If you’re in a rush and just want to find out what the best 4 cup coffee maker is, then we highly recommend the Mr Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker as the top choice.
Whether you’re a family of coffee drinkers or just someone who wants a steady stream of caffeine, picking the best four cup coffee maker requires a little bit of careful research.
We’ve done all the hard work for you on that front, and in this article we’re going to review the following 4 cup coffee makers:
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(A quick note before we start. I’m looking at 4 and 5 cup makers in this article, as the size of a cup varies hugely. Giving yourself a bit of leeway before picking a compact coffee maker like this is probably a good idea!)
What to consider before buying?
There are a few things to think about before you settle on your choice of mini coffee maker, and many of these depend on your own preferences and circumstances.
Think about the following things when making your decision:
How easy is it to clean?
Not all coffee maker carafes are safe to put in a washing machine, and it’s important to check before doing so.
If you’re short of time to clean up, then you should look for a carafe that’s been specifically marked as dishwasher safe.
When I’ve cooked for people and want to finish up with a round of coffee, I’d much rather be able to throw it in the machine with the rest of the dishes and enjoy my own cup with my friends!
Something else to consider is the kind of filtering each machine comes with. Many are packaged with a washable, reusable filter, while others require standard filter papers.
Although you’ll need to pick up fresh filters from time to time, if the reusable filter goes then you may have to buy a new machine.
The size of the coffee maker
If you don’t use your coffeemaker regularly, then you’ll want one that’s either compact enough that it doesn’t hog too much kitchen space, or small enough that you can store it conveniently.
There are coffee machines on the market that you can fix to the wall and attach to the plumbing, which saves countertop space. You’ll need to connect it to your main water supply, however, and in a similar fashion to an ice-maker.
The good news is that four cup coffee makers tend to be pretty small by their nature. Just check if the model in question is going to work for your own kitchen arrangements.
Four cup coffee makers typically look either plastic-y or modern with a stainless steel carafe and overall finish. You’ll likely favor the latter if you have a very modern-looking kitchen.
Beyond appearances though, there are a few things to think about when picking the material of the carafe itself
- Glass – These carafes are typically very easy to clean and the material won’t interfere with the flavor of your coffee. They won’t retain a lot of heat by themselves for long though.
- Stainless Steel – A steel thermal carafe will keep your coffee warmer by itself for much longer.
- Plastic – Extremely durable and doesn’t cost as much, but it’s not got much to offer in the way of looks.
Some machines take a little longer to brew than others, which may be an issue if you’re looking to grab your caffeine fix and then bolt out the door.
The good news is that many midrange and higher machines include a timer. That means you can prepare your beans the night before and wake up to a freshly brewed cup of coffee the moment you get up.
If you’re really impatient, you might like to consider picking a four cup machine that lets you pause the brewing process so that you can grab a quick cup of what’s ready. Some do this automatically, while with others you’ll need to press a button.
Finally, some of these coffee makers have different settings for different brew strengths too. If you want to brew something a little richer for a special occasion, it’s an option that you might want to consider in your final choice.
If you’re the kind of person who knows exactly how they like their coffee though (and I have to admit this is me), then don’t worry too much about the extra cost that comes with this kind of extra functionality.
4 Cup Coffee Maker Reviews
As you’ve probably guessed from the name alone the Amazon Basics machine isn’t going to win any awards for looks.
More positively though, this is an extremely compact coffee maker given its capacity, and is actually capable of making 5 cups at a time (although the size of those cups is a little questionable).
It also comes with a removable filter basket for easy cleaning, as well as a reusable filter. That’s a great help when you’re all out of paper filters but need a quick caffeine fix.
Just keep in mind that this device is handwash only. If the convenience of loading up the dishwasher is important to you, keep in mind that you’ll need to do a little extra work here.
- Very simple to use
- Easy to see water levels
- Reusable filter – unusual for a budget model.
- Can be combined with a smart plug for Alexa control
- Extremely compact
- Limited features out of the box. It’s on or off with this one!
- Cannot be put through the dishwasher and should be handwashed only
- Only brews 1 tbsp of coffee well.
- Many owners report a limited lifespan
- Quite noisy for a small machine
- Can take up to ten minutes to complete a brew
Mr. Coffee is a very popular brand of coffee maker, and the Mr Coffee 4 Cup Coffee Maker is a very attractive mid-budget option.
It features a so-called Grab-A-Cup function which pauses brewing as soon as you remove the carafe from the unit. If you’re really desperate for a cup then this is a nice way of grabbing the first bit of the brew without worrying about making a mess.
A gold tone filter is also included with the machine, which retains the coffee bean oil over tim and makes for great flavor. It’s completely reusable, and you’ll never need to purchase paper filters for as long as the machine’s in use
- Many people have reported using this coffee machine daily for years, and with barely any dip in performance. That’s the kind of value I love!
- Produces a perfectly heated cup of coffee. Not too hot that it burns, but hot enough that the brew completes properly.
- The gold tone reusable filter produces great tasting coffee and means you won’t need to waste money on filters. Good for your wallet, and good for the environment as well.
- As a lightweight unit it has a tendency to slip around unless you use a second hand to hold the machine in place.
- Although billed as a four cup machine, some owners complain that a very small cup is required to make this description accurate!
- You’ll need to take care when cleaning as there are a couple of sharp plastic edges inside the carafe
- The power cord is quite short, so you’ll need to locate it near to a spare power source
If you’re look for a sleek coffee maker for a smaller kitchen, then the Cuisinart 4 cup coffee maker is an excellent choice.
It’s got an anti-drip spout built in which means you won’t be mopping up any spillages, and like some of the other coffee makers in this round-up it’s also got a “Brew Pause” function built in.
I find that really handy, as with young children I can barely plan five minutes in advance, but I like being able to grab a quick cup without waiting for the whole brew to finish up when plans inevitably change.Cuisinart’s 4-cup coffee maker also has a rather nifty showerhead water dispenser, which ensures that the water distributes nice and evenly across the coffee grounds. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to replace those paper filters, although that can be a worthwhile trade-off as you’ll have less sendiment in your drink.
This is a small, very convenient coffee machine that nevertheless does a great job of brewing coffee for a group. It even comes with it’s own handily stored coffee measure to help you prepare your coffee just right! It’s also got a 30 minute automatic shutoff system built in, so once the coffee’s fully brewed you don’t have to worry about it overheating
- Built to a very high specification and doesn’t feel – or look – cheap.
- Some owners have reported the Cuisinart providing great tasting coffee for years – a decade or more in some cases!
- Small footprint makes it ideal for smaller kitchens, or when you don’t want yet another appliance getting in the way.
- Water gauge is extremely easy to read
- Carafe lid can be a little hard to get off without a decent grip
- Can get a little bit noisy which may be a consideration for you
- Fiddly to clean due to the design of the lifting handle and
- 30 minute shut off means you’ll need to drink briskly or end up with cold coffee
- Not even a single paper filter included out of the box
At just under 11” tall, the Black and Decker 5 cup coffeemaker is ultra-compact, but far from the most stylish item I’m looking at in this round-up.
Looks can be deceiving though, and it packs in a fair few cups of coffee for its petite footprint.
As the makers themselves acknowledge, this is the kind of appliance that would be perfect for RVs or dorm rooms, where you’re not really so fussed about the look of the thing, but you are conscious of working with limited space. I could definitely see myself grabbing one for just that purpose.
There are other pluses to the CM0700BZ as well. Like other machines in this round-up you can grab a quick cup mid-brew, and it also has a permanent, washable filter. Who seriously remembers to pack the paper filters when compiling the endless list of things to take away on a camping trip?
- Perfect for very small spaces, such as RVs or dorm rooms
- Ideal if budget is one of your major concerns
- Coffee grabbed mid-brew can be rather tepid.
- There’s an on/off light indicator but there is no auto-off mechanism.
- For stronger coffee you’ll need to purchase paper filters rather than the reusable filter included
- Plastic lid can warp over time
Zojirushi’s machine actually makes up to 5 cups of coffee at a time, and as there’s no real standard for how much a cup should contain, I like having a little extra capacity to go around.
To keep things compact, the paper filter sits right within the carafe itself, and the water reservoir is also neatly worked into the appliance. If you have a very small kitchen then you’ll appreciate that kind of clever thinking. Unless I’m buying something at the high-end then I like appliances to be as discrete as possible, wherever possible.
- Slightly larger capacity means you’re likely to get the cups you need
- Clever design to keep the coffeemaker extremely compact
- Warming plate remains hot for some time, keep your coffee nicely warmed
- Separate water container means you don’t have to remove the carafe, fill it, then fill the machine
- Can drip and be a little leaky if not used with care. Just make sure you pour very slowly
- No automatic shut-off, so you’ll need to remember to turn it off once you’ve finished brewing.
- Creates a lot of steam, which may limit your placement options
If you want a compact coffee maker that will keep you caffeinated for many years, then our top pick is the Mr. Coffee 4 Cup Switch Coffee Maker. There’s a reason Mr. Coffee has become such a powerful market leader, and this 4 Cup model does exactly what you’d want it to do.
The feature that makes it such a top pick is that it heats coffee the best of all these options – neither scalding, nor tepid. Combine that with its gold filter which really enhances the brew flavour and you’ve a machine that will likely last you for years.
Click here to find out more about the machine.