Last Updated on November 22, 2021 by John Moretti
Many French Presses are made of glass, but these can be prone to shattering and are difficult to travel with. Plastic models are few and far between, however, as glass is still the go-to material in most cases.
In this post, I’ll be looking at the four best plastic French presses I’ve found, and giving you a quick run-through on each of them. The models are:
- Bodum Chambord French Press
- BonJour Ami-Matin French Press
- Bodum Bean Sustainable French Press
- OXO BREW Venture Travel French Press
So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at the presses.
1. The Bodum Chambord French Press
I tried out the Bodum Chambord French press on the recommendation of my friend and I have to say, I’m very glad I did.
Made of high-quality, scratch-resistant, BPA-free plastic, this Bodum model is by far one of the best plastic French presses I’ve seen in a long time.
The carafe is non-deformable by heat and resistant to temperature changes, meaning there’s no more waiting for the carafe to cool before handling the press. The plastic carafe also retains heat better than the glass models, keeping your coffee hotter for longer.
The filter is silicone-edged so as not to leave scratches on the interior plastic walls of the carafe. The result of this is a tighter seal and a better job of filtering. The Bodum Chambord left much less ground coffee sediment in the bottom of my coffee cup, but still gave me that heavy taste I’ve always loved from French Press coffee.
This is also one of the few plastic French presses I’ve felt completely comfortable traveling with. While other models often have solid-enough plastic carafes, I’ve had a couple break on me in the past, and it’s made me a little gun-shy about shoving them in a suitcase. This Bodum model loves to travel and has never given me a problem.
The only complaint I have, if you can fairly call it a complaint, is that the size of the carafe can be a bit much for those looking for only one or two small cups. That said, it would be well-suited to an office or even as an everyday item for coffee lovers like us.
- What I liked: Better heat retention, shatter-proof plastic, great filtration
- What I didn’t like: Size can be a bit much for those wanting smaller cups of coffee
- Best for: In-office use, and those who drink a fair amount of coffee at a time
2. The BonJour Ami-Matin French Press
Brewing three espresso-sized cups of coffee, the BonJour Ami-Matin comes in next on the list. This small and neigh-unbreakable plastic French press caught my eye while I was looking over my options on Amazon one day and I decided to give it a shot.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a coffee snob (good-naturedly, of course), and it takes a lot to impress me. I can’t say this press is anything particularly ground-breaking in and of itself. However, it is a surprisingly good buy for the quality you get.
This dishwasher-safe French press is simple to clean, making it a favorite of mine for dreary days when my energy isn’t the best. The filter is effective and easy to work with, and the entire apparatus doesn’t seem to hold onto oils, so there’s no need for repeated washing.
This BonJour model also makes some of the strongest coffee I’ve had in a while, its compact size packing an appreciable punch. The domed lid’s built-in filter helps to reduce the sediment in each cup, providing a cleaner, less ‘muddy’ drink.
All that said, while size isn’t everything, it is a consideration when it comes to French presses. This press was clearly designed to be used in a very French way — that is to say, it’s meant to brew small cups of very strong coffee. This machine is tiny by comparison. Granted, that small size does make it a great traveling companion.
- What I liked: Easy to use, easy to clean, consistently decent flavor
- What I didn’t like: Very small — designed for espresso-sized cups, plunger feels slightly flimsy
- Best for: Travel
3. The Bodum Bean Sustainable French Press
If you’re anything like me, you sometimes worry about the impact plastic has on the environment. While I try to be wary of green-washing, I am always glad to see companies come out with more sustainable models. The Bodum Bean sustainable French press is one such model.
Partially made of recycled BPA-free plastics (as well as silicone and rubber), this French press boasts a sturdy, tinted carafe and an innovative locking system designed to help prevent spills. This combined with its 34-ounce capacity makes this Bodum model a solid choice for any budding environmentalist.
On the downside, it doesn’t feel as high-quality as many other Bodum models. The tinted carafe also makes it difficult to measure water amounts on the fly, although it may preserve the heat of the coffee a little longer.
- What I liked: Dishwasher-safe, easy to use overall
- What I didn’t like: Materials feel less high-quality than other models from the same brand, tinted carafe means you have to carefully measure water input
- Best for: Everyday at-home or in-office use.
4. OXO BREW Venture Travel French Press
I stumbled across this model late one evening and, after skimming the past reviews, decided I should see if it lived up to the positive ones. For once, I wasn’t disappointed.
Shatter-resistant plastic makes this a great model for camping and traveling. The windowed design gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to keeping your coffee hot and being able to see the water level in the carafe.
The filter is silicone-edged, making for a tight seal against the sides of the carafe. The result is a surprisingly well-filtered coffee that’s largely free of sediment. This part of the press is also easy to take apart, making for relatively easy cleaning. The filtered spout is also a nice touch — one I don’t normally see on plastic French presses.
This model’s eight-cup capacity makes it a great choice for gatherings or use in an office environment. The only drawback with that much space is that it isn’t the most portable model on this list. The plunger can also feel a bit stiff and difficult to press right at first due to the seal from the silicone gasket.
- What I liked: easy to clean, windowed design,
- What I didn’t like: plunger can be hard to press at first
- Best for: Get-togethers of two or more, in-office use
So, there we have it: the four best plastic French presses I’ve personally had the good fortune of trying. Are there better models out there? Oh, probably. Are there more upscale models out there? Definitely. But any of these picks delivers consistent, quality flavor and strength in a sturdy package, and that’s enough for me.
As a recap, here are the main takeaways for the models I ran through today:
The Bodum Chambord French press is made of sturdy and shatter-resistant BPA-free plastic and provides a cleaner cup of coffee than many of the other models I’ve used in the past. This model also travels well. The only real potential downside is that its size does make it a bit cumbersome and ill-suited to anyone who prefers smaller cups of coffee at a time.
The BonJour Ami-Matin French press is a compact and easy to clean model, making it a favorite of mine for low-energy days. Like the Bodum model above, it travels very well and is a great addition to hiking or camping gear as well. The drawback here is that the size of the carafe can feel rather small for those used to drinking larger cups of coffee at a time.
The Bodum Bean sustainable French press is the eco-option of this list, being partially made of recycled BPA-free plastic, along with silicone and rubber. However, its tinted carafe makes measuring water on the fly rather difficult. It also doesn’t feel quite as high-quality as some other Bodum models out there.
And finally, the OXO BREW Venture Travel French press is a fantastic choice for offices or homes with several coffee-drinkers. A silicon-edged plunger and a filtered spout make for nearly grit-free coffee. This model is easy to clean and its windowed design makes measuring water by eye much easier than with the Bodum model above. However, it’s not as portable as some other models you can find, and the plunger can feel stiff at times.
The Final Word
I sincerely hope you enjoyed this little review storm, and that it was helpful to you. There are so many great French presses out there, it can be hard to narrow them all down. Personally, I feel like plastic French presses are really underrepresented out there in the marketplace, so I’m glad I took some time to devote to them.
Have you tried any of the models on this list? Or maybe you know of a better one that really should be on this list and I just missed it somehow. Either way, let me know about it! I always love to talk coffee with good company.