If you are a coffee lover who enjoys the rich and intense flavors of espresso, investing in a quality espresso machine is a great way to elevate your home coffee experience. With the abundance of options on the market, selecting the perfect one can be daunting, especially when you’re aiming to get the most value for your investment.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll navigate through the key features of espresso machines priced under $300. We’ll explore the various types of machines available, highlight the top contenders in this price range, and provide insights into essential features, maintenance advice, and considerations to help you make an informed decision based on your preferences and budget.

Below are detailed reviews of my top seven favorite espresso machines designed for home use. By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a clear idea of which machine suits your needs best and is perfect for your home brewing setup!

TOP PICK

Breville stands tall among coffee maker brands, renowned for its commitment to innovation, quality craftsmanship, and intuitive design. Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to one of their latest gems and my top pick, the Breville Bambino. While Breville machines often come with a hefty price tag, this newer addition offers a wallet-friendly option without compromising on features.

As a long-time owner of the Breville Barista Express, I’ve come to expect top-notch quality and performance from their machines. So, I put the Bambino to the test, eager to see if it could match the excellence of its pricier counterparts. And boy, did it deliver! My espresso came out just as rich and flavorful as ever, reminiscent of the brews from my trusty Barista Express.

I’m absolutely smitten with this machine, and I can’t wait to dive deeper into its features. If you’re on the fence about whether to make the leap, I highly recommend checking out that section for an in-depth look at what this machine has to offer! While this machine may not cater to everyone’s preferences, we’ve curated a selection of alternative picks that also offer great value. Hopefully, among these options, you’ll find one that perfectly suits you!

The Best Espresso Machines under $300: My Reviews

Product Key Features
Best Overall Breville Bambino Espresso Machine BES450BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel
Breville Bambino Espresso Machine
  • ThermoJet heating w/ PID temperature control
  • Automatic Microfoam Milk Texturing
  • Low pressure pre infusion
Check Amazon
Gaggia Carezza De Luxe Espresso Machine, 47oz, Silver
Gaggia Carezza De Luxe Espresso Machine
  • Brews both ground Coffee and ESE pods
  • Removable Pannarello wand frother- doubles as hot water dispenser
  • Front Loaded 47 oz. Water Reservoir
Check Amazon
Mr. Coffee Programmable Espresso & Cappuccino Machine with Automatic Milk Frother & 19-Bar Pump, Stainless Steel
Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse
  • 19-bar Italian pump
  • Easy controls
  • Thermocouple heating system
Check Amazon
Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville, 5 Cups, Chrome
Nespresso Vertuo by Breville
  • Automatic espresso machine
  • Four different cup sizes
  • Fast heat-up
Check Amazon
De'Longhi 15 bar Pump Espresso Maker, EC702, Metal
De’Longhi EC702
  • Three-in-one filter holder
  • Removable water tank
  • Twin brewing cycle
Check Amazon
De'Longhi Dedica EC680M, Espresso Machine, Coffee and Cappucino Maker with Milk Frother, Metal / Stainless, Compact Design 6 in Wide, Fit Mug Up to 5 in
De’Longhi EC680M
  • Automatic flow stop
  • Advanced cappuccino system
  • Compact design
Check Amazon
EspressoWorks 19-Bar Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Maker 10-Piece Set - Brew Cappuccino and Latte with One Button - Espresso Machine with Milk Steamer 1250W - Coffee Gifts (Silver)
EspressoWorks 19-Bar Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Maker
  • All-in-one w/ grinder
  • Built-in Removable Frother
  • Thermoblock heating system
Check Amazon
Lavazza Expert Coffee Classy Plus Single Serve ALL-IN-ONE Espresso & Coffee Brewer Machine - LB 400 - (Includes Built-in Milk Vessel/Frother)
Lavazza Expert Classy Plus
  • Versatile brewer
  • Touch user interface
  • Standby eco-mode
Check Amazon

1. Breville Bambino Espresso Machine

Best Overall
Breville Bambino Espresso Machine BES450BSS, Brushed Stainless Steel

Breville Bambino Espresso Machine

Key Features

    • ThermoJet heating w/ PID temperature control
    • Automatic Microfoam Milk Texturing
    • Low Pressure Preinfusion
    • 15 bar pump

Check Amazon

Breville, known for its top-selling espresso machines, has expanded its range to cater to a more budget-friendly market with the introduction of the Breville Bambino. This compact espresso machine is designed to fit snugly into small kitchen spaces while still delivering exceptional espresso.

What I particularly adore about this petite powerhouse is its simplicity. It’s equipped with everything you need to craft exquisite coffeehouse beverages without breaking the bank. The machine heats up remarkably fast, achieving optimal brewing temperature in just 3 seconds, and effortlessly produces a superb espresso with a rich crema, thanks to its precise pressure and temperature control. Moreover, its frother creates luxuriously creamy milk foam, perfect for lattes and cappuccinos that tantalize the taste buds.

Whether you’re a seasoned barista or a novice, this machine makes it a breeze to whip up cafe-quality drinks at home. While the included accessories are functional, I’m personally inclined towards a higher-quality portafilter and tamper to elevate my morning espresso routine. Pairing it with a high-quality grinder ensures a winning combination for exceptional brews every time.

  • Slim fit design
  • Automatic power-off
  • Ready in 3 seconds
  • 47 oz. water capacity
  • Stainless Steel Dual and Single Wall Filters

Cons

  • Not enough heft

While I’m accustomed to the sturdy build of other Breville models, the Bambino’s smaller size and possibly more economical components mean it lacks the same weightiness. As a result, you may need to stabilize the machine when inserting or removing the portafilter, which can be a minor inconvenience. Nonetheless, despite this drawback, it still manages to deliver a quality espresso.

Check Amazon

2. Gaggia Carezza De Luxe Espresso Machine

Gaggia Carezza De Luxe Espresso Machine, 47oz, Silver

Gaggia Carezza De Luxe Espresso Machine

Key Features

    • Brews both ground Coffee and ESE pods
    • Removable Pannarello wand frother- doubles as hot water dispenser
    • Front Loaded 47 oz. Water Reservoir
    • Made in Italy

Check Amazon

This retro-inspired Gaggia Carezza De Luxe espresso machine brings style and functionality to any coffee lover’s setup. Its compact design adds flair to your kitchen while delivering espresso that rivals what you’d find on the streets of Italy. Crafted in Italy, it lives up to the country’s reputation for espresso excellence.

Gaggia, a prominent name in the espresso industry, has crafted a budget-friendly gem with this machine. Featuring a 15-bar pump and a pressurized “crema perfetta” filter, it ensures optimal pressure for perfect extraction, resulting in exquisite coffee with a delightful crema. Its ability to handle fine grinds effortlessly ensures consistently smooth and flavorful espresso.

Unlike most other machines, the water tank is in the front, allowing for easier monitoring of water levels and hassle-free refilling. Additionally, it comes with a descaling alert, reminding users of necessary maintenance tasks for optimal performance.

Pros

  • Auto-shut off
  • Retro aesthetic
  • Pressurized “crema perfetta” filter
  • Cup warmer
  • Preinfusion
  • Rapid Heating

Cons

  • User guide is poorly written

This machine has a bit of a learning curve. It also did not help that the user guide was somewhat challenging to navigate. It took me a couple of weeks to fully master its operation, but once I did, the results were impeccable.

Check Amazon

3. Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse Espresso Machine

Mr. Coffee Programmable Espresso & Cappuccino Machine with Automatic Milk Frother & 19-Bar Pump, Stainless Steel

Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse Espresso Machine

Key Features

    • 19-bar pump italian pump

    • Semi-automatic

    • Thermocouple heating system

Check Amazon

I was pleasantly surprised by the Mr. Coffee One-Touch CoffeeHouse Espresso Machine. Every function, from shots to cappuccinos to lattes, consistently delivers nicely balanced drinks, and at the core of it all, I’m genuinely impressed with the quality of shots this machine produces. Loading water and milk is a cinch, and programming the machine is equally straightforward, with two settings each for espresso, lattes, and cappuccinos, plus manual settings for espresso and frothed milk—making customization a breeze.

The way that this machine is designed allows both the water and milk containers to get heated at the same time. Then, as the coffee is pouring into your cup, you can choose to have frothed milk added to it with the machine doing the frothing itself. Just remember to remove and clean the reservoirs for milk and water after you are done brewing.

Cleaning this is also a cinch which makes me like this machine even more. The cleaning setting for the frother is a stroke of genius, considering the challenge of cleaning steamed milk from a metal tube. I typically clean the entire machine while my drink cools down, thanks to its smart design features like easily removable water and milk tanks, a sliding drip tray that can be taken apart, and easily cleanable filters.

Pros

  • One-Touch Control Panel
  • Adjustable cup tray
  • Automatic milk frother
  • Removable milk reservoir

Cons

  • Milk frother can make a bit of a mess

Even though the frother can make a bit of a mess, you can easily clean everything up and then enjoy your coffee without any distractions. This machine can make you a scrumptious coffee house beverage!

Check Amazon

4. Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville

Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville, 5 Cups, Chrome

Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville

Key Features

    • 7000 rpm centrifusion pressure
    • Single-serve capsule system
    • Single-touch operation
    • Used capsule container

Check Amazon

The Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville is one of my favorite espresso machines from Nespresso’s lineup. It offers a premium coffee experience with its sleek design and innovative features. With the ability to brew both coffee and espresso, precise brewing technology, and convenient one-touch operation, it’s a game-changer for coffee lovers. The machine’s versatility, user-friendly interface, and easy maintenance make it a standout choice for elevating your coffee routine.

One of the best things about the Vertuo Line is the Vertuo capsules. These capsules feature a unique extraction system that consistently delivers exceptional coffee. Each capsule has a barcode that communicates with the machine, automatically adjusting brewing settings for optimal results. This eliminates the need for manual adjustments—simply insert the capsule, press a button, and let the machine do the rest. With centrifusion technology, the Vertuo ensures a rich and creamy crema with every cup, replicating the quality of a coffeehouse experience right at home.

While this brewer delivers excellent results, it does need regular maintenance, including descaling every 300 capsules or every 3 months. Nespresso recommends using their descaling solution for optimal performance and advises against using other solutions in their machines.

Pros

  • Retro-modern design
  • One-touch brewing system
  • Four different cup sizes
  • Recyclable capsules

Cons

  • Only works with Nespresso Vertuo capsules

Vertuo gives you next-level extraction. The convenience and versatility that it offers are unlike any other, so I recommend that you give it a shot. I bet you will not regret it!

Check Amazon

4. De’Longhi EC702 Stainless Steel Espresso Machine

De'Longhi 15 bar Pump Espresso Maker, EC702, Metal

De’Longhi EC702 Stainless Steel Espresso Machine

Key Features

  • 15-bar professional pressure pump
  • Semi-automatic
  • Two separate thermostats
  • Advanced frothing wand

Check Amazon

The De’Longhi 15-bar Pump Espresso Maker, EC702, is a standout in the world of espresso machines. With two separate thermostats controlling water and steam pressure independently, it offers precise control over the brewing process. It heats up fast and once it goes, this machine allows for continuous brewing without any waiting time between cups, thanks to its Rapid Cappuccino System. The result? Perfect crema and rich, flavorful espresso every time.

The steam pressure operates independently from the water, enabling you to achieve luxurious foam for your cappuccinos and lattes. The brewer’s versatility is truly remarkable. Plus, it accommodates both a filter basket and a capsule in the portafilter, offering convenience for those times when you prefer to use a pod instead of weighing, grinding, and tamping beans.

  • Versatile
  • No waiting between brews
  • Ergonomic portafilter
  • Compatible with espresso pods

Cons

  • Machine may start dripping after some time

This machine is a great choice for anyone looking for a versatile brewer that can be used with both filter baskets and capsules. It might not be the most durable one since it has been reported that it starts leaking after some time. That is something you have to keep in mind when looking into this machine and deciding whether to get it or not.

Check Amazon

5. De’Longhi EC680M Stainless Steel Espresso Machine

De'Longhi Dedica EC680M, Espresso Machine, Coffee and Cappucino Maker with Milk Frother, Metal / Stainless, Compact Design 6 in Wide, Fit Mug Up to 5 in

De’Longhi EC680M Stainless Steel Espresso Machine

Key Features

  • 15-bar pump pressure
  • Automatic
  • Professional steam wand
  • Retains optimal temperature at all times

Check Amazon

The De’Longhi EC680M is also known as Dedica – a machine that assures quality results every time. There are easy controls on the machine that allow you to choose between a single or double espresso, a latte, or a cappuccino. Since the machine comes with a steaming wand as well, you can use that to make texturized milk and add it to your coffee.

After starting a brew, you do not have to stand next to the machine. With the automatic flow stop features, the machine will stop by itself after giving you the right amount of coffee. Just make sure that you adjust the settings depending on the type and amount of coffee you want to get.

Pros

  • Three-in-one portafilter
  • Fast heat-up
  • Easy to use
  • Can brew double shots

Cons

  • Power button wears down
  • Durability issues

Considering that this is not the cheapest machine out there, one would expect that it would last longer than it does. A lot of people have opened up and said that the machine starts leaking and the steam wand stops working after a short time, so if you are looking for durability above all else, this may not be the machine for you.

Check Amazon

6. EspressoWorks 19-Bar Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Maker

EspressoWorks 19-Bar Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Maker 10-Piece Set - Brew Cappuccino and Latte with One Button - Espresso Machine with Milk Steamer 1250W - Coffee Gifts (Silver)

EspressoWorks 19-Bar Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Maker

Key Features

    • All-in-one w/ grinder
    • Built-in Removable Frother
    • Thermoblock heating system
    • 1.4L capacity water tank

Check Amazon

The EspressoWorks 19-Bar Espresso, Cappuccino, and Latte Maker is an all-in-one solution for coffee lovers who want the flexibility to brew a variety of espresso drinks. If you’re new to coffee or seeking café-style beverages at an affordable price, this could be the perfect option for you. It includes everything you need to brew a nice coffee house beverage including a grinder and the cups. For this price point you can’t beat that!

This machine features a 19-bar pump for high-pressure brewing, producing a pretty decent espresso. With its built-in milk frother, you can easily steam and froth milk for cappuccinos and lattes. The EspressoWorks machine also includes a built-in grinder, allowing you to freshly grind your coffee beans for maximum flavor. With its all-in-one functionality, this machine eliminates the need for separate appliances and provides a convenient and versatile solution for all your espresso, cappuccino, and latte needs.

Pros

  • Comes in multiple colors
  • 19-bar pressure
  • One-Touch Control Panel with LED Indicators
  • Comes with cups
  • Grinder included
  • Latte arte stencils included

Cons

  • Blade grinder

This all-in-one package includes a variety of items, although some, like the grinder, may lack in quality. Specifically, the grinder uses a blade mechanism, leading to uneven grind sizes. Despite this limitation, it still delivers tasty beverages. Additionally, it stands out as one of the few options in its price range that includes a grinder.

Check Amazon

7. Lavazza Expert Classy Plus Espresso Machines

Lavazza Expert Coffee Classy Plus Single Serve ALL-IN-ONE Espresso & Coffee Brewer Machine - LB 400 - (Includes Built-in Milk Vessel/Frother)

Lavazza Expert Classy Plus Espresso Machines

Key Features

    • Pump pressure

    • Single-serve pod system

    • Removable water tank

    • Used capsules container

Check Amazon

For those who struggle with traditional espresso machines, the Lavazza Expert Coffee Classy Plus is a game-changer. No more concerns about improper tamping or inconsistent results—this machine consistently delivers amazing flavored coffee with each brew. Whether you prefer a strong espresso or a milder coffee, you can trust that every cup will taste just right.

The Lavazza Expert Classy Plus espresso machine is tailored for enthusiasts of Lavazza’s distinctive coffee flavors. Specifically designed for Lavazza capsules, it guarantees consistently excellent espresso with its 19-bar pump, delivering a rich and aromatic brew. Featuring intuitive controls, it offers a variety of options including single or double shots, lungo, regular coffee, latte, cappuccino, and macchiato. With its automatic milk frother, creating creamy milk-based drinks is effortless.

For those seeking consistently delectable coffee customized to their taste, the Lavazza Expert Coffee Classy Plus stands out as the perfect machine. Enjoy the luxury of barista-quality coffee in the comfort of your home, all at a reasonable price.

Pros

  • Six beverage options
  • Standby eco-mode
  • Touch user interface
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Works with only Lavazza capsules, which limits variety

While this brewer offers versatility and compactness, its compatibility with only one type of capsule might deter some users. This limitation should be considered when deciding whether to purchase the machine.

Check Amazon
best espresso machine under $300

Notes on Buying the Best Espresso Machines under $300

To assist you in making a well-informed decision when selecting your new espresso machine, I’ll provide essential points to consider. These insights will guide you in finding the ideal machine for your needs, so be sure to review them attentively.

Type of Machine

Depending on your preference and level of involvement in the brewing process, you have the choice between automatic and manual espresso machines. Automatic machines are suitable for those who prefer a hands-off approach, while manual machines offer greater control but require more skill and effort.

Automatic espresso machines encompass a range of options tailored to different preferences and levels of involvement in the brewing process. Among these, there are three primary categories: semi-automatic, automatic, and super-automatic machines.

  1. Semi-automatic Machines: Semi-automatic machines strike a balance between manual control and automated functionality. They typically require users to start and stop the brewing process manually, allowing for greater customization and control over factors like extraction time and water volume. This level of involvement appeals to enthusiasts who enjoy the artistry of espresso making and want to fine-tune their brews.
  2. Automatic Machines: Automatic espresso machines streamline the brewing process further by automating certain aspects, such as water delivery and temperature control. While users still have some control over variables like grind size and tamping pressure, the machine handles the actual brewing process. This option appeals to those seeking convenience without completely relinquishing control over their espresso quality.
  3. Super-automatic Machines: Super-automatic machines represent the pinnacle of convenience in espresso brewing. These machines handle every aspect of the brewing process, from grinding the coffee beans to frothing milk and dispensing the final beverage. Users typically need only to select their desired drink from a menu, and the machine takes care of the rest. While super-automatic machines offer unparalleled ease of use, they may sacrifice some customization options and control over the brewing parameters.

In addition to traditional automatic machines, single-serve espresso machines have gained popularity for their simplicity and convenience. These machines utilize pre-portioned coffee capsules or pods, eliminating the need for measuring and grinding coffee beans. Users simply insert a capsule, press a button, and the machine brews a single serving of espresso. Single-serve machines are ideal for individuals who prioritize convenience and consistency in their espresso experience, as well as those with limited time or brewing expertise.

If you’re working with a budget of $300 or less, your options may be somewhat restricted, especially if your budget is closer to $100. In this price range, you’re more likely to come across quality semi-automatic or automatic machines rather than super-automatic ones, which tend to be pricier. However, you can still find reliable manual espresso brewers within this budget. Keep in mind that with manual options, you may need to forego certain features like built-in grinders or shot dosers. Nevertheless, there are plenty of excellent machines available to suit your needs and preferences.

Bar Pressure

Bar pressure is a crucial factor to consider when selecting an espresso machine, as it directly impacts the quality of the espresso produced. It refers to the amount of pressure applied to extract espresso from the coffee grounds during the brewing process. A higher bar pressure typically results in better extraction, ensuring that the flavors, oils, and aromas are fully extracted from the coffee grounds.

For a quality espresso shot, it’s recommended to choose a machine with a bar pressure of at least 9 bars. This pressure level is considered the standard in the industry for achieving optimal extraction and crema formation.

Steam Wand

The steam wand is an essential feature for those who love milk-based drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos. It allows you to froth milk to the desired texture, adding richness and creaminess to your beverages. When selecting a machine, ensure that the steam wand is powerful enough to create creamy microfoam, as this is crucial for achieving the perfect consistency and taste in your drinks. Look for machines with steam wands that offer adjustable pressure and temperature settings, allowing you to customize your frothed milk according to your preferences.

Build Quality and Durability

Consider the materials and construction of the espresso machine for durability. Stainless steel and high-quality plastics are ideal choices, offering resilience to regular use and easy maintenance. Prioritize models with sturdy frames and components to ensure long-lasting performance and reliability.

Ease of Use

When considering an espresso machine, prioritize those with user-friendly features to enhance ease of use and cleaning. Look for intuitive control panels that streamline operation, allowing you to prepare your favorite beverages with minimal effort. Additionally, opt for models equipped with removable drip trays, water tanks, and portafilters. These features simplify maintenance tasks by facilitating easy access to components for thorough cleaning. Investing in a machine designed for convenience ensures a seamless brewing experience and promotes cleanliness, contributing to the longevity of your espresso maker.

Additional Features

When selecting an espresso machine, explore the array of additional features available to optimize your brewing experience. Programmable settings allow for customization, enabling you to adjust parameters like temperature, shot volume, and brew strength to suit your preferences precisely.

A machine equipped with a cup warmer ensures that your cups are preheated, maintaining the ideal temperature for your beverages and enhancing flavor retention. Additionally, built-in grinders offer the convenience of freshly ground coffee beans, maximizing flavor and aroma in every cup. While not essential, these features can elevate your espresso routine, providing added convenience and versatility for a truly personalized brewing experience.

Brand

Opt for brands renowned for their commitment to quality craftsmanship, exceptional customer service, and the longevity of their products. By choosing a reputable brand, you can trust in the durability and functionality of your espresso machine.

FAQs About Espresso Machines Cheaper Than $300

How Much Should I Spend On An Espresso Machine?

When deciding how much to spend on an espresso machine, consider your budget and needs. Entry-level machines ($100 – $300) are suitable for beginners or those on a budget, while mid-range options ($300 – $1000) offer more features like semi-automatic operation and temperature control. High-end machines ($1000+) are for enthusiasts and professionals, boasting advanced technologies for precision brewing. Ultimately, choose a machine that balances your budget with desired features and quality.

Why Are Espresso Machines So Expensive?

Espresso machines can be expensive due to factors like high-quality materials, advanced engineering, brand reputation, specialty features, manufacturing costs, and research and development investments. These factors contribute to the overall value, performance, and durability of the machines, reflecting their price.

What’s the Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Machines?

The main difference between cheap and expensive espresso machines lies in the quality of materials, construction, and features. Expensive machines often offer more advanced features, higher build quality, and better temperature stability, which can result in superior espresso extraction and longevity. However, there are many excellent espresso machines under $300 that offer great performance and durability.

Your $300 Goes a Long Way

If your budget is set at $300, take another look at the Breville Bambino. It’s a sleek semi-automatic machine with a reasonable price tag. Whatever your final choice, I’m sure you’ll be satisfied with it!