Espresso is one of those things that once you try and like, you can never go back. Espresso is like making regular coffee, but, in my personal opinion, it’s the specialized way of making it. Like the difference between a good car and a sports car, making something that is already great in a lot of ways, but making it exceptional.
Making espresso has a major downside, however, and that is the fact that you need a specialized machine, and buying a really good one can actually be a rather expensive and unaffordable endeavor. Luckily, nowadays you don’t need to buy one of those fancy Italian super-expensive gears, you can find perfect choices for under $300, and that’s where this guide comes into play. If budget is not a constraint, we suggest to first look at our article about best espresso machines for precise results.
But if you are under budget, than below are your best fit espresso makers.
Now join us, find the best espresso machine under 300, get to know every aspect of them, and allow us to help you make that purchase.
Best Rated Espresso Machines Under $300
#1 Delonghi ECP3630
De’Longhi is a well-known brand and the coffee makers they make are usually of high quality while being affordable, and that’s why the ECP3630 made the cut and is here for a review. Featuring a rather simple design and controls, the ECP3630 is easy to use, as well as being pretty compact, so you can fit it in almost any corner of your kitchen. The 15 bar pressure system is ideal for espresso extraction and the self-priming makes the start-up a breeze, as well as including a removable water tank for ease of use.
- 15 bar professional pressure assures quality results every time
- MAXIMUM CUP HEIGHT (in): 3.5 - 5 INCHES. Removable 37 ounce water tank. Full...
- Self priming operation for minimum start up preparation
Overall, this little machine covers all that we need for a decent espresso, and for a price tag of around $170.99, it’s a great option. Take into account that the small form factor comes with some disadvantages, including the fact that the maximum cup height is rather limited, so taking this into consideration is a must.
#2 Espresso Works 7
The EspressoWorks 7 All-in-one comes in at a price of only $219.99, and it becomes a rather tempting offer considering everything that we get for this competitive price tag. With a double shot system (that can be a single shot as well), a removable water tank, an included coffee grinder as well as a frothing cup with a steam wand, this machine truly has everything we need.
- READY FOR USE IN 45 SECONDS- Just Add Beans! With the advanced Thermoblock fast...
- EASY VIEW REMOVABLE WATER TANK- Conveniently monitor water levels of front view...
- 15 BAR PUMP PRESSURE SYSTEM- Enjoy great tasting Italian Espresso, Americano &...
This machine comes with pretty much everything you need to start making either espresso or cappuccinos out of the box. This package is rather popular and funnily enough, is not a bad quality machine at all. EspressoWorks truly bring it with one of the best bang-for-the-buck machines we’ve seen in a while. The 15 bar pressure system as well as 2 porcelain cups (because yes, even cups are included in the box) make this machine a great choice for pretty much everyone looking for a machine at this price point.
#3 De’Longhi America Dedica Deluxe Espresso
To finish up we bring the most expensive in the list, by De’Longhi, the America Dedica Deluxe. This one brings a really impressive small size, although it’s slightly tall, for quite a professional machine. Extremely stylish and with a high-quality looking and feeling build, this one really stands out on your counter. The double shot function works like magic and quite precise, also the frothing wand is amazing and is one of the best we’ve seen out there.
Something that most espresso machines don’t feature at this price point is the adjustable tray for taller cups, which this one has. It’s one of the easiest machines to clean and overall is a great experience.
- 15-bar professional pressure ensures quality results every time, and adjustable...
- Whatever your preference – single or double espresso, cappuccino or latte...
- The Premium Adjustable Frother allows you to adjust the foam and steam levels to...
We think that the $279 price tag is really a premium when it comes to this sub $300 category, but we also believe that in this case, you get what you pay for and the extra price is well worth it.
#4 De’Longhi Bar32 Retro
Another De’Longhi machine comes into play, the BAR32 Retro reminds us of those machines from the early 2000s and late 90s, so if this is not your kind of look, you may not love it. With a double shot function, as well as a frother, we are fully equipped for espresso and cappuccino, and for $169, the price tag is not bad either.
The machine is easy to clean and easy to refill with the removable water tank, therefore it is easy to use for most users. It has self-priming operation to improve heating speeds and the standard 15 bar pressure system.
The size of the machine is not as compact as the previous but it’s still quite nice, so there’s no issue in that aspect.
- Espresso preparation is simple and fast; use convenient pods or ground coffee...
- Easily prepare latte and cappuccino with the swivel jet frother, for perfect...
- Eliminate annoying start-up preparation with the self-priming operation
If we had a real complaint, it would be that the plastic build may make it look cheap but it kinda goes along with the style this machine tries to achieve.
#5 ROK EspressoGC
We heard people like retro stuff, so we bring real retro. The ROK EspressoGC is another mechanical contraption that allows us to manually pressurize the coffee for human-powered espresso making. At a price of $154.99, this machine has a great price, and wait for us to tell you what else you get for that price tag.
A 10-year warranty upfront leaves most of the users calm about the quality of the metal in this machine. It includes the portafilter and a transport tin, as well as a measuring spoon. Overall the whole package is perfect for when electricity is not your thing and you want to go full manual.
- Includes a single spout portafilter, a detachable plastic double spout...
- Upgraded piston gasket produces better pressure than original ROK
- Lightweight and Portable at 3.5 lbs and 11.5 inches tall
Unlike the Flair Espresso maker we reviewed above, this one has more of a retro look with the whole metal finish, so it may be perfect for people with this kind of taste. We still believe the previous to be more portable but still, this one is not bad at all.
#6 DeLonghi ECP3120
Back to another De’Longhi machine, this time we bring one of the best prices we could find, at only $106.98, it can be quite a deal. The price may be awesome but always remember that you will be losing a few things, like, for example, a tall cup height and whatnot. This machine is rather basic, but it still has a frother, a removable water tank, and a really comfortable size.
This little machine is easy to use, simple to understand when it comes to controls, and easy to clean. Mainly focusing on convenience at a low price, the ECP3120 is a great option for those who really don’t want to go over the top with the price.
- EVERY CUP TO YOUR LIKING 15-bar professional pressure assures quality results...
- BREW LIKE A PRO Whatever your preference – single or double espresso,...
- YOUR FOAM, YOUR WAY A manual frother mixes steam and milk to create a rich,...
The machine is designed to be compact, lightweight and simple to use, so people who value that, as well as the price, will prefer this one over a more fancy one.
#7 Breville Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine
Breville and Nespresso team up to bring this rather interesting machine, featuring the new Vertuo pod system for larger espressos. As we know, this is a fully automatic, fast functioning machine that really only requires to have water in the removable tank and a pod to work. Also, this one includes the famous Nespresso Aeroccino, which, in our opinion, is a magnificent tool for automatic milk frothing.
- AUTOMATIC COFFEE/ESPRESSO MACHINE: Have the ability to create barista grade...
- VERSATILE COFFEE AND ESPRESSO MAKER: Brew 5 different single serve coffee cup...
- SMART COFFEE MAKER: Brew the perfect single serve coffee or espresso drink time...
With 5 different sizes for your cup and a rather easy control system, Nespresso does it again with their convenience-focused machines. The price is $149.99 but we must also consider the constant cost of the pods, that will add up over time. This price, however, is okay if we value convenience and something we always say about Nespresso is that their coffee quality is really good with the pod system, so that’s a big plus for most of the people that are in a hurry.
#8 Nespresso by De’Longhi Vertuo Evoluo
Nespresso comes back, this time with De’Longhi to bring yet another Vertuo pod machine. This one features pretty much the same specs as the previous one, with the different branding as well as a different finish. For these two, we simply recommend buying the one that goes for cheaper or the one that you aesthetically like more.
This one includes the Aeroccino as well, which we already stated we like quite a lot and the 5 sizes of cup depending on what you need: Espresso (1.35 oz), Double Espresso (2.7oz), Gran Lungo (5 oz), Coffee (7.7 oz), and Alto (14 oz).
We would like to repeat that Nespresso is the king of convenience, sacrificing very little to achieve a fast and easy cup of coffee, with high quality in between.
- VERSATILE AUTOMATIC COFFEE MAKER: Brew different single serve Coffee cup sizes...
- SMART COFFEE MAKER: Brew the perfect single serve Coffee or Espresso drink time...
- SINGLE SERVE COFFEE MACHINE: Have the ability to create barista grade brewed...
Of course, we remind people that a pod will mostly always be more expensive than regular coffee, so it’s really a matter of paying the premium for ease of use.
#9 Mr. Coffee Cafe Barista
Mr. Coffee is a classic, and their machines are rather good and simple. This one for example, for a price of only $179.99, brings us an automatic milk frother, along with a full semi-automatic system. The automatic frother is a welcome sight that adds for speed and ease of use, and the removable tank (as well as the milk reservoir in the automatic frother) makes it quite easy to clean. The controls are not as straight-forward as other machines but they are super intuitive due to everything being written and properly marked. It also has an automatic cleaning button so yeah, easy to clean again.
- Semi automatic 3 in 1 espresso maker, cappuccino maker, and latte maker
- 15 bar pump system brews rich tasting espresso coffee
- Trouble free automatic milk frother removes the guesswork
The Mr. Coffee machine has a great price for what you get and is reliable. It’s not a machine that looks impressive or anything but it doesn’t look cheap either, and the size is quite compact for what you get so we highly recommend it.
#3 Flair Espresso Maker
Sometimes things are better if you do them yourself, and that’s where the Flair espresso maker comes into play. This machine is quite literally a human-powered pressure machine that you have to manually pressurize the system for customized extraction. This high-quality machine doesn’t come in cheap, considering it’s not electric, at $199, but it will last for a lot of years and users are in love with it.
The included manual pretty much explains every aspect of the process so you can adapt it to your taste, something that is not exactly possible on most electrical machines, and hands down this product is just way too cool to not mention. The apparatus comes with a carrying case that fits every single part of it perfectly, so it’s a rather useful piece of equipment for camping, for example.
- HANDCRAFT SHOTS OF ESPRESSO - With the Flair Espresso Maker, you have a complete...
- FULLY MANUAL & COMPLETELY BEAUTIFUL - The Flair is a 100% human-powered, manual...
- EASY TO CLEAN - The Flair Espresso Maker is the only manual espresso maker with...
Acquiring a burr grinder is highly recommended since it will allow you to really control every single part of the process.
Now that we know the best Espresso machines for under $300, let’s talk about the different aspects we need to take into consideration. All these aspects really depend on each buyer and you will have to adapt them to your individual situation, like the size based on the amount of space you have in your counter, so let’s begin.
Things to Consider when Choosing Espresso Machine Under $300
The size of the machine is really important since having something too big on a small counter will feel like a waste of space or a lack of it. You must choose well when it comes to the footprint of the machine, and also what you want to do with it. We mention some manual portable machines to make espresso by hand, so that will work better for a camping trip, for example. Portability comes into this category as well, if you want something to move to your office every day, you will need a small lightweight machine with only a few accessories, so always take that into account
An extremely important aspect, usually steel will last longer than plastic and we need to be aware of this. You want your machine to last as long as possible, but the material used for the external build is not the only factor. Make sure to check reviews to see how long the machine usually lasts and if there is a lot of bad feedback regarding this aspect, be careful. In this category, we can also consider the warranty since longer warranty periods usually mean better durability, or at least an easy fix in case the machine doesn’t last as long as advertised.
Ease of Cleaning
This is a quality of life category that many of us will absolutely take a priority, especially those who are extremely busy. Being able to clean your machine with a simple wash and a push of a button is a big advantage, and can really make your life easier. Also remember that materials play a big part in this, as cleaning things like stainless steel is usually easy and fast, while plastic can prove to be a little more difficult at times. Our recommendation is that you just make sure that the machine doesn’t require a full disassembly to clean, as it can get annoying.
This category is not as important in this price range, as most machines do not include a grinder, but make sure that the grinding is good enough for your needs if you are not gonna be buying the ground coffee. Worst case scenario you can buy a fairly decent grinder for a little bit extra, but also make sure that the quality is good and you don’t lose quality during this process. No matter how good your machine is and how amazing the extraction is if the ground coffee is not good enough, that’s a fact.
If you simply want espresso, then don’t bother with frothing, but if you also want that milky drink to be available for you, then this is important. From a frothing or steaming wand to an automatic frother or the Aeroccino from Nespresso, take this point seriously if you like your espresso-based milk beverages, like cappuccinos. In our opinion, these kinds of drinks really shine when the frothing is well made and we all love a good micro-foam of milky goodness. Also if you want to froth, remember that wands are manual while automatic frothers make it easy for the user, but it means you have less control over the process.
Water Storage Capacity
Another quality of life category and we can say that this really matters based on how much coffee you drink. One cup a day means a big reservoir will just be an incumbrance, as the water can actually go bed from being several days in that container. But if you drink several cups a day then needing to fill the reservoir every 5 minutes will really become painful. Our recommendation is to be realistic with your consumption and buy accordingly, as this will make your life easier in every single way possible. Also, a removable water reservoir is a must-have in our eyes.
Yes, but beware of those cheap ones that break over a few weeks of use. Always buy from reputable brands that also offer good warranty periods and overall great customer service.
This is a matter of convenience, Nespresso shines in this aspect, and if you want to have the easiest cup of quality espresso you can get, the Nespresso and the pod system got you. Sure you’ll have to pay a little premium, but for most, it’s well worth it.
If you like coffee, make sure to try espresso, it’s a completely different experience and for a lot of people (myself included) it’s like coffee enhanced since it has a whole new spectrum of aromas and taste. Try some espresso and you will find out why it’s worth to have one of these machines at home, especially now that they are fairly cheap and offer high quality.
Go for a fine grind, it’s quite common and is usually the standard for espresso extraction. You will find it to be similar or finer than table salt.
Usually beans roasted from medium to dark levels are considered as best espresso beans. For manual, you can go with any, but for a super automatic, go for medium to medium-dark beans.
Nowadays you can get a really good espresso machine for under $300, hell, even for under $200, so there is no excuse to not enjoy the pleasures of this amazing drink. We have written an article about espresso machines under 500 too, which makes a good room for more quality. Espresso is a part of many people’s lives, including the famous cappuccinos and lattes. This just means that the espresso is a versatile drink and base for other drinks, and we can just say, go ahead and try it. If you are a coffee lover, trying espresso is a must and the chances of you liking it are really high. We hope that our guide helped you to get a good machine and it’s good to bring more people into this amazing world.