Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: December 14, 2020
Wise Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Coffee drinkers are probably used to the old style of coffee makers, which have a glass carafe to catch the brew seated on a burner to keep it hot. The downside of these models is that they can burn the coffee if it isn’t drunk right away. That’s why many coffee lovers are opting for the best thermal coffee maker. It can maintain the temperature without the use of the burner, so the coffee stays as fresh and delicious as when it is first poured.
When choosing a thermal coffee maker, there are a few features to check out. One is the capacity of the carafe, so you can make as much coffee as you need. A programmable model lets you set your brewing time well in advance. The dimensions of the whole unit are important, especially if you have limited counter space. Warranty is also something to look at, to be sure you’re covered if you receive a faulty machine.
With so many brands and models available, it may be difficult to decide which one is the best thermal coffee maker for you. To help you make this choice, we’ve spent hours looking at different models and manufacturers, checking out their product features, and reading hundreds of customer reviews. Then we chose the top models, created a comparison table with some in-depth reviews, and added a buying guide, all to help you make the best decision possible.
Cuisinart is one of the top appliance brands on the market, so it is no wonder they have the best rated thermal coffee maker there is. It is built well, with a simple yet stylish design. This model also has an abundance of great features any coffee lover with adore.
First off, the thermal carafe holds up to 12 cups of rich-flavored coffee. It has a stainless steel handle and keeps your coffee hot for hours. The spout, however, is a bit small, making pouring tricky. You need to tip it over quite a bit to pour out the coffee or fill up the machine with water, but this shouldn’t take long to get used to, especially if you’re drinking coffee every day.
The machine has all the buttons and the display right on the front for easy access. These buttons allow you to program the many features this coffee maker has to offer. The Brew Strength control lets you choose regular or bold flavors. Brew Pause enables you to stop the flow to grab a quick cup before the brewing process is complete.
There is also a 1-4 cup setting, an optional “coffee ready” alert, auto-off, self-cleaning, and a 60-second reset, which remembers the settings and how far along the brewing process is if there is a sudden power outage, so you don’t need to worry about making any adjustments when it comes back on again.
What we liked:
Keeps coffee hot for hours
The process can be stopped to get a quick cup and continued automatically
Just because you buy the best 12 cup coffee maker with a thermal carafe, it doesn’t mean you need to make that much coffee every time you turn it on. The Breville BDC450 allows you to brew the exact amount you want, even including a Steep and Release valve that keeps the water in contact with the coffee for a bit longer when you choose to use a smaller cup instead of the carafe.
This machine comes with a variety of pre-set options to choose from, including Fast, Strong, Iced, Cold Brew, My Brew, and Gold, which will adjust the water temperature and the brewing time according to Specialty Coffee Association standards.
The PID Control can adjust the water temperature while the Pump Control lets you choose the flow rate for customizable contact time between the water and the coffee grinds. There is even a Thermocoil Heating System in this machine that delivers pure and delicious water for the perfect cup of coffee every time.
Included with this thermal coffee maker are two filter baskets, a flat bottom, and a cone filter, so you can brew any amount of coffee exactly the way you like it. The water tank has a wide opening for easy filling. The carafe also has a large opening at the top for cleaning, plus the perfect spout for pouring without any spills. Two control buttons let you adjust your settings quickly and easily.
If you still want the best thermal carafe coffee maker but can’t afford a high-end model, the BLACK+DECKER CM2035B is an excellent option. The price is nice and low, but it still has all the features you need in a good coffee maker.
The carafe is double-walled and vacuum-sealed, so it keeps the coffee you brew at the perfect hot temperature for a few hours, so you can sip it nice and slow or drink it fast, whichever you prefer. This carafe is also huge, holding up to 12 cups of coffee so that you can make enough for a large group of people at home or at your workplace.
This carafe includes a No-Drip Perfect Pour Spout, which reduces spillage when you’re pouring it. It also has a wide-mouth opening to make it easy to wash it out or just give it a quick wipe between brews. Cleanup is much faster, giving you more time for anything else on your agenda.
The machine is programmable, with customizable brewing options, so you can set it to make the brew as weak or as strong as you like. You can also choose the small batch setting to make 1-4 cups of coffee without sacrificing the flavor of a larger pot.
Another handy feature is the Evenstream Showerhead, which sprays the water evenly over the grounds for the proper flavor extraction while reducing wasted grounds.
Those who like to grind their own beans or don’t have a separate grinder will love the convenience of the Cuisinart DGB-550BK. This machine includes a grinder with a large hopper that can hold up to half a pound of beans. When you’re ready to brew your pot of coffee, you can choose the amount you want, select the strength and the grind you prefer, and start the brewing process.
This does require extra cleaning, though, as some of the grounds can get caught in the grinder or chute. As well as altering the flavor of future pots of coffee, this can clog the whole machine, reducing how well your grinder works, so be sure to clean all of the grinder parts every day.
The Cuisinart is 24-hour programmable, so you can set it to start brewing whenever you want. There is also an auto shut-off that turns it off when the brewing is finished. This machine even has a Grind Off function if you prefer to use pre-ground coffee instead of grinding your own beans.
Also included with this coffee machine are two filters, a charcoal water filter and a permanent gold tone filter for getting the best, freshest coffee taste possible. The carafe is double-wall insulated stainless steel with a comfort grip handle, designed to keep up to 12 cups of coffee hot for at least a few hours after its brewed.
The BUNN BT Velocity Brew 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Brewer has an extremely simple design, making it easy to brew yourself a fresh pot of coffee every morning. All you need to do is add your coffee grinds, fill up the water tank, and close the lid to start the brewing process. There are no complicated buttons or settings to use, either, for an easy learning process.
The carafe is double wall vacuum insulated, so it keeps your coffee nice and hot for up to two hours, allowing you to take your time enjoying it. You can also brew only a few cups or up to the full ten cups if needed, depending on how many people plan on drinking it.
The machine has a stainless steel internal water tank, so it heats up your water quickly and keeps it at the optimal temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit for perfect brewing. There is a spray head design, which covers all of the grounds for the perfect extraction of flavor, plus it speeds up the brewing process, so your coffee is ready in only minutes.
The only downside of this machine is that the fast spray is meant for rough grounds. If you prefer finer ground coffee or a stronger brew, Bunn has a restricted flow spray head available that they may send out at no extra cost.
What we liked:
Double-wall vacuum insulated carafe
Spray head design
Simple to use
What could be better:
Restricted flow spray head required for finer ground coffee or stronger brews
The best coffee maker with a thermal carafe should be easy to use and built to last. The Zojirushi EC-YSC100 has a great design that will last for years, plus makes brewing your favorite blend a breeze. It can make up to ten cups of coffee at a time, so you can serve to a group or make however much you like for yourself to sip throughout the day.
Vacuum insulation in the stainless steel carafe will keep your coffee nice and hot for hours. It has a thumb activated spout that won’t drip all over your counter or table while you’re pouring.
This machine is easy to fill with both water and coffee. The water tank is removable, with cup measurements on the side to make it easier to brew the amount you want. The basket swings out for filling with coffee grinds, and the filter basket is removable when it’s time for cleaning.
If you want to grab a cup while it’s still brewing, the drip prevention mechanism halts the brewing process when the carafe is removed, so you won’t have any spills to clean up.
There is a 24-hour programmable timer, allowing you to set it for a specific brewing time, so it is ready when you need a cup of great coffee. The clean light tells you when it’s time to give the entire machine a thorough cleaning using the automated clean cycle.
If you’re in the market for a new thermal coffee maker, the Technivorm Moccamaster KBTS 79212 is worth taking a look at. It is an eight-cup model, though this is measured in European cups, so if you’re using a big mug, you may get a few less than you bargained for. This model is also simple to use, easy to clean, and is super quiet.
There is a copper boiling element in the machine, which heats the water quickly and maintains the perfect temperature for the best flavor extraction. When the water tank is empty, the element turns off automatically for added convenience.
There is a nine-hole outlet arm that pulses the water over the coffee grounds in the brew basket. The placement of the holes may not wet all of the grounds, though, so some stirring or basket adjustment may be needed. The brew basket also has three settings to allow for longer steeping or lets you pause the flow of water to remove the carafe and pour a cup in the middle of the brewing process.
Though this machine is made with quality materials, including metal housings and safe plastics, many of the parts are not actually attached, including the brew basket, its lid, and the water reservoir lid. This means you may need to be careful when using it to keep everything in place.
What we liked:
Great coffee taste
Easy to clean
Simple to use
What could be better:
Many parts are not attached to the coffee maker
May not wet all the grounds: the brew basket might need some adjustments
Things to Сonsider
If you are a coffee-lover, you’ll likely want a machine that gives you a great cup of your favorite drink every time. The best thermal coffee maker includes a carafe, which keeps your coffee nice and hot for a few hours, so you can drink it throughout your morning or afternoon at your leisure, without resorting to microwaving any cold brews. The guide below will help you find the best of the best.
Advantages of thermal coffee makers
All coffee machines make coffee, that’s the only reason they were created. Of course, not all coffee makers are created equal. The older style usually includes a glass carafe that sits on a heated plate, which is meant to keep the coffee hot. The downside of these machines is that the plate essentially continues to cook the coffee, altering the taste in a rather negative way. After a while, the coffee has a burned flavor that no one wants to drink.
A thermal coffee maker, like the Cuisinart DCC-3400, includes a special carafe that keeps the coffee hot all on its own, eliminating the need for the heated plate. This not only maintains the coffee’s temperature, but it also keeps the flavor delicious for hours.
Another benefit of these machines is that they include a whole host of features, like programmable timers, auto-stop, brewing pause functions, and much more. Sure, they may not have all the fancy features that something like a latte machine or semi-automatic espresso maker would, but this means you can make your coffee however you want, whenever you want, and as much as you want at any time.
Features to consider while choosing a thermal coffee maker
Coffee makers are meant to make coffee but many of them come with a bunch of features you may want to consider before you buy one. In order to help you decide which one is the perfect thermal coffee machine for you, check out the following sections, so you know you’re getting the right machine to meet your needs.
When looking at the capacity of the best drip coffee maker with a thermal carafe, what you really need to watch for is the maximum number of cups the machine can produce. This can vary, from small eight-cup machines like the Technivorm Moccamaster KBTS 79212 to a large twelve-cup model like the BLACK+DECKER CM2035B. If you only plan on making coffee for yourself, you likely won’t need the larger carafe. Those making coffee for a few adults in their home or at a workplace may need the bigger models, though, to keep everyone happy and well-caffeinated.
Another thing to consider is what type of cup the machine is referring to. European cups are smaller than American cups, so be sure to check out the actual size of the cups being used to ensure you’re getting the size you’re expecting.
If it’s programmable
There’s nothing like waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee but if you don’t have someone that gets up early and makes it for you, a programmable thermal coffee maker is the way to go. This feature allows you to fill the water tank and the coffee grounds in advance, then set a timer for the coffee to brew whenever you need it to. This way, it will make itself while you wake up, shower, get dressed, or do anything else in your normal daily routine. Then, when you’re ready for the perfect cup of coffee, it is already made for you.
If there’s an inbuilt grinder
Pre-ground coffee is easy to find but nothing beats a cup of coffee made with freshly ground quality beans. This is why some coffee maker brands add a built-in grinder into the makeup of their machines, like the one in the Cuisinart DGB-900BC. This allows you to add your favorite beans to the machine, grind the amount you want for the size of the pot you`re brewing and the strength you prefer, and make your coffee exactly the way you like it.
This feature does require a bit of extra cleaning time as the grinding process can be a bit messy but coffee connoisseurs will likely be up for the challenge. The built-in grinder also takes up less space since you don`t need to have a separate grinder sitting next to your coffee maker on your counter.
Brew settings take a lot of the guesswork out of making coffee. There are a few types of brew settings to choose from. One is the amount of coffee you want to make. For instance, just because the BLACK+DECKER CM2035B can make a full twelve cups of coffee, it doesn`t mean you want that much brewed every time. Brew settings allow you to choose the amount of coffee you want to drink and then brew the pot accordingly.
Another handy setting is the coffee strength. Some coffee makers allow the water to steep the coffee grounds for longer, pulling out more of the flavor for a stronger cup. They also have faster brewing options for those who like their coffee taste a bit weaker.
The dimensions of your thermal coffee maker matter more than you may think, especially if you have limited counter space to use it on. Most people leave their coffee makers out all the time, so it is ready for them in the mornings when a good cup of coffee is needed. If the coffee maker is huge, it may not fit well in the space you have available, taking space away from your other appliances or limiting your prep area for mealtimes.
You should also focus as much on the height as you do the length and depth of the machine. If you are trying to squeeze it under a cupboard, there should be a bit of space to spare. This way, you`ll have some room to fill the water tank and the brew basket. Otherwise, you`ll have to pull it out from under your cupboards every time you need to make a pot of coffee, which will become a hassle over time.
When you buy a new thermal coffee maker, your expectation is that it`s going to last for years. Unfortunately, this isn`t always the case. There could be all kinds of issues that pop up when you`re least expecting them, usually due to faulty parts or manufacturing errors. A good warranty covers you for any of these issues.
Short one-year warranties are fine if any problems with the machine show up right away. Longer warranties, like the five-year limited one on the Technivorm Moccamaster KBTS 79212, give you a bit more piece of mind if any faulty pieces don`t break down until the machine has been through a thorough testing period in your home.
Though the ability to make coffee and keep it hot is the main reason to buy the best automatic drip coffee maker with a thermal carafe, there are a few features that make using them a bit easier. One is a removable water tank, which lets you take the tank to the sink to fill it up. Water level indicators on the tank also make it easier to make the amount of coffee you want. These usually have markings in cups, too, which helps when making smaller pots.
If you don`t keep your coffee maker plugged in all the time or you plan to take it with you while you travel, cord storage is a handy thing to have. It keeps the cord out of the way rather than keeping it draped over your counter or hanging down as you try to move it. An LCD display is another handy addition to your thermal coffee maker. This lets you see all of the settings you have chosen, including the strength, amount of coffee brewing, and the time you`ve programmed in for the brewing process to start. It also likely has a clock, so you can keep track of your time if you`re getting ready for work.
How to clean your thermal coffee maker
When cleaning your thermal coffee maker, you need to be careful to make sure you do so properly. Some of the machine parts may be dishwasher friendly so that you can put them in there during your regular loads. You can also wash them in the sink with warm soapy water, making sure to dry them well before putting them back together.
The carafe is a different story, though. These are not always dishwasher safe due to the vacuum insulation. To get rid of coffee stains in the pot, try the following:
Add 1 cup of baking soda to the coffee pot
Fill the pot with warm water
Scrub the inside of the pot with a dish brush
Dump out the water and rinse
If stains remain, add another 2 tablespoons and a ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide to the pot
Swirl the mixture around for 1 minute to coat the inside then let sit for half an hour
The design of the thermal carafe won`t keep your coffee hot for the entire day, but it should be able to maintain the temperature for at least a few hours. Some of them even stay hot for four or five hours. This does depend on the temperature the coffee starts at, though. Hotter coffee will cool off much slower than lukewarm coffee, regardless of how well the thermal pot is designed.
Filtering water isn`t a necessity when brewing coffee, though unfiltered water can alter the taste. If you`re dealing with hard water or water from a well, there could be a lot more minerals in there to deal with. For the purest coffee flavor, filtered water may be a necessity for some people, depending on their home water supply. There are also some coffee makers that include an inbuilt water filtration system that takes care of this process for you, giving you a great cup of coffee every time.
Many of the thermal coffee makers that we`ve reviewed here come with brewing options that allow you to make a smaller pot of coffee rather than a full pot. For some of them, you would just use less water and coffee grounds while others let you fill up the water tank, add your grounds, and select the amount of coffee you want the machine to make. This allows to make the perfect amount of coffee for just one or two people to drink instead of throwing away extra cups no one wants.
The best thermal carafe coffee maker lets you make your favorite blend and keep it hot for hours at a time without the need for a heating plate. This not only allows you to take the pot to the table for serving but keeps the coffee flavor as delicious as it is when you first brew it. Though all of the products we`ve reviewed here are great options for your home or office, there are a few that rise above the rest.
The Cuisinart DCC-3400 is a twelve-cup model with a sleek, stylish design. It has great features like the Brew Strength Control, Brew Pause, 1-4 cup setting, auto-off, coffee ready alert, and even a 60-second reset during a power outage.
The Breville BDC450 is another twelve-cup model, with a large carafe and water tank opening for easy filling and cleaning. It comes with multiple pre-set options, PID Control for the water temperature, Pump Control for the flow rate, and even includes two filter baskets.
Our budget option is the BLACK+DECKER CM2035B, which has a great low price without skimping on the features. The carafe has a No-Drip Perfect Pour Spout and a wide mouth opening. It also features custom brewing options, small batch settings, and an Everstream Showerhead for perfect grounds saturation.