The 10 Best French Press Coffee Makers

Sack-of-coffee-beans-with-french-press-and-cups

Using a traditional French press coffee maker is not only one of the easiest methods of making gourmet coffee at home, but it’s also one of the cheapest.

Making coffee at home presents you with a bewildering number of choices.

If you love espresso, you can opt for a wide variety of home espresso machines, from the push-button ease of super-automatics and single-serve machines through to the more intricate lever-based or semi-automatic espresso machines.

For fans of long, creamy coffee, latte and macchiato machines are the perfect solution, and you can even make coffee without a coffee machine – from straight americanos through to the rich and super-strong Turkish coffee.

All those who want to avoid using instant coffee but without needing an expensive coffee machine with a built-in grinder, the best French press coffee makers are ideal.

The French press brewing method is not only remarkably straightforward – you get coffee in just 5 minutes – but you’ll also benefit from a depth of flavor and aroma that might surprise you.

All you need is some coarsely ground coffee beans, ideally ground directly before brewing, and then some off-boiling bottled or filtered water (195F to 205F is optimum) in your French press. After the coffee beans have brewed for 5 minutes while fully immersed, plunge down and serve some delicious and wonderfully fresh coffee.

The extended contact time between coffee beans and water leads to a superb extraction every time with almost no effort on your part.

If you have no idea what you’re looking for when comparing the best French press coffee makers, focus on these pointers to simplify your decision:

  • Capacity: Most of the French presses for family use have a 34oz capacity, and the majority of those we review come in at this size. This allows you to make 4 cups of coffee at once
  • Materials: The construction of a French press will influence insulation, durability, and portability. Glass carafes are ideal as you can watch your coffee as it brews. Look for a French press made of borosilicate glass for maximum robustness. Ceramic cafetières allow you to keep your coffee hotter for longer, although you cannot monitor the coffee as it’s brewing. These French presses are less fragile than glass, although still breakable. Stainless steel presses are the most durable option, and they are also super-simple to care for
  • Filtration: Every French press stands or falls on the strength of the filtration system in place. A single filter attached to a rod is standard for a basic French press. Cafetières with dual-filtration systems will give you coffee with less sediment, silt, bitterness at the same time as more flavor
  • Ease of cleaning: Not all French presses are dishwasher-safe, so look out for this if you insist on hand-free cleanup

If you keep these pointers uppermost in mind, you should have no problem at all finding the best French press coffee maker for your kitchen.

To shortcut the process, explore our reviews of all the leading presses.

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I. The 10 Best French Press Coffee Makers

1. Our #1 Pick: Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker

Bodum-1928-16US4-Chambord-French-Press-Coffee-Maker

Features

  • Capacity: 34oz
  • Weight: 1.46 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.2 x 5.5 x 9 inches

Bodum is the best-known brand in the French press space, and the Chambord is one of the most popular models in the broad range.

Designed in the 1950s, this iconic press allows you to brew freshly ground coffee in just 4 minutes, giving you a barista-grade experience with no need for an expensive coffee machine.

Whatever French press you choose, you’ll also need a great grinder – ideally a ceramic burr grinder – so you can blitz your beans right before brewing. Use a coarse grind for the Bodum as with all French presses, due to the extended contact time of this full-immersion brewing method.

Although marketed as an 8-cup carafe, this is because the French press was invented in Europe where cup sizes are smaller. As with all 34oz carafes, you can make 4 coffee mugs with the Bodum.

The hardwearing borosilicate glass gives you the advantages of glass but without the fragility.

Thanks to the stainless steel plunger, the oils and flavors remain, unlike with disposable paper filters.

You won’t find many complaints about Bodum’s French presses, but the same cannot be said for the reputation of their customer service department. Setting this aside, you’re getting one of the best French press coffee makers out there from the brand dominating this market segment.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Stainless steel plunger
  • Rugged borosilicate glass carafe
  • Makes 4 large cups of coffee
  • Customer care is weak

2. Secura French Press

Secura-French-Press-Coffee-Maker

Features

  • Capacity: 34oz
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.2 x 5.5 x 9 inches

If you want a more robust French press capable of withstanding plenty of rough and tumble in a busy kitchen, there’s no substitute for stainless steel. Secura make some of the most impressive French presses in this style, so what do you get for your money here?

The first thing worth pointing out is that the Secura is currently quite aggressively discounted. Act quickly and you’ll snatch yourself a real bargain – you could even grab this French press as a gift for a coffee lover in your life.

Made from 304 stainless steel, you can opt for this iteration in a classic mirrored finish, or alternatively choose from several more vibrant colorways for a splash of fun in the kitchen.

Of the 4 sizes available, this 34oz model gives you the scope to make 4 large mugs of delicious fresh coffee in minutes flat.

The stainless steel filtration keeps the oils and flavors where you want them and not discarded as with paper filters. You even get a spare screen bundled. The stackable nature of the filters means you can dial in your brew to taste.

The cool-touch knob and handle are a bonus, although the heat retention properties of this French press could be improved.

All parts of this French press are dishwasher-friendly, giving you a convenient experience from start to finish, and one of the best manual methods of making great coffee at home.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Extra filter screens bundled
  • Multiple colorways
  • Layered stainless steel filter
  • Heat retention could be improved

3. KONA French Press Coffee

KONA-French-Press-Coffee-Maker

Features

  • Capacity: 34oz
  • Weight: 14oz
  • Dimensions: 4.2 x 5.5 x 9 inches

Next in line is a French press that makes a striking visual statement, but is it a case of form over function?

Unfortunately, to some extent the plastic casing snaking around the carafe is a letdown. We found a number of complaints from users about this shattering over time, so we would advise handling this French press with care.

The rest of the construction is commendable, with rugged borosilicate glass complemented by 304 stainless steel.

None of the plastic components contain BPA, BPS, or any other known contaminants. Beyond this, plastic parts don’t come into contact with your drink anyway.

You get a stainless steel plunger and filter, sidestepping the mess and expense of disposable filters, while also improving the taste of the coffee in your cup.

Safe in both the dishwasher and microwave, this French press couldn’t be easier to use or care for.

The handle is comfortable to use and you should find you can pour your coffee seamlessly without spilling it all over the kitchen counter, something that can’t be said for all French presses.

As with all French presses, this makes a superb solution for coffee on the go, whether in the RV, out on the boat, or camping and hiking. Equally, you can use it as a daily device in the home kitchen, so why not give the KONA a shot?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Stylish protective shell
  • 304 stainless steel
  • Hardwearing borosilicate glass
  • Some issues with plastic cracking

4. Coffee Gator French Press

Coffee-Gator-French-Press-Coffee-Maker

Features

  • Capacity: 34oz
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4.1 x 4.1 x 8.5 inches

The Coffee Gator French press is a design-driven model that’s well worth a place on your shortlist.

Made of premium stainless steel, this highly insulated carafe works equally well in the kitchen or for use outdoors.

For anyone who wants a travel or portable coffee maker, the container bundled allows you to transport some whole coffee beans or freshly ground coffee to taste.

If you don’t like the starkness of the raw stainless steel finish, this French press comes in an array of colorful alternatives.

With a standard 34oz capacity, you can brew up to 4 large cups of joe using the Coffee Gator, so there’s enough for the whole family.

If you’re brewing for yourself in this carafe, the double-walled insulation means your coffee will stay hotter for longer. All French press coffee is best consumed immediately after brewing, so if you leave it hanging around for hours you’ll notice the taste deteriorates.

Dual-filtration keeps all the silt and sediment out of your cup, a common bugbear with less effective French presses.

This press is very easy to use, and it’s also simple to keep clean. Just rinse it out with some warm water and you’re good to go.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Striking design
  • Keeps coffee warmer for longer
  • Dual filter screen
  • Pot for coffee grounds is tiny

5. SterlingPro French Press

SterlingPro-French-Press-Coffee-Maker-(1L)

Features

  • Capacity: 34oz
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 4.4 inches

SterlingPro serves up a 34oz carafe and a strong contender for the best French press coffee maker.

This model is elegant and simple. The plain stainless steel finish works in both modern and traditional kitchens.

If this sizing doesn’t make the right fit, you can choose from 2 larger alternatives. With this 34oz model, you can make 4 large coffee mugs with no problem.

Made from 18/10 stainless steel, this carafe is virtually unbreakable. The stainless steel extends to the filter, too, and you get no plastic parts anywhere on this French press, despite the very keen price point.

Insulation is double-walled, so any leftover coffee will stay warmer for longer. We would suggest ignoring marketing claims in regard to how long coffee stays warm. French press is best consumed immediately, so get the right size carafe for your needs.

Safe to pop in the dishwasher, you have no concerns about messy cleanup, something that can’t be said for every French press.

For anyone hunting for a stainless steel French press that doesn’t compromise on quality but doesn’t cost the earth either, the Secura is a must.

If you’re stuck for gift ideas, grab yourself a bargain and make a coffee lover happy this Christmas.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Multipurpose press
  • Double-walled insulation
  • Generous capacity
  • Returns and exchanges problematic

6. Bodum Colombia French Press

Bodum-Columbia-Thermal-French-Press-Coffee-Maker

Features

  • Capacity: 34oz
  • Weight: 1.92 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.9 x 5.3 inches

As we pass the midpoint of our showcase of the best French press coffee makers, we have another entry from industry heavyweight Bodum.

This carafe is rounded and makes a strong statement on the kitchen counter, but how does it perform?

Well, the Colombia is one of the most popular French presses in the Bodum line with just cause. The stainless steel build removes the worry about breakage that accompanies glass carafes, even the slightly more robust borosilicate glass. You would struggle to damage the Colombia if you tried.

The 34oz capacity sits in the middle of this 3-model line, so you can opt for larger or smaller options if this doesn’t make the right fit.

Anyway insulated thanks to the stainless steel build, insulation is further enhanced by the double walls.

A triple-part stainless steel plunger is built to stay the distance, and this comes with an integrated mesh filter for ease of use and quality of filtration.

Unlike many stainless steel presses, this Bodum is not dishwasher-safe, so rinse it out with some warm water and that should be the extent of the upkeep required.

For great coffee in just 4 minutes, you can’t beat Bodum.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Unbeatable brand image
  • Triple-part stainless steel plunger
  • Highly effective insulation
  • Not dishwasher-friendly

7. GROSCHE Madrid French Press

GROSCHE-Madrid-French-Press-Coffee-Maker

Features

  • Capacity: 34oz
  • Weight: 1.65 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6 x 4.25 x 8.75 inches

The GROSCHE Madrid a delicate yet rewarding French press that’s well worth a second look.

Made from borosilicate glass, you can enjoy the benefits of a glass carafe without needing to worry too much about breakage.

Inside, you get a stainless steel filter and plunger, so this press will stand up to sustained use without letting you down.

This carafe gives you great coffee in just 3 to 4 minutes, so the most taxing part of the process will be grinding your coffee beans. Do this right before you brew, and grind the beans coarsely for French press coffee.

If you fancy widening your drinks menu, try using some loose leaf tea or other infusions in this carafe and you’ll be surprised at the results.

As an added bonus, this company was founded to help children with no access to safe drinking water, and the company continues to work closely with organizations making a real difference in this area.

The only real complaints we unearthed among plenty of positive user testimony concern some rusting issues. You should wash this carafe by hand and make sure it is thoroughly dried for best results with less chance of corrosion or rust.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Premium stainless steel filter and rod
  • Elegant aesthetics
  • Works well for loose leaf tea
  • Some rusting reported

8. Frieling USA Double-Walled French Press

Frieling-USA-Double-Walled-Stainless

Features

  • Capacity: 36oz
  • Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.2 x 4.5 inches

If you’re looking for a cheap French press, the Frieling is not for you. If you don’t mind digging deeper for quality, read on.

You’ll first need to choose from 4 different sizes, with this 34oz carafe the most popular in the line. As with all French presses of this size, you can make 4 large mugs of coffee. The 8 cups often quoted refers to much smaller European cups, so keep this in mind to avoid disappointment and to get the right capacity carafe for your needs.

Made from stainless steel throughout, you can opt for a brushed or a polished finish.

A dual-stage filtration system keeps all the silt and sediment out of your coffee cup, something that taints coffee from a low-quality carafe.

Double-walled insulation ensures any leftover carafe remains warm enough to drink for longer than in a glass carafe.

If you run into any problems with this carafe, the customer service department has a reputation for going the extra mile. Aside from the ruthless price tag, there is nothing much else to knock about this first-class French press. If you can afford it, you’ll love it!

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Zero-sediment filtration
  • Mirrored finish
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Not the cheapest French press

9. Bodum Brazil French Press

Bodum-1548-01US-Bodum-Brazil-French-Press-Coffee

Features

  • Capacity: 34oz
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Dimensions: 4.2 x 5.2 x 9.3 inches

Before we round out our search for the best French press coffee makers, we have another superb example from the inimitable Bodum. How does the Brazil stand and fall, then?

This is a classic press made of borosilicate glass, so you can watch your coffee as it brews while getting a more robust unit than a straight glass alternative.

Like all Bodums, you can get rich and full-bodied coffee in just 4 minutes using this compact carafe. Grind your chosen coffee beans just before you brew – aim for a coarse grind – and then load in enough for your morning coffee. Wait 4 minutes before plunging down and get great coffee with no need for a coffee machine.

Thanks to the permanent filter, you won’t need to bother about expensive paper replacements, and you won’t be throwing away the oils and flavor along with your money either.

Unlike many glass carafes, the Bodum Brazil is dishwasher-safe, completing a winning package from a brand you can trust.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Iconic design
  • Great coffee in less than 5 minutes
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Quite fiddly to use

10. Veken French Press

Veken-French-Press-Coffee-Maker-(34-oz)

Features

  • Capacity: 34oz
  • Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.5 x 4.13 inches

Last but not least is the Veken French press, another traditional press made of borosilicate glass. While you won’t get the durability offered by a stainless steel carafe, the Veken is not too flimsy or fragile.

The stainless steel components are built to last and the construction is also completely BPA-free so you won’t get any contaminants or toxins leaching into your coffee.

The double-layered filter is one of the most effective on any French press, completely eliminating sediment in your coffee cup. You get 4 filter screens thrown in so you won’t need to immediately head out for supplies.

This is the most popular 34oz carafe from the line, but you can opt for a larger or smaller model to suit.

Easily visible measurement markings allow you to brew the precise amount of coffee for your requirements, keeping wastage to a minimum.

Choose from 4 different finishes to match with your kitchen décor and benefit from a simple but highly effective French press that should give you years of happy service.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 304 stainless steel and borosilicate glass
  • 4 layers of filtration
  • Measurement markings
  • Some corrosion encountered

II. FAQs

1) How much coffee should I use in my French press?

This is a matter of preference. Whenever you are trying a new brewing method, part of the fun is experimenting until you can dial your coffee in to your exact tastes. As a guideline for French press, start with 1 part of coffee to 12 parts water and use a tablespoon of your coarsely ground coffee. See how you find the strength of this brew and make adjustments if appropriate.

2) What should I do with the used coffee grounds from my French press?

Pouring used coffee grinds down the sink often leads to clogging issues. You can do more than just throw them into the trash, though. Plants that thrive on acidity also thrive on spent coffee grounds. Blueberries, carrots, hydrangeas, and lilies all relish your used coffee. You could also throw your coffee grinds onto the compost heap. This will produce a fertilizer that’s rich in valuable nitrogen. Use a light touch when applying this to your garden.

3) Can I make any other beverages using a French press?

Absolutely! Many people like to make loose leaf tea in a French press. To do this, just pop your tea leaves into the carafe and add your boiling water. Brew to taste then plunge and serve, whether hot or iced. A French press can also serve double duty as a milk frother. Heat some milk and then pour it into the carafe. Use the plunger to froth the milk manually to make great latte, cappuccino, or macchiato. You can whip cream using the same method.

4) Is it possible to use pre-ground coffee in a French press?

Yes, but you will never achieve the same results as you would by using fresh coffee beans. More importantly, you should grind your beans just before brewing your coffee. Coffee beans degrade rapidly when exposed to the elements, meaning pre-ground coffee is already past its best by the time you buy it. Get a ceramic burr grinder, some great beans, and then grind them to a coarse consistency right before you brew for a much tastier result than using pre-ground coffee.

5) How often should I replace the filter on a French Press?

Many people choose to replace the filter on a French press every year, but this is not necessary. Wash your carafe after every use and clean the filter occasionally using a solution of water and vinegar and you shouldn’t need to replace it at all.

6) Is it possible to replace the glass carafe of my French press?

If you smash a glass carafe, you will typically need to buy a whole new press, so if you’re looking at glass models, consider borosilicate glass to minimize the chance of breakage.

7) How can I avoid coffee in a French press tasting bitter?

The key to avoiding bitter coffee from a French press is to keep the brewing time below 5 minutes. If you leave the coffee brewing for longer than this, the water will become over-saturated. Over-extracted coffee tastes bitter, so get the timer out and don’t go beyond 5 minutes when brewing French press coffee. Dual-filtration systems also help to keep any bitter taint out of the coffee in your cup, so think about getting one of these.


III. Conclusion

Anyone who turned up here today at Madiba unsure about how to choose the best French coffee makers should now have plenty of suitable options.

The capacity of the carafe is the most critical element when you’re shopping for a French press. The bulk of the most common models have a 34oz capacity, ideal for 4 large mugs of coffee. Beyond this, choose between glass to stainless steel and you’re good to go.

We have a remarkably busy content calendar over the coming months here at Madiba. Whether you’re looking for gift ideas for the forthcoming holiday seasons or you simply want to kit out your home kitchen, we bring you fresh ideas daily. Bookmark our blog before you go and pop back very soon!

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