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9 Best Cheap Coffee Makers for Budget-Friendly but Tasty Joe

Finally ready to ditch instant coffee but a quick look at the price of the most popular brewers put you off?

Don’t worry: while some affordable models can indeed result in low-quality bitter java, the best cheap coffee makers can ensure a delicious brew without breaking the bank.

cheap coffee maker

To help you find the perfect one for your needs as well as your budget, we’ve tried and tested several models, only reviewing the very best cheap coffee makers currently on the market.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out our handy buying guide to understand exactly what type of machine is lacking in your life!

AT A GLANCE: OUR TOP PICKS

Mr. Coffee 12-Cup - Our Best Pick

Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Black
  • Does the job by brewing large pots of coffee
  • User-friendly one-button design
  • Brew pause feature

Hamilton Beach Programmable Coffee Maker, 12 Cups, Front Access Easy Fill, Pause & Serve, 3 Brewing Options, Black (46310)
  • Traditional dripper but with more features
  • 24 h programmability
  • 1-4 option for smaller carafes
BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker, Black/Silver, CM2035B
  • Programmability & small-batch feature
  • Even extraction 
  • Best thermal carafe for a cheap coffee maker

Cheap Coffee Makers Buying Guide: How to Find the Right Model for You

While we understand that budget is a decisive factor, there are definitely some other features that you must consider if you want to get your money’s worth and actually upgrade your coffee routine.

What type of coffee would you like to drink?

The best cheap coffee makers can brew different types and quantities of coffee:

  • Traditional drip is a popular choice for large households that want to enjoy a full carafe of coffee. Alternatively, if you sometimes need less, you can look for a model that also allows you to brew smaller quantities without compromising on flavor;

  • Single-serve coffee makers are better suited for single professionals or small households where a full carafe would probably be wasted. They mainly involve K-Cups but, if you prefer fresh grounds, you can always consider a separate reusable filter (trust us: it’s worth it!).

Type of filter: single-use paper or reusable?

K-Cups aside, most coffee makers can rely on either paper or reusable filters: (1)

“There is no ‘bad’ method. [...] Just those that are inappropriate for a certain moment or for your taste.” L. Salomão, barista & Q grader 
  • Paper is practical to clean up after you’ve brewed your coffee and ensures smoother java, sort of like manual pour overs. However, keep in mind that single-use filters result in an additional expense;

  • Reusable filters must be cleaned every time but they can often be chucked in the dishwasher. Plus, they’re kinder to the planet and cheaper over time. Because they allow the oils to filter through, your coffee will be richer-tasting and more intense but it might include some sediments… just like with French presses.

Type of carafe: thermal or glass

When you opt for drip, you’ll find two types of carafes:

  • Thermal (usually stainless steel) is widely regarded as the best choice: it keeps your coffee hot for longer without spoiling its flavor and it’s definitely more durable;

  • Glass carafes rely on a hot plate that can actually compromise extraction if you leave it on for too long. However, if you want to save a few extra dollars and you usually drink your coffee as soon as it’s brewed (why wait?), you can always consider them.

Extra features that matter to you

Cheap coffee makers usually have fewer features than higher-end models, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t find the one that could actually make your life easier.

For example:

  • Programmability: to schedule your first brew of the day up to 24 h in advance;
  • Brew pause: to enjoy the first mug of freshly brewed coffee before the rest of the carafe is ready;
  • Strength control: to make the most of different roasts.

At the same time, if all you want is a one-button brew, we’ve included some of those, too.

Best Cheap Coffee Makers of 2020 [Top 9 Reviews]

Let’s start with a little overview:

Amazon Product
Mr. Coffee 12-Cup
  • Humble but reliable cheap coffee maker for a large pot of joe
  • Easy to operate
  • Brew pause option
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
Hamilton Beach Programmable
  • 24 h programmability
  • Several features including strength control
  • Practical front-fill design
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup
  • 24 h programmability
  • Even-stream showerehead for a perfect extraction
  • Double-walled, vacuum-sealed carafe keeps the coffee hot for hours
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
Keurig K-Classic
  • Best single-serve model
  • Compatible with the reusable K-Cup
  • 3 different brew sizes
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
Ninja 12-Cup
  • 24 h programmability
  • Brew pause & small-batch feature
  • Innovative carafe design to keep your brew evenly extracted
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
Cuisinart DCC-1200CGR
  • Available in different stylish finishes
  • 24 h programmability, brew pause & 1-4 cup feature
  • Compatible with both paper & reusable filters
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
Keurig K-Mini Plus
  • Most compact cheap coffee maker
  • Portable features
  • One-cup reservoir
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
Aeropress
  • Best travel coffee maker
  • Combines pour over & immersion-brewing perks
  • Both for home & on the go
View on Amazon
Amazon Product
Hamilton Beach 45300R
  • Integrated scale for ultimate precision
  • Drip-free carafe
  • Strength control
View on Amazon

Something for everyone, right? Now let’s focus on the most important thing: the best cheap coffee maker for you!

Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Black

FEATURES

Type: drip
Quantity: 12 cups
Filter: paper or separate reusable filter
Carafe: glass

Best for: a large, effortless carafe

If all you’re after is a simple carafe of good old black joe, your quest will probably end right here with this Mr. Coffee model.

It’s literally a one-button machine that results in up to 12 cups of joe. However, it also includes the practical brew pause feature.

This Mr. Coffee model is also easy to fill up and clean, and the on/off indicator light should remind you to switch it off after using it.

Available in black or white, it’s a versatile model that will work on any countertop.

Bottom line: this humble model is the definition of an affordable, no-frills coffee maker that does the job and never disappoints.

Hamilton Beach Programmable Coffee Maker, 12 Cups, Front Access Easy Fill, Pause & Serve, 3 Brewing Options, Black (46310)

FEATURES

Type: drip
Quantity: 1-4 or up to 12 cups
Filter: paper
Carafe: glass

Best for: a simple but programmable brew

This Hamilton Beach model contains a surprising number of features for such a low price tag!

As well as letting you choose between regular or bold when it comes to taste, it also lets you program your brew up to 24 h in advance.

Whenever needed, you can also decide to brew less with the 1-4 cup option that optimizes its brew cycle for smaller quantities. And why not enjoy your first cup of the day ASAP with its brew pause feature?

PRO TIP: if you have low cupboards, the front-fill design of this practical and user-friendly coffee maker will simplify your morning routine.

From the auto shutoff for extra peace of mind and the automatic cleaning cycle reminder, this cheap coffee maker has thought of everything.

Bottom line: the best choice if you want a simple, cheap coffee maker but are tempted by the thought of your machine waking up before you do to spoil you with freshly brewed coffee.


BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker, Black/Silver, CM2035B

FEATURES

Type: drip
Quantity: 1-4 or up to 12 cups
Filter: paper or separate reusable filter
Carafe: thermal

Best for: a large carafe of high-quality drip coffee

This model includes 3 strength levels, a small-batch option, auto-off, and 24 h programmability. Not bad for such a cheap coffee maker, right?

But that’s not even it! 

Thanks to the even-stream showerhead technology, you can expect a perfectly extracted brew, but you don’t have to worry if you can’t drink it immediately. 

This Black+Decker coffee maker features a double-walled, vacuum-sealed thermal carafe and a fresh brew timer to let you keep track of it for up to 2 hours.

Bottom line: Both the coffee maker and its stainless steel carafe clearly put quality first. Whether you drink it immediately or after an hour, your coffee will taste just as flavorful.


4. Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker - Fastest Pod Brewer

Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 to 10 Oz. Brew Sizes, Black

FEATURES

Type: single-serve drip
Quantity: 6, 8, 10 oz
Filter: K-Cups or separate reusable filter
Carafe: thermal

Best for: a quick and consistent cup of coffee

As you can read in our Keurig K-Classic review, we think that this is not only one of the best Keurig models, but one of the best single-serve coffee makers overall!

This is because the K-Classic packs in the most essential features while keeping the price tag low.

For example, it has 3 different brew sizes, a large 48 oz reservoir, an auto-off, and takes less than a minute to make a cup of coffee.

You can use it with K-Cups or make the most of fresh grounds by purchasing Keurig’s reusable K-Cup.

Are you going to opt for the versatile black or the eye-catching rhubarb model?

Bottom line: A game-changing choice for those who love the practicality of single-serve coffee makers and have no time to waste in the morning.


Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker with Classic and Rich Brews, 60 oz. Water Reservoir, and Thermal Flavor Extraction (CE201), Black/Stainless Steel

FEATURES

Type: drip
Quantity: 1-4 or up to 12 cups
Filter: gold-tone permanent filter
Carafe: glass

Best for: a programmable brew and a few premium features

If the thing you’re looking forward to the most is waking up to the smell of coffee, you can’t go wrong with this simple Ninja model. 

As well as its 24 h programmability, we love the fact that it includes a small-batch function, the brew pause feature, and a carafe with a flavor straw. This means that, by pushing the new coffee at the bottom, it avoids stratification and ensures an evenly extracted joe.

It also comes with a gold-tone permanent filter and a practical scoop to measure your coffee. 

Bottom line: A simple Ninja model for those who value programmability and consistent extraction.


6. Cuisinart DCC-1200CGR - Most Stylish

Cuisinart DCC-1200CGR Brew Central 12 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Light Grey

FEATURES

Type: drip
Quantity: 12 cups
Filter: paper or reusable gold-tone permanent filter
Carafe: glass

Best for: those with an eye for interior design

This cheap coffee maker is available in different finishes, but we believe that the brushed metal options are the best choice to make a bold statement and match your other appliances.

But let’s not forget about the coffee itself! 

With a 24 h programmable feature, auto shut-off, 1-4 option and brew pause, it’s impressive how this cheap coffee maker can improve your routine.

It also lets you choose between the included gold-tone filter and paper options. 

Finally, it comes with a measuring scoop and a charcoal water filter for a purer brew.

Bottom line: A stylish coffee maker that looks great and brews like a pro.


Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 to 12 oz. Brew Sizes, Studio Gray

FEATURES

Type: single-serve drip
Quantity: 6-12 oz
Filter: K-Cups or separate reusable filter
Carafe: glass

Best for: a small countertop footprint

If, as well as price, space is one of your main concerns, how about a cheap coffee maker that’s less than 5” side? We’re being serious!

This single-serve model puts portability first with features like the pod and cord storage. 

However, because this smaller design was achieved by getting rid of the reservoir, you must get used to filling up its one-cup alternative before every brew.

Available in 4 charming colors and compatible with the reusable K-Cup, the Keurig K-Mini Plus has a strong brew feature and allows you to brew directly into your usual travel mug.

Bottom line: portable and reliable, this compact coffee maker can revolutionize even the smallest countertop.


8. Aeropress Coffee Maker - Best for Travel

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker with Tote Bag - Quickly Makes Delicious Coffee Without Bitterness - 1 to 3 Cups Per Press

FEATURES

Quantity: 1-3 cups
Filter: paper

Best for: wanderlust-filled coffee lovers

This relatively young, groundbreaking coffee maker went from being almost unknown to having its own world championship (2)(3).

“The ability to maintain one’s coffee routine no matter where they are in the world has been at the heart of AeroPress since its inception in 2005.” Fresh Cup Magazine 

It combines manual pour over and immersion techniques to guarantee a cup (or 3!) of smooth but full-flavored coffee.

The AeroPress is compact, lightweight, durable and easy to clean, which means that you can use it both at home and on the go. You can even use it to brew espresso without a machine or to make cold brews. 

No wonder it’s one of the best travel coffee makers and single-serve options!

Bottom line: a cult among coffee aficionados, the AeroPress is the perfect cheap coffee maker to use before work... or on the top of a mountain.


Hamilton Beach 45300R TruCount Coffee Maker, 12 Cup, Black

FEATURES

Type: drip
Quantity: 1-4 or up to 12
Filter: paper
Carafe: glass

Best for: those who understand the importance of an even extraction

As you might have heard, consistency is key when it comes to coffee extraction.

With this cheap coffee maker, you have nothing to worry about: it features an integrated scale to count the scoops!

It’s also programmable and lets you choose between regular and bold coffee, either as a large pot or a smaller 1-4 cup option.

Thanks to the easy-pour design of its drip-free carafe, your first coffee of the day will be a breeze no matter how sleepy you are.

Bottom line: This user-friendly model guarantees a reliable jug whether you’re brewing for the entire household or just a couple of cups.


FAQs

1. What is the best inexpensive coffee maker?

The best inexpensive coffee maker is the Mr. Coffee 12-Cup model if you’re after a traditional brew or the Hamilton Beach programmable option if you could do with this handy feature. 

However, it’s important to figure out the best inexpensive coffee maker for you, so make sure you check our buying guide before hitting the purchase button.

2. What is the difference between a cheap and expensive coffee maker?

The difference between a cheap and expensive coffee maker consists mainly of the features that they include: the most budget-friendly coffee makers are usually fairly basic, which is why they’re a handy option if you only want a pot of joe and maybe a feature or two. 

However, some more expensive coffee makers can also result in a superior extraction because they rely on more professional heating and brewing systems. If you want to compare both, check out our article on the best drip coffee makers, too.

3. What is the lifespan of a coffee maker?

The lifespan of a coffee maker depends on the model and how well you care for it (e.g. descaling and cleaning it regularly). However, it’s usually between 6 and 10 years.


References:

1. Rosas, A. P. (2020, September 25). Green Home Brewing: Four Ways To Make “Paperless” Coffee. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/09/green-home-brewing-four-ways-to-make-paperless-coffee/

2. Carter, C. (2020, August 5). Guide to Brewing On-The-Go. Retrieved from https://www.freshcup.com/guide-to-brewing-on-the-go/

3. (n.d.). World Aeropress Champs.Retrieved from https://www.worldaeropresschampionship.com/ 

Avatar for Giada Nizzoli

Born in Italy but currently brewing from the UK, Giada is a highly-caffeinated coffee expert 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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