15 Best French Presses for Your Home (Reviews + Buying Guide)
The French Press Coffee Maker, also called Cafetiere, Coffee Press, Press Pot, or Coffee Plunger, is still one of the most popular coffee making devices all over the world. Coffee connoisseurs say that nothing comes close to the boldness of a cup of French Press coffee.
What is so special about a French Press, and why does the coffee it makes taste so fascinating? Let’s find out.
- What Is a French Press And Why Is It So Popular?
- French Press Parts And Materials – Where Design Meets Functionality
- Materials Of French Press – Glass, Ceramic, Or Stainless Steel
- Best French Press Coffee Maker – Our Top Recommendation For You!
- Best Glass French Press Coffee Makers
- Best Stainless Steel French Presses
- Best Ceramic Or Stoneware French Press
- Best Travel French Press Coffee Mug
- The Verdict
What Is a French Press And Why Is It So Popular?
The full immersion of coffee grinds in water in a French Press supports the maximum extraction of the coffee bean flavors. What you get is a cup of rich and flavorful coffee.
Drip coffee makers and pour-overs (see our top picks here) use paper filters to separate the grounds from the coffee. But the filters absorb the coffee oils as a side-effect, producing a sweeter, cleaner cup of joe.
There’s one disadvantage of using a mesh filter: Along with the coffee oils, tiny coffee grind particles can pass through the filter and find their way into your cup. Therefore, it’s always recommended to use a coarse grind for French Press coffee to minimize those intruders.
But don’t get discouraged, it’s a small price to pay for the delicious coffee you get.
Speaking of price, you don’t have to pay a fortune for the best French Press coffee makers. Even a cheap $10 French Press produces great coffee!
You are probably thinking: There are Coffee Presses on sale for up to $80! Why should I pay so much when a $10 Coffee Press does it all?
You’re right, the higher price of a French Press won’t make the coffee taste significantly better. It’s more about the design, durability, and the materials used that lead to a higher price. If you want to find out why that’s important, keep reading.
French Press Parts And Materials – Where Design Meets Functionality
Beaker Or Carafe
The carafe holds the coffee and should be thick enough not to break. Glass is the most common material used in French Presses and is in most cases the cheapest option next to plastic. You can also pick one made from stainless steel, like the material used in most moka pots, if you travel a lot or you want a shatterproof coffee press. Alternative materials are ceramic or stoneware.
Your French Press needs a good filter to separate the grinds from the brewed coffee. The filter mesh should be as dense as possible, and there should be no folding lines. Make sure there are no spaces between the carafe and the filter either.
You might think that the more expensive a French Press is, the better the quality of the filter. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. So all you can do is either check hundreds of customer reviews for their long-term experience or let us give you an overview of the top-rated French Presses below!
The plunger is the part of the French Press that pushes the filter down. Usually, expensive coffee presses have a better quality plunger which keeps the rod in place. Lower quality coffee presses may leave too much room so you could accidentally wiggle the plunger too much. As a result, the filter disc won’t be aligned with the beaker anymore, allowing the coffee grinds to escape. The consequence: more sludge in your coffee!
Cheap French Presses come with a simple, flimsy lid. They work fine, but you need both hands to push the plunger down — one to hold the lid in place, the other to press.
Better French Press coffee makers have a thick, sturdy lid, that does not fall off even when you turn the French Press upside down.
Materials Of French Press – Glass, Ceramic, Or Stainless Steel
Most Coffee Presses are made of Borosilicate or Pyrex glass because these materials are resistant to thermal shock. According to Science Direct (1):
…it has a lower expansion coefficient and a high resistance to thermal shock, so it is used for glassware and laboratory equipment.
If the glass beaker was not heat resistant, it could crack or, even worse, explode when you pour boiling water in it. So when you buy a glass French Press, please verify that it’s either Borosilicate or Pyrex!
Another common French Press material is Stainless Steel. Most Press Pots have a double-wall stainless steel body that keeps the coffee warm for a long time. However, due to the unsealed lid, heat can escape faster than in a thermal carafe. More about thermal carafe coffee makers here.
The advantage of a stainless steel French Press is that it won’t break. Most of them also sport an elegant design, which could be a great addition to your kitchen. However, they usually cost a little more than glass French Presses.
Some French Presses, like the Le Creuset, are made of ceramic. This material is heat resistant and even allows you to put it in the microwave to reheat the coffee (we don’t recommend doing it, though).
Ceramic coffee presses are heavier than regular glass or stainless steel French Presses, so they’re not suitable for travel. They’re also way more expensive.
However, if you want to add another piece of kitchenware to your rustic country-style kitchen or already have several other ceramic pieces, then go for it! If you are only looking to brew coffee though, you should choose a cheaper glass or stainless steel press.
Best French Press Coffee Maker – Our Top Recommendation For You!
Grosche Madrid French Press
We always encourage supporting companies that try to make the world a little better. Grosche is one of them. That’s why Grosche Madrid is our top recommendation for a French Press.
To be honest, the French Press itself is not significantly better than the Bodum’s or Espro’s; neither is it any worse. However, the combination of high-quality French Press and a good cause is undoubtedly a good reason to go for the Grosche Madrid French Press!
So what exactly is the good thing that Grosche does?
They provide safe water for people in need through their Safe Water Project. According to the Grosche company website(2):
It’s also worth mentioning that Grosche uses high-quality “Made In Germany” borosilicate glass for their glass press pots. The plunger is well-made, sturdy, and goes down straight without wiggling. The lid is deep and sits tight on the press. However, the inner parts are made of plastic, albeit, BPA-free.
Another great feature is the chrome housing which protects the glass beaker. It never actually touches the glass surface, so if you accidentally drop the coffee press, it prevents breakage.
Best Glass French Press Coffee Makers
Bodum Brazil French Press Coffee Maker
Bodum Brazil’s construction is simplicity itself. A borosilicate glass beaker; body, handle, and lid made from BPA-free plastic; and stainless steel filter and plunger. One look at it, and it’s clear it was designed in the early 80s when things were much simpler.
Bodum does offer the Brazil French Press in a choice of red or black, and you can choose between the 12 oz, 34 oz, and 51 oz variants.
When you buy the Bodum Brazil, you know you aren’t going to get any fancy extras. You just get great tasting coffee at an unbelievable price.
Café Du Chateau French Press Coffee Maker
This beautiful coffee maker is almost an art piece and can lend an air of elegance to any kitchen. Its heat-resistant borosilicate glass beaker and 304-grade stainless steel construction ensure that it performs as well as it looks.
This is the only French Press coffee maker in the market that has a unique 4-level filtration system. It features double stainless steel screen filters mounted onto a spring-loaded base plate to ensure a perfect seal with the beaker. It also has a special top lid strainer to ensure that none of the coffee grounds end up in your hot brew.
That means if anything happens to your French Press coffee maker, you can simply get a new one from them.
Kona French Coffee Maker
The Kona French Press is a great entry-level coffee maker and also perfect as a gift for coffee lovers. A plastic frame protects the heat resistant borosilicate glass. Unfortunately, the frame is not removable for thorough cleaning.
Bodum Chambord French Press
The Bodum Chambord is a beautiful French Press available in several different sizes.
The carafe is made from durable, heat-resistant borosilicate glass. The Stainless Steel housing which protects the carafe is also removable for thorough cleaning. The plunger is sturdy and does not wiggle too much, but the lid could sit a little tighter. Other than that, the Bodum Chambord is a great glass French Press!
Espro P5 Glass French Press
Espro takes a different approach with its P5 Glass French Press. The patented double micro-filter by Espro is in the shape of a basket and can filter out the smallest grinds.
This means that you can use a finer grind size and still get a very clean cup of coffee! A downside of this unique design is that the plastic components of the filter basket come in contact with hot water, which some people may not like.
Best Stainless Steel French Presses
Frieling Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press
The Frieling French Press is made from 18-10 stainless steel, and its double walled design keeps the coffee warm for about an hour. Just make sure you heat the beaker first by rinsing it with hot water.
The Frieling French Press coffee maker is available in five sizes and in two finishes – brushed and polished steel. These press pots are not the cheapest ones, and to be honest, the higher price doesn’t mean it will serve better-tasting coffee than its competitors.
There’s no wobbling of the plunger which helps to reduce sediments in your cup. And not just the beaker, even the lid has a double walled design. It helps keep your brew hot for longer. Others either have a single layer of steel or use plastic for the lid.
Secura Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker
The Secura French Press is an insulated stainless steel coffee maker. The lid sits firmly on the press, allowing your coffee to stay hot for up to 30 minutes!
The Secura coffee brewer comes with a second mesh filter, which you can add right away to filter out even more coffee grind particles. The capacity is 34 oz, which is enough coffee for about 4 cups. Secura also offers a 17 oz and a 50 oz model. You can also choose from an option of 8 different colors. So you can match it with the other equipment in your kitchen.
VonShef Double-Wall Satin Brushed Stainless Steel French Press
The VonShef French press is made of 100% stainless steel; there’s no plastic used at all. It uses a single screen filter, so it’s important to grind your coffee beans at the coarse setting to minimize the sludge in your coffee.
The plunger, however, is a little hard to push — this is not unusual in stainless steel press pots. One small complaint is that the plunger does not go down completely, so you may have a watery sludge that makes it messier to clean afterward.
The VonShef coffee maker is available in 2 colors: While the silver-colored model doesn’t look bad, the matte black variant definitely stands out. You can also choose between 4 sizes: 3-cup, 6-cup, 8-cup, and 12-cup. However, you shouldn’t rely on the cup size only.
SterlingPro Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press
SterlingPro hasn’t used any plastic in this coffee maker’s construction. All of this coffee maker’s parts are stainless steel, including the plunger and the lid. As per the company, they are all rust-resistant and dishwasher-safe. It uses a double screen system to filter out the fine coffee grounds, and you get an additional pair of filters as replacement parts.
The Sterling Pro is available in only one size and color – 34 oz, stainless steel mirror finish. However, you do get the option of picking up a European-style model, which could add a bit of flair to your kitchen. The SterlingPro Double Wall French Press is a great stainless steel coffee press and also a great gift for any coffee lover!
Best Ceramic Or Stoneware French Press
Le Creuset Stoneware French Press
The Le Creuset French Press is a beautiful coffee maker and is a perfect match to your existing Le Creuset kitchen products. You won’t find any plastic parts in this coffee press. The carafe and lid are made from ceramic, while the plunger and filter are made from stainless steel.
The Le Creuset Press is easy to clean due to the non-porous enamel coating that resists stains and scratches from metal spoons. This means no more coffee or soapy water residue in the carafe. And the best part is that the entire thing is dishwasher-safe.
It is an expensive French Press, and might not make better coffee than its rivals, but is surely a conversation-starter. You even get to choose from an array of 11 different colors to match it to your kitchen decor.
Forlife Cafe Style Coffee Press Pot
The Forlife Press Pot’s beaker is made of high-fired ceramic and protected by a shock-absorbing silicone foot cover. So even when you put it down on the counter a little too hard, it should not crack!
While there are no plastic parts in this coffee maker, the plunger and the lid are made from a combination of stainless steel and food-grade silicone rubber. Since all the parts can be chucked into the dishwasher, it should be a breeze to clean.
There are just a few negative issues about the lid, which seems to cause some spills. Other than that, it looks like this stylish French Press is a good pick. It is available in a 32 oz capacity, and you even get to choose from nine vibrant colors.
Best Travel French Press Coffee Mug
Stanley Classic Vacuum Travel Coffee Press Mug
If you’re a backpacker, hiker, or maybe even a skier, and can’t live without your daily shot of caffeine, you surely appreciate a thermal carafe. But what if you could take a 2-in-1 thermal mug plus french press along with you to brew a fresh cup of coffee?
The Stanley Classic Vacuum Travel Press could be the perfect companion for you.
The Vacuum insulation keeps your coffee hot for up to 4 hours when you’re out in the cold. And it maintains your iced coffee at that temperature for up to 20 hours. See our top picks for cold brew and iced coffee makers here.
The plunger is different from regular French Presses. The removable inner press is not a rod with attached filters, but one big piece of plastic with a filter disk attached at the bottom. The leak-proof cap comes with a folding loop so that you can clip it to a hook on your bag. All of this makes this Stanley coffee maker quite travel-friendly.
Our only complaint, though, was that a lot of its parts are made of plastic. The company claims that all plastic parts are BPA-free, like our favorite coffee makers here, and that’s a good thing. It also makes this travel press lightweight and dishwasher-safe.
Bodum Travel Press
When it comes to French Press coffee makers, no name is more recognizable than ‘Bodum.’ They make top-class coffee presses. It’s no wonder that they would make one for the coffee love on-the-go. It works exactly as you’d expect a French Press to work, but in a travel-friendly form-factor.
The main body has a vacuum-sealed, double-walled construction, and comes with a spill-proof lid with a built-in plunger. You can choose to buy this travel press with stainless steel or plastic body. The lid is made of plastic, irrespective of which one you choose. The plunger and filter mesh, however, are made of steel and encased in food-grade silicone.
In place of the traditional handle, Bodum has provided this mug with a non-slip band running around its body. You can choose from 3 different colors, too. The mug and all its parts are dishwasher-safe, so you don’t have to fret about cleaning it manually.
Espro Travel Coffee Press
If you want great tasting coffee when you’re on the move, you can’t go wrong with the Espro Travel Coffee Press. Just like Espro’s standard press pot, this travel variant comes with their patented double micro-filter screen which ensures you get a sediment-free cup of coffee.
The unique construction of the filter basket also means that you could fit a paper filter in it, enabling you to get a cup of coffee resembling that of a pour-over.
That means, not only will this travel coffee maker keep your brew hot, it will also prevent it from tasting bitter. It is capable of brewing just about 10 oz of coffee or just enough coffee for one. This product is available in a choice of 8 eye-catching colors.
If you want to enjoy a cup of bold, rich coffee, you can’t go wrong with any of the French Press coffee makers listed above. It doesn’t matter whether it’s glass, ceramic, or stainless steel. Pick one that suits your needs and lifestyle, and you’re good to go.
Interested in getting the “best of the best”? Check out these SCAA-certified coffee brewers and start brewing great tasting coffee at home. Or if you want your coffee fast and easy, one of these Keurig coffee makers could be perfect for your home.
- Ashby, M.F. (2013). Materials and the Environment. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780123859716/materials-and-the-environment
- The Safe Water Project. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://grosche.ca/grosche-safe-water-project/
Coffee lover and Dad, on a budget. Since the wishes of my beautiful wife and two charming kids are of course of much higher priority than my own ones, I always keep an eye out for coffee products which give me the biggest bang for the buck!