For many households, the day begins with the slow, steady sound of coffee dripping into a pot. After all, drip coffee makers are perhaps the most common home brewing device—and for good reason. Drip is extremely easy to make and offers a wide range of flavors, from light roast to dark. Drip coffee makers themselves vary widely in price and features. But, 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 cup of joe.
Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker
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.
Price at time of publish: $100
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.
Price at time of publish: $170
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
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 four cups.
Price at time of publish: $120
Capacity: 10 cups (50 ounces) | Dimensions: 13.8 x 7.1 x 14.3 inches | Warranty: 3 years | Wattage: 900 | Voltage: 120
Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Drip Coffee Maker
Easy to use and clean
No automatic shutoff
When your coffee-making needs are modest, this is the machine for you. The Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Drip Coffee Maker is an affordable, low-commitment purchase. 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. It has a pretty large capacity at 12 cups, so there's enough coffee to last throughout the day, even for families.
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.
Price at time of publish: $35
Capacity: 12 cups (60 ounces) | Dimensions: 8.4 x 11.76 x 12.5 inches | Warranty: 1-year limited | Wattage: 900 | 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
Breville The Grind Control Coffee Maker
Several customizable settings
Fresh, high-quality coffee
Carafe doesn't pour easily
If grinding coffee beans feels like an arduous step every morning, then Breville's the Grind Control is a machine worth considering. It can be programmed to grind and brew in advance, saving time and effort and letting coffee lovers start the day off right. There are other coffee makers with this feature too, some that cost significantly less, but after testing the Grind Control ourselves we think it stands out from the rest and justifies its high price.
Users have a lot of control over their coffee thanks to six grind settings (granted, many separate coffee grinders offer more settings than this) and eight strength settings. We found the burr grinder consistent and surprisingly easy to clean. A notification pops up on the LCD screen to indicate when the coffee chute needs to be cleaned, and Breville throws in a cleaning brush to help with the process.
We found that the 12-cup insulated carafe keeps coffee warm for around five hours. Many coffee experts prefer insulated carafes to glass ones because the latter usually have hot plates underneath that alter the taste of the coffee over time. So the Grind Control not only brews strong, tasty coffee, it also keeps it fresh for awhile. Not to mention there's a unique setting to brew a single cup of coffee.
Price at time of publication: $330
Capacity: 12 cups (60 ounces) | Dimensions: 8.5 x 12.5 x 16.3 inches | Warranty: 1-year limited | Wattage: 1,100 | Voltage: 110-120
"Though it may be high in price, the Grind Control offers an incredibly user-friendly experience and the ability to enjoy the freshest of coffee with the ultimate customization." — Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester
Braun BrewSense 12-Cup Drip Coffee Maker KF7000BK
1-4 cup setting
Difficult to fill water reservoir
No brew strength option
The Braun BrewSense Drip Coffee Maker has several convenient features to make your day a little easier, starting with its ability to be programmed up to 24 hours in advance. You can set it up at night and have fresh coffee waiting for you first thing in the morning. There's also a 1-4 cup setting when you want a smaller portion. Another handy touch is a self-cleaning function with an indicator light that turns on when the machine needs to be descaled.
We tested this model firsthand and found the coffee consistently strong. The brewer comes at a reasonable price too, so you get a lot of quality in return for the cost. We were also pleased with the item's slim design. Measuring 7.9 inches wide, it doesn't take up much counter space. One downside is that there's no window on the machine to see how much water you've added, so users have to fill up the carafe to the exact amount before pouring.
If this model is close to ideal for you but doesn't quite make the cut, Braun manufactures a higher-tier version, the KF7150, which has a couple extra touches, like multiple brew strengths and hot-plate adjustment.
Price at time of publish: $100
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
Technivorm Moccamaster KBGV Select 10-Cup Coffee Maker
Fast brewing (4-6 minutes)
Tastier coffee than most machines
Easy to fill water reservoir
Not the biggest capacity
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 one hour and 40 minutes, the hot plate will turn off, so you won’t come home to a burned carafe.
Price at time of publish: $349
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 Program Manager at BaristaValet
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 four to six 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.
Price at time of publish: $200
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
Wilfa Performance Coffee Maker
Simple and intuitive design
Removeable water tank and filter basket
Labels how much coffee to add
In designing the Performance Coffee Maker, Norwegian-brand Wilfa pared away many of the features we associate with drip coffee makers and, instead, primarily focused on the quality of the coffee. The machine is not programmable and there's no automatic strength control, but it's easy to use and makes excellent coffee. Its standout component is an adjustable flow controller, located beneath the filter basket, that users turn by hand so that the coffee brews at the optimal flow rate for the size of the batch. It ensures strong yet balanced flavor whether you want a couple servings or a full 8-cup pot.
We received the Wilfa Performance Coffee Maker for testing purposes from its U.S. and Canada retailer, Lardera Coffee Roasters. One of our writers has used it consistently for more than six months and noted that the removable water reservoir and filter basket are extremely convenient and easy to fill. The water reservoir is also labeled with the recommended amount of coffee to add depending on the number of cups you're making, which eliminates a lot of frustrating guesswork.
The Wilfa Performance Coffee Maker is more expensive than most drip coffee makers, but the price isn't outrageous. Your buying decision might come down to what features you can or can't live without. If you don't mind a simple, minimalist machine, you can trust this coffee maker to deliver a delicious cup of joe.
Price at time of publish: $249
Capacity: 42 ounces | Dimensions: 13.5 x 6.5 x 13.5 Inches | Warranty: 2 years | Wattage: 1,800 | Voltage: 120
"I've used the Wilfa Performance Coffee Maker multiple times a week for the past six months and it shows no signs of slowing down. Both brewing and cleaning are quick and stress-free. It's also better at making smaller servings than most drip coffee makers."
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.
Price at time of publish: $148
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.
How We Tested
Our team of product testers spent weeks evaluating these drip coffee makers in their homes and in our Lab. They rated each one on its brew quality, ease of cleaning, durability, design, heat-up time, and more. They also provided in-depth descriptions of what they liked and disliked about each coffee maker and added whether they would recommend it or not.
Other Options We Tested
- Krups Grind and Brew KM785D50: The main reason we can't recommend the Krups Grind and Brew is that our testing team was unable to achieve a strong pot of coffee with it. The result was thin, weak coffee, especially in comparison to other models that were tested. It also took the machine a long time, just under 10 minutes, to brew a full pot. One bright side is that cleaning is extremely easy. However, we concluded that there are better coffee makers available for the price, some with a grinder too.
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 to hard water is that it's 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 it 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. The National Coffee Association offers even more storage tips.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
This piece was written 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. He has used the Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker in the past and recommends it. Derek has written for The Spruce Eats since 2019.
Peter Giuliano, who was interviewed for this piece, is the Chief Research Officer at the Specialty Coffee Association and Executive Director of the Coffee Science Foundation.
Allie Caran, the Product Manager at BaristaValet, was also interviewed for this piece. She previously worked as the Director of Education at Partners Coffee. Allie has been in the coffee industry for more than 15 years.
Specialty Coffee Association. SCA Certified Home Brewer Program.
Specialty Coffee Association. Coffee standards.
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Azoulay A, Garzon P, Eisenberg MJ. Comparison of the mineral content of tap water and bottled waters. J Gen Intern Med. 2001;16(3):168-175. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2001.04189.x
National Coffee Association. How to store coffee.