Last Updated 08-07-2020

8 Best Percolators 2020

Percolators and Moka pots are two terms which are usually interchanged quite a lot, but in actual fact, they are two very different items which work in slightly varying ways.

The big differences are that percolators have one chamber and an additional filter rather than three separate compartments, usually produce hotter and stronger coffee and offer larger quantities of coffee.

They saw a big decline in popularity in the latter part of last century and still aren’t too widely available, but are now on the rise again thanks to the recent trends in both shunning coffee shops for more personalised homemade brews and people preferring ‘staycations’ rather than holidays abroad.

You can choose from either stove top/range models which need to be sat on a hob or open flame, or an electric model. The former is the most traditional, but the latter offers more safety features.

If you have read our guide on the differences and know a percolator coffee pot is the appliance for you, then take a look at our best picks of those available.

Our Top Picks

Image Product Details
Coleman Stainless Steel Percolator
  • Capacity: 12 cups
  • Power:
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Farberware 47053 Stainless Steel Percolator
  • Capacity: 12 Cup
  • Power: Stovetop
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GSI Coffee Pot 1.2 L with Percolator Insert
  • Capacity: 1.2L
  • Power: Stovetop
Check Price

The Best Percolators

Coleman Stainless Steel Percolator


  • Capacity: 12 cups
  • Power:

Designed with outdoor types in mind, this stainless steel colossal from Coleman is a 12-cup percolator which will keep everyone warm and satisfied on big adventures, with a compact design that’s easy to pack away once on the move!

Coming complete with a base, tube, basket and basket lid, you’ll receive everything you need to get a pot started on a stove, grill or other heat source, making it endlessly versatile and our number one choice for travel!

Corrosion free and with easy wipe down cleaning, it doesn’t get any simpler than this!

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight, easy to pack
  • Designed for camping stoves & grills
  • Includes base, tube, basket, and basket lid

Reasons to Avoid

  • Brewing time not always the quickest

GSI Coffee Pot 1.2 L with Percolator Insert


  • Capacity: 1.2L
  • Power: Stovetop

In a lovely outdoorsy green colour, and able to hold enough coffee to fuel a small group, this GSI pot is perfect for taking with you on the camping trail.

It is enamel, easy to clean and even has a view button which doubles up as a lid and allows you to see when the coffee is ready. The percolator part is separate so it can also be used to hold other warm drinks, and once you get the measurements right for what you want, it is a great coffee maker.

Reasons to Buy

  • Strong material
  • Easy to clean

Reasons to Avoid

  • Paint can chip if not cared for

Farberware 47053 Stainless Steel Percolator


  • Capacity: 12 Cup
  • Power: Stovetop

Both heavy duty for full practicality and polished to a high shine for an attractive finish, this is a brilliant percolator which can be used both home and away.

The clear glass knob at the top on the lid will allow you to see when the percolation begins, which is great if you don’t want it to boil a second too long which can damage the taste.

The interior material is non-reactive, which simply means it won’t absorb any of the flavours from the coffee or from washing up liquid when it is being cleaned. This will give you the best tasting cup of coffee each and every time.

When washing, it is fully immersible and dishwasher safe as well, so again can be used home and away. Faberware are a well trusted brand when it comes to this type of product, so if you love the idea of a percolator to achieve the best tasting coffee possible yet want something which isn’t just a fad, it could be worth paying the money for this brand and model.

Reasons to Buy

  • Many positive reviews show it is a well-received product
  • Great for camping
  • Easy to clean

Reasons to Avoid

  • Costs – slightly higher than some others (but the reliability is boosted with this)

Cook N Home 8-Cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Coffee Percolator


  • Capacity: 8 cups
  • Power: Stovetop

Is there anything better than a good old fashioned coffee pot when it comes to making the purest and most enjoyable java?

We certainly don’t think so and this Stovetop Coffee Percolator from Cook N Home is a simple and successful way to bag yourself a great tasting tea or coffee at home or away! 

Made of mirror polished stainless steel, the percolator is both attractive and efficient thanks to it’s high retaining of heat and non-reactive material.

It holds an impressive 8 cups of coffee and uses a tight seal lid with clear knob so you can always keep a close eye on your coffee percolating, while an ergonomic heat-averse grip means you can handle without hassle.

With a drip free sprout and classic deign it’s induction compatible and works on all stovetops!

We love it so because sometimes… basic is just best!

Reasons to Buy

  • Easily removed filter basket for cleaning
  • Clear nob for viewing percolation
  • Dishwasher safe

Reasons to Avoid

  • Lower capacity than some others

Quest 35200 Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Coffee Percolator


  • Capacity: 1.5L
  • Power: Electric

With a tall, sleek shape, this percolator is a great pick for anybody with a smaller kitchen but who doesn’t want to go without good quality cups of coffee.

There are two indicator lights; a red one tells you when it is heating and boiling, and a green one lets you know when the coffee is ready to be served, taking the guesswork out of the entire operation.

Again, it sits on a corded 360° base, so it is easy to access and pop back on to keep warm. And there is the usual boil safe protection and overheat auto-switch off safety features so it won’t become damaged or do any damage should you forget to turn it off or fill it up enough.

Filling it with water is a bit of guesswork until you get used to the way that the percolator works. The level indicators on the inside of the body aren’t very clear so the first few batches of coffee may be a bit off your taste preferences. But it isn’t hard to get to grips with, and you quickly get used to being able to adapt the amounts as well.

Design-wise, it is pretty basic when compared to a few of the other models we have reviewed. It simply looks like a basic, tall kettle, which is fine but we can’t help thinking they could have done more.

The spout is also slightly tricky to get the coffee out of, as you have to tip it up a bit further than a lot of other models. Instructions are not the easiest to follow, but it is easy to get the general idea of how everything works pretty quickly.

Overall, it is one of the cheapest offerings available but this doesn’t make it any worse at making coffee, and the end taste is just as good as that from models twice the price. Worth the money if you are looking to spend under £50.

Reasons to Buy

  • Good sized handle to grip and lift the lid
  • Doesn’t seem to get marked easily

Reasons to Avoid

  • Design is basic

Petromax Camping & Outdoor’s Emaille Kaffeekanne Coffee Percolator


  • Capacity: 1.5L
  • Power: Stovetop

Available in white and black, this is a percolator mostly designed for use when camping but there is no reason why it can’t be used for those regular treat cups of coffee too. It will sit above most hobs, and the all-important camping stove or flame when camping too.

The enamelled lid and aluminium filter are great quality, and simple to keep clean. It will hold around 1.5 litres in total, which is plenty for a few cups of coffee if there is a group of you.

The handle gets very hot when in use so you will need a glove or cloth for the lifting, but it is relatively lightweight and simple to tilt and pour from.

Reasons to Buy

  • Strong materials and build
  • Perfect for travel

Reasons to Avoid

  • Arguably a bit pricey for what you get

Oztrail Enamel Coffee Pot


  • Capacity: 2L
  • Power: Stovetop

A bit of a multi-functional item, this Oztrail coffee pot is also suitable to be used as a kettle or tea maker.

The percolator itself comes as a bonus item, separate from the rest of the pot. So if you want to use it as a coffee brewer, simply attach and fix it all together after you’ve filled with grounds and added water to the jug. Just want hot water? Leave it out, or add a tea bag if you want something different. It doesn’t rely on the attachment.

With a double enamel coating, it will keep the contents warm for quite a while, so you don’t have to keep it on the heat to over-stew. It also makes it strong and sturdy and doesn’t seem to be marked or damaged easily like with some other enamel items.

Handling it is really easy and comfortable. There is a handle on the back which makes pouring easy, and the little handle on the top makes taking the lid off and replacing it a breeze, unlike some of the knobs on the other models which can be a bit unpredictable and hard to grip properly.

If you fancy taking it camping, there is a second metal handle which gives it a bucket mechanism so you can hang it above a fire or carry it across to where you’re sitting. It is only available in blue with white speckles, but we like this look as it is different from most others on the market and gives it a real ceramic/ ‘Le Creuset’ quality feel. There are plenty of mugs available to buy which have a similar design if you want a matching set.

We love how it is adaptable for your needs without having to spend ages changing the setup, yet it is still fab at every job.

Reasons to Buy

  • Robust quality
  • Easy to operate

Reasons to Avoid

  • No way to check on the brewing process

VonShef Espresso Maker


  • Capacity: 350ml
  • Power: Stovetop

A percolator able to make up to six cups of coffee at any one time, this model is made from high-quality stainless steel so it will take an awful lot of use to make it look even slightly tarnished.

The black heat-resistant handle will come in handy when on the hob, especially if you have a gas flame which gives off a lot of heat. It will also sit on electric hobs, making it versatile. You get a stainless steel filter with the percolator, which is not only good quality but can be washed and reused as opposed to always buying new paper versions.

It is quite a compact shape and model despite being able to hold quite a bit of coffee. This is good for anyone who doesn’t really have much storage space but isn’t so great when it comes to cleaning as it can get a bit tight. The handle is also at quite a close angle to the metal pot which can be tricky to get used to. Nevertheless, it brews at a very nice temperature and is sturdy and well made – as you’d expect from VonShef.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great strong build
  • Suitable for all hob types

Reasons to Avoid

  • Difficult to clean by hand

Percolator Buying Guide

What is a coffee percolator?

A percolator is a method of preparing coffee, which requires either electricity or a heat source to work.

They are mostly used among campers and those wanting to prepare coffee outdoors because most do not require electricity and can offer a stronger, more intense flavour due to the continuous circulation method.

With the rise of the electric percolator came a fanbase of home-based users, too. A lot of people prefer them to other forms of coffee machine because the stronger taste is achievable, and they don’t require paper filters or and additional parts to work.

However, the invention of electric drip coffee machines did see their popularity decline in the 1980’s, and they aren’t as widely available today. But we love how they are a traditional nod to coffee making and are pretty easy to use too.

How percolators work and how to use them

Think of it as a combination of a Moka pot and a drip coffee maker. There is only one internal chamber as opposed to the three separate compartments in a Moka pot, plus a fitting which holds the coffee grounds and allows water to travel upwards through a vertical central straw/tube.

You fill the basket of the filter with the ground coffee of your choice, and then fill the main compartment with the required amount of water. Attach them both together and close the lid.

As the percolator starts to heat, the water begins to boil. This water, once at a particular point, rises up through the straw/tube and emerges through the top to spread over the lid.

This then ‘drips’ and percolates back down to the water chamber, passing through the coffee granules, where it heats again and repeatedly rises until you are happy with the strength of the coffee. The longer you keep it on the heat, the more cycles it will go through and the stronger the coffee will get.

Then, all you do is remove the basket filter, and it is ready to pour. The overall process usually takes around 5-10 minutes depending on your preferred tastes.

Electric or Stovetop?

Stovetop percolators were invented in the early 1800’s, and have been modified over the years to become the design we know today with rising boiling water rather than stewing the coffee.

Electrical percolators date back only to 1952 when Russell Hobbs invented the first model.

It all depends on what you’ll be using it for. Camping will obviously require a non-electric model, but if you want it solely for home use, we would actually recommend an electrical version. They have features like auto-cut off, keep warm and also let you know when the coffee is pretty much ready which takes out a lot of the guessing and observational work out of the equation.


Non-electric models generally sit between £25 and £50, with electrical models often reaching closer to about £80.


What coffee should I use with a percolator?

As with filter, drip and French Press style makers, it is necessary to use ground coffee.

The level of grind is important though, as unlike filter and most other coffee machines, a percolator just uses fine holes to pass the water and coffee through the filter basket, rather than fabric, mesh or paper. With too fine a blend, the grounds could just pass through the basket, so a coarse option is best.

Do percolators make weak/bitter coffee?

This is a long-held idea, but it is all in the technique.

A weak coffee suggests you aren’t giving the coffee enough cycles to brew. The longer it boils and passes through the grounds, the stronger it will get.

A bitter one, on the other hand, suggests you are passing it through too much and overboiling it. Bitter flavour compounds emerge and dissolve with longer time, so getting a good cup of coffee with a percolator is a fine balance.

The key is to not over-boil or under-boil, but the granules can sometimes make a big difference too so you may wish to change to another brand or consistency to see how the change makes a difference.

Watch out for the bubbles emerging (the ‘percs’). Once the first one arrives, the water is boiling so turn down the heat and aim for one perc every 3-5 seconds. Try to keep the pot at around 95°C, and keep it going for approximately one minute per cup being made.

These are general tips, but the truth is percolator coffee requires a lot of experimentation to get just right, so is not necessarily for those who want a quick cup of standard coffee in the morning.


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