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When you’re buying a coffee maker, you expect to get a decent cup of coffee even from an affordable product. Much to our surprise, some of the models we had to test were so utterly disastrous that they managed to make a tasteless drink from excellent beans.
When selecting the best 9 coffee makers under $100, we went through more than 40 models from a variety of manufacturers. After multiple dozens of hours of research, we’ve found the main factors you should consider. First of all, we decided to include models that use ground coffee or capsules in our selection, as each option has its own nuances. Second, the carafe capacity was an important consideration, since some people may need just a cup of coffee, while others may want a big carafe for an entire family. Finally, we made sure that our choices are not too bulky, as you won’t probably want to adjust your furniture to your coffee maker. The Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 ended up being our Editor’s Choice for the great balance of features it strikes.
Cuisinart is a world-famous brand popular for its top-quality kitchen appliances. The Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 is a classy coffee maker with an aesthetic and functional build. It is a fully programmable coffee maker and has a large capacity of 14 cups. Plus, you can adjust the intensity of your coffee brew with an intuitive user interface.
In comparison to the previous versions, the 3200P1 has a larger capacity which is a huge plus for anyone who has a large family of coffee lovers. Its self-cleaning capabilities and insulation on the standard carafe are also much better. This means you don’t have to spend so much time disassembling the machine when you need to deep clean.
One of the core features of the DCC-3200 is a programmable timed brewing. You can sync the unit’s clock with its automatic brewing function to have a cup of coffee ready when you wake up. Moreover, there are brewing strength options. You can choose either the standard or bold strength. The bold option produces more concentrated coffee that evokes a flavor closer to espresso.
What are its best features?
Sleek silver aesthetics that can go well with any kitchen décor
Large brewing capacity
Effective brew-strength calibration
Impressive self-cleaning capabilities
What could be improved?
The coffee maker lacks a grinder
Has a small ground coffee capacity compared to other coffee makers within its range
If convenience is what you look for in a coffee maker, then the Cuisinart DCC-1200 is your best bet. The machine has a lot to offer, from a programmable timer to a brew pause. Like all the other Cuisinart products, the DCC-1200 is on par when it comes to quality construction. It boasts a sturdy build with brushed chrome accents and a scratch-resistant heating plate that will look great in your kitchen for a long time.
The DCC-1200 brew central distinguishes itself with myriad convenient features. It has a programmable timer that allows you to schedule your brew up to 24 hours in advance. You can also program its automatic shut-off for 0 to 4 hours after brewing. One of the core feature for this coffee maker is its ability to brew a whole pot of 12 cups, or 4 cups or 1 cup at a go. What’s more, you can pause the brewing process and serve yourself a cup of coffee.
Unlike most coffee makers, the DCC-1200 comes with a ready tone that beeps 5 times after the brewing cycle is complete. If you hate the idea of cleaning your coffee maker with your hands, then this is your prime option. It has a self-cleaning feature, and its brushed chrome exterior wipes clean with a damp cloth.
We loved everything about the DCC-1200 but what stood out the most for us is the charcoal filter that removes impurities from your that is likely to alter your coffee’s taste. We also liked the unit’s showerhead design which completely saturates coffee grounds for optimal extraction.
Braun is a reputable brand, and they hardly ever disappoint with their top-end kitchen appliances. The Braun KF6050WH is one of their rare gems. If you love to have great-tasting coffee at the comfort of your home without denting your wallet, then this is your plug. The machine has a simple user interface and an advanced technology that ensures your coffee is brewed correctly.
The Braun KF6050WH comes in a stylish design and has a small footprint. It is the perfect coffee maker for a cramped kitchen or a tiny kitchen space. It also features a 24-hour programmable timer that you can set to wake up to a flavorful cup of coffee every day. You will also appreciate the auto-off feature that switches it off when not in use.
Using the Braun KF6050WH is such a breeze. You only need to switch it on, add water to the reservoir, add some coffee grounds, then press the brew button. It will take 8 ½ minutes to brew 8 cups of coffee. You can choose to brew 1-4 cups or make a full pot.
This is an extremely well-made model, which shouldn’t be all that surprising, since the company that manufactures it is the well-known Mr. Coffee. This company has built a good reputation over a lot of years thanks to their easy-to-use and durable products. This maker is no exception.
The best feature of this unit has got to be its simplicity. While many coffee makers offer tons of different modes and options, this model is consistently simple. All you need to do is load the water tank, put in a filter with your favorite coffee, and turn it on. There are no decisions to make, which is a big time-saver in the morning.
Something else that helps to make this such an easy-to-use coffee maker is its dual water windows. These windows make it very easy to see when you need to add water, which is extremely convenient.
This coffee machine also has a warming plate that will keep the coffee hot for a good long time, which makes it great for anyone that lives in a household with more than one coffee drinker. Of course, it doesn’t have a very large capacity, so this wouldn’t be a good model for very large groups.
This simplistic design also makes it very easy to clean. Since there are not a ton of moving parts with this coffee machine, all you need to do is wash the filter basket and the 4 cup glass carafe, and then run it a few times without any coffee in place. You can also scrub the water tank if you like, though this isn’t completely necessary.
If you are in a larger household, or you just have lots of friends over for breakfast, then you are going to need a coffee maker with a large capacity. If that is the case for you, then this is a great model to check out. It has an outstanding glass carafe with a capacity of 96 fluid ounces. This adds up to about 12 cups of coffee each and every time you are brewing, which is perfect for larger gatherings.
This programmable coffee maker also allows you to brew your coffee at different strengths. If you are someone that needs a ton of caffeine, then you can easily select a stronger setting. On the other hand, if lots of caffeine makes you a bit too jittery, then you can choose to make it a bit lighter without having to sacrifice any taste. You can also program this maker to brew your coffee whenever you need it, at whatever strength you want it.
Something else that helps to set this coffee machine apart from its competition is the fact that it can be used to make either a whole pot of coffee at a time or just one cup at a time. The cup size can also be altered, which is very helpful. That way, you can select from a standard mug or a travel cup and not have to wait for the whole pot of coffee to be made.
While these different brewing options are very helpful, they do make this a bit of a tougher machine to clean. Since the water can go two different ways, it makes it so that you need to use a ton of water to clean out the system since you have to flush both water lines completely.
Even though all of the different coffee makers on our list are quite budget-friendly, this model takes it to another level. This is a cheaper model for sure, but that, thankfully, doesn’t mean it isn’t a quality machine. In fact, this is one of the most durable and easiest to use makers you can buy, even though it doesn’t cost very much.
Something else that helps to provide even more value for this coffee maker is the fact that it comes with a permanent filter. This permanent filter is very easy to use. All you need to do is simply fill it with your favorite coffee and let the machine do its work. Once the grounds have cooled down, you can dispose of them and rinse out the filter and allow it to air dry. From there, you can use it again the next time you are ready for a cup of hot coffee. Of course, you will also need to handwash it at least once a month to keep it working correctly.
One thing that you will need to keep in mind with this otherwise high-quality coffee brewer is that it does take a long time for it to make a pot of hot coffee. This is a bit surprising from such a compact and low capacity maker, but it is definitely something to keep in mind. This is especially the case if you are someone that has a hectic morning without a lot of time built-in before you need to head to work.
Ever since the first Keurig coffee maker burst onto the brewing scene several years ago, their models have been the very picture of consistency and convenience. They are the premier single-cup brewing system on the market, and for a good reason. Since you can easily make a quick cup of coffee just for yourself, they are perfect for anyone that either lives alone or with someone that has a very different taste in coffee. Since you are only brewing one cup at a time, you can easily switch between flavors so that everyone gets what they want.
Something else that stands out for this model is that you can select from three different cup sizes. This makes it possible to brew a small, medium, or large cup of hot coffee on demand whenever you need it, which is ideal for different days of the week.
This is also one of the quickest brewers that you can buy. Since you are only brewing one cup at a time, you don’t need to wait the standard 5 minutes for your cup of coffee like you do with a drip brewer. If you are the first person to brew a cup of coffee for the day, then you will need to wait an additional minute for the water to be warmed. After that, each cup will only take about a minute as long as the water lasts.
The only real issue with this single serve coffee maker is that it is relatively lightweight, which means it isn’t very durable. It would probably do best in a location that it can’t be bumped or knocked to the floor since it would most likely break immediately.
If you are in the market for an easy-to-use unit with an outstanding capacity, then this thermal coffee maker might be the best model for you. To start off with, it is completely programmable. While some other machines make this process very difficult, this model is very easy to program, which is essential if you want to wake up to a freshly brewed cup of hot coffee in the morning.
This is also one of the easiest to clean coffee makers out there. This is partly due to the straightforward design and reusable coffee filter, which is very easy to clean in its own right. This appliance also comes with a charcoal water filter, which is designed to limit any unsightly deposits from building up in the water tank. This filtration system helps to keep everything running smoothly and is not very expensive to replace. These filters will last you about 60 pots of coffee.
Unlike most other coffee makers at this price point, this model comes with a nice long warranty. Not only will this help you if something should break on the maker through normal use, but it also indicates how well the company stands behind its product, which is a testament to its quality.
There isn’t too much not to like about this coffee maker, but one thing to keep in mind is that the water level indicator is very hard to read. You will need to keep a close eye on your water levels to make sure that you don’t run out of water right in the middle of a brewing session.
If you are someone that has a retro-style kitchen, then this is a great coffee maker for you. It combines the look of the 50s with all of the modern convenience of an easy-to-use programmable design. This is, without a doubt, the best programmable coffee maker for under $100 on the market today. The large controls and clear directions make setting this maker up a breeze, and its retro look is almost too cool to pass up.
This is also one of the safer to use coffee makers you can buy as well. It features an automatic shut-off feature that makes it so that it can’t get too hot or burn your coffee. This is a great feature since it prevents your coffee from burning at best, while also keeping the machine from burning itself out at worst.
Not only is this machine a great conversation starter due to its looks, but it also has a large enough capacity to keep all of your guests or family members happy. Though the water reservoir is very hard to fill, it can hold a ton of water, which makes this a perfect option for anyone that wants 12 cups of coffee each and every day.
The clock is another nice feature. While this is, of course, not essential for brewing quality coffee, it is nice to have an easy-to-read clock for programming when that coffee will be made. This clock is large and visible enough to see from across the kitchen, which is extremely convenient.
What are its best features?
Easy to read clock
What could be improved?
Difficult to fill reservoir
Things to Consider
In this section, we will go through everything that you need to know to find the best coffee maker under $100 for your needs. We have also taken the time to answer several frequently asked questions, so be sure to read through those as well if you still need further clarification.
Features to consider while choosing a coffee maker under $100
As you can imagine, there are lots of different features that you need to keep in mind when you are looking for the best-rated coffee maker that has a price point under $100. In this section, we will go through all of these key details in-depth, so that you can make an informed decision and get the best possible coffee brewer for your needs.
Which coffee it requires
The first thing that you want to take into account when you are looking for a new coffee maker is the type of coffee that you want to use. With the models that we found to be the best on the market, you have two different options that you can choose from. You can either get a coffee maker that uses ground coffee or K-cup pods. Each of these different options offers different advantages and disadvantages that you will need to keep in mind before you make your final decision.
Ground coffee makers are perfect for anyone that has a bit more time in their morning. Since you will have to measure out the coffee on your own each time you use them, they take a bit longer to get up and running than a capsule maker. Of course, with ground coffee, you can change up the amount of coffee that you use to either make a stronger or weaker cup of coffee based on your preferences. You can also make more than one cup of coffee at a time, which is essential if you have a lot of coffee drinkers in your home. Capsule makers, like the Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, are quick and convenient. They are also perfect for anyone that is looking to only make one cup of coffee at a time.
Water tank/carafe size
After you have made up your mind on the type of coffee that you want to use in your new coffee maker, the next thing that you should think about is how large of a capacity you need the carafe or water tank to have. Obviously, this decision is going to come down to just how much coffee you need to make in the morning.
If you have a lot of coffee drinkers in your household, then you should probably go with a coffee brewer like the Nostalgia RCOF120AQ, which has an enormous capacity of 96 ounces. Of course, if you only need to make a few cups each morning, you can save yourself some money and a bit of room on your counter by getting a model like the Mr. Coffee Simple Brew Coffee Maker.
Cup size options
While a majority of the options that we found for under $100 only can be used to make a whole pot of coffee at the time, there are two different models you can use if you only want to brew a single cup of coffee at a time. The first model, the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker, can be used to make either a whole pot of coffee or a single cup. This is a great option for anyone that usually only needs one cup of coffee but also has the option to brew a single cup of coffee at a time. Of course, this only works for cup size, which is a bit limiting.
The other option you can choose if you are looking for a different cup size option is the Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker. This capsule coffee maker is only designed to make one cup of coffee at a time. It can, however, make three different sizes, which is ideal for anyone that makes different size cups based on how much caffeine they need on any given day.
Filters are something else that you will want to consider very carefully before you make your final decision. Obviously, this does not come into play if you get a capsule coffee system since the capsules act as a filter on their own. If you are looking to get the best drip coffee maker for under $100, then you will need to make sure that you understand the different filter options on the market.
When it comes to getting filters, you have two different options. The first is the tried and true method of buying disposable paper filters. While these filters don’t cost all that much, this extra cost will add up over time, so it might be better to go with the second option. The second option is to look for a coffee maker that comes with a reusable and washable filter, like the BLACK+DECKER CM0700BZ or the Cuisinart DCC-2750. Even though you will need to wash these filters after every use, they will save you a bit of money over time, making them an attractive option for anyone that is watching their budget closely.
When it comes to finding a good coffee maker that is also budget-friendly, you also need to think about the overall dimensions as well. Odds are that you don’t have a ton of extra space in your cabinets or on your countertop. As such, it is a good idea to make sure that you look for a model that is going to fit without dominating the space.
If you are looking for the most compact model available, then you will want to check out the BLACK+DECKER CM0700BZ. This coffee brewer is still able to make plenty of coffee, making it an ideal option for anyone with a lot of coffee drinkers in their home but a limited amount of storage in their kitchen.
As is the case with any new appliance purchase, you need to make sure that you look very carefully at the warranty information. The last thing that you want to have happened to you is to buy a model with what you think is a good warranty, only to find out that the part that failed isn’t covered.
Even though all of the models on our list are made by reputable companies, you still should take the time to carefully read through any warranty information. That way, you will be able to understand exactly what is and what isn’t covered by the warranty.
One of the coolest extra features that you want to keep on your radar when you are shopping for your new coffee makers is whether each model is programmable. If you choose to get a maker that is programmable, then you can set it up to make coffee for you when you need it. This is a great way to save time in the morning since the coffee will be ready and waiting for you when you wake up.
Something else that you want to keep in mind is to look for a maker that has a very easy to read water level. That way, you will be able to see quickly if you need to add more water to your maker. This is another great way to save yourself some time in the morning since it will limit the number of times that you need to add water while you are getting ready.
How to maintain your coffee maker
Even though you aren’t spending tons of money on this new coffee maker, that doesn’t mean that you want to have it break down on you quickly. That is why you need to make sure you take the time to clean it regularly so that it will keep working for a good long time. When you are cleaning your machine, you should follow these steps:
First, you need to clean the filter. Remove it from the coffee maker. Then hand wash it with warm and soapy water. Allow it to dry completely before putting it back into the machine.
Once the filter has been cleaned, you should run the maker through a brewing cycle without any coffee. This will allow it to descale itself since the hot water will clean out any deposits that might have built up over time. This should be done every two weeks.
If you want to, you can also run a ¼ vinegar to ¾ water mixture through. This will help to give you machine an even deeper cleaning. This should be done every two months.
If you get a coffee maker that is programmable, you will be able to set when you want your coffee to be brewed. This programmable feature is extremely helpful for anyone with a busy morning since you won’t have to get it set up and running for yourself in the morning. Instead, you can get it ready the night before, and the coffee will be waiting for you in the morning.
This will all depend on whether or not you remove the carafe from your coffee maker. Most drip coffee machines have a warmer on them where the carafe sits. As long as the machine is on, the carafe will stay warm. If you move the carafe from the maker, then the coffee should stay hot for 1-2 hours, depending on how ventilated the carafe is.
Drip coffee makers take a bit longer to brew coffee than a capsule model. For drip makers, you will probably need about 5 minutes to brew a cup, while a capsule machine will only take between 2 or 3.
Coffee makers are a must-have for coffee aficionados. A high-quality coffee maker is your only chance for getting the best quality brew as often as you want it. Thanks to advancements in technology, coffee makers come with several convenient features. Our product round-up should help you make the best-informed choice when buying a coffee maker. For instance, our top pick, the Cuisinart DCC-3200P1, is the best coffee maker you can get if you value durability, ease of use, and high efficiency.
Our second pick, the Cuisinart DCC-1200, is the best convenient coffee maker you can invest in. Besides a programmable timer, it has an automated shut-off feature and a brew pause that allow you to get your coffee at your best convenience.
Finally, if you don’t have much space on your kitchen counter, you might want to take a look at the Braun BrewSense KF6050WH. Even though this product is the most compact on our list, it doesn’t make any sacrifices when it comes to quality or features.