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A single-serve coffee maker with no pods allows you to ditch the disposable K-cups to keep your morning coffee more eco-friendly. They include many of the same options as other single-cup brewers, like different cup sizes and brew strengths. You can even get multipurpose machines that will make a variety of beverages like tea and other specialty coffees.
These machines contain filter baskets that eliminate the need for a disposable coffee pod, and they’re generally straightforward to use. They can brew a cup of coffee quickly and give a nice balance of convenience and sustainability. It’s easily one of the best coffee makers for those who enjoy a quick way to make their morning coffee but care more about the environment.
Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about single-serve coffee makers that don’t use coffee pods.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This coffee maker supports 8 to 14-oz mugs, allowing users to brew into small cups as well as travel mugs. It supports customizing the coffee strength and features an attractive silver finish.
The Hamilton Beach Scoop 49981A 14-oz coffee maker uses a drip system to brew ground coffee, delivering excellent flavors. This coffee maker has sophisticated stainless steel that supports easy cleaning. It has an adjustable cup size, brewing into 8-oz cups as well as large 14-oz travel mugs. This model is quite fast, brewing an 8-ounce cup in just 90 seconds. It allows customizing the coffee strength, offering regular and bold options. However, this model is not programmable.
This coffee maker has a graduated scoop to prevent overflows and spills. With an adjustable plate, this device allows using smaller cups and large travel mugs. It comes with a mesh filter, which doubles as a scoop and features dishwasher-safe parts for easy cleaning. This coffee maker has premium construction that stands up to heavy use. It has a simplistic user-friendly control panel that enables simple customization and it automatically shuts off after brewing to save power.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a pleasant silver finish, this device adds visual interest to the kitchen counter. It has a compact design that’s well suited to compact spaces and comes with a scoop for measuring out grounds.
With a 600W heating system, the Bella One Scoop One Cup 14-oz coffee maker provides enough power to turn water into coffee in a matter of minutes. This unit features a permanent dishwasher-safe filter to brew ground coffee easily. It has a 14-oz water tank that supports large cup sizes. Users can also opt to use this device as hot water boiling machine for making tea and hot chocolate. However, this model doesn’t have coffee strength settings.
Equipped with a height-adjustable drip tray, this device accommodates small cups and taller travel mugs easily. It has a one-touch control panel that offers intuitive operation. This device boasts BPA-free parts that offer durability, and it comes with a scoop for measuring out ground coffee. It has a stainless steel finish that will blend in with cabinetry and kitchen appliances and features a remarkably small footprint that is ideal for apartment kitchens and dorm rooms.
Award: BEST THERMAL MUG
WHY WE LIKE IT: Delivering a cup of hot coffee in a few minutes, this machine is quite fast, and it comes with a stainless steel cup and has an auto shut-off function to help save energy.
The ADIRchef 800-01-BLK 15-oz coffee maker provides epic brewing speeds, delivering a cup of hot coffee in minutes. This model comes with a thermal 15-oz travel mug, allowing users to take coffee to the office or picnic. An included scoop simplifies measuring out ground coffee. This coffee brewing system has a premium design with high-quality parts that last. Auto shut off function saves power. However, this coffee machine doesn’t have a delay-start function.
This coffee maker has a permanent filter that’s washable and reusable, and dishwasher-safe parts simplify cleaning. With a black and stainless steel color scheme, this device adds a touch of refinement to the kitchen counter. This unit has a small footprint suitable for apartment kitchens and dorm rooms, and it’s lightweight, so users can easily take it on trips. It comes with a high-quality holding basket that stands up to regular use.
Award: BEST APPEARANCE
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a pleasant Burgundy design, this coffee machine will create a new focal point on any kitchen counter. It has an auto power-off function and self-cleaning system that offers hassle-free maintenance.
With a contemporary Burgundy and stainless steel color scheme, this Mixpresso 14-oz coffee maker complements the decor in modern kitchens. This machine is also available in black and lavender, catering to people with various tastes. The coffee maker has a high-quality filter that converts ground coffee to flavorful beverages fast, and it has a washable permanent filter, helping users save resources. However, this unit doesn’t have a function for customizing the coffee strength.
It has a one-touch system that offers hassle-free operation. A built-in auto shutoff function cuts the power supply immediately after the brewing is completed, while a self-cleaning mechanism removes residual water from the brewing system at the touch of a button. This coffee maker comes with a metallic thermal travel mug with a lid, so it’s ideal for users who want to take their coffee to the office or work trip.
Award: BEST BREWING SPEED
WHY WE LIKE IT: Shipped with an insulated 304 stainless steel travel cup, this coffee machine is ideal for people who travel frequently. It brews a cup of coffee in as little as 60 seconds.
The Elite Gourmet EHC111A 14-oz coffee maker has a powerful 600W heating system, delivering hot cups of coffee at speed. This device works with single-serve cups as big as 14 ounces. With the included thermal travel mug, users can brew and keep coffee for trips or picnics. This coffee maker has a one-touch control panel that’s easy to operate, and it has a water level indicator. However, this device doesn’t have a warming plate for keeping brewed coffee hot.
A removable, reusable filter allows using ground coffee for sustainable brewing. This model has a sturdy base that offers stability and it has a tall opening that’s compatible with tall travel mugs. A thermal reset switch on this model prevents overheating, while an auto shut-off function, which is activated immediately after brewing helps save energy. This coffee maker boasts dishwasher-safe parts to simplify cleaning up, and it can also be used to brew tea instead of coffee.
Award: BEST DUAL COFFEE MAKER
WHY WE LIKE IT: Working with both ground coffee and soft pods, this coffee maker offers wide-ranging use. It comes with a dishwasher-safe beige thermal cup for taking coffee to the office or metro.
The BLACK+DECKER Brew ‘n Go 16-oz coffee maker has an innovative space saving design that will suit people with small kitchens. With a sleek black finish, this device provides a premium appearance. A one-touch button allows hassle-free operation, while an auto shut-off function cuts off the power supply immediately after brewing, saving power. It has a permanent filter that can be rinsed with water for safe reuse. However, this filter and the brew basket are not dishwasher safe.
This coffee maker has a permanent mesh filter that uses ground coffee for environmentally sustainable brewing, and it also works with soft coffee pods for wide-ranging use. The coffee machine comes with a 15-oz thermal travel mug with a stylish beige color scheme that will stand out in the office. This travel mug is dishwasher-safe, so it’s easy to clean. Capable of filling cups of up to 16 oz, this device works with a variety of travel mugs.
With the popularity of single-serve coffee makers, many people think they have to use a K-cup pod and other disposable coffee pods to get single cups of coffee. However, there are single-serve coffee machines that focus on sustainability by offering a single cup of coffee without a pod.
These coffee makers range from simply brewing one cup of coffee to accommodating several different brew sizes. Some machines can also handle tea, espresso, and specialty beverages with extra features like a frother.
The primary focus here is that you can use a convenient single-serve coffee maker without worrying about spending a lot of money on disposable coffee pods that clutter up the landfill and harm the environment.
A single-serve coffee maker can brew a single serving of coffee in just minutes. There’s a wide range of single-serve coffee makers with additional capabilities, including those that operate with and without pods. However, the primary difference between these single-serve coffee machines is the lack of a disposable coffee pod.
Like a Keurig or a Hamilton Beach model, a traditional single-serve coffee maker receives a pod with grounds contained inside and brews coffee with it. While there are reusable filter cups and compostable pods, many of the coffee pods you use with these machines are not recyclable, which significantly impacts the environment.
A single cup personal coffee maker without pods can brew a single cup of coffee without a pod at all, meaning that you won’t be throwing your pods away every day, making many people feel better about their environmental impact.
Using a single-serve coffee maker without pods is relatively simple. They contain reusable filter baskets, much like a traditional drip coffee maker. Ditching the coffee pod means you need help more accurately measuring your coffee. Most come with fill lines on the filter or scoops that help you use the correct amount of coffee grounds for your cup.
Most of these machines have a built-in removable water reservoir and a water filter. They pull water into the tank from the reservoir, heat it, and inject it into the filter basket to extract the coffee flavor.
Pour the correct amount of grounds into the filter basket and push the corresponding button to brew your cup of coffee. Most single-serve coffee makers feature very simple operations, although some may have additional brew sizes, brew strengths, or features.
A single-serve coffee maker with no pods offers versatility and customization in a relatively quick cup of coffee. If you don’t have one, you may want to invest in one that doesn’t use disposable pods. If you already have one, it may be time for an upgrade.
You can expect a single-serve machine to last five to seven years, depending on the quality. While cheap machines may only last a couple of years, a quality coffee maker can last a considerable amount of time if you care for it properly. You must understand how to use it and clean it to keep it in working order for longer.
Purchasing a single-serve coffee maker that doesn’t use pods is different from buying a traditional single-serve coffee maker. You want to think about things like the type of coffee you drink, filtration type, convenience, cleaning, and taste.
You always want to consider what type of coffee you like best before buying any coffee maker. Some single-cup brewers will brew coffee or tea using loose grounds and leaves. They may also dispense hot water for things like hot chocolate or cider.
However, if you like espresso, you want to look for machines that can brew a single shot of espresso or a single specialty beverage without using a pod, like the best single serve espresso machine. You may also need to look for a machine that can do both, especially if you have a large household that likes a lot of variety. If you’re just getting into espressos, you’ll want to get a beginner espresso machine.
While you can use paper filters, many people don’t like contributing to the excess waste, especially if they’re currently avoiding the use of disposable coffee pods. You may want to look for a single-serve coffee maker that has a mesh filter, allowing you to ditch the paper. The mesh size will determine the grind you can use because the larger mesh will let smaller grounds get through.
Single-cup coffee makers are generally easy to use and will brew a cup of coffee quickly. However, those that use pods are even quicker because all you have to do is drop in a pod and throw it away when you’re done. A single cup brewer without pods will take a few minutes longer because you have to measure the grounds yourself and then clean the filter after brewing.
It all comes down to how much time you have to spend making a cup of coffee every morning. While a single cup brewer with no pods might take longer than a traditional single cup brewer, it still won’t take quite as long as a larger drip coffee maker. If you do have a slow machine, you’ll need a great office coffee maker.
If you want your clean-up to be easy, you can choose machines that have automatic cleaning cycles. However, this extra feature may cost a little more. If you don’t want to spend the money, you don’t have to choose this option. Either way, you’ll have to clean your filter basket out manually to dispose of the used grounds.
If you care more about the taste of your coffee, you should look for single-cup brewers that allow you to customize your brew strength or cup size. Many machines have additional brew options. For those who don’t care about taste and just want a quick cup of coffee every morning, these extra features won’t matter as much.
If you genuinely care about the taste of your coffee and you like specialty beverages, it may be worth investing in the best semi-automatic espresso machine. You can also check out different brands, which you can find with our matchup of the Cuisinart vs Hamilton Beach coffee maker.