Best Drip Coffee Maker Reviews: of the 12 top home coffee makers

A poor cup of coffee can ruin the start of what could have been a perfect day. Even if you choose the best grounds money can buy, the maker does all the brewing. You should thus go out and find the best coffee machine you can afford.

But what is the best coffee maker you can order today?

The answer depends on your brewing needs, budget, and kitchen real estate. We are here to help you narrow down the choices and pick the maker that ticks all the right boxes.

How to choose the right coffee maker

list of the best coffee maker types

The two main things to look for if you are to get a quality coffee maker are speed/brewing time and temperature. Both elements are heavily regulated and there is even a certification program. But as you know, a great machine does more than just keep hot water over the ground.

The following sections provide a quick guide to all the desirable features. We will focus on a wide range of home coffee machines, so this guide will not cover units like pour over coffee makers, siphons, french presses, cold-brew coffee makers, or stove-top moka pots. If you’re looking for an automatic drip coffee maker – read this guide: best drip coffee makers of 2019.

Brewing Time/Speed

The optimal brewing time is between 4 and 8 minutes and the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) is very rigorous about this. [1] Brew your coffee for too long and it is likely to turn out bitter. On the other hand, brew it too quickly and it’ll be bland and too mild.

Related: Best SCAA certified coffee makers

The brewing speed also depends on the type of ground. For example, coarse grounds should be brewed between 6 and 8 minutes, and you shouldn’t brew fine grounds for more than 4 minutes. Plus, there are specially engineered machines that deliver brewed coffee in under 4 minutes and still give you a rich flavor profile.

Temperature

The two main things to look for if you are to get a quality coffee maker are speed/brewing time and temperature. Both elements are heavily regulated and there is even a certification program. But as you know, a great machine does more than just keep hot water over the ground.

The following sections provide a quick guide to all the desirable features. We will focus on drip coffee machines, so this guide will not cover units like siphons, French presses, cold-brew coffee makers, or stove-top moka pots.

Brewing Time/Speed

If you’re wondering how to use a coffee machine to the best effect, there is no cutting corners with the temperature. The ideal brewing temperature is 200°F +/- 5°F and the nearer you get to the target, the better your coffee turns out. Remember, hot water is the extraction agent and it is responsible for dissolving and extracting the oils and solids to bring out the full flavor profile. [2]

Coffee shall exhibit a brew strength, measured in Total Dissolved Solids, of 11.5 to 13.5 grams per liter, corresponding to 1.15 to 1.35 percent on the SCAA Brewing Control Chart.

– SCAA Golden Cup Standard

To put things into perspective, the Golden Cup standard refers to a machine’s ability to hit the right temperature, resulting in proper extraction. Similar to wrong timing, if the heat is too high, the coffee becomes bitter and too heavy. If it’s too low, you’ll be drinking a sour-ish tea-like thing.

Carafe Type

There are two carafe types – glass and thermal; each type comes with its benefits and downsides.

Glass carafes are usually more affordable, there are a bunch of different styles, and you can see how much coffee is left at any given moment. However, they require a hot plate and are not that good at keeping the coffee hot for long.

Thermal carafes are usually more durable, and there is no risk of overheating and oxidation, which allows for better coffee flavor. As for the cons, thermal carafes are heavier and they all look pretty much the same. However, this is a small compromise to make for superior durability and performance. If you can choose a thermal carafe over a glass one, do it. If hot coffee is important to you, check out the best thermal coffee makers list here.

Consider your Budget

You don’t need to spend a small fortune to get a really good coffee brewer. The prices range between $50 and $100, and you get automatic presets, ample capacity, and decent build quality. But why settle for just a good brewer? After all, you are looking for the best coffee maker.

These set you back $300 plus and, rest assured, you money is well-spent. In general, you are getting superior heating elements, pre-infusion settings, better water shower, and more. And if you go for one of Technivorm products, the units are also handmade.

If you’re looking for Coffee makers made in western countries like the USA or Europe, you’ll need to significantly increase your budget.

Coffee Maker Reviews

1. Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer – Best Overall Drip Coffee Maker

breville precision brewer

Specifications

  • Capacity: 60 ounces
  • 6 different brewing presets
  • The packaging comes with Cone Filter and Flat Bottom baskets
  • SCAA certified

“Having the flexibility of a really awesome batch brewer is pretty rare… and if you’ve got a little bit of disposable income, it’s definitely worth a look.”

– RealChrisBaca on the Breville BDC450

From eye-catching design to impressive specs, the Breville Precision brewer is the mother of all coffee machines. But don’t take our word for it – take a closer look at its features and see for yourself.

The Breville has automatic brewing time and temperature adjustments to meet the SCAA standards. In case you didn’t know, the water temperature should be around 200°F when it contacts the grounds. [3] To ensure proper temperature, this maker utilizes Thermocoil heating which is superior to aluminum.

You also get digital temperature controls to zero in on the contact time, flow rate, and, of course, the temperature. There is a backlit LED display to preview all the settings, but the main highlight is My Brew. It saves your preferences so you have a perfect cup every morning without wasting any time.Aside from My Brew, there are five other brewing presets, including Strong, Cold Brew, Gold, and Fast. Plus, this drip brewer features the Steep & Release valve which is soon to be patented by Breville.

Best suited for those looking for a premium coffee maker that delivers an exceptional brewing precision.

2. Cuisinart DCC-3200 Programmable Coffee Maker – Favourite Budget Coffee Maker

Cuisinart DCC-3200 Programmable Coffee Maker

Specifications

  • Has a water window for an easier and more accurate refill
  • Comes with a permanent coffee filter (gold-tone)
  • Charcoal water filter
  • Brew Pause option allows you to pour a cup before the cycle ends
  • Combines high-quality plastic, stainless steel, and glass

The Cuisinart DCC-3200 can fit any budget, but there’s more to this automatic drip machine than just its low price. It features cutting-edge auto-brewing technology to get you a cup of coffee that excites the palate and reinvigorates the senses.

To start with, this model has a glass carafe that can hold as much as 14 cups. And rest assured, it yields the same flavor profile when you brew only one cup. To get an ideal brew, the DCC-3200 utilizes simple-to-use automatic flow and temperature controls. But the goodies don’t stop at that.

This maker can be set to auto for 24 hours in advance. In other words, you can have the coffee ready to pour by the time you reach the kitchen. There is also an option to set an alarm to inform you as soon as the coffee is ready.

If you’re still having second thoughts about this brewer, you should know it comes with a three-year limited warranty. The only downside is the size, but that is to be expected from a 14-cup model.

Best suited for coffee lovers on a tight budget.

3. Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker – The Best 4-Cup Coffee Maker

Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker

Specifications

  • Compact at just 6.14×7.12×9.64 inches
  • Easy maintenance with the Lift & Clean filter basket
  • LED power indicator light
  • Available in white and black

Don’t use any abrasives to clean a drip brewer. Running common household vinegar through the system is enough to keep it in pristine condition.

Don’t get things wrong – the limited brewing capacity doesn’t mean that this model lacks advanced characteristics. In fact, the Mr. Coffee brewer shares a lot of features with some bigger and more expensive units.

You get Grab-a-Cup, which is similar to the brewing pause function on some other models and allows you to pour before the cycle ends. As soon as you put the carafe back, the brewing cycle automatically continues.

This Mr. Coffee is a switch brewer and you don’t need a 100-page manual to use it. Being a 4-cup model, the drip brewer is also compact. It measures 6.14×7.12×9.64 inches and weighs just 2.4 pounds. The water reservoir has two graded windows to prevent overflows and it allows you to hit the right amount of water per cup of coffee.Finally, the maintenance is a walk in the park. The filter basket is easy to remove, and it is advisable to clean the whole unit using common household items.

Best suited for anyone who wants a simple-to-use brewer that provides enough coffee throughout the day.

4. Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto – Best 5-Cup Coffee Maker

Zojirushi Zutto

Specifications

  • 22.6 fluid ounce capacity (5 cups)
  • Removable water tank with a single window
  • Replaceable charcoal water filter,  good for two years

The Zojirushi Zutto 5-cup maker has a lot going in its favor. It offers Japanese engineering and attention to detail, as well as build quality that’s hard to rival. Plus, the unit comes at a reasonable price and includes a complimentary measuring spoon.

Style and size-wise, this coffee maker is designed to fit any kitchen. The unit measures 6×8.8×10.4 inches and the filter is hidden in the decanter for additional compactness and better usability. The Zojirushi Zutto has metallic gray housing and a glass carafe with an integrated filtration system.

As for the operation, this is a standard switch brewer which automatically keeps your coffee warm. The device is cULus-listed, which means it adheres to the U.S. manufacturing and safety standards. There is a one-year limited warranty, though this is not that much compared to the competition.

Best suited for small families or singles who like to have the coffee ready at all times. 

5. Cuisinart DCC-1100BK Coffee Maker – Best 12-Cup Coffee Maker

Cuisinart DCC-1100BK

Specifications

  • Measures 8×8.1×14.2 inches and weighs 6.3 pounds
  • Has settings for small batches of 1 to 4 cups
  • Self-clean button and brew pause functionality
  • Features a safety system in case of a blackout

This 12-cup coffee maker hits the sweet spot in terms of capacity, compactness, and programmable operation. What’s more, Cuisinart has paid special attention to the carafe design to improve handling and usability.

There is no need to worry about coffee stains, heat transfer, or awkward grip. The carafe has a dripless spout, an ergonomic handle, plus a knuckle guard to keep your fingers away from glass. The filter basket is designed to hold paper and permanent filters, and the unit comes with a gold-tone permanent filter.

The Cuisinart DCC-1100BK has a charcoal water filter that should be good for about two months. However, you might need to change it more often if you use hard water. The filter also needs to be properly installed, so make sure to check the instructions.

Another highlight is the showerhead which is engineered to provide even water distribution. This way, there’s less heat loss and all the grounds get soaked well.

Best suited for a variety of users. From small offices to families, with this machine, you can have a perfect cup ready for you every morning.

6. Technivorm Moccamaster 59462 KBG Brewer – most loved SCAA certified brewer

Technivorm Moccamaster KGB Brewer

Specifications

  • Measures 6.5×12.7×14 inches and weighs 6 pounds
  • 4 to 6-minute brewing time
  • Handmade unit suitable for commercial use
  • Features a combination of European plastic and metal
  • 22 different finishes to choose from

The Technivorm Moccamaster has special appeal. Its industrial look and rugged design hint at its durability and build quality, but the true highlights hide behind the metal housing.

This brewer has a copper boiling element which ensures optimal brewing temperature even after months of heavy use. The capacity is 40 fluid ounces or about 10 cups, and it takes six minutes to brew the whole batch. The brew basket has a 9-hole arm shower that drips water over at temperatures between 196°F and 205°F to provide the best extraction.

There are only two switches at the base – one controls the hot plate and the other powers the Technivorm Moccamaster on and off. If you forget to switch the machine off, it automatically shuts down after 100 minutes and keeps your coffee at 175°F all the while.

More importantly, this model is handmade and comes in 22 different finishes. However, premium engineering, design, and top-notch materials come at a price. But remember, this is a real tank of a brewer, so it’s well-worth the money. Plus, don’t forget the SCAA certification.

Best suited for those wanting a coffee maker that produces the best tasting filter coffee.

7. Bonavita BV1900TS Coffee Maker – Most Loved Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker

Bonavita BV1900TS Coffee Maker

Specifications

  • Measures 6.8×12.2×12.4 inches
  • 6-minute brewing time at full capacity
  • Dishwasher-safe elements
  • Comes with a 2-year limited warranty

The thermal carafe is surely the thing that sets this Bonavita coffee maker apart from the competition. But upon closer inspection, you’ll realize that the entire unit is designed to brew a perfect cup.

You get to choose the pre-infusion mode that moistens the grounds to degas them before brewing. The showerhead is rather large to ensure even drip and better saturation. This model has a flat-bottomed filter basket which is there to improve the extraction process. And then, there’s the Bonavita heater.

At 1500 watts, the heater is quite powerful for an 8-cup brewer and keeps the temperature between 195°F and 205°F. As for the carafe, it has a dual stainless steel wall and thermal lining to prevent heat transfer.

You should also know that the showerhead, filter basket, and carafe lid are all dishwasher-safe. Mind you, manufacturers usually advise against placing these elements into the dishwasher. Finally, the Bonavita plastic elements in this unit are all BPA-free.

Best suited for small-to-medium size households. Plus, it sports an aesthetically-appealing stainless steel design that suits both contemporary and traditional kitchens.

8. Cuisinart DGB-900BC Coffee Maker – Best Coffee Maker with grinder built into it

Cuisinart DGB-900BC Coffee Maker

Specifications

  • Features automatic burr grinder
  • Brew strength selection – mild, medium, or strong
  • Features a permanent filter (gold-tone)

Regardless of the filter type, medium ground is best for drip brewers. However, if you have a flat-bottom filter, the texture should be similar to sand.

True coffee connoisseurs prefer to make their own grounds to get just the right texture. But you don’t need to get a separate grinder to do that. The Cuisinart DGB-900BC is an all-in-one drip machine that comes with a built-in grinder.

To be precise, you can put up to half a pound of coffee beans into the hopper and the automatic burr grinder does the rest of the job. The coffee drips into the thermal carafe that features dual stainless steel walls, though this is similar to some other models. The thing that makes the carafe stand out is the ergonomic handle with wrist protection.

When it comes to programmable features, you get all the bells and whistles. There is the brew pause functionality, the grind-off option, automatic shut down, strength control, and program button.

Because of the added grinder, this model is somewhat bigger and heavier compared to other models. However, this doesn’t make it bulky, and you should be able to easily find a place for it on your countertop.

Best suited for anybody who cherishes the benefits of a fresh ground. And don’t forget, this model also has a thermal carafe to keep your coffee hot throughout the day.

9. Barsetto Coffee Maker – A Great BPA-Free Coffee Maker

Barsetto Coffee Maker

Specifications

  • 40 fluid ounce capacity (10 cups)
  • BPA-free and cULus-listed
  • Food-grade plastic elements
  • Available in black finish

Not only is this model BPA-free but it also offers great brewing characteristics and ample capacity. It can hold up to 40 fluid ounces, which is good for 10 cups of coffee. What’s more, the Barsetto features polished stainless steel housing which makes it a real show-stopper.

Presets-wise, you get programmable brewing time, auto shut-off, heat preservation, and you can have the coffee ready on auto the next morning. In fairness, this is not that dissimilar to other machines. Nevertheless, only a few offer the same fast brewing function – with the Barsetto, your coffee is ready in under two minutes.

Another major plus is the easy maintenance. The funnels and glass kettle are dishwasher-safe and the cone filter is easily accessible, though you cannot remove the water tank. As stated, this Barsetto maker is BPA-free, but the unit only comes with a one-year limited warranty. This shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, though, due to its great brewing characteristics and cool design.

Best suited for those looking for a stylish coffee maker built using top-quality materials. 

10. BUNN GRB Velocity Brew – Fastest Coffee Maker

Bunn GRB Velocity Brew

Specifications

  • 3 to 4-minute brew cycle
  • Drip-free carafe with a precision-engineered lid
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty

Speed can be the enemy of the brewing process, but the BUNN Velocity Brew 10-cup coffee maker gives you a completely different kind of speed. So, how does it do it?

The internal water is hot at all times and ready to thoroughly soak the grounds. The BUNN GRB features special spray-head showers with multiple streams to provide even distribution. The coffee filter is flat-bottom and there is a specially designed funnel to improve the extraction process.

These specs are great, but you are probably still wondering about how fast the BUNN actually is. According to the manufacturer’s testing, the brewing time is about 3 to 4 minutes. This applies to both 4-cup and 10-cup batches, as well as anything in between. Of course, there’s more to it than just speed.

The BUNN GRB is slim and compact, measuring 7.1×13.8×14.3 inches. The carafe features a special spout design to prevent dripping and spillage, and the entire thing looks and feels premium.

Best suited for those who want a fast cup of coffee, without sacrificing quality.

11. Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker – Best Keurig Coffee Maker

Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker

Specifications

  • Holds three different cup sizes
  • 1-minute brewing time
  • Removable water tank
  • Three color options (black, white, and red)

Some coffee aficionados believe that a K-cup machine doesn’t come near traditional brewers, but the Keurig K-Classic is there to prove them wrong. The main highlights are the ease of use and brewing speed, but this Keurig unit incorporates other smart features, as well.

You get descaling, which prevents the accumulation of scale that builds up after some time. The button controls are simple and intuitive. You just need to insert the cup and press the button to select the desired amount, and the machine does the rest of the job.

This machine takes three different K-Cup sizes – 6, 8, and 10 ounces. If you want a strong brew, it’s advisable to use a 6-ounce cup. In addition, the water reservoir holds up to 48 fluid ounces, which is enough for six servings. It is removable, which makes refills and cleaning a breeze.

Of course, there is an auto shut-off feature that initiates after the machine has been idling for 2 hours. You can also remove the drip tray and use the Keurig to fill up a 7.1-inch mug. 

Best suited for anyone who wants an easy cup of quality coffee that takes just a minute to make. If you like the idea of a push-button coffee maker – see our guide to the best Keurig coffee makers here.

12. Hamilton Beach The Scoop Coffee Maker – Most Compact Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach The Scoop Coffee Maker

Specifications

  • 90-second brewing time for a standard cup
  • 2 coffee strength presets
  • Stainless steel design

This model looks like a K-Cup coffee maker, but it borrows the loading method from espresso machines, while the extraction process is that of a traditional drip brewer. At the same time, the Hamilton Beach maker is so compact that it won’t look strange on the top of your desk.

But first things first, it pays to take a closer look at how it all works. The Hamilton Beach has a mesh filter scoop that resembles an espresso machine portafilter. The scoop holds enough grounds to fill up a 14-ounce mug or an 8-ounce cup, and the best thing about it is the speed.

An 8-ounce cup should be ready in under 90 seconds, and it takes less than three minutes to brew 14 ounces of coffee. Plus, the machine adapts to different coffee brands at a simple press of a button. For example, the BOLD preset is great for finely ground coffee, while REGULAR is perfect for the usual drip.

Finally, there is the size. The Hamilton Beach measures only 7.6×9.8×13.5 inches and weighs 5.2 pounds. It’s not the lightest coffee maker on the market, but most of the weight comes from the abundance of stainless steel elements.

Best suited for busy entrepreneurs limited on time.

The Verdict

When all is said and done, the best coffee machine brews a perfect cup every time you want it. It gives you the option to automate the entire process and it looks really cool in your kitchen. So which coffee maker gives you this and then some?

Here is a quick recap of the list:

  • Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer – Best for those who enjoy premium coffee
  • Cuisinart DCC-3200 Programmable Coffee Maker – Best for people on a tight budget
  • Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker – Best for people who are looking for a simple-to-use brewer
  • Zojirushi EC-DAC50 – Best for small families and coffee-hungry singles
  • Cuisinart DCC-1100BK – Best for small offices and larger households
  • Technivorm Moccamaster 59462 KBG – Best for commercial venues
  • Bonavita BV1900TS – Best if you want a thermal carafe
  • Cuisinart DGB-900BC – Best for those who enjoy fresh grinds
  • Barsetto Coffee Maker – Best if you want a really stylish coffee maker
  • BUNN GRB Velocity Brew – Best for those who need coffee fast
  • Keurig K-Classic – Best if you like the convenience of K-cups
  • Hamilton Beach The Scoop Coffee Maker – Best for different types of grounds

With so many good choices reviewed in this article, you are bound to have found at least one coffee maker that fits your needs.

FAQs

1. Which coffee maker brews hottest?

There is no coffee maker that brews the hottest. The optimal brewing temperature is around 200°F and all good coffee makers brew at that temperature. Brewing too hot can ruin your coffee, so you should avoid models that advertise as brewing the hottest.

2. What is the best tasting coffee?

The best tasting coffee for machines is the one that best suits your palate. But there are some rules about the roasting and grinding. The roast should be medium and the same goes for ground, assuming you are aiming for a 4-to-6-minute brewing cycle.

References:

  1. Brewing Best Practices. (n.d.). Retrieved August 1, 2019, from http://scaa.org/?page=resources&d=brewing-best-practices&source=post_page—————————
  2. Brewing Standards (n.d.). Retrieved August 1, 2019, from http://www.scaa.org/?d=brewing-standards&page=resources
  3. Protocols & Best Practices. (n.d.). Retrieved August 1, 2019, from https://sca.coffee/research/protocols-best-practices