Best Espresso Machines under $150 of 2019 – Reviews & Top Picks

an espresso maker in actionIf you’re tired of waiting in line at Starbucks to pay their prices for a single cup of espresso, you’re ready to get your own machine and strike out on your own.  Once you’ve got an espresso maker, you’ll be able to experiment until you get just the results you’re looking for.

Getting the machine isn’t quite so straightforward though.  There are so many competing brand names and models out there that you’ll really have to get into the weeds to dig out the one that’s best for you.  It can be quite a chore, not to mention time-consuming.

Luckily for you, we’ve already done all the tramping around in the brush for you.  We’ve researched and analyzed the espresso makers out there and then written up the findings in these handy, easy-to-use reviews.  The machines are listed in order, from first to last.  A short description of the benefits accompanies each espresso maker, followed by a “pros and cons” checklist that takes all the guesswork out of it. So let’s get to it!

Summary of our Top 3 Picks

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
Hamilton Beach 40792
Hamilton Beach 40792
(Top Pick)


Check Price
9 lbs
4.60/5
De’Longhi Nespresso Inissia
De’Longhi Nespresso Inissia


Check Price
5 lbs
4.40/5
De’Longhi EC155
De’Longhi EC155
(Best for the Money)


Check Price
7 lbs4.35/5

3 Best Espresso Machines under $150 – Reviews

1. Hamilton Beach 40792 Espresso Machine – Editor’s Choice

Hamilton Beach 40792

Sleek and stylish are the first words that come to mind with this offering from Hamilton. Simple and easy are the next two.

This machine delivers what it promises: an espresso maker that gives you a good cup of coffee—or two at once if you have a friend over. One-touch operations make it a breeze to brew your drink, and then get a good froth on your milk. The coffee scoop even includes a tamper on the other end of the rod to tamp the coffee into place in the basket. It’s a little thing to be sure, but the convenience is delightful.

This espresso machine won’t keep you waiting either. It’s quick off the starting line, both for brewing coffee and for steaming your milk. When you like to get things done in a hurry, this is the machine for you.

This machine also doesn’t boss you around on the ounces of coffee you can brew. You can stop it whenever you like or run more water through it to get exactly the blend you want.

The steamer is noisier than it should be, but that can be addressed by how quickly or slowly you lower the tip into the milk.

Pros
  • Sleek and stylish
  • Very fast
  • Puts you in charge
Cons
  • Steamer can be noisy

2. De’Longhi Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine – The Runner-Up

De’Longhi Nespresso Inissia

This espresso maker is the runner-up in the list. It delivers a reasonable espresso, but the design requires the use of the manufacturer’s pre-measured pods instead of letting you grind and use your own coffee beans. If convenience is where it’s at for you though, this may be the perfect machine for your kitchen counter.

Once the water tank is filled, there’s nothing to measure. Pop in the pod, put your cup in place, and push the button. The machine does the rest. It really is that simple. No muss, no fuss.

The included Aeroccino milk frother makes cold or hot milk froth, and if you clean it immediately after each use there’s no residue or buildup to contend with.

The pods are available in a nice array of flavors. But be warned, they are fairly pricey. You have to purchase a minimum number of them each time, too. Once you get this machine, you’re locked into the manufacturer’s supply chain and you’ll have to pay their prices. This keeps it from being first on the list, but the sheer ease and convenience of it ensure it will always be a close runner-up.

Pros
  • Very easy to use
  • No measuring
Cons
  • Pods are pricey
  • Minimum purchase for pods

3. De’Longhi EC155 Espresso Machine – Best for the money

De'Longhi EC155

This espresso and cappuccino maker gives you the option of using pre-measured pods or your own coffee grounds. Having choices is always a good idea and this machine gives them to you.

You also have the choice of making one cup by itself or two at once, depending on whether or not you have company coming over. It’s reliable, affordable, and will last for a reasonable length of time. It doesn’t have the lifespan of more expensive models, but for the price, you really can’t go wrong.

If you want a reasonably good latté, you’ll need to pre-heat the machine for about a half-an-hour. This chips away at the convenience factor. The latté is good—you just won’t get it right away.

Unfortunately, this machine doesn’t froth the milk the way it should. The steamer is noisy and the froth is exceptionally weak. It doesn’t have any lasting body to it.

All things considered, this machine is the “best for the money.” There may be better machines available, but you’ll pay quite a bit more for them. This one isn’t in the top two, but it’s still a good choice.

Pros
  • Lots of choices
Cons
  • Short lifespan
  • Steamer is weak
  • Too much pre-heating required

Buyer’s Guide

There are always a few things you’ll want to get along with your machine.  For those that use pods, you need to make sure you get a sampler pack of different flavors so you can decide which one(s) you like.  Most manufacturers offer them.  Once you’ve made up your mind you can stick to ordering your favorites.

Stainless steel frothing pitchers are always a valuable addition to your order.  And don’t forget to pick out a tamper. Though some machines come with them, most don’t.  A tamper, usually stainless steel too, is a requirement for making a good espresso.

And finally, who wants to drink espresso out of an ordinary coffee cup?  Get some stylish glass cups to go with your new machine.

Conclusion

In these reviews, the Hamilton Beach 40792 took its place as the top pick.  It’s fast, convenient, and reliable.  It combines ease of use with a stylish look that will be an asset to any kitchen.  It delivers an excellent espresso in an elegant package.

The runner-up is the De’Longhi Nespresso Inissia.  It doesn’t pack quite the punch of the top pick but for sheer ease of use, it’s hard to beat.  You won’t be disappointed.

The “best for the money” winner is the De’Longhi EC155.  It’s not as robust or as fast as the top two, but for the price, it delivers a good coffee.  You can’t argue with those kinds of results.

Hopefully, these reviews have given you the information you need to become your own best barista.  We’ve gone through the weeds to find gems for you.  Now all you have to do is pick the one that’s right for you.

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