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Coffee—it's that beautiful thing that gets most of us out of bed in the morning. The rich aroma wafts through the air, rousing our senses and beckoning us to the kitchen. That first cup of the morning is a ritual that awakens us to the day. Where would we be without it? And, more importantly, what would we do without our coffee maker? This little machine may just be the most important—and most used—appliance you have. And when it becomes time to select one for your registry, it's the perfect opportunity to upgrade and get one that you'll love for years.
There are a few key factors to consider when selecting a coffee maker. Are you an espresso drinker? Or do you like a classic drip coffee? French press or pour over? Maybe cold brew is your beverage of choice when the temperatures rise outside. Next—consider your lifestyle and tendencies. Do you prefer to press a button and let the machine do its thing, or are you more of a hands-on type? Finally, think about the quantity you'll want to make. A petite espresso maker might be great if you love a quick caffeine shot on the go, while a classic auto-drip coffee maker is perfect for hosting a large brunch or just hanging out on a lazy Saturday morning.
No matter how you take your coffee, we’ve rounded up the best machines in every category. From fancy to functional, classic to contemporary, there’s a coffee maker out there for every caffeine lover!
Read on for the best coffee makers.
Best Overall: Technivorm MoccamasterGlass Coffee Maker
When it comes to consistency, the Technivorm Moccasmaster is king. A tried and true coffee maker, it’s been in production since its debut in 1968. Each machine is handmade and individually tested in the Netherlands to assure a quality product that makes a consistently outstanding cup of coffee.
Although it has few of the bells and whistles of more modern machines, this coffee maker is simple-but-skillful. Fill the brew basket, add water, press the power switch, and let the machine do its thing! An innovative spray arm evenly spreads water over coffee grounds, while a special copper feature keeps a consistent brewing temp for optimum flavor and a less bitter brew. The adjustable basket allows you to brew a half pot, full pot, or grab a quick cup mid-drip. And once you have your coffee brewed, the independent, energy-efficient hot plate keeps it at an ideal serving temp, so it never tastes old or burned.
Plus, it comes in a range of colors and finishes to match your kitchen. As if this weren’t enough—the machine has a five-year warranty, easily replaceable parts, and is made with BPA-free, sustainable materials, all of which make it a long-term investment in your morning happiness.
Best Budget: Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker
Here’s a budget-friendly coffee maker with all the fixings of a more expensive machine, at a fraction of the cost. Packed with swoon-worthy, smart features, this one’s a great choice that won’t break the bank. Most importantly, it’s fully programmable, so you can roll right out of bed and grab yourself a cup of Joe without having to even think about making a pot.
A brew strength selector allows you to choose between regular and bold strengths and it has a hot plate to keep your coffee toasty. And while it can brew a 12-cup carafe, no problem, we love its single-serve feature with room for a coffee cup or travel mug, which means you don’t have to make a full pot if you’re rolling solo. Fans call this coffee maker a workhorse, and we believe it—this machine will serve you—and your coffee—for years to come!
Best Pour Over: Chemex 6-Cup Coffee Maker
Gorgeous and functional, the Chemex is a classic when it comes to coffee. Invented by chemist Peter Schlumbohm in 1941, it’s part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection, which makes it practically a work of art. Beyond its good looks, it uses the pour-over method—one of the purest ways of making coffee. Simple and reliable, this pretty glass coffee maker has been producing a flavorful, sediment-free cup for over forty years.
Ideal for the coffee purist, the Chemex is all about flavor. The hand-blown vessel is made of heat-resistant, non-porous glass that helps retain the flavor of the brew. This means that you can cover your coffee, refrigerate it, and reheat it without it becoming bland. Our favorite part is the polished wood collar and leather tie, which serves as an insulated handle and adds a handmade, Mid-Century flair to your coffee service.
Best French Press: Frieling Double Walled French Press
If a French press is your preferred way to brew, you'll know that keeping your coffee warm can be tricky. That’s why we love this sleek, stainless steel press. The double-walled construction keeps coffee hot for four times as long as comparable glass versions. And with its high-quality, stainless steel design, it’s extra durable—you’ll never have to deal with the nightmare scenario of breaking your coffee press at 6 am.
Here are the stats—it brews a full-bodied cup of coffee with a rich texture in just four minutes. The super-fine mesh screen serves up a zero-sediment cup, which is a major plus if you're used to a press that delivers residual grinds. It’s also versatile— it comes in five sizes, all of which can brew coffee, tea, iced coffee, or iced tea.
Best For Travel: AeroPress Go Portable Travel Coffee Press
Craving a quality cup of coffee on the go? Whether you’re an avid traveler or simply looking for something you can make right at your desk, this small wonder does the trick! The portable coffee press brews American, espresso, or cold brew style coffee in just one minute. And it’s not the type of coffee you’d expect from such a simple-seeming gadget— it’s smooth, rich, and without the bitterness, sediment, or acidity typical of French-press coffee.
Compact and neatly bundled, it’s easy to carry along wherever you go. And its smart design features a mug and lid, ensuring you’ll never be without a delicious cup of coffee, regardless of location.
Best For Small Spaces: Zojirushi 5-Cup Zutto Coffee Maker
With simple features and a chic design, this compact coffee maker is proof that good things come in small packages. Small but mighty stylish, it’s ideal if you’re short on space. It brews up to five cups—just the right amount for a couple to enjoy—and it features an easy-to-fill, removable water tank and a charcoal filter that purifies water for a better-tasting brew.
The machine comes complete with a hot plate to keep your coffee warm long after the pot has finished brewing. Designed in collaboration with interior designers in Japan as part of Zojirushi’s ZUTTO Collection, this form-meets-function pot looks just as good as the coffee it brews.
Best for a Crowd: Cuisinart 14-Cup Perfectemp Coffee Maker
We get it—with so many options out there, it can seem daunting to find the perfect coffee maker. It can be tricky to find a balance between having so many features that you need a degree to use it and being stone-age simple. But with just the right amount of bells and whistles, we think this one is all-around pretty fantastic!
This machine delivers extra-hot coffee without scalding or affecting flavor, so if you like your cup of joe extra hot, this one won’t disappoint. It also allows you to choose from regular or bold strength coffee, brewing your grounds exactly to your taste. If you like to pour continuous cups throughout the day, just set the hot plate to keep the pot warm. And its 24-hour programmability feature assures that your coffee will be waiting for you first thing in the morning. Yes, please!
Best Espresso Machine: Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker
If you’re an aspiring at-home barista who dreams of having a machine that rivals the one at your local coffee-shop, this one is for you. With all the features—and looks—of a professional-grade machine (sans the learning curve and hefty price tag) this is a great option for both beginners and connoisseurs alike.
We love that it has a choice of automatic or manual operation, so if you do actually know how to whip up an amazing latte, you can use your skills and won’t be disappointed. And if you don’t—well, the machine has you covered! The built-in grinder pulverizes beans right before brewing and allows you to choose a grind from fine to coarse. It comes complete with a steam wand, frothing nozzle, and stainless steel pitcher, so you can foam milk in true barista-style.
Best for Cold Brew: OXO Good Grips 32 Ounce Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Cold brew coffee has become quite popular in the past few years—and with good reason. The coffee tastes smoother and more robust but has lower acidity and less bitterness than traditional brewing methods. But making a good brew at home can be tricky. Enter the OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker. It’s simple and foolproof, but with enough nuance to please your favorite coffee expert. Whether you’re a cold brew aficionado or you’re just looking to make a nice batch of iced coffee come summer, you won’t be disappointed.
This power-less machine does all the work for you. Simply add coarse ground coffee and water and then let it steep for 12-24 hours. When the brewing is done, press the switch to release the coffee concentrate into the carafe. Presto—you’ve got cold brew! And the 32-ounce carafe comes with a stopper so you keep the concentrate fresh in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Goodbye, expensive store-bought cold brew!
Best Retro: Smeg Drip Coffee Maker
Craving a retro-style coffee maker, but with the functionality of a modern machine? SMEG is the way to go. The Italian company is known for its 1950s vintage-style appliances. They’re designed in collaboration with some of the world's top architects, which means they aren’t just all looks—they’re high-quality products that are built to last.
This midcentury-style drip coffee maker has state-of-the-art features like auto start and aroma control so you brew a pot on your schedule and to your taste. Choose from delicate or intense strengths and set the timer to begin the pot, so your favorite brew will be ready when you are. It comes with a 10-cup glass carafe but has a one-to-four cup setting for smaller quantities. And the hot plate keeps things warm so you’ll never be faced with cold coffee.
Best High Tech: Nespresso by Breville Vertuo Next
Welcome to the modern age where speed, connectivity, and functionality reign. With a sustainable, compact design and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi capability, this powerful capsule coffee machine is a modern marvel. The state-of-the-art functions allow you to prepare a variety of espresso and coffee drinks with just the touch of a button.
Pop in a capsule and choose your brew—the machine automatically reads the barcode on the capsule and sets the ideal brewing time, temperature, and size to whip up your favorite drink in under a minute. Its compact footprint fits easily on countertops and the Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to update software and reorder capsules via smartphone or tablet. This machine gets it done!
Best Stovetop: Bialitti Moka Espresso
Ask any Italian how they make their espresso and they’re sure to say Moka. And Since espresso originated in Italy, we trust that Italians really know their stuff when it comes to il caffé! We love this iconic little espresso maker for its simplicity and consistency in making a killer cup of espresso.
A staple of Italian culture and kitchens, the Moka was invented by Italian Engineer Alfonso Bialetti in 1933. Since that time, the traditional design hasn’t changed and the stovetop pot continues to brew perfectly rich espresso in just a matter of minutes. It’s available in a range of sizes from single-serve to family size and its design is durable, reliable, and simple to use- Bellissimo!
Best Design: Ratio Eight Coffee Maker
A marriage of design, simplicity, and exceptional quality come together in a coffee experience of the highest caliber. With the touch of a button, this machine makes coffee using a precision brewing technique that simulates the pour-over of a skilled barista—and watching it work is half the fun!
It looks sleek and simple, but this smart machine features an artful technique. It automatically detects the amount of water for the brew before a die-cast aluminum element heats it up to the perfect 200-degree temperature. Then, the stainless-steel shower head gives the grounds an even watering for an exquisite coffee that’s smooth, low in acidity, and robust in flavor. Designed and assembled in Portland Oregon, it's crafted of walnut wood, heat-resistant glass, metal, and ceramic elements.
What to look for in a coffee maker
No matter what type of coffee maker you’re looking for, the process for brewing a cup of joe is the same. Ground coffee beans meet water, flavor is extracted from the grinds, and voilá—coffee! While the process for making coffee is pretty straightforward, modern machines come equipped with a variety of qualities and functions to optimize the brew and meet all of your coffee-making needs. Knowing exactly what to look for can sometimes be overwhelming. Ultimately, what it comes down to is brew type, convenience, functionality, size, temperature, and cost. Here’s the breakdown:
It’s undeniable—each method of brewing yields a distinct taste profile. Pour-over coffee tends to be more flavorful than drip coffee; French press has an intense taste and rich texture, cold brew is less acidic and bitter than its toasty counterparts, and espresso is very strong and concentrated and can serve as the base for a variety of drinks. Purchasing a coffee maker that aligns with your flavor preferences will make your coffee buzz that much more satisfying in the long term—truth!
Manual or fully automated? If you dream of barely touching a button and having a hot pot of coffee waiting for you when you wake up, a programmable coffee maker is the way to go. But if the process of brewing is part of the ritual of drinking coffee for you, something like a French press or pour-over may better suit your needs. And if you’re somewhere in the middle, choose a coffee machine that allows you to customize your brew so that you can still be part of the process while the machine does all of the work.
Many modern coffee makers come with a range of special features. Everything from automatic start to extra hot temperatures and smart technology—which allows you to control the machine via your phone—are common perks that make a machine more appealing. Sorting out the special features that are a priority for you will help narrow down the options.
Who says size doesn’t matter?! Because when it comes to a coffee maker, it definitely does. If one cup is all you need to get a jump-start in the morning, then a single-cup machine might just do the trick. Of course, a larger 12-ounce carafe is the right choice for a crowd, but it's also ideal for a couple who loves to keep their buzz on with multiple cups.
If making a pot and drinking it over a few hours is your thing you’ll know that letting it sit on a hot plate leads to a burnt brew with a bitter taste. We suggest looking for a coffee maker that has heat control settings or a stainless steel carafe so that your coffee tastes as fresh as the first cup all day long.
Cost is a consideration for most people. The good news is that brewing your coffee at home is a money saver in the long run. The one caveat is a pod or capsule-type machine—they're less cost-effective and require a continual investment.
What is the best coffee maker for me?
Now that you know what to look for in a coffee machine, the next step is finding the one that’s right for you. There are so many options promising the perfect brew. You’ll want to find one that serves up your ideal cup— on the reg. Start with a simple question—what type of brew do you prefer? If you crave a rich, bold coffee with texture and the added pleasure of making the coffee yourself, a French press is for you.
Wanting the hands-on experience of brewing your own coffee but with a brighter, more vibrant brew? Consider a pour-over-style coffee maker. If a low-acidity cold brew is your thing (even if it's just for the summer!), a proper cold brew coffee maker should do the trick.
Convenience is an important consideration as well. An automatic espresso machine is an excellent choice for the aspiring barista—or anyone who wants a hands-on experience when it comes to making espresso-based drinks. If you don’t have the time—or patience— to make each cup by hand, but still want to be part of the process, go for a drip model with a lot of programmable features. And for a machine that practically reads your mind with state-of-the-art functions, a capsule coffee maker can prepare your favorite espresso and coffee drinks at the touch of a button.
Why Trust Brides
Brides contributor Elizabeth MacLennan has been scouring marketplaces around the world—and web—hunting down that just right object for over 15 years as a prop stylist. Read: she’s seen just about everything when it comes to goods for the kitchen! With a discerning eye and astute mind, she considers quality, function, and design when she’s vetting products. That means— these coffee machines meet all the requirements. But most importantly, they serve up a killer cup of coffee!