Built with 12-cup carafe with ergonomic handle, dripless spout, and knuckle guard. Has a brew pause feature so you can enjoy a cup before brewing has finished. Includes time-to-clean monitor with indicator light, programmable brew for up to 24 hours in advance, and programmable auto shutoff from 0-4 hours after brew. Comes with a charcoal water filter and a measuring scoop.
Some customers note design issues with the carafe.
Built with white stainless steel, glass carafe, washable brew basket, and large rubberized button controls. Has programmable 24-hour advanced brew and 2-hour auto shutoff. Provides sneak-a-cup feature so you can enjoy a cup before brewing is complete. Boasts an easy-view front-facing water window and easy-to-read screen that displays clock, brew time, and programming options.
A few customers note design issues with the filter.
Extremely convenient for individuals and simple to use. Accepts pods with any type of ground coffee in the most popular K-Cup sizes. Auto-off feature turns the coffee maker off after 2 hours without use. Large water reservoir lets you brew 6-plus cups before needing to be refilled. Worth the price.
Not ideal for large coffee batches. Difficult to diagnose and repair problems due to closed design.
Built with black stainless steel and 12-cup glass carafe. Designed with programmable advanced brew options and automatically shuts off after 2 hours. Provides 2 brewing strengths (regular and bold.) Accommodates travel cups and mugs. Includes a mesh filter and scoop.
A few customers observe that brewing can be slow.
Classic, reliable design appreciated by coffee maker traditionalists. Cuisinart has included just about every feature you might want. Brews quickly and has great water filtration. Fully programmable and automatic, with 1-to 4-cup setting options and auto shut-off. Permanent filter.
Carafe is a bit awkward to fill and cleaning the machine can be somewhat challenging.
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.
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.
The first decision to make is what type of coffee maker is right for you. Let's examine the most common varieties.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 lifesaver 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 bother with making them from scratch.
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 volume of grounds placed inside prior to brewing helps determine coffee flavor and strength.
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."
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.
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.
These cost from $50 to $150. Choices include models with thermal carafes, programmable settings, and lots of other bells and whistles.
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.
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 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.