With so many different styles, models, and features, choosing the best coffee maker can be difficult! Every option has particular benefits and tradeoffs, not to mention the wildly varying prices. But we’re here to help! We’ve done the hard work, distilling thousands of coffee makers and espresso machine reviews down to highlight just the best-rated top value options.
Check out our comparison charts, read our coffee maker reviews and guides so that when you buy, you’ll get the best coffee maker for your needs, so you can enjoy great coffee at home. And be sure to check our 2016 holiday best gifts for coffee lovers guide.
Top Rated Coffee Makers
|Model||Cup Capacity||Strength Function?||Our Rating||Price|
|Cuisinart DCC-3200 Perfect Temp Programmable||14||yes|
|OXO On Barista Brain 9 Cup Thermal||9||no|
|Bonavita BV1900TS Thermal||8||no|
|BUNN NHS Velocity Brew||10||no|
|Moccamaster KBT 741 thermal||10||no|
|Hamilton Beach 49980Z Two Way Brewer||12||yes|
|Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer system||9||yes|
|Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto||5||no|
|Cuisinart DCC-2650 Brew Central Programmable||12||yes|
|Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew Thermal System PSTX91||10||no|
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Best Coffee Maker Selection Factors
In order to make the best coffee maker purchase, you need to consider several factors. Remember, you often get what you pay for, but depending on your needs, a cheaper model may be suitable.
Some people may be the only coffee drinker in the house and don’t need a massive 14-cup coffee brewer. They just want something to produce one very good cup which they can enjoy without any fuss. On the other hand, some people have a big family or need to brew a big pot of coffee for many guests.
Do you have a small kitchen? Be sure to check the product dimensions first! Some of these brewers can be pretty big, and you can’t tell the size of it just from looking at a picture. On the other hand, if you have plenty of space feel free to go all out with something larger that you can show off to your friends!
Leading on from size, appearance also matters. Don’t buy a red coffee maker if it will clash with the rest of your decor! There are so many great coffee machines to choose from that there really is no need to settle for something that looks ugly in your kitchen.
Some coffee brewers come with a feature that allows you to choose the strength (normally regular or bold). This is particularly useful depending on which coffee beans you have–if you want them to be a bit stronger then go ahead crank up the setting to bold. We all have different tastes and options like this are one of the great advantages of investing in one of these for your home.
How easy is it to Clean?
This is something that is often overlooked by buyers who are too quick to part with their money after being convinced by all the amazing features a machine may have. But it really is something worth considering as you need to keep it clean in order to keep your coffee tasting great. The best way to find this out is to read our reviews as well as the many customer reviews on Amazon.
How Durable is it?
You don’t want to get attached to your latest coffee pot only to find it breaking after a few short months. On the whole, coffeemakers are pretty durable but you should always check the customer reviews first and find out the length of the manufacturer warranty.
It isn’t the end of the world if you have to change your mug, but some people love to use an over-sized travel mug for their caffeine boost. Be sure to check if it can accommodate your favorite mug. Most coffeemakers will state in the specifications the maximum cup size that it will support.
Types of Coffee Makers & Brewing Methods
Drip Coffee Maker
Most coffee machines you will see on the market in the United States use a drip operation and chances are this is what you will end up with. They tend to have a large capacity of 10-14 cups, but there are drip coffee machines as small as one to four cups. Drip systems work by heating the water in the bottom until it sprays or falls onto the coffee grounds. The ground coffee is placed in a basket style container it lets the water pass through while leaving the actual grinds separate. The heated water that makes its way over the grounds is what turns into coffee!
Are you looking for a coffee machine with a grinder built-in? If so, see our list of the top 5 grind and brew coffee makers.
Fine coffee grounds are tightly packed into a portafilter and then subjected to high-pressure water so as to extract a “shot”–a small, highly concentrated coffee. Pure espresso can be served in several different ways, including: ristretto (the first 3/4 ounce of espresso in an extraction), single shot (a 1-ounce shot), lungo (a 1.5 ounce shot), or a double shot (a 2-ounce shot with twice the amount of coffee packed into the portafilter). Espresso drinks also vary, including: macchiato (a shot of espresso with a layer of foamed milk), cafe breve (a shot of espresso with steamed half and half), cappuccino (a shot with steamed milk, with or without foam), cafe latte (a shot mixed with 6 to 8 ounces of steamed milk and topped with foam), and cafe Americano (a shot with 6-8 ounces of hot water). Check out our buyer’s guide and top picks for best home espresso machines.
This simple and popular method involves pouring hot water directly onto the grounds in order to extract the flavors into your cup quickly and efficiently. The process is simple: Add freshly ground coffee to a conical pour-over dripper, then slowly pour just below boiling water over the grounds until all of the coffee is soaked. The benefits to this low-cost method are speed, efficiency, and fine degree of manual control.
Percolator Coffee Pots
The percolator works by cycling the boiling brew through the grounds until the desired strength is achieved. While using a percolator allows you to brew at a high temperature, the downside is that it frequently produces over-extracted, bitter coffee. Those who like strong coffee may not object to the punch they get from percolated coffee, but for most it will simply be too harsh and metallic tasting. Advocates of this classic method claim that bitterness can be avoided through careful brewing. And it’s hard to beat a percolator’s convenience if you need to serve a large crowd. See our recommendations for the best percolator coffee pots.
There are now multiple options for quickly brewing single-serve cups of coffee. People often confuse two types of single-serve coffee: pods and K-cups. Pods are small, round and flat servings of coffee bundled into filter paper. They provide better coffee extraction and aroma than K-cups, and less packaging waste. K-cups are trademarked by the Keurig Green Mountain Company and are packaged as small, foil-lined, ringed cups with a single serving of coffee inside. They offer a wide variety of flavors and blends, and are extremely easy to use. There are also options to fill your own reusable filters that fit in these single-serve coffee machines.
This category of brewing involves retaining a set amount of water in contact with the coffee grounds for a desired period of time. This is different from drip methods in which fresh water is introduced with every pulse or pour. Immersion maintains the same water in contact with the coffee bed throughout the entire brew. Included in this category are “Cowboy coffee,” Turkish Coffee, the Vacuum Pot, siphons, and various types of presses (including the vaunted French Press).
This classic device is widely recognized for its vintage design and the flavorful, full-bodied cup it produces. This method involves a glass beaker with a mesh plunger that separates the coffee grounds from water. Simply add 10% of the hot water to the coffee grounds in the press, allow a few seconds for them to bloom, then stir and add the rest of the water. Then attach the plunger and press down until all of the grounds are immersed in the water. Wait a few minutes and decant into a cup. Coarsely ground dark roasts are particularly suited to the French press. Check out our reviews of the best French press coffee makers.
Siphon/Vacuum Coffee Makers
For those who want total control over the entire brewing process, the siphon is the answer. Looking like something out of a high school chemistry lab, the device has two separate glass chambers connected by a siphon tube and suspended over an alcohol or butane burner. It works by siphoning water from its bottom chamber upward and heating it via the attached burner. The result is a crisp, clean cup of coffee–as well as an interesting conversation piece.
Not to be confused with iced coffee, cold brew is a method that involves steeping grounds in room temperature water for at least 12 hours in order to best bring out the coffee’s natural flavors. The grounds are then removed from the liquid, and this intense coffee can be combined with hot water to make hot coffee, if desired. This process results in a crisper, less-acidic taste than the standard cup you get through more commonly used methods. The reduced acidity is particularly beneficial to those who love coffee but suffer from heartburn or an upset stomach when drinking it.
Top 10 Coffee Maker Reviews
This 14 cup coffee maker from Cuisinart is a real gem. Its stainless steel shell is jam-packed with convenience features, and it also brews a great pot of coffee. It’s hard to find a more flexible, higher-quality coffee brewer in this price range. See our detailed review of the DCC-3200 to find out why it’s one of our Top Picks.
Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the Bonavita BV1800, the BV1900 is one of the very few machines to pass the rigorous standards of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). It is one of the pricier coffee pot options on the market. If you have some cash to splash and want a high-end coffee maker then it is worth considering the BV1900TS. Not only does it produce great tasting coffee, it also brews 8 cups in just 5-6 minutes! Read our full review to find out more.
This is a top pick because it works as both a 12-cup machine and a single serve brewer, perfect for those who want to get the best of both worlds. But does it really succeed? The short answer is yes, it is packed full of features and still manages to pull it off. You will be happy to know it has a brew strength function, a timer and is able to use a range of beans, grounds or pods. Check out our full review to see what makes this one such a great value.
OXO has taken the coffee world by storm with its new “Barista Brain” line. They quickly gained accolades and SCAA certification with this full-featured high-tech, yet easy-to-use marvel. It comes with a 45 ounce thermal carafe, and can be set to brew smaller batches too. Read our detailed review of the Oxo On 9-Cup to see why so many critics love it, and if it’s right for your home.
Moccamasters are cosidered the “Rolls Royce” of drip coffee makers. Handmade in Holland, they’re all certified by the SCAA/E & ECBC. The KBT 741 brews a 40 ounce thermal pot of exceptional coffee in under 6 minutes. Read our detailed review of the KBT-741 and our verdict. Looking for a glass carafe, or a splash of color? Check out the Technivorm Moccamaster KBG 741.
The Cuisinart DCC-2650 Brew Central is a feature-packed, fully-programmable, and affordable 12-cup drip coffee machine. Up to 25% faster than average automatic drip brewers thanks to its “Extreme Brew” system, the combination of features, brew speed, and price make it an excellent all-around option. Check out our review of the DCC-2650 for all the details.
One of the newest coffee makers on the market, the Ninja Coffee Bar has shot up best-seller and Top Picks lists due to this system’s excellent versatility and ease of use. The coffee quality is high, and the range of hot and cold drinks you can make is fantastic. Want a full menu of coffeehouse drinks in your own home? Find out more in our detailed review of the Ninja Coffee Bar.
BUNN has built a reputation over the decades for producing high-quality, highly dependable coffeemakers. Cafes and restaurants have relied on BUNN, and now that they’re producing a lower-cost line for home use, you can get that same quality in your own kitchen. The BT Velocity brews 10 cups amazingly quickly and has a thermal coffee carafe to keep your coffee hot for longer.
This is a simple coffee maker but perfect for those who just want to quickly brew 4-5 cups of great coffee. Innovative Japanese industrial design combined with a powerful heating unit make this an outstanding bang-for-your-buck small coffee maker with high-end performance. An easy top pick when you don’t need to brew large batches of coffee.
This is another very popular machine from quite prolific manufacturers Hamilton Beach. They are known for their wide range of kitchen items and they know how to make a solid coffee machine. It has everything you would expect including an adjustment for strength, cup size, and allowance for various coffee grind types. Many happy customers have purchased this item, but read our complete review before parting with your cash.
Decision Time: What’s the best coffee maker for you?
You’ve seen the best drip coffee maker comparison chart and read our coffee maker review summaries, so it’s time for you to decide which is the right brewer for you. If you are still unsure and need further help then be sure to check out our in-depth reviews and guides.
If you have any further questions, feedback or suggestions then feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you!