What is the Best Drip Coffee Maker? – How do you Even Tell.

Considering what is the best drip coffee maker? It can be difficult to weed out the best from average. In this review come find out all about drip coffee makers, how to find the best, and even some of the best drip coffee makers in the market.

There are so many types of coffee makers available it can get difficult deciding which is the best fit for your kitchen. The whole world has become fascinated in coffee since its cultivation began back in the sixth century A.D.

Since then the process of turning coffee grounds to coffee has improved. One of the most popular coffee makers types is the automatic drip coffee maker.


About Automatic Drip Coffee Makers.

A humble countertop appliance.


As a small appliance automatic drip coffee makers are outstandingly simple devices. Most models come with a permanent filter(not always included) and a filter basket. The only thing that is needed on your end is coffee grounds, cold water, an available outlet and whatever is required to press to turn on the machine.

It is a simple process but an effective process. Automatic drip coffee makers are based all around convenience while brewing quality coffee.


The Process of Automatic Drip Coffee Makers.

How the machine works.


Once everything is set and your coffee maker is turned on what happens next is a simple concept.

The water placed in the reservoir will flow through the suspicious looking hole at the bottom of the reservoir where it is heated in a tube surrounded by a heating element until it becomes steam. The steam condenses into another tube which moves as condensed water upward into a funny device that resembles a showerhead.

The device disperses the condensed water onto the coffee grounds. The mixture will flow through the filter and filter basket into the carafe.

This happens with the power of gravity and some simple electronics built into the coffee maker.


Why Drip Over Other Types?

Automatic drip coffee makers have some benefits over others.


There are many types of coffee makers available. There are vacuum brewers, percolators, moka pots, electric drip coffeemakers, pourover, water displacement drip coffeemakers, cafetieres, espresso machines, and single-serve coffeemakers.

Functionally they all produce the same result coffee. The difference is in the process of how the water is heated, condensed, then mixed with the dry coffee grounds.

Drip coffee makers are built to create quality coffee easily without occupying a burner on the stovetop.

Other modern day coffee makers can do the same but may cost extra. Other coffee maker types can produce a clearer or more refined brew of coffee as well.


Why is Drip Better for Some Kitchens?

When you are about the drip it is simple.


A drip coffee maker is the best option for a kitchen that prefers simplicity. For what some drip coffee makers cost and the quality of coffee they can produce it can prove worthwhile to consider over other types.

The features some models come with vary but do offer a bit more quality of life for coffee lovers. Some features like the brew selector on a model will consist of a “brew strength selector knob” which allows control over the strength/flavor of the coffee.

On my model this knob seems like it either alters how the hot water is dispersed over the dry coffee grounds or it alters how long it takes the brew to complete by. All the manual states is that if I want to adjust the strength of the brew from mild to strong I could rotate the knob.

The brew selector on coffee makers work but its function will vary. For instance, on my Proctor Silex coffee maker, the only thing the brew selector seems to do is divert the water.

If I select the strongest option the condensed hot water will be disbursed directly over the coffee grounds. The mildest option will have the water diverted toward the sides of the permanent filter and on the coffee grounds.


Which Brands Standout?

So many options but quality speaks for itself.


There are a couple of brands that stand out for coffee maker manufacturing.

When it comes to kitchen products in general KitchenAid has proven themselves reliable. Their coffee makers are no exception with high quality reliable designs.

Proctor Silex was a well known brand for small kitchen appliances for quite some time. Their coffee makers prioritize simplicity for the user. Now owned by Hamilton Beach the design of the coffee makers differ from their parent company. These coffee makers are inexpensive compared to Hamilton Beach and other brands. Proctor Silex offers simple user friendly coffee makers allowing for easy use and care.

Hamilton Beach is another brand that values creating a trustworthy high quality brand and product. I would say that out of the three Hamilton Beach coffee makers will have more features at the cost of a higher price than other coffee makers.


Top 3 Brands for 12 cups and Their Features

KitchenAid 12 Cup Drip Coffee Maker with Spiral Showerhead

(Color Options: Matte Charcoal Grey, Onyx Black. Prices may vary based on color, check the latest price at local retailer.)

KitchenAid has a small selection when it comes to coffee makers. Lack of selection does not mean lack of innovation or quality. The price may be high when compared to other coffee makers that offer similar features. The difference is in the overall design of the coffee maker. The biggest difference is in the distinctive spiral showerhead.

Features:

  • 29-Hole Spiral Showerhead – Evenly distributes water over coffee grounds.
    • This helps provide more flavor from the coffee grounds by efficiently extracting the coffee oil or caffeol in the roasting process.
  • Dosage Ladder – Included on the gold-tone filter and pairs with the dosage chart included on the water tank. Provided as a means to measure (play around with it using your normal means of measurement).
    • Measuring with the dosage ladder and dosage chart help provide consistent flavorful coffee to your liking. Both help calculate the ratio of water to coffee.
  • Clear, Easy to Fill Removable Water Tank – This water tank helps with the hassle of filling the water reservoir.
    • The removable design makes filling simple and cleaning hassle free. The tank includes a handle for handling and a removable tank lid for water containment. The dosage chart helps with water measurements.
  • Warming Plate – The heating element is programmed to keep coffee heated at the correct temperature range for coffee for up to two hours.
    • Coffee is recommended for consumption within a 30 minute window after brewing is complete. Despite this, the warming can keep the coffee in the carafe warm for 2 hours after the brew cycle is completed for convenience purposes.
  • Two Brew Buttons – User-friendly design includes two brew buttons making placement worry-free. No need to compromise with your countertop space.
    • One button is placed on the side and one is on the front of the unit (take note of the dimensions to ensure it will indeed fit where desired).

Type Of Kitchen This Is Best For: A kitchen that wants a high quality automatic drip coffee maker that will last. Don’t believe me check out some testimonials left from verified owners on Amazon to learn more about this coffee maker. One dilemma with this coffee maker is cleaning. This coffee maker requires a consistent cleaning schedule to prevent the growth of mold under the rim of the carafe and other hard to reach places. Another issue with this coffee maker is what to do when it no longer functions. This brand offers 30 day return policies (learn more at on their return policy page), 1 year manufacturer’s warranty for replacements, and product registration is offered as well. (Disclaimer in order to be eligible for these benefits you have to purchase directly through KitchenAid.) There is no recycling program available for small appliances at the time this could change.


Proctor Silex Programmable 12 Cup Coffee Maker

(Color Options: White. Check the latest price on at local retailer.)

Proctor Silex has been in the small kitchen appliance business since 1960. Valuing simplicity for appliance owners they have managed to bring easy to use small kitchen appliances at very affordable prices. Out of their collection of coffee makers this model offers all the amenities that come from higher end models while remaining at an affordable rate. The features do not make operation any more complicated than a model with less features. Use and care is as easy as it gets.

Features:

  • Programmable Timer/Clock – The device lets users set the time of day and program the coffee maker to start brewing at a specific time.
    • Excellent for setting an automated brew cycle in the morning.
  • 12 Cup Capacity – The maximum capacity for most electric drip coffee makers 54 ozs or 12 cups.
    • Allows the ability to adjust the water and coffee ratio to fit what is needed for the occasion. The 1-4 Cup Brewing Option pairs well with individual servings when you do not want to use more coffee grounds to achieve the full flavor of your coffee grounds.
  • 2 Hour Auto Shut Off –  Once the brew cycle has been started the warming plate will shut off 2 hours after.
    • The heating element is programmed to shut off automatically primarily for safety purposes. The 2 hour duration helps keep your coffee warm while waiting to be served.
  • 1-4 Cup Brewing Option – Pressing this before the brew cycle has been started will make the machine produce fewer cups of coffee.
    • Ideally this feature should be used only for 1-4 cups of coffee. Takes longer to brew even though it has less water and coffee. This is done in order to extract the full flavor of the coffee without the need for more coffee grounds.
  • Dishwasher Safe Carafe And Basket – Both parts are top rack safe only.
    • Confidently wash these in the top rack of your dishwasher should you desire.
  • Water Window – Lets you see water through in the water reservoir. This also helps when filling the reservoir.
    • A bit opaque but clear enough to where one can gauge the water as it is being filled.
  • Compatible With 8-12 Cup Basket Style Coffee Filters – This coffee maker does not come with a permanent filter. However most 8-12 cup style coffee filters would work in this machine. Good quality disposable filters are recommended for this machine.
    • Proctor Silex understands that sometimes they may not have every replacement part or other accessory products in stock. By embracing this idea they created a highly compatible design in their brew basket so that 8-12 cup basket style coffee filters function as intended.

Type Of Kitchen This Is Best For: A kitchen that desires a reliable coffee maker but does not want to pay for just the brand. Despite the lack of product reviews on the Proctor Silex website you can find reviews on Amazon to see for yourself. I have an older Proctor Silex and it functions phenomenally at brewing coffee. I have had it for years and still have yet to encounter any problems from the machine. Only problem with newer Proctor Silex drip coffee makers is they no longer come included with a permanent filter (keep this in mind if you do not like to use disposable filters). Proctor Silex does offer returns (find out more on their returns page) and recalls. (Disclaimer in order to be eligible for these benefits you have to purchase directly through Proctor Silex.) Proctor Silex does offer product registration. They offer a recycling program and a guide on how to recycle units that no longer function.


Hamilton Beach Brewstation 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker With Removable Water Reservoir

(Color Options: Black and Stainless Only. Check the latest price on at local retailer.)

Features:

  • Maintains Fresh Brew Flavor Longer – A well thought out system for maintaining that fresh brewed flavor by brewing into an internal tank instead of a carafe.
    • Instead of simply having coffee in a carafe sitting out on a warming plate, this coffee maker keeps brewed coffee enclosed in an internal tank retaining that freshly brewed flavor.
  • Enclosed Brewing System With Internal Heater – The enclosed environment holds flavor for longer periods and the internal heater keeps coffee in the internal tank warm for up to 4 hours.
    • The brewing system will hold all brewed coffee and the internal heater keeps it hot. (For best flavor results it is recommended to drink 30 minutes after the brew cycle has finished.)
  • Brews Up To 12 Cups – Can brew 12 cups of coffee just like other automatic drip coffee makers.
    • The difference from other automatic coffee makers is the coffee remaining enclosed in the brewing system.
  • Works Like A Traditional Drip Coffee Maker But Holds Coffee In The Internal Tank – The flavor and overall quality of the coffee can be better or worse depending on your coffee current automatic drip coffee maker.
    • No carafe is required for this coffee maker. The internal tank is more durable. Extra care for non-borosilicate glass and pyrex is not needed.
  • Press Bar To Dispense One Fresh Cup At-A-Time – The bar keeps coffee dispensing simple and mess free.
    • A press of the bar is all you need to do to serve hot coffee reliably. The absence of a hot plate ensures the coffee stays the appropriate temperature.
  • Programmable For Wake-Up Coffee – This coffee machine can be programmed to brew 24 hours ahead of time and has three different brew options: regular, bold, and 1-4 cups.
    • The programmable feature can help with planning ahead of time for busy occasions. The regular option brews coffee just like any other coffee machine would. The bold option takes longer and creates a stronger cup coffee through extraction. The 1-4 cups works best for brewing 1-4 cups of coffee, the exact situation where you want the full flavor of coffee but have no desire to add more coffee grounds.
  • Removable Water Tank For Easy Filling – The water tank has a water level guide so you see how water is inside and measure in cups.
    • The water tank is designed to be easily removed or securely placed back. This helps make filling and cleaning much more easier.

Type Of Kitchen This Is Best For: A kitchen that prioritizes convenience and quality over all else. The name Hamilton Beach is well known within the small kitchen appliance industry. Problem is you cannot find product reviews on their website. No worries Amazon has reviews on this model. I recommend reading them if you want to learn more about this coffee maker. Like many other coffee makers this model requires a consistent cleaning schedule to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Hamilton Beach does offer options when a coffee maker ceases to function. They have return policies (learn about it on their returns page), recall policies, and warranty policies. (Disclaimer in order to be eligible for these benefits you have to purchase directly through Hamilton Beach.) Hamilton Beach provides product registration. They have a recycling program if all other options are exhausted.


If you want to make sure I am not just promoting check my sources:

Did this help answer the question of what is the best drip coffee maker? Leave a comment below to let us know if it did. If you have any further relevant questions or comments feel free to drop them below and we will answer as soon as possible.

Thanks for visiting, have a dandy day!

12 thoughts on “What is the Best Drip Coffee Maker? – How do you Even Tell.”

  1. Thank you for this article it has helped me learn more about the process behind how the coffee makers work. I currently have a Black & Decker 12 Cup Coffee Maker. No bells and whistles, and now it is starting to become faulty. 

    Some days when I push the brew button the entire machine goes dark. I think there is a short somewhere so I am thinking it is time to find a new coffee maker. It doesn’t brew properly. I can only brew a 6 cup cycle. If I try to brew a 12 cup cycle it over flows all over the counter. 

    This has helped me decide it is time to get a new one. I know what to look for in a machine. I really like all three of your choices. I am going to do some more research on the three, and make a better decision.  Thanks again.

    Kevin

    Reply
    • Oof the downfall of many great coffee makers, issues with the electronics.

      It is always a pleasure to help especially when it’s someone with the same name. Have a wonderful day.

      Warm regards,

      Kevin.

      Reply
  2. Thank you for your post. It is timely for me. Last week I broke my coffee maker. I thought about buying a new one, but never took time to do the research.

    Here comes your article, which contains all the info I need to buy a new one. We had a complicated coffee maker and it was not easy to operate. This time I would like to have a simple one. Based on this, a drip coffee maker is the best option for simplicity. 

    I love kitchenaid products. We have several kitchenaid products in our house now and all of them give us satisfactory results. I am happy to see that their coffee makers are of high quality. I am definitely going to purchase this recommended one.

    Reply
    • Glad I could help, I totally understand that conducting research can be pain. No worries when it comes to researching kitchen cookware and appliances I got you covered.

      Reply
  3. I am looking for a coffee maker as a gift. I just want a unit that is simple to use and not too many functions. Proctor Silex seems like a good one. The 2 hours auto shut off and the water window is good features for me.

    Thank you for the information.

    Reply
    • You are welcome. I own a Proctor Silex coffee maker and I am extremely satisfied with it’s performance to date. To this day I have not encountered any issues with brewing coffee, internal electronics, or breakage of parts like the carafe.

      Proctor Silex sure does know how to make easy to use coffee makers that brew coffee reliably, so long as proper use and care is applied.

      Reply
  4. Nice article on how to identify and get the best drip coffee maker. It’s very difficult I must say to get the best of the best drip coffee maker as there are a thousand nice drip coffee makers out there. To get the best I guess you just have to look for the one that best suits your usage and simply get it. Within this article are some tips that could help anyone identify the best, just like it helped me. Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Hellooo dear, thanks for sharing this valuable content with us. I was actually doing some research online when I saw your review on best drip coffee makers. I believe one these models is exactly what my mom needs to help her in the kitchen. This article will be of great quality to her, thanks for the info! I’ll surely follow up on these recommendations.

    Reply
    • Great to hear! There are so many coffee makers out in the market. It certainly can become tedious to see which one is best for your needs. Hopefully this post makes things easier for your mom. 

      Reply
  6. Hey Kevin, thank you for this very informative post on coffee makers, I like the fact that this post is so detailed and contains everything one needs to know about choosing the best coffee maker for a particular kitchen.

    I understand that for such a comprehensive post as this, someone has gone though a lot of conscious, calculated and deliberate effort to put together. 

    I really find it useful for me as I am considering getting a new coffee maker because the one I have is giving me enough issues already.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Honestly thank you for the kind words. I really did put a lot of effort into creating and publishing this post.

      I wanted to make it as easy as possible for someone who wanted to do research but does not have the time or interest to do so. 

      I am super happy to have been able to provide you with useful insight on the topic.

      Reply

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