Buying Guides

The Best Coffee Maker For College

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Whether you’re taking grueling 8 a.m. classes or staying up all night for a last-minute study session, you’ll need a caffeine fix, and you’ll be grateful to your coffee maker when that time comes. But with so many different kinds of coffee makers to choose from, it can be hard to know what will work best for you. I’ve curated a list of the top 5 coffee makers for college students that won’t take up too much space in your dorm room and will fit in a college budget.

At a Glance: Best Coffee Maker for College

best coffee maker for college

Top 5 Coffee Makers for College Students

Quick Summary: Best Coffee Maker for College

Cuisinart Coffee Maker, 14-Cup Glass Carafe, Fully Automatic for Brew Strength Control & 1-4 Cup Setting, Stainless Steel, DCC-3200P1Cuisinart PerfecTemp DCC-3200
  • Stainless Steel
  • 14 Cup Glass Carafe
  • Brew Strength Control
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KRUPS Grind and Brew Auto-Start Maker with Builtin Burr Coffee Grinder, 10-Cups, BlackKRUPS Grind and Brew
  • 10-Cups
  • Auto-Start
  • Builtin Burr Coffee Grinder
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Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 to 12 oz. Brew Sizes, BlackKeurig K Mini
  • 6 to 12 Oz. Brew Sizes
  • One Cup Reservoir
  • Energy Efficient
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CHULUX Single Serve 12 Ounce Coffee Brewer,One Button Operation with Auto Shut-Off for Coffee or Tea,CyanCHULUX Coffee Maker Single-Serve
  • 12 Ounce Coffee Brewer
  • Built-in Reservoir
  • One Button Operation
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ESPRO P1 French Press Coffee Maker for Travel - Double Walled Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Coffee Maker and Tea Maker, Portable and Durable Coffee Press for Travel, 12 Ounce, Matte Meteorite BlackEspro Travel Coffee Press
  • Stainless Steel
  • 12 Ounce
  • Vacuum Insulated
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College can be one of the busiest stages in a person’s life, which is why coffee has become the lifeblood of many college students. Keeping a busy schedule in mind, I’ve curated a list of the five best coffee makers to help you make the most of each day.

Cuisinart PerfecTemp DCC-3200

The Cuisinart PerfecTemp DCC-3200 is the ideal coffee maker for college students that will suit all of their coffee needs. It’s convenient and easy to use, which are two of the most important facets of a coffee maker when sticking to your busy school schedule. 

This machine can make up to 14 cups of great-tasting coffee at once, so you’ll become the go-to roommate or classmate when it comes to rough study sessions.

If you’re taking online courses, you won’t have to worry about wasting additional time making another cup of coffee between classes and studying. 

Things We Like

  • Makes up to 14 cups
  • Brews hotter coffee without sacrificing taste
  • Adjustable brew strength – regular or bold
  • Adjustable keep warm temperature control
  • Auto shut off feature

Room for Improvement

  • 10 minutes to brew a full pot of coffee
  • If you’d rather have a thermal carafe, you have to purchase it as an add on

It can be challenging to find a decent single-serve machine or pod coffee maker that can deliver a hot brew without affecting the taste of your coffee, but that’s not something you’ll have to worry about with this machine.

You’ll consistently brew hot coffee that never lacks in taste. Another bonus is the adjustable brew strength – regular or bold – that will give you a much-needed energy boost.

KRUPS Grind and Brew

If you’re concerned with having the freshest coffee possible on your way to class, you might enjoy this machine. The KRUPS Grind and Brew coffee machine’s built-in Burr grinder lets you enjoy your favorite coffee at its tastiest. 

KRUPS built this full-sized coffee maker with convenience in mind. Instead of losing an extra five or ten minutes every day going through the motions of preparing your morning coffee, you can prep everything the night before and program the machine to begin brewing before you wake up the next day. 

Things We Like

  • Makes up to 10 cups of coffee
  • Built-in, conical Burr grinder
  • Automatic shut off
  • Removable Filter
  • Programmable features

Room for Improvement

  • Takes up a lot of counter space
  • A grinder can be loud

The KRUPS Grind and Brew have five different grinding settings ranging from coarse to fine, so you can enjoy coffee the way you prefer. Suppose you constantly find yourself in a rush.

In that case, you can program the machine to automatically shut off after a certain period of time, a nice feature to have, so you won’t need to worry about safety or wasting energy while you’re studying.

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Keurig K Mini

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If you prefer making coffee with the press of a button, the Keurig K Mini coffee maker is the machine for you.

You can save time during your morning routine by simply popping in a Keurig K-Cup pod, pressing the brew button, and voila – you have a hot cup of java to enjoy in less than a minute. 

Things We Like

  • Fits a 7″ travel mug
  • A 12-ounce water tank doesn’t need to be refilled every time
  • Compatible with dozens of different K-Pods
  • Great for limited spaces

Room for Improvement

  • Coffee isn’t the hottest

With the Keurig Mini, making a cup of joe can’t get any easier. Depending on the size of coffee you make, the removable water tank holds 12 ounces of water, so it won’t need to be refilled every time you brew.

Any Keurig K-Cup machine is also perfect for lovers of flavored coffee since you’ll have access to dozens of different K-Pods. 

CHULUX Coffee Maker Single-Serve

Contrary to popular belief, single-serve coffee makers and pod coffee makers aren’t the same things.

If you prefer fresh coffee grounds over the convenience of a coffee capsule, but you don’t need more than one cup of coffee at a time, the CHULUX Single-Serve Coffee Maker is a good fit.

Don’t have a ton of counter space? No problem. The CHULUX Single Serve is compact enough to tuck away when you aren’t using it. For those who want style in their coffee machine, the CHULUX comes in a variety of colors.

Things We Like

  • Compact size is great for small spaces
  • Comes in a variety of color options
  • Brews a cup of coffee in 3 minutes
  • The removable 12-ounce water reservoir
  • Portable

Room for Improvement

  • The removable water reservoir only has enough for one cup

The fresh water reservoir is easy to remove for refilling and cleaning, so you won’t have as much mess on your countertops as you would with other machines. As a bonus, this machine is eco-friendly with a small carbon footprint.

Espro Travel Coffee Press

French presses are some of the most budget-friendly coffee makers available, and they also produce some of the best-tasting, delicious coffee. Instead of filtering out ground beans, a French press steeps them, adding a more robust flavor profile to your java. 

With the Espro Travel Coffee Press, you can enjoy bold-tasting coffee on the go. The system is straightforward: add pre-ground coffee to the bottom of the container, attach the press, and pour hot water into the water chamber.

Remember that you’ll need to have a kettle on hand for that last part.

Things We Like

  • Easy to use
  • Grab and go
  • Takes up very little space
  • No-leak mug

Room for Improvement

  • Need to invest in a kettle

This mug is double-walled stainless steel, so it will keep your coffee hot for hours. The personal coffee maker produces 10 ounces of coffee, and the travel mug has a capacity of 14 ounces.

Buying Guide

When you’re shopping for the best coffee maker for college, there are a few key factors you’ll want to take into consideration. The following buying guide will help you narrow down your options and make the best choice for you.

Single Serve vs. Multi-Serve vs. French Press

When it comes to buying a college coffee maker, the biggest decision you need to make is what kind you want.

There are many types of coffee makers available, from drip machines to french presses. In addition to the type, you’ll also need to decide whether you want a single-serve or multi-serve machine. 

It’s important to consider how taking classes online or in-person will affect your coffee needs. Single-serve machines are usually compatible with travel mugs if you constantly plan to take your coffee on the go.

With just the press of a button, you can have your coffee ready to head out the door in less than five minutes.

With a multi-server machine, you can make a larger batch of coffee for all-night studying or consecutive online classes. Neither choice is better than the other – the decision rests upon your preferences.


Saving money is a must in college. You don’t need the most expensive coffee maker to enjoy fresh, hot java. Great coffee makers come in all shapes, sizes, and prices.

We chose the coffee makers included in this article with a budget in mind, so you won’t have to do as much of the legwork.

If you have a budget, you’ll also need to think about your coffee supply. K-Cups are more expensive than a bag of coffee beans, but they are easier to fit into your budget if your roommates agree to pitch in, and they’re cheaper than constant visits to your campus coffee shop for takeout coffee!


Sticking to your schedule is important in college, so you don’t want a coffee maker that requires a manual to operate. When picking out a coffee maker, stick to intuitively designed machines that are easy to use.

Otherwise, you might spend more time studying your machine than your textbooks. 

On top of ease of use, time is another critical factor to consider. Always in a rush? Maybe you’d prefer a one-button machine. In that case, you’ll have to ask yourself whether or not you’ll enjoy pod coffee. 

Drip Machine vs. French Press

The bold flavor produced by a French press isn’t for everyone. If you’re on the fence, it might be helpful to swing by your local coffee shop and sample a cup.

Water Tank

The size of your coffee maker’s water tank will determine how much coffee you can make at once. For multi-serve machines, options usually go all the way up to 14 cups.

That might seem like a massive amount of coffee, but if you plan on studying with roommates or friends, 14 cups can go quickly.

When it comes to single-serve machines, water tank capacity can vary greatly. Most mini-machines that fit well in a college dorm room have a 12-ounce water tank, which is only enough water to make one coffee cup.


If you’re considering a drip machine, you’ll need to check if a reusable coffee filter is already built-in. Some machines come with removable fine mesh filters that are easy to clean.

It never hurts to add a paper filter to the filter basket to help with clean-up later on, but you’ll need to account for the extra expense of filters in your budget if that’s the case.

Some machines also have water filters, which rid your coffee of any impurities that might affect the taste. 

Best Coffee Maker Brands

Several coffee maker brands have been around for a while and know their stuff. Here are a few to consider.


Keurig first became popular in American office break rooms, but the new Keurig models aren’t just for office use. Keurig, now called Keurig Dr. Pepper after a 2018 merger, has been making coffee machines since 1992.

Its two founders, John Sylvan and Peter Dragone created the single-serve coffee pod machine to solve the problem of stale office coffee.


Cuisinart is a well-known home appliance company that’s become popular for a good reason: its products are reliable, easy to use, and affordable. When it comes to coffee makers, Cuisinart offers everything from drip machines to French presses.

If you’ve decided on a Cuisinart product, you can rest assured that you’re getting a quality item that will last for years to come.


Still, have a few questions? Here’s what other college students want to know when they’re shopping for the best coffee machine. 

Are K-Cups Cheaper Than Regular Coffee Grounds?

It depends on the brand of coffee grounds you’re comparing K-Cups with. On average, a K-Cup pod is four times more expensive than typical ground coffee.

Are Single-Serve Coffee Machines Loud?

Single-serve coffee machines generally aren’t loud enough to be disruptive, but they do produce enough sound to be distracting if you’re reading or studying. However, because single-serve machines brew excellent coffee reasonably quickly, the noise won’t last long.

What Happens If I Forget to Shut My Coffee Maker Off?

If you’re typically in a rush or tend to forget things and you’re worried about leaving your coffee maker on when you’re away from home, you may want to consider investing in a programmable coffee maker. These machines automatically turn off after a certain amount of time has passed.

Wrap Up

If you’re heading off to college or staying home for online classes, you’ll want to invest in a coffee maker to keep up with classes and homework. There are tons of different kinds of coffee makers to choose from.

The perfect coffee maker for a college dorm room will fit your schedule and price range and make getting your caffeine fix easy and convenient. 

Happy Caffeinating!

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