The 8 Best French Press Coffee Makers, According to Our Tests
With so many different types of coffee machines on the market, it can be hard to decide which one to buy. French press coffee makers are a great option for many reasons: They are compact, easy to use, and produce a full-bodied brew. Unlike other coffee makers, French presses are designed to steep coffee grounds in hot water, similar to how you make tea, to release the coffee's natural oils.
After testing 21 different French press coffee makers, we selected our favorite models, landing on the Espro P3 French Press as our top pick. Our product testers evaluated each model based on its design, ease of use, insulation, and the flavor of the resulting brew. Keep scrolling to learn more about the best French press coffee makers for flavorful morning brews.
- Best Overall: Espro P3 French Press
- Best Budget: Bodum Brazil French Press Coffee Maker
- Best Stainless Steel: Frieling Double-Walled French Press
- Best Ceramic: Le Creuset Stoneware French Press
- Best with Milk Frother: Veken French Press Coffee Tea Maker
- Most Durable: Coffee Gator French Press Coffee Maker
- Easiest to Clean: OXO Good Grips 8-Cup French Press
- Best High-End: Fellow Clara French Press Coffee Maker
Our best overall pick, the Espro P3 French Press, earned the top spot because of its outstanding performance during testing. It received perfect scores for each test, including design, brew quality, and ease of use. Best of all, our testers found little to no sediment in the bottom of their brew.
How to Pick the Right French Press Coffee Maker
How much coffee do you normally make? If you're a one-cup-and-done person, go with an 8-ounce or 12-ounce (the equivalent of a tall drink at Starbucks) French press. Larger models make about as much as a 6-cup coffee maker, weighing in at about 50 ounces.
Most French presses feature a stainless steel or glass carafe, but you'll find ceramic and plastic designs on the market, too. One clear advantage of glass: You can see through it. Borosilicate glass can withstand high temperatures, though it can still break it's not handled with care. Stainless steel stands out for being durable. Double- and triple-walled stainless steel will keep coffee warm longer than glass, as does ceramic clay.
It's not all about the carafe. What materials are the lid, plunger, and filter made from? We've chosen French presses made with stainless steel parts because they won't rust or absorb coffee oils or odors.
About Our Tests
Our product testers spent 20 hours testing 21 different French press coffee makers. They examined each model's design and then put the coffee makers to the real test by brewing a batch and evaluating the ease of use and taste quality.
Each French press coffee maker was rated on the following criteria:
- Design: Is it made of quality material(s)? Is it insulated? Does it look attractive on a countertop?
- Ease of Use: Is it easy to assemble? Does the plunge move smoothly? Does it have a stable base? Is the handle comfortable?
- Quality and Taste: Is the flavor deep? Is it acidic/bitter? Is it well-balanced? Any sediment in the brew?
- Ease of Cleaning: Is it dishwasher safe? Is the filter easy to remove?
The Leftovers: Other French Press Coffee Makers We Tested
What is the difference between French press and regular coffee?
"When comparing the difference between drip coffee and coffee brewed using a French press, the most significant difference is the dissolved solids in the finished product," says Jordan Karcher, founder of Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co.
"At its base level, brewed coffee is simply hot water and very fine particles of coffee. The fewer dissolved solids remaining after brewing, the lighter and cleaner tasting the coffee will be. When brewing through a filter, fewer dissolved solids make it into your mug, which creates a lighter cup of coffee. When brewing a French press, a higher percentage of dissolved solids make it into the mug, creating a richer, more full-bodied cup of coffee. Additionally, French press results in a higher amount of oil to transfer from the coffee bean into the brewed coffee, which again adds to the creamy, luxurious mouthfeel of a French press coffee."
How do you use a French press?
"Keep it simple," says Karcher, who recommends the following steps:
1. Choose a medium to dark roast coffee and coarsely grind (think: sea salt consistency). You'll need around 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 8 ounces of water you intend to pour into the French press. For example, 4 tablespoons for a full 16-ounce French press.
2. Heat your water to 190 degrees. This is the equivalent of 50 seconds off of heat after boiling on the stovetop.
3. Initially pour just enough water to immerse the grounds and let it steep for around 20 seconds. Then gently stir with a wooden spoon.
4. Pour the remaining hot water into the French press, give the mixture one more stir, and put the lid/plunger back onto your device—do not plunge yet.
5. Wait for 3 to 5 minutes and then slowly plunge until you come to a stop.
6. Pour and enjoy! Note: Avoid pouring every last drop of water from the device, as this is how you end up with the thick sludge at the bottom of your mug.
How long should you brew French press coffee?
"This is a hot topic in the world of coffee brewing, as some people advocate for shorter lengths of time, while others advocate for longer," Karcher says. "My recommendation is to aim for around 3 1/2 to 5 minutes of steeping time before plunging and pouring the brewed coffee."
Why Take Our Word For It?
Allrecipes is a community-driven brand for home cooks seeking recipes, product recommendations, cooking tips, and other food content. For this article, our experienced product testers and recipe developers tested 21 different French press coffee makers, and our coffee-obsessed Associate Editor Bridget Degnan analyzed their feedback and ratings on design, brew quality, and more to determine the best ones. Samantha Lande contributed additional reporting and interviewed Jordan Karcher, founder of Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co.