Best French Press Coffee Makers of 2017 –  Reviews & Buying Guide

French Press CoffeeWhy do you need a French press coffee maker when you have your trusty kitchen utensils and strainer? Convenience. That’s why. If you have hot water and coffee grinds, you can use a French press anywhere. Can you say that about your kettle, strainer, and pot? Of course not.

The French press is not only convenient but also compact. If you live in a place where you’re severely limited by space, using a French press is a smart way to brew coffee. Just imagine all the space those big counter-top electric coffee machines would horde.

Also, French press coffee makers are very affordable. Unlike in the case with expensive semi-automatic or super-automatic espresso makers, you don’t have to save for months to get a French press. In fact, they are so cheap that you can buy one on a whim.

But, on a whim or not, we know you want to get your money’s worth. That’s why we created this article. Here we have all the information you will need to identify, buy, and enjoy the best French press coffee maker for your requirements. So, let’s begin.

Our Top 5 French Press Picks

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONS
ITEM WEIGHT
USER RATINGPRICE
SterlingPro French Coffee Press 8cupg
SterlingPro French Coffee Press 8cupg
8 x 5 x 4.3 inches
14.4 ounces
4.4/5
$$$$
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SterlingPro Double Wall Stainless Steel
SterlingPro Double Wall Stainless Steel
9.1 x 6 x 4.4 inches
2.4 pounds
4.7/5
$$$$$
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Secura Stainless Steel SFP-34DS
Secura Stainless Steel SFP-34DS
9.8 x 6.7 x 6.1 inches
2.4 pounds
4.8/5
$$
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KONA French Press 34oz
KONA French Press 34oz
10 x 5.9 x 5.5 inches
14.1 ounces
4.6/5
$$$
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Bodum Brazil 8-cup
Bodum Brazil 8-cup
4.2 x 5.2 x 9.3 inches
1.1 pounds
4.4/5
$
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To make it easy for you to soak all the information here, we’ve divided the guide into two parts. In the first part, we will introduce you to the leading products in this category through our reviews of French press coffee makers. And in the section that follows, we will discuss in detail all the factors you should consider when buying a French press coffee maker. By applying what you learn from these two sections, you will find the best product for your needs quickly and easily.

#1 SterlingPro French Coffee Press 8cupg – Our Top Pick

SterlingPro French Coffee Press 8cupgThe SterlingPro Chrome French coffee press is an Amazon bestseller. It has more than 4000 favorable reviews. Also, priced at around $25, this French press is as affordable as it is popular. But, despite its massive customer approval ratings, this product has some weaknesses. So, let’s dive into the pluses and minuses of the SterlingPro

The biggest plus point of this product is its double-screen filter system. A double-screen is more effective in keeping grinds out of your coffee than a single-screen is. The 34-ounce carafe offers adequate capacity for brewing one to eight cups. And, the carafe is made of borosilicate glass, which offers better heat resistance than normal glass.

However, the glass carafe walls are thinner compared to the walls of carafes that come with more expensive models. Although the borosilicate wall tolerates heat stress well, it can chip or crack under mechanical stress. So, you should be careful when handling the carafe. You should also be careful when pouring coffee because the plastic lid loosely fits the mouth of the carafe.

In addition to this, customers have complained about corrosion issues in the filter assembly. Yes, this model needs a few durability upgrades. But, such upgrades will increase the cost of the unit. So, all things considered, what you get right now is good for the money. However, if you’re looking for a French press that would last for years, this is not the product for you.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Double-screen system
  • Thermal resistance

Cons

  • Corrosion issues
  • Loose lid
  • Moderately durable


#2 SterlingPro Double Wall Stainless Steel – If You’re Into Stainless Steel

SterlingPro Double Wall Stainless SteelThe SterlingPro double wall stainless steel French coffee press is a great alternative to the glass SterlingPro. Although the steel model is not as popular or economical as our top pick, it still merits your consideration. Nearly 93 percent of its 2800+ reviews are favorable. So, let’s examine the nitty-gritty of this product.

Like the glass model, the stainless steel model from SterlingPro comes with a double-screen system. However, this model has a double-wall construction that provides better thermal insulation than the glass walls do. This means the coffee inside stays warm longer and the outside remains cool. The design and build quality of this model are also superior to those of the glass variant.

However, the lid of the coffee press is loose. If you’re not careful while pouring, the coffee may spill, especially when the carafe is full. This brings us to another point. Since the carafe isn’t transparent, you can never tell how much coffee is left in the carafe or how much water to pour. But, if you make the same quantity every day, you will get a feel for it.

So, the double wall stainless steel body solves the problem of durability. However, it introduces another problem – no water level indicator. If this feature was built into the press, we would have rated it higher. After all, you are paying 40 percent more for the stainless steel model than for the glass model.

Pros

  • Durable body
  • Double-screen filter
  • Thermal insulation

Cons

  • Costly
  • No water level indicator
  • Loose lid


#3 Secura Stainless Steel SFP-34DS – Another Stainless Steel Option

Secura Stainless Steel SFP-34DSIf you love the sleek and shine of stainless steel French presses, the Secura Stainless Steel SFP-34DS is another great product worth considering. When it is on discount, it’s very affordable. And, it is on discount most of the time. The product has outstanding customer ratings too. Around 96 percent of its 2000+ reviews on Amazon are favorable.

The SFP-34DS is made of 18/10 stainless steel. So, if offers high resistance to corrosion than normal steel utensils do. The 34-ounce carafe is well built and the lid fits snugly at the mouth of the carafe. The press has a three-layered stainless steel filter structure that prevents coffee grinds from seeping into the brew.

However, unlike the SterlingPro model, which has a double-walled stainless steel body, the SFP-34DS has only a single-walled stainless steel body. Thus, this model provides less thermal insulation. And, as with other stainless steel French presses, you should deal with the inconvenience of not knowing the water level.

With the product’s price, popularity, and customer satisfaction considered, the SFP-34DS is a winner. It’s the ideal product for people who require an economical stainless steel press. But, make sure you drink your coffee immediately after you brew it.

Pros

  • Economical
  • Durable
  • Three-layered filter system

Cons

  • No double wall
  • Less thermal insulation
  • No water level indicator


#4 KONA French Press 34oz

KONA French Press 34ozThe Kona French press is a reasonably priced coffee brewer with +10,000 reviews of Amazon. And, nearly all the reviews are favorable. It seemed too good to be true. So, we did a little digging. But, more on that later. First, let’s objectively evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of this product.

The Kona French press has a borosilicate glass carafe with a plastic outer shell. The outer shell offers some mechanical protection to the glass, and it also boosts the unit’s aesthetic appeal. But, we think Kona added the outer shell to compensate for the shatter-prone glass carafe. Overall, the quality of the parts leans towards the cheaper side.

Also, the Kona uses a single-screen filter system. This is not as effective as keeping grinds out of the coffee. For the same price, the SterlingPro offers a double-screen filter. But, unlike cheaper machines, the filter system in this French press is made of rust-resistant steel. That’s a plus point.

Since we did not find any evidence to support the overwhelming number of positive reviews, we did a quick analysis on Fakespot. And, as we suspected, the reviews are inflated. In the light of all the evidence, the Kona French press coffee maker is better than cheaper brands. But, it’s not the best.

Pros

  • Rust-resistant steel plunger
  • Stylish looks
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Inflated reviews
  • Delicate carafe
  • Cheap feel


#5 Bodum Brazil 8-cup – A Budget Option

Bodum Brazil 8-cupBodum hosts a long list of French presses in its product profile. And, among those products, the Bodum Brazil is one of the most popular and cost effective models. It comes in four different color schemes, and it is well constructed for the price. But, let’s see whether you should make any compromises in the name of affordability.

This model has a 34-ounce carafe made of heat-resistant borosilicate glass. So, Bodum didn’t shortchange the product in terms of capacity. The filter system uses a single screen, which means you can expect some grinds in your coffee. But, for the price, we can let this slide because French presses more expensive than the Bodum Brazil come with single-screen filters.

Also, the borosilicate glass is good at resisting heat. However, it is not so effective in containing it. So, you should drink your coffee immediately after brewing it. A double-walled carafe would give better thermal retention. But, it also increases the cost. Thus, at this price, the heat retention is okay.

Another problem is that the plunger doesn’t go all the way down. This poses a problem while cleaning. The watery sludge left behind will gradually choke your drain if you pour it into the sink. So, you should strain the used coffee grinds and empty it into a bin before washing the French press.

Pros

  • Very economical
  • Great reviews
  • 34-ounce capacity

Cons

  • Thermal retention issues
  • Difficult to maintain
  • Single-screen


Factors to Consider When Buying a French Press Coffee Maker

The French press is not expensive. You can get a good one for under $30. But, you will also find a lot of bad ones in this price range. The purpose of this guide is to explain how good French presses differ from bad ones. To do that, we will discuss:

  • Benefits and limitations of a French press
  • Factors to consider when buying a French press
  • Notable brands in this sector

At the end of reading this section, you will be able to pick the product of your choice from our list. Or, you will be able to do your own research to scout, spot, compare, and buy a French press that’s perfect for you. So, let’s start.

Should I get a French press?

The answer depends on what kind of coffee drinker you are. If you want to brew a big pot of coffee with minimal effort, get a drip brewer. If you love specialty drinks, buy a semi-automatic or a super-automatic espresso maker. But, if the following benefits appeal to you, consider buying a French press:

  • Manual Extraction: A French press does not work on electricity. You can use it anywhere.
  • Portable: French presses are compact and lightweight. You can take it with you on your travels or store it when not in use.
  • Cheap: A French press pays for itself within a month’s use.
  • Easy to Use: If you can boil water, you can brew coffee on a French press. It’s that easy.
  • Capacity: A typical French press makes up to 30 ounces of coffee. This is enough for making four customary US cups.
  • Low Maintenance: You can take apart all the parts of a French press with ease. This makes it easy to keep the unit in working order.

At the same time, a French press has the following limitations:

  • Consistency: All the steps in the brewing process are manual. Without attention to detail, your coffee will taste different from brew to brew.
  • Time: Some drip coffee makers brew a 60-ounce pot of coffee within four to five minutes. You can never match that speed with a French press.
  • Hot Water: Since the French press does not have any heating elements, you need access to hot water.
  • Heat Retention: The French presses carafe is not designed to keep coffee hot. You should drink coffee immediately after brewing it.
  • Preheat: The ideal temperature for flavor extraction is between 195° F and 205° F. Unless you preheat the carafe, you cannot maintain the temperature within this range.

In summary, using a French press is a better and cleaner way to brew coffee manually. But, if you want the machine to do some of the work for you, buy an electric coffee maker.

Okay, I understand the pros and cons of using a French press. But, what are the factors that I should consider when buying one?

Since the French press is a low-tech coffee brewer, there aren’t many factors to consider. But, here are some factors that make a French press more desirable:

  • Double-Screen Filter: A screen keeps the grinds from slipping into your coffee. A double-screen filter uses two filters to do this. Thus, it is more effective in keeping grinds out of the coffee. But, it also means you have an extra filter to clean after each use.
  • Plunger System: Some French presses have a plastic plunger system, and others have a metallic one. Plastic plungers are corrosion resistant. But, they are weak and don’t last long. Steel plunger systems are more durable than plastic plunger systems. But, steel is prone to corrosion if it’s of inferior grade.
  • Carafe Type: A French press carafe is made of borosilicate glass or steel. Borosilicate glass is a special type of glass that’s resistant to heat. However, they are prone to chipping and cracking if handled carelessly. Steel carafes are more durable than glass carafes are. But, with steel carafes, you can never tell how much coffee remains in the carafe.
  • Double-Walled Carafe: A double-walled carafe retains heat much better than single-walled carafes do. If you are not in the habit of drinking coffee immediately after brewing it, invest in a French press with a double-walled carafe.
  • Construction: Apart from the quality of the carafe and plunger system, you should look at the quality of the handle, spout, and lid. In cheaper models, these parts are made of low-grade plastic and are likely points of failure.
  • Design: In some French presses, the lid doesn’t fit tightly on the mouth of the carafe. This presents two problems. First, it’s bad for heat retention. Second, it makes it hard to pour coffee without spilling, especially when the pot is full.
  • Maintenance: You should wash all the parts of a French press after every use. If you don’t do this, the filter gets clogged and stops working.
  • Dishwasher-Safe: To make cleaning easier, buy a unit in which all the parts are dishwasher safe. Even so, it is good to clean the unit once a week manually.
  • Replacement Parts: If any part of the plunger system fails, its replacement part shouldbe easily available. Otherwise, you will have to dispose the entire unit and buy a new one.
  • Cost: If you’re open to spending more than $50, then spend it on an electric brewer.

In addition to these aspects, you can also add aesthetics and post-purchase support to the list of considerations. Also, be careful about the ratings you see on sites like Amazon. Some products inflate their popularity. But, if you read the reviews keeping the factors in mind, false impressions will not deceive you.

Great, I’m buying a French press. So, what are my options?

Since you now know so much about the qualities of a good French press coffee maker, look at the section on our top 5 French press coffee makers. You will most likely find a product that’s suitable for your needs on our list. But, if you want more options, you can look at products from Bodum, SterlingPro, and Kona.


Conclusion

You can get a good French press for less than $30. This is not a large sum of money. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the most out of every dollar you spend. So, based on our reviews of French press coffee makers, the best way to spend your money is to go for the glass or steel French press from SterlingPro. But, if you’re looking for something under $20, the Bodum Brazil is a good pick.

However, if you’re starting your own research after reading this article, don’t let the sea of options confuse you. There are excellent products in each price range. And, you now have the knowledge and understanding to identify a good deal. So, move forward confidently… Your French press awaits you.