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Coffee is expensive. Whether you’re running to the store constantly to get coffeehouse drinks, or if you’re getting that coffee maker that seems to cost way more than what it’s worth.
But it doesn’t have to be.
There are many models out there that sell for less than $100, and many are really well-built too.
In this article, we talk all about how to shop for a coffee maker, our picks of the best coffee makers under 100 dollars, and how you would pick the right one for yourself. Let’s dive in.
If you’re looking for the best coffee maker for less than $100, the Ninja CE251 turns out to be our top pick for a 12-cup model.
For single-serve though, the Keurig K-Slim coffee maker is the best we’ve come across.
Table of Contents
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look For in Coffee Makers
Shopping for an affordable coffee maker is pretty much the same as shopping for any other coffee maker. Although, you’d have to keep your expectations realistic, and not hoping for features that normally only exist in high-end machines.
Here are some of the basic checkboxes you should keep in mind.
One of the first things to consider when looking around for a new coffee maker, is how big do you need it to be.
Standard coffee makers come in at a 12-cup capacity, and many models nowadays include an option to brew in smaller batches of 1-4 cups as well. If you don’t need the versatility and only require brewing for one or two persons at a time, a smaller coffee maker (e.g. 5-cup) or a single-serve model may be a better pick.
While you can adjust the brew strength through the amount of coffee you put into the machine as well as the amount of water, some models have a setting of brew strength.
Having the ability to set that right from the machine settings makes choosing between brew strengths really convenient. This feature is golden if you live in a household with different brew strength preferences.
If you don’t usually have time to wait around for the coffee to brew, having a programmable unit, or in other words, one with a timer functionality, is a lifesaver.
With a unit like this, you’re able to set and forget. Basically, put a time where you would like coffee to start brewing or be ready, and hot coffee will greet you right on time.
Largely related to the brew capacity of the machine, size is also an important practical factor to take into consideration.
If you don’t usually need to brew many servings, and you have limited countertop space, going for a smaller model or even a single-serve one could prove to be the practical choice.
Warming functionalities & energy efficiency
Most, if not all coffee makers come with a warming plate (at least, those that do not come with a thermal carafe).
While a heating plate is pretty standard, other energy- or heat-related features might not. For example, auto-off functionalities as well as the different intervals at which they turn off automatically. These differ from model to model.
Our Picks of The Best Coffee Makers Under $100
Manufacturers often struggle to produce great products at affordable prices. When the price tag goes down, cost-cutting measures come into play, and when done poorly, affects the experience of using the product negatively.
It’s not easy finding really good coffee makers under $100, especially true if you’re looking for something outside of the regular 12-cup coffee maker. We’ve done the work for you, and here are the best coffee makers under 100 dollars, in our opinion.
Ninja has long been a favorite brand of ours, and is known for offering its products at a relatively affordable price, while having tons of value. This model is no different.
There are just so many things done right about this coffee maker. For starters, it is really versatile. It offers a brew size selection of either a small batch of 1-4 cups, or you could go a full carafe of 12 cups. The brew strength is also selectable from either classic or rich.
Other than that, it also offers convenience features like its programmability. You’re able to schedule a brew to start, anytime within 24 hours into the future. Once the brew starts itself and completes, the warming plate automatically turns on and keeps the coffee warm for up to 4 hours.
Additional features like the large and removable water reservoir that measures at 60oz, as well as the pause and pour feature that lets you serve coffee mid-brew, are just cherries on top.
One underrated feature of this coffee maker is its carafe. Often, this is where affordable coffee makers mess up. The carafe either leaks sometimes, doesn’t pour very well, or is hard to clean. With the glass carafe included with this model, you get none of them. Instead, it’s extremely pleasant to use.
The only shortcoming we’ve noticed while reviewing the unit, is that occasionally, coffee grounds do escape through the filter basket into your coffee. Depending on how much you mind this, it might or might not be a dealbreaker for you. Personally, I don’t mind this as it doesn’t affect the coffee quality too much.
All in all, if you’re looking for the best drip coffee maker under 100 dollars, this is our pick.
- Capable of brewing small batches of 1-4 cups
- Selectable brew strengths of classic or rich
- Boiler technology achieves hotter brew
- Programmable 24 hours in advance
- Adjustable warming plate stays on for up to 4 hours
- Large, removable 60oz water reservoir
- Mid-brew pause & pour feature
- Coffee grounds sometimes leak into the coffee
The brand name Mueller isn’t exactly a household name, but when we first had experience with their products, it really blew us away (in about the same way Ninja’s did). We have no idea how they manage to produce these well-designed products at such an affordable price.
Honestly, if you’re not looking for any specific features, the Mueller Ultra is able to satisfy the average coffee drinker very well. At this price, it may very well be the best coffee maker under $50.
It comes with the basics you would expect from a quality coffee maker. Brew strength selection between regular or bold, a programmable timer, and a pause and serve function that allows you to pour mid-brew. All these add up to providing a solid experience.
Some extras included with this unit is the permanent coffee filter. Not a big deal, but certainly a nice addition that lets you save some money on single-use filters. It’s also good to know that the machine automatically shuts off after completing a brew for 2 hours.
However great it may be, there are certainly caveats at this price point. The most noticeable is its build materials. Not necessarily the build quality, as it is built pretty well, but there is definitely cost cutting in the material choices.
The coffee maker feels mostly plastic all around. While it doesn’t really compromise the experience, it does make it feel a little more flimsy than you might be used to. The use of materials also makes it a lightweight machine. This is further exacerbated when you’re trying to push buttons with a little too much force and it slides on the countertop.
Another thing we’ve noticed is that it also brews slower than most coffee makers out there of its kind. If time is precious to you and you can’t afford waiting around a little longer for your morning coffee, this might not be for you!
- Select between regular or bold brew strength
- Pause and serve function allows pouring mid-brew
- Includes a permanent coffee filter
- Has a programmable timer setting
- Automatically shuts off after 2 hours
- Cost cutting noticeable in build materials
- Brews rather slowly
- Lightweight, making it move around easier than it should
If all that you brew is 2 or 3 cups at a time, a full-sized 12-cup coffee maker might not be all that useful to you. Not only are they inferior at brewing small quantities, they also unnecessarily take up countertop space.
If you’re resonating with that, you might be interested in a small coffee maker instead. This one from KRUPS has our whole-hearted recommendation as the best small coffee maker under $100 – and it’s even under 50 dollars!
Starting with the design and build, there is nothing more to ask for at this price point. It sports a high-end looking design, and looks very sleek on the countertop. This is further complemented with its compact size, which gives it a premium touch.
Feature-wise, it has a few to offer as well. It comes with standard features like pause & pour as well as an automatic warming plate. The purchase also includes a permanent coffee filter and a coffee spoon. Talk about value.
One of the standout features of this though, is having fully dishwasher-safe removable components. No more manual rinsing and cleaning of your carafe – let the dishwasher do the job.
However great it may be, there are some downsides. For example, the most annoying thing we’ve found with using this model is the lid design, or rather, its angle. It just does not stay open, which makes refilling it with water extremely frustrating!
Also, don’t be fooled by its small size. It makes quite a bit of noise when in use, easily trumping its physical footprint.
- Sleek, premium-looking design
- Compact size
- Pause & pour feature
- Warming plate automatically keeps coffee warm
- Includes a permanent coffee filter and a coffee spoon
- All components dishwasher-safe
- Reservoir lid does not stay open, making refilling difficult
- Reviewers report of included filter not being very long-lasting
- A little loud when operating, especially for its size
Our last recommendation brews in small amounts, but if you need to brew in even smaller amounts than that, a single-serve model might be for you.
Our top pick for the best single-serve coffee maker under $100 is this model by Keurig, the K-Slim Coffee Maker.
Needless to say, the model comes in at a very compact size. It is designed to be slim, in order to take up as little width as possible. This results in a rather minimalist appearance that’s quite a pleasure to look at.
The coffee maker primarily works with K-Cup pods, but can also be used with ground coffee. Although, the filter/basket to do that is not included with the purchase and has to be bought separately.
Using it has been a great experience. The large water reservoir is removable and easily refillable, and when full, brews around 4 cups of coffee. Even in a single-serve model, you’re able to choose between multiple brew sizes to better adjust to your taste and brew strength.
The model also has several convenience features like the removable drip tray. This makes it easier to clean, as well as being able to fit taller mugs when needed. The machine will automatically turn itself off 5 minutes after finishing a brew to save energy.
Many good things to say, but looking at the reviews, we can also see many unsatisfied owners. The majority of the reviews state that the machine broke down after mere days’ of use.
However we’ve noticed that the slew of reviews came in around April-May of 2020, and since it doesn’t happen to our unit, we assume it to be a quality control issue for a specific batch of machines and has since been fixed.
- Compact size
- Relatively large removable reservoir for a single-serve machine, at 46oz
- Multiple brew sizes – 8oz, 10oz or 12oz
- Removable drip tray for easy cleanup
- Auto-off feature
- Ability to brew ground coffee (basket sold separately)
- Reviewers complain of machine breaking down after a short time of use (which seems to be happening to an older batch)
Personally, my favorite kind of carafe to hold coffee is a thermal one. The warming plates on most coffee makers usually aren’t regulating their temperatures too well, resulting in a slightly burnt taste if left for more than 30 minutes.
Although thermal carafes are usually reserved for the higher-priced models, we’ve managed to find one that is just under our target price point. This model by Cuisinart is quite possibly one of the only and the best thermal coffee makers under $100.
At this price tag of borderline $100, you’d expect that it comes with everything basic included, and it does. It’s programmable for up to 24 hours, has a brew pause functionality, as well as a self cleaning functionality that isn’t found in most lower-end coffee makers.
Although the included carafe is a 10-cup one, the model also offers the ability to brew in smaller batches, namely for 1-4 cups. With this setting, you have the best of both worlds, easily fitting your use case at the time.
The purchase also comes with a charcoal water filter, as well as a permanent gold tone coffee filter, so you don’t have to spend on getting paper filters.
The caveat of this purchase seems to be its thermal regulator. For some reason, the coffee doesn’t seem to come out perfectly hot every time. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t to the point where it’s undrinkable, just enough of a difference for us to notice.
And just in case you’re not aware, manufacturers often leave out the warming plate when a coffee maker model comes with a thermal carafe. This model is no exception!
- Programmable for up to 24 hours in advance
- Includes a small batch feature that brews 1-4 cups
- Brew pause function
- Self clean functionality
- Includes a charcoal water filter and a permanent gold tone coffee filter
- Thermal regulator seems to be subpar as coffee comes out not hot enough sometimes
If you’re undecided between a full-fledged coffee maker that makes 12-cup carafes of caffeine goodness, or a single-serve model, this might be for you. It offers both brewing capabilities in a single unit, although it does take up quite some space.
The unit is programmable for up to 24 hours, which allows you to set a timer a day in advance to start brewing. After the brew has completed, it also automatically shuts off, and keeps the coffee warm with its warming plate.
If you’re the kind of person that wants different coffee strengths on different days, or your household simply has members who enjoy coffee differently, this unit allows you to choose between two brew strengths – regular or bold.
It’s really surprising that the manufacturer has managed to pack what is essentially two different kinds of coffee makers into one cohesive unit, at such an affordable price. Many models that offer just one of these two brewing styles are priced much higher than this!
That being said, it does come with a few caveats, most likely due to cost-cutting measures by Hamilton Beach.
The one thing we feel is the most important to bring up is the coffee quality. While it’s decent on the full carafe side, it’s not quite there for single-serve. Coffee that comes out of that side is a little disappointing, having not nearly the depth and body of coffee that we’re used to.
There are also some quirks with the model, like how it brews slower than most other coffee makers, and the need for frequent cleaning.
Oh and, if you were hoping to use K-Cup pods with it, you’d have to look elsewhere. The single-serve side of this model only works with ground coffee, with the included filter basket.
- Versatile design capable of brewing full carafe or single-serve
- Programmable for up to 24 hours
- Automatically shuts off after brewing
- Warming plate keeps coffee warm after a brew has finished
- Two adjustable brew strengths
- Drip-free carafe design
- Requires frequent cleaning
- Brews rather slowly
- Coffee quality on the single-serve side slightly lacking
- Single-serve incompatible with K-Cup pods
How to Pick for Your Use Case?
If you’re still unsure after reading our reviews of the various best coffee makers under 100 dollars, we’re here to help. Here’s how to choose the one for yourself.
The most important factor to decide between these models is the brew size you’re after. If you constantly brew for more than just a person or two – such as for a family or frequent guests – you would want to go with a full sized 12-cup coffee maker.
In our opinion, the absolute best model any typical reader of ours would be happy with would be the Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer. Not only does it brew greatly decent coffee, it packs a few features that make your coffee-making process as effortless as possible. If you’re not seeing any feature missing from its list that you’re particularly looking for, it’s likely your best bet.
If you’re looking for a more affordable 12-cup model though, the Mueller Ultra might be the one for you. It honestly looks more premium than its price tag would have you think. The downsides being the build quality, which is not that solid, and the unit feels a little more lightweight than we would’ve liked.
If you don’t need a full-size coffee maker though, getting a smaller one would definitely save some countertop space.
For a smaller 5-cup coffee maker, the KRUPS Simply Brew is our top pick. Apart from its annoying lid design which doesn’t seem to stay open very well for refilling, it’s an all-around great machine to have.
If you need even less than that – only single servings – the Keurig K-Slim coffee maker might be perfect for you. It is simply the best single-serve coffee maker under $100 that we’ve come across.
And finally, what if you can’t decide? The Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer offers the best of both worlds. You’re able to brew any amount from a full carafe to single-serve cups, as the unit is divided into two sides that each let you brew different sizes.
There are tons of coffee makers out there that sell for under $100, but not all of them are worth even that price. Some are poorly built, others simply fail at making good coffee. It’s not easy to pick them apart.
Which is why we’ve done the screening process, so you don’t have to.
If you’re set on getting an affordable coffee maker but don’t know which to pick, look no further. Have a quick skim through our guide on choosing the right model for yourself, and follow through the links to check the price.
You’ll be brewing great coffee that gives you excellent return on your money in no time!
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