Espresso machines are one of the best invention of this modern world. They’re the perfect tool to make a latte, cappuccino, macchiato, and a variety of other drinks. But there’s nothing better than a freshly brewed cup of espresso in the morning.
And finding the right one can be quite difficult. There are literally thousands of different models available on the market, but not all of them are made equally. So how do you know which one is right for you? That’s where we come in.
We’ve researched and compiled a list of the 10 best espresso machine under 500. And a quick browse through our buying guide will help you choose the right one for you.
- Consider the size of the espresso machine: small, compact, medium, or large, based on the available kitchen space and personal preferences.
- Evaluate the features and design of the espresso machine: choose between semi-automatic, automatic, or manual machines based on the desired level of control and aesthetic preferences.
- Prioritize the reputation of the company: select a brand known for consistent delivery of quality machines, positive customer reviews, and excellent customer service.
- Pay attention to the ease of use and cleaning: opt for an espresso machine that offers convenience and quality, with intuitive interfaces, self-cleaning features, and a reputation for producing excellent coffee.
- The best pick in our test is: Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine. And the runner up is: Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine
Choosing the Right Espresso Machine Under $500
Finding the perfect espresso machine under $500 isn’t just about the price tag; it’s about understanding what works best for you. Consider the machine’s size, its features and design, the reputation of the company, and how easy it is to use and clean. These factors will guide you to your ideal espresso machine, ensuring your mornings are filled with the rich, robust coffee you love.
Size of Espresso Machine
When it comes to selecting the perfect espresso machine under $500, you’ll need to consider the size to ensure it fits comfortably in your kitchen space. Remember, espresso machines come in various sizes, from the compact, space-saving home espresso machine to the larger semi-automatic and super-automatic models.
Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the best size:
- Small, compact, space-efficient: Ideal for small kitchens, think classic pro espresso machine.
- Medium: Ideal for coffee enthusiasts, consider a semi-automatic espresso machine. More features requires more space
- Large: For the ultimate coffee experience, a super-automatic espresso machine is your best bet. Feature-rich requires ample kitchen space
Now that you’ve got a clear understanding of sizes, let’s move on to the next important aspect to consider – the features and design of your espresso machine.
Features and Design of Espresso Machine
While you’re trying to pick the right espresso machine under $500, it’s crucial that you don’t overlook the features and design. The design of your espresso machine should not only be aesthetically pleasing but also practical.
Consider the type of machine that suits your needs and preferences: semi-automatic, automatic, or manual espresso machine. Each type has its own unique features and design which can greatly affect your coffee brewing experience.
Here’s a short guide:
|Type of Machine||Unique Feature||Design|
|Semi-automatic||User control over brewing time||Usually compact and user-friendly|
|Automatic||Consistent brewing time||Sleek and modern|
|Manual||Complete control over the process||Classic, often vintage look|
After considering machine features and design, your next step is to evaluate the manufacturer’s reputation, because it’s not just about a stylish espresso maker, but also about choosing a reliable brand you can trust.
The company’s reputation should reflect:
- Consistent delivery of quality espresso machines, such as the semi-automatic espresso maker, Gaggia Classic Pro.
- High-performance and durability
- Positive customer reviews and feedback
- Outstanding customer service.
- Prompt and effective response to inquiries and complaints
- Excellent after-sales service, including parts and repair
- Commitment to innovation.
- Continual improvement of product features
- Investment in research and development
Ease of Use and Cleaning
Consider how easily you’ll be able to operate and clean your chosen espresso machine, as these factors can significantly affect your overall coffee-making experience. Opting for an automatic espresso machine under $500 can offer a balance of convenience and quality, making espresso at home a breeze. These machines often have intuitive interfaces and self-cleaning features, enhancing the ease of use and cleaning. However, don’t sacrifice the quality of your home espresso for convenience. Research to ensure your espresso machine has a reputation for producing excellent coffee, and that any automatic processes don’t compromise the flavor. The perfect espresso machine will make brewing espresso at home an enjoyable, hassle-free experience, and ensure that every cup is as delicious as the last.
How We Tested the Espresso Machine Under $500
In our pursuit to find the best espresso machine under $500, you’ll be intrigued by the rigorous and detailed testing process we employed. We didn’t just rely on manufacturer specifications or user reviews. Instead, we rolled up our sleeves and put each espresso machine to the test in a real-world setting. We focused on three main areas:
- Performance: We evaluated how each machine performed in terms of speed, temperature control, and pressure consistency.
- Speed: We measured the time it took to heat up and brew a shot of espresso.
- Temperature Control: We checked if the machines could maintain the ideal temperature throughout the brewing process.
- Pressure Consistency: We examined if the machines could consistently deliver the right pressure for optimal extraction.
- Ease of Use: We assessed how user-friendly each machine was. This included examining the user manual, the simplicity of the control panel, and the ease of cleaning and maintenance.
- Value for Money: We considered the features and performance of each machine relative to its price.
The Top 10 Espresso Machine Under $500
Now, let’s get to the exciting part. Each of these espresso machine has its unique features that make them stand out, let’s explore what they offer and why they’re worth your consideration.
Our Winner: Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine
|Color||Brushed Stainless Steel|
|Special Feature||58mm Portafilter, Commercial Steam Wand|
We love this semi automatic espresso machine. It looks good, has a great design, and performs perfectly. It’s made of stainless steel and will last forever. The only downside to this machine is that it has no integrated water filter, which means you’ll have to buy an external one.
The Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine is a commercial-grade espresso machine with all the features you could ask for. It has a commercial three-way solenoid valve that lets you choose between a standard Italian espresso, a regular coffee, or a cappuccino.
It has a capacity water tank that holds 2,1 liters of water, and a commercial-style 58mm chrome-plated brass portability and brew group.
The machine also has a commercial-style steam wand, which gives you the ability to steam milk instead of using ground coffee. There are two rotating steam wand movement types, and it also has a rotary control on the front of the machine.
The machine is designed to be compact and portable, and its small size makes it easy to store. If you want to keep the machine clean, just wipe off any spills right away.
It’s made of rugged brushed stainless steel and will last for years. The only downside to this machine is that it doesn’t come with an integrated water filter.
So if you’re looking for a commercial-grade best semi automatic espresso machine under 500 dollars that will serve you for a long time, then this is the one for you.
Runner Up: Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine
|Voltage||110 to 120V|
|Capacity||61 Fluid Ounces|
This espresso machine was a tough choice because there are so many good ones out there, but we finally chose this one because of the Thermocoil technology.
The 1600W Thermocoil helps control water temperature during steaming. It does this by creating a constant, even flow of water through the chamber, preventing hot spots and ensuring that water temperature remains consistent.
The low-pressure pre-infusion ensures that all the flavors are extracted evenly, and this also reduces the risk of burning your coffee beans. It does this by drawing water into the bottom of the chamber through a small tube before the beans are added.
This results in a smooth extraction of the flavors, and it also keeps the coffee beans fresh and moist.
The cleaning and drip tray alert makes routine maintenance easier. When the cleaning and drip tray needs to be cleaned, simply press the button and it will alert you. This way, you know when to clean it, and you can schedule the maintenance to be done at a convenient time.
The cleaning and drip tray also alerts you when it needs to be replaced. Just pop it out, and you can get the new one. This also ensures that the machine will be ready for use as soon as it’s installed.
Another benefit of this espresso machine is that it’s very easy to clean. It’s easy to remove the basket, and you can clean the rest with a soft cloth. The only thing that requires a little more effort is cleaning the grinder, which is made of plastic and not as easy to clean.
Overall, this is the best espresso machine under 500, and it comes with a 1-Year Limited Product Warranty.
De’Longhi BCO430BM All-in-One Combination Maker & Espresso Machine
|Coffee Maker Type||Espresso Machine|
|Included Components||Water filter|
De’Longhi’s BCO430BM is an interesting all-in-one coffee maker that also functions as an espresso machine. The water reservoir is located on the left side, while the coffee pot is located on the right side.
There’s also a removable water filter that’s placed in front of the water reservoir. Both water and coffee are accessible from the front. This allows you to fill the coffee pot from the water reservoir or directly from the tap.
You can choose to make a latte, espresso or cappuccino by pressing a button on the front of the unit. The espresso is made on the right side, while the cappuccino is made on the left side.
The unit is equipped with an advanced active carbon filter to keep the water fresh. This also prevents any odors from being released into the air. The BCO430BM is also compatible with any standard sized coffee filter.
The BCO430BM is easy to clean, and you can easily wash it under the sink. There’s a small indicator light on the front that lets you know when it’s time to refill the water or coffee. It’s also easy to replace the water and coffee filters.
The coffee maker is very quiet and won’t disturb you when you’re working or sleeping. However, it’s not as quiet as the Nespresso machines that we recommend. The espresso machine is also compact and portable, so you can take it with you wherever you go.
Nespresso Lattissima Touch Original Espresso Machine with Milk Frother by De’Longhi
|Coffee Maker Type||Espresso Machine|
|Special Feature||Milk Frother, Programmable|
We were really surprised to see this machine on our list. The Latissima touch is a great espresso machine, especially for people who are new to making espresso drinks. This model is very user-friendly, and it can be set up quickly and easily.
The milk frother is one of the best features of this machine, and it’s actually the reason we chose to get it. With it, you can make delicious milk froth for latte, cappuccino, mocha, and other espresso based coffee drinks. It’s super easy to use too. Just add hot water and mix, and you’ll get the perfect texture and consistency for each drink.
The latte frother is compatible with all cup sizes, and it has a variable frothing head. It works great for latte and cappuccino, but it can also froth milk for espresso. For espresso, the frothing head has 19 bars of pressure, which is plenty enough to create a nice, creamy foam. The pressure can be adjusted depending on the desired level of froth.
To clean up, the drip tray is removable, which makes it easy to get into the internals and clean them out. The drip tray is also fully dishwasher safe, so it’s great for those who want to avoid using soap.
Another great feature of this machine is its heat-up time. It’s ready to brew within 40 seconds, and it can reach 190°F in just 3 minutes. That’s fast and convenient, and it means you can make espresso drinks right away. If you have guests over, you won’t have to wait too long before they’re able to enjoy their drinks.
In terms of cleaning, the machine has a removable filter basket, and the filter can be cleaned manually with a brush. It also has a removable water tank, so you can wash it with soap and water. Finally, the machine is dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to clean and maintain.
Philips 3200 Series Fully Automatic Espresso Machine EP3221/44
|Brand||Philips Kitchen Appliances|
If you’re looking for an automatic espresso machine, then this one from Philips is one of the best automatic espresso machine under $500.
If you want a super high-tech espresso machine that’s capable of producing delicious coffee, then this one might be for you. This espresso maker features a sleek, white color that makes it stand out, and it also comes with a very modern design. But that’s not all – this model also comes with a very intuitive touch screen display that makes it really easy to use.
The Philips 3200 Series fully automatic espresso machine EP3221/44 has a very user-friendly interface, so you can easily adjust the settings and enjoy a great cup of espresso in no time.
There are 12 different grind settings available for this model, so you can choose the exact grind that you prefer. For example, you can choose from coarse, medium, fine, and extra fine grinds, depending on what type of taste you’re after.
You can also adjust the aroma strength for the coffee, and you can choose from 3 levels: light, medium, and strong. This espresso machine also comes with a removable brew group for easy cleaning, and the parts are dishwasher safe too. So you don’t have to worry about the machine’s performance if you decide to wash it by hand.
The Philips 3200 Series fully automatic espresso machine also comes with a powerful motor that is capable of churning out up to 5,000 cups of coffee without descaling, which is incredible.
It’s equipped with a stainless steel tamper, and the tamper is able to ensure that you get the perfect grind every time. The temper also helps prevent the coffee grounds from getting stuck inside the portafilter.
This model comes with a digital display that shows the current time, date, and temperature. It’s also equipped with an LED display, which is really convenient for setting the timer and the temperature.
Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine
|Cup Height||3.25” to 4.5”|
|Special Feature||Milk Frother Drip TrayInternal Grinder|
The Gaggia Brera Super Automatic Espresso Machine is designed to give you the best espresso every time, no matter what type of coffee you’re making.
With the push of a button, you can adjust the intensity of the steam and water to create espresso, milk foam, or milk froth, and you can even make a latte macchiato by mixing espresso and steamed milk.
The Brera has a built-in grinder, so you can grind whole beans to your liking, or use pre ground coffee to save time.
The machine has a pannarello feature that makes espresso or milk foam froth. You can also use the pannarello to froth milk for lattes, cappuccinos, or americanos. It features a built-in frother and a steam wand, so you can make them quickly and easily.
The machine has a dregs drawer, a drip tray, and a water tank that are all within reach and accessible from the front of the machine. This gives you the freedom to place the machine anywhere you want. The Brera has a stainless steel housing, so it’s easy to clean and maintain.
You’ll get a quick heat up time when you first turn on the Brera, and it heats up to a full boil in 30 seconds. It’s very stable and robust, so you can brew up to 12 cups at once. And it’s also equipped with a built-in anti-clogging filter, so you won’t have to worry about cleaning it.
This espresso machine is easy to use, and the controls are intuitive. It has a 1-year warranty, and you can get a 2-year warranty by paying an additional fee.
Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine
|Capacity||64 Fluid Ounces|
|Color||Brushed Stainless Steel|
The Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine has a 3-second heat-up time, so it’s the fastest coffee maker around. That means you’ll be able to get a fresh cup every time, and it’s not going to take forever.
The Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine is also a great option if you’re a fan of single-origin espresso, because it features a micro-foam texture for better milk texture.
This espresso machine uses the innovative ThermoJet technology, which enables the machine to heat water up to 212°F in only three seconds. This ensures that the water is at the ideal temperature for extracting the coffee, and it keeps the coffee fresh.
The machine also features automatic micro-foam milk texturing, which is a process that makes it easier for the milk to foam up and be released from the machine.
There are two settings for the milk temperature: low and high. The low setting produces a smooth, creamy texture, while the high setting creates a thicker, stronger milk that’s ready to pour. You can easily adjust the milk texture using the push buttons on the front panel.
To extract the coffee, simply push the button once, wait for the coffee to brew, and then push it again. The Breville BES500BSS Bambino Plus Espresso Machine is very easy to use, and it makes delicious espresso. It’s also very quiet, which is a plus if you’re trying to do some homework while your coffee is brewing.
This espresso machine is easy to clean, and it includes a dishwasher-safe filter and portafilter. You can also easily rinse the portafilter with water, and it will dry itself. The machine comes with a 2-year limited warranty, and a removable drip tray, which makes it easy to store when not in use.
MEROL Automatic Espresso Coffee Machine
|Product Dimensions||16.6 x 11.3 x 15 inches|
|Special Feature||Milk Frother, Programmable|
When we tested our top pick for the best espresso machine under 500, we were shocked by how much better it was than the competition.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that this machine was the best in its class, offering features like a 19 bar pump, adjustable steel burr grinder, and a fast heat up system that made it perfect for making professional-quality drinks.
The machine is elegantly designed with an intuitive LCD screen that makes it easy to use, and the stainless steel exterior looks sleek and stylish.
We also liked the fact that you can customize your drinks by choosing the strength of espresso, the amount of milk, and the flavor profile of your coffee. All of these options can be adjusted with the simple touch of a button, so you won’t have to worry about making subpar coffee ever again.
This automatic espresso machine also boasts a removable brew group, so you can change the size of your brew group without having to remove the machine from the countertop. This is ideal if you have a larger kitchen area and need to make more than just one type of drink.
We were impressed with the quality of the coffee produced by this machine, and it’s not hard to see why it has such a large following.
The machine is easy to clean and maintain, and it comes with a 1 year warranty, which is enough to protect you against any problems. This is a machine that will provide great coffee for years to come, so if you’re looking for a reliable, easy-to-use automatic espresso machine, then look no further than the Merol.
Espressione 8212S Fully Automatic Espresso Machine
|Coffee Maker Type||Espresso Machine|
|Special Feature||1.2 litre removable water reservoir|
We tested the Espressione 8212S Fully Automatic Espresso Machine, and we were really impressed with the machine. It’s incredibly powerful, and it makes a great cup of coffee.
It also works perfectly, and has a lot of features. It’s designed for people who like to make their own espresso drinks at home, and it does a fantastic job.
It has a very sturdy design, and it looks modern too. The panels are a little small, but they’re easily replaceable. If you want to change the color, you can do that easily. The panel also features one touch keys, so it’s very easy to use.
The frothing mechanism is very powerful, and it does a good job frothing milk. It has a hot water function, and it’s easy to set the water temperature. The hot water function is great, because you can make hot tea and other drinks too.
The coffee grinder is also good, and it has five different settings. It’s very easy to use, and it’s programmable too. It has an auto-stop feature, and it’s also easy to adjust the time.
All in all, it’s also a best espresso machine under 500 dollars, and we highly recommend it. It’s pretty expensive though, but it’s well worth the money.
Best Espresso Machine Under $500: Final Verdict
After hours of research and testing, it’s clear that you can’t go wrong with any of these espresso machines if you’re shopping on a budget of $500. Every machine you’ve read about today offers fantastic value for money, with features you’d expect in a machine like a super automatic.
However, don’t get caught up in the technicalities. Your perfect espresso machine is the one that suits your needs and preferences. Whether it’s a compact, no-fuss model or a super automatic beast that does it all, it’s your call.
Best on our test case, we would recommend Gaggia RI9380/46 Classic Pro Espresso Machine as the overall winner and Breville BES810BSS Duo Temp Pro Espresso Machine as the runner up.
FAQ for Best Espresso Machine Under $500
You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers. Let’s tackle those burning queries about whether a higher price tag guarantees better coffee, or if a budget-friendly espresso machine can deliver that perfect cup. We’re also going to explore the vital features to look for in sub $500 espresso machines, the top brands to consider, and the features that might not be as essential as you think.
Do more expensive espresso machines make better coffee?
Don’t assume that a higher price tag guarantees a superior coffee experience; it’s the machine’s features and your brewing techniques that truly matter.
- Features to consider:
- Automatic milk frother: This feature saves you time and ensures the perfect froth for cappuccinos and lattes.
- Built-in coffee grinder: A fresh grind often results in more flavorful espresso.
- Brew techniques:
- Understanding your machine: Knowing how to use all of the settings effectively can enhance the quality of your coffee.
- Proper maintenance: Regular cleaning and descaling can prolong the life of your machine and improve the taste of your espresso.
Can a cheap espresso machine make good coffee?
While it’s true that pricier machines may offer more features, you shouldn’t discount the ability of a cheaper espresso machine to brew a delightful cup of coffee. It’s all about understanding the machine’s capabilities and using it to its fullest potential.
Here’s a little comparison for you:
|Factors||Expensive Machines||Cheap Machines|
|Taste||May offer more consistency||Can also deliver a good brew|
|Functionality||More features||Basic, yet sufficient|
|Maintenance||Often require professional care||Easier to clean and maintain|
Just remember, a good cup of espresso isn’t solely about the machine. It’s about the beans, the grind, the water, and most importantly, the love you put into brewing it. So, yes, a cheap espresso machine can certainly make good coffee.
What features are important for the best espresso machine under $500?
So, what should you look for in an espresso machine under $500 to ensure you’re getting the best brew for your buck?
- Grinding Capability: Some machines come with a built-in grinder, which is a great bonus. They provide:
- Freshness: You’re grinding just what you need.
- Convenience: It’s all in one machine.
- Water Storage: Machines with larger water tanks are generally more convenient. Key features include:
- Capacity: Bigger is usually better.
- Accessibility: Easy to fill and clean.
- Frothing Ability: If you love cappuccinos or lattes, a good frother is a must. Look for:
- Quality: Produces a consistent, creamy froth.
- Control: Allows you to adjust froth texture.
Now that you know what to look for, let’s dive into what brand makes the best espresso machine.
What features should you ignore when choosing the best espresso machine under $500?
When choosing your ideal espresso machine under $500, you shouldn’t focus too much on flashy, non-essential features. As a coffee lover, you’ll want to prioritize functionality and quality over aesthetics or gimmicks. Here are some features you can afford to ignore:
- Fancy exterior design:
- Metallic finishes: They might look nice, but don’t improve the taste of your espresso.
- Designer labels: A big brand name doesn’t always mean better performance.
- In-built coffee grinder:
- Yes, it’s convenient, but not necessary. You can buy a separate grinder for a fraction of the cost.
- Excessive automation:
- One-touch controls: These are nice-to-haves, not must-haves. Learning manual controls can enhance your coffee-making experience.