Alex has never been professionally involved into the world of coffee, however he knows much more than any average barista. Being an avid coffee lover, Alex is constantly searching for new tips, tools, and techniques to make his morning cup of java even more perfect.
Mary has been dealing with coffee almost all her life long: in her teenage years, she worked as a barista in a number of well-known coffeehouses, later developing her knowledge and skills while studying at the university as well. Several years after graduation, she managed to open her own small coffee bar.
Last updated: May 28, 2021
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The process of making coffee in a conventional machine seems almost tailormade to taking the flavor out of it. The paper filters, the way the beans are ground, and the way the heat is processed, all contribute to the beans losing their natural oils. This takes the earthy, pure coffee flavor out of your drink, reduces the quality of the aroma, and leaves you wanting more out of your daily pick-me-up.
This is why true coffee connoisseurs are turning to the best French presses to start their morning off right with coffee that has all of its natural flavors preserved through the process of pressing. You’ll instantly know the difference in how your coffee is treated in one of these machines because of the barista-grade aroma and gourmet flavor. French presses are designed not to absorb any flavor from the grounds, and slowly mix some of them back into the drink for even more high-grade, percolated taste. Bodum Chambord French Press is our Editor’s Choice because it not only helps to make a perfect cup but is also well-designed and looks perfectly stylish.
The eight French presses in this article were reviewed for their materials, the volume they can produce, their dimensions (including weight), and their overall performance. Below is a series of in-depth reviews for each product, followed by a helpful buying guide so that you can make the perfect choice for your kitchen.
This stainless-steel appliance is our Editor’s Choice as the best consumer-grade French Press that money can buy. Its design is an homage to French presses of the 1950s, a tribute to the famous Chateau de Chambord. If you want your coffee to feel fresh from the city of lights, this is the press for you.
Its three-part construction is mostly dishwasher safe (wash the lid by hand). More importantly, it has advanced pressing technology to give you the best possible cup of coffee. Its mesh filter extracts the essential oils from your beans and gives you the most aromatic, subtle explosion of coffee flavor of any French press on the market.
Despite its advanced flavor technology, the coffee can be ready in as little as 4 minutes. It can make 8 cups of 4 oz. coffee at once, ensuring that you can be ready for any morning rush, so long as you’re not servicing a party. For the best machine on the market, particularly if you’re looking for a single-serve French press, look no further than the Chambord.
The Le Creuset French Press is our premium pick because of its uniqueness and overall performance. Each of these brand’s stoneware appliances is made by hand, meaning that you are purchasing a one-of-a-kind item made of high-fired stoneware, glazed in a non-porous enamel gloss that protects it from stains and odors.
All Le Creuset stoneware can be safely microwaved, refrigerated, frozen, washed in a dishwasher, and even broiled. For its premium price, this piece is also chip-resistant and completely durable, ensuring that you’ll never need to buy this again.
Of course, its stainless-steel mesh press and plunger create coffee of the highest gourmet quality. For its flavor, durability, and uniqueness, the Le Creuset press is our premium pick.
What are our favorite features?
Unique stoneware construction
Stain-resistant enamel glaze
Dishwasher and oven-safe
What could be better?
Old-fashioned stoneware design may not appeal to everyone
With its incredible 50 oz. (that’s 1.5 liters) capacity, the Secura French Press is the best completely stainless-steel French press we reviewed. Its sleek, steel design exudes a modern coffee shop. Its 3-layered steel filters give you an amazing cup of coffee every time, free of grounds.
Due to its 18/10 stainless-steel frame, the Secura is also the best insulated French press on this list, as well as one of the most durable. Even if you drop it, it’s unlikely to scratch or dent – you’ll always be able to see yourself on the surface of this state-of-the-art machine.
It comes with a stainless-steel screen that you can add to the brewing process for even more refined and subtle flavor. Its 50-oz. capacity gives you the ability to brew 12 full cups of coffee at once, ensuring that you can always meet the demand of the morning rush, no matter how many people you’re serving or how much caffeine you need to get your day going.
This French Press by Café du Chateau has a brilliant sheen that protects its 304-grade stainless-steel body from rust. Despite its 1-liter coffee capacity, it’s the best portable French press on this list. The Café du Chateau can be easily squeezed into a backpack or carrying bag. If you want a French press for camping, this is the number one choice.
Its 4-level filtration system gives you a pure, perfect brew every time, completely free of coffee granules. Its double stainless-steel screen filters are supported by a spring base for a completely sealed, leak-free brew. Its BPA-free construction ensures you that you’re buying a tested, food-ready product free of dangerous toxins. That includes the plastic lid strainer, coffee press glass, and stainless-steel body.
Its features and tiny size combined with the manufacturer’s lifetime replacement guarantee make the Café du Chateau French press one of the most customer-friendly options out there.
Why did it make our list?
Four-level filtration for a perfectly sealed brew, free of coffee grounds
Lifetime replacement guarantee
What is not ideal about it?
The plastic piece on the lid makes it occasionally hard to pour
This budget option for French press coffee from Bodum is designed to be the best iced coffee and cold brew coffee makers available at a low price. It doesn’t have a luxury look in its design, but this makes it good in other ways, such as when you want a cheap, portable French press to take with you on vacation.
This 100% dishwasher-safe machine has two lids designed for the perfect cold brew. One is BPA-free silicon and goes on when you put the Bodum in the fridge overnight and the other has the plunger that you use to press the coffee the next morning.
Whether you want to make coffee cold or hot, the lid lock on the Bodum will keep your drink at a stable temperature and perfectly sealed when it’s cooling in the fridge for 12 hours.
Since it only weighs 1.6 pounds but has a large 51-oz. capacity, the Bodum Cold Brew Coffee Maker is a budget choice that you can take on the go to make as much coffee as you need to pick everyone up the next morning.
The Coffee Gator French Press Coffee Maker’s high-tech exterior gives your kitchen a trendy appearance. It’s one of the best insulated French presses on the market with its double-walled stainless-steel insulation.
For cold brew French presses, this is also a top pick because of its vacuum-layered inside that keeps your iced coffee packed with flavor at a stable temperature. Double-filter pressing draws out all the essential oils from your grounds and preserves their flavor in an aromatic, granule-free brew.
304-grade stainless steel gives you a heavier and more protective appliance, so your coffee stays warm (guaranteed for an hour), and your French press can survive being dropped. The cool-touch handle has your needs in mind when you’re rushing in the morning and forget to protect yourself.
As a bonus, the Gator press also comes with a mini canister for keeping a little coffee leftover in the same professional-grade, high-class materials as the brewer itself.
What makes it special?
Double-walled stainless-steel build
Vacuum-layered for maximum temperature consistency
This is a sturdy, 18/10 stainless-steel French press made by Stanley, who has been providing people with durable gear and appliances since 1913. This makes the Stanley press one of the best coffee makers for camping since its rugged double-layered steel construction can take a beating.
If you take this outdoors, you’ll also appreciate that it keeps your coffee hot for four hours, and your cold brews cold for nine. This is due to those two layers of BPA-free steel that make this one of the most insulated French presses on the list.
The Stanley is also simple to clean and completely dishwasher safe, ensuring that you won’t have to break your back getting grounds out of nooks and crannies. Due to its timeless stainless-steel design, you also don’t have to worry about it rusting – another bonus for those hoping to take this appliance outdoors.
Another budget pick, the MIRA Stainless Steel French Press, is shatterproof and well-insulated. Rated highly both for coffee and as a French press for tea, the MIRA makes hot or cold brew coffee available in just 4-6 minutes.
The ultra-fine mesh that processes the grounds in the MIRA is similar to other models, but this model comes with three extra filters, which only sweetens the already low price.
For cold and hot coffee or loose-leaf tea, the MIRA is light and sturdy, ideal both for countertop use and for taking with you to work or on camping trips. The ergonomic handle stays cool, and the beautiful modern design gives you a trendy, designer-grade appliance to improve the look of your kitchen.
At a 34-oz. capacity, it’s neither the largest nor smallest on this list and should meet your needs if you know ahead of time how much coffee you plan on brewing.
What are our favorite features?
Great for both coffee and tea
Three extra filters included
Sleek, clean design
What could be better?
Not the largest liquid capacity
Things to Consider
When choosing between these various models, it becomes mandatory to know your needs so that you can compare them to the aptitudes of each machine. Whether you plan on using your French press outdoors or only in the kitchen impacts the materials and weight that would be best suited to you. If you know what you entertain, you may want the largest possible liquid capacity. This buying guide will help you compare the features and dimensions of the French presses you’re considering so that you can match your needs to the best available appliance.
Advantages of a French press
A normal drip coffee machine loses a lot of flavor during the brewing process due to the coffee beans retaining their essential oils rather than being “pressed” out into the drink, as they are through a French press. Paper filters also soak up a lot of these oils, reducing the drink’s aromatics and, ultimately, its flavor.
A French press doesn’t use these filters. Instead, it uses its stainless-steel, stoneware, or glass construction to steep coffee while you manually press the grounds with a steel plunger. Since this is a manual coffee maker, you can customize your coffee’s taste like never before: this is one of the biggest advantages of the best French presses.
Since you’re in control of the brewing process, you can change the amount of time the coffee steeps. If you grind your own beans (true connoisseurs insist that you should), you can use your preferences to alter textures and flavors to create your perfect cup of coffee.
By freeing the brewing process from electricity, you can also take a French press with you on the go. This is one reason why so many of the best French presses are stainless-steel: they are durable, dent-proof, and keep your coffee at the right temperature for hours, even outdoors.
Features to consider before you buy a French press
To achieve this level of personalization and high-quality brewing, you need to know how to find the right French press for you. Here we will compare the major features of French presses so that you can use this guide to work through the above product reviews and figure out which appliance best suits your needs.
The materials that go into a French press make a big deal in terms of durability, but this is not the only factor. Of course, you want your appliance to be able to take a hit. Since many of these French presses are stainless-steel, they can be taken camping or on vacation as well, giving you that perfectly customized cup of coffee in the car or campsite, as well as in the kitchen.
However, the material construction of a French press changes more than just its durability. Not all these models are completely dishwasher safe, and many (like the Bodum Cold Brew French Press) contain plastic. Plastic parts are fine, but make sure that they are 100% BPA-free and that the base of the French press that comes into contact with the hot coffee has no plastic in it.
Different materials have different insulation capacities and will keep your hot or cold brew coffee at a constant temperature for less or more time.
The pure stainless-steel Stanley French Press, for instance, boasts that your hot coffee stays hot for four hours, and your cold brew stays chilled for up to nine.
You will pay more for nicer materials. When looking at various steel models, you will notice price increases depending on how many steel “layers” it has, since this makes the machine even more durable and even more insulated. Especially if you plan on taking this with you outdoors, sturdy, insulated construction is a must and should be top of your list in terms of considerations when comparing these appliances.
Each appliance’s maximum capacity could change its usefulness to you. The models on this list range from around 34-oz. to the huge Bodum press, which can contain 51-oz. of liquid coffee at once. For those looking to take their French press on vacation, you may want a larger carrying capacity. Once your friends find out you have a French press, they’ll probably be over more often – you’ll want a larger capacity if you plan on entertaining as well.
Some of you may be looking for a great single cup French press, and that’s fine too. Just make sure you look for models that list their capacity in ounces rather than in “cups.” A press that lists its capacity that way may be exaggerating based on what it considers to be “one cup.” If it’s the true measurement of one cup, then it will be listed in ounces.
To keep yourself from being embarrassed at your brunch when you run out of fresh-pressed coffee because the listed capacity was exaggerated, look for honest measurements and plan ahead for how much coffee you think you’ll need at a time.
Some of these tools, like Stanley, are quite large (comparatively), standing a foot tall. This means they may have the edge in liquid volume capacity, but it could make them inconvenient to stow in a backpack or suitcase on vacation.
This is another reason why knowing how you intend to use your French press will help you decide which you want to buy.
If you know that small dimensions are going to be a factor for you, narrow your search to find the best small French press available.
On our list of reviews, the smallest is the French Press Coffee Maker by Café du Chateau, which measures only 5 x 5 x 5, making it perfectly suited to stowing in a carrying bag, taking it with you between hotels and in the car, or keeping packed away in your luggage.
Small dimensions may make cleaning your French press slightly more difficult, so the materials factor in again here since the more stainless-steel parts the press has, the more dishwasher safe it is (the Café du Chateau has you covered on that as well). Know beforehand if you’re willing to trade a little coffee capacity for a more compact unit to take with you on the go so you can sort your choices by dimensions and make the right call.
Different units have different weights as well as measurements, so you want to make sure that you know where you’ll be using this appliance before you buy it. Thankfully, our list of reviews doesn’t have a large spread in terms of weight.
The top of the weight class is the Le Creuset Stoneware French Press, weighing in at almost three pounds. It’s not a significant amount, but compared to the lightest – the Stanley French Press, at only 1.15 pounds – it may make a difference. You probably won’t want to lug the Le Creuset out into the wilderness or stow it in a light carrying bag.
Additionally, since French presses are so nice to have on vacations and at hotels, you may want to take it on a plane. Dimensions and weight make a big difference in this case. When you’re lugging anything around for a long time in a suitcase or backpack, every pound makes a difference, so make sure to check the statistics before you buy.
In a French press, coffee is made by squeezing or pressing the flavor from the grounds using a steel plunger operated manually that connects through the lid of the appliance. By compressing the grounds, you draw out their essential oils and flavors, giving French press coffee a uniquely pungent, aromatic flavor that fills the house and gives you a professional-grade cup of coffee every time. Coffee experts say you should grind your own beans for the most customizable coffee flavor possible, which you can steep for as long or as little as you like for your ideal cup of coffee.
Making cold brew in a French press is pretty much identical to making hot coffee. The main difference is in how many hours it takes for your coffee to brew (12 to 24 is listed on most cold brew French presses). There are also differences in the technique for brewing cold coffee. In cold brewing, you want to use room temperature water rather than hot water and a larger ratio of water to coffee. Most coffee experts recommend as wide a ratio as 1:7 coffee to water proportions to make the best cold brew mix.
The first thing to remember when cleaning a French press is to wait for it to cool. After that, use a spatula to scrape out the residual grounds (if you don’t mind, you might use your hands instead). Don’t use a metal spoon, or you could break the glass container on accident. Then, use soap and water and pump the press with the plunger to clean the sides. Baking soda and vinegar are optional cleaners you can add to water in order to scrub the parts separately after disassembling the press. While you don’t have to do this every time you do a routine clean, it helps to separate the parts periodically to get every inch of the machine with your cleaning solution (most manufacturers recommend disassembling it each time, but many owners find this tedious).
A good French press can bring you a personalized, aromatic cup of professional-grade coffee from the comfort of your kitchen or even on the go. By comparing these units based on their dimensions, their performance, and materials, you can match the appliance to your needs as a camper, entertainer, or just a hard worker that wants the perfect cup of coffee waiting for them when they get up in the morning.
Our Editor’s Choice is the Bodum Chambord French Press because of its above-average construction, incredibly stylish design, unbeatable flavor, and generally mid-range dimensions and weight that are suitable for almost any needs. Our Premium Pick is the Le Creuset Stoneware French Press because of its unique stoneware construction. Don’t plan on lugging it out to the campsite, but for a high price, the Creuset is classy and well-constructed. Finally, our Best Value pick is the Bodum Cold Brewer, which leads the pack in terms of its low price and has a high coffee capacity to boot. It’s nothing to write home about in terms of stylish design, but it will get the job done at an unbeatable price.
No matter which device you choose in your search for the best French press on the market, for cold, hot, or loose-leaf tea brews, these choices will set your morning off right, whether you’re dashing out of the house in need of a caffeine boost or enjoying your isolation with professionally-brewed coffee from the comfort of your own kitchen.