Best filter coffee machine 2020: 10 top coffee makers | Real Homes

Best filter coffee machine 2020: our 10 top coffee makers

Find the best filter coffee machine for your household from big brands – such as Morphy Richards, Russell Hobbs and De'Longhi – in our expert guide

best filter coffee machine - smeg coffee machine review
(Image credit: Smeg)

The best filter coffee machine will brew you the perfect black coffee, and all you'll need to do is add milk (if you please) to recreate all those lovely coffee shop flavours. Yep. And it'll be on tap, on demand too.

This type of coffee maker – there are many types as seen in our best coffee machines guide – will make delicious cups of black coffee or, if you prefer it a little milky, you can just add a splash – hot or cold – which saves on the faff of foaming milk which one has become accustomed to for cappuccinos and lattes. To add to the pros, a filter coffee machine essentially offers a simple-to-use interface, easy set-up and cleaning with little mess, low maintenance (just keep up with limescale removal), and can make up to 10 to 12 cups at a time, if that's what you need.

Keep scrolling for our top picks – some of which we've tried, tested and rated in our own homes – which have been carefully selected based on the ease of use, ease of maintenance, performance and price (all the important things) so we can help you to choose the best filter coffee machine, for you.

Our best filter coffee machine picks for 2020

Best filter coffee machine: Morphy Richards 162010 Pour Over Filter Coffee Maker

1. Morphy Richards 162010 Pour Over Filter Coffee Maker

Best filter coffee machine (overall): for those who like their coffee strong, this is an adjustable, programmable marvel

Specifications
Best for: Quality coffee
Makes: 12 cups
Power: 900W
Features: Adjustable strength, permanent filter, timer
Reasons to buy
+Makes great, full-flavoured coffee+Programmable timer
Reasons to avoid
-Black-on-black markings are hard to read

Simple to use, but with enough functionality to make your life just a little bit easier, this filter coffee machine from Morphy Richards is a functional, usable, reasonably priced filter coffee machine that’ll prove useful in all kitchens.

What's it good at?

The ‘shower head’ pour-over technology creates a full flavour, so it’s good for black coffee drinkers who like to really taste those notes in their favourite grind. The hot plate heats your coffee for 25 minutes and the flavour changes very little in that time. 

Why we like it

It's not too bulky and its sleek design means we'd be happy to leave it on our countertop. It takes just over seven minutes to brew a litre of coffee, so it's pretty speedy, plus we like how you can select different strengths for your brew. Our favourite feature? You can set a timer on your coffee machine so you can have a full jug waiting for you by the time you wake up. 

What else?

The coffee comes out at around 77ºC so bear that in mind if you prefer a super hot coffee or tend to add a fair bit of cold milk. 

What don't we like?

The water tank isn't removable, which isn't a massive problem but it does mean it can be tricky to refill and clean. 

  • Buy the Morphy Richards 162010 Pour Over Filter Coffee Machine 

Best filter coffee machine for easy cleaning: Russell Hobbs Luna 23241 Filter Coffee Machine

2. Russell Hobbs Luna 23241 Filter Coffee Machine

Best filter coffee machine for easy cleaning: want no mess and no fuss? The Russell Hobbs Luna coffee machine is the one for you

Specifications
Best for: Easy Cleaning
Makes: 14 cups
Power: 1000W
Features: Adjustable strength, permanent filter, timer, auto shut off, anti-drip function
Reasons to buy
+Available in a range of colours+Keeps coffee warm +Auto clean function to remove limescale
Reasons to avoid
-Coffee left warm for 40 minutes might not be the tastiest still 

An easy to use, clean and operate model which is an affordable price, this filter coffee machine from Russell Hobbs is ideal for those who lead busy home lives and rely on coffee to keep them going. 

What's it good at?

Not only can it make up to 14 cups of coffee from one brew, but that coffee will stay hot for a while (although we might quibble about the flavour if you left it on the hotplate for the full 40 minutes). 

Why we like it 

For all the features we will go on to mention, the stand out one for us is the auto cleaning function. It makes keeping your filter coffee machine in the best condition super easy as it reminds you that it’s time to remove limescale (something we’re guilty of not keeping track of). Then all you need to do is run a cycle with a proprietary brand of descaler suitable for use in plastic-bodied products, according to instructions.

What else?

With features such as Clever Advanced Shower Head technology, the machine will efficiently flavour your coffee ensuring it's intense and aromatic every time, and the Advanced Brewing System promises to reach the ideal temperature 50% quicker than a traditional model.

What don't we like?

As we may have already mentioned, the hotplate keep the brewed coffee warm for 40 minutes, but if you needed to leave it that long we’d suggest brewing less in the first place then brewing again for best flavour. 

  • Buy the Russell Hobbs Luna 23241 Filter Coffee Machine

best filter coffee machine: DeLonghi-ICM-14011

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. De’Longhi Active Line ICM14011 Filter Coffee Machine

Best filter coffee machine for ease of use: Sleek and stylish, this compact machine won’t hog your worktop but will brew a tasty coffee

Specifications
Best for: Simple to use
Makes: 5 cups
Power: 650W
Features: Permanent filter, keep-warm plate
Reasons to buy
+Ideal for small kitchens+Choice of colours+Tasty coffee
Reasons to avoid
- Only makes 5 cups at a time 

A neat and attractive coffee machine, you’ll be happy to show-off the De’Longhi filter coffee machine on your kitchen work surface, and delighted to drink its brews, too. There’s a matching kettle and toaster if you want to get the set.

What's it good at?

This really is a fuss-free machine. Prep it, set it going and it’ll bleep when it’s done. It does offer you a degree of choice, however. There’s an aroma button that means water is delivered to the filter more slowly – recommended when you’re not brewing a full jug. 

Why we like it

As well as making a tasty cup (or five), the machine is simple to keep clean. Both the carafe and the filter holder can go in the dishwasher, which isn’t always the case with filter coffee machines.

What else?

Black, red or white finishes should ensure it suits your kitchen decor nicely, thank you.  

What don't we like? 

It’s a machine made to brew for one or two, so if there are more of you or you like plenty of refills, you’ll want to invest in one of our other choices. 

  • Buy the De’Longhi Active Line ICM14011

Smeg DCF02 Drip Filter Coffee Machine review

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Smeg DCF02 Drip Filter Coffee Machine

Best coffee machine for matching with other Smeg appliances: it makes a lovely tasting filter coffee, too

Specifications
Best for: Making a really good filter coffee
Type: Filter coffee
Pressure: N/A
Cups: Up to 10
Reasons to buy
+Makes a really good coffee+Excellent filter+Six colour options available
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky 'small' design-A little tricky to fill up the water tank

If you want to mix-and-match models for a colourful chic kitchen set-up, then this coffee machine is for you.

What we like

This filter coffee machine does exactly what is intended: makes filter coffee. And the filter coffee is really nice, at that. 

When the coffee is made it is easy to clean and maintain the coffee machine once, like everything, you get used to it.

Anything else?

It also comes in a selection of complimentary colours. These colours would probably suit other Smeg appliances in the kitchen, more than if you just have this standalone coffee machine, but it's one (of a few things) we like anyway.

What we don't like

There's nothing we especially dislike about this coffee maker, but the set-up is a little fussy with a number of settings to work your way through before you can brew. And the water tank is pretty tricky to fill up, too, particularly if you have it sat on the work surface under some cupboards.

Also, just be mindful NOT to switch off the machine at the plug after each use because all settings will be cleared so you'll need to run through the set-up process again.

Real Homes rating 4 out of 5 stars

  • Buy the Smeg DCF02 Drip Filter Coffee Machine

Best smart filter coffee machine: Smarter Coffee Machine (2nd Generation)

5. Smarter Coffee Machine (2nd Generation)

Best smart filter coffee machine: a connected coffee machine with personalisable modes and bean to cup capability

Specifications
Best for: Gadget lovers
Makes: 12 cups
Power: 950-1050W
Features: 3 interchangeable colour panels
Reasons to buy
+Wi-Fi-enabled and Alexa compatible +Personalisable modes+Can use ground or whole beans
Reasons to avoid
-Quite pricey

For the tech lover who dreams of a fully automated Wallace and Gromit-style home, this Smarter Filter Coffee Machine is a good first step in the right direction. 

What's it good at?

Once you've set up this coffee machine, you can control pretty much every part of it by using your iPhone or Android device through an app. You can make coffee from your bed, from the shower, from your train home, you just have to make sure it's all set up to go at all times if you are going to want to control this filter coffee machine remotely.

Why we like it

You can choose between bean-to-cup and filter modes, and select strength, grind, and number of cups from the app. You can team it up with your phone to schedule brews and set rules, and if you’re desperate for a coffee, but don’t fancy going all the way downstairs, you can ask Alexa nicely to set it going. Of course, you will have to go downstairs anyway to get it, but it’s still fun.

What don't we like?

For what you get it's expensive; just be aware you are probably paying for the novelty here, rather than a great cup of coffee. 

  • Buy the Smarter Filter Coffee Machine

Best filter coffee machine for flavour: Melitta AromaElegance Deluxe Filter Coffee Machine

6. Melitta AromaElegance Deluxe Filter Coffee Machine

Best filter coffee machine for flavour: Time your brew to perfection, and ensure nothing gets lost in the process

Specifications
Best for: Retaining flavour
Makes: 15 cups
Power: 1520W
Features: Timer, descaling programme, anti-drip system, programmable hotplate
Reasons to buy
+ Aroma Control for full flavour+Programmable hot plate and timer
Reasons to avoid
-Not a budget choice

The slightly scary-looking tapered cone, precise volume indicators and brushed metal exterior might make this deluxe filter coffee machine look like something out of a science lab, but don't worry, it uses its powers very much for good. 

What's it good at?

With something tantalisingly called 'Aroma Control', it ensures that every brew is as fully-flavoured as can be, so no more discrepancy between the amazing smell of those artisanal beans you bought off the market and what ends up in your cup. 

Why we like it

It keeps your coffee warm for two hours thanks to the heavily-insulated jug. This is the longest time out of all the filter coffee machines we have in our round up, and the first cup tastes as good as the last. 

So, the programmable hotplate keeps coffee fresh for longer; meanwhile, the timer makes sure your cup is ready for when you most desperately need a caffeine boost. Looking for the best filter coffee machine to retain flavour? Bingo.

What don't we like?

It's a pretty cumbersome design, so if you have a smaller kitchen this might not be the best filter coffee machine for you.  

  • Buy the Melitta AromaElegance Deluxe Filter Coffee Machine 

Best budget filter coffee machine: Tower T13001 10 Cup Coffee Maker

7. Tower T13001 10 Cup Filter Coffee Machine

Best budget filter coffee machine: a great basic buy, easy to use and easy to clean

Specifications
Best for: Budget
Makes: 10 cups
Power: 1000W
Features: Permanent filter
Reasons to buy
+Inexpensive+Easy to use and clean
Reasons to avoid
-Quite tricky to get jug back into place

The classic Tower Filter Coffee Maker gets a sleek modern makeover in this budget brewer from Tower, but keeps the simplicity of its forebears. If you just want a great cup of coffee for a reasonable price, this is the machine for you. 

What's it good at?

It’s anti-drip, keeping surfaces mess-free; has a permanent nylon filter for less waste and easy cleaning; plus there's a warming plate to keep your coffee at the ideal temperature for up to 50 minutes. 

Why we like it

The price. This model is the cheapest on our list of the best filter coffee machines. And you get a really high-quality coffee machine for your money. It has all the features you would expect, it makes plenty of coffee but is still pretty compact. 

What don't we like?

As you would expect for the price, it does feel a little flimsy but it does come with a three-year guarantee, which considering its price is pretty good. 

  • Buy the Tower T13001 10 Cup Filter Coffee Maker   

Best on-the-go filter coffee machine: Russell Hobbs Brew and Go Coffee Machine

8. Russell Hobbs Brew and Go Filter Coffee Machine

Best on-the-go filter coffee machine: for good coffee on the road, make this travel mug-meets-coffee machine your go-to

Specifications
Best for: On the go
Makes: 1 cup
Power: 650W
Features: Anti-drip tray, timer
Reasons to buy
+Makes good coffee in a travel cup+Set the timer for programmable brews
Reasons to avoid
-Only makes one cup, understandably

If you’re always on the go and like a brew to get your day started, but resent spending a fortune on sub-standard service station or train station coffee, this Russell Hobs coffee machine is for you.

What's it good at?

As well are being super handy and quick to use, it also has a programmable timer, so you can schedule your coffee to be ready at a set time each morning. If you’re sick of shelling out for substandard coffee, get this – you won’t regret it. 

Why we like it 

We love how this just makes the perfect amount of coffee for one. If you are leaving for work in the morning, when are you going to have time to drink litres of coffee? And the time to wait for it to brew? With the Brew & Go, you get fresh filter coffee into a portable stainless steel travel mug. 

What don't we like?

Obviously if you are wanting more than one cup of coffee per go, look to the other models on our list. This is best suited to grab and dash coffees on a weekday rather than as part of a long lazy Sunday morning routine. 

  • Buy the Russell Hobbs Brew & Go Filter Coffee Machine

best filter coffee machine: Beko CFD6151W

(Image credit: Amazon)

9. Beko CFD6151 Filter Coffee Machine

Best brew-for-a-crowd filter coffee machine: a removable water tank and a 12 cup capacity make life easy

Specifications
Best for: Big households
Makes: 12 cups
Power: 840-1000W
Features: Removable water tank, washable filter, digital timer, aroma button
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Auto shut off – just leave it to brew +Easy-fill water tank
Reasons to avoid
- White might not be your favourite colour 

Handy features plus simple controls make the Beko CFD6151 an appliance you’ll be delighted to brew up with.

What's it good at?

It makes drinks for a crowd (or one or two thirsty coffee drinkers). The water tank has a 1.8 ltr capacity, or 12 cups, if you prefer. Its other top feature? Rather than having to fill the coffee jug then the water reservoir to get brewing, with this machine there’s a removable water tank to put under the tap – a feature you see in pod and bean-to-cup machines but not so often in filter coffee makers. And very handy it is, too. 

Why we like it

This machine has other refinements: you can set the timer the night before so there’s no hanging about for your morning coffee. It also has an aroma button. Press and the machine will saturate the ground coffee gradually for maximum flavour and aroma. 

What else?

You’ll find the other features you’d expect with this nifty machine. You can wash the coffee filter, there’s a drip-stop that means you can briefly remove the jug to pour a coffee before the water’s finished running through the machine (because, you know, you just can’t hang on any longer for your brew), and the hotplate will keep the coffee warm for 30 minutes. 

What don't we like?

While the white finish is smart, we do hanker after a colour choice when we’re investing in small appliances. 

  • Buy the Beko CFD6151 Filter Coffee Machine

Best compact filter coffee machine: Morphy Richards Vector 163004 Filter Coffee Machine

10. Morphy Richards Vector 163004 Filter Coffee Machine

Best compact filter coffee machine: with a diameter of just 18cm, this coffee machine will slot in easy on your kitchen counter

Specifications
Best for: Compact
Makes: 12 cups
Power: 900W
Features: Non-drip, hot plate, glass carafe
Reasons to buy
+Eco mode+Compact
Reasons to avoid
-Some reported a plastic taste on first use

For those who want barista-style coffee but lack the worktop space for a giant machine, the Morphy Richards Vector 163004 is the best filter coffee machine for you.

What's it good at?

It has a 12-cup capacity thanks to its 1.8 litre jug, and for those who often click the snooze button (or just forget), the keep-warm function will keep your coffee warm for up to 30 minutes. 

Why we like it

It also has a handy timer so you can set it to have a brew (or two) waiting for you each morning, and there's an EcoMode which will save you energy while it's not being used.

What else? 

Style. We will go into the more... practical pros of this filter coffee machine in a sec, but first what we really love about the Morphy Richards Vector 163004 is the look. The stylish machine is available in cream or black, and it's compact as it sits in a rectangular unit so can easily be popped in the corner of your kitchen worktop.

What don't we like? 

Some users reported a plastic taste on the first couple of uses, but this is common when buying a new coffee machine. We recommend running water through a couple of times before you make your first batch of coffee. 

  • Buy the Morphy Richards Vector 163004 Filter Coffee Machine  

How to choose the best filter coffee machine

When looking for the best filter coffee machine for your household, there are a few things you'll need to consider when weighing up your option.

How many cups can it make?

The best thing about a filter coffee machine is that it can make around 10 to 12 cups – although not in the case of one wildcard pick in our best-of list, which only makes one, but for good reason – which makes it great for dinner parties or coffee mornings. In short, if you like a big jug to wake you up in the morning, and want coffee-shop quality brews at home without the faff, look no further.

Filter

The big thing to look for these days is whether a machine features its own permanent, washable, and thus reusable filter, or disposable paper filters. Reusable filters mean less waste, so they’re better for the environment, and they cost less in the long run, as you don’t have to keep buying disposable ones, but these machines tend to be a little more expensive to buy.

What is the best filter coffee machine?

Let's recap...for us, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend buying the Morphy Richards 162010 Pour Over Filter Coffee Maker, which gets our vote for the best filter coffee machine. It's very easy to use, and can make 12 cups of great, strong coffee, along with a programmable timer. Read on for more on this pick and the rest of the best of the best.