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The 5 best French press coffee makers: Better than Starbucks?

What is the best French press coffee maker in 2022? ZDNet's top pick is the Bodum Brazil French press. We researched and compared pricing as well as features like the capacity, design, heat retention, and build to determine the best French press coffee makers.
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Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

It has many names: a cafetière, press pot, coffee plunger, and perhaps most commonly, a French press. No matter what it is called, a French press is a delicious way to make coffee.

A regular stop at Starbucks or your local coffee shop can put a serious dent in your pocket, which is why a French press at home or in your office can be the perfect solution.

Before you head to the store for this holiday season, consider our expert tips on the latest and greatest on today's market, supported by real customer reviews. 

Must read: 

Hand pressing down on a French press maker with coffee in it
Amazon

Features: 34 fluid ounces | Heat-resistant glass | Dishwasher safe

Bodum is well-known for its coffee products, offering several French press models, but the Brazil French Press Coffee Maker is one of our favorites. Designed in the early 1980s, it is more of an eco-friendly option that saves on waste by avoiding the use of filters and pods that other coffee makers rely upon for operation. It is also a great solution for tea.

With a 34-ounce capacity, the Brazil French Press features a stylish design made of BPA-free materials and dishwasher-safe parts. The glass beaker is made of a special heat-resistant borosilicate glass that offers a lightweight build. However, the beaker is delicate and lacks the shatter-proof materials of other models. The filter and plunger are both made of stainless steel, in addition to the spiral plate, which holds the filter mesh in place to prevent coffee grounds from slipping in your cup of joe.

Made in Europe, this high-performing French press is the most affordable on our list and won't break the bank.

Pros: 

  • Very affordably priced
  • Sleek glass design
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Plastic steel trap
  • Poor heat retention
  • Expensive replacement glass beaker
Red French press on a kitchen table with pastries and flowers
La Creuset

Features: 27 fluid ounces | Crack-resistant | 10-year warranty

The Le Creuset Stoneware French Press is different from most machines, offering a vibrantly-colored, glossy ceramic design that is a wonderful addition to your countertop. There are several benefits to a French press made of stoneware, including fantastic heat retention and a non-stick interior. It also prevents scorching, so there is no need to worry about burnt coffee. A 10-year warranty helps assuage any worries about the more delicate ceramic build.

The enamel finish is non-porous, stain-free, and crack-resistant, making it well-equipped to handle your everyday needs. It incorporates a stainless steel plunger with a mesh press, plus dishwasher-safe materials to make clean-up significantly easier. It is on the smaller side with a capacity of 27 fluid ounces, about enough to make four glasses, but it is still versatile, able to accommodate coarsely ground coffee beans, as well as loose tea leaves.

Pros:

  • Unique ceramic design
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Stainless steel plunger

Cons:

  • Most expensive on our list
  • Easily breakable
  • The filter can warp over time
OXO Brew GroundsLifter French Press review | best french press coffee maker
Amazon

Features: 32 fluid ounces | Filter mesh | Borosilicate glass and stainless steel

The OXO BREW 8 Cup French Press with GroundsLifter is made from a combination of stainless steel and glass. It is capable of producing up to 32 fluid ounces with convenient buttons on the interface control. The plunger knob has a long handle for one-step cleaning, while a fine mesh is incorporated to filter and keep those pesky grounds out of your coffee. This French press is also made from borosilicate glass but is protected by the tough stainless steel exterior for greater durability. 

The thoughtful GroundsLifter design is a thoughtful addition that makes brewing and pouring significantly easier without the mess that can accompany other French presses. With just one motion, you can clear all of the leftover grounds from the machine. However, this is not a dishwasher-safe model, instead of requiring you to hand-wash after use.  

Pros:

  • Excellent for cold brewing
  • Easy clean-up
  • Great aesthetics

Cons:

  • Only 32 ounces
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • No water filtration
Stainless steel French press on a table with coffee beans and croissants
Amazon

Features: 34 fluid ounces | Double-wall construction | Steel filter 

The Secura Stainless Steel French Press features an interior and exterior made from premium 18/10 stainless steel, offering far greater durability than other models. Thanks to double-wall construction, there is excellent heat retention, so your coffee stays hotter longer. There is a capacity of one liter or 34 ounces, which is about average for the market. 

The filter is made of triple-layer stainless steel to stop even the smaller grounds, so you enjoy a smooth, perfect cup of coffee every time. A cool-touch handle protects you during use, and the screen is simple to clean when brewing is complete. All parts are dishwasher-safe, too, as an added bonus, and you receive a bonus stainless steel filter for extra convenience and better bang for your buck.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Stainless steel construction

Cons:

  • Grounds get stuck
  • Fragile glass build
  • Mediocre heat retention
Coffee Gator French Press Coffee Maker- Insulated review | best french press coffee maker
Amazon

Features: 34 fluid ounces | Vacuum-layered design | Touchscreen display

The Coffee Gator also features a stainless steel construction with a size that is on par with most models. It is capable of holding a maximum capacity of 34 fluid ounces. The double filter screens small coffee grounds with a rust-proof built meant to last the test of time. Plus, with its vacuum-layered design, it is capable of keeping your coffee or tea warm for about an hour longer than glass coffee presses. It makes this French press a great choice for the busy professional who stays on the move.

This French press combines a sleek gray exterior with a convenient pouring handle. With its smart design, it incorporates a touchscreen display to provide greater control over your brew. Designed to withstand even a drop on the floor, this French press is also suitable for taking on the road, whether it is to the office or for a weekend of camping. Plus, a mini canister is included for easy storage. 

Pros:

  • Excellent for pour-over
  • Stainless steel mesh filter
  • Drop-proof design

Cons:

  • Higher priced option
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Delicate glass carafe

What is the best French press coffee maker?

The best French press coffee maker is the Bodum Brazil French Press. With its European design and 34-ounce capacity, this high-performing French press is also the most affordable on our list.

French Press Maker

Price

Capacity 

Bodum Brazil French Press

$23.53

34 fluid ounces

Le Creuset Stoneware French Press

$79.95

27 fluid ounces

OXO BREW 8 Cup French Press

$41.95

32 fluid ounces

Secura Stainless Steel French Press 

$27.96

34 fluid ounces

The Coffee Gator

$39.99

34 fluid ounces

Which is the right one for you?

To help you find the best French press for your needs, consider our expert recommendations.

Choose this French press...

If you want...

Bodum Brazil French Press

The best overall option

Le Creuset Stoneware French Press 

A stoneware french press with a rustic feel

OXO BREW 8 Cup French Press with GroundsLifter 

A user-friendly French Press that is easy to clean

Secura Stainless Steel French Press

An all-in-one French press with great value

The Coffee Gator 

An affordable French press that is great for travel

How did we choose these French press coffee makers?

Many options are available for your French press, but not all of them may offer the features that you want for your investment. When purchasing a French press, these are some considerations that can help you decide which is the best French press coffee maker for you.

  • Build: Consider the materials of the French press. While glass offers a lovely aesthetic, it is far less durable and does not provide the heat retention that you receive with a stainless steel model. 
  • Heat retention: Coffee is not nearly as good when it is not hot, so it is important to think about heat retention when looking for the best French press coffee maker. Some stainless steel items can stay hot significantly longer than glass products, making them a better fit if you do not plan on drinking your coffee right away.
  • Parts: A French press uses a plunger to make the coffee, while a built-in filter strains the coffee grounds, so they do not slip into your cup. Some French presses use a double or even triple-filter design to ensure excellent filtering while you brew.
  • Capacity: The amount of coffee you want to make determines the size of the French press. Most models tend to hold about 34 fluid ounces, but there are plenty of models that offer more or less room for liquid.
  • Style: While some French press coffee makers are constructed from stainless steel, others may use glass in their design. Consider what kind of French press would look best in your kitchen without sacrificing functionality.

Before you buy, think about which features are more important for you and your lifestyle.

What is a French press?

A French press is a type of coffee maker that brews coffee by adding hot water around 200 degrees to ground coffee. When you use the plunger, the coffee filters through while the grounds are caught by the built-in filter.

How long to steep French press?

You should steep coffee in your French press for no less than four minutes. Some coffee aficionados recommend steeping for 6-8 minutes (with a coarser grind). 

Can you make cold brew in a French press?

Yes! You can French press cold brew by just letting it steep longer and placing it in your refrigerator overnight. Try to shoot for at least 10 hours of steeping.

Why should I use a French press?

A French press is not only great for small servings, but it also provides more time for steeping with greater customization on how your coffee is brewed. Plus, as a manual brewer, it does not face the technical issues that accompany other machines like the Keurig.

Are there alternative French press coffee makers worth considering?

In our search for the best French press coffee maker, there were many products that we considered. These are some of the models that almost made our list.

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