Skip to content   Skip to footer navigation 

Best coffee machines under $600

Get the best coffee machine for your coin with these high achievers.

two inexpensive coffee machines with happy emoji
Last updated: 02 April 2024

Need to know

  • Our experts tested more than 40 coffee machines from popular brands like Sunbeam, Breville, DeLonghi and Smeg
  • Our testing revealed cheaper models that performed well against models costing hundreds of dollars more
  • We rate coffee machine performance on metrics like taste, temperature, milk frothing and ease of use

Do you want to espresso yourself but don't think you can afford it? 

With serious coffee machines costing anywhere up to $3000, having a home espresso machine might seem out of most people's reach. 

But we've found nine great performers for less than $600 that scored higher than some expensive machines in our tests. 

In fact, a third of the top performers in our tests cost $600 or less, which just goes to show that you don't necessarily need to spend big bucks to get yourself a good machine. 

Which type of coffee machine should you buy?

In short, the kind of machine that's right for you depends on how much involvement you'd like to have with the coffee-making process. 

"If you like a good coffee but want to get it without any fuss, an automatic machine would be best," says CHOICE appliance expert Rebecca Ciaramidaro.

"You can still experiment with specialty coffee beans and these machines still offer some customisation like coffee strength.

"A capsule machine is also suitable if you want to get your coffee with minimal fuss – however, you're limited to the coffee blends provided in the capsules." 

There's also the cost, both financial and environmental, that you'll need to take into account if you're buying capsules. 

At the other end of the spectrum, if you want to nerd out over every single element of coffee making, get yourself a manual or semi-automatic machine (and a good grinder if your machine doesn't have one). 

If you want to nerd out over every single element of coffee making, get yourself a manual or semi-automatic machine

"If you take pleasure in spending time making a coffee, then a manual machine will give you a much higher level of satisfaction than a pod or automatic machine," says CHOICE coffee machine expert Adrian Lini.

"However, manual machines require more knowledge in terms of operation and maintenance. You'll also need to make sure you keep the beans and grounds fresh, which is more work compared with just using pods."

person drinking espresso coffee

Serious hit: The type of machine you should buy depends on how seriously you take your coffee (and many of us take it very seriously indeed).

What you may miss out on with a cheaper machine

While price is no indicator of performance, the unfortunate fact is that certain features will just cost you extra. So what will you have to forego if you're buying a cheaper coffee machine?

"Cheaper manual machines may be smaller and take longer to build steam or froth milk," says Adrian. "They may also be made of cheaper materials that can potentially break or wear out more easily during use. 

Cheaper manual machines may be smaller and take longer to build steam or froth milk

Adrian Lini, CHOICE coffee machine expert

"The biggest factor may be forgoing control over your coffee machine. A cheaper machine might not give you the ability to change settings like grind setting, bean type, pressure of grinds in the group head or extraction."

There's no doubt, though, that in the long term, you'll save money making your own coffee instead of buying from a café. 

We've crunched the numbers for you and found that it's definitely worth buying a home espresso machine – you could save yourself some serious cash by going DIY on your caffeine hit rather than buying from your local café.

Top-rated coffee machines under $600

To help you find the best coffee machine for your coin, we've compiled the best buys for less than $600 based on our test results. 

If you're not yet a member, join CHOICE to get instant access to all of our expert, independent reviews. 

Our detailed espresso machine testing data is available exclusively for CHOICE members. 

Or log in to unlock this article and find out which espresso machines we rate as the pick of the bunch. 

locked content

Unlock this article and more

  • Information you can trust
  • See the best brands
  • Avoid the worst performers

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.

lavazza desea lm950 coffee machine

The Lavazza Desea LM950 Coffee Machine is the top of the pile for capsule machines under $600.

Best value capsule machines

These affordable capsule machines topped our tests and are all recommended by our experts. 

They range in price from $329 all the way up to $449, showing that price isn't always an indicator of performance. 

*Price at time of testing. 

sunbeam mini barista espresso machine em4300

Outperforming a machine worth $3799, the Sunbeam Mini Barista is a great buy at just $329.

Best value semi-automatic coffee machines

The cheapest in its category, the Sunbeam Mini Barista is also one of the top performing, scoring higher than a machine worth $3799 and only outclassed by a machine that costs $799. 

It doesn't come with a grinder, however – but even with the price of a grinder added on, you'd still be well ahead with this machine. 

All four of these machines are recommended by our experts, so you can't go wrong buying any of these.

breville the bambino bes450

At $449, the Breville Bambino is far cheaper than many other manual machines on the market.

Best value manual coffee machine

Manual coffee machines are often where things get pricey, with a number of machines in this category costing well over $1000. 

Interestingly, however, the best manual machine from our tests was at the cheaper end of the market: the Breville Bambino BES450, which costs $449 – far cheaper than many other manual machines out there. 

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.