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Everything you need to make drip coffee perfectly at home

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

Brew the best drip coffee at home

When you think of brewing a fresh pot of coffee in the morning, you most likely think of an automatic drip coffee machine. They are widely popular for their simple design and convenient settings. Drip coffee makers likely won’t make rich espresso or frothy specialty drinks. However, they offer a remarkably consistent pot of on-demand coffee.

Shop this article: Ninja Programmable Brewer, 12-CupChemex Pour-Over Glass Coffee Maker, 8-Cup and Cuisinart Perfectemp Coffee Maker, 14-Cup

What do you need to make quality drip coffee?

These coffee makers usually come with a large carafe that makes it easy to serve many coffee lovers. Some models also offer custom settings to only brew the amount you need.

With drip coffee makers, you have little control over the temperature of the water or how long the coffee brews. Instead, take advantage of what you can control — the beans, the grind and your equipment.

Automatic vs. manual drip coffee maker

Automatic drip coffee makers are a more efficient way of brewing pour-over coffee, as they automate the pouring process. Alternatively, you need to manually pour the water into the grounds when brewing a pot of pour-over coffee.

The manual drip coffee maker offers the chance to perfect each element of the brewing process, while automatic machines are more hands-off and often programmable. The extraction happens when the water drips through a filter, transforming into coffee in a carafe below.

Coffee grinder

Use freshly roasted coffee beans to get the most flavorful cup of coffee. You can buy and store whole beans, grinding only the amount you need before you brew. Coffee grinders often have multiple settings so you can select how coarse or fine you want your grounds. Most drip coffee makers extract the best coffee with a medium to coarse grind setting.

Coffee filters

Once you have your beans and your grinder, you need the right filter to act as a sieve between the grounds and the coffee pot below. Metal mesh filters are reusable, but require frequent cleaning. Disposable coffee filters are convenient but may collapse or let grounds seep into the carafe if not used properly.

Best drip coffee makers

Top automatic drip coffee maker

Ninja Programmable Brewer, 12-Cup

What you need to know: This drip-coffee machine is reliable, affordable and comes with extra features.

What you’ll love: You can program it to brew up to 24 hours in advance and keep your coffee warm for up to four hours with an adjustable warming plate. The water reservoir holds 60 ounces and is dishwasher safe.

What you should consider: With the large reservoir and extra features, this machine takes up lots of counter space.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top manual drip coffee maker

Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffee Maker, 8-Cup

What you need to know: The Chemex uses a pour-over technique to brew an exquisite pot of coffee for those with time to savor their morning routine.

What you’ll love: The borosilicate glass is durable, easy to clean and produces rich coffee. The manual pour-over technique lets you control the temperature and extraction for a more precise brew.

What you should consider: Though it’s sturdy, the glass is still breakable so be mindful when handling and washing it—and it is hand wash only.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top drip coffee maker for the money

Cuisinart Perfectemp Coffee Maker, 14-Cup

What you need to know: This sleek drip coffee machine comes from a renowned brand and brews up to 14 cups for a reasonable price.

What you’ll love: You can program the Cuisinart coffee maker to brew up to 24 hours in advance. The automatic shut-off function and self-cleaning cycle are convenient features, and it comes with a permanent gold-tone coffee filter to reduce waste and provide a consistent brewing experience. Choose from five finishes.

What you should consider: Some users reported that the carafe leaks.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best coffee grinders

Top coffee grinder

Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill

What you need to know: This beloved brand name grinder creates consistent grounds.

What you’ll love: The durable burr grinder offers 18 settings to select how coarse you want your grounds. The grind chamber holds enough coffee for 32 cups to reduce the time you spend refilling it. It stops automatically once the grind cycle is complete.

What you should consider: It may be pricey for average households, but is a good deal for coffee enthusiasts.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top coffee grinder for the money

Breville Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder

What you need to know: This prosumer grinder has the features and precision for experts and home baristas alike.

What you’ll love: Brew with the best grind for your coffee setup with over 60 grind settings. The conical burr blades can grind coffee fine enough for espresso and coarse enough for cold brew. Use portafilters up to 58 millimeters with an included portafilter cradle. You can also view all the settings on a convenient LCD display.

What you should consider: Some customers note that parts wear out early.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder

What you need to know: This compact conical burr grinder offers an elevated experience for coffee lovers who want to improve their home brews.

What you’ll love: You can select the coarseness with 16 grind settings. The conical burr blades deliver consistent grind size and the compact design is easy to clean and maintain.

What you should consider: The burr grinder is durable but many of the other parts are plastic, making them more prone to cracking.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Best drip coffee filters

Top disposable coffee filter

Rupert and Jeoffrey’s Trading Co. 8- to 12-Cup Basket Coffee Filters

What you need to know: These unbleached filters are the standard for brewing quality drip coffee at home.

What you’ll love: They fit all consumer-grade drip coffee machines. The unbleached paper filters remove oils and reliably stop grounds from falling into the coffee pot.

What you should consider: The manufacturing process treats these filters with wheat or gluten, so they’re not safe for those with gluten allergies or sensitivities.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top reusable coffee filter

Yeosen 8- to 12-Cup Permanent Coffee Filter

What you need to know: This large reusable coffee filter is an eco-friendly coffee accessory.

What you’ll love: The fine mesh basket is made of food-grade 18/8 stainless steel, making it easy to clean and rust-resistant. It’s compatible with most 8- to 12-cup coffee makers and dishwasher safe.

What you should consider: Finely ground coffee may seep through the mesh, so it’s best for medium and coarse ground coffee.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top coffee filter for the money

Katy’s Large Coffee Filters

What you need to know: These extra-large filters are compatible with commercial-grade coffee machines and large drip coffee makers.

What you’ll love: The tall walls of these disposable filters prevent grounds from pouring into the carafe, and make it easier to brew large batches of coffee. Commercial-grade materials keep the filter standing up during brewing.

What you should consider: To use these oversized filters in a percolator, you would need to fold them.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Katy Palmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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