Best Drip Coffee Makers 2020
n the real world (the one in which I inhabit, unfortunately), my mornings go something like this… I hit the snooze button on my alarm one time too many and oversleep. I can’t get away without a shower and shave (alas, I have too heavy a beard for that), and I have to get out the door. Not having caffeine is NOT an option. So I do have an insurance policy… My trusty drip coffee machine with timer. I put coffee and water in the machine before I go to bed, set the timer, put my travel mug next to the machine, and the coffee is ready when I am!
If you already have an existing drip-coffee machine, there are lots of reasons to finally give up on the old machine and replace it. It’s generally obvious that it’s time for a replacement when your coffee is cold (and weak), the tank starts to leak, or the machine no longer brews coffee. As well, if you break the carafe it may be as expensive to replace it than to buy a new machine altogether.
This article will show you what to look for in the best drip coffee makers and will provide reviews on several notable machines.
What to look for in a good coffee maker
When choosing a drip coffee maker, there are several things to consider.
First and foremost (in my mind) is how easy is the machine to use? Is the coffee basket easy to place in the machine? How easy is it to fill the water tank? I had a machine once that was so awkward to fill that more water ended up on the counter than in the reservoir. I finally just put the whole unit in the sink to fill it!
How large is the unit? Measure the available counter space that you have and find a unit that won’t hog all of your available counter space. I would imagine that you won’t ever be putting this appliance in a cupboard!
How much coffee will you need to brew at a time? If you have a large family, you may want to buy a machine that can brew 12 cups at a time. If you are a smaller household, a 4 cup machine might suffice.
Does the machine have any special features?
Some special features include:
- A timer (to set the machine the night before)
- The ability to make a single cup or an entire pot..
- A drip stopper so that you can remove the pot while it is still brewing without making a mess.
- A water filter (remember to factor in the cost of the filter cartridges, as this will be an ongoing expense).
- A permanent filter. If not, you need to buy paper filters (link to paper filters here) or spring for a permanent filter (link to permanent filter). Just add that to the cost of the coffee maker, as a one-time expense.
- An integral coffee grinder. Drip coffee makers with this feature are usually at the more expensive range, however.
How easy is the machine to clean? And will the machine tell you when it is time to descale? (link to how to clean your coffee maker article here)
Does it come with a glass or thermal carafe? This is important if you drink multiple cups of coffee over the course of a few hours. As well if you are clumsy and would be likely to break a glass carafe. Does the carafe pour well? You’d be surprised at how many carafes make a mess every time you pour from them.
I highly recommend a model with a thermal carafe, although models with a stainless steel carafe tend to be a bit more expensive. A glass pot of coffee sitting on a hotplate “cooks,” so if you don’t drain the pot immediately, your may end up tossing more than you drink. With a stainless steel vacuum carafe, coffee stays fresh. I will often come home during the summer and make iced coffee with the remains of the coffee in the thermal carafe.
How expensive is a drip coffee maker? They can be very inexpensive or wildly expensive (just like any other product category)! This review of drip coffee makers will review machines that range from bargain to luxury.
How good is the coffee? Unfortunately, you usually cannot answer this question until you’ve made your purchase. Fortunately, Amazon has a good return policy! The only way that you can know in advance is if a friend has the coffee machine that you’ve been eyeing!
Our reviews of the best coffee makers
Moccamaster KBGT 741 coffee machine Alu poliert, 1.25 Litre, 1520 W
Here is the gold standard in drip coffee machines. The Technovorm Moccamaster is about as high end as you can get. While the price tag may not fit everyone’s budget, if you can afford this machine, it’s the one!
Technovorm Moccamaster is a Dutch-made coffee machine, handmade in the Netherlands. The Dutch know coffee. If you’ve ever had coffee in the Netherlands, you’ll understand.The heating element is solid copper (which, by the way, has antibacterial qualities), ensuring that the coffee is brewed at the correct temperature (92-96C). The 9 hole water outlet passes water over the coffee grounds at a rate that insures optimal extraction. The Moccamaster has a solid aluminium body. The removable parts are BFA free.
Technovorm Moccamaster works with the European Coffee Brewing Centre (ECBC) and the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). Both are leaders in coffee research. The Moccamaster brews 10 cups (1.25L) per pot in 5-6 minutes. The machine boasts an auto-safety shut-off feature. This unit features a double-walled stainless steel carafe and has an automatic drip stop. If you need to pour a cup of coffee before the brew cycle is complete, you can do so without making a mess!
The Moccamaster is compatible with 1 x 4 filters (standard cone) and comes with a UK plug, so no adapter is needed. The machine comes in a myriad of great colours, so it will match any kitchen decor.
Melitta Look IV Therm Timer, 1011-16, Filter Coffee Machine with Insulated Jug
Melitta Look IV Therm Timer, 1011-16, Filter Coffee Machine with Insulated Jug, Timer Feature, Aroma Selector, Black/Brushed Steel
The Melitta Look IV is much less expensive than the Moccamaster, but it offers lots of great features. And Melitta has been making quality drip coffee makers for decades. In fact, Melitta Bentz invented the first coffee filter in 1908.
The Melitta Look IV has a water indicator for 10 large cups or 15 small cups of coffee, making 1.25L per brew. The machine has a carefully calibrated water heater, can be adjusted for coffee strength (they call it the “Aroma Selector” feature), and it has an insulated, double walled stainless carafe that will keep coffee hot for 2 hours. The carafe is shock-proof and unbreakable. It also has a brew-through lid, so your coffee will brew directly into the carafe.
The Look IV also has a digital clock with a timer feature so your coffee is ready when you are. The unit has an anti-drip filter as well as a cord storage compartment. Stainless steel panels are incorporated into the body, and it is compatible with 1 x 4 paper filters.
Cleaning this machine is a breeze. The detachable filter is dishwasher safe. It also has a descaling program, a calcification display and a programmable water hardness level.
Philips HD 7546/20 Coffee Maker
Philips is also known for quality products. This drip coffee pot, the HD 7546/20 boasts a 1.2L capacity (roughly 10 cups) with water level indicator, dishwasher-proof parts, and an anti-drip function. It also has a double-walled stainless steel carafe to keep your coffee piping hot.
The HD 7546/20 has a cord storage compartment. The only design flaw with this coffee maker is that the water tank lid is hinged and opens at the front (so you will have to manoeuvre a bit to fill the tank). As with the other drip coffee makers that I have reviewed, the Philips is compatible with 1 x 4 filters.
BEEM Germany Bean to Cup Filter Coffee Machine with Grinder and Timer
BEEM Germany Bean to Cup Filter Coffee Machine with Grinder and Timer 92C° 1000W Fresh-Aroma-Perfect Thermolux
The BEEM bean to cup coffee maker, while on the more expensive side offers a lot of value. The drip coffee maker has an integral coffee grinder, a stainless steel double-walled thermal carafe, a permanent coffee filter, and a carbon filter in the water tank (link to carbon filter refills here).
The BEEM heats the water to 92C (the proper temperature for brewing coffee), and a hardened steel cone grinder. The grinder has adjustable settings. Pre ground coffee can also be used. The BEEM bean to cup brews from 2 to 10 cups of coffee per brew cycle. It has an “Aroma Plus” function which adjusts brew strength for mild or strong coffee without altering the amount of water or coffee.
The BEEM bean to cup also features a compartment for coffee beans with an airtight lid that also protects the coffee beans from UV light. It comes with a measuring spoon, a cleaning brush, an activated carbon water filter, and a permanent gold filter.
Geepas 1.5L Filter Coffee Machine
The final entry in my review of drip coffee makers is the Geepas 1.5L Filter coffee machine. This coffee maker is well-rated, very basic, and costs less than £25! There is a digital version that is under £30.
The Geepas has a 1.5L (12 cups) capacity glass carafe and can brew two to 12 cups of coffee at a time. The carafe pours driplessly. It has a double safety feature. It will turn off automatically after 40 minutes or if the water level is low.
The machine also has a 30-second anti-drip feature, allowing you to pour coffee before the brew cycle is complete. It comes with a permanent nylon filter. All of the removable parts are dishwasher safe, and the Geepas comes with a two-year warranty.
A few final words
Remember, too, that the quality of your brewed coffee depends not only on how well your machine performs, but also on the quality of the water and the coffee that you buy. If you’re tap water isn’t good (how does it taste straight from the tap?) use bottled water in your coffee machine. As an added bonus, using bottled or filtered water in your machine,will result in the machine needing to be descaled less often.
The quality issue also holds with the coffee you use. Bargain coffee grounds taste like, well, bargain coffee. I’d rather drink something else. Anything else!
Whether you’ve spent a little money or a lot on your new drip-coffee machine, make sure that you take care of it! (Link to how to clean your coffeemaker article).
This is as simple as washing the components after every use and making sure to descale the unit every few months (depending on how hard your water is). If you take care of your coffee maker, you will be rewarded with better-tasting coffee and a machine that will have a longer lifespan!