Finding the best espresso machine under 300 dollars or pounds can be a challenge – unless you have some help, of course! That’s what we’re here to provide.
In this article, we’ll be talking about the very best espresso machines that cost $3oo or less. There’s something here to appeal to all coffee lovers, regardless of whether you prefer manual espresso machines, automatic or semi automatic espresso machines, capsule or pump expresso machines. And because we believe that great-tasting espresso really doesn’t have to cost the earth, there are coffee machines here starting from around forty dollars.
One thing to keep in mind as you make your way through this article is that different espresso machines have different strengths and weaknesses – sometimes, one is not necessarily better than another. In other words, in order to end up with the best budget espresso machine for you, you need to consider what it is you are looking for, precisely. Because you won’t be able to find an espresso machine for less than $300 that is capable of doing it all, it is important to know what your priorities are when you are on a budget of $300 or less.
Some of the things you should consider before deciding which espresso machine from this list to buy include what style of coffee you want your new coffee maker to be able to brew (For some, espresso might be enough, while others will want their home espresso machine to also be able to brew lattes and other coffee-based recipes), how much coffee you will need your machine to prepare at any one time (Some machines brew one or perhaps two espresso shots at a time, while others are capable of handling more), how quickly the espresso machine heats up (The difference between thirty seconds and three minutes might seem inconsequential, until you find yourself waiting around for your morning coffee to finish brewing) and whether or not your new espresso maker is capable of frothing milk (And whether or not this is a priority feature in your estimation), how tall the cup sizes are that will fit under the spout (Because surely you would like to be ale to catch your espresso in your favourite mug), how much counter space the machine requires and how easy or hard it is to clean.
As you can see, there is quite a lot of factors to consider. Hopefully, this article will make the process of choosing a great espresso maker under $300 a whole lot easier, since we’ll be talking about each of the espresso machines on this list in some detail, providing you with a complete overview over all of the important features, pros and cons of each.
Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Best capsule espresso machine under 300
Before we move onto the long-tail list of great budget espresso makers, we’ll cut to the chase by presenting our top four choices – one from each subcategory of espresso machines. First, let’s take a look at the best capsule espresso machine under 300.
Illy Y5 Espresso & Coffee
If you are on the lookout for a capsule espresso maker under 300, you can’t do better than the Illy Y5 Espresso & Coffee maker.
You are probably already familiar with the Illy brand name – a long-term staple within the coffee world. Illy is an Italian coffee brand, established in 1933 and headquartered in Trieste. The brand takes its name from its founder, Francesco Illy, an innovator and entrepreneur with a passion for true Italian espresso. Did you know that Illy was the first coffee machine manufacturer to invent an automated coffee maker? All in all, Illy has a long and trail-blazing history as a manufacturer of innovative and reliable espresso machines.
Illy has an impressive catalogue of espresso machines – but when it comes to espresso machines under 300, there is a clear winner: The Illy Y5 Espresso & Coffee maker.
The most remarkable thing about the Illy Y5 Espresso & Coffee machine is that it produces both true Italian espresso and regular coffee, all at the click of a button. The Illy Y5 Espresso & Coffee maker uses Illy’s own brand Iper espresso and coffee capsules, which makes the brewing process both quick and frictionless.
As for specs, the Illy Y5 Espresso & Coffee maker is well equipped. It has a 30 ounce water tank, two brew buttons (One for coffee and one for espresso), a used capsule bin, an adjustable cup platform. The brewing system itself is encapsulated within a sturdy aluminium body with a tempered glass top.
Where to get it
The Illy Y5 Espresso & Coffee maker is available from 1st in Coffee.
Best Manual espresso machine under 300
If you’re not one for capsule espresso machines but prefer to have more control over every stage of the espresso brewing process, a manual espresso maker is probably your best option. Here is our favourite under 300.
The NEO, by Flair Espresso – An all manual lever espresso maker for the home, no pods and no plugs (Gray)
The NEO by Flair Manual Lever Espresso Maker is a completely manual espresso machine with a lot to offer.
Flair Espresso is a bit of a cult brand, beloved by coffee enthusiasts all over the world but not well known to the average person. If you’ve never heard of Flair Espresso before, consider this your initiation. Flair Espresso was established by an espresso-loving inventor, with the aim of empowering people to hand-brew delectable espresso from scratch, easily, simply and sustainably.
The NEO by Flair Espresso is the most affordable espresso maker in Flair Espresso’s small catalogue. It was borne out of the question ‘What is the minimum needed to make a great espresso?’ This question perfectly encapsulates the essence of the NEO.
The NEO by Flair Manual Lever Espresso Maker features an upgraded 2 porta filter with flow control and a removable spout, and a standard brew head. At 5 lbs, the NEO by Flair Manual Lever Espresso Maker is super lightweight, and its simple design would look right at home in almost any kitchen.
Where to get it
The NEO by Flair Manual Lever Espresso Maker is available from Amazon.
Best semi automatic espresso machine under 300
Now for something quite different. If manual coffee makers are not your vibe, you might prefer an automatic or semi-automatic espresso machine. Let’s look at the best semi-automatic espresso machine option first – the Breville ESP8XL Café Roma Espresso Maker in stainless steel.
Breville Bijou Espresso Machine | Automatic and Manual Espresso, Cappuccino & Latte Maker | 15 Bar Pump | Steam Wand | Silver [VCF149]
Most coffee afficionados are already going to be familiar with Breville. We’re talking about a legacy brand, and one of the coffee industry’s true giants. For those who may not be in the know, Breville is an Australian appliance manufacturer, established in Sydney in 1932 and to this day probably best known for their fantastic coffee machines – including the Breville Bijou Espresso Machine.
The Breville Bijou Espresso Machine is really a combined espresso and cappuccino maker, so as is the case with the Illy Y5, you essentially get two coffee machines in one – which is rather impressive conceding that both espresso machines cost less than 300.
The Breville Bijou Espresso Machine is a pump espresso machine with a powerful pump delivering optimal water flow and pressure to the coffee grounds throughout the brewing process. When the water is precisely the right pressure, it extracts all of the flavor, oils and aroma from the coffee beans to perfection.
It is also worth mentioning the Breville Bijou Espresso Machine’s 1.5 litre removable water tank, manual shot control, pre-infusion cycle to further enhance the quality of your espresso, 52mm cafe-quality porta filter and powerful, built-in steam wand, which make the Breville Bijou Espresso Machine perfect not only for espressos but also for lattes, flat whites and cappuccinos.
Where to get it
The Breville Bijou Espresso Machine is available from Amazon.
Best fully automatic espresso machine under 300
If you prefer for the espresso making process to be as automated as possible, a semi-automated espresso machine may not quite cut it for you. Here, now, is the best fully automated espresso machine to make this list – the Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine with Steam Wand in Stainless Steel.
Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine with Steam Wand, Stainless Steel
Most of you probably haven’t heard of the Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine. The reason for this is that Calphalon is a bit of an insider brand – it is essentially a cookware brand for industry cooks who are passionate about every aspect of food and drink preparation. Cephalon is well known for producing some of the most robust and reliable cookware, which is why the brand is beloved by the professional cooks it caters to.
The Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine is a fully automatic espresso machine featuring a 15 bar pressure pump, specially designed to deliver precisely the right water pressure to your coffee grounds in order to produce an aromatic espresso with a fine layer of crema on top. Instead of buttons, the Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine has a dial interface which lets you select steam, hot water, or pre-programmed double or single shots of espresso.
Much like the Breville ESP8XL, the Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine relies on a thermoblock heating system, which is encapsulated within the espresso machine. A large 58mm porta filter ensures an even water distribution during the brewing process for optimal extraction of flavor and aroma from the coffee grounds.
The Calphalon BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine also features a 2 litre removable water tank with a hinged lid for easy refilling, a convenient cup-warming tray, and a built-in steam wand, which is great if you are a fan of lattes and other coffee-based milk drinks. It also comes with a complimentary stainless steel frothing pitcher.
Where to get it
The BVCLECMP1 Temp iQ Espresso Machine with Steam Wand is available from Amazon.
Ten more fantastic options
All right, we have talked about our top choices of espresso machines under 300, but these four are far from the only great budget espresso machines on the market. To a degree, what makes for the best espresso maker is objective, so we won’t be leaving you hanging. Here is no less than ten further options.
Capresso EC300 Espresso Machine
First up on this extended list of the best espresso machines under 300 is the Capresso EC300 Espresso Machine.
During its first two decades in business, the Capresso brand has established itself as a coffee industry heavyweight, earning that reputation through an innovative approach to coffee brewing technology as well as an insistence on both quality and durability. Another way of putting it would be to say that when you purchase a Capresso espresso maker, you can be sure that you are in good hands and can expect a quality product.
One of the wonderful things about Capresso is that the brand produces many affordable coffee makers – the Capresso EC300 Espresso Machine being one of them.
Its innovative 1200 watt thermoblock heating system is encapsulated in an equally sturdy and elegant stainless steel body, along with all of the other features that make this semi-automatic espresso maker stand out. In addition to everything already mentioned, the Capresso EC300 Espresso Machine comprises a 15 bar power pump for optimal extraction during the brewing process, a self-locking filter holder, an illuminated control knob instead of buttons, a stainless steel cup warming platform and a removable stainless steel drip tray.
It is also well worth noting that the Capresso EC300 Espresso Machine works with both coffee grounds and capsules, depending on what you are in the mood for. You also get a 1 year warranty, and a complimentary tamper and coffee scoop when you purchase your Capresso EC300 Espresso Machine from 1st in Coffee.
Where to get it
The Capresso EC300 Espresso Machine is available from 1st in Coffee.
Capresso EC100 Espresso Machine
Determined as we are to include a variety of different coffee machine brands in this article, Capresso is behind two espresso machines that are equally worthy of inclusion. There is the Capresso EC300 Espresso Machine that we have just looked at, and there is the Capresso EC100, which we are about to take a closer look at now.
The Capresso EC100 Espresso Machine is really a combined espresso and cappuccino maker – meaning that you essentially get two coffee machines in one if you opt for the Capresso EC100.
What makes the Capresso EC100 Espresso Machine stand out, not only from the EC300 but also from other quality espresso makers is its compact size combined with powerful technology. Like the EC300, the Capresso EC100 utilises a stainless steel lined thermoblock heating system, which ensures that the brewing process is even and uniform, and that it results in an utterly delicious espresso (or cappucino) every time.
Another wonderful thing worth highlighting about the Capresso EC100 Espresso Machine is that it works equally well with pods or coffee grounds.
The Capresso EC100 Espresso Machine further comprises a 46 ounce water tank, a heavy duty cup warming platform and removable drip tray, indicator lights for on/off and for coffee/steam, separate frothing positions for steamed milk, built-in swivel steam frother, self-locking filter holder and a 15 bar power pump.
Where to get it
The Capresso EC100 Espresso Machine is available from 1st in Coffee.
Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy, Espresso Coffee Machine with Alexa and Smart Home Control for Lavazza A Modo Mio capsules, Black
Next up among uour best espresso machines under 300 is the Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy Espresso Machine with Alexa and Smart Home Control, which can be purchased through Amazon.
No doubt you are familiar with the Lavazza brand name. Lavazza is one of the oldest and most loved and trusted coffee brands in the world today. The brand was established in Italy all the way back in 1895, and it is fair to say that the brand has grown and evolved from strength to strength ever since. The Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy Espresso Machine with Alexa and Smart Home Control is one of the newest innovations from the Lavazza brand, proving that this giant of the coffee industry is not afraid of embracing new technology.
The Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy Espresso Machine with Alexa and Smart Home Control is voice-controlled, allowing you to order your new espresso machine to brew your favourite espresso drink. If you want to, you are able to connect your Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy Espresso Machine to either Alexa or the Piercere Lavazza app.
In many ways you can consider your Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy Espresso Machine with Alexa and Smart Home Control your own personal barista, as it brews at your command or at the touch of a button. You are able to customize your coffee experience by programming in your ideal coffee settings using either Alexa or the Piercere Lavazza app. When you run out of capsules for your machine, you can even order new ones via Alexa or the app, which connect directly to the Amazon website. The very best thing about the Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy Espresso Machine with Alexa and Smart Home Control, though, is that it costs less than 300.
Where to get it
The Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy Espresso Machine with Alexa and Smart Home Control is available from Amazon.
Illy Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee
No article talking about the best espresso machines under 300 would be complete without mentioning the Illy Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Maker.
While the Illy Y5 Espresso & Coffee Maker might be the more feature-packed of the two, the Illy Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Maker is almost half the price while still maintaining all of the essential functions you would want in a home espresso machine.
The Illy Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Maker features a compact, jet-black design, and is able to prepare both real Italian-style espresso and regular coffee. Either is accomplished at the press of a button and the brewing itself takes seconds rather than minutes – without compromising taste. Like the Illy Y5, the Illy Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Maker uses Illy’s own-brand Iper espresso and coffee capsules. In short, brewing either true espresso or regular coffee using your Illy Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Maker could hardly be any easier or quicker.
One thing to keep in mind, however, before you head on over to 1st in Coffee and purchase yourself an Illy Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Maker, is the fact that the Y3.3 is compact and has a smaller footprint than most espresso machines mentioned in this article. If you live on alone and will primarily be using your espresso machine to brew coffee for yourself, this might be perfect, but if you are a larger household you might want to go for the Y5 instead!
The Illy Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Maker’s specs are as follows: 25 ounce water tank, two buttons (one for regular coffee and one for espresso), 15 bar pressure pump, used capsule bin and adjustable cup platform.
Where to get it
The Illy Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Maker is available from 1st in Coffee.
Nespresso CitiZ & Milk 11317 Coffee Machine
Next up on our list of great espresso makers under 300 is the Nespresso CitiZ, an utterly sleek and elegant compact little espresso maker.
You are probably familiar with Nespresso, and with their range of semi-automatic espresso machines, which includes the Nespresso CitiZ & Milk 11317 Coffee Machine model that we are looking at here.
The Nespresso CitiZ & Milk 11317 Coffee Machine comes in black, white and red, so you can pick the one that best reflects the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. Despite its modest size, this is a real powerhouse of a coffee-espresso machine.
In fact, the Nespresso CitiZ & Milk 11317 Coffee Machine is an award winning piece of kitchen kit, and once we list its features and functions, it is easy to see why.
The Nespresso CitiZ & Milk 11317 Coffee Machine is surprisingly high performance, featuring a 19 bar pressure pump for perfect coffee extraction, a heat-up time of only 25 seconds, two programmable buttons, an automatic energy-saving function which switches the machine off automatically after nine minutes, and, very importantly, a built-in Aeroccino3 system which allows you to create rich and velvety foam at the touch of a button.
Where to get it
The Nespresso Citiz and Milk Coffee Machine in white is available from Amazon, as well as from the Nespresso webshop.
De’Longhi Dedica Style Traditional Pump Espresso Machine, Coffee and Cappuccino Maker, EC685R, Red
Almost last but very far from least on our list of fantastic espresso makers under 300 is this offering from De’Longhi: The De’Longhi Dedica Style Traditional Pump Espresso Machine EC6885R in red.
De’Longhi is, beyond a doubt, one of the most innovative and influential brands in the coffee manufacturing industry. Whenever you walk into a local coffee shop, you are likely to see the barista brewing coffee using a De’Longhi machine.
The De’Longhi Dedica Style Traditional Pump Espresso Machine EC6885R comes in red, white, black or stainless steel, and it is a fantastic value for money espresso maker regardless. The purpose of this elegant, compact espresso maker is to allow you to recreate an authentic barista experience in the comfort of your home, without any barista skills required.
The De’Longhi Dedica Style Traditional Pump Espresso Machine EC6885R is a versatile machine, brewing coffee drinks from ground coffee or delivering water for herbal tea or Americons with the same ease.
Brewing espresso using the De’Longhi Dedica Style Traditional Pump Espresso Machine EC6885R always results in a smooth and grit free shot, thanks to the three filters. The adjustable milk frothing wand makes whipping up the perfectly textured milk foam for your silky smooth latte or cappuccino easy as one, two, three. The programmable buttons on the front of the De’Longhi Dedica Style Traditional Pump Espresso Machine EC6885R make it easy to customize your espresso by for example deciding whether you want a single or double espresso shot, and whether or not your coffee drink requires extra hot water.
One thing worth noting is that only smaller espresso cups will fit under the spout.
This is a great machine if you like parts of the brewing process to be fully automated and handled for you by the machine, while still being able to adjust and personalize your espresso to a great degree.
Where to get it
De’Longhi Dedica Style Traditional Pump Espresso Machine EC6885R in red is available from Amazon.
Swan Nordic One Touch Espresso Machine
We are near the end of this list of great espresso makers under 300, but before we can wrap up we need to talk about the Swan Nordic One Touch Espresso Machine.
Swan is a large manufacture of a great variety of homeware products, including the coffee machines which are part of its Nordic range, inspired by Scandinavian design and a retro feel. This alone should tell you that the Swan Nordic One Touch Espresso Machine is a joy from first sight.
The Swan Nordic One Touch Espresso Machine comes in five different colorways to choose from – blue, cotton white, green, gray and white.
The Swan Nordic One Touch Espresso Machine is a high-performance espresso machine with a 15 bar pressure pump and reliable, self-priming heating system. This machine has a generous 1.2 litre removable water tank, so there is plenty of room even if you are a family or an office full of avid espresso drinkers.
Some of you will be delighted to hear that the Swan Nordic One Touch Espresso Machine lets you switch between ground coffee and capsules as you please, and that the Swan Nordic One Touch Espresso Machine has a powerful, built-in milk frother.
Where to get it
The Swan Nordic One Touch Espresso Machine is available from Amazon.
Best espresso machine under 300 FAQ
Does an expensive espresso machine make a difference?
When it comes to finding a great espresso machine, you can generally expect the size of your budget to be reflected in the overall quality of the espresso machine you are able to get.
However, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars in order to get a good quality espresso machine – in fact, finding a great espresso machine for $3o0 or less is completely possible. While you can’t expect to find a budget espresso machine that comes with all of the same bells and whistles as a high-end espresso machine, you can easily find one that is capable of reliably brewing delicious espresso. You might have to make a few compromises, but if you know what your priorities are between size, brewing capabilities, ease of use and automation, you’ll be able to make a great choice.
In this article, we’ve covered quite a few good espresso machine options, all priced at $300 or less.
How many bars should a good espresso machine have?
Bars in espresso machines refer to the water pressure – an integral part of the brewing process.
If you want to achieve a rich, velvety and aromatic crema every time you brew espresso, you need to be aware of the water pressure as it influences the outcome tremendously. For the perfect crema, the bar pressure needs ton between 7 and 9 bars.
What is the most reliable espresso machine?
When it comes to choosing a reliable and sturdy espresso machine, it is recommended that you go for one produced by one of the long-term manufacturer giants within the coffee industry, such as De’Longhi, Illy or Breville.
Choosing an espresso machine from a name-brand espresso machine manufacturer ensures that you get a reliable product, produced by a brand that has a long and illustrious track record of supplying coffee lovers with high-quality espresso machines.
What is the best espresso machine under 300?
Finding a great espresso machine under 300 isn’t hard.
In this article, we look at several of the best options, including the super versatile Illy Y5 Espresso & Coffee Maker and many other great options.
Best espresso machines under 300 – final thoughts
A great espresso machine doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag – we hope we’ve demonstrated as much with this article.
While you’ll struggle to find an espresso machine under 300 that can do it all, finding a great coffee maker capable of producing a delicious espresso and then some is not difficult. In this article, we’ve presented you with some great options. We encourage you to get clear on what your personal requirements are – consider what you need in an espresso machine -then go through the options on this list and pick your favourite, the machine that best fits your particular wishes.
If the choice was left up to us, we’d recommend that you go for the Illy Y5 Espresso & Coffee maker or the Breville ESP8XL Café Roma Espresso Maker, both of which are available from 1st in Coffee. The Illy Y5 is probably the most versatile budget espresso maker on the market today, giving you an impressive amount of value for your money.