The Best Programmable Coffee Makers for Busy Mornings

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Brew a pot of coffee before leaving your bed.

<p>Food & Wine / Reese Herrington</p>

Food & Wine / Reese Herrington

Whether you don't have time to make coffee before work or simply want a pot ready to pour as soon as you wake up, a programmable coffee maker is for you. It allows you to remove one step from your morning routine, and, honestly, what better way to start your day than knowing you have a fresh brew waiting for you after your alarm goes off? In addition to convenience, many programmable machines offer customizable settings to make your coffee exactly how you want it.

After tons of research and consulting with experts, we determined the best models on the market based on their size, versatility, features, and overall value. Read on to find the right programmable coffee maker for your needs.

Best Overall: Breville Precision Brewer Thermal Coffee Maker

Buy at

Buy at

Pros: Choose from six brewing modes and adjust both the temperature and flow rate yourself with this highly customizable machine.

Cons: The initial setup can take some time.

No thought is left behind with this coffee maker, from its two types of filters that ensure every cup of coffee tastes perfect to its ability to brew 12 cups in just seven minutes. There are six brewing modes, including Gold, Fast, Strong, Over Ice, Cold Brew, and My Brew, which allow you to prepare both hot and iced coffee as well as extra bold brews from one machine.

We highly recommend the Gold Cup setting, as it automatically adjusts to the ideal water temperature and brewing time certified by the Specialty Coffee Association for top-notch results. You can trust the machine to make a great pot of coffee for you, or you can apply the My Brew setting to customize the entire process yourself, such as controlling the bloom time and flow rate. The initial setup to discern how hard your water is may take a moment, but it will be worth it for the sake of the coffee yet to be brewed.

Price at time of publish: $330

  • Capacity: 12 cups

  • Power: 1650 watts

  • Dimensions: 9 x 14 x 16 inches

  • Warranty: 2 years

Best Value: Black+Decker 12-Cup QuickTouch Programmable Coffeemaker

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Buy at

Pros: You can pull the carafe out for a cup before it’s finished brewing, and the carafe will keep warm for up to two hours.

Cons: The water reservoir acquires a bit of condensation.

Programming a time to brew your coffee is simple with the Black + Decker maker, thanks to its easy setup and large, rubberized buttons. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of pricier machines, but at under $50, it’s an excellent value and our top selection for a budget-friendly programmable maker. The “sneak a cup” feature lets you pull the carafe out to pour a cup while the machine is still brewing without making a mess of coffee spillage. The brew basket is easy to remove for washing, and the glass carafe is built for durability.

Price at time of publish: $40

  • Capacity: 12 cups

  • Power: 975 watts

  • Dimensions: 8.25 x 12.25 x 11 inches

  • Warranty: 2 years

Best Splurge: Café Drip 10-Cup Coffee Maker with WiFi

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Pros: It’s as beautiful as it is functional, and you can control it from your phone.

Cons: The water canister isn’t removable, so it can be tricky to fill.

Certified by the SCA, this machine is guaranteed to brew the most delicious cup of coffee possible — and you can operate it via WiFi. Control every aspect of the coffee-making experience from brew strength to temperature, and make anywhere from a single cup to a full 10-cup pot with consistent results. It lets you save your personalized settings so you can prepare your coffee the same way time after time.

The machine features a thermal carafe that keeps your coffee hot for two hours, a carbon odor and taste water filter for better-tasting brews, and a digital clock to keep you on schedule. Along with its functionality, it has a lovely appearance with a matte black finish, copper accents, and cord storage to keep it clutter-free on your countertop.

Price at time of publish: $299

  • Capacity: 10 cups

  • Power: 1250 watts

  • Dimensions: 7.3 x 12.5 x 14 inches

  • Warranty: 1 year

Related:The 33 Best Coffee Gifts for 2023

Best Large: Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker

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Pros: A built-in charcoal water filter makes for better-tasting coffee, and the maker can brew two cups more than most other models.

Cons: The ability to get water extra hot may be too much for those who are heat sensitive.

Choose from regular or bold coffee settings on this extra-large machine, which allows you to program it up to 24 hours ahead of time. The filter system includes a gold-tone feature for the purest bean flavor and a charcoal filter to remove any water impurities.

Despite preparing a larger quantity than most models, it can just as easily brew a small 1- to 4-cup amount, too. A self-cleaning feature saves you time on regular cleaning, and it’s a surprisingly compact coffee maker given how much coffee it can hold.

Price at time of publish: $100

  • Capacity: 14 cups

  • Power: 1100 watts

  • Dimensions: 7.75 x 9 x 14 inches

  • Warranty: 3 years

Best Single-Serve: Cuisinart DCC-3000 Programmable Coffeemaker

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Buy at

Pros: You can pour coffee into your cup directly from the machine, and it beeps to let you know the brewing is complete.

Cons: It doesn’t include a standard pot.

This Cuisinart coffee maker functions differently than most machines, brewing the coffee in a reservoir inside and dispensing it one cup at a time directly into your coffee cup or travel mug. You can remove the entire reservoir to pour it into your own pot or keep it as hot as possible by dispensing it one mug at a time. The auto-shutoff feature can keep it hot for up to four hours after it finishes a programmed cycle, which can be set up 24 hours ahead of time. Additionally, the water is distributed through a shower head so that every bit of the coffee grounds is equally saturated.

Price at time of publish: $110

  • Capacity: 12 cups

  • Power: 400.6 watts

  • Dimensions: 14.25 x 22.5 x 17.25 inches

  • Warranty: 3 years

Best with Grinder: Breville The Grind Control Coffee Maker

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Buy at

Pros: A burr grinder gives you exactly the size of grounds you desire, and you can choose the brew strength.

Cons: The grinder may wear out faster than the coffee maker does.

Never again worry about messy coffee grounds or the wrong grind level, thanks to the built-in burr grinder of this Breville machine — the best value pick from our coffee makers with grinders test. The burr grinder has six different settings, and you can tweak it to ensure the strength is precisely what you seek based on the roast of your coffee beans.

Our favorite part of the machine is that you can brew three sizes: a 12-cup pot, a tall travel mug, or a coffee mug, depending on your needs. For the freshest coffee, we recommend this programmable coffee maker with a built-in grinder.

Price at time of publish: $350

  • Capacity: 12 cups

  • Power: 1100 watts

  • Dimensions: 9 x 14 x 17 inches

  • Warranty: 1 year

Our Favorite

We chose the Breville Precision Brewer Thermal Coffee Maker as our best overall pick because of its ability to brew hot and iced coffee up to 24 hours ahead of time, with customizable settings for bloom time and water flow rate. If you want a quality machine for around $100, you can’t go wrong with the Cuisinart 14-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker.

Factors to Consider


Most standard-sized coffee makers can brew twelve 5-ounce cups of coffee. Extra large ones can brew up to 14 cups, and some also can accommodate single servings. The larger the coffee maker, the more space it will take up on your counter or inside your cabinet, so always factor in where you’ll store it.


Some programmable coffee makers can make cold brews or iced coffee in addition to hot. Others have more customizable settings so that your coffee has the exact strength you enjoy most. Brewing directly into a travel mug is a convenient example of a maker’s versatility. Choose features you know you will use to ensure you get the most out of your machine.


Programmable coffee makers are always able to make coffee ahead of time, but there are also other features to consider. Many models allow for customization of the coffee-making process, such as water temperature, brew ratio, and flow rate, some have built-in grinders, and others let you control the machine from your smartphone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a programmable coffee maker?

“A programmable coffee maker is simply an automatic coffee brewer that ideally allows you to adjust for the different variables to consider when brewing coffee,” says Jiyoon Han, co-owner of Bean & Bean Coffee Roasters. These coffee makers often have additional programmable features that allow you to customize how the coffee is brewed.

What is the best water for coffee?

Noting that entire books have been written on the topic of the perfect water for making coffee, Han says that “soft, filtered water with small amounts of magnesium, calcium, and bicarbonate are ideal for coffee brewing. If your water isn't too hard, filtering tap water through something like a Britta filter will usually do just fine. Otherwise, bottled spring water will work great. You could also use products like Third Wave Water, where you add a pre-mixed packet of minerals to distilled water to create the perfect water for coffee.”

What's the difference between cleaning and descaling a coffee maker?

When cleaning a coffee maker, you are removing any debris and anything that can lead to bacterial growth. Conversely, descaling is about lime. “Descaling refers to removing the limescale deposits that build up inside of a coffee machine over time as water moves through the tubing and piping,” says Han. “Descaling should be a regular part of maintaining your coffee machine.”

Our Expertise

Contributor Ariane Resnick is a special diet private chef, a certified nutritionist, and a lifestyle writer with two decades of culinary and literary experience. Her work has been featured in Simply Recipes, The Spruce Eats, Clean Plates, Huffington Post, Verywell, and more. For this article, she conducted market research and consulted with Jiyoon Han, Co-Owner of Bean & Bean Coffee Roasters.

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