Finding the best drip coffee maker is a difficult process, mostly because the “best” is different depending on what you need.
I prefer manual brewing methods such as these ones - unless i'm feeling lazy or I'm brewing for a crowd.
Drip coffee makers have come a long way in the last few years, and hence, they are worth a look for certain situations.
Below you’ll learn exactly how to choose a great drip coffee maker from a bad one, and then we give a few recommendations of coffee makers which are turning heads in the industry.
You'll have the best coffee maker in no time...
OUR #1 PICK
The Best Value For Money
The Technivorm Moccamaster 10-Cup Coffee Brewer with Thermal Carafe
This drip coffee maker gets our vote because it makes the best machine-made cup of coffee that a drip brewer can. It's a steep investment, but definitely worth it. It uses all metal parts for the brewing process, and it's easy to disassemble and clean. What's more? They offer a 5-year warranty!
6 Tips for Choosing a Great Drip Brewer
1. Carafe Capacity
Do you only want a single cup in the morning, or do you need multiple? Is it just you drinking the coffee, or do you have a family in need?
Figure out how much coffee you need to make at one time, then factor that in to your decision.
Look at the carafe capacity. Commonly, you will find either 4, 10, or 14 cup carafes; 12, being the most popular.
Note: In case you didn’t know, the “carafe” is the pot or container the coffee drips down in to.
Its better to have a machine with a larger carafe capacity as you don't HAVE to fill it up.
2. Programming Features
Some drip coffee makers can be programmed to turn on and off at certain times, remain hot for so long before shutting off, and more.
This may be beneficial to you if you’re the kind of person who likes to wake up to the smell of coffee, or who doesn’t want to be bothered to brew a cup in the morning.
Nowadays, most coffee makers are able to be programmed to turn on at a certain time.
However, some of them are made to brew extremely quickly and don’t need this feature.
Determine whether or not you’d like this feature, and put it on your list of wants.
3. Ability to Pause Mid-Brew
Some brewers are able to be paused mid-brew, allowing you to pour a cup before it’s finished.
If you’re the kind of person who needs their coffee ASAP, you may want to add this to your wish list. Of course, we’ve looked at a few that do this!
Me no worky without coffee? You'll need this feature
4. Automatic Shut Off
As mentioned in the programming section, some brewers can be set to shut off after a certain amount of time.
Unlike these programmable brewers, still others are set to do this automatically without the need for programming.
If you’re the kind of person who rushes out the door in the morning, it can be easy to forget to turn the coffee maker off. That’s where this feature comes in handy.
5. Water Filters
Do you have a filter on your kitchen sink?
If not, you’re probably making your coffee with less-than-stellar water, which takes away from the flavor!
Fear not – some coffee brewers come with a built in water filter for the best flavor.
Keep in mind this comes with the added effort and expense of replacing the filters, so you may or may not want them.
Most high-end brewers come with a 3 to 5-year warranty, but some only have a single year on them.
If your home has a lot of kids or animals running around, or your paranoid of the coffee maker simply giving out from bad luck, you should keep an eye out for a long warranty.
READ ME: Common Overlooked (yet important) Factors to Consider
This bad boy has a nice thermal carafe - but it don't look so good on the eyes!
Hot Plate Vs Thermal Carafe
The question here is whether you want energy efficiency/better flavor or a more affordable price.
Glass carafes tend to be cheaper, but the hot plate heats the coffee further, which over-extracts the oils and makes it taste bitter.
Additionally, a hot plate has to be continually turned on to stay hot, which uses more energy.
A thermal carafe, on the other hand, keeps the coffee at an optimum brewing temperature of 195-205 degrees for 1-2 hours, which some believe to keep a better flavor.
It also saves some energy in the process. However, they tend to be more expensive.
Bean Grinder - Have You Already Got One?
If you prefer freshly ground coffee, you may want a grinder built in to your brewer.
While they are more expensive than brewers without grinders, it might still save you money over buying a separate grinder.
Additionally, having both machines in one will save counter space.
Some people claim having a separate grinder is a must for the best flavor and the best size grounds.
If you’re a stickler for the absolute best, you may still want to buy a separate machine.
If you don’t mind buying pre-ground coffee, then you can skip this feature. We don't suggest pre ground coffee, though.
Speaking of saving counter space, the size of your brewer might be important to you if you don’t have a lot of room.
Some brewers look nice and compact online....and then they arrive at your doorstep and half your kitchen counter is gone.
Some brewers are big and bulky with tons of features, and others are minimalist and small.
This is often overlooked when buying a new drip coffee machine, and you may want to consider it.
The 10 Best Drip Coffee Makers in 2018
With all these points in mind, here are the best drip coffee brewers based on different needs.
Keep in mind they are in no particular order.
12 cups and a mug
#1 - The Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffeemaker
If you’re looking for an all-around goof brewer at an affordable price, you’ll love this simple yet effective coffee maker.
Mr. Coffee has always been a reliable, simple, affordable brand that covers the basics.
While it is very simple with next to no features, it gets the job done. However, with a mid-brew pause, it might have enough to keep you happy at its measly price.
Keep in mind it doesn’t brew at a hot enough temperature to extract the flavor of your coffee, so don’t put any really expensive grounds in it.
This is more for cheaper great value brand coffee.
This coffee maker is ideal for those who simply want a decent cup of joe at a great price, without the fancy stuff.
#2 - The Cuisinart Perfect Temp 14-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
A bit of an investment, but it makes a damn good cup of coffee (for a drip brewer, at least. If you really want good coffee, you’ll need to use something better.)
It is also one of few that have a 14-cup carafe capacity in this price range. Plus, it has a sweet feature of temperature control, which I love because I hate being burned by my coffee. On the down side, though, it definitely effects the taste.
Another nice thing is the fully automatic 24-hour programmability. It has a self-cleaning feature, a 1-4 cup setting and auto-shutoff.
However, the pour spout is a little awkward and it’s easy to spill on the counter.
Additionally, some people find that making over 10 cups of coffee pushes the grounds in to your brew. That makes the 14-cup capacity really a 10-cup capacity if it does that to you.
Finally, I wish it had a sensor to tell the machine not to brew if the carafe is missing. It’s lead to more than one big mess.
If you’re looking for a simple, all-around good coffee drip maker, this is the one for you.
#3 - The Zojirushi Fresh Brew (Plus Thermal Carafe) Coffee Maker
You’ll want a thermal brewer if you like to brew one pot and drink from it an hour or two later.
This one is on the less expensive end of the spectrum! If that sounds like you – the Zojirushi fresh brew (+ thermal carafe) coffee maker is your boy!
The removable water storage is also a nice feature to keep accidental spillage to a minimum.
Keep in mind this one is pretty large and takes up a lot of counter space.
It also doesn’t have an automatic shutoff feature and the directions tell you to unplug it after every use, which can be a hassle.
Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable thermal brewer, this may be the one for you.
#4 - The Cuisinart DGB-700BC Grind-and-Brew 12-Cup Automatic Coffeemaker
If you want freshly ground coffee, it doesn’t get much fresher than grinding it straight into the machine.
This coffee maker, which by the way, is beautiful looking, also has plenty of programmable features that will get you excited.
However, it is a pain to clean and you need to follow the directions to keep it in tip top shape and tasting fresh. You really have to clean it after every use.
The grind-and-brew might be your go-to if you want to save money and counter space on two machines in one.
Then again, it might still be cheaper to go with two separate machines.
#5 - The Bonavita 8-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Brewer
This Bonavita bad-boy is one of the most popular drip coffee brewers on the market among coffee enthusiasts.
Between its large shower head and easy one-button functionality, it’s easy to see why.
While very plain in design, there is a nice simplistic appeal to it that matches almost any kitchen.
It also has holes in the basket to allow steam to escape from the grounds. This process leads to better tasting coffee.
That said, the one button design makes for no programmable features. Also, the showerhead doesn’t come off so it can be a pain to clean.
Finally, it doesn’t automatically shut off.
This is the one for you if you want a good pot of coffee that stays hot for hours and is simple to use.
#6 - The Technivorm Moccamaster 10-Cup Coffee Brewer with Thermal Carafe
Another favorite among coffee enthusiasts, the Moccamaster, is a beautifully designed drip brewer that almost looks as if you might see it in an alchemy lab. I think it’s freakin’ awesome.
At its steep price range of, however, you may find it to be too much of an investment. Especially since it has no programmability.
But, it makes the best damn cup of coffee a drip brewer can possibly make.
It uses all metal parts where it comes in contact with your coffee, and it’s easy to take apart to clean. It also has a 5 year warranty, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking down on you.
If you just want the best of the best and are willing to invest, this is the brewer for you.
Both this Moccamaster and the Bonavita (above) are favorites, and choosing between one is tough. Read this article to see how they compare, head to head.
#7 - The Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer With Thermal Carafe
Options. The ninja bar brewer gives you options.
Who doesn't want more options?
Maybe you feel like brewing a quick cup today, rather than waiting for a whole pot of 8 cups?
Or maybe you want to tinker with the water amount to come up with a more or less rich brew?
Or maybe you're bored with a standard black coffee and want to sip on a latter or a vanilla iced mocha for a change?
"You wish is my command" ... is what the Ninja bar brewer would say if he could talk.
This is not your standard drip coffee maker; it's a ninja that can do anything for you when it comes to coffee (well, it cant make espresso, but you get what I'm saying).
In terms of versatility - the Ninja bar brewer wins. Now go off and make a new exciting coffee with a few touches of a button - because you can.
#8 - The OXO On Barista Brain 9 Cup Coffee Brewer
If you love manual pour over coffee, but feel a little lazy sometimes, the OXO on Brain brewer is for you. Why?
Because it imitates the manual pour over coffee process1 for you, to deliver you one clean, tasty and full bodied carafe of coffee.
The quality is even SCAA quality approved - so its not just a wild claim by OXO since the same applies even to the OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker as well as some of their other coffee makers.
Think of it like this: you have a personal artesian barista on call to brew you a Chemex on demand.
But he won't charge you $8 per cup, or give you attitude for your lack of sailor jerry tattoos.
In terms of minimalistic style and quality coffee at the touch of a button, this bad boy is hard to beat.
The only complaint I have is with the water reservoir - you can't access it to clean it - a problem if you live in high-hard-water areas. A slight design floor, in my opinion.
#9 - The Mr Coffee Optimal Brew 10 Cup Thermal Coffee System
In terms of thermal carafe coffee makers - the Mr Coffee optimal brew system is the best valued system.
It won't come with all of the handy, make-life-easier features that some of the others on this list come with.
But it will do what you want it to do: make good coffee, and keep it warm.
Dont' be fooled: it DOES have a few extra features that will make you smile, and here are 3 of them. A delay start function lets you time your brew for when it suits you best.
It has a grab-and-go feature that allows you to pause mid brew and grab a cup if you're getting impatient.
Finally, it has a filter within the water reservoir that will filter out chemicals like chorline, that will affect the taste of your brew
A solid coffee maker for those who just want a damn coffee!
#10 - The Hamilton Beach 49980A Brewer
This Hamilton Beach Coffee maker allow you two options to brew: The 12 cup glass carafe or a travel mug - it's up to you.
The carafe side is fitted with your standard coffee filter for drip brewing, and the cup side allows you to brew with pods - however its not compatible with K-cups.
It has a few notable functions that may seal the deal for you.
The pre-program function allows you to set your brew time up to 24 hours in advance so you can wake up to the smell of coffee.
You can also adjust the extraction level to alter the taste of your brew - whether you like it strong or weak tasting.
The Hamilton beach is a great coffee maker for an affordable price. A favourite all rounder. It's just a shame its missing a thermal carafe.
THE VERDICT: Which is the Best Drip Coffee Maker?
Coffee is one of those industries, where you get what you pay for (in my opinion), and therefore, when choosing something as crucial as your daily coffee maker, it pays to invest – after all, you’ll be using it daily, right?
For that reason, my vote for the best drip coffee maker goes to the Technivorm Moccamaster.
Yes, it’s the most expensive coffee maker on this list, but if you break the price down to a per cup cost (i.e. you divide your investment by the number of coffee’s you assume you’ll get from it; likely thousands) – you’re paying peanuts for a great quality coffee experience.
It’s designed to deliver the best-possible machine made cup of coffee, its includes a thermal carafe to keep your coffee at the ideal temp for longer, and it has a solid 5 year warranty – what’s not to love?
Do you have a favorite automatic drip coffee maker? What do you love or hate about it? Let me know in the comments below.
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