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Best French Presses

Updated February 2024
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Espro P3 French Press
Espro
P3 French Press
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Best French press overall
Bottom Line

The Espro P3 unites the familiar look and feel of a glass French press with an ingenious dual filter for a cleaner, longer-lasting brew.

Pros

The double-filter design kept out almost all visible sediment in our testing. The coffee was clear, bold and delicious. The filters were easy to clean. Glass carafe was dishwasher-safe and easy to remove. Plastic elements have a sleek look. A reasonable price for a high-end performance.

Cons

Moderate heat loss over an hour. Its dual filters prevent about 6 ounces of liquid from being poured.

Best Bang for the Buck
Bodum Brazil French Press
Bodum
Brazil French Press
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Best French press for beginners
Bottom Line

This model updates the classic French press design from Bodum with sleek lines and simplified construction for a pocket-friendly price.

Pros

Affordably priced for newcomers and casual coffee drinkers. Glass carafe and plastic handle and foot are one unit for stability and easy cleaning. The lid has a notch to keep it pointed in the right direction. Produced strong, flavorful coffee in our testing. Trusted brand name. Dishwasher-safe.

Cons

Moderate heat loss from its glass carafe. The lid is hard to turn. Disassembling the filter can be intimidating.

AeroPress  Original Coffee Press
AeroPress
Original Coffee Press
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Best portable coffee press
Bottom Line

We were wowed by the quality, versatility and enjoyment we got from this internet-famous and handy portable coffee press.

Pros

Simple and ingenious design makes concentrated coffee with intense flavor and a clean, sediment-free body. Highly portable and lightweight, it can be carried anywhere there’s hot water. Fully manual. Creates concentrated coffee for espresso-type drinks and even cold brew.

Cons

Makes only 10 ounces of concentrated coffee at a time. Requires a medium-fine grind for best results.

AeroPress  Original Coffee Press
Espro
P7 32-Ounce French Press
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Best stainless steel French press
Bottom Line

High-end materials and an elevated design. The insulated double-steel walls and patented dual filter make the Espro P7 a premium choice.

Pros

Impressive heat retention, keeping coffee above a drinkable 136 degrees for more than two hours. Produced clean, clear coffee with very little sediment. Beautiful exterior design for luxury kitchens. Filters were easy to disassemble for cleaning. Dishwasher-safe.

Cons

Expensive. At over 3 pounds, it’s a little heavy. Like the P3, it leaves a lot of liquid behind.

Stanley Classic The Stay Hot French Press
Stanley
Classic The Stay Hot French Press
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Easiest French press to clean
Bottom Line

Stanley doesn’t just make tumblers. This camping-friendly, color-collectible French press made plenty of coffee and was easy to clean.

Pros

The capacious 48-ounce size makes enough coffee for a crowd. Light, riveted all-metal construction is great for camping. In our tests, it kept coffee above 130 degrees for almost 90 minutes. Filter disassembled easily for cleaning. It was easy to dump out the used grounds afterward.

Cons

Not suitable for individual use. Comes across as flimsy, even if it isn’t.

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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. About 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. About 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.About BestReviews 
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

30
Models
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153
Consumers
Consulted
8
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Researched
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Buying guide for Which French press is best?

There’s a certain style and glamour to making coffee in a French press. The glass beaker, the freshly ground beans, the plunging filter — it has a charm that drip machines and percolators just don’t have. There are many French presses on the market, but the best French presses make the best coffee and are built to last.

Invented in the late 19th century, the French press rose in popularity over the ensuing decades. Traditionally made of a glass beaker or carafe in a metal frame with a filter inside to press the coffee, French presses now include models made of plastic, ceramic and stainless steel.

The BestReviews Testing Lab checked out several brands and models of French presses, rating them on durability, ergonomics, ease of maintenance and brew quality. We also consulted coffee experts, including Casey Allen, CEO of Barista Warrior, and Heather Calatrello, owner and head roaster at ShedLight Coffee Roasters, for advice and tips on how to use a French press to brew the best possible cup. 

After gathering all the data, we think the Espro P3 French Press is the best French press on the market today for most people. It combines the strengths of the traditional French press design with an innovative new filter process that results in a clean yet full-bodied brew.

Expert Tip
French-pressed coffee allows the true nature of the bean to show up in your final cup. Use French-pressed coffee in your recipes, from cakes and cookies to steak marinades, for fuller flavor.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Our top picks

Espro P3 French Press

Espro P3 French Press on table
The testing team loved that the Espro P3’s innovative dual-filter system successfully filtered out any gritty residue.

Best French press for most people


Product specifications: Capacity: 32 oz | Material: Glass and plastic | Type: Manual | Dimensions: 6.1" L x 4.3" W x 9.5" H | Weight: 1.8 lb

The Espro P3 French press coffee maker is our top choice among the French presses we tested. For a reasonable price, it combines a classic design with Espro’s patented and ingenious dual-filter system.

The Espro P3’s dual filters force the coffee through two layers of ultra-fine mesh and keep the grounds secure behind a silicone seal. This makes coffee that’s as flavorful and full-bodied as any from a typical French press but with some of the lightest sediment residue we encountered in our testing. Silicone gaskets prevent prepared coffee from coming into contact with the used grounds, reducing the effects of over-extraction. 

We liked the sharp, modern looks of the P3, and we appreciated how easy it was to disassemble the filters and run the whole thing through the dishwasher for cleaning. The heat-resistant glass carafe could have kept the coffee warmer, and we fretted about how it left some liquid behind after pouring, but these were minor quibbles compared to the P3’s innovations and results. We rated it 4.5 out of 5 for quality, features and value.

Bodum Brazil French Press

Bodum Brazil French Press on table
The testing team appreciated the sturdy design of the Bodum Brazil French press.

Best French press for beginners


Product specifications: Capacity: 32 oz | Material: Glass and plastic | Type: Manual | Dimensions: 6.3” W x 4.21” D x 8.62” H | Weight: 1 lb

Bodum is a company that’s almost synonymous with French presses. Its Chambord model has been around for decades and is often the first thing that springs to mind when French presses are mentioned. The Bodum Brazil takes this trademark design and updates it with a stable plastic frame and refined lines while still delivering a classic brew.

The Bodum Brazil French press has a glass carafe that’s bonded to a lightweight plastic handle and foot, adding stability and sturdiness that’s appreciated while pressing and pouring. Its lid features a notch that aligns properly to the pour spout. As a bonus, the plastic parts of the Bodum Brazil come in several eye-catching colors.

The Bodum Brazil produced a full-bodied French-press brew in our testing with a small amount of sediment from our medium-grind beans. It offered adequate heat retention, dropping to 140 degrees after an hour, which is still in the drinkable range for most people. 

With a wallet-friendly price and the Bodum name, we think the Brazil is an excellent starter or basic French press, and we rated it 4 out of 5 for brew quality and value.

AeroPress Original Coffee Press

Hand holding AeroPress Original Coffee Press
The testing team found the AeroPress to be an unbeatable option for making coffee on the go.

Best portable coffee press


Product specifications: Capacity: 10 oz | Material: Plastic | Type: Manual | Dimensions: 3.6” W x 3.6” D x 4.6” L | Weight: 8 oz

The AeroPress Original Coffee Press is not a French press, but we included it because it works similarly and because we found it so effective. Although it comes with a bit of a learning curve, the AeroPress is one of those simple yet ingenious gadgets that does exactly what it claims to do: It makes excellent coffee wherever you might be.

The AeroPress is a simple plastic tube with a filter at one end and a plunger. Once we got the hang of it, we produced consistently delicious concentrated coffee in only 30 seconds (compared to the four minutes or longer it takes in a French press or drip coffee maker). The parts easily rinse clean and can also be run through the dishwasher. The grounds pop out as a neat little puck directly into the trash.

Learning the ins and outs of the AeroPress takes practice, and it only makes a maximum of 10 ounces of coffee at a time. But once you do, you’ve got a tool for making great coffee and espresso-style drinks wherever you have access to hot water. We rated it 4.5 out of 5.

Espro P7 32-Ounce French Press

Espro P7 32-Ounce French Press on kitchen counter next to product packaging and stovetop
The Espro P7’s design and performance impressed the testing team.

Best stainless steel French press


Product specifications: Capacity: 32 oz | Material: Stainless steel | Type: Manual | Dimensions: 6.7" L x 4.6" W x 10.1" H | Weight: 2.7 lb

The Espro P7 French Press looks like a piece of modern art. It wouldn’t be out of place in a high-end design magazine, and to be honest, it’s priced accordingly. However, for overall performance, it did the best of all the French presses we tested. If you don’t mind its steep price, you’ll have one of the best French presses on the market.

Like the Espro P3, the P7 boasts a dual-filter design with two separate layers of fine mesh that prevent grounds and sediment from infiltrating your finished coffee — we verified this in testing. Its sleek stainless steel body offers impressive insulation as well, allowing prepared coffee to remain above 140 degrees after an hour.

With its seamless handle, premium finish and excellent product, the Espro P7 is a high-end example of modern French-press design. Its only real drawback, aside from the price, is the way the tight silicone filters always leave around 6 ounces of liquid behind. Otherwise, it’s a Cadillac among French presses, earning a rating of 4.5 out of 5.

Stanley Classic The Stay Hot French Press

Sage-colored Stanley Classic The Stay Hot French Press on table
The Stanley French Press received two thumbs up from the testing team for its ease of use and heat retention.

Easiest-to-clean French press


Product specifications: Capacity: 48 oz | Material: Stainless steel | Type: Manual | Dimensions: 7.13” W  x 4.88” D x  9.53” H | Weight: 2.5 lb

Hardware and outdoor equipment maker Stanley has transformed in recent years into one of the hottest brands on social media. But Stanley isn’t just about water and tumblers. We found the Stanley Classic Stay-Hot French Press to be an easy-to-use, easy-to-clean French press with plenty of capacity available in several fashionable colors.

The Stanley French press had the largest capacity of our tested French presses, clocking in at 48 ounces or five 8-ounce servings, enough for a group campout. It looks and feels like camping equipment with its lightweight and riveted handle, but it provided excellent heat retention in testing, maintaining a drinkable warmth of 135 degrees after an hour. The coffee was full-bodied and delicious with less sediment than presses that used the same filter design.

The Stanley was also the easiest press to clean. Its simple metal filter plate was disassembled with no resistance at all, and it released grounds with a firm shake into the trash. It might be too much for just one person, but it’s a solid performer that earned a 4 out of 5 rating from us.

Le Creuset French Press

Red Le Creuset French Press on countertop next to product packaging
The stylish Le Creuset French press offers an attractive design and comes in a wide range of colors.

Best-looking French press
 

Product specifications: Capacity: 32 oz | Material: Stoneware | Type: Manual | Dimensions: 6.5” W x 4.5” D x 8.5” H | Weight: 2.2 lb

If there’s one thing that’s obvious about the Le Creuset French Press, it’s the fact that it’s gorgeous. Made of fired stoneware, this chic French press comes in as many as 14 crave-worthy Le Creuset colors, including its trademark cerise. It’s one eye-catching piece of kitchenware.

Performance-wise, the Le Creuset French press produced a rich and flavorful coffee with a pretty layer of creamy foam. We had a little trouble with its heat retention, not because of its insulation capabilities but because the dense stoneware particularly benefits from preheating before brewing. It’s glazed inside and out, creating a nonreactive surface that resists stains and off-flavors, even if you clean it in the dishwasher.

As it’s made of stoneware, it’s noticeably heavy, and the stoneware lid can be unstable while pouring. It’s also on the pricier end of French presses. We rated the Le Creuset French Press 4 out of 5 for its beauty and durability.

 

Expert Tip
Press gently on the plunger – it tends to be the first part to bend or break.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

What to consider when buying a French press according to experts

There are several features to keep in mind when selecting a French press. We interviewed coffee experts Casey Allen, CEO of Barista Warrior, and Heather Calatrello, owner and head roaster at ShedLight Coffee Roasters, as well as Andrea Boudewijn, BestReview’s cooking and baking expert, to get their perspectives. 

Materials

French press beakers or carafes are usually made out of glass, stoneware (or another ceramic), stainless steel or plastic. The filters are generally stainless steel, sometimes with rubber or silicone gaskets. Lids, handles and frames, if separate from the beaker or carafe, may be metal or plastic.

Glass

Glass is one of the most popular materials for the body or carafe of a French press. A glass carafe allows you to see your coffee while it’s brewing, and it won’t react with the coffee or impart any off-flavors or odors into the brew.

Look for thick-walled glass carafes when buying a glass French press. These provide better heat retention during the brewing process. The glass itself should be heat-resistant to stand up to the shock of hot water. Borosilicate glass is a common heat-resistant glass used in many French press carafes. 

One weakness of glass is its breakability. Avoid using a metal spoon when stirring coffee inside a glass French press, and choose a different material if you plan to use your French press predominantly for camping.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is a favorite French press material among experts for its heat retention and durability. French presses with bodies or carafes made out of stainless steel maintained the temperature of the brewed coffee best in all our tests, especially those with double-wall insulation.

However, most experts recommend pouring French press coffee immediately rather than leaving it in the press to prevent over-extraction. “You'll be decanting your coffee into another container or mug immediately,” says ShedLight’s Colatrello, “so the heat retention is less important here.” Colatrello also points out that stainless steel prevents you from watching the coffee brew. 

French presses made out of stainless steel often cost more than other presses.

Plastic

Low-cost French presses may have beakers or carafes made of plastic or other synthetic material such as the clear, hard plastic called Tritan used in shatterproof drinkware and water bottles. Plastics like Tritan are lightweight and shatter-resistant and can be made of recycled materials. Tritan itself is also free of BPA, a chemical found in older plastics that can leach into food if used in kitchenware.

The experts we consulted were not fans of plastic French presses. “A good French press shouldn't contain any plastic components that could leach micro-plastics into your coffee,” says Barista Warrior’s Allen. “You'll find cheaper models made from plastic,” adds Colatrello, “but those will not hold up as well over time.”

Stoneware

Some French presses are made of a fired ceramic such as stoneware. Stoneware French presses have thick walls that hold heat well. However, their density can cool hot water on contact, so it’s important to preheat stoneware French presses before brewing. Stoneware is also heavy and can crack or shatter from impact.

Ceramics are usually glazed for use with liquids like water and coffee, but some glazes are not food-safe and may contain lead. Make sure your ceramic or stoneware French press has a nontoxic, nonreactive glaze rather than simply being an ornamental object.

Capacity

French presses come in a variety of sizes, from as small as 6 ounces to 64 ounces or more. Generally, bigger is more versatile. “We recommend buying a larger press, as it will allow you more flexibility in brewing,” says Colatrello. “Making a small batch is simple, as there is no need to fill the press to full capacity.” She recommends a 34-ounce size, which makes about 8 cups. Note that for many in the coffee world, a cup equals 6 ounces, not 8. Some of a French press’s capacity may also be taken up by the used grounds and leftover liquid.

Usability

Making coffee in a French press is straightforward, but a French press can either be comfortable or cumbersome to use. For example, when you’re pressing down on the filter plunger, the press needs to be stable on the tabletop or counter. The top of the plunger rod should be comfortable in your hand, and the filter should be smooth but secure going down as well as when it is removed.

The lid should be stable when pouring, even one-handed, and the handle should support the weight of the full press comfortably. If the press has a separate removable carafe from its handle and base, it helps if the carafe holds its position securely.

Filter

Many French presses share a basic filter design: a steel mesh, a steel plate, and sometimes a metal coil or synthetic gasket, all of which attach to the plunger rod with a nut or screw. 

The mesh should be fine enough to prevent coffee grounds from freely passing into the brewed liquid. Some brands have developed newer filter designs that promise to remove more sediment than a traditional filter. For example, the filters used in the Espro P3 and P7 come in pairs and feature super-fine mesh in BPA-free plastic frames with rubberized sealing gaskets.

Care and maintenance

French presses are a little more inconvenient to clean than pour-over cones and drip coffee makers. This is because the grounds are loose in the carafe and need to be dumped and scraped out after brewing. Never pour coffee grounds down the drain, and try to remove as much of the grounds as possible before running your French press through your dishwasher.

Our cooking and baking expert Andrea Boudewijn added some tips on caring for your French press:

  • Wash and dry the carafe between uses to prevent stains and other issues. Carefully wash it with soap and water. Don't just give it a quick rinse, no matter how tempting it is to save time.
  • Check the cleaning instructions before placing the press components in the dishwasher. Some are dishwasher-safe, but others require special handling and detergent.
  • Remove any buildup of coffee grounds with a soft brush. Coffee grounds can accumulate in the mesh filter.
  • Store glass and stoneware carafes carefully. A cracked carafe is neither useful nor safe.
  • Press down on the plunger gently to help it last longer. Plunger/filter assemblies can bend or break after years of use.

How to use a French press

French presses brew coffee via immersion. You mix ground coffee and hot water in the French press carafe, stir, and let the mixture steep for about four minutes. Then, you use the filter to press out the used grounds. For the best results, use a kitchen scale, coffee grinder and electric kettle.

  1. Heat water, but not to boiling. “The ideal temperature for a French press is 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit,” advises Colatrello. She suggests letting boiling water cool for about 45 seconds if your kettle doesn’t have precise temperature controls.
  2. Preheat. “Preheat your French press by pouring hot water into the carafe and allowing it to sit for a few minutes before adding the coffee and hot water,” advises Allen.
  3. Measure and grind your coffee. It’s best to start with whole beans and grind only as much as needed just before brewing. Colatrello suggests a 1:12 ratio of coffee to water. Allen adds, “The coffee grind should be medium-coarse, similar to the consistency of sea salt.”
  4. Add coffee and about twice as much water as coffee. Don’t add all the water yet. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture and let it stand, or bloom, for 30 seconds to a minute. “Blooming will allow the coffee to release carbon dioxide and will yield a more flavorful brew,” says Colatrello.
  5. Pour in the rest of the hot water. Mix, then place the lid back on the press. Don’t plunge yet. Let it stand for about four minutes. “Four minutes is the ideal brewing time for the French press,” notes Colatrello. “Any longer may result in an over-extracted brew, which may taste bitter.”
  6. When the steeping time is over, it’s time to press. Slowly and steadily press the plunger down until it reaches the bottom of the press. There should be a little resistance but not too much. “If this occurs, then your grind is too fine. If the plunger easily falls to the bottom of the carafe, your grind is too coarse,” says Colatrello.
  7. French press coffee is best when it is served immediately. Colatrello suggests decanting the brew into a separate vessel to avoid over-extraction and excessive bitterness. Some models of French press have developed filters that minimize contact between the grounds and brewed coffee, decreasing the chance of over-extraction.
Expert Tip
Rather than just a quick rinse, use soap and water to wash the interiors of your carafe. Coffee beans contain oils that can build up and discolor a French press over years of use.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

How we tested

Each French press was tested in our Testing Lab by brewing multiple batches of coffee using the same basic recipe of 8 grams of ground coffee per 4 ounces of water at 195 to 200 degrees. We sampled each brew, then cleaned and ran the presses through a standard dishwasher cycle. We repeated this process at least three times for each model.

Heat retention

Using a digital instant-read thermometer, we measured the temperature of the brew in each French press five times: immediately after brewing and then in 30-minute intervals for a total of two hours. This allowed us to see how well each press maintained an appropriately warm batch of coffee.

Design and durability

We emptied, disassembled and cleaned each test model three times, running them through a standard dishwasher cycle each time. Afterward, we looked for any wear, damage or other effects, especially in the filters, lid fit and seals. We also disassembled and reassembled the filters themselves to see how easy it would be to deep-clean each model.

Quality and filter efficiency

For each batch of coffee we made, we sampled the resulting brew, noting flavor, body, appearance and opacity. We shone a light through the coffee to note any cloudiness or siltiness. Finally, we poured the coffee through filters to measure how much sediment, if any, was left after brewing.

Design and aesthetics

We scrutinized the construction and design of each French press, noting color, size, capacity, finish, material and overall visual appeal. We took note of any innovations or unusual characteristics. We also evaluated the ideal market segment and each model’s perceived value for the money.

FAQ

Q. How much does a French press cost?

A. Prices range from under $8 for a 20-ounce glass and plastic model to over $200 for high-end steel models with designer pedigrees. 

Unless you’re looking for an ultra-stylish presentation piece or the best stainless steel model money can buy, we recommend models costing between $30 to $75 with glass or stainless steel carafes.

Q. Is French press coffee better than drip coffee?

A. French press coffee is known to be fuller-bodied than drip coffee. It has more dissolved oils and solids than drip coffee that has been passed through a paper filter, and thus, it manifests a richer and more pronounced flavor. 

Whether that makes French press coffee “better” is a matter of taste. Many people find the clean, light taste of drip coffee more to their liking than the taste of coffee from a French press. Poorly made French press coffee can be excessively bitter, gritty or even muddy.

Q. Should I plunge a French press all the way?

A. Once you've brewed your coffee as strong as you like it, you need to plunge it to stop the coffee grounds from infusing the water further. Plunging it all the way to the bottom effectively stops the brewing process, so don't be tempted to plunge it just halfway. 

However, to completely keep your coffee from getting any stronger, you should pour all the brewed coffee out of the carafe once you've plunged it.

Q. Is coffee made in a French press healthier?

A. Coffee has many health benefits and also some health concerns, notably the presence of caffeine. A stimulant, caffeine in excess can cause insomnia, jitters, anxiety, fast heart rate and even dysphoria. 

The FDA suggests a maximum daily caffeine intake of 400 milligrams, or about 4 to 5 cups of coffee. Perhaps surprisingly, most sources suggest French press coffee seems to have less caffeine per cup than drip coffee, although a 2018 study from Australia measured slightly more caffeine from French press than drip. The highest caffeine? That’s found in espresso and cold brew.

Our expertise

Jmar Gambol has been writing for BestReviews since 2021. He has been drinking coffee, however, since early childhood, as both his parents came from a region famous for strong locally grown beans. He has sampled and enjoyed a wide variety of coffees from many parts of the world, and has used the French press, pour-over and drip-maker methods over the years. He personally tested all six of the models that appear in this guide and prefers his coffee black or with a spoonful of heavy cream.

Sources

  1. We tested six French Presses firsthand.
  2. Interview with Casey Allen, CEO of Barista Warrior
  3. Interview with Heather Calatrello, owner and head roaster at ShedLight Coffee Roasters
  4. Interview with Andrea Boudewijn, BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert
  5. University of California at Davis & UC Davis Coffee Center. “Impact of beverage temperature on consumer preferences for black coffee.” Ristenpart, Cotter, Guinard 2022 (via PubMed)
  6. US Food & Drug Administration. “Spilling the Beans: How Much Caffeine is Too Much?” 2023
  7. University of Newcastle, Australia. “Study reveals which cup of coffee delivers the biggest caffeine kick.” 2018
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