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Which coffee makers are best?

As the seasons turn and the weather gets frosty, your morning pick-me-up shifts with it. You can always continue drinking cold coffee if you want, but you’ll likely change your mind the first morning you have to scrape ice off your car.

Just as there are many types of coffee, so too are there many kinds of coffee makers. Each has its pros and cons, such as one making coffee quickly but without nuance or another taking time and effort to make the best cup of joe you’ve ever had.

In this article: Keurig K-Elite Single-Serve Coffee Maker, Breville Barista Express Espresso Coffee Maker and Frieling French Press Coffee Maker


These coffee makers use pods. You load one at a time into a chamber and select how many ounces of water to pull from a heated reservoir. The water and coffee pod mix and then poured into your waiting cup. 

These are best for people who only drink one or two cups at a time, but keep in mind that the selection of pods can be limited and the plastic waste from using these pods is high.


These coffee makers are the kings of the office breakroom. At the top of the maker is a large hollow for you to put a ground-coffee-filled filter. Water from a reservoir then fills that hollow, and the now-mixed coffee drips a few drops at a time into a waiting pot.

These are best for individuals who drink multiple cups a day or for locations full of multiple people who all want a fresh cup at once. They’re also usually inexpensive, especially if you pair them with bulk canisters of pre-ground coffee. However, the coffee is unlikely to be of high quality and the longer it sits in the pot, the worse it tastes.


These coffee makers use a complicated and expensive machine to turn a large, compact amount of ground coffee into a single mouthful of ultra-concentrated coffee. You can also use them to make drinks such as lattes and americanos.

These are best for people who want specific drinks rather than just a standard cup of coffee and have the time and money to make them. These makers also take up a good amount of space and will eventually need expensive maintenance.


Pour-over coffee makers are among the simplest and most affordable. Most are essentially just fancy funnels. You set said funnel on top of your cup, put in a filter and your chosen ground coffee and slowly pour hot water over the grounds until they’re spent and your cup is full.

These are best for people who only want or need a single cup of coffee but want more options and more control over the coffee they drink than a single-serve coffee maker affords. You do need a method of heating and carefully pouring water, but otherwise, there are a few downsides.

French press

Among purists and experts alike, the French press is constantly argued as the best way to make a cup of coffee. Using one isn’t even difficult. First, fill the press with a mixture of coffee grounds and hot water and let it steep. Then, press a special filter down slowly. As the filter descends, it lets the mixed coffee through while squeezing every possible drop of flavor out of the grounds.

These are best for the same crowd as pour-over fans. That is, people who want a cup or two of high-quality coffee that they have total control over, plus have a few spare minutes to make it. However, better French presses can be costly, and you have to clean and maintain them after every cup.

Best single-serve coffee makers

Best Keurig K-Elite Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Keurig K-Elite Single-Serve Coffee Maker

This coffee maker can make both hot and cold coffee in 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12-ounce sizes and it can make them in under a minute. It also comes in three colors. Sold by Amazon

Best Hamilton Beach The Scoop Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach The Scoop Single-Serve Coffee Maker

This coffee maker can accommodate large travel mugs, something few single-serve makers can do. It doesn’t use pods or filters either for a more environmentally friendly cup of coffee. Sold by Amazon

Best drip coffee makers

Best Cuisinart Drip Coffee Maker

Cuisinart Drip Coffee Maker

This coffee maker has a 14-cup capacity. It can be programmed to run at specific times, and you can set it to make one to four cups of coffee instead of a full pot. Sold by Amazon

Best Krups Drip Coffee Maker

Krups Drip Coffee Maker

This simple drip coffee maker comes in 5 and 10-cup capacities and uses a single button to trigger the brewing process. Just fill it with your preferred amount of grounds and water. Sold by Amazon

Best espresso coffee makers

Best Breville Barista Express Espresso Coffee Maker

Breville Barista Express Espresso Coffee Maker

This espresso machine has all the complicated wizardry required by the most serious of art-house coffee shops with the price tag to match. Simply put, it’s the best. Sold by Amazon

Best Philips 3200 Series Espresso Coffee Maker

Philips 3200 Series Espresso Coffee Maker

If, however, you are not already a trained barista, this more forgiving espresso maker is a better choice. Its controls are easier to understand, and it makes most of the same things. Sold by Amazon

Best pour-over coffee makers

Best Chemex Pour-Over Coffee Maker

Chemex Pour-Over Coffee Maker

This pour-over maker avoids the one-cup-at-a-time weakness of most of its ilk and instead is a pour-over filter holder and coffee pot hybrid. It can hold up to eight 5-ounce cups. Sold by Amazon

Best Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Maker

Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Maker

This is the classic filter holder for most pour-over coffee makers. It’s large enough to fit most mugs and has a large lip, so there’s no risk of grabbing hot plastic. Sold by Amazon

Best French press coffee makers

Best Frieling French Press Coffee Maker

Frieling French Press Coffee Maker

This French press has double-walled insulation, a two-stage filter and a no-drip spout. It comes in 8, 17, 23, 36 and 44-ounce sizes and in brushed or polished stainless steel. Sold by Amazon

Best Bodum French Press Coffee Maker

Bodum French Press Coffee Maker

This French press is dishwasher-safe, a luxury that few other presses can claim. It comes in 12, 34 and 51-ounce sizes and with a black or red body. Sold by Amazon

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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