After researching the best pour over coffee makers on the market, our team of coffee professionals purchased the top 13 brewers for extensive side-by-side testing. We standardized our pour over technique using the same coffee, ratio, grind size, and water temperature. Using this baseline recipe, we brewed copious amounts of coffee, evaluating each dripper's brew quality, ease of use, and durability. Finding the right brewer is an ambitious endeavor with endless options, and our comprehensive analysis is designed to lead you to the best dripper for your preferences and budget. If you're ready to make hand-poured coffee part of your morning routine, we're here to help.
There are many methods for brewing coffee and a couple of essential tools for making that perfect cup at home. If you're looking to explore the flavor nuances of coffee, you will want to invest in a quality grinder. A gooseneck electric kettle is also ideal for the temperature and flow accuracy required for pour over brewing. If you love cafe-style drinks, you might be interested in our review of the best home espresso machines, and if you're mainly interested in convenience, check out our picks for the best Keurigs.
Editor's Note: We edited our pour over coffee maker review on June 19, 2023, to remove a product that is no longer available.
If you walk into a specialty shop anywhere in the world, chances are you will find a Hario V60 dripper. The V60 is so iconic that the name replaces the words "pour over." Built from a traditional Japanese style of ceramics over 400 years old, the V60 produces the cleanest cup imaginable. This dripper highlights the most delicate nuances and retains heat without scorching your coffee. The spiral ribs that line the cone-shaped interior extract subtle flavor notes while creating airflow to maintain an even brewing temperature. Functional and beautiful, we also like that this dripper has a handle and is easy to keep clean. A quick rinse with hot water ensures a clean vessel ready for the next brew.
We found it hard to find flaws with the Hario V60. It produces exceptional coffee at a reasonable price. However, when it is time to purchase filters, you probably won't find them at the supermarket. You can order Hario 02 filters online, but we recommend sourcing filters at your local coffee roastery — where you can also pick up some fresh and tasty beans. Making great coffee with this dripper does take some practice, and for repeatable results, we suggest pairing the V60 with a burr grinder, kitchen scale, and a gooseneck kettle. We realize those additional purchases might seem like a lot, but we promise it's worth the investment — the V60 is hands down the best dripper we tested.
Claiming to be the original pour over coffee maker, the Melitta 1-Cup Coffee Cone is a great affordable entry-level option for manual brewing. This single-cup brewer is lightweight and easy to use. With a view-hole built into the base, the Melita design allows you to see into the cup to help prevent overfilling. Melitta filters are commonly available at the grocery store; however, any flat-bottomed #2 conical filter is compatible. Constructed from durable plastic, this dripper is also a decent option for camping or travel if you have room in your bag.
The plastic construction of the Melitta is not suitable for proper heat retention, resulting in an uneven extraction and lower-quality flavor. Coupled with a natural unbleached filter, this pour over coffee maker produces coffee with hints of bitterness and brown paper bag. While the Melitta will probably not satisfy specialty coffee drinkers, for most folks, it's a fine option — we just recommend using a bleached filter to help with cup quality.
The Kalita Stainless Wave Dripper 155 produces a well-rounded, crisp, and flavorful cup with minimal bitterness. This pour over coffee maker is compact and straightforward. The flatbottom dripper is designed to help to saturate coffee grounds evenly and is more forgiving than conical brewers. With a gooseneck kettle, using the Kalita is as easy as a few quick pours. This dripper is sturdy and lightweight, making it a good option for travel.
The Kalita Wave produces a great cup of coffee; however, it does not match the sweetness of the Hario V60. The stainless steel material of this dripper also holds onto heat, so we suggest a slightly lower brew temperature to prevent scorching. In addition to the Kalita brand filters, a gooseneck kettle and a scale will be imperative for consistent results. If you're willing to take those few extra steps, the Wave is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to make a good pour over without as big a learning curve.
Material: Glass, wood, leather | Brew Capacity: 40 oz
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Uses proprietary filters
Has a learning curve
For decades the Chemex Eight Cup Classic brewer has been a staple in homes and cafes alike. Celebrated for its eye-catching design, the Chemex is part of the permanent collection at the Brooklyn Museum and on display at the MOMA. The excellent flavor quality from this dripper is sure to satisfy any household with more than one coffee drinker. With its one-piece construction, the Chemex is also convenient to brew and serve from the same carafe. Chemex filters are extra fine and do an exceptional job minimizing oils in your coffee. For the cleanest cup possible, we suggest using bleached filters.
The Chemex uses its specific name-brand filters, which can be difficult to find. Unless you have a specialty shop nearby that carries Chemex products, you need to order them online. Like other cone-style models, there is a learning curve before achieving great-tasting coffee. For repeatable results, you'll need a scale, and a gooseneck kettle will facilitate a slow and even pour. The Chemex is a terrific option for households prioritizing quality and flavor.
Made of medical-grade stainless steel and finished with a protective powder coating, the MiiR Pourigami is the most durable dripper in our review. It's composed of three pieces that slot together, forming a triangle-shaped brewer. MiiR provides a carrying case that neatly fits the walls of the brewer and has extra space to store filters. This pocket-sized dripper folds down to nothing, making it an excellent option for any kind of travel. With convenience in mind, the Pourigami is designed to fit a plethora of cups and bottles, making it possible to brew pour over coffee in a pinch. This brewer is compatible with Hario 02 and Origami filters.
At first, assembling the Pourigami is a little bit of a puzzle. Pouring into its triangular shape also takes some getting used to. Yet, with repetition, you will quickly get the hang of it. It requires some concentration not to overshoot while at the same time pouring quickly enough to keep from over-extracting the coffee. While the Pourigami will be a great addition to a camping or travel setup, there are more convenient options for homebrewers.
Why You Should Trust Us
This review compiles years of research and testing. We studied verified customer reports and spent hours researching top contenders. After making our final selection, we determined our testing metrics and compared the products side-by-side. Next, we standardized our pour over technique using the same coffee, ratio, grind size, and water temperature. We brewed hundreds of pour overs and recorded the results using this baseline recipe.
When creating a test plan, we focused on the three key metrics that we think are most relevant to a great dripper:
Brew Quality (50% of overall score weighting)
Ease of Use (30% weighting)
Durability (20% weighting)
Leading this review is coffee professional Liz Nelson, founder of Cuttylane Coffee Roasters in Southwest Colorado. Liz imports and roasts coffee directly from Native Root out of Bogotá, Colombia. From spending time in coffee-growing countries to working in roasteries and cafes, she helps bridge the gap between coffee producers and consumers. In addition, Liz brings a keen eye to equipment and the user experience, making her an asset to the GearLab testing process.
Analysis and Test Results
Coffee is of extreme value if you want to integrate hand-poured brewing into your morning ritual. In specialty coffee, each producing country offers flavor nuances from the terroir unique to their region's climate. With the proper grind, water temperature, and ratio, a pour over coffee maker is the best tool for extracting those desirable flavors we seek to enjoy. Continue reading to learn about some of the best drippers on the market.
We define value as the balance between price and performance. The Melitta 1-Cup is a high-value product we easily recommend because it offers the lowest sticker price without sacrificing flavor. This economical option for pour over brewing also provides above-average performance in heat retention. The Primula Brew Buddy is another great option if you're on a tight budget, traveling, or camping. While the flavor quality isn't nearly as good due to how the Buddy steeps when brewing, it might please people that enjoy darker-roasted coffee or the option to also brew loose-leaf tea. The OXO Brew Pour-Over is another economical option for those that want a really simplified process. However, if you're willing to spend just a tiny bit more and refine your process, there's no better option than the Hario V60.
We evaluated brew quality in various rounds of taste testing using the same coffee, grind size, and water temperature. The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) recommends a 1:18 ratio. We used a 1:17 ratio with a particular coffee from Terradento in Cauca, Colombia, to highlight delicate nuances of raisin, cherry, and citrus tasting notes.
Our target brew time was short, around 2.5-3 minutes. We used a brew recipe of 19 grams of coffee with a 40-gram bloom for 30 seconds, a 220-gram pour and swirl, and finishing the pour at 330 grams. This method closely follows brewing techniques used in specialty cafes, and it is a similar method to Elika Liftee's pour that won the 2020 United States Coffee Championships. This repeatable baseline recipe allowed us to observe any outliers from brewer to brewer.
There is an art to making pour over coffee; a comprehensive guide can help you to dial in your method.
We hosted several blind tastings with coffee professionals and enthusiasts to test each brewer's flavor quality. Our testing consisted of tasting coffees from each brewer and ranking each cup. Beyond subjective testing, we performed objective tests. We measured the total brew times for each dripper and took initial temperature readings of every freshly brewed cup. Then we waited for the coffee to cool before conducting a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) reading with a refractometer to determine how well each dripper and filter extracted coffee.
The Hario V60 takes first place for brew quality. This classic dripper produces a well-balanced coffee that is sweet and bright with almost no bitterness. The Slow Pour Origami takes a close second, making yet another beautifully extracted, juicy coffee with noticeably more acidity (the good kind). These nonporous ceramic drippers are conducive to producing the cleanest cup possible, excelling at unlocking the full spectrum of flavor from specialty coffee. Each dripper has uniquely designed interior ribs that create airflow, making the perfect temperature coffee ready to drink immediately. For those who like their coffee really hot, it's helpful to note that the Slow Pour Origami produced a hotter cup than the V60. Furthermore, these brewers have such effective filtration that virtually no sediment was left at the bottom of our cups.
Rinse Your Filter!
Rinsing your filter not only helps to warm up your dripper but also eliminates paper flavor that can transfer into your cup. Just remember to dispose of the rinse water before you begin brewing!
In our blind tasting, several brewers tied for third place; the Chemex 8-Cup, Kalita Wave, and the Fellow Stagg Dripper X. Unfortunately, these drippers fell short of the V60 quality because of some defects detected in the cup they produced.
Dating back to the 1940s, the Chemex is a classic "go-to" dripper. However, we found that using natural unbleached filters produced a slightly dirty-tasting cup. Rinsing your filter helps eliminate unwanted papery flavors, but a bleached filter will produce a cleaner final cup. Additionally, this may be hard to taste and a non-issue if you prefer darker roasted coffee. However, if you enjoy lighter roasts, we recommend using the bleached filter option for better-tasting results.
The flat bottom design of the Kalita Wave and the Fellow Stagg Dripper allow for a more even water distribution during brewing. Though effective for even extraction, we found their metal makeup is almost too good at heat retention. When sampling coffees brewed from these drippers, the cups were a little ashy and dry, indicating that brew conditions were possibly too hot in these drippers. The Kalita and Fellow had higher TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) readings than coffees brewed at the same temperature in ceramic vessels. We love the simplicity of the Kalita and were captivated by the design of the Fellow with a vacuumed sealed dripper and double-walled glass carafe; however, we recommend a slightly lower water temperature to prevent scorching from these particular brewers.
Ease of Use
In this metric, we used the same brew recipe to determine how easy or hard it was to make a good cup of coffee from each dripper. How approachable is the brewer for your average consumer; can you get similar results by using a coffee scoop vs. a scale? We compared the baseline recipe results to a non-measured approach that is more likely to match the brewing style of the everyday coffee drinker.
We recommend brewing with an electric gooseneck kettle for the precision required to successfully make a good pour over. Not only is flow rate important, but using an accurate brew temperature (the SCA recommends 200°F) is essential to unlocking the full spectrum of flavor notes that specialty coffee offers.
After brewing, what is the vessel like to clean? Is it a quick filter pull and rinse scenario, or does it require soaking/scrubbing? Does the carafe require a bottle brush? It's important that the process isn't tedious so that you can enjoy it as part of your daily ritual.
We kept note of each brewer's functionality throughout the brewing, cleaning, and storing process. For example, is the material conducive to a clean cup, or does it absorb oils and flavors? Is the brewer made of a metal that gets too hot for optimal coffee brewing? What is the versatility of the brewer? Are there other uses for the vessel?
The Clever Coffee Dripper takes the cake for ease of use. Brewing in this pour over coffee maker is as easy as lining the dripper with a provided filter, adding ground coffee, and filling it with water. You then allow the brew to steep for as long as you desire and place the brewer on top of your cup, which opens up the base to dispense your brew. When considering your total brew time, note that this dripper takes about one minute to decant. You don't need a gooseneck kettle to pour into the wide mouth of the Clever, making the process that much easier. This single-pour method reduces the usual steps to pour over brewing and makes for a more streamlined experience.
The OXO Brew dripper ties for second place with the Kalita Wave and the Bodum Pour Over. Without needing a kitchen scale or gooseneck kettle, the OXO is designed with beginners in mind. This is the only brewer in our lineup with a water tank. This removable option lets you pour hot water into the tank and automatically controls the flow rate.
Due to its large capacity, easy cleaning, and washable stainless filter, the Bodum Pour Over did exceptionally well in this metric. The rubber grip collar is removable, and all components, including the carafe and filter, are dishwasher safe. And, as previously mentioned, the flatbottom Kalita Wave is designed to saturate coffee grounds evenly. The Wave is dishwasher safe, but with paper filters, we found this dripper easy enough to clean by just rinsing it with hot water.
Finally, we tested the durability of each brewer. This metric was divided into the sub-metrics of fragility and resilience.
Fragility was tested by observing the handling of the dripper during brewing, cleaning, and storing. Is the brewer fragile, or does it require extra care? How does each brewer feel when wet in the sink — is it slippery and easy to break? How would it travel? We tested resilience by looking at how each brewer holds up over time and whether it will stain or collect oils even when washed regularly.
The Miir Pourigami, Kalita Wave, and Primula Brew Buddy earned the top durability scores. We actually loaded these drippers into a backpack and took them on a long trip. Venturing through numerous airports and planes, we carried the brewers into the coffee lands of Colombia.
The Miir Pourigami features impressive construction with a three-panel stainless steel design that fits together to form a triangular dripper. It can handle being dropped, knocked over, or tossed in a bag without problems. Perhaps the most durable option in our entire lineup, the panels of the Pourigami separate to fold flat and fit into a provided sleek and sturdy carrying case. This dripper is an excellent option for traveling or backpacking, where other drippers may be cumbersome or likely to break. If space is an issue, the Pourigami is the solution.
While one of our coffee farmer friends marveled over the simplicity of the Brew Buddy, we must acknowledge its poor brew quality. However, the versatility of this brewer is impressive. For tea drinkers, this dripper may resemble a tea-steeping device. The Brew Buddy is comprised of a reusable mesh filter attached to a rigid plastic ring. The ring sits on top of a cup or any vessel while the mesh basket hangs inside. This pocket-sized dripper is an excellent option for backpacking, requiring nothing more than your coffee and water. That said, paper filters are more effective at producing better-tasting coffee than this reusable mesh filter. But the ultralight Brew Buddy certainly gets the job done if you are in the backcountry or traveling with limited options for purchasing paper filters.
The Kalita Wave is small but mighty. This dripper is made of lightweight materials with a closed-loop handle. The handle allows you to move the dripper around quickly and securely while brewing or cleaning. The Wave feels delicate, but after bouncing around in our suitcase for weeks, it returned home without noticeable dings or dents. This brewer is also one of our favorites to take on road trips. Overall, the Wave is easy to tote around, simple to use, and makes good coffee.
Our comprehensive analysis of the best pour over coffee makers on today's market is intended to equip you with the necessary information to choose the best dripper for your particular needs. So we've got you covered whether you are looking for the best taste, the most convenience, or a travel-friendly option. Enjoy!