There is no doubt that using a single-serve coffee maker gives you a great convenience when making your favorite cup of coffee. Using a coffee maker like Keurig, for example, gives you not only a quick and mess-free way to make the perfect cup of coffee, but also other hot and cold drinks like tea, hot chocolate, iced tea and more. But if there’s one thing single-cup coffee maker owners complain about the continuous cost of buying pods.

Whether you’re already a single-cup coffee maker owner or about to buy one, you’ll be happy to know that there are ways around the cost of coffee pods.

Buying a Single-Serve Coffee Maker With No Pods:

The great news is, not all single-serve coffee makers require coffee pods. In fact, there are single serve coffee makers that use ground coffee, just like a drip coffee maker. Which means, there are no additional costs for buying pods. However, this limits your options to brewing coffee only, as opposed to brewing multiple drinks like Keurig for example.

Let’s have a look at our favorite single cup coffee makers without pod use:

Best Pick

[amazon box=”B08QZXFSKP” description=”Ninja’s DualBrew coffee maker isn’t just a single-serve coffee maker, but it offers you all kinds of serving sizes, from a single cup to a 12-cup carafe and many sizes in between. It uses ground coffee for all serving sizes, but guess what? If you occasionally decide you want a quick cup using a pod, you can do that too!”]

  • Nina DualBrew gives you the most variety of choices and brew sizes, which makes it our best pick for sure.
  • Brew a single cup, a large mug, a travel mug or a carafe (half or full) using ground coffee.
  • Don’t have the patience for a ground coffee? DualBrew also brews single-serve cups using K-Cup pods.
  • Choose from 3 brew styles – classic, bold or over ice.

So what brew sizes can the DualBrew offer you?

If you’re going to brew coffee using ground coffee, you can choose from 9 sizes: Small Cup, Cup, XL Cup, Travel Mug, XL Travel Mug, ¼ Carafe, ½ Carafe, ¾ Carafe, or Full Carafe.

Using a K-Cup pod, you can select from serving sizes 6, 8, 10 or 12 oz.

The control panel on the DualBrew is digital, with a nice and easy to use touchscreen buttons. Programmability includes delay brew, auto brew (for ground coffee only), Digital clock and keep warm function.

The machine comes with a glass carafe, so naturally, there’s a hot plate to keep the coffee warm. There’s also an adjustable cup tray to use for single cups.

DualBrew vs. DualBrew Pro – What’s The Difference?

[amazon table=”1360″]

There are two models of the DualBrew coffee maker, one of them is the PRO version. What additional features do you get from the Pro version?

The Pro version is a great pick if you like specialty coffee drinks like cappuccinos or latte. Although these drinks are Espresso based, the DualBrew can’t make Espresso, but it makes something similar. Using the ‘Specialty’ brew setting, the coffee maker will brew a short coffee concentrate that will act as the espresso. Using the built-in milk frother, you can prepare creamy milk froth for your drinks.

The Pro version also has an independent hot water system which gives you hot water on demand to use for instant meals, tea, hot cocoa or anything else that might require hot water.

So to sum up, the Pro version has:

  • Specialty brew option
  • Built-in milk frother, and
  • Hot Water on demand.

The reservoir capacity is the same for both models, but in the Pro version, it is repositionable to the side so you can set it in anyway that works best for your countertop.

Runner Up

[amazon box=”B07T81JDX2″ description=”If you want a simpler and more affordable choice than Ninja’s DualBrew, this Mr Coffee machine is just the right pick for you. This time, there’s no option for pods. It is 100% ground coffee. Fill the filter with your favorite coffee, choose your serving size and hit the brew button!”]

  • Mr Coffee HotCup is as simple as a coffee maker comes. Add in your coffee, select serving size and you’re all set.
  • Makes from 6 to 12 oz of coffee.
  • Illuminated Water reservoir holds up to 72 oz of water.
  • Use dial to select serving amount: 6, 8, 10 or 12 oz.
  • Filter basket uses paper filter.
  • Can accommodate up to 7″ tall travel mugs.

What To Look For in a Single-Serve Coffee Maker

If you’re reading this page, then you know at least one thing, you want your single-serve coffee maker to use ground coffee instead of pods. But here are several things that you can consider, too:

  • If you often entertain or have friends over, then you might want to consider a dual coffee maker such as the Ninja DualBrew. It’s better than having a dedicated pot coffee maker next to a single-serve one, and it’s definitely better than having to make a single-serve cup one at a time for each of your guests.

How To Save on Buying Coffee Pods:

If you already own a single-serve coffee maker and want to cut on your coffee pod costs, here are some tips:

  • Use a refillable coffee pod: Whether you own a Keurig, Keurig-powered coffee maker, or a Nespresso, there are reusable pods available for all these machines. You simply buy a filter pod, fill it with ground coffee that is available at any local coffee house or supermarket, and it is as good as a pod. However, not all these pods are officially made from these coffee maker brands, and you’ll have to test out the best coffee measurement for yourself.
  • Use Alternative Brands: Each brand has its own price, that’s no surprise. However, there are brands that sell pods factory-direct like Intelligent Blends K-Cup pods, for example, which saves you a whole lot of money. For Nespresso, you can buy Nespresso-compatible pods, which are cheaper and more variant than Nespresso’s official capsules.

About the Author


Enjoying coffee, one pod at a time. Bringing all my coffee expertise to this blog.

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