The 10 Best Percolators

Updated May 06, 2018 by Misty Alder

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We spent 38 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. For those who prefer to get their morning Joe the old-fashioned way, check out our selection of classic and functional coffee percolators that can deliver the caffeine buzz you need to get up and at 'em in the mornings or a pick-me-up later in the day. We've ranked them here by brewing speed, ease of maintenance, and durability. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best percolator on Amazon.

10. Alpha Coffee Maker

If you desire the smooth richness of a good Italian espresso without having to travel around the world, you can't go wrong with the Alpha Coffee Maker. With a lifetime moneyback guarantee, this may be the last thing you'll have to buy to satisfy your sensitive taste buds.
  • made of aluminum
  • user friendly instructions
  • won't work on induction stove
Brand Alpha Coffee
Model SYNCHKG096955
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. West Bend Classic

The West Bend Classic features an automatic keep-warm mode that prevents your coffee from going cold on you. A safe, stay-cool base, easily detachable power cord, and a sleek stainless steel finish round out the impressive design.
  • clear plexiglass top
  • level indicator on the handle
  • cleanup is a little difficult
Brand West Bend
Model 54159
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Medelco Stovetop

Composed of borosilicate glass, the Medelco Stovetop can safely go from burner to tabletop to fridge without cracking. It includes a metal trivet that can be used on electric coil stoves, and a heat-tolerant grip that stays cool to the touch.
  • budget friendly option
  • bpa-free elements
  • center tube is a bit short
Brand Medelco
Model 1-PK008-BL
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Presto 02811

The Presto 02811 makes a cup of coffee with every minute that passes, and it continues to keep the contents hot for as long as it's plugged in without burning the brew. Its internal components are 100% dishwasher safe for an effortless cleanup.
  • easy-pour spout design
  • signal light indicates readiness
  • stainless steel construction
Brand Presto
Model 02811
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

6. Bialetti Venus Stove-Top Espresso

Situated comfortably on your range, the Bialetti Venus Stove-Top Espresso produces up to six cups of very strong coffee in just under five minutes. It makes for a good gift that any java connoisseur would very much appreciate.
  • traditional italian styling
  • all parts are stainless steel
  • requires a very finely ground bean
Brand La Cafetiere
Model 1685
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Hamilton Beach BrewStation

With heavy-duty locking brackets and an auto turn-off feature for when the well runs dry, the Hamilton Beach BrewStation includes a removable tank that is fully portable and invulnerable to corrosion. It maintains a constant temperature, so you never overcook your brew.
  • one-hand dispensing
  • innovative design
  • higher price than many
Brand Hamilton Beach
Model HCU110S
Weight 18.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. GSI Outdoors Glacier

The best time on a camping trip is waking up in the early dawn to the sound and aroma coming from a GSI Outdoors Glacier bubbling over the campfire. It features a wire bail handle that is handy for hanging it over the coals or on a tree branch to keep wildlife at bay.
  • three-piece set
  • weather resistant
  • available in 4 different sizes
Brand GSI Outdoors
Model 65036
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Coletti Bozeman

If you like the appearance of simple elegance in your kitchen, the Coletti Bozeman is the way to go. Designed for durability, it comes with ultrafine filters to keep grounds from making their way into your cup, and each sale helps support a worthy cause.
  • sturdy hinged top
  • permawood handle
  • glass percolation bulb
Brand Coletti
Model Bozeman
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Faberware 8-Cup Classic Yosemite

The stout build of the Faberware 8-Cup Classic Yosemite indicates that it should last for a long time, while its permanent strainer basket eliminates the need to deal with eco-unfriendly paper filters. Conveniently the whole unit can be immersed fully in water.
  • clear plastic knob on lid
  • nonreactive interior
  • clean-cut style suits any kitchen
Brand Farberware
Model 50124
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Euro Cuisine

Add a hint of sophistication to your mornings with the Euro Cuisine, featuring a beautiful copper finish that can be polished to a glossy shine, and a detachable electrical cord. It's completely dishwasher-safe with a drip-free spout for no-mess pouring.
  • body constructed of stainless steel
  • can hold up to 8 cups
  • all components totally recyclable
Brand Euro Cuisine
Model PER08
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

It's Time for the Percolator

This titular song rose to popularity in the nineties, however, the actual percolator enjoyed fame much earlier than that. A percolator is a device used to brew coffee. Out of the myriad of options you have for coffee brewing today, the percolator is the precursor to modern brewing methods and it's still used today due to its simple design.

It works by placing a heat source at the bottom of the pot; which is filled with water. The water boils and travels up a central tube in the pot and recycles down on a filtered layer with coffee grounds. The boiled water makes contact with the grounds and extracts the coffee. The water then travels back down towards the heat source and the process is repeated until the entire pot has percolated.

The taste of percolated coffee, given no other variables, will differ from an automatic drip brew. If you come from a background of a certain brew method, I strongly advise you to try percolated coffee before you purchase it. Many claim that percolated coffee will come out stronger and more robust, albeit not as consistent as an automatic drip brew.

The heat source can be an electric hot plate or a fire from a stovetop or bonfire while camping. If on a stovetop, it's essential to remove the pot once it boils: "Coffee boiled is coffee spoiled," as the adage goes. The electric heated pot is designed with this in mind and has a built-in feature to shut off the heat source once the optimal temperature is reached.

Perks: Ups and Downs

Depending on the number of coffee drinkers in your household or how often you host java-loving guests, you must determine the size of the percolator you need. Some will only brew two cups at a time. The measurement of two cups is misleading and varies greatly. A standard cup is eight ounces, however, most coffee cups are designed to hold ten to twelve ounces, leaving the consumer with less coffee than desired. A twelve cup percolator will be beneficial for large gatherings and it eliminates resetting and cleaning the percolator many times to serve everyone. Large percolators are usually found at church gatherings or special interest meetings.

Most of today's models are electric; unless you dig into your basement and find your mom's pot from the seventies. The electric percolator tends to brew a more consistent cup of coffee, however, some prefer the non-electric models so they can make coffee anywhere. Porcelain models are ideal for campers who enjoy making fresh coffee over a campfire. Given that it's no completely reliant on an electric source, the percolator shares a closer relationship to the Moka and french press than the automatic drip coffeemaker.

While porcelain is an option for stove tops, the stainless steel model reigns supreme. The danger of steel, however, is that the heat conducted during percolation makes the handle too hot to touch. The rectify this, quality models will support a sturdy handle that is far enough away from the body of the pot to eliminate accidental burns.

The complaint most have with the percolator is that the water is too hot when it makes contact with the coffee. With a pour over coffee, you have some time for the coffee to cool before the pour. The result of percolated coffee is an inconsistent cup that can easily become overpowering with flavor. In my opinion, the fix is to simply add less coffee and it'll save you money in the long run.

A Brief History of the Percolator

The first percolator model was invented in 1814 by Sir Benjamin Thompson to simply supply the Bavarian Army with a quality stimulant. Thompson's model, however, did not include the central tube to recycle the boiled water. It wasn't until five years later in neighboring France that a tinsmith called Laurens improved the designed and made it capable of being heated on a stovetop.

In 1889, Illinois farmer Hanson Goodrich perfected what is to be known as the modern percolator. It used the down flow method and gravity to extract flavor from the beans, and Goodrich's model has not been adjusted drastically since.

The percolator rose to popularity in the 1970's, particularly for camping, as one could make coffee without electricity. It was ousted by the automatic drip coffeemaker, which was seen as a vast improvement over the manual coffeemaker. Building on that technology, most of today's models of percolators use electricity. Perhaps this is the best of manual and automatic in brewing the perfect cup of coffee? Only time will tell.

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Last updated on May 06, 2018 by Misty Alder

Born and raised in the American Deep South, Misty's career in elder care took a sharp left turn when she was swept away to the land of Robinhood by her very own Merry Man. She's a coffee-swilling master of stitch-witchery with a magical touch in the kitchen and a never-ending stream of Disney gag reels playing in her head.

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