Moving from high school to college can be a huge change; for most people, it’s their first taste of true freedom outside from under the thumb of their parents or guardians, and there’s a lot to learn in order to prepare for school. If you’re already a coffee drinker, you know how helpful a cup of coffee could be in the morning. It’s one of the best ways to jump out of bed and prepare for the day, and for a lot of people, they’re nothing until they’ve had their first or second cup of the day. If you have difficulty waking up in the morning, the smell of a fresh pot of roasted coffee can grab you and pull you out of bed.
If you’re new to coffee, or you’ve never drank a cup, it might take a bit for you to get used to the taste and flavor of a cup. Maybe you’ve tried coffee and thought to yourself, “I’ll never drink this.” Listen—while we aren’t one to tell our readers that they’re wrong, our personal experience indicates that you might just be. College is where plenty of us learned to drink coffee, to survive early mornings, long nights, and insufferable study crams. We’d complain about the term papers too, but as you can tell through perusing the site, we rather enjoy our fair share of writing.
Sure, you can pay $2 or $3 for a cup of coffee while you’re on the go all over campus, but your budget for caffeinated drinks will add up quickly. Instead, we’d suggest investing in a great coffee maker to last through your two or four years of college and even longer. And while you can head over to Walmart and pick up an ultra-cheap machine, spending a bit more on a machine will strike an outstanding balance between price, features, and taste.
In looking for the best coffee machines, we looked for five separate things. Our machines had to:
- Brew good coffee.
- Be simple to use.
- Be easy to clean and maintain.
- Be able to use all kinds of coffee.
- Be reliable enough to always be there when you need it.
With these factors in mind, let’s look at some of the best coffee makers you can pick up for your first—or returning—year of college.
01 Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker
The Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker will be perfect if you don’t have too much space in your college dorm. This coffee maker is less than five inches wide, so you can easily fit it anywhere in your dorm. You don’t have to worry about cable clutter because the machine has a designated storage compartment for its cords. It’s capable of brewing a 6-12oz cup of coffee using the Keurig K-Cup pods. Users can use the Keurig My K-Cup Universal Reusable Coffee Filter if they want to use their own ground coffee. It features a one-cup reservoir, so you’ll have to add water each time you brew yourself a cup of coffee. This coffee maker works fast and will have your coffee ready in a couple of minutes. It isn’t only compatible with small cups because you can easily remove its drip tray to fit larger cups or a travel mug/flask up to seven inches tall. The Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker won’t consume too much electricity, and it automatically shuts down after a minute and a half from brewing your last cup of coffee. Many college students care about aesthetics, and this coffee maker won’t disappoint you because of its modern and stylish matte finish. It’s available in different color options like Studi Gray, Black, Evergreen, Dusty Rose, Poppy Red, and Oasis.
- Lacks temperature or strength customizations
- Price $79.99
- Single Serve Coffee 6 – 12 oz.
- Material Plastic
Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker
02 Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
The Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker should be your top choice if you like brewing more than one cup of coffee every morning. It supports the 6, 8, or 10-ounce K-Cup pods, but they say the 6-ounce delivers the strongest brew. The machine has a large 48-ounce water tank, so it will take around 6 cups of coffee before you need to refill it. Since you can easily remove its water reservoir, you won’t have to carry the whole machine when adding water. The Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker is among the fastest options on the market because it can brew you a cup of coffee in less than a minute. Its drip tray is removable, so you can fit a 7.1-inch travel mug if you’d like. Learning to control the coffee maker isn’t rocket science because it comes with simple button controls. All you need to do is add a compatible pod, input your cup brew size, and watch it prepare a delightful cup of coffee for you. You can even adjust the temperature and strength of your coffee. The machine has an auto-off feature that lets it shut down after being idle for about 2 hours. Customers can pick between a Black or Rhubarb color variant.
- On the pricier side
- Should be cleaned with a descaling solution every two months
- Price $99.99
- Single Serve Coffee 6, 8, 10 ounce
- Material Plastic
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
05 BLACK+DECKER Single Serve Coffeemaker
Another excellent budget-friendly option is the BLACK+DECKER Single Serve Coffeemaker. It’s the most affordable on our list because you can get it for about $25. It already comes with a 16-ounce travel mug; since it’s a thermal mug, you can rest assured that your coffee will stay hot. The mug is dishwasher safe, so you won’t always need to scrub it yourself once you finish drinking your coffee. This coffee maker is compatible with pre-packed coffee pods or ground coffee, but it’s unfortunately not compatible with K-Cup pods. It has a permanent filter and filter basket, which are also easy to clean. To start brewing your coffee, all you need to do is press a single button, and you’re good to go. The coffee maker will automatically turn off once brewing is completed. Something you might not really like about this coffee maker is the narrow opening of its water reservoir. You might have a more challenging time filling it with water, and you’ll have a higher chance of making a mess. Users also can’t stop the brewing process once they start it. Overall, it’s still a decent coffee maker, especially since it has a low price tag.
- Price $24.99
- Single Serve Coffee 0.47 Liters
- Material Plastic