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Best 4-Cup Coffee Makers 2020: Reviews & Top Picks

Espresso grounds in drip coffee maker

Every day, it seems like coffee makers are getting bigger and bigger. The truth is that most of us don’t need a giant coffeemaker, but the manufacturers know they can charge more for bigger models.

If you’re like most of us and have no need for a large, expensive coffee maker, then you should love our list of reviews of the best 4-cup coffee makers on the market today. We cover the good and the bad so that you can find a model with features you love and will be able to avoid any with flaws that you’ll hate.

We’ve also included a buyer’s guide, so you can have help thinking through the buying experience, even if you’ve never owned a coffee maker before.


Comparison Table (updated in 2020):

ImageProductDetails
Best Overall
Winner
Elite Maxi-Matic Elite Maxi-Matic
  • Dishwasher-safe carafe
  • Pause and serve
  • Washable filter
  • Second place
    Gevi 4-Cup Gevi 4-Cup
  • Inexpensive and compact
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Includes permanent filter
  • Best Value
    Third place
    Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Mr. Coffee 4-Cup
  • Pause and serve
  • Dual water window
  • Stain-resistant warming plate
  • Brentwood 4-Cup Brentwood 4-Cup
  • Fun colors
  • Affordable and BPA-free
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Cuisinart Small 4 Cup Cuisinart Small 4 Cup
  • Pause and serve
  • 30-minute automatic shutoff
  • Drip-free carafe
  • The Best 4-Cup Coffee Makers in 2020:

    1. Elite Maxi-Matic Small 4-Cup Coffee Maker – Best Overall

    Elite Cuisine EHC-2022 Maxi-Matic 4 Cup Coffee Maker

    The Elite Cuisine EHC-2022 Maxi-Matic 4 Cup Coffee Maker is the best overall choice for people looking for a small coffee maker for home use. This model comes with a dishwasher-safe carafe, which makes cleanup fast and easy. It also comes with a pause-and-serve feature, so you can fill your cup and then return the carafe to the hot plate without the machine dripping all over the place. Also included is a washable filter, so you won’t have to keep a steady stock of paper filters on hand.

    This model also includes a semi-transparent water reservoir. That makes it easy to fill this coffee maker to the appropriate level, even if you aren’t using the carafe. Filling it properly will prevent the machine from spilling water during the brew cycle. Our only gripe about this model is that it doesn’t have the quality needed to last forever. It’s inexpensive enough that replacing it every few years is reasonable, but it’s not a model you’re going to have around forever.

    Still, if you’re looking for a good cup of coffee, you will be happy with this model’s performance.

    All in all, we think this is the best 4 cup coffee maker on the market.

    Pros
    • Dishwasher-safe carafe
    • Pause and serve
    • Washable filter
    • Semi-transparent water reservoir
    Cons
    • Poor longevity

    2. Gevi 4-Cup Coffee Machine

    Gevi 4-cup coffee maker

    Our second favorite 4-cup coffee maker is the Gevi. This affordable model is undeniably easy to use and feels a bit more expensive that you’d expect.

    This coffee maker is BPA-free and comes with a high-quality glass carafe and a removable permanent filter. The spray nozzle has six holes for better water distribution, and the warming plate will keep your coffee warm for up to two hours.

    Best of all? Gevi offers a money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with your coffee maker, they’ll offer you a refund or replacement.

    One thing we didn’t like about this model was how light it is. It weighs just over two pounds, which is convenient if you’re taking it on the go, but it’s also less stable and may be less durable over time.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive and compact
    • Money-back guarantee
    • Includes permanent filter
    • Warming plate and good spray nozzle
    Cons
    • Too light to be stable or durable

    3. Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Coffee Maker – Best Value

    Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 4-Cup Coffee Maker

    Mr. Coffee is a brand that’s been around for decades, and the reason is that they make products that work. The Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 4-Cup Coffee Maker is another great model that’s part of this trend. It comes with pause and serve, so you can pull the carafe out to pour yourself a cup before the brew ends without spilling coffee everywhere. This model also comes with a dual water window, so you can see how much water you’ve poured without craning your neck. It also comes with an easy-to-clean stain-resistant warming plate.

    You can also get this model for just a fraction of the price that you’d have to pay for the top models on our list. That’s something that everyone can appreciate and makes this model the best overall value for the money. Our only gripe is that the coffee it makes is a tad on the cool side. However, if you don’t want a scalding cup of coffee and want to save a lot of money on your next purchase, you’ll love this machine.

    RELATED READ: Our complete review of the Mr. Coffee 12-Cup

    Pros
    • Pause and serve
    • Dual water window
    • Stain-resistant warming plate
    • Great price
    Cons
    • Slightly cool

    4. Brentwood 4-Cup Coffee Maker (TS-213BL)

     

    Brentwood 4-Cup Coffee Maker

    Want a 4-cup coffee maker that’s cute and makes a decent pot of coffee? You might like the Brentwood TS-213BL, an affordable model that comes in fun colors (though you can opt for a traditional black, as well).

    This coffee maker has everything you need: a tempered glass carafe, permanent filter, warming plate, and coffee scoop. It’s BPA-free and works with a simple on/off switch. Plus, it’s easy to clean.

    The downsides? This 2.5-pound model isn’t very sturdy, and it doesn’t offer a handy brew-pause feature. We also found that it produced less hot coffee, a major flaw if you like your coffee piping.

    Pros
    • Fun colors
    • Affordable and BPA-free
    • Easy to use and clean
    • Warming plate, coffee scoop, and permanent filter
    Cons
    • Less hot coffee
    • Lightweight and not very sturdy
    • No brew-pause

    5. Cuisinart Small 4 Cup Coffee Maker

    Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker

    The Cuisinart DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker could be another good option if you’re looking for a small coffeemaker. This model comes with convenient pause-and-serve functionality. This model also comes with a 30-minute automatic shutoff, so you’ll never have to worry about the heating function burning your coffee, though you will probably need to reheat it if you wait for your next cup.

    This model also comes with a drip-free carafe, though you have to use it thoughtfully to achieve that result. On the downside, this model is prone to filter basket jams, which makes it difficult to remove and clean, but can also lead the coffee maker to back up and spill water everywhere. What ultimately lowers this model to last place is its relatively short longevity. Most people get about three years out of it. If you’re looking for better value, you have some options at this price point. While most people are decently satisfied with this model, you can do better for the price.

    Pros
    • Pause and serve
    • 30-minute automatic shutoff
    • Drip-free carafe
    Cons
    • Filter basket jams
    • Won’t last forever

    4 Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Small Coffee Maker:

    We hope that our reviews have already led you to one of the best 4 cup coffee makers that fits your needs at a great price. If you’re looking to learn more about coffee makers before you buy, be sure to check out this buyer’s guide. We’ve packed it full of great information about coffee makers so that you can decide like a pro, even if you’ve never owned one of these great products before.

    We’ve also included some ways to get a great deal, so if you’re a value shopper, you’ll want to read through this guide.

    1. Size

    While all the models on our list are 4-cup coffee makers, they do vary in size and shape. When you’re shopping online, it’s not always easy to tell if you’re buying a model that will fit perfectly in your kitchen, so it’s a good idea to take measurements and consult the product’s listed dimensions before you buy.

    You’ll want to pay extra attention to the height, as some models have a narrow base but are so tall that you won’t be able to easily open them under standard cabinets.

    Another important thing to keep in mind is that a “4-cup” coffee maker really only makes two cups of coffee by most Americans’ standards. It’s not misleading advertising so much as it is that there’s no universally accepted standard for what a cup is. If you want a full four cups of coffee, you may need to upgrade to an eight-cup model.

    2. Carafe

    The carafe is another area in which coffee makers differ greatly. Some models in this size come with a thermal carafe. These are usually double-walled, vacuum-sealed carafes, which means they should, in theory, be able to keep coffee hot for hours. Thermal carafes aren’t compatible with hot plates, so you won’t find a base heating element on these models.

    More traditional carafes are single-walled and can be used with a hot plate. With both kinds of carafes, you should be looking at how easy they are to clean, and how much they drip when poured. Some models naturally resist dripping, and others do a good job in this area when used specifically according to their directions. In both cases, you should find them lightweight, since they don’t have to be large to accommodate this relatively small amount of coffee.

    3. Ease of use

    One factor that will affect your experience is how easy your coffee maker is to clean. Some models come with removable filter baskets, which can make cleaning quick and easy. Just throw away the paper filter, or wash off the reusable filter, and you’re good to go. Other models don’t have easily-removable parts, and that can make cleanup trickier, as you have to bring the water to the coffee maker to clean it.

    Some models also come with non-stick, easy-to-clean hot plates, which will save you a lot of time in the long run.

    Plus, it’s always nice to invest in a model that is easy to use when it comes to operation and programming. The nice thing about small coffee makers is that you can find models that just require you to turn them on, or a full suite of brewing options if that’s more your thing. Neither approach is right, but it does allow you to have the option of getting the model that best suits you.

    RELATED READS: Which 12-cup coffee maker performed best in our tests?

    4. Features & Benefits

    Many people try to get the best value for their money by buying the most or least expensive models they can find. While this sometimes works out, it’s more often a recipe for disaster, as the price alone may not indicate which model will work best for you.

    Instead, it’s a good idea to figure out what your needs are, and then to determine what features on a coffee maker address those needs. Then, make a list of all coffee makers which meet those requirements. After that, you can sort them by price, and then choose the cheapest model. Your favorite model will likely have all the features you need at the lowest price. That means there aren’t a lot of extra features you won’t end up using, and that you’re getting the best overall value for your money.

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    Final Verdict

    The Elite Cuisine EHC-2022 Maxi-Matic 4 Cup Coffee Maker is our favorite 4-cup coffee maker due to its dishwasher-safe carafe, pause-and-serve feature, and its semi-transparent water reservoir. The Gevi 4-Cup Coffee Maker is our runner-up, offering a permanent filter and a high-quality carafe. The Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 4-Cup Coffee Maker has dual water windows, the pause-and-serve features, and a stain-resistant warming plate, making it a model that anyone can like. Since you can get it for a low price, it provides the best overall value for the money on our list.

    We hope that our buyer’s guide and comprehensive reviews have helped you gain a deeper understanding of 4-cup coffee makers and have led you to the model that will suit you best. Happy brewing!

    SEE ALSO: The Best Small Coffee Makers on the Market


    Still looking? We’ve also written guides for 8-cup models and 2-way coffee makers.

    Kate MacDonnell

    Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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