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Lucky Belly » Top 5 Best Coffee Makers for College Dorm (Budget & Portable)

Top 5 Best Coffee Makers for College Dorm (Budget & Portable)

Coffee Maker For College
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You’re in college, and your daily coffee requirements have exploded.

There’s no need to suffer through the lousy gas station or cafeteria coffee, nor do you have to spend a small fortune grabbing a cup from your local barista either.

Let’s find the best coffee maker for college dorm for you and answer some question you might have.

What To Consider To Buy A Coffee Maker For College dorm?

A day in college is much hurry, There are many things need to do from morning to overnight. So, what to consider for college coffee maker?

  • easy to use
  • easy to clean
  • suits your lifestyle (including the amount of coffee and brew speed)
  • small footprint for your limited space
  • electric or stovetop heat depending on your needs
  • fits in your budget
  • extra features such as timed brew, temperature controls, or other needs

Five Types Of Coffee Makers For College dorm

There are a few different types of coffee makers that may fit your needs depending on a few factors.

You should sit down and consider how much coffee you drink, if you’re the only one drinking it, and if you’re willing to spend more for other types of features or accessories (1).

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a few common coffee maker types.

1. K-cup coffee maker

K-cup coffee maker for College dorm
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K-Cup coffee makers are most people’s dream coffee maker. They’re easy to use, and they make great coffee despite the style of drink you like. Even if you prefer tea or hot chocolate, these machines have you covered.

Now, a word about “easy to use.” There is a learning curve. If you’ve never used a pod-style machine before, it can take some getting used to.

If you have frequent guests, you may have to walk them through how to get their joe in the morning.

The upside is that everyone gets coffee exactly how they like it and fast. The downside is that you’re spending a lot for pods and some of them take up a lot of counter space between the machine and the pod storage.

2. single serve coffee maker (no pod)

single serve coffee maker (no pod) for college dorm
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If you live alone and don’t want to bother with pods, single serve coffee makers are great.

They have a tiny footprint and offer some of the same features as regular coffee makers.

The ones that include a to-go cup that fits right under the dripper are excellent because the cup and carafe are all in one.

You’re only cleaning one type of container every day, and there’s no scrambling to put your coffee in a container before you have to leave.

These won’t work if you have other coffee drinkers in the house unless you’re all on a very specific schedule. Waiting for the coffee to brew multiple times will frustrate even the most patient roommates.

We recommend ones with reusable filters, so you don’t have to scout specialized filters every time you run out.

Also, if you’re bad about leaving your coffee cup at work, it might be inconvenient not to have a dedicated carafe.

3. portable coffee maker

portable coffee maker for college dorm
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Portable coffee makers are great if you’re on the road a lot or you frequently change locations. Some of them fit into standard car lighters or USB ports so you can brew on your way.

If you’re only looking for a quick coffee maker that can fold up and go with you, silicon coffee filters that rest directly on a cup are excellent.

They do require that you find a hot water source, but many hotels have hot water brewing in the lounge or you can microwave water until it’s hot enough to pour through.

Most of these are single serve, so you and your partner might have to scramble for the first cup.

4. Programmable Coffee Maker

Programmable Coffee Maker for college dorm
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Programmable coffee makers are life-savers. You can set your coffee to make ahead and wake up to coffee already brewed.

They do require that you get in the habit of preparing coffee the night before, but we consider it well worth it.

The downside to these is eventually these components break. With simple brew coffee makers, there’s less that can go haywire as you use the coffee maker over time.

Also, they are often bigger (your college kitchenette will suffer) and more expensive (your college wallet will suffer too).

5. Thermal Coffeemaker

Thermal Coffeemaker for college dorm
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Most coffee maker carafes are glass or durable glass-like material. They allow you to see exactly how much coffee is left and where you stand in the brewing process.

The downside to glass is that heat escapes quickly. Most coffee makers combat this with heated trays, but if you’ve ever tasted coffee that’s been on that heating element for too long, you know this is an issue.

Thermal carafes are doubled walled, steel-like materials that prevent heat from escaping the carafe.

If it takes you a while to get around to your cup of coffee, you’ll probably appreciate the efficiency here. Coffee stays hot a lot longer without getting scorched.

The downside is that you can’t see through them. It’s pretty demoralizing to pour coffee into your cup and realize the carafe is empty.

The Best Coffee Maker For College 2022

Now, for a few of our favorite picks.

1. CHULUX Coffee Maker Single-Serve Coffee Machine

CHULUX Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer for Single Cup Capsule with 12 Ounce Reservoir,Black

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The Chulux is a stylish single serve pod style machine that comes in a variety of colors.

It has a tiny footprint and brews a cup of coffee in about three minutes.

It’s compatible with both one and two-ounce pods, and most pod brands, so you don’t have to scramble to find compatible pods anymore.

It has a simple, one-touch operation and a 12-ounce reservoir. It’s easily removable for cleaning. The reservoir is BPA free, but it doesn’t hold enough to make coffee for more than one cup at a time.


  • small footprint
  • multiple color options


  • the reservoir doesn’t store water (only holds enough for one cup)


2. Hamilton Beach (49981A) Single Serve Coffee Maker (Our Top Recommended)

Hamilton Beach Scoop Single Serve Coffee Maker, Fast Brewing, Stainless Steel (49981A)

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This simple stainless steel coffee maker is a traditional drip brew.

It holds enough water for your mug or travel container and has a single scoop filter for the grounds. It’s quick and has two options for a regular brew and bold brew.

The included scoop has two fill lines to help you figure out how much coffee to use.

The drip tray is reversible to accommodate regular mugs and taller travel mugs.

It’s easy to clean and intuitive to operate. The one downside is that it isn’t programmable.


  • includes a scoop to help with measuring
  • bold brewing option


  • can’t program ahead


3. Espro Travel Coffee Press

ESPRO P1 Double Walled Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Travel Coffee French Press, 12 Ounce, Matte Meteorite Black

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We looked through several styles of portable coffee makers, but ultimately we went with this simple, convenient french press style travel mug.

If you can get to hot water, that’s all you need. The mug has a built-in press you can use to tamp down grounds after a few minutes of steeping.

There’s no trap to clean and no extra compartments to break.

The downside is getting hot water, but we think you’d be hard pressed (get it?) to find a place where you couldn’t find any hot water at all.

Simple, easy to clean, and travel sized.


  • no electric parts to break
  • handheld, all in one coffee maker and travel mug


  • you have to find hot water yourself


4. Cuisinart DCC-1150BK Thermal Programmable Coffeemaker

Cuisinart DCC-1150BKP1 Classic Thermal Programmable Coffemaker, 10-Cup, Black

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Cuisinart DCC-1150BK is a classic in drip coffee makers. This one is a bigger, 10-cup coffee maker with basic programming functions.

It has 60-second reset “remembers” settings and where it was in the brewing process. You can set the maker up to brew up to 24 hours in advance.

The basket lifts out for easy cleaning, and it has charcoal water filter and permanent gold tone filter.

The downside is that beyond brewing ahead, there aren’t many other features available.


  • brew ahead function
  • checkbig for roommates


  • bottom may rust


5. Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker

Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Carafe, Black

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Cuisinart’s thermal coffee maker doesn’t take up a lot of space, but it does brew four cups of coffee in a thermal carafe, which is unusual for a small coffee maker.

It keeps coffee at peak temperature for longer and has a brew pause feature that allows you to get a cup before it’s completely finished brewing.

It doesn’t have a program ahead function, but we love that it’s such a small coffee maker with the thermal carafe benefit.


  • carafe style keeps coffee at an optimum temperature for longer
  • pause brew function


  • no brew ahead function

The Winner: Hamilton Beach Single Serve Coffee Maker

We love this little coffee maker, budget for single cup.

It’s an great college coffee maker that should last you all the way through your academic career.

How much coffee do you drink on a daily basis? Let us know your habits in the comments below.

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