Filter coffee machines are a great investment if you want the lighter, fruitier taste of a pour-over coffee, but with some level of automation. These appliances tend to be more affordable than bean-to-cup, pod, and espresso machines (ideal for milky lattes and cappuccinos), and they're steadily becoming more popular, too. In fact, they made up just under a quarter of the 1.76 million coffee machines sold in the UK in 2023.


Our team of experts tested a range of filter coffee machines across a variety of price points, and scored them against strict criteria like design, ease of use, and the quality of the coffee. Read on to discover our top recommendations, and for more inspiration, check out our guide to selecting the best coffee machine for your budget.

We've also got tried-and-tested picks of the best espresso machines, best coffee pod machines, best bean-to-cup machines and best coffee grinders. Plus, find out more about how to recycle electricals and appliances at the end of their life.

Best filter coffee machines at a glance

  • Best filter coffee machine: Sage the Precision Brewer, £259.95
  • Best filter coffee machine with a grinder: Melitta AromaFresh II Therm Pro, £214
  • Best budget filter coffee machine: Morphy Richards Equip Filter coffee machine, £39.99
  • Best retro filter coffee machine: Moccamaster KBG Select, £284
  • Best-looking filter coffee machine: Philips EcoConscious drip filter coffee machine, £64.99
  • Best filter coffee machine for large quantities: KitchenAid Drip coffee maker, £151.95
  • Best entry-level filter coffee machine: Russell Hobbs Buckingham coffee maker, £45
  • Best filter coffee machine for stylish kitchens: Smeg drip filter coffee machine, £199.95

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Best filter coffee machines to buy in 2024

Sage the Precision Brewer

Sage the Precision Brewer

Best filter coffee machine

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  • Good looking
  • Produces quality filter coffee
  • Customisable settings
  • Large capacity
  • Thermal jug included


  • Large footprint
  • Non-recyclable packaging

Star rating: 4.5/5

Wattage: 1650W

Sage is well known for its high-spec coffee machines, and the Precision Brewer is another excellent example of great engineering and classy design. There are five different presets to choose from: gold, fast, strong, pour over, and cold brew. You can also adjust the brew strength, temperature (between 90 and 96C, as per SCA guidelines), bloom time (which allows CO2 to escape so the water can fully absorb the bean flavour) and water flow rate.

This model comes with a thermal carafe, which kept our coffee pleasantly warm without giving it an unpleasant bitter taste, as you sometimes get with a hot plate. The digital display is brightly lit and easy to use, and there's also a timer so you can see how long ago your batch was brewed.

What impacted the Precision Brewer being awarded a five-star rating was the non-recyclable packaging, which included polystyrene and plastic wrapping. However, Sage has informed us that it's moving towards using only recycled materials in its packaging later this year.

Cost to brew 400ml of coffee: 1.44p

Melitta AromaFresh II Therm Pro

Melitta AromaFresh II Therm Pro

Best filter coffee machine with a grinder


  • Quiet
  • Stylish design
  • Integrated grinder
  • Comes with a thermal jug
  • Stays cool during use


  • Non-recyclable packaging
  • Tall and wide footprint
  • More expensive than other models

Star rating: 4.5/5

Wattage: 1080W

This Melitta model is an excellent pick if you want the convenience of an integrated grinder with your coffee machine. It's impressively quiet in use, and while it has a large footprint, it's sleek-looking and feels built to last.

The grinder is fully customisable, with 11 settings that allow you to change the intensity and grind size. The thermal jug also has a stopper, which prevents any liquid from pouring out unless you hold down a button at the back of the lid – a real plus in terms of safety.

With this much versatility on offer, it's worth tinkering around with the settings to achieve the flavour and level of intensity that you want from your coffee. We found that level five was ideal for us.

This model is the most expensive machine on this list, but if you're looking at buying a separate coffee grinder anyway, this two-in-one offering could be an effective way to save space on your countertop and potentially spend less money, too.

Cost to brew 400ml of coffee: 1.37p

Morphy Richards Equip Filter coffee machine

Morphy Richards Equip Filter Coffee Machine

Best budget filter coffee machine


  • Simple to use
  • Small footprint
  • Modern design
  • Affordable price tag


  • Excessive plastic packaging
  • Some materials feel a bit cheap

Star rating: 4.5/5

If you want a filter coffee machine that covers the basics and doesn't break the bank, this Morphy Richards gadget is worth considering. It has a simple, good-looking design, though elements of the machine are a little flimsy. The glass carafe has a solid ergonomic handle, and a reusable filter basket and dosing spoon are included too.

The manual advises us to add 7g (one spoon) of coffee grounds per cup, which felt like the ideal ratio: our coffee was light, fruity and well rounded. The controls are incredibly simple, with just one on/off button at the front of the machine that you switch on to start the brew cycle. The hot plate stays on for 30 minutes after brewing and kept our coffee very hot, though (as with most hot plates) the taste turned bitter after a period of time.

Cost to brew 400ml of coffee: 1.25p

Moccamaster KBG Select

Moccamaster KBG Select

Best retro filter coffee machine


  • Attractive retro design
  • Five-year warranty
  • Comes with accessories
  • Easy to use


  • Hot plate is a little exposed
  • A lot of plastic packaging

Star rating: 4.5/5

On the face of it, the Moccamaster KBG Select is a very simple machine – but it features a unique copper heating element that brews coffee at the optimal temperature (92-96C) to help create the best possible flavour. Handmade in the Netherlands, it's one of the most recognisable filter coffee makers on the market and certainly makes a statement on the worktop.

The hot plate maintains the coffee temperature at 80-85C for a maximum of 40 minutes, before shutting off automatically. Just keep in mind (particularly if there are children or pets around) that the corners of the hot plate are exposed with the jug on top.

A 1.25-litre glass jug, filter basket and measuring spoon are included. The manual advises adding one spoonful of coffee grounds per cup, but it's worth conducting some trial and error to suit your preferences – an extra half-spoonful on top got the balance just right for us.

Cost to brew 400ml of coffee: 1.37p

Philips EcoConscious drip filter coffee machine

Philips EcoConscious drip filter coffee machine

Best-looking filter coffee machine


  • Attractive neutral design
  • Made with sustainable materials
  • Ergonomic handle on jug
  • Simple to use


  • Difficult to read water-level indicator
  • No scoop provided
  • Instructions lack detail
  • Most expensive to run

Star rating: 4/5

Ideal for a Scandi-style kitchen with a neutral palette, this Philips machine has soft, rounded edges and a sleek, minimalist aesthetic. It's also made from sustainably sourced materials that, according to Philips, have reduced its CO2 footprint by 24 per cent during production.

The manual is a very large sheet that doesn't feel particularly user-friendly, and anyone new to using filter coffee machines would have a hard time navigating it. There was no scoop for measuring coffee grounds included either.

You can make up to 15 cups of coffee at one time, and the machine uses a hot plate to keep the coffee warm after brewing. The controls comprise just a simple on/off switch, and we were impressed by the ergonomic design of the glass carafe handle.

Given the eco credentials of the machine itself, it was disappointing to see non-recyclable materials like plastic had been used in the packaging. On the plus side, the flavour of the coffee was light and well-balanced.

Cost to brew 400ml of coffee: 1.83p

KitchenAid Drip coffee maker

KitchenAid Drip coffee maker

Best filter coffee machine for large quantities


  • Good-looking
  • Cheapest to run
  • Multi-temperature hot plate
  • Customisable settings
  • Detachable water tank


  • Large footprint
  • Dosage ladder is tricky to read
  • Digital screen is awkwardly placed
  • Non-recyclable packaging

Star rating: 4/5

Wattage: 1100W

This filter coffee machine has that bold, brightly coloured look we're so used to seeing from KitchenAid, with a nice balance of simplicity and customisation. Available in four colours, it's tall and deep on the countertop but everything about the design feels very premium. The machine has a 1.7-litre glass carafe with capacity for 12 cups of coffee, and you can set the hot plate to run at two different temperatures.

The digital display and controls are towards the back of the machine, which might be awkward to reach depending on your kitchen layout. There's also a dosage ladder on the filter basket to measure out the coffee grounds, but we found this difficult to read and thought it perhaps overcomplicated a normally pretty simple process (most machines just advise adding one spoonful per cup).

We did like the variable brew strength selector on the control panel, which allowed us to adjust the intensity of our coffee – the manual suggests hitting 'bold' if you're making a smaller batch.

Cost to make 400ml of coffee: 0.97p

Russell Hobbs Buckingham coffee maker

Russell Hobbs Buckingham Coffee Maker

Best entry-level filter coffee machine


  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Large capacity
  • Includes a self-clean button


  • Old-fashioned design
  • Excessive non-recyclable packaging
  • Instructions weren't very clear

Star rating: 4/5

Wattage: 1000W

From Russell Hobbs comes this lightweight, simple machine that can brew up to 15 cups of filter coffee. It has a basic but modern design, though the digital display looks quite dated. There's a 1.25-litre capacity glass jug and coffee scoop included in the box, with the number of cups displayed on both sides of the jug.

We found the manual was quite vague and had to hunt around for certain details, like what the different buttons on the control panels do (some of the symbols weren't clear). The display stays lit for up to 30 mins once the coffee has brewed, then flashes for an additional 10 mins – after which the hot plate switches off.

The self-clean button is an innovative feature that removes the hassle of flushing out your machine. Our coffee was also nicely balanced, though in future we would add extra grounds to get a more intense flavour.

Cost to brew 400ml of coffee: 1.3p

Smeg drip filter coffee machine

Smeg Drip Filter Coffee Machine

Best filter coffee machine for stylish kitchens


  • Adjustable strengths
  • Sleek digital display
  • Available in eight colours


  • Large footprint
  • Non-recyclable packaging
  • Machine gets very hot during use

Star rating: 4/5

Wattage: 1050W

Sporting Smeg's signature 1950s aesthetic, this filter coffee maker is easily one of the best-looking we've seen. Accessories include a mesh filter and plastic measuring spoon, and a ratio of one spoonful of grounds per cup is advised. There's also a 1.4-litre glass carafe with a plastic handle, which is lightweight and pours easily.

You can choose between two intensity levels (light or intense), and adjust the settings depending on the water hardness. There are also buttons for different volumes of coffee – one for four cups, and another for a whole jug. It beeps twice when it's finished, and the hot plate stays on for 40 minutes.

Our coffee was quite bitter, even when we reduced the intensity to the lowest possible level, which could suggest the water running through the coffee grounds is too hot. It's an otherwise impressive machine, but perhaps offers more style over substance.

Cost to make 300ml of filter coffee: 1.26p

Filter coffee machines vs expresso machines

Unlike espresso machines, which brew denser, more concentrated coffee in 25 to 30 seconds, filter coffee machines use a slow extraction process, pouring water through the coffee grounds for roughly three-to-four minutes – resulting in a cleaner, lighter mouthfeel.

All filter coffee machines are built with a water reservoir, carafe and brew basket as standard. Some also come with mesh filters and a digital display, and there's usually some kind of keep-warm function (like a hot plate or thermal jug) that maintains the temperature of your coffee for hours after you've brewed it.

This is particularly handy as – unlike espresso – filter coffee is the kind of beverage you can make a large amount of, be it for a crowd or to top yourself up throughout the day. It's worth saying, though, that your coffee will be at its best when it's fresh, and leaving it for long periods of time will turn the taste bitter.

What to look for in a filter coffee machine

Adjustable settings

Where some filter coffees are very simple and just have one on/off switch, other high-spec models feature a range of clever settings that allow you to have full control of how your coffee is brewed.

At the most basic level there may be buttons to adjust the volume of coffee, which can be as broad as half a jug vs a whole jug or more specific (e.g. number of cups).

Other functions could include the temperature of the water or the hot plate, the intensity of the coffee, or the speed at which the water flows through the grounds (a faster flow-rate will result in a more acidic flavour).

Thermal jugs vs hot plates

Hot plates are a handy way to keep coffee warm for long periods, especially if you're making large amounts.

But if you compare one batch of coffee that's been sat on a hot plate for half an hour with another batch that's freshly brewed, you'll probably find the first batch is more bitter than the second. That's because hot plates tend to "burn" the base of the coffee, which can result in that unpleasant bitter flavour.

A thermal carafe can be a more effective way of maintaining the temperature without impacting the taste, as it 'locks in' the existing heat rather than applying heat directly. Machines with thermal carafes do tend to be more expensive, but if quality of flavour is important to you, it could be worth the upgrade.


Almost all of the filter coffee makers we tested came with a mesh filter, carafe or jug, and measuring spoon as standard. A handful of models also come with water filters, descaling products or cleaning brushes to maintain the performance of the machine.

How we tested filter coffee machines

We looked at a range of filter coffee machines across various price points and tested them against the same strict criteria, using a matrix to mark down our observations.

Filter coffee machines

We then gave them a star rating out of five, based on the following factors:

Quality of design

We reviewed the overall standard of the materials used, be it plastic or metal, and how attractive the filter coffee machine was. Is it the kind of gadget we'd be happy to keep on our countertop? We also looked at the footprint and whether it would be suitable for kitchens with lower cupboards.

Value for money

We considered whether the filter coffee felt worth the price and if it offered a good return on investment.

Ease of use

How simple is it is use? How helpful is the manual? Is there any guidance on water-to-coffee ratios? How easy is the water chamber to refill, and how often does it need to be done?

Coffee quality and taste

The taste and consistency of the filter coffee, including the balance of acidity vs bitterness and strength of flavour. We used Grind coffee beans in all the machines we tested and made at least two batches of coffee in each.


We looked carefully at the packaging the filter coffee machine arrived in and how much of the packaging materials could be recycled. Those that used excessive amounts of plastic or polystyrene were scored less favourably.

We also took note of where the machine was made, whether it felt built to last, whether spare parts could be easily sourced, and how much it cost to run.

All costs-to-run calculations were done against the variable tariff at the time of testing (28.62p/kWh) – read more on the current energy price guarantee rates.

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