Coffee Machine Buying Guide | Go Argos

Coffee Machines Buying Guide

There's loads of different coffee machines available to buy and this guide will give
you all the information you need to pick the right machine for you.

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Which is the best coffee machine for home use?

  Pod Filter Espresso Bean-to-cup
Ease of use Easy Fairly easy More difficult Difficult
Price range £50 - £150 £20 - £100 £100 - £200 £200 - £1000
Makes milk-based drinks Yes No - just black coffee Yes - with milk frother Yes - with milk frother
Size Compact Small Large Large
Type of coffee required Pods Ground coffee Ground coffee Coffee beans
  Find out more Find out more Find out more Find out more

Pod coffee machines

  • Easy and fast to use
  • Compact machines
  • Low maintenance
  • Pods can be expensive
  • Coffee selection is limited to the pod types
  • Only one cup can be made at a time

Pod coffee machines use disposable capsules filled with coffee. The coffee is blended, roasted, ground and then sealed in pods. Once you put the coffee pod into the machine, water is heated and forced through, releasing the flavour and coffee into the cup.

There's a variety of capsule systems available from different brands. Tassimo and Nescafe Dolce Gusto machines use plastic pods to create different types of coffee. Nespresso use infinitely recyclable aluminium capsules, available in Original and Vertuo pod types. Original offers a range of classic espresso blends while Vertuo capsules are available in four cup sizes to suit your coffee style.

Filter coffee machines

  • Easy to use
  • Makes larger quantities of coffee
  • Only makes black coffee
  • Need to use filters
  • Requires regular cleaning

Filter coffee machines are ideal for making larger quantities of freshly brewed coffee. The water slowly drips through a container holding the ground coffee, using either a permanent or paper filter. As the water flows through, it absorbs the flavours and aromas of the coffee.

The filter coffee is then ready to serve from the pot or carafe and is usually kept warm on a hot plate. Filter coffee machines come in different cup volumes depending on the number of cups you want to make in one sitting.

Espresso coffee machines

  • Uses pre-ground coffee, less expensive than pods
  • Ground coffee comes in a variety of brands and grades
  • More expensive than pod machines
  • Requires more skill to use

Pump espresso machines have a separate water tank and a fast Thermoblock heating system which heats the water to the optimum temperature. The water is then pushed through the coffee filter holder at the correct bar pressure to produce a rich, smooth espresso.

Some espresso machines have a steam arm that is used to steam and froth milk for cappuccino and latte drinks. Many machines can also be used with coffee pods for added convenience.

Bean-to-cup coffee machines

  • Professional style coffee at home
  • Includes features like self-cleaning function
  • Makes a wide variety of coffee types
  • Expensive
  • Can be difficult to master

Bean-to-cup coffee machines offer a premium coffee experience, taking care of everything for you at the touch of a button. These machines grind the whole coffee bean with the built-in grinder, tightly pack the ground coffee together and push water through the filter at a suitable bar pressure. The espresso is then delivered straight into your cup and the used coffee grinds are ejected into a tray.

Some machines include a steam arm for frothing milk and transforming espresso into your favourite milk based drinks. Many bean-to-cup models can store your preferred settings and options, making it even easier to brew your perfect cup of coffee in an instant.



Things to consider

Size and weight

If you want to store your coffee machine away when you're not using it, make sure it's small enough to fit into a kitchen cupboard and light enough to manoeuvre. Larger coffee machines are ideal for displaying on a worktop.

Ease of use

Think about how much effort and time you're willing to put in for your cup of coffee. If you're strapped for time, look for easy pod or capsule machines and user-friendly programmable cup size options.


The higher the wattage of your coffee machine, the faster the water will boil. Choose a high wattage machine if you're looking to make large quantities of coffee or in a hurry for your daily espresso.

Bar pressure

Between 9 and 15 bars is the ideal pressure for creating a perfectly smooth crema on top of your espresso. Having a powerful enough bar pressure is important for extracting the full flavour of your coffee.

Heating element

Thermoblock heating systems heat water to the optimum temperature (around 90°) needed for a rich espresso. Machines with a thermoblock system are fast, efficient and avoid overheating the coffee which leaves behind a bitter taste.

Automatic shut-off

Coffee machines with an auto shut down function automatically switch off after a set amount of time which saves energy and helps to keep your machine in good working order.

Steam arm

If you enjoy a cappuccino, latte or macchiato, look for a coffee machine with a steam arm or built-in milk frothing function. This will allow you to create a range of milk-based coffee drinks.

Water tank and capacity

Coffee machines with a transparent water tank allow you to easily see how much water you've got left to make your coffee. Choose a higher water capacity if you're looking to make several cups of coffee in one sitting.


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