Coffee is like a religion to some, so buying the best vessel to obtain this magical liquid is of utmost importance. Coffee makers come at every price point imaginable, and there are seemingly endless manufacturers, models, and types.
We’re here to help! We reviewed the top coffee makers on the market to bring you this buying guide. We’re bringing you the best of the best in several categories, including drip and single serve/pod coffee makers.
Best Drip Coffee Makers
Bonavita 8-Cup Carafe Coffee Brewer: Our #1 Pick
Choosing our very favorite coffee maker is no problem at all: The Bonavita wins, hands-down, every time. The secret to Bonavita’s success is in the water. It’s the primary component of coffee besides the coffee itself, and a great tasting cup of coffee requires attention to water temperature. The Bonavita precisely heats up the water, then utilizes better saturation methods to distribute the water over the grounds. The result? A splendid cup of joe.
With an included stainless carafe (which keeps coffee hot for hours), simplistic design, and under $200 price tag, the Bonavita Carafe is a deluxe coffee maker that brews a perfect cup of coffee every time.
The Moccamaster is one of the more expensive coffee makers on the market, but there are many who swear that it makes the best possible cup of coffee at home. Like the Bonavita, it boasts a sophisticated heating method that heats the water to the optimal temperature.
The Moccamaster has a unique design that makes it an interesting addition to the countertop. However, the design is also functional – you can adjust the brew basked to accommodate differently sized carafes. One final perk: Moccamaster carries a five-year warranty.
Cuisinart 14-Cup Glass Carafe: Best Under $100
This Cuisinart has a lot going for it: It’s priced well under $100, the capacity is huge, and it has great reviews. Reviewers agree that it makes a good cup of coffee, and it tends to last a long time. This isn’t a machine that will get you “the best” cup of coffee (you’ll need a more expensive unit if you’re a connoisseur), but it’s great for every day.
The main drawback to this particular machine is that it doesn’t get quite as hot as many would like. The high setting isn’t hot enough for some, so keep that in mind if you are the type who wants super-hot coffee. There are also some minor design flaws. It’s not a perfect coffee maker, but for the price, we think it’s the best you can get for under $100.
Best Single Serve Coffee Makers
Keurig K575 K-Cup Coffee Maker: Best Pod Brewer
Single serve pod coffee makers are perhaps the most controversial on the market. People either love them or hate them, it seems. However, these are still incredibly popular. Our pick for the best pod brewer is the Keurig, of course, and the K575 is our favorite model. It is a little spendy, but you can pick one up for well under $200.
The K575 offers plenty of options for brewing, including five temperature settings, custom settings, and several brew sizes. This is a great machine for your home if your household only drinks one or two cups of coffee a day. It also works well for small offices.
Ninja Coffee Bar Single Serve System: Best Overall
Want a coffee bar in your house? Like a variety of drinks? The Ninja Coffee Bar is a super fun and functional coffee maker that lets you make specialty drinks as well as a regular old cup of black coffee. This model lets you make a cold brew and it includes a built-in frother so that you can say goodbye to over-priced coffee house drinks.
While a bit bigger than a traditional drip coffee maker, it is surprisingly compact and fits just fine on most counters. It doesn’t make espresso, but it does create a coffee concentrate to mix with syrups and frothed milk, so you can make all kinds of different drinks and experiment with options. For under $100, the Ninja Coffee Bar is practically a steal.
Hamilton Beach Personal Cup Pod Brewer: Best Budget
If you just want a simple, inexpensive machine to have on hand for guests or an occasional cup of coffee, this Hamilton Beach single serve brewer is the way to go. It’s very small so you can easily tuck it away for when you need it. It’s also simple to use and very, very affordable.
Don’t expect this to be a great every day or multiple cup machine. It takes a while for it to heat the water and brew the single cup, and it’s not the best cup of coffee you’ll ever have. But if you don’t want to spend much and you’re not anticipating Keurig-level pod brewing, this is a solid, under $20 option.
Best Pour Over
Since we’re talking about single-serve brewers, let’s look at pour over coffee makers – easy, affordable, and electricity-free, these single serve contraptions have a growing number of fans. These are often the kind that sets on top of your mug, like this Kalita Wave Dripper (our top pick), which is made of glass. Another option is the Bee House Ceramic Coffee Dripper, which is made from a sturdy ceramic and comes in tons of colors. Both of these are right around the $20 mark.
But not all pour over makers are single serving. In fact, some of the most beautifully designed pour over coffee makers serve 3 cups, 8 cups, or more. We like this lovely Comfify Pour Over Glass Carafe, which features a wooden handle and holds 30 ounces.
Best French Press
Bodum Brazil French Press: Our #1 Pick
For coffee drinkers who love the French press, finding the best one is of utmost importance. French press coffee is rich and flavorful, so the proper machine needs to have a design that understands extraction and function. Bodum’s French press is well known as a great design, and we agree.
Not only is the Bodum excellent at creating delicious coffee, it’s also incredibly affordable – you can pick one up for under $20. It is simple to use and classic in design. The Bodum Brazil French Press has been around since the 80s, so it’s a long-standing staple in the world of coffee.
Best Coffee Maker with Grinder
There aren’t a ton of coffee makers that also grind beans that we recommend. There are some expensive grinder/espresso maker combos that we have yet to review, but for now we have just one coffee maker/grinder that we like: the Cuisinart 12-Cup Grind & Brew. This machine does the work of grinding and brewing all in one shot.
While overall the Cuisinart is a great machine that makes a great cup of coffee, there are definitely some flaws (which comes from having a grinder on a coffee machine). First, it is quite loud, so keep that in mind if you’re planning to brew while others are sleeping. It’s also a bit high maintenance – for best results, it should be cleaned after every grind.
How to Shop for Coffee Maker
Before you commit to a type, brand, or budget, it’s a good idea to get specific about your coffee habits and desires. How many cups do you (and your household) have per day? How long do you go between cups? Do you like to have coffee ready right when you get up? Are you a bit of a coffee snob?
Additionally, take into account your counter space – how much room (height and width) do you have for a coffee maker? This is particularly important if you have limited space, or if you’re looking at some kind of specialty machine (combo or larger pod brewer).
When it comes to price, it’s a good idea to look at a coffee machine as an investment. There are plenty of cheap coffee makers out there. However, a lower price means that it won’t last very long, that it won’t make a good cup of coffee (they are often too weak or too bitter), and that it won’t get very hot. Even if you aren’t exactly a coffee snob, it’s frustrating to get a crappy cup of coffee! Spend a bit more and get something that will actually last, and that will give you a tasty cup of coffee that’s hot.