Updated: August 13, 2023 by Mary Nguyen
If you are a person who likes to drink espresso often, there is just one thing for you to do – get yourself an espresso machine! Instead of having to spend time and money on getting your coffee from a coffee shop, you will be able to prepare it from the comfort of your home and in next to no time. I recommend that you look into the best budget espresso machines and find out which one is the right one for you.
Luckily for people who are on the market for a new budget espresso machine, I have come up with the seven best options for you to look into. These machines can give you your money’s worth and even more than that. They are all packed with many great features and can brew some amazing espresso and espresso-based beverages.
If you are ready to learn about my seven favorite budget espresso machines, let’s get right into the list! Make sure to stick around for the detailed guides on each one as well as the buying guide near the end.
If you know anything about me, you know that I love Nespresso coffee, and what better way to get it than with my top pick for this guide, I have the Nespresso Vertuo which should not come as a shock to people who know anything about the Vertuo Line.
This smart, versatile brewer that automatically brews your coffee is going to save you a lot of time and effort. It heats up fast, it brews the coffee in a matter of seconds, and the coffee is always going to taste amazing. I recommend this machine to everyone looking to get their money’s worth, but if you are not sold on it yet, make sure to check out the detailed guide on it given further below!
Table of Contents
My Roundup of the Best Budget Espresso Machines
|1. Nespresso Vertuo|
|2. Nespresso Vertuo Plus E|
|3. De’Longhi Stilosa|
|4. Gevi Home Barista|
|5. Breville ESP8XL Café Roma|
|6. Lavazza Expert Classy Plus|
|7. Hamilton Beach 15 Bar Espresso Machine|
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty details of best inexpensive espresso machines and see what they are all about.
1. Nespresso Vertuo Espresso Machine – Best Overall
When I want to talk about a great espresso machine that does not come at a high price, the first company that I turn to is Nespresso. Their machines from the Vertuo Line, like this Vertuo Original machine, are very convenient and easy to use. They can be used with the Vertuo capsules that have a barcode on the top, telling the machine exactly what type of coffee it needs to brew each time!
- Pressure via Centrifusion technology
- Four different cup sizes
- Large water tank
- Recyclable capsules
- Adjustable and removable drip tray
This one-touch brewer allows you to brew coffee quite fast. After you are done with the brew, you can simply remove the water tank and drip tray to clean them up. Maintaining this machine will not be a problem at all, but remember that you will also need to descale it using the Nespresso descaling kit every five to six months!
- One-touch brewer — fool-proof, no barista skills required
- Fast and convenient
- Option to have milk frother included
- Wide variety of Vertuo capsules
- Purists may be put off because it’s a superautomatic, and uses
- Because they only use capsules, your espresso won’t be using freshly ground beans
This espresso machine comes with a ton of great features and just one fault – the coffee that it brews will not always be very hot. That does not mean that the taste is affected in any way. I still recommend this machine to everyone looking for a convenient and versatile brewer for their home!
This is the second machine of Nespresso’s Vertuo Line that I will be talking about. Just like the previous machine, this one also brews coffee using Centrifusion technology. This ensures that you will get a cup of perfectly brewed coffee whenever you use the machine – just make sure that you have the right kind of capsule for it!
- Pressure via Centrifusion technology
- Single-serve brewer
- Large water tank
- Automatic capsule ejection and storage
- Automatic shut-off option
The VertuoPlus has mostly the same features as the Vertuo, but with added automatic features, which are pretty slick.
- One-touch brewing
- More automatic features than Vertuo
- Adjustable water tank placement
- Wide variety of Vertuo capsules
- Takes a little longer to heat up than the Vertuo
Even though this is an amazing coffee machine, it can only be descaled with the Nespresso descaling kit. This is somewhat limiting and could be a problem for some people. If you do not mind getting the Nespresso descaling solution every few months, then consider getting this machine for yourself.
This model is also our top pick for espresso machines under $200.
The third espresso machine that I will talk about is the Stilosa. This machine was created by De’Longhi, one of the best coffee machine manufacturers in the world. If you are into coffee, there is no way you have not heard about this machine – it is not only a great brewer, but it also comes at the most affordable price on this list!
- 15-bar pressure pump
- Adjustable drip tray
- Stainless steel boiler
- Two filter baskets included
Thanks to the amazing design, you will be able to use this machine for years after you purchase it. Some important parts in the machine are made from durable stainless steel, including the boiler used to heat the water. You can rest assured that the boiler as well as the other parts will last for years and will not cause you any problems at all.
- Modern and compact design
- Steam wand lets you froth milk for lattes and cappuccinos
- Can hold different cup sizes
- Might not make a very strong espresso
This is the most affordable espresso machine on this list, so if you are on a very tight budget, I recommend that you look into it more closely. Some parts of it might not last you for years and years, but at least you will get great coffee with them while they last.
Ever since I got my first at-home espresso machine, I have loved playing the role of the family barista. If that is something that you would want to do, then this machine might be the perfect choice for you. You can use it to make some great espresso, but you can also make other espresso-based beverages with it!
- 15-bar professional Italian pump
- Double temperature control
- Double-layer portafilter
When you are preparing the machine for a new brew, make sure that you do not exceed the MAX lines on both the water tank and the filter baskets. If you do that, the machine might have difficulties working properly. Always make sure that you follow the brewing guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
- Has a temperature gauge
- Easy controls
- Steam wand makes great foam
- Large capacity removable water tank
- Water tank may tend to leak
Even though this is a great espresso machine, there are several things that you should keep in mind. It is very loud when brewing, it comes with only one filter basket, and it does not come with a milk pitcher. Take this into consideration when thinking about getting this machine!
Reading the name of this espresso machine, I cannot help but think of all that amazing espresso I drank in Italy and how I would love to have a brewer that gives me the same experience from home. Well, you can surely get espresso that tastes as good as the espresso in Italy by using this machine. Thanks to the dual-wall filter system, you will also get amazing crema on top of your espresso!
- 15-bar pump
- Quality durable build
- Dual-wall filter system
- Easy controls
What I like about this machine is the fact that it allows you to brew coffee using coffee grounds or a capsule. The portafilter is designed in such a way that you can use it with both a single- or double-filter basket and an actual coffee capsule. Once you put the coffee in the portafilter and you attach it to the machine, use the selector dial to start your brew.
- Professional steam wand
- Cup warming tray
- Includes an ESE (easy serve espresso) pod basket
- Doesn’t accommodate taller cups
If you want to drink coffee like the Italians, you need to preheat the ceramic cup in which you will be serving it. Using the cup warming tray on this machine, you can easily warm up the cups and have them ready in no time.
You might know the name Lavazza from all the great coffee blends and single-origin coffees that they offer, but they have also dabbled into the world of espresso machines and have come up with many amazing machines. This Expert Classy Plus is a great one that allows you to choose ready-made recipes with just a push of a button.
- 9-bar pressure
- Six beverage options
- Standby eco mode
I love a versatile brewer and this machine from Lavazza is just that! On the front side, there are easy controls that you can use to choose between an espresso, lungo, regular coffee, macchiato, cappuccino, or latte. You can also use the double shot option to get a double serving of any of these recipes!
- Super convenient automatic milk frother
- One-touch drink selection
- Easy to maintain
- Works only with Lavazza Expert Capsules
The fact that this machine can work with only one type of pod is somewhat limiting. If you are a person who likes to switch things up and use different flavored pods often, this machine might not be suitable for you. Nevertheless, I encourage you to take a closer look at it before you make your decision on it.
To end my list, I will tell you more about this convenient brewer from Hamilton Beach. Using this machine is very easy – there is a slide and lock mechanism that allows you to attach the portafilter without any problem. Before you start the brew, just make sure that the portafilter is properly secured to the machine!
- 15-bar pump pressure
- Swiveling steam wand
- Removable drip tray
- Brew 2 cups at once
- Works with pods or grounds
The swiveling steam wand is great for people who like to drink a lot of lattes or cappuccinos. Since it is a swiveling wand, after all, you can choose to rotate it and adjust it to your liking. It will take only a minute to get the milk to that foamy texture you are looking for.
- Easy Slide and Lock filter — no fiddling and twisting!
- Fuss-free cleaning
- Machine may start leaking after some time
Even though this is a great machine, the build is not all that great, and it makes the machine less durable. If you are looking for a machine to last you for a decade, this machine is not it. You would be better off checking some of the other options I have included on this list.
How to Choose the Best Budget Espresso Machine
To help you select the perfect machine for yourself, I want to give you a few pointers to show you what you need to focus on when buying an espresso machine. Let’s see what you need to keep in mind!
Decide on the Budget
First things first, you need to decide how much you are willing to spend on an espresso machine, whether it’s as low as $100 or $200, or maybe a mid-range one that’s around $300. The machines on this list are quite affordable and they are all quality machines with many features, so I recommend that you stick with them. There are other great budget machines out there, but I consider these seven to be the best ones.
Compact and Convenient
Compact machines will not take up a lot of your space, while convenient ones will not take up much of your time. Go with an automatic machine if you do not wish to be involved in the brewing process. A manual would be better if you want to be involved in it. The former is a bit more convenient if you ask me, but the latter is also a good choice.
Do You Want Espresso Only or Espresso-Based Beverages as Well?
If you only want to brew espresso using your machine, you will not need anything more than a simple espresso machine. If you want to be able to prepare espresso-based beverages as well, go for a machine that has a steaming wand. The latter might be a bit more expensive, but it is worth it considering the cool extra feature you get!
FAQs on Affordable Espresso Machines
Before I wrap this guide up, I want to share with you a couple of other interesting things about budget espresso machines. Let’s get into it and see what else you need to know before buying your next espresso machine!
Can you make good espresso with a cheap machine?
Whether a cheap machine makes good espresso or not depends on several factors. If the interior of the machine is plastic and not steel or metal, the taste of the coffee can be compromised. Also, if you have had the cheap machine for a while and you have not been taking care of it properly, that might lead to your coffee tasting worse than expected.
You can still brew good espresso with a cheap machine, just make sure that you keep the machine clean and descaled at all times and that you use fresh water as well as fresh grounds each time you start a brew.
Is making espresso at home worth it?
If you are a person who drinks coffee often, preparing the coffee at home is going to be worth every minute and every dollar! Instead of relying on coffee shops to provide you with coffee that can sometimes even be subpar, you can prepare the coffee yourself using the ingredients you love. What could be better than that?
Final Thoughts on Budget Espresso Machines
Thank you for sticking with me through my rundown of the best affordable espresso machines! I hope you agree with my picks, but I am open to other suggestions. Feel free to add them in the comments below.
So check out my top pick, the Nespresso Vertuo. You should also check out the De’Longhi Stilosa if you are on a tighter budget and cannot afford the Nespresso machine. Nevertheless, I hope that whatever machine you end up going with gives you a great espresso experience!