10 Best Budget Espresso Machines Under $200 – Reviews & Buying Guide
Do you think it’s impossible to find a good and reliable espresso machine for under $200? Then think again. We’ve gathered the 10 best espressos machines for under $200. While they come at some compromise, you’ll hardly notice the difference.
So, without any further ado, here are our top 10 budget espresso machine picks.
Mr. Coffee Café Barista Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
- Includes milk frother and reservoir.
- 4 preset functions.
- Integrated digital control panel.
- Retains aroma and natural taste.
- The frother isn’t customizable.
Who knew a semi-automatic espresso machine could be this cheap! The Mr. Coffee Café Barista is one of the best espresso machines under $200. It uses a 15-bar pumping system that retains a lot of the aroma and natural taste of the coffee grounds.
With this machine, you also get an automatic milk frother along with a milk reservoir. The machine also comes with 4 preset Latte, Espresso, Cappuccino, and Custom functions, along with a clean function. And all of this is facilitated through an integrated digital control panel.
This espresso maker has a bit of everything, which is a surprise considering the price. The only downside to this design is, the frother lacks any level of customization. Therefore, you have to settle for a preset amount of milk.
Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle
- Can make many varieties of espresso.
- Suitable for iced coffee.
- Uses special extraction technology.
- 15-second heat-up time.
- No cappuccino or latte function.
If you want to have a few more options in your espresso machine, try the Nespresso Vertuo. As compact as any semi-automatic espresso machine, this device can brew various sizes of espresso. Use it to make single-serve espresso, gran lungo, and alto. It’s also great for making your favorite iced coffee recipe.
What sets the Nespresso apart is, it uses its proprietary extraction technology known as Centrifusion. It can extract all the flavor and aroma out of the coffee pods without watering down the taste.
And that’s not all.
It has a speedy heating time of hardly 15 seconds. However, it’s only an espresso machine and cannot make cappuccino or lattes.
Cuisinart EM-200NP1 Programmable 15-Bar Espresso Maker
- Completely programmable.
- Single and double-shot presets.
- Good for cappuccinos and lattes.
- Constant 15-bar pressure.
- Very loud.
Like to be in control of your coffee? Then you’ll love this stainless-steel machine from Cuisinart. It’s one of the best espresso machines under $200 that is completely programmable. This means you get to individually control the temperature, pressure, and taste of the coffee.
But if you don’t want that, don’t worry. You get single-shot and double-shot espresso presets as well. The pressure stays constant at 15 bars, ensuring the best quality and thickest froth.
Speaking of froth, this machine comes with a frothing wand that quickly steams up cappuccinos and lattes.
You may notice, however, that the pump vibrates very loudly when it’s running. This can get mildly irritating, especially if you’re often brewing.
Breville BNV220CRO1BUC1 Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine
- Can brew 5 different cup sizes.
- Great for iced coffee.
- Maximum flavor extraction.
- Good for personal and home use.
- It only works with Nespresso Vertuo capsules.
Breville’s Vertuo Coffee is an automatic espresso machine made for Nespresso. It’s a highly versatile coffee maker that can brew up to 5 different sizes of cups. It’s the best choice for iced coffee and alto.
Much like other Nespresso products, this one too uses the Centrifusion extraction technology. In a nutshell, it ensures maximum flavor without compromising on aroma or consistency.
In addition to that, this coffee maker features a 40-ounce water tank. The size isn’t entirely on par with other machines, but it’s the best choice for personal use.
However, one of the most significant drawbacks of this machine is, it only works with Nespresso’s Vertuo capsules.
DeLonghi Stilosa Manual Espresso machine, Latte & Cappuccino
- Compact size.
- Good for lattes and cappuccinos.
- Maximum flavor extraction.
- Rust-free boiler.
- Cannot brew 2 cups simultaneously.
For those who live in apartments, the DeLonghi Stilosa is the best espresso machine for under $200. Its primary design feature is compact and highly portable, measuring just under a foot in height.
As an espresso machine, it’s perfect for brewing lattes, cappuccinos, and single and double-shot espressos. But you can’t brew 2 cups at the same time.
A powerful 15-bar pump helps pull out as much flavor from your coffee as possible. What’s more is, the boiler is made from stainless steel, so it won’t rust over or corrode.
One of the best design features here is the ease of cleaning. The housing is also made from steel, so a simple wipe-down with a damp cloth does the trick.
Capresso 124.01 Ultima Pro Programmable Pump Espresso Machine
- Strong Thermoblock lining.
- Faster heat-up time.
- Completely programmable.
- Self-tamping mechanical.
- Low tank capacity (34 ounces).
For a product that’s a bit more on the higher end, try the Capresso 124.01 Ultima Pro. It’s designed to be fast and consistent, using a strong Thermoblock lining to ensure maximum heat retention.
But that’s not what makes it special. This machine is completely programmable. Thus, you can exercise more control over your coffee. Plus, the portafilter has a self-tamping mechanism, which means you don’t have to struggle with it.
However, you may still have a problem with the water tank, which hardly holds 34 ounces of water. It’s suitable for personal use, but not so much if you’re a frequent drinker.
NESCAFE Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine
- 17 flavor varieties.
- More flavor extraction.
- Easy wheel interface.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Holds only one cup.
- No frother.
Need a convenient espresso machine that works with capsules? Then you might be looking for the NESCAFE Dolce Gusto. With a sleek, streamlined design, the Dolce Gusto can brew up to 17 different flavors just from your capsules.
Equipped with a wheel interface, the Dolce Gusto Esperta 2 makes the user experience its top priority. And considering it uses 17 bars of pressure instead of 15, you can bet the taste is just as premium.
But for all its convenience, it’s a relatively light and compact product. That means it can only hold one cup at a time. And it lacks a frother or any other accessory.
Hamilton Beach Espresso Machine, Latte, and Cappuccino Maker
- Better flavor extraction.
- Easy-to-use portafilter.
- Flexible frothing wand.
- Good for cappuccinos and lattes.
- Coffee may be watery.
Hamilton Beach’s Espresso Machine is one of the best espresso machines under $200 for casual drinkers. It uses an Italian-style 15-bar pump that extracts every last bit of flavor in your coffee. And with the patented Slide & Lock portafilter, the brewing experience has never been easier.
In addition to that, there’s the swivel steam wand that lends you more flexibility when steaming your milk. This makes it apt for brewing cappuccinos, espressos, and lattes and making hot chocolate.
However, due to some design flaws, the coffee can come out a bit watery. You can add more grounds to get a higher saturation, but the problem is inevitable.
Ninja Specialty with 50 Oz Glass Carafe
- Unique traditional design.
- Highly versatile product.
- 6 brew sizes to choose from.
- Comes with a 50 oz. glass carafe.
- Quite big and heavy.
Love the traditional coffee maker design? Then Ninja’s Specialty espresso maker may pique your interests. Not only does it have a unique and classic look, but the operation is sans portafilter.
And that’s not to mention the sheer versatility of the product. Use it to brew lattes, espressos, cappuccinos, Americanos, macchiatos, and even iced coffee. The analog control panel lets you choose from 6 brew sizes, so you never waste any coffee.
But that’s not even the best part. With this machine, you get a 50 oz. glass carafe for serving! All of this, however, comes at the cost of size. It’s quite a big and heavy machine.
Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine
- Suitable for solo drinkers.
- Saves counter space.
- Highly-saturated brews.
- Faster heat-up time.
- Not for whole families.
- No steam wand.
Just bought a new apartment and need a fast, personal coffee-making solution? Then the Nespresso Essenza should be your ultimate choice. It packs two main features that separate it from the rest: the compact size and the personal design.
The Essenza uses a powerful 19-bar pump that promises some highly saturated brews to compensate for its size. And the best part is, it’s quick and easy to use. Just press the right button, and your coffee will be ready in no less than 25 seconds.
There are some obvious downsides to this, though. It’s not recommended for everyone, only those who are the sole coffee drinkers in their household. There’s also no steam wand or milk reservoir.
Buying the best cheap espresso machine isn’t going to be a breeze. Here’s all you need to look out for when making your purchase.
Firstly, look at the brewing temperature and pressure. The pressure is typically mentioned on the product page, but the temperature will be harder to find. Look for a pressure of at least 15 bars and a temperature above 194 degrees Fahrenheit.
The general rule of thumb here is that more pressure means more saturation. And temperature can have the same effect, with the ideal temperature being between 180 F and 195 F.
Next, check how customizable the machine is. You’re not just going to make espresso, after all. You may want a cappuccino, latte, and Americano functionality. Look at the different presets offered on the machine.
Even if you’re going for espresso, there are different varieties and brew sizes. Since it’s about customization, what you prefer is entirely up to you. If you’re serving more people or using the product commercially, more customization is better.
Tank capacity decides how many cups you can make before you need to refill the machine. For heavy drinkers, families, and commercial settings, look for no less than 60 ounces of tank capacity.
For solo drinkers, couples, and light drinkers, consider a tank capacity of 45 ounces or lower. This doesn’t affect the brewing size (the size of the cup in one brew).
Finally, decide whether you want a steaming wand or not. Steam wands are used to froth up milk and coffee. They can also be used to make hot chocolate and a few other drinks. Some people even use them for making tea.
Steam wands should be flexible and easy to rotate. They should also provide the ideal steaming temperature. Steam customization and dual boilers are hard to find in this price range, but you can take your chances.
What is the best budget espresso machine?
If you’re looking for a good espresso machine under a $200 budget, nothing can beat Mr. Coffee. It’s got everything you would want on a generic espresso machine. And the taste is quite saturated for the price you get it at.
Are cheap espresso machines worth it?
Yes. If you buy from a reliable brand, a cheap espresso machine can be just as good as the more expensive ones. However, you’ll usually be compromising on customization, extra features, and flavor varieties.
What is the best compact espresso machine?
For those of you who want to save counter space, try the Nespresso Vertuo Coffee Machine. It’s hardly a foot in height and is just as good as the larger espresso machines.
Finding the best espresso machine under $200 is tough, but it’s certainly not impossible. While we looked at 10 different espresso machines, we genuinely felt that Mr. Coffee was the best one.
With its streamlined stainless-steel design and flavor retention, it’s a steal for the price you get it at.
About the Author
Lori Bogedin is a health and wellness writer and editor of TwigsCafe.com. She is in the restaurant business since 1999. In 2016 she was named one of the "Top Women in Business" by Northeastern Pennsylvania Business Journal.