Hours of Research
If you want to brew coffee at home but don't want to spend a lot on a coffee machine, that's okay—there are good options under $300.
But it can be hard to choose such a cheap espresso machine. It is difficult to find a functional model that combines a wide assortment of drinks with high-quality brewing.
To compile our list of the best espresso machines under $300, we studied written reviews and watched video reviews of 25 popular models.
We focused on espresso machines that allow you to prepare not only a decent espresso, but also a cappuccino or latte.
Once we identified our favorites, we rated the quality of the espresso and milk foam produced by each.
Let's check out the best espresso machines under $300!
OUR TOP PICK
This machine lets you brew barista-style espresso. The body and boiler are made of stainless steel. The machine is suitable for home and office use.
• Works with ground coffee and ESE pods
• Can brew 40 espressos without being refilled
• Prepares espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos
VALUE FOR MONEY PICK
A great home espresso machine should be compact and easy to use, and make great espresso. The Mr. Coffee Café Barista meets these requirements.
• Makes cappuccinos and lattes thanks to the automatic milk frother
• 15-bar pressure allows you to make great espresso
• Has simple settings and the ability to make a double espresso
BEST FOR HOME USE
This espresso machine makes it possible to brew true café-quality espresso at home.
• Compact design allows you to place it anywhere
• Can brew two shots at a time
• Built-in milk frother allows you to hand-texture micro-foam milk that enhances flavor and enables latte art
Best Home Espresso Machines Under 300 Reviews
1. De'Longhi EC702 - Best Espresso Machine Under $300
Brew an espresso like barista with the De'Longhi EC702 15 bar pump espresso machine, which allows you to brew more than 40 shots without refilling the water tank. The machine includes a manual steam wand for making lattes and cappuccinos. It's suitable for both home and office use.
Durability combined with aesthetic design make this espresso machine a good buy. The body and boiler are made of stainless steel.
With this 15 bar pump espresso machine, you can prepare espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos. The manual steam wand is very easy to use. You should be able to create a creamy, even-textured foam on the first try.
The removable water tank holds 44 ounces, enough to brew over 40 cups of espresso. It is equipped with a water level indicator to eliminate guesswork while brewing.
This semi-automatic espresso machine also has a cup warmer to keep the coffee hot longer.
It is very easy to clean the machine after use. The water reservoir and drip tray are easy to remove and dishwasher safe.
You can brew cup after cup instantly with the Rapid Cappuccino System, which maintains the optimum temperature. This model also features two separate thermostats for water and steam so both espresso and milk are kept at the ideal temperature for your cappuccino.
2. Mr. Coffee - Best for Lattes and Cappuccinos
With its compact size and elegant design, the Mr. Coffee Espresso and Cappuccino Maker is perfect for those who cannot imagine their day without a cappuccino or latte. It automatically prepares your favorite drinks in standard or large volumes.
This semi-automatic espresso maker allows you to prepare milk drinks with the simple push of a button. This is a good option to save money in the long term—no need to go to coffee shops.
You no longer have to waste time holding the milk jug while steaming milk. Just fill the container with milk and select your desired beverage. The Café Barista detects how much milk your cup of coffee needs and automatically froths it. The reservoir is removable so you can put leftover milk back in the refrigerator.
If you have a small kitchen and every inch counts, then you will love the compact dimensions of this coffee maker: 11.22 x 8.86 x 12.6 inches.
The coffee machine is controlled by a touch panel where you select your desired drink and size. You can even make coffee for two people at a time.
This espresso machine under 300 dollars is not designed to make regular coffee, but you can use it to make an Americano.
The Mr. Coffee espresso and cappuccino machine comes with removable water and milk reservoirs for easy filling and cleaning.
The coffee machine switches off automatically at the end of the brewing and steaming cycle. If you forget to turn off appliances, you'll appreciate this feature. Plus, it allows you to save electricity.
3. De'Longhi EC680M - Best for Home Use
This compact machine takes up no more space than your electric kettle and can be controlled with just 3 buttons. It makes a nice espresso and rich milk foam for cappuccinos and lattes.
The De'Longhi EC680M is equipped with thermoblock technology for fast heating so that you can start preparing a drink just 35 seconds after switching it on. And in just 15 more seconds, your espresso will be ready.
This machine can brew espresso from both ground coffee and ESE pods. You'll get a cup of coffee with a rich taste and a pleasant crema. This is a good result for a home espresso machine at this price point.
In addition to the quality espresso it brews, the model is distinguished by its elegant design with stainless steel finish and compact dimensions. It's only 6 inches wide, so it won't take up much space in your kitchen.
There is a cup warmer so you can brew espresso into warm cups. This allows you to maintain the desired temperature and taste of the drink for longer.
The machine is simple to operate with 3 buttons: single shot, double shot, and steam. The automatic flow stop feature dispenses the correct amount of coffee so you don't have to monitor the volume of the drink yourself.
Using the manual steam wand, you can delight yourself and your loved ones with the cappuccinos and lattes. It doesn't take a lot of skill to create a rich foam with an even texture.
Only espresso mugs can be placed under the brew group, but it's not a problem—remove the drip tray and you can brew coffee in taller mugs.
4. SOWTECH - Best Budget Choice
The SOWTECH Espresso Machine has just one switch for easy control and can prepare up to 4 cups of espresso in 2-3 minutes. Its powerful steam wand will give you delicious milk foam.
This espresso maker has a simple design. The body is made of plastic with stainless steel inserts. It measures just 9 x 7.2 x 13 inches and weighs less than 5 pounds.
With the SOWTECH machine, even a beginner can easily prepare espresso. It's easy to control with just one switch that allows you to choose between coffee and steam and to turn the coffee maker on and off.
In the morning, every minute of your time is matters. This budget espresso maker prepares coffee quickly. The whole process will take just 2-3 minutes.
At its surprisingly low price, this coffee maker brews delicious coffee thanks to the integrated temperature control module. Some users find that the espresso isn't strong enough when brewed into the large decanter—it depends on your preferences.
The carafe is large enough to hold up to 4 espresso shots at once—8 ounces total—so the machine is suitable for making coffee for yourself or a family of two or three. The decanter is marked with lines indicating the number of cups. It's convenient to know how much coffee you've brewed.
The built-in manual steam wand helps you prepare milk foam. Steam is supplied at a pressure of 3.5 bar. It takes time to froth milk, but the wand is powerful enough for a non-commercial model. The resulting milk foam is glossy and creamy.
The water reservoir is not removable, but there is an opening at the top of the espresso maker that makes it easy and quick to fill.
The removable drip tray keeps your counter tidy and makes this espresso machine suitable for home use.
The SOWTECH espresso maker comes with everything you need to start making espresso right away: a filter, funnel, carafe, and measuring spoon.
5. Nespresso ENV150GYAE - Best Single-Serve Pick
The VertuoPlus can brew five types of coffee, ranging from espresso to Alto. It reads the capsule barcode to prepare the desired beverage at the correct volume, so you don't even need barista skills. Thanks to centrifusion technology, every cup has the best extraction and lushest crema.
The Nespresso single-serve machine can brew a 1.35oz single espresso or 2.7oz double espresso. If you prefer a larger coffee, you can prepare a 5, 8 or 14oz drink.
The reservoir holds 40 ounces of water, so you can brew more than 25 espressos without additional filling. The water tank can be installed in one of three positions.
20-25 seconds after turning on the machine, it is ready to brew coffee. Just insert the capsule and press the button.
This espresso maker differs from classic Nespresso models because of its patented centrifusion technology. The capsule spins at 7000 rpm, mixing the coffee grounds with water for better extraction of each cup.
This model comes with an Aeroccino 3 milk frother that will create dense milk froth for lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, or other espresso-and-milk drinks.
The machine is easy to maintain. The drip tray can be easily removed for cleaning, and because the used-capsule container can hold 10 capsules, you don't have to empty it very often.
The machine automatically shuts down after 9 minutes, saving you the hassle of remembering and saving you energy.
You will only be able to use Nespresso Vertuo capsules with the VertuoPlus. There are no alternatives from other manufacturers that are compatible with this model. This makes it an expensive option, but you get a quality drink with great flavor and that can be served hot or iced.
You can choose from 20 different Nespresso coffee blends, each with a unique aroma. Plus, the company regularly releases about 20 exclusive capsules.
You can contribute to protecting the environment because t aluminum capsules are recyclable. Just take them to the nearest collection point or Nespresso boutique.
6. Flair Signature - Best Manual Choice
This manual espresso maker brews at an ideal pressure of 6 to 9 bar for the best extraction and flavor—no electricity required! Just use 18 grams of ground beans and 60ml of hot water and you can enjoy espresso at a picnic, while traveling, or while camping.
The Flair espresso maker is designed to help you brew the best espresso possible without the need to connect it to any electrical outlet with pesky power cords. It comes in a choice of four great colors—chrome, black, red and black, and white—and weighs just 7 pounds, making it a joy to take with you on the road.
To use the Flair espresso maker, all you have to do is add 60 ml of boiled water and a maximum 18-gram dose of ground coffee to enjoy a 40ml shot of espresso. This manual coffee maker is equipped with a custom pressure gauge, which gives real-time visual feedback and shows a target espresso range.
The Flair Signature espresso maker can brew using between 6 and 9 bars of pressure, which is an ideal range for the best espresso extraction. It comes with a stainless-steel tamper and a 2-in-1 portafilter for spouted or naked brewing. It also includes a detachable brewing head, so all you have to do is remove the head and the parts and rinse under water for easy cleaning.
The Flair Signature manual espresso machine features an upgraded design, complete with a stronger base, post and lever. It is crafted from robust materials such as cast aluminum and stainless steel, and is backed by a 5- year warranty against any manufacturer defects. The coffee maker comes with a handy carrying case that is well padded and makes it easy to carry the Flair espresso maker wherever you go.
What to Look for When Buying an Espresso Machine Under $300
To help you make your choice, we have compiled a list of things to look for when buying an espresso machine under 300 dollars.
Type of Espresso Machine
The types of espresso machines determine how much control you have over your drink, and how easy it is to brew espresso. Espresso machines under 300 dollars can be manual, semi-automatic, automatic, or pod-based. You will not find a super-automatic espresso machine for this price.
Semi-Automatic Espresso Machines — These provide a good balance between mechanical and user control. You control the grinding of coffee beans, the tamping, and the extraction time. The machine monitors the pressure and temperature of the water supply. It is difficult to spoil a cup of coffee with a semi-automatic machine, as the basic parameters are automatically adjusted by the machine itself.
Automatic Espresso Machines — Automatic espresso machines leave you in control of grind size and tamping, but extraction time is regulated by the machine, along with water temperature and pressure. Espresso brews at a standard volume every time, so you don't have to stand over each cup to stop the brewing process. Automatic machines are easier to operate than semi-automatic espresso machines.
Pod Espresso Coffee Maker — With a pod machine, you can't influence the taste of your cup in any way. Your only responsibility is to insert the capsule and press the button. This is the best type of espresso machine if you want your drink quickly and with no hassle. Plus, a drinks brewed with the same kind of pod will taste the same every time.
The optimum pressure for preparing an espresso shot is 9 bar. This is the pressure that commercial machines use to brew delicious espresso with crema.
Non-professional home machines may have lower pressures. At 3.5 bar, you will not get the perfect extraction, but your espresso will still taste good. The pressure also affects steaming time—the lower the pressure, the longer it takes to steam and froth milk.
Some models describe themselves as having 15 bar of pressure. This is a marketing trick to make you think the machine is more powerful. While 15 bar may be the operating pressure of the pump, it creates exactly 9 bar during extraction.
If you love not only plain espresso, but also want to pamper yourself with cappuccinos, macchiatos, or lattes, then choose a machine with a milk frother for frothing milk. The wands can be manual or automatic. Among espresso machines under 300, you can easily find models with this function.
Manual steam wands give you control over steam strength and steaming time. The quality of the foam depends entirely on your skill.
The easiest way to prepare drinks is with automatic steam wands. You just pour milk into a special container, press a button, and wait for the machine to steam and foam the milk. The foam will always be of the same quality. This is a good option for those who value their time and always want to get a stable result.
The more complex a machine is, the more difficult it is to maintain and clean.
Models with a removable water tank, milk container, drip tray, and filters are easy to clean after each use. You can also choose a machine with dishwasher-safe parts.
And if you choose a model that has a large used-grounds container and a spacious drip tray, you won't have to clean it every day.
In addition to regular cleaning, an espresso maker's heating elements must be descaled. The harder your water, the more often this should be done. The user manual should tell you how often to descale; usually, it's every 2-3 months.
The best espresso machines have a descaling indicator that will tell you when it's time to descale. All you have to do is add the cleaning agent and press a button.
Can an espresso machine under $300 make a good espresso shot?
Yes, it can, but the shot won’t be as perfect as one brewed by the best espresso machines at a higher price point. The optimal pressure and the right temperature release the maximum amount of coffee oils from the beans, which give the drink a special taste and aroma. Expensive models have higher water pressure and better temperature control than espresso machines under 300 dollars.
Are espresso machines under $300 worth it?
They are a great choice if you want good espresso at a reasonable price. An espresso machine under $300 is ideal for home use. They are compact and easy to maintain.
What types of espresso machines are there?
In this price category under 300 dollars you can purchase the following types of espresso machines: Semi-automatic, Automatic and Manual.
Making home made espressos is a great way to cut high costs and save time in driving down to your local coffee shop. And contrary to what you may have heard, creating the perfect cup of espresso today is easier than ever. The 5 best espresso machines under 300 dollars mentioned on this list allow you to create perfect espressos with ease, and most even come with an onsite frother to top it off with rich crema.
- How to choose the best coffee machine for your home – Nespresso
- This Is How Much Money You’d Save If You Bought an Espresso Machine – Spoon University