The Best Coffee Pod Machine

Posted on 12 May 2022

After 11 hours of research among more than 25 models and testing the 8 most promising ones, we have concluded that the Philips SENSEO Original+ has the best price-quality ratio for coffee pad lovers. 

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best budget

Philips CSA210/11 SENSEO Original+

Its affordable price and ease of use make this coffee machine an excellent option with the best price-quality ratio. It can be used with soft pods and can serve short or long coffee in one or two cups simultaneously.

£ 109.00 on Amazon

This machine is classic and compact, allowing you to serve one or two cups at a time, making either a short, strong coffee or a longer, smoother one in no time. During our tests, the 0.7 litre tank was easy to handle, making the filling quick and easy. Operation is simple thanks to the intuitive buttons, backed up by an automatic shut-off function for the more forgetful. The cup holder has a removable tray and grid for easy maintenance. And while the machine was designed for Senseo pods, it is of course compatible with all kinds of pads.

 

 

Best mid-range

Krups Dolce Gusto Mini Me

Ideal for lovers of a variety of drinks (hot, cold, milky, etc.), it appeals with its modularity, its ease of use and its compact design. It allows you to quickly obtain a creamy coffee to be enjoyed without delay.

£ 53.99 on Amazon

The Dolce Gusto Mini Me is a multi-drink machine designed to delight those who enjoy a wide variety of beverages (coffee, latte, cappuccino, hot chocolate and tea). In addition to being able to choose the length of your beverage, you can prepare hot or cold drinks. Designed to serve one coffee at a time, it can serve both a small cup and a larger mug with ease thanks to its removable and 3 height adjustable cup holder. Its ease and speed of use also play in its favour, detail that we appreciated during our tests. If you like milk, just note that the machine is more greedy in capsules (since two are generally needed). You can use it with the brand’s pods, or other brands’ pods.

 

Best high-end

Krups Pixie YY4127FD

Its modern, compact design and attractive material quality are already appealing at first glance, but it is the quick and easy way to make a good long or short cup of coffee that is particularly convincing.

£ 205.00 on Amazon

In addition to its modern and sleek design, the Pixie stands out thanks to its compact size that easily fits in any kitchen. With its ergonomic handle, it is very easy to use and allows you to prepare a short or long coffee (to be adjusted according to the size of your own cups) in no time. With its drip tray and removable accessories, it is easy to clean. Lastly, while Nespresso is of course renowned for the quality of its coffees, many brands have developed capsules in the same format, which are therefore compatible with the Pixie. In short, if you are a fan of classic capsules, this is the machine that we recommend and that we particularly liked during our tests.

 

Mid-range alternative

Philips L'Or Barista LM8012/00

This capsule machine has the particularity of being able to serve two cups simultaneously when used with the brand's XXL pods. Its intuitive operation and large tank make it a practical device.

£ 95.99 on Amazon

This machine is a bit bulkier because it has a larger tank capacity (1L) and is designed to serve two cups at a time. For the simultaneous preparation of two drinks, it is necessary to use “L’Or double” capsules – but the machine is otherwise compatible with “classic” Nespresso capsules. Moreover, it is possible to choose between three different coffee lengths, depending on your preferences. While the on/off button is handy, there is an automatic shut-off after 10 minutes if you forget. The capsule collection tray and the removable drip tray make its cleaning easy. In short, it has also been validated by our tests.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best budgetBest mid-rangeBest high-endMid-range alternative
Philips HD6554Krups Dolce Gusto Mini MeKrups PixiePhilips Or Barista
Philips Senseo Original+Krups Dolce Gusto Mini MeKrups PixiePhilips L'Or Barista
Its affordable price and ease of use make this coffee machine an excellent option with the best price-quality ratio. It can be used with soft pods and can serve short or long coffee in one or two cups simultaneously.Ideal for lovers of a variety of drinks (hot, cold, milky, etc.), it appeals with its modularity, its ease of use and its compact design. It allows you to quickly obtain a creamy coffee to be enjoyed without delay.Its modern, compact design and attractive material quality are already appealing at first glance, but it is the quick and easy way to make a good long or short cup of coffee that is particularly convincing.This capsule machine has the particularity of being able to serve two cups simultaneously when used with the brand's XXL pods. Its intuitive operation and large tank make it a practical device.
£ 109.00 on Amazon £ 53.99 on Amazon £ 205.00 on Amazon £ 95.99 on Amazon

 

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Honorable mentions

Bosch Tassimo Vivy 2 (£59,99 upon publication): a fully automated, functional machine. Designed to serve one cup at a time, we liked the fact that it operates fully automatically by recognising the T-discs designed for this purpose. While this is a practical feature, it also means that compatibility with major coffee brands is more limited. If you are interested, the current price is a very good deal.

 

 

How to choose your coffee pod machine?

Pod machines are easy to use because they work with single-dose, ready-to-use pods, which is why they are so popular among consumers. However, with so many machines available on the market, it can be difficult to make a choice.

Krups Vertuo Next
There are several types of pods, some even have their own device. | Source: Selectos

First, it is essential to be able to differentiate between the most popular types of pods on the market, each corresponding to a specific type of machine:

  • Soft pods: also known as “pads”, they are made of paper containing ground coffee. Originally designed by Senseo for their own machines, they are now marketed by many brands, ensuring a wide choice of coffee to use with your Senseo machine. Given their composition, they have the advantage to be compostable. Moreover, it is a rather economical and widely distributed solution.
  • Hard pods or ESE: these “Easy Serving Expresso” hard pods, are intended, as their name suggests, for the preparation of espresso.
  • Capsules: Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, Tassimo, Lavazza… In order to keep control of their products, many brands have developed their own capsules for their machines – the best known being Nespresso’s Original pods. Nowadays, however, more and more products are compatible with these various brands (this is the case for Nespresso and Dolce Gusto capsules), but they are generally more expensive than pads.
Machines à Café à Dosettes
Ergonomics is a fundamental criterion: the various parts of your device must be accessible. | Source: Selectos

When choosing your machine, check the compatibility of the capsules according to your preferences, your budget and the choice available on the market. It is also worth finding out about any recycling solutions or more environmentally friendly alternatives (such as reusable capsules) available for each type of pod.

Here are the criteria related to the machine itself you should consider during your search:

  • Design and ergonomics: although many machines are quite compact in design, it is of course ideal to check the dimensions of the machine of your choice before purchasing. Make also sure that the water tank – and possibly the drip tray – is easily accessible, depending on the organisation of your kitchen counter. Lastly, note that most machines have very intuitive buttons for easy operation.
  • Water tank: often with a capacity of 0.7 to 1 litre, it is removable for an easy filling. On some machines, it is clipped entirely to the frame and must be removed to be filled, while on others, you simply lift a lid to fill it on the spot. To prevent your machine from clogging up too quickly, it is best to use filtered water.
  • Modularity: while some machines can only serve one cup at a time, others can serve two cups simultaneously. Others have a height-adjustable cup holder to accommodate both small cups and mugs. Often you can also choose from a minimum of two coffee lengths or strengths – which can sometimes be calibrated to the capacity of your own cups.
Philips Or Barista
Some models can serve 2 coffees at a time, but not all of them can: pay attention to this detail. | Source: Selectos
  • Features: while nowadays machines are equipped with an automatic stop of the flow of coffee, many also have an automatic stop after a given time of non-use. Some new generation machines are equipped with an automatic capsule recognition system, which adapts the quantity of water, temperature, etc. to the chosen pod. Lastly, some machines can be used to prepare both hot and cold drinks.
  • Ease of maintenance: capsule machines are often equipped with a collection tray for used pods, which allows you to use your machine a dozen times before having to worry about waste. For easy cleaning, the accessories (cup rest, grid, drip tray, tank, etc.) are typically removable and easy to (un)mount. Lastly, to get the most out of your machine and to ensure a quality coffee, it is advised to descale it from time to time.
Krups Pixie
It is advised to descale your machine from time to time. | Source: Selectos

 

Translated by Aylin Akturk 

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