The 7 Best French Presses for Quick and Easy Coffee at Home

We like the Bodum Chambord French Press because it’s a reliable, easy-to-use model that’s available in multiple sizes.

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Espro French Press P7 Coffee Maker tout
Photo: amazon.com

French press coffee makers are a quick, low-tech way to make a delicious cup of coffee at home. This type of coffee maker is extremely easy to use and super popular among people who don't want a bulky machine taking up space on their counter. French presses are also great for people who don't drink a ton of coffee and only need to make the occasional cup.

We researched dozens of French press coffee makers to find the best picks, ultimately narrowing down the list based on materials, instructions, size, and more. We also received expert input from Heather Calatrello, founder and head coffee roaster at ShedLight Coffee, on how a French press works and the best way to take care of one. Sam Barkley, co-founder and CEO of Home Brew Coffee Consulting, also weighed in on how to shop for a French press that fits your needs.

Our best overall pick is the Bodum Chambord French Press, which is top-rack dishwasher-safe and comes in multiple sizes and finishes. It's a reasonably priced, simple French press that's perfect for everyday use.

Here are the best French press coffee makers.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall French Press: Bodum Chambord French Press

Bodum Chambord French Press
amazon.com

Also available at Williams Sonoma, Target, and Wayfair.

Who it's for: People seeking a solid, easy-to-use French press for their daily coffee.

Who it isn't for: People looking to avoid plastic entirely—the strainer attached to the lid is made from a plastic material.

The Bodum Chambord French Press is our overall top pick because we think it's the best option for most people. Whether you're making a single cup of coffee for yourself or a big batch for weekend brunch, there's a version of this reliable coffee maker that will fit your needs. The French press comes in four different sizes with capacities ranging from 12 to 51 ounces, and it's available in a variety of finishes, including chrome, copper, and black. (The various options are listed on separate Amazon pages, though.) It consists of a glass beaker with a stainless steel frame and mesh filter, and the parts are dishwasher-safe on the top rack for easy cleaning.

One thing to note: If you're the type of person who would rather not have your coffee come into contact with plastic components, you may prefer another option from our list. This French press coffee maker has a strainer made with BPA-free plastic attached to the lid (where you pour the coffee out of the French press and into your coffee mug).

Product Details:

  • Material: Glass, stainless steel, and plastic
  • Capacity: 12, 17, 34, and 51 ounces
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes, top rack only

Best Budget French Press: Bayka French Press Coffee Maker

Bayka French Press Coffee Maker bronze
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want the most affordable option, especially anyone trying out French press coffee makers for the first time.

Who it isn't for: People looking to invest in a French press that will last forever.

If you're looking for a French press that's even more affordable than our best overall pick, then we recommend this one from Bayka. Its low price and small size make it ideal for college students and anyone experimenting with making coffee in a French press for the first time. Even though it's an inexpensive pick, it still has many of the same aspects of the competition, like a heat-resistant glass beaker, stainless steel frame, and a handle for ease of use. We appreciate that the glass beaker has measurement markings, so you don't need to pre-measure your water before pouring it in. This is especially helpful when you don't plan to make an entire pot of coffee at once.

Like the Bodum model above, Bayka's French press also has a plastic top. It's available in two sizes, either 21 or 34 ounces, which should be sufficient for most coffee drinkers.

Product Details:

  • Material: Glass, stainless steel, and plastic
  • Capacity: 21 and 34 ounces
  • Dishwasher Safe: Not listed

Best Splurge French Press: Frieling French Press

Frieling French Press Double-Walled
amazon.com

Also available at Food52 and Williams Sonoma.

Who it's for: People who want an aesthetically pleasing French press that also keeps coffee warm.

Who it isn't for: People who would rather have a French press with a clear glass beaker.

If you're willing to splurge on a coffee maker, we suggest opting for this Frieling French press that's modern, chic, and highly functional. The 36-ounce option is nearly three times the price of the comparable size of our best overall pick, but the double-walled, stainless steel beaker retains heat, meaning it will keep your coffee warm much longer than a glass model. This feature is especially great if you typically drink coffee slowly throughout the morning, or if you want to serve a pot with a meal or to guests. Since all the components are made from stainless steel (with brushed and mirror finishes available), this French press is entirely dishwasher-safe.

When using a stainless steel model like this one, there's one extra step you might want to take before making your coffee. Consider preheating the French press before brewing to prevent the cold stainless steel materials from lowering the temperature of your coffee. You can do this by adding plain hot water and waiting a few minutes until the inside of the pitcher is warm, then discarding it and making your coffee like usual.

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 17, 23, 36, and 44 ounces
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

RELATED: The 11 Best Coffee Makers for Every Household's Needs

Best Ceramic French Press: Le Creuset French Press

Le Creuset Ceramic French Press green
amazon.com

Also available at Nordstrom, Williams Sonoma, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Who it's for: People who want a coffee maker made of elegant stoneware.

Who it isn't for: People who don't care about popular brand names.

Le Creuset might be best known for its dutch ovens, but this ceramic French press coffee maker is also worth checking out. Made of the brand's signature stoneware, the French press is available in plenty of pretty glazes that will add a pop of color to your coffee bar. The stain- and chip-resistant enamel is nonstick and great at retaining heat. The coffee maker also features a stainless steel plunger and mesh filter. It's only available in a 34-ounce size, but that is exactly what the coffee experts we spoke to suggest for most people.

You might be worried about the durability of stoneware, but this pick is dishwasher-safe and comes with an impressive 10-year manufacturer's warranty. And since Le Creuset is such a coveted brand, we think this French press would make a great housewarming gift for any coffee lover.

Product Details:

  • Material: Stoneware, stainless steel
  • Capacity: 34 ounces
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Stainless Steel French Press: Mueller French Press

Mueller Stainless Steel French Press
amazon.com

Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want a stainless steel French press that can make a few cups of coffee at a time.

Who it isn't for: People who would be bothered by visible fingerprints and smudges.

Mueller's French press is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a stainless steel coffee maker that won't break the bank. (It's just a fraction of the price of our best splurge pick, which is also a stainless steel model.) The French press can make 34 ounces of coffee at once, which is great for households with multiple coffee drinkers. The stainless steel will keep the coffee warm for a while, so there's no need to worry about it getting cold as quickly as it would in a glass French press. Even though this material is great for maintaining the temperature of your coffee, note that it's prone to showing fingerprints and smudges, so it may require some extra attention during cleanup (although it is dishwasher-safe).

Plus, this coffee maker has a four-filter system to ensure no coffee grounds end up in your drink. Most French press makers require coarsely ground coffee beans, but with this model, you could get away with using a slightly finer grind.

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 34 ounces
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

RELATED: The 13 Best Coffee Subscriptions That Offer Must-Try Blends Every Month

Best-Designed French Press: Espro French Press P7 Coffee Maker

Espro French Press P7 Coffee Maker
amazon.com

Also available at Nordstrom, Williams Sonoma, and Crate & Barrel.

Who it's for: People who are looking for a French press with a chic design.

Who it isn't for: People who need a more affordable coffee maker.

There's a lot to love about the Espro P7, but our favorite aspect is its chic design. With a simple silhouette and matte finish, this French press coffee maker is one that you'll actually want to leave on your countertop. Even though it comes in matte black and white colors, the beaker is made of stainless steel so it can keep your coffee hot until you're ready to drink it. We also like that it has a two-part filter designed to prevent rogue grounds from making their way into your brew, which can give your coffee a gritty or sludgy taste.

Note that there are also paper filters available for purchase if you want to brew finely-ground coffee or tea in this model. Plus, all the pieces of the Espro French press can be cleaned on the top rack of your dishwasher. It's definitely on the pricier side (comparable to our best splurge pick), but this French press coffee maker's slim design and elegant handle make it a good-looking addition to any coffee bar.

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: 18 and 32 ounces
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes, top rack only

Best Portable French Press: Bodum Travel Press

Bodum Portable Travel Press
amazon.com

Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want to make their coffee on the go.

Who it isn't for: People who want a French press that will serve more than one person.

If you're always on the go, then you'll appreciate that this portable French press from Bodum allows you to brew your coffee directly in a travel mug. It holds 15 ounces of coffee (or tea!), and there are silicone grips around the mug and on the base to prevent spills. The fact that you can brew in and drink from the same container eliminates the need to wash multiple items at the end of the day—and the portable French press is dishwasher-safe, too.

It's available in both double-walled plastic and stainless steel materials, although we recommend going for the latter if you want to keep your drink hot for longer since stainless steel retains heat. Just keep in mind that this model is designed to make enough coffee for one person. If you need to serve multiple people, we recommend picking another French press from this list.

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel or double-walled plastic
  • Capacity: 15 ounces
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Bodum Chambord French Press because it's reliable, easy to use, and dishwasher-safe on the top rack. We also like that it comes in multiple sizes and finishes, so there's an option for every coffee drinker.

How to Shop for a French Press Maker Like a Pro

Size

"It's important to consider how big of a batch you prefer when selecting a model," says Calatrello. "A larger press will allow you more flexibility in brewing." That said, an 8-cup (or 34-ounce) model is a good size for most people, according to Calatrello.

If you think that you'll rarely need 34 ounces of coffee, then it's best to go with a smaller model. That's because using a too-big French press for small servings won't produce the same high-quality results, says Barkley. "The size of the press will affect your brew if you're using it well outside of its intended volume—i.e. one shouldn't expect consistent, excellent results attempting to make 250 milliliters of coffee in a 1-liter press," he says.

Materials

Look for French press coffee makers that are made with stainless steel and glass components. These materials last much longer, according to Calatrello, even if they cost a little more upfront. "You'll find cheaper models made from plastic, but those will not hold up as well over time," she adds.

Replacement Components

Another thing to keep in mind while shopping is long-term maintenance. "For a lifetime of use, I would ensure that my choice has easily-acquired replacement components for any shattered glasses that may occur, as well as any filters that become bent beyond use after too many cycles in the dishwasher," Barkley says.

Questions You Might Ask

How do you use a French press?

French press coffee makers are typically quite simple to use. Once you know how much coffee you want to make, measure out how much water you'll need (the ideal ratio is somewhere around one part coffee to 12 parts water). Heat your water in a kettle to about 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. "If your kettle doesn't have a temperature read-out, simply boil the water and let it sit for about 45 seconds before brewing," Calatrello says.

Next, measure out your coffee, which should be a coarse grind—similar to sea salt. Add your coffee to the French press. "Begin brewing by pouring water over the ground coffee," she says. "Use a wooden spoon to gently stir the coffee and allow it to bloom for 30 seconds before proceeding. Blooming will allow the coffee to release carbon dioxide and will yield a more flavorful brew."

Once you've added all the water, you should put the lid on your French press—but don't move the plunger yet! Allow the coffee to steep for 4 minutes, then slowly press down the plunger. "You'll want to feel some resistance here, but not so much that it is difficult to move the plunger," Calatrello says. "If this occurs, then your grind is too fine. If the plunger easily falls to the bottom of the carafe, your grind is too coarse. Once the plunger reaches the floor of the press, decant the coffee right away—leaving the coffee in the french press will result in an over-extracted brew and will cause the coffee to have a bitter flavor."

How do you clean a French press?

For best results, you should clean your French press after every use. The first step is to remove the used grounds, ideally using a wooden spoon. Don't rinse them down the sink, as that can cause plumbing issues—used grounds can be composted or discarded in the trash.

Calatrello says the best way to clean your French press is to take apart all the pieces and either wash them on the top rack of the dishwasher or by hand with warm water and dish soap. If you notice any coffee stains or spots (it can happen when you skip a wash!), you should still be able to remove them. "Simply mix a little baking soda with your dish soap and scrub the press, then rinse with hot water," says Calatrello.

Finally, make sure you let everything dry completely before you reassemble your coffee maker.

Can you make cold brew with a French press?

It's very easy to make cold brew at home with your French press. Calatrello recommends using a ratio of one part coffee to five parts water for this process, which will make "a highly concentrated cold brew that may be diluted with water or milk."

You'll need a coarser grind for cold brew because the coffee brews for longer. Add your coffee grounds into the French press and add room-temperature water, then place the lid on top—but don't plunge yet.

"Allow the cold brew to steep for 12–16 hours at room temperature," Calatrello says. "Refrigerating the cold brew actually slows the brewing process, so only do this if you need more than 12 hours to steep." Once you're done steeping, slowly press down the plunger before pouring your cold brew into an airtight container.

"We recommend using a paper coffee filter to strain the cold brew as you transfer, to ensure any stray coffee grinds don't end up in your brew," Calatrello adds.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Nina Bahadur, a writer with over 10 years of home and lifestyle experience. To make this list, she spent hours researching the best French press coffee makers and spoke to experts Heather Calatrello, founder and head coffee roaster at ShedLight Coffee, and Sam Barkley, co-founder and CEO of NYC coffee education start-up Home Brew Coffee Consulting.

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