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Published Jul 6, 2022 10:11 AM

These days, it seems like there’s always a new, fancy method to brew coffee. From über-precise gooseneck kettles and scales to chemistry-lab beakers and cylinders, people are always finding new ways to reach the perfect brew. But sometimes, the old-fashioned, least complicated method is best. If you love the simplicity and ease of a French press coffee maker, we’ve found the best options on the market. 

These simple machines use a stainless-steel plunger with a fine mesh strainer to separate your ground beans from the good stuff. It takes just a few minutes to brew, and all you need are your favorite ground beans and some hot water. You can also easily control the flavor and temperature of your morning joe with a French press. Use more or fewer beans for a stronger or weaker brew, and adjust the water temperature to your exact preference. So if you’re ready to give up the complexity of other coffee makers, here’s what you need to know about buying a French press. 

How We Selected These Products 

I have been a regular French press brewer for years. I love the simplicity of the design and that there are just a few pieces that won’t easily break, even with years of daily use. To find the best French press coffee makers for new users and lifers like myself, I looked for the most-loved products from leading brands. I then used personal testing and experience, customer reviews and ratings, and product descriptions to find the best for every kind of coffee drinker. Whether you’re all about a hot drink in the morning or you love your cold brew, you’re serving a large household or just yourself, these are the all-around best plunger-style coffee makers to get your caffeine fix. 

Best French Press Coffee Maker: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Frieling Double-Walled Stainless-Steel French Press

This French press looks great and keeps your coffee hot for hours. Frieling

Why It Made The Cut: This is an exceptionally well-built French press, with a sturdy plunger and double-walled insulation for heat retention. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 1 liter (33.8 ounces)
  • Product Dimensions: 6.75 x 6.25 x 10 inches
  • Materials: Stainless steel

Pros:

  • Double-walled insulation
  • Multiple size options
  • Clean pouring spout

Cons: 

  • Pricey
  • Heavier than other options

This is the French press that I personally use, and have for years. It’s built to last, and the plunger won’t easily come apart with one too many plunges. I especially love the double-walled stainless-steel construction, which keeps coffee warm for hours. The pitcher has a sharp pouring spout that minimizes drips. The two layers of fine mesh screens and stainless-steel plate ensure that your coffee stays free of grounds. Plus, stainless steel won’t impart any off flavors to your coffee, so you can enjoy the full flavor of your beans. For a deep clean, the entire coffee maker can be put in the dishwasher. 

Best Glass: Mueller French Press

This French press lets you see what’s going on inside. Mueller Austria

Why It Made The Cut: The glass windows allow you to watch as your coffee brews, while the stainless-steel wrapping keeps things warm. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 34 ounces
  • Weight: 1.87 pounds 
  • Materials: Stainless steel, glass

Pros: 

  • Large capacity
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons:  

  • Won’t retain heat as long
  • Can break more easily than all-stainless

This lighter-weight French press has a glass carafe inside stainless-steel housing. The stainless steel helps retain heat, while the glass gives you clear insight into how your brew is going. You may be able to tell when it’s time to plunge based on color alone. This machine does have a few plastic parts, including the handle and lid, so it’s not quite as sturdily made as the all-stainless option. However, it comes at a reasonable price, and the simple design means it’s not likely to break. All the parts are dishwasher-safe, and you can just as easily brew your favorite loose-leaf teas in this press. 

Best Large Capacity: Bodum Brazil French Press Coffee Maker

Best Large Capacity

A large coffee maker perfect for serving a crowd. Bodum

Why It Made The Cut: This 1.5-liter coffee maker is great for small and large batches of joe. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 1.5 liters
  • Product Dimensions: 5.62 x 7.12 x 9.5 inches
  • Materials: Plastic, glass, stainless steel

Pros: 

  • Budget-friendly
  • Dishwasher-safe 
  • Lightweight

Cons: 

  • Lower heat retention than stainless
  • Only one mesh filter

One of the drawbacks of a French press is that it has a limited brewing capacity. With the Bodum Brazil coffee maker, you can brew up to 1.5 liters, or 51 ounces, of coffee at a time, making this the best choice for large households. It’s made from glass and plastic, so you get a clear view of how your coffee is brewing, but not quite the same heat retention as with stainless steel. The plunger is made of stainless, however, so you won’t get any interfering flavors in your morning joe. And this French press is entirely dishwasher-safe and easy to maintain.

Best for Cold Brew: Stanley French Press

Best for Cold Brew

This heavy-duty French press is great for keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. Stanley

Why It Made The Cut: You can easily use this well-insulated French press for hot coffee, but it’s also great for making cold brew and keeping it cold. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 48 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: ​​12 x 8 x 6 inches
  • Materials: Stainless steel

Pros: 

  • Multiple color options
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons: 

  • Heavy
  • Any slight overfilling may cause a spill

If you prefer the smoother, less acidic flavor of long, slow, cold-brewed coffee, this French press is a great option. It’s made from double-walled 18/8 stainless steel that keeps liquid cold for up to 9 hours, or up to 24 if you add ice. Of course, it still works for hot drinks and will retain heat for up to 4 hours. The coffee maker is also highly durable and portable, ideal to bring camping or on an RV trip. It has a sturdy ergonomic handle, and the plunger is also stainless steel.

Best Portable: ESPRO P0 Ultralight French Press

Best Portable

This small 16-ounce coffee maker is perfect for one person. ESPRO

Why It Made The Cut: Easily take your favorite beans and coffee maker on the go with this portable, lightweight, single-serving option. 

Specs:

  • Capacity: 16 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 2.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Materials: Stainless steel

Pros:

  • Double-walled stainless steel
  • Multiple color options
  • Carrying handle

Cons: 

  • Expensive
  • Only large enough for one

If you don’t need to share your coffee, this French press is all you need. Its 16-ounce capacity is the perfect size for one, and its lightweight construction makes it great for travel. The mug has a tight-fitting lid with a handle for comfortable transport and no spills. Plus, the double-walled stainless steel design keeps things hot for hours. This French press also has a double microfilter that prevents sludge and grit from sneaking into your sips. And if you’re camping with a crew, everyone can get their own color to keep your travel mugs separate. These mugs are top-rack dishwasher-safe. 

Things to Consider When Buying the Best French Press Coffee Maker

Materials

The right material for your French press really comes down to temperature. Stainless steel is the best at insulating heat. But if you’re more of a cold-brew person, you may prefer the see-through nature of glass. Of course, stainless steel is more durable than breakable glass. 

Size

If you often brew coffee for a crowd, a larger (one liter or more) coffee maker will come in handy, so you don’t have to brew multiple pots in a row. On the other hand, if you want something that’s portable and just big enough for you, a 16-ounce French press will do the trick. For serving two to four people, a one-liter capacity is sufficient. 

Portability

Most French press coffee makers do not have an air- or watertight lid. So if you want something that’s safe to bring in a car or RV, opt for a travel-ready coffee maker like the single-serving mug from ESPRO. Other pitcher-style carafes are likely to spill. 

FAQs

Q: What can I make in a French press?

You can make any kind of coffee using ground beans. Add hot water for hot coffee or cold for cold-brew (it will just take longer). You can also make tea by adding loose-leaf tea to the pitcher with water. Or try making an infusion with fresh fruit or veggies, such as lemon and cucumber slices, plus water. Leave it in the fridge for a few hours, then plunge, to make delicious spa water at home. 

Q: How long should I brew coffee in a French press?

For hot coffee, you only need to brew the beans for about four minutes before pressing the plunger. For cold brew, you’ll want at least 8 hours. 

Q: How do I clean a French press?

The great thing about the simple design of these manual coffee makers is that there are no hard-to-clean electrical parts. And in most cases, the materials are not fragile, so they can be cleaned right in the dishwasher. For everyday use, you can simply dump out the grounds and rinse and dry the carafe. 

Final Thoughts

A French press is a great low-tech solution to brewing high-flavor coffee at home. You’ll have total control over the taste, strength, and temperature of your morning drink with the Frieling Double-Walled Stainless-Steel French Press, not to mention a great-looking appliance that will last for years, no matter how many cups a day you brew. 

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