Food & Drink | September 15, 2022 9:56 am

The 7 Best Drip Coffee Machines

Your morning routine just got a lot less complicated.

Capresso 5-Cup Mini Drip Coffee Maker, Smeg Drip Filter Coffee Machine and the Cuisinart Perfectemp 14 Cup Programmable Coffemaker, a few of the best drip coffee machines.
We’ll help you find the very best drip coffee machine for you.
Amazon/Sergey Ryumin/franck metois

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When you hear the phrase “coffee maker,” in all likelihood you picture a drip coffee machine. In the U.S. drip coffee is the default. It’s the kind you get at diners, poured from a glass carafe with a black plastic handle (orange for decaf), kept on a burner for a questionably long time. When you go to Starbucks and ask for coffee — it’s drip. In the average hotel room, you’ll find a drip coffee machine.

The methodology of drip coffee is blessedly convenient: pour water in the reservoir, add grinds and press the “brew” button. You’ll have a fresh pot in 5-8 minutes. But coffee experts will tell you that the convenience of drip coffee sacrifices flavor to some degree. The Coffee Folk founder James Hyslop says a drip machine can “highlight the specific flavors of different beans,” but it won’t make them shine.

Hyslop also notes that while drip coffee is a staple in North American homes, they’re rare in places like Australia and New Zealand where you’re more likely to find espresso machines. He cautions that drip machines vary tremendously in quality and sometimes end up being “nice-looking junk.” But they’ve also come a long way in recent years, and there’s no shortage of great options out there for anyone who wants the convenience of drip coffee. Below, we’ll help you find the very best drip coffee machine for you.

What to Look For

Temperature Control: “Not hot enough” is one of the most common complaints among drip coffee drinkers. To achieve the right drinking temperature, the brew temperature must be adequately hot. Hyslop explains that without the proper heat, drip coffee makers “can’t keep the water hot enough throughout the brew to get really good extraction,” which affects the flavor. Once the coffee is done brewing, most machines have an insulated, thermal carafe or a warming plate (or both) to keep it piping hot.

Size: Hyslop recommends an 8-cup machine for anyone who plans to entertain guests every now and then. It’s plenty for an individual household plus a few guests. For office use or larger parties, a 10-12 cup machine offers more serving power. Smaller drip machines brew as few as 5 cups — and if you’re intent on saving counter space, or you live alone, a machine this size would fit the bill.

Features: Bells and whistles on a drip machine aren’t necessarily a good thing. Hyslop warns that the more features a machine has, the more things that can break. He recommends focusing on getting a machine that does the basics well, especially given that drip brewing is such a straightforward process. There’s no need to overcomplicate your morning routine.

Key Terms

Flavor Extraction: The amount of the coffee bean that is dissolved in the brewing process. Too little extraction leads to a sour and acidic taste, while too much extraction can create a bitter and harsh flavor.

Ideal Brewing Temperature: The temperature at which the highest extraction levels occur. The range is typically recognized as 195-205° F.

Best overall drip coffee machine

A Technivorn Moccamaster Coffee Brewer on a gray and white background
Technivorn Moccamaster Coffee Brewer
Amazon

Technivorm Moccamaster

For the “best of the best when it comes to drip coffee,” Hyslop recommends the Moccamaster. While it’s on the more expensive side, serious drinkers are willing to spend over $300 because the café-quality drip coffee lives up to its price tag. The extraction process only takes 4-6 minutes, but the flavor is comparable to a more complex manual brew process. Not all drip machines are made for the long haul, but Hyslop notes that the Moccamaster is known to last a lifetime (it has a 5-year warranty). He also points out that users love its simplicity and lack of superfluous features. The sleek design can be found all over “kitchen Pinterest” in seafoam green and striking yellow colorways (opt for discreet polished silver if you’re looking to match stainless steel appliances).

Key Specs:
•  Brew temperature: 196-205 F
Capacity: 8 cups
Carafe type: thermal, double-walled stainless steel
Warming plate: none

Best affordable drip coffee machine

A Bonavita 8 Cup Coffee Maker on a white background.
Bonavita 8 Cup Coffee Maker
Amazon

Bonavita One Touch BV1900TS

When it comes to a more affordable drop coffee machine option, Hyslop is a fan of this Bonavita machine that he frequently recommends to customers and readers. It’s reminiscent of the Moccamaster with its side-by-side glass and steel design, but it’s half the price. Hyslop says it brews truly good coffee that will “easily outdo your Mr. Coffee or OXO.” You can depend on consistent flavor thanks to a shower-head design that evenly saturates coffee grounds for uniform flavor extraction. Take advantage of the pre-infusion mode to enhance flavor further by allowing freshly roasted grinds to bloom before brewing. Hyslop adds that another reason to trust this machine is its inclusion in the Specialty Coffee Association’s approved list, which only highlights highly reliable machines.

Key Specs:
Brew temperature: 198-205
Capacity: 8 cups
Carafe type: thermal, double-walled stainless steel
Warming plate: 40 min then auto shut off

Best drip coffee machine for large groups

A Cuisinart Perfectemp 14 Cup Programmable Coffemaker on a gray background
Cuisinart Perfectemp 14 Cup Programmable Coffemaker
Amazon

Cuisinart Perfectemp 14 Cup Programmable Coffemaker

When hosting a group of caffeine-needy guests, you’ll want to serve them as efficiently as possible, and this 14-cup Cuisinart will get the job done. Unlike some of the higher-end machines on this list, this one is mostly plastic so it doesn’t have the sleek look of stainless steel. But what you might compromise on with kitchen aesthetics is made up for in efficacy: this machine keeps large quantities of coffee hot for a long time. Temperature maintenance is such a focal point of this model that its name — Perfectemp — is a reference to exclusive Cuisinart technology. Even though the capacity is large, you don’t need to fill a full 14 cups every time you brew. You can make 1-4 cups if you prefer (there’s a designated setting for this small-batch size).

Key Specs
Brew temperature: not listed
Capacity: 14 cups
Carafe type: glass
Warming plate: set for 1-4 hours, 3 temperature settings

Best high-end drip coffee machine

The Wolf Programmable Coffee System on a patterned white background
Wolf Programmable Coffee System
Amazon

Wolf Programmable Coffee System

If a high-status kitchen brands are your weakness, you’ll want to consider this Wolf machine that’s so fancy it goes by the name “Coffee System.” Wolf is known for top-of-the-line ovens (so beloved that miniaturists have replicated them), and their countertop appliances embody the same quality. With its steep price, you can bet this coffee system comes with features to match, including an integrated coffee grounds scale that ensures the ideal coffee-to-water ratio. If you have cabinetry above your coffee prep area, you won’t have to worry about moving the machine to lift the brew basket lid — this one slides out like a drawer. For anyone who’s obsessed with a neat coffee setup, a removable water reservoir allows you to fill tidily at the sink (no more dripping across the counter).

Key Specs
Capacity: 10 cups
Carafe type: thermal, double-walled stainless steel
Warming plate: none

Best feature-heavy drip coffee machine

The KRUPS ET351 Coffee Maker on a white patterned background
KRUPS ET351 Coffee Maker
Amazon

KRUPS ET351 Coffee Maker

The simple design of this Krups machine belies its admirable range of features. While it has standard options like programmable auto-start, it goes the extra mile with a “Brew Pause” function that allows you to remove the carafe at any time in the brew process. This feature is ideal for rushed mornings when you need to pour a cup mid-brew. You can customize flavor with the bold function that brews a fuller-bodied taste, or opt for the small-batch setting designed to optimize flavor and aroma when brewing just 1-4 cups (of the generous 12-cup capacity). Over time, limestone build-up from water will necessitate cleaning your machine. Hyslop warns that if left for too long, scaling can ruin your coffee maker as well as compromise flavor, so be sure to use the clean function that makes the task of descaling much less tedious.

Key Specs
Brew temperature: not listed
Capacity: 12 cups
Carafe type: thermal stainless steel
Warming plate: none

Best drip coffee machine for small spaces

The Capresso 5-Cup Mini Drip Coffee Maker on a white patterned background
Capresso 5-Cup Mini Drip Coffee Maker
Amazon

Capresso 5-Cup Mini Drip Coffee Maker

This no-frills machine has a small footprint (6” by 8” by 10”) that makes it perfect for dorm rooms or studio apartment kitchens. It’s called “mini” for a reason: a capacity of 5 cups is ideal for one (or two) people. A one-minute brew time may be eye-watering for some coffee snobs, but you can’t beat it for speed and convenience. For a value-first machine like this, you can maximize flavor quality by buying beans from a roaster rather than the grocery store, and grind them right before your brew. Hyslop says these two simple things can elevate the level of your coffee significantly. And it’s not completely without features. If you’d rather get a little extra shut-eye than grind beans in the early morning, you can program it to brew at a set time and wake up to a fresh pot.

Key Specs
Brew temperature: not listed
Capacity: 5 cups
Carafe type: glass
Warming plate: 2 hours then auto shut off

Most stylish drip coffee machine

A red Smeg Drip Filter Coffee Machine on a gray background
Smeg Drip Filter Coffee Machine
Smeg

Smeg Drip Filter Coffee Machine

This statement-making drip machine would look at home in the iconic 1950’s I Love Lucy kitchen. The design is part of Smeg’s retro line, which includes the influencer-beloved toaster and fridge that have become ubiquitous. Even if you don’t own the matching blender or juicer, this coffee maker will add a healthy dose of style to your kitchenscape. The all-metal design comes in Jetsons-y colors like pastel blue, cream, red and stainless steel. It excels in more than appearance — this model allows you to adjust taste and select both aroma intensity and water hardness. One potential warning: the warming function only lasts for one hour (the Cuisinart model listed above can warm for four hours), but if the look of this machine warms your heart, it may be a trade-off worth making.

Key Specs
Brew temperature: not listed
Capacity: 10 cups
Carafe type: glass
Warming plate: 60 min then auto shut off