The Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers of 2022

Keep freshly brewed coffee hot and tasting great with one of the best thermal carafe coffee makers.

By Lauren David | Updated Sep 27, 2022 9:38 AM

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The Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker

Photo: amazon.com

With a wide variety of features, today’s coffee makers make it easy to brew the perfect cup of coffee. For those who like to keep their coffee piping hot, even on the third or fourth cup, a thermal carafe coffee maker may offer a fitting solution. While traditional coffee makers come with a glass pot and a hot plate, which can lead to burned coffee at the bottom, thermal carafe coffee makers include an insulated carafe. Made of stainless steel (or sometimes aluminum), these double-walled, insulated carafes keep coffee warmer until the last drop.

From programming options to brew strengths, there is a bevy of coffee-brewing considerations to contemplate. This article will look at features java lovers will want to consider when choosing their ideal coffee maker. Brewing delicious coffee at home with the best thermal carafe coffee maker can help coffee drinkers cut down on trips to the local cafe, saving time and money.

  1. BEST OVERALL: OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Black+Decker 12-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker
  3. BEST QUICK-BREWING: Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker
  4. BEST LARGE-CAPACITY: Cuisinart 12-Cup Programmable Thermal Coffee Maker
  5. BEST SINGLE-SERVE: Keurig K-Duo Plus Single Serve & Carafe Coffee Maker
  6. BEST WITH GRINDER: Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker
  7. BEST FOR ICED COFFEE: Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System
  8. ALSO CONSIDER: Hamilton Beach Programmable Thermal Coffee Maker
The Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker 

Several factors affect a coffee maker’s functionality including brew capacity, design, and programmable settings, to name a few. Read on to learn more about all of the best features of thermal carafe coffee makers.

Type

There are two basic types of coffee makers: drip and dual-purpose. Whether a coffee lover likes their coffee intense or mild, wants a lot of coffee or just a little, one of these types of coffee makers can likely meet their needs.

Drip

Most coffee makers with a thermal carafe are drip-style machines. Drip coffee makers have a coffee pot, a water reservoir, and a filter. They often come with several features, such as programmable options like timers that allow users to brew coffee at a specific time or an automatic shutoff that saves users from worrying about whether the coffee maker was left on.

Dual-purpose

Some coffee makers offer the best of both worlds: drip coffee and espresso. Typically designed with a carafe on one side and the espresso maker on the other, these sizable machines take up a bit more counter space than a regular drip coffee maker. Not surprisingly, they also tend to cost more.

Size and Capacity

When shopping for a thermal carafe coffee maker, coffee lovers will want to compare the machine dimensions and the available counter space. As an appliance that’s likely used every day, the coffee maker should have adequate space for easy access.

In addition, keep in mind how many cups of coffee each member of the household drinks daily to determine the right capacity. Although a coffee maker’s capacity is measured in cups, a coffee cup does not equal a standard 8-ounce cup. Instead, a coffee cup is about 4 to 6 ounces. Many thermal carafe coffee makers range from brewing a single serving to a full pot of up to 12 coffee cups.

Brewing Time and Temperature

Most thermal carafe coffee makers take less than 10 minutes to brew a pot of coffee. The exact amount of time depends on the brand of the machine and the brew strength users prefer. Typically, the coffee flavor is more intense the longer it brews.

The quality of the water as well as the temperature influences the taste of the coffee. Starting with cold, filtered water will ensure better flavor. The temperature for brewing a delicious pot of coffee usually ranges from 195 to 205 degrees. If water temperatures are cooler, coffee can have a weak flavor, but if it’s brewed at too high a temperature, coffee can have a bitter taste.

Additional Features

Thermal carafe coffee makers have an array of settings and features, including the following:

  • Timers provide the option to program when the machine starts to make coffee each day. Some machines also have freshness timers that indicate how long ago the coffee was made.
  • A built-in grinder is ideal for coffee fans who crave fresh-ground flavor. This feature enables users to grind their coffee beans and immediately make coffee all with one machine.
  • Brew-strength settings allow for choosing how light or strong the coffee is. Some models simply offer a strong or bold button for more intense brews, while others offer a range of brew-strength options. To achieve stronger flavors, coffee makers increase the amount of time the water is in contact with the grounds, which also increases the total  brew time.
  • Brew pause is an option that lets the user pause brewing to pour a cup of joe without waiting for the entire pot to finish brewing. Most machines have a button to pause brewing, but some have a sensor. When a user removes the carafe to pour a cup, a sensor triggers the machine to pause brewing. When the user replaces the carafe, the machine automatically resumes brewing.
  • Auto-shutoff is a setting on some machines that will automatically turn off the coffee maker after a set amount of time, so there’s one less thing to remember to turn off.
  • Self-cleaning is a maintenance option that keeps the coffee maker clean by flushing the interior system with water or a combination of water and a cleaning solution. Some coffee makers signal when they need to be cleaned with an indicator light. The carafe, filter, and lid, still need to be cleaned separately either by hand or in a dishwasher.

Our Top Picks

With those considerations in mind, read on to learn more about some of the highest-rated models on the market.

Best Overall

The Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers Option: OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker
Photo: amazon.com

With a compact and sleek design, the OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker is ideal for those who have limited counter space and want an easy-to-use coffee machine. This coffee maker can brew a full pot or just a single cup of java, saving time–and coffee–on busy mornings. Plus, to help eliminate coffee splatter when brewing a single serving, users can remove the well cover on the base of the machine and flip it into a raised pedestal for single-serve cups.

This machine also has the bonus of being certified by the Speciality Coffee Association Golden Cup Standard, as it meets the requirements that coffee is brewed between 195 to 205 degrees and brews between 4 to 6 minutes, along with other specifics.

Unfortunately, those who want to set a timer and wake up to coffee brewing will have to consider a different coffee maker. This OXO model doesn’t have programmable settings.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 13.5 inches tall by 7 inches wide by 10.5 inches deep
  • Brew capacity: 8 cups
  • Carafe included: Yes

Pros

  • Make 1 cup of coffee or an entire pot
  • Fill a cup or travel mug directly
  • Water distributes evenly over coffee grounds for better flavor
  • Has a self-cleaning setting to keep coffee tasting delicious

Cons

  • Can’t remove water reservoir
  • Not programmable

Get the OXO thermal carafe coffee maker at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Crate & Barrel.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers Option: Black+Decker 12-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker
Photo: amazon.com

Those in search of a budget-friendly option may want to consider the Black+Decker 12-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker with grinder. Each morning users can grind their preferred coffee beans right before brewing a pot to begin the day. The grinder’s sharp blades can cut and crush beans to coarse or fine grounds, delivering exceptional flavor. Plus, with the coffee maker’s Evenstream Showerhead, water is evenly dispersed to saturate all the coffee grounds, ensuring the best taste.

Quick-touch functions, such as brew strength options and a timer, make programming a snap. Coffee drinkers can have their brew with the right flavor right when they want it. There’s also a feature to pause brewing so a cup of java can be poured before the entire pot finishes brewing. Users do need to be sure to have plenty of filters on hand, however, as this model does not include a reusable filter.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 13.25 inches tall by 8.5 inches wide by 9 inches deep
  • Brew capacity: 12 cups
  • Carafe included: Yes

Pros

  • Programmable for timed brewing and a freshness timer
  • Comes with a grinder
  • Wide-mouth thermal carafe for easier cleaning
  • Offers 3 different brew strengths: regular, strong, and bold

Cons

  • Screen can be hard to see
  • Sometimes the carafe may drip while pouring
  • No reusable coffee filter

Get the Black+Decker thermal carafe coffee maker on Amazon or Wayfair.

Best Quick-Brewing

The Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers Option: Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker
Photo: amazon.com

As any coffee lover knows, it’s hard to wait for a pot of coffee to brew in the morning. Those who really can’t wait will want to consider the Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker, which brews in 7 minutes or less. Not only does it save time brewing, but it also saves time cleaning. This nifty machine also offers a self-cleaning setting, a noteworthy feature that not all coffee makers have, and it helps to make mornings that much easier.

This coffee maker also has two different timers: a delay brew timer to set for when coffee will be made and a freshness timer that monitors how long it’s been since the coffee was brewed. That way users don’t have to wonder how long ago the coffee was prepared and how fresh it is. And if any members of the household prefer coffee lighter or darker, there’s an option to modify the brew strength. Finally, this coffee maker also has an auto-shutoff safety feature that turns the pot off after 2 hours, so users no longer have to wonder if they turned off the coffee pot. And that’s one less thing to worry about.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 14.33 inches tall by 13.11 inches wide by 8.7 inches deep
  • Brew capacity: 10 cups
  • Carafe included: Yes

Pros

  • Self-cleaning option
  • Removable water reservoir for easy refilling
  • Automatically shuts off after 2 hours

Cons

  • No permanent filter
  • Tendency to leak while brewing

Get the Mr. Coffee thermal carafe coffee maker on Amazon.

Best Large-Capacity

The Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers Option: Cuisinart 12-Cup Programmable Thermal Coffee Maker
Photo: amazon.com

This Cuisinart 12-Cup Programmable Thermal Coffee Maker makes brewing coffee a cinch with several features that will satisfy several preferences at once. It can make an entire pot or a single serving, and it has plenty of other programmable options.

This large-capacity coffee maker offers a programmable brew timer so users can set a brewing time in advance, and it features brew strength options as well. This machine also has a 1- to 4- cup setting so coffee brews similarly whether it’s for a single cup or an entire pot.

Because it has a reusable gold-tone filter, there’s no need to purchase paper coffee filters, and the water reservoir also has a window to make it easy to know when to refill. Its auto-shutoff feature saves energy and provides peace of mind, so users don’t have to worry that they left the coffee maker on.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 14.25 inches tall by 9 inches wide by 7.75 inches deep
  • Brew capacity: 12 cups
  • Carafe included: Yes

Pros

  • Auto-shutoff setting to select from 0 to 4 hours after brewing
  • 1- to 4-cup option
  • Reusable gold-tone coffee filter included

Cons

  • Prone to leak when pouring
  • Carafe design makes it difficult to pour out all the coffee

Get the Cuisinart thermal carafe coffee maker on Amazon or at Best Buy.

Best Single-Serve

The Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers Option: Keurig K-Duo Plus Single Serve & Carafe Coffee Maker
Photo: amazon.com

This Keurig K-Duo Plus coffee maker can brew a single-serve cup using coffee pods (often called K-cups) or an entire coffee pot with coffee grounds. There’s also an option to choose the number of cups in a pot, ranging from 6 to 12 cups, and an option to choose how many ounces for one mug of joe, ranging from 6 to 12 ounces.

With a slim and sleek design, this coffee maker takes up less room on the counter than the typical machine, making it a great model for those with limited space. As for settings, users can program the machine 24 hours in advance so they can have a fresh pot ready. This machine also has an auto-pause button to pause brewing for 20 seconds, so those who need a cup ASAP can get it—without causing coffee leaks all over the machine or counter.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 14.19 inches tall by 7.68 inches wide by 15.88 inches deep
  • Brew capacity: 12 cups
  • Carafe included: Yes

Pros

  • Can make a single serving or a full carafe
  • Removable water reservoir for easy refilling
  • Offers a strong brew option for more intense flavor
  • Programmable for timed brewing

Cons

  • Pricier than other models
  • Can be difficult to insert and remove the coffee filter

Get the Keurig K-Duo Plus thermal carafe coffee maker at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Best Buy.

Best With Grinder

The Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers Option: Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker
Photo: amazon.com

With eight different brew settings, this coffee maker is designed for a household with a variety of preferences or individuals who like to have plenty of brewing possibilities. A 12-cup pot brews in less than 7 minutes, and a timer can be set so coffee starts brewing early in the morning to accommodate busy schedules. For those on the go, the coffee maker can brew directly into a travel mug or favorite cup: No waiting for a full pot to brew or having to pour from carafe to mug with this machine.

The built-in grinder allows users to immediately brew the fresh grounds so the oils in the coffee beans offer up the freshest flavor of java. The grinder also has numerous settings so beans can be ground to an ultra-fine or coarse consistency. Of course, this convenience and flavor come at a bit higher price tag than many other coffee makers.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 16.3 inches tall by 8.5 inches wide by 12.5 inches deep
  • Brew capacity: 12 cups
  • Carafe included: Yes

Pros

  • Can brew directly into a mug or carafe
  • Built-in grinder for the freshest grounds
  • Grinder offers adjustable grind sizes

Cons

  • More expensive than other models

Get the Breville thermal carafe coffee maker at Amazon, Wayfair, or Crate & Barrel.

Best for Iced Coffee

The Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers Option: Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System
Photo: amazon.com

For those who want to brew a little bit of everything, including tea, the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System delivers. This multifunction machine offers five styles of brew, including cold brew and over-ice, and six brew sizes—from a single serving to an extra-large cup or travel size—as well as making half a pot of coffee. It even has a built-in milk frother so espresso drinks can easily be made at home, saving a trip to the coffee shop.

There’s no need to worry about mixing tea and coffee flavors because there are separate baskets for placing coffee grounds and loose-leaf tea or tea bags. The machine also has smart basket recognition technology that detects whether coffee or tea is being made and provides options on how to make the beverage. What’s more, this machine’s permanent filter saves money and resources.

While there are plenty of features to love about this machine, they do add up to a more expensive price. And despite all the user-friendly extras, the thermal carafe is not dishwasher safe.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 15 inches tall by 10 inches wide by 11.8 inches deep
  • Brew capacity: 10 cups
  • Carafe included: Yes

Pros

  • Offers 6 brew sizes
  • Removable water reservoir for easy refilling
  • Has a milk frother to make coffee house–style drinks
  • Option to brew tea

Cons

  • More expensive than other coffee makers
  • Thermal carafe not dishwasher safe

Get the Ninja dual thermal carafe coffee maker on Amazon or at Best Buy.

Also Consider

The Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers Option: Hamilton Beach Programmable Thermal Coffee Maker
Photo: amazon.com

The Hamilton Beach Programmable Thermal Coffee Maker is a practical and easy-to-use device. The slim design makes it a winner for even the smallest kitchens. The price point is economical for the variety of programmable features this coffee maker has, including a brew-ahead timer and brew strength options. There’s also an auto-pause feature so a cup of coffee can be poured before the entire pot of coffee is brewed.

While there are plenty of wonderful settings with this machine, it doesn’t have everything. It lacks a removable water reservoir, making it harder to refill, and the narrow carafe opening makes cleaning more difficult, too.

Product Specs

  • Dimensions: 14.6 inches tall by 8.2 inches wide by 11.26 inches deep
  • Brew capacity: 10 cups
  • Carafe included: Yes

Pros

  • Has a cone filter for better flavor extraction
  • Offers different brew strengths
  • Brewing pauses when carafe is removed

Cons

  • Narrow carafe opening can make it harder to clean
  • Can be hard to fill water reservoir

Get the Hamilton Beach thermal carafe coffee maker on Amazon.

Our Verdict

With the option to make a single cup of joe or brew a pot, the easy-to-use OXO thermal carafe coffee maker is our top choice. For a good value, users may want to consider the Black+Decker thermal carafe coffee maker, which comes with a grinder and offers a 1- to 4-cup small-batch brew option.

How We Chose the Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers

This roundup of the best thermal carafe coffee makers is based on extensive product research, and in choosing these products, we considered size, capacity, design, functions, ease of use, and cleaning.

The coffee makers listed brew between 1 cup and 12 cups of coffee and come with a thermal carafe. Many top picks provide the option to choose brew strength, and some offer several programmable options, including timers and an auto-shutoff feature. Additionally, some of these machines have specialty features such as a built-in grinder, a milk frother, or the ability to use coffee pods.

In addition to choosing products that were user-friendly and had sought-after features, we also chose these products based on their high user satisfaction rates. The products that met our standards were included in this list; those that didn’t were removed from consideration.

The Advantages of Owning a Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker

Owning a thermal carafe coffee maker offers two main advantages: durability and coffee that stays hotter longer. Thermal carafes keep coffee hot for long periods of time thanks to the vacuum-sealed double wall that insulates and maintains the heat. Although thermal carafe coffee makers are often more expensive than glass carafe coffee makers, they tend to be more durable since they’re not prone to breaking like glass.

  • Thermal carafes keep coffee hot for long periods of time.
  • Thermal carafes are sturdier and more durable than glass carafes.

FAQs

Ready to start brewing? Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about thermal carafe coffee makers.

Q. Do metal carafe coffee makers have heated plates?

Most thermal carafe coffee makers don’t have heated plates; heated plates are more common with glass coffee pots. Thermal or metal carafes have double insulation to maintain the temperature of the liquid inside.

Q. What is a 1- to 4-cup setting?

The 1- to 4-cup setting slows down the drip speed of the coffee maker. For smaller pots of coffee or for brewing 1 cup, you’ll want to select this setting.

Q. What is descaling?

Descaling consists of cleaning and eliminating mineral buildup that forms inside the machine. Use a combination of vinegar and warm soapy water and wipe down each piece to descale.