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Best Espresso Machine of 2024: Tested and Reviewed

Updated March 2024
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Best of the Best
Breville The Barista Express Espresso Machine
The Barista Express Espresso Machine
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Best espresso machine
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Though this machine has a bit of a learning curve, we were impressed with the consistently delicious espresso we made with it.


This made the best-tasting espresso of any of the machines we tested. It has an elegant design that would look great on any countertop. It has a built-in bean grinder that gives you full control over the process. The steam wand makes beautifully textured microfoam. You can choose between semi-automatic and automatic operation.


The grinder caused beans to pile up toward the back of the filter basket.

Best Bang for the Buck
Casabrews  Espresso Machine
Espresso Machine
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Best bang for the buck
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This espresso machine might be from an unknown brand, but it makes great espresso at a reasonable price.


It's easy to use thanks to the semi-automatic process. There are just three buttons: one to make a single espresso, one to make a double espresso, and the last to operate the steam arm. We appreciate the compact design, which makes it a great choice for smaller kitchens.


Some users report a water leakage.

De'Longhi  Stilosa Espresso Machine
Stilosa Espresso Machine
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Best cheap espresso machine
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If you're looking for a cheap espresso machine, this one doesn't cost much but performs decently.


Since it's semi-automatic, you get plenty of control over your espresso pulls. It has a built-in steamer wand to make specialty drinks such as flat whites and cappuccinos. We liked how easy it was to clean during our tests.


We found it a little slow to heat up and pull a shot. Espresso quality was not as good as high-end models.

Breville  Bambino Espresso Machine
Bambino Espresso Machine
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Best espresso machine for small kitchens
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This small yet durable machine was a hit during testing.


We loved the simplicity of the controls. With just five buttons, it's clear what each is for. It has different filter baskets for pre-ground and freshly ground coffee. We found the steam wand made luxuriously smooth, velvety foam. We liked that it only took a few seconds to preheat.


There's a learning curve for getting good espresso.

Jura  E8 Espresso Machine
E8 Espresso Machine
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Best super-automatic espresso machine
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If you're happy to give up control, this super-automatic machine does all the hard work for you.


This machine makes 17 types of drinks at the press of a button, including cortados, Americanos and flat whites. It produces foam automatically, so there's no need to manually steam milk. It has a built-in bean grinder. It uses a Pulse Extraction Process to improve coffee quality.


You don't have control over the minutiae of the brewing process. It's expensive.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested most of our top five — the Breville Barista Express, Bialetti Moka Express, Nespresso Vertuo Next, and the De'Longhi Dinamica — to be sure that these products are worth your time. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.

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Buying guide for Which espresso machine is best?

Why wait until you can visit your favorite coffee shop to enjoy lattes, flat whites and cappuccinos? When you have your own espresso machine, you can make espressos and barista-style specialty drinks at home. 

But determining which espresso machine is best can be a confusing task. The many available options and features can be baffling to those buying one for the first time — and with such a wide price range, it’s a balancing act to pick one that’s good but isn’t overkill for you.

For instance, a budget espresso machine is likely to be fine for a casual coffee drinker, but anyone serious about making incredible espresso is going to need a high-end machine. 

To help us find the best espresso machines, we interviewed Home Grounds founder Alex Mastin, and we tried four espresso makers ourselves. Based on our findings in the BestReviews Testing Lab, we chose the Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine as our top pick. Although it took a little while to figure out the settings, the coffee it produced was exceptional. 

Our top picks

Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine

person using Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
The testing team was impressed by the consistently delicious results produced by the Breville Barista Express.

Product Specifications
Espresso Machine Type:
Automatic | Pressure: 9 bars | Grinder: Conical burr grinder | Materials: Brushed stainless steel | Water Reservoir Capacity: 64 oz

The Breville Barista Express arrived well-packaged. It was wrapped in plastic to keep the chrome finish from getting damaged. A heavy espresso maker with a durable, stylish design, it’s easy enough to set up, but we had to wash each detachable piece and run a full tank of hot water through the lines to clean them before using.

This machine has a bit of a learning curve. We had to learn how to properly tamp the grounds and remember to follow Breville’s recommended instructions, including preheating the portafilter and basket and drying them before each use. The grinder does a great job of grinding beans, but you have to pay attention to ensure they’re properly fed into it by the hopper. Despite the learning curve, we were amazed by how well it brewed espresso once we got the hang of it.

Each cup’s flavor was consistently delicious, and the steam wand was easy to use. After brewing an espresso, we simply wiped the machine and steam wand with a damp cloth and ran the steam wand for a few seconds to flush out the steam. 

The Breville Barista Express wins our best-of-the-best spot for its stylish design and incredible results. This isn’t the best espresso machine for beginners, but those looking to emulate a cafe-quality experience at home are sure to love it.

Casabrews Espresso Machine

Casabrews Espresso Machine on white background
The affordable Casabrews Espresso Machine is sure to look great in any kitchen.

Best bang for your buck

Product Specifications
Espresso Machine Type:
Automatic | Pressure: 20 bars | Grinder: None | Materials: Brushed stainless steel | Water Reservoir Capacity: 34 oz

With its heavy-weight, brushed stainless steel design, this espresso maker looks more expensive than it is. While it won't produce coffee as good as you'd get from a $2,000 machine, it still makes very nice espresso, especially if you're willing to play around with the settings. 

It's an automatic espresso machine, which means it starts and stops the flow of espresso on its own. After filling the portafilter and putting it in place, you just need to press the button for either a single or double espresso, and the machine does the rest. That said, you can manually adjust the cup volume if something goes awry and it isn't pulling the correct volume. 

We like that it has a built-in steam arm so you can use it to make specialty drinks, not just espressos. It's easy to adjust the steam volume to get the consistency and temperature you want from your foam. In addition to traditional silver, it comes in a number of colors to go with your kitchen aesthetic. 

De'Longhi Stilosa Espresso Machine

DeLonghi Stilosa Espresso Machine on counter
The testing team appreciated how easy it was to clean the De'Longhi Stilosa.

Best cheap espresso machine

Product Specifications
Espresso Machine Type:
Semiautomatic | Pressure: 15 bars | Grinder: None | Materials: Plastic and stainless steel | Water Reservoir Capacity: 40 oz

We tested the De'Longhi Stilosa, and while it wasn't the highest-quality machine of the bunch, it's a great budget espresso machine. If you're looking for something you can usually pick up for under $100 on sale and aren't worried about producing the best-ever espresso, this is a solid choice. 

It's primarily made of plastic, and we found the build quality a little flimsy. The espressos we pulled tasted slightly under-extracted. However, as a semiautomatic machine, users have to start and stop the flow of espresso themselves. So, with a little finesse and adjustment, you can make yourself a better brew. 

We appreciated how easy the machine was to clean overall — aside from the drip tray, which isn't removable. The steamer arm puts specialty, barista-style drinks in the cards for those who want them. 

Breville Bambino Espresso Machine

Breville Bambino Espresso Machine on white background
In our tests, the Breville Bambino made great-tasting espresso and didn’t take up much counter space.

Best espresso machine for small kitchens

Product Specifications
Espresso Machine Type:
Automatic | Pressure: 9 bars | Grinder: None | Materials: Brushed stainless steel | Water Reservoir Capacity: 47 oz

If you liked the look of our top pick but don't have the space for it, the Breville Bambino is effectively a smaller version of it. We loved this compact espresso machine during testing, finding that it produced excellent espresso. While the espresso tasted great, we did note that the double espressos consistently measured around 45 to 50 millimeters, which is less than the 60 millimeters it should be. 

We also found that the espresso came out a little cool, between 130 and 150 degrees. Given that the machine is supposed to brew at 200 degrees, this seemed a little off, even when you account for the cooling that occurs between the time the espresso is extracted and when it hits the cup. 

That aside, we managed to make great coffees with this machine. The steam arm produces velvety foam that works excellently in flat whites, cappuccinos and more. 

Jura E8 Espresso Machine

Jura E8 on kitchen counter
The Jura E8 is a premium espresso machine that does all the work for you.

Best super-automatic espresso machine

Product Specifications
Espresso Machine Type:
Super-automatic | Pressure: 18 bars | Grinder: Conical burr grinder  | Materials: Plastic and stainless steel | Water Reservoir Capacity: 64 oz

The beauty of a super-automatic machine like the Jura E8 is that it takes all the work out of making espresso and specialty drinks. This high-end espresso machine has a menu of 17 drinks on the touch-screen display. Just press the drink you want, and the machine does everything else for you. 

It has a quality conical burr grinder built-in, so it grinds beans freshly for every cup. The hopper holds 10 ounces of beans, which is enough for about 40 single shots of espresso. It also features an automatic fine-foam frother so you don't have to steam your milk manually for specialty drinks. 

Yes, the E8 is expensive, but if you want a full-service, fully automatic espresso machine, it's an excellent choice. You won't find a better full-automatic machine for less money. 

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine

Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine on white background
Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine has a durable build that’s made to last.

Best espresso machine for professionals 

Product Specifications
Espresso Machine Type:
Semiautomatic | Pressure: 15 bars | Grinder: None | Materials: Stainless steel | Water Reservoir Capacity: 12 oz

The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine is a great choice for people who know what they're doing with pulling espresso — and those who want to learn. It's effectively a smaller home version of professional-quality Rancilio espresso machines. This means, with some practice, you should be able to pull espresso that tastes just as good as what you'd get from your favorite coffee shop.

Since it's semiautomatic, you control the volume of the shot using the switches on the body of the machine. It takes a little while to learn the ins and outs, but once you do, you can expect great results. Like most, it's a great single-serve espresso machine, but you can also easily make double espressos either in one cup or with one shot each in two cups. 

We love how sturdy this machine is, thanks to the iron frame and stainless steel panels. It's on the pricey side, but it's built to last. The articulating steam arm helps you get perfectly foamed milk for all your favorite specialty drinks. Some people might be put off by the small 12-ounce water reservoir, but bear in mind that this is enough to make 12 single espressos. 

Café Affetto Automatic Espresso Machine

Café Affetto Automatic Espresso Machine
The Café Affetto does just about everything for you except for frothing the milk.

Easiest espresso machine to use

Product Specifications
Espresso Machine Type:
Fully automatic | Pressure: 20 bars | Grinder: Conical burr grinder | Materials: Stainless steel | Water Reservoir Capacity: 40 oz

The Café Affetto makes it extremely easy to craft espresso and specialty drinks. It's a great choice if you're looking for an espresso machine with a grinder. Since it's fully automatic, it does everything for you, from grinding your beans to pulling your espresso shot. The only thing it doesn't do is steam your milk — you need to do this yourself with the wand. 

The extraction process involves a low-pressure blooming stage, gradually increasing to a maximum of 20 bars of pressure. This results in a flavorful, well-balanced shot. In addition to espressos, it can also dispense Americanos and lungo coffees by adding hot water to the espresso after brewing. 

Not only is this a versatile espresso machine, but it also looks great on your countertop. We appreciate that it's Wi-Fi-compatible and that you can control certain features via an app. 

Breville Barista Touch Impress Espresso Machine

Breville Barista Touch Impress Espresso Machine on counter
The testing team appreciated how easy it was to customize each drink with the touch screen menu on the Breville Barista Touch Impress.

Best smart espresso machine

Product Specifications
Espresso Machine Type:
Fully automatic | Pressure: 9 bars | Grinder: Conical burr grinder | Materials: Brushed stainless steel | Water Reservoir Capacity: 67 oz

If you're looking for a smart espresso maker, take note: This one can do practically everything for you. A picture touch screen lets you scroll through a range of specialty drinks to select what you want. Once you do, the machine gets to work.

The built-in grinder automatically grinds the perfect amount of beans for you and has a tamp-assist function to help you get the perfect puck for top-notch espresso. You then put the portafilter in place, and the machine brews the right amount of espresso. All the while, the Auto MilQ steamer foams milk for you based on your chosen settings. It even has non-dairy milk settings. 

Although it isn't cheap, we love this espresso machine. It takes the guesswork out of making great espresso and barista-style drinks but has a more hands-on feel than super-automatic machines. 

How to choose the best espresso machine according to an expert

We interviewed Alex Mastin, the CEO and founder of Home Grounds, to get his perspective on what you should consider before buying an espresso machine. Mastin broke the decision down into three key components: purpose, style and budget.


"Well, you want to make coffee, right? But how much? Who for? How often?" Mastin asks. The point he's making here is that you need to consider what you want from an espresso machine before buying. "If you’re an experienced barista, you might want more customization options on your machine," he notes. For beginners, however, he believes something simpler may be more suitable.

It's important to choose a machine you find approachable and easy to use. "You want a machine that you find easy to engage with and makes you want to get up and make a coffee every morning (and afternoon and evening, if you’re anything like me!)," says Mastin. "Be honest with yourself about how much time you have and how much maintenance and cleaning you can commit to," he adds.  


Let's be real: Looks matter . . . though they matter more to some than to others. "You want an espresso machine that suits your specific style and looks good in your kitchen," Mastin says. "Consider how it coordinates with your other appliances and overall look. However, don’t opt for style over substance. You want something that performs well and fits your look."

Size is also worth thinking about. "If you have a small space, investing in a big espresso machine can be a mistake," Mastin remarks. "It can dominate the space or make it difficult to maneuver around." However, on the other end of the spectrum, he notes that a small machine can be “dwarfed” in a large space.


Espresso machines come at a wide range of prices, from less than $100 to over $2,000. Mastin advises, "Be realistic about your budget, and choose something which suits it." He notes that there are many affordable, high-quality offerings on the market, so you should pick something that fits your price range: “You can enjoy your coffee without worrying about your bills."

Types of espresso machines

Espresso machines fall into four main categories: semiautomatic, fully automatic, manual and super-automatic.

Semiautomatic and fully automatic espresso machines are the most popular types on the market today. This is primarily due to their convenience and ease of use.  Semiautomatic espresso machines deliver even, hands-free water pressure, and the user decides when to turn the pump on and off. Fully automatic espresso machines regulate the amount of water traveling through the machine; users don't control the pump at all.

Manual espresso machines require more labor. The user must manually push water through the machine. Because of this, results can vary. Experienced espresso makers fare well with this type of machine.

Super-automatic machines do all the hard work for you. These machines often include high-end features such as a built-in grinding apparatus.

Although not technically espresso machines, French presses and pour-over coffee makers can make espresso. For the best results, use dark ground coffee or espresso coffee beans to achieve the bold flavor that is the key feature of espresso brews.

Making espresso: The basics

The ideal espresso is rich, smooth, velvety and strong. Creating the perfect cup is an art that requires some trial and error.

The steps may vary slightly by machine, but here’s a general list of procedures to follow:

  • Obtain some dark-roasted coffee beans, and grind them down to a powder-like consistency.
  • Pour the espresso into the machine’s portafilter. A portafilter is a handle with a small cup holder at the end.
  • After the portafilter is filled, use a tamper — a small, flat-edged device — to tamp down, or “flatten,” the grinds.
  • Attach the portafilter to the gasket, which locks it into place. Turn the portafilter about 20 degrees counterclockwise, until it tightens into place.
  • Once the water heats, press the “on” or “start” button. Dark, rich espresso will slowly pour out.

Performance and maintenance

Some espresso machines make multiple servings; others brew just one cup at a time. Espresso machines aren't designed to make large batches of coffee the way drip coffee makers are, but most can make double shots, including the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine and the Casabrews Espresso Machine. These are great for people who want to drink a larger espresso or make a double-shot latte or flat white. They’re also suitable for those who want to brew two single espressos at once.  

In terms of maintenance, more complex machines tend to require more cleaning. Accessories like pumps, boiler setups and thermostats usually forecast the amount of cleanup and maintenance required over time. Regular cleaning and maintenance tasks include purging the group head, purging the steam wand and backflushing the machine. Once a year, you may need to replace the group gasket and screen. 

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 deep dive

Although espresso machines differ from standard coffee makers, they do essentially the same thing: create rich, dark coffee. But individual models differ in their “ease of use” when it comes to brewing espresso and the amount of control they offer the home barista.

Water tank size

The size of your machine’s water reservoir impacts the quantity of espresso you can produce. The Breville Barista Express and Jura E8 are both larger with 64-ounce reservoirs. The Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine has a much smaller 12-ounce reservoir. 

How large does your reservoir need to be? Bear in mind that a typical espresso shot measures 1 ounce. So, a 64-ounce reservoir holds enough to make 64 single or 32 double espressos. This is overkill for most users and may lead to the water going stale before you use everything in the reservoir.   

It's also worth noting that some models include a filter that removes impurities from the water. What’s more, you can find machines that have a removable water tank for quick and easy refilling.

Heating time

The perfect extraction temperature for espresso is 197 to 205 degrees. It takes a little time for the machine to warm up to achieve this.

The amount of time it takes depends on the machine’s heating element. For example, when we tested the De’Longhi Stilosa, it took one minute and five seconds to warm up. The Breville Bambino Plus, on the other hand, took just three seconds to preheat. 

Milk frother

Most quality espresso machines can produce frothy, steamed milk to top off coffee brews. While some models have built-in milk frothers, others have a steam wand. Both types of frothers heat the milk, resulting in its frothy finish. Once an espresso beverage is ready, the frother or steam wand deposits the froth into the hot brew for delicious results.

How much does an espresso machine cost?

Under $200

You’ll find espresso machines from established brands in this price bracket, such as the De'Longhi Stilosa Espresso Machine. They might not make the world's greatest espresso, but they do a decent job, especially if you're not expecting to make drinks that rival your favorite coffee shop. Machines in this range often boast automated features and versatility.

If you want to be daring, you could purchase a stovetop espresso maker for under $25 and take the “old school” approach to creating espresso. The process required here isn’t as simple as automatic machines, but the principle is the same: You heat water through finely ground coffee. This approach isn’t for amateurs, but it can be a fun experience.

Under $600

A high-quality espresso maker such as the Breville Bambino Espresso Machine could cost up to $600. If this price gives you pause, consider that a 16-ounce cappuccino from a coffee shop costs around $4. That means that after 150 drinks at home, you’d break even on the cost of the machine.

Over $600

Premium espresso machines that make gourmet brews can be pricey, with some costing $1,000 or more. These can be super-automatic, like the Jura E8, which makes it extremely easy to brew espresso and craft specialty drinks. Or they can be automatic or semiautomatic, like the Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine, capable of producing barista-quality brews.

How we tested

We tested four of our top espresso machines first-hand. Here are some of the ways we assessed them. 

Brewing espresso

The first step was to use these machines to brew espresso. We went through the process to see how easy or hard it was to get it right. In some cases, we performed additional tests during this process, such as measuring volume and temperature. 

Assessing espresso quality

First, we looked at the crema on the espresso shots we poured. Then, we assessed their flavor and aroma. 

Foaming milk

All the espresso machines we tested had steamer wands. We used these to foam milk, assessing their ease of use and the quality of the foam produced. 

Cleaning espresso machine

Regular cleaning is important, but it can be a pain. So, we followed the proper cleaning process to see how long it took and how awkward (or not) it was. 


Q. How should I care for my espresso machine?

A. After every brewing session, run a shot of water through the machine to keep it clean. Sediment can build up through repeated use. Wipe the exterior of the machine to keep it clean and looking great.

If your machine permits it, you should perform a clean-water backflush every 10 to 15 shots. This requires you to put a stopper in your portafilter to reverse the water flow.

Q. What is a “Red Eye”?

A. It’s a powerful combination of espresso and strong drip coffee. It can be consumed with or without milk or creamer.

Q. I know that Seattle is the nation’s top coffee-drinking city. Where was its first espresso bar?

A. Seattle’s first espresso bar was Cafe Allegro, located near the University of Washington. The owners worked with Starbucks to create the company’s original espresso blend.

Q. What is the difference between an espresso maker and a coffee machine?

A. Coffee makers are inexpensive machines that generally drip hot water over ground coffee beans to brew coffee. Espresso machines use pressure to force hot water through the grounds quickly. 

Lower-pressure machines tend to produce more flavorful espresso, but you generally want at least nine bars of pressure.

Q. What kind of coffee should you use in an espresso machine?

A. Most espresso machines call for finely ground coffee, allowing the water to extract more aromatic chemicals. You can use regular ground coffee in espresso machines, although most people prefer to grind their own. Freshly ground coffee beans produce a better flavor, and you’ll have more control over the consistency.

Our expertise

Lauren Corona has been writing for BestReviews since 2017. In this time, she's reviewed and written about hundreds of coffee machines. She's penned dozens of articles about espresso machines, coffee makers and other coffee-related topics. She also used to work as a barista in her younger days, so she has used many different espresso machines.


  1. We tested four espresso machines first-hand.
  2. Interview with Alex Mastin, Founder and CEO of Home Grounds
  3. How Does Temperature Stability Affect Espresso Extraction?, Zoe Stanley-Foreman
  4. How Many Oz Are in a Shot of Espresso?, Tony Barlow 
  5. Espresso Machine Cleaning and Maintenance, Clive Coffee