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Let’s face it: mornings can be a slog. At least, until we’ve spent some quality time with a cup of coffee. For a lot of us, coffee is the key ingredient that gets us excited to start a robust, productive day. And, excluding those who get their caffeine fix from a coffee shop, that means a good home coffee maker is crucial.
That said, there’s no one home coffee maker that’s perfect for everyone. Plenty of people are happy with a standard drip coffee machine. Other people only want Nespresso. And some need something a little fancier, like a pour-over setup to rival even the best specialty cafe.
Luckily, we’re living in a heyday of at-home coffee brewing. So we scoured the marketplace, chatted with a coffee pro, and asked our coffee-enthusiast friends for their favorite at-home brewers and the items they have sitting in their carts, waiting for a sale. The result? A list of 15 of the top-rated coffee makers, with an option for everyone, whether you want a plain mug of Folgers every morning or a barista-scale cappuccino.
Keep scrolling to shop them all, but first, read what Cary Wong, director of coffee at Partners Coffee, has to say about how to pick the best coffee maker for you.
How to Pick the Best Coffee Maker For You
Volume: Wong’s first suggestion is to ask yourself how many cups you (and/or your household) are drinking per day. “Deciding on the volume of the brewer can help narrow down your options,” Wong says. Single-serve makers can be better for a one-and-done coffee drinker, while a pot-style brewing system may be better for couples, families, or people who drink multiple cups at home per day. If you drink much more coffee at home on the weekends than you do during the week, getting a coffee machine that can do both single-serve and larger batches could come in handy.
Electric or analog: Do you mind manually (and mindfully) making your own French press or pour-over, or would you rather just push a button? Consider how much time and energy you want to put into making a cup of coffee, as that can influence you to buy a simple analog machine or go for something with less work involved. “One of my favorite perks of using analog brewing equipment is that they are easier to clean,” Wong says. “Often we forget to clean coffee makers, and that is one of the most common issues that can lead to coffee tasting off. Lastly, you don’t need electricity to brew. Definitely a lifesaver during power outages!”
Brew options: “Next is, do you need all the added options? Are you looking for something simple — just add water and brew — or would you like to have a little more control of your brewing, like setting timers to automatically brew at certain times or changing brew ratios?” Wong asks. One often overlooked feature is if the machine has PID temperature control, Wong says. It’s typically found in espresso machines, and it makes sure the water “gets hot enough to extract all those wonderful flavors from the coffee,” Wong explains. Some fancier machines also come with a built-in bean grinder; is that a feature you need, or do you already have a good grinder at home?
Budget: The fancy machines can be tempting with all their bells and whistles, but “when deciding on your budget, remember that many times we don’t need all the added features in coffee makers,” Wong says. Keep in mind that “usually lower-priced coffee makers lack some internals for better brewed coffee such as heating elements. I tend to find that they fail more often than slightly higher-priced coffee makers.” If you’re going the coffee pod route, it’s also worth asking how expensive the pods are compared to coffee grounds, and whether or not it’s easy for you to refill your stash.
Upkeep and impact: Other things to ask yourself, according to Wong: “How easy is the machine to maintain and clean? Do they sell cleaning products for the machine? Can they use any coffee cleaning products? Are filters easy to find and purchase?” Do you prefer pods or filters you can recycle, compost, or reuse, or are you OK with throwing them in the trash?
All this is to say, there’s a lot to think about when buying your next coffee maker. The good news? Any of the below are solid picks.
— Additional reporting by Lauren Mazzo