Last Updated: August 2017
Automatic and semi-automatic drip coffee machines are the most popular around the world. They come in a variety of sizes, styles, and price points, and they have many different features from which to choose. Below, you can discover the best automatic coffee machine and the best semi-automatic coffee machine at a variety of price points so that you can make a choice that suits your tastes.
Table of contents
- Best Coffee Machine under $100
- Best Coffee Machine under $200
- Best Coffee Machine under $500
- Best Coffee Machine under $1,000
Types of Coffee Machines
Before deciding on the right coffee maker for your needs, it is important to understand the differences between them. There are three distinct categories of coffee machines.
- Manual Machines – A manual machine is one that requires the user to manually steep the coffee grounds or pour water over them. A French press is the most popular (and most well-known) manual machine out there.
- Automatic Machines – These coffee makers have pumps, automated temperature controls, and an automated pump. In most cases, the user adds coffee grounds to a filter and pours water inside a reservoir. Then, the power button turns everything on, and the machine brews the coffee with no further input from the user.
- Semi-Automatic Machines – A semi-automatic coffee machine is typically used to make espresso, but it is very much like an automatic one. These have automated temperature controls and an automated pump, but the user decides when to turn the pump on and off.
Best Coffee Machine Under $100
Cuisinart DCC-2650 Brew Central
Although there are coffee machines on the market today that cost thousands of dollars, some machines that cost significantly less are capable of brewing up a delicious pot of coffee. The Cuisinart DCC-2650 Brew Central is a consumer favorite.
- 12-cup carafe with dripless spout, knuckle guard, and ergonomic handle
- Brew Pause allows users to pour a cup of coffee before brewing is complete – all without a mess
- Adjustable carafe temperature allows users to choose high, medium, and low heat settings
- Fully automatic, programmable, and self-cleaning
- Small pot (one to four cup) setting
- Adjustable automatic shutoff timer
- Permanent gold-tone filter
- Charcoal filter for removing impurities water while brewing
From a performance standpoint, the Cuisinart DCC-2650 performs surprisingly well for a machine under $100. The brew strength selector gives consumers the ability to choose whether they want a standard cup of coffee or one that is a little bolder. It offers plenty of programming options, which allow users to wake up to a freshly-brewed pot of coffee. The heat settings for the carafe are a nice touch, as well; it allows individuals to enjoy their coffee without waiting for it to cool down.
In terms of durability, the Cuisinart DCC-2650 falls in the middle of the spectrum. While the casing appears to be metallic, it is actually plastic with a veneer that resembles stainless steel. The carafe itself is made of tempered glass, which is common at this price point. It does not provide the same durability as a metal carafe.
Overall, consumers were more than pleased with their purchase of the Cuisinart DCC-2650. Many claim that the three heat settings are the best feature offered by the machine, and more than one reviewer noted that the machine is among the easiest to clean. The top concern among consumers was the heat produced by the warmer, even at the highest setting. More than one consumer felt that the warmer simply did not keep their coffee hot enough.
Coffee makers under $100 are fairly simple in nature, but the Cuisinart DCC-2650 is our pick for the best coffee machine under $100 because it looks nice, performs well, and comes with all of the basic features that coffee lovers around the world have come to expect.
The Runner-Up: Hamilton Beach Summit 12-Cup Programmable Brew Station
This particular coffee maker takes the second place spot at this price point thanks to its fun design and range of features. Although it brews a full 12 cups of coffee, there is no glass or metal carafe; rather, the machine has its own built-in storage tank to keep your coffee hot. When you are ready for a cup, simply place your cup, mug, or even thermos under the dispenser.
- 12-cup programmable coffee maker
- Insulated inner tank; no carafe needed
- Removable water tank with level indicator
- Digital display
- Dishwasher-safe parts are all BPA-free
- Keep-warm mode
- One-handed dispensing
Although the Hamilton Beach Summit doesn’t use any extraordinary technology to brew your coffee, the way it does so – and the way it stores the brewed coffee – is a real treat for many folks. It can brew all 12 cups in as few as six minutes, and it comes with a variety of programming features that make it perfect for those who enjoy waking up to a freshly-brewed cup of joe.
Like many automatic coffee machines, this one has a tendency to develop lime scale, particularly if you live in an area with hard water. To extend its lifespan, be sure to utilize bottled water or utilize a descaling process once every couple of weeks. Consumers who maintained this machine claim that it is still brewing perfect coffee, even a year after their initial purchases.
This coffee machine receives excellent reviews for the most part, and many of these consumers note that their fresh coffee tastes excellent. They especially love the fact that the machine does not require a fragile carafe, which can break or chip. On the downside, a few consumers noted that their coffee tasted “burned” after an hour or so of storage within the tank. This is common among automatic brew machines, and the best solution involves only brewing the amount of coffee you plan to consume within an hour.
For households and workplaces who make use of automatic drip coffee machines, it is really hard to go wrong with the Hamilton Beach Summit 12-Cup Programmable Brew Station. Its unique design puts it a step ahead of other machines at this price point, and it makes a nice addition to your kitchen countertop. If you prefer the simplicity of a built-in storage tank rather than a carafe, this is the way to go.
Best Coffee Machine Under $200
Coming in just above the Cuisinart coffee machine listed above in terms of price, the Bonavita BV1900TS brews a great cup of coffee thanks to the company’s thoughtful design. Although this product lacks the programmability provided by many others in this price range, we feel that its ability to produce a delicious cup of coffee more than makes up for it. In fact, the Bonavita BV1900TS is the best automatic coffee machine for the money.
- Auto shutoff
- One-touch operation
- Precision 1500-watt heater maintains the optimal brewing temperature
- Optional pre-infusion mode can wet fresh grounds to allow degassing
- Large showerhead and flat-bottomed basket allow for more uniform flavor extraction
- Stainless steel-lined thermal carafe
This coffee machine makes this list due to its ability to create a delicious cup of coffee. As most coffee connoisseurs will attest, automatic coffee makers simply cannot create the same robust flavor as a manual machine. However, the Bonavita BV1900TS comes very, very close. The pre-infusion function “blooms” the coffee to release aromas prior to the brew, making your cup taste as fresh and as delicious as possible. What’s more, with the precision heater, you can rest assured that your coffee will brew at the perfect temperature.
The majority of the machine itself is constructed of stainless steel; the water reservoir and the top of the machine are made of sturdy plastic. The stainless steel-lined carafe is another nice touch; it can stand up to accidents without shattering, and the thermal lining keeps your coffee piping hot for quite some time, even when it is not sitting directly on the warmer.
Many consumers who reviewed the Bonavita BV1900TS noted that they were a bit reluctant to purchase at first due to the machine’s eight-cup capacity since most brew between eight and 12 cups at a time. However, they say that the coffee produced by this automatic drip machine is absolutely fantastic. Reviewers also say that the machine consistently brews a full eight cups to perfection in under six minutes, and they love the metal carafe that keeps coffee hot, even off of the warmer.
Not only do we feel that this is the best coffee maker under $200, but we also believe that this is one of the best drip coffee makers on the market today. In fact, it is one of the few coffee makers that is certified for performance and quality by the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America). The unique pre-infusion setting paired with the clever basket and shower design make this machine a top pick among consumers around the world.
The Runner-Up: Zojirushi Fresh Brew Plus
The Zojirushi Fresh Brew Plus is another great coffee maker that comes in at under $200. It offers up plenty of programming features that allow you to wake up to an excellent cup of coffee, and the elegant design looks nice when displayed on your kitchen countertop. It’s also a consumer favorite, particularly among those who prefer their coffee piping hot.
- Removable and fully washable water tank allows users to fill up at the water source for less mess
- Unique tapered carafe is thumb-activated to make pouring a serving simpler
- Thermal carafe keeps coffee steaming hot for hours on end without burning
- Baskets lift out for easy cleaning
- Clean light lets you know when it’s time to descale
- Drip prevention mechanism prevents messes
- All parts that come into contact with the coffee are BPA-free
As far as performance is concerned with this coffee machine from Zojirushi, consumers are generally pleased. Unlike other coffee machines that tend to burn coffee over time, this one comes with an excellent carafe that keeps your coffee hot for hours on end. It brews at a guaranteed 200 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the optimal extraction of oils and flavors from your chosen bean, as well. The programming functions are a nice added touch, particularly for those who prefer to wake up to brewed coffee.
Many consumers have come back months or even a year after their initial reviews to note that their Zojirushi coffee machines are still going strong. With regular descaling and maintenance, this machine has the potential to last many, many years. The stainless steel carafe is a nice touch; it cannot chip, shatter, or break when accidentally bumped or even dropped.
Consumers especially love the fact that coffee continues to taste fresh even two to four hours after the initial brew. They also love the thumb-activated pour mechanism on the carafe, claiming that it prevents messes during pouring or serving. A few consumers noted that the machine is a little loud as it brews, but not enough to be a major disturbance. A few others also noted that the “end of brew” signal is a bit piercing.
When it comes to coffee makers under $200, it is hard to go wrong with the Zojirushi Fresh Brew Plus. It’s an especially good buy for those who prefer the simplicity of automatic brew machines, but who don’t enjoy lukewarm or “burned” coffee. It does a great job of maintaining the perfect temperature, even when the carafe is stored away from the station itself.
Best Coffee Machine Under $500
The Moccamaster KBT is another SCAA certified machine that will change the way anyone feels about automatic drip coffee machines. It offers a unique and somewhat industrial design that veers away from the traditional “boxy” shape, and even the carafe is a work of art. Each machine is handmade by the Technivorm company in the Netherlands, which helps to guarantee the quality and durability of the machine. Unique technologies and processes allow this machine to brew some of the best coffee you’ll ever enjoy – right in the comfort of your own home.
- 10-cup brewing capacity
- Manual drip-stop brewing basket
- Stainless steel thermal carafe
- Brews half or full carafe in four to six minutes
- Maintains a constant temperature with pulse action that pre-infuses and blooms the coffee for premium extraction
- SCAA certified
- Comes with a five-year warranty
Although many coffee makers that are designed to pre-infuse coffee in order to allow for degassing and optimal flavor extraction seem to take quite a while to brew a full carafe, the Moccamaster KBT is certainly an exception to that rule. It can brew an entire 10 cups in less than six minutes, and while it is a no-frills machine without digital displays and programming options, the wide-open water reservoir and the uniquely designed thermal carafe make brewing coffee a true pleasure.
This product has a metal base and a clear plastic water reservoir. The Moccamaster is designed in such a way that pertinent parts are detachable for cleaning, and while a few consumers claim that some of the components felt “flimsy”, others mention that the parts are not flimsy whatsoever; they are simply designed to be easily removed. The stainless steel thermal carafe not only keeps coffee hot for long periods of time, but it also resists breaking and chipping.
Overall, consumers who appreciate nothing more than a great cup of home-brewed coffee rave about the Moccamaster KBT. They love the overall design, which complements just about any décor, and they also appreciate the company’s dedication to creating an automatic brew process that is all about the perfect flavor extraction. Several consumers noted that they felt the price was a bit high for such a simple machine, but others claim that the five-year warranty, the quality workmanship, and the superb performance are well worth the price tag.
All in all, we feel that the Moccamaster KBT is the best auto drip coffee machine under $500 for two reasons. First, its unique appearance makes it a wonderful conversation piece. No other machine on the market resembles the Moccamaster. Second, this automatic drip coffee maker produces one of the best cups of coffee that anyone can get at home. The sheer ingenuity behind the technology makes it a winner.
The Runner-Up: KRUPS KM9008 Programmable Coffee Maker
The KRUPS KM9008 takes second place in this category thanks to its unique design, outstanding brewing technology, and aesthetic appeal. It utilizes “cup-on-request” technology, but can brew up to 12 delicious cups of coffee at a time. This machine offers precision warming technology to make sure your coffee stays at just the right temperature, and it also accommodates many different size cups and travel mugs.
- Different selections and programming for large and small cup sizes
- Aroma selector allows users to determine the strength of their coffee
- Constant and precise temperature regulation
- Removable 12-cup stainless steel water tank
- Immediate flow stop and angled control to prevent messes and drips
- Keeps coffee tasting fresh for up to four hours after brewing
Consumers appreciate the way this machine brews coffee, and they truly enjoy being able to grab a single cup when they please without the need for pre-packaged “pods”. The constant temperature control lives up to expectations and keeps coffee fresh for hours, and all of the selections for aroma, it is possible to customize your cup of coffee to your exact preferences.
Although a few consumers note that the adjustable tray seems a bit flimsy, it does hold a cup of coffee (and a large one, at that) quite well. The carafe is internal and it stays very hot, and because the water chamber is stainless steel instead of plastic, it will not crack or break if dropped. With regular maintenance and descaling, you can expect this machine to last several years.
Consumers were pleased with the coffee maker, and the majority of them agreed that their coffee tasted fresh even hours after brewing. The biggest enjoyment with this machine is the ability to brew a single cup on demand without the need for expensive pods containing pre-ground coffee. They also mentioned that even on the “strong” aroma setting, eight cups of coffee brews in about five minutes. However, a few consumers mentioned that the lack of a traditional carafe for serving guests has proven disappointing from time to time.
We feel that this machine would be the perfect step up for someone who wants to move from using a traditional single-serve coffee machine that uses pods instead of your own fresh-ground coffee. The KRUPS KM9008 is simple to fill, and you can enjoy a perfect cup of piping hot coffee on demand. All of the parts are easy to clean and descale, and with unique programming features for mugs and cups of different sizes, it can cover all of your needs from one day of the week to the next.
Best Coffee Machine Under $1000
DeLonghi Compact Magnifica S Beverage Center
For the true coffee lovers out there who will stop at nothing to obtain the best lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, and cups of regular joe available, the DeLonghi Compact Magnifica S Beverage Center is the cream of the crop. This machine is pure luxury, and it comes with a price tag to match. However, if you take your coffee seriously, this machine should be a staple on your kitchen counter.
- Full-size automatic performance in a compact design
- Built-in water filtration allows you to use tap water in your favorite coffee drinks
- The patented “Cappuccino System” frother allows you to easily prepare lattes and cappuccinos
- Single boiler and energy saving switch allows you to save up to 77% energy when compared to similar machines
- Instant bean grinding with the patented “Direct-to-Brew” system produces exceptional espresso
- Easy-to-clean design
The one thing that sets this particular machine apart from others in the same price range is that it can brew absolutely anything from lattes to cappuccinos to espressos and even regular cups of joe. What’s more, this particular beverage center is incredibly easy to use, even for beginners who have never made a cappuccino at home. The frother works incredibly well, and the ability to grind beans on demand only adds to the deliciousness in each cup.
This machine is a combination of metal and sturdy plastic, which means it is incredibly durable and will stand up to years and years of use with proper care and maintenance. Thanks to its compact design, it is simple enough to clean and maintain. Many reviewers continued to update their thoughts even years after their initial purchase, claiming that with regular descaling, their machines still continued to produce a great cup of coffee time and time again.
For the most part, people who took the time to write reviews about the DeLonghi Compact Magnifica S Beverage Center were thoroughly pleased with their purchases. They love the fact that the machine has its own grinder built right in, and they claim that it produces some of the richest and freshest tasting coffee they have ever enjoyed. What’s more, reviewers love the fully automatic system that requires little to no effort on their part; simply add beans and water, and the machine does the rest. A few reviewers did note that their customer service and repair teams were slow to respond, but others did not have the same issue.
We feel that this machine wins in the best coffee machine under $1000 category for three primary reasons. First, it does exactly what it should – brew a delicious cup of coffee. Second, it is incredibly versatile in that it can make any type of coffee drink you prefer. Third, it is compact and easy for even beginners to use, but it provides all of the functionality and taste that an expert coffee connoisseur would expect.
All in all, it is possible to brew a great cup of coffee at home, whether you choose an automatic coffee machine that costs under $100 or a state-of-the-art beverage center with a price tag to match. It all comes down to personal preference in terms of design and budget, and any of the options listed here are sure to please.
The Runner-Up: Jura Ena Micro 1
Coming in at second place in this category is the Jura Ena Micro 1, and while it looks incredibly simple, that’s part of what makes this machine so appealing. It is an ultra-compact one-cup coffee machine that makes amazing espresso you’ll have to taste to believe. Thanks to several unique settings for concentration, you can also use it to brew the perfect cup of “regular” coffee on demand.
- One of the smallest one-cup coffee machines out there
- Makes amazing espresso, but can also brew typical coffees
- Takes your coffee directly from bean to cup
- Unique aroma preservation cover keeps your beans fresher for longer
- Intelligent preheating system and automatic energy saving mode
While this is one of the more expensive coffee makers on our list, it is also one of the best. The built-in grinder alleviates the need for two separate machines, and you can choose your grind, brew strength, and cup size to create the perfect cup of coffee for your tastes. Despite its lack of a steam wand, the espresso is perfectly hot, fresh, and delicious every single time.
Many of the people who chose to write reviews of the Jura Ena Micro 1 waited a year or more to do so, and they claimed that their coffee still tasted as good as it did on day one. A handful of consumers noted that they were concerned about the plastic machine; however, it is a heavy and durable plastic rather than flimsy and prone to cracking or breaking. Thanks to the water hardness test strip and included water filter, you can prevent most of the scale that tends to build up in these machines.
Overall, consumers were incredibly pleased with their decision to purchase this product. Whereas there are other machines on the market designed to produce a single cup of coffee that cost far less than the Jura Ena Micro 1, rest assured that the espresso you can get from a compact machine that grinds your beans on demand is unlike anything the cheaper single-cup machines can produce. This is evident with the rave reviews of this machine, and consumers had very few complaints.
We feel that this machine is the perfect choice for couples and coffee connoisseurs who enjoy coffee and espresso suited for their own tastes. With so many different selections for strength, aroma, and even cup size, the personalization options are truly endless. This is truly a grinder, coffee maker, and espresso machine all in one, and despite its small size, it truly packs some power.