The only thing worse than starting your day without a warm cup of coffee? Starting it with a bitter mouthful of burnt-tasting java. Ugh.
Some coffee makers seem to be a safe ticket to over-extraction land, but some others are guaranteed to provide you with a barista-worthy black coffee. So how do you avoid buying the first type?
Don’t worry: to make things easier for you (and as a cheeky excuse to drink lots of coffee), we’ve tested many different brands and models to narrow your choice down to the 6 very best drip coffee makers on the market.
OUR TOP PICK
Technivorm Moccamaster (10-Cup Drip Machine With Thermal Carafe)
Handmade in the Netherlands, this company’s iconic coffee makers are the teacher’s pets of the Specialty Coffee Association!
This model, in particular, will provide you with the best coffee you’ve ever tasted thanks to its precise copper boiling element, while its high-quality stainless steel carafe will keep it piping hot without compromising the flavor.
- Five Things to Consider Before Choosing a Coffee Maker
- Carafe: glass or thermal?
- Serving size
- Extra features
- Unit size
- Best Drip Coffee Makers 2020 – Top 6 Reviews
- 1. Technivorm Moccamaster 10-Cup Drip Machine With Thermal Carafe – Best of the Best
- Bottom Line
- 2. OXO Brew 9-Cup Coffee Maker – Also Great
- Bottom Line
- 3. Bonavita BV1900TS – The most straightforward
- Bottom Line
- 4. Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker – Best Budget Pick
- Bottom Line
- 5. Cuisinart DGB-800 – Best 12 cup dripper with grinder
- Bottom Line
- 6. Cuisinart DCC-3200 14-Cup – The most programmable
- Bottom Line
- FAQs About Automatic Drip Coffee Makers
- Are drip coffee makers better than K-Cups?
- Are expensive coffee makers worth it?
- Are drip brewers easy to clean?
Five Things to Consider Before Choosing a Coffee Maker
Whether they add sugar, milk, or enjoy it black, all true coffee lovers take their joe in the same way: seriously. If you’re like us, we recommend taking the time to consider a few things before buying your next home coffee maker, so that there won’t be any unwelcome surprises and you’ll be sure to meet all of your coffee needs.
If you’re after the best of the best, just look for the SCA-certification. Not many drip machines meet the strict requirements set by the coffee science experts and professional tasters of the Specialty Coffee Association, so this prestigious award is a warranty in itself!
Carafe: glass or thermal?
This seemingly aesthetic-based choice can influence the final flavor of your coffee. Because glass carafes rely on a hot plate to keep it warm, your java is essentially being stewed and can end up developing a burnt taste due to over-extraction.
Thermal carafes, on the other hand, keep it piping hot for longer thanks to their stainless steel walls, without compromising its flavor. They’re also much more durable! The only instance in which we’d recommend a glass carafe is if you usually pour your freshly-brewed coffee immediately, want to save some money, and value elegance and design above everything else.
Not only is it important to check the size of the carafe: think of how much coffee you usually enjoy.
If you only brew large pots for your entire household, then most coffee makers will do, but if you also want to be able to brew half a carafe, a travel cup, or a single-cup of coffee, then don’t forget to look for this specific feature, or else you’ll end up wasting lots of precious java.
Do you just want to press a button and hear the coffee gush into a carafe? Then no point spending more money for a coffee maker that’s packed full of features! Do you enjoy waking up to a brewed pot? Want to be able to tweak the hot water temperature? Select a pre-infusion mode? In that case, compare the extra features of different coffee makers before rushing into buying the first one you like the look of.
This might be the least of your concerns at the moment… until you buy the coolest automatic dripper only to realize that it doesn’t fit underneath the cupboards above your countertop. Ouch. If your kitchen is on the small side, check the size and, most importantly, the height of each product. To help everyone find their perfect coffee maker, we’ve included smaller compact models, too.
Best Drip Coffee Makers 2020 – Top 6 Reviews
From pre-infusion modes to built-in grinders, each of our picks has a unique feature or design element. Let’s start with an overview of all 6 drip brewers!
PRO TIP: If you’re a fan of strong espresso shots, frothy drinks, and smaller servings, you might want to check out the best espresso machines and single-serve coffee makers, too.
1. Technivorm Moccamaster 10-Cup Drip Machine With Thermal Carafe – Best of the Best
At the time of writing this article, only 28 drippers can flaunt the prestigious SCA certification. The fact that 12 of these are Technivorm Moccamaster models is a warranty in itself!
- Quiet, fast, and precise
- Handmade in the Netherlands
- Not programmable
- A bit of an investment
The reason behind the coffee industry’s hype for these coffee makers goes beyond their iconic, immediately-recognizable design: they do make some damn fine coffee and are incredibly precise.
This is due to their signature copper boiling element in the easy-to-reach water reservoir: it ensures that the hot water temperature stays between 196 and 205º F, which is the recommended range for a perfect extraction.
While it’s very quick, it optimizes its brewing time to allow for a proper bloom within the 4-6 minutes that it takes to fill up the 40 oz thermal carafe. Thanks to the manual-adjust brew basket, you can let your coffee steep for longer or remove the carafe whilst it’s still brewing to enjoy your first cup of coffee.
Handmade in the Netherlands and declared the best automatic drip coffee maker by America’s Test Kitchen, this bad boy comes with a handy 5-year warranty.
Discover more about The Best Jura Coffee Machines: the Ultimate Guide and Reviews.
The Technivorm Moccamaster is more than just a coffee maker: it’s a bold statement. A statement that makes the best drip coffee that you can dream of, of course.
2. OXO Brew 9-Cup Coffee Maker – Also Great
Are you after a simple and intuitive dripper that is programmable and will guarantee a top-notch cup of coffee? Say no more.
- Intuitive interface
- Slightly smaller carafe than most drippers
This sturdy but sleek OXO model also meets the rigid standards of the Specialty Coffee Association. Not only does it maintain the correct temperature: thanks to the rainmaker showerhead and the microprocessor-controlled brewing cycles, it mimics manual pour-over methods to ensure a uniform extraction and full flavors.
If you don’t want to prepare a whole pot of coffee, you can simply select the number of cups thanks to the user-friendly LED interface and single dial, which also allows you to wake up to the smell of coffee (#MorningGoals) by programming it up to 24h in advance.
Does it take you a while to function, in the morning? Not a problem: the double-walled stainless steel carafe will keep your perfectly-brewed coffee nice and hot for hours, and this dripper even comes with a freshness counter.
Like the sound of it? Find How to Choose the Best Drip Coffee Makers – and What to Look for Before You Buy!
Since it can wake up before you do and it’s so user-friendly, you and this Oxo brewer are guaranteed to get along.
The fact that you’re not after many extra features doesn’t mean that you should compromise on the quality of your coffee! The Bonavita BV1900TS is a simple dripper that achieves outstanding results.
- Pour over-style brew
- Dishwasher-safe parts
- Smaller carafe
- Not customizable or programmable
Another SCA-certified coffee maker, this Bonavita model is guaranteed to meet the strict Golden Cup standards for a perfect brew. Thanks to the optional pre-infusion mode, its enhanced showerhead, and the flat-bottomed basket, it was designed to achieve the very best extraction in a uniform, manual-style way.
While it’s also available with a glass carafe, we recommend the double-walled stainless steel option, which will keep your coffee at the correct temperature for longer.
With its auto-off feature and the one-touch brew operation, the Bonavita will be easy to operate even for the least tech-savvy coffee lovers.
The Bonavita is a straightforward machine without bells and whistles that does exactly what it was built for: brew a perfect pot of coffee with the touch of a button! Simple as that.
4. Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker – Best Budget Pick
A lot of cheap drippers can be dodgy, but you can still enjoy a nice cup of black coffee on a budget… if you know where to look! Are you looking at Mr. Coffee? Then you’re safe.
- Budget-friendly but excellent value for money
- Programmable and customizable
- Small on the countertop
- The glass carafe might compromise the flavor if left for too long
This Mr. Coffee model will take up minimal space on your countertop, but it will still stand out thanks to its curious design that combines the classic vintage look of diner-style drippers and modern elements such as its brushed chrome accents.
Given its low price tag, we were surprised to discover so many practical features: from the strength selection to the 24h programmable options to the 2-hour shut off feature, this small brewer offers perks that not even some more expensive models can boast. It even includes the handy grab-a-cup auto-pause option, that stops the cycle to allow you a cup of coffee before the whole jug is brewed! Nice one, Mr. Coffee.
If you don’t want your new dripper to be an investment but you are not planning on giving up on programmable and customizable features (why should you?), look no further.
5. Cuisinart DGB-800 – Best 12 cup dripper with grinder
Nothing can replace the taste and aroma of freshly-ground coffee! If you don’t own a grinder and are not planning on investing in one, we have a solution for you: how about a coffee maker with a built-in grinder?
- Built-in grinder, but can also brew pre-ground beans
- Programmable and customizable
- Includes a permanent filter
- Not as precise as more professional grinders
This Cuisinart model allows you to go from bean to cup within minutes. The sealed lid on the half-pound hopper is another guarantee of the freshness of your brew, and the burrs will provide a much more uniform result than blade grinders.
This little dripper comes with lots of customizable options: want a regular, bold, or even an extra-bold brew, just like the best French press coffee? Less than 12 cups? A start in 24h? You’re in charge!
Whether you opt for its glass or thermal carafe, we’re sure you’ll appreciate its comfort-grip handle. As well as its gold-tone permanent coffee filter, we love the fact that it includes a charcoal water filter in its reservoir, perfect for removing impurities and ensuring an even cleaner extraction.
Considering that it combines a burr grinder and a dripper, the Cuisinart DGB-800 is a fantastic option to enjoy freshly-ground coffee on a budget!
6. Cuisinart DCC-3200 14-Cup – The most programmable
Do you love waking up to the smell of coffee and, perhaps, the sound of your full carafe being ready? We’ve found your new alarm & coffee maker combo!
- Programmable and with alarm when ready
- It will tell you when it’s time to descale it
- Water filter and a permanent coffee filter, but can use paper if you prefer
- No pre-infusion mode
This beautifully-designed Cuisinart dripper is available with a 12 or a 14-cup jug, perfect to meet even the greediest coffee drinkers’ needs.
It features a smaller 1-4 cup setting, a handy brew-through lid, and the practical brew pause option. Thanks to the large showerhead, it guarantees an even extraction and, if you enjoy stronger brews, you can select the bold option.
The feature that stands out the most, though, is its programmability: not only can you set it to brew a carafe up to 24h in advance, but you can also choose to have the alarm sound on.
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We recommend this coffee maker to anyone who needs a very large pot of coffee before they are expected to function properly in the morning.
FAQs About Automatic Drip Coffee Makers
If you still have concerns or questions, here are some of the common ones we get.
Are drip coffee makers better than K-Cups?
Yes, drip coffee makers are much better than machines that rely on K-Cups.
This is because K-Cups and coffee capsules in general contain stale coffee, end up being more expensive in the long run, and, being made of unrecyclable plastic, have a terrible toll on the environment. Drip coffee makers, on the contrary, rely on fresh grounds and guarantee a fuller extraction.
Are expensive coffee makers worth it?
Expensive coffee makers are only worth it if you truly appreciate the flavor of a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, and if you’re going to make the most of their extra features.
If you just want to drink coffee to stay awake and don’t care about the science behind extraction, then you’ll probably be just as happy with a more budget-friendly brewer.
However, if you’re a dedicated coffee aficionado and you’re after a barista-worthy brew, expensive high-quality coffee makers are worth it, and we’re sure you’ll be able to tell the difference.
Are drip brewers easy to clean?
Yep, drip coffee machines are incredibly easy to clean compared to other brewing methods. You just need to chuck the used grounds in the bin and rinse the removable components. Some coffee makers have dishwasher-safe parts, but make sure you double-check before adding them to your next load!
Once every few months, it’s important to descale them to help them last longer and ensure the best possible taste.