Coffee is a morning tradition for millions of Americans. Some folks can go through a pot of it in a day. Some people just can’t (or won’t) get started in the morning without a cup. If you’re one of those people, having the best coffee maker is a major priority.
There’s a lot of different coffee makers on the market, so making the right decision can be difficult. We’ve put together this guide to help you find your new kitchen-counter companion.
Things to Keep in Mind
The most important feature for the best coffee maker is the amount of coffee it brews at a time. If you only drink one mug’s worth in a day, then you’ve got no need for a 12-cup pot. Likewise, a smaller best coffee maker would be nothing but a frustration for someone who finds themselves needing to brew multiple pots in a row. If you have multiple coffee drinkers in your household, or you drink coffee differently on weekends than on work days, you need to take that into account to.
After that, reliability is another major feature. Many people make their coffee in the mornings before work, when they’re on a schedule. That’s no time to have an appliance break down and delay your routine! Check the customer reviews for any mention of mechanical defects, and check to see if there’s a warranty. The longer the warranty, the less likely you’ll ever need to use it.
Simplicity is also a benefit here. The best coffee maker should boast a range of additional features and options, but keep in mind: you’ll be operating this machine BEFORE you’ve had your morning coffee.
Best Coffee Maker Top 6 Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated Coffee Makers
Ever since the Keurig single-cup brewers came onto the scene, there’s been a lot of debate over whether or not the convenience of single-serve brewing is worth the increased cost per pound of the coffee. This Hamilton Beach model neatly cuts through that debate by letting the user choose between single-serve brewing or a full carafe, and that’s why it earns our #1 slot.
Unlike most single-serve brewers on the market, the 49980A doesn’t require special coffee pods to brew a single cup. You use your own ground coffee of whatever brand you prefer. Better yet, you have the choice to either brew a single cup as you head out the door or make a 12-cup carafe for the family’s Sunday brunch.
The 49980A also comes with a strength setting, so you can choose between a regular or bolder brew, and has an auto-shutoff feature so the first one out the door in the morning can leave it on without worry.
For those of us who just aren’t really awake until we’ve had our first cup, simplicity of use is everything. And everything about this model is designed to be user-friendly.
The coffee maker itself is very compact, to leave you as much extra real estate on your counter top as it can. The carafe, brew basket, and water reservoir are all designed to make access as easy as possible, so you don’t waste time in the morning. The reservoir is even removable, so you can simply fill it under the faucet and snap it in. Even the base is wheeled, allowing you to slide it in and out and be ready to brew on a moment’s notice.
The 46201 isn’t without its frills, however. The programmable clock lets you set it to be ready as soon as you get up. The 2-hour auto-shutoff also means it can turn itself on for the early riser of the house, keep the coffee warm throughout everybody’s morning routine, and turn itself off once everybody’s left the house.
The 46201 doesn’t have the versatility of the 49980A, but it is much less expensive, so it earns a close #2.
If you don’t have the stomach for 12 cups of coffee, then the DRX5 earns the top of the list in 4-cup coffee makers, and #3 overall. The 4-cup glass carafe is easy to clean, and because the unit is small, you can simply pick up the coffee maker itself and fill the water reservoir under the faucet in most kitchen sinks.
The clock and timer on the DRX5 is easy to set, and comes with a “delay brew” feature, allowing you to set the timer for a work day schedule and then easily adjust the time for a relaxed weekend pace without having to remember to set it back for Monday morning.
It also features a lift out filter basket for easy cleaning, and a “brew pause” feature, which is simply a spring-loaded valve that lets you pour yourself a cup without waiting for the drip to stop. These kinds of additional features help improve the coffee making experience without making it more complicated.
We rated this one #3 overall mainly because the larger carafe sizes tend to be more popular. If you want a smaller best coffee maker, this is the one for you.
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