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It can take a little while to get to know the ins and outs of a new coffee maker. In CR’s labs, each drip coffee maker we test brews roughly 65 cups by the time our engineers are through with it. And brewing is just one of many aspects we evaluate. We test for handling and convenience, too, so you can choose a model that helps you sail through morning madness.
Our ratings for drip coffee makers range from models that offer simple programming to elaborate options with built-in coffee grinders and self-clean cycles.
“Consider what features are important to you,” says CR test engineer Ginny Lui. “In general, for a higher price you can get add-ons like a water filter, clean cycle, clean indicator, permanent filter, or thermal carafe.”
At CR we test different types of coffee makers. (We even rate coffee itself.) So whether you’re trying to determine which type of appliance suits your lifestyle, replacing a favorite that has seen better days, or looking for a great gift for a coffee connoisseur, we’ve got you covered.
How We Rate Drip Coffee Makers
Our brew-performance tests measure the brew temperature and contact time (how long water stays within the sweet spot of 195° F to 205° F for brewing). We determine concentration using a refractometer, a device that measures the amount of coffee dissolved in each brew. Our convenience tests look at how easy it is to set timers, fill the reservoir, clean the machine, and more. And we incorporate predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings into the Overall Score for each model by using survey data collected from thousands of CR members.
Below you’ll find reviews for 10 top-performing drip coffee makers, with prices from about $25 to $220. The picks are listed in alphabetical order, not by performance, and options run from simple classic drip coffee makers to versatile brewers that make lattes and iced coffee.
CR members can click on each model name for more detailed ratings. To see even more options, check out our full coffee maker ratings.
Bella Pro Series 90061
CR’s take: The feature-rich Bella Pro Series 90061 does very well across the board in our performance tests. It comes with an auto-shutoff, a permanent filter, a small-batch setting, and brew-strength control. Plus, you can program it to brew at a certain time, say 15 minutes before you wake up. This model has a sleek, black stainless steel finish and is relatively inexpensive compared with the competition. Bella drip machines earn a Very Good rating for predicted reliability, according to data from our latest member survey.
Black+Decker Mill & Brew CM5000B
CR’s take: If you’re an aficionado of fresh ground coffee, this Black+Decker is the one to buy. As the name suggests, the Mill & Brew goes that extra mile, grinding whole coffee beans just before brewing. As a result, the appliance is capable of making a great pot of coffee. Made of plastic with stainless steel accents, this model is easy to use and clean, earning a Very Good rating in our convenience tests. It allows you to adjust brew strength, and it’s programmable, so you can set it to grind and brew just before you wake up.
Calphalon Special Brew BVCLDCG1
CR’s take: The Calphalon Special Brew BVCLDCG1 is a terrific drip brewer from a brand known for cookware. It earns strong scores in CR’s performance tests, and Calphalon brewers, in general, earn a Good rating for predicted reliability. This model offers brew-strength control, programming, an LED display, and a 10-cup glass carafe. It's a bit bulky, but it comes in a stainless steel finish that should match other stainless steel appliances nicely.
Cuisinart Burr Grind & Brew DGB-700BC
CR’s take: Like the Black+Decker, the Cuisinart Burr Grind & Brew takes whole coffee beans and grinds them fresh for each pot. It features programming, brew-strength control, a water filter, a permanent coffee filter, and auto-shutoff. This model earns a great rating for carafe handling. The stainless steel finish and glass carafe certainly elevate the experience of using it. Cuisinart brewers also receive an Excellent rating for owner satisfaction. But the performance and finish come at a premium; this machine costs significantly more than the Black+Decker Mill & Brew.
CR’s take: The Cuisinart Coffee on Demand is a self-serve model. It stores 12 cups of brewed coffee in a reservoir and has a dispenser instead of a carafe. It makes sense in households where people are drinking coffee at different times. It keeps coffee hot and ready, so family and guests can fill their own cups. This model is programmable and features a water filter and a cleaning indicator. The reservoir can be removed for washing. In our tests, the Coffee on Demand performs quite well, receiving a Very Good rating for convenience. At less than $100, it can be a terrific choice for entertaining.
Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14 Cup Programmable DCC-3200
CR’s take: This Cuisinart drip coffee maker with a stainless steel finish and glass carafe earns an Excellent rating for brew performance. It’s programmable and features a water filter, a permanent coffee filter, a cleaning mode, a cleaning indicator, and auto-shutoff. The machine also allows you to adjust the strength of your brew. For the money, this model offers style and features that are hard to beat. If you can live without the built-in grinder of the Cuisinart Burr Grind & Brew above, you can save yourself some money and still enjoy Cuisinart quality for a lot less.
Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R
CR’s take: The unassuming, inexpensive Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R might be easy to miss, but it can brew a mean cup of joe at a fantastic price. In a basic black-plastic finish, it has the essentials: It’s programmable, as its name says, and has auto-shutoff—and it offers solid brewing performance, making a fresh pot in just 10 minutes. This model even earns a Very Good rating for convenience. At around $25, this simple model will get the job done.
Mr. Coffee BVMC-ABX39
CR’s take: The Mr. Coffee BVMC-ABX39 does very well in our tests and looks pretty stylish on a countertop, thanks to its stainless steel accents. It comes with auto-shutoff, a cleaning indicator, a permanent filter, and programming. It offers top-of-the-line brew performance and rates Very Good for carafe handling. If you want a traditional model that will match your stainless steel appliances—and of course brew great coffee—this one is a solid bet.
Ninja Specialty CM401
CR’s take: A more affordable take on Ninja's Coffee Bar brewers, the Ninja Specialty CM401 is a terrific all-in-one machine, capable of brewing hot and iced coffee, lattes, macchiatos, and other specialty brews. In our tests, it receives an Excellent rating for brew performance and its glass carafe handles with ease. This model is also packed with features, including an over-ice brew mode for iced coffee, a built-in milk frother, brew-strength control, and brew-size adjustment for everything from travel mugs to full carafes. It's one of the most versatile coffee makers we’ve tested.
Technivorm Moccamaster Cup-One Brewer
CR’s take: If you need only one or two cups of coffee each morning and you don’t want a pod coffee maker, consider the Technivorm Moccamaster Cup-One Brewer. Compact and clean-lined, it has a profile that makes some sense of its high price (it retails for more than $200), and it’s a superstar when it comes to reliability. In fact, Technivorm is the only drip machine brand with an Excellent rating for predicted reliability in our member survey. Our testers also give this machine a strong score for brew performance. This model has only one simple feature (auto-shutoff), and it’s not the easiest machine to use, but you can count on it to last.
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