Updated December 12, 2019 by Karen Bennett

The 10 Best 5-Cup Coffee Makers

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This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in April of 2016. For singletons, couples and families who don't consume a ton of coffee, one of these 5-cup makers will be more than adequate to meet your needs. Despite their compact size, many of them offer the same features as standard models, so you can enjoy all the conveniences without a large appliance hogging your countertop. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best 5-cup coffee maker on Amazon.

10. Bonavita 1500TS

9. Capresso Black

8. Kenmore 80509

7. Coffee Gator Pour Over

6. Black and Decker DCM600B

5. Aicok Quick Brew

This item has been flagged for editorial review and is not available.

4. Holstein Housewares HH-0914701

3. Mr. Coffee CGX7-RB

2. Hario Technica

1. Zojirushi Zutto

Special Honors

Bella Pro Series Cup Coffee Maker Made with a 650-watt brewing system, this compact choice will look great on your countertop without hogging too much space. You can get in an early cup while it’s still brewing, thanks to its handy pause-and-serve feature. Its easy-flow carafe spout will keep it from spilling, while its keep-warm function ensures a nice, hot cup of java throughout the morning. A quick glance at the see-through reservoir shows you how much water is in it. It’s easy to clean, featuring a nonstick warming plate. It comes with a measuring scoop and a removable and reusable filter basket, so you can stop buying paper ones that aren’t friendly to the environment. bellahousewares.com

Farberware 5 Cup Programmable Available exclusively from Walmart, this sturdy model can be programmed to start brewing at a later time, which is nice when you want to wake up to the invigorating smell off hot coffee. Its precision-pour carafe has a plastic lip for a dripless, mess-free pour. It’s got a simplified control panel and a chlorine filter that cleans the water before brewing. You can buy it with confidence, since it’s backed by a 2-year warranty. walmart.com

Editor's Notes

December 10, 2019:

For small families or java drinkers who live alone, often a standard size coffee maker is too large for your needs. If that’s the case for you, the five-cup models here feature all the bells and whistles of the bigger models (like a programmable brew time, pause-and-pour functions, and reusable mesh filters), just with a scaled-down size.

Two models join the selection today, including the Mr. Coffee CGX7-RB, a choice from a well-known brand that’s been around since the 1970s. It conveniently pauses brewing when you remove the carafe to pour a cup, and it can be programmed easily to brew at a later time, so you can have your coffee ready and waiting when your alarm clock goes off. It features bright LED indicators and time display.

For a model with a filter basket that’s conveniently dishwasher friendly, look to the newly added Black+Decker DCM600B, which also offers handy built-in cord storage and a small footprint that makes it nice for the kitchen of any small office, apartment, or condo. While it does have a light-up on-off switch, this one does not, however, come with a clock.

In this update, we also replaced the old model from Holstein Housewares with a newer one, the Holstein Housewares HH-0914701. This vibrant choice comes in either bright red or eye-catching teal, either of which will add a fun pop of color to any kitchen. While it’s sure to stand out, it’s also a basic, no-frills model that doesn’t offer a digital display or automatic shutoff. It’s simple to operate and a great choice for anyone who doesn’t want anything digital on their coffee maker.

How to Choose The Right Accessories For Your Coffee Maker

Porcelain mugs are also smooth and durable, which makes for easy washing.

The most important accessory for any coffee maker is a mug. Porcelain mugs are preferable to earthenware in that they insulate the contents better, keeping coffee warm for an extended period of time. Porcelain mugs are also smooth and durable, which makes for easy washing. China mugs, while appropriate for formal occasions, are generally considered too delicate for drinking coffee on a day-to-day basis. Sealed mugs are great for avoiding spills on the road, whereas thermoses are recommended for locking in several hours of flavor and warmth.

Flavor is a major concern when it comes to coffee, which is why aficionados tend to use paper filters as opposed to permanent ones. Whereas a permanent filter can effectively eliminate some minor costs, its built-in pores allow for individual grains, or drops of oil, to filter through. Bean oil tends to oxidize quickly and that, in turn, might brunt a coffee's taste. Paper filters are less permeable, and disposable, which leads to purer coffee, and less to wash.

Certain coffee drinkers are very particular about using milk as opposed to cream (or half and half), which is why it's best to keep both of these on hand. Cream is richer and more textured, but milk contains less fat. Powdered creamer might be preferable in any non-refrigerated setting where milk might curdle or go bad.

As far as coffee sweeteners go, a lot of artificial sweeteners contain fewer calories than sugar, but these sweeteners are also, well, sweeter than sugar, and a lot of them have been refined by way of non-organic processes. Sugar, despite its downsides, remains the devil that we know.

When it comes to stirring coffee, metal spoons are more appropriate for private settings or formal affairs, whereas disposable stirrers are more appropriate for a public setting or an office. Plastic stirrers are generally cheaper than wooden stirrers, but wooden stirrers are more sturdy and they can be recycled or composted.

How to Clean Your 5-Cup Coffee Maker

If you use your coffee maker on a daily basis, it's important to do more than simply wash and rinse the pot. A coffee maker's reservoir and basket can yield significant mildew and other bacteria if left unchecked for more than a month. The good news is that cleaning a coffee maker is easy. Doing so requires little more than a dish towel, a bottle of vinegar, some paper towels, and some running water.

Use a damp paper towel to run along the inside of the reservoir, collecting any grime or individual grains that have fastened themselves to the reservoir walls.

First, empty out your coffee pot along with any remaining filters from the basket overhead. Use a damp paper towel to run along the inside of the reservoir, collecting any grime or individual grains that have fastened themselves to the reservoir walls. Once that's done, fill your coffee pot with an equal combination of white vinegar and water. Dump the solution from the pot into your coffee maker's reservoir, and then close the lid and turn the coffee maker on.

Allow the solution to run through, as if you were boiling a pot of coffee. Once the pot is full, dispose of the vinegar and water, and then repeat the process a second time. During the second run you're likely to notice that the solution is dripping down and through into the pot much faster. This is a result of the vinegar having eliminated some of the caked-on dirt that was clogging the filtration system and its tubes.

After you've disposed of the solution a second time, fill the coffee pot with hot water - and nothing else - and then run the hot water through the coffee maker to cleanse the reservoir and its tubes. Once you're done, rinse out your coffee pot and your basket, and then wipe down the walls inside the reservoir. Repeat this process once a month for the best results.

A Brief History of The Coffee Maker

Making coffee is simple. You roast some beans, you grind those beans, and then you boil those beans with water, allowing the flavor to seep in. For centuries, this was achieved with little more than a pot (or a pan) and a still-burning flame.

The overwhelming lot of electric coffee makers are designed for simplicity.

The process of brewing coffee by way of a drip filter was originated in France during the eighteenth century. Early filters were made of non-disposable materials, like burlap or cloth, with the only significant issue being that - over time - a ragged filter might negatively affect the coffee's taste. This problem was solved by a British physicist named Benjamin Thompson who invented the pumping percolator - a free-standing kettle which “perked” coffee by continually cycling boiled water through fresh beans.

Despite remaining a household item throughout most of the twentieth century, the coffee percolator became outdated during the 1980's - relegated to the catering tables of cheap hotels and banquet halls. This was a result of electric coffee makers arriving on the scene. These new coffee makers followed a similar brewing process, but they were sleeker, their pots were lighter (and transparent), and the majority of models featured an automatic timer, so a fresh pot could be brewing before a person even woke up from their sleep.

Today's coffee makers are largely electronic or even digital. Commercial coffee makers are capable of brewing more coffee, faster, whereas designer coffee makers are specifically engineered for brewing one cup at a time. The overwhelming lot of electric coffee makers are designed for simplicity. Their only goal is to brew a delicious pot of coffee almost instantly - very often with the touch of a button - and then to keep that pot of coffee warm.

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Karen Bennett
Last updated on December 12, 2019 by Karen Bennett

Karen Bennett lives in Chicago with her family, and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found practicing yoga or cheering on her kids at soccer games. She holds a master’s.degree in journalism and a bachelor’s in English, and her writing has been published in various local newspapers, as well as “The Cheat Sheet,” “Illinois Legal Times,” and “USA Today.” She has also written search engine news page headlines and worked as a product manager for a digital marketing company. Her expertise is in literature, nonfiction, textbooks, home products, kids' games and toys, hardware, teaching accessories, and art materials.

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