drip coffee makers

How to Find the Best Drip Coffee Maker for Your Needs

Drip coffee makers are classics. They’re what most people think of when they hear the words “coffee maker.” It’s safe to say that most adults have had at least one cup of drip coffee in their lifetimes. If you’re a fan of a classic cup of joe, then you’re most likely looking for the best drip coffee maker on the market.

Believe it or not, there are many different types of drip coffee makers on the market. They range from standard ones that drip the coffee into a pot to the variety that brew just one cup at a time. The price points tend to range from around $20 for a simple model to over $100 for fancier ones. With so many to choose from, it’s no surprise that drip coffee fans aren’t sure which model to buy. That’s why we’re here. In this article, we’ll cover some of our favorite models, as well as an array of tips and tricks to help you narrow them down to the perfect one.

Before we get started, here’s a short list of the three drip coffee makers that we like best:

  1. Homgeek 12-Cup Coffee Maker – This programmable machine looks nice and has some great features.
  2. Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker – This drip coffee maker does triple duty, producing a pot of coffee, a single travel mug sized serving of coffee, and hot water virtually all at the same time.
  3. BUNN NHS Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer – This coffee maker is worth the price, as it’s designed to mimic pour-over coffee making methods.

And now, we’ll discuss our favorites, one at a time. Are you ready to take notes?

Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker

The Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker is designed to fill two purposes – you can either make a full 12-cup pot of coffee or a single cup at a time. The machine is also programmable, so you can set it to start at a certain time of the day. You’ll always have a hot cup of coffee waiting for you this way!

Even better, you don’t have to worry about dealing with too many buttons. The single-serve cup option is off to one side. The pot can remain in place while you fill your 14-ounce travel mug (the largest size it can accommodate.)

The Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker is made of stainless steel, which is both sturdy and easy to clean. There are two brew strength options – regular and bold. The single cup side of the machine has its water reservoir and is designed to hold either a coffee pod or a small filter basket with loose grounds. It really is the best of both worlds.

The Good

  • The stainless steel body looks nice and is sturdy.
  • Fully programmable.
  • Makes either a full pot or a single cup of joe.
  • Weighs only 9 pounds.

The Bad

  • Has some issues with keeping the single-serve side coffee warm enough.
  • You have two water reservoirs to keep clean.

Summary

If you want a double-duty coffee maker, then look no further than the Hamilton Beach 49980A Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker. This model is designed to fill a travel mug or a pot. It also is lightweight and made of an easily cleanable stainless steel.

Homgeek 12-Cup Coffee Maker

Homgeek 12-Cup Coffee Maker

The Homgeek 12-Cup Coffee Maker is a programmable machine that’s simple to use. Its interface comes with a number of buttons that allow you to choose the coffee’s strength, as well as the exact time that it turns on. If you’re one of those people that have a hard time functioning before their morning cup of coffee, then this might just be the machine for you.

This coffee maker has a stainless steel exterior, as well as a glass pot that holds 12 cups of coffee. It’s very lightweight (it weighs a mere 6.6 pounds), but isn’t exactly small. Instead, it’s 15.7 inches tall by 11.6 inches deep and 9.2 inches wide. That height means that it may not fit beneath a number of kitchen cabinet arrangements.

On the plus side, the Homgeek 12-Cup Coffee Maker has a removable filter basket that’s easy to clean. It also keeps the brewed coffee at a comfortable 73 degrees Fahrenheit for almost two hours. After that, the machine shuts off automatically. You won’t have to worry about the hot pad burning out. Also, the machine has a drip shut off function. You’ll have 30 seconds to pour yourself a cup of coffee mid-brew before it starts up again. This prevents quite a few messes.

The Good

  • 30-second brewing delay when the pot is removed.
  • Made of stainless steel with black accents.
  • Programmable start times.
  • Easy to use interface.

The Bad

  • Only makes 12 cups of coffee at a time.
  • The reservoir isn’t removable for cleaning.
  • It’s almost 16 inches tall.

Summary

The Homgeek 12-Cup Coffee Maker is very user-friendly. As long as it will fit on your counter, then it’s a very valid option. Plus, it’s stainless steel, and black exterior will match just about any kitchen décor.

VonShef Programmable Digital Coffee Maker

VonShef Programmable Digital Coffee Maker

The VonShef Programmable Digital Coffee Maker is a simple programmable model that makes 12 cups of coffee at a time. It’s designed to be energy efficient, as the hot pad turns off after it’s been on for 35 minutes. The machine can be programmed with a specific start time, and it has an LED display that’s easy to read.

This coffee maker is both lightweight. It only weighs 7.85 pounds. However, it isn’t very compact. It’s almost 17 inches tall and 13 inches deep. You’ll need quite a bit of counter space for it if it will even fit under your top cabinets.

The VonShef Programmable Digital Coffee Maker doesn’t require the use of paper filters. Instead, it comes with a mesh filter that’s easily removable. All that you need to do is pull the filter out and empty it after each use. This helps save on waste since the grounds can be placed in a compost pile.

The Good

  • Turns off after 35 minutes.
  • Very lightweight and compact.
  • Energy efficient.
  • Has a programmable start option.

The Bad

  • Very fine grounds can sometimes seep through the filter.
  • It’s very tall – 16.9 inches, in fact.

Summary

The VonShef Programmable Digital Coffee Maker is a good option for people who want a simple, no fuss machine. It’s easy to program and set up. However, if your grounds are too fine, then they might seep through. As long as you’re careful about this, then the machine works great.

Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

Cuisinart is known for making high-quality home appliances, so it’s to no one’s surprise that this is an exceptional machine. The Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker would just be another in a long line of 12-cup drip coffee machines if it weren’t for one interesting option – the number of colors that it comes in. You can get one in stainless steel, stainless steel and black, or metallic red. That’s just enough variety to match some kitchens.

The Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker is designed to make both a pot of coffee and a single travel mug’s worth at the same time. There are two separate reservoirs, one for each side of the machine. This means that you can brew a small amount of coffee to take with you while the main post is in progress. It’s great for households with more than one coffee drinker.

On top of this, the Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker can produce hot water on demand. If you want to make a cup of hot chocolate or enjoy a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, then is a great option to have. Plus, the water goes through a charcoal filter in order to remove water impurities that can affect the taste of your coffee.

The Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker has a brew pause setting that allows you to pour yourself a cup of coffee while the machine is still working. This prevents coffee from getting all over the place as it would in machines without this option.

The Good

  • Comes in an array of colors.
  • Makes both a pot of coffee and a single cup.
  • Can produce just hot water on demand.

The Bad

  • The bottom panel is prone to rust over time.
  • No automatic shut off for the hot water feature.

Summary

You really can’t go wrong with the Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker. It’s very reliable and handles some different features with aplomb. It will wear out over time, but isn’t that true of all coffee makers?

BUNN NHS Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer

BUNN NHS Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer

The BUNN NHS Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer is known for its scientific coffee-making methods. It manages to replicate the pour-over methods used by coffee houses in a drip-coffee machine. This means that the water is sprayed over the grounds by a shower-head-like device, ensuring that all of the grounds are evenly covered. The result is an excellent cup of coffee.

Although the maximum capacity of this machine is 10 cups at a time, it can also be set to make only four. This means that you’ll waste less coffee on a regular basis, especially if you only want a small afternoon serving or two. The coffee pot on the BUNN NHS Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer is designed to be drip free. You won’t spill a drop when you pour your coffee from the pot into your mug.

The BUNN NHS Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer is designed to have hot water ready and waiting for you all of the time. Although you’d think that this would use up plenty of electricity, it does come with a vacation switch. Flipping that switch turns off the heating element. There’s no rule in place that you have to be on vacation to use it.

The Good

  • Can brew a pot of coffee in three minutes.
  • Fairly lightweight and compact.
  • Makes a great cup of coffee thanks to its showerhead—like design.

The Bad

  • Makes only 10 cups of coffee, not the standard 12.
  • Won’t stop if you remove the pot mid-brew.

Summary

The BUNN NHS Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer has some solid features that work in its favor. It’s small and lightweight, yet powerful. Although it makes a smaller amount of coffee than most machines, it makes up for this by brewing a pot very quickly.

Zojirushi EC-YSC100 Fresh Brew Plus Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker

Zojirushi EC-YSC100 Fresh Brew Plus Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker

The Zojirushi EC-YSC100 Fresh Brew Plus Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker only makes ten cups of coffee at a time, but it has some other things working in its favor. Rather than come with a glass coffee pot, this model has a thermal carafe complete with a thumb activated top. This will keep your remaining coffee very hot while you drink your first cup.

This coffee maker also has a removable water tank. This makes it easy to both clean and fill. You won’t have to worry about sending cleaning agents through it or making a mess while adding water before you set up your coffee. On top of that, it has a system of indicator lights informing you when it’s time to clean the tank. You’ll never have to worry about that again.

The Zojirushi EC-YSC100 Fresh Brew Plus Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker has a sleek stainless steel finish and is lightweight and compact. It will fit in most kitchens and look great while it makes your daily coffee.

The Good

  • The thermal carafe is designed to keep your brewed coffee very warm.
  • The removable water tank is easy to clean.
  • Lets you know when it’s time to clean the machine.

The Bad

  • Only makes 10 cups of coffee at a time.
  • Brews the coffee at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which might be too hot for most people.

Summary

The Zojirushi EC-YSC100 Fresh Brew Plus Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker brews a very hot pot of coffee. Although it can only handle ten cups at a time, it’s scientific design will keep your coffee warm for hours without relying on electricity.

Kenmore 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker

Kenmore 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker

It doesn’t get any simpler than the Kenmore 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker. This lightweight and compact unit will make 12 cups of drip coffee fairly quickly. It’s programmable, which means that it can be set to make coffee at a specific time each day or on demand.

The Kenmore 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker will shut off automatically within 2 hours. It comes with a removable and reusable filter basket, but it takes paper ones as well. It depends on your preferences.
This coffee maker lacks some of the bells and whistles of the other favorites that we’ve listed here, but it makes up for that with its excellent coffee. Although you can’t adjust the brew strength, and it’s made of plastic (which can feel flimsy) you really can’t beat this basic machine.

The Good

  • Weight a mere 4.95 pounds.
  • Around 12 inches high so that it will fit in a number of small spaces.
  • Makes a great tasting cup of coffee.

The Bad

  • Cannot adjust the brew strength.
  • Made of black plastic, not stainless steel.

Summary

The Kenmore 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker is easy to program and makes a great cup of coffee. It’s also small and lightweight. While it lacks fancier features (and a metal body), sometimes you just need something simple.

All of the drip coffee makers that we’ve reviewed here are at the top of our list. They have some great features and are known for their reliability. However, before you run out and buy one, there are some additional things that you need to know. That’s why we put together a bunch of information that will help you out. Read on to find out more.

How to Pick the A Great Drip Coffee Maker

Walk into the appliance aisle of any big box or chain store, and you’ll find plenty of coffee makers. Some are far more expensive than others. Some machines clean themselves, others that only make espresso. Some can make milk froth. And then there are the drip machines. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, just by looking at those types alone. Hopefully, this guide will simplify the process.

Types of Brewers

A drip coffee maker is loosely defined as any type of coffee maker in which the water flows the grounds and drips into a vessel (a cup, a pot, etc.) below. There are several different kinds of these coffee machines, which makes things even more confusing for consumers. Here are some of the most popular varieties:

Automatic Drip Machines – These are what most people think of when they hear the words “drip coffee maker.” These machines are found in homes, restaurants, fast food locations, and more. The coffee flows through the filter into a pot, although some models have an option to use a single cup as well.

Single Serve Machines – We covered these slightly in the last description. However, these are coffee makers that only make one cup of coffee at a time. There is no option to use a pot, as they aren’t built that way. Most of these machines use pods or k-cups. They count as drip machines because they meet the definition – water flows through the pod or k-cup down into the coffee cup or travel mug. The idea if the same, even if the execution is slightly different.

Once you’ve decided that you want a drip coffee machine, the next things to consider are:

Generally Serving Size

To put it simply, how many people do you plan on making coffee for at once? And if the answer is only “you,” then how much coffee do you drink on average? If you go through quite a few cups every morning, then you might want a machine that makes a pot of coffee. If you’re making it for several other people, then this same thing applies. However, if you go through only one cup at a time – and they’re spaced far apart – then you might be better off with a single cup maker. And if the amount of coffee that you and your roommates or relatives consume varies, then you might want a machine that does both.

The Overall Size of the Coffee Maker

Yes, size matters, especially when you have a small kitchen. Since drip coffee makers come in plenty of shapes, sizes, and colors, you should have no problem finding one that will fit both your counter space and your décor. Before you decide on a model, take a few minutes and measure the area where your new machine will go, just to be on the safe side.

Think About the Size of Your Coffee Cups

If you plan on buying a machine that uses a standard coffee pot, this is a moot point. However, if you’re looking at a single cup model, then this is something to consider. You don’t want to buy one only to get it home and find that your favorite travel mug won’t fit under it. Since some models do come with an adjustable spout and removable drip tray, then you might want to look for one if that’s the case.

Additional Features

The days of a boring, standard drip coffee maker are long gone. Now they come with interesting features like energy saving, water filtration systems, and even alerts that warn you when they need cleaning or when their water levels are low. Some are even self-cleaning. It’s amazing what a coffee maker can do. You need to decide if you want a model with one or more of these features.

The Price of the Machine

This is the most important thing that you need to think about. How much are you willing to spend on a coffee maker? Which features do you think are worth paying for? How big is your budget? If the sky’s the limit, then you’ll no doubt find several high-end options to choose from. However, there are some budget-friendly machines to choose from as well.

Automation

While a coffee maker isn’t quite a robot that will pour a cup of coffee and hand it to you, complete with the right amount of cream and sugar, there are some models with fancy automated features. These go far beyond a simple button that turns the machine on and off. Some have self-cleaning options; others can be programmed to turn on at a certain time in the morning. If you’re the kind of person who wakes up and needs their coffee immediately, then this is something to look for.

The Memory Settings

Did you know that you can program some coffee makers to brew a customized pot just for you? If you purchase a unit with these advanced features, you can program the settings for you, as well as for anyone who lives with you – roommates, spouses, etc. Each of you can have your setting for that personalized batch of coffee. The temperatures and everything will be adjusted accordingly. Do you want your machine to do that? Why not?

Also, you need to know when it’s time to replace your current drip coffee maker. If the coffee no longer seems as hot as it used to be, then the heating pad that the pot sits on may be on its way out. If your coffee fails to taste as good as it should, and you’ve already cleaned the unit, then it’s probably time to buy a new one. As soon as it stops meeting your needs, you should begin researching new models.

Finally, the most important factor to consider when shopping for a coffee maker is whether or not you like it. Since there are so many to choose from, you should have no problem coming up with the absolute best one for you. If you don’t like the model that you picked out, then take the time to find another before you leave the store. It’s as simple as that.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Drip coffee makers are extremely popular. It’s safe to say that most homes either currently have one or did in the past. These machines are very easy to use and produce good coffee. We’ve already gone over some of our favorite models and have come up with a list of things to consider before purchasing a model. Now, we’re to go over some frequently asked questions. You’re probably wondering about the answers to these as well.

1) Are all drip coffee makers inexpensive?

Well, yes and no. They are cheaper than other coffee makers, such as espresso machines. Those are highly specialized units. However, the usual price range of a drip coffee maker starts at around $20 and goes up over $100. It all depends on what you think is “inexpensive.”

2) What factors go into determining the price of a coffee maker?

There are several things involved here. The brand matters. You’ll pay more for a well-known brand than you would for an “off brand” machine. The number of features and overall size factor into the price as well. If you just want a simple coffee maker with a single on and off switch, then you’ll pay less for it. However, if you want programmable options and fancier features, then that amount will go up accordingly. Also, if it comes with any accessories, then expect the price to be a bit higher. Materials matter as well. A drip coffee maker made of plastic will usually cost less than one made of metal. However, this depends on the features included.

3) Why do I want a drip coffee maker?

These types of coffee makers are both easy to use and fast brewing. If you want a simple machine that makes a decent amount of coffee in a short period, then look no further than one of these.

4) Are they durable machines?

The answer here is: usually. It all depends on the amount that you want to spend. Not all inexpensive models are on the flimsy side, but most of the more expensive ones are rather sturdy. With that said, these machines usually sit on the counter and make coffee. They don’t move around on that counter, so you won’t have to worry about sturdiness unless you plan on transporting it to various places. Just be careful with the coffee pot – they are usually made out of tempered glass, which is pretty sturdy (just like the machines), but it will break if you drop it. But the same could be said about coffee mugs.

5) How about the cleaning process? Is it easy?

Most drip coffee makers are pretty easy to clean. They have fewer components than their fancier counterparts (espresso machines), you won’t have to worry about taking them apart. Instead, you’ll need some method for cleaning the reservoir, unless it’s removable. The filter basket and pot both come out for easy cleaning.

Last Thoughts

You really can’t go wrong with a drip coffee maker of any sort. We hope that we’ve helped you with the decision-making process. Finding the best one for your needs is our goal! We recommend all of the models reviewed here, but you’ll have to go through your list of pros and cons before settling on just one.

We’ll leave you with a few more thoughts – look at the materials that the coffee maker is made of, as well as its overall size and price. Those are the most important things here. After that, examine its features. Only then will you be able to make an educated decision.

Hopefully, we’ve helped you pick out a great coffee maker!

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