Updated May 2022
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
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.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
HOW WE TESTED

After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested Bialetti Moka Pot 3-Cup to be sure that it’s worthy of our recommendation. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.

54
Models
Considered
88
Consumers
Consulted
8
Hours
Researched
Category cover

Buying guide for Best coffee makers

Nothing sets your day up for success like that first cup of coffee. While some folks prefer to make their regular coffee run to a coffee shop, these days, it’s easier than ever to brew your own java at home. Home-brewed coffee is an excellent way to save money, and you can learn to brew your coffee just the way you like it.

Before you decide on a coffee maker, however, you must know that there are multiple kinds to choose from: espresso makers, drip coffee makers, single-serving makers, and pour-over makers, for example. You also want to consider a coffee maker’s brew strength, capacity, ease of use, speed, and durability. Our reviews cover all these points along with affordability.

Best Coffee Maker Review
If you’re getting ready to purchase a new coffee maker, it helps to learn about top-notch products and the excellent features they offer.

Types of coffee makers

The first decision to make is what type of coffee maker is right for you. Let's examine the most common varieties.

Drip coffee makers

A drip coffee maker brews a standard cup of black coffee by mixing ground coffee with hot water, then dripping it through a filter or filter basket.

Pros:

  • Drip coffee makers can make large quantities of coffee at a time.
  • You can find decent drip coffee makers for a relatively low cost, particularly when compared to the cost of espresso machines.
  • Drip coffee makers are convenient and easy to use.

Cons:

  • If you make a large pot and keep the coffee warm on the hotplate, it will scorch and turn bitter.
  • You don't always get the best flavor from a drip coffee maker.
  • Inexpensive models may be lacking when it comes to durability.
Content Image
EXPERT CONSULTANT
Born and raised in Paris, the land of unapologetic butter, Francois has spent the last 20 years shaping the American culinary world behind the scenes. He was a buyer at Williams-Sonoma, built the Food Network online store, managed product assortments for Rachael Ray's site, started two meal delivery businesses and runs a successful baking blog. When he's not baking a cake or eating his way through Europe, Francois enjoys sharing cooking skills with cooks of all levels. Rules he lives by: "Use real butter" and "Nothing beats a sharp knife."
Francois
Kitchen Expert

Espresso makers

Espresso makers work by forcing pressurized water, heated nearly to its boiling point, through densely packed ground coffee. This results in a small, intensely flavored shot of joe. Many models have a built-in milk frother that imparts a flavor that rivals what you’d find at trendy coffee shops.

Pros:

  • You can drink your espresso straight or use it to make drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, or even iced coffees and frappuccinos.
  • Espresso makers can produce extremely tasty coffee.
  • You can usually customize the strength of your brew.

Cons:

  • A good espresso machine can be fairly costly.
  • Some models consume quite a bit of counter space.
  • It can take some time and practice to perfect making specialty drinks.

Single serving coffee makers

Single-serving coffee makers use coffee pods or K-Cups of ground coffee (and sometimes milk powder or flavorings) to produce a varied range of drinks. Quality models feature removable water tanks that can produce multiple cups of coffee before needing to be refilled.

Pros:

  • Single-serving coffee makers are extremely convenient and easy to use.
  • If you live alone or are the only coffee drinker in the home, a single-serving machine is an economical choice because you won't make more coffee than you need.
  • You can buy pods that produce cappuccinos, lattes, flavored coffees, tea, hot chocolate, and more.

Cons:

  • Using a plastic pod for each serving of coffee isn't environmentally friendly.
  • While some models allow you to make your own pods by adding your choice of ground coffee, many only let you use their choices of coffee, so your selection is limited.
  • Coffee connoisseurs tend to criticize the flavor and quality of coffee from pods.
coffee makers
Testing coffee makers
We spent 107 hours researching over 100 coffee makers before picking the most worthy options. We then purchased our top model and tested it in our lab.
STAFF
BestReviews

Pour-over coffee makers

As the name implies, pour-over coffee makers work by pouring water over coffee grounds or coffee beans. A few models are powered by electricity, but most are manual. This method gives a home barista control over the water temperature for customizable results.

Pros:

  • Pour-over models don’t take up a lot of counter space.
  • Dedicated coffee lovers rave about the flavor produced using this direct brewing method.
  • A pour-over coffee maker is versatile, as it can be used to make cold or hot coffee.

Cons:

  • The brewing process requires boiling water using a range, microwave, or burner.
  • Paper filters are typically required, and they may need to be folded in a specific configuration for the best results.
  • It can take a little practice to achieve great coffee with a pour-over maker.

Manual coffee makers

Although we're not focusing on them in this guide, you can find a range of inexpensive manual coffee makers on the market.

While they certainly involve more work from the user, manual coffee makers can still produce a good cup of coffee, and there's no need to have electricity to use them, either. A manual coffee maker can be a life-saver on a camping trip.

Popular examples include the French press and the Aeropress. These methods of brewing tend to make fewer cups at a time, which is perfect for households with a single coffee drinker. However, if you want to brew a large pot of coffee, a manual coffee maker probably won't be your top choice.

Factors to consider when selecting a coffee maker

Number of cups

Think about how many cups you need your coffee maker to produce in one round of coffee production. If you're the only person in your home drinking coffee and usually only drink a single cup at a time, a single serving machine or a coffee maker that produces just a few cups would be ideal. On the other hand, if you have a large household of coffee drinkers or you often entertain guests, look for a model that can make a larger number of cups in one go.

For multi-cup models, our coffee expert Francois advises, "'Stop as you pour' is a great feature. The machine stops the flow of coffee when the carafe is removed, allowing you to pour a cup before the whole thing is done brewing."

The best drip coffee makers offer some of the largest quantities produced in a single brewing session.

STAFF
BestReviews

Brew strength control

Some coffee makers give you little input over how your coffee turns out, whereas others let you fine-tune your cup of coffee with brew strength control.Consider whether you're fussy about how your coffee turns out or whether you're happy to drink it however it comes out. If you're particular about your java, opt for a model that allows you to control the brew strength.

Timer

Imagine waking up to a freshly brewed pot of coffee ready to drink. If you choose a versatile coffee machine with a built-in timer, this could be your reality every day.

This feature is perfect if you don't function well before that first cup or if you're in a hurry to get out of the house in the morning.

Built-in grinder

A bean-to-cup coffee maker includes a built-in grinder. The unit  grinds up the right amount of beans each time, without you having to put in any extra effort.

While we agree that freshly ground coffee tastes best, you could achieve the same result with a cheap burr grinder. Machines with built-in grinders tend to be pricey, so we'd only recommend them if you have a large budget and want  a great coffee-making experience that’s as hands-off as possible.

Drink choice

If you take your coffee black — maybe with a bit of cream when you're feeling fancy — then a basic drip coffee maker is all you need. However, if you crave espresso or specialty drinks like cappuccinos or lattes, then consider an espresso machine with a steamer arm for heating and frothing milk.

Single serving machines also offer pods with a huge range of drink choices that can be ready at the press of a button. This is a wonderful choice if you like fancy coffees but don't want to go to the trouble of making them from scratch.

Filter basket

Some espresso and drip coffee makers have filter baskets that filter coffee grounds during the brewing process, eliminating the need for paper filters. The size of the filter basket and the amount of grounds placed inside prior to brewing helps determine coffee flavor and strength.

Carafe

As an alternative to the basic glass carafe, some coffee makers come with a thermal carafe to keep drinks warm.

Here's what Francois had to say on the subject: "If you need to keep coffee hot for a few hours, go for a model with a thermal carafe. Even though models with glass carafes have a heating plate, this ends up making the coffee more and more bitter as time goes on."

coffee makers
Expert Tip
Do not buy a coffee/espresso combo machine. They usually lack the power to generate the pressure needed to make a proper espresso.
STAFF
BestReviews

Price

A decent coffee maker needn't cost an arm and a leg, but it is worth a bit of an investment, especially if you're a regular coffee-drinker.

Basic drip coffee makers

These start around $20 or $30. Most of these inexpensive models don't hold a candle to higher-end brands, but you can find a few diamonds in the rough.

Midrange and high-end drip coffee makers

These cost from $50 to $150. Choices include models with thermal carafes, programmable settings, and lots of other bells and whistles.

Single-serving, pod-style coffee makers

Expect to pay between $50 and $125 for these models. Cheaper models generally offer less control over factors such as cup size, and may not let you customize your own pods.

Espresso makers

These cost between about $40 and $350 for home-grade machines (professional models can run into the thousands), but you're unlikely to get a model that makes a great espresso for much less than $100.

Pour-over coffee makers

Pour-over coffee makers range in price from around $15 for a small, generic model to $100 and more for a model by a top brand with a carafe that will hold several cups of coffee. Electrically powered models cost a bit more and tend to fall in the range of $179 to $200.

Best Cuisinart Coffee Maker
When manufacturers list how many cups their coffee maker produces, they're referring to 8 oz cups. However, the average mug size is 12 to 16 oz, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

Tips

  • Regardless of the type of coffee maker you choose, keeping it clean can keep it working properly for years to come. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper cleaning and to be sure of which parts are dishwasher-safe.
  • When choosing pods, capsules, or K-Cups for a single-serve model, make sure that they are compatible with your machine before using them.
  • If you are typically in a hurry when brewing your morning coffee, look for a machine that has a speedy brew cycle. For example, some single-serve models can brew a cup of coffee in about 60 seconds.
  • Keep in mind that some coffee makers have adjustable brewing temperature settings. This comes in handy when making different types of coffee beverages.

 

Our Top Picks