Our Guide to the Best Coffeemakers
We put them to the test (and drank a ton of coffee) to find our favorites.
What makes a great coffeemaker? It depends on the person. Some love the convenience of auto brew and permanent filters. Others like compactness and value, while some people care about style, color or craftsmanship alone. However, one thing all coffee drinkers can agree on: your coffeemaker of choice should make coffee you crave. Whether you typically brew for a crowd, are rushing out the door or make time to grind your own beans, we've got a coffeemaker just for you.
With a slight modern curve and glass carafe reminiscent of a French press (Bodum's wheelhouse) this incredibly affordable model is the one we think is best for most people. Programming is easy, and you can watch the rain shower brewing (for more balanced flavor) in action. The rubberized handle on the carafe is a great safety touch and cleaning is simple with some dishwasher-safe parts. And finally, our tasters liked the coffee and price tag.
At 14 cups, this model made our biggest brew and with the Brew Pauseâ¢ feature the caffeine-deprived can sneak a quick cup before the pot is full. Coffee stays hot for up to 2 hours (perfect for big brunches) and the auto brew feature means the machine will be up and brewing before you. Choose between model colors and regular or bold brews â depending on your crowd's taste. There's a charcoal water filter that needs replacing every 60 days, so set yourself a reminder. You can register your model with a simple photo text â the only one we tested with this special customer service feature.
Cute as a button with a small foot print, this compact machine still manages to make 12 cups of coffee (that was a favorite among our tasters). The bottom swivel feet make it easy to travel on your countertop and the water reservoir is removable, so filling is a cinch. Choose between two model colors with regular and bold brew settings â and the price is great for small budgets.
Don't need any bells and whistles on your machine? This super affordable model is simple all around: from programming to brewing and cleaning. But it’s not too bare bones! Thanks to the auto brew feature you can sneak a cup before the pot is full and rely on the automatic 2-hour shut off for peace of mind.
The box is fun and mysterious (like opening a present), and inside you'll find a serious and solid machine handmade in the Netherlands. For the pour-over coffee lover who still wants the convenience of automatic drip, this sustainably developed machine brewed our favorite tasting coffee by far. The hefty price reflects the craftsmanship and comes in many colors, so you can be sure youâll get exactly what you want.
For those who want character in their kitchen, this small retro-inspired coffee machine adds a pop of color — there are five to choose from. The front gauge and on/off switch are reminiscent of a vintage car, but it's not all about looks.
There's a permanent filter (so ditch those paper ones) and pause-and-pour feature for quick caffeine fixes. The scoop has a permanent home right on the machine, so losing it won't be easy. And a bonus for environmentally conscious people: The packaging waste was minimal and the least of all the machines we tested.
Put on your barista apron and get ready for some caffeinated fun. Perfect for those who have family and friends with very different coffee orders. The different 5-brew and 6-size settings (and the built-in milk froth wand) will ensure that everyone sips happy. Use the recipe booklet and online videos to make everything from black coffee to cappuccinos and to help troubleshoot (which is important since this stealthy machine only comes with a 1-year warranty).
Stop microwaving that same cup of coffee, because this machine is always ready (thanks to the heated stainless-steel water tank) and will brew a fresh and full pot in just three minutes (it's true, we timed it). Perfect for people who drink coffee all day or a small business owner who treats customers to a cup of joe. With a three-year warranty, it's a safe investment if you need a real workhorse.
How We Tested
We got nerdy. After careful research from reputable consumer buying guides, we purchased 12 coffeemakers. Each was assigned a testing letter ID (so our taste tests were blind) and then we took copious notes — about everything. We noted how much trash each machine left behind after it was unpacked, read every instruction manual and set up all the machines according to manufacturers' specifications.
Then we began to brew (about 20 pots total) with the same coffee across the board, following the recommended coffee-to-water ratio for each machine. We took the temperature three times: while brewing, right when the pot was done and two hours later. And then our tasting panel of six spent two days tasting coffee. (What we learned about taste: It's super subjective. Some people love weaker coffee while others prefer bold. Perhaps there is no such thing as a bad cup of coffee?) We tested every feature claimed by the manufacturer and then we cleaned them all.