5 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers for College Students

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We all know there are different types of coffee makers for different situations and different people. For a large office you might want a commercial brewer that can brew a pot in 60 seconds, for home use a typical drip style coffee maker would suit most people. However some people are always on the go and maybe have limited space to work with, like college students who maybe live in dorm rooms. In this article we’re going to look at 5 of the best single serve coffee makers for college students.

Single serve coffee makers are great for several reasons. The first is obvious, you can just make one cup. Second, many times they take up less space and require less maintenance than a larger drip coffee maker. However they do have some drawbacks, so always look at pros and cons before making a purchase.

For college students though, I think single serve coffee makers are perfect. After all, you can brew a fresh cup of coffee directly into your travel mug and head out the door in a flash so you aren’t late to class! How convenient!

So let’s take a look at 5 of the most popular single serve coffee makers out there to help you make your choice.

Best single serve coffee makers for college students

1. Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker

*Top choice

Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 to 10 Oz. Brew Sizes, Black


  • Brews multiple k-cup pod sizes: (6, 8, 10 ounce)
  • 48 ounce water reservoir
  • Auto-off feature
  • Very simple to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Thousands of positive reviews on Amazon
  • Compatible with reusable filter

If counter space is not going to be an issue, then the Keurig K-Classic is definitely one to consider. It holds more water than the other, small footprint, single serve brewers on this list and it has been tested by millions of coffee drinkers around the world. I’ve owned this model myself and really have very little negative to say about it. It’s just a great all around pod brewer, though the price of the pods can add up if you drink coffee like a crazy person like I do!

You can even buy a separate reusable filter, like this one on Amazon, so that you can use your own coffee grounds. This will certainly save some money while still allowing you to brew a cup at a time.

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2. Keurig K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker

*Best space saving choice

Keurig K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, Comes With 6 to 12 Oz. Brew Size, K-Cup Pod Storage, and Travel Mug Friendly, Black


  • Comes with pod storage unit that holds 9 k-cups
  • Compatible with reusable filter
  • Small footprint is great for when counter space is an issue
  • Coffee maker automatically turns off after 90 seconds to save energy

Another great option from Keurig, the K-Mini Plus offers some neat features that the larger K-Classic does not. You get the quality build and coffee brewing that you’d expect from Keurig, but in a smaller form factor. In addition, when not in use, it also acts as a storage unit for up to 9 of your pods.

One drawback is that the water reservoir only holds enough water for one cup, so you’ll need to refill with water for every brew. Honestly though, it doesn’t take long to pour your water in before your brew so it’s not that big of a deal. I think this particular model could work great in a dorm room or even a small office that lacks counter space.

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3. Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker

*Value choice

Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer for K-Cup Pod & Ground Coffee Thermal Drip Instant Coffee Machine with Self Cleaning Function, Brew Strength Control


  • Rapid brewing has a cup of coffee ready in just 3 minutes
  • Compact design is great for tight places
  • Auto shut off after each brew
  • Self cleans by pressing just 2 buttons
  • Priced much less than other name brands
  • Comes with reusable filter, so no need to buy one

If you want a nice single serve coffee maker that doesn’t take much counter space for about half the price of a Keurig, then consider the Sboly. This one is missing a few features that the K-Mini Plus has like the built in storage, but it does come with the reusable filter that you won’t have to buy. In addition it has stellar reviews on Amazon and a very sleek form factor.

Having said that, in many cases there is a risk of sacrificing quality when you go with a cheaper, generic brand like this. I think that risk is minimal with the Sboly though, just click on the link below and scroll down to the reviews, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many people are loving this little single serve coffee maker.

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4. Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee MakerHamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker, Single-Serve and 12-Cup Pot, Stainless Steel (49980A), Carafe


  • Brew coffee single serve or a 12 cup pot
  • Fully programmable with auto shutoff
  • Has brew strength selector
  • Holds 96 fluid ounces of water
  • Does not use pods, coffee grounds only

Get the best of both worlds with this brewer, brew a single cup of coffee or an entire pot depending on your mood. This 2-way coffee maker by Hamilton Beach is a great compromise if you don’t want to limit yourself to only brewing a cup at a time, but still want the option to do so. It’s black plastic and stainless steel in color and has a digital display.

Like the K-Classic though, it is a full sized coffee maker and isn’t great for people with space constraints. But if you have plenty of counter space and want a coffee maker that makes a full pot or a single cup, this one could work for you. Also, it’s priced quite reasonably! Keep in mind though, this brewer only uses coffee grounds so no K-cups or coffee pods.

This could be a pro or a con for some people. I like the option for both myself, but if you are wanting to save money on coffee or you already roast and grind your own beans, it won’t make a difference.

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5. Dnsly Single Serve Coffee Maker 

Dnsly Coffee Maker Single Serve, for Capsule Pod & Ground Coffee 2 in 1 Dual Hot Coffee Machine, Strength-Controlled Self Cleaning Function Portable Coffee Brewer, Advanced Black


  • Brew k-cups or coffee grounds with the included reusable filter
  • Adjust strength from 6 oz to 14 oz
  • Programmable auto off and the automatic cleaning
  • Brews hot coffee in just 3 minutes
  • Compact design saves space

This option from Dnsly is eerily similar to the Sboly above, actually it’s quite likely the same coffee maker just with different brands attached. Either way, they are both popular and priced just about the same. So if you decide on one of these, just go with the one that’s priced cheaper as you’ll likely get the same machine.

So if you’re looking to save a few dollars but still get a nice pod brewer with the option to use your own coffee grounds AND save counter space, this option from Dnsly could work great for you.

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Things to consider when buying a coffee maker for a college student

1. Available counter space

Is counter space going to be an issue? In many dorm rooms where college students reside, space for a coffee maker can be tight. If this is the case then you might want to consider one of the smaller footprint single serve coffee makers like the K-Mini Plus. Otherwise, this may not need to be a factor you take into account.

2. Ability to use coffee grounds

If you want the ability to use coffee grounds in your pod brewer as well as K-cups, then you’re in luck because all of the brewers on this list have the ability to use a reusable filter allowing you to use your own coffee grounds. Though the Hamilton Beach 2-way brewer does not allow for pods.

3. Do you need 2-way brewing?

If you want to be able to brew a single cup or a whole pot depending on your mood, or time of day, then the Hamilton Beach on this list is what you’ll need to go with. All of the other options on this list are single serve only.

This is especially great if you have a roommate or significant other that likes to make a full pot, and you just like to brew a cup at a time for your travel mug. Or vice versa.

4. How much coffee they drink

If the recipient of this coffee maker only drinks a cup a day or less, then one of the smaller form factor brewers like the K-Mini Plus or the Sboly is perfect. It just holds enough water for one cup anyway. However if you drink multiple cups a day then it can be a bit annoying to have to keep pouring water in for each cup, in which case the K-Classic would be a good choice.

5. Do you want a name brand?

If you go with one of the generic brands on this list like Sboly or Dnsly you can certain save quite a bit of money. However if you want to be sure that you’re getting something that will last for years and has good customer service maybe just go with one of the tried and true Keurig options.


After looking at 5 of the best single serve coffee makers for college students, or really anyone for that matter, you should have a good idea of what’s out there. These 5 single serve brewers aren’t your only choices, but they are certainly some of the most popular options on Amazon. I suggest you take a look at each one, dig into the product specs and customer reviews just a bit, and choose the one that is best for you or your college student.

Overall, if space isn’t an issue I recommend the K-Classic. If saving a bit of counter space is important in a single serve coffee maker then go with the K-Mini Plus.

Good luck and happy brewing!