The Best Espresso Machines

Nothing gives us a better jump start in the morning than a shot (or two) of espresso. Some people drink espressos for the flavor while others drink them out of necessity. After all, this concentrated coffee beverage is like taking the expressway to caffeine city. But even if you don't take your coffee black, you can always enjoy an espresso in the form of a cappuccino, latte, macchiato, or even a good ol' Americano. So what are you waiting for? Get an espresso machine for your kitchen so you never have to wait in line at the overpriced chain café again. Read on to discover a few of our favorite espresso machines.

SowTech Espresso Machine with Steam Milk Frother and Carafe

The Best Machine for the Best Espressos

With a bargain price tag, a space-saving design, and reliable hardware, this option from SowTech zooms into the top spot on our list.
Best Overall

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With the SowTech Espresso Machine, brewing delicious coffee has never been easier. This affordable option features simple controls and a compact design. It really is quite easy to use, since all you need to do is load it up with coffee and flip a switch to start brewing. Of course, there’s an accurate temperature control knob and some other adjustable features. But it won’t take much practice to brew rich, professional-quality espressos with a Sowtech in your kitchen. Plus, this pick features a milk frother and an easy-pour carafe to make sure you capture every last precious drop. Best of all, the compact design and affordable price make this option the perfect pick for those with limited kitchen space and limited funds.


  • Considering the quality and reliability of this machine, SowTech really offers the most bang for your buck.
  • The milk frother allows you to whip up a cappuccino in a couple of minutes.
  • Although it’s compact in size, this machine has a relatively high capacity and can make 240ml of coffee at a time.
  • Includes a heating element that keeps the coffee hot after it’s been brewed.


  • It’s easy to use once you get the hang of it, but you’ll still have to do some experimenting with the different settings to achieve the perfect espresso.
  • You’ll have to wash all the elements by hand.

Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker Bundle

You Can't Go Wrong With Nespresso

The VertuoPlus is a high-quality machine that's consistent in its excellence.
Runner Up

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Nespresso (the coffee-machine brand from Nestle) are pioneers in the world of single-use coffee brewing. Brewing coffee in a Nespresso machine is as simple as popping in your favorite coffee capsule, closing the lid, and pressing the button. Then, the smart software will read the barcode on the capsule, determine the optimal brewing temperature and pressure, and deliver the perfect cup of coffee. And if you’re concerned about the wastefulness of single-use coffee pods, consider the new recycling program from Nespresso. The pods come with envelopes that you can place used pods into and mail back to their recycling facilities for free.


  • The smart technology really does brew perfect cups of coffee every time.
  • Comes with the Aeroccino 3-milk frother.
  • Takes less than 30 seconds to heat up.
  • The bundle comes with an array of different coffee capsules, so you can try them out and see which ones are your favorites


  • Only compatible with VertuoPlus capsules.
  • Many people consider single-use aluminum capsules to be wasteful, though Nespresso does have a free recycling program.
  • Many environmentalists have grievances with Nestle.

Brewsly 15 Bar Espresso Machine

Slim and Powerful

With such a small footprint, the professional quality of this pick from Brewsly may surprise you.
Best for Small Spaces

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The espresso machines in coffee shops are absurdly large, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy these tasty brews in your small kitchen. Thanks to a compact design and 6-inch-wide footprint, this option from Brewsly fits right at home on even the tiniest of kitchen counters. But just because it’s small in frame doesn’t mean this pick is weak in power. With a maximum pressure of 15 bars, this workhorse of an espresso machine can deliver single and double-shot brews to your liking. A fantastic option for those that like to fine-tune the settings to achieve the perfect cup, this machine is highly adjustable. You can even adjust the frother to achieve different foam densities. With a Brewsly in the kitchen, anyone can be a barista.


  • The compact 6-inch-wide footprint cannot be overstated, as it saves that precious counter space.
  • The top tray is heated to keep cups warm.
  • The water tank is removable for easy refilling.
  • Includes a high-end milk foamer that lets you customize your foam density and temperature.
  • Easy to clean


  • The tamp is plastic, not metal
  • Although there is a pressure gauge, you can’t adjust the pressure

Breville BES870 XL Barista Espresso Machine

Take the Coffee Shop Home With You

This pick from Breville might come with a premium price, but for those that want a professional machine, it's worth every penny.
Best Professional

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If you want truly premium coffee, you’ll have to pay a premium price. This option from Breville costs a hefty sum, but we think the precision and kitchen-grade construction is worth it. Actually, this beast might be replete with different settings and controls, but it’s still quite user-friendly and intuitive. And once you’ve figured out the perfect settings for the perfect shot of espresso, you can turn to the adjustable steam wand to start making latte artwork. A favorite among professional baristas and amateurs alike, the Breville Barista Espresso Machine elevates coffee-brewing into a beautiful dance.


  • The professional-grade construction and design are built to last through decades of espresso-making.
  • The grinder deposits the grinds directly into the cradle (if you’re a first-timer and don’t know, that’s a big deal).
  • The temperature control is digital for greater precision.


  • Considerably more expensive than the other options on our list

Sboly Espresso Machine with Milk Frother

Affordable, Adorable, and Fast

This affordable option from Sboly pays for itself within a couple of weeks since it can replace those daily trips to the local cafe.
Best on a Budget

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We might not all have the funds for a professional espresso machine, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all get our coffee fix. Much like our Best Overall option, this pick from Sboly comes at a staggeringly low price point and offers top-notch brewing for a bargain. It might not have that all-stainless-steel shine to it like the professional machines, but it does its job well. Heck, it even comes with a sweet little carafe (mini coffee pot) and a single-button operation. Easy to use, space-saving, and affordable, the Sboly Espresso Machine is a coffee maker for the masses.


  • The affordable price fits into most budgets.
  • Has everything you need, including a milk frother and carafe.
  • The compact size is light and small enough to take with you on your travels.
  • Brews quickly and can churn out four shots of espresso in only a couple of minutes.


  • The water reservoir isn’t huge, so you’ll have to add water after every couple of uses.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are “bars” in regards to espresso machines? 

As you may have noticed, many of the espresso machines claim something like “8 Bars”. “Bars” refers to Barometric pressure, with 1 BAR being equivalent to one atmosphere of pressure. Thus, 8 BARs are equivalent to 8 atmospheres, or 8 times the amount of pressure in the air at sea level. In regard to espresso machines, this value indicates the amount of pressure exerted on the water as it is passed through the coffee grinds. The ideal pressure for professional-tasting espresso is anywhere from 7 to 15 BARs of pressure. Anything less than 7 BARs, and your coffee will taste too weak; anything greater than 15 BARs, and your coffee may taste burnt.

What kind of milk can I use with the frother? 

If your espresso-machine-of-choice has a frother, you can make all sorts of different coffee drinks, such as cappuccinos, macchiatos, and lattes. Generally speaking, the best type of milk to use is whole milk. However, these frothers will fluff up all sorts of kinds of milk, including almond milk, oat milk, and even macadamia milk.