Tired of spending money on 6-dollar cappuccinos every day?
Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a barista but haven’t found the time to learn.
To help cut down on coffee spending, we wanted to find the best cappuccino maker in 2021, from fully automatic to professional-style manual machines.
The parameters we set for the top machines were:
- Quality of taste
- Value for money
Cappuccino is one of the most popular coffee drinks ever.
Originating from Italy, this beverage is enjoyed all over the world, and now, you can make your own at home with all the bells and whistles of a coffeehouse.
Upon extensive testing and research on each of these machines, these are the best cappuccino maker models we tested:
- Breville Barista Express—Best Overall
- Nespresso Lattissima Plus by DeLonghi—Best Budget
- DeLonghi Magnifica Smart Espresso and Cappuccino Maker—Best Automatic Cappuccino Machine
How Do I Choose a Cappuccino Machine?
These are some of the things you should pay attention to when making your purchase.
A cappuccino combines coffee, milk, and foam.
For the best taste and experience, you need to start with a strong coffee, preferably an espresso.
A cappuccino machine comes in three different options:
- Automatic: These machines prepare your cappuccino and even grind your beans, with the push of a button. You may be able to make some manual adjustments for strength or heat.
- Manual: These machines require you to measure, grind and administer your beans. More work, but much more interesting.
- Capsules: Super-automated capsule machines take out the learning curve. They’re fast and consistent.
The second crucial element of a good cappuccino coffee is the foam.
It needs to be a dense microfoam—not large bubbles that will disappear before you get the coffee to the table.
Manual models include a milk frothing arm, and using them definitely has a learning curve.
It’s quite easy to get foam, but to get the right kind is a bit harder.
If you don’t want that struggle, you can get an automatic milk frother.
Easy Coffees vs. Honing Your Skills
The most important thing to think about is what you want out of your purchase.
Otherwise, you’ll either be quickly frustrated, or the machine will end up gathering dust in the corner of your kitchen.
If you’re interested in improving your skills as a barista, you should invest in a manual model with all the bells and whistles.
For those looking for a one-button, easy way to get a morning coffee, pick as automatically a model as possible.
You’ll love how much time and work it saves you.
A professional-type manual machine will take up a lot of kitchen counter space.
Consider the dimensions of the models to make sure they’re something you have room for.
What Is the Best Coffee for Cappuccino?
You can use any strong beans, especially medium to dark roasts.
If your coffee has a nice, full-body and some sweet notes, it’ll be even more suitable for a cappuccino.
What Is the Best Cappuccino Maker?
If you want a real barista experience, go for a manual machine with all the possibilities, like the Breville Barista Express.
You’ll get years and years of use from it, and you’ll be able to prepare the coffee to your exact taste.
What Is the Best Automatic Cappuccino Machine?
For fully automatic cappuccinos, you can’t go wrong with the DeLonghi Magnifica Smart Espresso & Cappuccino Machine.
It’s easy to use, and you’ll get consistent quality.
If you’re on a budget or want even more automation, try the Nespresso.
How Much Is a Cappuccino Machine?
Cappuccino makers can cost anything between a little over a hundred dollars to several hundred.
Commercial-style machines may set you back thousands of dollars.
It all depends on what you’re looking for.
You can get a decent, automatic machine for a reasonable price, but the more features you want, the more you should be willing to pay.
The price does not necessarily have a direct relationship with the quality of the cup of coffee you’ll get.
How to Make Cappuccino at Home
If you don’t have an automatic machine, preparing a cappuccino may seem daunting at first.
Don’t worry; a good cappuccino consists of only three basic elements: espresso, milk, and foam.
- Prepare a strong, small cup of coffee, preferably espresso, using the coffee maker you have.
- Heat up and add texture to the milk. Be careful not to go over 139–149 degrees Fahrenheit to not alter its taste.
- Pour some milk and delicious foam into your cup, depending on your taste. If you’re not at a barista level for pouring, you can use a spoon to separate the milk from the foam.
- Sprinkle some chocolate or cinnamon on top or drink it as it is. You’ve got a cappuccino!
Watch this video on how to make a great cappuccinos at home!
Tip: Some people prefer to have the three layers mixed up; others prefer them separate. You can try both to see what you prefer, but the most important thing for Instagram-worthy home cappuccinos is the right order.
If you have glass cups and want the separate layers of milk, coffee, and foam to show, you should first add the milk and the foam, and then the coffee.
For latte art, you need the coffee first, then milk, mixing them.
After that, pour the microfoam on top to make the design.
What Factors Drove Our Ratings
- Quality of Taste: A good cappuccino with a thick crema on top is ideal when testing these cappuccino makers.
- Froth: Long-lasting, dense foam is key for a good cappuccino, and some machines will come with a frother arm attached for easy usage.
- Value for Money: We only recommend durable products for a good price, as we know that your hard-earned dollars are precious.
- Personalization: The possibility to customize your drink sets all home cappuccino machines over-the-top.
Cappuccino machine reviews were also a large part of our research, to ensure verified buyers were happy with their purchases, and to compare our findings with the reviews.
Here at The Healthy Treehouse, we value quality over quantity. If we felt that the cost was greater than the value of what the appliance included, that model would be excluded from the list.
The Best Cappuccino Makers
Top-Rated Best Cappuccino Maker—Best Overall
Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL
- Espresso maker with built-in coffee grinder
- Razor dose trimming tool
- Stainless steel portafilter
- Single and dual wall filter baskets
- Coffee scoop
- Stainless steel milk jug
- Cleaning accessories
- Water filter and filter holder
- User manual
- An all-in-one espresso machine with integrated conical burr grinder
- Grind size dial
- Dose control grinding and manual override
- Low-pressure pre-infusion that gradually increases for optimal extraction results
- Digital temperature control
- Manual microfoam milk texturing for latte art
- 67-ounce water tank
- 1-year limited product warranty
This top-notch Breville Barista Express machine is a must-have for coffee enthusiasts.
It will make you feel like a barista with its full range of personalization options, from temperature and grind size to pressure.
However, it does also allow for easier operation and programming for those mornings when you just don’t want to work that hard.
Still, it’s never fully automatic.
The digital temperature control is accurate, and the grinder always produces even results from whole beans.
Overall, this is a high-quality machine.
It does take up some counter space, so be sure you have enough room to store it before purchasing.
Quality of Taste
The quality of taste from each coffee was fabulous from this machine, from espresso to cappuccino.
The froth feature produces glorious microfoam in our coffees. It was second to none in this category.
Value for Money
Keep in mind that this is a professional espresso machine with all the bells and whistles. With that, this appliance is well worth its price tag for coffee enthusiasts.
The personalization features are through the roof! You can grind your own coffee to your preferred texture, pick your brew strength, and froth your milk all in one.
J. (verified purchase) had this to say about their espresso machine: “I find it grinds beans consistently well and produces quality shots every time. I like that I can adjust not only the quantity of ground coffee but the shot temperature and quantity as well.”
Why Buy This Machine
This espresso maker is of excellent quality with a consistent, even grind on the espresso beans.
Buy this Breville Barista if you want to hone your coffee-making skills and have the space to store it.
Top-Rated Best Cappuccino Maker—Best Budget
This Nespresso Lattissima Plus by DeLonghi is the polar opposite of the Breville model as far as personalization goes, but it also delivers a delicious cup of cappuccino, espresso, or latte.
It’s more for the person looking for fast and consistent quality than a learning barista.
The machine can produce a quality espresso in less than a minute.
A cappuccino takes a bit more, but it’s still nothing compared to the bigger machines.
Also, the milk and coffee are consistently creamy and tasty.
Both the milk and water containers are removable, which is great for easy cleanup and storage.
Additionally, the pods generate a lot of waste, but Nespresso has a well-working recycling option for them.
Quality of Taste
The consistency of the espresso is what stood out from this model. We drank more and more coffee from the Nespresso due to how great it tasted.
The milk frother produced the perfect quality foam consistently after each brew.
Value for Money
This model will save you a bit of money in comparison to the Breville, but you get fewer features than that model.
This espresso machine has fewer personalization abilities. This is appealing to those simply looking for a coffee machine with a milk frother.
Sarah (verified purchase) said this about her new cappuccino maker: “Excellent milk frothing combined with the convenience of a pod. I can now get a perfect cappuccino all day, whenever I want.”
Why Buy This Machine
Buy this cappuccino maker for its consistent quality, easy to operate machinery and quick brew time.
It requires virtually no learning at all, so it delivers quality coffee to your lips within minutes.
Top-Rated Best Cappuccino Maker—Best Automatic Cappuccino Machine
DeLonghi Magnifica Smart Espresso and Cappuccino Maker
- Smart Espresso and Cappuccino Maker with built-in frother
- 60 oz water tank
- Manual steam wand
- Water filter
- User manual
- Fully-automated espresso and cappuccino maker
- An integrated stainless steel burr grinder with 13 adjustable settings
- Versatile enough to produce a variety of coffee drinks like cappuccinos, drip-style, americanos, lattes, and espressos
- Double-shot function
- Chamber for both whole bean or pre-ground coffee
- Auto-shut off after two hours
- Easy to clean
This DeLonghi Magnifica Smart Espresso and Cappuccino Maker is a bean cappuccino model but is fully automated and compact for extra ease of use.
Still, this model allows you to choose between a variety of drink options, from drip-style coffees to cappuccinos, americanos, and espressos.
You can also brew two cups of espresso at the same time.
This machine has an automatic shutoff after a couple of hours, and the brew unit can be extracted for easy cleanup and maintenance.
Also, the milk container can be removed and stored in the fridge.
Quality of Taste
We loved the quality and flavor of this coffee made in this automatic espresso machine. Its easy use smart design created some fabulous espresso.
Dense and rich foam perfectly filled our cups and layered beautifully on top of the coffee, just like at the coffeehouse.
Value for Money
Due to its impressive automatic features, this machine has a price to reflect the bells and whistles. That said, it is worth every penny for its consistency and quality.
You can personalize numerous drink options, and can even brew two cups at the same time!
Mike (verified purchase) commented about his purchase: “What a great machine. I’ve had it for 9 months and make 4 to 5 cappuccinos every day. The froth will stay for half an hour or more.”
Why Buy This Machine
For the coffee lover really looking to expand their repertoire, this is the espresso maker for you.
The quality is through the roof, as is the number of features this espresso maker displays.
Other Helpful Information
If the above makers don’t suit your needs, take a look at this EspressoWorks 7-Piece Cappuccino Maker bundle.
For a cool retro look, check out this KitchenAid Espresso Maker that comes with a Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother.
Those who love their K-Pods might also enjoy this Keurig K-Cafe Cappuccino Maker.
For those of us who are on a tight budget, you can still enjoy quality at-home espresso.
Check out our favorite budget espresso machines here.
Commercial coffee makers are large machines that can accommodate huge groups and large amounts of coffee.
Our favorite commercial coffee makers can be viewed here.
Good coffee starts with good coffee beans, which we have ranked and reviewed for your reading pleasure.
Coffee drinkers have endless options when it comes to at-home cappuccino makers.
If you have the kitchen space to spare, the Breville Barista Express is the best cappuccino maker you can buy.
The automatic models are also great, but there’s nothing quite like learning to make a killer cappuccino by yourself.
This model is manual enough to satisfy your inner barista but intuitive enough so you won’t spend weeks figuring it out.
The adjustable settings will help you get your temperature, coffee, and pressure just right for your taste.