We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back.
Did you know Americans spend an average of $1,100 per year on coffee? Now, think about all the times your iced coffee order has been a gritty, watered-down disappointment. You may not be able to change your past, but once you’ve finished pouring one out for all the cold brews gone too soon, you can change your future by investing in a quality cold brew coffee maker. But what coffee machines make the best cold brew? If you're wondering how to get started, we've got all the intel.
Our top picks
- Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker: OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Maker
- Best Budget Cold Brew Coffee Maker: Toddy Cold Brew System
- Most Versatile Cold Brew Coffee Maker: Chef'n 3-in-1 Craft Coffee Brewing Set
- Best Small Cold Brew Coffee Maker: OXO Compact Cold Brew Coffee Maker
- Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker for Large Batches: Brim Smart Valve Coffee Maker
- Easiest-to-Use Cold Brew Coffee Maker: County Line Kitchen Cold Brew Coffee Maker with Flip Cap
- Fastest Cold Brew Coffee Maker: Dash Cold Brew Coffee Maker
How we picked these products
To find the best at-home cold brew coffee makers, we consulted our friends at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Their team of on-staff experts—which includes all types: engineers! data analysts! registered dietitians!—rigorously put everyday products to the test (and then more and more tests) in their New York City-based labs to determine which ones you can trust. For these cold brew coffee makers, they tested performance, design, yield, taste of cold brew, leftover sediment, ease of use and assembly, and even filtration options. Based on their findings, we identified the makers that will have you asking “Where have you bean all my life?!”
What's the difference between iced coffee and cold brew?
Whether you have difficulty stomaching the acidity of regular coffee or you want to kick your watery java to the curb, you might find that cold brew is the solution to your caffeine woes. So what does a cold brew coffee maker do, exactly? As the name might suggest, cold brew is made from coffee grounds that are steeped in cold water instead of hot water over an extended period of time (usually about 12-24 hours). We get it—why wait up to a whole day for coffee when you can just press a button and get some in minutes? Patience, young grasshoppers.
Though it might seem contradictory, this slower, gentler method results in a deeply-flavored, stronger, and bolder coffee concentrate, which you can pour over ice or mix with hot water. Plus, cold brew is less acidic, which is ideal for those with gastrointestinal issues like IBS or people on low-FODMAP diets, and some studies show it can even boost your immunity. Don’t get us wrong, we love our coffee in all forms, but if you’re looking for a richer, sweeter, and smoother cup that can last for weeks in your fridge, you might be interested in giving cold brew a try.
What should I look for in a cold brew coffee maker?
Glad you asked! Whether you're new to the cold brew scene or a seasoned pro, here are some factors you should always consider when shopping for a cold brew coffee maker:
Filtration: You know what’s worse than a weak cup of coffee? A gritty cup of coffee. There are three general types of filtration systems that can be utilized by cold brew coffee makers: Mesh, metal, and paper. While it might seem counterintuitive, paper filters are the best at keeping extra sediment out while yielding a robust concentrate. Mesh filters tend to weaken your coffee, while stainless steel options tend to let some grounds slip through the cracks.
Size: Making cold brew is a lot like life: It’s all about balance. Many makers can produce more than just a single cup of joe at a time, but knowing what size you’ll need involves taking a look at your lifestyle. As we mentioned before, some cold brew batches can last up to two weeks, so if you like to have a lot of coffee at your disposal or you do a lot of entertaining, a maker with a greater yield might be a better option for you. That being said, if it’s just you or you live in a smaller household, it’s fine to want a maker that will produce enough java to last you a few days or even a week, but not so much that it goes to waste.
Automatic vs. Manual: Yes, we know we’ve been going on and on about patience being an integral part of the cold brew making process, and now here we are to tell you there is such a thing as a faster way to get cold brew—besides, you know, ordering one at Starbucks. Automatic models do yield a faster cold brew, but unless you’re really short on time, we don’t recommend them. Compared to manual models, they’re harder to clean (because they have more parts) and are less consistent, but they’re an option if convenience and speed are more important to you than a smooth, robust flavor.
Kaitlin Mahar is a California-based freelance writer covering the shopping and lifestyle beats. When she's not sharing her passion for the Oxford comma with anyone who will listen, she is a proud cat parent, avid yogi, tea enthusiast, and co-host and co-producer of the podcast "Crime Culture".
7-Eleven's Bring Your Own Cup Day Is Back Apr. 29
You Can Buy Jell-O Shot Jenga on Amazon
9 Native American Foods To Buy Online
King Charles Chose Quiche For Coronation Dish