As seen in:
Breville
Barista Express
De'Longhi
15-BAR Pump
Mr. Coffee
4-Cup Steam
La Pavoni
Europiccola 8-cup
SAECO
HD8753
Check Price
Check Price
Check Price
Check Price
Check Price
Good

Built-in bean grinder gives you control over final product. "Clean Me" light provides helpful reminders.

A great choice for espresso "beginners." Easy cleanup and reassembly.

Latte and cappuccino are this machine's best products. Convenient cord storage and a good frother. Makes between one and four cups.

Professional-grade, manual machine yields a superior product. Beautiful, durable steel construction.

The machine does most of the prep and clean-up work for you.

Bad

Relatively high priced, but owners find it to be well worth the extra cost.

Not quite as many bells and whistles as the Breville.

Sporadic complaints of faulty machinery.

Using this professional-grade unit requires patience and precision.

Very expensive. A few instances of customer dissatisfaction.

Bottom Line

The single best espresso machine for both pros and amateurs. Produces delightfully rich, flavorful espresso time after time again.

The best value for your money. Surprisingly tasty results at a low cost.

A basic model at a budget price. A small number of product quality issues have been reported.

A higher-end, professional-grade model that requires some expertise to operate.

A high-priced machine that delivers tasty results and does most of the work for you. A few incidents of inconsistent results.

How we decide
BestReviews is committed to providing comprehensive and trusted reviews for products that matter to consumers. We do the research to help you save time and money.
0
Products received from manufacturers
81
Models Considered
46
Hours Spent
2
Experts Interviewed
162
Consumers Consulted

Best Espresso Machines

The best espresso machines on the market cater to coffee drinkers. They're durable, reliable, and yield delicious results every time. The top espresso machines include the following contenders:

Products we Considered

Breville
Barista Express
De'Longhi
15-BAR Pump
Mr. Coffee
4-Cup Steam
La Pavoni
Europiccola 8-cup
SAECO
HD8753

Considerations

Type

Espresso machines fall into four main categories: semi-automatic, fully automatic, manual, and super automatic. Semi-automatic and fully automatic machines are the most popular types on the market today, largely because of their convenience. Semi-automatic machines deliver even, hands-free water pressure, and users decide when to turn the pump on and off. Fully automatic machines regulate the amount of water traveling through the machine; users don't control the pump at all. Manual machines require more labor; users must manually push water through the machine. Because of this, results can vary -- experienced espresso makers tend to have the best luck with this type of machine. Super automatic machines do all the hard work and often include features such as a built-in grinding apparatus.

Performance and Maintenance

Different espresso machines perform in different ways. Some machines make multiple servings while others brew just one cup at a time. Some machines allow you to prepare more than one type of drink at a time. The size and power of an espresso machine correlates with its required power supply. As far as maintenance goes, more complex machines tend to require more cleaning. Accessories like pumps, boiler setups, and thermostats usually forecast the amount of cleanup and maintenance that will be required over time. Buyers should be aware that machines with plastic outer coatings can crack with repeated use, leading to the need for expensive repairs or even replacement.

Features

When choosing an espresso machine, be sure to scrutinize features like water tank storage, overall size and design, and whether the machine self-primes. Frothing aids, decanters with measuring marks, cool-touch handles, and removable drip trays are other features that you might want to consider before making a purchase.

Price

An espresso machine's type, size, and features usually dictate its price. Stainless steel costs more than plastic, but it's also more durable. Higher-end espresso machines can cost over $1,000. Lower-end machines often sell for less than $100.

Considerations

Types

De'Longhi EC155

The De'Longhi EC155 is a semi-automatic espresso machine with a dual filter that gives you a choice between brewing ground espresso or pods. 1,100 watts ensures ample power for most espresso-making demands. Even if you've never made espresso before, the De'Longhi is quite easy to use. We recommend this unit for beginners and seasoned espresso drinkers alike.

Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup

The Mr. Coffee ECM160 is a steam-driven espresso machine that gives you the flexibility of making flavorful cappuccinos, rich espressos, and creamy lattes. A decanter with measuring marks and a removable frothing aid assist users in making the perfect cup of whatever they choose. A few owners told us that this machine doesn't match the pressure or level of cream you get with a pump-driven machine. However, as a steam-driven machine, the Mr. Coffee is especially popular with users for its lattes and cappuccinos.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express is a super automatic espresso machine with a powerful, 1,600-watt thermo-coil heating system. This superior model gives you optimal results in every sense of the word. An integrated burr grinder conveniently grinds your coffee in short order (although it may take a bit of experimenting with this grinder before you find the best grind for your drink). We especially like the Breville's purge function, which automatically adjusts the water temperature after steam for the right espresso extraction temperature.

La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola 8-Cup Lever

The La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola 8-Cup Lever Style Espresso Machine is a manual espresso machine. Experienced baristas and coffee drinkers use this machine to make specialty coffee drinks at home. The automatic milk foamer captures our attention, ensuring the right flavor and consistency each time. A helpful instructional video, which is included, is useful for getting started. Even with the help of this video, however, some users caution that this machine requires a lot of patience and precision. Therefore, in spite of its high quality, the professional-grade La Pavoni might not be the best choice for "impatient" coffee drinkers.

SAECO HD8753/87 Philips Intellia

The SAECO HD8753/87 Philips Intellia Cappuccino is a fully automatic espresso machine. A handy, one-touch cappuccino setting allows you to make the perfect drink with this machine in just minutes. We especially like the automatic milk function with Easy Refill, which leaves all the "guesswork" up to the SAECO. Ceramic grinders with aroma preservation ensure a fresh-tasting, delicious-smelling cup each time.

Even if you've never made espresso before, the De'Longhi is quite easy to use.
Considerations

Performance and Maintenance

It's easy to make a great tasting cup of cappuccino with the De'Longhi. When you're finished making your beverage, simply remove the 35-ounce water tank and drip tray for easy cleanup and reassemble the machine. A convenient indicator light lets users know when it's time to for a deeper cleaning. A user tip: coffee products taste even better if you preheat the De'Longhi for about 15 minutes before use.

The steam-powered Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup Steam Espresso Machine can brew up to 20 ounces at a time in a matter of minutes. We found that this unit's 12-pump bar pressure is enough to satisfy the demands of most peoples' basic espresso and latte needs. A removable frothing aid and drip tray ensure easy cleaning.

The Breville has quality written all over it. A 15-bar Italian pump and 1600-watt thermo-coil heating system provide ample power to this deluxe espresso machine. The stainless steel water coil accurately controls water temperature, but one of our favorite features is the "Clean Me" light; we appreciate this feature because it tells us promptly when the machine needs to be cleaned and sanitized. As an added convenience, this product comes with its own cleaning kit! Some users caution that the Breville can get a bit "messy" when making a drink, but they also note that cleanup is relatively easy.

As a manual machine, the La Pavoni's performance depends largely on the effort and expertise of the user. This machine requires users to pull a lever to make a drink. The piston-operated product features internal thermostats that continually monitor steam pressure for optimal results. Most users feel the La Pavoni's 1,000-watt system offers plenty of power for making the right cup of coffee. Regarding maintenance/cleanup, we found the removable drip tray to be a particularly practical, easy-to-clean feature. User tip: owners should be sure to clean and shine the La Pavani's plastic cover periodically, as it tends to collect dirt.

As a fully automatic espresso machine, the SAECO does most of the work for you. Preparation and cleaning time is, therefore, minimal for the user. Features that lend to this machine's great performance include a one-touch cappuccino setting and ceramic grinders that preserve aroma, delivering a fresh, bold end result. As for maintenance, many owners tell us they appreciate the SAECO's automated cleaning and de-scaling features.

The Breville has quality written all over it. It's a mid-priced machine that yields deluxe results.
Susan T.
Expert Consultant
Susan T.
Chef, Food Entrepeneur

Susan Sano Tuveson has been cooking for people for five decades. Educated in music, law, and languages, she left her legal practice to establish Cacao Chocolates in Kittery, Maine. A three-time Best of Seacoast New England winner, the shop was popular for its high-quality artisanal truffles flavored with unusual local ingredients.

Considerations

Features

De'Longhi EC155

The De'Longhi comes with a durable, high-quality stainless steel boiler which will serve you well over time. Other notable features include a swivel jet frother for easy cappuccino and latte prep, a dual-function filter holder that gives you a choice between ground coffee and pods, and a self-priming function which we recommend you use for an even better-tasting product. A few owners told us they wished the frother produced better results, but overall, this is a solid product that delivers quality results.

Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup

Unlike the De'Longhi, our research suggests that the Mr. Coffee's frother is particularly powerful when making lattes and other foamy drinks. Other great features you get with this product include a decanter with measuring marks, a stay-cool handle for safety, a drip-free pouring spout, and convenient cord storage -- great for crowded counter tops and other small spaces.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express

The Breville's conical burr grinder, made of stainless steel, effortlessly grinds coffee beans and optimizes flavor extraction by maximizing the surface area of the grinds. A 54-mm tamper ensures expert tamping control, and a hands-free grinding cradle leaves all the hard work to the machine. Our favorite features are the Breville's grind size/grind amount selector dials, which enable you to customize grinds from fine to coarse. Satisfied owners tell us this machine does a fantastic job grinding coffee in accordance with their demands.

La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola 8-Cup Lever

This espresso maker features all-steel construction with heavy chrome plating, which not only looks great on the counter but also enhances the machine's durability and performance. Other notable features include a tamper, measuring ladle, cappuccino attachment (for accurate and tasty results), an easy-to-use handle that gives users complete control over pressure, and an elegant-looking, timeless design.

SAECO HD8753/87 Philips Intellia

Luxurious features abound in this fully automatic espresso machine. Owners enjoy one-touch cappuccino and pre-brewing functions, an automatic milk function with Easy Refill (along with an included milk carafe), adjustable coffee strength/temperature controls, and ceramic grinders that help preserve aroma. What's more, you barely have to clean up after yourself when you use this machine. Automatic cleaning and de-scaling components take care of those bothersome tasks for you.

The Breville features grind size/grind amount selector dials that allow you to customize your grinds from fine to coarse.
Considerations

Price

De'Longhi EC155

A price tag of $94 makes the De'Longhi EC155 one of the more affordable espresso machines on our shortlist. Some potential buyers might be skeptical because of the price. After all, a higher-priced machine typically produces better drinks. However, the De'Longhi is a capable contender that delivers rich, tasty coffee beverages thanks to features like the swivel jet frother and self-priming function. This machine does make a bit of noise while brewing, but that's a fairly common characteristic in lower-priced machines, and it doesn't affect drink quality.

Mr. Coffee ECM160 4-Cup

With a price of just $39, the Mr. Coffee ECM160 is a highly affordable machine. Its budget price comes as a relief to cash-conscious consumers who might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the pricier options on the market. For the money, users get a product with a moderate output of one to four cups of coffee at a time. A removable froth aid, stay-cool handle, and drip-free pouring spout provide extra "creature comforts" that make this unit worth the investment. A few users complained that the included tamper is not very effective. An even smaller number of customers told us that their machine broke down or quit shortly after purchase. However, these instances were rare occurrences.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine has a price tag of $597, making it a solid mid-range contender. With a 15-bar Italian pump and 1,600-watt thermo-coil heating system, the Breville produces strong, flavorful results with every cup. For the money, you get a lot of control over your coffee grinds, which leads to a fresh and bold cup of java every single time. Before purchasing this item, however, make sure you are okay with the fact that the grinder comes attached to this model. Some other models come with separate grinders, and if you're a serious coffee connoisseur, this may or may not be important to you.

La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola 8-Cup Lever

A price tag of $843 makes the La Pavoni EPC-8 Europiccola 8-Cup Lever Style Espresso Machine a stretch for budget-conscious consumers. The product has a lot to offer, though, including an attractive, all-steel construction with heavy chrome plating and an included cappuccino attachment. We especially like how easy it is to make specialty coffee drinks at home with the La Pavoni. Some owners admitted to us that this machine takes work, practice, and patience to get great results, but insisted that the extra effort is well worth it in the end.

SAECO HD8753/87 Philips Intellia

With a price tag of $440, the SAECO HD8753/87 Philips Intellia Cappuccino Fully Automatic Espresso Machine is quite an expensive option. For the money, owners and potential buyers expect high-quality construction, plenty of features, and a great end result. We think that this machine meets nearly all of these expectations. The one-touch cappuccino button saves time and effort, while the integrated automatic milk function with Easy Refill leaves the guesswork up to the machine. The adjustable coffee strength and temperature function yields a near-perfect espresso product almost every time. A few customers did tell us that the machine produces inconsistent results, sometimes clogging or failing to grind the coffee evenly. These occasional issues may be something you want to take into consideration before purchasing, especially considering the SAECO's hefty price.

In spite of its budget price, the De'Longhi is a capable contender that delivers rich, tasty coffee beverages every time.

Best of the Best

The Breville BES870XL's superior performance, array of features, and consistent end results prompt us to give it our "Best of the Best" award. With a price tag of $597, this model falls solidly in the middle of our price range. As we stated earlier, espresso machines can run the gamut from $100 to $1,000. Although this isn't a budget model, it doesn't have an outrageous price tag, either.

Espresso lovers searching for a low-cost machine may hesitate at the price tag, which is understandable. However, given this machine's high customer ratings, excellent performance, and generous number of features, we think it's a worthy investment. We're especially impressed by this model's 15-bar Italian pump and 1,600-watt thermo-coil heating system, as well as its stainless steel conical grinder with sealed bean hopper. Indeed, you get lots of power and control over how your beans will be ground and how your drink will taste when you use this machine.

Delightfully rich, flavorful espresso is the name of the game with the Breville BES870XL.This product garners lots of praise from satisfied customers, and for good reason. Once you get the hang of it, this machine is quite easy to use -- although it may take a bit of trial and error experimentation at first. We recommend this product to both experienced baristas and novice coffee makers. In fact, anyone who enjoys the taste of java will appreciate this luxurious product. Efficient and reliable, you simply cannot find a better espresso machine on the market today. We highly endorse the Breville as the best of the best.
Best of the Best
Check Price
Delightfully rich, flavorful espresso is the name of the game with the Breville BES870XL.

Best Bang for your Buck

If you're looking for a capable espresso and cappuccino maker that delivers quality drinks without breaking the bank, the De'Longhi EC155 15 BAR Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Maker is your best choice. We give this machine our "Best Bang for Your Buck" award for many reasons, including its convenient self-priming operation (which eliminates time-consuming startup prep) and its 15-bar pump pressure, which ensures consistent, tasty results every time you brew. The swivel jet frother is another perk, especially for those who love the taste of a frothy latte.

The "drawbacks" we uncovered in our research of this product were minor and included a frother that does not always "froth" as much as some would like and a slight noise during coffee preparation. When you consider how inexpensive this product is, however, most people agree that these slight imperfections are no big deal. Considering that you COULD be paying over $1,000 for an espresso machine, we find the De'Longhi to be a particularly good bargain.

The De'Longhi's two thermostats, which control water and steam pressure separately, make it easy to brew your drinks at the perfect temperature. Don't let the lower price fool you: if you're prone to coffee cravings and want an affordable machine that will perform consistently over time, the convenient and reliable De'Longhi is the absolute best choice on the market today.
Best Bang for your Buck
Check Price
If you're prone to coffee cravings and want an affordable machine that will perform consistently over time, the reliable De'Longhi is the absolute best choice.
The team that worked on this review
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Jess
    Jess
    Researcher
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Adrian
    Adrian
    Senior Engineer