Some people like to pretend that a good cup of coffee can only be achieved if you’re willing to spend thousands of dollars on equipment.
I have a name for people like that…
But I’m not allowed to swear here!
No, a great cup of coffee doesn’t have to cost the earth and you can easily start with a coffee maker for under $100.
Whether you’re looking for a drip machine or a pod machine I’ve got a recommendation here for you.
With that said, let’s get stuck into the top 5, all of which are linked through to Amazon, just click the link to see it there and order yours.
Top 5 Best Budget Coffee Makers Under $100
- Top Choice – BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker
- Best 2 in 1 – Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker, Single-Serve and 12-Cup Pot
- Best Single Serve – Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
- Top 12 cup Pick – KitchenAid KCM1208DG Spiral Showerhead 12 Cup Drip Coffee Maker
- Best Pod & K cup Pick – Bonsenkitchen Single Serve Coffee Maker With Milk Frother
1. Top Choice – BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker
Brew Method: Drip Machine
- Brews at optimum temperature
- Coffee stays hot for about 3 hours
- Showerhead design for even pour over
- 60 oz capacity
The one thing you want to avoid in a budget coffee machine is a coffee machine that can brew at between 195-205F, this is the ideal temperature for coffee extraction.
The Black+Decker is one of the few that brews hot enough, which combined with a showerhead design for even pour-over allows you to make a fantastic cup of coffee for a fraction of the price of a fancier automatic pour-over machine.
The thermal carafe will keep your coffee hot for about 3 hours and drinkable for about 4, plenty of time to make it through the 12 cups, even by yourself.
But it’s also got the small 1-4 cup batch function I always look for. Because sometimes you don’t want a whole 12-cup carafe of coffee, plus this can allow you to make the same coffee at a stronger brew strength.
The carafe isn’t dishwasher safe but I get around this by wiping it down with a wet cloth and rinsing it immediately after use, then every few weeks giving it a deep clean in warm soapy water.
The removable brew basket is dishwasher safe, just scrape out the excess grounds in the garbage first.
If you’re looking for a great cup of coffee but don’t want to spend too much. This is the best option by far.
2. Best 2 in 1 – Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker, Single-Serve and 12-Cup Pot
Brew Type: Pot
- Programmable timer for auto-morning coffee
- Can run normal or bold strength
- Filter basket doubles as a scoop
- Can brew a single cup if needed
I would say the coffee made in this device isn’t quite as good as the coffee made in the Black+Decker above.
But it’s still a great coffee maker making a delicious cup in the morning. And with the programable timer, you just put your coffee grounds and water in the night before and you can have fresh coffee as soon as you wake up.
And what makes this really stand out is that you can use it to make a single serving of coffee, you don’t need to make a whole pot plus you can make it straight into a travel mug. Pretty cool right?
The other unusual thing about this model is the reusable filter has a little handle so you can use it as a coffee scoop. I’m not sure if this is really a good thing or a bad thing, but I have to admit I like it.
Finally, the Auto-Shutoff kicks in after 2 hours of the coffee maker beginning brewing, saving power if you leave the house in a hurry and forget to turn it off itself. A feature I like, I’ve used drip coffee makers with only 30-minute timers before and it never quite feels long enough, I’m often turning it back to keep my coffee hot long enough to come back for a second pot.
Great functionality doubling as the single-serve and large coffee pots.
3. Best Single Serve – Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
Brew type: K pods
- Easy to use
- Makes coffee in under 1 minute
- Quick clean up
- But there is a lot of waste
I went back and forth about including this machine because I know a lot of people love pod machines and the quick clean up of throwing away the empty pod.
But that’s the problem, every time you make a cup of coffee you’=ore putting more plastic in the garbage, now over a year of 1-2 cups every single day that’s a huge amount of plastic!
So my personal recommendation is to avoid these machines and go for a drip machine like the top choice on this list.
However, this site isn’t just about me, and I know a lot of people who use and love this type of machine so I made it my duty to find the best one. And after a lot of research, I think this Keurig K-classic is the ideal choice of single-serve coffee machine.
Its water tank holds 6 cups worth of water, you can select from 3 sizes of cup, 6, 8, and 10oz and you can remove the drip tray to give you more space to fit a travel mug underneath.
If a budget single-serve pod coffee maker is what you’re after it’s the ideal choice.
4. Top 12 Cup Pick – KitchenAid KCM1208DG Spiral Showerhead 12 Cup Drip Coffee Maker
Brew Type: Drip machine
- Reusable Filter shows how much coffee you need
- The hot plate stays on for 2 hours
- Spiral showerhead design for better coffee coverage
KitchenAid have been doing things right for a long time, and their drip maker is no different.
The spiral showerhead allows for an even saturation of water across all your coffee grounds for a better cup of coffee and the hot plate stays on long enough to enjoy all 12 cups.
This is pretty much all you can hope for in a coffee maker under $100, but even not thinking about the budget I think this is a great choice.
The reusable filter has markings on it that show how much coffee you need to use and then the carafe shows how much water you need to match the amount of coffee.
A user-friendly coffee brewer that makes great coffee, what’s not to like?
5. Best K cup or Grounds Coffee Maker – Bonsenkitchen Single Serve Coffee Maker With Milk Frother
Brew Type: Grounds or pod
- MIlk frother included
- Can single serve from ground coffee
- Can make cappuccinos and lattes
I spent a long time looking but I really wanted to find a combo with a milk frother, because I’ve been using a milk frother recently and it is a wonderful device. Easy cappuccinos at home.
Are they as good as professional barista-made coffee? Of course not but for the low price, ease, and convenience of making them at home they are 100% worth it.
The coffee this makes could be a little stronger to go with a cappuccino but for the ease and price, it’s absolutely fine. You can always upgrade your coffee set up with a Moka Pot at a later date if you wanted to make stronger coffee.
For regular coffee making, you can use K cups or fresh grounds which I like because ground coffee is the way forwards, and getting a single-serve machine for ground coffee can be tricky.
So all and all you couldn’t ask for a better setup for less than $100. Easy coffee delicious coffee making.
Best coffee maker under $100 Buyer’s Guide
Just a few things you might want to think of if you’re in the market for a coffee maker under $100.
Pod/k cup coffee maker vs Drip Machine
I touched on this briefly in the Keurig review above but wanted to continue here…
I’m all for drip machines over any sort of pod, K cup or Nespresso capsule. Purely based on the waste, there’s so much plastic goes from them into the bin that doesn’t need to.
I’m also not a huge fan of the coffee they produce but I can accept to each their own on that one. Some coffee drinkers love them and love the convenience.
And I know reducing waste is shoved down everyone’s throats and I feel like I’m getting on my high horse when I say it but it’s just something to bear in mind.
Rant over! Back to your lives and whatever coffee you enjoy people!
Glass Carafe Vs Thermal Carafe
This is the big debate, or it is if you’re a coffee blogger…
I’m a big fan of the glass carafe, you get the heat plate to keep it hot, it looks nice and cleans up easily.
But I’ve found out there is a whole world of people who prefer a thermal carafe claiming it doesn’t affect the taste in the same way a hot plate does. And that it keeps coffee hotter longer. But I think it keeps coffee warm longer but doesn’t keep it hot as long because the heat loss is slower. So it might be four hours later and your coffee is possibly drinkable but it certainly isn’t hot.
So the jury is out. I still like a glass carafe but if you like a thermal one then you live your life!
Other Things To Consider
Paper vs reusable filter
I’m sure you won’t be surprised that I prefer a reusable filter, less waste and the coffee tastes great. But paper filters do provide a slightly different taste, and my god the clean up is easier so I can’t really argue if you want to stick to paper. But I ask that you give a reusable filter a try.
How Many Cups Of Coffee Do You Want
You get machines that are anywhere between 1-2 cups and 12 cups so it’s good to know how much coffee you actually want. The best way is to get a bigger 10-12 cup coffee maker that has the functionality to be able to make smaller batches. Some sort of 1-4 cup button that lets you make less coffee.
Then you get the best of both worlds.
If you live somewhere that has tap water you wouldn’t dare to drink because it tastes bad then you probably shouldn’t make coffee with it either…
Now you can get yourself a filter jug to clean up the tap water before it goes in the coffee machine but you also get some coffee machines that have a built-in charcoal water filter in the water reservoir. Might be an option you want to look into if you live in a big city.
Do you want a programmable coffee maker?
When I first got my drip machine I LOVED that I could put the water and coffee grounds in the night before and have coffee ready for me first thing in the morning.
But as time went on I sort of got lazier, I slept in and a pot got wasted, but I’m self-employed so don’t have any strict work routine that I have to stick to.
And now I grind coffee beans fresh so to grind it the night before seems somewhat wasted.
So I think the programable timer is still a good thing and is still a feature I look for in a drip machine but don’t let the lack of one dissuade you from a machine you like, it’s not a deal-breaker but it’s a nice feature to have.
What is the lifespan of a coffee maker?
It depends on the quality of the machine you bought if you go too cheap on a second hand Mr. Coffee machine you might only get a couple of years out of it. But if you get a higher quality machine you can expect 10 years of use with proper care and descaling before it needs to be replaced.
In the region of 5-10 years is what you can reasonably expect from a coffee maker.
Are expensive coffee makers worth it?
It depends, but doesn’t it always?.
In terms of the quality of coffee, you get expensive coffee makers that are certainly worth it. You can get an Automatic Pour Over coffee maker (which we have reviews of here) that will make a markedly better coffee than you’ll get out of a $50-$100 coffee machine.
But it’s only worth it if you can afford it, if you can’t afford to spend $300 on a drip machine, that’s fine! You can still get a great cup of coffee from any machine on this list.
Do I Need A Coffee Grinder?
You certainly don’t need to have one, you can buy preground coffee that is really tasty. And for bonus points, you can buy preground coffee from a local roaster, better grind quality, and ground fresher.
But should you get one? Well, I recently bought one myself and love it, the smell alone of freshly ground coffee makes it completely worth it. But also the good feeling of buying whole coffee beans and knowing I’m getting a fresh coffee, a good coffee, is just excellent and well worth it.
Other Budget Coffee Makers under $100
Cuisinart DCC-3200P1 Perfectemp Coffee Maker
Brew type: Drip machine
- 1-4 cup setting
- Auto shut off after 4 hours
- Gold-tone permanent filter
- Charcoal water filter
This is a superb coffee maker, and at the time of writing it is just under $100, but I have a sneaky feeling the price might jump up slightly. Regardless this is still an excellent machine for the price point.
Everything you need from a coffee machine, it’s got the water filter, the reusable coffee filter and it’s nice and big at 14 cups with a 1-4 cup option.
Plus you can adjust the temperature of the warming plate to have your coffee held at just the temperature you like, while the automatic shut-off helps save power.
If you care about making great coffee but want to keep the price down then this Cuisinart coffee maker is a great choice.
Braun KF7070 BrewSense Drip Glass Coffeemaker
Brew Type: Drip Machine
- 12 cup capacity
- 1-4 cup setting
- Charcoal water filter
- Reusable filter included
This is a really neat little coffee machine, nice and compact with a reusable gold-tone mesh filter that makes piping hot coffee.
The programmability lets you set up tomorrow’s coffee in advance and the brew-pause lets you sneak a cup before it’s finished filling the pot.
The 12 cup glass carafe is a good size with a drip free spout that stops you from spilling coffee, plus it’s got a built in water filter to keep your coffee tasting fresher.
It’s a little cheaper than the Cuisinart above but it doesn’t quite have the same optimum temperature control, so the quality isn’t quite as high but you save some money.
An efficient and budget-friendly way to start avoiding the coffee shop.
Cuisinart CHW-12P1 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker Plus Hot Water System
Brew Type: Drip machine
- Charcoal water filter
- separate water tanks for coffee and hot water
- Removable drip tray
- Great for families
This machine is a little bit different, it’s your standard drip coffee maker with all the features you want to see. But it’s also got a hot water tap.
This is filled in a separate water tank and works independently with its own on/off switch. Heats water and you can make tea, oatmeal, hot cocoa, stuff like that.
So if there is a large group of you, maybe a family who all like to drink different things in the morning it’s perfect.
Even if you’re the only coffee drinker you can set it to the 1-4 cup setting and control the hot plate setting to get your coffee just the way you like it.
You’ve also got the programable timer that works for the coffee pot but not for the hot water system.
All in all, a cool little machine!
Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer for K-Cup Pod & Ground Coffee
Brew type: K-cups and ground coffee
- Self-cleaning function
- 3 minutes to fresh coffee
- Small size for easy storage
This is a handy little machine if you’re tight on space. A compact design and makes a single cup of coffee in the morning just for you.
But seriously, it’s nice and easy to use, doesn’t cost too much and you get a decent cup of coffee out of it. The K-cup compatibility can give you a bit of variety in what you drink and you’re not just stuck to Keurig, any standard K-cups will work.
But of course, I think the magic comes from the fact that you can use ground coffee.
Ideal for the coffee lover who’s short on space and in a hurry.
Russell Hobbs CM3100BKR Retro Style Coffeemaker
Brew type: Drip machine
- Analog brewing gauge
- 8 cup capacity
- Simple to use
- Showerhead design to evenly saturate the coffee
This is part gimmick having the retro design but I really like Russel Hobbs coffee makers, they just make good coffee at an affordable price.
But the retro design is pretty cool. The analog gauge on the front shows where it is in the brew cycle and how long the carafe has been warming which is handy.
And as far as features go it has an off/on switch. No bells and whistles, no excessive features you’ll never use, just turn it on, let the brewing process do its thing, and enjoy that delicious coffee flavor.
Well, I suppose there is one design feature worth mentioning and that’s the showerhead technology in the dripper, allowing for even saturation of the coffee grounds and better extraction.
The result of this is a better-tasting cup of coffee. Not bad for under $50!
And there we go! You’re certainly not going to get an espresso machine for this price, or a truly great coffee maker like a Bonavita or a Bunn for under $100 but you can still get a great tasting coffee.
This of course doesn’t include manual methods, you might find you actually want a kettle and a French press. But that’s for another article.