We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. The LA Times newsroom or editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more

Start Your Morning Right with the Best Coffee Maker

Coffee has played a very important role in human societies for hundreds of years. The earliest known evidence of people drinking coffee dates to the mid-1400s in the shrines of Yemen. From that point, coffee drinking spread out to India, to Italy, and then into Europe and the Americas.

These days, a coffee maker is as important an appliance in many kitchens as a refrigerator or oven. However, there are thousands of them on the market, so it can be a challenge to determine which one you should buy.

We narrowed down our picks after many hours of research and many cups of coffee with the best coffee makers in 2021. Each of these coffee makers represent high-quality devices that can be counted on to produce great coffee reliably.

The Best Coffee Maker Models of 2021 in Detail

Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker - Best Coffee Maker Overall

$300? Are you joking? Hear us out - there's a good reason why the Technivorm Moccamaster is considered the gold standard of coffee makers, even factoring in the price. Instead of buttons and gadgets, the primary focus of Technivorm's timeless Moccamaster is to brew the best possible pot of coffee.

Let's start with what the Moccamaster does not come with: in stark contrast to many consumer-grade coffee makers, the Moccamaster lacks multiple brewing modes, programmable settings, or even a timer to automatically start brewing (though it does come with a 100-minute automatic shut-off for safety purposes). There are two physical controls on the base plate - one switches the device on and off, while the other adjusts the hot plate temperature between 175°F and 185°F.

The copper heating element alone is worth the cost of entry. Beyond heating water quickly and efficiently, it allows the Moccamaster to brew coffee at the ideal temperature range between 195°F to 205°F. Unlike the aluminum heating element found in cheaper coffee makers, the copper element is notably more resistant to corrosion that will eventually render lesser models inoperable over time. The outlet arm stretches over the entire filter basket and is designed to evenly drip water over the grinds, and the basket itself features a shut-off device to prevent drips if you want to pour a cup during the brewing process.

Nearly every single component of the Moccamaster can be removed and replaced, giving it a real-world edge in terms of longevity and service life. The Moccamaster remains hand-built in the Netherlands, and Technivorm backs up its product with a 5-year warranty. It's a lot of money for a coffee maker, but between the unparalleled build quality, longevity by design, and its ability to consistently brew amazing coffee, it's easily the last coffee maker you'll ever need to buy.

Hamilton Beach Easy Fill Coffee Maker - Runner Up

Many of the budget-friendly coffee makers on the market follow a simple formula; as a result, there's little to distinguish between individual models. Hamilton Beach bucks the trend with the 46310 model, and it's our favorite coffee maker for less than $50.

For starters, the swing-out filter basket frees up space on the top of the machine for a water filler flap. While this may not seem like a big deal at first glance, the added convenience of being able to add water without having to scoot the whole coffee maker out from under a cabinet is an invaluable convenience for anyone who simply wants to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. The basket element is removable and is designed to accept either standard disposable paper filters or a reusable mesh one, and there's a spring-loaded shut-off that prevents drips if you remove the carafe while the brewing cycle is active.

There are multiple brewing modes to fit personal preferences, and the timer allows automatic brewing if you like your coffee to be ready when you wake up in the morning. The heating plate will automatically shut off after 2 hours, and the screen itself will display a reminder to clean/descale the machine after every 30 brewing cycles.

One of the only notable drawbacks is the number of sharp surfaces inside the carafe itself, which can be troublesome when trying to clean it after use (we found out the hard way). Otherwise, the Hamilton Beach 46310 punches above its weight, and we find that it's well worth the sub-$50 price tag.

Coletti French Press Coffee Pot - Easy To Use

You don't have to settle with mediocre instant coffee if you're planning a camping trip anytime soon. This coffee pot has a fashionable appearance and is the ideal size for camping or picnics. It features a contemporary design with a heat-tempered glass knob and a hardwood grip. Because there are no cables, no sophisticated techniques are required. Simply place it on top of a burner and it will make delicious coffee. If you're a coffee-loving traveler, this may be your ideal cofee maker. You can easily prepare coffee on any mountain top, in the woods, or in the kitchen. This french press style coffee maker performs strongly over a long length of time because it is portable and robust to various weather conditions.

Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffee Maker - Honorable Mention

Sometimes, the simplest way of brewing a cup of coffee is still the best way. Though the Chemex coffee maker looks like it could have been released yesterday, the design actually dates back to 1941 and is rooted in WWII-era material shortages. This instantly recognizable design combines a glass flask with a two-piece wooden collar, the latter of which is held together by a simple tie.

The secret of the Chemex coffee maker lies in its filter - unlike many disposable coffee filters, the Chemex paper filters trap more solid particles and oils in order to turn out a pure cup of coffee. There are no other tricks or gimmicks to be found here; all it takes to extract a good pot of coffee is a single filter, properly-ground coffee, and hot water (preferably around 200°F) carefully poured over the grinds. While the Chemex will work with regular disposable filters in a pinch, not using the Chemex-specific filters defeats the purpose.

There's a good reason why this classic design has remained unchanged for the 8 decades it's been in production - it excels when it comes to brewing coffee and does so without fuss or a learning curve.

Proctor Silex Coffee Maker - Consider

For a lot of coffee in an inexpensive unit, the Proctor Silex 12-Cup Coffee Maker is hard to beat. You can use paper or permanent coffee filters with the Proctor Silex 12-Cup, and it will give you a full pot of brewed coffee in less than 10 minutes. If you can't wait, you can pause and serve a single cup during the brewing process. This pick has two water windows so you'll know exactly how much coffee you are going to brew, a simple on and off switch, and an auto-stop feature once the coffee is done. There is even a brew strength selector so you can have your pot of coffee as mild or robust as you'd like it. Overall, the Proctor Silex 12-Cup Coffee Maker will offer you one of the best deals out there if you like brewing large amounts of java.

Altura Premium Aeropress Coffee Maker Filter - Best Coffee Maker Filter

This coffee maker filter is designed for Aeropress coffee makers suited to extracting coffee from fine blends that require minimal steep time – think espresso and Turkish blends. It comes with a 6’’ by 0.1’’ stainless steel ring that holds a metal wire mesh that’s built to withstand the pressing strain without buckling. Its design also allows natural flavors and oils that would have been filtered out if filter paper was used to pass through. And as it’s completely reusable and dishwasher-friendly, it will last for years to come and save you the stress and cost that come with having to constantly replace filter paper. It is designed to fit into most Aeropress coffee makers and is the perfect choice to take along when on a journey. And unlike paper filters, it completes the equation for brewing coffee mess-free for those who’ll be recycling their coffee grinds as there’s no paper being thrown away. And for each of this filter, you get a free coffee brewing ebook with tips that even beginners can understand.

Buyer's Guide

Best Coffee Makers Buyer's Guide

Waking up to the rich flavor of finely brewed coffee is a great way to start your morning. You become instantly active and ready to face the challenges of the day. How do you prepare that preferred taste without stressing about it? Getting a coffee maker is a simple answer to your question.

Coffee makers come in different designs and variations as there are many manufacturers in the coffee maker market. So, a great deal of expertise is needed to purchase one of the best types of coffee makers. This buying guide provides what you need to know and so much more.

What are the tips for using coffee makers?

The latest models of coffee makers that are available are very easy to operate. With the push of a button, you are ready to have your coffee served regular or bold. That said, some tips can be useful for those who are new to coffee makers.

Before your first use, you should wash the coffee maker and brew ordinary water to help flush out any residual chemicals that the coffee maker left the factory with.

Avoid using distilled water when brewing coffee, as it lacks the minerals found in regular water that accentuate the taste of the coffee. Likewise, don't use water that you wouldn't ordinarily drink. The ground beans are there to impart flavor into the water, so it doesn't make sense to use poor-quality water to begin with. You should also change the filters frequently if you are using replaceable filters.

It is also important that you get the finest beans to make your coffee. The quality of your coffee is determined by the quality of the beans and water that go into it, so you'll definitely want to go for the best.

With the right techniques and proper maintenance, you'll be able to enjoy using your coffee maker for years to come.

What are things to consider before buying coffee makers?

There is a wide range of coffee makers available today. There are different categories of coffee makers with varying volumes, so there are some factors you need to consider before buying the coffee maker that you desire. The major points to consider include the coffee maker type and its design.

Types of Coffee Makers?

Based on its size and usage, there are two major types of coffee makers. You have portable ones suitable for personal or family use, and you have the bigger designs that are best for commercial or office use. Your selection should be based on the purpose that you need the coffee maker to serve.

Design and Maintenance

This is another point that you need to consider before making your purchase. Some coffee makers have advanced designs that make maintenance a little bit complicated, while some have simple designs that can be easily maintained. The different types of designs also determine the suitable use of the coffee makers to an extent. You will find that your selection after considering these two points will serve you just nicely.

What is the price range of coffee makers?

If you are in the market for a simple and cheap coffee maker, you will find these types ranging between $16 and $35. These types are very portable models that are excellent for personal use. Some more advanced designs of coffee makers have prices ranging from $50 to $150. These can be used at home and in offices. The larger coffee makers with multiple functions cost around $300 or more; you'll also find niche coffee makers in this price range that are designed to meet the standards of the most discerning coffee enthusiasts. Then you have devices like espresso makers, but we cover those in a separate review.

How did we choose our selection of coffee makers?

Selecting the best coffee makers was a task that required careful consideration on our part. This is because there were a lot of brands, designs, and models out there. So, we had to factor in some of these to select the best. The selection was based on the following:

Brand

Some coffee maker brands are household names, and you've probably encountered them on a regular basis. They have gained a reputation due to their remarkable design and models. Selection based on the brand was an excellent way to start. You're practically guaranteed to have the best coffee maker.

Review

It is essential to pay attention to customers’ reviews. They are insightful, and they help to know and understand some of the features of the coffee makers. Reviews give honest descriptions of the coffee makers and the users’ experience.

Prices

When comparing the features of various designs and brands, it was important to compare the prices too. It is good to have an excellent coffee maker, but the price should be appropriate for the design and features.

What are some features to look out for in coffee makers?

To get the most out of your coffee maker, there are some key features that you should look out for. These features include the following:

Programmable

This is one common feature found in almost all kinds of modern coffee makers. This feature allows you to set a time at which the coffee maker starts brewing. Some coffee makers have their program limit set at 24 hours, while some allow programming up to 48 hours in advance. We wouldn't recommend the latter - the grounds won't stay fresh that long, so your brewed coffee will already be a day old by the time you can drink it.

Brew strength

Some coffee makers can give you the option to change the flavor profile of your coffee. Do you prefer regular coffee to kickstart your day? Or maybe your preference lies with bolder-tasting coffee? You can select the brew strength to toggle between these two options.

Filter

Coffee makers rely on filters to keep the coffee grounds out of the coffee. The filter types vary based on the type of coffee maker, but the most common ones are disposable paper filters and reusable mesh filters. The quality of the filter is something to look out for as well - ones that perform inadequately will allow the ground beans to slip by and end up in your coffee, giving it a gritty texture. Who wants that?

Temperature control

This feature allows the coffee makers to maintain a specific temperature after making your coffee. Some coffee makers have thermally-insulated pots, while others rely on a heating pad under a glass carafe to keep the coffee hot. This is excellent, especially when you are not ready to have the coffee right away. Perhaps you’ve had a cup and would like to have another later - the coffee maker will keep your brewed coffee hot in the meantime.

What are some final thoughts about coffee makers?

Coffee makers are excellent for convenience, and they are easy to use. Most of the models have a one-button feature that automatically brews coffee without requiring supervision. You can maintain them easily and efficiently as most of them have a user guide or user manual that will take you through the process of maintenance. It is important that you follow these guides, as you'll extend the service life of the coffee maker by doing so.

Coffee Maker FAQs

Q: Do all models of coffee makers have built-in bean grinders?

A: Not at all. Some coffee makers, especially the advanced models, have built-in grinders, but most do not.

Q: Can I use other cups other than the carafe?

A: We recommend using only the carafe that the coffee maker comes with. It's designed to fit perfectly with the machine's various interfaces such as the brewing spigot and heating pad. A different carafe may leak during the brewing process, creating a mess and a potential electrical hazard. It's just not worth the hassle.

Q: Why do certain seemingly basic coffee makers cost so much?

A: Ah, like the Technivorm that we placed in first place? This ultimately comes down to overall quality. You'll notice that most coffee makers priced under $100 come with loads of features with programmable this and adjustable that, and all of these add-ons begin to disappear as you start exploring coffee makers in the $200-and-up range. These are typically hand-built (or extensively quality-checked) machines that are designed to brew optimal coffee for those who have the luxury of time, curated water, and the highest-quality coffee beans ground to perfection.

bestcovery team.jpg
Our research team searches out the best of everything so that you can confidently pick the perfect products and services for your needs.
Related Content
Go to top