Need a new coffee maker, but don’t know which one to buy? I’ve been there! With so many different types on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is the right choice. If you’re not sure whether to buy a single-serve, percolator or French press – don’t panic. I’ll walk you through each type of coffee maker, so you can find the right one for you

Drip or Filter

You’ve probably used a drip or filter coffee maker before. This is the most common type, and most can brew between four and 12 cups of coffee at a time. They come in variety of sizes, styles and price ranges.

Typically, drip coffee machines are the most economical, practical choice. Larger pots are great for homes with big coffee drinks, and smaller pots work great for homes with two or three drinkers. Even non-coffee drinkers keep a drip maker in the kitchen just in case guests stop by.

If you’re looking for something affordable and practical, a drip coffee maker is a smart choice.

Pod or Single-Serve

Pod, or single-serve, coffee makers are similar to drip machines, but instead of brewing a whole pot, it only brews a single cup. These machines use special pods or K-cups, which contain a single serving of coffee grounds.

Pod machines, like the Keurig K130, are some of the most popular coffee makers on the market because they’re convenient. And many can also brew tea or hot chocolate.

If you have only one or two coffee drinkers in your home, a single-serve machine is a great choice.


Percolators were, at one time, the standard brewer until drip makers came along. But they’re starting to make a comeback. And some coffee lovers claim that percolators brew a richer, full-bodied coffee than other brewers. The only catch is you’re limited as far as variety and capacity go.

Percolators come in electric form with their own heating element, but you can also buy stove-top versions – which are great for camping. These are a great option if you want a richer cup of coffee or are looking for a brewer that doesn’t run on electricity.

French Press

The French press is common in Europe, and like the percolator, it brews up a rich cup of coffee. Unlike other brewer types, the French Press is a manual coffee maker. Boiling water is poured over the coffee grounds in the press where they steep in the water for a few minutes. Once the brewing is complete, you push the plunger down, let the sediment settle, pour and enjoy.

French press machines require a coarser grind, but they brew up a full-bodied cup of coffee. If you like the idea of a manual machine and enjoy a rich cuppa, the French press is your best bet.

Espresso Machine & Moka Pot

Prefer to start your day with a shot of espresso? Espresso requires a specialty coffee maker. Electric pump machines are a great option for anyone who enjoys straight shots, cappuccinos and other coffeehouse-style drinks.

A moka pot can also brew up espresso. This stove-top coffee maker pushes hot water up a funnel, over the coffee grounds and up into a filling chamber. If you enjoy espresso, but don’t have the budget for an electric pump machine, a moka pot is a great alternative.

These are the most popular types of coffee makers. The right one for you will depend on your coffee drinking habits and your budget.

If you need more help finding the right coffee maker, check out my post on the best coffee makers of 2015.