When you don’t drink that much coffee, there’s no point in buying a bulky machine.
A good compact coffee maker can be just as functional. And it can surely make delicious coffee.
That’s what I want to talk to you about today. I’ve prepared a review of the best 4-cup coffee makers for you to see, which of these handy compact machines can satisfy your daily coffee cravings.
|Best Overall –Editor’s Choice – Mr. Coffee Simple Brew||9.5||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best 4-Cup Coffee Maker with Auto Shut-Off – Cuisinart (DCC-450BK)||9||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best 4-Cup Drip Coffee Maker – Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker||8.5||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best Value for Money – Aigostar 4-Cup Coffee Maker||8||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best 4-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker – Gevi 4-Cup Coffee Maker||8||Check current price on Amazon|
Our Reviews of the Best 4-Cup Coffee Makers
Best Overall — Editor’s Choice
Mr. Coffee Simple Brew
- glass carafe;
- Grab-a-Cup auto-pause feature;
- dual water window;
- removable filter basket;
- plastic construction.
I want to start my review of the best 4-cup coffee makers with a model by Mr. Coffee. This elegant black machine is practical but simple, which is a great combination. It makes good coffee and doesn’t require much effort on your part, making it one of the most convenient models out there.
“Making the filter basket removable was the manufacturer’s winning move. It makes cleaning so much easier and, more importantly, effective. This means fewer chances of getting coffee grounds in your cup.”
Now, this model by Mr. Coffee combines simple design and efficient operation. It’s extremely easy to use and requires you only to press a button to start brewing (1). The glass carafe stands on a scratch-resistant warming plate and can keep your coffee fresh longer.
Additionally, this is one of the best coffee makers under $100, so buying it won’t tear a hole in your pocket.
|Practical design||May take longer to brew coffee|
|Super easy to use and clean||No auto shut-off feature, might make your coffee taste burnt if you forget to turn the hot plate off|
|Great value for money|
|Makes tasty coffee|
|Pause function to sneak a cup|
Overall, this is a great little machine. It combines simplicity and practical design while showing good performance and brewing tasty coffee.
Best 4-Cup Coffee Maker with Auto Shut-Off
- stainless steel carafe;
- BPA-free plastic construction;
- includes a hot plate;
- 30-minute automatic shut-off;
- drip-free carafe design.
This model deserves to be mentioned in my review of the best 4-cup coffee makers for many reasons. But one of the most important ones is the auto shut-off function. It serves to give you peace of mind and protect your coffee from overheating.
“Oftentimes, high-quality carafes can be poorly designed and cause spilling when pouring. That’s not the case with the Cuisinart. This carafe has a drip-free spout design, which ensures smooth pouring without accidental spills.”
Being one of the best thermal carafe coffee makers, the Cuisinart can boast of its functionality and efficiency. It can keep your beverages warm and fresh longer to help you get through the day. And if you’re feeling a bit impatient during brewing, you can stop the process mid-brew to sneak a quick cup.
|Automatic shut-off after 30 minutes||The filter basket may cause occasional jams|
|No-spill carafe||Doesn’t allow you to see how much coffee is left in the carafe|
|Nicely made||Doesn’t come with a mesh filter, so you will have to either buy it separately or use paper filters|
|Keeps coffee warm for a long time|
|Great value for money|
|Easy to use|
To tell the truth, this 4-cup coffee maker has managed to surprise me. It makes a consistently good cup of coffee every time and doesn’t let it burn standing on the hot plate by shutting off automatically.
Best 4-Cup Drip Coffee Maker
Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker
- glass carafe;
- mid-brew pause function;
- removable filter basket;
- stain-resistant warming plate;
- supports both reusable and paper filters.
The next product I want to introduce in my review is another model by Mr. Coffee. As simplistic as it is, this drip coffee maker brews delicious beverages and offers great value for money.
“While the water reservoir is not removable, it has two see-through windows on both sides to make sure you don’t overfill the water tank.”
This 4-cup coffee maker has a rather small carafe if you compare the volume to a standard 8-ounce cup. Despite that, it will not disappoint you with its performance. It brews tasty coffee straight into a glass carafe. You can stop the brewing process to get yourself a cuppa thanks to the pause feature. And the thermal plate will keep the rest of your coffee warm until you drink the last drop of it.
A quick note: if you are concerned by this model’s plastic parts, don’t worry. The Mr. Coffee brewers belong to the list of machines that don’t contain Bisphenol A (commonly known as BPA). So, this little coffee maker is safe to be used daily.
|Makes good drip coffee||Smaller than the actual 4 cups, which may disappoint some users|
|Very budget-friendly||The white exterior may lose its color with time|
|Easy to clean||Some users note that the coffee temperature is not hot enough for them|
|Brews coffee relatively fast|
|Sturdy plastic construction|
To tell the truth, I didn’t expect much from this drip coffee maker. But I ended up being satisfied after using it. It doesn’t make much coffee but it makes it delicious, and that’s the most important factor!
Best Value for Money
Aigostar 4-Cup Coffee Maker
- 20-oz. carafe capacity;
- comes with a warming plate;
- plastic construction with stainless steel décor;
- well-built glass carafe;
- anti-drip valve.
The last item I want to include in this review is the Aigostar. If you are looking for an affordable coffee maker that would satisfy your coffee needs, this model may be perfect for you.
“The Aigostar has a special no-spill valve that allows users to pause the coffee dispersion without causing any spills. This way, you can enjoy a cup mid-brew without messing up your kitchen or wasting your precious beverage.”
This compact coffee maker combines all the necessities for a great price. It comes with a reusable mesh filter and a removable filter basket for effortless cleaning. The hot plate is non-stick, which means you will easily deal with any occasional coffee stains. The carafe feels quite solid, so it will serve you to keep your coffee warm longer.
|Great value for money||The carafe may be too small for some users|
|Simplistic but reliable||No automatic shut-off|
|Brews tasty coffee||The carafe handle is a bit weak and may break if you’re not careful|
|No-spill pause system|
|Non-stick warming plate for easier cleaning|
|Comes with a reusable filter|
Generally, this is a decent little coffee maker. It shows great performance despite its affordable price and comes with quite a few perks.
Best 4-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker
Gevi 4-Cup Coffee Maker
- 20-oz. capacity;
- one-button operation;
- mesh cone filter;
- 2-hour auto shut-off;
- glass carafe.
The next model I want to introduce in my review of the best 4-cup coffee machines is the Gevi. This sleek-looking stainless steel coffee maker promises durability and longevity and brews delicious coffee.
“While most coffee makers turn off in 30 minutes, this model warms the coffee up for 2 hours before turning the hot plate off. This means you will be able to enjoy warm coffee longer.”
This compact device looks quite stylish thanks to that stainless steel finish. It also feels quite sturdy, so chances are, it will serve you for a long time. The Gevi brews coffee in a couple of minutes and keeps it warm for hours. There is a reusable cone filter, which makes it a very cost-efficient option as well.
|Sleek and compact||May require a few water rinses before use to get rid of the plastic smell|
|Nicely made||The carafe may be a hassle to clean|
|Brews hot coffee, not warm|
To sum up, the Gevi is certainly worth your attention. This little stainless steel coffee maker combines all the essentials for a great cup of coffee and can make many users happy.
Things to Consider When Looking For the Best 4-Cup Coffee Maker
Let’s face it:
You don’t have to be a tech expert to pick a good 4-cup coffee machine for daily use in your household.
However, you shouldn’t be careless about this task either. After all, you don’t want to end up with something you don’t enjoy using, right?
That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the key factors that can really make a difference when it comes to finding a suitable 4-cup coffee machine.
Now, modern coffee makers use both paper and mesh filters, and the final choice would depend on your preferences. Paper filters are much easier to use since they don’t require any extra cleaning. You just throw the filter out when you’re done. Paper filters are able to catch even the finest grounds and usually result in a “cleaner” tasting coffee.
As for mesh filters, they are typically made of stainless steel. They aren’t too fine and can let some of the grounds get into your cup. However, metal filters are more efficient since you don’t have to constantly buy new ones. Instead, the price you pay is regular cleaning. Another thing to note is that because mesh filters don’t soak up the coffee oils, you may end up with a richer flavor. However, this may also cause a change in your coffee taste while it’s staying in the carafe due to the faster oxidizing process (2).
Features and Programmability
Frankly, 4-cup coffee machines are usually quite simple in terms of programmability and features. But some models do have something to order.
For instance, a 4-cup programmable coffee maker with a timer would allow you to set everything up the night before so that your machine would start brewing coffee automatically in the morning. A pause function is handy since it allows users to sneak a cup out of the carafe while the brewing cycle isn’t over yet. An auto shut-off makes the machine turn off automatically after a certain amount of time, thus saving electricity and preventing your coffee from overheating and losing its flavor.
Another extra feature you may want to consider is an integrated grinder. A good grind and brew coffee maker will allow you to enjoy the freshest beverages.
If you want to experiment with making different types of beverages, you may want to consider one of the best all-in-one coffee makers. Such machines are very functional and allow for versatility in use. Another way to enjoy versatility is by getting a dual coffee maker. This way, you will have multiple size options, including a single cup, a full carafe, and more.
For better coffee quality, you may want to consider getting an automatic pour-over coffee machine. Such brewers use a special water dispersion system that ensures proper saturation of the grounds. As a result, the extraction is more even, so you get a smoother-tasting, richer cup of coffee every time.
And let’s not forget about the proper temperature. The best brewers (like these SCAA-certified coffee makers) maintain an optimal water temperature all through the process, preventing the coffee grounds from overheating and guaranteeing a proper coffee extraction.
Now, more expensive coffee makers would use stainless steel and plastic, would use stainless steel and plastic, while cheaper options are mostly plastic. That’s common on the coffee maker market, so there’s nothing really to worry about. The only thing you should keep in mind is that stainless steel coffee machines are more durable. So, if your budget allows it, you may want to spend a bit more.
As for plastic models, they will require more careful maintenance. Many users are concerned about plastic because it contains BPA, so they choose BPA-free options. However, recent studies suggest that there’s not much difference between BPA and its substitutes (3), so you don’t have to waste hours trying to find a BPA-free coffee maker.
Design and Aesthetics
Let’s face it:
You don’t want a coffee maker that would ruin the overall look of your kitchen.
Luckily, modern coffee machines come in all shapes and sizes. If you want to add a more luxurious feel to your kitchen, consider a metal coffee maker. Such models look more expensive. If your space is limited or you appreciate minimalism, you may want to check single-serve coffee makers, which are usually very compact and sleek.
Many users want their coffee promptly. Typically, 4-cup coffee machines are quite fast and brew coffee in a few minutes. However, there are dual coffee makers that allow users to get a fast single serving when needed, so you may want to check them out here. As an alternative, you can consider models with a pause function so that you could grab a cup when you can’t wait.
Ease of Use
Generally, 4-cup coffee machines are quite easy to deal with. The most user-friendly ones are probably Keurig coffee makers that operate with just one touch of a button and work with convenient coffee pods. You may want to consider the water reservoir, though. When it’s not removable, the filling process may become quite hectic for some users. Additionally, there are many options with dishwasher safe parts, which makes maintenance almost effortless.
If you don’t want to deal with the refills at all, you can check some of the best coffee makers with a water line. They are compatible with plumbing kits and can be connected to a water supply directly. This means, such a coffee machine would pump as much water as needed for brewing, ridding you of the constant need to refill the reservoir.
Carafe: Glass or Stainless Steel?
A carafe deserves to be mentioned separately here due to its importance.
That’s where your precious coffee is stored. That’s what is supposed to keep it warm and fresh. And that’s why the material of the carafe matters.
Now, you will come across two options when shopping for a coffee maker: glass and thermal carafes.
Thermal carafes are usually made of stainless steel. They often have a double-walled design for better insulation. Such carafes have a ton of advantages, including the following:
- warm coffee for longer;
- lower chances of a burnt flavor due to the absence of a hot plate;
- longer lifespan since they don’t break that easily;
- better coffee flavor thanks to a delayed oxidization process;
- sleek, modern appearance.
As you can see, stainless steel carafes offer many benefits to users. If you are impressed by this material, you can check some of the best thermal carafe coffee makers here.
But this material isn’t perfect. Thermal carafes are heavier and bulkier, which oftentimes makes pouring quite inconvenient. They don’t let you see how much coffee you have left, and that can be really irritating. Additionally, coffee makers with thermal carafes tend to be more expensive.
Now, as for glass carafes, they also have a lot to offer. Typically, you can find them when shopping for good coffee makers under $50. Glass carafes are popular due to many reasons:
- they are cheaper than thermal carafes and can be perfect for users on a budget;
- they look fancier and can help you spruce up your kitchen;
- they allow you to see exactly how much coffee you have.
At the same time, glass is a fragile material, which means your carafe would be more prone to breaking than a stainless steel one. Plus, glass carafes usually stand on a hot plate, which is supposed to help keep your coffee warm. But the thing is, if you let it stand there for too long, your coffee may acquire a burnt or bitter taste.
“While a carafe is designed to keep your coffee warm, it’s important to consider that its material can actually influence the flavor of your beverage, not only its temperature. For example, it’s advised to avoid plastic carafes, as they can give your coffee an unpleasant plastic taste.”
How much coffee for a 4-cup coffee maker?
It is recommended to use 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee per cup (or per 6 oz. of water).
How many watts does a 4-cup coffee maker use?
On average, 400-600 watts. More powerful models can use around 800-1,200 watts.
ConclusionWhen you know exactly what you want, the whole shopping process becomes easier. And since you want a nice 4-cup coffee maker, I have found 5 great options. For me, the absolute champion among them is the Mr. Coffee Simple Brew coffee maker. This model may seem too minimalistic to some users, but don’t let it fool you. It is practical and extremely user-friendly. Plus, it simply brews good coffee. And that’s a rare combination! Are you already considering your next purchase? Which coffee maker is your favorite? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
- Counter Clutter YouTube channel (2019, July 1). Mr. Coffee 4 Cup Coffee Maker Demonstration. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55wD2iWV5ZA
- Taylor Martin (2015, December 08). Paper filter vs. metal filter: Which makes the best cup of coffee? Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/how-to/paper-filter-vs-metal-filter-what-makes-the-best-cup-of-coffee/
- Maya Wei-Haas (2018, September 13). Why ‘BPA Free’ May Not Mean a Plastic Product Is Safe. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/09/news-BPA-free-plastic-safety-chemicals-health/
My name is Yurii Brown. I am a passionate coffee geek and, concurrently, a certified coffee specialist.
I’ve been learning about coffee for a long time, testing various devices and practicing in home coffee brewing. I like to share my experience and insights with fellow coffee lovers so that my readers could enjoy the real taste of quality-brewed beverages.