Rancilio Silvia Pro X Review Spotlight

Written by
Chris Caruso
(we're on a mission)

Rancilio Silvia Pro X


The Rancilio Silvia Pro X is a feature-rich, dual boiler that is arguably the best sub-$2000 espresso machine on the market today. Rancilio, a staple in the home and commercial espresso space has combined incredible temperature stability, powerful steam, and a simple interface into a timeless diner-style design that delivers quality espresso shot after shot.

In this machine spotlight, we'll review the key features of the Rancilio Silvia Pro X, see what makes the Pro X such a popular espresso machine, and compare the Silvia Pro X to the Lelit Elizabeth.

Let's get brewing!

Table of Contents

Rancilio Silvia Pro X Machine Overview

Rancilio Silvia Pro X Features 2024

Reliable Dual Boilers

The Rancilio Silvia Pro X builds upon the classic Rancilio Silvia by adding a host of features as well as a dedicated steam boiler. Powered by a quality vibratory pump, the Silvia Pro X houses a 0.3-liter brew boiler as well as a 1.0-liter steam boiler.

Two boilers enabled the Siliva Pro X to brew and steam at the same time, and makes the Pro X capable of serving up delicious milk-drinks shot after shot. And while dual boilers are notorious for having longer heat-up times, the Silvia Pro X can be up to full temperature in 10-15 minutes.

Rocker Switch Interface

On the front face of the Silvia is the classic rocker-switch style interface. With 4 primary functions, the Silvia Pro X switches control the power, steam, hot water tap, and brew, respectively. With the Silvia available in a variety of colors and finishes, the rocket switches are designed to match.

On the far right side of the machine, just north of the steam wand, is the steam valve rotary knob. When the steam rocker switch is activated and the rotary knob is opened via a counter-clockwise rotation, the Silvia Pro X will output up to 2-bar of steam pressure through its commercial-style 4-hole steam wand.

Integrated PID Controller

At the center of the Silvia Pro X's interface is the multi-function PID controller. With a simple pair of plus and minus buttons, the PID display can adjust both the brew and steam temperatures, program variable soft infusion, and access the rest of the machine's internal settings.

When brewing is activated, the PID controller turns into an automatic shot timer, giving you a heads-up display to see how long your shot has been pulling. After the shot completes, the PID returns to it's normal function as a temperature regulator and controller.

What Makes the Rancilio Silvia Pro X Special?

PID Controller

The brain of the Rancilio Silvia Pro X is a PID controller located just left of the brew group. This LCD allows the user to adjust all of the machine's settings, including the brew and steam boiler temperatures, the programmable eco mode, and a pre-set backflush and cleaning reminder.

In addition, the PID controller acts as a shot timer that is automatically started as the brew lever is lifted. The PID display is bright enough to be seen in near-direct sunlight without being an obtrusive addition to the classic design.

Variable Soft Infusion

The Silvia Pro X offers variable pre-infusion to help improve extraction and reduce channeling in the puck of espresso. The programmable features are accessed through the PID control and can be set to soft-infuse the coffee for one to six seconds before ramping up to full pressure.

The soft infusion features work by briefly turning on the pump to pre-wet the puck and then letting the coffee sit without pressure for the programmed amount of time. After, the pump turns on to full power and the pressure rises to the standard 9 bars.

Classic Diner-Style Design

The Rancilio Silvia Pro X is easily identified by its unique and classic diner-style design. With a narrow, tall, and deep footprint, the Siliva Classic stands out in the world of short and stout espresso machines.

Designed with a stainless steel body, the Rancilio Silvia Pro is built to last and has easily accessible parts if the need to repair ever arises. Often deemed 'bombproof,' the Silvia Pro X is a great choice for home baristas who want an option that will last a lifetime.

No Fuss Working Group

One of my - Espresso Setup Chris' - favorite features of the Rancilio Silvia Pro X is the high ceiling, no fuss group. Many compact espresso machines optimize for a lower total high by shrinking the cup clearance in the brew group.

The Silvia Pro X indexes on user experience with over 10cm (4") of cup clearance, an easily accessible hot water tap, and an extra long steam wand. These features help access all the primary features of the espresso machine and leave space for a convenient brew boiler pressure gauge.

Unique Rancilio Portafilter

Rancilio has been a staple in espresso for almost 100 years and, as such, has pioneered many of the features found in modern espresso machines. The Silvia is identified by the unique Rancilio ergonomic 58 mm portafilter. With a shaped handle and solid steel head, the Silvia Pro X's portafilter was designed to be perfectly parallel when placed on a counter for easy tamping.

What is Missing on the Rancilio Silvia Pro X?

Rancilio Silvia Pro X Missing Features 2024

4-Bar Pre Infusion

While the Silvia Pro X offers variable soft infusion, it lacks real low-pressure pre-infusion found on more premium machines. The Silvia's soft infusion essentially wets the puck and lets the grounds saturate before activating the full-pressure brew.

True pre-infusion machines can ramp the pressure or provide an even 2-4-bar of pressure prior to a full 9-bar brew. While full-pressure pre-infusion is an advantage on paper, there are seldom complaints about the Pro X's soft infusion capabilities.

Bounce-Back Tactile Rockers

One of my biggest complaints about the Silvia Pro X is that it is rather small and nit-picky. When I worked on a Silvia Pro X, I expected the rocker switches to stay locked in the alternate position when activated. For example - when toggling the brew switch from its off (up) position to on (down), I'd expect the rocker switch to stay locked down and on until I turn the brew back off.

Unfortunately, the rocker switches are spring so they bound back to their initial position without a physical indication of the current state of the brew, steam, or hot water. Of course, for each of these functions, there is a very obvious function occurring while toggled (i.e., hot water coming out the tap), but for me, it was a rather disappointing tactile experience.

Comparison: Rancilio Silvia Pro X vs. Lelit Elizabeth

When looking for a dual boiler under $2000, one of the most common alternate options to the Rancilio Silvia Pro X is the Lelit Elizabeth. Italy-based Lelit is known for its flagship Bianca and offers the Elizabeth as its affordable dual boiler option.

Rancilio Silvia Pro X vs. Lelit Elizabeth

Pump & Power

Both the Elizabeth and Silvia Pro X are fed by dual boilers for same-time brew and steam and powered by internal vibratory pumps. While both machines have similar size 0.3-liter brew boilers, the Silvia Pro X has a larger 1.0-liter steam boiler compared to the smaller 0.6-liter steam boiler of the Elizabeth.

A larger steam boiler is important for home baristas who envision themselves making lots of milk drinks back-to-back and need a boiler that can keep up with demand. If you love lattes and cappuccino, take note of the extra capacity of the Silvia Pro X.

Design & Build

The Silvia Pro X and Elizabeth begin to diverge when looking at their overall design and build. The Silvia Pro X is easily identifiable by its diner-style design. The Elizabeth, on the other hand, has a rather simple brushed steel body with a plain button-style interface.

While both machines are built with higher quality components, the Silvia has a reputation in the industry as being longer lasting and to a higher spec than its slightly more affordable alternative. And although the Sivlia Pro X does win with a more easily accessible hot water tap and steam wand, the Elizabeth gets marks for its no-burn style wand - something missing on the Pro X.


Perhaps the biggest draw of the Lelit Elizabeth is the inclusion of Lelit's proprietary display - the Lelit Control Center (LCC). The LCC is an LED display that serves as a PID controller, shot timer, and the brain of the machine. Although the Silvia Pro X has many of the same features as the Elizabeth, the display is not the newer-style LED expected on modern espresso machines.

Which To Buy

Both the Rancilio Silvia Pro X and Lelit Elizabeth are affordable dual boilers that give you the benefits of same-time brew and steam at an attainable price. If you value a classic diner design, matte black options, and a clean working space, the Silvia Pro X is the choice for you. If you are looking for a smaller footprint, a brushed stainless finish, and a plain design, the Elizabeth won't steer you wrong.

Pricing and Availability

Price In 2024, the Rancilio Silvia Pro X remains one of the few dual boilers readily available for under $2000. Priced at $1940 for all colors, including black and pink, the Silvia Pro X is a hard-to-beat offer. Given its high value and high popularity, the Silvia Pro X is available from a variety of online vendors such as Clive Coffee, Seattle Coffee Gear, and Amazon.

The Final Sip

The Rancilio Silvia Pro X has proven itself time and time again as a staple in the world of espresso. It packs a ton of value into a durable and easy-to-use package. If you are looking for a dual boiler that is built to last and comes in under the $2000 price tag, look no further than the Siliva Pro X.

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