Best Drip Coffee Makers, According to Our Test Kitchen
For a lot of us, coffee is what helps us start the day. Not everyone takes their coffee the same way—and some people are more particular than others. Getting that first sip right shouldn't be hard, but in the world of coffee makers, there's a lot to choose from. To make it easy for you, we tested a lot of coffee makers (and tasted a lot of coffee) to find the machine that can make a great cup of joe. Here are our picks for the best drip coffee makers so you can start your morning off right.
What to Look for When Buying a Drip Coffee Maker
Everyone has different ideas of what makes a great cup of coffee. Some like a light roast served black while others prefer a dark roast with heavy cream and sugar. Coffee makers are as varied as taste preferences, but there are a few things to consider when buying a drip coffee maker.
Size of the Pot
Whether you drink a few cups of coffee a day or you serve your family a big pot every morning, consider the size of the carafe and whether or not the brewer can adjust its output. Some coffee makers are designed to brew a single cup at a time while others can brew a big pot as well as make a single serving.
Old-school coffee makers have one button, one filter basket and one size pot to make coffee. If you like to keep it simple, those basic coffee makers are still available and reasonably priced, but modern coffee makers can be much more sophisticated. Many coffee makers now offer a setting that allows you to increase the strength of a cup or pot of coffee. If there's more than one coffee drinker in your household, a brew strength button is something to look for to accommodate all tastes.
Water quality, including how hard or soft your water is, can affect the taste of coffee. In particular, very hard water can make your coffee taste off. If you live in an area with hard water and you don't filter your water yourself, look for coffee makers with a charcoal filter.
Some people like having coffee ready as soon as they wake up. If you need your caffeine ASAP, look for a coffee maker with an automatic start option, which allows you to set a timer for when the coffee maker starts brewing.
Best Drip Coffee Makers
This is our list for the best drip coffee makers.
- Best Automatic Drip Coffee Maker: Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker
- Best-Tasting Drip Coffee Maker: Moccamaster KBGV Select
- Best Affordable Drip Coffee Maker: Black & Decker
- Best Dual Coffee Maker: Hamilton Beach 2-Way FlexBrew Coffee Maker
- Best Single-Cup Drip Coffee Maker: Bella One Scoop, One Cup Coffee and Tea Maker
Read on for what makes these coffee makers the best, as well as the ones that deserve an honorable mention.
Best Automatic Drip Coffee Maker
Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker
This is the coffee maker for the true coffee lover. The possibilities are seemingly endless with the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker. It allows you to brew a regular pot of coffee but there are also options for making specialty drinks for individual servings. It comes with an easy-to-use milk frother (which works on warm or cold milk) and the settings allow you to control the strength of the brew—it even has a setting for iced coffee. If you love specialty coffee but don't want to get an espresso machine, this is a great option.
Buy it: Target, $170
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Café Specialty Drip Coffee Maker
The Café Specialty Drip Coffee Maker is an impressive machine. The design is very sleek with features to match. It has many of the features other coffee makers have, but the Café takes them to the next level. One highlight is the "strength" button—while most strength buttons give you the option to brew coffee a little bit stronger than a regular cup, the Café allows you to choose from gold, light, medium and bold. The Café also lets you set your brewing temperature—between 185 and 205℉—which is the optimal range for brewing coffee (although 195 and 205℉ is the ideal range). It also has a setting that allows you to brew the exact amount of coffee that you need, even if the water tank is full. The carafe is also insulated and can keep your coffee hot for up to 90 minutes.
Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $350
Cuisinart PurePrecision 8-Cup Pour-Over Coffee Brewer with Thermal Carafe
This coffee maker makes an excellent cup of coffee at whatever size or strength you prefer. One standout feature is the charcoal water filter, which eliminates any weird flavors or odors from tap water—and you can clearly taste the difference. Another handy feature is the insulated carafe. It makes having people over for brunch or afternoon coffee very convenient—you can carry the hot coffee out of the kitchen and it'll stay hot. It also has other useful features, including "auto brew" so you can set a timer, "brew pause" so you can pour a cup mid-brew, and a brew strength setting.
Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $200
Best-Tasting Drip Coffee Maker
Moccamaster KBGV Select
This is a very simple automatic drip coffee maker that makes delicious coffee. It's a handmade device and you can feel the quality of the craftsmanship when you're using it. Setup is easy—you don't need to read the instructions to be able to put it together. It comes with a glass carafe and there are few parts and few buttons, which means there are fewer parts to repair or replace. It has two size settings and you can brew a half carafe or a full carafe, but, like most drip brewers, it brews all the water that's in the tank. That means if you put 4 cups of water in the tank, it will brew 4 cups of coffee, regardless of the amount of ground coffee you put in the filter. As far as the type of coffee goes, you can use pre-ground coffee for this machine, but the manual recommends using fresh, coarsely ground coffee beans for the best results.
Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $350
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Brim 8-Cup Pour-Over Coffee Maker
If you love pour-over coffee but don't always have the time to stand over the pot with a kettle of hot water for five minutes, the Brim is a great coffee maker. It has a one-button brewing option, a tank and a showerhead like a regular automatic drip, but it drips into the special permanent coffee filter to deliver the quality cup of coffee you expect from the pour-over brewing process. Not only do you have the automatic brewing option, but the Brim also has a warming plate so you don't have to rush to drink the entire carafe at once to enjoy it hot.
Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $180
OXO 8-Cup Coffee Maker
The OXO 8-Cup Coffee Maker makes it convenient to brew different quantities of coffee without sacrificing flavor. It has two settings and two different-sized brew baskets (2-4 cups and 5-8 cups) that you can choose from (though it doesn't allow you to brew less than 2 cups per brew). The showerhead is designed to distribute the hot water evenly, but it also has a "bloom" cycle to extract the right amount of flavor from your coffee grounds. The insulated carafe is also a perk if you're not a fast coffee drinker, but you like to keep it hot. Keep in mind that the amount of water you put in the water reservoir is the amount that will be brewed.
Buy it: OXO, $170
Breville Precision Brewer
For the number of features it has, the Breville Precision Brewer is very easy to operate. This one has an LCD display to help you see the settings that you work using a dial—which makes it the easiest clock to set of all the coffee makers tested. What makes this machine stand out is how precise you can get with your brew. You can adjust the brewing temperature, the bloom time (the amount of time you want the ground coffee to steep), the strength of the coffee, and whether or not you want the coffee brewed fast. It also has a cold-brew option that doesn't heat the water at all, so you get a smooth, less bitter cup of coffee (just be prepared to wait 4 to 14 hours for it). One downside to this machine is that it tends to vibrate a lot while it's brewing, so a stable countertop is the best place to set it up.
Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $300
Best Affordable Drip Coffee Maker
Black & Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker
Black & Decker does not disappoint with the 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker. On the surface, this affordable drip machine looks basic, but it makes an excellent cup of coffee. The showerhead sprays water on the ground coffee in a vortex to maximize saturation so you get the most flavor out of the brewed coffee. It also has a timer so you can set it up to brew the night before, as well as a setting to let the coffee steep a little longer for extra strength.
Buy it: Walmart, $35
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Hamilton Beach FrontFill 14-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker
The FrontFill 14-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker is a great coffee maker for the price. It's very simple—the only thing you have to put together is the charcoal filter, and programming it to automatically brew is intuitive. It features a brew strength option as well as an option to control the hot plate with three warming temperatures. Its two unique highlights are that it indicates how long it's been since the coffee was brewed along with an option to set a timer for the hot plate to shut off.
Buy it: Amazon, $70-$85 depending on carafe type
Capresso 12-Cup Coffee Maker
This is a no-frills drip coffee machine. It features an automatic start function so your coffee can brew on a timer along with a small-brew option if you don't want to make 12 cups of coffee at a time. It also has a setting that allows you to brew a stronger cup of coffee—it slows down the brewing so the ground coffee can steep a little longer than a regular brew. Two highlights include the heating system, which automatically shuts off after two hours, and the fact that it comes with a GoldTone filter (a paper filter can be used instead if that's what you prefer).
Buy it: Bed Bath & Beyond, $50
Braun BrewSense Coffee Maker KF6050
The Braun Coffee Maker KF6050 is a no-fuss coffee solution. It's programmable so you can set up your coffee to brew 24 hours before you plan to drink it. It also features a 1- to 4-cup setting, if you want to brew less than a full carafe of coffee. However, it will brew all the water in the tank, so you have to be aware of how much water will be used versus how much coffee you want to drink. It also comes with a charcoal filter with a convenient filter holder that also acts as an indicator of when the filter should be changed. That's a bonus if hard water is what is available where you live.
Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $95-$116 depending on color
This coffee maker is an old-school brewer. It doesn't require any assembly, and brewing the coffee is intuitive. It has a standard brew basket with a single button to start a brew cycle, so it's effortless to brew your morning coffee. A set of regular coffee filters is included with the coffee maker.
Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $150
Best Dual Coffee Maker
Hamilton Beach 2-Way FlexBrew Coffee Maker
If you like the convenience of a single-serve coffee brewer but also need a coffee maker that can make a full carafe of coffee, this is a great option. On one side of the machine, there's a full water tank and brew basket that services a 12-cup carafe. On the other side, there's a single-serve coffee maker with a smaller reservoir with a single-serve brew basket. What's great about this machine is that you can use Keurig cups ("K-cups") with the single-serve function or you can use your own ground coffee. The only downside to the single-serve function is that if you use your own coffee, it only has the capacity for one scoop of coffee, which limits how strong you can make each cup.
Buy it: Bed Bath & Beyond, $100
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Keurig K-Duo Single-Serve & Carafe Coffee
Like other Keurig coffee makers, the single-serve brewer side is only compatible with K-Cups. However, on the other side of the machine, you can brew an entire carafe of coffee using whatever grounds you prefer. The big downside to the full carafe is that the water tank has a minimum capacity and won't brew if the water level is less than that. That means you can only brew 6 cups or more in the coffee pot. The one great feature is the high-altitude setting—if you live in the mountains, it adjusts the water temperature for a properly brewed cup of coffee (water boils at a lower temperature at higher altitudes than at sea level).
Buy it: Bed Bath & Beyond, $170
Best Single-Cup Drip Coffee Maker
Bella One Scoop, One Cup Coffee and Tea Maker
Bella's single-serve coffee maker is perfect for those who only want one cup of coffee—or those who like to have a coffee maker at their office desks. It's super-fast, super-efficient and is capable of making a single cup of coffee the way you like it. It comes with a single-cup permanent coffee filter—no K-Cups required. The one thing to be careful of is pouring just enough water in the tank that your coffee cup can handle—the amount of water that goes in is the amount that will come out and there's no switch to stop it from dripping mid-brew.
Buy it: Amazon, $19-$20 depending on color
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Mixpresso Single-Cup Coffee Maker
The Mixpresso Single-Cup Coffee Maker exceeded expectations. While it's a basic coffee maker, it yields a great cup of coffee and comes with an insulated travel mug, so your cup of coffee will always be hot. It also comes with a single-cup permanent coffee filter to cut down on waste from paper filters.
Buy it: Amazon, $41
Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker
If you like iced coffee, but don't want to go through the hassle (and mess) of making cold brew manually, Mr. Coffee's Iced is an excellent option. Though this machine brews for single servings of iced coffee, it's not a cold brew. The coffee maker heats the water to 135℉, which is much lower than the ideal temperature to brew hot coffee (195-205℉). It's just hot enough to let the ground coffee bloom before it drips over the ice and is ready to drink in four minutes. There's no assembly required, and it is easy to operate with just one button. It also comes with an extra-fine reusable filter and an insulated tumbler with a reusable straw.
Buy it: Target, $30