If you’re one of the people that have both a single-serve coffee maker and a large capacity model with a carafe on your counter, you know the pain of having to spend a lot of your precious cabinet space on just one task. Dual coffee makers give you the option to save some space, but still, get the single serving and large capacity coffee brews you need.
Unfortunately, it’s not always clear which model you should get when shopping online. Dual coffee makers are available at a variety of price points, and it can be hard to tell which models live up to their price tag, and which you’re better off skipping.
We want you to know exactly what you’re getting before you buy. Our reviews cover the upsides and downsides to every model so that you can find the one which best fits your needs and your budget. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide, so you can learn more about these great machines before you buy.
Comparison Table (updated in 2021):
|Best Overall||Hamilton Beach||CHECK PRICE|
|Best Premium Choice||Cuisinart||CHECK PRICE|
|SharkNinja 2-Way||CHECK PRICE|
|Cuisinart Two Way||CHECK PRICE|
The 6 Best Dual Coffee Makers:
1. Hamilton Beach 49980A Dual Coffee Maker – Best Overall
The Hamilton Beach 49980A is the best overall choice for people who want a coffee maker that can make single servings of coffee and brew a whole pot. On the single-serve side, this model can use loose coffee or soft pods, so you have flexibility in choosing your brew. It also comes with a multi-level cup rest, so you can fill a tall travel mug or a short coffee mug without worrying about splattering coffee. This model is also programmable, so you can wake up to the smell of great-tasting coffee every day.
One of the better features on the carafe side is its automatic pause and serve. If you remove the carafe to pour yourself a cup of coffee before it finishes brewing, it will pause, so that coffee doesn’t drip out onto the heater until the carafe is returned. Unfortunately, the single-serve side brews a weaker, colder cup of coffee than the carafe side. If that problem were fixed, we’d have no complaints about this model. Still, if you’re looking for a coffee maker that can make coffee for one or for many with equal ease, you’ll be happy with this one.
All in all, we think this is the best dual coffee maker in 2020.
2. Cuisinart SS-15 Dual Coffee Maker – Best Premium Choice
The Cuisinart SS-15 Coffee Maker and Single-Serve is another great dual coffee maker. This model comes with brew-strength control, so people who like coffee and people who love coffee can coexist when using this machine. The single-serve side is also K-Cup compatible, so you’ll be able to use the long list of compatible brews with it. It also comes with a reusable filter so you can use your favorite loose coffee grounds as well. This model comes with a high-quality filter for the main part of the machine as well, so you won’t have to invest in lots of paper filters over the years.
Additionally, the large carafe that comes with this model is one of the better ones on the market. It doesn’t drip or spill nearly as much as other carafes do, reducing a lot of the time that you would spend cleaning up with other models. Unfortunately, the single-serve side splashes when you’re using a short mug. This is a problem that our top model solved, which is why this otherwise great coffee maker falls to second place. Still, if you want to be able to use K-cups, then this is the model for you.
3. SharkNinja CF085Z 2-Way Dual Coffee Maker
The SharkNinja CF085Z is a premium model that does have a lot of upsides but may not be worth it for most people for the price. This model does include a hot and cold travel tumbler, so you won’t have to provide one of your own for just making coffee. It also comes with a very large double-wall carafe, which isn’t the greatest one on the market, but it does keep your coffee warm for around two hours after it’s brewed. This model also comes with the option to choose between rich and classic brews, so that people who really love coffee can maximize the strength of their brew.
However, this model retails for nearly five times as much as the top model on our list. With a price tag like that, you’d expect this model to have far more features and much higher quality in some areas. It’s not clear that this model works better or makes better coffee than some less-expensive models. It also has a lingering software problem that leads to the “clean” light coming on and staying on. Overall, it’s not a bad machine, but it won’t be worth it for most people for the price.
4. DELONGHI BCO330T Dual Coffee Maker
The DELONGHI BCO330T is a model that can make just about any kind of coffee that you’re looking for. While it doesn’t have the high-end capacity that other models on our list possess, it does win some points since you can make regular coffee or espresso products with just this one machine. It also comes with a milk frother, so you can expand your range to make cappuccinos and lattes as well. Plus, this model comes with an LED freshness indicator, so you’ll know how long ago the coffee was brewed.
However, this model has some significant shortcomings. The carafe is prone to dripping and spilling, which results in you spending a lot more time cleaning up, a frustrating situation to find yourself in. It’s also a very bulky machine and not one that’s going to be suitable for smaller kitchens. It’s roughly two feet long, which makes it wider than a lot of machines that can produce far more coffee at once. For the price, this isn’t the best two-way coffee maker you can get, and given how frustrating it can be at times, most people are going to be happier in the long run with a different machine.
5. Cuisinart CHW-12 Plus Two Way Coffee Maker
This modestly priced Cuisinart coffee maker has some pretty useful features. For instance, it has a hot water dispenser for near-instant hot water any time you want it. This would be an awesome feature if the water didn’t taste like plastic. Worse still, the “add water” light for the hot water reservoir started blinking despite being full, a problem that has been known to occur with this coffee maker. It is covered under a three-year warranty, but you’ll have to pay for shipping and processing, about $20 total.
A carafe temperature knob lets you choose what level the hot plate is set at so you can get your joe exactly how you like it. Most importantly, it makes great coffee. That said, filling the coffee side water tank requires excellent pouring precision and almost always ends up with a spill to clean. Although the feature set is appealing, the drawbacks mean that you’d be better off with a more reliable model.
6. Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Two-Way Coffee Maker
The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew lives up to its name, allowing you to brew a whole pot of coffee in the carafe, or use the single-serve side for K cups or grounds. If you like some variety in how you make your coffee, this coffee maker provides. You can also choose from a bold brew or regular strength.
On the single-serve side, we experienced quite a few coffee grounds getting into our final brew. This happened with loose grounds and K cups as well. Also, the needle was constantly getting clogged and needed repeated cleaning. It does include a five-year warranty, but the manufacturer reserves the right to determine if the fault was theirs or not, so they may not choose to replace yours should something go wrong. You’ll also be responsible for the shipping costs.
We hope that our reviews have already helped you find the best dual coffee maker for your needs. If you’re still not sure which model to get, make sure you check out our buyer’s guide. We cover everything you need to know about these models so that you don’t have to decide without having the full set of facts. We’ve also included some tips on getting great value for your money, so if you’re looking to find the best dual coffee maker deal, make sure you check out this guide.
Ease of use
One of the most important things to consider when buying a dual coffee maker is how easy it is to use. Some models make you jump through a lot of hoops to make a single cup of coffee, which ends up wasting a lot of time. One of the stranger things about some dual coffee makers is that some come with different water reservoirs for the single-serve and carafe sides. That means you have to pay closer attention to how much water you add, though the plus side is that you won’t ever have to refill the other side because you used its opposite.
Models that come with reusable filters can also have you a lot of money in the long run. They do have to be cleaned by hand, typically, but you won’t be going through any paper filters in the meantime.
The nice thing about dual coffee makers is that there are enough varieties on the market that you’ll be able to find one which covers your diverse coffee-drinking needs. Some models focus on making just coffee in single-serve or carafe sizes, while others add the option to make stronger or normal cups of coffee.
Still, others add in the option of using pre-made pods on the single-serve side. This includes some models which can use the popular K-cup line, and the less-popular but still present soft pod models. If you already use either of those, it’s not a bad idea to pick up a model that comes with the ability to use them.
Some models even come with espresso-making features. If you’re a big espresso drinker or like cappuccinos or lattes, then there’s no reason to not consider a model with these capabilities.
The important thing here is to make sure that you’re getting a machine that fits your needs because otherwise, you’ll be unhappy with it regardless of the price.
Many people invest in a dual coffee maker to cut down on the counter space taken up by two separate machines running similar functions. Something to keep in mind is that dual coffee machines can grow to be very large, even larger than the pair of machines that you’re trying to replace, or they can have a small footprint, but be tall, or they can truly be compact.
It can be hard to tell from images online what the relative size of the dual coffee maker is. If you’re looking to reduce the amount of your counter space which is taken up, make sure you check out the dimensions of the machine before you buy.
It’s always a pain to have to return a model you like using, but that ultimately takes up too much counter space.
Which dual coffee maker is right for you?
There are a lot of ways to go about getting great value for your money, but there are some that lead to many people regretting their purchase. One of the worst ways to try and make this decision is to start by looking at the most- and least-expensive models. The problem on the low end is that quality control becomes an issue. On the high end, you may be spending money on features you’ll never use, in the hopes of getting a model with no quality control issues, which isn’t always the case.
It’s a better idea to start by focusing on the features that you’ll get good use from and prioritize getting a model with those. If you find yourself with multiple options, you can limit your list by eliminating any that don’t live up to your requirements and then ranking them by price. Then, choose the cheapest model. It has all the features you need for a satisfying experience, but since you get it at the cheapest overall price, you’re getting the best value for your money.
Other types of coffee makers we’ve reviewed:
The Hamilton Beach 49980A is our favorite model due to its use of loose coffee or soft pods, its multilevel cup rest, and its automatic pause and serve-function. The Cuisinart SS-15 Coffee Maker and Single-Serve takes second place due to its great brew-strength control, compatibility with K-cups, and inclusion of a reusable filter, through its splashing issues keep it out of the top position. The SharkNinja CF085Z is an expensive model that comes with a hot and cold tumbler and a decent carafe, as well as the option to do classic or rich brews, but its software issues and lack of superior features relative to its price drop it to third place. In the last place is the DELONGHI BCO330T which makes espresso and coffee and comes with a milk frother, but it can rise no higher than fourth because of its massive size and drip-prone carafe.
Hopefully, our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you better understand these machines, and have helped you find the best dual coffee maker for your needs. Happy brewing!
Table of Contents
- Comparison Table (updated in 2021):
- The 6 Best Dual Coffee Makers:
- Buyer’s Guide
- Final Verdict