Best Coffee Makers of 2017

Jeph Preece
Senior domain editor
We maintain strict editorial integrity when we evaluate products and services; however, Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links.

We made more than 600 cups of coffee as we looked for the best drip coffee makers on the market. After considering the quality and convenience of each, we recommend the Braun BrewSense for your home. Our taste testers loved the coffee from this machine, which packs all the features required for convenience into a compact and attractive countertop unit. It has that set-and-forget quality that will make getting a good cup of coffee the easiest part of hectic mornings. 

Best Overall

Braun BrewSense

The Braun BrewSense has the perfect combination of useful features and ideal final product. Our testers enjoyed the coffee it made, and it stands out for user-friendly convenience.
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Best Value

Delonghi DC514

The Delonghi DC514 14-Cup Drip Coffee Maker offers a lot of value, even when compared with much more expensive machines. This one makes a lot of great-tasting coffee for less than half the price of top-rated coffee makers.
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Best Flavor

Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer

Our taste testers liked the coffee from the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer better than any of the others. This machine is not the most convenient, but it is a strong contender in terms of taste.

Our Test Results

Product
Price
Overall Rating
8.8
8.3
8.3
8
7.5
7.4
7.3
7.2
7
Performance
8.8
9
9.3
8.3
8
8.8
8
8
8
Design
9.5
9.3
10
6
5.5
6.8
5.5
8.3
4.8
Conveniences & Safety
8.8
6.3
5
10
9.5
5.8
8.5
4
6
Warranty & Support
7
7
6
8
6
6
6
7
10
Cleaning Alert or Cycle
N/A
N/A
N/A
Water Level Indicator
N/A
Ease of Use Score
80%
100%
40%
80%
90%
50%
75%
45%
75%
Audible Alert
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Programmable Clock
N/A
Power Back-Up
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Coffee Quality
92%
76%
85%
80%
83%
92%
61%
90%
100%
Time to Brew
7:01
4:56
6:27
8:13
9:49
7:46
6:35
8:32
8:33
Temperature Over Time (Fahrenheit)
168
166
174
173
173
167
160
163
167
Adjustable for Fewer Cups
N/A
Water Filter
N/A
N/A
N/A
Ready Temperature (Fahrenheit)
171
179
179
177
183
169
163
176
167
Maximum Cup Capacity
12
8
8
12
8
14
12
12
12
Brew Pause for Single Cup
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Coffee Strength Settings
N/A
SCAA Certified
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Permanent or Paper Filter
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Glass Carafe
N/A
Thermal Carafe
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Glass or Thermal Option
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Carafe Heater Plate
N/A
N/A
Size
Small
Small
Large
Medium
Large
Small
Medium
Medium
Large
Warranty
2 Years
2 Years
1 Year
3 Years
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
2 Years
5 Years
Phone
Email
Drip Coffee Maker Considerations
After more than 180 hours of research and testing, and more than 600 cups of coffee from 15 drip coffee makers, the Braun BrewSense stood out as the very best of the best coffee maker on the market. Our testing panel praised the coffee this machine made, and it is so self-sufficient. You can program it to make coffee for you in the morning at a set time, and a back-up system means you don't have to reprogram it after a power outage. It also has a light that lets you know when it needs descaling, which will make maintenance easier. We made multiple batches in the Braun BrewSense, and we got good results every time.

The DeLonghi 14-cup machine we tested also made an impression. It represents a lot of value for the money. It was almost the least expensive but still managed to score as high as the BrewSense in some categories. Plus, it has a large capacity, which is convenient if you have a lot of coffee drinkers in your home or office.

If you would like a machine built for speed, consider the Bonavita. It had the fastest brewing times by far, and it is one of the easiest machines to use. There is just the one button, which is great if you wake up in a morning brain fog.

Our pick for best flavor is the Hamilton Beach model. While it’s not the most convenient in many ways, our testing panel gave it higher marks for flavor than even the top unit overall – the Braun BrewSense. While it makes a good cup of coffee, it was a little slower to brew than most and the temperature of the coffee was not as it should have been.

Coffee Makers: How We Tested, What We Found
To begin our testing, we assembled each coffee maker and made note of how easy the process is for each unit. We made several batches of coffee with each machine and timed them for speed. Fast brew times are generally associated with better flavor. The National Coffee Association recommends water be in contact with coffee grounds for approximately five minutes when using drip systems like the ones we are evaluating. Too much or too little time can negatively impact flavor.

Making hot coffee and keeping it hot is the top job of any drip coffee maker, so we measured coffee temperatures just after brewing and again after the coffee had been sitting awhile, to see how good each carafe is at keeping it hot for the late-risers in your household.

We made notes about how easy each coffee maker was to use throughout the testing process. We fully expected to be able to make coffee easily with each machine right out of the box. Coffee makers scored lower when they were harder to assemble, program and use.

We assembled a group of coffee connoisseurs and prepared the same coffee, according to manufacturers' instructions, with each unit in our coffee maker lineup. Our respondents rated coffee quality, and we averaged those scores to come up with an overall rating.

We also noted the dimensions of each coffee maker to get an idea of how much counter space you have to give up for each unit. This is less important if you have a lot of countertop real estate, but we gave some scoring credit to compact machines.

Coffee Makers: What Else to Consider

The options for home brewing are numerous and wide-ranging in the level of effort they require from you. You can go as far as grinding coffee beans by hand each morning, or you can just insert a plastic pod into a machine for one pre-measured cup. For our comparison we chose to focus on the pretty basic drip coffee makers that have been a part of kitchens for years. We evaluated the machines that employ an automatic drip-brewing process to produce 8-14 cups. However, there are enough options even in that narrow category to warrant careful consideration before you pick out your next machine.

These machines are designed to make your morning cup of joe quickly and with very little effort on your part. Our top picks stand out for making great-tasting coffee quickly – and for a relatively small initial investment. Modern automatic drip coffee makers include features that can lead to better flavor and aroma, including presoak functions and internal showerheads that distribute water more evenly over coffee grounds for better extraction.  

While you may like the speed and ease of an automatic drip unit during the week, there’s often room for other coffee making tools, even in the same kitchen, especially if you love coffee. Options like percolators, French presses, espresso machines or coffee makers that also grind the beans can all allow you to experience coffee in different and welcome ways when compared to the relatively basic drip coffee machines that we tested.

Drip Coffee Maker: A Buyer's Guide
To pick the best home coffee maker for your kitchen, it is smart to focus on the basic design features and capabilities that will brew just the right coffee for your palate, and then consider the extra features. It's also smart to examine the length of the warranty and the availability of customer service.

Performance
If you live alone and drink a cup of coffee every now and then, a 12-cup coffee maker might be too large – that is, until you host a dinner party. A model that lets you select how much to make each time will be the most versatile option for those situations. Another nice option to consider is whether you’d need a brew pause function, which provides you the ability to sneak a cup during the brewing process. A coffee maker with a water filter makes better-tasting coffee and reduces scale buildup.

Design

There are pros and cons to both permanent and paper filters. Permanent filters save you money since you don't have to keep buying the paper variety, which is also better for the environment. However, it is easier to get rid of the coffee grounds with the disposable paper liners. Also, permanent filters can retain some of the coffee oils (which can affect the taste of the coffee) unless they are cleaned constantly.

Convenience & Safety
Once you have decided on the basic features you want, it is smart to examine features of convenience and safety. Many top-rated coffee makers offer an automatic shut-off function that protects your home if you rush off to the carpool and forget to flip the off button. It is handy to have a coffee maker that alerts you when the brewing is done, lets you see how much water the device contains, and includes a programmable clock so you can set everything up the night before and wake up to the fragrance of fresh coffee.

Warranty & Support
Most manufacturers in our coffee maker reviews provide telephone and email support. The warranty periods for automatic drip coffee makers range from one to five years, which is quite a range, so be aware of the warranty period as you make your selection.

Whether you are a coffee connoisseur or someone who just needs plenty of hot java and needs it fast, there is an automatic drip coffee maker that suits you. Check out the different varieties in our reviews and you might just end up with the best coffee maker you have ever owned.

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