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Making your favorite cappuccino at home is as simple as purchasing a cappuccino maker. The best home cappuccino machine will give you complete control over your morning beverage while automating the process to make it easier and more efficient. While what may be considered the best model will vary depending on just how labor-intensive you want the process to be, features like a great design, temperature control settings, and easy cleanup will likely be on everyone’s list.
Of course, the wide variety of styles, features, and levels of automation also make them complicated machines to understand and master, and many models aren’t great for beginners. Unlike the best coffee maker, cappuccino machines are a specialty item that really should be considered an investment.
Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about choosing the best home cappuccino maker for your kitchen.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This system has a high-quality frothing system that generates flavorful beverages. With a good dispenser height clearance, this device accommodates travel mugs of up to 7.2 inches tall and it works with a permanent filter for grounds.
The Keurig K-Cafe coffee maker is a versatile machine for preparing a wide variety of coffee styles, including lattes and cappuccinos. It uses K-Cup pods to generate delicious beverages without a hassle. A large 60-oz water reservoir brews up to 6 cups before requiring refilling, and it’s removable to facilitate cleaning. It has a simplistic design with buttons for a latte, cappuccino, and cold. However, some of the controls are top-facing and they may be difficult to access on kitchen counters with cabinets.
This coffee machine is programmable, allowing users to automate brewing in time for breakfast. An auto switch-off function terminates the power supply 2 hours after brewing to save energy. The dispenser has a good height clearance, supporting 7.2-inch travel mugs. It’s compatible with a wide variety of K-Cups and works with the My K-Cup reusable coffee filter (sold separately) for brewing ground coffee. This cappuccino maker has a smart start system, allowing users to enter the cup size before heating the water.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This coffee system boasts four different brewing options and six sizes, allowing brewing in quantities ranging from single-serve portions to entire 50-oz pots. It has a timer for programming.
Equipped with plenty of custom options, the Ninja CM401 Specialty coffee maker is ideal for families that regularly experiment with new coffee styles. This coffee maker allows users to choose from four brewing styles: Classic, Rich, Over Ice, and Specialty Brew. An integrated fold-away frother enables making excellent beverages, which can be made into cappuccinos. This machine supports six brew sizes and supports utensils ranging from single-serve cups to travel mugs and full carafes. However, this machine is too big for small kitchens.
A versatile brewing system allows using ground coffee without the need for pods. It has a 40-oz water reservoir, which is removable for simple filling. An included 50-oz glass carafe facilitates making family-sized potions, while an included permanent filter works with grounds. The coffee maker features top-rack dishwasher-safe parts for easy clean-up. It has a hybrid control panel with button controls and a timer display for convenient operation.
Award: BEST CUSTOMIZATION
WHY WE LIKE IT: A three-in-one filter holder allows for making one-shot or two-shot coffee. It also has an easy-serve pod option and features a removable drip tray and water tank for easy filling and cleaning.
Operating at 15 bar of pressure, the DeLonghi EC155 coffee machine generates top-grade espressos. It boasts customizable controls, allowing users to change the settings according to personal preferences. This coffee machine is quite versatile, supporting making single and double espresso, cappuccino, and latte. A manual frother generates awesome textures that will appeal to the eyes. However, this coffee maker has a small height clearance, so it doesn’t accommodate tall cups.
This coffee machine has a three-in-one filter holder that allows making one or two espresso shots or brewing an easy-serve espresso pod. It has an advanced heating system that allows generating multiple cups back to back without waiting for reheating. With a compact design, this machine saves space on the kitchen counter. A removable water reservoir enables hassle-free filling. This model has a removable water tray and features dishwasher-safe parts for easy cleanup.
Award: BEST WITH AUTOMATIC FROTHER
WHY WE LIKE IT: An intuitive control panel with one-touch presets enables choosing between various frothy drinks fast. This device has an automatic frother for convenience and a removable water reservoir for easy filling.
This Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista coffee maker prepares espresso, cappuccino, and latte. It uses a 15-bar pump system to prepare awesome frothy drinks. An automatic milk frother generates delicious beverages effortlessly. The coffee machine uses a 1040W heating element to boil up water fast. An intuitive control panel with one-touch controls for cappuccino, latte, and espresso allows generating delicious beverages at speed. This coffee maker has a removable water reservoir, although this tank is not dishwasher-safe.
A built-in self-cleaning cycle removes undesirable residues and maintains the machine in good working order. It comes with a single shot and double shot filter for simple customization. An included measuring scoop/tamper simplifies measuring out grounds. The espresso machine has a pleasant silver and black finish that provides stunning contrasts, while an included recipe book helps users experiment with new coffee styles. This coffee maker automatically turns off after brewing to prevent spills.
Award: BEST APPEARANCE
WHY WE LIKE IT: A brilliant stainless steel finish on this model complements other kitchen appliances and cabinets. It has a semi-automatic frothing system and a 50-oz detachable, transparent reservoir for easy filling.
Sporting a vibrant stainless steel finish, the Gevi 5003D coffee maker will bring a fresh look to any kitchen counter. This coffee machine features a 50-oz reservoir that easily prepares beverages for individuals and families. It has a 15-bar semi-automatic system that offers operational flexibility. A powerful heating system brings water to boiling point in as few as 45 seconds, while a removable drip tray supports hassle-free cleanup. However, this device doesn’t come with a carafe or grinder.
A professional milk frothing wand generates exquisite cappuccino and latte. Featuring a dual temperature control with settings for 198°F and 212°F, this device supports extracting and steaming coffee. With an automatic shut-off function, this machine switches off 25 minutes after brewing to save energy. It has an automatic pressure relief system to prevent water leakage, and overheating protection prevents damage when the water reservoir is empty. The reservoir on this cappuccino machine is transparent and removable for easy filling.
Award: BEST DUAL SYSTEM
WHY WE LIKE IT: This coffee maker has dual dispensers, brewing two cups simultaneously. It supports both ground beans and soft pods, offering versatility and features removable parts for simple cleaning.
The Hamilton Beach 40715 coffee maker uses a 15-bar Italian pump to convert milk and coffee into flavorful espresso. It has a dual design working with both ground beans and soft pods for convenience. A built-in frother helps generate beautiful lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos. This espresso machine has a 50-oz water reservoir, which is removable, for easy filling and cleaning. However, the steaming system on this model offers so-so performance.
Equipped with plenty of removable parts, which include a drip tray, scoop, and filter, this system supports hassle-free cleaning with warm soapy water. With dual dispensers, the coffee maker can brew two cups simultaneously, saving time. It supports adding water without the need to switch off the power first. The control panel on this model is front-facing and features intuitive one-touch buttons and a rotary dial for simple operation. With black and silver-grey parts, this coffee maker offers visual appeal.
A cappuccino maker is a brewing machine that allows you to insert coffee grounds and milk, push a button, and get a nice, frothy cappuccino, latté, or macchiato just the way you like it. Some high-end camping coffee makers are fully automatic, some are manual, and there are also options in between. From grinding, tamping, and measuring just the right ratio of beans to crema, these machines are fully capable of doing everything you’ve seen a barista do from the other side of the counter.
Unlike a standard coffee maker, a cappuccino machine cannot brew a regular cup of coffee. It brews espresso, steams milk, and creates the signature froth that you normally only get at your favorite coffee shop. If you’d prefer a machine that does both, you can look into the best coffee and espresso maker.
A standard coffee machine is relatively simple and uses ground coffee and water to brew a basic cup of hot coffee. In contrast, a cappuccino machine requires water, coffee grounds, and milk to produce a flavorful cappuccino. Many are very intuitive and include water reservoirs, milk reservoirs, burr grinders, and wand frothers. Others can be quite complex and may have a steep learning curve before you’re able to master making your favorite brew. If you don’t want a complex cappuccino machine, you’ll probably like a coffee maker with a hot water dispenser.
You’ll also get a variety of settings with a cappuccino maker that you won’t see on standard coffee makers. Most allow you to adjust the number of espresso shots you can brew at one time as well as control the water temperature, while more advanced models may have additional features like a smart tamping station and milk warmer.
Whenever you’re shopping for a new device, your best option is to compare it to another brand or a similar model of the same brand. You’ll find such a mashup with our Hamilton Beach 49954 vs 49976 coffee makers.
Every machine is different, but they all take grinds or pods and brew a shot of espresso using an ideal water temperature and at least nine bars of pressure. Some come with frothing wands that allow you to steam your own milk, while others will complete this step internally and then dispense a finished beverage.
These machines have varying degrees of capabilities, from very simple operations to complex components. For more experienced home baristas, a semi-automatic cappuccino maker gives you more control over your beverage. You can personalize nearly every step of the process for bold flavors.
A semi-automatic machine offers a faster brewing process while still allowing you to customize a large portion of the process. They’re more budget-friendly than automatic machines, and some even come with features like temperature stability, commercial frothers, and settings for multiple strengths.
Automatic models still require manual grinding, tamping, and foaming, but the automatic water measuring feature gives them the capability to stop the water by themselves when your drink is ready. A super-automatic machine will have tons of features to streamline the process even further. They have built-in grinders, multiple temperature controls, different strengths, and a variety of sizes. These are truly all-in-one machines, but they can be very expensive.
Nearly every coffee drinker loves a good cup of cappuccino as a nice morning treat. Even if you already have a standard coffee pot, a cappuccino maker can switch up your basic morning brew routine with a coffee shop-like beverage. Not to mention, a cappuccino maker is an excellent investment for those who routinely spend $5-10 on their way to work every morning. It is also highly functional and something the whole family can use.
If cared for properly, a high-quality cappuccino machine will last for many years. Investing in a cappuccino machine means committing to the proper cleaning and maintenance required. Because there are a lot of moving pieces, it’s essential to clean your machine at least once a week to keep it in working order.
Less expensive, lower quality cappuccino makers may only last a couple of years because they are made with cheaper materials. If you are truly looking for a quality cappuccino maker that will be useful to you, buy the best one you can afford and consider it an investment.
If you can’t wait to make your favorite cappuccino at home, then a quality cappuccino maker should be on your list. Keep in mind a few key factors when deciding which to put in your kitchen, such as your skill level, appliance type, and desired features.
It’s crucial to find a machine that fits your current skill level. If you don’t know anything about making cappuccino, you’ll want to start small and inexpensive, even if it’s not a high-quality machine. You’ll make some poor cappuccino at first, and you don’t need to waste your money. On the other hand, if you’ve been making cappuccinos with an average machine for a while now, it might be time to upgrade.
Less experienced baristas will benefit from semi-automatic or automatic machines that make the process easy. Those who have the knowledge and experience may want a manual espresso maker with a separate frother, or they may be willing to invest in a commercial-grade super-automatic model.
While experienced cappuccino connoisseurs may also enjoy semi-automatic or automatic machines, it’s important to look at pricing and features before deciding what’s worth the price.
Every cappuccino machine has a portafilter, but the higher the quality, the better the taste. If you’re a beginner, a pressurized portafilter is the way to go because it will go through two different screens before it reaches the cup.
This gives you more room for error when tamping, so you can make some mistakes before mastering the craft and still get a delicious cappuccino. These types of portafilters ensure that nothing interferes with the bars of pressure that impact your drink’s strength, flavor, and crema.
Non-pressurized, or single-wall portafilters, allow increased customization and enhance the flavor. However, they require a certain level of expertise because they don’t work well with uneven grinds, and you have to be more precise with tamping and measurements.
While many people like to grind their own beans, some don’t want to add more time to the process. Machines with a built-in grinder are costly, so if you don’t want to increase your monetary investment, look for cappuccino makers that are compatible with ESE coffee pods. These models are quick to brew, easy to clean, and give you a lot of pod options.
Steaming wands are the same attachments that coffee shops have, but they can be a bit tricky for beginners to use. Cappuccino makers with frothing tanks will do the frothing for you. They’re faster than the wand, and if they’re removable, you can store the leftover milk in the refrigerator. Plus, they’re easy to clean.