IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The 15 best coffee makers of 2023, according to experts

Experts share how to make the best coffee at home and explain how to shop for the best coffee maker.
There are four main types of coffee makers: automatic, single-cup, programmable and manual.
There are four main types of coffee makers: automatic, single-cup, programmable and manual.Kara Birnbaum / NBC

For many, there’s nothing better than waking up and enjoying a cup of freshly brewed coffee. It’s a ritual that can jumpstart your day, and the right coffee maker will ensure it’s a tasty cup.

But what makes a great coffee machine, and how do you know what style will fit your needs? Do you need to spend $450, or can you get a good model for less than $200? We spoke to coffee experts about the different types of coffee makers available — from single-serve brewers to programmable coffee makers — and how to best shop for them as well as highlighted the experts’ recommendations for great coffee makers. We also explored other brewing methods for those who prefer using an espresso machine or French press.

SKIP AHEAD Best coffee makers | Types of coffee makers | Which type of carafe is best? | How experts make a good cup of coffee

Selected.Our picks

How we chose the best coffee makers

Generally, you should choose a coffee maker that fits your routine and won’t end up gathering dust. Our experts recommend first consulting the Specialty Coffee Association Certified (SCA) Home Brewer Program, which tests a range of coffee makers based on requirements like brewing temperature and brewing time. 

When shopping for a coffee maker, our experts recommend also keeping the following factors in mind:

  • Type: There are four main types of coffee makers: automatic drip, single-cup, programmable and manual (think pour-over). We go more in depth about each type of coffee maker below.  
  • Capacity: Depending on the type of coffee maker you have, you can brew as little as a few ounces of coffee to over 40 ounces in one go. It’s good to be mindful of how much coffee you consume so you don’t end up pouring leftovers down the drain. “If you’re going to be the only one drinking coffee, you don’t necessarily need a full 12-cup coffee maker,” says Laura Hughes, business manager at the SCA who oversees the Certified Home Brewer Program.
  • Brewing temperature: Temperature can affect the taste and overall quality of your coffee. “Good brewers are able to maintain the ideal temperature of 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Hughes.
  • Brewing time: How long water is in contact with your coffee grounds — called the brewing time — will affect the flavor of your coffee. This can be an important consideration if you typically take your coffee on-the-go and don’t have a programmable coffee maker to start brewing at a certain time. Ideally, with a good coffee maker the water should be in contact with the coffee grounds for at least four minutes but less than eight minutes.
  • Carafe: The type of carafe — either glass or thermal — on automatic and programmable coffee makers can have an impact on the quality of your coffee. A glass carafe is the most common type and fits on a warming plate, while a thermal carafe is usually made of stainless steel and doesn’t need an outside heating element.

Best coffee makers

The following highly rated coffee makers are recommended by an expert or a Select staffer. Unless otherwise noted, all of the automatic and programmable brewers feature thermal carafes and are certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCA).

Best drip coffee makers and brewers

Breville Precision Brewer Coffee Maker

This Breville coffee maker has six preset modes, including a “gold cup” mode that automatically adjusts the water temperature and brew times to meet the standards set by the SCA, according to the brand. The coffee maker’s steep-and-release valve can also automatically brew small cups without the carafe in place, according to the brand.

Brewer type: Programmable | Brewing capacity: 12 cups | Carafe type: Thermal

Bonavita Connoisseur One-Touch Coffee Maker

Bonavita’s automatic coffee maker has a stainless steel, double-walled carafe to keep your coffee warm. It can also brew eight cups’ worth of coffee in about six minutes, according to the brand. “The Bonavita brewer does a great job retaining a steady temperature during the entire brew cycle, [and] its shower head evenly distributes water on the whole bed of coffee grounds,” says Marco Suarez, co-owner of Methodical Coffee in Greenville, South Carolina. He notes it’s a budget-friendly option compared to other automatic coffee makers. The carafe lid and filter basket are dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up, according to the brand.

Brewer type: Automatic drip | Brewing capacity: 8 cups | Carafe type: Thermal

Cuisinart PurePrecision 8-Cup Pour-Over Coffee Brewer

This Cuisinart Coffee Brewer is meant to mimic the pour-over approach in an easy-to-use machine, according to the brand. It does this by pre-wetting the grounds before it pours, allowing the coffee flavors to “bloom,” a process that provokes the grounds to release carbon dioxide and allows the water to interact more with the coffee, according to the experts we spoke to. You can choose between mild, medium and bold flavor strengths and hot or extra hot temperature control. The coffee maker also has a self-clean feature, and you can program it to brew your coffee up to 24 hours in advance.

Brewer type: Programmable | Brewing capacity: 8 cups | Carafe type: Thermal

Technivorm Moccamaster 79212 KBTS Coffee Brewer

This automatic drip machine is pricey, but it has all of the expert-recommended features: proper and sustained brew temperature and a thermal carafe made from stainless steel and aluminum (a glass carafe version is also available). Jessica Easto, author of “How to Taste Coffee,” uses one of these brewers in her own home and loves the whole Moccamaster line. The machine has a nine-hole spray arm that disperses water over your ground coffee evenly, and the copper lining along the spray arm helps keep the water temperature consistent, according to the brand. With the press of a button, the Moccamaster can brew 40 ounces in under six minutes, according to Technivorm.

Brewer type: Automatic drip | Brewing capacity: 8 cups | Carafe type: Thermal

OXO 12-Cup Coffee Maker

This automatic drip brewer comes recommended by Hughes, who notes it’s great for those looking for larger capacity brewers. “A consistent 12-cup brew is perfect for larger groups and offices who are looking for a more specialty cup,” she says. It has a double-wall carafe that ensures your coffee stays hot for longer, says Easto. The machine also has a single-serve function that doesn’t require a pod like most other single-serve machines, making it a great option if you want to brew coffee for one.

Brewer type: Automatic drip | Brewing capacity: 12 cups | Carafe type: Thermal

Café Specialty Drip Coffee Maker

This smart coffee maker can brew up to 10 cups of coffee and has a water filter feature, which can save you the step of using a Brita, says Easto. You can connect the coffee maker to the SmartHQ app, Amazon Alexa and Google Home using Wi-Fi, which allows you to schedule your coffee maker to brew at your preferred time, adjust the brew strength and more. You can also set the temperature anywhere between 185 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brewer type: Programmable | Brewing capacity: 10 cups | Carafe type: Thermal

Ninja CP307 Hot and Cold Brewed System

Though the Ninja brewer is not SCA-certified, we think it’s worth considering due to its high ratings — it has a 4.6-star average rating from over 14,200 reviews on Amazon — and its customizable features. You can choose between five custom brew styles — classic, rich, over ice, cold brew or specialty — and you can brew both hot coffee and iced coffee. It also comes with a thermal carafe and a fold-away milk frother to heat your milk.

Brewer type: Programmable | Brewing capacity: 10 cups | Carafe type: Thermal

Zwilling Enfinigy Drip Coffee Maker

Another SCA-certified recommendation from Hughes, this drip coffee maker has a stainless steel thermal carafe that maintains the temperature of your brew while the exterior stays cool to the touch, according to the brand. If you’re looking for a larger capacity with a glass carafe instead, the brand also offers an SCA-certified 12-cup version.

Brewer type: Automatic drip | Brewing capacity: 10 cups | Carafe type: Thermal

Best single-serve coffee makers

Keurig K-Mini

The Keurig K-Mini can brew anywhere between 6 to 12 ounces of coffee. Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin says she bought the K-Mini because of its affordable price point and its compact size — the brewer measures less than 5 inches wide, which is helpful if you have limited counter space. It comes with a removable drip tray, so you can fit travel mugs up to 7 inches tall, according to the brand. The coffee maker also automatically turns off 90 seconds after your last brew, according to Keurig.

Brewer type: Single-serve | Brewing capacity: 12 ounces | Carafe type: n/a

Nespresso Vertuo Plus

If you prefer an espresso-based drink, but you’re not ready to invest in a pricey espresso machine, the Nespresso Vertuo Plus can automatically adjust the amount of coffee, temperature, pressure and brewing time after reading the barcode on the inserted Nespresso capsule. The machine can make either 5- or 8-ounce cups of coffee, and the removable water reservoir can store up to 40 ounces of water. Select updates editor Mili Godio says the Nespresso Vertuo Plus is convenient for early morning brews and doesn’t take up too much counter space in her small apartment’s kitchen. It comes with a built-in capsule storage container and has an automatic shut-off function that turns off your machine after nine minutes of inactivity, according to Nespresso.

Brewer type: Single-serve | Brewing capacity: 8 ounces | Carafe type: n/a

Instant Dual Pod Plus Coffee Maker

This Instant coffee maker has dual slots for pods — one for K-Cup pods and one for Nespresso capsules — so you have a wide variety of coffee types and flavors to choose from. One of Malin’s favorites, the coffee maker can brew six different sizes and includes a 68-ounce water reservoir. You can also select the “bold” option if you want to brew a stronger cup, according to the brand. Instant’s coffee maker comes with a removable drip tray that allows you to fit travel mugs up to 7 inches tall, and it has a smaller drip tray that flips out to hold espresso or tea cups.

Brewer type: Single-serve | Brewing capacity: 12 ounces | Carafe type: n/a

Best manual coffee makers and brewers

Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Brewer

The Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Brewer is a good starter set for those who want to try pour-over brewing at home, according to our experts. The home brewing set comes with a six-cup carafe, a pour-over cylinder, a coffee scoop and five coffee filters. Although you may need to invest in an electric kettle to regulate your water temperature, this is one of the more affordable options on this list for those who are serious about brewing their coffee at home. The brand also makes a set that includes a thermal carafe to keep coffee warm over time.

Brewer type: Manual | Brewing capacity: 6 cups | Carafe type: Glass

Chemex Classic Series Pour-Over Glass Coffee Maker

The Chemex has always been a solid choice for brewing pour-over coffee, according to Easto. The brand suggests buying its branded filters, which are 20-30% thicker than the standard kind, according to the brand. The top of the Chemex is shaped like a cone, which works like a pour-over dripper — a device that directly drips coffee into a carafe after you wet the grounds — so you don’t need to purchase a separate one, says Easto. The wood collar and leather tie serve as an insulated handle and can be removed when you put the container in the dishwasher. 

Brewer type: Manual | Brewing capacity: 6 cups | Carafe type: Glass

Hario V60 Drip Coffee Decanter

The Hario V60 is one of Easto’s favorite pour-over coffee brewers because it brews consistent cups of coffee at an entry-level price point. The silicone band that wraps around the pot is cool to the touch for easy handling and can be easily removed for cleaning, according to the brand. The coffee decanter comes with a glass pot, dripper and a 40-count of filters. Hario recommends pouring the water quickly for a delicate body or slowly for a heavier flavor.

Brewer type: Manual | Brewing capacity: 4 cups | Carafe type: Glass

Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker

When it comes to French press models, this one from Bodum is one of Easto’s favorites. The Bodum Chambord French Press comes with a stain- and heat-resistant borosilicate glass carafe and a stainless steel plunger, frame and lid. This French press is dishwasher-safe and comes in multiple sizes, including 12-, 17-, 34- and 51-ounce options.

Brewer type: Manual | Capacity: 8 cups | Carafe type: Glass

What are the different types of coffee makers?

Coffee makers come in many shapes and sizes. They also vary widely in price, starting at less than $20 for a basic automatic brewer to upwards of $300 for a smart and programmable coffee maker. Generally, there are four main types of coffee makers, according to our experts: automatic, single-cup, programmable and manual.

Automatic drip coffee makers

Automatic drip coffee makers are one of the most common: They heat water and disperse it evenly across a basket of coffee grounds at the touch of a button. They also come with a coffee pot — or carafe — that coffee drips directly into. This type of brewer can be great for making several cups of coffee at a time (usually as much as 8 to 12 cups), according to experts.

Single-serve coffee makers

As its name suggests, single-serve coffee makers let you brew a single cup at a time — typically in seconds — using pods or reusable filter baskets. These are typically most convenient and designed for single-cup drinkers new to coffee who might be intimidated by the manual brewing process, according to Suarez. However, the limited coffee options and overall wastefulness of pods are some of the downsides to these brewers, though there are several reusable options on the market that can be more sustainable, he says. 

Keep in mind that, since the brewing time is so quick, these machines usually have a hard time reaching the appropriate brew temperature that’s essential for a good extraction, says Hughes. That means the coffee typically tastes weaker compared to other types of coffee makers, she says.

Programmable coffee makers

Programmable coffee makers are a type of automatic drip coffee maker that’s equipped with several smart features, including the ability to schedule your coffee maker to start at a certain time and customize the strength and temperature of the brewed coffee.

Manual coffee makers

Manual coffee makers give you a more personalized brewing experience by requiring you to physically steep or pour water over your coffee grounds. How you brew the coffee depends on which machine you buy: Some require you to steep and then strain your coffee grounds, while others rely on a vertical system that mimics a drip coffee maker except you pour the hot water over the coffee grounds yourself.

“If you’re someone who enjoys the process of making your own cup and being able to control different variables to personalize your coffee profile, a manual brewer might be a better choice,” says Kaleena Teoh, director of education at Coffee Project NY. “It’s usually a little cheaper, too.”

One popular style is the pour-over, which gives you more of a hands-on experience. “Most pour-over devices are shaped like cones, which are set over a cup or carafe,” says Easto. “You add a filter and the coffee, and then pour water over it — hence the name.”

Pour-over devices require a bit more technique and work best with gooseneck kettles, which have a longer spout to help control the water when saturating your coffee grounds, according to Easto. If you enjoy the ritual of making coffee and have some time to spare, a pour-over brewer can be a great choice.

People who drink both coffee and tea will be more familiar with the full immersion style of manual brewing. “Full immersion devices let the coffee steep in the water for the whole brew cycle, like tea,” says Easto. The most popular example of this technique is the French press. “It’s super easy, and you don’t really need special equipment to use it, so I always recommend it to people trying to dip their toe into manual coffee,” she says.

Glass vs thermal: What type of carafe is best?

Automatic and programmable coffee makers will usually come with a carafe that collects the freshly brewed coffee. These are  either glass, which fits on a warming plate, or thermal, which is typically made from stainless steel and can maintain its temperature without an outside heating element.

Choosing between glass and thermal carafes depends on personal preference: Glass carafes are typically the less expensive option if you don’t mind a warming plate, and thermal carafes will be more effective at retaining the heat of brewed coffee, according to Hughes. The experts we spoke to said they prefer a thermal carafe to best maintain the quality and taste of the coffee.

“Yummy flavor compounds are quickly destroyed over a hot plate,” says Easto. “To retain the taste of larger batches of coffee, it’s better to never let the coffee cool in the first place.”

How do you make a good cup of coffee?

A great-tasting cup of coffee from a home coffee brewer should be flavorful, of the proper strength and non-astringent, or dry on the tongue, says Scott Rao, a coffee consultant and author of “The Coffee Roasters Companion.”

“You may be surprised, but I would recommend investing more in a quality coffee grinder than a brewer,” he says. “A great brewer can’t fix a bad quality grind.”

There are four main factors that impact the quality of your final brew, according to Rao:

  • The quality of the raw coffee beans
  • Their roast quality
  • The coffee beans’ grind quality
  • And, finally, the coffee maker’s brew quality

“As for coffee beans, like any food product, there is a range of quality out there,” says Easto. Beans can directly impact your coffee even if you have the best coffee maker. “Since coffee is only made of two ingredients (coffee and water), the ‘quality in’ is directly related to the ‘quality out,’” she says.

Even a skilled brewer can’t fix bad beans. Coffee is graded on a scale of 100, and specialty coffee beans, which Easto suggests you buy, must score an 80 or above on a quality scale set forth by the SCA.

The level of roast, on the other hand, comes down to personal preference. “With darker roasts, you are tasting more of the process of roasting coffee — those dark, smoky flavors associated with cooking,” says Easto. 

But you may be trading strength of flavor for complexity. Lighter roast profiles actually allow the unique flavors of the bean itself to shine, says Easto. Choosing a lighter roast could open up your cup with a wider variety of flavors, which include fruit flavors, nutty flavors and chocolate flavors commonly served at craft coffee shops, according to Easto.

“Don’t pigeonhole yourself,” she says. “After a while, you’ll get to know what you like.”

Meet the experts

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

Why trust Select?

Mili Godio is an editor at Select who has covered a range of kitchen topics, including stand mixers, meal delivery services and rice cookers. For this article, Godio spoke to five coffee experts about how to shop for the best coffee maker, and rounded up their picks for the best options to consider.

Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.