When you live in a small space, you don't want a coffee maker to monopolize your countertop. The best compact coffee makers for small kitchens make it easy to brew a cup (or four) at a time without taking up a ton of real estate, and you don’t have to sacrifice convenient features like programmable brewing times or automatic shutoff.
There are a few different styles of coffee makers to consider. To find the best machine for you, consider the following:
- Single-serve: Great for K-cup converts and anyone who takes their coffee to go, this type of machine lets you brew it directly into the mug of your choosing. You can also use these machines for tea or cocoa, too, so they win points for versatility. You can also spring for refillable pods for an eco-friendly option that doesn’t limit you to the whims of a manufacturer’s blends. However, single-serve models usually aren’t programmable.
- Drip coffee makers: A small 4- or 5-cup traditional coffee maker might make a better option for two-person households. This option looks like a scaled-down version of a full-sized coffee maker; most options have one-touch operation, and if you're willing to pay a little extra, you can also find a programmable option. Just know that “4 or 5 cups” is a bit of a misnomer: a single cup is often considered 6 ounces, so check the output capacity for each machine.
- Pour-over drippers: If you like the process of making coffee just as much as you like drinking it, this style of coffee maker is for you. A pour-over dripper is a small tool that fits right over your cup, making it the ultimate space-saver. However, many coffee connoisseurs who embrace the pour-over method will want to invest in a whole system, complete with a gooseneck kettle and bean grinder, both of which do take up some space.
In terms of size, all of the options below are smaller than a sheet of A4 paper and have been praised by Amazon reviewers for their ability to deliver big taste despite a tiny footprint.
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1. The ultra-slim one
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 4.5 x 8.5 inches (height by width by depth)
This single-cup coffee maker is compatible with all 1.0- and 2.0-sized coffee pods, and it gives you the option to use regular grounds in an eco-friendly reusable coffee pod as well. With one-touch operation, it brews a 10-ounce cup directly into your mug in about three minutes (accommodating cups up to 4.1 inches tall), and there's an automatic shutoff function, too. At just 4.5-inches wide, it's the slimmest machine on this list. Amazon shoppers remarked that it took up less space than the popular Keurig alternative and brewed an impressively good cup of coffee.
One reviewer says: "I couldn't be happier with this single-serve coffee maker. Coffee tastes better than any other coffee I ever tried...Super easy to use, easy to clean, quick brewing, great for small places."
2. The no-frills workhorse
- Dimensions: 10.9 x 7.25 x 9 inches (height by width by depth)
This small, no-frills drip coffee maker brews up to 24 ounces of coffee with one-touch operation. There's a stop-and-pour feature if you can't wait a full brew cycle to grab your first cup, and a power on/off indicator so you'll remember to shut it off when you come back for a refill. Since it doesn't include a reusable filter, you'll want to grab some paper coffee filters or a reusable coffee filter so you're ready to brew.
One reviewer says: "Compact, easy to use, and makes a consistently great cup of coffee...This is the second one I have owned. The last one worked for over six years of some pretty heavy use."
3. The one that comes with a travel mug
- Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.1 x 6.8 inches (height by width by depth)
If you like the convenience of a single-serving coffee maker but don’t want to pay full-sized price for a pint-sized machine, this budget alternative from BLACK+DECKER is a solid pick with over 6,000 Amazon reviews. It has a one-touch operation and immediately shuts off after brewing. You get a reusable filter, and it's also compatible with soft coffee pods. The 15-ounce thermal travel mug fits in most car cup holders and is dishwasher safe.
One reviewer says: "It's simple and works very, very well for one person. [...] No warmer, timer or any frills if you need those...Cheap, great coffee and very small."
4. The programmable one
- Dimensions: 10 x 6.25 x 8 inches (height by width by depth)
This small programmable coffee maker has full-sized features in a scaled-down footprint. It brews up to 25 ounces of coffee and keeps it hot for two hours before automatically shutting off. You can schedule a cycle 24 hours in advance and pour a cup while it's still brewing if it's that kind of morning. Multiple nozzles ensure fully saturated grounds in the reusable GoldTone filter for an all-around rich-tasting cup.
One reviewer says: "Makes my coffee smooth and strong yet doesn’t require adding excessive grounds. Love that I can set it the night before and wake up to fresh brewed coffee! The five cups is sort of deceiving. In reality it’s about two large mugs worth of coffee."
5. The one you can stash in a drawer
- Dimensions: 5.3 x 3.3 inches (width by height)
The most compact coffee maker ever is the one that fits neatly onto your mug and can be stored in your utensil drawer. This one is smaller than a standard printed photograph and makes up to 2 cups of pour-over coffee. It's made of stainless steel with extra-fine wire mesh (so you don't need to keep buying filters) and a silicone ring on the base to prevent slipping. And it comes with a small bottle brush that will help you tackle every nook and cranny, but the dripper itself is dishwasher safe, so you might not even need to.
One reviewer says: "Small and compact. Love that it just rests on top of your cup. Seems to filter the coffee nicely. I haven't noticed any grinds coming through at all. Great buy!"