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Most and Least Reliable Coffee Makers

Daniel Wroclawski

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

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

In CR’s coffee maker lab, our test engineers conduct exhaustive tests on drip and single-serve machines—evaluating brew performance, carafe handing, brew time, and taste—to help you choose the best coffee maker for your kitchen.

But if you have a daily coffee habit, it’s important that your machine works reliably morning after morning—and that the experience, from brewing to sipping a finished cup, is a satisfying one. That’s why we now factor even more data into our coffee maker ratings

“As we’ve done with large appliances, such as refrigerators and washing machines, we now incorporate brand-level reliability and satisfaction data from our annual surveys into each coffee maker’s Overall Score,” says Simon Slater, manager of Consumer Reports’ survey research group.

That data takes the form of additional predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings shown right alongside our lab test ratings. As a result, brands that receive Fair or Poor ratings for reliability cannot earn CR recommendations for their models.

The latest survey provided feedback on more than 80,000 coffee makers purchased by CR members between 2008 and 2018. 

Below, we break down the best and worst brands for each coffee maker type—drip and single-serve/pod—in terms of reliability and owner satisfaction. Our survey results cover almost 30 brands, including Breville, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Keurig, Mr. Coffee, Nespresso, Technivorm, and many others. 

Drip Coffee Makers

Drip machines, especially more affordable plastic models, can sometimes feel cheap and disposable. But according to our survey, these machines, as a category, are quite reliable. Just about every major brand, with two exceptions, receives a moderate to highly favorable rating for predicted reliability.

That’s good news, considering past surveys have shown that most CR members expect their drip machines to last seven years. On the other hand, only a handful of brands receive a rating higher than Good for owner satisfaction.

Technivorm is the only drip brand to receive top ratings for both predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. Seven brands fall below Technivorm but still rate very well for predicted reliability. Those brands are Bella, Bonavita, Brim, Farberware, Oster, Proctor-Silex, and Zojirushi. Two of those brands, Bonavita and Zojirushi, also rate highly for owner satisfaction.

At the other end of the spectrum, Breville and DeLonghi receive the lowest ratings for reliability, each rating Poor. The rest of the brands in our survey results receive middle-of-the-road ratings for predicted reliability, including established players like Black+Decker, Hamilton Beach, KitchenAid, Krups, and Mr. Coffee.

As for owner satisfaction, four more brands rate just as well as Technivorm. They are Bunn, Cuisinart, Ninja, and Oxo.

Here's a terrific drip coffee maker from Bella, which rates Very Good for predicted reliability and Good for owner satisfaction:

Single-Serve Pod Coffee Makers

The brand Keurig is synonymous with pod coffee makers in the U.S., so it’s no surprise that the brand constitutes 80 percent of the single-serve coffee makers purchased by CR members in recent years. The next most-popular brands among CR members are Nespresso and Cuisinart, with just 6 percent and 5 percent of the share, respectively.

Our survey data seems to corroborate Keurig’s popularity, because their machines rate Excellent for owner satisfaction. But our results also show that Keurig brewers aren’t very reliable, receiving a Fair rating for predicted reliability. Coincidentally, pod machines made by rival Cuisinart receive identical ratings for satisfaction and reliability.

The most reliable brand of pod coffee maker? Nespresso, which also rates highly for owner satisfaction. Two more brands, Bella and DeLonghi, rate Very Good for owner satisfaction but only mediocre for predicted reliability.

Our survey data gives five brands Poor ratings for reliability: Black+Decker, Bunn, Farberware, Hamilton Beach, and Proctor-Silex. Two of those brands, Black+Decker and Farberware, also receive disappointing ratings for owner satisfaction.

The four remaining brands in our results receive middling reliability ratings: Bosch, Mr. Coffee, Starbucks, and Tru. All of them, except Starbucks, also receive average satisfaction ratings. Starbucks receives a very low rating for satisfaction.

Past survey data showed that CR members expect their single-serve pod machines to last six years. Given that only seven of the 14 pod machine brands in our survey rate Good or higher for reliability, it might pay to be pickier about the brand of machine you choose.

Here is a superb single-serve coffee maker from Nespresso, which rates Excellent for both predicted reliability and owner satisfaction:

To see detailed reliability and satisfaction ratings, see our full coffee maker ratings.



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Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2019, Consumer Reports, Inc.