The Best Coffee Makers for Your Kitchen

Make your morning cup of coffee at home—the way you like it—with these popular coffee makers.

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The Best Coffee Maker Option

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For many of us, the day begins with a cup of coffee, so finding the best coffee maker is a high priority. The many different types of coffee makers: French press, pour-over, drip, espresso, and stovetop. All have distinct features and benefits, and they use different methods of coffee-making to produce a range of coffee types. The right coffee maker allows you the ability to skip the daily trips to the cafe and take a coffee break right in your own kitchen or at your coffee bar. Enjoy a cup of steaming espresso or a glass of cold brew when choosing the best coffee maker to suit your needs.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 Perfectemp Coffee Maker
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: BLACK+DECKER 5-Cup Coffeemaker
  3. BEST SINGLE SERVE: Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer 
  4. BEST ESPRESSO MAKER: De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super Coffee Machine
  5. BEST FRENCH PRESS: Mueller French Press Double Insulated Coffee Maker
  6. BEST POUR OVER: Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter
  7. BEST STOVE TOP: Bialetti Express Moka Pot
  8. BEST GRIND AND BREW: BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup Mill and Brew Coffeemaker
  9. BEST FOR DRIP COFFEE: Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Coffee Maker
  10. BEST FOR COLD BREW: Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker
The Best Coffee Maker Option

Photo: amazon.com

It’s important to understand the different kinds of coffee makers and their various benefits. Read on to learn about the most popular types.

Espresso Coffee Maker 

Espresso machines are for people who want to make espresso or espresso-based drinks like lattes, americanos, or cappuccinos at home. Espresso makers are typically more expensive than other types of coffee makers and come with fancy features like precise temperature controls and milk-frothing wands. Espresso makers come in manual, automatic, and semi-automatic varieties, with each type requiring a different level of coffee-making skill, depending on how many functions the machine has.

French Press Coffee Maker 

The French press is a super-simple, quick, and affordable type of coffee maker, easy to learn and master. To use a French press, let coarsely ground coffee and hot water sit together for three to five minutes, then slowly press down the plunger. The press has a metal filter that makes a more flavorful cup of coffee than one gets with coffee makers that use a paper filter. French presses have a compact design, which makes them a good choice for a portable coffee maker.

Pour-Over Coffee Maker 

Pour-over coffee makers are a low-tech and inexpensive way to make a cup of joe. The pour-over style uses a paper filter and hot water to make coffee. To use one, put coarsely ground coffee into a cone-shaped funnel with a paper filter, then pour hot water over the top. The water filters through the coffee grounds and the coffee flavors flow directly into your cup. Pour-over models can make full-bodied cups of coffee, and they give you control over more variables in the coffee-making process.

Stovetop Coffee Maker 

For a less expensive alternative to an espresso machine, try a stovetop coffee maker like a Moka pot. This staple of Italian coffee culture is designed with three separate chambers for water, ground coffee, and brewed coffee. Pour water into the bottom section and finely ground coffee in the middle section before placing it on the stovetop. Once the pot heats up, water passes through the middle chamber filled with the ground coffee beans, before turning into brewed coffee in the top chamber. Stovetop coffee makers come with multiple parts, so cleaning them requires a little extra time and effort.

Drip Coffee Maker 

Drip coffee makers are a traditional type of electric coffee maker found in many homes. They are simple to use and can brew multiple cups of coffee at once. Drip coffee makers come with carafes (or coffee pots), permanent filters, and water reservoirs. Most also have convenient features like 24-hour programmability and automatic shutoff functions. Drip coffee makers are a good option for novice coffee makers who just want to add water and ground coffee, then push a button.

Grind-and-Brew Coffee Maker

This double-duty coffee maker combines the simplicity of a drip coffee maker with the sophistication of an espresso machine. It includes a built-in grinder that can grind coffee beans right before brewing, resulting in a fresh-tasting cup of coffee. A grind-and-brew machine eliminates the need for a separate coffee grinder and gives you a convenient place to store coffee beans. Remember to routinely wash the built-in grinder to keep it operating properly.

Cold-Brew Coffee Maker

Cold-brew coffee makers produce a less acidic cup of java than other brewing methods. They consist of a pitcher, mesh filter, and lid. To use a cold-brew machine, add ground coffee to the infuser, then pour cold, filtered water into the pitcher and lower the infuser into the water. Seal the lid and shake the pitcher, then store it in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the infuser after the brew cycle is complete for a concentrated cup of coffee. Pour over ice if drinking the coffee cold, or combine with boiling water if drinking it hot.

The Best Coffee Maker Option

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Features to Look for in the Best Coffee Maker

The different features to consider when shopping for the best coffee maker for your kitchen include functionality, brewing time, brew cycles, water temperature, capacity, and programming options.

Stovetop vs. Electric vs. Manual 

Coffee makers come in three general varieties, based on how they function: stovetop, electric, and manual. Stovetop coffee makers get their heat from the stove, as the name implies. Electric coffee makers plug into the wall and use electricity to brew coffee. Manual coffee makers rely on boiled water and time to brew coffee. Brew time, drink capacity, and programming options are some of the factors to consider when comparing coffee makers. Choosing a stovetop, electric, or manual coffee maker depends on your coffee preferences, budget, and preferred brewing method.

Brewing Time

Brewing time is a critical factor when making coffee, and it varies depending on the type of coffee maker. Brewing time can range from 20 seconds to 36 hours. When making espresso, the coffee grounds should only be in contact with water for 20 to 30 seconds. French presses take about four minutes to brew coffee, and drip coffee makers require about five to brew a pot. The cold-brew method requires the longest brewing time, as it needs to steep overnight. Generally, the longer the brew time, the more flavorful the coffee.

Brew Cycles

Coffee changes flavor at different stages of the brew cycle, and the solubility of coffee grounds decreases throughout the cycle. Even though the richest flavors are extracted at the beginning of a brew cycle, coffee pros recommend letting coffee complete its full cycle before pouring a cup to get a balanced flavor. Some automatic drip coffee makers have settings that allow you to pour a cup of coffee before the brew cycle is done, helpful if you’re in a hurry.

Water Temperature 

Water temperature and quality affect the taste of a cup of coffee. For good results, start with cold, filtered water. During the brew cycle, keep the water temperature between 195 degrees and 205 degrees. Cooler temperatures can result in under-extracted, weak-tasting coffee, and hotter temperatures can lead to over-extracted, bitter-tasting coffee. If you’re using a manual brewing method like a French press or a pour-over, let the water come to a full boil, then remove from heat and let sit for one minute before pouring it over the coffee grounds.

Capacity and Cup-Size Options 

Different types of coffee makers come with different capacities, ranging from a single cup to 14 cups. When shopping for a new coffee maker, consider how many cups of coffee you intend to make at one time. If you’re looking for a single-serving solution, try a stovetop or pour-over machine. Traditional drip coffee makers tend to have the highest capacity, allowing you to brew a full pot of coffee at once. Some coffee makers have two chambers, one for brewing a full pot and another for brewing a single cup.

Programming Options

Some electric coffee makers come with programming options that let you program the coffee maker before you go to bed, so hot coffee is waiting for you when you wake up. Programmable coffee makers allow you to set a brew time up to 24 hours in advance.

Our Top Picks

The many coffee-making options available feature a wide range of benefits, specialties, and costs. To help you pick the best coffee maker for your needs, here are some of the top choices on the market for you to consider.

Best Overall

The Best Coffee Maker Option: Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 Perfectemp Coffee Maker
Photo: amazon.com

This drip coffee maker by Cuisinart has a lot of features that give you control over how you make your coffee while still giving you a cup of joe at the push of a button. Choose between two brew strengths, regular or bold, and program the machine so hot coffee is waiting for you when you wake up. Brew up to 14 cups at once if you have a crowd, or set it to make just one to four cups at a time. There’s an adjustable keep-warm temperature control to keep coffee hot in the glass carafe without burning it, and the machine comes with a reusable metal filter. Additional features include a backlit LCD display, a tone to alert you when your coffee is ready, and a light to let you know when it’s time to decalcify the coffee maker.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Coffee Maker Option: BLACK+DECKER 5-Cup Coffeemaker
Photo: amazon.com

This budget-friendly coffee maker features a permanent coffee filter that doesn’t require paper filters and a convenient sneak-a-cup feature so it’s possible to have a cup of coffee in the middle of the brewing cycle. It has a removable lid and filter basket for easy cleaning. Use the single-button control (with built-in indicator light) to turn the coffee maker on and off and make the desired amount of coffee by using the clear level markings found on the water window. This five-cup coffee maker is designed for smaller spaces, so it’s a good choice for dorms or vacation houses where there’s no need to brew 12 cups of coffee at once.

Best Single Serve

The Best Coffee Maker Option: Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer
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This personal coffee maker can brew a cup using ground coffee or K-cups. Select your brewing method by clicking one of two buttons on the side of the machine and use the water-adjustment function to brew the desired amount, up to 14 ounces at a time. The Sboly is speedy, brewing a cup of coffee in three minutes. This model has self-cleaning and automatic-shutoff functions, too.

Best Espresso Maker

The Best Coffee Maker Option: De’Longhi ESAM3300 Magnifica Super Coffee Machine
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Making an espresso is simple and straightforward with this De’Longhi model. It has a rotary dial and push-button controls with 13 programmable settings. All you do is choose your preferred temperature, strength, and cup size, then hit a button. Along with espressos, this machine can also make cappuccinos and lattes.

A coffee grinder is built into the De’Longhi, and it has a separate chamber for pre-ground regular, decaf, or specialty coffee. This espresso maker also has an advanced milk-frothing system, a twin-brewing cycle, and a three-hour automatic-shutoff function. The removable water reservoir, drip tray, and waste bin allow for hassle-free cleaning.

Best French Press

The Best Coffee Maker Option: Mueller French Press Double Insulated Coffee Maker
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One of the drawbacks of a French press coffee maker is that grounds sometimes make their way into your coffee. To prevent this, the Mueller French Press has a triple-layered filtration system to keep those grounds out of your drink, and it still produces a full-bodied cup of coffee. The double-insulated stainless steel design keeps beverages hot for an hour longer than thinner-walled steel or glass models, while the exterior and handle stay cool to the touch. It also makes hot chocolate and tea, plus it comes with a stainless steel canister for storing coffee beans.

Best Pour Over

The Best Coffee Maker Option: Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker with Permanent Filter
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The Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker produces a flavorful pot thanks to its steel mesh filter that preserves the oils and flavors of ground coffee better than pour-overs with paper filters. The Bodum model can brew up to 32 ounces at once. It has a glass carafe with a removable cork band on the exterior that protects your hands from the hot glass. That cork band also adds an earthy, elegant touch to the coffee maker.

Best Stove Top

The Best Coffee Maker Option: Bialetti Express Moka Pot
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The Bialetti Express Moka Pot is made of high-quality polished aluminum and has a stylish octagon shape. It can make 12 cups of rich, velvety Moka coffee at a time. This stovetop machine has a patented safety valve and is easy to disassemble for cleaning. Bialetti features coffee that’s specially prepared for the Moka; however, any brand that’s Italian ground works in this machine. Finely ground coffee can clog a Moka pot, and coarsely ground coffee can result in tasteless, pale coffee.

Best Grind and Brew

The Best Coffee Maker Option: BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup Mill and Brew Coffeemaker
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This 12-cup grind-and-brew coffee maker offers streamlined grinding and brewing for a quick and flavorful cup. Grind whole beans, or turn off the grinder to brew coffee using pre-ground beans. Customize your coffee with a brew-strength selector that lets you choose regular, bold or strong flavors.

This grind-and-brew machine has a 24-hour automatic-brew function to wake up to freshly brewed coffee, plus a sneak-a-cup feature that allows you to pour yourself a cup before the brew cycle ends. It also has a water-level indicator, automatic-shutoff feature, and a permanent, reusable filter.

Best for Drip Coffee

The Best Coffee Maker Option: Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Coffee Maker
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This drip coffee maker can brew a full pot or a single cup using grounds or make a single serving with a K-cup pod. Its carafe holds up to 12 cups of coffee. It has a programmable timer that can be set up to 24 hours in advance, a two-hour keep-warm cycle, and an automatic shutoff function for added safety. It has a reusable metal filter and a pause-and-serve setting that lets you pour a cup before the brew cycle ends. There’s a brew-strength selector that enables you to choose regular or bold coffee. The single-serve side of the FlexBrew can be adjusted to fit short cups or tall travel mugs.

Best for Cold Brew

The Best Coffee Maker Option: Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Photo: amazon.com

The Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker has an airtight lid that keeps coffee fresh in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. It can brew up to four servings of cold-brew coffee at a time. Its non-slip, silicone handle makes it easy to pour, and its reusable mesh filter is designed to prevent gritty grounds from getting into your brewed coffee. The BPA-free plastic pitcher can withstand high temperatures if you prefer your coffee hot. The Takeya is top-rack dishwasher-safe and is designed to fit into most refrigerator doors.

FAQs About Your New Coffee Maker

Here are some tips for you to consider as you choose, then begin using your new coffee maker.

Q. Can I reheat cold coffee in my coffee maker? 

It’s not a good idea to reheat coffee in a coffee maker, because the machine’s warmer plate does not get hot enough to get your coffee to a desirable drinking temperature. Instead, reheat it in the microwave or on the stove.

Q. How do I clean my coffee maker? 

Clean a coffee maker with soap and water after each use. For deeper cleaning, run equal parts vinegar and water through a brew cycle every three months to descale the machine and eliminate mineral deposits.

Q. Why is my coffee maker leaking from the bottom?

The most common reason for a coffee maker to leak from the bottom is overfilling the water reservoir.

Q. Why does my coffee taste bad?

There are several possible reasons why coffee tastes bad. The most common include using stale coffee beans, poor-quality water, or a dirty coffee maker. The creamer or milk you add to your cup of coffee can also affect the taste, so it should be fresh.