Last Updated: 29-10-2020

10 Best Filter Coffee Machines 2020

An electric filter coffee machine uses the drip method of preparation, producing a large quantity of black coffee from fresh beans or grounds but keeping it warm in a carafe ready for serving. The process and water pouring is pretty much hands-off and done automatically, as opposed to manual drip brewers.

They are great for anyone who purely likes a cup of black coffee, or prefers to just simply add milk rather than bothering with foaming it for cappuccinos and lattes. They’re also perfect for larger households, being able to make on average 10 cups at a time and keep it warm to cater to differing schedules.

Finding the best electronic filter coffee machine for your needs takes a lot of consideration. These are our top 10 picks.

Our Top Picks

Image Product Details
Melitta Look IV Therm Timer 1011-16
  • Capacity: 1.2L
  • Cups: 10 Large/15 Small
  • Filter: Paper
  • Coffee: Ground
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De’Longhi ICM15210.1
  • Capacity: 1.25L
  • Cups: 10 Large/15 Small
  • Filter: Paper
  • Coffee: Ground
Check Price
Smeg DCF02WHUK with Timer
  • Capacity: 1.4L
  • Cups: 10
  • Filter: Metal
  • Coffee: Mesh
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The Best Drip Filter Coffee Machines

1.
Melitta Look IV Therm Timer 1011-16

Specifications

  • Capacity: 1.2L
  • Cups: 10 Large/15 Small
  • Filter: Paper
  • Coffee: Ground

With an adjustable coffee intensity setting, timer feature and 2-hour keep-warm time, this is a serious machine for serious coffee lovers.

The Aroma Selector feature will help you choose just how strong or mellow you want your cup to be, so whether you want a strong serving on a weekday or weaker mug on a weekend lunchtime, this machine will cater for all eventualities.

The robust metallic jug is double insulated and has an airtight seal, so can keep the coffee warm for up to 2 hours without altering any settings or keeping an eye on it all. This is a much better option than using a hot plate to keep the jug warm, which uses extra power and cuts out after about half an hour. The seal also prevents any spillages and accidents when you are carrying it around or pouring from it.

Not only that, but you can also programme your coffee for when you want it. Simply set a time, such as 7 am, and it will automatically turn itself on and start its work ready for when you reach the kitchen.

Because the carafe is stainless steel, it won’t get damaged or break if you happen to drop it or knock it against a worktop. The handle has been designed to be used with just one hand, so is easy to pick up and doesn’t feel too heavy even when full.

The Melitta Look IV Therm is a great option for those who like their coffee at different strengths for the occasion, prefer something sturdier than a glass jug, and want their coffee to stay warm without any microwaving or re-brewing. In fact, even though Melitta says it will stay warm for 2 hours, we timed 3 with a full pot. Enough to last you for both breakfast and lunch.

Reasons to Buy

  • Thermos flask
  • Timer function

Reasons to Avoid

  • No way to see level of coffee in pot without removing it

2.
De’Longhi ICM15210.1

Specifications

  • Capacity: 1.25L
  • Cups: 10 Large/15 Small
  • Filter: Paper
  • Coffee: Ground

With a keep warm plate, auto shut off function, water level indicator and generous capacity, this De’Longhi is a steal for the price.

There is an anti-drip system in place, so the jug can be removed from the plate at any time while the coffee is brewing and there will be no mess. The carafe will hold up to ten regular cups of coffee, which is plenty to fuel a family or your guests. The actual brewing is pretty quick as well, taking about 5-10 minutes depending on the amounts, so even if everyone will want a second cup, they won’t have to wait around long.

Filling with water and replacing the coffee grounds is also pretty simple, with both compartments being accessible from the top of the machine. When the time comes to clean it all, the jug can be washed by hand but be careful as it does seem like very fragile glass.

The auto time off function means it will keep the coffee warm for around half an hour to 40 minutes before switching the hot plate off, but this can be turned on manually again.

You can’t adjust the coffee strength or intensity, but there would be nothing to stop you doing this by adding a bit extra milk or water.

Filter papers are the recommended method, but we found these could sometimes collapse slightly in the holder meaning it was harder to get the coffee grounds into the holder. Some fell through as a result, and the coffee produced seemed a bit weaker. But getting a reusable cloth filter would be easy enough and probably provide a more durable, permanent option.

If you are after a simple to use filter coffee machine for a great price, this is a great option. There’s no fancy unnecessary extras or complicated settings; just a decent cup of coffee.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great price
  • Generous sized carafe

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not many adjustments can be made

Verdict

Best Pric

3.
SAGE The Precision Brewer SDC450 Filter Coffee Machine

Specifications

  • Capacity: 1.8L
  • Cups: 12
  • Filter: Paper
  • Coffee: Grounds

Sage are the Kings of bean to cup and espresso machines, so when they brought out their first filter coffee machine, we got very excited.

It is a pricey pick, but for reason. The jug will hold 12 cups of coffee at any one time, and it has 6 unique brewing modes including gold, strong or even cold brew coffee. So, it is more than just a filter coffee machine – it’s a full-on barista system.

It’ll automatically clean and descale, and it looks incredibly impressive too. Great if you’re a fan of filter and want the best around.

Reasons to Buy

  • Stylish
  • Able to make various coffees
  • Digital control

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price

4.
TEFAL Smart N Light Filter Coffee Machine

Specifications

  • Capacity: 1.25L
  • Cups: 15
  • Filter: Paper
  • Coffee: Grounds

This is a very stylish pick for a filter machine, taking out a lot of the bulk and harsh angles we commonly see and instead opting for smooth black finishes and digital screens.

The jug capacity is 15 cups, which is pretty great going, and the Aroma function will infuse the ground beans before brewing so you get the best flavour possible out of them. You can even set the timer up to 24 hours in advance, so it will make a cup of coffee ready for you waking up tomorrow morning.

It’ll turn itself off after 30 minutes, and the anti-drip system allows you to pour a coffee at any point in the making of the coffee. So, if just enough has been poured into the jug for two coffees and you don’t want to wait for a second longer, pause, pour and resume for the rest of the family.

Reasons to Buy

  • Nice large digital display
  • Huge capacity
  • Sleek and stylish

Reasons to Avoid

  • Jug is large and wide so can be hard to pour from if full

5.
Russell Hobbs Luna 23241

Specifications

  • Capacity: 1.5L
  • Cups: 12 Large/18 Small
  • Filter: Metal
  • Coffee: Ground

Not only does this filter machine look the part, but it will really give your mornings a boost too.

Able to make 12 cups at once, it is enough for a household to have enough coffee to fuel them up, or for a small office. The Advanced Shower Head technology uses a special design to efficiently filter the flavour of your coffee, so your drinks will always be intense and aromatic as every ground is touched.

It will reach the correct temperature up to 50% quicker than closest rivals. It will also keep coffee warm if you’re not ready to drink it all yet. When it is all done, the auto-clean feature will keep everything running smoothly and free of limescale.

Reasons to Buy

  • Large capacity
  • Stylish design
  • Timer to set it when needed

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not the most intuitive controls

6.
Swan SK13130N

Specifications

  • Capacity: 750ml
  • Cups: 5
  • Filter: Reusable Nylon
  • Coffee: Ground

If you’re after something modest, which will cater for a small household or even just yourself, then this Swan pick is a good bet.

It advertises that it will make 5 cups, but this is the smaller coffee cup size, so it will actually make about 3 coffee mugs at a time. This isn’t only good for small households, but also for those who want to eliminate waste as the likelihood much will get poured away is slim.

There is still all of those extras that will make your coffee brewing much easier – the 24-hour timer, the warming plate and the automatic shut off function are additions which aren’t always necessary, but certainly are welcome.

In fact, the warming plate stays warm for a huge 2 hours, compared to most other machines’ 40 minutes. This is partly down to its smaller size but makes it ideal for any individuals who like to spread their morning coffee cups out a little bit. Keeping it on the plate for about ten minutes rather than drinking it straight away does actually seem to increase the end temperature a little bit, so may be the best option if you like your coffee particularly hot.

It is also pretty quick to brew, taking only a few minutes. So if you have made your coffee for when you are ready, and somebody else has emerged in the morning and taken care of their own caffeine kick without leaving any for you, re-brewing won’t take hours out of your day.

The auto shut off will kick in if it hasn’t been used after 2 hours so whether you are forgetful or left it on by accident, it has your back. Boil dry protection will also keep any electricals from burning out.

With a reusable nylon filter, there is no waste – just a quick wash of everything after use.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great for a couple/single person
  • Keeps warm for long

Reasons to Avoid

  • Glass carafe is fragile and replacement is not available

7.
Russell Hobbs Buckingham

Specifications

  • Capacity: 1.25L
  • Cups: 10
  • Filter: Plastic
  • Coffee: Ground

The super-fast heating process of this Buckingham filter coffee maker means it can prepare your coffee up to 50% faster than a lot of the other choices on the market.

This will please anybody who hates waiting around for their coffee to get ready in the mornings, especially when you need to rush out the door in ten minutes. What will also please you is the timer function, able to set 24 hours in advance and get your coffee ready for the next time you’ll need it, morning or night.

Just follow the cup measurements on the side of the water reservoir as a guideline if you want to make a certain amount of drink. Showerhead technology during the brewing process will ensure every ground of coffee is used and the taste of the coffee is consistent, through every part of the carafe. It also results in a richer flavour.

The filter is reusable, but you do also have the option to replace this with paper filters. The latter could give you a more mellow taste as it will absorb a lot of the oils from the granules, but they are seen as harder to use and can’t be washed and reused.

When we tried fine grounds, some of them did pass through when the reusable filter was in place so we would recommend a slightly coarse ground. The entire lid has to be lifted to refill the water compartment, as there is no separate chamber, and this was a bit stiff with the first few goes, so the base needs to be held down at the same time.

Overall, however, it is a machine which produces great coffee when used right and sits at a great price.

Reasons to Buy

  • Blue LED light tells you when it is on/keeping warm
  • Reusable filter included

Reasons to Avoid

  • Glass carafe feels very weak

8.
Smeg DCF02WHUK with Timer

Specifications

  • Capacity: 1.4L
  • Cups: 10
  • Filter: Metal
  • Coffee: Mesh

Smeg is a brand which needs no introduction, and as seeing they are pretty top-notch at everything they do, there is no surprise that this filter machine is great too.

It can make up to 10 cups at any one time, which is good going for a household of morning coffee lovers. Or, if you want to make enough for a second cup, the Keep Warm feature will hold it for around 40 minutes.

We love the Aroma Intensity setting, which allows you to choose from a light or intense aroma, so the right flavour for your tastebuds is always delivered. A timer allows you to turn it on ahead of time, and the alarm prompts you when the coffee is ready. The glass jug is top quality and doesn’t impair the flavour of the brew over the time it is sat there.

Reasons to Buy

  • Retro, sleek yet modern design
  • Glass jug carafe
  • Colour choice

Reasons to Avoid

  • Keep warm time is short

9.
Ariete UK 1342 Retro

Specifications

  • Capacity: 1.3L
  • Cups: 12
  • Filter: Reusable Mesh
  • Coffee: Ground

Retro appliances are back in a big way, and this coffee machine is the perfect little addition to any kitchen.

Available in green, beige or cerise, you can get the option which matches any other accents in your kitchen or simply one to add a bit of colour. There is an entire range of appliances available from Ariete if you want the whole set.

It keeps the coffee warm via the hot plate for around 40 minutes, before automatically switching off. There is nothing to stop you from pressing the warming button again and keeping it for a further 40 minutes, though.

The filter included is reusable, made from a fine mesh material. All it needs is a quick rinse and dry after every use to keep it looking new and in working order. You can use paper filters if you wish to not bother with the cleaning, but it isn’t strenuous for the money and waste you will save.

Price-wise, it is towards the upper end of the scale for items on this list. We get the impression you’re paying a bit of a premium for the extra design aspects, as there aren’t any huge differences between this model and the ones around half the price.

There is still the 24-hour timer, LCD display, automatic warming plate and reusable filter. We did like the brew strength adjustment and Pause and Serve functions though, the latter of which stops the pouring of the coffee if you remove the carafe. Just press the dedicated button to get it going again.

It certainly has a different look to the traditional filter machines so will create a talking point.

Reasons to Buy

  • Design
  • Can adjust the strength of coffee

Reasons to Avoid

  • Bit fiddly to refit the carafe on the hot plate

10.
Cuisinart Grind and Brew Automatic

Specifications

  • Capacity: 1.2L
  • Cups: 10
  • Filter: Metal
  • Coffee: Beans or Grounds

Unlike the majority of filter machines, this machine will not just take pre-ground coffee but can also grind the beans for you thanks to the integrated blade. Already, the price seems justified.

Grinding the beans just before they are used increases the flavour, as the oils and aromas don’t have a chance to escape or evaporate between grinding and cup stage. There is also a grind-off feature in case you do have a favourite pre-ground blend already, but it is good to have the choice.

The warming plate under the glass carafe will keep the coffee warm for around 35 minutes, and auto-start allows you to programme in the timings so you can have a cup ready and waiting for when you need it most. An audible beeping noise lets you know when it is prepared.

Thanks to the metal filter, which is reusable, you don’t need to keep on top or ordering and buying your paper filters, and there will be no waste. Also included are two charcoal filters for the water tank, to improve the taste and cleanliness of the water before it turns into your coffee.

You may see that with older models, the carafe could stay warm for over two hours with the hot plate on, but with this one, it is only 35 minutes. This is simply in line with new regulations across the board, so doesn’t take away from the quality of the product or build from Cuisinart.

The buttons and controls are easy to manage and navigate, and a screen will inform you of the chosen settings.

All in all, it is a great machine for the price. The quality of the coffee produced isn’t as great as would be in a dedicated bean to cup machine, but having the best of both worlds for under £100 is pretty brilliant.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great price
  • Easy to control

Reasons to Avoid

  • Handle isn’t very comfortable to hold

Electric Drip Filter Coffee Machine Buying Guide

Which is the best automatic filter coffee machine for me?

Think about your budget, coffee drinking habits, how many cups you will want to make at once, as well as whether you like to keep the drink warm for an extended period.

All electronic filter coffee machines will only produce black coffee, and the quality of coffee is often as much to do with the variety of the grounds rather than the device. You may have to experiment to find your favourite.

Size

Concerning size, the majority will hold around 10 to 12 cups worth of coffee. This is usually around 5 standard large mug sizes. There are smaller versions available which will prepare about 2 mugs, though, which are great if you are the only coffee drinker in the house.

Filter

Most modern filter coffee machines will use reusable filters, whether cloth or metal. This cuts down on your waste and the need to buy extra filters, as they just need washing.

If you do prefer paper filters however (such as if you like a slower drip for a stronger taste), there is a good chance you will be able to use these instead of the one supplied.

Price

The cost of filter machines ranges from around £30 to over £100. Those at the higher end of the scale are generally seen as being more effective at their job and filtering the coffee, resulting in a better taste. However, as our review showed, it isn’t necessarily the most expensive ones you need to go with.

Extra prices to consider are the cost of coffee grounds or beans, as well as additional filters with every use if you’re using paper options.

 

FAQs

Can I keep the coffee hotter for longer?

One of the selling points of an electronic filter machine is that a large batch of coffee can be kept warm for a prolonged amount of time. Most have hot plates or use thermos jugs.

The most a hot plate will work for before automatically shutting off is usually about 45 minutes, as this is a regulation in place by the EU. If you have a model which uses a thermal jug, however, this could go over the two-hour mark as well as not needing any power to stay warm.

This is part of wider manufacturing regulations – you can’t extend this timing. Most machines do keep warm with the simple press of a button though, so there is nothing to stop you pressing it again after this time is up.

Or, you could use an insulated thermos jug. There are some modern options which come with one of these rather than glass carafe, which also saves you some energy usage.

Do I need to pour the water myself?

You will need to fill the water compartment up to the desired level, but the machine controls the drip through rate automatically. So essentially, it can be left to its own devices.

This is unlike the manual pour-over drip coffee makers where you have to add the water in stages, so the electric versions are technically a lot less hassle to use.

How do I clean an electric filter coffee machine?

Most of the parts of the machine will likely be removable, such as the filter and holder and the water tank. These can be washed by hand in warm soapy water and left to dry.

The filter and holder will need washing after every use, to get rid of any leftover coffee residue which could taint the taste of your next serving. The external of the machine will probably just need wiping with a damp cloth if it becomes dirty, but always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

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