Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
A staple everywhere from diners to break rooms to kitchen counters, drip remains one of the most popular types of coffee. It’s quick and easy to make at home, and it’s typically the most affordable option on a coffeehouse menu. Drip coffee makers themselves vary widely in both price and number of features. Some, including ones on this list, barely cost more than a bag of coffee beans; others run hundreds of dollars and are loaded with convenient settings. No matter what, coffee lovers all have the same simple request for a machine they use once (maybe three times) a day: to brew a strong and reliable cup of joe. We’ve rounded up a variety of dependable options, detailing the pros and cons of each.
Here are the best drip coffee makers to buy.
Best Overall: Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker
Programmable up to 24 hours
Adjustable brew strength
Temperature control keeps coffee hot
Difficult to fill the water reservoir
This coffee maker does everything you need, and just a little bit more. It can make up to 14 cups of coffee for a crowd or just one cup for those mornings when that’s all you need. You can also select regular or bold coffee without changing the amount of grounds used. The front panel has a straightforward list of five easy-to-use settings: self-cleaning, bold flavor, brew now/auto-shutoff, programmed brew, and brewing 1-4 cups.
After testing the Cuisinart 14-Cup Coffee Maker, our reviewer praised its versatility and multiple features. The 24-hour programmable timer lets you "wake up to the delicious aroma of brewed coffee," and the 1-4 cup setting is especially handy for those who drink less coffee because "the machine will alter the brew process to make sure your coffee is the proper strength."
The keep-warm temperature is adjustable, so you won’t come back to overcooked coffee or something that’s not warm enough, and the tone to indicate that coffee is done can be turned on or off. When it’s time to clean the machine, a light will let you know.
Capacity: 14 cups (70 ounces) | Dimensions: 7.75 x 9 x 14 inches | Warranty: 3-year limited | Wattage: 1,050 | Voltage: 120
"Considering its sleek design, temperature control, and undeniably useful features, this coffee maker simply brings so much to the table." — Lambeth Hochwald, Product Tester
Best for Specialty Drinks: Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker
Option for thermal or glass carafe
Removable water reservoir
Not fully programmable
Thermal carafe is hand-wash only
Specialty coffee drinks differ from drip coffee, as the former typically contains espresso. This is your lattes, your cappuccinos. The drinks found on coffeehouse menus. We love the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker because it offers the best of both worlds: a 10-cup carafe for drip coffee, plus all the tools you need for specialty drinks, complete in one machine.
You can purchase the item with a glass carafe (CM401) or, for a slightly higher price, a thermal one (CM407). Aside from that, both options are identical, equipped with a fold-away milk frother, a removable water reservoir, and capable of brewing six different drink sizes, from a single cup to a full carafe.
Depending on your taste, one potential drawback is that this machine produces coffee concentrate, not true espresso. Most customers hardly notice a difference, saying the coffee concentrate is a terrific substitute and, in fact, more convenient than manually pulling espresso shots. But if you want a machine that makes real espresso, along with drip coffee, check out other great options in our rundown of The Best Coffee and Espresso Machine Combos.
Capacity: Single serve or 10-cup carafe (50 ounces) | Dimensions: 12 x 15 x 8.8 inches | Warranty: 1-year limited | Wattage: 1,500 | Voltage: 120
"I found that it makes a beautiful microfoam perfect for lattes and cappuccinos." — Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester
Best for a Quick Cup: Bunn GRB Velocity Brew 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer
Fast brewing (3 minutes)
Easy to use
Prone to leaking
Can't brew single cups
The Bunn name might seem familiar since Bunn coffee makers have been gracing diners, restaurants, and commercial kitchens for decades. This home brewer uses the technology of commercial machines and brings it to the home kitchen, where this speedy coffee maker can brew a full 10-cup pot of coffee in about three minutes. You’ll barely have time to find your favorite coffee mug.
Part of the speed is accomplished by having an ever-ready internal hot water supply waiting to brew your coffee when you want it, so you never have to wait for the water to heat before it brews. If you won’t need coffee for a few days, you can use the vacation switch to turn off the heater.
Rather than a cone-shaped filter, this has a large flat bottom filter for more contact between the water and grounds during brewing, while a multi-stream spray sends hot water over the top of the grounds to saturate them completely.
For messy pourers, the carafe was designed to arc the coffee neatly into your mug and then wick the drips back into the carafe, so you won’t be cleaning up coffee drips each time you pour. If you don’t want a full pot of coffee, this can brew as few as 4 cups.
Capacity: 10 cups (50 ounces) | Dimensions: 13.8 x 7.1 x 14.3 inches | Warranty: 3 years | Wattage: 900 | Voltage: 120
Best Budget: Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 4-Cup Coffee Maker
Easy to use
No automatic shutoff
When your coffee-making needs are modest, this is the machine for you. There is just a simple on/off switch that turns the machine on to start brewing with an indicator light that shows when it’s on, so you’ll remember to turn off the warming plate when you pour the last cup of coffee. This makes up to four small cups of coffee or two standard mugs, so it’s great for singles or couples who drink just one cup each before heading out the door.
The warming plate is easy to wipe clean and the filter basket is removable so you can empty it quickly and wash it for the next use. A pause feature lets you remove the carafe if you want to grab the first cup before brewing is done, then you simply replace the carafe to continue brewing.
Capacity: 4 cups (20 ounces) | Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 9.5 inches | Warranty: 1-year limited | Wattage: 650 | Voltage: 120
“Here’s one little secret of coffee makers: You think you want the biggest coffee maker you can find, and people tend to buy these, but if you have a lot of capacity in the coffee container, you also need a lot of capacity in the basket that holds the coffee grounds."
— Peter Giuliano, Chief Research Officer at the Specialty Coffee Association and Executive Director of the Coffee Science Foundation
Giuliano adds that the optimal proportion for a filter basket is 55 grams of coffee for every 1 liter of water. What does this mean for you? Well, it's certainly difficult for most buyers to ascertain these numbers, so check out our product round-ups or refer to SCA-approved coffee makers. Most importantly, know that a bigger coffee maker isn't necessarily better—in fact, it can often be the opposite.
Best with Grinder: Krups Grind and Brew Auto-Start Coffee Maker with Burr Coffee Grinder
Five-setting burr grinder
Multiple strength settings
Freshly ground coffee beans make the best coffee, but if grinding coffee before brewing is one too many tasks for your morning routine, this all-in-one coffee maker and grinder can do the work for you. Even better, you can set a timer so the coffee will be waiting for you when you get up.
This brews from 2 to 10 cups of coffee and lets you select from mild, medium or strong brews, so your coffee is just the way you like it. The conical burr grinder has five different settings, from fine to coarse, so you can customize the grind. If you don’t finish the pot quickly, the keep warm function will hold the coffee at drinking temperature for two hours before it shuts off automatically.
This has a digital display and just a few simple buttons that make coffee brewing easy. If you have pre-ground coffee, you can turn off the grinder and just use this to brew without grinding first. A reusable gold-tone filter is included.
Capacity: 10 cups | Dimensions: 9.45 x 11.54 x 15.16 inches | Warranty: 2-year limited | Wattage: 900 | Voltage: 120
Best Customizable: Braun BrewSense 12-Cup Drip Coffee Maker
1-4 cup setting
Hot-plate temperature adustment
Difficult to fill water reservoir
Issues with cleaning indicator
The Braun BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker includes a number of convenient features that allow users to customize everything from how the coffee is made to how hot it stays hot after brewing. There are two strength settings (regular and bold), as well as a timer that offers 24-hour programmability. Once the coffee is done, you can set the keep-warm plate on a low, medium, or hot setting, depending on your preference.
This machine has a 12-cup carafe and the ability to brew anywhere from one to 12 cups at a time, so you’ll always have the right amount of coffee. There's a handy pause-and-serve feature that lets you remove the carafe to pour a cup even before the pot is fully done brewing. The item comes with a reusable gold-tone coffee filter as well as a carbon filter that removes impurities from the water.
Capacity: 12 cups | Dimensions: 7.9 x 7.9 x 14.2 inches | Warranty: 3 years | Wattage: 1,000 | Voltage: 110
"The Braun BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker may be simple in design, but it can rival the competition when it comes down to the quality of its drip coffee. I was pleasantly surprised at the caliber of the coffee made, especially considering its low price point." — Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester
Best High-End: Technivorm Moccamaster KBG Coffee Maker
Fast brewing (4-6 minutes)
Tastier coffee than most machines
Easy to fill water reservoir
Takes up counter space
Some people take their coffee seriously. Very seriously. This machine is handmade in the Netherlands and looks like something you’d see in a futuristic sci-fi kitchen. Unfortunately, a robot maid is not included.
The item brews up to 40 ounces of coffee in just six minutes, and if you’re too impatient to wait that long, the drip-stop feature will let you remove the carafe during brewing without creating a puddle of coffee on the counter.
The Moccamaster's hot plate may be its most unique feature, since it is engineered to roll the heat into the coffee in a way that won’t scorch or overcook it, while keeping it at your choice of an even 175 or 185 degrees. After 1 hour and 40 minutes, the hot plate will turn off, so you won’t come home to a burned carafe.
Capacity: 10 cups (40 ounces) | Dimensions: 12.75 x 6.5 x 14 inches | Warranty: 5 years | Wattage: 1,475 | Voltage: 120
"One of my favorite coffee makers. It retains heat well and drains water slowly over the coffee grounds, giving more clarity to the cup. Plus, it’s a really cool looking machine." — Allie Caran, the Director of Education at Partners Coffee.
Best Thermal: OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker
Brews at optimal temperature
Easy to fill water reservoir
From a simple interface to a thorough and consistent spray head, many details illustrate why the OXO 8-Cup Coffee Maker is a top-grade pick up. Perhaps the most telling detail, however, is that it is one of the few coffee makers certified by the Specialty Coffee Association to meet their Golden Cup Standard. This means the OXO 8-Cup is guaranteed to heat your water to the ideal brewing temperature (between 195 and 205 degrees) and whip up a whole pot within 4-6 minutes. It's delicious coffee made quickly.
Another key area in the Golden Cup Standard is how long a machine can maintain coffee temperature once brewing is complete. The OXO 8-Cup has exceptional heat retention thanks to its thermal stainless steel carafe. The item also has single-serve capabilities, making it a great option for those switching from pod-based coffee makers. The only downsides are its small capacity and that it is not programmable.
Capacity: 8 cups (40 ounces) | Dimensions: 10.5 x 7 x 13.5 inches | Warranty: 2-year limited | Wattage: 1,400 | Voltage: 110 to 120
"The OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker is a sleek, yet simple machine that brews amazing drip coffee for a low price." — Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester
Best Non-Electric: Bodum Pour Over Coffee Maker
Compact and portable
Poor heat retention
Pour-over coffee is the manual version of more automated drip coffee. Rather than pushing a button to make the coffee, you’ll boil water and pour it over the grounds in several stages to fully saturate the grounds and extract the maximum amount of flavor.
This includes a stainless steel mesh filter that lets the aromatic oils pass through while holding back the grounds. The carafe is made from heat-resistant glass and has a band around the neck that makes it easy to hold and pour from the integrated spout. The carafe is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. When you’re not using it for making coffee, it would be attractive for serving other beverages as well, like iced tea or cocktails.
Capacity: Available in 17, 34, and 51 ounces | Dimensions: 5.51 x 4.76 x 5.71 inches (17-ounce model) | Warranty: 1-year limited | Wattage: N/A | Voltage: N/A
Best for Camping: Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffee Maker
No burner required
Easy to start
Slow brew time
While there are many great brewing devices for coffee-drinking campers, from pour overs to percolators, the options for true drip coffee are limited since the majority of products require electricity. That's where the Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffee Maker comes in handy. No electricity required. No stovetop or hot water needed. Hook the item up to a small propane canister and you'll have 10 cups of delicious coffee, just as if you were making it in your own kitchen.
Don't count on the coffee to be speedy, however. Coleman says it takes 18 minutes to brew a full pot, and many customers write in reviews that the process is much slower than what they're used to.
Price is another consideration. The QuikPot costs more than typical home coffee makers, so think about how much use you'll get out of it before buying. For frequent campers, especially groups and families, this is a worthwhile product. For those who camp less often, as well as those who only need a cup of coffee or two per day, a smaller non-electric brewing device might be a better choice.
Capacity: 10 cups | Dimensions: 13.75 x 8.88 x 16.88 Inches | Warranty: 3-year limited | Wattage: N/A | Voltage: N/A
With numerous features and a compact design, the Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker is a great investment for any kitchen, earning it our top spot. It's a straightforward drip machine you can count on for years to come. For a more versatile device, check out the Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker, which can make espresso and froth milk along with drip coffee.
What to Look for in a Drip Coffee Maker
If counter space is limited, you might have to rule out some of the larger drip machines. This shouldn't be too much of an issue, however, as there are many wonderful compact coffee makers out there. No matter what, it's usually worth measuring beforehand, especially regarding the depth of your counters and the height of your cabinets.
Some devices have all kinds of bells and whistles, from automatic shut-offs to flavor strength and even temperature control. Other machines, including ones on this list, are simpler but still make delicious coffee. If you’re looking for convenience, just be prepared to pay the price for advanced models.
While larger capacity coffee makers generally sound more appealing, a 14-cup carafe might not always be best for your coffee needs, especially if you only drink one or two cups a day. Consider the number of coffee drinkers in your home, as well as your own coffee intake. If you're primarily purchasing a drip machine for personal use, keep an eye out for items with a 1-4 cup setting.
What is descaling?
Descaling is the process of removing mineral residue—also known as “scale”—that builds up inside a coffee maker over time. If the task isn’t performed regularly, a device can face issues that range from brewing weak coffee to the machine not working at all. The general rule is to descale at least once every one to three months, but users should default to manufacturer instructions if a different interval is recommended. Descaling can be done with a simple at-home combination of vinegar and warm soapy water, and many brands sell liquids or powders specifically for descaling. The first step in the process is to fill your coffee maker’s reservoir with a mixture of water and descaling solution. Second, run the brew cycle. Third, empty the carafe (now full of descaling solution) into the sink and rinse clean. Finally, run the brew cycle with just water to remove any leftover descaling product.
What is a 1-4 cup setting?
A 1-4 cup setting calibrates a machine’s brew cycle to suit smaller batches of coffee. Since most drip coffee makers are designed to brew 10 cups or more, the normal drip speed is too fast for small portions and leads to a weak pot of joe. By clicking the 1-4 cup setting, your machine will slow down the drip speed to perfectly extract the small amount of coffee you want.
What is the best water for coffee?
Taste is always subjective, so there isn’t one right answer for the best water for coffee. That being said, most experts say water with “sticky” minerals like calcium and magnesium improve taste, and that comes from hard water. The downside is hard water is harsher on your machine and will increase the frequency you need to descale. Those who use soft or filtered water can still brew tasty coffee, of course, but there is a higher chance the coffee can end up a little weak, so users may need to compensate by adding more coffee grounds. On the plus side, soft water is gentler on your brewing device over time.
How should coffee be stored?
Whether it’s whole bean or ground, coffee lasts longer and tastes better when stored in an airtight container and placed in a cool, dark place. Oxygen, sunlight, moisture, and high heat all negatively affect the quality and shelf life of coffee beans. Under ideal circumstances, whole-bean coffee stays fresh for two weeks. Naturally, it loses freshness more quickly if any one of those four damaging factors are in play. Many coffee lovers turn to the fridge or freezer to store their beans and, while this may seem a logical method of preservation, it is actually quite harmful to coffee due to the high levels of moisture that come from freezer use—not to mention the temperature fluctuation of taking in and out every day. When in a pinch, coffee can be stored fairly well—though not optimally—in the bag it comes in. Most coffee bags have a circular, one-way valve on the front that is used to release carbon dioxide and keep oxygen out.
How much caffeine is in drip coffee?
The caffeine content in drip coffee ranges widely depending on the type of coffee bean and number of scoops used when brewing. In general, an 8-ounce cup of drip coffee contains anywhere from 80 to 200 milligrams of caffeine. This puts drip on the more caffeinated end of the coffee spectrum, especially because customers often drink it in large servings. Espresso has more caffeine by volume—roughly 60 to 75 milligrams per single shot—but it is of course served in smaller portions. It may seem counterintuitive, but light roast coffee is slightly more caffeinated than dark roast, so keep this in mind too if you are especially monitoring your caffeine intake.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a freelance food writer who specializes in product reviews and recipes. Her work has appeared on Serious Eats, Fine Cooking, and her own recipe blog, Cookistry.com. She's also the author of "Make Ahead Bread" (view at Amazon), a cookbook meant to simplify the bread-baking process.
This piece was edited by Derek Rose, the coffee and tea expert for The Spruce Eats. He researches a variety of coffee products, from measuring scoops to commercial espresso machines, and interviews field experts for their insight. At home, he typically makes coffee with the Bodum Brazil French Press (view at Amazon)—a great budget option, especially for those who prefer non-electric brewers.