Last Updated: 7/1/2019
The Best Coffee Maker
Top Rated Overall
Best Bang For Your Buck
Hamilton Beach 46310
The Economical Option
Hamilton Beach 46310
Every great morning starts with a cup of coffee, and a good cup of coffee needs to come from a good coffee machine. Making yourself a cuppa joe may seem pretty simple these days, but the process actually has a lot of history behind it. The chemistry behind brewing good coffee is complex and fascinating, and there are many different styles of coffee machines that approach this process differently. Technology may have streamlined things for us and the end user, but we still have a lot of choice about how we want our favorite beverage to be prepared. A high quality brew isn't the only thing consumers are looking for in a good coffee machine, either. They also want convenience, user friendly designed, quick brew times, functionality - the list goes on. With so many choices and even more factors to consider, choosing the right coffee machine can be a tiresome process. We know that there are all kinds of coffee lovers out there, each with different needs and desires. So in an effort to reflect your varying needs, we’ve compiled our list of the best coffee makers for 2020.
Types of Coffee Makers
You may not be aware of just how many different styles of coffee makers are out there. Some are built for simplicity, others for convenience, and others for the purpose of brewing the perfect cup of coffee on a chemical level. The type of coffee maker you select will reflect your tastes as well as your needs. The wide variety of options gives you freedom to be as involved or uninvolved as you want in the coffee making process. So what are the different styles, and what makes each one stand out?
Drip Coffee makers
Drip coffee makers are one of the conventional styles of coffee maker. It’s rare to find a household that doesn’t include a drip coffee maker. As you’ll notice from our list of top choices, drip makers are one of our favorite styles. So what is that separates drip from other styles of coffee? Drip style coffee machines strike a perfect balance between freshness, convenience, and affordability. They give you the freedom to brew whatever coffee beans you like, and they come in a huge variety of styles. Manufacturers are also starting to offer features that make them truly competitive against the convenience of single serve coffee makers. Drip coffee makers are old classics that have stood the test of time for a reason, and are only improving their available features and abilities every year.
The french press is a very traditional coffee style that is hard to beat in its simplicity and coffee quality. A french press requires no electricity to function (as long as you are able to boil water), and tends to brew strong coffee. You can simply fill the carafe with grinds and hot water, stir, let sit, and press the filter down. Since the beans remain in unit, a french press will typically brew stronger coffee that other styles. French press is a classic method that is especially great for camping or traveling, and a coffee lover’s collection really isn’t complete without one.
Single Serve Coffee Makers
Single serve coffee makers are rapidly becoming one of the most popular coffee maker styles in North America. Most single serve makers brew espresso style coffee, which is revered for its convenience and for espresso style drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. The most well known single serve machines are pod style coffee makers, but some also make drip or press coffee. Pod machines will typically produce weaker coffee since they are designed to brew small amounts instantly, and with pre-ground coffee. But for convenience and maintenance, single serve style machines are hard to beat.
Pour Over Coffee Makers
Pour over coffee makers are another traditional method of coffee brewing. The beauty of pour over is that it gives you more control and involvement in the coffee making process. Pour over coffee makers are simple in their construction, involving coffee grounds, a filter and a filter holder. Pour overs require the perfect balance between grind size, water/coffee ratio and brew time. This means that making that perfect cup can require a lot of trial and error. But on the other hand, the result will be one of the most balanced tasting cups of coffee you’ve ever had. Pour overs are beautifully simple, and perfect for coffee connoisseurs who are seeking out more control over the process.
Siphon Coffee Makers
You may not be familiar with siphon coffee makers because these are generally seen at upscale coffee shops rather than households. However, siphon coffee makers have a long history dating back to the 1800s. The design was meant to solve the problem that making coffee in boiling water tended to kill the flavour, thus a design was created that relied on vapour and pressure. You might recognize the design as two glass “balloons” held together in the middle by a frame. Siphon coffee is known as the most theatrical coffee making method, and while they are not always the most practical option, they do represent a fundamental beauty in the chemistry behind brewing good coffee.
Grind & Brew Coffee Makers
Grind and brew coffee makers are very similar to the conventional drip maker, but save you the trouble of grinding your own coffee. These machines tend to be larger to accommodate the grinder, but they are great for two main reasons: one is that you don’t have to grind the beans yourself and the second is that freshly ground beans always produce better tasting coffee. By grinding the beans right before brewing, you are getting more flavour extraction out of your coffee. Grind and brews are great two-in-one machines that come in a variety of different styles and can give you more control over the strength and freshness of your brew.
Best Bang for Your Buck
Why We Love It
It’s an affordable drip coffee maker that produces fresh, tasty coffee.
Who Should Buy This
Those looking to get the most out of their dollar.
The Cuisinart DCC-1200 is a classic drip coffee maker. It has a simple rectangular design that fits a glass carafe and a flip top for easy coffee grind loading. It has a compact design that will fit comfortably on any counter space. It also has some handy features like a digital clock, brew pause, and 3 heat settings for the warming plate. Another thing that sets the Cuisinart apart from other drip makers is the quality of the coffee it brews for the price it stands. It has a charcoal water filter that is designed to extract contaminants or minerals from water that can affect the flavour of your coffee. Combined with the reusable gold tone filter, the Cuisinart gives you rich, bold coffee without any frills or eye popping costs. The Cuisinart also has different 1-4 cup brewing size options, which is a very useful setting not often found in the common drip machine. If you’re a traditionalist who wants to get the most out of their dollar, the Cuisinart is the perfect drip coffee maker.
Top of the Line
Why We Love It
It is a top of the line machine designed to make the best possible tasting coffee, and can be used by efficianados and laymen alike.
Who Should Buy This
Those who want to be a bit more involved in their coffee experience and value premium style coffee.
As coffee enthusiasts, we are crazy about the Breville BDC450. This is a top of the line coffee machine that comes at a surprisingly competitive cost given coffee making standards it meets. This funky looking machine uses a PID controller that is typically found only in top quality espresso machines. If you don’t know what a PID is, don’t worry. Most machines use thermostats, which regulate temperature by heating up, then cooling down, then heating back up, etc. PIDs are designed to control water temperature, flow rate and bloom time (presoak) with more precision and consistency depending on the type of bean (and your personal preference) for optimal flavour. The Breville also makes genuine cold brew coffee without the need for special filters. You can choose between a glass or thermal carafe, and it offers dual filter baskets for different volumes. It does have a pour over mode, it does not come with the adapter or drip cone. For those who have a taste for premium coffee and like to tinker, the Breville BDC450 comes highly recommended.
Hamilton Beach 46310
Most Affordable Option
Why We Love It
It’s affordable without cutting corners.
Who Should Buy This
No frills folk who want a coffee machine that’s cheap but not cheap.
Not everyone can afford a high end coffee machine, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a good cup of coffee. The problem with shopping for budget machines is that low cost often translates into low quality. If you want a good drip coffee machine without breaking the bank, we recommend the Hamilton Beach 46310. This is a great coffee machine that is easy and straightforward to use. It has a compact size that won’t dominate your counter space and 12 cup capacity carafe. It has a handy front end lid for loading your coffee grinds and it simple to clean. If you’re shopping on a budget, there’s no doubt you’ll have to make some sacrifices. The Hamilton Beach doesn’t have a lot in the way of features or customizable settings, but it’s a super affordable, good quality coffee machine that will percolate your morning.
Capresso 425 Personal Coffee Maker
Best option for Individuals
Why We Love It
It has genius simplicity and eliminates the tragedy of coffee waste.
Who Should Buy This
Solo coffee lovers who want a space efficient machine.
This ultra-compact coffee machine is ideal for lone wolves with a coffee habit. We all know the struggle of brewing a pot of coffee, only to half of it (or more) down the drain. There’s also the inconvenience of waiting for a pot to brew only to put a portion of that into a travel mug and rush off to start our busy days. The Capresso 425 solves both these problems simultaneously. It’s ultra compact shape is only about 1.5x the size of a travel mug, so you can fit it almost anywhere (even if you live in a small space). Its small size also makes it really easy to clean. It comes with a travel mug, which is designed to fit in place of where you would normally find a carafe. It’s a coffee pot specifically designed to fill your travel mug full of your favourite coffee, fresh. The limitations of this product are, of course, that it serves a specific use and isn’t ideal if you have guests who also want coffee. It’s also a bare-bones machine, so isn’t much in the way of features and settings. But you’re an on-the-go person who wants a simple way to brew fresh coffee for cents per mug, the Capresso 425 is absolutely ideal.
Hamilton Beach 49980A
Most Feature Packed
Why We Love It
It’s a more functional spin on the traditional drip coffee maker.
Who Should Buy This
Fans of drip style coffee who are seeking a little more out of their machine.
The traditional drip coffee maker is a tried and true machine, and the market for these trusty steeds is vast. It can be difficult to stand out in this category, but the Hamilton Beach is certainly worth your consideration. We find that these days, a good drip coffee maker balances functionality and innovation without straying too far from what makes a drip maker so popular. We think the Hamilton Beach perfectly achieves this goal. For the most part, it stays true to a food drip maker design: glass carafe, warming plate, top loading design, digital clock and programmable brew settings. But the Hamilton Beach gives you the option of single serve or full pot brewing. It’s designed as a two-in-one machine with a separate drip spout and holder that will brew up to 14oz into a travel mug. You can also adjust the single-serve side of the machine to brew a smaller single mug. It’s the perfect multi purpose coffee machine that sets a new standard for what a drip maker should do.
Russel Hobbs CM7000s
Why We Love It
It brings a new level of style to the humble coffee machine.
Who Should Buy This
Those with an eye for style and sophistication.
This is a great coffee maker for anyone who likes a little pizazz in their kitchen appliances. With its stainless steel exterior and tall glass carafe, it has modern, sophisticated aesthetic that will elevate the look of your kitchen. But the Russell Hobbs is more than just a pretty face. It has all the important features of a good coffee maker, such as a programmable display, large water reservoir, and reusable filter. It also has a pause and pour feature so you can get a fresh, hot mug of coffee without waiting for the whole pot to brew (they call it the “Sneak-a-Cup” feature). It’s a quality built machine that brews a better tasting coffee than most traditional drip machines. Feature-wise, there’s nothing particularly ground-breaking about the Russell Hobbs despite it coming with a higher price tag than similar machines. But you’ll be hard pressed to find a nicer looking drip coffee maker at this competitive price.
Which Coffee Maker is Right for Me?
Now that you’ve had a look at our top choices, it’s time to narrow down which of these coffee makers is right for you. We make our selections based on a number of factors, but always try to pick a list of products that reflect the needs of different coffee drinkers. Taking a second glance at our list, here’s the best coffee makers broken down by personal taste.
If you want to get the most out of your dollar
This is our “bang for your buck” option, the one that gives you the most out of your coffee maker for the lowest cost. Between its features and the quality the machine, it gives you a little more than a traditional drip coffee maker, but still at a highly competitive price.
If you want a top of the line machine and the highest quality coffee
This is for the real coffee connoisseurs out there. If you like to be more involved with the coffee making process and are seeking out the best flavour, The Breville BDC450 is for you. It is a truly impressive coffee machine for its price, with premium features that are typically only found in high end espresso machines that can cost thousands of dollars. So if you’re looking top of the line coffee without the exorbitant price tag (and not to mention size), this is the machine for you.
If you want something affordable:
There are lots of options out there for coffee lovers on a budget, but you have to be careful that you don’t buy a dud. Being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality, and that’s where the Hamilton Beach 46310 comes in. It’s a super affordable , standard coffee maker that doesn’t cut corners to stay at a low price.
If you’re rolling solo
Single serve coffee makers are incredibly handy to have, whether you live on your own or simply enjoy the convenience of having a single serve option. The Capresso 425 is one of the best in the business when it comes to this style. It’s the ideal coffee maker for on-the-go drinkers who want a super convenient, low maintenance machine.
If you want the most features
If you’re indecisive or have a long list of needs to fulfill, look no further than the Hamilton beach 49980A. It’s great for families or people who want a variety of options in one machine. It’s one of the only machines that gives you both drip and single serve in such a convenient and straightforward way. This is a great coffee machine that gives you lots of options without over complicating anything.
If you want something aesthetically pleasing
Some of you out there are not exactly enamoured with the bulky, uninteresting appearance of most coffee makers. Since a coffee maker is meant to take up some permanent real estate on your counter, it’s nice to have a machine that looks as good as the coffee it brews. If you love your drip coffee but are looking for something with a more elevated look to it, try out the Russell Hobbs CM7000.
5 Things to Look For When Choosing a Coffee Maker
Picking a coffee maker may seem like a simple task, but once you start diving in to the seemingly endless options on the market, it can quickly become troubling and daunting. Where you once thought a morning coffee was one of those simple, easy things in life, you suddenly find yourself asking: Drip or press? Espresso or regular brew? How many features do I need? How much coffee will I drink? Do I need a milk frother? How much am I willing to spend? When did coffee become so complicated?
Deep breaths, we are here to help. The good news is that choosing a coffee maker doesn’t have to be complicated at all. You just need to ask the right questions and understand your needs. The great part about having so many options is that no matter what your needs are, there is a coffee maker out there for you. We are here to find that perfect coffee maker. Here are 5 things to look for when choosing a coffee maker:
The first thing to consider is the design of the machine. We’re not talking aesthetics, but rather the kind of machine it is and how the user interacts with it. There are tons of design options including drip, single serve, french press, grind and brew - the list goes on. Each design comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but knowing which one suits your needs/desires is an important first step. Are you a traditionalist? Consider a french press or drip machine. Do you want single serve convenience? Perhaps a pod style machine is right for you. Narrowing down the type of machine you want is the first thing you should do when choosing a coffee machine.
In today’s consumer society, many products are built with convenience rather than quality in mind. It’s not uncommon to find a coffee machine at an incredibly low price, only to discover that it hardly lasts a year. Even if you’re on a tight budget, it’s important to look for durability in a machine. There are many coffee machines available that are sold at highly competitive prices and won’t break down in an unreasonably short time frame. A well designed machine will also produce better coffee, as well as being more pleasurable to use. There is no reason to sacrifice quality even when you want a low price, so always have durability at the top of your list when selecting a coffee machine.
Coffee machines now come with an array of different functions, some of which can drastically change your experience with coffee. If you prefer simple machines like french presses, the functionality will be slightly less important. However, if you like to have variety or are interested in more complex coffee machine styles, there are endless options. Even the most simple functions - such as carafe warmers, brew settings, and multiple brew amounts - can make a difference in giving you more options with one machine. In a broader sense, lots of functionality can also significantly broaden your choices. If you enjoy more variety, milk frothers can be an irreplaceable function. More high end machines might offer functions that give you more control over the strength and style of your coffee. Regardless of whether your needs are simple or complex, assessing the functionality of a machine is crucial for ensuring your needs are met.
It goes without saying, you want a coffee machine that will produce good tasting coffee. The type and quality of your coffee machine makes an enormous difference on the taste of your resulting brew. The general rule of thumb is that the best coffee comes from the most freshly ground beans, proper temperature, and in the case of espresso, the right amount of pressure. Different people have different tastes and standards for their coffee. For example, some people may value the convenience of pod style coffee over the superior freshness of, say, a grind and brew. But whether you go for drip machines, french presses, or pod style, it’s important to consider the quality of the coffee your machine will produce so that you’re not left disappointed.
Value is of course always an important factor in any purchase. A low price tag is great, but worthless if the product doesn’t last. And I high end product can be excellent, but hard to justify if it will cost you triple digits. We always pick products that have a good balance between cost and quality/functionality, but there are lots of coffee machines on the market that miss this mark. Just because a machine has a lot of features does not always mean it’s worth its price. By researching the upsides and downfalls of different styles and brands, you can better select a coffee machine that will give you good value