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Best Coffee Maker For The Money  
Everything You Need to Know to Get a Great Coffee Maker at a Great Price
Top Five for the Money (Based on our Frugal5 Formula)
How do we pick these products? We spend many hours doing unbiased research to only give you the highest rated products at the best price. We first come up with a list of features, which you can see below, that we feel the majority of people will need. We then look for the highest quality products with these features and only show you the top five with the best value. Our mission is to provide you with the best five options based only on the facts. Don't see the product you were thinking about getting? Click here to calculate it's frugal score.
Black & Decker CM1650BHamilton Beach 43253Melitta 46893Black & Decker CM1050WMr. Coffee BVMC-SJX33GT
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Product Rating
Average Price
Cheap ($55)
Cheap ($43)
Cheap ($49)
Cheap ($35)
Cheap ($40)
Frugal5 Score
Additional Info
2 years
1 year
2 years
Features Needed
8 – 12 Cup Capacity
Automatic Shutoff
- 2 hour
Large Display
Pause and Serve
Features Not Needed
Automatic Cleaning
Brew Strength Selector
Built in Coffee Grinder
Drip-free spout
Filter Basket
More than 12 Cups
Permanent Filter
Water Filter
What You Need To Know In 5 Minutes

Every brown-blooded, coffee-loving American knows that a good strong cup of coffee is a necessity every morning. For a coffee machine to be truly great, it needs to get hot enough to brew a strong cup of coffee and it needs to shut off when you forget to turn it off in your morning rush out the door. You’ll want a mid-sized carafe and the ability to pour a cup while it’s still brewing the pot. To find the best machines for the best price, look at the following important features:

The Carafe

“Carafe” is the word coffee machine makers use to describe the coffee pot part of the machine. Some makers call it a decanter. Fragile carafes have disappointed many in the past. If you break it, you’ll have a hard time finding a replacement that fits, without spending nearly as much as you would to buy another coffee maker. Unfortunately, getting around that particular problem means using a stainless steel carafe and paying more…a lot more. So, the trick is to find a machine with a standard sized carafe that’s easy to replace. That means avoiding anything too fancy or unusual in design. Keeping it simple keeps it replaceable.

The carafe should hold at least 8 cups, but you probably don’t need more than 12, depending on how much of a coffee addict you are. Once you get over 12 cups, you get into the realm of coffee makers that really only make sense for large get-togethers, not a cozy gathering of just you, possibly your spouse, and of course, your bunny slippers. Too big or too small means too hard to replace as well.


Coffee machines tend to disappoint in temperature. If the machine doesn’t get hot enough, the coffee turns out weak and cools off before you can make it back for a second helping. It’s important to avoid machines where consumers have complained about tepid coffee. 


Not everyone needs a timer, but it is a nice feature. Besides, auto shut-off is an important feature for energy savings, and you generally don’t get auto shut-off without a built-in timer. The key is finding a timer with a large, easy-to-read display so you don’t have to squint.

Other Features

A built-in filter basket is another handy feature, saving you the trouble of hunting down paper filters and filling up landfills with unnecessary waste. It’s not a necessity though; you can get a filter basket for less than $5. A “pause to pour” feature is handy for those of us who can’t wait the ten minutes to get a sip. Don’t bother with machines that include grinders. They tend to disappoint, with the grinds becoming stuck in different parts of the machine. Such machines aren’t easy to clean either. Buy your coffee already ground, or use a separate grinder. You don’t really need a brew strength selector since you can control the strength of your brew by adjusting the fineness of your coffee grinds. 


You can find a no-frills coffee maker for less than $20, or you can spend hundreds. The good news is that a good coffee maker doesn’t have to break the bank. Some cheaper coffee makers have all the features and the same reliability as their more expensive counterparts. The trick is to find a model that isn’t new to the market. The best bet for your money sells for half of what it did when it debuted.

The price will largely depend upon the brand you choose. Although Mr. Coffee was the market standard for years, he’s been slacking for the last 20 years or so. The quality of Mr. Coffee makers seems to be hit or miss, making the brand hard to trust. Other brands that sell affordable coffee makers include Proctor Silex, Black & Decker and Hamilton Beach. If you’re willing to spend a little more, you might look into Cuisinart and Krups. Big spenders should look into DeLonghi, Bunn and Melitta. 

Putting It All Together

Based on the above, you can find a good coffee maker for under $60. You’ll want to stick to 8 – 12 cups for capacity and choose a glass carafe to keep the price affordable. Look for automatic shutoff and “pause and serve” for convenience. Avoid large capacity coffee makers with extra bells and whistles like a coffee grinder. Remember that a filter basket is a nice feature, but not a necessity. 

Features You Need
8 – 12 Cup Capacity, Automatic Shutoff, Large Display, Pause and Serve
Features You Don't Need
Automatic Cleaning, Brew Strength Selector, Built in Coffee Grinder, Drip-free spout, Filter Basket, More than 12 Cups, Permanent Filter, Programmable, Water Filter
What You Should Pay
Between $35.00 - $55.00
Top Of The Line Price
Over $700.00