10 Best French Press Coffee Makers 2017
My quest for the best French press coffee makers began six months ago when my buddy and I bonded over a cup of French press coffee one evening.
We are espresso-ists by choice and cannot go a day without our espresso shot.
But our favorite Barista was on leave, and we didn’t want to be caught dead with an espresso churned out from an automated machine.
Nothing but good old manual ‘pulling the shot’ for us!
And then folks, I was mesmerized by the French press.
Come to think of it now, it may well be the most underrated beverage in the world. It is rich, oily, flavorful and surprisingly easy to make. No more tinkering with the optimum pressure, pre-infusion, ground size and a hundred other things that you need to master to get a decent espresso shot.
Just put your ground coffee in a pot with a plunger and a small filter and you are done.
I absolutely had to get a French press coffee maker home. And I was in for a huge surprise.
Despite the simplistic design, French Press Coffee machines are available in a variety of brands, models and configurations. But enter the rabbit hole, I had to. The next month was spent tasting, researching and speaking to anyone and everyone French Press.
That includes people who have a penchant for it, Baristas who make it for a living and customers who have used some of these coffee makers at home for years.
After my research, here are the best French press coffee machines that I discovered.
#1 – Bodum Chambord 8 cup French Press
When I first saw the Bodum Chambord 8 cup French press coffee maker, I was sure that I had seen the logo somewhere. I wasn’t wrong. The Barista at Starbucks uses one of their burr grinders. But I was unaware that they also manufacture coffee makers.
Well, this is a beautifully designed coffee maker that draws inspiration from the classic French press coffee makers of the fifties.
The carafe is made of borosilicate glass that has excellent heat-resistance. This is wrapped in a chrome-plated stainless steel frame. The lid is also stainless steel, while the handle is made of Polypropylene in a matt-black finish.
The Bodum Chambord has a three-piece mesh filter which works with coffee grounds of all sizes (I have been experimenting with this)
Now, there are a few things that make this an excellent design. The extraction is top notch if you get your temperature and ground size right. Secondly, you can pick this up even if it has steaming hot coffee inside. You are not going to scald your hands. Most importantly, you can easily make almost 4-8 cups of coffee at a time depending on what size of coffee maker you pick.
There are minimal moving parts which make it easy to clean. By the way, it is dishwasher safe too.
The Bodum Chambord is also one of the top rated French press coffee makers in the market currently. So, if you are looking for your first French press machine, here’s a great one to pick.
#2 – Kona French Press Coffee and Tea Espresso Maker
Kona is the bestselling French press coffee maker on Amazon. And in a market that is dominated by many cheaper units, it manages to hold on to its position despite being slightly more expensive (Priced under $40 now).
Why pay up to $40 for a glass carafe that does little except holding your hot water and your ground coffee, one might ask.
Kona is one of the most innovatively designed coffee makers. It has a borosilicate glass carafe that is surrounded by an aesthetic polypropylene frame which also insulates it and gives it some much-needed shock resistance.
Like a tea maker that you can carry during your camping trips without worrying about it cracking or breaking at the slightest impact? Here you go.
Also, there are no plastic parts in the Kona French press coffee maker. Both the plunger and the filter are stainless steel. So, there is no off-flavors or taste in the coffee.
It is comfortable to hold on to with the ergonomic handle, easy to use and dishwasher safe. In case you didn’t know, this can also be used to brew iced tea and coffee.
There are customers who have used the Kona French Press for years and it still works flawlessly. That’s the best testimony that anyone would need.
If you are looking for a French press coffee maker that can last for years, is low on maintenance and looks stunning on your kitchen counter, then go for the Kona French Press coffee maker.
P.S. If you manually clean this, then wait for the glass to cool down after you use it before you rinse it. Glass can become fragile at high temperatures and the last thing you’d want to do is rinse it in cold water immediately.
#3 – SterlingPro Classic European Style Doublewall
The SterlingPro is a double-walled stainless steel French press coffee maker with a very stylish pear shaped design.
The double wall keeps the coffee warm for a longer time frame and ensures that the unit is cold to the touch from the outside. It has a teapot styled handle which makes it easy to pick up even when it is filled to the brim. Also, it can brew up to 1 liter of coffee at a time. If you are a habitual guzzler, then one of these will give you up to 8 cups of coffee at a time.
The stainless steel parts don’t rust and ensure that there are no chemicals leeching into your coffee that can affect the taste or the flavors.
Many of the French press savants that I spoke to claim that a stainless steel carafe brings a difference to the taste of the coffee. And I was so intrigued by this claim, that I bought one of these for my RV.
To be honest, there’s no notable difference in taste. I used the same sized coffee grounds and ensured that the water temperature was the same too.
Just tasted like 100% pure French press without any off-flavors.
What is different though is the design and the immaculate filtration system which prevents coffee grounds from ending up in your cuppa.
That is a dampener like none other folks. The double screens in the filter in the SterlinPro filters out even the tiniest coffee grounds giving you an incredibly smooth and rich cup of coffee, the way it should be.
You will absolutely love to flaunt this on your countertop. It has a mirror finish that is scratch resistant. I have been using this in my RV for about four months now and it has undergone some serious abuse including being dropped from the counter twice. There’s not even a single scratch on it. Still looks as good as new.
It is dishwasher safe which makes cleaning a breeze.
Also, it is now available at less than half of what it originally cost. That makes this an absolute steal.
#4 – Le Creuset Stoneware 27oz. French Press
Who better to make French press coffee makers than the French themselves? Sorry if that sounded lame. My next pick comes from Le Creuset, the French manufacturer that dominates my pantry with its fancy cookware.
This is the Le Creuset Stoneware French Press that makes for an impressive sight in a market that is otherwise flooded with simple looking glass carafes. It is available in an array of bold colors in a high-gloss non-porous finish. My favorite one is the blue-gradient. Other options include red gradient and a pearl white one.
Stoneware has excellent heat retention properties as you would know. This ensures that your coffee or favorite beverage remains hot or cold for much longer.
Also, there are no plastic parts. The plunger and filter mesh are pure stainless steel. You can clean it easily and it does not affect the taste of the coffee.
The Le Creuset Stoneware French Press is dishwasher safe. The only possible downside is that it is a tad heavier than a borosilicate glass carafe. When you fill it with 27 oz of coffee, it may be a tad difficult to pick up and pour, especially if you are only using one hand.
This also makes it highly prone to damage. Even a slight bump increases the risk of the carafe cracking or chipping.
Le Creuset has an excellent customer service record though. Any damaged units are immediately replaced.
If you are already using Le Creuset kitchenware, then this will be the perfect addition to your countertop. Great quality as well!
#5 – French Press Coffee & Tea Maker Complete Bundle
It is the simplicity of French Press Coffee makers that make them ideal for home use. But that does not mean that you cannot bring out the alchemist in you and do a bit of tinkering with your cup of Joe.
This French Press Coffee Maker includes a bunch of tools that allow you to churn out not just French press coffee but also make espresso shots.
So, apart from a very durable carafe made from double German glass (glorified name for Borosilicate), surrounded by a stainless steel frame which gives it excellent impact resistance, you have a filter with four screens (If you still find coffee grounds in your cup, then you are doing something very wrong), a scoop to pick your ground coffee from the grinder and a stainless steel spoon for adding your sugar.
Since this is about the best French press coffee makers, I will talk only about that aspect. The quality is top notch. Everything from the borosilicate glass to the stainless steel frame is durable and designed for long term use.
The plunger is easy to use (no pressure needed) and the edges of the screen are perfectly aligned with the walls of the carafe. This ensures that no coffee grounds manage to sneak into your cup.
There are a couple of plastic parts including the spoon but those are made of BPA-Free plastic. So, there’s nothing to affect the taste or the quality of the coffee. When not in use as a coffee maker, you can use this to brew tea and even froth some milk though it won’t be the same quality froth that a dedicated frother can get you.
All parts are dishwasher compatible and you can completely dismantle them for easy and detailed cleaning.
Other than the bunch of add-ons that you get with this French press coffee maker, it has a very attractive price tag (Priced under $28) which makes it a value-for-money pick.
#6 –Secura 1500ML French Press Coffee Maker, 50-Ounce, Stainless Steel 18/10 SFP-50DSC, Extra Stainless Steel Screen
All of the French press coffee makers in this list have been intended for home users. But if you have an extended family of coffee lovers, then you will probably have to make coffee multiple times in those.
My next pick is perfect for a household that demands more than 4-8 cups of coffee every day. This is the Secura French Press Coffee Maker that has a 50 oz capacity.
That’s a liter and a half of pure, rich and flavorful French press for you.
The Secura is crafted from 18/10 stainless steel. That’s 304 Stainless Steel by the way which is considered to be one of the most corrosion and rust-resistant stainless steel to be used in food grade products. It is easy to clean, retains its luster and is dishwasher safe.
It is not a double walled design though. So, if you have boiling water in there, you’d want to avoid touching it directly. Strictly use the cool touch handle which makes it effortless to pick it up even with one hand.
The Secura French Press has a 3-layer stainless steel filter that keeps even the teeniest coffee ground bits away from your cup. Also, there is an extra filter screen included in the package for that added refinement if you prefer it.
Large capacity, zero plastic parts, easy to clean and incredibly durable, the Secura French Press Coffee maker is also perfect for professional use by the way.
If you would like to buy the Secura but find the capacity to be overkill, then it is also available in a 34 oz capacity.
#7 – Dynamique Premium French Press Coffee Maker
It is amazing what some innovation can do to a product as simple as a French press coffee maker. This is the Premium French Press Coffee Maker from Dynamique which is unarguably one of the most beautifully designed coffee makers in the market currently.
It takes the classic coffee maker design and adds an aesthetic touch to it with a stainless steel frame that is polished in a gold finish. It is a rimmed frame that extends from the middle of the carafe till the bottom and there’s a curved base at the end.
This gives it a very retro look that is similar to the copper utensils of yore.
But there is no tradeoff in quality. The carafe is made of 1.5mm thick borosilicate glass and it has a stainless steel handle that remains cool to the touch.
The filter and the plunger are perfectly aligned every single time ensuring that coffee grounds don’t escape into the cup.
There is no difficulty in pushing the plunger in and the extraction is flavorful and oily every single time.
All parts are dishwasher safe and the best thing is that it retains the polished finish even after months of everyday use.
The Dynamique French Press also includes two matching coffee cups in the package making it a complete set. Also, you can download a free mobile application from Dynamique that includes a timer and comes with detailed instructions to make your coffee. This is a neat addition once again from the manufacturer.
It is little things like these that make it a personalized and enjoyable experience.
So, if you are looking for some countertop glory without compromising on the taste of your French press, then the Dynamique is one of the best French press coffee makers that you can buy.
#8 – Café Crush French Press Coffee Maker
A lot of people find that 1.8 mm glass is too fragile for their liking. An accidental nudge or slip while washing it can send it crashing into pieces or just chip a piece of the glass. Not the best of scenarios if you have just bought your coffee maker a few weeks ago.
Not if you have a carafe that is made of 2.1mm thick glass instead.
Cafe Crush is one of the only manufacturers who use 2.1mm thick borosilicate glass for its coffee maker carafe. Apart from the added durability, this also gives the carafe better resistance to high temperatures.
If you are one of those finicky ones who submerges a food thermometer into the coffee every time before drinking, then this will give you coffee just the way you like it.
The quality of the glass is so good that I almost forgot to mention about the stainless steel frame and a dome shaped lid which makes this look like a coffee press from the fifties. The steel frame has a Bronze finish that mimics burnished copper which amplifies the retro look. But the inside of the steel dome lid has been insulated to prevent rust from setting in.
The filtration and the coffee extraction with the plunger are immaculate. The handle is cool to touch and very easy to grip. The Café Crush Coffee Press also has metal feet. So, you can also keep this on a hot plate to warm your coffee.
And if it wasn’t enough already, Cafe Crush throws in a bunch of neat extras. There’s a scoop, a raw bamboo bar which can be used for stirring or scraping any residual coffee grounds from the inside of the carafe and a whole bundle of instructions that let you brew to perfection.
I have also used the bamboo bar to crush the coffee ground before using the plunger. But that’s just me being me.
You also get access to the Café Crash Club which qualifies you to get any replacement part free of cost.
#9 – French Press by Ritual, New and Improved Stainless Steel and Bamboo Design
Ritual is one of those recent startups that have managed to elbow out big brands like Bodum, De Longhi and Mr. Coffee in the French press category. And the main reason is the innovation that they bring to their products. Take the French Press for example.
It has a thick glass carafe that is less likely to shatter due to the temperature of the water. Also, since it is a tad heavier than normal glass, you are less likely to drop it accidentally.
This is wrapped in a stainless steel frame with bamboo trims to it. At first glance, most people would assume that the frame is completely made of bamboo. But it’s only the handle and the lid.
Apart from the improved aesthetics, Bamboo is also light, easy to hold on to and very easy to clean. It does not get scratched or damaged and is cool to the touch. You can lift it with a hand and pour your coffee easily. The lid creates a secure seal that prevents it from dripping when you pour.
The Ritual Coffee Press has a non-slip foot which prevents it from slipping on the counter. Even if you accidentally nudge it, this will stay where you keep it. No wobbles either.
Priced under $23, this gives you much better value for money as compared to most other French press coffee makers. Also, it comes with a lifetime guarantee. Damages qualify for a replacement straight away for the rest of the time that you will use this coffee maker.
#10 – Kuissential 8-Cup Stainless Steel French Press
If you are tired of French presses breaking after prolonged usage or during cleaning, then a French metal press is the ideal replacement. And here’s one with excellent customer reviews and ratings.
The Kuissential French press coffee maker is made of stainless steel with a polished mirror finish. It looks very similar to the SterlingPro French Press in the design. In fact, you could very well consider this to be a cheaper alternative for the SterlingPro.
The best part is that there’s nothing cheap about the quality. The construction is top notch. The stainless steel does not rust, is resistant to scratches and corrosion and keeps your brew warm for a long time.
You can keep this on a hot plate too. It has a handle that is cool to touch.
There is no gap between the plunger and the carafe. It has a smooth plunging action and a very effective mesh filter that prevents the grounds from leaking into the coffee.
Easy to clean, maintain and will virtually last forever with minimal care. That’s the perfect French press coffee maker for you.
How to select a French press coffee maker
If you are new to French Presses then you might be surprised that there is a slight learning curve to achieving that perfect brew. And having the right French press coffee maker is half the battle won.
One of the biggest misconceptions is to believe that it’s just a carafe with a plunger and all French press makers work alike.
Here are some of the factors that you should consider before you decide on which one to buy.
- How much coffee do you drink at a time: We are empty nesters and usually don’t drink more than two cups of Joe at a time. So, a four cup coffee maker is perfect for us. That’s a 17 oz once. But if you drink more cups or you have a bigger family, then you might need a bigger sized French press.
- What material do you prefer: Some people like the aesthetics and the feel that a glass carafe has. You can see the coffee being brewed, it has a beautiful stainless steel frame around it and you can also hold it directly without the risk of scalding your hands. But glass is prone to breakage. No matter how thick it is, if you accidentally nudge it over the counter, it will break. The next best option is stainless steel. And contrary to what you’d think, you do not have to compromise on the aesthetics either. Most stainless steel coffee makers have a polished mirror finish and are resistant to scratches and stains. It has excellent resistance to high temperatures and will last forever. Stoneware is the least preferred one of them all.
- The filter: The filter is an underrated feature of a French press coffee maker. I consider it to be of penultimate importance If you use fine coffee grounds, then they can sneak through the tiniest of gaps between the plunger and the carafe. A filter prevents this from happening. Some coffee makers have double layered filters while others have up to four layers. The more the layers, the less likely it is for coffee grounds to sneak into the cup of Java.
- The Plunger action: You’d want the plunger to work smoothly every single time even after months of use. If the plunger is getting stuck or you find coffee grounds in the coffee, then there is something wrong with it. Many people dismantle the plunger for cleaning and then do not reassemble it properly which makes it prone to damage
- Metal No–Slip Feet: The feet of the coffee maker are another underrated feature. If you are going to use a hot plate to keep the coffee warm, you need a coffee maker with metal feet. While you are at it, check if the feet are non-slip. This will keep it wobble free on the counter and is less likely to do the dance even if the counter is wet.
- Rust resistance: Water, high temperatures and metal are usually a recipe for rust and corrosion. A lot of manufacturers just mention stainless steel on the box without any clarity on the type of stainless steel used. Some types of stainless steel are more prone to corrosion than others. (One with a low percentage of nickel). If it is made of stainless steel, you’d want to know the exact type of steel that is used in it. 18/10 is the most commonly used and also the most recommended type of stainless steel.
- Plastic parts: Plastic parts, especially in the plunger are a strict no-no. They can potentially leach chemicals into the brew that can affect the taste and the flavor. Irrespective of the material of the carafe, always look for stainless steel plungers and filters.
- The handle: You may not consider the handle to be an important feature until you discover that it is impossible to lift the carafe without struggling or supporting the base with both your hands. The handle needs to be ergonomic, easy to grip and cool to the touch.
- Cleaning: Last but not the least; you will most definitely like to spend less time on the upkeep. So look for dishwasher safe French press coffee makers that are easier to clean.
I hope that the unbiased analysis of the above mentioned best French press coffee makers helps you in making your choice. As always, I have picked only those who have a stellar record and good customer reviews. The flaws if any have also been highlighted. You can consider these factors and select one that best works for you.
P.S. If you are still hung up on the overrated Espresso shot like me, then give French Press coffee a try. I am sure that you will thank me for it later.