Before we find the best coffee maker of 2018 for your needs, I wonder if you can relate to this like I can?
We want to do a lot of stuff; we’re not in great shape. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup.
– Jerry Seinfeld
It’s brutally honest and funny, but there’s something I want to add:
Life tastes better with great coffee.
– Me! 🙂
Now let’s find you the best drip coffee maker for your needs!
There are many different types of coffee makers with lots of different features. Some machines are great, and some are, well, not.
Choosing the right one can be confusing, so I’ve put together this guide to help you.
All you need to decide which of the features below are important to you, and the comparison table below that will show you the best ones with those features!
Note: These coffee makers are also known as drip coffee makers, because the coffee drips from the basket and into the carafe.
Coffee Maker Types and Features
Which ones are important to you?
Programmable Coffee Maker
Programmable coffee makers have a clock which you can set to start brewing at a specific time. This means you can programme it to start while you sleep so you can wake up to smell of fresh coffee!
How many cups will you need?
It’s best to brew the right amount of coffee for what you’ll need. If you brew too much, you’re throwing away good coffee and wasting energy.
And if you’re only brewing a tiny amount from a large coffee maker, the taste won’t be as good because it’s designed to brew large amounts.
It’s important to note that the ‘cup’ measurement is a little smaller than what you’re used to. The standard cup size is 5 oz, but the mugs you have at home will be twice that. A travel mug is even more (16 oz).
Therefore a 4/5 cup coffee maker is enough to make two mugs of coffee. Or if you drink coffee in Venti Starbucks-sized mugs, you’ll only get one serving (a Venti is 20 oz).
Thermal Coffee Maker
A thermal coffee maker is a drip coffee maker with a thermal carafe – so instead of a glass coffee pot, it has a ‘Thermos’ style pot. This insulated pot keeps the coffee warm – there’s no hot plate.
A hot plate will keep coffee hot for two hours by ‘stewing’ it. This is why you’ll sometimes get that burnt coffee taste.
A thermal coffee maker keeps coffee hot while preserving the flavor. And because the pot is made of stainless steel, it won’t break if you drop it.
The downsides of a thermal carafe are: it won’t keep coffee as hot as a hot plate would, and you cant tell how much coffee is in the pot just by looking at it.
If a thermal coffee maker is definitely right for you, click here for reviews and comparisons of the best thermal coffee makers.
Grind and Brew Coffee Maker
A grind and brew coffee maker is a coffee maker with grinder built-in, so you can enjoy freshly ground coffee.
Why is a fresh grind important? Once coffee beans are ground, they begin to lose their aroma. For the first two minutes, they de-gas giving off carbon dioxide which seals in the aroma. But after this time, the aroma starts to disappear, mostly leaving the coffee within a few hours.
By grinding directly into the coffee maker, you’re preserving the aroma and ensuring the best tasting coffee you can drink at home.
If a grind and brew coffee maker is definitely what you need, click here for reviews and comparisons of the best grind and brew coffee makers.
Another alternative is to buy a separate grinder to go with your coffee maker.
Coffee pods offer the ultimate in convenience and taste.
There’s no fuss and no mess with a pod – just put it in your machine, hit start, then throw it away when it’s done.
There are a two main types – K-cups and soft pods.
K-cups offer the ultimate in quality and variety. They’re commercially ground and sealed for freshness, and with more flavors than you can shake a stick at, you can turn your kitchen into your very own coffee shop.
Top Rated Coffee Makers Compared
So now that you’ve decided on what you need, I’ve made the best drip coffee maker 2018 comparison table below.
You can search and sort so it only displays the coffee makers with the features you need. For example, if you only want to see the programmable, thermal coffee makers sorted by price, type:
And then click on the ‘Price’ category to display the results from low to high price.
Below the table are the best coffee maker reviews.
|Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker||12||Programmable. Compatible with a Thermal Carafe (sold separately).||Brew strength selector. Hot plate automatically switches off if you've bought the Thermal Carafe.||$$|
|Mr. Coffee DRX5 4-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker||4||Programmable.||Compact.||$|
|Mr. Coffee DWX23 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker||12||Programmable.||Simple and functional.||$|
|Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker||12||Programmable.||1-4 cup setting, adjustable heat plate (low, medium, high) to help prevent burnt coffee.||$$$|
|Hamilton Beach 46201 12 Cup Digital Coffeemaker||12||Programmable.||Regular and bold setting, 1-4 cup setting.||$$|
|Mr. Coffee CG13 12-Cup Switch Coffeemaker||12||Switch.||Note: this coffee has no auto-off function.||$|
|Keurig K60/K65 Special Edition Single Serve Coffee Maker||1||Single Serve only. K-Cups only.||Full featured K-Cup coffee maker.||$$$$|
|Hamilton Beach Ensemble 12-Cup Coffeemaker with Glass Carafe, Red||12||Programmable.||Stylish, retro design.||$$|
|Black & Decker DCM18S Brew 'n Go Personal Coffeemaker with Travel Mug||1||Switch.||Travel mug included.||$|
|Melitta 46894A 10-Cup Thermal Programmable Coffeemaker||10||Thermal. Programmable.||Regular, bold and robust flavor settings.||$$|
|Hamilton Beach 49983 2-Way FlexBrew Coffeemaker||1, 12||Single Serve + full carafe. K-Cups and ground coffee. Programmable.||Brews one cup only or a full carafe.||$$$|
|Cuisinart DTC-975BKN Thermal 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker||12||Thermal. Programmable.||No fuss lid.||$$$|
|Keurig B130 DeskPro Brewing System||1||Single Serve only, K-Cups only. Switch.||Single serve. Compact.||$$|
|Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee-on-Demand 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker||12||Programmable.||Dispenses one cup at a time straight into your mug. 1-4 cup setting.||$$$|
|Hamilton Beach 48464 Brewstation Summit 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker||12||Programmable.||Dispenses one cup at a time straight into your mug. 1-4 cup setting.||$$|
|Bonavita BV1800TH 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe||8||Switch.||Precision engineered for the best quality coffee.||$$$$|
|BUNN BXB Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer||10||Switch.||Fastest brew (3 minutes), quality coffee. Brews 4-10 cups.||$$$|
|KRUPS KM700552 Grind and Brew Coffee Maker with Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder, 10-cup||10||Grind and Brew, Programmable.||Good quality built in burr grinder for better tasting coffee.||$$$$|
|Cuisinart DGB-900BC Grind & Brew Thermal 12-Cup Automatic Coffeemaker||12||Grind and Brew, Thermal, Programmable.||Good quality built in burr grinder for better tasting coffee.||$$$$$|
|Hamilton Beach 49981A Single Serve Scoop Coffee Maker||1||Single Serve only, ground coffee only.||No fuss - coffee scoop doubles up as the filter. Stylish, sturdy, brews up to 14 oz. Regular and strong strength.||$$|
|Bonavita BV1800 8-Cup Coffee Maker with Glass Carafe||8||Switch||Precision engineered for the best quality coffee.||$$$$|
The Best Coffee Maker Reviews:
The Best Cheap Coffee Maker
At a glance: Good performer, fully featured, flexible (can be used with a Thermal Carafe), cheap.
The Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT is the best drip coffee maker at the lower end of the price range.
It’s cheap, looks modern, and it makes good coffee (considering its price tag).
It’s also programmable so you can wake up to the smell of fresh coffee, and has a regular and strong brew setting.
One of the best things about this coffee maker is the choice it allows. With this machine you have the choice of using the glass carafe or a thermal one (sold separately). There’s no fuss either – it automatically switches off the hot plate if you’re using the thermal carafe.
This is especially useful if there’s someone in the house who hates the taste of burnt coffee and prefers the thermal carafe, or even for you to use at the weekend to enjoy a better cup of coffee.
The Mr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT is right for you if you’re looking for the best cheap coffee maker with all the features.
- Click here for the best price for the Mr. Coffee at Amazon.
At a glance: Reliable, value for money, good coffee, and quick and easy to maintain.
The Cuisinart DGB-700BC is a good grind and brew coffee maker with a lot of good things going for it.
It makes good coffee – it has a burr grinder which gives a high quality grind. This means coffee will not over-extract (and become too bitter) or under-extract (and become too weak). It’s just right.
It’s convenient – it’s well made so that it won’t need cleaning very often. Cheaper models had a problem with steam getting into the grind chamber, meaning a coffee ‘paste’ needed to be cleaned out with every use. This doesn’t have such a problem.
The bean hopper is large, which means you don’t need to fill it as often.
It’s reliable – and comes with a 3 year warranty to back it up.
It’s well priced – considering the conical burr grinder, its features and the warranty, it’s great value for money.
The Cuisinart DGB-700BC is the best drip coffee maker for you if you need a good value grind and brew coffee maker.
Click here for more of the best grind and brew coffee makers reviewed and compared.
- Click here for the best price for the Cuisinart at Amazon. It’s also available with a thermal carafe here.
At a glance: Great coffee on a budget.
The Zojirushi is an advanced thermal coffee maker with the engineering of a coffee machine twice its price.
Each part of the brewing process is carefully controlled to deliver great coffee:
- The temperature is steadily maintained.
- The brew basket is insulated so the temperature won’t drop while the coffee steeps.
- The brewing time is carefully calculated (9 minutes for the full carafe)
The thermal carafe keeps coffee hot with no mess, drips, leaks or spills. And it’s even programmable, so it can start while you sleep.
The Zojirushi is the best coffee maker if you want a thermal coffee maker which delivers great coffee on a budget.
Click here for more of the best thermal coffee makers reviewed and compared.
- Click here for the best price for the Zojirushi at Amazon.
At a glance: Stylish, sturdy, no fuss, good coffee.
The Hamilton Beach 49981 Scoop Coffee Maker is a great machine on all fronts.
Compact & Stylish – it’s all stainless steel design looks great, and has the feel of a more expensive coffee maker. It’s big enough to fit a travel mug without being unnecessarily tall.
No Fuss – the filter basket is a stainless steel scoop. So you just scoop your coffee and put the whole thing into the coffee maker. There’s no mess, it’s convenient, and it’s easy to clean.
Good Coffee – the Hamilton Beach makes a good tasting cup of coffee, and has two strength settings. It pours up to 14 oz, which is enough to fill your travel mug.
While it’s not the cheapest single cup coffee maker, it’s clear where the extra money goes. In my opinion, it’s worth every penny.
- Click here for the best price for the Hamilton Beach Scoop Coffee Maker at Amazon.
The Best Tasting Coffee
At a glance: German precision engineered for the best tasting coffee.
The Bonavita is well known for being the best drip coffee maker when it comes to flavor.
It’s German designed and engineered to take all parts of the brewing cycle into account:
1400W Thermal Block Heater – this is a powerful heater which retains heat better than the heaters in regular coffee machines.
This means that the heat is precisely controlled throughout, keeping it to the right temperature to ensure the best coffee extraction.
‘Shower Head’ Distribution – this ensures that water is evenly distributed over the coffee grounds.
Fast – the full 8 cups can be done in as little as 6 minutes.
It’s a compact machine which is stylishly finished in stainless steel. For ease of use, the water tank has a wide opening and well marked water levels.
The Bonavita is the best coffee maker if coffee flavor is the most important thing for you.