Technology may have yet to catch up with your dreams of having coffee directly deposited into your veins, but if the best part of waking up is java in your cup, it might be worth investing in a drip coffee maker. Initially invented to automate the pour-over coffee making process, these machines can yield cup after cup of your favorite brew with little effort on your part. Given that the National Coffee Association estimates that Americans drink an average of three cups of coffee per day—so, nearly 1,100 cups per year—isn’t it about time you picked up a quality coffee machine? We think so too.
We’re here to spill the beans on the best drip coffee makers on the market, but if you simply can’t get enough, check out our recommendations for the best cold brew and single-serve coffee makers.
How we picked these products
You ready to rise and grind? To find the best drip coffee makers, we consulted our friends at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Their team of on-staff experts—which includes all types: engineers! data analysts! registered dietitians!—rigorously put everyday products to the test (and then more and more tests) in their New York City-based labs to determine which ones you can trust. They evaluated the drip coffee makers on a variety of factors, including performance, ease of use and assembly, temperature consistency, cleanability, noise level during operation, features, and, of course, taste.
With the capacity to brew up to 14 cups in about 15 minutes, life can’t get more brewtiful than with the Breville Precision Brewer Thermal. Featuring adjustable brewing temperature, bloom time, and flow rate options, this gadget can make a carafe of coffee, single servings, and even cold brew. Per the Good Housekeeping Institute, “one of the most unique features of this coffee maker is that it can also make pour over coffee—however it needs a separate attachment.”
In addition to the three keep-warm settings, this machine boasts thoughtful details like a “Golden Cup” preset and a “brew and pause” feature, so your impatience can be rewarded with a quick fill-up mid-brew. Because the lid flips up to access the water tank and basket, you may need to pull this machine out from under your cabinets when it’s time to fill the tank and basket, but that’s about as difficult as things get with the Precision Brewer. Unlike the thermal carafe, the water reservoir isn’t dishwasher-safe; however, its larger opening makes it easy to hand wash.
Who says cheap coffee has to taste gross? The Black + Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker not only makes a cup of joe that would make Lorelai and Rory Gilmore swoon, but it remains consistent in its efficiency and temperature. According to the Good Housekeeping Institute’s kitchen tech experts, “while this model could not brew using water at optimal temperatures… [it] was one of the few that could keep coffee acceptably hot for the entire 2 hour keep warm period.”
With the ability to generate up to 12 cups of coffee at a time, this compact machine may be simple in terms of features, but that also means it’s a breeze to operate. The convenient digital display even includes 24-hour auto brew and sneak-a-cup functions, so nothing gets between you and your java.
It may be the most expensive option on our list, but you get what you pay for with the Wolf Gourmet Automatic Drip Coffee Maker. This machine is just as good as the Breville Precision Brewer Thermal in terms of performance, speed, and ease of use, but if you want a model that has some extra features to make your brewing experience even more accurate (and you have the cash to spend), this is our recommendation. In convenient accubrew mode, you can choose your preferred strength and number of cups, and the built-in scale will determine the exact amount of coffee grounds you’ll need in order to get the perfect cup, every time.
Perfect for those who love a scorchingly-hot cup of coffee, the Good Housekeeping Institute’s testers found the “temperature of just brewed coffee is hotter compared to others.” Plus, its LCD panel tells how long it’s been since each batch has been brewed, so you can always guarantee a steaming fresh cup.
Respect the drip… and cappuccino… and espresso. Regardless of your coffee preferences, you’re bound to satisfy your caffeine cravings with the De’Longhi All-in-One Coffee & Espresso Maker, which the Good Housekeeping Institute calls “as sleek as it can get”. True to its name, this machine boasts a drip coffee function, espresso pod compatibility, and a built-in milk steamer and frother for cappuccinos or lattes. It didn’t brew as hot a cup as other options, but it features two water reservoirs to simultaneously brew drip coffee and espresso.
Furthermore, it comes fully equipped with one- and two-cup espresso filters, so you can make up to two cups of espresso at a time. You will have to hand-wash this model, but its detachable flip-top lid and wide opening make it a relatively painless experience.
Perfect for a dorm or someone who doesn’t need anything more than a compact, simple coffee maker, the profoundly programmable Capresso 5-Cup Mini Drip offers a two-hour keep-warm feature and automatic shut-off function for those late-night or early-morning study sessions. It may not be as fast or user-friendly as our other picks, but it’s still a solid compact option with a unique plastic reusable filter, easy-to-read control panel, and cup measurement markings in the water tank.
The Mini Drip also doesn’t brew a very hot cup of joe, but the Good Housekeeping Institute’s kitchen tech experts found that’s quite common, saying “Many coffee makers take time to heat up and if only brewing a small number of cups it doesn’t give it a lot of time to heat up before finished.” If convenience is what you’re after, this is a breeze to clean, thanks to its dishwasher-safe carafe and detachable flip-top lid.
Are you pretty sure that’s 90% iced coffee running through your veins? Perfect for those who prefer an espresso-based drink (but not a traditional espresso), the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker offers a lot of brewing options, including classic, rich, and, yes, iced coffee. The possibilities are endless with this machine, which has multiple size choices—including cup, XL cup, XL Multi-serve, half carafe, and full carafe—and even a specialty brew feature to make concentrates for lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos.
While it doesn’t make the most flavorful coffee out of all the models on our list, the Ninja makes up for its shortcomings with its speed and thoughtful details like a fold-away milk frother, a two-hour keep-warm feature, an intuitive control panel, and a “drip stop” feature so you can pour yourself a cup mid-brew.
It also includes a removable water tank with side handles for an easier grip and a measuring spoon that attaches to the side of the machine so you don’t have to worry about losing it. It’s good to note, though, that the glass carafe is hand-wash only and has a small opening, which the Good Housekeeping Institute noted “may be hard for larger hands to get in and clean.”
There’s no “i” in “team,” but there is an “i” in “incredible coffee” (actually two, but who’s counting?!). A well-rounded, delicious cup of joe (or 10) is exactly what you’re in for with the Capresso CoffeeTEAM. Sure, you can use it to brew some pre-ground coffee, but if you want to kick things up a notch, this machine comes with a conical burr grinder built into its design. After you grind down your beans to whatever fineness you desire, the CoffeeTEAM directly deposits the mixture into its basket and begins brewing to your desired strength.
Though the Good Housekeeping Institute noted that the thermal carafe “did not hold heat very well,” and will only keep your coffee hot for about an hour, the CoffeeTEAM‘s speedy turnaround ensures you won’t go long without a fresh cup.
What is a good drip coffee maker to buy?
Who says your soulmate can’t be a coffee machine? (Probably a therapist, but they don’t know your relationship like you do.) Your perfect drip coffee maker is out there—you just need to know what to look for! Here are some factors to consider when searching for the device of your dreams:
Features: Whether you prefer your coffee mild or strong, hot or iced, simple or sophisticated, there’s a machine out there for you. Many models offer a variety of functions that can elevate your experience, including adjustable strength, temperature, and even cup size options. If you like to change things up (or you’re trying to decide exactly how you like your brew), you can also consider a machine that can make different kinds of coffees.
Number of servings: On average, most drip coffee makers can yield about 10-14 cups, but this might be too many for smaller households. If you’re the only coffee drinker in your home or you have a small space, there are more compact options available that can make 4-5 cups at a time instead, or you can invest in a manual model that puts you in complete control of your brew times and amounts.
Glass vs. Thermal Carafe: Though they tend to be pricier, thermal carafe models offer the convenience of keeping your brew warmer for longer thanks to their self-insulating properties (as opposed to a hot plate, which can burn your coffee). However, if you prefer the look of glass, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also save yourself from worrying whether or not you remembered to turn off the hot plate before you left the house, as most modern coffee makers have an automatic shut-off feature.
Convenience: There’s no shame in wanting to make your life easier—we get it, you’re busy! Whether you hate clean-up or have no time to prep, plenty of machines can circumvent these obstacles. You can always consider a single-serve coffee maker to optimize your available time, but they can’t produce as much coffee at once. Meanwhile, drip coffee makers tend to take a bit longer because they produce a higher number of cups (unless you go for a mini option), but they also offer more variety by not limiting you to whatever pods or K-cups are available at the store. Regardless of your choice, we support you on your java journey!
For fans of the classics, drip coffee makers are a solid choice for making your java at home. That being said, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your machine stays in good shape and continuously produces a flavorful, well-balanced cup. You can graduate from Beginner Brewer to Lord of the Beans using these tips and tricks:
To avoid stale-tasting coffee, always be sure to use fresh coffee grounds and water.
Though most manufacturers recommend adding one tablespoon of coffee per six ounces of water, the Specialty Coffee Association of America recommends to double up: Use two tablespoons per six ounces of water if you prefer a stronger brew. (Fun fact: They call this the “Golden Cup” rule.)
Keep an eye on how much coffee you’re adding to the filter—if you overfill it, the grounds could overflow and clog your machine.
Prevent build-up (and, by association, poor-tasting coffee) by regularly cleaning any parts of your maker that come into contact with coffee grounds.