Nobody likes to waste freshly brewed coffee, so when it’s just you and a partner, that bulky 12 cup coffee maker can seem a little inconvenient. Fortunately, there are plenty of compact alternatives, and you won’t have to compromise on features and coffee quality.
In this article I’ll give you the inside scoop on choosing the best 4 cup coffee maker. With all that said, let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Best 4 Cup Coffee Maker at a Glance
- Why Do People Buy 4 Cup Coffee Makers?
- What Makes a Good Coffee Maker?
- The 5 Best 4 Cup Coffee MakersCuisinart 4 Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal CarafeGevi 4 Cup Drip Coffee Maker With Auto Shut OffGevi 4 Cup Coffee MakerMr. Coffee 4 Cup Switch Coffee MakerBrentwood 4 Cup Coffee Maker
- Decision Time
- Best 4 Cup Coffee Maker FAQ
Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers at a Glance
Here’s a list of the 4 cup coffee makers we’ll be looking at today:
Stainless steel carafe
Brew pause feature
Boil dry protection
Auto pause and keep warm functions
Removable filter basket
Stain resistant warmer plate
Dual water windows
Tempered glass carafe
Why Do People Buy 4 Cup Coffee Makers?
A four cup coffee maker may not be the best option if you’re brewing java for a family of ten. Still, that doesn’t mean they don’t come with benefits. Most of the time, people add a 4 cup coffee maker to their arsenal when they’re looking for something portable and compact.
Let’s face it, a standard 12 cup coffee maker is overkill for just one person. On the flip side, a single serve coffee maker might not be able to keep up with your needs.
The best 4 cup coffee makers present the perfect balance. You’ll get all the benefits of having a small coffee maker that can easily fit into your studio apartment, dorm room or RV kitchen. Plus, that convenience won’t come at the cost of missing out on your daily dose of caffeine.
Using the standard 5 ounce (147.9 milliliter) measurement that most manufacturers consider to be a “cup,” you’re still looking at around a cup and a half or two cups of coffee if you’re used to filling up your favorite mug.
And it’s definitely enough for people who like to fill up their ceramic travel mugs for their morning boost.
Another reason people flock to 4 cup coffee makers is the versatility they offer. Maybe you’re a die-hard fan of Robusta beans but your partner can’t stomach anything other than Arabica coffee.
With a four cup coffee machine on your counter, you can have the best of both worlds. Plus, you won’t need to waste precious coffee. That’s what I call a win win situation!
What Makes a Good Coffee Maker?
Scouting for your next coffee maker isn’t always fun, especially if you’re not even sure what kind of features you’re looking for. That said, there are a few factors that separate mediocre coffee makers from the solid performers.
- Features: Some people appreciate a four cup coffee maker that has all the bells and whistles, while others prefer simplicity. Although some coffee makers include complex control panels, others can brew your coffee with the push of a button. Neither option is necessarily superior. However, there’s no reason to spend extra money on special features if you’re not planning to use them.
- Brew pause: The few minutes that it takes your coffee to brew can feel like an eternity. If you’re someone who likes to pour your first cup before the java is done flowing, you’ll want to consider an auto pause feature. This automatically pauses your brew, so you can safely pour a cup without the rest of the coffee dripping onto the hot plate.
- Automatic shutoff: Most people don’t want to think about their coffee maker once they’ve poured the last cup, which is why an auto shutoff feature comes in handy. This function automatically turns off your coffee maker after a designated amount of time. It’s great if you’re leaving for work after your morning hot coffee, or you’re headed out to run errands.
- Ease of cleaning: Delicious coffee doesn’t mean as much if cleaning your coffee maker is a pain. That might mean looking for a coffee maker that’s dishwasher safe. However, at the very least, you’ll want your carafe’s opening to be large enough to make hand washing easy.
- Carafe: Speaking of a carafe, it’s a crucial part of any good simple coffee maker. While a glass carafe might win the award for easiest to clean, it’s not going to be as durable as a stainless steel carafe. What’s more, a glass carafe won’t retain heat as well as a thermal pot.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, make sure to check out my coffee maker guide 2023!
The 5 Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers
I’ve done a lot of talking about why people buy 4 cup coffee makers and what makes a good choice. However, it’s time to cut the chit chat and get down to business. Below you’ll find the skinny on my favorite four cup coffee makers. I’m fairly confident one of these beauties will be the best 4 cup coffee maker for your needs!
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Cuisinart 4 Cup Coffee Maker with Thermal Carafe
The Cuisinart 4 Cup Coffee Maker starts winning points right out of the gate with its stainless steel carafe and drip free spout – and that’s only a couple of reasons I’ve named this the Best Overall option.
Not only do you get a durable thermal carafe, you won’t have to worry about burning hot coffee dripping on you (or your countertop) as you pour. What’s more, I love this coffee maker’s streamlined, minimalist aesthetic.
The automatic shutoff and brew pause feature are also great benefits, but let’s not forget about the compact design of this coffee maker. You still get those must-have features, but it all comes wrapped up in a small, portable package.
At just $39.95, this is a great pick if you’re looking to conserve space while on the road or in an apartment.
- Auto shutoff feature
- Stainless steel carafe
- Brew pause feature
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Gevi 4 Cup Drip Coffee Maker With Auto Shut Off
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a simple coffee maker that still has all the features you want. That’s exactly what you’ll get with the Gevi 4 Cup Drip Coffee Maker With Auto Shut Off for just $28.99.
It only takes the push of a button to brew coffee, but you’ll still get some of your favorite perks. The auto pause feature comes in handy, and the keep-warm function is just as convenient.
Can’t drink the entire pot immediately? That’s not a problem with the keep warm function, which keeps your coffee hot for up to two hours. After that, the machine employs its automatic shutoff feature to conserve power.
One thing this coffee machine has that you don’t always see is a reusable filter. Constantly having to buy paper filters isn’t just bad for your wallet, it can be bad for the environment too. The reusable mesh filter is a breeze to clean since it’s dishwasher safe. That being said, I’ll admit it’s a little on the flimsy side.
This wouldn’t be a complete review if I didn’t mention the boil dry protection for the water tank. Ever accidentally hit the brew button having forgotten to fill up the water reservoir? We’ve all done it, but letting the temperature get too high when there’s no actual water to boil can damage your machine.
- Boil dry protection
- Auto pause and keep warm functions
- Reusable filter
- Users report lingering plastic smell
- Mesh filter is a little flimsy
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Gevi 4 Cup Coffee Maker
As one of the simplest coffee makers on this list, you don’t want to miss hearing about the Gevi 4 Cup Coffee Maker for just $22.99.
First things first, the reusable filter eliminates the need for paper filters. Does a permanent filter mean extra cleaning? Sure, but given its mesh design, you won’t have to spend hours with a scrubbing brush.
If waiting for four cups to brew feels like forever, you’ll appreciate the Gevi’s auto pause feature. However, allow me to remind you that under extracted coffee can taste pretty nasty.
While this coffee machine doesn’t come with a stainless steel carafe, the glass pot is easy to clean. I must say I really like this machine’s water level window, which makes it easy to accurately fill the tank.
It goes without saying that this little Gevi is compact, but you may not realize just how miniature it is. At only 2 pounds (0.9 kilograms), you can bring this coffee maker just about anywhere.
- Overheating protection
- Reusable filter
- Very lightweight
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Mr. Coffee 4 Cup Switch Coffee Maker
From what I can gather, you’ll get really great coffee from the Mr. Coffee 4 Cup Switch Coffee Maker.
And at $63.50, you’ll be getting a durable, compact coffee machine without a bunch of unnecessary features. Don’t worry, you’ll still have auto pause to instantly stop the brew cycle whenever you want. However, remember that fully extracted coffee is worth waiting for!
Here’s the thing – four cups might be less than you think, especially if you’re used to filling up 12 cup drip coffee machines. With that in mind, this coffee maker’s dual window is a nice feature to have. Anything that prevents overflow on my kitchen counters is fine by me!
You won’t get an auto pause function with this machine, but its warming plate is stain resistant. Even with a drip free spout, you won’t always avoid spills, so having a stain resistant surface is a convenient addition.
The Mr. Coffee 4 Cup Switch doesn’t come with a reusable filter, but you will get an easily removable filter basket. That means there’s no need to worry about old coffee grounds ending up in the machine.
- Removable filter basket
- Stain resistant warmer plate
- Dual water windows
- Glass carafe is on the flimsy side
- Slow brew time
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Brentwood 4 Cup Coffee Maker
Available for just $22.95, the
Brentwood 4 Cup Coffee Maker definitely won’t break the bank. What’s more, it certainly doesn’t skimp on special features or great tasting coffee.
Not everyone cares about color. However, if you’re big on style, you can’t beat the stunning shade of blue that this coffee maker comes in. While I always prefer a stainless steel carafe, the Brentwood’s glass carafe is tempered – so it definitely wins points for durability.
Not only do you get a reusable coffee filter and removable filter basket, this small coffee maker also comes with a handy coffee scoop. Ultimately, what makes this coffee maker a stand-out is its simplicity. There’s no complex control panel to navigate and no timer to worry about – just a simple on/off button to start the brewing cycle.
That’s not to say this coffee maker isn’t without its perks. There’s a warming plate to keep your coffee hot, and an automatic shutoff that’ll kick in after two hours.
If you feel like the best 4 cup drip coffee maker should be dishwasher safe, you might want to pass on this one. While the filter basket is easier to clean than most coffee makers, all removable parts should be washed by hand.
- Stylish design
- Reusable filter
- Tempered glass carafe
- May have a plastic smell initially
When shopping for the best 4 cup coffee maker, some of the technical jargon can be a little overwhelming. Not only that, you’ve got to decide between a stainless steel or glass carafe, whether you want a permanent coffee filter and how easy it’ll be to clean the machine.
It’s easy to overthink, but take a deep breath and relax. All the 4 cup coffee makers on my list are top notch machines. All you need to do is select the best small coffee maker for your lifestyle. Trust me, it won’t be long before you’re enjoying delicious fresh coffee as well as all that extra space in your kitchen!
What’s your favorite 4 cup coffee maker? Where do you use it? Is there a different one you believe should make my list of the best 4 cup coffee makers? I look forward to your comments!
Best 4 Cup Coffee Maker FAQ
Although it can vary from brand to brand, most coffee manufacturers do include replacement parts for their machines – including stainless steel or glass carafes.
The wrong grind size can throw off the entire brewing process in your coffee pot. When it comes to 4 cup coffee makers, a medium grind size is going to make the best morning cup.
Sprinkle a dash of baking soda into the bottom of the carafe and add enough water until it has a paste-like consistency. Then, use a sponge or an old toothbrush to scrub the stains. Ultimately, the baking soda’s abrasive qualities should do the trick.
It’s always a good idea to do a quick rinse in between brew cycles. That said, you should deep clean your 4 cup coffee maker every three to six months – depending on how regularly you use it. Even if your coffee maker is dishwasher safe, hand washing with a mild detergent is still the better alternative.
Instant coffee and your 4 cup coffee machine aren’t friends. Instant coffee is made to dissolve quickly – much faster than the typical time it takes to get freshly brewed coffee with your filter and glass carafe.
What you will get if you add instant coffee to your machine is a sludgy, undrinkable coffee mixture and a clogged machine. Depending on how much instant coffee you use, this experiment could put you in the market for a new coffee maker by the time you’re done.