Pour-over, French press and drip coffee makers are all good options—find which one is best for you (and your style).

Lucy M. Casale
Updated May 12, 2020
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There's no one best way to make coffee. It all comes down to personal preference (and, honestly, what you want to see on your kitchen countertop every day). We tested a lot of different coffee makers to find the best ones for different types of coffee drinkers.

To choose the style of coffee maker that's right for you, first assess your coffee personality then check out our picks at the price point that's right for you.

Big Coffee Drinker Budget Pick: Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew, $70 Target.com

Big Coffee Drinker Splurge Pick:Ninja Coffee Bar System, $180, Crateandbarrel.com

1. You're a coffee nerd-or want to be.

You demand 100 percent control over taste. You own: a burr grinder (to grind beans to a uniform size), scale (to weigh grounds) and gooseneck kettle (for more control).

Choose a pour-over coffee maker.

This method requires a few tools to get started (see above), but anyone can do it! The key is to slowly pour heated water over the coffee grounds. Follow your pour-over coffee maker's instructions since each brand will be slightly different.

Our Budget-Friendly Pick:

10-Cup Classic Chemex, $45, Williams-Sonoma.com): This retro statement piece ranges from a 3-cup size for everyday use to a 10-cup for brunch.

Our Splurge Pick:

OXO Brew Adjustable Temperature Electric Gooseneck Stainless Steel Kettle, $99, bedbathandbeyond.com):This kettle's curved spout (like a goose's neck) provides the controlled, slow, smooth pour this method requires (and tea kettles can't do). The double-walled carafe keeps coffee hotter longer. The OXO Good Grips® Glass Pour-Over Set ($49, bedbathandbeyond.com) is sold separately.

2. You're hands-on.

Straightforward coffee making (pressing a plunger) sounds fun to you. You like a rich, full-bodied-tasting cup.

Choose a French press.

This method takes less work than pour-over, but more work than automatic drip. You'll add grounds and heated water then press a plunger-after a prescribed amount of minutes-following the manual's instructions.

Our Budget-Friendly Pick:

Le Creuset French Press, $75, Williams-Sonoma.com):High-fired stoneware insulates your brew and comes in all the brand's bright, pretty colors.

Our Splurge Pick:

KitchenAid Precision Press, $170, Kitchenaid.com):Die-hard French pressers will dig this tech-filled version with a built-in scale and brew timer. The stainless-steel double wall keeps coffee hot for hours.

3. You like a lot of coffee.

You'd rather just press a button for your a.m. cup.

Choose an automatic drip coffee maker.

This method is easy-peasy. Review the user's manual, but most drip machines simply require you to add water and grounds and press "brew."

Our Budget-Friendly Pick:

Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew ($70 Target.com): This machine has a removable water reservoir for easy filling at the sink, plus a thermal carafe to keep the pot hot for house guests.

Our Splurge Pick:

Ninja Coffee Bar System, $180, Crateandbarrel.com):The Ninja lets you tailor the size, strength and style of your cup (and comes with its own recipe book to boot)-from over-ice to latte.

4. If you're an adventure seeker.

Choose the AeroPress.

Ideal for making a cup of strong coffee-fast-the AeroPress is our go-to coffee maker for camping and hiking trips. Made of BPA- and BPS-free plastic, this lightweight, packable hand press produces a strong, concentrated cup. Just push heated water through coffee grounds on a fine paper filter. Your drink is ready in 60 seconds flat ($30).

Watch: How to Make Cold Brew Coffee