Best Stovetop Coffee Makers

Even in a world where tiny coffee pods and drive-thru latte runs seem to dominate, old-school coffee lovers still feel most at home when they can curl up next to a steamy mug of stovetop coffee.

If you are a lover interested in a stovetop percolator, you might be curious about how to get started. Luckily, stovetop coffee making is easy, and offers you more control over the strength, aroma and taste of your homebrew.

Additionally, stovetop coffee makers tend to be more affordable that electronic, automatic alternatives-- although this of course varies from brand to brand.

If you want to revamp your morning routine with a stovetop machine, here are honest, balanced reviews of some of the top machines currently available on the market:

This stovetop espresso machine, made by Italy’s famous Bialetti brand, is named after the goddess of love and beauty, and it certainly lives up to its namesake.

It would be hard not to love the delicious brew this machine produces, and even harder to get blown away by its aesthetic value. Made with sleek, ultra-reflective 18/10 stainless steel, this machine looks like it belongs in the glossy pages of a home improvement magazine.

While it is not as durable as some of its competitors (it is not, for example, corrosion-resistant), it is genuinely hard to find other criticisms of this espresso maker.

Greatest Strengths:

  • 18/10 stainless steel
  • Exceptional value
  • Easy grip handle

Biggest Weaknesses:

  • Not corrosion resistant

This espresso maker does not quite look like many of the machines on the market, and that is one of its most special qualities. There are many colors and finishes to choose from, although each one offers a sleek, brassy look that company will be sure to point out.

It is also dishwasher-friendly, making it an easy clean.

Greatest Strengths:

  • Unique, attractive design
  • Range of available colors and finishes available
  • Drip-free pouring
  • Dishwasher friendly

Biggest Weaknesses:

  • A little bit expensive compared to similar products
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Small capacity (six cups)

The Cuisinox Roma, in all honesty, comes with a fairly steep price tag, but fortunately they do add a few extra accessories including a replacement gasket and reducer to round out the higher price.

Overall, this machine is wonderful in durability and functionality, and it comes in multiple sizes, allowing for a bit of flexibility in terms of pricing.

Greatest strengths:

  • 18/10 stainless steel
  • Multiple sizes available at different price points
  • Extra goodies (gasket and reducer) included with every purchase

Biggest weaknesses:

  • Expensive in comparison with competitors
  • No ever-cool handle feature

This stovetop machine is the perfect choice for the logical shopper who prioritizes a smart long-term buy. This percolator is very durable, with a drip-free spout and ergonomic, ever-cool grip that will protect your hands. Aside from a slightly ill-fitting lid, which makes portability a bit of a challenge, it is truly a dream come true for the no-nonsense coffee drinker.

Greatest Strengths:

  • Incredibly durable
  • Drip-free spout
  • Ever-cool, grip-friendly handle
  • Graduated sides for accurate measurements

Biggest Weaknesses:

  • Not a perfectly fitted, spill proof lid

No matter which size or color you opt for, the Grosche Milano is one of the prettiest machines on the list, as well as one of the most reasonably priced.

Despite being a budget-friendly find that is available at many department stores, this espresso maker is pretty close to the competition in all areas but one: its rubber handle leaves is something of a melt risk, so be sure to watch the stove carefully when brewing!

Greatest strengths:

  • Multiple colors available
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Safety valves

Biggest weaknesses:

  • Rubber handle can be a melt risk

Our Favorite Coffee Machine

After reviewing all of the options, we definitely feel that the Bialetti Venus is a fantastic option for espresso that balances an attractive look with excellent functionality. For coffee percolation, the TOPS system has a host of great safety features that certainly outweigh any minor flaws.

That being said, each machine has distinct strengths and weaknesses, and your decision will likely come down to personal opinion.

Choosing A Stovetop Coffee Machine

Stovetop coffee making is certainly an art form, and buying a stovetop coffee maker is as well. Here are some tips to keep in mind when considering your options:

1. Make A Budget (And Stick To It)

Be realistic about your budget, and respect it while shopping. Overall, there are great coffee makers available in virtually every price range, although it is important to remember that splurging on an espresso machine that will last a decade is more fiscally wise than the choice to buy a cheap machine that will need to be replaced within a couple of years.

2. Consider Your Travel Needs

While every item on this list is a stovetop machine, not every coffee maker is compatible with every stovetop type. If you are an avid camper, and would like to enjoy high-quality coffee even when visiting the backcountry, you should make sure your machine will not be damaged over a camp stovetop.

Additionally, some coffee machines are easier to travel with and clean on the go than others, which is another thing to think about if you are planning on travelling with it.

3. Weigh Aesthetics and Functionality

A pretty machine is nice,  but a functional one is nicer. When looking at machines, consider questions like how easy will this be to clean? How durable is it? How many cups can it produce at a time?

Even if a machine is beautiful, if it does not meet your needs, you should probably keep walking.

4. Safety First

Safety valves, ever-cool hand grips and other safety-focused features should be highly valued when shopping for a stovetop coffee maker. Unfortunately, stovetop coffee generally comes with a higher risk of hurting yourself, so safety should be a big concern when browsing.