best coffee makers for college students

6 Best Coffee Makers For College Students


When I was in college coffee was my go to fuel source that powered me up, so today I’m going to discuss the best coffee makers for college students!

The first thing most of us do when we wake is go straight to make coffee, yep, hop right out of bed, and head straight into the kitchen of our parents homes!

When you get to college you’ll soon need to get your very own coffee machine, so that you can continue this ritual! But in all honesty, most of us don’t need a large 12 cup coffee maker.

You’re looking for a simple single or two cup serve that can fulfil your needs in the comfort of your dorm room, and also making a cup of joe for your trusty roommate.

Whether you are preparing to leave for college or already there and looking for a decent coffee maker, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this post I’ll list the 6 best coffee makers every college student needs, breaking down the pros and cons of each in a short review.

After that I’ll share some tips to look out for when buying a coffee machine for college and also some FAQ’s!

So let's dive right in.

The 6 Best Coffee Makers that Every College Student Needs

Top Pick : Best Coffee Makers for College Students 

best coffee makers for college students

Editors Rating : 

This has to probably be one of the most perfect little coffee makers that is best suited for a college dorm room!

It ticks all our boxes, and hopefully it ticks your's read our breakdown below with pros and cons, or check out the price by clicking the button!

The most versatile coffee maker for college students has to be the Nespresso Vertuo coffee maker! It is a single serve coffee machine that makes the perfect brew every time, whether you need a shot of espresso or just a cup of black coffee.

This is perfect for students looking to get their very first coffee machine, but don't want to be drinking nasty black coffee or espresso! 

#1 - Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine

Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine by De'Longhi, Piano Black
11,474 Reviews
Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine by De'Longhi, Piano Black
  • AUTOMATIC COFFEE/ESPRESSO MACHINE: Create barista grade brewed single serve coffee or espresso cups at the touch of a single button. Designed for use with Nespresso Vertuo capsules only
  • VERSATILE AUTOMATIC COFFEE MAKER VertuoPlus Deluxe makes both coffee and espresso in a variety of sizes 5 oz and 8 oz coffees, and single and double espresso. Pour over ice to create your favorite iced Coffee drinks; Designed for use with Nespresso Vertuo capsules only
  • SMART COFFEE MAKER: Brew the perfect single serve coffee or espresso drink time after time, thanks to Nespresso's Centrifusion technology using codes to deliver the best in-cup results including the perfect crema for large coffee cup sizes
  • FEATURES: Extra-large 54 oz water tank and a very large 17 count used capsule container; This machine also has a fast heat up time of only 15 seconds; There is an energy saving automatic shutoff at 9 minutes of inactivity.

The Nespresso Vertuo pod coffee maker is probably one of the most versatile machines that is perfect for any dorm room, that has coffee lovers in it.

You can make various types of drinks from espresso, double espresso, gran lungo, coffee or alto sized coffee with the push of a button! The machine is noticeably small standing tall at 12.2", 9" wide and only 12.3" deep, which makes it perfect for any small kitchen bench.

What we liked about this coffee maker is that it makes high quality coffee each time and will make your drink within 15 seconds, which is ideal for those on the go!

The only dislike is that it does not come with a milk frother built in, so making lattes is out of the window! However you can simply buy a separate milk frother to enjoy milk based coffee drinks.


  • Makes various size drinks
  • Auto shutoff after 9 minutes
  • Nespresso Pod Coffee 
  • Small and compact 


  • Does not include milk frother
  • Only uses Nespresso vertuo pods 
  • Slightly expensive machine

#2 - Mueller Single Serve Pod Coffee Maker

Mueller Single Serve Pod Compatible Coffee Maker Machine With 4 Brew Sizes, Rapid Brew Technology with Large Removable 48 oz Water Tank
3,661 Reviews
Mueller Single Serve Pod Compatible Coffee Maker Machine With 4 Brew Sizes, Rapid Brew Technology with Large Removable 48 oz Water Tank
  • For Pod Capsules – Accepts all 1.0 & 2.0 coffee capsules! Brew one cup at a time with our single-serve coffee machine. Provide custom coffee flavors for instant coffee in an office or large household. Perfect for college dorm room essentials, too.
  • Choose Coffee Size – Adjust the default settings to suit your needs. The simple manual instructions show you how to change the default coffee volume. Select small (6 oz, 8 oz, 12 oz) or a large size (8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz). Use a large coffee cup by removing the drip tray.
  • Brews Coffee Fast – Rapid brew a small cup in about a minute! Its compact size fits motorhomes, dorms, and small kitchens. After powering ON, the 3 coffee size buttons will flash during heating. Standby mode occurs when the flashing stops.
  • Large Water Tank – Refill less often with our 48 oz removable water tank. Large opening makes it easy to fill and clean. Keep an eye on water levels with the convenient front gauge.

Another great single serve pod coffee maker for college has to be this Mueller coffee maker that allows you to brew up to 4 sizes.

Bundled with great heat technology this machine can brew coffee very quickly and makes it to the right temperature!  The water tank is large, but not as large as the Nespresso vertuo machine, however it does hold a generous 48 fluid ounces and is a removable tank.

So if you're a college student that loves drinking coffee of various drink sizes then this is another top coffee maker for your dorm.

What we liked about this coffee maker was that it was affordable and not over priced, while still making some pretty decent coffee. It is also very easy to use and clean which is definitely an added bonus.

The biggest let down was that it did not offer the ability to make espresso as well, which is our favorite! However, if a coffee maker is all that your after than this is it!


  • Large 48 Fl. Oz Water Tank
  • 4 Brew Sizes for Drinks
  • Auto Shut off Feature
  • Affordable for most


  • Compatible with most K-cup pods but not all
  • No espresso option

#3 - Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer

Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker, Black
97,685 Reviews
Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker, Black
  • FITS ANYWHERE: Less than 5 inches wide, perfect for small spaces.Filter type:Reusable.Temperature Control : No. Froths Milk : No..Display Screen : No, Digital Clock : No.
  • YOUR PERFECT AMOUNT: Brew any cup size between 6-12oz with Keurig K-Cup pods.
  • ONE CUP RESERVOIR: Just add fresh water for each brew.
  • FAST & FRESH BREWED: Coffee made in minutes.

The Keurig K-mini coffee maker is a pretty cool little single serve coffee maker that will suit most students needs and keeps space in mind!

This machine is really slender, and standing tall at 12.1" and only 4.5" wide, so if you have some tall overhead kitchen cupboards but not winning with bench space, then this is for you.

What we liked about this machine is that it was really affordable and with being a k-cup brewer it does offer the option of using a k cup re-usable coffee filter, so that you can brew your own ground coffee! This can lead to some seriously good tasting coffee!

The only dislike we have is that although it's not that wide, it is very tall! So you would definitely need some tall overhead kitchen cabinets or adequate bench top space.


  • Can use ground coffee with universal filter
  • Auto off feature activates within 90 seconds
  • Travel mug friendly
  • Single serve


  • It has a small water tank
  • Can be a bit noisy for some

#4 - Nespresso Inissia Original Espresso Maker

Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine by De'Longhi,24 oz, Black
7,128 Reviews
Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine by De'Longhi,24 oz, Black
  • Compact machine offers 2 programmable cup sizes; Espresso Lungo
  • 19 bar high-pressure pump for barista-style flavor and aroma
  • Fast heat-up system reaches ideal temperature in just 25 seconds
  • Automatic shut-off feature 9 minutes after last use

If want a pod coffee maker that also does espresso, so that your mornings at college are more bearable then you need to get the Nespresso Inissia.

This machine will deliver barista grade single serve or espresso each time, and it boils down to its unique extraction process that delivers up to 19 bars of pressure (better than some of the other machines).

It allows you to brew two types of sizes, so you can choose from your programmable espresso and lungo buttons. 

What we liked about this machine was definitely the size of it, it's like a pocket rocket, and to top it off it makes drinks within 25 seconds which is still good.

The only dislike we have is that you can't really use tall travel mugs with it, but if you get a smaller one that can resolve this issue.


  • Makes espresso 
  • Small and doesn't take much counter space
  • Easy to clean
  • Incredible tasting coffee


  • Doesn't accomodate tall travel mugs
  • No milk frother included

#5 - Hamilton Beach Single Serve Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach The Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker & Fast Grounds Brewer, Brews in Minutes, 8-14oz. Cups, Stainless Steel
22,860 Reviews
Hamilton Beach The Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker & Fast Grounds Brewer, Brews in Minutes, 8-14oz. Cups, Stainless Steel
  • SCOOP YOUR FAVORITE GROUND COFFEE, PLACE AND BREW. Simplify the way you brew by scooping your favorite ground coffee. Since the permanent filter of this single-serve coffee maker doubles as a scoop, there's no need to measure coffee grounds.Filter type:Reusable
  • ECO-FRIENDLY AND EASY ON YOUR WALLET. For fresh flavor and less waste, skip plastic pods and paper filters. Since this coffee maker doesn't use K-Cup* pods and brews with a permanent filter, there's less to buy and nothing to throw away.
  • CHOOSE YOUR SIZE: With the adjustable stand, you can brew into a standard 8 oz. cup of coffee or up to 14 oz. into a 7” travel mug (not included).
  • BREW COFFEE YOUR WAY: Make your coffee stronger or weaker to suit your taste by selecting a bold or regular strength option.

This is an Amazon's choice coffee maker for college which makes some pretty good coffee! Allowing you to brew 8 ounces of coffee in less than 90 seconds and using ground coffee, you can't go wrong.

The design is a stainless steel coffee maker that is 13.5" tall, 9.8" wide and 7.6" deep, although looking really design friendly, it can be a little bit tall for most kitchen benches.

It does have an automatic shut off feature which is really good, incase you were leaving in a rush and forgot to turn the machine off!

What we liked about this machine was the ability to use coffee grounds, which is a great feature as you can choose the coffee of your liking. Whether it is flavored coffee or just seriously good espresso from a brand you love.

Our biggest dislike is that it is really tall, however if you have the space on your bench top for this, then this is a machine for you.


  • Automatic shut off feature
  • Single Serve coffee maker
  • Makes up to 8 or 14 fluid ounces of coffee
  • Very affordable & uses coffee grounds


  • Very tall and slender

#6 - Mr Coffee Single Serve K Cup Coffee Maker

Mr. Coffee BVMC SC100 2 Single Serve Coffee Maker, Black With Silver Panel
891 Reviews
Mr. Coffee BVMC SC100 2 Single Serve Coffee Maker, Black With Silver Panel
  • Single cup Coffee maker brews K Cup packs or your favorite ground Coffee, producing servings up to 10 ounces
  • Automatic shut off when brewing is complete
  • Includes my grounds reusable filter
  • Removable, washable drip tray keeps brew space neat and tidy

Mr. Coffee BVMC SC100 single serve coffee maker is definitely a machine for those on a budget (although sometimes the Hamilton Beach coffee maker can be cheaper when on sale).

It makes coffee using k cup packs and also ground coffee, producing a really generous 10 ounces of coffee! 

We like that this machine is capable of using both coffee grounds and k-cup pods, which is a nice benefit! Not only that it also accommodates very tall travel mugs.

Our biggest dislike is that the drip tray is not adjustable like the Hamilton beach coffee maker, which when using a small coffee cup can tend to leave a little bit of a splash back. 


  • Automatic Shutoff
  • Uses K cups and Coffee Grounds
  • Removable drip tray
  • Easy to clean


  • Drip tray does not adjust
  • Very tall and slender

Things to Consider when Buying a Coffee Maker

When looking for the best coffee makers for college students it can often be a daunting task knowing what to look out for when purchasing your very first machine.

So I put together this little guide below of the things you need to consider when buying a machine, which will make this task a really easy one.

Ease of Cleaning

First things first, consider how easy it is to clean. My go to single coffee serve probably has to be a pod or k-cup machine that has the option of using grounds.

These machines typically have the least amount of parts and cleaning them is as simple as pouring some descale solution into the water tank and running it until it is flushed.

When you’re a college student cleaning these things need to be as simple as possible as often you're short on time.


Volume of Coffee it Produces

The best coffee machine for students is one that produces just the right amount of coffee that is enough to kick start your day.

Being a college student most of you are probably after a single or two serve coffee machine, that is why I listed mainly single serves.

Single serves are capable of producing espresso shots which is about 2 fluid ounce, or a large black coffee which is about 5 fluid ounces.

With these single coffee makers you can add a decent milk frother to your coffee bar so that you can make lattes as well.

But if it’s just black coffee you’re after, then you need to be looking at the coffee makers that can produce 1 cup of coffee from using some grounds or pods.

One cup of coffee is all you need to get the day started as you’ll probably be using a takeout cup for your cup of joe, so that you can continue to enjoy your coffee in class.

Automatic Shutoff is a Bonus

If you’re constantly in a rush for class (one that gets up late because you constantly enjoy sleep), then think about having a machine with an automatic shut off.

This is basically an in-built timer that switches the coffee machine off after 30 minutes! The biggest bonus about this is, if you are running late to class then you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ve turned off your machine.

Frequently Asked Questions about Coffee Makers

Now that we have some buying tips out of the way for the best coffee makers for college students you probably have some burning questions in the back of your mind.

These questions, although simple, are questions a lot of you ask when buying new coffee makers or coffee!

Can I bring a coffee maker to college?

Coffee makers are allowed in your dorm room, only if they do not have a hot plate! However it is best to check on your local college website to see what the prohibited items are.

This is because hot plates are often considered like a heating element that can produce heat high enough to potentially set something on fire.

So you can bring a coffee maker to have in your dorm room, but you can’t take it along to class which would be a very silly idea!

If you did manage to oversleep and run completely late, but you need a coffee fix then simply grab one from a local cafe on your way to class or at the cafeteria.

Coffee is mainstream, and you can literally find a store within a few minutes from each so don’t worry if you’ve missed out on making one in your dorm.

can I bring a coffee maker to college

How long do coffee pods last?

Being a college student, sometimes you can go through coffee really fast or store it for months! 

If you’re a hoarder like me and like to make things last, no need to worry because coffee pods can last up to about 8 months. This is because they are airtight sealed from oxygen, light and moisture!

That is an extremely long time and I’m sure you would have probably made your way through all the coffee.

On the other hand ground coffee tends to not last that long, because they are often sealed in airtight bags which are opened upon use and not stored correctly.

If you store ground coffee the right way, then you can actually prolong the life of the grounds for a maximum of 6 months.

What is the best way to store coffee (grounds and beans)

There are several ways that you can store coffee grounds and beans to prolong the life of them, but the best way is to use an airtight container!

An airtight container keeps your beans or grounds fresh and stored cool at room temperature! Usually they have one way seals on them, meaning air can leave the container but not come in, which is really good for keeping out oxygen.

Most containers are opaque and not able to be seen through, because of that light also can’t get through the containers.

I wrote a really detailed review of the best coffee containers that can keep coffee fresh:  Top Coffee Containers for Keeping Coffee Fresh.

Be sure to check it out and consider getting one with your coffee maker for college.

Final Thoughts 

So there you have it, the 6 best coffee makers for college students that will go perfect in any dorm room.

My top pick has to be the Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine which makes a really good espresso! Not only that, it is really simple to clean, affordable to most and also makes coffee faster than you know it.

It ticks all the boxes for a college student! Well at least in my books. If there’s anything that wasn’t covered off in this guide, then feel free to reach out to me and when I get around to updating the post I can definitely beef it up.

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