The Best Drip Coffee Makers in 2023 — Buyer’s Guide, Reviews, and ComparisonsDrip coffee makers are often considered standard coffee machines but that doesn’t mean they have nothing sophisticated to offer. Times have changed, and the best drip coffee makers have upped their game to match more sophisticated coffee machines. Good drip coffee makers are easy to use, work quickly and efficiently, have high value for money, and generally make a decent amount of coffee. Excellent drip coffee makers, however, come with a few bells and whistles to enhance your coffee experience. They’ve entered the modern age and have a few tricks up their sleeves.
- Programmable and automatic settings
- Reset function remembers preferences
- Free filters included
- Choice in design/color
Drip Coffee Makers Comparison Table
|Check Price At Amazon Cuisinart DCC-3200 Review|
Best Dual Brewer
Best Dual Brewer
|Check Price At Amazon Hamilton Beach Review|
Best High-End Model
|Check Price At Amazon Moccamaster Review|
Best Budget Choice
Best Budget Choice
|Check Price At Amazon Black and Decker 12-Cup Review|
|Check Price At Amazon 4-Cup Switch Review|
In a hurry? Skip to our reviews of our top picks:
Best Drip Coffee Makers Buyer’s Guide
In choosing the best drip coffee makers, I asked myself why these machines are so popular. See, I review a lot of coffee makers, and I’ve seen how far they’ve come in recent years.
These days, there are coffee makers that can read barcodes and optimize settings accordingly and others that brew everything from espresso to flavored iced coffee. Even so, standard drip coffee machines still dominate the market. So what is it about them that’s so special, and keeps them firmly at the fore of home coffee machines?
For one, drip coffee has been around for much longer than you may expect. While it’s unclear exactly when this style of brewing first came to be, some sources believe that the original French drip pot, invented in 1790, was the earliest incarnation. Coffee grounds were placed on a sheet of paper (or cloth), water was poured over and through the filter, and liquid coffee would drip down into a mug.
Other sources believe that Melitta Bentz is the true inventor of drip coffee. According to records, in 1908, sick and tired of cleaning tin percolators, Melitta ripped a sheet of blotting paper from her son’s notebook and used it to stop coffee grounds from making their way into her mug. She’s often credited not only as the inventor of drip coffee but filters and coffee machines as a whole.
Either way, drip coffee is not a modern concept. It’s one of the oldest brewing styles we know and has lasted through the ages because of one simple fact: brewing drip coffee is effective, and there’s absolutely no reason to do away with this simple technology.
Although present-day drip coffee makers are adjusted to the digital age, their concept hasn’t changed at all. They perfectly extract flavor without any hassle and produce smooth coffee that absolutely anyone — regardless of skill or finances — can enjoy.
There’s a lot to learn about these reliable machines. Though they are certainly staples, they’re sorely underrated. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of purchasing one, here’s a summary of why the best drip coffee machines may just be the best coffee makers overall:
Efficient coffee brewing
Simplicity in operation and maintenance
Enhanced flavor extraction
Kept up with the times
Accessible to all
Advantages of Drip Coffee Makers
We’ve established that the best drip coffee makers are trustworthy machines that prove their worth time and time again, but they have some perks you may not be aware of. Here’s why they’re not only dependable but superior to other coffee makers as well.
Drip Coffee Makers are Consistent
There’s a reason why we didn’t significantly modify the drip coffee method in the last century, and that’s because it works. Unlike other designs, such as home espresso machines, that need to be optimized for maximum effect, drip coffee is simple and straightforward. Because the brewing process is so simple, when you purchase a drip coffee machine, you know right off the bat what you’re in for.
It’s also one less thing to worry about. All drip machines function the same way (with the exception of bells, whistles, and specialty features). There’s no need to take a brewing course or contemplate mechanics at all.
If you are interested in drip machines with a little bit more to offer than just drip coffee, take a look at our top pick, the Cuisinart DCC-3200CP. You’ll also like the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer. Both of these machines have sophisticated extra features that make them stand out from the rest.
Drip Coffee Is Healthy
A study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that filtered coffee drinkers have a lower cardiovascular mortality rate than those who prefer unfiltered joe. Good news for drip coffee drinkers because your joe is always filtered.
While the study doesn’t elaborate on why there’s such a difference, it’s believed that when drip coffee is extracted, impurities and other harmful substances are left behind. It could also be that the water to coffee ratio is quite high, and so drip coffee is milder and overall better for your heart.
There Is No Learning Curve
Don’t get me wrong, I love fancy, advanced coffee makers just as much as the next person, but I’m also a big fan of simplicity. Drip coffee makers may have a reputation for being basic, but the trade-off here is the ease of use.
You don’t have to learn any tricks of the trade or invest in specialized tools or accessories to get a great cup of coffee out of these machines. This also means that anyone can use them. Go ahead and buy your tech-phobic granddad a drip coffee machine, he won’t struggle with it.
The best drip coffee makers for homes use have simplified, intuitive designs that are easy to operate. Or, even better, they’re one-touch machines such as the Technivorm Moccamaster 79112 KBT — this drip coffee maker is best for coffee drinkers who like to keep it simple and don’t want technology getting in the way of top-notch brews.
Drip Coffee Makers are Affordable
Yes, there are some high-end coffee makers out there, but I’m willing to bet that even the priciest drip coffee machine is more affordable than most espresso or pod coffee units.
Perhaps it’s because the technology is so simple. Or perhaps drip coffee makers are underrated and overlooked, so there’s little hype are prices aren’t pushed up. We’re not complaining though. You can get a high-quality drip coffee maker for surprisingly little cash.
Just look at our budget choice, the Black and Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker. It’s an excellent, sophisticated machine that does minimal damage to your wallet.
Types of Drip Coffee Makers
There’s no variation in how drip coffee makers function. Pour water over coffee grounds, and the extracted brew drips through a filter into a receptacle. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about what your machine can do.
The best drip coffee makers vary quite a bit in terms of both design and capability. When you’re shopping, start by determining which of the following suits your lifestyle most:
One-Touch Drip Coffee Makers
As the name implies, one-touch drip coffee makers are your best choice if you don’t want to fuss over your brew. Add your grounds and water, turn the machine on, and it does the rest.
Programmable Drip Coffee Makers
Who’d have thought that even drip coffee machines could be fancy and hi-tech? If you’re looking for control over your brew — be it temperature, strength, flavor profile or serving size — you want a programmable model. The brewing method is the same, but you get to customize your coffee more.
Dual Drip Coffee Makers
These machines don’t just make drip coffee. Some, like the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer, brew grounds and pods. Others may make espresso, iced coffee, or other drinks. Consider these multipurpose coffee makers — your best pick if you like variety and want to switch things up every now and then.
How to Choose the Best Drip Coffee Maker
We’ve covered the types of drip models, so all that’s left is to determine which is the best drip coffee machine for you. Before you commit, pay attention to the following considerations to narrow your choices from the thousands available, and ensure you choose a drip coffee maker you’ll love.
Capacity and Size
Just as drip coffee machines have a reputation for being basic, they’re also known as somewhat cumbersome thanks to their large carafes. If you don’t have much room in your kitchen, you should double-check a unit’s dimensions before you invest. Or, you could get the Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch coffee maker — the best small drip maker on the market.
Programmability and Automation
If you want the best of both worlds — the reliability of a drip machine, and the thrill of modern technology — go for a model that has programmable and/or automatic functions. These vary a lot from machine to machine, so you’ll have to compare models to figure out what you like.
Some sought-after features include:
- Auto brewing with a programmable timer
- Brew strength and temperature control
- A self-cleaning or rinse mode
- Brew pause (AKA Pause and Serve or Grab-A-Cup)
These features take your drip coffee maker to a new level of convenience and optimization. One caveat though, is that you can expect a greater learning curve.
Do you only want your machine to make drip coffee, or would you prefer a machine that’s a little bit more versatile?
Times have changed, and drip coffee makers don’t begin and end with filter coffee. More sophisticated machines, like the Hamilton Beach model mentioned previously, brew grounds and pods, or give you a single-serve option, to save time and prevent waste.
Other machines include warming trays, removable parts for easy maintenance, or even thermal carafes (see the Technivorm Moccamaster 79112 KBT).
Drip machines aren’t as boring as they’re made out to be, so don’t settle for the first one you see!
Last, but certainly not least, quality and durability are important. The standard is for the machine itself to be built from metal (usually stainless steel), and the carafe is made of glass. Of course, there are variations (thermal carafes, or the Black and Decker we love), so you’re certainly not stuck with one option only.
However, remember that a cheaply made drip coffee machine won’t make great tasting coffee, will likely deteriorate over time, or at worst, fall apart after a year or two. They’re also not as easy to maintain or clean and can work out more expensive in the long run, especially when you consider the cost of a replacement.
Our Pick of the Best Home Drip Coffee Machines
~ Best Programmable
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Backlit LCD screen
- Programmable brew size and strength
- 14-cup carafe
- Brew Pause function
- Accessories included
Cuisinart’s 14-cup drip coffee maker takes convenience and automation to a whole new level. A fully automatic machine, program your device to start brewing at any time and adjust both brew strength and size.
Brew Pause, a highlight feature, allows you to stop the brewing process and enjoy your coffee exactly when and how you like it. A 60-Second Reset function recalls your settings if your brewing is disrupted.
Use the ‘ready’ alert to remind you when your brew is complete. If you don’t want your coffee machine binging at you, switch it off. In addition, the auto-off feature can be programmed for up to four hours. A Gold Tone coffee filter and a charcoal water filter are included with your purchase.
This sophisticated drip coffee maker is as sleek as it is easy to operate. It’s perfect for those in a hurry who don’t want to sacrifice flavor or quality for convenience. Not to mention, it’s a self-cleaning machine that won’t see you scrubbing away for hours.
Since it’s fully automatic, it won’t suit espresso connoisseurs looking for a hands-on coffee maker or a craft brewing experience. That said, it’s a high-end model that produces excellent coffee and is well worth consideration.
Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker
~ Best Dual Brewer
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Soft pod compatible
- 24-hour programmability
- Auto-off and automatic Pause and Serve functions
- User-friendly interface
- Stainless steel build
- Brews grounds and pods
- Single-serve option
This coffee maker is a jack of all trades that shines in terms of versatility. Though described as a two-in-one machine, it’s much more than that. A programmable model, you can set it up to 24-hours in advance, while the auto-off function takes care of business when you’re not around.
It brews grounds and pods, and you have control over your brew strength with a choice between regular and bold. A 12-cup capacity means there’s enough coffee to go around, and thanks to the automatic Pause and Serve function, you can sneak a cup before the full cycle finishes. The handy single-serving option is ideal for days when one cup is all you need.
Not to mention that its design and build are both excellent. Made of stainless steel, it includes a digital screen, user-friendly design, an adjustable cup base, and a warming tray.
Not all coffee enthusiasts will find its score of features useful, and may even find it to be master of none. Regardless, this machine covers all bases and is well worth the affordable investment.
Technivorm Moccamaster 79112 KBT
~ Best High-End Model
Our Rating: 4/5
- Stainless steel thermal carafe
- Automatic heat and water regulation
- One-touch operation
- Stainless steel housing, BPA free components
- Removable brew basket
- Pre-immersion and temperature regulation
- Auto-off function
If you’re looking for class, convenience, and quality, put this drip coffee maker at the top of your list. Not only is it hand-crafted (and expertly so), but it’s also built to last. The thermal carafe is a highlight that’s sure to keep your coffee warmer for longer, while an adjustable brew basket means you can make your coffee your way.
The Moccamaster’s one-touch operation enables ease of use, making it an excellent choice for those who aren’t tech-savvy. Temperature and water saturation are automatically regulated for optimal results, while the included thermal carafe keeps your coffee warm long after it has brewed. A polished silver build and removable brew basket also make for easy maintenance.
Although it’s a highly sophisticated coffee machine, its emphasis is on ease of use and automation rather than control. Hopeful home baristas may prefer a device that allows them more customization. Additionally, the Moccamaster is a high-end machine and not particularly suited to those on a budget.
Having said that, it’s an efficient, stylish machine that’s worth every penny.
Black and Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
~ Best Budget Choice
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- 24-hour programmability
- QuickTouch operation
- Dimensions: 8.25 x 12.25 x 11 inches
- Sneak-A-Cup technology
- Washable brew basket
- Energy-saving features
Don’t be fooled by this machine’s ridiculously low price tag — it isn’t a second-rate model by any stretch of the imagination. Its features match that of high-end models, as does its quality and functionality.
Best suited for busy enthusiasts, the 24-hour programmable auto brew function and Sneak-A-Cup technology are highlights. The user-friendly interface, complete with Rubberized Feel digital controls and QuickTouch programming, is as easy on the eyes as it is helpful.
This 12-cup machine is built well and includes an easy-to-read digital clock, removable, washable brew basket, and a dishwasher safe Duralife glass carafe. Not to mention that it’s compact and energy-efficient.
Serious coffee connoisseurs looking for full control of their brew may find this unit too simple. But its ease of use, affordability, and, most importantly, convenience make it perfect for a quick coffee when you want it.
Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker
~ Best Compact
Our Rating: 4.3/5
- Grab-A-Cup auto brew-pause
- Dual water windows for easy observation
- Simple operation
- Effortless maintenance
- Warming tray
This coffee maker is an excellent choice for coffee drinkers who value convenience above everything else — though its price is fantastic too. Brewing is as easy as a flip of a switch (literally), maintenance is hassle-free, and integrated brew-pause technology means you can sneak a cup when you’re in a hurry.
It’s almost ridiculously compact and takes up barely any room. Standing at just over 10 inches tall by 6 inches wide, it’s perfect for small kitchens. The small footprint means Mr. Coffee is portable and at home on the road.
Low energy use is always a plus when it comes to savings and the environment. This machine runs on only 650 watts making it cheap to run and eco-friendly.
As for its features, it may be considered a little simple for those who like optimization, but it doesn’t lack in functionality and is a streamlined, efficient machine. Included are a removable filter basket and warming tray, dual water windows for accurate measuring, and a handy indicator light to let you know when the machine is on.
The best drip coffee makers on the market can offer everything you need from them. Advancements in technology mean these classic machines are now versatile, programmable, automatic, and even multifunctional.
You have ample choice when it comes to choosing a drip coffee machine, with the added comfort that no matter which you choose, it will be reliable.
There’s something for everyone, but drip coffee makers are best suited for coffee enthusiasts who prefer consistency and simplicity above all else.
If you’re a hopeful barista with craft or artisanal coffee in mind, you may not find much use in a drip coffee maker. But for everyone else, these models are efficient, offer excellent value for money, and you get great quality coffee at home. It’s a win-win.
Best Pod Drip Coffee Makers FAQs
Do The Best Drip Coffee Makers Brew the Strongest Coffee?
According to the USDA, a standard cup of drip coffee contains around 128 milligrams of caffeine. By comparison, one espresso shot typically contains 100 milligrams of caffeine.
That said, it’s difficult to determine which coffee makers make the strongest coffee as there are many variables, for example, the brand, roast, and quantity.
What’s the Best Coffee for Drip Coffee Machines?
Drip coffee machines (unless they have special features like dual brewing) only take ground coffee. Look for coffee that is marked for filter use. Some connoisseurs recommend a medium grind for the best results, but it’s really up to you and your preferences.
What’s the Best Coffee to Water Ratio for a Drip Coffee Maker?
Again, it’s up to your preferences, so you’re free to experiment until you find a formula you like. That said, most people agree that the golden ratio is one to two tablespoons of coffee for every six ounces of water.
Can You Brew Instant Coffee in a Drip Coffee Maker?
Unfortunately not. Drip coffee makers soak grounds, extracting flavor as water passes through them. A filter prevents the grounds from making their way into your coffee. Instant coffee is made for immersion and dissolves in water, so there won’t be anything to filter. Best stick to those grounds!