13 best cheap coffee makers to kick up your morning routine on a budget

Kelsey Chapman
Monday 24 May 2021 20:39
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If you’ve been brewing more coffee than usual, you may have noticed it’s time to upgrade your at-home maker but don’t have a lot of money to spare despite saving on those $5 latte indulgences at your local coffee house.

Considering this need versus the financial restrictions many are experiencing with the high unemployment rate, we looked at some of the top-selling cheap coffee makers (all under $100, most considerably so) to see which options provided the most caffeine-stimulated bang for a few bucks as possible and came up with the following options. In this list, you’ll find many traditional drip makers that now frequently come with reusable filters, as well as a couple of options for those who like a more hands-on sipping experience in their morning routine. While you're at it, make sure to pick up one of our top-recommended coffee blends as chosen by baristas and other coffee experts for the truly perfect cup in your own kitchen.

What type of affordable coffee makers are available?

Well, that depends on your needs and wants. Here are some options we’ve included:

-Drip coffee maker:

This is the standard-issue coffee maker most American households keep on the kitchen counter. You pour water into a reservoir, spoon grounds into a filtered basket, then program the machine to brew immediately or at a specified time. A drip maker will make a larger amount of coffee (many have a 12-cup capacity) and keep the coffee warmer longer thanks to a heated plate below the carafe.

-French Press:

The French press is a simpler option for those who want strong, fresh coffee but are okay with drinking less of it and quicker, thanks to a lack of heating element. The basic components include a beaker, plunger, metal strainer, handle, lid, and base. Simply pour coarse grounds into the beaker, top with hot water to the fill line, then let the coffee steep for a variable amount of time depending on your preferred taste, then slowly plunge the strainer to the bottom to keep grounds out of your delicious, steaming cup.

-Moka Coffee Pot

The Moka pot is a stovetop coffee maker that hit the market in 1933 and works by moving boiling water pressurized by steam through your grounds. They’re most popular in Europe and Latin America and require a bit of learning to achieve the perfect cup, but fans love the complex tastes you can achieve with a Moka.

-Pour-over Coffee Maker

Pour-over coffee gives you complete control from start to finish with the taste, heat, and finish of your coffee. It’s generally, like a French press, reserved for smaller portions since it’s harder to keep warm, but the one we’ve included here is tempered to sit on a stovetop for short amounts of time to avoid too-quick cooling. It’s a favorite of tastemakers and hip types who love a bespoke cup.

Keep reading to see which options from each category we’ve included, and check back as we update this piece regularly to bring your our latest and greatest coffee makers of all types for under $100.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Trio Coffee Maker 49954

If you want a machine that does it all, look no further than this Hamilton Beach coffee extravangza. You can drip brew 12 cups for a family size breakfast, use the single cup coffee maker for an individual cup at home, or use grounds on the individual side for a travel cup filled to the brim with caffeinated goodness. Reviewers love this model, citing only it’s relative slowness as a downside but all that for under $100? Worth it in our book.

GROSCHE Milano Stovetop Espresso Maker Moka Pot

It’s cute, it’s red, and it comes in a variety of sizes to match your needs! The Moka pot, as we mentioned above, is one that you’ll have fun experimenting with to perfect your technique. It’s a staple of true connoisseurs, so give it a shot and see if your $25 was well spent.

Mueller Ultra Coffee Maker, Programmable 12-Cup Machine

This Mueller model promises the best-tasting coffee that’s easy to brew, precision pouring, an easy-filling water chamber, and a permanent coffee filter built in, and the largely positive reviews (averaging 4.6 out of 5 stars) tend to back these towering claims.

As one top reviewer comments, “The carafe is heavy, solid and fits snugly inside of the unit, I have had no leaks and don't expect any. Programming is easy with this machine. All in all, my wife and I are both satisfied with this coffee maker and we will buy one as a gift for her parents,” while others point out pros like the excellent taste achieved through using the “strong coffee” button and the automatic shutoff that keeps you from scorching forgotten half-pots.

COSORI Pour Maker, 34 Ounce Glass Coffee Pot

For a perfect pour-over cup, the Cosori consistently wows buyers. You control the strength and taste of each cup entirely to your own liking, and the large, 34-ounce decanter allows you to brew enough for a full house in one batch. We also love the rustic charm of this Cosori’s design, and you’ll be reducing waste by skipping out on paper filters.

Cooks 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker

This coffee maker has all the bells and whistles of the affordable options above, but we can’t help but fall head over heels for this bright red color, ready to liven up any kitchen counter it graces. It’s also a space saver at just 10.3 inches wide!

Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer

Custom brew strengths and programmable settings mean you can rest easy and be ready to sip the second your eyes open each day with this Ninja model brewer. Priced at the higher end of this list, the ~$80 machine is a popular seller on Amazon and racks up well over a thousand positive reviews filled with praise like, “everything about the design makes complete sense” and “this is not your Mom's coffee maker by any means.” Some of the perks include a shower head style design that lets the water hit all the coffee grounds in an even pattern while brewing, and a small batch option for those who only want to make a few cups rather than the 12 it can handle at once.

Mr. Coffee Programmable 12-Cup Coffee Maker

When you’re talking coffee, it’s hard to go wrong with a company who names itself after the tasty beverage and this Mr. Coffee model is a low-cost, effective way to get the perks of pre-programming, reliable taste, mid-brew pausing that prevent spills, and a modern, attractive look for under $30. It also comes in this cool arctic blue shade, a novel and fun look for any kitchen, but more neutral options are also available for less colorful atmospheres.

K-Slim® Single Serve Coffee Maker

Currently marked down to $79.99 from its normal price of $109.99 and thus sneaking in just under our $100 limit, the Keurig K-Slim offers the convenience of single-cup brewing made popular by the brand with a seamless design that fits snugly into even the tiniest of kitchen setups. This is echoed throughout the reviews, such as one buyer who raves, “I love this brewer. It takes up little counter space in an already small kitchen,” adding that the K-Slim is the “best upgrade in a coffee maker that I have made.”

Cuisinart 14-Cup Coffee Maker in Copper

Another option that just squeaks in under budget is the stunning Cuisinart 14-Cup Brewer in Copper, which adds an unexpected stylish look in an otherwise relatively mundane appliance.

The matching carafe accents highlighted by the overall construction aside, this model also makes a helluva good cup as well according to more than 800 reviews. “It makes great tasting coffee, and I love the features,” says one thrilled owner who adds, “I always get coffee prepared the night before and set it so it’s always piping hot and ready for me in the morning.” They also note that you can turn off the audible indicator of a pot’s readiness, just in case you don’t want to be interrupted during those extra 15 minutes of sleep you manage you steal here and there.

Brim 8-Cup French Press Coffee Maker

No list of coffee makers is complete without trying to convert the non-believers to the virtue of at least the occasional cup of French press, and the Brim 8-Cup model is an especially enticing option for those who prefer their mugs large and refilled often. Dishwasher safe with a high-end filter for the best-tasting cup, the process takes only four minutes once your water is hot and requires all of two steps (add coarse coffee, press) to get a fresh, eye-opening drink. “I love it,” one user writes in their four-star review, “It’s all about process and this one keeps things simple.”

Bella Pro Series 5-Cup Coffeemaker

Scaling back down to the more cost-effective side of things, the Bella Pro Series 5-Cup coffee maker is a a great buy for someone whose caffeinated needs are limited and budget is tight–think student entering the dorms for the first time or solo young professional in their first big city apartment. This under $20 option might seem risky due to its low cost, but plethora of positive user reviews left speak to a quality that outperforms its price bracket.

“This little machine works really well,” one customer says of the Bella before praising the permanent filter included with purchase and convenient brew size: “I like having a filter I can just clean out and then reuse instead of having to buy them. If you’re like most people and have oversized coffee mugs then this will make enough for two and you’ll have some room for your liquid creamer.”

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew 2-Way Coffee maker

Versatility is key with this nifty 2-way coffee maker that allows you to indulge in a single cup when you’re on your own or whip up a full 12-cup carafe when the whole family is in need of a little kick. Perhaps the most unique and multi-use machine of the whole list, this Hamilton Beach product is fantastic when you want to indulge just a little and get a machine that will be prominent in your kitchen but serve you well in many situations.

Another pro to having two separate ways to brew is different drinkers can choose different varieties of coffee to brew, as one review points out: “We love that it is versatile - can make a pot of decaf coffee for us and a cup of regular coffee with the pod for our son.”

Black & Decker 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker, Black, CM1160B

Black & Decker is yet another trusted name in home appliances, and this coffee maker is the highest rated among the batch at Macy’s for under $30. It includes Quicktouch programming, a sneak-a-cup feature to prevent spills, digital controls with a rubberized feel, and a two hour shutoff among its benefits.

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