What Is the Best Coffee Maker Under 200 Dollars? Our Top Picks

How long can $200 go in keeping you well-caffeinated? If you take two or three cups in a nearby cafe every workday, it will barely last you a month. But if you invest the same 200 bucks in a coffee maker, it will last you for years. Even if you add up the price of filtered water, coffee grounds, and electricity, you’ll still get loads more mileage out of your $200.

Now for the hard part of choosing a coffee maker on a budget. I’m here to talk you through the basics of finding the right machine for your household and offer my take on seven models for every coffee lover, from Espresso snobs to hardcore Keurig fans.

How to Choose Among the Best-rated Coffee Makers Under $200?

Two hundred dollars is a hefty investment. To make it count, you should consider how often you will use the machine, how much coffee you need, and which brew customization features are vital to make a cuppa to your liking. I’ve narrowed down the list of crucial factors to six to help you see through the fancy marketing to the heart of every device.

Programmable Brewing

Timers and programmable delayed brewing features require extra electronics that don’t always make sense in a cheaper coffee maker. It’s nice to have a cuppa waiting for you to roll out of bed in the morning, but most quality machines can brew a cup or even a full carafe in under 15 minutes. So if you turn the device on before taking a shower, your java will be ready by the time you’re done. Auto-shutoff is a much more desirable feature, as it lets you save on utility bills and keeps your home safe from fire hazards.

Brewing Temperature

This is an important one. But also a very controversial factor. I like my coffee as hot as possible, so I’m looking for machines that deliver 200 F. Others prefer a cooler brew that’s anywhere from 170 to 190 F. To get the right machine on your first try, check out coffee maker specs and reviews before buying. You can also invest in a model with temperature controls, though you’re unlikely to find one among coffee makers under 200 dollars.

Brewing Strength

Opt for a coffee maker with at least a couple of strength settings to get the flavor just right. Many machines come with regular and ‘rich’ (‘bold’ or ‘strong’) brew settings, but some have a separate option of brewing over ice. This concentrate is usually twice as strong so as not to taste watered down once the ice melts. If you go with a single-strength machine, experiment with the amount of coffee grounds you use to find the right flavor and energy boost combination.

Capacity

I’ll let you in on a secret: coffee maker brands don’t have the same definition for ‘cup’ as we do. For me, a cup is an 18-ounce monstrosity I can nurse for hours, but the fine print on a user manual will tell you that a coffee machine cup is merely 5 oz. So even the best 12-cup coffee maker under $200 only holds 60 ounces of coffee, just enough to fill four to five cups. Keep that in mind and make sure the pot is large enough to accommodate all coffee drinkers in your family.

Water reservoir capacity is a factor too. The larger it is, the less often you’ll need to refill.

Maintenance

There’s no such thing as a maintenance-free coffee maker. Whichever model you choose, you’ll need to top up the water tank, fill and rinse the filter basket. And regular cleaning is a must if you want the machine to last long. Some models have an LED indicator reminding you to run a descaling and cleaning cycle. Make sure you follow the user manual. Otherwise, you won’t be liable for a replacement in case the machine fails within the warranty period.

Durability

Don’t we all wish for a $50 coffee maker to last us a lifetime? Reality is a harsh mistress, and though pricier devices don’t always last longer, spending a bit more money usually pays for higher-grade materials. For instance, most models under $100 come with a fragile glass carafe and a warming plate, while this list is full of thermal carafe-equipped devices. And a plastic water tank on a coffee maker under 200 dollars would be replaced with a stainless steel reservoir on a machine for over $400.

Who Makes the Best Coffee Maker Under $200? Top 7 Reviews

Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker, Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer

Pros:
  • Five serving sizes (4 to 12 oz)
  • Brew strength and temperature controls
  • Hot water dispenser
  • Removable drip tray and water tank
  • Compatible with non-branded K-cups
Cons:
  • Awkward water reservoir lid
  • Long-term quality issues

I never thought I’d go for a single-serve coffee machine, but this Keurig is so fast, I had to adjust my preconceptions. I can get a cuppa in under a minute, even with loading the pod and setting the right strength (regular or strong) and cup size (from 4 to 12 ounces). And I’ve tried the iced coffee brew as well, even though I prefer it hot, when I need an extra-powerful caffeine kick. The only thing I couldn’t get the hang of was the altitude controls.

The hot water dispenser is a godsend in our tea-loving household, and it makes cooking oatmeal for breakfast super easy. The removable drip tray is another bonus, as it helps fit my tallish travel mug under the spout and fill it with the elixir of the gods.

Some complain about the apparent design step back in using buttons instead of a touch screen. I guess they’ve never had to operate a machine with wet or dirty fingers, but for me, it was a step in the right direction. The water tank lid is another story. You have to take it straight off the machine to remove the reservoir, which is an unnecessary complication. A hinged lid would have been much easier to operate.

Bonavita BV1900TS 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker Featuring Thermal Carafe

Bonavita BV1900TS 8-Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker Featuring Thermal Carafe

Pros:
  • Delicious coffee
  • One-touch brewing
  • Stainless steel double-walled thermal carafe
  • On-demand pre-infusion
  • Specialty Coffee Association certified
Cons:
  • Non-removable water tank cracks

When the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) certifies a coffee maker, you know your java will be good, and this model sure supports this rule. It all comes down to smart design decisions. Bonavita relies on a wide showerhead and flat-bottomed filter to ensure even saturation of the grounds to extract every last ounce of flavor and aroma. And there’s a pre-infusion cycle to further enhance the brew.

Another thing I love about this machine is the right brewing temperature that stays between 195 and 205°F. And there isn’t a warming plate in sight! Instead, you get a high-quality stainless steel carafe with double walls that can keep the java warm for a few hours. Besides, it is durable and super-easy to clean.

The only fault I could find with this machine is the water reservoir. It looks nice but isn’t very user-friendly. It’s stationary, so you’ll have to lug water from the tap in a pot or kettle. And the plastic tends to crack, as shown by many unhappy reviews. The machine stays operational, but it looks dodgy. I wish they’d use better plastic, glass, or steel instead. That would have made this model the best coffee maker for under 200 dollars.

Nespresso VertuoPlus Bundle by Breville

Nespresso VertuoPlus Bundle by Breville

Things we liked:
  • Fast, quiet, one-touch brewing
  • Five serving sizes (1.35 to 14 oz)
  • Removable, adjustable water reservoir
  • Delicious java, thick microfoam
  • Complimentary set of 12 pods included
Things we didn’t like:
  • Works with Nespresso Vertuo pods only

If you like the speed of Keurig and the simplicity of Bonavita, you’re going to love this VertuoPlus machine. It takes a minute to pull a shot using the patented Centrifusion technology, and it won’t wake up the whole household while doing so. Besides, you don’t need to fiddle with controls, as the device recognizes the barcode on the capsule and chooses the right temperature and water volume for your drink.

It’s also surprisingly well-thought-out. The cup support is adjustable to fit anything from a tiny espresso cup to your trusty travel mug. And the water reservoir adds to the versatility. It’s adjustable, so you can place it on the side or in the back, and it’s easy to remove and fill at the tap. And if you like cappuccinos or lattes, Aeroccino will become your best friend. It produces the softest, most delicate microfoam you’d usually get in a specialty coffee shop.

Nespresso Vertuo pods are pricier than the Original capsules, and there’s no way of using non-branded pods. There are some reusable options on Amazon, like the ones from Blusea, but you have to buy several for different serving sizes and deal with the mess of scooping and tamping the grounds. But Vertuo pods are still cheaper than going to a cafe, the recycling program works okay, and I am a sucker for fast coffee machines. You do you.

OXO Brew 8 Cup Coffee Maker

OXO Brew 8 Cup Coffee Maker

Things we liked:
  • Outstanding brew flavor and aroma
  • Carafe and single-serve modes
  • Specialty Coffee Association certified
  • Stainless steel thermal carafe
Things we didn’t like:
  • Non-removable plastic water tank
  • Carafe holds only 40 oz of coffee

If there’s a worthy rival for Bonavita on this list, it’s surely OXO. This machine boasts the same Specialty Coffee Association certification and comes with plenty of similar perks. It’s got the double-walled vacuum-sealed thermal carafe and the rainmaker showerhead for even coffee grounds saturation. Both result in a superb cuppa.

However, OXO has Bonavita beaten when it comes to extra features. This machine can brew a full carafe or a single cup; all you need to do is slide the switch into the correct position. And while it lacks the delayed brewing timer, the coffee maker has a drip machine staple–the sneak-a-cup feature.

The not-so-great features include the water tank and the carafe. The former is stationary and made of clear plastic, which makes me question the machine’s durability and makes refilling the tank a challenge. The carafe is well-built, but it only holds 40 oz of coffee, as OXO’s cup is only 5 oz. And unlike a heating plate, it only keeps the coffee warm for around an hour, so it may not be the best choice if you like to brew a carafe to enjoy throughout the day.

ninja-hot-auto-iQ-tea-and-coffee-maker-with-6-brew-sizes

ninja-hot-auto-iQ-tea-and-coffee-maker-with-6-brew-sizes

Things we liked:
  • Fully customizable brew size and strength
  • Separate coffee and tea baskets
  • Programmable delayed brewing
  • Built-in fold-away milk frother
  • Removable water reservoir
Things we didn’t like:
  • Warming plate doesn’t work with small servings
  • Occasional cleaning issues

This is a Swiss army knife of a coffee maker under $200. It took me a while to test all the features, and they all work surprisingly well. The rich brew is perfect for a morning cuppa, and iced coffee does indeed taste like coffee, not the watered-down version. And specialty brew is just outstanding, especially when coupled with a layer of frothed milk that takes just a couple of minutes to whip up thanks to a built-in frother.

As an occasional tea drinker, I also enjoyed the separate tea basket that works with tea bags and loose leaf equally well. There are five settings to choose from, though I’m not clear on how they differ. And it took me a while to figure out the perfect serving size. While there are six options (from a cup to a full carafe), the warming plate only works when the carafe is in place. You’ll have to stick your java in a microwave for reheating in case you forget about it, though this wasn’t an issue for me.

The overall design is great for daily use thanks to a fold-away milk frother, easy-access filter basket, and a removable water tank. However, the permanent filter is too coarse for most pre-ground beans, and you’ll end up with some sediment in your cuppa unless you use a paper filter. According to reviews, the cleaning cycle seems a bit problematic, though I haven’t had any issues throughout my tests.

zojirushi-EC-YSC100-fresh-brew-plus-thermal-coffee-maker

zojirushi-EC-YSC100-fresh-brew-plus-thermal-coffee-maker

Things we liked:
  • Hot and iced coffee modes
  • Mutable sound signal
  • Programmable delayed brewing
  • Time saver mode for faster brewing
  • Vacuum-sealed thermal carafe
Things we didn’t like:
  • Some design drawbacks
  • A slightly weaker brew

If you want the best long-term value for money, give Zojirushi a try. The machine is sleek, well-crafted, and boasts unique features that secure its place among the best coffee makers under $200. I love the hot and iced coffee modes, even if the latter doesn’t produce a full carafe. The concentrate is punchy enough not to be watered down by the melting ice. And you gotta love the Time Saver mode that delivers java in just a few minutes. I must admit the regular brew is a bit weaker than most machines produce, but that’s probably because the scoop only fits 7g of the grounds. So if you want a stronger brew, consider adding an extra half a scoop to the basket.

The 24-hour timer is there to make your life easier and have a steaming pot of java waiting for you in the morning. And the best thing? You can finally mute the sound signal not to wake up your whole family!

The sturdy double-walled vacuum-insulated carafe is a thing of beauty, and it reliably keeps your coffee warm for a few hours. But the lid has some design flaws, making pouring a challenge. Some reviews mention coffee overflowing the carafe lid, though I didn’t notice any issues with that.

KitchenAid Smart 12-Cup Coffee Maker

KitchenAid Smart 12-Cup Coffee Maker

Things we liked:
  • Regular or strong brew
  • Programmable delayed brewing
  • Pause and pour feature
  • Permanent gold-tone filter
  • Optional carafe insulating sleeve
Things we didn’t like:
  • Occasional coffee leaks
  • Warming plate may seem too hot

For being the most affordable on my list, this coffee machine looks the best with its classic domed shape and a clear glass carafe. The latter is great for checking the remaining brew level, but it means using a warming plate to keep the java warm. And the overheated plate can sometimes turn your coffee bitter after a couple of hours. You can also buy an insulating sleeve to further insulate the pot, but it looks weird and doesn’t do much for temperature retention.

Otherwise, this is a straightforward drip machine with all your favorite perks, like two strength settings, a 24-hour delayed brewing timer, and the sneak-a-cup feature. The gold-tone filter is there, but I suggest you supplement it with a paper one to prevent your brew from tasting muddy. The basket isn’t well-designed and can sometimes overflow with hot water, so you’d better keep an eye on the machine if you’re not in the mood for cleaning the kitchen at dawn.

Like every other model, this device comes with pros and cons. Remember you get what you pay for, don’t set high expectations, and you won’t be disappointed.

Conclusion

After testing all seven, which machine would I keep in my kitchen? Ninja Hot and Cold Brew System seems like the best choice because we love variety in our coffee and tea drinks. And as the best coffee maker under 200 dollars, it comes within an inch of making a cappuccino without actually using high pressure for pulling a shot.

If I were looking for a straightforward coffee maker, I’d go with OXO Brew 8 Cup Coffee Maker or Bonavita BV1900TS. Both are Specialty Coffee Association certified and make a delicious cuppa without unnecessary bells and whistles.

Renat Mamatazin

Renat Mamatkazin

2021/03/31

Founder and owner of Lion Coffee and 3ChampsRoastery, 1st place winner of Ukrainian Barista Championship 2017. Interested in travelling, football and Formula-1 (besides coffee, of course).

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