11 Best French Press Coffee Makers of 2020 – Reviews & Buying Guide
Easier than manual pour-overs, more portable than automatic drippers, higher-quality coffee than capsule-based brewers: no wonder that the classic French press is still so popular.
Despite it being a simple and straightforward coffee maker, there are a few things that you could end up cursing yourself for overlooking. Let’s avoid this unpleasant scenario!
In this buyer’s guide, we’re going to show you exactly what to look for in order to find the right model based on your caffeinated needs before introducing you to the very best French press coffee makers currently on the market.
Pressed for time? Let’s not waste any!
Choosing the Best French Press Coffee Maker for You (Ultimate Buying Guide)
Do you already know how to make French press coffee?
If you really want to make the most of your coffee maker, grab yourself a burr grinder to obtain consistent coarse grounds and enjoy the freshest flavors. Still, the freshest coffee won’t be enough to save the day if you pick a French press that you don’t actually get along with!
Here’s what you should consider.
Material: stainless steel or glass?
While frames and handles can be made of different materials, the body of a French press will either be borosilicate glass or stainless steel. Stay away from cheap plastic models, unless you value affordability and portability above performance.
This decision goes beyond aesthetics. Glass French presses are certainly more charming, convey a classic feel, and allow you to see the coffee while you brew it, but they won’t keep it warm for long. Only consider them if you’re planning on drinking or decanting your coffee just after brewing it. Also, borosilicate might be stronger than common glass… but it’s still glass, and accidents do happen (especially if you didn’t get to drink your first coffee of the day yet)!
Stainless steel models have a sleek and more modern look, but, most importantly, they keep your coffee hot for hours and are incredibly resistant. Basically, a stainless steel French press can be an investment for life.
Size – 12 or 34 oz?
French presses are available in lots of sizes, with 12 and 34oz being the most popular. The former can either brew a large mug or two small cups, whereas the latter could be enough to satisfy two thirsty coffee drinkers or a few friends, colleagues, or family members.
Be realistic about your coffee habits before picking one, though! Buying a huge 59oz French press ‘just in case’ when you only brew for yourself 99% of the time won’t do you any good, as having small quantities of coffee in a large pot will negatively affect plunging.
The one-of-a-kind French press filter is the element to praise for some people’s love for this brewing method… and to blame for some others’ passionate hate!
“ French press brew is much richer and has a weighty feel in your mouth when comparing it to pour-over.” – Blue Penguin Coffee
This is because French press filters are designed to allow the coffee oils into your cup, but it also means that you could find some grounds in your mouth. Not a problem? Then your choice will be easier. Hate the sound of it? Look for dual filters that can trap even the smallest sediments!
While finding a French press that matches the décor of your kitchen is proper #goals, there are some practical elements that you should take into account when choosing its design. Has it got an ergonomic handle that prevents you from burning yourself? Is that beautiful frame strong enough to protect its glass body?
Durability is important if you brew at home or are part of the clumsy squad, but it’s vital if you’re planning on brewing on holiday or during hikes. In that case, pick a stainless steel model that can fit in your backpack. To enjoy the freshest coffee when brewing on the go, don’t forget to buy a portable hand coffee grinder.
PRO TIP: When using your new French press, don’t burn your precious grounds with boiling water! Aim for 195-205°F instead.
Best French Press Coffee Makers – Top Rated Picks
From the smallest to the largest, glass or steel, fancy or budget-friendly, we’ve made sure to include something for everyone.
Spotted a few that you could see yourself brewing with? Let’s see(e)p into their reviews!
2. Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker – Our Top Pick
If what draws you to French presses is their classic retro design, look no further.
- Dimensions: 5.3 x 7.7 x 11.8 inches
- Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Made of stainless steel
- Makes up to 8 cups of coffee (4 oz each)
The Danish company Bodum then bought the rights to this iconic design, which would be a stylish addition to any kitchen counter.
Rigorously made in Europe, its borosilicate glass body will keep your coffee hot for longer than the average glass French press, and its stainless steel frame helps shield it from accidental hits.
The Chambord doesn’t disappoint when it comes to performance, either! Bodum’s patented safety lid prevents its content from spilling, while its three-part stainless steel plunger extracts the best flavors and—if using the right coarse grounds—ensures a smooth cup.
“The most popular design of the French Press was patented by the Swiss man Faliero Bondanini in 1958, and it was known in France as a Chambord” – Perfect Daily Grind
- Available in 4 sizes (12, 17, 34 and 51oz)
- An iconic design in 6 different finishes (chrome, matte chrome, copper, cork, black, white)
- Glass, plunger, and filter are dishwasher-safe
- The handle isn’t the most comfortable
- The glass can still break if not handled carefully
With its timeless original design and focus on performance, the Bodum Chambord is set to become the scene-stealer in your kitchen while providing you with the richest-tasting coffee.
2. Bodum Brazil 8 Cup French Press – Popular Pick & Budget-friendly
The budget-friendly brother of the Chambord.
- Dimensions: 2.5 x 1.7 x 3.4 inches
- Weight: 15.5 ounces
- Made of BPA free plastic
- Stainless steel filter and plunger
When it comes to coffee, you shouldn’t compromise on taste. However, if you’re happy to sacrifice the retro design and stainless steel frame of Bodum’s most popular model in favor of a lower price tag, grab yourself one of these bad boys.
The Bodum Brazil features a simple yet eye-catching design with a smart minimalist feel.
With the same borosilicate glass body and three-part filter guaranteeing the quality and performance of the other model, the only significant change is the plastic frame. However, do keep in mind that a less protected body can result in breakages: handle it with extra care.
- Best budget-friendly model
- Available in 3 sizes (12, 34 and 51oz)
- Same filter as other more expensive models
- The glass body is fully exposed and could easily break if hit
The Bodum Brazil is a much higher-quality budget option than cheap French presses with a plastic body. It’s cheap, long-lasting, and has the capacity to serve you a carafe full of great-tasting coffee for years to come.
3. Frieling USA Double Wall French Press – Upgrade Pick (Best Stainless Steel)
Stylish, modern, and… clumsy-proof.
- Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 8 inches
- Weight: 1.8 pounds
- 17 ounces capacity
- Double-wall, made of 18/10 stainless steel
Its award-winning design (3) caught our attention for two main reasons. First, it’s undoubtedly stylish, with a minimalist feel and the choice between a brushed or polished finish. Secondly, it translates into a superior cup of coffee!
The fact that its 18/10 stainless steel body is double-walled means that it retains heat 4 times longer than glass while remaining cool to the touch (no more early-morning burns!). It’s also astonishingly resistant and durable: if you were to drop it on the floor, we would be more worried about your tiles or toes than the French press itself! It even comes with a 5-year warranty.
The Frieling USA is also a lifesaver if you just can’t stand sediments: it’s dual-screen and the metal wire that presses the plunger against the inner wall will not let any end up in your cup.
- Available in 5 sizes (8, 17, 23, 36 and 44oz)
- Award-winning design, durable stainless steel body, and effective filter
- On the expensive side
The Frieling USA is more than a French press: it’s a wise investment for the coffee lover who’s planning on enjoying premium sediment-free joe for many years without having to worry about their faithful French press breaking.
4. KONA French Press Coffee Maker – Quirkiest Design
With its wavy design, the Kona is guaranteed to become the main topic of conversation next time you have guests round.
- Dimensions: 4.2 x 5.2 x 9.3 inches
- Weight: 14.1 ounces
- 8 cup serving size
- Easy to clean and very compact
Its signature design features a unique insulated plastic frame that protects the thick borosilicate glass body. Not only would it make a fantastic gift, but it’s also the most portable French press with a glass carafe. If you want some extra peace of mind, though, go for the stainless steel shell.
What we like the most about this frame is that it turns into a practical handle, making pouring incredibly easy and comfortable.
- Available in 2 sizes (12 and 34oz), black, red or stainless steel
- The tight-fitting screen stops all sediments
- Despite the protective shell, the glass can still break
This French press is a great compromise for the coffee lover on a budget who has a soft spot for quirky designs (and hates sediments!).
- Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.9 x 5.3 inches
- Weight: 1.92 pounds
- Capacity: 31 ounces
- Double-wall stainless steel construction
Interested in a stainless steel coffee maker but a bit bored of the typical cylindrical shape? The Bodum Columbia is bound to strike you with its rounded design.
As for coffee quality, it has all of Bodum’s signature elements: a double-walled construction, an ergonomic handle, and a three-part filter. However, as we explained in our Bodum Columbia review, make sure you use a coarse grind, as finer ones can still make it through.
- Available in 3 sizes (17, 34 and 51oz)
- Premium stainless steel construction
- Dishwasher-safe and durable
- It doesn’t keep the coffee hot for as long as other stainless steel French presses
A creative take on the usual stainless steel design, the Bodum Columbia is a durable and practical French press to showcase on your countertop.
6. SterlingPro French Press Coffee Maker – Largest Model
Tired of having to brew two batches to quench the thirst of everyone in your household or office? Say no more.
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 4.4 inches
- Weight: 2.25 pounds
- One of the best sellers of all time
- Premium, 100% stainless steel built
With its smallest size being 35oz, the SterlingPro is also available in 50 and a whopping 59oz model! You obviously won’t be able to look through its durable 304 stainless steel body, but the clear cup and ounce marks will allow you to find the perfect ratio.
This innovative company was also the first to use the double-screen system in their French press filters, so you can rest assured that you won’t find any sediments in your cup if you brew with coarse grounds. You can even use it to make other drinks such as cashew milk and lemonade or to froth up milk to make lattes and cappuccinos.
- Available in 3 large sizes (35, 50 and 59oz)
- Durable stainless steel body
- Very fine multipurpose filter
- It doesn’t come in any standard (or lower) sizes
If you’ve fallen in love with the sleek cylindrical design of the Frieling USA but realized that it’s not big enough to satisfy the coffee needs of your entire household, the SterlingPro is your go-to alternative.
7. Coffee Gator French Press Coffee Maker – Most Portable
Looking for a stylish French press to show off on your travels?
- Dimensions: 5.8 x 5.6 x 11.9 inches
- Weight: 2.3 pounds
- Capacity: 34 floz
- Made of 304-grade stainless steel
How did the hipster burn his tongue? He sipped coffee before it was cool… or drank it from the Coffee Gator French press a couple of hours after it was brewed!
All jokes aside, the military-grade vacuum-layered body of this French press won’t disappoint you: it’s 33% thicker and 20% heavier than most models. This doesn’t mean that Coffee Gator sacrificed aesthetics in favor of functionality, though! On the contrary, it’s one of the most stylish and colorful stainless steel French presses you’ll find.
Its portability, durability, and the included airtight canister to store your grounds or beans make it perfect for frequent travelers.
- Stylish and colorful design
- Dual filter
- Military-grade stainless steel body
- Only available in the standard 34oz size
The best model for the wanderlust-filled coffee lover who cherishes aesthetics as well as performance.
8. Espro P3 French Press – Most Practical
Easy to use, tasty to drink.
- Dimensions: 6.2 x 4.9 x 10.4 inches
- Weight: 1.75 pounds
- Thick and durable glass
- 32 oz serving capacity
Founded by two engineers, it’s not a surprise that this innovative company focuses on functionality and hassle-free experiences:
“We unpack every part and every solution that’s already out there, then we reimagine each function independently.” – Espro (4)
By replacing their usual stainless steel with a plastic frame, Espro created a more affordable model that maintains the usual signature elements of their higher-end French presses. From the ergonomic handle to the coffee paddle to the safety lock, the Espro P3 is practical and easy to use.
Although it already comes with an effective double filter, you can experiment with their micro-filter or try their paper filters to combine the benefits of French press and pour-over coffee.
PRO TIP: After letting the coffee steep, remove the lid and stir it with your paddle once more before plunging in order to achieve the best flavors.
- Practical thanks to elements like the safety lock
- Coffee paddle included
- The borosilicate glass body is 40% thicker than average
- Only available in the standard 32oz size
- The glass can still break
The best model for the wanderlust-filled coffee lover who cherishes aesthetics as well as performance.
9. Mueller French Press – Best Budget-friendly Stainless Steel Model
Thanks to Mueller, you’re no longer condemned to stick to glass or plastic if you’re after a budget buy.
- Dimensions: 12.2 x 6.1 x 5.1 inches
- Weight: 2.2 pounds
- The 3-layered stainless steel filter structure
- Rust free and dishwasher safe
Made of professional-grade stainless steel, the body of this French press is double-layered, 33% thicker, and 20% heavier than most models to ensure the best insulation and durability.
The three-part filter is impeccable at trapping sediments when using coarse grounds, and, just like the Coffee Gator French press, it comes with a handy canister to carry your coffee with you when brewing away from home.
- The great affordable stainless steel model
- Durable and portable
- Includes a canister
- Only available in the standard 34oz size
- Slightly misleading: it gives the impression that it’s manufactured in Austria, but it’s actually made in China
With this portable model, Mueller has made stainless steel French presses more affordable.
10. Secura French Press Coffee Maker – Most Colorful
It’s hard to resist the bright appeal of the Secura.
- Dimensions: 6.7 x 6.1 x 9.8 inches
- Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Made of 18/10 stainless steel
- Stainless steel filter screen included
Currently available in 9 finishes, this vibrant French press is ideal to try and match the accent color in your kitchen.
Its 18/10 stainless steel body is heat-insulated to keep its content hot for longer, and the cool-touch handle and knob ensure comfortable and practical pouring.
Its three-part layered filter even comes with a spare screen. Nice one, Secura!
- Available in 3 sizes (17, 34 and 50oz)
- Lots of colorful designs
- Effective three-part screen and durable body
- The filter is a bit flimsy
The Secura is a dreamy French press for those who prefer the durability of stainless steel but won’t settle for anything less than a bold statement.
“The efficiency of a traditional French Press with the convenience of an insulated travel mug.”
- Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 9.1 inches
- Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Stainless steel double wall design
- Best for travel
Missing your flavored, favorite cup of coffee every time you travel?
Well, not anymore.
The Bodum Travel French Press will ensure your coffee-troubles are solved. It is light in weight and has an insulated mug that will keep your coffee warm for long – hours even.
It’s pretty easy to use as well. So you can fix your coffee quickly – perhaps on your way to work, or at a picnic by the lake.
Fortunately, the coffee it brews will taste as good as coffee can get. But if you want absolutely no coffee grounds in your coffee, then this French Press is not for you. It doesn’t have dual filters – making finer grounds find their way into your coffee.
The biggest drawback, however, is that it can’t be placed horizontally because there’s a tendency to leak. Surprisingly, the lid seals tight and doesn’t allow heat to seep through.
Yet, there are records of leaking even after the lid is sealed tight. So, to be on the safe side, make sure you don’t just stuff it into your backpack without placing it vertically.
- Affordable and lightweight
- Brews delicious coffee and keep it hot forever
- Great build quality and good looking
- Sometimes coffee grounds seep into the coffee
- Leaks if placed horizontally
If you’re person often on the go, then you’ll love the convenience of the Bodum Travel French Press. It won’t crack or break easily either and will give you the assurance of long life – not to mention at an incredibly cheap price.
French Press: Frequently Asked Questions
Just in case you still had a few questions about French presses, we’ve answered the most common ones.
Who makes the best French press coffee maker?
The Danish company Bodum makes the best French press coffee maker by blending classic designs and modern innovation. However, the best French press model for you is the one that ticks all the boxes when it comes to your specific coffee needs, so make sure you go through our buyer’s guide before making your final choice.
Is a glass or stainless steel better for the French press?
Stainless steel is a better material for French presses because it keeps the coffee hot for longer and is much more resistant. Traditional glass models are popular because they’re more aesthetically-pleasing (plus, who doesn’t enjoy watching their coffee steep?); however, if that’s what you’d rather go for, you should handle your glass French press very carefully and drink the coffee just after brewing it.
How long does a French press last?
A French press can last years or even just… a couple of usages! Stainless steel models are more durable and can withstand the drops and accidental hits that would be enough to break a glass French press. Choosing a glass model with a good frame can help reduce this risk.
Which is better: French press or pour over?
French press or pour-over isn’t one better than the other: it all depends on what type of coffee and brewing method you enjoy. French presses are more suited for coffee lovers who prefer rich, robust tastes and simple extraction. Manual pour-overs are better for those who’d rather drink smooth cups and get more involved with the brewing process
How often should you clean a French press?
You should clean your French press after each user if you want to ensure the best flavors, as coffee oils that stay on its components go rancid real quick and, over time, will spoil the taste of your brew. Alternatively, you can give it a good rinse every time and a deeper clean once a week.
How long should French press coffee steep?
French press coffee should steep for four minutes. You can tweak this variable if you feel that your coffee is over-extracted (steep for less) or under-extracted (a little longer).
How do you brew coffee with it?
All you have to do is to put coffee in the beaker, add hot water, stir and then press the plunger so that the grounds stay on the bottom. You should press the plunger after the grounds have been steeped for 4 minutes. This period is relative. Some people steep it for more than that, so it’s all about the taste you want to get from the extraction.
What type of grinder should I get?
It’s highly recommended you get a burr grinder. Fine coffee grounds will turn your coffee muddy because the plunger won’t be able to hold all of them on the bottom. They will subsequently spread all over the liquid.
Coarser grounds are much more indicated. Many people blame the French Press for giving off the murky liquid, but it’s not its fault. It’s the grounds. Coarse grounds will stay on the bottom you will get clear coffee, so you won’t need to keep on spitting out grounds.
How much does a French Press cost?
It depends on the size. There are presses under $20 and press over $50. The material, too, can influence the price. One thing is certain: it will always be cheaper than other coffee machines.
If you want a fresh cup of coffee in less than 5 minutes, then the French press is the way to go. It doesn’t require any getting used to, it’s extremely affordable, and it will probably last you forever if you take proper care of it.
Do you like French Press coffee? Let us know in the comment section.