8 Best Thermal Coffee Makers | 2020 Reviews

best thermal coffee makers

Some like it hot. With coffee, everybody likes it hot. Sure, during the summer we like to have a nice, cool frappe here and there, but we all know that the very essence of coffee is its hotness.

Honestly, I would have a steaming hot coffee over a frappe anytime, even during the summer.

But sometimes it happens so that you’re forced to drink cold coffee.

Here’s the typical situation. You get up early in the morning, do your routine which of course involves brewing some tasty java. Most of the time you drink it there and then, but sometimes your attention gets shifted, and you kind of forget about your coffee.

When you eventually get back to your senses, you encounter a nasty surprise- a cold cup of coffee on your table!

There’s nothing left to do- you have to kind of gulp it in one go. My stomach kind of overreacts to this, and I presume that all stomachs really hate cold coffee.

But do not despair- there’s a solution- thermal coffee makers. These machines have a thermal carafe that will keep the essential heat. No more reasons to be afraid about cold java- your new thermal coffee maker will take care of it.

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Our Top Pick!
Ninja CM407 Specialty Coffee Maker

The best thermal coffee maker is most surely Ninja Specialty.  Yes, it is a bit more expensive (although not significantly). This fabulous machine will brew various types of drinks (cappuccinos, macchiatos…). With Ninja Specialty, brewing iced coffee is also possible. On top of it, you can choose from 6 different sizes. In conclusion, this is a typical all-around machine that will get the job done (and quickly).

What is a thermal coffee maker?

Simply put, this is a typical maker that comes with a thermal carafe. Let’s now inspect the best thermal coffee maker brands.

List of 8 Best Thermal Coffee Makers:

    
Cuisinart Stainless SteelCuisinart Stainless Steel

  • Capacity: 4 quarts (12 cups)
  • Brew options: 2 (bold or regular)
  • Programmability: Yes – 24 hours in advance
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Bunn CSB3TBunn CSB3T

  • Capacity: 50 ounces
  • Brew options: 1
  • Programmability: No
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Cuisinart SS 20Cuisinart SS 20

  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Brew options: 2 + different sizes (up to 4)
  • Programmability: Yes
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BonavitaBonavita

  • Capacity: 5 cups (can be overfilled to 6)
  • Brew options: /
  • Programmability: No
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Black+DeckerBlack+Decker

  • Capacity: 12 cups
  • Brew options: 2 + customization
  • Programmability: No
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BUNN BT VelocityBUNN BT Velocity

  • Capacity: 10 cups (in only 3 minutes!)
  • Brew options: 2
  • Programmability: No
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Ninja CM407Ninja CM407

  • Capacity: 6 cups
  • Brew options: Numerous drinks+ numerous drink sizes+ 2 drink strengths
  • Programmability: Yes
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HamiltonHamilton

  • Capacity: 12 cups
  • Brew options: 3 sizes + 2 drink types (bold and regular)
  • Programmability: Yes
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Thermal Coffee Makers Review

1. Cuisinart Stainless Steel – Thermal Coffeemaker

Cuisinart Stainless Steel – Thermal Coffeemaker

It’s safe to say that this is the hottest thermal coffee maker on the market! Figuratively of course. This Cuisinart product is a 12-cup thermal coffee maker, and it is one of the most popular coffee-related products on the Internet. There’s also the enhanced version that holds up to 14 cups, for those customers that really like to throw large parties and have lots of people over.

This machine comes in different colors- you can choose anything from a standard silver to matte, copper, and white.

You will get to choose between several strengths (bold and regular). Moreover, this Cuisinart maker is programmable (up to 24 hours in advance) and it has a “self-cleaning” option. Obviously, you won’t need cleaning instructions for this Cuisinart product!

While the thermal carafe holds up to 12 cups, you’ll be able to make 4 cups at a time maximum. In other words, you’ll need three “goes” to fill it up completely.

There’s also the “brew pause” feature- which is a bit confusing. Apparently, it will allow you to stop the brewing process so you can take the carafe and pour some coffee that’s already in.

  • Dimensions: 9 x 7.75x 14.25 (inches)
  • Weight: 10.2 pounds
Pros
  • Great capacity (up to 12 cups)
  • Affordable and economic (standard packaging)
  • Programmable, fully automatic thermal coffee maker
  • Best large thermal coffee maker
Cons
  • Warming plate might be prone to corrosion and rust

2. Bunn CSB3T – Speed Brew Platinum

Bunn CSB3T – Speed Brew Platinum

This is a thermal coffee maker that will last! And if something happens- you will get your money back as this product comes with a 3-year warranty. It’s assembled and designed in the USA, which is another way of saying “all parts are made in China”, but the first phrasing sounds much better.

The thermal carafe has a 50 ounce-capacity, which leaves a bit to be desired. Good thing is that all parts are dishwasher safe- yes you’ll have to clean it by yourself, unlike Cuisinart products that have the so-called “self-clean” option. Honestly, I would highly doubt that there’s one product in the world that doesn’t have to be cleaned manually after some time.

The carafe should keep your coffee hot for about 2 hours, thanks to its double walls and great insulation capacities.

Take care- the standard variant doesn’t include coffee filters, pitchers, or basket filters, so make sure to purchase these.

This Bunn maker will brew up to 10 cups in only 4 minutes which is a fascinating result. According to the manufacturer, this is much faster than other products in this category. Let’s be straightforward, Bunn kind of mentions the competition a lot- for instance, they stated that other thermal coffee makers can exceed the 200 F standard, which will then ruin the taste of your coffee.

Their product, on the other hand, has regulated temperature which will result in a consistent brew and taste. Finally, this coffee maker has to be turned on during the whole day if you want to make the most of its fast brew option. This is why some customers think it works the best in the office settings, whereas in your home it will tend to waste a lot of energy.

  • Dimensions: 13.9 x 8.3 x 14.9 (inches)
  • Weight: 10.43 pounds
Pros
  • Economic
  • 3-year warranty
  • Fast brew
Cons
  • Tends to waste energy (because it needs to stay on during the day)
  • Somewhat demanding for use (the water tank needs to be full or almost full all the time)

3. Cuisinart SS-20 - Thermal Coffee Maker

Cuisinart SS-20 – Thermal Coffee Maker

This coffee maker is special because it allows you to brew both a whole carafe of your favorite drink and a single cup! The carafe itself is a bit smaller- it will hold 10 cups max, while the options are pretty much the same as with other Cuisinart thermal carafe products.

For instance, this one also has the so-called 24-hour brew start, self-cleaning option, and several strength options. The carafe is adapted so you can always see how much water there’s left- via an “easy-view window”.

As always, plastic utilized is BPA free so you don’t have to worry about your health. You’ll get a three-year warranty which is great. Most other thermal coffee makers don’t have this option, so kudos to Cuisinart!

Now let’s focus on the single serve option. You can choose between 3 cup sizes (6, 8, or 10 ounces). Good thing is that single-serve is K-Cup compatible and it has its own filter. There’s the energy save mode for those environmentally-conscious customers.

Finally, there’s also the black variant of this product, which looks quite elegant and slick.

  • Dimensions: 10.75x 12.75 x 16.5 (inches)
  • Weight: 12.72 pounds
Pros
  • Single-serve option
  • Self-cleaning
  • Gold-tone filter that will stop all impurities
Cons
  • Some reviewers complain about the single-serve options- according to them it’s leaking

4. Bonavita - 5-cup Thermal Coffee Maker

Bonavita – 5-cup Thermal Coffee Maker

This is probably one of the best thermal coffee makers under $100. First of all, it has a one-touch brew option, and automatic turn off- you’ll waste no energy with this one.

With an accurate and powerful heater (1100 watt), you’ll get the ideal brewing temperature (between 198 °F and 205 °F)

The showerhead has a special design- which is ideal for small-batch extractions. According to the manufacturer, this maker is “stainless steel-lined” which is I think another way of saying- “we’ve put a lot of plastic in this thing”.

This showerhead will pour water over all the coffee grounds- ensuring maximum extraction.

Bonavita is quite fast- it will take you only 6 minutes to brew a 5-cup carafe. The coffee you’ll have after these 6 minutes will be like the one you get with the pour-over method- although not the same, because Bonavita only “mimics” the pour-over.

  • Dimensions: 12.3 x 6.2 x 10.6 (inches)
  • Weight: 5 pounds
Pros
  • Fast brewing
  • High-quality coffee that tastes like pour-over coffee
  • One of the most affordable (good) thermal coffee makers
  • The water tank can actually be overfilled so it can fit 6 cups (or 2 full mugs)
  • Rather compact and easy to fit anywhere
Cons
  • The cord you get along with this product is simply too short
  • Carafe tends to drip while pouring (but honestly this happens with almost all other thermal coffee makers)

5. Black+Decker - 12-cup Thermal Coffeemaker

Black+Decker – 12-cup Thermal Coffeemaker

12 cups is a kind of a standard for large-capacity products. The thermal carafe itself of course has double walls and it’s vacuum-sealed. But the most important thing is that it has the “no-drip Perfect Pour” technology. It’s as if Black + Decker read my last review where I mentioned that this is one of the most frequent problems of all carafes.

Other than that, this is a typical thermal coffee maker- perhaps it is a bit more compact than other large-capacity products, so it looks kind of odd with that big carafe, while the body of the maker is kind of small.

The water tank has a wide opening, which will allow you to clean it with no hustle. The manufacturer advises you to clean it with a damp towel which is a bit funny. One would expect some high-tech gear, but no, damp towel it is

Be careful about these two things:

  1. Flush it with vinegar water- when removing the water scale
  2. You should use a screen basket filter
  • Dimensions: 8 x 11 x 11.5 (inches)
  • Weight: 4 pounds
Pros
  • One of the cheapest thermal coffee machines
  • Good carafe capacity
  • Customized brew
Cons
  • It might be somewhat sensitive and prone to breaks

6. BUNN BT - Velocity Brew

BUNN BT – Velocity Brew

In my humble opinion, this is the best-looking product on my list! It has sharp lines and it’s kind of edgy.

Interestingly enough, BUNN BT has a special thermostat that will keep it working even in altitudes over 5000 feet. The water tank is made from stainless steel- while the handle is made from plastic. BUNN will make up to 10 cups of coffee in just 3 minutes- this has to be one of the fastest products out there.

Once again, the manufacturer boasts that its product is assembled and designed in the USA- which is a bit different from “made in the USA”.

The incredible velocity of this product may sometimes pose big problems to plastic parts and the overall quality of the coffee.

  • Dimensions: 9.25 x 2 x 14.25
  • Weight: 9.15 pounds
Pros
  • Extremely fast
  • Slick looks
  • Solid capacity (50 ounces)
Cons
  • Some customers argue that it’s too fast for finer types of ground coffee

7. Ninja CM407 - Specialty Coffee Maker

Ninja CM407 – Specialty Coffee Maker

I’ll shoot it right away- this is my favorite product on the list! First of all, the name. Ninja. Just like that.

Of course, there are many other interesting things, like, for instance, beverage variety- Ninja CM407 will brew lattes, cappuccinos, iced coffees, you name it. Moreover, there’s also the choice between rich and classic brew. In a nutshell, a rich brew is simply a stronger drink.

There are 6 different sizes: single cup, XL single cup, XL travel mug, travel mug, full carafe, and half carafe. Know those kinds of persons who are just don’t know what they want to drink? Well, they will have a lot of problems with this Ninja maker!

You’ll also get a great milk frother (for all those lattes, cappuccinos, and other drinks). No pods are needed for Ninja CM407.

This thermal coffee maker features a Thermal Flavor Extraction Technology that will assure great timing for coffee bloom, consistent saturation, and consistent temperature. Thanks to this technology, Ninja products have earned a Specialty Coffee Association Home Brewer Certification (SCA).

  • Dimensions: 11.99 x 8.75. 15.04 (inches)
  • Weight: 12.42 pounds
Pros
  • Great diversity of drinks
  • SCA- approved
  • A lot of different drink sized
  • Rather affordable for a coffee maker with so many options and tech gimmicks
Cons
  • It’s quite large so it will be somewhat challenging to fit it in more confined spaces

8. Hamilton Beach - Programmable Front Fill Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach – Programmable Front Fill Coffee Maker

This is the standard machine- something we all think of when someone says- coffee maker. Hamilton has a somewhat large water tank (12 cups). It has 3 options for brewing and a timer that can be programmed.

As usual, you’ll be able to choose between bold and regular coffee.

The manufacturer advises you to rinse the carafe with hot water before brewing to ensure maximum heat- sustaining capacities. They also state that you’ll get drip-free pouring which is not necessarily the case, so keep this in mind. I know this because I’ve seen one in action, and other people complain about the dripping when pouring coffee. To be honest, most thermal coffee makers suffer from this type of problem, so this is not that big of a deal.

Finally, the thermal capacities of the carafe are far from great. After about an hour you might even want to heat up your beverage once again.

  • Dimensions: 11.9 x 8.2 x 14.4 (inches)
  • Weight: 8.73 pounds
Pros
  • Economic
  • Compact
  • Robust
Cons
  • Even though the manufacturer states otherwise, the dripping problem is there (when pouring)

Thermal Carafe vs Glass Carafe

It all boils down to this question- is a thermal carafe better than a glass carafe? First of all, water tanks with double-wall isolation are often much more expensive than simple glass water tanks. This is obvious when one considers the prices of some of the aforementioned products and their glass-carafe versions. The price tends to go up with thermal carafes, and often significantly so.

The glass actually provides some kind of thermal insulation. But this is just not enough to keep your coffee warm for extended periods of time. On the other hand, the typical insulated water tank will keep your beverages warm for about 2 hours.

This is probably their maximum, and you’ll rarely find a manufacturer that offers some kind of super thermal carafe that will outdo this standard. It would probably be too expensive and unnecessary to make some kind of super-duper thermal water tank, at least for the average consumer.

In other words, if you like to brew a lot of coffee at the same time that should stay warm for sustained periods- the best choice would be to purchase a thermal coffee machine.

Capacity:

Another thing to consider is of course the capacity. Most products on this list make a beverage that resembles pour-over coffee, which is, as we all know, somewhat weak. No wonder Americans love to brew liters and sip it throughout the day.

You’d then want to choose a high-capacity water tank. Don’t let the numbers fool you. 12 normal cups (which is the capacity you’ll most frequently encounter) aren’t that much, considering that they equal to 2 or 3 big coffee mugs.

On the other hand, if you’re okay with only one or two coffee cups, you can opt for a smaller water tank. You’ll also save some money at the same time.

Speed:

Some products on this list have great capacity, but the speed just isn’t there. If you want to buy a thermal coffee maker for your office, it might be a good idea to consider the speed aspect. The last thing you want is a line in front of the machine, people waiting ages for their morning dose.

When appropriate, I’ve emphasized which are the fastest coffee makers on my list. But there are also some downsides of brewing coffee too quickly! There’s a reason people made a whole machine for it- espresso machines. The finer the grounds, the more intricate the whole process becomes. Most thermal coffee makers are fairly simple (and lack the power) to ensure the proper fast coffee.

So be careful when a manufacturer boasts about its fast coffee maker.

FAQs

Can I buy a thermal coffee maker with a grinder?

For sure, but these are somewhat harder to find. Cuisinart actually has a few good grind and brew machines (Cuisinart DGB-650 BC, for instance). Capresso is another possible choice, but honestly, this producer seems a bit less serious and professional than all the manufacturers mentioned in this text, so I decided not to include Capresso here.

What is the best manufacturer of thermal coffee makers?

This would most surely be Cuisinart. These guys make a lot of products from this category, and they sell a lot of them daily. I actually had to restrain myself from including like 5 different Cuisinart products in this text because there’s so many of them! Perhaps I will make a text specifically on Cuisinart machines.

Conclusion

That’s about it, now you are more than ready to go out there and get the best possible thermal coffee maker.

I’ve mentioned the 10 products that are the best- and I used several criteria while I was doing my research. I also made a kind of a rundown of all the important factors you need to consider if you wanna go out searching for the best product.

Top Rated Thermal Coffee Makers:

Ivan is a 24-year old graphic design and computer science student from Serbia who loves driving motorcycle in his free time and is absolutely obsessed with nature, sports and hanging out with friends.

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