Best French Press Coffee Maker Review: Top Rated French Presses in 2021
If you're a coffee connoisseur, a regular cup of joe doesn't always cut it. Regular coffee makers can't always provide the rich, full-bodied taste you're looking for, but a French press machine can.
However, not all French press coffee makers are equal, which can make finding the right French press a challenge. Many French press brands may boast the perfect cup of coffee, but very few can live up to these claims.
If you're not sure where to start your search, and have already checked out our drip coffee maker reviews, we've reviewed some of the best French press machines currently on the market. Here's everything you need to know!
The Best French Press Coffee Makers
From advanced French press coffee makers that'll help you finetune your tastes, to simple machines that still brew a perfect cup, our top French press picks are below.
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If stainless steel doesn't fit the bill, this glass Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker might. With this press, getting a fresh cup of coffee only takes four minutes, and at 34 ounces, you can easily get 6 or 8 cups of coffee from this machine.
Instead of using a paper filter like drip coffee machines do, Bodum's 3-part stainless steel plunger has a mesh filter that keeps out coffee grounds, but won't skimp on flavor. This press also features Bodum's patented safety lid. With some presses, the lids may fall off easily or crack, which can almost make the entire machine unusable.
This safety lid, however, is designed to keep the coffee from spilling out while you pour. It's also safe to put in the dishwasher, so you shouldn't have to worry about time-consuming cleaning.
Keep in mind that the glass, plunger, and lid may be dishwasher safe, but you'll need to clean the frame of the press with a sponge. For more information, check out our Bodum French Press review, as we take a deep dive look into what makes this device so unique.
- Allows you to get the full flavor of your grounds
- Doesn't take a long time to brew
- Most of the press is dishwasher-safe
- Safety lid helps keep the contents from spilling
- You have to filter the coffee through plastic
- Definitely doesn't hold eight cups as advertised
Made with professional-grade stainless steel, this Mueller French Press is one of the most durable options out there, and it'll keep your java hot for an hour longer than thinner models. This press is an excellent choice if you're an avid coffee drinker who needs three or four cups throughout the morning.
Despite keeping your coffee hot, the steel handle on this press stays cool, and you shouldn't have to worry about it burning you.
Unlike some models, Mueller's triple-layered filter structure prevents actual coffee grounds from seeping into your brew, but ensures you get the full flavor of them. As well as being drop-proof, the design of this coffee maker also makes it rust-proof - so you don't have to worry about the metal chipping away over time.
Since it's barely over two pounds, taking this press on-the-go shouldn't be a problem, and the manufacturer even includes a matching travel canister to store your grounds or beans in.
- Triple-filter system ensures even small coffee grounds won't make it through
- Durable steel shouldn't rust over time
- Includes a travel canister to store beans and grounds
- Keeps your coffee hotter for longer
- Can be more difficult to clean
- Requires more force to press through the coffee
If you're worried about leaving coffee in your French press too long and letting it get cold, the Veken French Press Coffee & Tea Maker may help ease your mind. This press uses a thickened borosilicate glass carafe, which means it retains heat better, and can even handle extreme temperature changes.
Some people may not like steel presses because they feel like it leaves behind a metallic taste. With the glass carafe on this press, you shouldn't have to deal with your flavor being contaminated.
Another feature of this press is the exact scale line on the side of the carafe. With some presses, it can be tricky to determine how many ounces you're actually making. The scale lines here, however, make it easy to know exactly how much you're brewing.
While it works great for coffee, this press is also versatile enough to handle tea. If you need a break from the caffeine, pour some unbrewed tea into the filter, and let it steep.
- Works well for both coffee and tea
- Thickened glass helps the press retain heat better
- Includes scale lines for easy measuring
- You don't need to worry about the metallic taste you get with some steel models
- The filters may not work as well for keeping out residual coffee grounds
Nothing ruins a great cup of coffee more than accidentally swallowing residual grounds that made it into your cup. Fortunately, with the Secura French Press Coffee Maker's three-layered filter structure, leftover grounds shouldn't be a problem.
There's also a bonus stainless steel screen included if you want to refine the taste of your coffee even more. The bonus screen is optional, so it's easy to dissemble or remove if you need to.
The stainless steel that makes up this press ensures that it won't rust over time, or crack if you happen to drop it. While you're pouring, there's no need to use a towel or glove because of a hot handle. The design of the Secure French Press keeps the handle cool, regardless of how hot your coffee may be. The knob on top of the lid also stays cool.
- No need to worry about residual coffee grounds
- Extremely durable, especially against rust or falls
- Includes a cool handle and knob for safety
- Extra bonus steel screen to help refine the taste of your coffee
- Keeps coffee hot, but if you leave it in too long, it may become bitter
- The lid may not always seal correctly
Stainless steel and glass French presses are all the rage, but you shouldn't forget about the benefits that come with a stoneware option like the Le Creuset Stoneware French Press. While the exterior is made with durable stoneware, the plunger is stainless steel for easy use.
Since the stoneware is so dense, cracking, rippling, or breaking this press is a challenge. Even if you drop it, the press is unlikely to crack or get damaged. Not to mention, the press has plenty of thermal resistance - it's safe to pop this press in the oven, broiler, microwave, or even the freezer.
When it's time to clean up the press, the glazed interior helps prevent staining and sticking. If you don't feel like putting it in the dishwasher, the inside shouldn't require more than a quick wipedown with a sponge.
While it won't affect the taste of your coffee, this stoneware press comes in licorice black, and can be a stunning addition to your kitchen's decor.
- More durable than glass and even some stainless steel models
- Stylish design and color
- Easy to clean and dishwasher safe
- Includes a lot of thermal resistance to extreme temperatures
- Doesn't always filter out your coffee grounds as well as some models
- Not as lightweight as some presses
Some French press users shy away from machines that include plastic carafes or plastic parts - especially if their grounds have to get filtered through plastic. Fortunately, the Kitchen Supreme French Press Coffee Maker is plastic-free, and uses stainless steel and glass instead.
With some presses, the lids can feel like a safety hazard. Thin lids with knobs may burn you when you go to pour your coffee, and may not seal correctly. This Kitchen Supreme model goes out of its way to avoid this by including a thick, stainless steel double lid. The thicker lid not only keeps your fingers safe from burns, but it prevents essential oils in your coffee from escaping.
With the four-level filtration system on this press, the end result will be a pure, satiny cup of coffee that's free of residual coffee grounds. Even though the glass carafe on this machine makes it more fragile than a stainless steel model, the manufacturer does use more durable, German borosilicate glass.
And, if you do happen to drop this press, there's a 3-year replacement guarantee included with your purchase.
- Thicker, durable glass helps this press last longer
- Thicker lid prevents burns or essential oils from evaporating
- Four-layered filtration system refines your coffee
- Includes a 3-year replacement guarantee in case something happens to the press
- Some coffee grounds may get stuck in between the glass and stainless steel layers
- The rest of the carafe doesn't stay as cool as the handle when you pour
Finding a French press larger than 34 ounces can be a challenge, but fortunately, this SterlingPro French Press Coffee Maker can hold up to a 1 ½ liters of liquid (or 44 ounces). Unlike smaller presses that promise eight cups but can only deliver 4 or 5, the SterlingPro is definitely capable of those eight cups.
To help combat the coffee granules that end up in the bottom of your cup, this top-rated press includes a two-screen system for better filtering.
When you're pressing your coffee, the double steel design of this press works to your advantage. It'll keep the outside of the press cool to the touch, but the inside layer of steel will keep your coffee hotter.
If you're not sure whether you'll be impressed with this model, the manufacturer does offer a 30-day money back guarantee. If you decide the coffee maker isn't for you during that first month, you should be able to get a refund without any issues.
- Includes a money-back guarantee
- Steel design keeps the exterior cool, and the coffee on the inside hot
- Larger than a lot of typical French press coffee makers
- More durable
- May take a few minutes to clean by hand
- You may need to wash it to get rid of the metallic taste before you use it for the first time
For a silky, sediment-free cup of coffee, all you need is four minutes with the BAKYA French Press Coffee and Tea Maker. Unlike some glass presses, which can be too thin and fail to retain heat, the borosilicate glass on this machine is heat-resistant.
That same thickened glass also helps extend the lifespan of this press, and prevent it from cracking or breaking. The stainless steel frame also keeps the press more durable, and prevents the beaker from falling out.
If you're a beginner who's still learning the ropes of how to make French press coffee, this simple French press is easy to use, and won't sacrifice taste. Brewing your coffee only takes four steps. When it's time to clean the press, every single part can be disassembled, and wiped down.
- Uses thickened glass
- 4-level filtration systems helps keep out coffee grounds and particles
- Easy to dissemble
- Very user-friendly
- A great option for beginners or anyone still learning how to brew French press coffee
- Doesn't make enough coffee for more than one or two people at a time
- The manufacturer doesn't specify if it's dishwasher safe
With the MIRA Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker, getting the perfect cup of coffee will take less than ten minutes. This press is extremely user-friendly: just add in your hot water and ground coffee, let it steep for up to six minutes, and then start plunging.
Like a lot of the stainless steel models on this list, the handle on the side of this coffee maker stays cool, but the inside of the press is extremely heat-resistant. Even if you walk away for an hour, you should still have plenty of hot coffee when you return.
The ultra-fine mesh filter on this coffee maker not only filters out those residual coffee grounds, but works to reduce that acidic taste you may get with coffee or teas. While it's capable of brewing up to 35 ounces, this press is still very compact, and easy to transport if you need to. At just over two pounds, it's lightweight enough to bring it on-the-go with you.
- Easy to use, especially for beginners
- Compact design makes it easy to transport
- Ultra-fine filter keeps out leftover coffee grounds
- You may get a metallic taste the first few times you use the press
- Can be difficult to clean, and grounds get lodged on the inside
If you're someone who likes to brew your coffee on the go and doesn't want to lug a heavy steel or fragile glass press around, the Coffee Gator French Press Coffee Maker could be what you're looking for.
Despite the plastic exterior that keeps the outside cool, the inside of this container uses stainless steel for better heat-retention. You can usually expect this press to keep your coffee warmer for an hour longer than a glass model.
To keep the flavor strong, the interior is vacuum-layered to prevent those essential oils from escaping, and uses a double-filter. Plus, if you plan to brew multiple cups at once, you can use the bonus mini canister you get with purchase to store extra coffee grounds or beans.
Keep in mind that you may need to let your grounds steep a little longer with this press. While most models only need five or six minutes before you can begin plunging, you'll need to let this press steep for almost ten.
- More portable than a lot of other models
- Includes a stylish plastic design on the outside
- Keeps your coffee hotter for sixty minutes longer than most glass carafes
- Double-filter keeps your coffee smooth and particle-free
- Includes an extra mini canister for storing beans and grounds
- Takes almost ten minutes for your grounds to steep
- The walls can sometimes leak over time
French Presses vs Drip Coffee Makers
When it comes to purchasing a new coffee machine, many people wonder how French presses and traditional drip coffee makers differ. There's a lot of differences between the two which we detailed more thoroughly in our French Press vs Drip coffee review.
The Drip Coffee Maker
For a lot of people, a drip coffee maker is the standard, and you're a lot more likely to see one of these in a home or office than you are a French press. With most drip machines, you'll add your coffee grounds to a paper filter, fill the reservoir with water, and let it brew. The water in the machine goes through an aluminum tube, and gradually heats up until the water is boiling.
As it boils, the water drips into the grounds, and you're on your way to brewing a great cup. One reason why drip machines show up more frequently is that they allow you to make several cups of coffee at once, and even plan ahead. By contrast, your favorite French press can usually only yield two or four cups at a time.
A drip coffee maker also tends to keep any leftover coffee hot for longer periods of time, so you can still have a piping hot cup a couple of hours later. French press machines may keep your coffee hot for a little awhile, but if you leave it too long, it'll go cold - and most people don't recommend reheating it since it can spoil the flavor.
For a more manual process, you can look into a pour over coffee maker, like a Chemex, which most people enjoy just as much as a French press. If you aren't sure, check out our pour over vs French press review where we go more in depth on this.
French Press Coffee Maker
With all the advantages that seem to come with a drip coffee maker, you may wonder why someone would settle for a French press instead. While a French press may be a little inconvenient if you're trying to make a ton of coffee at once, many people opt for the French press because of its flavor and taste.
A French press gives you a lot of variables to control - including the plunge rate, water temperature, brew time, and even how coarse your grind is. And, unlike a drip machine, you won't lose any of your coffee's flavorful oils to a paper filter.
Working a French press can take some practice, but after a few tries, you'll get a brew that's richer and more flavorful than anything a drip coffee maker can create. French presses tend to also be more durable and portable as well.
A drip coffee maker is full of mechanical and electrical parts that can malfunction at any time. Most French presses, however, don't have any mechanical parts. As long as you don't drop the glass beaker on your floor, your press should be able to last you a long time.
Working the French press coffee maker is also simple. You'll add coffee grounds and hot water to the beaker, and allow the grounds to steep. Once it's reached your desired strength, you'll push down on the plunger, and allow your coffee to start brewing.
Buying a French Press Coffee Maker
Many French press coffee makers look the same, but they're not all equal. When you're looking to buy one, there's a couple of factors you'll want to consider. The best French press will rank high in these areas:
Type of Material
When you're shopping around for a French press, you'll run into presses made with various materials, but most commonly with stainless steel, stoneware, glass, or even plastic. The type of material can play a large role in how durable your press is and how long it stays hot.
Glass beakers may be the most common French presses, and while they tend to be more affordable, they're not always the most durable. All it takes is one good fall, and your coffee maker is now in a million pieces. And, when it comes to keeping your coffee hot, glass doesn't always have the best heat retention.
One reason that some French press users may prefer glass over steel is that it doesn't come with the same metallic aftertaste you can get with some steel models.
Plastic is another material you may want to be careful about choosing. Like glass, it doesn't have the best heat retention, and they can be trickier to clean. Many experienced French press users shy away from plastic presses as well as any press that uses plastic filters or parts.
However, if you plan to bring your French press on-the-go, a plastic press can be advantageous. It's unlikely to break if it falls, and it's a lot lighter than glass, steel, or stoneware.
If you're not trying to transport your press, stainless steel and stoneware are both excellent options. Not only are they more durable, but they can often retain heat a lot better than glass or plastic. One downside to picking steel or stoneware is that these presses can be a heftier investment, and they're far from lightweight.
As mentioned, most French press coffee makers don't make a ton of coffee at once - a lot of machines only make three or four cups, but there are a couple of larger options. Capacity can be trickier to measure since most French presses are labeled by ounces, not cups.
Keep in mind that coffee manufacturers tend to calculate their cup sizes a little different. While it's standard for a single cup to equal eight ounces, most manufacturers consider a cup to be between 4 to 6 ounces.
A 34-ounce French press may boast that it can make up to eight cups, but you may actually only get around 5 or 6 cups from it.
Like most coffee makers, brewing with your French press is only half the work. Once you've made your java, you'll usually need to clean your French press after every batch. This can be tedious for some people, especially if you're making it on-the-go, but keeping up with regular maintenance will help ensure the longevity of your machine.
Fortunately, many modern French presses include dishwasher-safe components, so you don't have to clean it by hand unless you want to.
With some products, getting a warranty may feel unnecessary, but a French press isn't one of them. Compared to a drip coffee maker, French presses are a lot more fragile - especially if they're using glass components. Not only can they shatter or crack from one fall, but even using metal spoons to stir the grounds could damage the glass.
Many manufacturers do include warranties with their French presses, so it's a good idea to look at what that warranty actually covers before you buy. Some warranties may only last a year, or only cover manufacturer defects, not user errors.
How to Brew With Your French Press
We've given a quick overview of how a French press machine works, but how do you use it to get the perfect cup of java? Here's a step-by-step guide. If you are a fan of cold coffee, be sure to check out our French press cold brew guide as well!
- Warm up your French press. This is an important step that some beginners might miss, but before you brew, rinse your press out with hot water. Not only will you clear out any residual coffee grounds from the last time you used it, but this will also help maintain the temperature during the brewing process.
- Measure out your grounds. Keep in mind that a French press requires a coarse blend of coffee to function properly. If the grounds are too fine, you'll end up with too much sediment in your cup. Your grounds should feel as coarse as breadcrumbs. The amount you measure out can vary, but typically, using a teaspoon for every cup you want to brew is a good guideline to follow.
- Add the grounds and more hot water. Next, you'll need to add in your grounds and as much hot water as you want. Once you've got the hot water and the grounds together, you can set your timer for the steeping process. Make sure that all of your grounds are fully saturated in the water.
- Stir your grounds at the minute mark. Once the mixture has been steeping for a minute, use a wooden or plastic spoon to break the top layer or "crust" of your brew. If you have a glass carafe, be sure to avoid metal spoons as they can crack the glass.
- Let it steep for the remaining time. Most specific French presses have specific guidelines for how long you need to steep your grounds for, but it usually doesn't take longer than six minutes.
- Press your coffee. Once your timer goes off, it's time to press down on the plunger, and finish brewing your coffee. You'll want to make sure you press the knob down completely, so you're extracting all the coffee.
- Serve your coffee immediately. To avoid over extraction, you'll want to serve your coffee as soon as possible. If there's any left in the carafe, you may want to move it to a separate container. Coffee that sits on the grounds too long can become acidic and bitter.
- Clean your French press. The last step is to empty the remaining grounds in the trash, and rinse your press out with a little more hot water.
Keep in mind that these are general rules for making French press coffee - certain models may adjust or change steps. Some coffee makers may have specific guidelines for cleaning, take longer to steep, or only want you to add half of your hot water to start.
Before you brew, don't forget to read the instruction manual that comes with your French press.
Given how fragile most French press coffee makers are, picking out the best one can take careful consideration - especially if you're a beginner. However, there's no need to make choosing the best French press a guessing game. The ten options we've listed above are some of the most high-quality and top-rated presses currently available.
Whether you're interested in a stainless steel, glass, or even a stoneware press, our list has something to fit everyone's needs.