Last Updated on October 4, 2021 by John Moretti
For a large majority of people, starting the morning without a good cup of coffee seems pretty unthinkable. Coffee can offer a fantastic jumpstart and really get you going in the mornings. The question is, can a cheap coffee maker do the job as well as an expensive one?
Below is a list of some of the most highly recommended “budget” coffee makers that will not break the bank but will still make you a decent cup of joe at the start of your day.
You can also find a list here of different kinds of budget coffee makers and which one will best suit your needs. With this guide, you will quickly determine which coffee maker is right for you.
1. Mr. Coffee Easy Measure/Twelve Cup Maker
If there was ever a coffee maker whose main focus was just to create good coffee at a low price, it’s Mr. Coffee’s easy measure/ twelve cup maker. As its name suggests, this maker can hold twelve or so cups of coffee at a time, making it a great option for homes that contain several coffee drinkers.
The Mr. Coffee holds plenty of coffee, but it isn’t large. This makes it easy to store on a kitchen countertop without it being a total eyesore or taking up too much space.
Additionally, the filter basket is incredibly easy to lift and clean out, making it a very simple product to clean. It also has a dual water window to prevent overfills and spills. This makes Mr. Coffee not only easy to use but easy to clean. This model won’t make a mess in the kitchen every morning!
2. Ninja CE201
Of all the coffee makers here, the Ninja CE201 is easily the most expensive and has the most features. It’s techy in the sense that it has several features that can be customized and programmed to your tastes. It has an advanced boiler that is capable of reaching much hotter temperatures than some other coffee makers.
Additionally, it has customizable settings that can help it prepare to make your coffee ahead of time. The Ninja’s twenty-four-hour delay allows you to prepare for a brew a whole day in advance.
Additionally, the Ninja provides you with quite a range of coffee strengths. You can choose from settings anywhere between classic and rich flavor. Thanks to its advanced features, the Ninja will give you coffee that packs a powerful punch regardless of how strong you make it. You simply can’t go wrong with a Ninja, and the extra dollars you will have to spend are more than worth it!
3. Coffee Gator Pour Over Coffee Maker
For those of you coffee lovers out there who aren’t into fancy, techy gadgets, a Coffee Gator Pour Over coffee maker might be just the thing for you.
Pour-over coffee makers bring simplicity and ease of use to the forefront of their design. Make sure your coffee grounds have been ground until they are extremely fine and coarse (like salt and pepper tiny!). Next, boil your water on the stove and let the bubbles die down and settle.
Put the coffee grounds in the filter at the top of the coffee maker and pour your boiled water over the top. The grounds will infuse the water and drain out through the filter, leaving you with an aromatic, strongly-flavored cup of coffee. Because this method is all done by hand, it might also be called hand-brewing or manually brewing.
This is a pretty simple and easy way to make coffee, especially for those who don’t like the fancy and customizable features of electric coffee makers. The Coffee Gator is as good a product as any for you! Just make sure you are diligent about thoroughly cleaning the carafe and filter and you’ll be set.
4. Hamilton Beach 46310
If you are looking to get the most bang for your buck, the Hamilton Beach 46310 coffee maker is probably the best way to go.
This coffee maker can turn out a whopping twelve cups every morning and has plenty of customizable features but it is always under fifty dollars wherever you may choose to purchase one.
The 46310 allows you to set delays and times for your coffee to brew so you’re always ready with a cup ahead of time. This can be an especially nice feature for those who are fans of routine.
Plus, you can customize the strength level of your coffee and can choose anywhere from regular to bold. With the 46310 you can expect to wake up to a hot pot of coffee that has been brewed exactly to your tastes. It doesn’t get much better than this!
As mentioned before, this coffee maker can hold up to twelve cups of coffee at a time, but it also has a customizable single-serve option (which is usually one to four cups). Or if you’d still like to brew the whole twelve cups you can, but if you don’t want to wait for the whole thing to be done, you can simply pause the brew, remove the carafe, and pour yourself a cup. It’ll only take a couple of minutes!
5. Chulux Travel-Size Coffee Maker
The travel-size coffee maker is also a single-serve, meaning the Chulux works well for those who have smaller families or live on their own. One of the nicest things about the Chulux is its ability to be compatible with both coffee grounds and coffee pods.
Keep in mind that there is no reusable filter included, so you’ll either have to buy one of those or a package of disposable ones if using ground coffee is your method of choice.
Not only will this little machine make water hot for your coffee, but it can also serve as a rapid water heater for tea or anything else you may need to boil water for (such as soup, oatmeal, etc.).
This particular coffee maker is also small enough that it could be considered travel size. It’s perfect to take on vacations, business trips, or any other excursion.
In addition, the Chulux is remarkably easy to clean as long as you are diligent about removing and rinsing away old coffee grounds. The drip tray and filter basket can both be removed and washed right in the sink. You can also put vinegar and water into the carafe and push the button. This will quickly and thoroughly clean your machine so it’s ready for next time.
6. Bialetti Moka Express
The Bialetti Moka Express is a stovetop coffee maker and is considered to be the original Moka coffee pot. This coffee pot was invented back in 1933 by none other than Alfonso Bialetti who was a famous Italian engineer. If nothing else, the Bialetti Moka Express makes a statement in your kitchen by bringing back a retro 50s’ look (which is when the Bialetti was most popular).
All this makes it sound pretty fancy, I’m sure. Believe it or not, however, you can buy this coffee maker for only twenty to thirty dollars on Amazon. The Moka Express can be used with any type of stove (gas, electric, etc.) which makes it a pretty easy and reliable choice.
Keep in mind that coffee from this maker is typically measured by espresso cups, which tend to be on the smaller side. You can, of course, fill larger cups if you wish, it might just take a little longer than it would otherwise.
Wash your Bialetti by hand and with cold water only. Soap or detergent of any kind might ruin the maker and taint the flavor of your coffee so the dishwasher is not an option here!
7. AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
Quite possibly one of the best qualities about the AeroPress is its portability. The AeroPress coffee maker will make great coffee for you whether you are at home, vacationing, or on the road.
As expected, its small, thin build makes the Aero very easy to store on a countertop or even in a pantry or cupboard. Not only does it brew one to three cups of coffee at a time, but it also usually brews in a minute or less. This makes it an incredibly easy option to use, especially for people who are constantly on the go.
While the warranty on this coffee maker is only a one-year warranty, it is worth it with all the pieces included in the package. It comes with at least 350 filters that can be washed and reused several times. When you finally run out, you can buy packs of 350 at the store for a fairly cheap price.
Additionally, the filters are extra fine which is extremely good for keeping even the tiniest pieces of coffee grounds out of your coffee. For a small, cheap press, the AeroPress will turn out some good coffee anytime!
8. Keurig K Classic
Finally, we’ve reached to the end, so why not go out with a bang? The Keurig K Classic, though it might be one of the more expensive makers on the list, is a very notable mention. It costs about a hundred dollars on Amazon (but it is more expensive elsewhere!).
The K-Classic, unlike most of the coffee makers mentioned here, does not require coffee grounds to function. Instead, it brews coffee using coffee flavor pods or K-cups.
These cups can easily be popped into the coffee machine and made into a cup of delicious coffee in no time. The nice thing about this method is that there will be no mess of coffee grounds to clean up. You will still have to clean or descale your coffee maker regularly because it will suffer from buildup over time, but otherwise, it’s easy to clean and use.
Different Kinds of Budget Coffee Makers: Which One Do I Need?
You may or may not be aware of this, but there are multiple different kinds of coffee makers. Each of these coffee makers employs a different method which then alters the texture, consistency, and taste of the beverage.
If you’re wondering which one is right for you, you should know that it comes down to your personal preferences. You know what kind of flavor, consistency, and strength you like in your coffee, so you should choose which kind of coffee maker you want to invest in. Without further ado, here are three different kinds of coffee makers!
The first option is the drip coffee machine. The drip coffee method is without a doubt one of the easiest and most popular ways to brew coffee. Drip brewing also means you can brew only one cup or up to as many as fourteen cups at a time. This feature makes it a great option for families, traditional coffee brewers, and anybody who might be hosting an event.
To make coffee drip-style, simply add cold water to your coffee maker’s reservoir and let it heat up. Let the beans/grounds infuse the water and drain into the carafe through a filter to catch any grits and bits.
This gives you a very flavorful cupful that is usually silky smooth. If you are worried about burning your coffee, you can put it into a thermal carafe that will keep it hot without letting it burn. The drip method is familiar, easy, and will satisfy a crowd with no problem.
French press is a classically great way to brew (or rather steep) your coffee. A French press works by boiling water and putting the water and coffee grounds into a french press or carafe.
Let the coffee steep for several minutes until you are satisfied with the strength. Once the coffee has steeped for long enough, slowly and gently press down on the plunger. This will force all the grounds to the bottom until you are left with silky smooth coffee.
The cold brew method is how the beloved iced coffee is made. Iced coffee is most often made with already brewed coffee, but the cold brew method simply brews the coffee without using any heat which means it’s already cold!
The difference in using a cold brew maker is that your iced coffee will likely be much richer and more flavorful. This is an extremely desirable quality for most people!
The only downside is that your coffee could take up to twenty-four hours to brew. If you’re willing to put up with that and get ready for iced coffee ahead of time, you’ll do just fine.