Best Drip Coffee Makers From Consumer Reports' Tests

·7 min read

It can take a little while to get to know the ins and outs of a new coffee maker. 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 of 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.” 

In the lab, 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 data for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction 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 our full coffee maker ratings.

Bunn HB Heat N Brew Programmable

CR’s take: The Bunn HB Heat N Brew Programmable does very well across the board in our performance tests. But its feature set is a bit bare-bones—auto-shutoff, a cleaning indicator, and programming—despite its relatively high price. Still, you're likely to love this machine: Bunn drip machines earn an Excellent rating for owner satisfaction, according to data from our latest member survey. Its unusual design moves all of the brewing mechanisms above the glass carafe.

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 Very 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. 

Capresso CoffeeTEAM TS465

CR’s take: If you’re an aficionado of fresh ground coffee, this Capresso is the one to buy. As the name suggests, the CoffeeTEAM TS465 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 rating of Very Good in our convenience tests. It allows you to adjust brew strength, it’s programmable so you can set it to grind and brew just before you wake up, and it uses a thermal carafe to keep your coffee warm for hours.

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's a terrific choice for entertaining.

Cuisinart DCC-T20 Touchscreen 14-Cup Programmable

CR’s take: A traditional drip coffee maker with a modern twist, the Cuisinart DCC-T20 Touchscreen 14-Cup Programmable offers slick touch screen controls and makes plenty of java for a full house, thanks to its 14-cup glass carafe. It features programming, auto-shutoff, a cleaning indicator, a permanent filter, a water filter, brew-strength control, and a small-batch setting. This model receives an Excellent rating for brew performance and does well in our other tests, too. It’s a bit pricey, but for the investment you can count on an all-around great machine to rely on for both busy mornings and dinner parties.

Cuisinart Next-Generation Burr Grind & Brew 12-cup DGB-800

CR’s take: Like the Capresso, the Cuisinart Next-Generation Burr Grind & Brew 12-cup DGB-800 takes whole coffee beans and grinds them fresh for each pot. It features a permanent filter, a water filter, auto-shutoff, programming, and brew-strength control. This model earns a great rating for carafe handling. The stainless steel accents and glass carafe elevate the overall experience. Cuisinart brewers also receive an Excellent rating for owner satisfaction. But the performance and finish mean this machine has a premium price.

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’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 model a strong score for brew performance. It has only one simple feature (auto-shutoff) and it’s not the easiest to use, but you can count on it to last.

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