While trying to figure out the safest materials for your coffee maker, it's easy to fall down a rabbit hole of research. If you're shopping for the best non-toxic coffee makers, you may already know to avoid plastic, which can leach harmful chemicals like BPA. But there could also be aluminum parts lurking inside that single-serve or drip coffee maker — a material that does not do well when mixed with a hot, acidic drink like coffee.
After doing a lot of research, I've found that borosilicate glass is one of the safest materials for coffee. It's durable, heat-resistant, and doesn't leach harmful toxins, so it won't affect the taste of your drink. After that, your next best choice is probably a high-quality stainless steel (just be sure it doesn't contain a mix of aluminum or any chemical-laden coatings).
If you want a coffee maker that's comprised of these safer materials, you'll have to go with something simple, which may mean more prep time than you're used to. That said, while something like a French press or a pour-over coffee maker requires more time, not only is it possible to find models without plastic or aluminum, but you're also going to get a better tasting cup of coffee.
Whether you're interested in a large-batch percolator or the best cold brew coffee maker, you can find the right choice for your preferences below. Take a look at my list and get ready to enjoy a cup of coffee that's full of flavor and free of most toxins.
1. The Best Pour-Over Coffee Maker
Materials: Borosilicate glass
What's great about it: Made entirely of borosilicate glass, the CHEMEX pour-over coffee maker is just about as pure as it gets. With more than 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, this sleek coffee maker is a cult-favorite for good reason. The glass handle makes it easy to pour your morning brew, and it's just as easy to clean up once you're done.
This option does involve precise directions and around 10 minutes of active prep time, so it's not a good choice for the hurried coffee drinker. But if you have the time to spare, reviewers agree that it's worth the extra effort. For the best results, pair this with the CHEMEX bonded paper filters.
What fans say: "This is a beautiful and classy way to brew low acid coffee. I could go on and on about it, but to keep it short I will simply say that as long as you understand it is made of a fairly thin glass and that proper brewing technique will yield a very low acid coffee, you will love this coffee maker and it will last you years, even decades."
2. The Best Percolator
Capacity: 9 cups
Materials: Stainless steel
What's great about it: Made with top quality stainless steel and a wooden handle that stays cool to the touch, this large coffee percolator brews around 1 cup per minute. The stainless steel basket should be a sufficient filter for most people, though depending on your taste preferences, you may want to combine it with the paper filters that are included. This percolator requires no electricity — just a heat source, which means it works on your stove top as well as over a campfire. Of all the options on my list, this yields the most amount of coffee for the least amount of work.
What fans say: "Perked coffee seems to have a deeper flavor over drip coffee. This is also much more portable than most drip or pod coffee makers. Easy to use and to clean. I find the coffee even tastes good reheated. I am glad I bought this, I am using it every morning. Very Happy!"
3. The Best French Press
Capacity: Around 5 cups
Materials: Borosilicate glass and stainless steel
What's great about it: This FINEDINE French press looks and feels fancy, but it's actually pretty simple to use. You'll need to heat up water separately in a kettle or pot, but once the water is hot enough, your grounds only need to steep for about four minutes. This French press utilizes a stainless steel mesh filter that's easy to use, though some reviewers found it a little more work to clean. The glass canister, on the other hand, can be removed entirely from its metal frame and put in the dishwasher. This is one of the quickest options on this list, though it may not be the right choice if you're worried about your cholesterol levels, as some studies show that coffee made in a French press may contribute to a rise in LDL levels.
What fans say: "Overall great coffee press. I've had a handful of French presses, but this one has been the best. Build quality is good and doesn't feel rattley or cheap. The filter doesn't leak grounds around the edges. Of course it's hard to clean the filter too, but that's no different than most other French presses. I'd buy it again."
4. The Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Capacity: 4 cups
Materials: Borosilicate glass, stainless steel, BPA-free silicone
What's great about it: If cold brew is your fuel of choice, this Bean Envy Coffee Maker is the way to go. Like the percolator, it uses a stainless steel basket as a filter. Cold brew is all about patience, and you'll have the best results if you let the coffee grounds steep for 12 to 24 hours. It's the most compact option on this list, so it won't make as much coffee at a time, but it's a breeze to clean and fits easily inside most fridges.
What fans say: "I've had a number of different cold brew systems in the past. This one is by far my favorite. I use it every day and it makes the best cup of coffee. No grinds in the bottom like some I've had, just pure delicious coffee. The design looks great and functions just as a quality cold brew should."
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