The Best 4-Cup Coffee Makers - 2020 Review

best 4 cup coffee makers

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?

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 2020, 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.

If you happen to click on a link and then make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.


The Best 4 Cup Coffee Makers of 2020

Here is the "best of" list for 2020 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.

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 writing, the overall rating is 4.4 out of 5 stars, with an impressive 75% 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

Pros

Cons

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

TIP:  You can brew a better tasting cup with any coffee maker or method by grinding your own coffee beans. It's simple and quick, and is SO worth the time!


Mr. Coffee Simple Brew 4-cup Coffee Maker

With a current overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars, the Simple Brew 4-Cup coffee maker could be perfect for your home, office, or dorm room. And it would make a great gift, too.

This model is currently ranked 4.5 out of 5 stars for both ease of use and flavor of brewed coffee.

Features of this coffee maker to take note of:

  • 1 cup = 5 oz of coffee, per the manufacturer
  • Grab-a-cup feature lets you pour your cup of coffee before brew cycle completes
  • Lighted On/Off switch to remind you that the coffee maker is on (no auto shut-off)
  • Size is 10.1 x 7.25 x 11.8 inches
  • Per a reviewer, 16" of height is needed to open the lid
  • Cord extends 24" per reviewer feedback

Pros

Cons

Small footprint - compact

Affordable price

Makes 4 - 6 oz. cups of coffee or 3 - 8 oz. cups. Perfect for 1 or 2 coffee drinkers

Permanent filter included

Longevity

Lid may be difficult to lift

No auto start or auto shut off

Plastic construction


Mr. Coffee Simple Brew Coffee Maker|4 Cup Coffee Machine|Drip Coffee Maker, Black
  • 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 (1 cup = 5 oz) 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.Watts: 650

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 69% 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

Pros

Cons

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 Compact Filter Drip Coffee Maker, 5-Cup, Silver
  • PERFECT FOR 1 OR 2: Brews up to 5 cups of coffee/ 750 ml/ 25 fl ounces.
  • CONVENIENT: Allows you to pour a cup of coffee while brewing and automatically keeps your coffee warm.
  • SIMPLE AND EASY TO USE: Coffee pot with no drip spout, which controls the mess; easy On/Off button to start brewing and turn off the brewer; and a conveniently located water tank.
  • MODERN DESIGN: Premium stainless steel finish.
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: Glass coffee pot, permanent coffee filter and coffee spoon for your daily brewing needs. All are dishwasher safe.

Black+Decker 5-Cup Coffee Maker, Black

Well-priced 5-cup coffee maker from Black+Decker, with 84% of reviewers (2,000+ as of this writing) giving it a 4-star rating or higher, 4.4 out of 5 in total.

Easy to use, well-priced, and compact. Note that the 5-cup capacity is for 5 oz. cups of coffee.

Features of this coffee maker to take note of:

  • ergonomically designed carafe for easy of handling and drip-free pouring
  • permanent filter included to use if desired
  • on/off switch is lighted for ease of use
  • water window is easy to see and clearly marked
  • plastic construction
  • parts may be cleaned in dishwasher, top rack
  • 1 cup of coffee = 5 oz.
  • unit does not offer an auto shut-off option

Pros

Cons

Affordable and within reach of most buyers

Compact - doesn't use a lot of counter space

Permanent filter included

Lighted on/off switch

Plastic material construction

Coffee not as strong with permanent filter

Temperature of brewed coffee

Auto shut-off not an option


BLACK+DECKER 5-Cup Coffeemaker, Black, CM0700BZ
  • Ergonomic Carafe - The improved carafe is engineered for comfortable handling and drip-free pouring, with a removable lid for easy cleaning
  • Sneak-a-Cup Feature - This feature temporarily stops the flow of coffee so you can pour your first cup before brewing ends without making a mess
  • Space-Saving Compact Design - Perfect for apartments, RVs, dorm rooms, and smaller coffee appetites
  • Permanent Grounds Filter Included - No need for paper filters. The permanent filter works with your favorite coffee grounds and it’s easy to clean
  • Lighted On/Off Switch - One-touch control for easy operation, and an on/off indicator light for peace of mind

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 3,400 ratings currently and an overall 4.1 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'

Pros

Cons

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 DCC-450BK 4-Cup Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Carafe, Black
  • 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. BPA Free.UC Cubic Feet: 0.37
  • Includes: instruction booklet
  • Product Built to North American Electrical Standards

Gevi Coffee Maker 5-Cup with One-Touch

Overall, very positive consumer reviews, with 81% giving it a 4 to 5 star rating - 4.2 overall. This model brews a hot cup of coffee, so if this is important to you, take note.

The compact size - 11.4 x 5.5 x 8.6 - is perfect for small counter areas.

The Gevi 5-cup coffee maker also sports a sleek, stylish design, with a non-stick hot plate and reusable filter.

Features of this coffee maker to take note of:

  • brews at a higher temperature (190 degrees) for a full-bodied flavor
  • auto shut-off after 40 minutes
  • heat resistant carafe
  • reusable filter
  • 9-hole rainmaker head distributes water more evenly over coffee grounds
  • brews a hot cup of coffee

Pros

Cons

Unique 'rain sprinkler' drip method brews a tasty cup of coffee

Compact - doesn't use a lot of counter space

Coffee is hot!

Easy to clean - dishwasher safe

May drip a little when pouring

Some comments about auto-shut off not functional.


Gevi 5 Cup Coffee Maker with Auto Shut-Off, One-Touch Small Drip Coffeemaker, High Temperature Precision Coffee Brewer Machine with Glass Carafe, Hot Plate and Reusable Filter
  • 【Ideal Brewing Temp】- Unlike other coffee makers, it brews at higher temperature of 190℉ for extracting full-bodied flavor.Just press the ON/OFF Button to brew and enjoy flavorful coffee in minutes.
  • 【9-Hole Rainmaker Head】- Unique 9-hole showerhead disperses hot water and high temperature steam more evenly over coffee grounds for uniform saturation. Better than 6-hole.
  • 【Keep-Warm Feature】- After brewing, non-stick warming plate holds coffee at the ideal serving temperature (about 176℉, ordinary machines keep at about 158℉) for 40 mins then auto shuts off for boil-dry protection.
  • 【30s Anti-Drip Design】Allows for pouring a cup at any time during the brew cycle, and ensures no more messy spills on your counter within 30 seconds.
  • 【Compact Size and Easy to Clean】Space-saving 5 Cup coffee machine with visible 690ml large capacity tank, perfect for home and office use. Detachable filter, funnel and coffee pot can be placed in the dishwasher for cleaning.

You Might Also Consider...

4.6 out of 5 stars
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.


Sale $79.99

Pros

Cons

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

Searching for the best 4 cup coffee maker? We've done the hard work for you and have the top-rated coffee makers right here for your review. Easy peasy.


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.

CLEAN AFTER EACH USE

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.


MONTHLY DESCALING

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.
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!

Candi Randolph The Coffee Files

Candi Randolph is a coffee lover, blogger, and content creator who loves to share her knowledge with the coffee-drinking world. You'll often find her tending to her coffee bar at home, deciding which method to use to brew her next cup of java. Life is full of important decisions. ☕