Last Updated on January 18, 2023

The Best 4-Cup Coffee Makers – 2023 Review

For many of us, a good day gets off to a great start with a fresh, hot cup of coffee. In fact, our morning is missing something if we don’t have a mug of java in our hand.

Going from a bleary-eyed “I need coffee!” to the first long, slow sip should be a simple process, right? Well, sometimes, not so much. If we want to make our coffee at home to save the time and expense of stopping into the neighborhood coffee shop, what method and type of coffee maker will work best?

best 4 cup coffee makers

Well, that question can be answered in oh-so-many ways, my friend. And you’re here right now because for you, a 4-cup coffeemaker…scratch that…the best 4 cup coffeemaker is what you need. You are searching for a proven piece of coffee gear that will turn out a good, fresh cup of coffee at home consistently and quickly.

Why opt for a 4 cup or a 5 cup coffeemaker? There are some key benefits that might be on your list of must-haves:

  • compact design – a space saver
  • a limited number of cups of coffee works for you
  • you don’t want to deal with a single-cup machine or the pods that go with it
  • affordability 
  • simple and easy to use (push the button, make the coffee)

We’ve made the task of searching for, and identifying, the best 4 cup coffee maker easy for you, by doing all of that research and legwork for you.

How do we come up with our ‘best of’ list? Honestly, with time, and attention to detail. We scour the internet world, discover what’s available, and filter out the machines that don’t make the cut. Then, we study the features and benefits individually for those that look promising, comb through the reviews and actually read them, to identify the pros and cons of each model as identified by real-life users. From there, we identify the top…the best…the most consistently rated higher…and present them to you.

All that said, read on to see the short list of the best 4 cup coffee makers for 2022, then check the details for any that meet your specific requirements.

NOTE: We’ve included some 5-cup coffee makers on our list. Why? Keep in mind that for most manufacturers, a cup of coffee = 6 ounces, sometimes only 5 ounces. That’s a pretty tiny cup of coffee. More than a thimbleful, yes. But, not what most of you are accustomed to pouring into your mug. So, a 5-cup coffee maker will provide a bit more of the “gold”, but still remain compact and size-efficient.

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The Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers of 2023

Here is the “best of” list for 2023 as determined by the crew of The Coffee Files, for your quick review. Each individual coffee maker is on the list because it is worth your consideration, and there really isn’t a ranking to them other than the fact that #1, Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker in white, really does win the prize for overall consumer ratings.

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Ultimately it’s a personal preference. We’ll go over each coffee maker in detail, including the pros and cons, below.

Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker, white

With a compact size and affordable price, the Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker tops our list.  As of this update, the overall rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars, with an impressive 73% 5-star rating.

If you’re searching for a simple, affordable, and basic, no-frills 4-cup coffee maker that is rated 4 1/2 stars out of 5 for flavor, this compact coffee maker may just fit the bill.

Do you need specific dimensions to make sure it will fit in your designated area? It’s 9.00 x 7.25 x 10.90 inches.

It’s worth noting that in order to actually get 4 cups of coffee from this coffee maker, each cup will be about 6 oz.  That is not a big cup of coffee, my friend. Most coffee cups hold at least 8 oz.  

Features of this coffee maker to take note of:

  • there is a ‘water window’ so you can see when it is getting full – or empty
  • grab-a-cup feature lets you pour your coffee before the brewing cycle completes
  • filter basket can be removed easily for cleaning
  • currently rated 4.6 out of 5 stars for both ‘easy to use’ and ‘flavor’
  • compact size will fit just about any small space
  • a full pot will brew in about 4 minutes, per a reviewer
  • offered in white, a feature that is not typically available in economy coffee makers


  • Affordable and within reach of most buyers
  • Compact – doesn’t use a lot of counter space
  • Makes 4 – 6 oz. cups of coffee or 3 – 8 oz. cups. Perfect for 1 or 2 coffee drinkers
  • Distinctive white color


  • Plastic material construction
  • Not built for a long life
  • Temperature of brewed coffee
  • Auto shut-off not an option
Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker, White – TF4-RB
  • On/off indicator light lets you know when your coffee maker is on or off
  • Grab-a-cup auto pause stops cycle if you need a cup before brewing is finished
  • Dual water window allows visibility as you fill—no more overflows
  • Removable filter basket for quick and easy cleanup
  • Stain-resistant warming plate is easy to clean
the coffee files

KRUPS Simply Brew Compact Filter Drip Coffee Maker 5-cup

KRUPS is a respected name in the coffee maker industry, and this simple, easy to use model is made for those compact areas of home, dorm room, or office. It won’t hog all the counter space at just 8.7 x 3.7 x 10.7 inches. (Note that customer reviewers state the machine is closer to 5 inches wide).

Currently rated 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 67% of reviewers giving this model a 5-star rating.

Features of this coffee maker to take note of:

  • attractive stainless steel finish
  • includes permanent filter and spoon
  • pause and serve feature
  • top-filling water tank for convenience
  • 5 oz. servings of coffee to reach the 5-cup mark
  • hand wash the components
  • unit takes #2 cone shaped filters
  • also available (slightly larger in size) as a ‘Grind and Brew’ for a higher price


  • Quiet brewing cycle
  • Compact – doesn’t use a lot of counter space
  • Stainless Steel construction
  • Coffee stays hot


  • No auto shut-off
  • No brew timer
KRUPS: Simply Brew 5 Cup Coffee Maker, Cold Brew, Drip Free & Keep Warm Functions, Stainless Steel Coffee Machine
  • 5 CUP COFFEE MAKER: our small coffee pot is perfect for compact spaces and cozy households
  • PAUSE & BREW SYSTEM: experience the convenience of our innovative Pause & Brew system, allowing you to grab a cup mid-brew without any mess or disruption. Coffee on demand, tailored to your taste, with our coffee machine.
  • EXTENDED WARMTH: activate our Keep Warm function post-brew to maintain the perfect coffee temperature until manually turned off. With this coffee maker, your coffee pot stays warm and ready for enjoyment.
  • EFFORTLESS BREWING: 5 cup coffee maker comes equipped with a reusable coffee filter, a measuring spoon, and a no-drip carafe, ensuring a seamless brewing experience. Press the easy on/off button and relish uncomplicated coffee mornings.
  • EASY TO CLEAN: Crafted with easy-to-wipe materials and a dishwasher-safe carafe, cleaning up after brewing is a breeze with our stainless steel coffee maker. Enjoy hassle-free maintenance for your beloved coffee machine.
how to find the best 4 cup coffee makers

    TIP:  Reusable coffee filters are standard with many coffee makers. They eliminate the need for a paper filter, which is a plus. However, some consumers state that the coffee produced with this type of filter is not as strong. 

    Cuisinart DCC-450bk 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless Steel Carafe

    A stainless steel carafe, auto shut-off and brew-pause feature make this compact coffee maker the favorite of many coffee drinkers.

    With over 5,100 ratings currently and an overall 4.3 out of 5 stars, there is a lot to like about the Cuisinart 4-cupper. 

    Features of this coffee maker to take note of:

    • dripless pour spout and knuckle-guard
    • auto shutoff after 30 minutes
    • stainless steel carafe 
    • reviewer-rated 4.4 out of 5 stars for coffee flavor
    • dimensions 10 x 8 x 5.25 inches
    • uses #2 cone shaped filters
    • rated 4.4 out of 5 stars for ‘easy to clean’


    • Shatter-proof carafe
    • Compact – doesn’t use a lot of counter space
    • Makes 4 – 6 oz. cups of coffee or 3 – 8 oz. cups. Perfect for 1 or 2 coffee drinkers
    • Makes great tasting coffee


    • Plastic material construction
    • 30-minute auto shut off may not be long enough
    • No ‘brew finished’ indication
    Cuisinart 4 Cup w/Stainless-Steel Carafe Coffeemaker, Black
    • Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use
    • 4-Cup Stainless-steel carafe with dripless pour spout, and knuckle guard
    • Brew-pause feature lets you enjoy a cup of coffee before brewing has finished
    • 30 minute automatic shutoff and convenient ON indicator light
    • Includes: instruction booklet
    learn how to make great coffee with the coffee files

    Bonavita Coffee 5-Cup Carafe Coffee Maker

    The Bonavita 5-Cup (BV1500TS) has been independently tested to brew Golden Cup Standard Coffee. The enhanced heater quickly reaches an optimum brewing temperature, and the wide showerhead design evenly distributes the water over the coffee grounds to ensure even saturation.

    This 5-cup coffee maker features a 5-cup brewer and automatic shut off. It will brew a 5-cup carafe in about 6 minutes.

    The thermal carafe is stainless steel lined. The carafe lid, filter basket, and showerhead are dishwasher safe. All plastic is BPA-free.

    Overall, 4.6 out of 5 stars from reviewers as of this writing, with many positive comments about the quality and taste of the brewed coffee.


    • Keeps coffee hot
    • Great coffee flavor
    • Small and compact
    • Unique infusion feature


    • Filter basket sits on top of carafe
    • Makes two mugs of coffee (not 5 cups)
    • Learning curve to the brewing preparation.
    • Carafe may retain some liquid

    Your Search for the Best 4 Cup Coffee Maker

    Like so many other of life’s decisions, your selection of a compact coffee maker like a 4-cup or a 5-cup, is a personal one. It might  not be considered life-altering, but important all the same if you’re a coffee-lover.

    There is something to be said, though, of those who have gone before you and left an honest review. It can help you make a more informed decision.

    TIP:  Have you considered a coffee maker that grinds the beans for you? Learn more about the best grind and brew coffee makers.

    Why Consider a 4-cup Coffeemaker?

    Sometimes we think we know what we want, but when we ponder it some more, other options come to mind. So, a question to consider is, what is it about a 4-cup (or a 5-cup) coffee maker that appeals to you?

    Here are some potential responses that you might have:

    • the need for a compact sized coffee maker due to a limited amount of space available. Some kitchens are quite small and/or just don’t have enough counter space to accommodate the essentials.
    • a desire for a hands-off style of brewing a cup of coffee. Unlike the pour over method, or  the french press for example, with a coffee maker you add ground coffee and water, push a button, and that’s it.
    • a coffee brewing method that does not involve pods or other types of throwaways. If that is high on the priority list for you, a reusable coffee filter would be a necessity. Of course, it doesn’t matter what the cup capacity is at that point, as you can make coffee with a reusable filter in just about any type of coffee maker.
    • the relatively low cost of a smaller capacity coffee maker is important. And, as you can see from the list of the best 4 cup coffeemakers found here, there are several that are very budget friendly. The downside to this is true of any type of purchase: you get what you pay for. So bear that in mind when making your decision.
    • no need to brew more than 2 or 3 cups of coffee at a time. And remember, that’s what you’ll get with a 4-cup or even a 5-cup coffee maker. Most manufacturers consider 6 ounces to be a ‘cup’ of coffee. In reality, most of us expect about 10 ounces of coffee in our cup. So, make sure that you really only need a couple of good-size cups, or mugs, of coffee before making your decision.
    • coffee is only brewed once, maybe twice per day, so there is no need for a higher priced coffee maker. That may be true, but it really depends on what your expectation is of the actual brew. If you want your one cup of daily java to be awesome, you might consider another type of brewing method. For example, a pour over brewing method doesn’t require a coffee maker at all. But, it takes a few minutes and is a hands-on process. It is well worth it, though, in the depth of flavor.
    • it is not necessary to have any ‘bells and whistles’ on the coffee maker. With many of the coffee makers on this best-of list, there is no auto shut-off, no brew timer, and the construction of the unit itself may be plastic. Make sure those types of features are not on your list of essentials.

    Bottom line? Give all of these points some consideration before taking the plunge and purchasing the best 4 cup coffee maker. Whether you’re a connoisseur or a beginner to the coffee-drinking club, you might end up going in a different direction altogether!

    The Best Way to Care for Your 4-Cup Coffee Maker

    There are some fundamentals to caring for a coffee maker that apply to just about every manufacturer. Like any other piece of kitchen gear, it will perform best for you if kept in optimum working order.

    And, since you’ve spent the time searching for the best 4 cup coffee maker, it stands to reason that you’ll want to care for it and keep it in tip-top shape. A dirty coffee maker will give you less than desirable brewed coffee.

    It’s a fairly simple process to clean a 4 or 5 cup coffeemaker on a regular basis as well as periodically.


    Cleaning your coffee maker after each use takes a few minutes, but is worth the result when your coffee taste fresh and, well, like a good cup of coffee, each time you brew.

    Your specific coffee maker will include instructions, and sometimes they are unique, so be sure to take the time to read them. Just sayin’ . For example, the KRUPS Simply Brew 5 Cup Coffee Maker listed above suggests hand washing only.

    Keeping that in mind, these instructions should suffice for most 4 or 5 cup coffee makers.

    Basic cleaning instructions:

    1. Unplug the unit
    2. Remove the used coffee filter and discard
    3. Wash the brew basket, permanent filter (if applicable), carafe and carafe lid with warm water and dish soap, or place in the top rack of the dishwasher.
    4. Wipe the surfaces of the unit itself with a damp cloth. Rinse the water reservoir; do not dry with a cloth as you may leave lint behind.


    Your coffee maker may offer a particular type of descaling cleaner, as with the Mr. Coffee products. Alternatively, or if they do not offer a specific product, you can descale your coffee maker like this:

    Why should you descale? Mineral deposits left by hard water can clog the coffee maker, so descaling will remove them and help to keep your coffee maker in good working order.

    1. Pour white vinegar into water reservoir up to 2-cup level on water window.

    2. Add cold water up to 4 or 5-cup line.

    3. Place a paper filter or permanent filter in the brew basket and close the cover.

    4. Set empty carafe on the warming plate.

    5. Turn on coffeemaker and let half the cleaning solution brew into carafe (until water level goes down to around 2 or 3, depending on the overall cup capacity). Turn off coffeemaker and let it soak for at least 15 minutes to soften the deposits.

    6. Turn on coffeemaker and brew remaining cleaning solution into carafe.

    7. Turn off coffeemaker, empty carafe and discard soiled filter (if using).

    8. Fill reservoir with cold water to 4 or 5-cup line, replace empty carafe, then turn on coffeemaker for a complete brew cycle to flush out remaining cleaning solution. You may wish to repeat this step to eliminate any remaining vinegar smell/taste.

    100% Kona Coffee

    9. Wash the brew basket, permanent filter, and carafe as instructed in the daily cleaning instructions.

    We sincerely hope that you’ve found everything you need – all the facts, tips, suggestions, and how-to’s, to discover the best 4 cup coffee maker for you and your home!

    the best 4 cup coffee makers for your budget and lifestyle