- Our 7 Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers
- Here Are The 7 Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers Reviewed
- What To Consider When Buying A 4 Cup Coffee Maker
- The Verdict
When it comes to drip coffee makers, it can be tricky to find exactly the right capacity for your needs. While it’s possible to brew less than the full volume in a 12-cup coffee maker, it can lead to a flawed result. A single-serve coffee maker on the other hand may not be enough for daily use.
A model designed to brew 4 to 5 cups of coffee is an ideal solution for many: you can brew just enough coffee at a time, without having to deal with stale leftovers or unbalanced batches.
One of my favorite parts of being a barista was testing out the different brewers and machinery sold at the cafes I worked at, which is something I still enjoy doing. I’ve tested seven different coffee makers in the 4 cup volume range to give you the best options.
My overall best choice is the Krups Simply Brew 5 Cup Coffee Maker, for a few different reasons: it has thoughtful features built-in, it doesn’t take up unnecessary real estate on the countertop, and the brewing performance is a lot higher than you would expect for the mid-range price.
While the Krups 5 cup coffee maker is the clear winner, there are a lot of different variables to consider when making your own purchase. Therefore, I’m including all 7 of the brewers I tested after narrowing the field down, to give you a rundown of their strengths and weaknesses.
Whether you’re in the market for a budget machine that just gets the job done with no frills, or you want a specialty coffee experience in a compact package, there will be something on this list that suits your needs.
Read on to learn more!
Our 7 Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers
|Krups Simply Brew 5-Cup Coffee Maker|
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Best Premium Coffee Maker
|Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto 5-Cup Drip Coffeemaker|
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Best Budget Coffee Maker
|BLACK+DECKER 5-Cup Coffeemaker|
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Easiest To Clean
|Gevi 4-Cup Coffee Maker|
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Best For Built-In Features
|Capresso 5-Cup Mini Drip Coffee Maker|
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Best Mid-Range Coffee Maker
|Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 4-Cup Coffee Maker|
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Best Brewing Experience
|Bonavita 5-Cup One-Touch Thermal Carafe Coffee Brewer|
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Here Are The 7 Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers Reviewed
All of the coffee makers included on this list are compact, at a height of 11 inches or less, and make between 4 and 5 servings of coffee. That translates to about 2 or 3 cups of coffee using your average mug size.
The coffee makers on this list represent a variety of price points and features, but we have used some benchmarks to judge all of them against the most important criteria:
- Ease of use
- Extra features
- Quality of the coffee brewed
- Pause & Brew function allows you to pour a cup of coffee mid-brew
- Coffee pot with easy-pour, no-drip spout
- Simple On/Off button to start brewing and turn off the brewer
- Dishwasher safe glass coffee pot with a drip-free spout
- Includes measuring spoon, and permanent, reusable coffee filter to reduce waste (Compatible with No.2 paper coffee filter)
My top choice of the group is the Krups Simply Brew 5 Cup Coffee Maker for a few key reasons. When it comes to brewing a pot of coffee in the morning, I want things to be straightforward, and this machine delivers on that level: just a simple on-off switch.
It also has a pause and serve function that lets me pause the brewing when there’s enough to pour my first cup and then let it finish. I’m also a fan of the removable filter basket, which means I don’t have to fumble with coffee filters.
One mundane feature that I especially appreciate, though, is the tank opening: I am kind of a clumsy pour in the morning, and the size of the opening to the water reservoir means I’m less likely to spill.
On the cleaning side of things, the Krups is also straightforward: the glass carafe is dishwasher safe, and cleaning the machine itself is a very simple matter of brewing water and cleaning product through it, and then rinsing the system.
When it comes to price, the Krups Simply Brew is moderately priced and comes into the middle range. In terms of ease of use, the simplicity of the features and the quality of the product far exceeds its cost, so you will definitely be getting your money’s worth.
While it may seem a bit odd to look at a premium model for something as practical as a 4 cup coffee maker, there are machines that make a very strong case for a higher price. The Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto maintains the brand’s reputation with key features.
The biggest selling point for this coffee maker is the coffee it brews: the glass carafe and the water filter built into the machine mean the flavor of the coffee is even better than some of the other options on the list.
This coffee maker is compact, with a sleek design that includes a permanent, funnel-shaped filter in the carafe itself rather than a separate compartment. The durable build quality of the machine also means that it has a long life, and can be repaired.
There are a few weak points to this machine, however: the 650-watt heater that the EC-DAC50 Zutto 5 cup uses means that brewing time is longer than some of the other models on the list, and there’s no pause function.
Another potential weakness is the fact that replacement parts (including water filter cartridges) are not as easy to come by, since you have to go through the company’s site and can’t just buy them at any store.
If you’re looking for a premium 4 cup coffee maker, this is one of the better choices on the market in terms of price to features, value, durability, and performance.
- Sneak-a-Cup feature temporarily stops the flow of coffee so you can pour your first cup before brewing ends without making a mess
- Space-saving compact design
- Permanent grounds filter included so no need for paper filters
- One-touch control for easy operation with an on/off indicator light for peace of mind
If the price point is one of the more important aspects you look for when it comes to a coffee maker, the Black & Decker 5 Cup Coffee Maker offers a good combination of basic features and low cost. The compact machine is very straightforward to operate: An on-off switch is the only control.
The permanent filter makes disposing of grounds easy, which means you don’t have to deal with paper filters, and the easy-view water window is well-placed to make sure you don’t overfill.
The Black & Decker does have a few weak points: it can’t be programmed to brew at a set time, and it doesn’t have an automatic shut-off feature, either. As long as the machine is on, the heating plate is active.
One bonus feature this coffee maker does include is the “sneak a cup” feature, which allows you to pour your first cup mid-brew, without the risk of coffee dripping onto the heating plate.
The Black & Decker 5 Cup drip coffeemaker is a compact, easy-to-use machine for a price just about anyone can afford.
- One-touch brewing
- Easy access front load brew basket
- Compact and doesn't take up much space
- The non-stick warming plate keeps coffee warm for 2 hours then auto shuts off for boil-dry protection.
- Detachable filter, funnel, and coffee pot can be placed in the dishwasher for cleaning
- Anti-drip mechanism prevents accidental spills
Not everyone thinks about cleaning their prospective coffee maker, but for high-quality coffee, it’s important to be able to keep your machine clean. The Gevi 4 Cup Coffee Maker takes the prize for being the easiest to clean out of all of its competitors.
While none of the coffee makers in this list are difficult to clean, the Gevi coffee maker takes ease to the next level.
The glass carafe, reusable filter, and funnel all detach from the body of the machine, and all three are dishwasher safe. Being able to take apart the machine easily and clean them makes it a lot easier to keep residue from building up, which means a better cup of coffee that allows you to really taste the flavors from your beans.
The Gevi 4 Cup Coffee Maker also features a 2-hour auto-shutoff, non-stick warming plate, and a swing-out design on the brew basket to make it easier to set up for brewing. If keeping your machine clean is a prime concern, the Gevi coffee maker is a solid choice.
The other coffee makers in this list all have some of the features the Capresso Mini-Drip 5 cup coffee maker has, but when it comes to an all-in-one package the Mini-Drip stands alone.
The Capresso Mini-Drip is a compact but powerful machine, it includes a programmable brewing function, automatic shut-off feature, and the Drip Stop brew-pause feature to allow you to pour a cup in the middle of the brewing process.
The programmable coffee maker also keeps coffee warm for up to 2 hours by virtue of its automatic keep-warm function. The glass carafe is easy to clean, and the Goldtone permanent filter makes a great tasting coffee without the need for paper filters.
The Capresso 5 cup coffee maker is a mid-range machine that packs a punch for its price point.
In a lot of other articles covering the best four-cup coffee maker, the Mr. Coffee Simple Brew coffee maker takes top billing. While it didn’t quite make the top of the list for me, it’s easy to see why it’s a popular option for many other experts.
This small coffee maker boasts a lot of features: an on-off indicator light to ensure you know when your machine is on, a dual water window that gives better visibility of the water level inside the machine, and a stain-resistant hot plate for easy cleaning.
The Mr. Coffee Simple Brew coffee maker also features an auto-pause brewing function that temporarily stops the brewing process to allow you to pour a cup of coffee before the brew finishes.
There are a few downsides to the Mr. Coffee, however. The construction of the Mr. Coffee 4 cup Simple Brew coffee maker is plastic, fortunately, BPA free, but it does mean that the first few times you brew coffee there’s an unpleasant flavor.
While the auto-pause feature does allow you to get a cup of coffee in the midst of brewing, it seems to tax the 650-watt system, making the water heat up less consistently.
For a programmable machine, at a mid-range price point, the Mr. Coffee 4 Cup Simple Brew coffee machine is still a strong contender.
- Powerful and precise 1100-watt heater maintains optimal brewing temperature of 195-205 Degrees Fahrenheit
- Optional pre-infusion mode saturates freshly roasted ground coffee to allow degassing before brewing
- The carafe lid, filter basket, and showerhead are dishwasher safe and all plastic is BPA-free
- Specially designed showerhead for ideal extraction in small batch sizes
- One-touch brew operation with auto-off
Simplicity paired with thoughtful features makes for a strong product, and the Bonavita One Touch coffee maker combines both of those virtues. It has a different design concept to the other products on this list, with a side-by-side rather than stacked configuration.
The One Touch lives up to its name: one-touch brewing, with no complications. The major strengths of this coffee maker are features like the pre-infusion function, which hydrates the coffee grounds before brewing, and the consistency of the water heating.
Another point in favor of this machine is the fact that you can choose from a stainless steel carafe or standard glass carafe, whichever your thermal carafe preference may be.
The Bonavita One Touch consistently gets high ratings based on the taste of the coffee, and its space-saving design is another great bonus. The machine doesn’t have a permanent or reusable filter, but the filter basket will accept aftermarket versions.
Unlike some of the other 4 cup coffee makers on the list, it doesn’t have a brew-pause function, but of all of the coffee makers included in this list, it by far has the easiest brewing process.
What To Consider When Buying A 4 Cup Coffee Maker
Apart from the selections in this list, there are a lot of 4 cup brewers on the market, and it’s a good idea to know what to look for. Not every 4 cup coffee machine is equally good or is worth its cost.
If you know what to look out for, you’ll have a better chance of finding something that meets your specific needs. Here are some of the considerations to keep in mind.
Value For Money
The price point is a major concern for most people, and the amount of value you get from your coffee machine for the investment you make in it is a key aspect to keep in mind.
The good news is that there are 4 cup coffee makers for every price point; no matter your budget, there is likely to be a coffee maker that meets your requirements.
The question of value for money isn’t just about the price itself, however. There are expensive models, such as the Zojirushi EC-DAC50 Zutto, that really do offer a premium experience for the cost of the machine.
The question that you should ask is to what degree the features enrich your experience, and whether that makes the price worth it. For my money, I tend to prefer a more no-frills experience.
For those who prefer features like auto shut off, the ability to pre-plan your coffee brewing in advance, and other perks, a more expensive model like a programmable coffee maker may be the best fit.
The built-in features that come with your coffee maker are also something that you should consider before you decide which to buy. Some features are more basic than others. It’s not exactly uncommon for a 4 cup coffee maker to feature an indicator light.
Other features, like automatic shutoff, pause functions, and dishwasher safe components are less common, especially in smaller machines that are more basic.
The most important features that most people can name for their coffee maker include things like the auto shut-off feature, auto-pause, and a hot plate to keep coffee warm. An indicator light and an easy-access filter basket are also strong features to increase usability.
Some coffee makers get around the need for a hot plate by making the coffee pot itself more insulated. Something like a double-wall stainless steel carafe can be a good option, even if it can complicate other aspects of your coffee brewing process.
The built-in features for the coffee machine of your choice should have a purpose: bells and whistles don’t guarantee great-tasting coffee on their own. Stainless steel construction is good for people who need something sturdy, however, plastic carafes can offer you better value for money.
Ideal Brewing Temperature
One point where many 4 cup coffee makers tend to stumble is in maintaining the proper brewing temperature. The ideal brewing temperature for drip coffee is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Coffee makers with fewer built-in features ironically tend to have a better time delivering on the water temperature, because the power coming into the machine doesn’t get divided among different functions.
Look for a brewer that uses sufficient power to heat the water you brew with just below the boiling point, and you’ll get a good cup of coffee every time.
The best 4 cup coffee maker must use good design in addition to not being an eyesore and incorporating useful features. Good design can vary and will depend on how much room you have to work with.
Your countertop footprint is important and you’ll want a machine that can take up minimal space for your needs yet still be able to brew the volume of coffee you’re looking for.
There are some designs that accomplish this goal more effectively than others for example the Bonavita One Touch coffee maker has a design concept that works well for shallow counter space.
Another design consideration is how easy everything is to access. A large lid to the water reservoir, a drip-free coffee pot, and other aspects along those lines can start to justify the price of one machine over another.
When you’re brewing coffee, timing is an important factor. It may come as a surprise to know that each drip coffee maker brews at a slightly different speed, depending on the mechanism of the water flow.
With a small coffee maker, the differences are less noticeable, but they can still impact the taste of the coffee. Apart from the mechanism used to drip water over coffee grounds, the temperature of the water also plays a role.
If you’re someone who gets caught up in your busy mornings and always finds yourself in a rush, this will be an important aspect for you.
By keeping an eye on the brewing speed, you can ensure that you’ll have a quality cup of coffee every time, in no time.
Carafe Type Matters
For a truly excellent cup of coffee from your 4 cup coffee maker, your choice of carafe matters. There are three basic materials that a coffee pot can be made from: while the glass carafe is the most traditional for a drip coffee maker, stainless steel and plastic have gained a lot of popularity.
Each material offers its own drawbacks and benefits, so the choice of which is right for you will depend on what your needs are.
A glass carafe has the best flavor because glass doesn’t take on odors and flavors the way that plastic and stainless steel do. It’s also easy to clean, and some of the more robust glass carafe models are dishwasher safe. But whether the glass carafe is dishwasher safe or not, there are still alternative cleaning methods, so it’s not necessarily always the best choice.
Stainless Steel Carafes
The stainless steel carafe has the benefit of holding heat a little bit better than a glass carafe. It is also more robust and less easily breakable. Most thermal carafe models are double-walled stainless steel, and keep the coffee hot without a warming plate or hot plate.
Stainless steel makes for excellent insulating material, but it also tends to increase the price point of the coffee maker in question. Stainless steel is somewhat trickier to clean, and of course, you can’t keep track of how much coffee you have left in your carafe as easily.
BPA-free plastic carafes are another option that usually comes with cheaper coffee makers. They are lightweight, and plastic also has the benefit of being much less likely to break. It may seem strange to use plastic in a coffee pot, but most of the models that have BPA-free plastic pots don’t use a warming plate.
For buyers on a strict budget, and those who need an easy-to-hold, shatter-proof carafe, plastic is a better option than a stainless steel carafe, which may be heavier and cost more.
Maintenance And Cleaning
The best 4 cup coffee makers have to be easy to clean and maintain, as well as brewing a great pot of coffee. Features like a removable filter basket, removable water reservoir, and dishwasher safe materials make for a strong investment.
A 4 cup drip coffee maker that has expensive parts or isn’t easy to disassemble for cleaning purposes, is going to be more of a long-term hassle for you. Cleaning your coffee maker is essential to preserve the taste of your brew.
A removable filter basket, also known as a reusable filter, is a feature that has become more common to help with this. But you should always look for a coffee maker that has simple cleaning instructions and which is easy to maintain.
Be sure to verify the cleaning instructions that come with the 4 cup coffee maker of your choice.
Utility And Convenience
Maybe brew time isn’t as crucial and your mornings are laidback? Maybe you just need a simple start-stop coffee maker without the bells and whistles? Everyone’s needs will be different and when it comes to usability and convenience you should consider your lifestyle and what you really need.
The major function of a smaller coffee maker is to produce exactly the amount of coffee you need, without adding clutter or complications into your life. A sturdy machine that has straightforward features is better than a flashy machine with more than you need.
Convenience for this category refers to not just the functions that the machine includes but also the basic design elements. If the machine is going to be convenient, it should be compact, easy to clean, and with all of the parts accessible for brewing.
Utility for a small coffee brewer means consistency. A brewer that lacks the power to heat the water to the right temperature for brewing and keep it there consistently is not very useful. Look for brewers that take enough power to get the job done.
The best 4 cup coffee maker is more than just a machine that makes a delicious cup of coffee. A lot of factors need to be considered like the price, features, brewing temperature consistency, design, brewing speed, ease of cleaning, and much more!
The importance of each of these factors will vary depending on your own lifestyle and preferences. However, our top pick that should meet all of your needs is the Krups Simply Brew 5 cup coffee maker.
It is extremely simple to operate, includes a pause and serve function, a dishwasher safe carafe, and a wide opening to the water reservoir.
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