How To Choose the Perfect Drip Coffee Maker

20 min read DEC 07, 2023

Discovering the ideal drip coffee maker can pose quite a challenge. With countless options available, determining the "best" one can vary from person to person. That's why it has taken the initiative to meticulously test numerous drip coffee makers and compile this article to simplify your life.

In the following sections, they will guide you on distinguishing between a superior brewer and a subpar one. Additionally, they will educate you on the indispensable features to consider and share the top coffee maker picks for this year. Armed with this invaluable information, you are ready to embark on your journey of brewing exceptional coffee.

The 11 Best Drip Coffee Makers (2023 Picks)

With all these points in mind, here are the best drip coffee makers for different needs.

1. Technivorm Moccamaster KBGV Select

  • Dimensions: 14 inches by 12.75 inches by 6.5 inches
  • Filter Style: Cone
  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Capacity: 10 cups

The Moccamaster, an exquisite drip brewer beloved by coffee enthusiasts of the Third Wave movement worldwide, proudly bears the prestigious certification from the Specialty Coffee Association. This recognition acknowledges its unmatched expertise in handcrafting the perfect cup of coffee, delivering an unparalleled experience to coffee connoisseurs.

What's a perfect cup, you ask?

The Moccamaster KBGV Select is an exquisite Technivorm coffee maker offering unmatched brewing precision. Handcrafted in the Netherlands with utmost attention to detail, it comes with an impressive 5-year warranty from Technivorm, a testament to its exceptional craftsmanship.

This brewer excels at extracting the full potential of your ground coffee by optimizing brewing technique temperature, and time. Its nine-hole showerhead outlet arm, conical filter basket, and pulsed brewing style ensure even saturation of the grounds, resulting in a luscious and flavorsome brew.

For achieving the perfect brewing temperature, the copper heating element sustains a range between 195 – 205 °F, as recommended by coffee specialists. Additionally, to cater to your taste preferences, the hot plate temperature can be effortlessly adjusted between 175°F – 185°F.

The Moccamaster KBGV Select delivers exceptional performance and offers versatility in style. You can find the perfect match for your kitchen decor with a wide selection of 22 colors, from the timeless matte black to the retro pistachio green and vibrant candy apple red.

Cleaning is a breeze with its user-friendly design that allows for easy disassembly. Indulge in the ultimate coffee brewing experience with the Moccamaster KBGV Select, where craftsmanship seamlessly merges with functionality.

2. Breville Precision Brewer

  • Dimensions: 14 inches x 9 inches x 16 inches
  • Filter Style: Basket and Cone
  • Material: Brushed stainless steel
  • Carafe: Thermal
  • Capacity: 12 cups

Bille's Precision Brewer has experienced a rapid surge in popularity, establishing itself as one of the leading drip coffee makers. It presents a formidable competitor to the pricier Moccamaster. If you seek a coffee maker with more customizable features, you might find the Breville preferable to the Technivorm.

Like the Moccamaster, the Precision Brewer boasts SCAA certification for its exceptional ability to brew coffee to the highest standards. It employs a PID system to ensure precise temperature control within the optimal brewing range of 197 to 204 ℉.

This remarkable machine offers 6 preset brewing modes, adding the meticulously calibrated Gold Cup mode that aligns with SCAA parameters. Alternatively, you can personalize your brewing experience by adjusting the bloom time, brew temperature, and flow rate to perfectly complement the unique qualities of your favorite coffee beans.

This model is compatible with conical and flat filter baskets, and it even includes one of each. Recent research suggests that flat and cone-shaped baskets can accentuate different flavor profiles in coffee. Hence, having the option to choose between the two is a valuable added benefit.

3. Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker

  • Dimensions: 12.3 inches by 11.76 inches by 13.8 inches.
  • Filter style: Basket.
  • Material: Plastic.
  • Carafe: Glass.
  • Capacity: 12 cups.

For those seeking a hassle-free and affordable way to enjoy a simple yet delightful cup of coffee, look no further than the basic Mr. Coffee 12-cup coffee maker. This exceptional choice has earned the esteemed title of Amazon's Choice and holds the position of the favorite coffee maker this year.

One of the standout features emphasized by Mr. Coffee is the machine's unparalleled ease of use, and they couldn't be more accurate. From the initial setup to adding coffee and water, brewing your perfect cup is as straightforward as possible. After brewing, the hot plate keeps the glass carafe warm for up to two hours, ensuring your coffee stays at the ideal temperature.

While this drip coffee maker lacks programmability for adjusting brew temperature or setting a timer, this deliberate design choice sets it apart. Its simplicity is truly its greatest selling point. However, it does offer the convenient grab-a-cup auto-pause feature, allowing you to sneak a sip of that first dose of caffeine even before the brew cycle is complete.

4. Cuisinart DCC-3200

Product Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 7.75 inches x 9 inches x 14 inches
  • Filter Style: Cone
  • Materials: Stainless steel and plastic
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Capacity: 12 and 14 cups

The Cuisinart DCC 3200, available in 12 and 14-cup versions, offers a wide range of desirable features at an affordable price. It is one of the few coffee makers in its price range that can brew a full carafe. Notably, it includes a convenient hot-plate temperature control feature, which customers love because it prevents their coffee (and tongues) from getting scalded.

It truly shines in its 24-hour programmability, allowing you to effortlessly set your desired brewing time every day. Other notable features include the self-cleaning function, a 1-4 cup setting, and auto-shutoff. It's important to mention that some users have reported coffee grounds finding their way into the brew when brewing more than 10 cups, limiting the capacity to 10.

Suppose you're looking for a reliable drip coffee maker that can easily brew large batches of coffee using hot water at an optimal temperature. In that case, the Cuisinart DCC 3200 is the perfect choice.

5. Black + Decker 5-Cup Coffee Maker

  • Dimensions: 7.25 inches by 8.2 inches by 10.75 inches.
  • Filter style: Basket.
  • Material: Plastic.
  • Carafe: Glass.
  • Capacity: 5 cups.

There are several compelling reasons to opt for a compact coffee maker. Perhaps you're a coffee enthusiast who prefers a single serving rather than brewing a whole pot of 12 cups at once. Alternatively, you might have limited countertop space or need a brewer for your dorm room, RV, or office. Regardless of your motive, this petite yet remarkable Black + Decker coffee maker is an excellent choice that doesn't compromise quality.

In addition to its space-saving design, this drip coffee maker boasts some standout features. Firstly, it offers the convenience of an automatic brew pause, a feature often overlooked in smaller brewers. It allows you to grab a quick cup of coffee even while it's still brewing. Secondly, it features an illuminated power switch, a small yet significant addition that clearly indicates whether it's hot or not.

One particularly appreciated aspect of this coffee maker is using a metal basket filter, eliminating the need for disposable paper inserts. By minimizing paper waste, they demonstrate environmental consciousness and save money. It's a win-win situation. And don't worry; the filter basket is easy to remove and clean after brewing. However, if you require a larger brewer, there are other options available.

6. Cuisinart DGB-800BC

Product Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 13.1 inches x 10 inches x 18.1 inches
  • Filter Style: Basket
  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Carafe: Thermal
  • Capacity: 12 cups

Experience the splendor of this remarkable programmable brewer, boasting many features that are certain to ignite your enthusiasm. Among its many attributes, its ability to automatically grind your coffee beans just before brewing stands out, ensuring unparalleled freshness.

However, it is important to note that this particular Cuisinart model is a double-edged sword. To access the grinder mechanism, it is imperative to diligently follow the accompanying directions. Additionally, regular cleaning is essential to maintain its pristine condition and preserve the delightful flavor (although many users attest to its ease of cleaning).

Suppose you seek to save money and counter space without compromising quality. In that case, the grind-and-brew option is an impeccable choice, seamlessly combining the functionalities of two machines into one.

7. Nostalgia RCOF12AQ Retro

  • Dimensions: 7.75 inches x 10.25 inches x 14.25 inches
  • Filter Style: Basket
  • Material: Plastic
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Capacity: 12 cups

If you're aiming for a retro ambiance in your home, you'll love the charming style of this coffee maker. They're talking about Nostalgia, so you know it exudes that cool factor. From the delightful baby blue color to the vintage scrawled font, it perfectly captures the essence of the mid-20th century.

But don't let its retro appearance deceive you; this coffee maker is packed with modern-day convenience, just like the popular Smeg coffee maker. You can easily program it to brew on a timer, a lifesaver for those who struggle in the early, pre-caffeine hours of the day. It also offers the ever-popular brew pause option, allowing you to grab that first cup immediately without any mess.

After brewing, the hot plate automatically activates to warm your precious coffee in the carafe. It shuts off two hours later, providing a handy safety feature to prevent accidental burning.

And here's the icing on the cake: if you're a fan of vintage style, you'll be delighted to know that this coffee maker is part of a set. You can maintain the retro theme in your kitchen with Nostalgia's matching toaster and microwave, both available in that hip baby blue shade.

8. Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker

  • Dimensions: 12 inches by 8.8 inches by 15 inches.
  • Filter Style: Cone.
  • Materials: Stainless steel.
  • Carafe: Thermal.
  • Capacity: 10 cups.

The Ninja brewer is a versatile coffee maker offering many options. It allows you to choose between a quick cup or a full pot of coffee. Moreover, you can adjust the water amount for a stronger or milder brew. And if you're in the mood for something different, why not treat yourself to a latte or a refreshing vanilla iced mocha?

If coffee makers could speak, this user-friendly brewer would proudly declare, "Your wish is my command." However, it's important to note that this is not your typical hot-and-cold coffee maker. While it excels in almost every aspect of coffee making, it doesn't brew espresso or cold-brew coffee. When it comes to versatility, the Ninja Specialty takes the crown. You can create a whole new and exciting coffee experience with just a few simple touches.

But remember, as much as it can create delicious iced coffee; it cannot make cold brew coffee – there's a significant distinction between the two. For that, you'll still require a separate cold brew maker.

9. OXO BREW 9-Cup Coffeemaker

  • Dimensions: 8.3 inches by 15 inches by 17.2 inches
  • Filter Style: Cone
  • Materials: Stainless steel and plastic
  • Carafe: Thermal
  • Capacity: 9 cups

The OXO Brew drip coffee maker effortlessly recreates the meticulous process of manual pour-over coffee, resulting in a clean, flavorful, and rich carafe of coffee. It is user-friendly and produces coffee of exceptional quality, earning the esteemed SCAA approval – a legitimate rating that speaks for itself.

Imagine having your pour-over barista at your disposal, ready to brew you a Chemex coffee whenever you desire. And the best part? No exorbitant $8 price tag per cup or judgment for not conforming to a specific style. With its sleek minimalist design and the ability to deliver premium coffee at the touch of a button, this coffee maker truly offers the best of both worlds.

In addition to its outstanding features, the OXO 9-cup drip coffee maker is also one of the top BPA-free brewers available, which is undoubtedly a significant advantage. They conducted an in-depth review of the Barista Brain 9-cup brewer, which you can read here. Additionally, the OXO 8-cup brewer is another excellent option worth considering.

10. Hamilton Beach 49980A

Dimensions: 10.6 inches in length, 12.2 inches in width, and 13.7 inches in height.
Filter Style: Basket.
Materials: Made of stainless steel and plastic.
Carafe: Crafted from glass.
Capacity: Can hold up to 12 cups of liquid.

The Hamilton Beach coffee maker presents two brewing options: a large carafe or a travel mug. It means you can brew a single serving or make a generous batch of coffee. The carafe side has a standard coffee filter for drip brewing, while the cup side allows for brewing with pods. However, it is important to note that it is incompatible with K-cups, unlike the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew model.

What sets this coffee maker apart is its remarkable features that have received high customer praise. The programmable function allows you to set your desired brewing time up to 24 hours in advance, ensuring you wake up to the delightful aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Furthermore, you have the freedom to choose the extraction level, allowing you to customize the taste of your brew according to your preference, whether you prefer a bold or regular flavor. All these settings can be easily adjusted using the convenient LED digital display.

The Hamilton Beach coffee maker is an outstanding programmable drip coffee maker that offers remarkable value for its price. It is highly regarded among coffee enthusiasts for its versatility and performance. While it may not have a thermal coffee pot, it still delivers impressive results as a drip coffee maker.

11. Bunn Classic Speed Brew BX

  • Size: 14.3 inches in length, 7.1 inches in width, and 13.8 inches in height.
  • Filter Type: Basket
  • Materials: Stainless steel and plastic
  • Carafe: Glass
  • Capacity: 10 cups

The Bunn Speed Brew stands out as one of the fastest coffee makers available, living up to its name. It effortlessly brews a full pot of coffee in less than 3 minutes. Simply add your desired amount of coffee and water, press a button, take a moment to browse your social media, and voila. Your coffee is ready to be savored.

Now, you might be wondering if the need for speed compromises the quality of the coffee. It does affect the flavor slightly, but not as much as you might anticipate. Bunn has established a solid reputation for crafting exceptional coffee makers, and they have certainly spared no effort with the Classic Speed Brew BX. What's more, these coffee makers are proudly manufactured right here in the USA.

The water is consistently maintained at the perfect temperature for brewing coffee. Its special spray head also meticulously saturates the coffee grounds, enhancing the taste. While it may not produce mind-blowing coffee, it unquestionably takes the prize for speed. If your mornings are a whirlwind of busyness, this Bunn drip coffee maker might save you those precious minutes to relish more coffee.

Tips For Choosing The Right Brewer

When searching for the ideal drip coffee maker for your home, remember these useful tips. They will significantly enhance your chances of making the right selection and guarantee you discover the perfect coffee maker to meet your needs.

Carafe Capacity

Regarding your morning coffee routine, do you prefer a single cup of drip coffee, or are multiple cups necessary? Consider your needs and your family's when calculating the amount of coffee to brew. Don't overlook the importance of choosing the right size carafe; having too little or too much coffee can be frustrating. Carafes typically come in 4, 10, or 14-cup sizes, with 12 cups being the most popular choice.

If you're unfamiliar with the term, the "carafe" refers to the pot or container which the coffee drips down into. Opting for a machine with a larger carafe is preferable, as you don't necessarily have to fill it up completely. If brew strength is not a concern, you might consider investing in a coffee urn. While some coffee drippers brew directly into a glass carafe, it's ideal to have yours brew into a thermal coffee pot for better heat retention.

Filter Basket Style

When you're in the market for a drip coffee maker, you'll face two filter baskets: the flat-bottom basket and the cone-shaped basket. The shape of the filter basket not only dictates the kind of paper filter to use but also impacts the flavor of your coffee. Recent research sponsored by the SCA has confirmed what coffee enthusiasts have long believed. It's not surprising when you consider that the shape of the filter affects how water flows through the coffee grounds, ultimately influencing the extraction process.

The flat-bottom baskets are renowned for enhancing these flavors if you prefer bright, fruity, floral, and sweet coffees like those from Ethiopia. On the other hand, if you lean towards darker, earthier coffees like those from Sumatra, a cone filter is the way to go. If you enjoy both flavor profiles, you might want to consider a brewer that includes both styles of filters, such as the Runner Up pick - the Breville Precision Brewer.

Programming Features

Certain drip coffee makers offer convenient programmable features compared to most coffee makers. These include scheduled on and off times, extended heat retention, etc. These functions can be quite appealing for those who relish waking up to the enticing aroma of freshly brewed coffee or prefer a hassle-free morning routine. They understand that not everyone is morning and simply wants their coffee ready. However, it's important to consider if this feature is necessary, as some coffee makers brew quickly and may not require it. Take a moment to assess your preferences and add them to your list of desired features.

Capability to pause during brewing (for a quick cuppa)

Some brewers offer a convenient pause feature, allowing you to pour a cup of coffee even before it has finished brewing. If you crave their coffee ASAP, this is a feature worth considering. They have explored a few models that provide this functionality.

Can't function without your morning coffee? Then this feature is a must-have for you. For those who rush out the door in the morning, it is easy to forget to turn off the coffee machine. That is where this handy feature comes into play.

Water Filters

If you lack a kitchen sink filter, the taste of your coffee may suffer due to water quality. However, certain coffee makers come with a built-in water filter that enriches the flavors of your steaming cups of joe. It's important to note that these filters require effort and expense for replacement, so it's entirely your call whether to opt for them. This additional feature becomes unnecessary if you already have a water filtration system.

Often Neglected (Yet Vital) Aspects That Deserve Attention

Now let's explore some jargon terms that might appear inconsequential but hold significant importance in making the correct selection. However, please remember that they will focus solely on drip machines, excluding manual coffee makers such as the French press and Keurig machines.

Thermal Carafe Vs. Hot Plate

The main factor to consider is prioritizing energy efficiency and enhanced flavor versus a more normal amount point. This trade-off plays a crucial role in decision-making.

  • Glass carafes are generally more affordable, but the hot plate can cause the coffee over-extraction, resulting in a bitter taste due to excessive oil release. Additionally, the warming plate requires continuous operation to maintain heat, which leads to increased energy consumption.


  • On the other hand, thermal (or steel) carafes maintain the coffee at the ideal brewing temperature of 195-205 degrees for 1-2 hours. Some argue that this method better preserves the coffee's flavor and contributes to energy conservation. However, thermal carafes tend to be pricier.


  • Considered the gold standard, a thermal carafe is a must-have for those seeking to brew exquisite drip coffee daily. To assist you in making an informed choice, here is a comprehensive list of the finest thermal carafe coffee makers available.

Do You Have A Coffee Grinder Already?

When a drip brewer opts for a medium-coarse grind is generally recommended. If you truly appreciate the taste of freshly ground coffee (and you absolutely should), you have two options: select a machine equipped with a built-in grinder (such as the ones listed here) or invest in a separate grinder. While coffee makers with built-in grinders may come with a higher price tag than those without, they can still save you money compared to purchasing a separate grinder. Additionally, having both functionalities in a single machine can help you save valuable counter space.

That being said, standalone coffee grinders generally offer a superior grinding experience and provide the flexibility to grind coffee beans for various brewing styles. Some coffee enthusiasts argue that a separate grinder is essential for achieving the best flavor and the ideal size of coffee grounds. If you are particularly concerned about obtaining the absolute best results or enjoy experimenting with different brewing methods, investing in a separate grinder is highly advisable.

The Verdict

The adage "you get what you pay for" holds true regarding coffee makers. If starting your day with an exceptional cup of coffee is a priority, investing in the best is worthwhile. After carefully considering feedback from coffee shops, consumers, and the SCAA, it becomes evident that the Technivorm Moccamaster reigns supreme as the top choice among drip coffee makers.

Yes, it may come with a higher price tag than other options, but its value is unparalleled. Crafted by hand in the Netherlands and certified by the SCAA, this coffee maker guarantees the ultimate coffee experience. With its thermal carafe, your coffee will stay hot and delicious, while the industry-leading 5-year warranty provides peace of mind. It truly is a coffee lover's dream.

Frequently asked questions

How often should I clean my coffee maker?

You should regularly clean your coffee maker to ensure optimal performance and taste. Generally, descaling should be done annually, while deep cleaning should be performed every three months. Be sure to also check the manufacturer's instructions for proper cleaning instructions.

What type of water should I use for my coffee maker?

It is best to use filtered or bottled water as this will yield the best-tasting coffee. Tap water can also work; however, it may contain minerals that can affect the taste and quality of your coffee.

Is a thermal carafe worth it?

Yes! A thermal carafe is essential to retain your coffee's temperature and flavor for up to four hours. Remember that the Technivorm Moccamaster has an impressive stainless steel thermal carafe that always ensures the perfect cup of coffee.

What is the SCAA certification?

The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to ensuring the quality of specialty coffee. The SCAA's certification program requires that all certified coffee makers meet strict requirements for temperature, brew time, and other factors. With this certification, the Technivorm Moccamaster guarantees you will be served consistently high-quality coffee every time.

What other features does the Technivorm Moccamaster have?

In addition to its SCAA certification, the Technivorm Moccamaster also comes with several other features, such as an auto-off timer and adjustable temperature settings. It also has a unique copper boiling element that ensures water is heated to a precise temperature to get the perfect cup every time. Plus, it comes with a five-year manufacturer's warranty, so you can trust that a reliable company backs your purchase.

What is the best way to store coffee beans?

Storing your coffee correctly can help preserve its freshness and flavor for longer periods. Air and light are two main factors to consider when storing your coffee. To maintain the quality of your beans, it's important to keep them in an airtight container and store them in a cool, dark place. Additionally, if you plan on storing your beans for an extended period, consider freezing them to ensure they remain fresh. Following these steps guarantees that your coffee will retain its flavor for as long as possible.

How can I prepare my coffee using the Technivorm Moccamaster?

Using the Technivorm Moccamaster to make your coffee is easy. To begin with, fill the carafe with cold filtered water up to the desired level. Next, add fresh-ground coffee into the filter basket until it reaches the top, and then place it within the filter holder. Now attach the carafe to the machine and turn it on; you should hear a faint click as the heater turns off when finished. Finally, wait 3–4 minutes for your coffee to brew and enjoy! With just a few simple steps, you'll easily make delicious cups of coffee.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Pour Over Coffee Machine.


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