- A great coffee maker can make or break your brew — and your morning.
- These are the best coffee makers you can buy, whether it's a drip coffee, French Press, espresso, pour-over, or cold brew coffee maker.
- And if you're interested, here's our guide to the best coffee beans.
If you love coffee, you likely know how important a great coffee maker is.
In fact, it can be the difference between a watery mess and a beautiful sip from heaven. But there are hundreds of coffee machines and makers out there, and they're not all going to create a good brew.
When shopping for a coffee maker of your own, there are a few things you should consider, such as the amount of time you want to dedicate to brewing or the ease of use. You can read all about how to choose between coffee makers here.
We tested many of the top products in each category after hours of research to bring you the best coffee makers no matter what type of machine you're looking for.
The best coffee makers you can buy
- Best drip coffee maker: Bonavita BV1900TS Drip Coffee Maker
- Best affordable coffee maker: Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT Machine
- Best pour-over coffee: Hario V60
- Best French Press: Bodum Chambord French Press
- Best cold brew machine: OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Best pod coffee machine: De'Longhi Nespresso Pixie
- Best stovetop espresso maker: Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker
- Best espresso machine: Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine
Prices and links are accurate as of 7/29/20. We've streamlined the original article, updated our picks for the best pour-over and French press, and will be working on a large update of this guide in the near future.
The best drip coffee maker
The Bonavita BV1900TS has a large carafe and pre-infuses beans to extract any acidity that can ruin a good cup of coffee.
Sometimes coffee lovers look down on drip coffee makers, but the Bonavita BV1900TS is easy to use and maintain, and produces a clean cup of coffee.
The machine has a pre-infusion mode that wets the coffee grounds before extraction and helps remove materials bound in the cells of the coffee beans, which reportedly give it an acidic taste. The result is a smoother brew with richer flavors and less acidity.
The machine is also extremely easy to use and clean. It only has one button, which you push to start the brew cycle. All of the components are dishwasher-friendly, so you won't have to worry about washing the coffee maker by hand.
The design of the machine is basic, but it's sleek enough to stay out on a kitchen countertop. The carafe is also quite large and holds 44-ounces of coffee, making it a great choice for big families or parties.
The Bonavita BV1900TS is more expensive than some other machines on this list, but it's more sophisticated than a pour-over but way less intense than a barista-level espresso machine. — Christian de Looper
Pros: Straightforward to use, easy to clean, large carafe size
Cons: Depending on your preferences, the machine can seem too basic
The best affordable coffee maker
The Mr. Coffee Machine brews good coffee and keeps it warm for hours, and its affordable price can't be beaten.
Not everyone can afford a fancy espresso maker or pay upwards of $100 for a coffee machine, but thankfully, there are still some great coffee makers that are much more affordable. The Mr. Coffee machine is the best one we tested in the lower price range.
Now, to be clear, you're not going to get espresso-quality coffee with this machine, but if you're on a budget, you'll still be able to get a decent brew. The coffee that you'll end up with will be piping hot and stay that way for hours. In fact, when we tested it, the coffee remained hot after two hours, thanks to the heating element under the carafe.
The machine is easy to use and turns off automatically, which saves you energy and worry. It also has a cool "pause and serve" feature, so you can take the carafe out and serve coffee even while it's still brewing. It's also easy to clean. The carafe is dishwasher-friendly, and the filter basket can be taken out and cleaned without issues.
There are some problems with the machine. It's a little loud during the brewing process, and while we didn't run into any problems in our tests, some customers have experienced water leakage. — Christian de Looper
Pros: Affordable, easy to use, slightly programmable
Cons: A little loud, machine doesn't have many tech features
The best pour-over coffee maker
The Hario V60 is simple to use and makes a clear cup of coffee each time because you control every brewing variable. The ceramic build and sleek design also look great on countertops.
Our tester who's worked in the coffee industry for almost decade uses the Hario V60 at home and recommends it to anyone who's looking to brew a great cup of coffee every morning.
The conical design is simple and straightforward — just put in a filter, add your coffee beans, add just enough water to cover the beans and let them bloom, and then add more water as the brewed coffee drips out of the cone. It's a manual process, yes, but one that ensures you get the ideal cup each time.
The ceramic build is sturdy though prone to cracking and breaking if you drop it often enough, and the handle means you won't burn your fingers as you move the cone from your cup or carafe and into the kitchen sink.
Read our full review of the Hario V60 here.
Pros: Easy to use, works with many types of filters, affordable, great for controlling taste
Cons: Not programmable, as manual as it gets
The best French press
The Bodum Chambord French press makes full-bodied coffee and the durable design can last for years.
Our tester has used this French press every day for the past five years and has only replaced the glass beaker once — a true testament to the Bodum Chambord's design, durability, and ease of use.
French presses are one of the easiest and most straight-forward manual brewing processes, with pour-over devices being the most manual. It's slightly easier to use than pour-overs because you don't need to stand over a coffee mug for five minutes. Just pour in ground coffee and water, and let it steep for a few minutes before pushing the plunger. You can control the overall taste by experimenting with different amounts of beans and water, and the steep time.
Even though there are a few small pieces in the French press, like the filter and plunger, it's still easy to clean. Even better is the durable glass beaker, which only needed to be replaced once in five years. There's also no need for filters or pods, so there aren't any hidden costs.
Read our full review of the Chambord French press here.
Pros: Durable design, sturdy handle for good grip, no need for extra filters or parts
Cons: Glass beaker can break
The best cold brew coffee maker
The OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Cold Brew Coffee Maker makes a delicious cold brew for those of you who want to chase the latest coffee fad.
Cold brew coffee is the hottest thing in coffee culture. The OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Cold Brew Coffee Maker is the best of the bunch, and you can get it for a reasonable price.
To make cold brew, you use more coffee grounds than you usually would, add water, let it sit for eight to 24 hours, and filter it. The OXO machine takes cold brew to the next level with its Perforated Rainmaker, which evenly pours the water over your coffee grounds to bring out the best flavors from your beans.
A switch on the machine controls the filtration process, and the fine stainless steel mesh filter ensures that no grounds make it into the borosilicate glass carafe. It's relatively easy to clean the filter and the carafe. The carafe has measurements on it so you know how much you have, and it comes with a stopper for easy storage in the fridge when it's done brewing.
If you end up disliking it or it doesn't work for any reason, OXO has you covered with a guaranteed repair or replacement. — Malarie Gokey
Pros: Easy to clean, carafe doubles as a coffee container, OXO guarantee
Cons: Takes very to brew
The best pod-style coffee maker
The Nespresso Pixie by De'Longhi is small, sleek, offers a wide variety of pod flavors, and accepts a host of third-party pods.
The great thing about Nespresso machines is that the pods are simplistic enough that they can be produced by third parties who offer compostable and reusable options— both of which will save you money in the long run.
The great thing about this Nespresso machine is its ability to consistently push out foamy, espresso-like coffee for the caffeine fiend on the go.
There are two settings for the Pixie: espresso (denoted as a little cup) and lungo (big cup). The two settings produce more or less the same thing, but if you want to make a cappuccino or macchiato, the lungo might be the way to go.
Nespresso makes two different lines of machines and single-use pods and pouches, and the pouches (compatible with the VertuoLine) don't quite generate the pressure the capsules do. This results in a drink that's closer to a mild coffee with a decent crema than an actual espresso, according to our own testing.
Pros: Simple, affordable, doesn't look half bad on the kitchen counter, you can change out the side plates for any of Nespresso's signature colors
Cons: Doesn't quite stack up to a proper espresso from a $2,000 machine, if that's something within your budget
The best stovetop espresso machine
The Italian Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker was the first moka pot, and after all these years, it still produces great espresso.
Bialetti made the first stovetop espresso maker back in 1933, and it's still using the exact same patented moka pot design. The company may make many different models now, but the original Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker is still the very best one you can buy.
Unlike the cheap imitations you'll find in kitchen stores, the Bialetti is made right in Italy with craftsmanship and care. Although it's made of aluminum and not stainless steel, it's a sturdy, durable little machine that will last you a lifetime. I've had mine for six years, and it works like new after daily use.
The aluminum pot has an eight-sided base that diffuses heat equally, resulting in evenly brewed coffee with a deliciously rich flavor. To make coffee, you simply fill the base up to the waterline, spoon moka ground coffee into the funnel, and twist the top closed securely over the grounds and water.
Put a gas burner on low so the flame doesn't go outside of the pot's base and burn the handle. You can also use it on an electric stove, just be careful to place the handle well away from the heating element.
Using less heat ensures that your coffee doesn't burn, either. A few minutes later, you'll hear the pot begin to gurgle as the steam-pressurized boiling water passes through the grounds and up through the spout of the moka pot to become strong, rich coffee.
You can get the Bialetti Moka Express in a variety of sizes from 3 cups to 12 cups. The 6-cup machine is best for most people, but if you like to entertain or you have a big family, the 12-cup machine will be just right. I actually own both the 6-cup and 12-cup machines, so that I always make the perfect amount of coffee for every situation. — Malarie Gokey
Pros: Inexpensive, comes in fun colors and different sizes, easy to clean, made in Italy, has a two-year warranty
Cons: Manual process compared to other machines, needs to be positioned on a stove or electric cookware top carefully
The best espresso machine
The Breville Barista Express creates beautiful tasting espresso and makes you feel like a real barista.
If you're willing to spend the money on a great espresso machine, then you'll want the Breville Barista Express.
The design of the Barista Express is absolutely beautiful, and it will fit right at home among other premium stainless steel appliances. It's slightly wider than a microwave, so it won't take up too much room in small kitchens. After you read through the quick-start guide and attempt a few tries, you should have the process down — it's semi-manual, thankfully.
In the box is pretty much everything you'll need except for a cup, so you won't have to buy a coffee grinder or a bean hopper separately. The flip-side of this machine being semi-manual is that it's also semi-automatic. Automatic features include the ability to adjust the water temperature to get the best flavor out of your coffee grounds.
While there is some cleaning involved, the machine is easy to take care of, and Breville included some features to make it easier. For example, a little sign pops up when the drip tray is full and needs to be emptied. It also has a large water tank, so you can fill it once and be good to go for at least a few days.
It's a little pricier than the other machines on this list, and while you will feel like a real barista while using it, there is some work involved in getting to know your way around the machine. Still, based on our testing, learning how to use the machine is well worth the effort, and the result is great tasting espresso. — Christian de Looper
Pros: Easy to use, well designed
Cons: Takes some work to learn, requires regular cleaning
How to choose between coffee makers
For starters, you'll want to decide on the type of coffee maker you want to go for. Here's a quick run-down of the different types, along with links to our specific buying guides for each one if you'd like to learn more.
- Espresso machine: Brewing great espresso is considered by many to be the only acceptable way to create a good coffee, though it's much more popular in Europe than it is in the US. There are a few downsides to espresso machines. They generally take a lot more work to use and clean, and they're often more expensive than the instant coffee makers widely available in the US. As I found out during the testing of all these machines, once you've brewed and experienced great espresso, you may be ruined for all other types of coffee.
- Stovetop espresso machine: Although moka pots don't technically make espresso — because they use lower pressures of 1 to 2 bar and real espresso machines use 9 bar of pressure — the coffee you get is very rich and strong. Some machines will even produce a bit of crema just like high-end espresso machines. If you're using this to make cappuccinos or lattes at home, you'll be more than satisfied, but if you want shots of thick, creamy espresso, you need a real espresso machine.
- Programmable drip machines: Drip coffee makers are perhaps the most common kind of coffee maker, especially in households with multiple coffee drinkers and in offices. There are a few advantages to using them – they're often extremely easy to use, and they brew a whole pot of coffee rather than one drink at a time. They also keep coffee nice and hot over long periods of time. The main disadvantage is that they sometimes take a little longer to brew.
- Pour-over coffee maker: Pour-over coffee makers are typically manual and old-fashioned. You put a reusable cone made of plastic, ceramic, or mesh over your cup, pop a paper filter in, add coffee, and pour the boiling water over your grounds. It filters through to drip right into your mug.
- French press: French press coffee makers consist of a cylindrical beaker and a lid with a plunger attached. To make coffee, you put the coffee grounds in hot water, wait a few minutes, then use the plunger to push all the coffee grounds to the bottom. French presses work well with coarser coffee grounds than other coffee makers. The disadvantage of using them is that they're often a pain to clean, and the grounds often leak into the coffee and end up in your coffee mug.
- Instant pod-based coffee maker: These kinds of machines have gained in popularity a lot over the past few years. You put the pod with coffee into the machine, and it automatically makes your drink. Pod-based machines are extremely easy to use, and you can use a different kind of coffee each time you brew if you so choose. They're also relatively affordable, though not as cheap as French presses.
- Cold brew coffee maker: If you want to try the hottest trend in coffee, go for a cold brew machine. Experts say iced coffee tastes better when it's cold brew rather than hot coffee that's been refrigerated. Brewing coffee with cold extracts sweeter flavors, so you get a less bitter and more concentrated coffee that's meant to be iced and topped off with milk.
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