A variety of factors should be considered when deciding which type of coffee maker to buy.
Types of Coffee Makers
For brewing a standard cup of coffee, there are various types of coffee makers, the most popular being automatic drip machines and pod coffee makers.
Drip machines have a tank of water that is heated and runs through ground coffee. Typically, drip coffee makers can start at $15-$25 for a basic, no-frills machine and go up to about $200 for a machine with all the bells and whistles.
Pod coffee makers use prepackaged pods to brew a cup and are considered extremely convenient. Pod coffee makers typically brew single cups, while drip machines brew a whole pot. Pod coffee makers typically cost $100-$300.
Espresso machines are designed to brew coffee uniquely using steam or pump pressure to push coffee through compressed ground coffee. Espresso machines typically cost from $50-$2,000. Basic steam espresso makers start at about $50, midrange models cost $150-$300, and many high-end models cost $1,000+.
In addition, percolators are still available, but have been waning in popularity for decades. Also, there are French press coffee machines, which work by combining coffee and water and then using a plunger to force the grounds to the bottom of the coffee maker.
There are separate machines for brewing coffee and for brewing espresso -- consider which suits the needs. While there are machines that function as combo units and can brew both, most coffee makers are single-purpose.
Be sure to measure counter space and the area below the cupboards. Many coffee makers have side-mounted controls to make sure they can be accessed with limited counter and under-cupboard space.
Coffee maker warranties range from as short as 90 days to as long as three years. And some models, such as the Smart Cafe My Invento have no warranty at all. Make sure to look at the fine print.