BEST COFFEE MAKERS | AUGUST 2017

Coffee makers are among the most common appliances in kitchens across the U.S. And if you're in the market for a coffee maker, there is sure to be a great model out there that fits your needs and budget – from basic, no-frills drip coffee makers to programmable models that grind fresh coffee beans every time they brew. To help you narrow down your options, our team did extensive research to curate this list of great coffee makers. For each of our selections, we include information about key features and considerations, such as brewing options, programmability, additional accessories and more. Read more about our methodology.

An attractive, well-built coffee maker that offers a multitude of custom brewing options, the Behmor Brazen Plus is our top pick. Programmable presoak time and water temp control are among the features that make this coffee maker stand out as a great option for coffee lovers.

Read full review.
Best Value Mr. Coffee DRX5
89

The Mr. Coffee DRX5 offers much of the functionality you'd expect from more expensive coffee makers (including programmability and auto shut-off) while still being very affordable. It is an easy-to-use unit that quickly delivers great-tasting coffee, making it a great choice budget-minded shoppers.

Read full review.

Best by Category

Best Drip Coffee Maker

90

If you're looking for a drip coffee maker that consistently produces delicious coffee, the Braun KF7150BK is our top pick. Quiet and easy to operate, it stands out by providing all the features you'd expect from pricier machines, such as programmability and strength settings, at a great value without sacrificing quality.

Read full review.

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker

88

The Keurig K55 exemplifies the simplicity and convenience expected from single-serve coffee makers, making it our top pick. It brews coffee – and other hot beverages – quickly and has the most important features for the category (such as cup size selection and auto-off) at an affordable price compared to more complex models.

Read full review.

Best Coffee Maker with Grinder

78

If you want the robust flavor of fresh-ground coffee with the convenience of a programmable drip coffee maker, the Cuisinart DGB-900BC delivers. High-quality components (such as a superior burr grinder and sealable hopper) and performance to match make this an easy pick for best coffee maker with a grinder.

Read full review.

Best Specialty Coffee Maker

97

Featuring an attractive and solid double wall stainless steel build, the SterlingPro French Press stands out as the best overall option on the market. It includes innovative design features you won't find on competing models (such as a double-screen filter) and is durable and easy to clean.

Read full review.

Coffee Makers BUYING GUIDE

  • KEY CONSIDERATIONS

    Drip or single serve

    Automatic coffee makers generally fit in one of two categories: drip or single serve. Drip coffee makers have been around for decades. As the name suggests, they brew coffee by dripping hot water over coffee grounds. They typically produce anywhere from four to 12+ cups per batch. Single serve coffee makers often use prepackaged pods or cups – though refillable filters also are available – and make single servings that range from 6 to 14 ounces.

    Features

    Coffee makers across the price spectrum include an array of handy features. Before selecting a coffee maker, take a moment to think about your needs and habits. Do you want coffee first thing in the morning? Then look for a model with a programmable auto-start timer. Do you want fresh ground coffee? Then shop grinder-brewer combos. Other popular features include brew pause (so you can sneak a cup while brewing), auto-shutoff, brew strength selector and brew size selector.

    Hot plate or thermal

    When it comes to the carafe, you have two options: glass or thermal. Machines that use a glass carafe typically have a hot plate that keeps coffee hot by warming it from below. While a hot plate can keep coffee hot for several hours, it can also scorch the coffee after extended periods of time. If you select a coffee maker with a hot plate, look for an auto-shutoff feature. Thermal carafes are often made of insulated stainless steel (though insulated BPA-free plastic may also be used) and keep coffee warm for an hour to several hours without using a hot plate. One consideration with a thermal carafe is that coffee may cool more quickly.

  • PRICE BREAKDOWN

    For $25 or less, you can get a very basic coffee maker. Most coffee makers in this range have few added features, although some might have some degree of programmability and other extras. At this price range, expect coffee makers that are made more cheaply but still serviceable. Coffee makers in the $40 to $100 range are often crafted from higher quality materials and incorporate features that give you more control over how you brew coffee. High-end coffee makers can range from $150 to $300+ in price and often include special settings and have higher quality components and more precise operation.

FULL product reviews

We research hundreds of products in order to bring you a final, unbiased list of the very best. We also use a proprietary algorithm to score each product in terms of quality, value, and brand reputation. These subscores are then weighted to calculate our overall scores. Read more about how we calculate our scores.

1K products
considered
292K RATINGS
ANALYZED
29 research
hours
Best Overall

Behmor Brazen Plus Coffee Maker

The Behmor Brazen Plus consistently delivers coffee that rivals that produced by far more expensive machines. It is a highly customizable 8-cup coffee maker that allows users unparalleled control over the brewing process. The Brazen Plus offers an impressive degree of functionality at a reasonable price point, making it worthy of serious consideration by true coffee connoisseurs. 

  • 83overall
  • 88quality
  • 53value
  • 78brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Presoak and temp control allow custom brewing. The presoak feature allows you to saturate coffee grounds for 15 seconds to four minutes before brewing begins. According to users, this results in a cup of coffee on par with that produced by a more labor-intensive French press or pour over coffee maker. Likewise, you can program the Brazen Plus to heat water between 190-210 F to customize the boldness and strength of your brew. Many other units offer just one temperature.
  • Machine calibrates for altitude. You can enter your current altitude into the Brazen Plus and it will adjust your brewing temperature accordingly. Users who live at higher altitudes praise this feature, as altitude affects how rapidly water heats.
  • Large showerhead saturates coffee grounds. The Brazen Plus features an oversized shower head that evenly saturates all of the coffee grounds at once, eliminating the common complaint that drip machines release water just on the grounds in the center of the basket. 
  • Carafe keeps coffee hot for hours. The double-walled stainless steel thermal carafe that, according to reviewers, keeps coffee hot, fresh and flavorful for up to four hours without a hot plate, which can leave coffee scorched tasting.
  • Behmor customer service is responsive. A handful of customers who received defective units report that Behmor customer service was prompt in sending replacement units – in some cases, not even requiring that the customers go through the hassle of sending back the broken unit.

Other Considerations

  • Operation can be complicated. This coffee maker is designed for people who like to tinker with an array of settings to zero in on the perfect cup of coffee. If you're looking for a plug-and-go machine, you may want to consider a more straightforward alternative, such as the Hamilton Beach 46201 featured below.
  • Takes a bit longer to start brewing. Unlike other drip coffee makers, which start brewing almost immediately, the Brazen Plus doesn't start brewing until the water in the reservoir has reached temperature. According to some users, this can take five to 10 minutes, for a total brew time of about 15 minutes.
  • Smaller carafe than other models. Some users complain about the carafe's 8-cup capacity. Many other drip models have a 12-cup carafe. Also, others find it difficult to line the carafe up with the basket properly, causing overflow from the basket while brewing.
Best Value

Mr. Coffee DRX5

The Mr. Coffee DRX5 is an easy-to-use, budget-priced drip coffee maker with some of the bells and whistles you expect from pricier models. Features include programmability and a hot plate that shuts off automatically. Users report that this coffee maker brews a pot quickly, and it's a compact unit that can fit most anywhere.

  • 89overall
  • 89quality
  • 92value
  • 83brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Programmable brew start. You can program the Mr. Coffee DRX5 to automatically start brewing coffee at any time, a feature you won't find on other budget models. Many users say they love waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee.
  • Brews coffee quickly. You won't have to wait long to get your coffee fix. Reviewers say this machine brews a pot in less than four minutes.
  • Hot plate shuts off automatically. The hot plate used for keeping your coffee warm will automatically shut off after an hour (or you can manually turn it off before that). Some similarly priced models do not have this feature. Auto shut off is a big selling point for buyers, as not turning off the hot plate can lead to scorching and damage to the carafe or even pose a fire risk.
  • Fits well in small spaces. At less than a foot tall, this is a compact coffee maker that will fit well in tight spaces. Other models are several inches taller, so they take up more counter space and may not fit well under cabinets.

Other Considerations

  • Generates noise while brewing. Some reviewers note the level of noise this machine makes while brewing, with a few saying it's loud enough to wake them up when programmed to automatically start in the morning.
  • Significantly smaller carafe. At four cups (truly about 20 ounces), the Mr. Coffee DRX5's carafe is much smaller than the eight to 12 cups offered by other machines. While it may be too small to brew coffee for large groups, some users pointed out that it's the perfect size for one or two people.
  • Lid over grounds may not close securely. A handful of users say the plastic lid that over the filter basket doesn't close securely, resulting in steam escaping during brewing.

BEST BY CATEGORY

Best Drip Coffee Maker

why buy?

All drip coffee makers have something in common – they brew coffee by dripping hot water over ground beans. Nonetheless, the category of drip coffee makers is very diverse, offering a multitude of models from basic budget units to programmable machines that automatically grind whole bean coffee and start brewing before you even get out of bed. No matter how much – or how little – you are looking for in a coffee maker, there is a drip model that fits the bill. Common features include programmable start, pause-and-serve functionality, a hot plate or thermal carafe and auto shut-off.

Top Pick

Braun KF7150BK

The Braun KF7150BK is an affordable 12-cup drip coffee maker that includes some of the bells and whistles found on more expensive models. Among these are 24-hour programmability, hot plate temperature control and a coffee strength selector. Consumers and expert reviewers alike give this unit high marks for producing great tasting coffee, earning the KF7150BK a spot on our list.

  • 90overall
  • 93quality
  • 73value
  • 84brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Super easy to program. Reviewers note that programming the Braun KF7150BK to automatically brew is a breeze, offering similar functionality to other drip models in the same class but without the learning curve. You can also choose to brew a smaller pot – one to four cups – with the push of a button.
  • Adjustable hot plate temp. Most drip machines with hot plates offer a single warming temperature; however, the KF7150BK allows you to select from low, medium or high heats. Also, the heat plate shuts off automatically after two hours.
  • Bold setting delivers strong coffee. A common complaint from lovers of robust coffee is that drip machines never make it strong enough. That is not an issue with this machine, according to users who say the bold setting delivers a strong, rich cup of coffee. If strong coffee isn't your thing, there is a regular setting, as well.
  • Quieter than other models. More than one reviewer notes that the KF7150BK runs more quietly than other coffee makers they have owned.

Other Considerations

  • No external water level indicator. If you want to see how much water remains in the reservoir, you need to open the top of the unit, a small annoyance to some users.
  • Grounds get into carafe. Multiple users say that some coffee grounds end up in the bottom of the carafe, and then eventually make their way into your mug. This may be alleviated by using a paper filter in place of the reusable mesh filter or using a coarser grind of coffee.
  • Carafe may dribble when pouring. A common gripe (with this machine and others) is that, unless you pour very slowly, some liquid may dribble or leak from the carafe.

Best Single Serve Coffee Maker

why buy?

As the name implies, single-serve coffee makers are designed to deliver one cup of joe at a time. Models in this category often use pre-filled, disposable pods, such as K-cups, but also are compatible with small, refillable baskets for coffee drinkers who like to save money by purchasing coffee in bulk, grind their own beans or who want to generate less trash. Single-serve coffee makers generally brew coffee quickly. Basic models have push-button functionality, while other pricier options offer varying degrees of programmability.

 

Top Pick

Keurig K55 Single Serve

The Keurig K55 – the classic single-serve coffee maker – is praised by experts and everyday users alike for its intuitive controls and ease of use. We agree with that assessment. This simple coffee maker works right out of the box with a minimal learning curve: just plug it in, fill the reservoir and brew a cup of tasty coffee in less than a minute.

  • 88overall
  • 92quality
  • 65value
  • 84brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Fresh coffee on demand. With the Keurig K55, every single-serve cup of coffee is fresh and piping hot. Though traditional drip coffee makers use heat plates or thermal carafes to keep coffee warm, temperature and freshness decline over time.
  • Brews coffee quickly. Users report a warm-up time of fewer than four minutes. After that, this machine brews a cup of coffee in less than a minute. And the K55 remains ready to rapidly brew more coffee for two hours from the last use before automatically shutting off.
  • Large, easy-to-fill reservoir. The 48-ounce reservoir accommodates about six cups of coffee before having to be refilled. And the reservoir detaches so it can be brought to the sink for easy filling.
  • Makes more than coffee. This machine uses pre-filled, single-serve pods called K-cups that come in a variety of coffee flavors, as well as tea and hot chocolate. Some purchasers say they use the K55 to dispense hot water to be used with tea bags.

Other Considerations

  • Unit is not programmable. Unlike more expensive models, the K55 is not programmable and does not have a clock. Several users say they do not miss these features, however, because the machine brews coffee so quickly.
  • No descaling feature. Reviewers note that this model does not have a descaling feature, so routine, hands-on cleaning of the coffee maker is needed.
  • K-cups can get expensive. K-cups are not the most economical option for buying coffee, and they end up generating much more waste than traditional brewing methods. Many users addressed these issues by purchasing refillable metal mesh filters and buying coffee in bulk.
Also Great

Hamilton Beach 49981A

An alternative to the traditional single-serve coffee makers designed to use prefab cups or pods, the Hamilton Beach 49981A is designed to be used exclusively with loose ground coffee. Reviewers praise this durable, stainless steel machine for consistently producing a hot, delicious cup of coffee in about two minutes.

  • 84overall
  • 86quality
  • 77value
  • 80brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Lower priced single-serve option. Many single-serve coffee makers come in at two or three times the price of the Hamilton Beach 49981A, making this unit a great option for anyone seeking a quality machine at a budget price.
  • No K-cups required. Instead of using K-cups – or requiring users to buy special mesh filters – this unit is designed to use loose ground coffee, which is more economical and produces less waste. A reusable filter doubles as a coffee scoop so you measure the right amount of grounds every time.
  • Features brew settings. The 49981A has brew settings for regular and bold – one feature that is lacking from the more expensive Keurig K55. And several users report that the bold setting truly does produce a strong cup of coffee. Once brewing is complete, the coffee maker shuts off automatically.
  • Brews quickly and looks good doing it. This machine brews a fresh cup of coffee – up to 14 ounces – in less than two minutes. And many users say the stainless steel construction looks great in their kitchen.

Other Considerations

  • No programmable autostart. If you like your coffee to wake up before you do, consider looking for a comparable model with an autostart feature. Be aware, however, that single-serve models with programmable auto start tend to be significantly more expensive.
  • Water temp lower than ideal. According to the National Coffee Association, the ideal temperature range for brewing coffee is between 195 and 205 F. Some users report that the 49981A generates temperatures on the low end – or slightly below – that range.

Best Coffee Maker with Grinder

why buy?

If you want the freshest coffee possible but don't want to purchase or use a separate grinder, consider one of these combo machines. Many coffee makers with grinders are fully programmable – just fill with whole beans and the machine will do the rest.

Top Pick

Cuisinart DGB-900BC

Fresh ground beans make for a fresh cup of coffee, and that's what you get with the 12-cup Cuisinart DGB-900BC Grind & Brew. In addition to combining a grinder and a brewer, this all-in-one machine is fully programmable and offers features like a brew strength selector, water filtration and more.

  • 78overall
  • 82quality
  • 50value
  • 81brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Automatically grinds and brews fresh coffee. Many users praise the Cuisinart DGB-900BC for producing the freshest home-brewed coffee they have had. Just add whole coffee beans and program your preferred start time and the machine will automatically grind the beans and brew up to 12 cups of coffee.
  • Uses superior burr grinder. Coffee aficionados often prefer burr grinders because they create a coarser, more uniform grind that results in a more flavorful cup of coffee. Other grinder/coffee maker combos use blade grinders, which produce a finer, less-consistent grind.
  • Customizable brew size and strength settings. Reviewers like the versatility offered by this machine. You can brew two, four or 12 cups of coffee. And you can select your preferred strength: strong, medium or mild.
  • Charcoal filter purifies tap water. If you use purified or bottled water to prepare your coffee, the Cuisinart DGB-900BC allows you to skip that step. It has a built-in charcoal filter to remove chlorine and other impurities from tap water.
  • Cuisinart provides great customer service. Purchasers report that Cuisinart customer service was quick to troubleshoot issues and replace defective parts and units. And the coffee maker is backed by a 3-year warranty, which is two to three times lengthier than warranties offered by other manufacturers.

Other Considerations

  • Grinder is loud. If you have this programmed to grind and brew first thing in the morning, you'll likely be woken up by the sound of the grinder.
  • A pain to clean. By far, the biggest complaint users have is the time and effort it takes to clean the DGB-900BC. If not cleaned often – after each use, by some accounts – dust from ground coffee can clog the machine, making it less effective in dispersing fresh-ground coffee into the filter basket, thus affecting the strength and flavor of the brew.
  • Carafe design falls short. Several reviewers note that coffee dribbles from the carafe when you set it down after filling a cup. Also, others say that it is difficult to pour that last cup or two out of the carafe. Many report having to hold the carafe almost upside down to empty it.

Best Specialty Coffee Maker

why buy?

Specialty coffeemakers offer an alternative to standard models, such as drip coffee makers and single-serve coffee makers. Included in this category are French presses, cold brew coffee makers and pour-over coffee makers. The unifying characteristic of coffee makers in this category is that they are most often operated manually.

Top Pick

SterlingPro French Press

The SterlingPro Double Wall Stainless Steel French Coffee Press offers a compact, manual alternative to conventional coffee makers. Holding 34 ounces of water, this coffee press brews more than four cups of coffee per batch. And with dishwasher safe components, it's a snap to clean.

  • 97overall
  • 97quality
  • 98value
  • 94brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Solid, attractive stainless steel build. This is an attractive French press that is more durable than glass models. Several reviewers note that there are no plastic parts that come into contact with hot water – such as a plastic filter basket in a drip coffee maker – alleviating their concerns about chemical leaching.
  • Brews great coffee to taste. Many users say a French press produces better coffee than many automatic coffee makers and allows flexibility to test different grind sizes, coffee amounts and water temps. On the other hand, that same process that produces that superior cup of coffee is more labor intensive.
  • Double screen design prevents muddy coffee. The design incorporates two tight-fitting screens to ensure no grounds invade your brewed coffee. Many reviewers confirm that the double screen system works as advertised. And the unit comes with two free replacement screens.
  • Keeps coffee hot longer than glass models. The SterlingPro's double wall construction helps keep coffee hot longer than comparable glass presses – up to a couple of hours, per some users.

Other Considerations

  • Best for one or two people.  This is certainly not a 12-cup pot. French presses best accommodate one or two coffee drinkers. Anything over that, plan on making multiple batches.
  • Complaints about press knob. A small handful of reviewers say the press knob, which is plastic, broke after six months to a year of regular use. Of users that had this problem, some report that SterlingPro quickly provided replacement parts.
  • Exterior gets hot. While it is doubled walled, this French press is not insulated, and the exterior becomes hot to the touch when brewing. However, there is a handle that does not heat up.