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Best Drip Coffee Makers From Consumer Reports' Tests

Daniel Wroclawski

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

It can take a little while to get to know the ins and outs of a new coffee maker. In CR’s labs, each drip coffee maker we test brews roughly 65 cups by the time our engineers are through with it. And brewing is just one of many aspects we evaluate. We test for handling and convenience, too, so you can choose a model that helps you sail through morning madness. 

Our ratings for drip coffee makers range from models that offer simple programming to elaborate options with built-in coffee grinders and self-clean cycles.

“Consider what features are important to you,” says CR test engineer Ginny Lui. “In general, for a higher price, you can get add-ons like a water filter, clean cycle, clean indicator, permanent filter, or thermal carafe.” 

At CR, we test different types of coffee makers. (We even rate coffee itself.) So whether you’re trying to determine which type of machine suits your lifestyle, replacing a favorite that has seen better days, or looking for a great gift for a coffee connoisseur, we’ve got you covered.

How We Rate Drip Coffee Makers
Our brew-performance tests measure the brew temperature and contact time (how long water stays within a sweet spot of 195° to 205° F for brewing). We measure concentration using a refractometer, a device that measures the amount of coffee dissolved in each brew. Our convenience tests look at how easy it is to set timers, fill the reservoir, clean the machine, and more. And we incorporate predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings into the Overall Score for each model using survey data collected from thousands of CR members.

Below you’ll find reviews for 10 top-performing drip coffee makers, with prices ranging from about $25 to $220. The picks are listed in alphabetical order, not by performance, and options run from simple classic drip coffee makers to versatile brewers that make lattes and iced coffee. 

CR members can click on each model name for more detailed ratings. To see even more options, check out our full coffee maker ratings.

Bella Ultimate Elite Collection 12-Cup 14623

CR’s take: If you like the look of black stainless steel, you can add a hit of the trendy finish to your kitchen with the Bella Ultimate Elite Collection coffee maker. Appearance aside, this model brews a fresh pot in just 9 minutes and is graceful in action, earning strong ratings in our carafe-handling tests. It offers programming, brew-strength control, a pause-and-serve feature, and auto-shutoff. Bella drip machines also receive a Very Good rating for predicted reliability. At about $50, this affordable, attractive option won’t disappoint.

Black+Decker Mill & Brew CM5000B

CR’s take: If you’re an aficionado of fresh ground coffee, this Black+Decker is the brewer to buy. As the name suggests, the Mill & Brew goes that extra mile, grinding whole coffee beans just before brewing. As a result, the machine is capable of making a great pot of coffee. Made of plastic with stainless steel accents, this model is easy to use and to clean, earning a Very Good rating in our convenience tests. It allows you to adjust brew strength, and it’s programmable, so you can set it to grind and brew just before you wake up.

Calphalon Special Brew BVCLDCG1

CR’s take: The Calphalon Special Brew BVCLDCG1 is a terrific drip brewer from a brand known for cookware. This drip coffee maker earns strong scores in CR’s performance tests, and Calphalon brewers, in general, earn a Good rating for predicted reliability. This model offers brew-strength control, programming, an LED display, and a 10-cup glass carafe. It's a bit bulky, but it comes in a stainless steel finish that should match other stainless steel appliances nicely. 

Cuisinart Burr Grind & Brew DGB-700BC

CR’s take: Like the Black+Decker, the Cuisinart Burr Grind & Brew takes whole coffee beans and grinds them fresh for each pot. It features programming, brew-strength control, a water filter, a permanent coffee filter, and auto-shutoff. This model earns a great rating for carafe handling. The stainless steel finish and glass carafe certainly elevate the experience of using it. Cuisinart brewers also receive an Excellent rating for owner satisfaction. But the performance and finish come at a premium—this machine costs significantly more than the Black+Decker Mill & Brew.

Cuisinart Coffee on Demand DCC-3000

CR’s take: The Cuisinart Coffee on Demand is a self-serve model. It stores 12 cups of brewed coffee in a reservoir and has a dispenser instead of a carafe. It makes sense in homes where people are drinking coffee at different times; it keeps coffee hot and ready, so family and guests can fill their own cups. This model is programmable and features a water filter and a cleaning indicator. The reservoir can be removed for washing. In our tests, the Coffee on Demand performs quite well, receiving a Very Good rating for convenience. At less than $100, it can be a terrific choice for entertaining.

Cuisinart PerfecTemp 14 Cup Programmable DCC-3200

CR’s take: This Cuisinart drip coffee maker with a stainless steel finish and glass carafe earns an Excellent rating for brew performance. It’s programmable and features a water filter, a permanent coffee filter, cleaning mode, a cleaning indicator, and auto-shutoff. The machine also allows you to adjust the strength of your brew. For the money, this model offers style and features that are hard to beat. If you can live without the built-in grinder of the Cuisinart Burr Grind & Brew above, you can save yourself some money and still enjoy Cuisinart quality for a lot less.

Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R

CR’s take: The unassuming, inexpensive Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R might be easy to miss, but it can brew a mean cup of joe at a fantastic price. In a basic black-plastic finish, it has the essentials—it’s programmable, as its name suggests, and offers auto-shutoff—and it offers solid brew performance and can make a fresh pot in just 10 minutes. This model even earns a Very Good rating for convenience. At around $25, this simple model will get the job done.

CR’s take: The Mr. Coffee BVMC-ABX39 does very well in our tests and looks pretty stylish on the countertop, thanks to its stainless steel accents. It comes with auto-shutoff, a cleaning indicator, a permanent filter, and programming. It offers top-of-the-line brew performance and rates Very Good for carafe handling. If you want a traditional machine that will match your stainless steel appliances—and of course brew great coffee—this model is a solid bet.

Ninja Coffee Bar System CF097

CR’s take: The Ninja Coffee Bar System CF097 is a highly versatile and stylish brewer. CR’s testers find that it offers superb brew performance and is very easy to use. In our latest member survey, Ninja drip coffee makers receive an Excellent rating for owner satisfaction. This model has a full suite of features, including an unusual over-ice brew mode for making iced coffee and a built-in milk frother. Ninja claims its thermal carafe will keep coffee hot for 2 hours. These features come at a price, of course; the Ninja Coffee Bar is the most expensive model on this list.

Technivorm Moccamaster Cup-One Brewer

CR’s take: If you need only one or two cups of coffee each morning and you don’t want a pod coffee maker, consider the Technivorm Moccamaster Cup-One Brewer. Compact and clean-lined, it has a profile that makes some sense of its high price (it retails for more than $200), and it’s a superstar when it comes to reliability. In fact, Technivorm is the only drip machine brand with an Excellent rating for predicted reliability in our member survey. Our testers also give this machine a strong score for brew performance. This model has only one simple feature (auto-shutoff) and it’s not the easiest machine to use, but you can count on it to last.



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