The 4 Best Coffee Makers For College

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by Masha Vapnitchnaia
Bustle / Amazon

Dorms are not known for their fancy kitchens, but you can still make a delicious cup of joe with one of the best coffee makers for college. As you’re shopping, look for models which have a slim profile to fit smaller spaces, safety features, and a range of brewing methods and functions, from basic to gourmet.

First, your daily coffee intake will help you choose the machine that best meets your needs. To figure that out, keep in mind that the standard cup sizes for coffee are 6 ounces for hot and 12 ounces for iced, but you might want to fill a larger mug or take a travel mug to class. Single-serve coffee machines brew one mug at a time (though most water reservoirs will hold enough for more than one cup if you want a refill) while full-size drip coffee and cold brew makers can brew multiple cups in one go.

Next, you’ll want to consider the brewing method. Full-size machines and cold brew makers generally use ground coffee, while single-serve options use either grounds or coffee pods. Full-size machines tend to make a strong cup of coffee and cold brew makers produce smooth java, but these options will take longer than a single-serve machine. However, some drip machines have a mid-brew pause function so you can enjoy a hot cup before the full pot is done. On the other hand, single-serve pod machines brew quickly, and you don’t have to measure out grinds or bother with filters.

For safety, all of the electric coffee makers below have contained heating elements and auto-shutoff — but be sure to check your dorm’s safety requirements before buying. Other features to consider include 24-hour programming that allows you to schedule your brew ahead of time and a built-in frother for making lattes and cappuccinos. Also worth considering: Some coffee makers have wide-mouth openings and removable parts that make them easier to clean.

To fuel your semester with freshly brewed joe, scroll on for the best coffee makers for college on Amazon.

1. The Best Drip Coffee Maker

  • Capacity: 12 cups (approximately 60 ounces)

This drip coffee machine has a ton of features that make it a standout product, earning more than 9,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. First, there are three brew strengths to choose from — regular, strong, and bold — and a programming option so you can set the timer the night before and wake up to a hot cup of coffee. The thermal carafe keeps coffee at a steady temperature for hours. Plus, the carafe has a wide mouth that makes it easier to clean than many. The machine stops mid-brew so you can pour yourself a cup without waiting for the full pot, and the no-drip spout prevents spills. There’s also an auto-shutoff function.

One fan’s take: “More compact than a traditional coffeemaker as there's no warmer in this at all - but it doesn't need it. Stays warmer than a traditional coffeemaker, with less power consumption. Plus, no glass carafe to break.”

2. The Best Single-Serve Coffee Maker

  • Capacity: 14 ounces

This slim coffee maker works with coffee pods, ground coffee, and even loose tea. It comes with a reusable filter and brews in just 30 seconds. The coffee maker fits most 14-ounce travel mugs, if you’re taking your morning joe to go, and it has a self-cleaning feature and a removable drip tray that’s easy to wash. There’s an auto-shutoff function, according to reviewers. The coffee maker is also ETL-certified for safety. Plus, this pick boasts over 8,000 positive reviews.

One fan’s take: “Super easy to use, quiet, convenient and makes great coffee. I poured cold, refrigerated water into the pot and my coffee was wonderfully hot.”

3. The Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker

  • Capacity: 32 ounces

If you’re a fan of iced coffee, this cold brew maker is a great way to have it in your dorm. The durable glass pitcher can hold up to 32 ounces of coffee, yet is still slim enough to fit in the fridge door. It features a nonslip silicone handle and an airtight lid that’ll keep coffee fresh for up to two weeks. Inside, you’ll find a fine-mesh filter that’s easy to remove for cleaning between brews. This cold brew maker boasts an impressive 4.7 overall star rating after more than 45,000 reviews, and it comes in three colors and two sizes.

One fan’s take: “As a college student this is a life saver, it saves me money and time in the mornings! the size is pretty good, its super easy to use, and it makes great tasting coffee.”

4. The Best Coffee Maker With A Frother

  • Capacity: 30 ounces

Not only is this gourmet coffee maker compatible with coffee pods and ground coffee, but it also comes with a 5-ounce frother that whips up cold and hot milk. There are five cup size settings ranging from 6 to 24 ounces, and the drip tray has an adjustable height to fit mugs of all sizes. There is a contained heating element and an auto-shutoff function, and the removable water tank is easy to clean.

One fan’s take: “Love how compact this machine is and how super easy it is to make a “fancy coffee" [...] It is super easy to use and to clean.”