The 8 Best Coffee Makers For College Dorms (A Complete Guide)

Last Updated on January 5, 2022 by John Moretti

If you love good coffee and are looking for the ideal machine to use during your stay on campus, there are a few ideal options that are well suited for brewing excellent coffee in a dorm. Let’s take the time to identify the best coffee makers for college dorms.

Making coffee in a college dorm is not difficult but making good coffee in such a place is a serious challenge. The space is limited, there is no kitchen sink, cleaning is difficult, and there is no running water in the rooms. 

Considering all of these factors and bearing in mind the budget of the average college student, selecting the best coffee makers for college dorms is a challenge, but there are some very good options to choose from.

best coffee makers for college dorms

Let’s get into the 8 best coffee makers for college dorms that make excellent coffee, are budget-friendly, and are easy to use, clean, and maintain.

1. Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio 2

NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine, Genio 2, Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Pod Machine

Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/21/2023 11:40 pm GMT

The Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio 2 is the ideal coffee maker for a college dorm. This little machine uses Dolce Gusto compatible coffee pods, which means that this coffee maker is highly user-friendly, very simple to use, exceedingly easy to clean, creates very little mess, and is capable of producing very good coffee if the right pods are used.

The Genio 2 is a very small, very affordable coffee pod machine that is an excellent alternative to the more expensive Nespresso machines. Dolce Gusto pods are very affordable, and there are more pods in a box compared to other pod machines.

The water tank on this machine is large enough to make multiple coffees without having to refill, there is no need for a kettle as this machine heats water internally, and there is no clean-up because all of the coffee is contained within the pod used in the machine. 

Simply remove the coffee pod and throw it away after making a cup of coffee. There is no need for extensive cleaning whatsoever.

The Genio 2 is the ideal coffee maker for all college dorms, and it is the first on this list because of its college-friendly features.

2. Bosenkitchen CM8002 2-In-1 Coffee Machine

Bosenkitchen is a new manufacturer that not many are familiar with, but this is a good thing because it means that Bosenkitchen appliances remain very affordable. 

The Bosenkitchen 2-In-1 Coffee maker is an excellent choice for college dorms, as this machine brews coffee by using either ground coffee or coffee pods. This machine is compatible with all K-Cup coffee pods, and the CM8002 version comes with an automatic milk frother included.

This machine is the best all-rounder coffee machine for a college dorm. Buy your K-Cups at home and brew easy coffee, and when they run out, simply buy some ground coffee to continue brewing with little effort. 

The milk frother makes coffee for various drinks, including cappuccinos and lattes, and the machine is capable of brewing several different cup sizes.

This machine is affordable, small, and packed with features that make it perfect for use in a college dorm. There is almost no coffee that this machine cannot prepare, which makes the Bosenkitchen Cm8002 2-In-1 the best all-around machine for the coffee lover.

3. Nespresso D40 Inissia

Nespresso D40-US-BK-NE Inissia Espresso Maker, Black (Discontinued Model)

Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The Nespresso D40 Inissia is one of the most beloved Nespresso pod machines. The small size of this machine, the low price tag, the convenience of a pod machine, and the wide range of Nespresso pods available for this machine make it a good choice for a college dorm.

Nespresso pods are more expensive than K-Pods or Dolce Gusto pods, but the price of these pods comes with a much wider range. There are Nespresso or Nespresso-style pods that can prepare every type of drink, from double espresso to short lattes.

Using pods with milk capsules allows this machine to make many various drink varieties without having to store milk and without the need for a kettle. 

Using pods is quick, easy, and generates almost no mess whatsoever. The Nespresso Inissia is the most affordable Nespresso machine, but it functions with all of the high performance and quality that is associated with the brand.

The Inissia is ideal for college dorms; it is affordable, clean, easy to use, and very capable of making a wide variety of coffee drinks. However, the drawback of this machine is that it has a small water tank. This machine will need to be refilled very often, which will require frequent trips to the cafeteria or restroom to fill the tank.

Other than the small water tank capacity, the Inissia is a very good dorm room coffee maker and is ideal for every coffee lover on a budget.

4. Cuisinart T Series Touchscreen

Cuisinart DCC-T20 14-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker Touchscreen, Black

Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

The Touchscreen coffee maker from Cuisinart is one of the best drip coffee makers on the market. This machine has a high-capacity 14 cup glass carafe that holds more than enough coffee for a college dorm.

This machine is compact, a pleasure to use, brews good coffee, is affordable, and ideally suited for dorm life.

The Touchscreen coffee maker is so-called because it has a touchscreen interface for all user interactions. This machine is packed with features including auto shut-off, 24-hour programmability, self-cleaning features, multi-size cup settings, and even an option alert tone that will sound when your coffee is finished brewing.

This machine is ideal for a college dorm because it has a very high water capacity, it is easy to clean, it heats water internally, and it is compact enough to not require much counter space.

The Touchscreen coffee machine features a two-stage filter, including a Gold-Tone coffee filter and a charcoal water filter to ensure the best quality coffee comes from this brewer.

There is nothing to dislike about the T Series Touchscreen. It is a sleek, well-designed, easy-to-use, feature-packed drip coffee maker that is affordable and brews good coffee. What more could a college student want?

5. Cuisinart Automatic Grind & Brew

Cuisinart DGB-550BKP1 Grind & Brew Automatic Coffeemaker, 12 Cup, Black

Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Cuisinart is a manufacturer that seems to produce coffee makers with college students in mind. Another offering from this company that is perfect for use in a college dorm is the Automatic Grind & Brew.

This is a highly versatile drip coffee brewer that has a built-in coffee grinder for added convenience and freshness. Grinding coffee fresh is the best way to get the most from your beans, which is why this machine is on this list.

Buying whole coffee beans is cheaper than buying pre-ground beans and more economical as the coffee lover can buy more coffee for the same money when buying whole beans, which is ideal for college students. Whole beans are also easier to store than pre-ground beans. While grinding fresh is best, this machine is also capable of brewing with pre-ground coffee.

The Automatic Grind & Brew is small, affordable, has a large thermo-insulated coffee carafe, brews good coffee, and has plenty of features that make using this coffee maker a very pleasant experience.

This machine is fully programmable and can even be set to brew coffee in the morning before you wake up. No kettle is required as this machine heats water internally. This machine features a Gold-Tone coffee filter and a charcoal water filter to ensure excellent coffee quality and clarity.

This machine is ideal for brewing large amounts of coffee, is able to brew directly into a large travel mug, and grinds fresh beans directly into the brewer. This is a coffee lovers’ dream!

The only downside is that this coffee machine is relatively heavy and is a little bigger than other coffee makers on this list.

6. Cuisinart Coffee Plus 

Cuisinart CHW-12P1 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker Plus Hot Water System Coffee Maker, Black/Stainless

Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/17/2024 10:54 pm GMT

Another fantastic option from Cuisinart is the Coffee Plus machine. This coffee maker is sleek, well-made, and extremely versatile. There are very few coffee makers on the market with the same features as this machine.

The main feature that makes the Coffee Plus so ideal for use in a college dorm is the fact that this machine doubles as a kettle. The hot water feature of the Coffee Plus machine dispenses hot water from a separate spout that is ideal for making instant coffee, tea, o other hot beverages.

This feature eliminates the need for a kettle and offers great alternatives if you run out of ground coffee or if your budget no longer allows for ground coffee.

This coffee maker is affordable, straightforward to use, and has the same handy features that we have come to expect from Cuisinart. 

The Coffee Plus is fully programmable, has an auto-off feature, a timer, two-stage filters, a very large coffee carafe, a removable drip tray, separate substantial water tanks for coffee brewing and hot water dispensing, and self-cleaning functionality.

There are very few drip coffee makers that are as versatile as the Coffee Plus and even fewer that feature a hot water dispenser. This feature is a must-have for the dorm room of a coffee lover!

7. The AeroPress

The AeroPress is a different type of coffee maker, and some may be surprised to see this brewer on the list of the best coffee makers for a college dorm, but the truth is that there are almost no portable coffee makers that are better than the AeroPress.

This coffee maker is small and compact, incredibly lightweight, very easy to use, makes some the best coffee possible from any coffee maker, and is perfect for keeping in a college dorm.

The only disadvantage to this brewer is that it requires AeroPress filter paper or a reusable AeroPress filter and a kettle or another means of heating water to function well as a brewer.

If your dorm room has a kettle, or if you have easy access to a kettle, the AeroPress is the perfect coffee maker. This device allows the coffee lover to make excellent coffee very quickly and easily and brew directly into their cup. There is no need for extra brewing equipment or carafes.

The AeroPress is a no-nonsense brewer that is quick and easy to use and astonishingly easy to clean. This device brews multiple cup sizes and can be used to brew coffee exactly the way you like it.

With this coffee maker, everything is in your control. You control how the coffee is brewed entirely down to the smallest steps in the process. This control means that it is possible to brew better coffee with an AeroPress than with almost any other brewer on this list.

Using an AeroPress is a little more work than an automatic machine, but the rewards are well worth the effort, and using an AeroPress in your college dorm will never leave you wanting for a good cup of coffee.

8. Hario Switch

Clever Coffee Dripper and Filters, Large 18 oz (Cloud)| Barista's Choice| Safe BPA Free Plastic|Includes 100 Filters

Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/18/2024 12:39 am GMT

Another brewer that may be a surprise to some is the Hario Switch. This brewing is not one that many would think of as an easy brewer for a college dorm, but if you have access to a kettle, this brewer may very well become your best friend.

If you care about your coffee at all, one of the best investments into your own happiness is purchasing a Hario Switch and using it in conjunction with a kettle in your dorm room.

It is not necessary to use a carafe or any other fancy brewing accessories; use the Switch to brew directly into your favorite mug, and enjoy your perfectly brewed, excellent cup of coffee every time.

The Hario Switch is a pour-over brewer that is exceedingly cheap to buy but is capable of brewing some of the best coffee possible with any brewer. Learning how to use the simple methods of brewing good coffee with a Hario Switch will enable you to make much better coffee than any automatic brewer.

However, there is more effort that goes into using this brewer; there are techniques to learn, you must use filter papers and have a kettle, and there is some mess to clean up after brewing.

However, if you have the diligence to use this brewer and to clean up afterward, this is the brewer for you. It is cheap, light, simple to learn, and brews fantastic coffee very quickly.


The best brewers to use for a college dorm are lightweight, with a very small footprint, they brew good coffee very easily, they are easy to clean, and they make a lot of coffee quickly. 

All the coffee makers on this list meet the above criteria, and each of them is a perfect coffee maker for a college dorm. Some require a little more work, and others are a little more expensive, but each of them is an ideal dorm room brewer for the discerning college coffee drinker.