As an alternative to buying a $5 cappuccino every morning, brewing coffee at home saves time and money. And it also grants control over coffee strength and flavor. But if you quickly Googled ‘the best coffee makers,’ you probably laughed-out-loud at the notion of spending $100+ on a machine, especially after I just said it’s the cheaper alternative. And that $100+ doesn’t even account for bean and bean grinder purchase! But you can get a great coffee maker for under $50 and use the money you save to invest in better beans.
Fortunately, there are cheaper coffee makers that produce quality cups of Joe! While they generally have shorter life spans and fewer fancy features than more expensive machines, they get the job done. And as a bonus to their affordability, cheaper coffee makers generally take less time and effort to use and take up less counter space than more expensive ones.
Below are the best cheap coffee makers on the market, all under $50.
The 6 Best Affordable Coffee Makers</2>
Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker
Busy bees don’t have time to stop by their local coffee shop. But busy bees also need strong coffee to get them through the day. For those pointing at the screen, internally crying out ‘Me, I don’t have time! I need that!’ I recommend the Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker.
The Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker is simple and easy to use. Pour water into the tank — the water tank window helps prevent overflow — turn on, and set to brew. And if you’re running late, don’t worry. Auto-pause lets you grab a cup mid-cycle. Just be sure to turn it off before you leave the house — there’s no auto-turn-off.
Upon returning home from a long workday, easily clean the grounds basket by detaching and placing under warm running water. Store the cord inside the machine and scootch to the corner — it weighs just 3.6 pounds — to eliminate counter clutter.
And best of all? It’s one of the least expensive coffee makers on the market, running only $25.
Hamilton Beach Programmable Easy Access Coffee Maker
Blessed with nearly all the Mr. Coffee features plus a few more, the Hamilton Beach Programmable Easy Access Coffee Maker makes life even easier–for just a few more dollars.
The Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker is perfect for early risers who, practically sleeping through their morning routine, more often than not forget to set the coffee maker to ‘brew’. Program it beforehand — to your preferred coffee strength, amount, and brew commencement time — and wake up to your ideal cup of coffee waiting for you in the kitchen.
Don’t struggle to pull the machine out from under the cabinet — you can access the water reservoir from the front. And don’t worry if you forget to turn off the machine — it’s equipped with a two-hour automatic shut off.
Forget to clean it? The machine will remind you when to run a self-clean cycle.
If you’re looking for a cheap “set it and forget it” machine, this is the one for you.
Cuisinart 4-Cup Coffee Maker
The Cuisinart 4-Cup Coffee Maker, a mini-version of the Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker, is perfect for college students living in shoebox-sized dorm rooms.
Compact and sleek, you can hide it away in your closet for RA checks. Be cautious when you brew as brewing can be noisy. And impress new friends with the stainless steel carafe, dripless pour spout, and knuckle guard.
After setting to brew, don’t worry about catching more zzzs before enjoying your coffee — the automatic burner shuts off after 30 minutes.
Reference the included instructional booklet and make four cups of coffee — two mugs worth — to get through long study hours.
CHEMEX Glass Coffeemaker
We’ve long promoted the Chemex as the ultimate coffee maker. If you want a little more control over your coffee creation and have a little time on your hands, the CHEMEX Glass Coffeemaker is the way to go.
The CHEMEX Glass Coffeemaker looks straight out of a West Elm catalog, or a bougie mom’s Instagram post. You don’t need a wild imagination to imagine your favorite influencer gracefully pouring coffee from the simple hourglass-shaped pitcher, embellished with a polished wood collar wrapped in a leather tie.
But with every rose comes a thorn. The CHEMEX takes patience and time: the process requires boiling water, adding grounds to filter paper, and slowly pouring hot water over the grounds using a circular or back-and-forth motion. If you want to get advanced, first pour a small amount of water over the grounds, just enough to wet them, and wait 30 seconds for the grounds to bloom. Repeat until the bottom half of the pitcher is full.
But non-porous glass won’t absorb fridge odors or chemical residues, so you can make your coffee now and store for later. And you can even reheat over a stovetop or gas flame at low heat — Borosilicate glass resists thermal shock better than common glass.
Resembling glass-blown art, adorn your next Sunday brunch smorgasbord with a CHEMEX Coffee Maker.
Mueller French Press
The Mueller French Press’ simple yet elegant stainless steel exterior — drop-proof and rust-proof — polishes up any modern kitchen.
Just like the CHEMEX, the French press is aesthetically pleasing but requires some work. First boil water, then steep the coffee grounds for 5+ minutes, and finally engage those arm muscles and push down the stainless steel, fine-mesh filter, to trap the grounds on the bottom.
But the labor is worth it as the coffee is consistently delicious and grain-free. While the press itself lacks fluid measurement labels, it holds 32oz of liquid — whether you are brewing coffee, tea, hot chocolate, nut-milks, or frothed milk!
The French press is perfect for any coffee addict working from home. Weighing only 2.2 pounds, you can carry it to your home office, refilling your cup when needed. Double insulation keeps coffee warm for over three hours, while the steel handle stays cool.
And don’t worry about cleanup: the pitcher is dishwasher safe and the filter just needs a quick rinse under water.
Bodum Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Fresher and smoother than iced-coffee, and less acidic than hot coffee, cold brew coffee offers post-workout refreshment for early-rising exercise enthusiasts.
The Bodum Cold Brew Coffee Maker is simple, small, and the cheapest cold brew coffee maker out there.
To ensure ready-made coffee for the next morning, prepare the concoction of coffee grounds and water — up to six cups — and set to brew for 12-24 hours. Don’t worry about any BPA seeping into your coffee, all plastic parts are 100% BPA-free.
About the size of a cantaloupe, the Bodum reserves minimal space on your countertop or in your fridge.
The Bodum comes with two lids. One for brewing, and one for straining grounds — like you would with a french press — and serving. If you struggle with the lids, don’t worry, they’re meant to be that tight to ensure freshness. Make sure to lift the plunger part so it’s at the top before removing the lid.
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