10 Best French Press Coffee Makers of 2021
Walk into any 3rd wave coffee house, look at the brewers on display and you will get the impression that brewing coffee is complicated.
But nowhere in the Coffee Bible does it say that brewing can't also be simple. And perhaps the easiest of manual coffee makers is the French Press – a.k.a. the plunger, a.k.a. the ‘press pot'. It's way, way easier than some drip coffee makers.
Brewing French press coffee is easy; but use a lousy French Press and your coffee will over-extract and taste average. Today we’ll be taking a look at the best French press currently, and the top contenders.
At A Glance:
The Best French Press Coffee Makers of 2021
Let’s take a look at our picks for this best French Press coffee makers round up and discover why each one made the list.
| ||Barista & Co. Plastic Free Cafetière|
| ||The Bodum Chambord French Press|
| ||Le Creuset Stoneware|
| ||Topelek 1000ML Cafetiere French Press Coffee Maker|
|Stelton Theo||CLICK TO CHECK PRICE|
| ||Stellar Matt Finish|
| ||The Bodum Columbia French Press|
| ||Soulhand French Press|
|The Coffee Gator French Press|
| ||The Espro P3 French Press|
Yes, it’s true that many French presses have a beaker made of glass. But many of these have plastic parts around the base, the plunger and the handle. So it’s great to see that going completely plastic-free is an option. The base, lid and plunger here are stainless steel, while everything else (including the handle) is made from durable borosilicate glass. If the beaker or filter happen to break, you can buy replacement parts without needing to ditch the whole thing.
The sustainability aspect is a big plus for this cafetiere, but there are some usability features that we love too. If you’re not at the point where you’re weighing your water, there are volume measurements on the side for getting a consistent brew. The design means that it can be poured without aligning the filter to the spout – which is one of the more annoying parts of a French press. There’s also the option to attach a second mesh filter if you like a cleaner, lighter cup of coffee.
Things we liked
- This Bodum French Press is more reliable than other models over longer periods of time.
- The casing for the beaker is made from stainless steel, which will not loosen over time.
Things we didn’t like
- The mesh filter is not always effective at removing sediment from the coffee.
- The handle is not very well designed, which makes pouring a little awkward.
- Sediment is left floating near the bottom because the filter does not press all the way to the bottom.
Somewhere amongst all the confusing press pot origin stories, the Dutch company, Bodum has also staked a claim. Although Bodum does not pretend to have invented the coffee press, they certainly contend to have perfected it.
I won’t support or refute this claim, but I will say that it’s no mystery why Starbucks continues to stock their shelves with these very well designed coffee makers.
Bodum has a number of different glass-walled French press coffee makers available (which you can see here), but this model is the classic. I have owned and used this press, and can attest to its reliability and ease of using and cleaning. The borosilicate glass used by Bodum has proven to be very durable and heat resistant. However, like the Francois et Mimi, the Bodum Chambord will leave a little fine sediment in your coffee, because the plunger doesn't press all the way to the bottom.
Le Creuset has a long history of making beautiful cookware, and this stoneware French press is just the icing on the cake. It’s got the same ombre design as their famous casserole dishes, and with 12 different colours available, you’ll be able to find one that matches any Le Creuset kitchen items that you already have. Of course, such looks and pedigree don’t come cheap, so for its 0.8-litre capacity, you’ll find this on the more expensive side.
Paying the price will be easier if you consider this cafetiere an investment. It’s built to last, made from the company’s signature enamelled stoneware, and they offer a 10-year guarantee. The enamelling makes it both chip and scratch-resistant, as well as making it easier to clean and less prone to staining.
Things we liked
- Dishwasher safe
- Easy-pour spout
- Double-walled for heat retention
Things we didn’t like
- Can be hard to line up spout for pouring
- Lid doesn’t have a tight fit
Topelek might not be as well known as the other top names on this list, but that’s no reason to overlook this elegant stainless steel French press. We love the clean, modern lines of the pitcher-style design, but of course, it’s not all about looks. In terms of features, this cafetiere ticks plenty of boxes. It’s made from stainless steel, so while you might not be able to see what’s going on inside, it’s not going to break the way that a glass beaker will. There’s a u-shaped spout that’s designed to prevent drips when pouring and a stay-cool handle.
Unlike any other French press coffee maker on this list, the Topolek comes with some bonus accessories which you may or may not find useful. In the package you’ll receive a plastic measuring scoop for your coffee grounds, two stainless steel mixing spoons and, perhaps most helpfully, spare fine mesh filters for the plunger.
The main complaint about this French press is that the lid doesn’t always have a tight fit. So while the double-walled construction is designed to insulate, you will be losing some heat through the top.
The Theo is possibly the best-looking French press on our list, but it makes sense coming from Stelton, a brand dedicated to creating beautiful Scandinavian homewares. This is a balance between form and function. The outside has a matt finish to add to the minimalist aesthetic, but inside it’s been coated with a gloss finish to make cleaning easier. If you’re really taken with the design (and who could blame you), the brand does a whole range of Theo tableware including mugs, plates, sugar bowl and milk jug to go alongside your French press.
Just be aware that while the bamboo lid looks lovely, it isn’t exactly waterproof. Cleaning it shouldn’t be an issue, but any kind of soaking in water will compromise its structural integrity.
Stellar has a reputation for creating long-lasting cookware from top quality stainless steel. They’ve used this same steel to build their coffee pots, making them practically indestructible – a claim backed up by the company’s lifetime guarantee. You’ll notice just how solid it feels as soon as you pick it up. The only part that might give out before then is the mesh filter, but replacement parts are sold separately.
It’s got what’s known as a push-fit lid, meaning it will sit neatly on top during the brewing process without the plunger accidentally sliding down. The thermally insulated, double-walled construction can keep coffee warm for hours, though we don’t recommend you leaving your coffee sitting for that long.
Things we liked
- Design echoes the classic teapot shape but with a modern twist.
- All components are dishwasher safe.
- Thermal insulation helps keep coffee hot.
Things we didn’t like
- More expensive than many on this list.
- Some plastic components in construction.
Distinct from the two Bodum coffee makers we've already reviewed, the Columbia has a charming rounded shape. The ergonomic handle reminds us of the handles on gooseneck kettles for pour over, which gives you more control when pouring the last of the coffee (important if you want to keep the worst of the sediment in the pot).
Available in 17 oz., 34 oz., and 51 oz. sizes, the Columbia uses double-wall insulation to keep your coffee hot for a claimed two hours.
The Soulhand claim is that their French press produces a coffee completely free of grounds. The secret lies in their double layer of ultra-fine stainless steel mesh filters. Other tech that’s included with the cafetiere includes a silicone edge on the lid, giving it a secure fit that makes it less prone to spills. The filter can be removed from the stainless-steel plunger for easier cleaning.
As with the best French presses, the beaker is borosilicate glass and heat resistant up to 160C. the plastic lid and plunger press don’t have the same quality feel, but it’s to be expected at this price point.
Things we liked
- Stainless steel construction plus eye-catching colour make this unique.
- Double screen filter produces a cleaner cup.
- Double wall construction provides superior heat retention.
Things we didn’t like
- Canister not recommended for dishwasher.
- Double screen filter requires a little more effort to clean.
Like the idea of double-wall stainless construction but don't want a silver cylinder like everyone else? The Coffee Gator has the construction you need with the range of visual appeal you want. Choose from grey, green, pink, or brushed stainless to bring a pop of colour to your morning cuppa.
It's only available in 34 oz. capacity, but that's a good all-around size, especially if you share your morning coffee – for example, it's just shy of three 12-oz. cups or two 18-oz. travel mugs. And like the Sterling Pro, the Gator has a double filter to remove more sediment, without removing the oils that make the French press provide such delicious coffee.
It even comes with an airtight mini container that holds enough coffee for two pots, if you plan on travelling.
Keep an eye on your cholesterol levels, to make sure your LDL levels don’t rise over time. And keep your pressed coffee habit in check: stick to no more than four cups per day
Read our Coffee Gator French Press review to learn more.
Things we liked
- Strong and thick glass make this much more durable than other glass French press carafes.
- The thick glass also retains heat better than standard glass carafes.
- Bucket-shaped double filter strains out even the finest of sediment.
Things we didn’t like
- Plastic frame doesn’t look too good and feels a little cheap.
Espro is known for producing high-end French press coffee makers. The glass Espro P5 has been very well received by many users and reviewers alike but is beyond the budget of many French press fans. This is where the P3 comes in. Espro is trying to bring its premium glass carafe French press offering to those with more modest budgets. The French Press specialists have done well too, although obviously, a few sacrifices have been made.
The most important thing to note about the Espro P3 is that all the premium brewing features you get with the P5 are here. The same thick, strong, and durable glass makes it into the P3, which means you don’t have to worry too much about banging it around your kitchen. An added bonus of the thicker glass is increased heat retention over standard thickness glass carafes. On top of that, you also get Espro’s bucket shaped double filter. This filter is much finer than other French Press filters meaning your coffee will be as grit free as is possible with this brewing method.
The sacrifices, mentioned earlier, come in the plastic housing that you lock the carafe into. The P3 still has Espro’s locking mechanism to stop the carafe falling out when pouring, but the housing is now a black plastic rather than the sleek stainless steel you get with the P5. This can feel cheap.
All in all, however, with the P3, Espro has put the premium features that mattered most in the P5 into a more budget friendly French press.
What To Look For In a French Press
Using the French Press is easy, and delicious: Grind freshly roasted, high-quality coffee beans in the right coarseness, put the ground coffee in, pour hot water (not boiling) over it, and simply press down when your timer says ‘Ding!' Done.
No precision pouring, stirring, or Gooseneck kettles required. No paper filters needed. Many aficionados of coffee say the press pot produces the best brewed coffee. It certainly captures the full essence of the bean.
Despite how simple the mechanism is, French Presses come in all sorts of variations, and it can be difficult to separate the functional from the flashy.
To help you navigate the flurry of dinky knock-offs and overpriced frustration traps, here is a list of what to look for the perfect press:
Material Stainless Steel vs Glass (and heat retention)
These coffee makers are almost exclusively made from one of two materials: borosilicate glass or stainless steel. Although some may think the choice between one or the other comes down to visual appeal, it’s really more of a practical matter.
Glass french presses are pretty, but won’t keep your coffee warm as well as a double-wall stainless-steel press.
However, if you feel particularly driven towards glass, breathe easy, because unless you plan to let your coffee sit for more than ten minutes, the amount of heat lost in a glass coffee press isn’t too significant. If you pour it into an insulated travel mug the moment you push down the plunger, choosing a glass or stainless-steel press makes no difference.
Between these two choices stainless steel offers you more control over temperature for a longer period of time (1) and this may be good for someone brewing for more than themselves.
If you’re the one responsible for the morning coffee for you and your special someone, ensuring that their coffee will stay hot – no matter how long they take doing God knows what in the bathroom – can be the key to a happy morning.
Also, stainless steel is orders of magnitude more accident-proof than glass carafes (…yes, we're speaking from personal experience here).
Although the glass often used in press pots – borosilicate glass – isn’t as fragile as momma’s fancy wine glasses, it’s still glass, which, as science still maintains, is more prone to breaking than steel.
Design & Comfort
Design may seem superficial – and it often is – but it can also be practical. Comfort, for example, is one of those unappreciated-until-you-try-it advantages.
Considering the times we crave coffee the most are also the times when our fine motor skills are at their lowest (AKA mornings), a comfortable handle may reduce the rate of morning rage-attacks.
Whether you’re pouring for just yourself, or for a plus-one, a good handle keeps that delicate French Press coffee maker from careening off the counter to an untimely, messy death.
While on the topic of design, it’d be evasive to not at least mention aesthetics, so I’ll say this: a handsome coffee maker isn’t always a well functioning one. Showing off your pretty new French Press coffee brewer is fun and all, but delicious coffee doesn’t always come from the prettiest instruments (e.g. the AeroPress).
Size – Do You Really Need a French Press That large?
When you make a cup of coffee, are you really just making a cup, or is it more like two cups? If your morning “cup” consists of one to wake and one to go, then you probably need something that can keep up.
There are a few standard sizes to choose from, but 12 oz. and 34 oz. are the most popular. If you're alone or with someone else, I'd recommend going with the 12 oz. To give you some perspective, 12 oz. gives you one large cup of coffee, or two small cups. Needless to say, the 12 oz. model is also by far the more travel-friendly coffee press, for all you road brewers out there.
If you often find yourself brewing for your family, colleagues or groups of friends, opt for the 34 oz. version. This would also be our recommendation if you're dealing with two coffee guzzlers, as you won't get two cups of coffee out of the 12oz.
But bigger isn't always better. French Presses are all about proportions. If you're going to use the 34oz size you'll need to put more coffee grounds and hot water in the carafe to make the ratio work with the depth of the plunger.
Filtration System (which affects taste)
The final consideration before purchasing your press is its filter. The filter in a typical French press, composed of a sandwich of steel mesh held in place by stamped steel, is not nearly as fine as those in a drip or pour over coffee maker, and therefore not as good at keeping out bits of sediment. And more sediment in your brew will change the taste as it over extracts the remaining coffee.
However, a French press filter will not filter out the tasty and aromatic coffee oils as other filters will.
Although some people like some extra grit floating around in their coffee (2), it’s not for everybody. That said, there are some unique ways to get around brew debris. One of these, the “pull” method of brewing, has you place ground coffee on top of the filter, and pull them out after steeping.
Get a good grinder so you can lessen the chance of having too many ‘fines’ that will sneak past the filter and cause the coffee to be over extracted.
For today’s review roundup, I have chosen the Barista & Co. Plastic Free cafetière as the winner. This plastic-free beauty is also a rare sustainable product. Yet, its super-reasonable price tag is also something we can't argue. That said, the rest of the products on this list are the best of the best – you just need to find the one that's right for your needs.
Check them out and let us know what you think.
You choose a French press by considering a few simple scenarios. First, consider capacity; are you brewing for 1-2 cups, or more? Go for a large French press if you brew more than 2 coffees each time. Then, consider material. Glass for home, plastic for travel, and stainless steel for large home brews.
French press coffee can be considered bad for you because it does not filter out ‘Cafestol' – a sediment that may cause bad cholesterol levels to rise (3). However, in moderation; the risk of health complications is minimal.
Stainless steel French presses are better than glass models for a few reasons. They are shatter proof, and retain heat for longer. Glass models look more ‘authentic', and are best suited for home use with smaller capacity models.
You should choose a French press size thats a little bigger than what you would expect. It's common to leave a little bit of coffee in the French press while serving to avoid the sediment in your cup. Common sizes are 3,6, 8 and 12 cup.
- Buchanan, M. (2013, June 18). Chasing the Perfect Cup of Coffee with Science. Retrieved June 2, 2019, from https://gizmodo.com/chasing-the-perfect-cup-of-coffee-with-science-5642561
- Hoffmann, J. (2016, October 04). Cupping Vs French Press. Retrieved June 2, 2019, from https://jimseven.com/2010/11/04/cupping-vs-french-press/
- Godman, H. (2016, April 30). Pressed coffee is going mainstream – but should you drink it? Retrieved June 2, 2019, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/pressed-coffee-going-mainstream-drink-201604299530