The 7 Best French Press Coffee Makers: A 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Perhaps no other method of brewing coffee gets as much global attention as the French press. It’s versatile, easy to use, and has the ability to produce rich, delicious and complex brew every time. Because of this functionality, people throughout the world are looking to get their hands on the best French press coffee maker currently available.

Like everyone else in the world, we at Caffeine Fiend are quite enamored with this particular method of making coffee. So much so that we’ve written pretty extensively about everything there is to do with it.

Are you curious about how the French press compares to drip coffee, or an Aeropress? Well you can certainly read what we have to say on the matter.

Not sure how to use a French press at all? Well we can definitely help you out there with our guide to using a French press.

But for all of our studious analysis of everything French press-related, we realized there was a large gap in our content. While we’ve waxed lyrical about the wonders of the French press, we’ve never actually compiled a list of the best French press coffee makers.

That all changes today. While this may seem like a straightforward affair – after all, how much can the French press design vary? – there’s actually quite a lot to talk about.

There’s a lot more to the French press than a first glance reveals. And below, we’re going to get to the heart of it.

French Press Related Guides

But before we go any further it’s worth expanding on the related French press articles we mentioned above. If you would like to read more about this wonderful device and how it functions, then use the below table as a content guide.

French Press Compared French Press Guides
to AeroPressHow to Use a French Press
to Pour-OverBest Grinders for French Press
to Chemex
to Drip Coffee

The Best French Press Coffee Makers: Analysis

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French Press
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Pros & Cons
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Caffeine Fiend Award
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Price
Bodum Chambord
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+ Incredible all-rounded especially for the price.
+ Produced by perhaps the most trusted brand of French press makers in the world.

Difficult to clean.
Made of glass and so is quite fragile.  
Best French Press Coffee Maker Overall$27.95
Frieling Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker
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+ Absolutely beautiful to look at.
+ Double-walled steel construction keeps coffee warm (or cold) for long periods of time.
+ Easy to clean and dishwasher safe.

Quite expensive for the ordinary consumer.
Best Premium French Press Coffee Maker$99.99
Mueller French Press
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+ Excellent price.
+ Sturdy design and construction.
+ Also insulated and so keeps coffee warm for longer.

Not ideal for travelling.
Best Steel French Press Coffee Maker$22.97
KONA French Press
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+ Great functionality and design.
+ Way less fragile than other glass French presses due to its plastic frame.

Difficult to clean.
Most Durable Glass French Press Coffee Maker$29.99
Bodum Brazil French Press
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+ Produces great coffee for a decent price.
+ Sturdy functionality and built.

Not really that beautiful.
Made of glass and so is quite fragile.  
Best Budget French Press Coffee Maker$18.79
Le Creuset of America French Press
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+ Constructed of stoneware and is very sturdy.
+ Beautiful design that would enhance any kitchen counter.
+ Made by an extremely trusted and reliable brand.

Fairly expensive.
Best Stoneware French Press Coffee Maker$49.99
Bodum Travel French Press Coffee Maker
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+ Ideal for travelling or commuting.
+ Very clever design.
+ Decent price point.

More of a gimmick than an actual French press.
Best Travel-Friendly French Press Coffee Maker$21.99

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The Best French Press: A Buyer’s Guide


If you’re not sure what to look for or the whole concept of shopping for a French press is a little overwhelming, we’ve got you covered. Use this buyer’s guide as a means of navigating the oversaturated waters of ecommerce while searching for the best French press coffee maker out there.

Best brands

As with most products in life, some brands are just inherently better than others. The same is true for French press coffee makers. And since we care about quality, we want to help you identify the best.

Bodum

Bodum is perhaps one of the most iconic names when it comes not to just French press coffee makers, but coffee equipment as a whole. At the very least the one of the most historic. Founded in Denmark in 1944, Bodum has been supplying most of the world’s best French presses for almost eighty years.

If you’ve ever seen a French Press in someone’s home, the chances are higher than not that it’s a Bodum.

Le Creuset

There must be something in the Seine that makes French so adept when it comes to manufacturing the best in cookware. Le Creuset is no exception. Known for their ranges of premium cookware, Le Creuset also produces a mean French press.

If you see their name attached to any sort of coffee equipment, you can rest assured that it’s quality.

Coffee Gator

While the French are great at it, Coffee Gator proves that the USA also has a strong leg in the coffee game. Coffee Gator are unashamedly obsessed with coffee, and this quality is evident in all of their products, French press included.

If you’re ever unsure about which French press to buy, you can’t go wrong with Coffee Gator.

Red flags

Due to the relatively simple nature of a French press coffee maker’s build, spotting red flags is quite easy.

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The main thing to be concerned about is price and build quality. Already quite cheap to begin with, you should be overly concerned if the French press on offer is absurdly cheap. This is a good indication that inferior materials were used for the device’s construction, and, while it’ll save you a few bucks now, it’ll cost you in the future.

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If you’re testing a French press in person, always make sure that the plunger fits snugly in the carafe. It should sink with gentle pressure without friction on the sides of the glass. If it doesn’t plunge properly, find a new French press.

What to look for in a Good French Press

Glass Construction

French presses that use a glass carafe are definitely the most popular varieties currently on the market. Not only are they a beautiful object to look at, but they’re also cheap to produce. That being said they are very fragile, so if you’re looking to buy a glass French press just keep this in mind.

Stainless Steel Construction

If you’re worried about destroying your French press then opting for a stainless steel model might be a better choice for you. Make sure that you choose a double-walled design as it helps keep the contents better insulated. There are different types of stainless steel used for production – 8/8 and 18/10 ratios of chromium to nickel being the most common.

Capacity

Not all French presses are made equal; some are bigger than others. This is great news for consumers, however, since you can buy a French press that suits your needs.

Are you a bachelor who just wants to drink some coffee in the morning before work? Then a smaller design is going to be better for you.

But if you’re an entertainer who wants to make prodigious batches of coffee for six visitors, you’ll likely opt for the bigger version.


The Best French Press: Detailed Reviews


Bodum Chambord Review – The Best Overall French Press Coffee Maker

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As we discussed above, it’s hard to go wrong with anything that Bodum makes, and the Chambord is no different. As their flagship product and one that Bodum have become renowned for, this is the best French press overall, and a step above the rest.

The design is clean and classic. The carafe is constructed from heat-resistant borosilicate glass with a plastic handle and base, making it both easy to use and clean. Both parts are also dishwasher safe, meaning you don’t have to scrub it meticulously if you don’t want to.

The 12 oz version will cost you $27.95. For this price you’re getting high quality and peace of mind that comes from a trusted and experienced brand. If we had to point out any downsides, it would be that the mesh filter has to be cleaned by hand.

That being said, for the overall quality that the Chambord delivers, this is a minor annoyance at best.

Frieling Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker Review – The Best Premium French Press Coffee Maker

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If you’re looking for something a bit more robust then you can’t go wrong with the Frieling Double Wall Stainless Steel French Press Coffee Maker. At $99.95 this is pricier than other French presses on the list, but with the higher price comes a few added extras.

To start with, the Frieling is constructed of 18/10 stainless-steel with a double-walled construction. This makes it not only strong, but ideal for keeping coffee hot or cold for long periods of time.

It features a full-length handle, making pouring a breeze without ever having to worry about burning yourself. It also comes equipped with a two-stage mesh filter that strains out larger coffee particles and removes excess sediment. And when you’re done you can simply pop the whole device into the dishwasher without fear of it being damaged.

Functionality aside, this thing is just very pretty to look at, and would look great on any kitchen counter.

Mueller French Press Review – The Best Steel French Press Coffee Maker

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If you liked the Frieling but didn’t like the hefty price tag attached to it, then you might enjoy the Mueller French press a little bit more. Constructed from the stainless steel and featuring a double-walled design, the Mueller delivers the same functionality for just $22.97.

Like the Frieling, the Mueller is insulated and will keep your coffee hot for up to a full hour after it’s been brewed. Its mesh filter is constructed of four different layers making it extremely difficult for silt and sediment to end up in your final brew.

This is a heavy duty piece of equipment that not only looks good, but does everything that it says it will on the label. Did we mention that it’s dishwasher safe too? It’s hard to fault this one, but its bulkiness means it’s not ideal for travel.

That being said, if you’re just looking to brew coffee at the house then this is definitely the device for you.

KONA French Press Review – The Most Durable Glass French Press Coffee Maker

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One of the greatest criticisms about French presses made from glass is their propensity to break or shatter with the slightest bump or agitation. The answer to this? The KONA French press.

Like other French presses, the KONA’s main carafe is constructed from glass and it also has plastic components to it. However, the plastic frame is designed in such a way that it wraps around and supports the carafe, lending it a robustness that protects it from harm.

Some manufacturers may have had a hard time incorporating this design while still making it look attractive, but the KONA doesn’t have this problem. On top of a sleek and timeless aesthetic, the KONA is simple to use, dishwasher safe and costs just $27.95.

A steal when you consider that you won’t be having to buy another one any time soon.

Bodum Brazil French Press Review – The Best Budget French Press Coffee Maker

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The Brazil is another quality French press coffee maker from Bodum. It’s available in black and red options and is a pared-back, no-frills alternative to the Chambord.

This is reflected in the price. While the Chambord will set you back almost $30, you can pick up the Brazil $18.99. This means that you’re going to lose a little bit when it comes to quality and functionality, however.

On top of that, the Brazil isn’t the prettiest French press on the market. That being said it does perform admirably for the price. It’s easy to use, dishwasher safe, and the glass carafe is constructed from German heat-resistant borosilicate glass.

Don’t expert miracles from this one, but it still will deliver a decent and delicious cup of coffee at the end of the day.

Le Creuset of America French Press Review – The Best Stoneware French Press Coffee Maker

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As we mentioned in our above buyer’s guide, Le Creuset doesn’t half ass things. Instead, all they know is quality and high manufacturing standards, and nowhere is this more evident than in their French press. Costing $52.01, this French press isn’t the cheapest on the list, and for good reason.

Whereas every other contender sports a stainless steel or glass construction, Le Creuset’s French press is comprised entirely of stoneware. This material is adept at insulating the French press’ contents, keeping them hot for longer. The exterior enamel also blocks moisture absorption to prevent cracking and rippling.

Le Creuset’s French press is available in a variety of colors, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your home. No matter what color you chose, however, you can’t really go wrong. The aesthetic of this French press is beautifully quaint and traditional, and would be a welcome addition to all kitchens.

Bodum Travel French Press Coffee Maker Review – The Best Travel Friendly French Press Coffee Maker

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While all of the French presses listed in this article are wonderful, there’s one thing they’re just not good at doing: travelling. The Travel French Press Coffee Maker by Bodum fills that gap admirably, allowing coffee drinkers to make their favorite brew while on the go.

This little nifty device functions almost identically to other French presses coffee makers with one small but key difference. After brewing the coffee and pressing down the grinds, you drink the coffee directly instead of discarding the sediment first. It makes around 15 ounces of coffee and only needs ground coffee and hot water to work.

The Travel French press is constructed of stainless steel and fashioned so as to be double-walled and vacuum-sealed. It also has a silicon top and sleeve to prevent spillages and allow you to keep a grip even when the contents are piping hot.

For $21.99 this is a worthwhile investment. While you’re probably not going to use it everyday, it is a great little gadget to have when you’re in a rush but still want a good brew.


How the French Press works

We’ve spoken at length about how the French Press functions, but it’s worth repeating just to drive the point home.

At its most basic, it consists of a glass carafe, a plastic lid and a steel plunger and mesh filter used to separate spent coffee grounds from the final product.

How it works is very simple. Ground coffee is added to the carafe and then filled with hot water. The mixture is left to steep for around four minutes, after which the mesh filter is plunged to the bottom of the carafe, separating solids from liquids.

This method of fully immersing the coffee grounds and allowing them to steep is what sets the French press apart. Other methods such as pour-over and Chemex which rely on running water for extraction to occur. But the extraction method is what gives the coffee produced by the French press its intense full-bodied flavor.

This also gives the brewer full control of all brewing variables such as the coffee and water volume, water temperature and, most crucially, the steeping time. It’s a delicate balance to get right; allow the coffee to steep prematurely and you get end up with watery gruel. Allow it to steep too long and you risk over extraction and an extremely bitter final product.

Martin Stokes
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Martin Stokes

novelthings

Martin Stokes hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He enjoys writing about all manner of things and can quote lines from films like nobody’s business. He moved to Berlin in 2015 and is working tirelessly at broadening his repertoire of bad jokes.

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