Built with Rancilio's commercial-grade group head, it provides heat stability and extraction quality. It comes with a patented ergonomic 58mm portafilter - the same filter used on Rancilio's commercial machines. This Silvia comes with a 7-gram coffee scoop, a plastic tamper and single or double filter baskets. This is the most current version of the Silvia available direct from the factory.

Pros

  • Built to last
  • Can handle high volumes of espresso making
  • Steaming accessories ensure high-quality foam

Cons

  • Single boiler
  • Limited customization options

WARRANTY

The warranty covers parts and labor required to repair the machine and covers any mechanical or electrical components (including, but not limited to, control boards, pumps, boilers, wiring, brew groups, hoses or motors) from defect or failure under normal use conditions. The warranty includes free return shipping to any location within the continental US.

Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine by De'Longhi with Aeroccino

Features

Nespresso Pixie, a capsule espresso machine, has a 19 bar high-pressure pump allowing barista-style results. The system heats in just 25 seconds and automatically turns off after nine minutes. Pixie is the best espresso make for people who love Nespresso Capsules.

A red light indicates when to refill the 24 oz. water tank. A folding drip tray allows for larger single serve coffee cups. Each espresso machine includes the smart Aeroccino 3 milk frother and 16 Nespresso Original capsules. As you can guess, the pixie is small - just 4.33 inches wide and it weighs just eight pounds. The one-touch buttons with two capacities (espresso and lungo) can be reprogrammed to custom volumes.  

Pros

  • Small and portable 
  • Easy to operate and clean
  • Energy efficient

Cons

  • Requires Nespresso pods
  • Pods can be pricey

WARRANTY

This machine has a one-year warranty.

Krups XP1000

Features

The KRUPS XP1000 is the best espresso machine for small spaces. It's only 12 x 9.8 x 14.1 inches and weighs 4.4 pounds so you don't need much counter space and it's portable.

This machine can make all of your favorite espresso drinks. It's a semi-automatic machine, so you'll have to prepare the grounds, load the filter and have the milk in a frothing pitcher or other container. It has an adjustable knob and steam nozzle so that you can create the right blend of flavor and froth. This machine is easy to clean too.

Pros

  • Four-cup glass carafe
  • Offers knobs and nozzles for customized drinks
  • Compact design will fit in small spaces

Cons

  • Tight squeeze for cups and mugs
  • Lacks the advanced technology of other brands

WARRANTY

This machine comes with a one-year warranty.

The Verdict

So many excellent choices; but everything boils down to what your budget can absorb, how important that great cup of espresso is, and just how badly you want wonderful coffeehouse taste in your home. For us, both Breville models seem like the best investment. They are all automatic, meaning you go from bean to brew and there's no measuring or tamping. The machines are also sleek, easy to use and will keep you tastefully caffeinated for years to come.  

 

Kara Richards

About Kara Richards