The Best French Press Coffee Makers for Your Money
With automatic and multi-step machines available to help you get your morning caffeine fix, the French press may not be the first option you would think to look at. This simple gadget does, however, have one remarkable benefit: you’ll never have to do without your java again! Whether you’re camping, road-tripping or traveling for work, a French press coffee maker will allow you to enjoy delicious coffee — no power outlet or machine necessary. To help you navigate the options, we’ve handpicked the leading French press coffee makers in 2023 and compiled our top picks with expert tips below.
Best Overall: Cafe Du Chateau French Press
Insulated Carafe: Mueller French Press
Traditional Style: Bodum Chambord French Press
Most Stylish: Secura French Press
Leading Glass Design: Veken French Press
Comparing the Leading French Press Coffee Makers of 2023
Cafe Du Chateau French Press - Best Overall
List Price: $42.99
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The Cafe Du Chateau French Press earned the top spot on this list thanks to its high-quality manufacturing standards, four-level filtration system and stylish design. In addition to a stainless steel lid strainer, it features two stainless steel filter screens beneath a spring-loaded base, which means minimal coffee grounds will sneak through into your mug.
This French press coffee maker’s 34-ounce borosilicate glass carafe is housed in a sleek, food-grade stainless steel holder that has a matching handle. Not only is it attractive, but this BPA-free coffee maker is rust- and corrosion-resistant and meets all the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Commission food safety standards. With a French press like this one, you might never leave the house for coffee again!
- Durable, heat-resistant glass
- Comes with a brewing manual
- Dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning
- Lifetime replacement guarantee
- Doesn’t retain heat for long
- Tough to clean
Mueller French Press - Insulated Carafe
List Price: $35.99
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This 34-ounce stainless steel, heat-insulating French press from Mueller can help keep your coffee warmer for longer. It has a double-layer stainless steel body with a matching lid, and no matter how hot your brew is, its handle will remain cool for easy pouring.
A dual-layer stainless steel filter is set beneath its spring-loaded base for optimal filtration, and unlike paper filters, the stainless steel mesh allows the deeply aromatic oils to seep through for maximum flavor. This French press comes with a matching travel canister to safely store your coffee beans or grounds, and it works just as well for loose-leaf tea, fruit infusions, cold brew and herbal drinks as it does for java.
- Durable, rust-proof design
- Features two extra filters for increased filtration
- Easy to clean — dishwasher-safe design
- Travel canister included
- You can’t see inside the carafe
- It may arrive dirty or greasy
Bodum Chambord French Press - Traditional Style
List Price: $50.00
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This traditional-style French press from Bodum is available with a chrome, gold or copper carafe holder in either a 17- or 34-ounce brewing capacity. The carafe comes in either recyclable shatterproof or borosilicate glass options, and both types are heat-resistant and dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
This coffee maker’s stainless steel plunger features a mesh filter with a spring-loaded top, and it also has a safety lid that prevents spillages while you press and pour. It takes around four minutes to brew a cup of delicious java with this French press, and when you’re done, you can toss the beaker, filter and plunger in the dishwasher. The lid and frame, however, will need to be washed by hand.
- Attractive glass design
- Multiple sizes to choose from
- Heatproof, non-slip handle and lid
- Easy to clean
- Construction includes plastic parts
- Its glass is fragile
Secura French Press - Most Stylish
List Price: $39.99
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This French press from Secura features high-quality stainless steel on both its interior and exterior layers that allow the carafe to retain heat well, keeping your coffee warm for longer than glass designs. It also has a stainless steel filter that prevents grounds from sneaking through and allows for maximum flavor release.
This French press coffee maker also features a cool-touch handle for easy pouring while your brew is piping hot, and it’s available in a wide range of colors, too: from shiny silver to matte black, red, blue and coffee-brown, there’s something to fit every style. It’s also sold in multiple sizes, so no matter how much mocha your morning requires, this French press has got you covered.
- Impressive filtration system
- Insulated design for increased heat retention
- Durable, dishwasher-safe construction
- Cool-touch handle for easy pouring
- Opaque stainless steel limits visibility inside
- Difficult to clean
Veken French Press - Leading Glass Design
List Price: $22.99 - $26.99
This beautiful French press from Veken features a stainless steel holding frame with a thickened borosilicate glass carafe inside. The carafe has measurement markings in both milliliters and ounces, allowing you to get the perfect ratio of grounds to hot water for a rich, full-bodied brew.
This French press is available in copper, rose gold, silver and dark pewter colorways, and you can pick it up in 21- or 34-ounce options. It can also be used for tea, cold brew and herbal infusions, so if you’re looking for an easy, aesthetically pleasing way to prepare multiple beverages, make sure you consider this coffee maker.
- Attractive, heat-resistant build
- Easy-to-clean, dishwasher-safe parts
- Various user-friendly design features
- Only available in two sizes
- Prone to cracking
Finding Your Next French Press: A Buyer’s Guide
One of the benefits of a French press “press-pot” is that it offers the user complete control over the coffee-making experience. This manual process involves simply pouring hot water over coffee grounds, letting it steep and pressing down on the filter before pouring your brew.
Whereas some traditional drip coffee machines use paper filters, the French press uses much-preferred nylon and metal filters: paper filters block colloids and lipids (which act as flavor enhancers), while nylon and stainless steel filters allow these to pass through, creating a smoother, richer cup of joe.
While keeping these things in mind, there are a few more things you’ll want to look out for when shopping for a French press in 2023.
French press coffee makers are available in various sizes, from small, single-cup offerings to 12-cup brewing capacities. Keep in mind that for most coffee makers, the cup size indicated doesn’t refer to a standard mug size, but rather a smaller, 4-ounce cup.
If you’re getting a French press coffee maker just for yourself, a small size is ideal: these are compact and easy to pack for traveling and on-the-go use. A two or three-cup size is great for you and a partner or roommate, as it won’t take up much cupboard or counter space. For entertaining guests or a large family, we recommend an 8 to 12-cup French press coffee maker; these require more time for flavor extraction, but they’re a great way to make multiple servings in one go.
While French press coffee makers traditionally come in a glass beaker with a metal or plastic handle and lid, there are newer versions available that offer various benefits.
Glass looks classy and allows you to see what’s going on inside your French press. You’ll not only be able to see how much liquid is in the beaker, but you’ll also be able to determine the strength of the brew and plunge away when it’s to your liking. Although glass French press coffee makers are easy to clean, they’re not great for heat insulation and can easily crack or break.
Stainless steel French press coffee makers are much more effective at retaining heat. If you don’t want to pour all the coffee as soon as it’s made, being able to keep it warm for a little longer can be very helpful. Another benefit of a stainless steel French press is that it won’t shatter, crack or break easily, but a disadvantage is that you won’t be able to see how much coffee you have left or the strength of your brew since it’s not transparent.
Thermal travel press
These French press coffee makers are perfect for the traveler or camper, but they’re generally only available in a smaller, 15-ounce size. A press is built into an insulated stainless steel travel mug, and they usually feature a silicone lid and a handle. They won’t break when stuffed into a suitcase or backpack, and they’ll keep your coffee warm for longer than a glass carafe can.
A plastic French press coffee maker is another good option for traveling and camping since it won’t shatter. These come with an insulating sleeve so that you can hold them comfortably without burning your fingers, but they aren’t quite as aesthetically pleasing as glass or stainless steel presses, and they’re usually only available in single-serve quantities. Make sure you check that the materials used are BPA-free before purchasing a plastic French press coffee maker.
Check how securely the lid fits on the coffee maker’s beaker. If you’re looking for a travel mug or something that will stay insulated, you need a tight-fitting lid that won’t allow heat to escape and also prevents spills while driving or commuting.
French press coffee makers for at-home use won’t require as much attention to the way the lid fits, although you will want to ensure that it’s tight enough to prevent coffee from spilling as you pour.
Take note of the way the lid fits near your French press coffee maker’s pouring spout: some have an open gap for the liquid to flow through effortlessly, while others feature an additional filter. If you opt for a travel-style French press coffee maker, you’ll need a spill-proof tumbler with a to-go lid; spouts that create more spill than fill can put a real dampener on your coffee experience, so choose a design that’s functional to fit your needs.
French press filters that aren’t well-designed can allow pesky grinds to float through into your brew. To avoid this, the filter needs to fit securely against the inner edges of the beaker, without any open gaps on the sides. Some filters start creasing at the edges over time, and even these tiny gaps will allow grinds to pass through when pressing the filter down.
Filters are generally made from nylon or metal; high-quality metal filters last longer than nylon ones. Some French press coffee makers come with replacement filters as part of your purchase, so you may want to ensure replacement filters are included if you get one with nylon filters. Replacements are still nice when it comes to metal filters, but since these last longer, they won’t be as necessary.
It’s important to rinse the filter after every use and wash it daily with warm soapy water to prevent any granules from getting stuck or building up around the filter. Make sure to avoid using any harsh scrubbers or chemicals while cleaning the filter.
Factors that influence French press brewing
If your French press brew doesn’t taste quite as good as you expect it to, the problem probably isn’t the press itself. There are a host of factors that influence the flavor and extraction of coffee, such as:
The quality of the water you use to prepare your brew can affect its taste. Distilled water (without minerals) extracts different substances from coffee grounds than water with lots of minerals since the chemicals bind and react differently, with the alkalinity (the carbonate hardness of the water) and overall mineralization thus affecting the taste.
We won’t get into all the technicalities here, but we do suggest making coffee with water that tastes good on its own; if it has a strange taste straight out of the tap, your coffee’s flavor probably won’t be up to scratch either.
The ideal water temperature for French press brewing is just under boiling, between 195°F and 205°F (90.5°C to 96.1°C). Slightly hotter water can be used for lighter roasts, while the lower end of the temperature range is ideal for darker roasts.
Pour the water over the grounds evenly and leave at least an inch at the top to prevent coffee from spilling when it's time to push the plunger down. Place the lid on to keep the heat in, but don’t press the plunger down, no matter how tempting it is. Your coffee should steep for at least three to four minutes, although this time will vary depending on how strong you prefer your brew.
Freshly ground beans
Unlike some drip coffee machines, French press coffee makers don’t come with built-in grinders. If you want to get the most out of your beans, we highly recommend investing in a small coffee grinder so that you can grind whole beans just before brewing.
When beans are ground, a larger surface area is exposed to oxygen, which changes the chemical composition and results in the evaporation of the natural aromatic oils. The longer the grounds are exposed to air, light, and moisture, the more their quality deteriorates, so grinding them just before use allows you to get their maximum flavor before the oils evaporate and chemical changes occur.
If you grind more beans than you need for your brew, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place that’s out of direct sunlight.
Compared to espresso coffee makers and drip coffee machines, French press coffee makers use a coarser grind. Using a grind that’s too fine will result in over-extraction and bitterness, and while some people might prefer their coffee that way, the standard for French presses is a coarse grind. If you purchase pre-ground coffee at the store, the packaging will state the grind type; it’s also worth checking the date of roasting and picking out the freshest one to avoid buying a pack of stale grounds.
Grounds to water ratio
Each type of coffee is roasted to produce a certain flavor profile. If you find your coffee too strong, the first thing you’ll probably do is decrease the amount of grinds you use, but doing this will dilute the flavor profile. It’s better to opt for a lighter roast than to use too little coffee, as this allows you to enjoy a milder brew without compromising on a full-bodied flavor. The recommended amount of coarsely ground beans for French press brewing is one rounded tablespoon per 4 ounces (120 ml) of water.
People Also Asked
How can I prevent coffee grinds from getting in my coffee when using a French press?
Besides ensuring that your coffee filter fits snugly, pressing the plunger down very slowly will prevent grinds from sneaking through. It should take you a full 30 seconds to press down from top to bottom.
How can I fix bitter French press coffee?
French press coffee generally becomes bitter due to over-extraction. This can be because the grind is too fine, the water is too hot or the coffee has been steeped for too long, and avoiding these things can help you decrease your brew’s bitterness.
Should I stir the coffee in my French press after adding water?
No, as doing so could actually hurt the flavor of your coffee. Simply pour the water over the grinds and let it sit to work its magic.
Can you reuse French press coffee grounds after brewing?
Although you can reuse coffee grounds for a second brew, the main flavor components and natural oils that make for a robust, well-balanced cup of joe have already been extracted. This will leave your second brew with a somewhat lackluster composition that requires an extended brewing time, but it might not taste quite as good as the first cup even with this extra time.
What type of coffee is most suitable for a French press?
Medium to dark roasts are generally well-suited for French press brewing, but the type you use should be based on your personal preference.
How often should you replace the filters in a French press?
This will depend on how often you use your French press. To keep things fresh and prevent build-up around the filter that inhibits flavor release, replace your filter one to two times a year.
Why Trust Us
Our commitment to the consumer begins with product selection and ends with the last word we write in each article. Each French press is carefully vetted quantitatively through star ratings and number of reviews, as well as qualitatively through careful examination of reviews and the features each one has to offer. Leveraging our team of bargain hunters, we’re also always sure to keep your budget in mind while we find the best coffee makers on the market. Our team of experts is dedicated to accurately depicting the pros and cons of each French press, translating technical product specifications into information you can understand. Our mission is to make sure you get the most bang for your buck… or in this case, the most caffeine for your cash.