If you’re making 12 cups of coffee, you’re not messing around, and you need a coffee maker that isn’t messing around easier. Whether you need a machine that can stand up to the daily demands of a busy office, or know that anything less won’t meet your needs at home, it’s important to get one that makes a mean cup of joe, and makes your life easier, too.
However, it’s not always easy to find good coffee makers online. There are a ton of brands competing for your money, and they don’t always tell you about the things they don’t do well.
To simplify your shopping experience, we’ve looked at eight of the best 12-cup coffee makers on the market. Our reviews cover the good and the bad, so you can find the right one for your situation, and avoid any flaws that would drive you nuts.
|Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker (CE201)|
|Cuisinart DCC-1200||7 lbs||4.55/5|
|Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker SK13-RB|
(Best for the Money)
|Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker (47900)||7 lbs||4.30/5|
|Cuisinart DCC-1100BK 12-Cup Coffee Maker||6 lbs||4.10/5|
The Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker (CE201) is the model coffee aficionados need. It has classic and rich brew settings, so you can get coffee that suits your palate. The large, removable water reservoir is easier to use and clean than built-in water reservoirs, and it doesn’t require you to fill it with the carafe. This machine is programmable, so you can prepare your coffee the night before, and wake up to the smell of something great.
The most unique feature is the agitator. This tool circulates the coffee while the entire pot brews, so that the bottom is just as hot as the top. If you’re planning to keep your carafe on the hot plate for hours, you’ll love that the agitator keeps the coffee from getting burned, or getting cold at the top of the carafe. If there’s such a thing as too-hot coffee, this machine makes it, so some people will want to let it cool before they start drinking. However, if you like your coffee warmer than most, you’ll be very satisfied with this model. Overall, this coffee maker is sure to make most people happy.
The Cuisinart DCC-1200 is great for people who need a lot of coffee made at once. This model comes with brew pause, so you can remove the carafe to pour yourself a cup of coffee before the machine finishes brewing all 12 cups. It’s programmable, so if you want to set it up the night before and wake up to hot coffee, this is a great choice. It’s also good for people who want the best-tasting coffee. It has a charcoal water filter, which does an excellent job of removing impurities that would negatively affect taste.
If you want easier cleanup, this model has you covered as well. The carafe is dishwasher-safe, so you won’t have to clean it out by hand. The only thing we don’t like is that the first cups are lukewarm at best, even if the remaining cups come out piping hot. If you’re just making a cup or two for yourself, you won’t be happy with how hot it gets. However, if you’re making coffee for large groups, this unit is the one for you.
The Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker SK13-RB has many features coffee lovers will love. The brew pause feature means you can pour yourself a cup of coffee before the machine finishes brewing. You can get a cup whenever you want, without worrying about making a giant mess. This machine is also very simple. Just flip the switch, and it brews the coffee. Until you flip the switch back, the hot plate stays on, keeping coffee warm all day. Plus, this model has a water window, so you can make the exact number of cups you need and not worry about overfilling the machine.
The best thing about this unit is that you can get it for about a quarter of what you’d spend on our top two models. If you’re looking for a coffee maker that’s easy to use and won’t cost you an arm and a leg, it’ll be hard not to fall in love with this one. What ultimately keeps it out of the top two is that it’s not programmable. Still, if you value simplicity and want a great deal, this is the one to get.
The Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker (47900) has a fresh take on high-capacity coffee brewing. In many systems, the carafe is a weak point that can make or break the experience. Hamilton Beach avoids this problem by removing the carafe altogether. Instead, the coffee is brewed and kept hot in a reservoir inside the machine. Hitting a button dispenses a cup’s worth of coffee. That makes this machine great for offices or home use, since the coffee will be kept safe from people prone to spilling. It also comes with a removable reservoir, which makes it easier to refill it and ensure that you put the right amount of water in.
This model is also programmable. You can prepare all the ingredients the night before, and have hot, flavorful coffee ready when you wake up. It doesn’t have the same durability you get with other models, and you can only expect it to last for a year or two. However, for the price, that’s not a terrible deal. If you like the idea of serving coffee cup by cup in large quantities, this is a good choice.
The Cuisinart DCC-1100BK 12-Cup Coffee Maker has some features that would make it attractive to some users. It’s programmable, which puts it on par in that category with most other coffee makers on our list. It includes Cuisinart’s great charcoal water filter, which does an excellent job of preserving the taste of your coffee. Plus, this model has brew pause, so you can brew for the whole office or house at once, but serve yourself a cup when you’re ready.
Unfortunately, this model falls short in some areas that make it less convenient than others. For one, the carafe has leakiness problems. While the quality of the coffee is usually more important, and this machine does fine in that area, the leaky carafe means you have to clean dribbles off the side of your mug or the counter. It also lacks a water-measurement system, so you’ll be guessing how much to pour in, which is a bit of a pain. Overall, this is a decent 12-cup coffee maker, but most people will want something better.
The BELLA (14755) 12 Cup Coffee Machine does many fundamental things right, but messes up some of the details in a way that will drive most users nuts. This model does come with regular and bold brews, so you can choose the overall strength of your coffee. Like most machines of this size, it’s programmable, so you can make sure you have hot coffee when you need it most. Somewhat uniquely, it includes a reusable and dishwasher-safe coffee filter, so you’ll save some money on filters, and have an easy cleanup.
However, this machine tends to make a mess. The brew pause function often fails entirely, and even when it works, it dribbles coffee down the side of the carafe on its way out. The carafe itself doesn’t have a great pour spout. That leads to it dribbling coffee down its own side, or splattering coffee around your mug. The coffee itself is brewed fine, but most people won’t want to clean up after their coffee machines, and that’s something this one will force you to do.
The Braun KF7170SI Coffee-Maker looks great, but its performance won’t always live up to people’s standards. This model is easy to program, and it has a 24-hour clock, so you can be sure you’re setting the brewing process for the right time. This is one of the best-looking coffee makers out there, and if our rankings were based on looks alone, you’d find it towards the top of our list. Like the previous model, it comes with a reusable and dishwasher-safe filter, which will save you some money and effort in the long run.
However, it doesn’t always brew the coffee piping hot. That means it’s not going to produce the strongest flavor. If you want the most flavor out of your coffee, you won’t be satisfied with this machine. It’ll also disappoint those who want more than lukewarm coffee. The carafe tends to be drippy, which means more time spent cleaning up. Ultimately, you can expect a frustrating experience, especially if you want the best coffee a brewer can make. This is a beautiful coffee maker, but it’s not one most people will enjoy using.
Thermal carafes are supposed to keep your coffee warm for hours, but the BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker (CM2035B) often struggles to hit that mark. On the plus side, it has a brew strength selector, so you can make coffee that best suits your individual palate. It also comes with an EvenStream showerhead, which is a fancy way of saying that it’s designed to soak the grounds evenly for maximum flavor.
Unfortunately, it’s very tricky to clean. There are lots of tight angles and spaces that mean coffee or grounds can remain trapped in the coffeemaker. The thermal carafe also fails to meet expectations, and many people report that their coffee is lukewarm in as little as 30 minutes, which isn’t very long at all. Worse, many users have reported that their machines break down in less than a year. While you can’t expect most coffee makers to last forever, you can get models that last for longer than that. This machine isn’t that expensive, but it doesn’t provide great value for the money. Due to its many shortcomings, it’s likely to leave most people frustrated.
The Ninja 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker (CE201) is the best overall model here due to its classic and rich settings, large, removable water reservoir, and even coffee temperature. The Cuisinart DCC-1200 has brew pause, is programmable, and has a great charcoal water filter, though it’s better for those making more coffee than just a cup or two. The Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker SK13-RB earns third place with its simple operation, brew pause feature, and water window. Its great price makes it the best overall value for the money on our list. The Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Maker (47900) comes with a removable reservoir, doesn’t require a carafe, and offers single-cup operation, though its underwhelming durability drops it to fourth place.
Fifth place belongs to the Cuisinart DCC-1100BK 12-Cup Coffee Maker, which is programmable, comes with a charcoal water filter, and has brew pause, though its leaky carafe hurts its value. The BELLA (14755) 12 Cup Coffee Machine has regular and bold brewing modes and is programmable, but its leaky brew pause and drippy carafe tend to make a mess. In seventh is the Braun KF7170SI Coffee-Maker, which has easy programming and a clean look, but suffers from the occasional lukewarm coffee and a drippy carafe. The BLACK+DECKER 12-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker (CM2035B) features a brew strength selector and an EvenStream showerhead, but it’s hard to clean and has poor durability, meaning it can only earn last place.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you better understand 12-cup coffee makers, and have helped you find the one for brewing coffee long into the future.
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