Modern kitchen design has moved toward a minimalist aesthetic and skyrocketing rent prices have moved many people into considerably smaller apartments. The need to be compact and useful is a desired characteristic in almost everything we buy these days.
No one likes clutter and the biggest offender you will find in your home is the kitchen. Countertops seem to collect a little bit of everything but in order to maintain a functioning kitchen you want your countertop to be as clutter free as possible.
You don’t need a bulky coffee maker taking up valuable real estate in your kitchen. Luckily, there are a variety of space saving coffee makers on the market that perform just as well, if not better than their bulky counterparts.
We’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you by offering you at-a-glance reviews of our favorite coffee machines so you can quickly narrow down your list and find the best space saving coffee maker for you.
Best Space Saving Traditional Coffee Maker
- 12 cup capacity
- Built in scale measures coffee for you
- 24 hour programmability
- Brew pause feature
- Brew strength customization
- Temperature of warming plate is not adjustable
- Replacement carafes can be difficult to find
This coffee maker takes the guesswork out of making the perfect carafe of coffee by including a built-in scale. You no longer need to measure out scoops or worry that your coffee flavor will be off because you lost count of the number of scoops you have added. The TruCount weighs the coffee as you add it and a digital display shows how many tablespoons you’ve added. This unique feature ensures you have consistent flavor in every cup, no matter who made the coffee.
The TruCount makes the perfect cup of coffee for anyone with its brewing flexibility. It is capable of brewing up to 12 cups of coffee but will accommodate up to 16 scoops of coffee for an extra strong pot. For those mornings that you only need a small amount, it also includes a 1-4 cup brewing option as well as a Bold feature.
It is programmable for up to 24 hours so you can wake up to a fresh cup of coffee and if you just can’t wait until the brew cycle is finished, it comes with an automatic pause and serve feature that allows you to sneak your first cup before the brewing cycle is complete. The easy-pour spout makes for mess free pouring and nonstick warming plate easily wipes clean.
The Hamilton Beach TruCount coffee maker is one of the few on our list with a 12 cup capacity so if you entertain frequently or live in a household that consumes a fair amount of coffee each morning, this one is worth considering.
- 12 cup capacity
- Easy to see water reservoir window
- Multiple brewing options
- Long cord (3 ft.)
- Extra hot coffee
- 24 hour Programmability
- Brew Pause feature
- Brew ready beep can be silenced
- Needs cleaning indicator light
- Loud brew ready alert
- A bit larger than other compact models
The Cuisinart DCC-3400P1 is a compact coffee maker that lives up to the Cuisinart standard. This 12 cup capacity coffee maker uses cutting edge technology to give you hotter coffee without sacrificing the flavor. Combining a hotter cup of coffee with multiple brew strength options makes this space saving coffee maker the best of both worlds.
This machine also has a long, 36 inch electrical cord, making it the perfect option for kitchens whose outlets are in less than ideal locations.
It offers a 24 hour programmability feature so you can wake up to a piping hot cup of coffee and if you just can’t wait for that first sip, it comes with a pause brewing feature that allows you to sneak a cup while you wait for the rest to brew.
The DCC-3400P1 comes with a 1-4 cup feature for those mornings that you need to grab a quick cup and head out the door. You can choose your brew strength from an easy to read backlit LCD display and the auto off feature means you don’t have to worry about remembering to turn off the pot.
This coffee maker also has an indicator light that lets you know when it’s time to descale your machine so you never have to worry about poor brewing performance or off tasting coffee.
The coffee ready beep is loud enough to be heard throughout the home but can also be silenced so as not to disturb other members of the household who still may be asleep.
Between its 12 cup capacity, three feet of cord length, and multiple brewing options, this coffee maker packs a whole lot of features into a compact package. If a Cuisinart is what you are looking for, also check out our review of the best Cuisinart coffee makers on the market.
- 12 cup capacity
- Removable water reservoir
- Permanent gold tone filter
- Brew Pause feature
- Automatic shut off
- 24 hour programmability
- Brew strength selector
- Automatic shut off is not programmable
- Permanent filter is a flat basket rather than a cone
The iconic KitchenAid brand says quality and design and this space saving coffee maker is no exception. This compact model is even smaller than the Hamilton Beach, while still providing a 12 cup capacity, and its rounded design helps it to stand out from other competitors.
Similar to the Cuisinart, the KitchenAid KCM1202 features adjustable brew strength, a 1-4 cup brewing option, and 24 hour programmable brewing. However, unlike the previous models, this one comes with a removable water reservoir. The removable reservoir is an added bonus if you need to place your coffee maker far from the sink and makes filling and cleaning much easier.
This model comes with a reusable gold-tone filter but keep in mind that it is a flat basket filter rather than the cone shaped filters that come with many modern coffee makers.
If you just can’t wait to grab that first cup, the KitchenAid KCM1202 comes with a pause and serve feature that lets you grab a cup before the brew cycle has ended and it also has a 2 hour automatic shut off to ease your mind on those mornings you can’t remember whether or not you turned the coffee pot off.
Its unusual design makes this model a great space saving coffee maker for those who want their machine to stand out (it even comes in white), but if you are a coffee snob who prefers a conical filter, you may want to look elsewhere.
- 12 cup capacity
- 24 hour programmability
- Charcoal water filter
- Reusable gold tone filter
- Removable water tank
- Model is 20 inches tall
If you are looking for a futuristic, made to last coffee maker, the Kenmore Elite 76772 is your machine. Its stainless steel construction and 5 year warranty give you peace of mind while its futuristic design makes it look like a coffee maker that could have been in the Jetson’s kitchen. This model is the tallest we looked at, so make sure it will clear your cabinets before you buy.
Unlike some of the other models we looked at, this coffee maker comes with a charcoal filtration system. Great tasting water makes great tasting coffee and Kenmore has taken the work out of it for you. The water goes through a pre-filtration process before it touches your coffee ground leaving you with a great tasting morning cup.
If you prefer to wake up to a hot cup of coffee, the 24 hour programmability feature has you covered. The Kenmore Elite also comes with a reusable gold tone filter basket and the removable water tank makes cleaning and filling a breeze.
While this design may not be everyone’s cup of tea…or coffee…if you are looking for a stand out, futuristic coffee maker, the Kenmore just may be the best space saving coffee maker for you.
- 12 Cup capacity
- 24 hour programmability
- Extra large digital display
- Brew strength feature
- Dishwasher safe component
- Brew Pause feature
- Not securing the lid can cause overflow
The Braun brand has been making quality kitchen appliances for years and this ultra compact coffee maker is no exception. Its streamlined design,two tone black and stainless steel finish, extra large digital display, fully enclosed carafe, and easy to use buttons make it a great space saving coffee maker for any kitchen.
Braun is all about exceptional flavor and their unique PureFlavor system brings out the essence and complexity of each coffee bean. Making sure each cup is brewed at exactly the right temperature for exactly the right amount of time extracts both the perfect coffee flavor and aroma.
The carafe lid seals in flavor by minimizing exposure to air, and the anti-drip system allows you to sneak a cup anytime during the brewing process.
The Braun Brew Sense is fully programmable so you can wake up to a hot pot of coffee, offers a brew strength selection at the touch of a button, and even has a 1-4 cup option for those mornings you need to rush out the door.
Best Single Serve Coffee Maker
- Ultra compact design
- Bluetooth smart technology
- Brews 5 different cup sizes
- Must use Nespresso capsules
This machine fits the bill when it comes to small but mighty space saving coffee makers. Coming in at only 5.5 inches wide, this coffee and espresso maker has a slim design that can fit virtually anywhere.
The Vertuo Next is the epitome of versatile, offering five different cup sizes, starting at a single shot of espresso all the way up to a 14 oz. cup of coffee. You never have to worry about having a subpar cup of coffee because this Nespresso machine reads the barcode integrated in each capsule to ensure you have the perfect cup of coffee in minutes, at the touch of a button. The downside is you must use the Nespresso Vertuo line capsules in this machine.
Thanks to bluetooth smart technology and wi-fi capabilities, the Vertuo Next will automatically update its software, ensuring you always get the best and up-to-date Nespresso experience.
- Ultra slim design
- Easy to use
- Accommodates travel mugs
- Auto off feature
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Store up to 9 extra pods
- Takes a minute to warm up
The Keurig name is well known for making quality single serve machines that are found in homes and offices everywhere. The Keurig Mini Plus is no exception and coming in at under 5 inches wide, it will fit into even the smallest of spaces. This is the perfect machine for small apartments, dorm rooms, boats, campers, RVs, offices…the list is endless, and it comes in a variety of colors to match any decor.
Unlike other Keurigs, the Mini saves space by not having a large water reservoir. You simply add the amount of water you want in your brew, insert a k-cup and press one large button on top of the machine. The clear water reservoir on top of the machine has measuring marks for 6, 8, 10, and even 12 ounce cups.
It comes with a drip tray that is capable of holding a full brew for those mornings you are so tired you accidentally forget to put the cup under the machine, avoiding a mess all over the counter. The drip tray is also removable to accommodate travel mugs up to 7 inches tall.
The Keurig Mini also saves energy by turning itself off 90 seconds after your last brew and you can even store up to 9 K-cups in the machine.
The only downsides to this machine are that it takes a minute to warm up and is quite noisy when brewing.
Best Mountable Coffee Maker
- 10 cup capacity
- Single cup option
- High end design
- Carafe lock feature
- Brew pause feature
- Requires cutting a hole in the wall
- Plumbed water line
The sleek design of this one of a kind coffee maker attaches to the wall, giving it a “built in” look while taking up only 4 inches of counter space, without the four figure price tag that comes with a traditional built in machine.
You will have to cut a hole in the wall for installation so this one is probably a no go if you rent but otherwise, it’s an excellent investment and ideal purchase if you are already doing a kitchen renovation project.
The Brew express connects directly to your kitchen plumbing meaning you never have to worry about refilling a reservoir and the adjustable cup size selector and programmable brewing capabilities will provide you with the perfect cup of coffee first thing in the morning. If you just can’t wait for that first sip, it has a brew pause feature that will allow you to sneak a cup, and the night light directly above the carafe is great for early risers. It even comes with a single cup brew basket for those times you need to grab a cup to go as you rush out the door.
It comes with a 10 cup capacity thermal carafe to keep your coffee hot and offers a locking safety feature. The carafe lock feature prevents the carafe from dislodging, making this space saving coffee maker perfect for RV’s or homes with small children.
Best Combination Coffee Maker
- All-in-one machine
- Cool retro design
- Brews 4 cups of coffee
- Removable griddle plate
- Can’t be secured down
- Griddle can get very hot when toaster is on
This retro style 3-in-one breakfast station is not your everyday coffee maker but it definitely makes a statement. If you are looking to take the space saving concept to the extreme, look no further than the Nostalgia family breakfast station.
This machine is perfect for studio apartments, campers and RVs, packing a coffee maker, toaster oven, and griddle all into one compact, space saving, retro design that is sure to impress anyone.
You can cook pancakes or bacon, make toast, and brew a four pot cup of coffee all with one machine, but be forewarned, the griddle gets extra hot when the toaster oven is going at the same time. The griddle plate and toaster racks are even non-stick and removable for easy cleaning.
The four cup capacity coffee maker is easy to clean, uses a reusable filter, and features a 30 minute automatic shutoff.
The only downside is that it cannot be secured to the counter so if you plan to use it in a Boat or RV, be sure to store it away. It is however small enough that it can be stored in most cabinets.
Key features of space saving coffee makers
Space saving coffee makers are a must for anyone who is short on space and fosters a love for all things coffee. They are designed to fit into small and restricted areas and offer designs that can either blend in to their surroundings or stand out depending on your preferred aesthetic.
Most space saving coffee makers are easy to set-up and can have you brewing an amazing cup of coffee in a matter of minutes. They are easy to use, clean, and really quite durable.
Just because these machines are small in stature doesn’t mean they are lacking in features. You can still get the added features and customization found in large coffee pots in the best space saving coffee maker.
Why buy a space saving coffee maker?
You just scored an apartment in the most coveted area in town. Unfortunately, it is tiny, but you have to make sacrifices right?
You don’t have to make sacrifices when it comes to a quality cup of coffee. The space saving coffee makers we have looked at offer all the functionality of their larger counterparts along with a sleek, space saving design that will fit perfectly in your new kitchen.
These slim, and sometimes multifunctioning models, are also perfect for life on the move. Whether you like to travel the world, or go on weekend camping trips with your family, these space saving coffee makers are the perfect fit for tight spaces like RV’s, campers, and even boats.
Compact vs single serve
When it comes to space saving coffee makers, there are really two basic types of machine to consider, compact or single serve.
A compact coffee maker is just that, a smaller, more compact version of a traditional coffee pot. Compact machines usually can brew anywhere from 4 – 12 cups of coffee and are great if you have more than one coffee lover in the house. While you aren’t likely to find a 14 cup coffee pot in a compact model, you do not have to limit yourself to only a few cups each morning either.
Single serve coffee machines popularized by Keurig typically use coffee pods and brew only one cup of coffee at a time. Single serve machines are great if you are the only coffee drinker in the home or if you and the other coffee drinker enjoy your morning brew at different times.
Single serve machines offer quick and easy clean up, brew very quickly and are the way to go if you need to grab your cup and head out the door. However, if you are sharing the kitchen with someone else first thing in the morning, you probably want to consider a compact model, because let’s face it…no one wants to wait in line for their first cup of coffee.
Things to consider when shopping for a space saving coffee maker
You know you need a coffee maker that can fit into a small space but have you thought about where exactly your coffee maker is going to live? Is there a plug nearby? Can you easily fill it with water or will the top of the cabinet be in the way? We have outlined a few other factors you should consider when shopping for the best space saving coffee maker for your small space.
Knowing the exact dimension of a coffee maker as well as the location you plan to put it is a must if you are in a small space. Especially if you are in a RV or Camper where cabinets can fall a bit lower than a traditional kitchen.
Just to be safe, measure your space twice before shopping for a machine and be sure to consider the other items you plan to keep on your counter. By the time you add a toaster, a blender, or any other appliances you may have less room than you realized or be out of counter space all together.
Are you brewing coffee for yourself or is there a second coffee drinker in the home? How many cups on average do you drink each morning? Do you host frequent dinner parties or book club gatherings?
These are all factors to consider when it comes to selecting a coffee machine. Not all space saving coffee makers are created equal and if you are hosting a dinner party, you certainly don’t want to wait on a single serve machine to brew for each of your guests. Factoring in the number of cups consumed each day on average can help you determine if a single serve machine is your best option or if you should choose a machine with a larger cup capacity.
Just because a machine is small doesn’t mean you are limited when it comes to programmable options. If you hate stumbling into the kitchen each morning to make a cup of coffee, consider a machine with a programmable auto brew feature. You can prepare the machine the night before and wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Some machines even offer a programmable auto off of up to 4 hours for those mornings you plan to lounge around and drink cup after cup.
Not every morning is the same. If you are hosting house guests or spending a weekend in, you may need lots of coffee while on those mornings you are dashing out the door, you only need a travel mug full.
A coffee maker that features brewing options like a 1-4 cup brew button gives you the best of both worlds. Some machines even offer different brew strength options for those days you prefer your coffee to be atomic strength.
You are shopping for an appliance that you will use daily, and sometimes multiple times a day so you want to go with a machine that is built to last.
The best space saving coffee makers are going to have a durable build that can handle regular daily use. The more metal in a machine’s build, the more durable it will be. Avoid machines with flimsy plastic carafes and stick to those with glass or stainless steel. If you are looking for a coffee maker for your camper or RV, we recommend going with a stainless steel carafe all together…It only takes one sudden braking on the freeway and that glass carafe is toast.
Brewing system requirements
Some coffee makers use ground coffee while some single serve machines only use coffee pods. How much work do you prefer to put into your morning cup? Do you prefer to grind your own beans each morning? If so you may want to stick to a smaller machine to afford the extra counter space for a separate coffee grinder.
If you are camping, you may not have the room to store enough coffee pods, or if easy clean up is what you are looking for, a single serve machine that uses coffee pods may be the way to go.
A final factor to consider is does the brewing system give you the freedom to make espresso drinks. It is rare to find a built-in milk frother on space saving coffee makers but if a morning latte is more your cup of joe it would be a great perk.
Ease of cleaning
Whether you are looking for a space saving coffee maker or a mammoth 14 cup capacity model, ease of cleaning is a factor everyone should consider. Many coffee makers today come with dishwasher safe components. Look for a machine that has a removable basket filter and carafe that are easy to wash. Machines that come with a clean alert light and automatic descaling options are even better since they do the work for you.
Space saving coffee makers tend to be on the smaller side, which is what we want, but compact coffee makers often come with shorter cords. If you have found the perfect spot on the counter to store your machine, make sure the cord is long enough to reach the nearest outlet.
I know you are thinking “duh, that’s obvious,” but you would be surprised at how many people purchase the perfect coffee maker only to discover they now need to reconfigure their entire kitchen just to be able to plug it in.
Do you need a coffee pot sliding tray?
If you don’t have a space that will allow you to fill the water reservoir without having to continuously pull the machine out and push it back in, you may want to consider purchasing a coffee pot sliding tray. Constantly moving a coffee maker back and forth can cause wear and tear over time, shortening the life of the machine. A sliding tray will allow you to pull the coffee maker out from under the cabinet to fill the reservoir with ease while never having to push or pull the actual machine.
Would a built in be a better option?
If you are truly short on counter space, you may want to consider a built in coffee maker. These machines, like built in microwaves free up counter space and seamlessly incorporate the coffee maker into the design of the kitchen.
Built in coffee makers come with so many bells and whistles it’s like having a barista living in your kitchen. Some machines can even let you make a latte or cappuccino from bed using an app on your phone.
While they are a little on the pricey side, if you are looking to invest in a long term coffee maker that will be sure to impress your friends, a built in machine may be the way to go.
The pros and cons of space saving coffee makers
- These compact machines will fit virtually anywhere and are the perfect solution for tiny apartment kitchens, RVs, campers, office lounges, and even boats.
- The multifunction machines will brew coffee toast bread, and cook pancakes, basically making them a mini kitchen.
- Many space saving coffee makers offer the same programmable features as their larger counterparts.
- Some built in models can even be controlled using an app
- You will not be able to brew a 14 cup pot of coffee so if you frequently entertain, you may need to brew a few pots in advance and store them in a thermal carafe.
- You may not have the option to brew a wide variety of coffee drinks since some features (like a milk frothing wand) are removed to save space.
How to brew great coffee in your new coffee maker
A small coffee maker doesn’t mean a substandard brew so whether you bought your coffee maker so you can make locally roasted small batch coffee or you wanted to save money by brewing at home, follow these simple tips to ensure that you make the perfect cup of coffee in your new space saving coffee maker.
- Start with fresh filtered water – Fill the reservoir of your coffee maker with fresh filtered water. Using tap water can alter the taste of your coffee depending on your region and the minerals found in your tap water. We suggest using filtered water for the best tasting cup. Filtered water will also help reduce the amount of limescale buildup inside the machine.
- Determine the right amount of coffee – If you have had trouble with bitter tasting coffee, you may not be using enough ground coffee in your brew. Coffee that is over extracted can taste bitter so using enough grounds each time you brew is paramount. We suggest starting with 2 tablespoons of coffee per each 6 ounce cup of coffee, so if you have a 4 cup coffee maker, be sure to use 8 tablespoons for a full pot.
- Select a grind size – the size of the coffee grounds also affects the flavor of your coffee since it will determine brew time. Water passes slower through finer grinds resulting in a longer extraction time. This produces a stronger cup of coffee. We suggest following the directions in your users manual to determine grind size. If you’re still not sure, a good rule of thumb is if you coffee maker is high powered and makes coffee pretty fast, use a larger grind size to prevent overflow.
- Brew just enough – You want to brew only the amount of coffee you can enjoy in an hour. Sitting on a heating plate for more than an hour will result in a burnt tasting coffee. If you prefer to enjoy your coffee throughout the morning we recommend you either make two smaller pots, or invest in a coffee maker with a thermal carafe. Since thermal carafes do not require heating plates, they will keep your brew warm without burning it.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment – Everyone prefers a slightly different tasting coffee. Use these instructions as merely a starter guide. As you get more comfortable with your new coffee maker, feel free to experiment with the amount of grounds per cup and grind size to find the perfect brew for your own palate.
How to clean your coffee maker
Every month or so (depending on use), your coffee maker will need a thorough cleaning to remove any Limescale and coffee residue that can build up over time. You will be amazed at the difference in the taste of your coffee after a thorough cleaning.
What you will need
- White Vinegar or lemon juice
- Dish Soap
- A soft sponge or dishcloth
How to do the actual cleaning
- Always wash the carafe, lid, and filter basket with hot soapy water after every use. If they are dishwasher safe, just pop them in the dishwasher.
- Fill the reservoir with half white vinegar (or lemon juice) and half water. Allow the solution to sit for 15 minutes, then set the machine to brew, discard the dirty vinegar water, and repeat.
- Clean the carafe, lid, and filter basket with hot soapy water and then run clean, filtered, water through two brew cycles to remove any excess vinegar and debris.
- Finally, add hot soapy water and rice to your carafe. Swirl it around to remove any stuck on debris and then wipe the carafe out with a soft sponge or dishcloth. The rice will leave your carafe sparkling like new.
How to clean a single serve machine
Since all single serve coffee makers are different, we recommend refer to your users manual for specific cleaning instructions but a few basic tips are:
- Remove the drip tray and wash thoroughly.
- Fill the reservoir with the vinegar solutions used above or a descaling agent made for single serve machines.
- Run 2 – 3 brew cycles using this solution.
- Run 4 – 6 brew cycles using plain filtered water to remove any residue from the cleaning agent.
- Finally, wipe down the outside of the machine to remove any dust or coffee spots and you are good to go.
If saving counter space without sacrificing quality and style is something you value, you are not alone. With a wide variety of compact, multifunction, and built in machines available, there is a solution available for every kitchen situation. Whether you are shopping for your boat, camper, office, RV, or tiny apartment kitchen, there is an option to perfectly fill your needs. Hopefully, you found this guide helpful as a jumping off point to get you on the road to selecting the best space saving coffee maker for you.