Best Pour Over Coffee Makers

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we tested

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

38 Models Considered
1 Experts Interviewed
542 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best pour over coffee makers

Last Updated September 2019

A pour over coffee maker is a cone-shaped tool that rests directly on top of your mug or over a carafe to quickly produce a brew of your preferred strength. The two common sizes are small, for single cups, and large, for multiple cups. Pour over coffee makers offer an inexpensive way to brew coffee just the way you like it. These simple devices are less expensive than most drip brewers yet generally produce better-tasting coffee.

There are three types of filters used with these devices — paper, cloth, and metal — each of which results in coffee with different body, acidity level, and flavor. Though there are no moving parts in these coffee makers, using one does come with a learning curve, and mastering it gives you tremendous control over how your coffee tastes.

While a pour over coffee maker isn’t an expensive purchase, it’s still one that you should consider carefully so that your morning brew turns out just how you like it. To learn more about the varieties of these coffee makers, continue reading our buying guide, and take a look at our favorites when you’re ready to buy.

Whether you use your pour over brewer for a quick cup or to create the perfect brew, pour over coffee brewing is a simple way to make great-tasting coffee.

Key considerations

What is pour over coffee?

Pour over coffee is coffee brewed by pouring hot water through a strainer containing grounds directly into a cup or carafe. These coffee makers are far less expensive than traditional drip coffee machines, last longer, and produce higher-quality coffee. While a bit more finesse is required, once you have the hang of the method, you can control factors like the material of the filter and your pouring speed to create coffee to fit your tastes.

For an avid coffee drinker, finding the right type of brewer for your preferred style of coffee can be as important as choosing items for your wardrobe. It means considering how many cups you plan to brew at a time and what filter type is the best fit for your flavor preferences.

Size

Pour over coffee makers are designed to hold enough grounds for either a single cup or several.

  • Small: Single-cup models are a good option for anyone who is the lone coffee drinker in the house or who just wants to make a cup now and then. These brewers are designed to rest directly on top of your mug.

  • Large: Multi-cup brewers make between two and eight cups. These may be designed to rest on top of a carafe, which is often included. The cone that holds the filter may be built into the carafe or separate.

Filter

The filter type has the biggest influence on the flavor, strength, and mouthfeel of your coffee. Note that some pour over brewers can only use filters provided by the manufacturer.

  • Paper: These filters are disposable, which makes cleanup easy but results in more waste. In addition, if you drink a lot of coffee, you’ll need to purchase new filters regularly. Because paper absorbs the coffee oils and smaller particles, the result is a more acidic coffee with crisp flavor.

  • Metal: These filters are reusable and easy to clean. The openings allow oils and larger coffee particles to pass through, providing a richer flavor and distinctive texture.

  • Cloth: These filters fall between paper and metal filters in terms of allowing oils and small particles to pass through. They produce a medium-bodied coffee with a smooth texture. Because cloth absorbs oils and flavor over time, the brew quality may become inconsistent. Cloth filters should be washed after each use, and they need to be replaced after a few months.

Holes

The number and size of the holes in a pour over coffee maker determine how quickly the coffee passes through the filter. Fewer, smaller holes means coffee drips through more slowly, which is better suited to beginners. Larger holes give you more control but also more room for error. These coffee makers are generally preferred by experienced brewers.

EXPERT TIP

Any pour over coffee maker will outlast a drip coffee machine.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Your pour over coffee maker is only as good as your coffee grinder. Grind your coffee to the coarseness that works best with your filter material.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

The strainer you use — paper, cloth, or metal — plays a major role in the flavor and texture of your coffee.


Staff  | BestReviews

Pour over coffee maker features

The materials and overall design of a pour over coffee maker can determine its durability and heat retention. While these factors aren’t as important as the filter type, they should play a role in your decision.

Materials

Whether glass, metal, ceramic, or plastic, the material of a coffee maker affects its insulating properties and even the flavor of your coffee. In addition, the durability of some materials makes them more suitable than others for carrying with you.

  • Glass: Glass doesn’t affect the flavor of your coffee (which is a good thing). It looks stylish on your countertop, and it’s easy to see if your coffee maker needs cleaning, though glass is of course a more fragile option than metal or plastic.

  • Metal: Coffee can have a sharp, metallic flavor when it’s brewed in a metal coffee maker. Most metal pour over coffee makers are made of highly durable stainless steel. Metal can draw heat from the water, which may result in a different temperature than you intended.

  • Ceramic: This has essentially the same qualities as glass except that ceramic is opaque and usually thicker and heavier.

  • Plastic: These pour over coffee makers are lightweight and easy to tuck into a bag without fear of breaking. However, they may impart an unpleasant flavor to your coffee, and it’s possible for the hot water to cause chemicals to leach into the coffee.

Insulated vs. uninsulated

An insulated pour over coffee maker has a double-walled design that helps to maintain the temperature of the water as you pour. This allows you to more directly control the temperature and, in particular, the bloom of your coffee. However, this results in a thicker and often more fragile design.

Stylish and straightforward

This sturdy, extra-thick glass coffee maker can produce an impressive eight cups of coffee. The built-in carafe allows you to serve easily, too. This brewer does require that you use Chemex Bonded Filters.

Pour over coffee maker prices

Inexpensive: Pour over coffee makers that cost $5 to $10 are usually made of plastic and may be designed for single- or multi-cup brews. While these are a good option for those who want to try pour over coffee brewing or need a brewer they can take to work, these won’t produce coffee of the same quality as more expensive models.

Mid-range: At $10 to $20, you’ll find small and large coffee makers made of ceramic or stainless steel. These are usually designed to rest on top of a cup or carafe and don’t usually have included or built-in carafes.

Expensive: Pour over coffee makers that cost $20 to $40 may be made of stainless steel, ceramic, or glass. In this range are high-end brewers that may be insulated or include carafes, either built-in or separate. Some models in this range are specialty brewers that require a specific type of filter that you must order online.

Simple and affordable

The lightweight plastic design makes it easy to travel with this brewer, and it can be cleaned in the dishwasher. It works with paper filters carried by most grocery stores. The lack of a handle means you need to take care when removing the filter to avoid scalding yourself.

How to make pour over coffee

Brewing coffee is a science, particularly so with a pour over coffee maker. Though the process is relatively straightforward, there are several factors in play that can affect everything about your coffee, from temperature to texture.

  • Heat water in a kettle to 200°F. Use one quart of water for every two ounces of coffee.

  • Grind the coffee to a coarseness appropriate for your filter. This may be stated by the manufacturer, but it also depends on the type of filter you’re using.

  • Place the filter in the cone of the brewer. If you’re using a cloth or paper filter, rinse the filter with water first. You can do this while the filter is in the cone to help the cone reach a temperature closer to that of the brewing water. Pour out any water in the cup or carafe.

  • Measure the ground coffee into the filter.

  • Pour a small amount of water over the grounds. Make sure the grounds are evenly damp. Wait for 30 seconds.

  • Pour the rest of the hot water over the grounds. Pour it at the desired speed until your brew is complete.

Other products we considered

Though we stand by our top recommendations as some of the best pour over coffee makers on the market, most of them are larger models. There are a few single-cup brewers we thought we would cover briefly. If you’re looking for an affordable metal brewer, the paperless Cafellissimo Pour Over Coffee Maker is straightforward and likely to last for years. The simple design fits easily over a range of mug sizes, and cleaning the filter is easy, though clogging is possible. For a more advanced but still affordable brewer, the ceramic Hario V60 Coffee Dripper is a hugely popular option that comes in nine colors and has a large hole for faster flow. Though a bit more skill is required to use this brewer, it’s one of the most popular single-cup designs.

Though making pour over coffee can take some time to perfect, you don’t need to worry about different brewing modes or plugging your coffee maker into the wall.

FAQ

Q. How do I know what type of filter to use with my brewer?
A.
There’s no need to wonder which filter is best with a metal brewer. With ceramic, glass, and plastic brewers, you can use either paper or cloth filters unless the manufacturer requires a special filter.

Q. How long does it take to brew a cup of coffee using a pour over coffee maker?
A.
Between heating the water, grinding your coffee, and giving the coffee time to bloom, one serving should take you ten minutes or less to make.

Q. Can I use ground coffee from the store with a pour over coffee maker?
A.
Yes, but as with other brewing methods, grinding your coffee beans each time will result in a fresher flavor.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Director
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Writer
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