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Best Coffee Makers

There’s nothing like the smell of freshly brewed coffee to get you out of bed in the morning. If you’re lucky enough to live next door to a coffee shop, that might be your daily experience. Unfortunately, we aren’t all so lucky. For those of us who aren’t, a coffee maker is a necessity.

The Top Coffee Makers

Having a coffee maker at home gives you access to freshly brewed coffee whenever you want it. It also gives you the freedom to customize your cup of coffee to your preferences. Whether you prefer a strong, dark brew or something a little lighter, you’re in control.

Not only does owning a coffee maker give you the opportunity to brew your coffee just the way you like it, but it could end up saving you a lot of money as well.

The average American spends over $1,000 per year on coffee. Imagine spending even a fraction of that to buy a coffee maker AND get the added convenience of enjoying fresh coffee at your own kitchen table. You don’t necessarily need to spend a small fortune on a coffee maker, but there are plenty of options out there if you’re looking to splurge a little bit.

Here are the best coffee makers on the market:

Cuisinart SS-20 Coffee Center

Award: Best Overall

Brew a single cup of coffee in three different sizes or make a full batch to share with this versatile coffee marker.

When you want a good cup of coffee, you’re not going to settle for something that tastes cheap or weak. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune on a fancy machine, but it’s worth considering an investment in a coffee maker that will last. The Cuisinart SS-20 Coffee Center is a great option because not only is it made well, but it offers the ability to brew a single cup as well as a 10-cup batch.

The Cuisinart SS-20 Coffee Center features a removable 40-ounce reservoir so you can brew an entire carafe of coffee or enjoy multiple single brews without having to refill the machine. This coffee maker features a stainless steel thermal carafe and a removable drip tray so you can brew directly into a cup or your favorite travel mug. You can even control the strength of your brew with the push of a button.

Not only does this fully-automatic coffee maker feature a 24-hour brew start timer, but it also has a self-clean function. Whether you’re craving a quick cup of fresh coffee or you need to brew a batch to share, the Cuisinart SS-20 Coffee Center is just what you need on your kitchen counter.

Pros:

  • Prepare a single cup or brew a whole carafe
  • Comes with a stainless-steel thermal carafe
  • Fully automatic with 24-hour brew start

Cons:

  • Takes up a significant amount of counter space
  • Single-serve side only brews up to 10 ounces
  • Can be tricky to pour the water into the reservoir

Specs:

  • Price: $184
  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Type: Single serve, automatic
  • Programmable: Yes

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Black & Decker Programmable Coffee Maker

Award: Best Budget

Simple to operate with soft-touch digital control, this affordable coffee maker brews up to 12 cups at once.

You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune to get a decent cup of coffee and nor do you have to sacrifice the ability to brew multiple cups at once. If you’re looking for an affordable coffee maker with customizable brew sizes, the Black & Decker Programmable Coffee Maker is exactly what you need. This 12-cup coffee maker is priced under $50 and is extremely popular.

The Black & Decker Programmable Coffee Maker comes in three color combinations: black, white, and black/stainless. It features a 12-cup reservoir and comes with a glass carafe and removable filter basket. This coffee maker also has a nonstick heating plate to keep your coffee warm after brewing.

Something that makes this Black & Decker Programmable Coffee Maker worth more than its affordable price tag is the inclusion of a “brew pause” function which enables you to pause the brew so you can pour a cup to enjoy. It also has soft-touch digital controls and a programmable clock and timer. Simply put, if you want a good cup of coffee at a good price, consider this Black & Decker model.

Pros:

  • Brew up to 12 cups at a time in the glass carafe
  • Pause the brew cycle to pour a cup at any time
  • Comes with removable filter for easy cleaning

Cons:

  • Can be tricky to read the water level on the side
  • Lid on the glass carafe isn’t removable, can be tricky to clean

Specs:

  • Price: $35
  • Capacity: 12 cups
  • Type: Drip
  • Programmable: Yes

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Krups Grind and Brew

Award: Best Programmable

Grind and brew a fresh cup of coffee on demand with this customizable, programmable coffee maker with a 10-cup capacity.

Having a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the morning is great. What’s even better, however, is not having to grind and brew the coffee yourself. With the Krups Grind and Brew, you can program your coffee maker to automatically grind and brew your morning cup so it’s ready by the time you wake up.

The Krups Grind and Brew features a built-in conical burr grinder that grinds the beans right before brewing, ensuring a rich aroma and full-bodied flavor. This coffee maker is easy to customize, allowing you to choose between 2 and 10 cups with 3 flavor options (mild, medium, strong). You can also pause the brew to pour a cup without having to wait for the brew to finish completely.

This coffee maker has a user-friendly design including a crystal-clear LCD screen and intuitive controls. It comes with a removable gold tone filter for hassle-free cleaning and has convenient auto-start and keep-warm features as well. Plus, it’s surprisingly affordable, priced under $150.

Pros:

  • Programmable with auto-start and keep-warm
  • Built-in conical burr grinder for freshly ground flavor
  • User-friendly design with clear LCD screen

Cons:

  • May be a bit noisier than other coffeemakers
  • Grounds can get stuck in the walls of the container

Specs:

  • Price: $132
  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Type: Automatic
  • Programmable: Yes

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Keurig K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker

Award: Best Single-Serve

This single-serve coffee maker doesn’t waste space on your counter and it is affordably priced under $100.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to buy a fancy coffee maker if all you want is a simple cup of coffee. Pricy coffee makers come with all the bells and whistles, of course, but they also take up a lot of room on your counter and can be confusing to use. If you’re looking for a simple, affordable option and you’re only interested in brewing a single cup at a time, the Keurig K-Mini Plus coffee maker is for you.

The Keurig K-Mini Plus coffee maker is priced at $99 and it features a slim profile, standing just 12 inches high and less than 5 inches wide. This single-serve coffee maker accommodates Keurig K-cups and other pods, plus it has a 9-pod storage compartment.

If you’re concerned about efficiency, you’ll be glad to know this coffee maker has an auto-off feature and it is travel mug friendly. It comes with a removable drip tray for easy cleaning and it is compatible with the K-cup universal reusable coffee filter so you can customize your brew with fresh beans. You’ll also love its sleek, matt finish available in five different colors.

Pros:

  • Sleek, low-profile design saves counter space
  • Brews single-serve pods, stores up to 9 pods
  • Energy efficient, auto-off feature

Cons:

  • Must add fresh water for each cup
  • Only brews up to 12 ounces at a time

Specs:

  • Price: $99
  • Capacity: 12 oz.
  • Type: Single serve, pods
  • Programmable: No

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Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System

Award: Most Versatile

Whether you’re craving a steaming cup of strong coffee or a child cold brew, this versatile coffee maker does it all at the touch of a button.

One day you’re craving a hot cup of coffee but maybe the next you want an ice glass of cold brew. Rather than spending your money on pricey coffee shop purchases or buying multiple machines to clutter up your counters, why not invest in a machine that does it all?

The Nina Hot and Cold Brewed System produces hot and cold coffee beverages and tea with the touch of a button. With a smart basket recognition system, the machine detects the difference between coffee and tea, enabling you to choose from several recipe options for each. You can even brew over ice to enjoy perfectly smooth cold brew or iced tea.

This beverage system allows you to choose from five different brew styles and 6 brew sizes. Enjoy a single serving of your favorite brew, fill your travel mug, or brew in the thermal carafe to share with the family. Whatever you’re craving, the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System is ready and waiting.

Pros:

  • Choose from 5 brew styles, 6 brew sizes
  • Brew hot or cold coffee and beverages
  • Smart basket recognition displays drink options

Cons:

  • Fairly expensive compared to other models
  • No heating pad (carafe is thermal, however)
  • Frother doesn’t steam milk, only froths it

Specs:

  • Price: $230
  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Type: Automatic
  • Programmable: Yes

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What to Look for in a Coffee Maker

If you’ve never owned a coffee maker before, you might assume that they are all pretty much the same. All you have to do is walk through the appliance section at your local kitchen store, however, to realize that isn’t true. Though you can certainly find a simple drip coffee maker if that’s all you need, there are a wide variety of other features to consider.

Here are some things to look for when shopping for a coffee maker:

  • What type of coffee does it make? Some coffee makers are designed for ground beans only while others can make a variety of brewed beverages.
  • How much coffee can it make? If you live alone or you don’t drink a lot of coffee, you may not need a large-capacity coffee maker.
  • Does it take ground beans or pods? Single-serve coffee makers that use pods are becoming extremely popular and can be a good option for people who value convenience.
  • Can you program it to start automatically? Some coffee makers have a built-in timer that allows you to fill the pot the night before so it will start automatically at a certain time in the morning.
  • How easy is it to clean? The idea of a fancy coffee maker might be great but ask yourself how much time it will take to clean and how willing you are to take the time to do it.
  • Are there any extra features? Some coffee makers include a grinder as well as a storage hopper for beans. You may also find models with a milk frother, an espresso attachment, and more.

There are plenty of coffee makers to choose from, so all you have to do is decide what you do and don’t want. Once you have an idea what features are most important to you, you can narrow down your search and start making direct comparisons to make your final choice.

The Bottom Line

If you simply can’t do without your morning cup of coffee, buying a coffee maker is a solid investment. Not only will you save money in the long run by being able to make your coffee at home, but you’ll be able to enjoy it whenever you want instead of having to run to the corner shop.

Coffee makers come in an unlimited number of makes and models, so there is sure to be a perfect fit out there for you. Consider the features you find most important and think about your budget, then give one of the models recommended above a try!

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