Picking one of the best coffee makers isn’t always easy. There are so many different brands, features, brewing methods, and accessories out there. But the best coffee makers can help revolutionize your morning routine, and these days they’re far more than just simple drip pots.
Whether you want a quick one-button brew, or feel like controlling every aspect of your brewing process. Different models can produce ranges of specialty coffee, reach perfect brewing temperatures in under a minute, or let you grind beans and froth milk yourself. Whatever your needs, and however you like your brew, these are the best coffee makers you can buy right now.
What are the best coffee makers?
The Braun Brew Sense sits on top of our list of the best coffee makers for most people. While some of the more technically brilliant coffee makers can run you close to $300 / £300, the Brew Sense is our top pick for its high value feature set, ease of use, and lower price tag.
However, if you are looking for the absolute best coffee maker, you should take a look at the Technivorm Moccamaster. One of the few coffee makers to meet the Golden Cup Standard set by the SCA, the Moccamaster offers fine tuned temperature control and a range of personalization features for the avid tinkerer as well.
However, those looking to cut daily trips to the coffee shop out of their routine will love the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System. Capable of brewing up everything from a latte to cold brew quickly and easily, the all-in-one Ninja gives you that barista experience from your own kitchen.
We’re going into more detail on these and plenty more of the best coffee makers available right now just below.
The best coffee makers you can buy today
The Braun Brew Sense manages to occupy that sweet spot between price and features to secure itself a place as our best coffee maker for most users. With its attractive design and squared-off shape, this automatic-drip coffee maker with a glass carafe will look classy and fit neatly on your countertop.
Reviewers pretty much unanimously agree that this device makes a good cup of coffee, but you’re getting two brew strength settings and brew temperature controls to personalize your coffee as well. While capable of brewing 12 cups at a great price, you can also program settings for 1-4 cups as well.
Those features, as well as the 24 hour timer for easy morning brewing, charcoal water filter, and permanent filters, mean this sub-$100 price tag is particularly high value. That’s perfect if you’re looking for a customizable coffee maker, but don’t want to be tinkering with too many settings. While this coffee maker will fit under a cabinet, you’ll have to pull the device forward when it’s time to fill it with ground coffee and water.
The Technivorm Moccamaster is the highest quality and most widely praised coffee maker on our list. It’s been engineered for optimal brew temperatures and water dispersal, with innovative features that have earned it recognition from the Specialty Coffee Association. What’s more, it does all of this while operating exceedingly quickly.
Handmade in the Netherlands, this pricey coffee maker has a unique industrial aesthetic that some people love and others hate. This, however, is one for the enthusiasts, and lacks a few of the convenience features you might find in cheaper models. There’s no automatic timer settings, for example, and the auto shut off will power down the machine after 40 minutes, so if you like to refill your cup throughout the morning, this might not be the best choice.
There’s technical brilliance under the hood, however. The Moccamaster can reach the industry standard temperature in under a minute, and stay there with the help of a copper heating system. A 9-hole spray arm then evenly disperses water over the ground coffee, and overall you can brew up to 40 ounces in under 6 minutes.
The Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System is something of an all-in-one for all the coffee (and tea) lovers in your household. Capable of brewing a wide range of coffees, teas and cold brews, temperature and brew times are all automatically adjusted based on your choice of drink (selected from the display panel).
Ninja claims that, using the specialty coffee setting and the included milk frother on the side of the machine, you can make coffee-bar drinks at home. That’s true if you’re not super fussy about the quality of the coffee in your ‘ccinos, as the machine brews strong coffee but not espresso like the coffee shops.
That said, being able to produce these more complex coffee brews at home makes for an incredibly versatile machine, especially considering tea drinkers are also accounted for here as well. The smart basket system will automatically register the brew basket you are using and recommend drink types as well.
If you’re one of those households with single-serve and multi cup brewers, this appliance can replace both and make a single cup without using coffee pods. However, if you don’t foresee a need for cold brew or tea functionality, you can save money with the cheaper Ninja Specialty further down the page.
The Breville Precision Brewer is one for scientific coffee makers, those looking to tinker with a massive range of controls to make the perfect coffee. However, if you are looking for a shortcut, the Precision Brewer also offers up a preset for a Golden Cup standard coffee as well. While it’s not as everyday user friendly as the Ninja, and doesn’t feature the copper temperature control system of the Moccamaster, you are getting a massive range of customizable settings to fiddle with here.
While you can play with temperatures and brew times, there’s also three different flow rates on offer here for a consistent flavour profile tailored to your strength preferences, as well as customizable bloom time. A pour over dripper can also be attached for extra functionality.
Known as Sage outside of the US, the Precision Brewer boasts six different preset brewing modes and is capable of brewing up to 60 ounces. There’s a lot of tech packed in here, and that does make for a higher price tag, but if you’re chasing that coffee connoisseur dream there’s plenty of kit in here to make that cost worth it.
Pod coffee makers are the ultimate convenience-led machines. However, that doesn’t have to mean they offer an inferior coffee quality – as the Nespresso VertuoPlus demonstrates. While it’s one of Nespresso’s pricier machines, the VertuoPlus does bring out the best in easy to brew pod coffee.
Larger pods allow for a wider range of drink types, leading all the way up to 14oz single brews, however the beauty here lies in how the Nespresso treats each pod. The machine will scan the pod before brewing to determine the drink type being produced and automatically set the appropriate brew time and temperatures for the perfect cup every time. That means that while you are inevitably losing out on some personalization options by trading for the convenience of a pod machine, you’re still getting the perfect settings for each coffee type automatically.
Espresso is this machine’s strong point; cups come out with a picture-perfect topping of crema, the frothy head that’s the hallmark of a true espresso. We can thank the VertuoPlus’s centrifusion technology for that – with multiple holes punched into the pod and a rapid spinning process that produces a creamier quality coffee. Pods are also fully sustainable as well.
Find the best Nespresso machine for you.
If you were eyeing up the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, but need a little more out of the espresso quality, the Ninja Specialty offers a greater focus on specialty brews at the expense of cold brew and tea functionality. You’re also paying a little less for this more focused machine, which is perfect if you’re just after high quality specialty coffee.
You’re keeping the built-in milk frother and strength controls, with six brew size options and four brew types for classic, rice, iced and specialty coffees. Overall, it’s a versatile machine with everything you need to make a massive range of specialty drinks, with plenty of control over the strength, size and type.
If you’re not going to be experimenting with teas or cold brews, you can save some serious cash with this cheaper option.
If you’re looking for good coffee quickly and easily, the Bonavita Connoisseur is an excellent option. Easy to use with just one click, and fast brewing right at the optimal temperature, it gets all the basics down for an excellent price. However, there are a few fancier features baked in to give you even more value here.
The Connoisseur uses a pre-infusion technique that wets coffee grounds before brewing begins to make for a consistent, even extraction. Not only that, but you’ll be brewing eight cups of coffee in just six minutes here, thanks to the 150 watt heater boosting everything right up that optimal temperature and keeping it there as well.
You are sacrificing personalization for all that convenience and power, though. There’s no brew strength or temperature options here, but you are getting excellent quality coffee with no fussing required.
Have to brew a pot for a crowd? The Cuisinart touchscreen 14-cup programmable is the best coffee maker for the job. That’s an excellent volume of coffee for a home machine in this price range, making it ideal for larger households or those who make frequent trips back to the machine in the mornings.
You can even control the brew strength and adjust the water temperature here – features one shouldn’t take for granted from coffee makers in this price range and that sit particularly well considering the extra brew size here. Plus, you’ll also find 24 hour programmable auto-brewing as well as a drip-free pause button for sneaking a cup before everyone else gets to the pot, and a permanent filter included as well.
Essentially, you’re getting all the basics you would expect from a more expensive coffee maker for everyday use, but also adding a massive 14 cup capacity for extra value as well.
Check out more of the best Cuisinart coffee makers
The Keurig K-Classic stands as one of the most convenient coffee makers on the market right now, and it’s the perfect middle child in the Keurig range if you’re looking to make the most of the variety of K-Pods out there. The large 48-ounce water reservoir will serve up six cups before needing a refill, and you’ll be brewing six, eight, or ten ounce K-Pod sizes per serving.
Speed is a massive part of the K-Classic’s appeal, offering up a single cup in just one minute and you’ll also be able to use ground coffee as well. While there are lots of reasons not to love a single-serve machine – from so-so coffee to pods that are both pricey and add to landfill (unless you opt for buying a reusable, refillable K-Cup alternative), there’s no arguing with Keurig’s convenience. Plus, you only brew what you need, eliminating those half pots that inevitably go down the drain.
Check out more Keurig coffee makers
The Cuisinart Grind and Brew is one of the cheapest coffee makers with a grinder attached, but it does sacrifice the more expensive burr grinder to keep that price low. However, many users have reported that simply adding a few more beans than you’re used to makes for a well balanced grind – saving you around $150 – $200 on the more premium build.
Plus, you can generally pick up Burr grinders for less than the premium placed on coffee makers that feature them built in.
The coffee maker itself offers up permanent filters and a programmable interface, but does come with the same drawback as any coffee maker with a grinder – cleaning. Making sure the grinder itself is fresh and clean can be a chore, and with small moving parts things can get fiddly fast.
However, cheap machines that offer integrated grinding are usually difficult to find, but this one comes in under $100 and its shortcuts can be easily remedied – that’s perfect if you’re looking to get started with an all-in-one machine and don’t want to pick up a separate grinder just yet.
This Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker has a touchscreen control panel that reviewers report finding exceptionally easy to program. Although this model is the least expensive one in our roundup of the best coffee makers, it manages to hold its own against some of the pricier options in terms of sheer value.
In addition to the LED display, you get the option to brew a more robust cup of joe than you would normally get from an inexpensive coffeemaker.
After 4 hours, the Mr. Coffee will automatically shut off to give you peace of mind if you leave the house for the day. The 12 cup glass carafe can also be cleaned in the dishwasher. The only important thing missing is a permanent filter so you will have to either buy one, or keep a stash of paper filters on hand.
How to choose the best coffee maker for you
Will it fit?
A coffee maker sits on the countertop, so measure the space where you plan to keep the machine before you buy one. Be sure to determine the clearance between the countertop and the bottom of your cabinets. Most, but not all coffee makers will fit under a cabinet.
If you’re passionate about coffee, look for a brewer that says it meets the Specialty Coffee Association’s Golden Cup Standard. This means the coffee brews at what is regarded as the perfect time and temperature for the best cup of Joe. But be aware that this standard calls for using 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for each 5-ounce cup, which produces a very full-bodied, strong cup of coffee that is not to everyone’s taste.
Keep in mind that coffee-maker cups are the equivalent of 5 ounces, or an old-fashioned teacup that isn’t filled to the brim, leaving room for milk. Most coffee mugs in use today hold upward of 8 ounces. Therefore, a typical 12-cup coffee maker brews enough coffee for about seven mugs at the most.
What kind of carafe?
Models with thermal carafes tend to be more expensive than those with glass carafes. You can bring thermal carafes to the table, where they’ll keep coffee hot for refills. However, these carafes have narrow openings that are difficult to hand-wash, and most can’t be cleaned in the dishwasher.
Paper or permanent filters?
Decide if you want to use a permanent filter or paper, disposable ones. Permanent filters are better for the environment, and you don’t have to constantly replace them, but they do need to be thoroughly washed by hand and they tend to stain. Also, it’s easier to toss paper filters in the trash than knock grounds out of a metal filter. You may also find that the taste of the coffee produced differs depending on filter type and that you prefer one over the other.
Do you want to set it and forget it?
With many machines, you can program them ahead of time to brew in the morning or right before you get home, and you can even set them to brew at the same time every day. But such features add to the price and work only if you take the time to read the manual and figure out how to use the setting.
Are expensive coffee makers worth it?
Some of the best coffee maker brands charge incredibly premium prices for their creations. It should be noted, though, that some expensive coffee makers might not necessarily be worth it for the everyday consumer. Prices that range up to $600 or $700 often focus on flexibility and precise control over aspects of brewing like temperature, steeping times and intensities, bloom and grind density.
If you’re looking for a pro barista grade experience, these more expensive coffee maker options can be well worth their price. However, if you just need a quick shot to get you up in the mornings, we’d recommend steering clear of these more premium devices.
How to care for and maintain a coffee maker
It’s essential that you know how to clean a coffee maker so that all your brews can taste as fresh as the first one. You’ll find a quick rundown here, but if you need to know how to clean a Keurig we’ve got even more tips for you as well.
- To avoid a stale-tasting brew, start with cold water and fresh-ground coffee.
- Don’t overfill the basket with coffee grounds. If you add too much, the grounds can overflow and clog the machine.
- Regularly clean all the parts of the coffee maker that come into contact with coffee grinds. The grinds leave behind an oily residue that builds up over time and affects the taste of the coffee.
- Run a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water through the machine to descale it, or prevent build-up of mineral deposits that can clog the device and slow the brewing time. If you’re waiting longer than usual for your Java to be ready, your brewer is overdue for a descaling.
When to replace your coffee maker
In general, coffee makers come with a one year warranty, but big brands like Cuisinart can offer up to three years of protection. The average lifespan of a coffee maker is about 5 years, we don’t recommend buying an extended warranty since repairs within that timeframe will usually cost less. Plus, rather than repair your coffee maker, you’ll likely want to replace it when it fails.
Issues that signal it’s time to buy a new machine include failure to brew, coffee that isn’t hot enough or leaks. If the brewing process starts to slow down or the java develops an off taste, be sure to descale your unit before you decide to buy a new one; it could just be clogged with mineral deposits.
A new coffee maker can spruce up your countertop. Models now come in beautiful matte, glossy finishes and color palettes beyond basic black and white. Some even have sophisticated copper accents or housing. But, in addition to a stylish new look, a new machine can upgrade the quality of your coffee. Many manufacturers are making sure their machines meet the standards established by the Specialty Coffee Association to deliver a perfect cup.
New machines are also stacked with useful features: like the ability to grind beans and automatically transfer the grounds to the filter basket. They also have settings that allow you to control the strength of the brew, adjust the temperature of your coffee, and in some cases also get hot water or frothed milk. Some machines even give you the flexibility of brewing an entire pot or a single serving — whether it’s a small cup or a tall travel mug.
Touchscreens are becoming more prevalent on coffee makers too, while Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are available on some models. They allow you to control the settings or start brewing remotely through a smartphone app or via Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands. There are even some coffee maker apps that let you order coffee, filters or other accessories.
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