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The Best Coffee Makers

By Wirecutter Staff
A close-up of a person pouring coffee into a coffee cup held by another person.
Photo: Michael Hession

Over the years, we’ve tried nearly every method of making coffee, from cold-brew coffee makers and the Chemex to moka pots and Moccamasters. For people who want pour-over-quality coffee as well as the convenience of a one-button machine, we recommend the OXO Brew 9 Cup Coffee Maker. Of all the methods we’ve tested, we think the OXO Brew offers the best ratio of flavor to effort—at a good value. But if you’re looking for an espresso machine, a coffee grinder, pour-over gear, and more, we have other recommendations, too.

Our pick

OXO Brew 9-Cup Coffee Maker

The best drip coffee maker

This stylish brewer makes consistently good coffee and has a solid thermal carafe. And you can program it to brew automatically before you wake up.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $210.

Pre-infuses coffee grounds, like pour-over, for best extractionOne-button dial is sleek but not intuitive to use
Starts with very hot water for best flavorTakes up a lot of space
Has a timer for automatic brewing

Our pick

OXO Brew 9-Cup Coffee Maker

The best drip coffee maker

This stylish brewer makes consistently good coffee and has a solid thermal carafe. And you can program it to brew automatically before you wake up.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $210.

Who this is for: Anyone who wants a solid drip coffee maker to make a pot of great-tasting coffee that stays hot for hours. If you already own a good grinder (the most important part of any coffee setup) and you pay a premium for gourmet beans, this machine will get the most out of them.

Why we like it: The OXO Brew 9 Cup Coffee Maker is fast and convenient, with features like a programmable start time and an automatic pre-infusion cycle (which briefly wets the coffee before brewing, for better extraction). In our tests to determine the best drip coffee maker, we found that the coffee was pleasant and much better than what we made with some of the competitors. The coffee maker has a handsome design, with a well-made thermal stainless steel carafe that pours easily and keeps coffee hot for hours.

The OXO Brew 9 Cup Coffee Maker can brew a full pot in just under 7 minutes. Photo: Michael Hession

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The OXO has an unintuitive interface. So if you don’t read the manual, programming the timer can be difficult. But once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty straightforward. In our years of long-term testing, we’ve also noticed that the lid on the OXO’s carafe tends to trap old coffee; even a good rinse isn’t enough to flush everything out. Another thing to note is that the OXO is tall, at 17.2 inches, so it may not fit under some cabinets—especially since the lids for the water tank and the grounds basket need an additional 5 inches of clearance to fully open. By comparison, our also-great pick, the Bonavita Connoisseur, is just 12.2 inches tall.

And in our taste tests, the Bonavita Connoisseur beat the OXO. So this is something you should consider if you prioritize flavor over all else (though the Bonavita lacks some convenience features, including a timer). Finally, if the OXO’s price seems a bit steep, check out our guide to budget coffee makers.

Dimensions: 15 by 8.3 by 17.2 inches

Capacity: 9 cups

Brew time: less than 7 minutes

Our pick

Kalita Wave 185 Dripper

The best dripper

Out of all the pour-over drippers we’ve tested, the Kalita Wave 185 made the best-tasting coffee.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $24.

Who this is for: People who want a manual, inexpensive method for making great-tasting coffee, and one that doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Why we like it: The pour-over method is simple, and it produces delicious coffee. By having more control over the brewing process, you can hone each variable to get the most flavor out of the beans. In our guide to the best gear for making pour-over coffee, we have recommendations for drippers, grinders, kettles, and scales. The Kalita Wave 185 is our favorite dripper because it produced the most-consistent, even, and flavorful cup of coffee of all of the drippers we tested.

The Kalita Wave dripper with a filter inside of it.
The Kalita Wave 185 Dripper’s signature “wavy” filters maintain temperature by insulating the pour from the cone’s walls and ensure an even flow of water. Photo: Michael Hession

Flaws but not dealbreakers: In comparison with an automatic drip coffee maker, a multistep, gear-intensive method of making coffee can be a bit complicated, especially if you’re groggy first thing in the morning. Also, our dripper pick, the Kalita Wave 185 Dripper, uses proprietary filters that are more difficult to acquire than standard Melitta filters. They are, however, available on Amazon or in specialty coffee shops.

Budget pick

Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker CE251

Our cheap coffee maker pick

This easy-to-use machine consistently brews hot coffee at the right strength.

Who this is for: Someone who wants a decent, low-fuss drip coffee maker for under $100. This machine will brew reliably good coffee whether you use freshly ground or pre-ground beans, making this an especially good choice if you typically buy the latter.

Why we like it: Among the budget drip models we tested, the Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker CE251 made the most balanced and the hottest cup of coffee. It has convenient, simple-to-use features, like different settings for a classic or richer taste, and its removable water tank is easy to read and fill. This model was also intuitive enough to program, so it’s suitable for shared kitchens.

The Ninja has easy-to-read buttons for customizing and preprogramming a pot of coffee, but remember to select the features you want before pressing the brew button. Photo: Connie Park

Flaws but not dealbreakers:We had issues with the carafe’s lid: It screws on and off, and is not as easy to use as the flip-top lids on some of the other models we tested.

Capacity: 12 cups

Brew time: about 13 minutes

Our pick

Espro P3 French Press

The best French press

This inexpensive French press has an innovative filter that consistently makes cleaner, more-nuanced coffee than the competition.

Who this is for: People who want a super-simple, quick method of making coffee. This is great for coffee drinkers who want something that’s easy to learn and master.

Why we like it: The Espro P3 French press produces consistently clean, bright, flavorful coffee. It has a bucket-shaped double filter, with finer mesh than that found in most French presses. This keeps coffee as close to grit-free as you get with a pour-over (and noticeably more so than coffee made in our runner-up pick, the Bodum Chambord). Once the Espro is plunged, it keeps the grounds away from the coffee, so your java doesn’t take on bitterness from oversteeping. In our tests, the last cup we poured tasted as good as the first—even a full hour later.

The Espro P3 makes consistently clean, bright, flavorful coffee. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Glass presses will never be as sturdy as their stainless steel counterparts. All glass beakers are delicate and will break if you drop them or knock them too hard. In the event that the Espro P3 does break, you can buy replacement parts, including beakers and filters.

The Espro P3 is not as visually appealing as some other French presses, like the Bodum Chambord, with its classic stylings. And the double filter makes it a little tricky to clean. But we didn’t find the Espro to be that much harder to clean than any other French press, and we think the results are worth any of these tradeoffs.

Available sizes: 12 ounces (1½ cups), 17 ounces, 34 ounces (4 cups, pictured), 51 ounces (6 cups)

Materials: borosilicate glass (beaker) and polypropylene (handle)

Our pick

OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker

The best cold-brew coffee maker

OXO’s cold-brew maker has the best-looking design, plus some clever aspects that make it easier to pour from and to store. The brew it makes was often a favorite of panelists.

Who this is for: For people who want to make better iced coffee. Compared with simply refrigerating hot-brewed coffee, cold-brewing with a slow exposure extracts fewer bitter flavors. So you’ll get a sweeter, milder-tasting coffee.

Why we like it: The OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker is our pick for the best cold-brew coffee maker because it’s well designed and easy to use, and in our tests it produced a more-consistent, flavorful cup of coffee than other models. It made cold coffee with balanced acidity, a stronger aroma, and a cleaner finish.

The OXO brewer makes a flavorful concentrate, looks good on a counter, and is easier to use and store than any other pick. Photo: Michael Hession

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Some of our testers thought the Filtron Cold Water Coffee Concentrate Brewer (our runner-up) made a smoother, mellower cup of coffee. But others liked the stronger, bolder flavor of coffee from the OXO. Plus, we found our pick easier to use than the Filtron (which is a bit more cumbersome).

Dimensions: 9.5 by 9.5 by 14.7 inches

Capacity: 32 ounces (4 cups)

Our pick

Breville Bambino Plus

The best espresso machine for beginners

This potent little machine is fast and easy to use, and it will impress beginners and experienced baristas with its consistent espresso shots and silky frothed milk.

Buying Options

$495 from Walmart

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $550.

Baratza Sette 30 Conical Burr Grinder

The best espresso grinder

This coffee grinder has the finer, more precise settings that are needed to make the best espresso.

Buying Options

$280 from Walmart

May be out of stock

Who this is for: People who like good coffee and want to make quality espresso (or espresso-based drinks like cappuccinos, lattes, and Americanos) at home.

Why we like it: The Breville Bambino Plus espresso machine stood out in our tests for the best espresso machine, grinder, and accessories, pulling consistently great-tasting espresso shots more easily than other machines. It was also the simplest to use, featuring the best documentation and most user-friendly design. When it came to making milk drinks, the Bambino Plus’s steam wand was easily the best of those on the under-$1,000 machines we tested. This model comes with a lot of accessories and a place to store them. And it’s available for a reasonable price.

When you’re making espresso, a good grinder is just as important as a good espresso machine. Our coffee grinder picks, though great at grinding beans for drip or pour-over coffee, lack the finer, more-precise settings that are needed to make the best espresso. The Baratza Sette 30 accurately produced fine espresso grinds. In our tests, it performed the best in its price range.

The Bambino Plus consistently produced rich, tasty shots. Photo: Sarah Kobos

Flaws but not dealbreakers: In our tests, the Bambino Plus made the most consistently good espresso, but it did not make the absolute best espresso (the pricier Breville Barista Touch won that crown). The preprogrammed double-shot setting on the Bambino Plus cut off the extraction too quickly during our initial attempts. But reprogramming the shot volume, using a phone timer, was easy. Finally, the Bambino Plus lacks the hot-water dispenser that’s included with other Breville models.

Dimensions: 12.5 by 7.6 by 12.2 inches

Water filter: yes

Water-reservoir capacity: 1.9 liters

Our pick

Nespresso Essenza Mini

The Nespresso machine we recommend

The Essenza Mini makes the same exact espresso as $400 Nespresso machines, but it has no unnecessary features.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $170.

Who this is for: People who are interested in convenience and speed. A Nespresso is the fastest, most effortless way to make an espresso-like drink—all you have to do is pop a capsule into the machine and press a button.

Why we like it: The Essenza Mini is our pick for the best Nespresso machine because it’s small and mighty, capable of making the same espressos and lungos as any other Nespresso machine in its line. We’ve determined that all of the machines make identical drinks, so the least expensive one is your best bet. We don’t love the flavor of Nespresso, and it’s more expensive than a full cup of drip coffee. But taste is subjective, and the real appeal of Nespresso is its ease, speed, and consistency (though if you want to make real espresso at home, we recommend these beginner setups).

The Essenza Mini’s slim, tidy frame takes up less space than a hot-water kettle. Photo: Michael Hession

Flaws but not dealbreakers: In exchange for its compact size, the Essenza Mini has a 20.3-ounce water tank and a reusable tray that can accommodate just six capsules, the smallest of any Nespresso machine. But then again, both are easy to refill and empty. The Essenza Mini did struggle slightly in our testing after brewing dozens of back-to-back espressos. This may be a problem if you plan on churning out lungos from your Essenza Mini for a large dinner party. But if the machine sputters or stops, let it rest for a minute and it should be good to go again.

Dimensions: 4.3 by 12.8 by 8.1 inches

Water-tank capacity: 20.3 ounces (enough for eight espressos)

Used-capsule capacity: six

We hate to break it to you, but after spending more than 20 hours researching and testing Keurig machines, we don’t recommend them for anyone. Keurig machines brew expensive coffee that we didn’t find to be particularly strong or tasty. And they often break within warranty, all while taking a toll on the environment. A Keurig also doesn’t save you much time, shaving just a few minutes off the time it takes to make coffee with other single-cup brewing setups. If you absolutely must get one, the Keurig K-Classic was the best model we tried. But you don’t really need a Keurig machine. We go into further detail in our full review of the machines and their environmental impact.

Our pick

Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder

The best coffee grinder

This no-frills workhorse coffee grinder produces a super consistent grind.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $140.

Who this is for: If you want to take coffee seriously, the most important item in your brewing setup will be a good-quality burr grinder. Unlike blade grinders, which randomly chop coffee beans into smaller and smaller pieces, burr grinders pulverize coffee beans between two sets of burrs and deliver a much more uniform grind, resulting in better-tasting coffee.

Why we like it: The slim and trim Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder is priced lower than most of the competition—about $170, compared with about $200 for anything else in its echelon. In our testing for the best coffee grinders guide, the Encore performed as well as or better than any home grinder we tried. It grinds beans quickly and evenly and is simple to use and adjust. And because it’s easy enough to clean and maintain, you’ll use it for years to come. The Encore makes it supremely easy to produce a great cup of coffee.

The Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder grinds beans quickly and evenly. Photo: Michael Hession

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Encore is a very simple machine. It has an on/off switch only, so it doesn’t allow for a timed grind (whereas the Baratza Virtuoso+, our upgrade pick, does). It can take a long time to grind on a very fine, espresso-like setting. And like all of the machines we tested, the Baratza machines can be messy when grinding coffee, spreading dust and chaff over the counter.

Dimensions: 6.3 by 4.7 by 13.8 inches

Grind settings: 40

Our pick

Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle

The best electric kettle

This 1.7-liter stainless steel kettle quickly brings water to the temperatures needed for optimum flavor from tea or coffee.

Also great

OXO Brew Adjustable Temperature Pour-Over Kettle

The best gooseneck kettle

We recommend this gooseneck kettle for anyone preparing pour-over coffee or for tea lovers who will geek out over its spot-on temperature accuracy.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $105.

Who this is for: The Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle is for anyone who needs to bring water to a boil to make French press coffee, pour-over coffee, or tea. The OXO Brew Pour-Over Kettle is best for people preparing pour-over coffee (the gooseneck spout offers better aim) or for tea lovers who will geek out over its spot-on temperature accuracy.

Why we like it: The Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle topped all of the competition in our tests for the best electric kettle guide (this model has been our pick since 2013). The PerfecTemp offers a winning combination of speed, accuracy, and ease of use. Its handle has buttons with preset temperature settings, which is pretty useful since different coffees and teas require different brewing temps. In addition, if pour-over coffee is your jam, you’ll appreciate the precise aim of the OXO Brew Pour-Over Kettle’s gooseneck spout. It had the most accurate temperature controls among all of the models we tested. Unfortunately, as of this writing, we’re struggling to find the OXO kettle in stock anywhere. The sleek-looking Cuisinart GK-1 Digital Gooseneck Kettle was a standout in our recent testing—with accurate temperatures and an even smoother pour; it will likely replace the OXO as the gooseneck pick in our electric kettle guide.

The Cuisinart CPK-17 remains our top pick for the fifth year in a row. Photo: Michael Hession

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Although the Cuisinart CPK-17 had better accuracy than most of the other kettles we tested, we found that it wasn’t as accurate at hitting lower temperatures; when we set it to 160 °F, it measured 8 degrees over. Because this model has a slew of other noteworthy features, we’re willing to forgive its minor temperature variances at the lowest setting. We’ve received feedback from some of our readers about this Cuisinart model breaking down after about a year, including rusting screws and lid issues. We haven’t experienced these issues ourselves; several people on our staff have owned and used this kettle for years and haven’t had any problems with it.

As with most gooseneck kettles we tested, the OXO’s lid doesn’t open at the push of a button—you have to pull it off manually, which can be tricky when the kettle is hot. Also, like most gooseneck kettles we tested, the OXO lacks a water-level window. And, although a handful of Amazon reviews complain of durability issues, it’s important to remember that electric kettles tend to have a shorter-than-average shelf life compared with other small appliances. That said, the OXO comes with a two-year warranty, which is more generous than the one-year warranty of your average kettle. And we’ve found OXO’s customer service to be very responsive.

Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle:

Dimensions: 9.75 by 8.25 by 12 inches

Capacity: 1.7 liters

Temperature settings: six preset heat settings

OXO Brew Pour-Over Kettle

Dimensions: 11.4 by 6.3 by 8.1 inches

Capacity: 1 liter

Temperature settings: adjustable in one-degree increments, from 140 °F to 212 °F

What is the best black coffee maker?

Though getting the most out of your beans is important no matter how you drink your coffee, it’s especially important for those who drink their coffee black. We think pour-over methods make the best black coffee. They’re a simple, consistent way to brew coffee, with flavor dimensionality you might not get from a machine. And the paper filters used with our pour-over picks reduce residue, resulting in a cleaner-tasting cup, compared with coffee made in a French press. That said, our French press pick, the Espro P3, uses a mesh double-basket filter, which makes a cup that’s pretty close to pour over.

How can I make coffee taste better at home?

Buy whole beans in small batches. Coffee beans lose flavor over time. Keeping the beans whole and storing them at room temperature in an airtight container—we like the Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Storage Containers—will keep your coffee from turning bitter or absorbing ambient smells. Grinding them just prior to use with a burr grinder will ensure that the coffee is ground evenly, resulting in coffee that is flavorful and balanced.

For the most consistent cup, weigh your beans using a kitchen scale, rather than measuring by volume. Beans and grounds don’t settle the same way in a spoon every time, and the coffee-to-water ratio can make the critical difference between a good and bad brew. The American Weigh Scales LB-3000 Compact Digital Scale is the most accurate 0.1-gram scale we’ve tested.

Are pricier coffee makers worth it?

Arguably, the best ways to make coffee are often the cheapest. You can get a quality pour-over dripper for about $25 and a French press for about $40. However, hand-pour methods can still require other gear, like grinders and kettles. The grinder especially is worth spending a little more money on. Our burr grinder pick, the Baratza Encore, costs nearly $150, compared with a budget blade-style grinder which runs about $25, but ensures a more consistent, flavorful cup.

For automated makers, they’re worth springing for up to a point. We tested espresso machines and learned that anything under $500 isn’t worth buying—espresso requires durable hardware and precise temperature and pressure control, which are costly. For drip coffee makers, a $100 coffee maker will make better coffee than a $40 coffee maker. After a certain point, though, the price difference comes down to user interface and design, rather than coffee quality.

About your guide

Wirecutter Staff

Further reading

  • Several drip coffee makers we tested.

    The Best Drip Coffee Maker

    by Marguerite Preston, Alex Arpaia, and Liz Clayton

    We’ve been testing coffee makers since 2015, and we think the OXO Brew 9 Cup Coffee Maker offers the best combination of convenient features and delicious coffee.

  • The OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker alongside the compact version of the product and two glasses of cold brew coffee.

    The Best Cold-Brew Coffee Maker

    by Nick Guy, Kevin Purdy, Daniel Varghese, and Anna Perling

    The OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker is the best we’ve found after years of testing. It makes smooth, balanced, delicious cold brew.

  • A coffee maker, shown next to a kitchen sink and a bottle cleaning brush.

    How to Clean Your Coffee Maker

    by Joanne Chen

    Cleaning your coffee maker regularly and thoroughly will help the machine last longer and make the coffee taste better.