Single serve coffee makers without pods are best for those who are slaves to a daily cup of joe, but don’t want the run-of-the-mill taste of pods.
These coffee-making appliances are efficient, effective, and super easy to use.
After doing a lot of research, we’ve compiled a list of the top five options available on the market – you‘re sure to find your perfect coffee maker match from our list below.
- 1 What is a Single Serve Coffee Maker?
- 2 Electric vs. Gravity-Powered
- 3 Why Should You Buy a Coffee Maker that Doesn’t Use Pods?
- 4 Features to Look for When Buying Single Serve Coffee Makers with No Pods
- 5 The Best Single Serve Coffee Machine Without Pods of 2020
- 6 The Final Verdict: What is the Best Non-Pod Coffee Maker?
What is a Single Serve Coffee Maker?
Any machine that brews you a cup of coffee – either a small cup or a travel mug – while also saving you time and effort is known as a single serve coffee machine.
It should be interesting to note that there are different kinds of single-serve machines available too. You can choose from automatic, semi-automatic, special brews, or even a person-power appliance.
You can also opt-in to buying a dual coffee maker with both a single-serve and carafe setting. Learn more about our best reviewed dual coffee makers.
Electric vs. Gravity-Powered
A single cup coffee brewer essentially has two main categories – electric and gravity-powered.
Electric machines, of course, work with electricity, but gravity-powered versions allow for air pressure or time to percolate your grounds to maximize extraction.
When it comes to choosing between the two, a variety of factors comes to play.
If you have less time, you should opt for electric coffee makers. Gravity-powered would be a better option for situations where you don’t want to risk your machine breaking down.
Why Should You Buy a Coffee Maker that Doesn’t Use Pods?
Getting a podless machine certainly has its share of benefits.
Using ground coffee will let you enjoy a stronger taste that has more depth and flavor. Also, it is a greener option that has no involvement with plastic waste.
However, the biggest advantages have to be the affordability and the fact that you can enjoy a fresh cuppa every… single… day!
Having said that, these appliances take longer to deliver coffee when pitted against coffee makers that use pods.
Features to Look for When Buying Single Serve Coffee Makers with No Pods
You should keep in mind a couple of factors before you decide on a particular model, namely:
Type of Coffee
The type of coffee you prefer should always be a top consideration when you buy a coffee maker.
For example, if you prefer espresso, you need to be specific and only buy appliances that can make espresso shots (If you’re interested in a coffee maker that makes both coffee and espresso, check out our guide here). Similarly, if you prefer preparing basic Italian coffee, it would be wiser for you to invest in a moka pot.
But, if you aren’t very specific about your coffee and anything ‘just’ coffee would work, you can get any model really.
Generally, using coffee makers with no pods is a little tricky, but nothing that you cannot manage.
Answer this: how involved do you want to be in the coffee-making process?
Take your answer as a guiding force. You see, there are machines that offer a completely hands-on experience, while some have a one-touch operation. You should decide according to your preference.
You have two types of filter options: metal mesh filters and a paper filter. While the former is reusable, they do let out some amount of grit into your coffee – something not very desirable. Contrarily, paper filters will remove the grit, but have to be thrown away after every use.
There are also models that support both permanent filters as well as paper filters. Such models can be useful for emergency situations like when you don’t have time to spare but would still like a good cup of coffee.
Some machines have an automatic clean-up option, while some need a bit more manual labor.
Also, since you cannot throw your metal filter away, you’ll obviously need to spend more time cleaning it than a use-and-throw paper filter. But yes, our suggestion would be to get a model that has a self-cleaning button.
Of course, you should look for coffee makers that make smooth coffee that is flavorful and consistently authentic. If you’re particular about the brew strength, you can look for machines that offer strength customization settings.
The Best Single Serve Coffee Machine Without Pods of 2020
Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee Maker
The Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee Maker has a non-traditional design, but consistently delivers the best cup of joe, which is honestly expected considering the goodwill of the brand.
If you consume more coffee than the average person or have a larger family, you’ll love this coffee machine thanks to its 12-cup capacity. A handy coffee gauge lets you know just how many cups are left too.
Now, 12 cups is certainly a lot of coffee. So, if you don’t want to use this setting, you can always use the 1-4 cup one. The machine will enhance the flavor and depth of the brew accordingly too.
It has a removable permanent filter that makes it easier to clean. But, the appliance is also compatible with a paper filter. Even the water and coffee reservoir are removable. Adding to your convenience is an indicator that will notify you every time your machine is in need of a cleaning.
The coffee maker also has a programmable timer that schedules your coffee in advance. If you’re looking for programming functions, read more about the best smart coffee makers here with programmable timer settings.
But, one of the strongest points of the Cuisinart DCC-3000 coffee brewer has to be its ability to make superior-tasting coffee. As it uses grounds instead of coffee pods, you have greater flexibility when it comes to preparing coffee.
The coffee maker is also cost-saving! You don’t have to use filtered water when preparing your coffee as the appliance is fitted with a charcoal filter that can remove any undesirable taste, odor, and chlorine from tap water.
Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Machine
The Scoop model from Hamilton Beach is one of the simpler designs offered by the brand that uses ground coffee instead of pods.
This best coffee maker is fast; you can expect an 8-ounce cup in about 90 seconds. Even if you want more coffee, it’ll just take you a couple of seconds more.
It comes with a steel mesh scoop that filters regular ground coffee. This serves as a versatile option as well as an economic one since you’ll be able to grind your own coffee instead of using prepackaged versions.
You can also adjust the strength of your coffee using the two settings: regular and bold. Another convenient feature is the placement of the marked measuring lines that reduces the possibility of overfilling when you brew.
Lastly, the Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Machine is very easy to clean. The machine also comes with a removable drip tray, dishwasher-friendly filters, and no leaking problems.
While we would have surely preferred for the 14-ounce tank size to be larger, it still isn’t a major deal-breaker as there are several other advantages that the coffee-making machine offers.
Technivorm 69212 Cup One Coffee Brewer
Similar to Technivorm’s beloved 10-cup version, this coffee-making machine tries to replicate (and succeeds!) the manual pour-over method, but with the reproducibility of a machine.
The Technivorm 69212 Cup One Coffee Brewer has an ultra-precise natural pulse action that makes this coffee maker’s preparation process efficient and effective.
As the appliance isn’t compatible with coffee pods, it uses a powerful and energy-efficient copper heating element to ensure optimal extraction from the grounds.
Made out of durable metal housings and BPA and phthalate-free plastic, it can deliver a fuss-free single serve brewing experience and can produce 10 ounces of coffee in four minutes flat.
The temperature is also maintained between 196 and 205°F to ensure that the complexity, aroma, and flavor of the grounds are properly saturated and extracted. In addition to the coffee maker, you get handy accessories like a coffee mug and a removable cup holder.
Although it has a steeper price tag, the Technivorm 69212 Cup One Coffee Brewer will be perfect for coffee aficionados who appreciate the nuances in quality and flavor. Plus, you can also avail of the five-year warranty!
Looking for more BPA free coffee makers? Check out our review here.
Ninja Single Serve Pod-Free Coffee Maker
The Ninja Single Serve Pod-Free Coffee Maker has many things going for it: the appliance can make hot as well as iced coffee, has a built-in milk frother, supports five brewing styles, doesn’t use pods, and has a unique and eye-catching design.
Although it might be entry-level, it’s still perfect for a home of coffee lovers. It uses an Advanced Thermal Flavor Extraction Technology and Auto iQ One Touch Intelligence to hit the sweet-spot combination of efficiency and convenience.
While the Thermal Flavor Extraction ensures that maximum flavor is extracted from the coffee grounds, the Auto IQ technology enables the coffee maker to know the ideal quantity of water that should be used for each brew size and type.
It comes with a washable permanent filter that can retain the natural flavor and oils from the grounds. But, you can also replace it with paper filters if you want.
The five brewing styles include classic, rich, over ice, specialty, and forte – basically, you‘ll have barista-like service at the comfort of your home. You can also control the size of the coffee using the four options on the control panel: Cup, XL Cup, Travel Mug, and XL Multi-Serve.
For more Ninja coffee makers, check out our guide on the best ninja coffee makers.
Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer
If you need coffee to fuel a house of one, the Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer with its 2-in-1 brewing, and fast speed should be one of your top choices. Not only does this appliance put your convenience first, but it can also prepare coffee that is properly extracted with maximum flavor.
This appliance can deliver a fresh, authentic taste to start your day – all within three minutes. You can control how much coffee you want to make using the water adjustment function as well.
Adding to the versatility is the 2-in-1 brewing. Whether you want to brew coffee pods or go traditional, you can do just as you please. A side button feature will let you choose between these two brewing styles.
The Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer designed to be compact and durable, but without compromising on its overall effectiveness to give you the best possible coffee on every use. The appliance can easily fit countertops, office tables, or shelves, and also looks good due to its minimalist design.
This appliance is great for people with busy schedules thanks to the self-cleaning option. Just press two buttons, and the machine will clean itself. In addition to this, when not in use, the auto-shutoff feature will automatically turn the coffee maker off.
The Final Verdict: What is the Best Non-Pod Coffee Maker?
After considering all the aspects, we found that the Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer clearly stood out.
Not only does it have a lightweight and compact design, but it also prepares excellent, rich coffee within minutes. The other pro was its versatility that makes it compatible with ground coffee as well as K-cup pods.
While there is room for improvement where durability is concerned, it‘s still a value-for-money purchase. On the whole, the Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker comes packed with all the necessary features that would make it a useful addition to your kitchen.