If you enjoy starting your day with a good cup of coffee, it might be time to upgrade your home coffee maker and stop buying overpriced lattes each morning. Having a quality coffee maker to start your days can be a great investment. Not only are you giving yourself access to quality coffee without having to visit a coffee shop, but you can customize your morning brew to your exact specifications. A 4 cup coffee maker is an ideal option for anyone who doesn’t need a larger, professional-quality machine, and the best 4 cup coffee makers are ideal for a small-to-medium sized household.
With a four-cup machine, you’ll have enough coffee for the morning without waste. Choosing the best 4 cup coffee maker will require assessing your specific coffee-related needs, ranging from taste to the range of options operated to maintenance requirements. Here at Start Your Day With Coffee, we’ve selected and evaluated ten of the very best 4 cup coffee makers on the market today. Read on to find the best 4 cup coffee maker for your family’s morning coffee needs!
The Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers: FAQ
1. What Is a 4 Cup Coffee Maker, and What Does It Do?
A 4 cup coffee maker is a portable coffee maker designed to brew four cups at a time. Typically, this is a good amount to brew for a single person’s or small family’s brewing needs.
2. Do Compact, Portable Coffee Makers Have a Lot of Features and Options?
Yes, the best 4 cup coffee makers are programmable, with digital controls, and many enable you to set your preferred levels of brew strength and temperature.
3. Are the Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers Easy to Use?
Generally speaking, quality coffee makers are fairly intuitive. Some of those we reviewed come with detailed instruction manuals as well. While anyone can operate these machines, some advanced options are best for experienced coffee aficionados.
4. Are the Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers Easy to Clean?
These coffee makers require regular maintenance to provide fresh coffee with optimal flavor, but cleaning one is typically a quick, relatively painless process. In most cases, specific cleaning instructions are included in the manual will come with your choice from among the best 4 cup coffee makers.
5. Where Can I Find the Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers?
The ten 4 cup coffee makers selected for this list can be found on Amazon or purchased from other online resources. You should also find a good selection at major houseware retailers and big-box stores.
How We Reviewed
Image via Amazon
The following entries on our list of the best 4 cup coffee makers were reviewed based on the following parameters: assembly required; ease of use, ease of maintenance and cleaning; the variety of settings offered; coffee taste and intensity; durability; price; and warranty.
Overall Price Range
Most coffee makers on this list are very moderately priced appliances, starting at around $20 for a Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker and ranging up to around $85 for the Capresso 303.01 model. The high-end outlier we included here is the Brew Express 4-Cup Built-In Coffee System, which sells for over $200.
What We Reviewed
The Mr. Coffee DRX5 is a compact coffee maker ideal for anyone living in a small apartment, for example. It’s designed to fit on a counter without taking up much space. Its glass carafe is large enough to brew four cups comfortably, and it uses standard paper coffee filters. Its 24-hour timer makes it easy to plan your next day’s brew time. We liked the highly visible off/on switch that helps ensure sure you never leave it on accidentally.
This is a simple model, but it has some useful features including a “pause brew” function that allows you to take a cup before it’s finished. You can also pre-infuse the brew using this feature. It’s a budget-friendly option and easy to clean and maintain. Some reviewers noted that the carafe lid could be stronger in its construction, but this is an ideal maker for routine and casual users.
The Bonavita BV1500TS delivers high-level performance at a mid-level price and has more features than any other option in its price bracket. Popular with specialty coffee fans, it deploys a combination of pre-infusion and a special shower head that disperses the water effectively and concentrates flavor like few other options. An included thermal carafe keeps the coffee warm longer than heat plates alone.
This Bonavita maker is a highly durable and efficient model designed for daily use. It has been certified by the SCAA, one of the few coffee makers in its price bracket to meet that high standard. The carafe is spoutless, but it pours accurately with the lid attached. The model’s safety features help to prevent common brewing mistakes. Overall, this is clearly one of the best mid-range compact coffee makers on the market.
If you’re looking for something more than a standard coffee maker, Capresso’s mid-priced option allows you to make cafe-quality espresso and cappuccino at home. A super-compact model that easily fits on a kitchen counter, it comes with options to adjust your coffee’s strength, froth milk, and steam your cappuccino. This model speeds up the process of brewing flavored or concentrated coffee, although you should know that the frother can be tricky for new users at first.
This unit comes with two carafes: a dishwasher-safe glass carafe and a stainless steel carafe that keeps your coffee warmer longer. It only has a few parts, making it easy to disassemble, clean, and reassemble. Although we would like to see a timer option included, this is an excellent choice for someone whose tastes tilt away from “plain” coffee. The level of steam is adjustable, and thumb guards and a boiler cap are valuable safety features as well.
Featuring a five-cup capacity not commonly found on the market, this coffee maker is ideal for a bit more coffee with each brew. It comes with a charcoal water filter that reduces any aftertaste from tap water and ensures a cleaner-tasting coffee drink. It’s highly rated for flavor, certainly, but this model also gets high marks for the materials used in construction. Its glass carafe with a cone-shaped filter guarantees water flows evenly through the grounds, penetrating them and increasing the intensity of your brew. The water filter lasts two years with daily use.
Its included reservoir helps to shrink the footprint of this machine, making it suitable for smaller quarters. It can easily fit on the side of a counter. It’s a no-frills coffee maker that doesn’t include a timer, but its automatic keep-warm function is useful for anyone who wants to keep a cup of coffee ready for right before they leave the house. While you’ll see a higher price tag than some roughly equivalent coffee makers, the clean-tasting coffee may be well worth it.
If you want a slightly larger capacity and a mix of style and functionality, this Mr. Coffee five-cup model is one of the best low-cost options on the market. Available in either glass or stainless steel carafe models, it comes with multiple features to ensure an easy process. The delay timer lets you set your brew in advance so you can wake up to a hot pot of coffee., and auto-pause stops the cycle momentarily to let you get a cup before brewing is finished.
The water window lets you monitor brewing progress and helps to prevent overflows while the removable filter basket makes this one of the easiest appliances on our list to clean. It shuts off automatically after one hour, too, making it one of the safest models.
This is a larger coffee maker that some on our list, but it has a small-batch option that allows you to brew your ideal size. This model is beloved by experienced coffee aficionados due to its unique “thermal flavor extraction” technology. This patented technique prevents bitterness and concentrates the natural coffee flavor. Overall, our team found this to be an intuitive coffee maker that is easy to learn, clean, and use.
The Ninja CE201 is admirable for its range of features and settings as well. These include its mid-brew pause button for those who can’t wait for their first cup, an auto-shut off that kicks in after two hours, and a 24-hour programmable timer. Its precision-temp warming plate can keep coffee warm for up to four hours, and the carafe circulates the liquid to evenly distribute flavor. Its 12-cup reservoir is easy to remove and clean, and the entire design is one of the sturdiest among the best 4 cup coffee makers on this list.
The Mr. Coffee brand is best known for its programmable 24-hour timer, a feature included in most models. The Simple Brew is designed to be suitable for any kitchen, fitting on the counter without taking up too much space. It has an easy-to-clean glass carafe and uses standard paper coffee filters. Its pause brew function is an ideal choice for anyone who doesn’t want to wait for the whole carafe to brew.
This Mr. Coffee appliance is a mid-priced model, but it receives high praise for the intense coffee flavor it delivers. The carafe is dishwasher-safe and the reservoir drains easily, which makes this one of the easiest machines to clean. Finally, it takes only about five minutes to brew a whole carafe, which is one of the best “turnaround times” on the market.
A low-cost coffee maker with a four-cup capacity and a stainless steel carafe, this model from the trusted Cuisinart brand is one of the smallest on the market, fitting easily on a counter without taking up too much space. It includes a knuckle guard and a no-drip spout, helping to keep your hands safe when you’re handling it shortly after waking up. The pause-brew function helps to wake you up in the morning, letting you grab a cup before the carafe is finished brewing.
This Cuisinart maker comes with a 30-minute shutoff feature, which is a bit shorter than most models to ensure no overheating ever occurs. Although it lacks a timer feature, the stainless steel carafe keeps your coffee hotter than other options.
This high-end model features built-in-the-wall construction. It’s designed to be attached to a water source in a manner similar to an ice maker, making it an ideal choice for kitchens with seriously limited space. This means you get the convenience of avoiding pouring water to brew a pot; instead, you just add your coffee grounds and the direct water hookup will do the rest. It includes a timer and clock for maximum customizability and advanced planning.
The built-in design means you’ll never spill any water, and the thermal carafe keeps your coffee warm with no hot plate. The adjustable cup selector lets you pick your size, between a single cup and a full carafe. It’s safe to remove the carafe during brewing thanks to the pause-n-brew sensor. This is the most expensive item on our list by a wide margin, and it requires professional installation, but it is an amazing high-end choice.
Challenging to install, but easy to use and comes with multiple safety features.
A solid choice that offers quality coffee on a budget, this maker’s slim design is easy to put on a counter without taking up much space. It takes about five minutes to brew a full carafe and gets high marks for its semi-transparent water reservoir that has an indicator level. This makes it easy to see when you need to refill the water or prevent overflow. It comes with a washable built-in filter but also works with standard paper filters.
We found this one of the simplest models to use and clean, due to a water tank that can be removed easily and a dishwasher-safe filter basket. Its hot plate keeps coffee warm for up to an hour after brewing, and the pause-and-serve function makes it easy to get a cup of coffee in a hurry. This Elite Cuisine unit lacks an auto shut-off, but the power indicator is lighted and easy to see.
All ten of the best 4 cup coffee makers on this list delivered quality performance and a quick, refreshing carafe of coffee in the morning, with nine of them having an easily affordable price point. Surprisingly, the one model that stood out due to its enhanced features and excellent barista-quality coffee wasn’t a 4-cup coffee maker after all. The Ninja CE201 delivered the best overall performance and can easily make small-batch coffee for your morning carafe. It earns our endorsement as the best 4 cup coffee maker on the market today.
Featured Image via Amazon