If you’re looking for the best budget espresso machines, you have several options. These are some of the machines that will let you brew the best espresso shot at home.
Some come with extra features like a built-in coffee grinder, steam wand and milk frother. Many are designed to avoid taking up a lot of counter space, and have sleek designs that coordinate well with any decor.
Go straight to our favorites here. Or you can scroll down for in-depth reviews. You can also read more about how we choose products.
- Best Overall: Calphalon Espresso Machine
- Best Pod Machine: Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville
- Best for Home Baristas: De’Longhi ECP3420 Bar Pump Espresso and Cappuccino Machine
- Most Features: Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
- Best Bargain: Gevi Espresso Machines 20 Bar Fast Heating
Who is a home espresso machine for?
These machines are for people who want to enjoy a delicious cup of espresso without having to leave their home. The best cheap espresso machines can bring you delicious and affordable espresso for years to come.
These machines come in a variety of sizes and price points, so there is one for everyone. If you are looking for a the best affordable espresso machine that will give you years of enjoyment, then portable espresso makers are the way to go.
If you love buying espresso at coffee shops, having a machine at home can actually pay for itself over time.
The best cheap espresso will always be the one you make for yourself at home.
What other drinks can I make with an espresso machine?
There are many other drinks you can make with an espresso machine.
- To make iced coffee, brew a cup or two of espresso, pour them over ice, and add any syrups or whipped cream you like. This is a huge saver for iced coffee lovers.
- To make a latte, simply add steamed milk and a shot of espresso.
- For a cappuccino, add equal parts steamed milk, espresso, and milk foam.
- To make a macchiato, add a shot of espresso to steamed milk.
- For a mocha, add chocolate syrup or powder to a shot of espresso.
Understanding the Types of Espresso Machines
We have a whole article on the different types of espresso machines for you. Basically, the different types of machines are driven by steam, pumps or levers.
But what you’re probably most interested in is how easy they are to use. Super-automatic espresso machines are the easiest to use. They do everything for you. They make the perfect cup of espresso every time.
This makes them the best choice for most home coffee makers, but they also tend to be pricey. The automatic espresso makers come next, and they do most of the work for you while still being affordable.
And finally there are the manual machines. They take more work from you, and you may need to experiment to figure out how to brew espresso just so with your new machine.
Best Budget Espresso Machines
You can get quality espresso with an affordable machine. These inexpensive espresso machines won't wreck your budget, and yet they make a great cup of coffee.
The Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville is a top quality coffee machine that brews both coffee and espresso. It has a compact design that takes up less counter space, and it comes with a milk frother for making cappuccinos and lattes. The Vertuo uses Nespresso capsules, which are available in a variety of blends and flavors, to make your favorite drinks.
The coffee machine can brew various sizes of coffee at the push of a button - espresso (1.35 oz), double espresso (2.7 oz), gran lungo (5 oz) and coffee (7.7 oz). To make your favorite iced coffee drinks, simply pour the coffee over ice.
Nespresso's Centrifusion smart technology uses barcodes to deliver the best in cup of coffee or the perfect crema for an espresso. Simply insert the capsule and let the machine take care of the rest.
- Fully automated to give you perfect cups each time
- Almost no effort on your part
- Uses capsules, so you can't use your own grounds or get creative. This isn't a problem if you like the coffee it makes, though.
This is a great espresso machine that former baristas pick for their homes. Because it's not fully automated, you can actually get more creative with the process. And that lets you make every cup of espresso exactly the way you want it.Pros:
- 15 bar pump ensures real espresso
- Removable 37 ounce water tank for easy refills
- It's not fully automated, so you can get creative with your espresso.
- It's not fully automated, so you may have a learning curve if you've never made espresso before
This machine offers an all in one experience, designed to take you from whole coffee beans to espresso in under one minute. It's got the grinder built in and can do everything automatically. It's the most expensive model in this list, but absolutely worth it if you're passionate about expresso.Pros:
- Does it all for you, quick and easy
- But you can get creative with it if you want
- 3 Second Heat Up
- Expensive enough that it might take a while to pay for itself compared to going to coffee shop
This one comes with lots of bells and whistles. It has a tamper, a milk frothing pitcher, a steam wand, a temperature control device for consistency, and a 15-bar pressure pump. This is everything you need to make great espresso.Pros:
- Temp IQ gets rave reviews
- 15 bar pressure pump for true espresso
- Includes stainless steel milk pitcher, tamper,and cleaning pin
- Some people prefer this to more expensive automatic machines they've had
- You can't pick the temperature, if you have a different opinion from the manufacturer about what it should be
This machine has some great features including a milk frother wand, a cup warmer, and a tamper among others. It lets you automatically brew a single or double shot, but also lets you make it manually if you have your own ideas about the perfect espresso shot.Pros:
- Can work pretty much automatically, or you can do it manually and get creative
- 20 Bar high-pressure pump
- Reviewers who had defective units complain that customer service wasn't enough help