Top 10 best Espresso coffee machines for home

I will take you through the top ten domestic espresso machines available in this article. Each stands out for its ability to prepare high-quality coffee, covering a price range from $130 to $1,940.

In this ranking that I will show you, there are no better or worse coffee machines; in other words, they are all good based on their cost. If you have a higher budget, you can acquire a better machine, but obviously, you will be spending more.

Ranking of the Top 10 domestic espresso machines

One of the most important (and decisive) features of any espresso machine is the type of heating element it incorporates. Therefore, in this table, I present to you the 10 best coffee machines along with their prices and types of water heaters:

ModelPriceBoiler type
DeLonghi Dedica$120Single boiler (Thermoblock)
Breville Bambino Plus$500Single boiler (Thermocoil)
Lelit Anna$770Single boiler
Gaggia Classic Pro$449Single boiler
Rancilio Silvia$865Single boiler
Sage Dual Boiler$1,450Dual boiler
Lelit MaraX$1,511Heat exchanger
(With Faema E61-style group)
Rocket Appartamento$1,850Heat exchanger
(With Faema E61-style group)
Rancilio Silvia Pro$1,940Dual boiler
Profitec Pro 500$1,879Heat exchanger
(With Faema E61-style group)
Top 10 domestic espresso machines

What is a Faema E61-style group?

Machines that incorporate this type of group are operated through a small lever located on the front part.

By slightly raising it, water is allowed to flow from the group; by raising it completely, the pump is activated, generating a pressure of nine bars.

This technology is known as E61, introduced in 1961 by Faema, and continues to be widely used today.

The E61 is the first machine to use a volumetric pump to give the water the ideal 9-atmosphere pressure and keep it constant throughout the extraction process, unlike lever machines.

Faema

DeLonghi Dedica ($120)

Delonghi Dedica preparing a double espresso
Delonghi Dedica preparing a double espresso

🛠️ Build and design:

The DeLonghi Dedica is the cheapest of them all, which is felt in its more economical construction, with a lot of plastic. It is also the smallest and lightest, making inserting and extracting the portafilter more complicated.

Another important point to consider with the DeLonghi Dedica is that it comes with a pressurized portafilter with a 51mm basket, so to get an authentic espresso, you should use a standard 54mm basket and unscrew a plastic piece that it incorporates to fit the 54mm basket.

Another option is to buy an unpressurized portafilter compatible with this coffee machine. If you choose one of these portafilters, you’ll have more space to place a scale or a taller cup, as the original portafilter’s height is very small.

De'longhi Dedica
Delonghi Dedica

☕ Espresso preparation:

The espresso extraction is acceptable, especially with darker roasts. It operates with slightly high pressure and lower than-ideal temperature, making it very challenging to extract light roasts.

🥛 Milk frothing:

Regarding milk frothing, the Dedica comes with a special wand to create froth without the user having to do anything other than inserting the wand into the milk. The results are decent but not entirely satisfactory, resulting in froth with many bubbles and little density.

Breville (Sage) Bambino Plus ($500)

Sage Bambino Plus preparing a double espresso
Sage Bambino Plus preparing a double espresso

🛠️ Build and design:

This coffee machine feels cheaply constructed due to the excessive use of plastic, closely resembling the Delonghi Dedica but almost tripling its price. For this reason, it is very lightweight, making insertion and extraction of the portafilter complicated.

However, the above explains why Sage has invested the entire budget in functionality rather than construction materials.

SAGE Bambino plus
SAGE Bambino plus

☕ Espresso preparation:

The Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine’s potential is hindered by an unnecessarily pressurized portafilter, which is more suitable for those seeking convenience than top-notch espresso. Therefore, it is recommended to replace the basket with a standard one.

Although it features advanced options like manual pre-infusion and scale adjustment, it produces a decent texture only with coarser coffee grounds. Lighter roast coffees lack the desired flavor, resulting in a slightly acidic espresso.

🥛 Milk frothing:

As for milk frothing, it’s a great machine for this task, which is normal since milk-based drinks are in Sage’s DNA. It has two buttons allow you to choose the desired texture and frothing temperature, making it fantastic for those entering the world of latte art.

Lelit Anna ($770)

Lelit Anna preparing a double espresso
Lelit Anna preparing a double espresso

🛠️ Build and aesthetics:

It has a very solid construction overall, with an appropriate weight for its size that provides stability to the machine. This machine looks impressive, with well-constructed buttons and a useful pressure gauge on the front.

We find several negative aspects: on one hand, the water tank is plastic with two inserted pipes, giving the impression of a cheap and quick solution. The steam control knob is also plastic and gives the same impression.

Lelit Anna
Lelit Anna

☕ Espresso preparation:

The espresso extraction performance is sweet and balanced, although not with a full body, so it could benefit from a higher-quality portafilter and basket.

🥛 Milk frothing:

The frothing wand has a small accessory to facilitate frothing, although it works better without it. The machine is fairly decent in terms of frothing quality and speed; it’s not the best in the world, but it’s not the worst, either.

Gaggia Classic Pro ($449)

Gaggia classic pro preparing a double espresso
Gaggia classic pro preparing a double espresso

🛠️ Build and aesthetics:

The Gaggia Classic Pro is characterized by its robust and solid construction, being the heaviest in the ranking. Its weight provides stability when inserting or removing the portafilter, while high-quality buttons and switches convey solidity.

Although the steam valve feels good, it retains certain features of a domestic valve, while the water tank has limitations by not allowing easy visibility of the level and requiring the lid to be opened to check it.

Gaggia classic pro
Gaggia classic pro

☕ Espresso preparation:

To improve espresso extraction with the Gaggia Classic Pro, I suggest replacing the original portafilter basket with a VST basket, although you may encounter difficulties in portafilter adjustment.

Regarding the espresso result, it’s a machine that will leave you satisfied, although it exhibits a certain roughness associated with high pressures. In my opinion, the produced espressos are not outstanding, and additional adjustments would be necessary to enhance the result.

🥛 Milk frothing:

With this machine, there’s a slight disappointment in milk steaming, as it feels less powerful, resulting in an excessively long frothing time and a final result lacking quality.

Rancilio Silvia ($865)

Rancilio Silvia preparing a double espresso
Rancilio Silvia preparing a double espresso

🛠️ Build and aesthetics:

The Rancilio Silvia stands out for its robust and solid construction, being the heaviest in the ranking. Its weight provides stability when inserting or removing the portafilter, while high-quality buttons and switches convey solidity.

Although the steam valve feels good, it retains certain features of a domestic valve, while the water tank has limitations by not allowing easy visibility of the level and requiring the lid to be opened to check it.

Rancilio Silvia espresso machine
Rancilio Silvia espresso machine

☕ Espresso preparation:

The machine’s tendency to operate very hot can lead to steam release from the group, making it necessary to temperature surf for optimal extraction.

Replacing the included basket with a better one is preferable to allow for a finer grind. Although the overall quality of the espresso is satisfactory, the machine’s temperature fluctuations can occasionally result in poor extractions.

🥛 Milk frothing:

This coffee machine’s milk frothing is the closest you’ll get to commercial machine performance in this ranking, being incredibly fast and powerful. However, it’s not the best choice for beginners, as it requires experience; otherwise, it could be a disaster.

Breville (Sage) Dual Boiler ($1,450)

Sage dual boiler preparing a double espresso
Sage dual boiler preparing a double espresso

🛠️ Build and aesthetics:

The Breville (Sage) Dual Boiler personifies dual boiler machines’ excellence by offering precise temperature control and versatility in creating professional espressos.

While its consumer-centered design and features, such as dual boilers and temperature control, are attractive, the construction might be less solid than other competitors, which could appeal to a specific audience.

The lack of PID compatibility and design decisions like the portafilter feet raise certain concerns.

Sage Dual Boiler
Sage Dual Boiler

☕ Espresso preparation:

The Breville Dual Boiler stands out for its consumer-oriented design and extensive features. The dual boiler setup allows exceptional temperature control for customizable and consistent espresso shots.

The machine delivers consistent performance with reliable temperature and infusion pressure. Despite its lighter and potentially less robust construction compared to other competitors, the Sage Dual Boiler continues to produce quality espresso shots and effective milk texture.

🥛 Milk frothing:

Very user-friendly, with sufficient pressure and a moderate flow, which makes the process quite steady yet straightforward.

Lelit MaraX ($1,511)

Lelit Mara X preparing a double espresso
Lelit Mara X preparing a double espresso

🛠️ Build and aesthetics:

Although not visually appealing, its compact stainless steel exterior offers a straightforward interface and an integrated pressure indicator.

The Lelit MaraX stands out for its heat exchange technology with a single boiler and an E61 group head manipulated by a lever.

Lelit MaraX
Lelit MaraX

☕ Espresso preparation:

The Lelit MaraX, despite its size and accessible price, demonstrates promising espresso performance. However, its unique temperature control with two probes results in steam pressure variations during operation, affecting steamed milk texture.

Although it produces good espresso shots, the fluctuations in steam pressures raise concerns about stability during the steaming process, as we will see below.

🥛 Milk frothing:

The steam pressure variations in milk steaming with the Lelit MaraX appear to be related to its temperature control method. The machine has probes in the steam boiler and the thermosiphon, resulting in notable pressure fluctuations based on water use for milk-based drinks.

While the variations are unusual, steaming provides a satisfactory milk texture.

Rocket Appartamento ($1,850)

Rocket Appartamento coffee machine
Rocket Appartamento coffee machine

🛠️ Build and aesthetics:

The Rocket Appartamento is a coffee machine with a premium-looking stainless steel exterior. Its compact design balances space efficiency with aesthetics.

It presents a visually appealing and well-detailed exterior with an E61 control lever. While the portafilter spouts’ location is a bit inconvenient, and some parts are challenging in terms of use and cleaning.

Rocket Appartamento
Rocket Appartamento

☕ Espresso preparation:

The Rocket Appartamento provides an espresso preparation experience with mixed results. Although it achieves satisfactory coffee, it faces challenges in the process.

When evaluating pressure with a Scace device, it becomes evident that the levels are too high. This high pressure increases bitterness and the risk of channeling in the shots.

Regarding temperatures ranging between 92 and 94 degrees, they are generally stable, with occasional slow recovery. Despite the coffee being of quality, the high pressure negatively affects the final taste.

🥛 Milk frothing:

In terms of steaming, it proves to be fast enough for most individuals. The steaming process is comfortable and easy to handle. Despite having a single steam wand, its usage is straightforward and provides excellent texture.

Rancilio Silvia Pro ($1,940)

Rancilio Silvia Pro preparing a double espresso
Rancilio Silvia Pro preparing a double espresso

🛠️ Build and aesthetics:

The Rancilio Silvia Pro is a response to the trend of adding PID kits to Rancilio Silvia. This machine features a dual boiler design, which feels large and lacks elegance.

The switches on the front are similar to those on the Silvia but don’t stay in a fixed position; once you press them, they return to their original position. The only switch that behaves “normally” is the main power on/off switch.

As a negative aspect, I can mention that the experience with the controls and programmable functions is not intuitive. The drip tray has abrupt height adjustments and an odd solution with a lip that obstructs the visibility of the water level in the drip tray.

Rancilio Silvia espresso machine
Rancilio Silvia espresso machine

☕ Espresso preparation:

This coffee machine has a solid performance in espresso preparation. It maintains the expected temperature and pressure, offering a consistent experience.

Despite some peculiarities in the switches and functions, the resulting espresso is high quality. The Rancilio Silvia Pro fulfills its function in terms of temperature and pressure, allowing any potential issues with espresso to be attributed to other factors in the process.

🥛 Milk frothing:

Frothing milk with the Silvia Pro is a pleasant and straightforward experience. It offers considerable pressure without excessive flow, giving ample time to achieve excellent texture in milk frothing.

It doesn’t steam as aggressively as a commercial machine, but it feels like using a high-quality domestic machine.

Profitec Pro 500 ($1,879)

Profitec Pro 500 preparing a double espresso
Profitec Pro 500 preparing a double espresso

🛠️ Build and aesthetics:

The Profitec Pro 500 is a model that stands out for its robust construction, mainly composed of shiny stainless steel, which, though attractive, is prone to fingerprints.

Its appearance is square and substantial, and its design exudes a professional aura, especially within the E61-style machines.

E61 is the first machine to use a volumetric pump to give the water the ideal 9-atmosphere pressure and keep it constant during the whole extraction process, unlike lever machines.

Faema

Some aspect to consider in its exterior design are the placement of its water reservoir behind the drip tray, which can be somewhat inconvenient. Equally inconvenient is the arrangement of elements around the extraction lever and hot water tap, which may seem clustered and not very intuitive.

Profitec Pro 500
Profitec Pro 500

☕ Espresso preparation:

The Profitec Pro 500 offers high-quality espresso preparation performance. Despite its higher price than other heat exchange machines, it provides advanced features and reliable performance.

Infusion temperatures are consistent and accurate, with an extraction pressure of around nine bars. Controlling the temperature is advantageous, although the interface might be somewhat complex.

The warm-up time is prolonged, but it’s not a significant issue in domestic use.

In terms of flavor, the espresso is good, and the machine’s capabilities meet expectations, although some factory adjustments could be optimized for an even better experience.

Overall, the performance of the Profitec Pro 500 aligns with its price and makes it a capable and attractive option in heat exchange machines.

🥛 Milk frothing:

Steaming with this machine is genuinely pleasant, thanks to the steam wand tip restricting steam flow enough to provide pleasant pressure without excessive flow. This means plenty of time to do what you need regarding texturing and creating quality foam.

Overall, steaming with this machine is pleasant and doesn’t present issues at higher temperatures.