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What’s the Best Coffee Maker – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

The only thing worse than starting your day without a warm cup of coffee? Starting it with a bitter mouthful of burnt-tasting java. Ugh.

Some coffee makers seem to be a safe ticket to over-extraction land, but some others are guaranteed to provide you with a barista-worthy black coffee. So how do you avoid buying the first type? 

Don’t worry: to make things easier for you (and as a cheeky excuse to drink lots of coffee), we’ve tested many different brands and models to narrow your choice down to the 12 very best drip coffee makers on the market in 2020. 

OUR TOP PICK

Technivorm 79112 KBT Coffee Brewer, 40 oz, Polished Silver

Handmade in the Netherlands, this company's iconic coffee makers are the teacher’s pets of the Specialty Coffee Association! 


This model, in particular, will provide you with the best coffee you’ve ever tasted thanks to its precise copper boiling element, while its high-quality stainless steel carafe will keep it piping hot without compromising the flavor.

Five Things to Consider Before Choosing a Coffee Maker

Whether they add sugar, milk or enjoy it black, all true coffee lovers take their joe in the same way: seriously. If you’re like us, we recommend taking the time to consider a few things before buying your next home coffee maker, so that there won’t be any unwelcome surprises and you’ll be sure to meet all of your coffee needs.

automatic drip

1. SCA-certification

If you’re after the best of the best, just look for the SCA-certification. Not many drip machines meet the strict requirements set by the coffee science experts and professional tasters of the Specialty Coffee Association (4), so this prestigious award is a warranty in itself!

2. Carafe: glass or thermal?

This seemingly aesthetic-based choice can actually influence the final flavor of your coffee. Because glass carafes rely on a hot plate to keep it warm, your java is essentially being stewed and can end up developing a burnt taste due to over-extraction. (5)

Thermal carafes, on the other hand, keep it piping hot for longer thanks to their stainless steel walls, without compromising its flavor. They’re also much more durable! The only instance in which we’d recommend a glass carafe is if you usually pour your freshly-brewed coffee immediately, want to save some money, and value elegance and design above everything else.

3. Serving size

Not only is it important to check the size of the carafe: think of how much coffee you usually enjoy.

If you only brew large pots for your entire household, then most coffee makers will do, but if you also want to be able to brew half a carafe, a travel cup or a single-cup of coffee, then don’t forget to look for this specific feature, or else you’ll end up wasting lots of precious java.

4. Extra features

Do you literally just want to press a button and hear the coffee gush into a carafe? Then no point spending more money for a coffee maker that’s packed full of features! Do you enjoy waking up to a brewed pot? Want to be able to tweak the hot water temperature? Select a pre-infusion mode? In that case, compare the extra features of different coffee makers before rushing into buying the first one you like the look of.

5. Unit size

This might be the last of your concerns at the moment… until you buy the coolest automatic dripper only to realize that it doesn’t fit underneath the cupboards above your countertop. Ouch. If your kitchen is on the small side, check the size and, most importantly, the height of each product. To help everyone find their perfect coffee maker, we’ve included smaller compact models, too.

Best Drip Coffee Makers 2020 - Top 12 Reviews

From pre-infusion modes to built-in grinders, each of our picks has a unique feature or design element. Let’s start with an overview of all 12 drip brewers!

PRO TIP: If you’re a fan of strong espresso shots, frothy drinks and smaller servings, you might want to check out the best espresso machines and single-serve coffee makers, too.

Technivorm Moccamaster
  • Incredibly precise thanks to its copper boiling element
  • SCA-certified
  • Iconic design, handmade in the Netherlands
View on Amazon
OXO Brew 9-Cup
  • SCA-certified and programmable
  • Mimics manual pour overs
  • User-friendly interface
View on Amazon
Bonavita BV1900TS
  • SCA-certified
  • Pre-infusion mode to let your coffee bloom
  • Simple design and incredibly easy to use
View on Amazon
Mr. Coffee 12-Cup
  • Budget-friendly
  • Lots of features, considering the price
  • Interesting vintage and modern design
View on Amazon
Cuisinart DGB-800
  • Built-in grinder for the freshest taste
  • Programmable and customizable
  • Water filtration for purer coffee
View on Amazon
Cuisinart DCC-3200
  • Programmable with alarm
  • Large showerhead for even extraction
  • One of the largest carafes
View on Amazon
Ninja Specialty Brewer
  • SCA-certified and programmable
  • Includes lots of frothy options
  • 6 different brew sizes
View on Amazon
Mr. Coffee 10-Cup
  • Unique design
  • Budget-friendly
  • Programmable
View on Amazon
Hamilton Beach 49980A Brewer
  • Glass carafe
  • Programmable and customizable
  • Budget-friendly
View on Amazon
Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer
  • Professional elements ensure impeccable precision
  • SCA-certified and programmable
  • The most customizable
View on Amazon
BUNN CSB2G Speed Brew
  • The fastest coffee maker we’ve tested
  • Perfect for large pots or travel mugs
  • Spill-free carafe design
View on Amazon
Zojirushi EC-YTC100XB
  • Fancy thumb-activated carafe with vacuum insulation
  • Programmable
  • Easy to clean and maintain
View on Amazon

After this quick overview, let’s discover what each model has to offer in order to find your perfect coffee match!

At the time of writing this article, only 28 drippers can flaunt the prestigious SCA certification. The fact that 12 of these are Technivorm Moccamaster models is a warranty in itself!

Technivorm 79112 KBT Coffee Brewer, 40 oz, Polished Silver

PROS

  • SCA-certified
  • Quiet, fast and precise
  • Handmade in the Netherlands

CONS

  • Not programmable
  • A bit of an investment

The reason behind the coffee industry’s hype for these coffee makers goes beyond their iconic, immediately-recognizable design: they really do make some damn fine coffee and are incredibly precise.

This is due to their signature copper boiling element in the easy-to-reach water reservoir: it ensures that the hot water temperature stays between 196 and 205º F, which is the recommended range for a perfect extraction. (1) While it’s very quick, it optimizes its brewing time in order to allow for a proper bloom within the 4-6 minutes that it takes to fill up the 40 oz thermal carafe. Thanks to the manual-adjust brew basket, you can let your coffee steep for longer or remove the carafe whilst it’s still brewing to enjoy your first cup of coffee.

Handmade in the Netherlands and declared the best automatic drip coffee maker by America’s Test Kitchen (2), this bad boy comes with a handy 5-year warranty.

Discover more about it in our review.

Bottom Line

The Technivorm Moccamaster is more than just a coffee maker: it’s a bold statement. A statement that makes the best drip coffee that you can dream of, of course.


Are you after a simple and intuitive dripper that is programmable and will guarantee a top-notch cup of coffee? Say no more. 

OXO BREW 9 Cup Coffee Maker

PROS

  • Programmable 
  • SCA-certified
  • Intuitive interface

CONS

  • Slightly smaller carafe than most drippers

This sturdy but sleek OXO model also meets the rigid standards of the Specialty Coffee Association. Not only does it maintain the correct temperature: thanks to the rainmaker showerhead and the microprocessor-controlled brewing cycles, it mimics manual pour over methods to ensure a uniform extraction and full flavors.

If you don’t want to prepare a whole pot of coffee, you can simply select the number of cups thanks to the user-friendly LED interface and single dial, which also allows you to wake up to the smell of coffee (#MorningGoals) by programming it up to 24h in advance. Does it take you a while to function, in the morning? Not a problem: the double-walled stainless steel carafe will keep your perfectly-brewed coffee nice and hot for hours, and this dripper even comes with a freshness counter.

Like the sound of it? Find out more!

Bottom Line

Since it can wake up before you do and it’s so user-friendly, you and this Oxo brewer are guaranteed to get along.


3. Bonavita BV1900TS - The most straightforward

The fact that you’re not after many extra features doesn’t mean that you should compromise on the quality of your coffee! The Bonavita BV1900TS is a simple dripper that achieves outstanding results. 

Bonavita BV1900TS 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker Featuring Thermal Carafe, Stainless Steel

PROS

  • SCA-certified
  • Pour over-style brew
  • Dishwasher-safe parts

CONS

  • Smaller carafe
  • Not customizable or programmable

Another SCA-certified coffee maker, this Bonavita model is guaranteed to meet the strict Golden Cup standards for a perfect brew. Thanks to the optional pre-infusion mode, its enhanced showerhead and the flat-bottomed basket, it was designed to achieve the very best extraction in a uniform, manual-style way.

While it’s also available with a glass carafe, we recommend the double-walled stainless steel option, which will keep your coffee at the correct temperature for longer. 

With its auto-off feature and the one-touch brew operation, the Bonavita will be easy to operate even for the least tech-savvy coffee lovers.

Bottom Line

The Bonavita is a straightforward machine without bells and whistles that does exactly what it was built for: brew a perfect pot of coffee with the touch of a button! Simple as that.


A lot of cheap drippers can be dodgy, but you can still enjoy a nice cup of black coffee on a budget… if you know where to look! Are you looking at the Mr. Coffee? Then you’re safe.

Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker with Brew Strength Selector - BVMC-CJX31-AM

PROS

  • Budget-friendly but excellent value for money
  • Programmable and customizable
  • Small on the countertop

CONS

  • The glass carafe might compromise the flavor, if left for too long

This Mr. Coffee model will take up minimal space on your countertop, but it will still stand out thanks to its curious design that combines the classic vintage look of diner-style drippers and modern elements such as its brushed chrome accents. 

Given its low price tag, we were surprised to discover so many practical features: from the strength selection to the 24h programmable options to the 2-hour shut off feature, this small brewer offers perks that not even some more expensive models can boast. It even includes the handy grab-a-cup auto pause option, that stops the cycle to allow you a cup of coffee before the whole jug is brewed! Nice one, Mr. Coffee.

Bottom Line

If you don’t want your new dripper to be an investment but you are not planning on giving up on programmable and customizable features (why should you?), look no further.


5. Cuisinart DGB-800 - Best 12 cup dripper with grinder

Nothing can replace the taste and aroma of freshly-ground coffee! If you don’t own a grinder and are not planning on investing in one, we have a solution for you: how about a coffee maker with a built-in grinder?

Cuisinart DGB-800 Burr Grind & Brew Automatic Coffeemaker, 12 Cup, Silver

PROS

  • Built-in grinder, but can also brew pre-ground beans
  • Programmable and customizable
  • Includes a permanent filter

CONS

  • Not as precise as more professional grinders

This Cuisinart model allows you to go from bean to cup within minutes. The sealed lid on the half-pound hopper is another guarantee to the freshness of your brew, and the burrs will provide a much more uniform result than blade grinders. 

This little dripper comes with lots of customizable options: want a regular, bold or even an extra-bold brew, just like the best French press coffee? Less than 12 cups? A start in 24h? You’re in charge!

Whether you opt for its glass or thermal carafe, we’re sure you’ll appreciate its comfort-grip handle. As well as its gold-tone permanent coffee filter, we love the fact that it includes a charcoal water filter in its reservoir, perfect for removing impurities and ensuring an even cleaner extraction.

Bottom Line

Considering that it combines a burr grinder and a dripper, the Cuisinart DGB-800 is a fantastic option to enjoy freshly-ground coffee on a budget!


6. Cuisinart DCC-3200 14-Cup - The most programmable

Do you love waking up to the smell of coffee and, perhaps, the sound of your full carafe being ready? We’ve found your new alarm & coffee maker combo!

Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 DCC-3200 Glass Carafe Handle Programmable Coffeemaker, 14 Cup Stainless Steel

PROS

  • Programmable and with alarm when ready
  • It will tell you when it’s time to descale it
  • Water filter and permanent coffee filter, but can use paper if you prefer

CONS

  • No pre-infusion mode

This beautifully-designed Cuisinart dripper is available with a 12 or a 14-cup jug, perfect to meet even the greediest coffee drinkers’ needs. 

It features a smaller 1-4 cup setting, a handy brew-through lid, and the practical brew pause option. Thanks to the large showerhead, it guarantees an even extraction and, if you enjoy stronger brews, you can select the bold option. 

The feature that stands out the most, though, is its programmability: not only can you set it to brew a carafe up to 24h in advance, but you can also choose to have the alarm sound on.

Check out our in-depth review of the Cuisinart DCC-3200.

Bottom Line

We recommend this coffee maker to anyone who needs a very large pot of coffee before they are expected to function properly in the morning.


Black coffee is the best, but we can’t resist the temptation of a creamy latte or a frothy cappuccino, every once in a while. Relatable? Let’s geek out about the Ninja brewer together, then!

Ninja Specialty Fold-Away Frother (CM407) Coffee Maker, Single Serve to 10 Cup (50 oz.), Stainless Steel Thermal Carafe

PROS

  • SCA-certified
  • Black coffee and frothy options
  • Programmable

CONS

  • The specialty shots are not proper espressos, as they’re not brewed at 9 bars of pressure.

First of all, if you want to be able to enjoy smaller quantities of coffee, this Ninja machine is a much better choice than any capsule-based one-cup brewer, as its reusable filter allows you to brew fresh grounds. It actually has 6 different brew sizes, including a handy travel cup quantity that is perfect if you drink your coffee on your commute.

Thanks to the foldaway frother, you can become a proper barista and experiment with iced options, specialty concentrated shots, and frothy drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos and macchiatos. Worried that these milky options will translate into lower quality when it comes to black coffee? You can release that deep breath! This Ninja model is SCA-certified and can brew a Golden Cup-worthy black coffee. 

Bottom Line

If you want to get creative with frothy drinks without compromising on the quality of your drip coffee, this Ninja model will become your favorite toy.


Whilst some drippers all resemble each other, some others try something a bit different! With its smooth shapes that open up to fit the carafe, this Mr. Coffee machine will surely catch your guests’ attention.

Mr. Coffee 10 Cup Coffee Maker | Optimal Brew Thermal System

PROS

  • Programmable
  • Unique design
  • Easy cleaning

CONS

  • Not very customizable

The features of this model are fairly similar to the ones of the other Mr. Coffee dripper that we’ve included in this list, and so is the price tag: still a budget-friendly purchase, the Mr. Coffee 10-cup coffee maker comes with programmable options, a freshness timer, a grab-a-cup auto pause and a water filtration system.

Thanks to the double-walled thermal carafe, you won’t have to worry about your coffee getting cold. This dripper is also very practical when it comes to the most dreaded part: maintenance. It lets you know when it’s time to descale it, while the removable reservoir makes for an easier refilling and cleaning.

Bottom Line

This Mr. Coffee model is a great budget-friendly choice for those who want to combine practical features and aesthetically-pleasing details.


9. Hamilton Beach 49980A Brewer - Best budget-friendly option with glass carafe

Do you prefer glass carafes? Do you brew at home and drink on the go? The Hamilton Beach might be the end of your coffee quest.

Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker, Single-Serve and 12-Cup Pot, Stainless Steel (49980A), Carafe

PROS

  • Budget-friendly
  • Includes reusable filter
  • Programmable and customizable

CONS

  • The travel mug is not included
  • The glass carafe might compromise the flavor, if left for too long

This incredibly affordable coffee maker brews two ways: you can either enjoy a classic full pot of coffee in its 12-cup carafe, or a single serve dose. It’s conveniently designed to fit the most common travel mugs, too.

Packed with smart features and including a reusable filter, the Hamilton Beach will allow you to select the strength of your coffee, program it up to 24h in advance, and keep it warm on its hot plate, which switches off automatically after two hours. Not bad for such a budget-friendly product, huh? More info in our review.

If you enjoy your coffee on the go, why not revolutionize your life with a travel-friendly coffee maker, too?

​Bottom Line

If you prefer the elegance of glass carafes and you want a few programmable and customizable features at an affordable price, this Mr. Coffee model will satisfy all of your caffeinated needs.


10. Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer - The most customizable

It’s in the name! If you value precision above anything else but you also want to tweak and replicate those exact settings, we bet you won’t be able to stop playing with the features of this highly-customizable brewer.

Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe

PROS

  • SCA certified
  • Incredibly precise, customisable and programmable
  • Includes an iced option

CONS

  • Not the cheapest coffee maker

This Breville model lets you choose amongst 6 different presets, including a Gold Cup mode, which meets the SCA standards, and a My Brew option. The latter unlocks levels of customization only available with manual pour over techniques, at a fraction of the effort and time: proper coffee goals, basically! You can set your preferred bloom time, brew temperature and even the flow rate.

This brewer’s precision is guaranteed by its PID control and thermocoil heating system, and the thermal carafe will keep your coffee at the correct temperature for hours.

Coming with a flat bottom and a cone filter basket, this product is also available with a pour over starter kit that allows you to combine the practicality of an automatic dripper and the sophistication of your favorite manual pour over method.

Bottom Line

Do you enjoy being completely in charge of every single aspect of your brew? Then the Breville Precision Brewer will be your own personal coffee shop!


11. BUNN CSB2G Speed Brew Elite - The fastest coffee maker

If you have a fast-paced routine and would rather drink your coffee on the go than wake up too early to take it slowly, speed is key. How about a coffee maker that brews a full carafe in less than 4 minutes? And no, we’re not kidding.

BUNN CSB2G Speed Brew Elite Coffee Maker Gray

PROS

  • Incredibly fast
  • Drip-free pouring
  • Designed and assembled in the USA, it comes with a 3-year warranty

CONS

  • The glass carafe might compromise the flavor, if left for too long

This BUNN model flaunts more than one unique feature, with the most obvious being its commercial grade stainless steel tank that, keeping the water constantly hot, guarantees a fast brew. The other extremely practical element is this company's unique lid and spout design, which makes for a spill-free pour. (3) We also appreciate the design of the showerhead, which optimizes the extraction process and maximises the coffee flavor.

As for quantities, you can choose between a large 10-cup pot for your entire household or a travel mug for yourself.

Bottom Line

This coffee maker is particularly ideal for professionals who wake up early to commute or, for some reason, always manage to be late or in a hurry: it certainly won’t keep you waiting for your much-needed caffeine fix!


12. Zojirushi EC-YTC100XB - The best carafe

Unless you drink your coffee immediately, a bad carafe can spoil its taste and your experience. The Zojirushi turns it into a premium moment!

Zojirushi EC-YTC100XB Coffee Maker, 10 Cup, Stainless Steel/Black

PROS

  • The removable parts make it easy to clean
  • Practical, high-quality carafe
  • Reusable stainless mesh coffee filter included

CONS

  • Not very customisable

The 10-cup stainless steel carafe of this coffee maker features a superior vacuum insulation that keeps its content at the correct temperature for longer than hot plates and without resulting in a burnt taste. The drip-prevention mechanism and its practical design which includes a thumb-activated button were conceived to avoid accidental spillings.

This is a very good-quality dripper with premium features such as the pre-infusion mode, programmable settings, and iced coffee brewing. Depending on the situation, you can even choose between the quieter regular mode and the faster option.

Bottom Line

The Zojirushi is a fantastic brewer that comes with an even more impressive carafe. Perfect for a comfortable, accident-free coffee break!


FAQs About Automatic Drip Coffee Makers

If you still have concerns or questions, here are some of the common ones we get.

Are drip coffee makers better than K-Cups?

Yes, drip coffee makers are much better than machines that rely on K-Cups.

This is because K-Cups and coffee capsules in general contain stale coffee, end up being more expensive in the long run, and, being made of unrecyclable plastic, have a terrible toll on the environment. Drip coffee makers, on the contrary, rely on fresh grounds and guarantee a fuller extraction.

Are expensive coffee makers worth it?

Expensive coffee makers are only worth it if you truly appreciate the flavor of a perfectly-brewed cup of coffee, and if you’re going to make the most of their extra features.

If you just want to drink coffee to stay awake and don’t really care about the science behind extraction, then you’ll probably be just as happy with a more budget-friendly brewer.

However, if you’re a dedicated coffee aficionado and you’re after a barista-worthy brew, expensive high-quality coffee makers are totally worth it, and we’re sure you’ll be able to tell the difference.

Are drip brewers easy to clean?

Yep, drip coffee machines are incredibly easy to clean compared to other brewing methods. You just need to chuck the used grounds in the bin and rinse the removable components. Some coffee makers have dishwasher-safe parts, but make sure you double-check before adding them to your next load!

Once every few months, it’s important to descale them to help them last longer and ensure the best possible taste. 


References

  1. Carrasco, N. (2017, August 4). Brew Guide: What Are The 3 Phases of Drip Coffee Brewing?. Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2017/08/brew-guide-3-phases-drip-coffee-brewing/

  2. America's Test Kitchen. (2015, December 2). Why America's Test Kitchen Calls the Technivorm Moccamaster the Best Automatic Drip Coffee Maker. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD6X72bdc7c

  3. (n.d.). Meet the Speed Brew Family. Retrieved from https://retail.bunn.com/speed-brew-family

  4. (n.d.). SCA Certified Home Brewer Program. Retrieved from https://sca.coffee/certified-home-brewer

  5. Quinn, M. (2018, April 7). Thermal vs. Glass Carafes: Which Is Better For Your Cup Of Joe? Retrieved from https://foodal.com/drinks-2/coffee/brewers/thermal-vs-glass-carafes/#Glass-Carafe-Pros-and-Cons

Born in Italy but currently brewing from the UK, Giada is a highly-caffeinated freelance writer with a soft spot for espressos. She worked in cafés for years and has recently fallen in love with the practical Kalita Wave (just don’t tell her Italian moka pot!).

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