Some people think that there’s no such thing as too much coffee.
But hear me out:
There are days when you only need a cup. Or two.
Especially if you’re one of those people who appreciate versatility. For you, I have prepared a review of the best dual coffee makers. Each of these models will allow you to enjoy your coffee in any quantity you want. So, let’s pick your favorite!
|Best Overall – Keurig K-Duo||9.5||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best Budget Pick – Hamilton Beach 2-Way Coffee Maker (49980A)||9||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best for Versatility – Cuisinart CHW-14||8.5||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best for Fast Brewing – Hamilton Beach FlexBrew (49976)||8||Check current price on Amazon|
|Best Thermal Pod Option – Cuisinart SS-20||8||Check current price on Amazon|
Our Reviews of Best 2-Way Coffee Machines
Best Overall — Editor’s Choice — Keurig K-Duo
- 4 cup sizes;
- 12-cup glass carafe capacity;
- features a heating plate;
- 60-oz. water reservoir for both single brew and carafe.
The combination of convenient controls, compatibility with different coffee types, and programmable settings allowed me to place the Keurig K-Duo in my review of the best dual coffee makers with ease. This device will ensure that your mornings start with a fresh cup of your favorite brew.
“This coffee maker allows you to regulate the serving size for both carafe and coffee cup. You can switch between 6,8, 10, or 12 cups for a pot or 6,8, 10, and 12 ounces for a single cup, which makes it easier to brew the exact amount you need.”
You can also choose between regular and strong brew — the latter adjusts with a single button — to make sure that you get your morning vigor. Or, you can set the time of auto-launch and your brewer will start making a fresh cup of coffee right after you turn off your alarm.
This compact model deserves to be called one of the best Keurig coffee makers thanks to its versatility, intuitive controls, and of course, coffee quality.
|Easily adjustable serving size||The carafe may drip a bit when you pour coffee|
|The heating plate keeps your brew warm||Reusable coffee filters need to be purchased separately|
|Makes a stronger brew with just a touch of a button||Doesn’t memorize cup settings, you need to choose them every time|
|Removable reservoir for easy refilling|
|Doesn’t take much space on the counter|
If you need a 2-way coffee maker that is easy to adjust and maintain, the Keurig K-Duo may become your go-to option. It’s durable, convenient, and makes a consistent brew each time.
Best Budget Pick
Hamilton Beach 2-Way Coffee Maker (49980A)
- 12-cup carafe;
- brew strength controls;
- warming plate;
- programmable start;
- automatic shut-off after 2 hours.
The next option in my review of the best 2-way coffee makers proves that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a decent brewer. Equipped with a brew strength selector, warming plate, and convenient 12-cup glass carafe, the Hamilton Beach coffee maker brews your vigor elixir in minutes and is pretty easy to maintain.
“The heating plate keeps your coffee in the carafe warm for two hours and shuts off automatically once that time has passed.”
The coffee maker features an adjustable cup rest in the single-serve section. It can hold a regular cup of coffee or brew it right into your tumbler mug, so you can take it with you on your way to work.
If you’re making several servings of coffee, you can sneak a cup mid-brew thanks to the pause button and then resume the cycle.
This is one of the best coffee machines under $100 that combines functionality with a sleek design and reasonable pricing.
|Allows you to choose between regular brew and bold coffee with a richer flavor||The water reservoir may start to leak over time|
|You can pause mid-cycle||Some users report shorter lifespan|
|The glass carafe is easy to clean|
|The single-serve cup tray adjusts to different cup sizes|
|Comes with a convenient scoop that also serves as a mesh filter.|
Overall, I can recommend this coffee maker as a decent budget-friendly option. It can make a consistent brew and adjust to your demands in the touch of a button.
Best for Versatility
- 10-cup thermal carafe;
- has a self-clean option;
- on-demand hot water system;
- charcoal water filter;
- 1-4 cup setting.
The next item on my list is designed for making your mornings a lot easier. With the Cuisinart CHW-14, you can brew coffee in a carafe pot while heating water for your morning oatmeal! Or, you can use hot water for making tea or hot cocoa if you’re not a big fan of coffee.
And if you are looking for a top-rated 5-cup coffee maker, you can simply brew half of the carafe using the Cuisinart. This model gives users the freedom to choose the coffee quantity on any given day.
“The machine features a convenient indication that alerts you when the water is ready to dispense and when it’s time to refill the tank.”
The coffee maker comes with a thermal steel carafe that prevents your brew from cooling down too fast. Also, I love that the CHW-14 is fully programmable. You can set the time when the machine starts brewing your coffee as well as program the automatic shut-off in case you accidentally forget to turn it off. The postponed shut-off will also keep the coffee warm for the set amount of time, which is another advantage.
|The hot water system helps you make tea or hot cocoa along with coffee||Makes a loud signal, which cannot be muted, when the coffee is ready|
|You can set the auto on and off time according to your schedule||Some users report problems with adjusting auto shut-off|
|The thermal steel carafe keeps your brew warm longer|
|The hot water system has a separate lever and convenient indication|
|Easy to clean and maintain|
The Cuisinart CHW-14 coffee machine can be your go-to option if you like to enjoy not only coffee but other beverages too, or want a bit more versatility than other brewers offer.
Best for Fast Brewing
Hamilton Beach FlexBrew (49976)
- 12-cup glass carafe;
- adjustable cup rest;
- energy-saving construction;
- programmable features;
- easy-view windows on reservoirs.
Let’s admit it: sometimes we need our recharge boost fast.
And this model by Hamilton Beach, which makes a single serving of coffee in about 3 minutes, can provide you with fresh coffee while you’re on your way from your bed to the kitchen or struggling to hit another snooze. The brewing quantity is adjustable, so you can use this model even as a 6- or a 4-cup coffee maker. So, it’s definitely worth being present in this review of the best dual coffee makers!
“This coffee maker has two independent water reservoirs for single-serve and full-carafe brewing. This makes the FlexBrew an energy-efficient option because you’ll only be heating the amount of water you need and only when you need it.”
The coffee brewer is programmable from start to finish: you can set the brewing time up to 24 hours in advance, so your coffee maker will sync with your alarm. Also, the machine has an automatic shut-off button and will turn off 2 hours after the brewing is finished. Finally, you can pause the brew mid-cycle to get yourself a fresh cup of coffee and then resume the brewing.
Even though this model uses plastic in its construction, the Hamilton Beach is a BPA-free coffee machine. All the parts that come in contact with your coffee (or water) are completely safe. Moreover, the plastic components do not affect the coffee flavor, so you get to enjoy the smoothest beverages every day.
|Compatible with both K-cups and grounds||May puncture the K-cups too much occasionally, resulting in spilled grounds|
|Saves energy due to two independent water reservoirs||Some users note that the unit may start leaking after the first year of use, which requires installing a new water hose|
|Allows you to choose the brew strength|
|The cup rest adjusts to travel mugs up to 8” high|
Overall, the FlexBrew is a great example of a programmable dual coffee maker. It allows for customization and brews coffee fast, which is crucial during those hasty morning breakfasts.
Best Thermal Pod Option
- 10 and 12-cup carafe options;
- 3 serving sizes;
- 40-oz. water tank;
- thermal carafe;
- brew strength control.
I couldn’t omit this model in my review of the best 2-way coffee makers for one simple reason: it makes good coffee and keeps it that way for hours. Thanks to the stainless steel carafe, your beverage will stay warm and fresh without tasting burnt or stale.
“Since the water quality can affect the flavor of your beverages, the manufacturer uses charcoal water filters to achieve the best-tasting coffee.”
The Cuisinart can boast of many features. This dual coffee maker is fully automatic and programmable. There’s a handy timer for your morning coffee and a ready alert.
It gets better:
This model supports both coffee pods and grounds in the single-serve mode. This gives users the freedom to experiment with their coffee and try new options when they want.
Being one of the best thermal carafe coffee makers, the Cuisinart maintains a proper beverage temperature, preventing the coffee from turning stale. Plus, the carafe does not rely on the hotplate. Therefore, your coffee will not overheat and you won’t have to deal with that unpleasant burnt taste.
|Versatile in use||The single-serve tray is not adjustable and may cause splashing when pouring into a shorter cup|
|Multiple brewing sizes||The main water reservoir is not removable, which might make pouring water a bit challenging|
|Adjustable brew strength||Some users note that the single-serve side may start leaking with time|
|Comes with a quality thermal carafe|
|Easy to use|
|Makes good-tasting coffee|
Overall, this little guy has every chance of impressing you. It is versatile and makes delicious coffee while keeping it warm and fresh for you.
Basic Factors to Consider
These days, top-rated 2-way coffee machines have a lot to offer. Depending on your budget, you can get a model with countless features and extra bells and whistles.
But do they really matter?
Well, it depends on your personal preferences. However, there are key factors that make or break a good 2-way coffee machine:
- Compatibility with different types of coffee. Now, some models rely on ground coffee when it comes to both carafe and single-serve brewing. Others support coffee pods for the single-cup mode and make great single-serve coffee makers for solo users. However, many users are concerned about the pods (or capsules) as they are difficult to recycle due to their small size and tend to end up in the landfills (1). Some manufacturers offer compostable or even reusable pods, which is great news for environmentally conscious coffee drinkers. No matter where you stand, compatibility with different coffee types is what makes 2-way machines so versatile. If you want only the freshest coffee, you may consider some top-notch grind and brew coffee makers that allow users to grind the beans right before making coffee for the most flavorful beverages.
- Water tank capacity. For a dual coffee maker, the size of its water reservoir is crucial. If your coffee machine has a small water tank, you’ll probably end up getting tired of refilling it constantly. Therefore, it is recommended to choose models with larger reservoirs (at least 48 ounces). If refills seem way too bothersome to you, there are also coffee machines with a water line that eliminate the need to use a water reservoir at all. Such coffee makers can be plumbed into your home water supply and pump water directly from it for each brewing cycle.
- Programmable features. Now, a good automatic coffee maker should allow for programmability. This would make it more convenient to use. The most common features you may come across are a programmable timer (which makes the machine start brewing on the set time), a standby mode (which will help you save on electricity a bit), and an auto shut-off for your peace of mind. Keep in mind that you need to pay more for bells and whistles. Most budget coffee makers under $100, for example, would come with a limited set of features.
- Durable materials. Typically, manufacturers use stainless steel or high-grade plastic (or both) for their coffee makers. Stainless steel models tend to be more expressive, but they are recyclable and more durable. Additionally, many users note that stainless steel coffee machines look better. As for plastic models, they are cheaper and more lightweight, which promises good portability. On the other hand, they are more prone to leaking and usually have a shorter lifespan.
- Coffee quality. Obviously, you want your beverages to taste good. But how do you know that a coffee maker can fit this criterion before you buy it? Well, firstly, you can check the brewing temperature. If a coffee machine maintains an optimal temperature (like these SCAA-certified coffee makers, for example), chances are the end product will taste good. Additionally, you can check the water valve to understand how well the coffee grounds are saturated during the process. For instance, good automatic pour-over coffee makers use a special dispersion system for a more even extraction. As for regular drip coffee brewers, they might also come with different sprinkler types, each of which will result in a different coffee flavor.
What Else Should You Look For in a Good 2-Way Coffee Maker?
When browsing through the top-rated coffee machines, many aspects should be taken into consideration.
Once you have defined the basic functionality you expect from your new dual drip coffee maker (2), you may want to take a look at additional factors:
- Brew strength control. Many coffee makers, even simpler ones, offer at least 2 brew strength options: regular and bold. This feature is important if you appreciate versatility.
- Ease of maintenance. A good dual coffee maker should be automatic so that it wouldn’t require much effort on your part. Some models have a self-cleaning mode to prevent the calcium buildup, which will save you time and potentially extend the lifespan of your machine. And if you want a truly low-maintenance device, you may want to look at those models that come with dishwasher safe parts.
- Carafe materials. Now, you may come across 3 types: steel, glass, and plastic. The latter is not a good option since it may give your coffee a plastic smell. Glass carafes are convenient to use since they allow you to see how much coffee you have left. On the other hand, they don’t retain heat that well and rely on a thermal plate. And if you use the plate for too long, it might make your coffee feel burnt. Also, don’t forget the energy efficiency concerns (3). As for steel carafes, they tend to keep coffee warm longer. The best thermal carafe coffee makers don’t use a hot plate, which means the flavor of your beverage won’t be affected. But keep in mind that they are usually more expensive.
- Carafe capacity. Typically, dual coffee makers can brew from 8 to 14 cups of coffee into a single carafe. While this depends on each specific model, you need to decide for yourself how much coffee you (and maybe your family) may need during the day. Keep in mind that a larger carafe would probably make the whole device bulkier, so you may require extra counter space for your new machine.
- Single-serve size options. While simpler models brew into a standard 8-ounce cup, better options can also make larger quantities, for instance, for your travel mug.
- Functionality. Many good coffee machines can brew different types of beverages, and that’s a great option for those who appreciate versatility and want an all-in-one coffee maker. If you are a fan of cold brew, keep in mind that dual coffee machines rarely support this function, so you may want to consider other types, like these coffee makers.
- Perry Miller (2019, March 28). The problem with coffee pods and the eco-friendly alternatives to use instead. Retrieved from https://inhabitat.com/the-problem-with-coffee-pods-and-the-eco-friendly-alternatives-to-use-instead/
- Beverage Factory. In Depth Buying Guide: Drip Coffee Makers. Retrieved from https://www.beveragefactory.com/resources2/coffee_tea/buying_guides/coffee-guides/dripcoffee-indepth.shtml
- Doityourself Staff (2009, September 23). Comparing Glass and Stainless Steel Coffeemaker Types. Retrieved from https://www.doityourself.com/stry/comparing-glass-and-stainless-steel-coffeemaker-types
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.