10 Best Coffee Machines Under $250: K-Cup & Thermal Carafe


Coffee is the most important part of waking up. If you ask me, the better the morning cup of coffee, the better the rest of the day becomes. 

On the flip side, many people want high-quality coffee machines without breaking the bank. We believe coffee makers under $250 provide that happy-medium consisting of high-quality coffee at a more reasonable price. 

After extensive research, reviews and experience; we formulated a list of the 10 best and highest-rated coffee makers under $250. Regardless of your preferred added features, build type, or precise budget; you’ll certainly find what you’re looking for below! 

In Short, Here Are The Best Coffee Makers Below $250 On The Market: Thermal Carafe & K-Cup 

  • Nespresso by De’Longhi ENV135GYAE
  • Keurig K1500
  • Ninja Specialty CM401
  • Cuisinart SS-20
  • Keurig K-Cafe
  • OXO BREW
  • Cuisinart CPO-800P1
  • Zojirushi
  • Cuisinart DGB-850
  • Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker

1. Nespresso by De’Longhi ENV135GYAE

Just recently, Nespresso significantly reduced the price by $60. While it’s unclear if the price cut is permanent or temporary, this coffee machine is an excellent buy for many reasons. The Nespresso by De’Longhi ENV135GYAE is a phenomenally rated coffee machine that comes with a separate milk frother. Better yet, the frother warms up the milk, as well. Out of most coffee machines, this one has got to be one of the easiest to use. A unique feature that I love is how it automatically throws the extra pods in the side compartment once it’s done.

This coffee machine makes great-tasting coffee and espresso. You will also enjoy how quickly it heats the coffee and frother, as well. Overall, the Nespresso by De’Longhi ENV135GYAE is easily one of the best coffee/espresso machines with a frother on the market. It’s reliable, robust, and very convenient while making fantastic coffee. 

Users Say:This is a great Nespresso maker and got an awesome deal on it around the holidays. Use it a few times a week and have reordered many pods. It is nice when you want an expresso and have a normal coffee maker next to it since using pods every day gets expensive. Overall very happy with the machine and pods. Also, enjoy having a full cup of expresso as opposed to shot, so this is perfect.

Details & Features

  • The separate milk frother coming with the purchase heats the milk
  • Auto coffee maker
  • Able to make coffee or expresso

2. Keurig K1500

Next in the lineup, the Keurig K1500 is an excellent coffee maker under $250. Right off the bat, you’ll notice the sizable water reservoir at 96 ounces and strong brew feature. Another beneficial attribute is the integrated quiet brew technology in case you don’t want to wake anyone up! 

Users Say: “We have purchased this item for our church Welcoming Center. It is easy to use, holds a large amount of water, and the looks are streamlined and attractive. Keurig is a brand that we trust to provide fast, flavorful, and consistently good coffee.”

Details & Features

  • 4 Cup Size Settings
  • Quiet Brew Technology
  • Large 96 Ounce Water Reservoir
  • Size: 12.4″ x 10.3″ x 12.1″
  • Optional Strong Brew Setting

3. Ninja Specialty CM401

If you want a high-grade programable coffee with a frother, the Ninja Specialty CM401 is a phenomenal choice. Besides the coffee machine itself, coming with the purchase is a permanent filter, double-sided scoop, frother, glass carafe, recipe book, removable water-reservoir, and a tumbler. The frother attaches to the pull-out arm on the side of the machine. Unfortunately, the frother doesn’t warm the milk.

Users Say:So far I love this coffee maker. I’ve had it about a week now. The only thing to know up front is the frother does NOT heat whatever it is you are frothing. That said, I throw my heavy cream (I’m doing low carb) into the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up, no biggie considering I do not make breve’s all the time. A lot easier to clean than a Keurig and I like the fact it has a reusable basket.

Details & Features

  • It comes with one permanent coffee filter
  • Single serving up to 10 cups (50-ounce)
  • Fold-away frother (doesn’t heat milk)
  • 6-brew sizes
  • Programable

4. Cuisinart SS-20

Even though the Cuisinart SS-20 isn’t necessarily the highest-rated on this list, we believe it’s still worth mentioning. It provides both a standard coffee maker and a K-cup feature. Unfortunately, the K-cup maker spits coffee out rather abruptly and could splash everywhere. If you’re going to use the K-cup side, we recommend using a larger cup. 

Users Say:This is our 3rd Cuisinart coffee maker and my most favorite. The 10 cup carafe and single k cup option are perfect for our family.

Details & Features

  • 10-Cup Thermal Carafe
  • BPA Plastic Free
  • 24-hour brew start
  • 3 Cup Size Settings
  • 3-Year Warranty
  • Size: 10.75 x 12.75 x 16.5 i

5. Keurig K-Cafe

Next up, the Keurig K-Cafe is a fantastic coffee/cappuccino maker with a frother. First and foremost, this machine has easy to use and intuitive controls. You’re easily able to get started without any hassle. It allows you to brew up to six cups before refilling the 60-ounce water reservoir. Not to forget, the removable tank is effortless to clean and refill.

This machine makes it very simple to make coffee, lattes, or cappuccinos. It’s compatible with any type of K-Cup Pod. To use the frother, simply pour your milk into the cup’s fill line, put the lid on, push the button of what type of coffee you want to make, then wait till it beeps which signals completion. You’re able to use the frother while making your expresso or coffee, as well. Overall, the Keurig K-Cafe is one of the highest-rated coffee machines with a frother on the market for many reasons. It’s reliable, convenient, and makes delicious coffee. We highly recommend it. 

Users Say:I used my own ground coffee and tried it with coconut milk as well as almond milk and it made the best foamy cappuccino and latte. I have never enjoyed a cuppa coffee so much, I just didn’t think this thing would produce such morning bliss and that’s why I waited so long to try it. Don’t be like me, don’t wait… Give yourself this gift!!

Details & Features

  • Able to brew coffee, lattes, or cappuccinos with any K-Cup Pod 
  • Intuitive controls
  • 60-ounce water reservoir: 6 cups before refilling
  • Auto-off feature to save energy
  • Heats and brews in one process
  • The milk frother is safe to clean in the dishwasher

6. OXO BREW

Running below $250, the OXO BREW is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association. You’ll be amazed by its brew performance and overall quality of construction. Considering the thermal carafe is double-walled and delivers impeccable insulation, it keeps your coffee warm for an extended period of time. 

Directly above the carafe, you’ll see the switch giving you the choice to brew a single cup or full carafe. The full serving produces 8 cups of coffee while the single-serving helps enhance the overall flavor. Amongst customers, it’s relatively popular and well-received. We fully endorse it if you’re looking for a carafe coffee maker. 

Users Say: “I love everything about this coffeemaker. The coffee is excellent, the carafe is perfectly balanced and easy to clean, the brew-through lid is convenient, and the single-serve option is the icing on the cake. For a year I’ve been using a well-known coffeemaker that is highly rated but has no brew-through lid, so you have to put the lid on after the coffee is made, and then it can’t go back on the stand—doesn’t sound like a lot but it can become a pain. The OXO has perfected the 8 cup brewer, and gone above and beyond.”

Details & Features

  • Specialty Coffee Association Certified
  • Double-walled Thermal Carafe
  • Size: 17.2 x 13.46 x 9.69

7. Cuisinart CPO-800P1

Like the previous one, the Cuisinart CPO-800P1 is certified amongst the Specialty Coffee Association, as well. The carafe is designed with glass and the heating plate below can keep it warm for 2 hours. 

Unfortunately, the primary downside we noticed is the brewed coffee doesn’t come out to be as hot compared to most other coffee makers. We mainly recommend it to those who prefer their coffee on the medium/hot side. 

Users Say:A coffee maker that will be my LAST coffee maker. Best coffee drinking I’ve had in years and that includes coffee from coffee shops. I’m even getting a caffeine rush which I’ve not had for years. I am using their Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill to grind my coffee (which might be a big part of getting such great coffee).

Details & Features

  • Specialty Coffee Association Certified
  • 8 Cup Thermal Carafe
  • Flavor/Strength Control
  • Pour-Over
  • Size: 12 x 7.5 x 13.5

8. Zojirushi

With an exceptional build quality, the Zojirushi is one of the top-tier programmable coffee machines on the market. It has a 10-cup carafe made of robust stainless steel. With the removable tank, you’ll love its convenient fill-up and cleaning. One of its most essential features is its permanent stainless steel mesh filters. The permanent filter is washable and saves you a lot of hassle!

Users Say:I bought this for the looks and the heavy metal carafe. The coffee gets a bit too hot tho, giving a little bit of an over-extracted bitterness. However, I think it’s fine and am willing to overlook that for the form/function this provides. Easiest coffee maker I have ever used, and the removable reservoir is the best feature ever.

Tech Specs & Details

  • Carafe: Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel
  • 10 Cup capacity
  • Weight: 9 pounds
  • Programmable Timer
  • Permanent Mesh Coffee Filter
  • Construction: Stainless Steel
  • High Brewing Temperature: 200F
  • Ice coffee brewing feature

9. Cuisinart DGB-850

The Cuisinart DGB-850 is a wildly popular 10-cup thermal carafe coffee machine at a reasonable price under $250. One of its most prominent features is the integrated burr grinder. All you need to do is add the whole coffee beans into the top hopper and the machine will grind them right before brewing. As many of you know, this surely helps to enhance the overall flavor. We highly recommend it! 

Users Say: “This is a great coffeemaker for the price! Yes, it requires a little bit of cleaning time. It’s not an over-the-top or unreasonable amount of cleaning, however. The coffee tastes incredible – every morning. Yes, the grinder makes a noise. it is not super loud, like some of the reviews indicate. This machine is an excellent value and I look forward to a hot fresh cup of coffee from it every morning.”

Details & Features

  • 10-Cup Thermal Carafe
  • LCD display 
  • Size: 10.75 x 14.25 x 19.25
  • Burr grinder

10. Keurig K-Duo Plus

We decided to end off with our absolute favorite below $250 coffee machine on the market. Along with the Keurig K-Duo Plus’s ability to brew ground coffee, it can brew K-Cups, as well. There are a plethora of reasons why we adore it aside from its 2-in-1 capabilities. 

This coffee maker delivers a pristine quality of construction that’s built for maximum longevity. Furthermore, it contains a spacious 60-Ounce water reservoir, has programable capabilities, and offers various brew sizes depending on what you prefer. As well as its near-flawless customer reviews, this coffee maker is currently on a significant 13% price reduction. You’ll also appreciate the feature to enhance the brewing strength. 

Users Say: “After researching and thinking about it for several months, I decided to try this Keurig Duo. I couldn’t be more pleased with it. It replaces an older classic Keurig machine and a much older Mr. Coffee machine which was brought out of storage when working from home became the “new normal” due to the pandemic. I am very happy with the space-saving design, ease of use for both single K cups and carafes. Easy to fill water pitcher, easy to clean. And the carafe does keep the coffee warm for hours. This is an excellent choice for the multi-use machine.”

Details & Features

  • 12-Cup Carafe 
  • Large 60-Ounce Water Reservoir
  • Compatible with both Ground Coffee & K-Cup Pods
  • Programmable

Our Winner

Keep in mind that our opinion is not the end all be all. Like mentioned earlier, everyone has different needs, requirements, and budgets for their below $250 coffee maker. However, our winner is the Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker. We believe it’s the best bang for the buck due to its additional features, easy functionality, ability to brew ground coffee and K-Cups, reliability, and outstanding coffee-making capabilities. Not only does it have our full endorsement, but it’s also near-perfectly rated amongst users! 

What’s the difference between a glass carafe or a thermal carafe? 

A thermal carafe provides better insulation to keep your coffee warmer for extended periods. Furthermore, many coffee machines that come with a thermal carafe deliver a heating pad to keep the carafe warm. On the flip side, glass carafes are more affordable. If you don’t need to keep your coffee sitting in the carafe for extended periods, a glass carafe is a better choice. 

How much do household coffee makers cost online?

While household coffee machines drastically vary in price, they can run you anywhere between $20-$1400 on average. Some of the more popular coffee machines hover in the $75-$150 range. 

How long do coffee machines last?

On average, coffee makers last 5-10 years. If you take good care of it, it will last closer to 10 years. 

How do you remove mold build-up from a coffee machine?

After removing the water filter and coffee filter, fill up the water reservoir with half water and half white vinegar. Run the machine through a drip cycle. Once finished, refill the machine with only water and run the drip cycle. For safety, fill the machine again with only water and run it through a drip cycle for a second time. 

What extra features do you want with your coffee maker?

There are various features to consider when purchasing a coffee machine. To name a few; some have brew strength settings, programmability, a built-in water purifier, brew-pause, automatic shutoff, a built-in permanent filter, and some even come with a frother. 

What’s a Keurig Coffee Maker?

Rather than using coffee grounds to the filter, a Keurig coffee machine uses k-cups. Basically, you add a k-cup (pods) to the slot of the Keurig machine that grinds a single cup of coffee. Within each K-cup or coffee pod is ground coffee ready to brew. The benefit of Keurig coffee is it’s effortless to make a cup of coffee and hassle-free. A few of the downsides worth noting is it’s limited to making a single cup rather than a full pot, doesn’t provide as full of a flavor compared to traditional coffee makers, and each cup of Keurig coffee ends up being more costly than ground coffee. 

What’s the water reservoir size of a coffee machine?

The water reservoir is generally between 40-72+ ounces. The larger the water tank capacity, the more coffee it can produce in a single brew. 

Quick Recap

Here Are The Best Coffee Makers Under $250 Online

  • Nespresso by De’Longhi ENV135GYAE
  • Keurig K1500
  • Ninja Specialty CM401
  • Cuisinart SS-20
  • Keurig K-Cafe
  • OXO BREW
  • Cuisinart CPO-800P1
  • Zojirushi
  • Cuisinart DGB-850
  • Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker

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