Is there anything worse than falling in love with a new coffee maker and then realizing it will cost more than all your kitchen appliances put together?
If you care about coffee, you might have assumed that finding a good coffee maker is going to cost a lot of money.
But that’s not strictly true.
In fact, we tested several of the most highly rated coffee makers under $100 and found that most, if not all, did an excellent job!
The DC-3400 by Cuisinart is our top recommendation if you are looking to spend under $100, but also want to get a programmable machine that makes good tasting coffee. Here is why we love it:
- Brew strength control functionality
- Fully automatic, 24-hour programability
- Auto-off & Brew pause features
- High quality stainless steel
Keep in mind that $100 for a regular drip coffee maker is a very decent amount to spend. So, you should have higher expectations. After all, you can find coffee machines for $20 in Walmart, but we would not recommend them.
Although many of the coffee makers under $100 are virtually identical (regardless of the brand) there are still key aspects to compare. We judged each coffee maker individually and ranked them best to worst.
Top Coffee Maker Under $100 Comparison
How To Select a Coffee Machine Under $100
$100 is enough to get you a coffee maker from a good coffee manufacturer… but it’s not going to be the top-of-the-range model.
When you’re searching for a coffee maker under $100, here’s what you should expect:
- Basic controls. Simple LCD screens and buttons rather than touchscreens and dials.
- Easy programming. Your programming choices are usually yes or no. Regular or bold. 1-4 cups or a full carafe. There’s rarely the opportunity to finetune these brewers for temperature, grind size, etc.
- Simple carafes. Glass and stainless steel are the norms. You’re unlikely to find borosilicate glass and double walled, vacuum-sealed stainless-steel carafes at this price range.
- Mesh filters. Most will require paper filters, even if there’s a gold-tone permanent filter included, especially if you’re using fine grinds.
- Plastic components. Most reservoirs will be made of plastic, as will many of the internal and external components, plus the lid and handle of the carafe. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll look tacky, however!
Although the exterior may vary from one model to another, at this price range all the coffee makers from reputable brands use effective showerhead technology to dispense water onto your coffee grinds.
For $100 you’re also going to come across unheard of brands, both online and in stores. In our experience, these are just not good quality. They’re the only or top model from a company that started a year ago and probably won’t see the year out.
Even though you’ll be getting one of the cheapest models from the well-known coffee brands at $100, you’ll have better guarantees for quality and reliability compared to obscure brands.
1. Cuisinart DCC-3400 Coffee Maker Review
- Fully automatic and programmable
- 12-cup (60oz) thermal stainless-steel carafe
- Regular/bold strength setting and warming plate
The Cuisinart may not have the most features, but it does have a level of quality in construction and performance that most coffee makers under $100 can only dream of.
In the box you’ll find: the sturdy programmable coffee maker with auto-shut off, programmable timer, brew pause, strength selector, warming plate and cleaning alert. It has a permanent gold-tone filter, but you can add or replace paper filters too. Ground coffee, no pods.
You can brew up to 60oz in one go into a stainless-steel carafe that sits nicely on a warming plate (temperature not adjustable).
Cleaning is simple; the stainless-steel carafe goes straight in the dishwasher and the unit will alert you if it needs descaling.
This coffee maker has all the basic features you need to program your coffee and keep it warm, with components made from materials that will last. The “expert coffee making technology” is nothing revolutionary, but it does its job well. It gives you a good cup of coffee without costing you an arm and a leg!
2. Hamilton Beach 49980A Coffee Brewer
- Provides both single serve and carafe serve
- Fully programmable with timers and auto shut-off
- Loose ground coffee or soft pods
With this coffee maker, you have 2 choices. Brew up to 14oz into a travel cup or mug of your choice or use the 60oz carafe to brew up to 12 cups.
The Hamilton Beach Two-Way model gives you many options.
It’s fully programmable, so you can set timers, program the auto-shutoff and pause mid-brew on the carafe side. It comes with a standard glass carafe to go on the warming plate, but the single serve side comes with neither. Instead, you can adjust the height of the single serve side to fit your own travel mug.
There are separate reservoirs and filters for the single serve and carafe. Single serve uses soft pods of coffee grounds in a permanent mesh filter. The carafe side uses grounds only and needs paper filters. A little inconvenient but not too much of a hardship.
Finally, there’s also the brew strength selector of either regular or bold.
You get a good range of features and great convenience on this coffee maker for under $100.
3. Ninja 12-Cup CE201 Review
- Permanent gold-tone filter
- Brew strength selector (classic or rich)
- Adjustable warming plate
With a list price that’s under $100 just by 1 cent, you should expect good things from this coffee maker. We believe it’s worth hitting the limit on your budget.
It has the convenience aspects you’re looking for: a removable 60oz reservoir, a programmable timer, brew pause, auto-shut off after 2 hours, and a permanent gold tone filter. The reservoir and glass carafe are both dishwasher safe.
Our biggest problem with this model is the glass carafe – it’s not borosilicate glass and so won’t hold in the heat like a thermal or stainless-steel carafe would. Without the warming plate (programmable to stay hot for 4 hours) this would be a complete disaster.
You need to use ground coffee for the permanent gold tone filter – measure with the Ninja scoop included in the box. 1 scoop (the same as a tablespoon) per cup.
The programmable features are easy to use, the coffee stays warm, and the 60oz capacity is plenty to last all morning. If you like Ninja coffee makers, this is a good basic coffee maker model to try.
4. Black & Decker 12 Cup Thermal Coffee Maker Review
- 12-cup (60oz) vacuum-sealed thermal carafe
- Strong brew strength selector
- Even stream showerhead
This Black & Decker model gives your standard coffee maker features an upgrade without getting anywhere near $100. This coffee maker features; brew strength selector (normal or strong), auto shut-off after 2-hours, 1-4 cup brew option, programmable start for the mornings up to 24-hours in advance and a freshness indicator on the unlit digital display.
The largely sized carafe is not just thermal, but vacuum-sealed. Sure, it doesn’t keep it as hot as a warming plate, but it’s still effective for several hours.
Furthermore, it’s dishwasher proof! Unfortunately, you can’t use a travel mug or alternative carafe with this coffee maker, so if this carafe does break, you’ll need to contact Black & Decker for a replacement.
You need basket shaped paper filters for this model unless you buy a permanent filter separately. There’s no water filter.
The reservoir (not removable) will heat water to 195° – 205°F, but by the time it reaches your carafe it’s already drinking temperature. As you can imagine, it’s not the fastest on the list but it does produce very good and instantly drinkable coffee.
5. Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew
- Gold-tone permanent coffee filter and water filter
- Delay brew and freshness timer
- High brew temperature at 205°F
The Optimal Brew model from Mr. Coffee is really making us wonder why it’s called the Optimal Brew. There’s really nothing adjustable about this model to make it optimal!
Regardless, it is a good coffee maker. It features; pause n’ serve, auto-shut off after 2-hours, delay brew, programmable timer, and a freshness timer to let you know when your coffee is going stale.
The built-in cleaning cycle removes calcium build-up, but there’s still some cleaning and maintenance that you need to do. It is under $100, after all.
The paper water filters need changing regularly (if you decide to use them) and the carafe is not dishwasher safe.
The main selling point that Mr. Coffee are trying to sell is the slightly higher than normal temperature and the speedy brew, which is a vague 20% faster than competitive units (whichever they are).
It does produce a good cup of coffee that stays hot for a few hours. We recommend this model if you need to filter your water, want fast coffee and don’t mind doing a little washing up.
6. Bunn BT Velocity Brew Coffee Maker
- Brews 10 cups (50oz) in 3 minutes
- Heated stainless-steel water reservoir
- “Unique” spray head design
The Bunn is one of the best coffee makers under $100 for keeping your coffee hot without a hot plate. The stainless-steel reservoir is heated to an optimal 200°F by an 800-watt heater (internal thermostat monitors the temperature) so when you want hot coffee, you get it.
It brews up to 10 cups (50oz which is, for us, 5 cups) in 3-minutes, delivered into a standard stainless-steel thermal carafe.
Of course, for under $100 there are some compromises for this quick-heating tech.
You can’t completely fill the reservoir (unremovable) and then brew 1 cup at a time. Instead, you’ve got to measure how much water you want before pouring it into the reservoir.
There’s no programmable timer or auto-shutoff. If you forget to turn it off, it will keep the reservoir hot all day long.
You can dispense hot water by removing the coffee grounds and paper Bunn filter. The basket can overflow if your coffee grinds are too fine.
A good coffee maker under $100 if you need hot water and coffee on demand.
7. Mr. Coffee BVMC-PSTX95 Thermal Coffee Maker
- Removable 10-cup reservoir
- Brew pause, 2-hour shut off and programmable start
- Water filtration disk removes chlorine and impurities
The Mr. Coffee 10-cup model includes the coffee brewing unit with a removable reservoir, water filter, programmable features, plus a 10-cup (48oz) thermal carafe.
For under $100, your key coffee brewing features from this standard brewer are the programmable auto-start for morning brews, brew pause so you can grab a cup mid-brew, auto shut-off after 2-hours, and a special cleaning cycle.
It takes coffee grounds (not pods) and has a removable filter basket. You can fit in paper filters too, if you want, and you’ll need to replace the paper water filter regularly if you’re going to use it every day. If your drinking water is fine, there’s no need to use the water filter at all.
The carafe is standard – double walled and thermal. It’s good at locking the heat in, but there’s no real standout feature or design that makes it stand out from other coffee makers under $100.
Brewing a full carafe takes under 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of your water. Once brewed, however, the carafe does a good job of keeping it hot for hours.
For under $100 you can get a reliable coffee maker that has all the basic functions you need to make and program coffee, then keep it warm for at least a few hours.
Even though the Cuisinart had many of the same features as the other programmable coffee makers on this list, the quality of materials used and overall appearance of the coffee maker set it apart.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.