This post was last updated on 18th February 2021. At the time of writing, all products were sold at prices below what’s stated. The post will be reviewed regularly, but if you notice any inconsistencies, please reach out to us on our contact form. Thank you!
This page contains affiliate links. We may get paid if you make a purchase or take an action through the links. Rest assured, all recommendations are not biased in any way, and this helps us earn an income while providing value for free.
If you’re just only getting into the world of coffee makers, from, say, instant coffee or using kettles, the high prices might deter you. However, not all models break your bank, and there are solid options out there that are really affordable.
Most have caveats of their own – I mean, they sell for under $50 – but some manufacturers have done a great job of leaving out unnecessary features while doing the basics well.
In this article, we discuss how coffee makers make better coffee, how to shop for one, and our picks of the best coffee makers under $50 (at the time of writing!).
If you’re after a 12-cup model, the Mueller Ultra is our top pick.
For single-serve though, another model from the same brand, the Mueller Ultimate, is our recommendation.
If you can’t decide between the two, the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer provides the best of both worlds. It makes single-serves, and full carafes of coffee.
Table of Contents
Coffee Maker vs Instant Coffee vs Store-Bought Coffee
There’s no secret that we’re all for having a good coffee maker at home. But why, and what advantages does having one provide over, say, instant coffee or coffee you’ve bought from the store?
First and most importantly, it strikes the best balance between cost, convenience, and quality.
Think about it. Instant coffee is convenient, priced quite averagely, but the quality often leaves a lot to be desired. Store-bought coffee on the other hand is high quality, but it is not convenient at all to get your hands on a cup when you feel like having one the most, and is definitely not cheap.
WIth a coffee maker at home, you’ll be able to stock up on quality coffee beans or ground coffee, and whenever you feel like it, just get up and brew. You don’t have to head out, just walk yourself to your kitchen or pantry.
The quality you get will greatly surpass that of instant coffee. You’re getting fresh, real ground coffee and making a brew out of it. Cost is also significantly reduced because you’re often getting a bag of beans or grounds.
It does take longer than instant coffee to make, But given the quality improvement, we’d say it’s every minute worth it!
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look For in Entry-Level Coffee Makers
Shopping for an affordable coffee maker is about the same process as shopping for any other kind. The difference is to understand what features are reasonable to expect at this price range, and what are necessary compromises.
The brew size of a coffee maker is one of the most important features to making a purchase decision – this is true of any coffee maker.
If you often make coffee for a family, say for breakfast, then a 12-cup model might be more suitable for your use case. Otherwise, if you’re short on countertop space and typically only make coffee for one or two servings anyway, a smaller model, or even a single-serve one is more ideal.
Brew strength selection
While this might not be a huge deal if you’re coming from instant coffee or ways of making coffee that does not let you choose the brew strength anyway, this isn’t a huge deal.
However if you would like as much future-proofing as possible, it’s best to get a model with this feature. There will come a day where you’d like more control over the brewing process, trust me!
More of a convenience feature than a must, some coffee makers have fully programmable timers, usually up to 24 hours in advance.
This depends on your lifestyle and how you intend to use the brewer. Do you have really rushed mornings and don’t have time to spare? If that’s you, a programmable timer that starts the brewing process before you’ve woken up will prove to be an invaluable addition.
While expectations should realistically be lowered in terms of build quality, there is still a minimum to shoot for.
All models on our list have passed our minimum expectations, but if you’re shopping for one yourself, make sure to at least hold it in person and get a feel around for it.
Our Picks of The Best Coffee Makers Under $50
Finding a quality coffee maker can be difficult. It is even more difficult when you’re looking for a quality coffee maker that’s affordable! Nonetheless, we’ve done a pretty good job hunting down the ones worth your time – in our humble opinion. 😉
Here’s our list of the best coffee makers under 50 dollars:
The Austrian brand has had multiple appearances on our lists, and is one of the best ones we have come across that provides great value at really affordable price points. This one is no exception, which is the exact reason it’s our pick of the best 12-cup coffee maker under 50 dollars.
This coffee maker really has all the basics that you would ever need. For starters, you’re able to select between brew strengths of regular or bold. This allows you to personalize your coffee experience.
Other than that, the included glass carafe also has a drip-free design, and when you take it away mid-brew to pour a cup of coffee, the machine is smart enough to pause itself. It also has a timer that lets you set when to start a brew in advance.
The purchase also comes with a permanent coffee filter included, so you don’t have to spend extra on paper filters. Note though that the netting is made of plastic, and depending on your preferences, it might or might not be a good thing.
Of course, a coffee maker this affordable can’t be perfect. The major drawback we’ve noticed is generally a lower build quality, which is understandable in every way.
Most parts are made of plastic, and because of this, it is very lightweight and moves around easily. This gets a little annoying when pushing a button too hard makes the unit slide backwards. Perhaps the inclusion of rubber feet would remedy the issue.
- Selectable brew strength of either regular or bold
- Has timer settings
- Pause & pour function allows you to pour mid-brew
- Drip-free carafe design
- Built-in water reservoir
- Includes a permanent coffee filter
- Subpar build quality
- Lightweight machine, plus the lack of rubber feet makes it move around easily
- Brews rather loudly
For an even more affordable model, this one from Mr. Coffee is one to consider. This is in our opinion, the lowest you can go without seriously compromising on day-to-day usage! If we were to sum it up, we would say that it’s a solid, yet basic coffee maker, without any of the bells and whistles.
Commenting on the appearance, we actually like how this model looks. It comes in black or white, which lets you choose the right one for your kitchen setup. Personally, I think the black one looks clean and simple. The small green LED indicator that lights up when the coffee maker is on adds a nice little touch.
This Mr. Coffee model has several functions commonly found in most other coffee makers as well, including the auto-pause function that lets you pour out coffee mid-brew.
It does however, lack the versatility of being able to set the brew strength. This means that it all depends on the amount of coffee and water you put into the unit, and no way of easily adjusting the strength to suit your preferences.
There is also no way to set a timer to start the brewing process in advance. If this is an important feature to you, you might better off looking elsewhere.
It’s also important to note that there have been several complaints online from reviewers about issues on the heating element. Some have even gone as far as to claim that it’s a fire hazard. We haven’t had enough time with the model to comment on this, but it’s something to keep in mind.
While it’s the runner-up on this list, it is definitely the best coffee maker under $30 you can get.
- Comes in black or white, to match your kitchen aesthetics
- Green little LED indicator when the unit is on
- Auto-pause allows you to pour a cup before brewing is finished
- Filter basket easy to take out and clean
- Seems to have issues with the heating element
- No timer function
- Unable to set brew strength
If having a compact coffee maker is important to you, and your typical brew size doesn’t go past 5 cups anyway, then this is the one for you. The KRUPS Simply Brew is our pick for the best small coffee maker under $50.
The first thing that catches our eyes is its design and how premium it looks, with the excessive stainless steel finish on the exterior. The feeling of exclusivity is further enhanced by the unit’s compact size. It’s really easy to forget just how low-priced this model is!
Functionality-wise, there is nothing major lacking. It has the same function that lets you serve coffee mid-brew, although coined as “Pause & Serve” by KRUPS. The warming plate also automatically switches on after a brew is finished, and keeps your coffee warm for up to an hour.
As a bonus, the purchase includes a permanent coffee filter as well as a coffee spoon, apart from the glass carafe. All removable parts that come in contact with coffee are also dishwasher-safe, so that’s another plus.
The coffee maker doesn’t come without caveats though. For one, the water tank lid doesn’t really stay open when trying to fill it with water. This makes the experience a little frustrating when you have to actively hold it up, or it’ll shut on you.
The operation is also noticeably louder than most coffee makers we’re used to.
However, with this price tag, it’s really just nitpicking at this point.
- Premium stainless steel design
- Saves countertop space by being compact
- Pause & Serve system allows to pour mid-brew
- Warming plate automatically keeps coffee warm after brewing
- Includes a permanent coffee filter and a coffee spoon
- All removable parts are dishwasher-safe
- Water tank lid does not stay open, which makes filling it rather frustrating
- Quite loud when operating
The Austrian brand has once again snagged up a spot on our list. This is simply the best K-Cup coffee maker under $50, in our opinion.
If you have a full-size coffee maker and want a personal brewer, or if you’re simply looking for a small coffee maker for the office maybe, this model is one of the best choices out there. It has a compact design that fits in even the tightest spot.
Operation is really pleasant too. Brewing is quick, getting done in 3 minutes from the moment you press the “on” switch. Using it is really easy too, as there are no controls whatsoever and literally just one on/off button.
This does however, make it lose out on versatility. For example, you can’t adjust the brew size on this.
Cleaning the coffee maker is also super simple. The drip tray on the bottom is removable, which means you can easily disassemble it and take it to rinse.
In terms of build quality, it is generally fine, but obviously cannot match its more expensive peers. The unit feels like a little lightweight generally, and might tip or slide around when you operate it. The lid also feels a little flimsy, but not to the point where it’s worryingly so.
All in all, if you’re looking for a simple, single-serve coffee maker that is extremely easy to operate, this one is perfect for you. Otherwise, if you’re looking to personalize your brewing experience, this model from Mueller might not satisfy you very well.
- Compact design
- Brews coffee in as little as 3 minutes
- Removable drip tray for easy cleaning
- Simple one button operation with auto-off functionality
- Includes a reusable filter
- Lid feels a little flimsy
- No adjustable brew size
- Lightweight, making is rather unstable
Yes, this looks like a pitcher, and is in fact all this purchase includes. If you’ve never done cold brew before, this might look a little confusing to you.
While other brewing methods require hot water, cold brew is a method that does not involve any hot water at all. In fact, it uses cold water, which is what the method is named after. To employ this brewing technique, all you have to do is get some water, immerse your coffee in it, and wait – up to 36 hours.
Because of this simple, no frills method of brewing coffee, the equipment needed is also very simple. Just a pitcher with a built-in filter.
Shifting our attention to the product itself, it’s actually a really solid offering. Even though it’s simple, it nails all the basics really well.
The construction is of BPA-free Tritan plastic. It is durable, and compact enough to fit in most refrigerator doors. The pitcher is airtight, and the technology used to create this insulated seal is patented by Takeya.
The built-in filter is made of fine mesh. This, combined with the lack of heat during the brewing process, makes really smooth, non-acidic-tasting coffee.
However, if you were expecting high-quality construction and really long-lasting usage, don’t hold your breath. While the product is pleasant to use day-to-day, we don’t have the confidence that it’ll last very long.
This is particularly true with the plastic on the handle. It feels a little flimsy and doesn’t feel high-quality. The spout also isn’t very well-designed, as pouring from it drips coffee at times.
That being said, considering its price point, there is very little to complain about. It’s priced in a way that it can easily be replaced in a year!
- Made from BPA-free Tritan plastic
- Built-in fine-mesh coffee filter
- Fits in most refrigerator doors
- Patented insulated, airtight hydration solution
- Makes really smooth coffee due to no heat involved
- Plastic on the handle doesn’t feel high-quality
- Pouring from the spout drips sometimes
We’ve been talking about choosing between a 12-cup option that lets you brew a full carafe, or a smaller, single-serve model. However, why not have the best of both worlds? This dual coffee maker from Hamilton Beach lets you do just that.
Okay before anything though, there’s a disclaimer: this model actually costs more than $50. Not a whole lot, but it is definitely over the price point we have agreed on for this article. However, seeing how useful it is, we feel some of our readers might be interested.
The model is constructed mostly from stainless steel, which isn’t our favorite exterior finish at all. With this unit, you’re able to choose between two brew strengths, either regular or bold.
It is fully programmable up to 24 hours, which means you’ll be able to set a timer a day in advance, and it’ll start brewing at that exact time. It also shuts off automatically after the brewing process is completed, providing an even more hands-off experience.
While using it is mostly a positive experience, we’ve also come across things that are not so good.
For starters, it doesn’t brew very quickly. In fact, it brews slower than most other coffee makers of its class, so much so that we were able to easily notice it. This is the most important caveat we have come to realize about this model.
Other than that, it’s mostly small inconveniences. The water reservoir is separated into two sides for either the single-serve or the full carafe section. This means that you would have to manage them separately.
Oh and, if you’re hoping to be able to brew K-Cup pods with the single-serve functionality, sorry to burst your bubble, but the model isn’t compatible with K-Cups!
- Brew either single-serve or a 12-cup carafe
- Fully programmable up to 24 hours, with auto-shutoff functionality
- Select between two brew strengths
- Has a warming plate
- Drip-free carafe design
- Separate water reservoir for both sides
- Single-serve incompatible with K-Cup pods
- Brews quite slowly
How to Pick for Your Use Case?
If you’re still confused after reading through our reviews, we’re here to guide you to the right model for your use cases.
First, it’s important to identify what coffee maker size you need. Do you make coffee for the family in the morning? Get a full-size 12-cup model. If you only make coffee for one or two people at a time, any single-serve model or a smaller carafe model, like a 5-cup model, is sufficient.
If you’re after single-serve models, the Mueller Ultimate is a good choice. It has a compact design, brews decent coffee really fast, and is very affordable. Or, if you want a small coffee maker that comes with a carafe, the KRUPS Simply Brew 5-cup model is another great pick.
Otherwise for a 12-cup option, the Mueller Ultra is our top pick for the best cheap (yet quality) coffee maker. It is also easily the best drip coffee maker under $50 on the market. If you’re more on clean, minimalist aesthetics and want a model that just does the basics well, the Mr. Coffee 12-cup coffee maker is a solid alternative that is a tad cheaper.
And what if you’re undecided and see the use for both brew sizes? Pick the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer – it is capable of making both single-serve and a full carafe of coffee.
The last one is a little of an outlier – but if you’re interested in making cold brew coffee, the Takeya Deluxe cold brew coffee maker is our pick for this purpose. Although the build quality isn’t the best, the low price covers up for that. And it makes really smooth coffee. What else is there to say? It’s the best cold brew coffee maker under $50 we’ve come across.
If you’re coming from instant coffee or even buying from the store, getting a coffee maker allows you to get good coffee for a really low price for the long-term.
Many coffee makers are expensive though, and it’s not easy finding a quality model at this low of a price, but we’ve done the work for you, A full-fledged coffee maker for under $50, that’s a steal.
If you’re ready to equip your kitchen with a coffee maker, be sure to skim through our guide on choosing the right one for yourself, and follow through the links to check the price.
Kitchen Conduct is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. However, we are not sponsored by Amazon in any way, and all recommendations are our own honest opinions.