Not all coffee lovers are keen on forking out a fortune which is why I went on a quest for the best coffee maker under $100. While fancy, professional quality machines certainly have their perks (pun intended!), you don’t need to spend top dollar to get a good pot of coffee.
After reviewing an array of products, my journey led me to the Black+Decker CM2035B Thermal Coffeemaker. This model has a lot to offer at just the right price.
However, the market is filled with all kinds of solid options under $100.
If you prefer to tailor your coffee with the pour-over method or opt for cold brew, this list has options for those too. Read on to find which one you prefer and to find some helpful tips for how to decide with my Buyer’s Guide section.
Top Pick: Black+Decker CM2035B
When it comes to the best affordable machine, the Black+Decker CM2035B Thermal Coffeemaker stood out among the competition.
Offering an array of desirable features, this streamlined unit is easy to use and features a large capacity double-wall vacuum-sealed thermal carafe.
Brew in the morning and you’ll still have a hot cup of coffee a couple of hours later. This model is also programmable and has a special button for strong coffee strength. The one minor drawback of this model is brew time. It will take about 10 minutes to fill the pot. However, with programmable settings, this shouldn’t be an issue.
I highly recommend this machine for anyone who want their basic morning drip at a nominal price.
- Solid performance
- Brews 12 cups
- Thermal carafe to keep coffee hot
- Great value
- Longer brew cycle
- Other options better for fancier coffee
Best To-Go Option: Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single-Serve Coffeemaker
Why brew into a pot when you can brew right into your travel mug? With Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Single-Serve Coffeemaker, you can do just that.
The adjustable drip tray lets you brew into mugs of varying sizes. This is an excellent feature if you’re in a rush. It also saves you the hassle of cleaning out the coffee pot and your mug.
One of the unique features of this coffee machine is you can use pods or your own grounds. Simply plop in the pod or fill up the reusable coffee pod with your favorite blend. I also love that this lets you brew 14 ounces of your favorite blend.
What I’m not big on is the quality. While Hamilton does make some solid products, this one may not be as durable as others. However, if you don’t need to make enough coffee to caffeinate the entire office, you may find this single-cup brew machine works for you.
- Direct brew into your mug
- Brew strength option
- Slim design
- Three minute brew time
- Only good for one serving
- Other options may be better quality
- Small water reservoir (max 14 ounces of water)
Best 2-Way Option: Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer
Need a cup now and one to go? The Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer is your solution.
This cleverly designed coffee machine features a dual brewing system that lets you brew into a coffee pot, as well as, a to-go cup. Additionally, this machine is programmable and has an auto-off button. This gives you some peace of mind you won’t come home to a pool of coffee in the kitchen.
The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew also includes a reusable mesh filter. This is nice because it means less waste and saves money. The downside is the drip tray isn’t adjustable like the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew.
- Large glass carafe
- Brew into travel mugs and coffee pots
- Reusable filter
- Doesn’t fit all travel mugs
- Can’t brew both carafe and to-go at the same time
Best Budget Coffee Maker: Mr. Coffee 2129512 Mini Brew
While all the options on this list are priced affordably, you can’t beat the price of the Mr. Coffee 2129512 Mini Brew.
This compact coffee pot brews up to 25 ounces. This makes it ideal for a coffee-loving couple or one coffee addict. In addition to saving money and space, the single button makes operation a no-brainer. There’s also a built-in feature that lets you safely grab a cup mid-brew.
However, the small size does require more brews if you need to serve more than a few cups. With that in mind, this smaller coffee pot is a great option for those who prefer simplicity at a low cost and the taste compares with many more expensive coffee makers.
- Very inexpensive
- Compact size
- Auto pause function
- Simple operation
- Limited brewing capacity
- Not programmable
- No customization options
Best Basic Coffee Pot: Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker
If all you require is a basic drip machine, the Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker is right up your alley. Like the Mr. Coffee 2129512 Mini Brew, this 12-Cup unit has an auto-pause feature and a simple to operate on/off switch.
The advantage of this model is the large 12-cup carafe
The filter basket is easy to access while the water level measurement marks prevent you from overfilling the pot. Just note the simplicity of this design doesn’t come with any extra fancy programmable features.
I recommend this model if you really just need a basic machine that cuts out all the complicated features.
- Highly affordable
- Large serving capacity
- Very easy to use
- Easy cord storage
- No programmable function
- Not as durable as other options
Best French Press: Secura French Press
Some people swear by using a French press. If you’re one of them, consider the Secura French Press. I’ve had my Secura for over a year now and I’ve found plenty to love about it.
First, it’s stainless steel and not glass. This paired with the construction has made it durable enough to take camping. Meanwhile, the design is sophisticated enough for the kitchen.
My biggest gripe is temperature and size. While this model is double-walled, I find the insulation doesn’t keep the coffee warm enough.
As for the size, the good news is you can choose either the 12, 17, 34, or 50 ounce size. Additionally, the Secura French Press is offered in an assortment of colors.
- Brew strength control
- Various color options
- Assortment of sizes
- Doesn’t grind beans
- Insulation could be better
Best Cold Brew Option: Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew
Cold-brew just got easier with the Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker.
Constructed from durable BPA-free plastic, the Takeya is surprisingly durable for the price.
According to the manufacturer, this cold brew unit also has an airtight lid which increases the portability and spillproof factor.
This also enables you to store brewed coffee for up to two weeks in the fridge. I love that the incorporation of a fine mesh filter means you can skip buying paper filters.
The one drawback is the suggested brew time is 12-24 hours. This is to be expected with cold brew, but the 1 quart size may not be enough. The good news is, if you’re willing to invest a few more dollars, you can upgrade to the 2 quart size.
- Airtight lid
- Hot brew compatible
- Long brew process
- Learning curve for dialing in coffee strength
Best Pour Over Option: Coffee Gator Pour Over
Pour-over coffee has developed a big following for good reasons. If you’re interested in getting in on the action, the Coffee Gator Pour Over has you covered.
The Coffee Gator Pour Over is designed to enhance the aroma and flavor of your grounds. The concept is also very easy. Fill the stainless steel filter with the coarse ground, pour boiling water over said grounds, and then let the coffee maker do its thing.
If you’re worried about hot glass, you should know the manufacturer claims this is a heat-resistant product.
As for brewing capacity, this pour-over model is capable of producing 3 cups. The drawback is cold brew is a much slower process than fully automatic drip machines. However, you have full control over your coffee strength so you can craft the ideal cup.
- Produces tasty results
- Heat-resistant glass
- Reusable mesh filter
- Longer brew time than a machine
- Limited amount of cups
When it comes to coffee makers, there is a range of types, features, and functions that can easily cause your head to spin. Don’t worry, I’m here to help! Here are all the features and attributes any coffee enthusiast would need to know.
Types of Machines
Before you can even think about all the different machine features, you first have to pick a type. In a nutshell, there are two types of coffee makers. Automatic or manual.
From there, the world of coffee can get very confusing. You have your French presses, percolators, pour overs, drip coffee machines, and cold brewers – just to name a few.
Here’s a breakdown of the options for you to consider.
Drip Coffee Maker
This is the classic style most people are familiar with. You load the beans, water, and then hit brew. Some drip coffee makers come with built-in grinders while others have to be loaded with pre-ground coffee. Most will come with a pot or carafe. However, some let you brew directly into your mug.
Electric percolators feature two different chambers, one for water and one for your coffee grounds. As the water heats up, it flows through the chamber with the grounds and cycles.
Unlike other machines, this results in your grounds being brewed more than one time.
Single Serving Pods
Love them or hate them, coffee pod machines are downright efficient. These machines have developed a huge fan base due to their user-friendliness, fast brew time, and minimal effort.
They operate by piercing a pre-filled capsule of grounds. Of course, this comes with numerous limitations including what blends you can brew and brewing capacity. It also creates more waste.
Electric Cold Brew
This is similar to a drip machine except it produces cold coffee. It also has a much longer brew time and many claim it tastes less acidic.
Espresso makers are specialized machines. They produce highly concentrated cups of caffeine that come in a much smaller serving size than traditional cups of coffee.
If you’re all about fancy coffee drinks, automatic espresso makers are certainly worth looking into.
This is one of the simplest manual coffee makers to use. Add your grounds, pour in hot water, and let it steep. Once it’s down, push down on the plunger and pour.
There is an art to the pour-over method that some coffee aficionados swear by.
This style involves placing a filter into a dripper, adding in coarse grounds, and then pouring hot water over said grounds. Pour over does require some fine-tuning as you find the right ratio of water to grounds. However, it gives you a good deal of control over your flavor.
Cold brew makers are like a blend of a French press and pour-over.
You load a filter with grounds, pour in cold water, and wait. Wait time is typically 12-24 hours.
This is the same concept as the electric percolator. Except rather than operating on electricity, you heat up the water by placing the percolator on the stove.
Do you need to swim in a vat of coffee before you can even think about your daily grind? Or does half a cup perk you right up? Some coffee makers pump out numerous cups in a single brew. Others only make a single cup.
Unless you don’t mind doing rebrew after rebrew, I recommend buying a machine that is tailored to your coffee habits.
Like types of coffee makers, there’s a spectrum of how easy coffee machines are to use.
If you’re keen on user-friendly appliances, look for features such as programmable brew time, auto-off, easy to read display. Built-in grinders and coffee pods can also help with efficiency.
If you’re more into subtle nuances, you may find yourself leaning towards other methods that require a bit more work. However, the flavor is often worth the extra effort. Every coffee drinker has their favorite.
With all those options come more features than you could imagine. Here are the main ones to consider.
The nice thing about programmable machines is you can wake up and smell the coffee first thing in the morning. A few features you can program are strength, auto-shutoff, and brew time.
This controls how much water flows through your grounds so you can achieve the desired brew strength. With manual units, it’s easy to control coffee strength by finding the right water to grounds ratio.
On the other hand, automatic machines tend to have various options for coffee strength. However, not all do so check first.
Some automatic machines have built-in grinders that let you load them with whole beans. This is a desirable attribute if you want fresh grounds, but don’t want to grind your own.
Mug or Pot
Single serving machines brew right into your own mug. Other larger capacity options come with a pot or carafe so you can make a big batch in a single brew.
Hot or Cold
Do you prefer hot coffee or cold brew?
Nowadays there are specialized machines that let you brew your coffee cold. Some also let you brew hot. However, if you do prefer hot coffee to cold, then hot brewing machines will be more favorable.
There are three types of filters you can choose from which are mesh filters, paper filters, or coffee pods.
The pods are the most efficient while paper filters make cleaning easier. Meanwhile, mesh filters cut down on waste.
Best Coffee Maker Under $100? Which One Is Right For You?
The BLACK+DECKER CM2035B Thermal Coffeemaker was the favorite of the bunch due to the array of desirable attributes, user-friendliness, and large coffee pot.
If you really just need a basic machine, the Mr. Coffee 2129512 Mini Brew is a good option.
Meanwhile, the Hamilton Beach Two-Way has some extra perks which include two different ways to brew.
Either way, given the nominal price, you really can’t go wrong with any of these options.