Best Thermal Coffee Maker - Top 5 Choices

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best thermal coffeemaker is, then our top pick is the Bonavita 8-cup One-Touch Coffee Maker.

Whether you’re hiking a mountain or working a long day, the best thermal carafe coffee maker is the one that locks in flavor and keeps your drinks cool/hot as long as possible.

Interestingly, carafes were initially used to pour wine. Nowadays, with coffee being the 2nd most traded commodity in the world, they’re used to keep a cold brew icy or hot espresso roasting.

Coffeemaker Temp Problems?

After making the mad daily dash to get to work on time, I often found my coffee stone cold when I finally got out the door. Arghh.

How to keep it at that perfect espresso temperature all day long?

Glad you asked.

Millennials, meet carafe coffee.

How exactly does a thermal coffee maker work?

Ever seen an old-school thermos or travel mug? 

Well, a thermal carafe coffee maker works on the same principle. It’s the best way to keep coffee hot all day using a double wall of stainless steel.

Some lower quality brands will use plastic or a combination of both stainless steel and durable BPA-free plastics.

Most are vacuum-sealed, offering a greater chance to maintain your coffee at a higher temperature for longer. This is because heat transfer is minimized by keeping the container sealed.

Unlike leaving a pot on a warmer – which makes the flavor bitter and burnt, a carafe keeps the flavor as fresh as when it’s first brewed.

How long will a thermal carafe keep coffee hot?

A thermal carafe will keep your coffee hot, on average, for up to 12 hours. That’s a whole day’s work and then some.

Some stainless steel carafes can retain their temperature for up to 24 hours!

Not only will a thermal carafe keep your coffee piping hot all day, but your icy beverage will stay nice and cool all day too.

That’s more than 8 hours of icebreaker-style beverages at your disposal.

Which is better thermal or glass carafe?

Thermal vs glass is one of the first questions I had too. 

After pouring over the features and benefits and comparing them all in-depth, I discovered that I always prefer thermal. And here’s why:

  • Glass carafes are best for keeping beverages hot for short periods of time – up to 15 minutes. Anything longer and you risk the flavor of your coffee being compromised.
  • If your serious about your coffee flavor and like it throughout the day without having to remake the whole process again, then thermal is best.

Is a glass carafe better than stainless steel?

This one’s easy. Personally, after trying both, I found that if you’re uncoordinated in the kitchen, like me, stick to the most durable option. I’ve broken one too many glass carafes in my time.

Especially if you have kids who like to fling their arms around. It’s a safer option to go with stainless steel. It looks nice on the bench and lasts a lot longer.

Another reason to choose thermal steel over glass is that it’s more energy efficient. With a glass pot, the coffee maker has to keep a heating element hot, and those use a lot of energy.

If you like to save a buck, however, better to go with the glass option. It’s traditional, aesthetically pleasing and more affordable.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s hugely satisfying watching the coffee drip into the glass. Something you don’t get with a stainless steel thermal carafe.

How long does coffee stay fresh in a thermal carafe?

Experts suggest that your coffee can stay fresh up to a week in the fridge.

Look, we’re not recommending you drink day-old coffee. Fresh is always best.

However, at a pinch, and provided you refrigerated your beverage straight away, go for it.

Yep, even the milky day-old lattes and cappuccinos will still hit the spot.

Chuck a few ice cubes in the mix and voila – fresh delicious ice-coffee.

That’s if there’s any coffee left – what kind of animal doesn’t finish their coffee?!

coffeemaker crema

How to choose the best thermal carafe?

When you’re choosing your first thermal carafe like I was, here’s what I wished somebody had told me:

Consider these questions when you’re looking for a decent thermal coffee maker.

How easy is it to use?

Is it intuitive, or does it have too many buttons, LED displays, and too many steps in the process?

Some thermal coffee makers are a one-stop-shop, and it’s a push and go style.

Great for those on the go.

How easy is it to clean?

Some will have a wider mouth on the jug, making it far easier to clean.

How durable is the material?

Make sure the material isn’t cheap plastic, as this won’t last long.

What does it look like?

These days you can get compact coffee makers right through to tall, sleek, modern designs. Make sure it fits and matches your kitchen and style.

What technology does it use?

If you like a pour-over style, there’s a specific technology that mimics this style.

Ultimately, the best coffee maker is the one that suits you and your lifestyle.

So let’s dive in.

Our Top Picks For the Best Thermal Coffee Maker

When selecting the right coffee maker for you, it’s useful to review the options one by one.

Here’s an honest review of some of the best coffee makers on the market.

Overall Top Pick
5/5

This high-performance thermal coffee maker is designed to balance each step of the coffee brewing process perfectly.

Its powerful heater ensures you get a fast and consistent 195o–205oF brewing temperature. This means you get the best flavor of each coffee you make.

This thermal carafe brews 8 cups of coffee in roughly 6 minutes. That’s a quick pot of coffee in no time.

For pour-over fans, you’ll likely love the optional pre-infusion mode. This mode is designed to mimic the slow flavor-enhancing pour-over style.

It pauses the showerhead, giving the coffee grounds time to bloom. This means you’ll get optimal flavor extraction.

One thing to note – if you like a strong cup, stay away from the pre-infusion. I noticed that the coffee brewed without pre-infusion seems stronger than brewed with it.

Additionally, if you like to add creamer, the temperature of this thermal carafe coffee may be slightly too low for you.

Pros

  • Double-walled and lined carafe with long-lasting stainless steel  
  • Durable BPA-free plastic and dishwasher safe 
  • Large showerhead allows for superb and consistent extraction 
  • Powerful 1500-watt heater
  • Easy to operate with a one-touch brew operation and auto-off function 

Cons

  • Coffee strength with pre-infusion seems weaker than brewed without it 
  • Steam can be an issue. You may have to move it away from kitchen cabinets
  • It’s a nuisance to remove the brew basket and screw the lid on each time
  • Unable to pour a cup while the pot of coffee is brewing

Always forget when you last brewed your coffee?

This thermal coffee maker best suits forgetful, distracted brewers. It has a Fresh Brew timer display that tells you exactly how many minutes since your last brew.

The Mr. Coffee coffee machine goes above and beyond with its capacity and brew time. In under 7 minutes, you can have 10 cups of piping hot coffee ready. There’s no compromise on flavor with a full-bodied roast and consistent and thorough extraction process.

If you hate cleaning, this might be the best coffee maker option for you. It does the cleaning and filtering for you!

The special cleaning cycle of this coffee machine eliminates calcium build-up, and the built-in water filtration reduces up to 97% of the chorine.

The result? A kickass thermal cup of coffee.

Although, that being said, after constant use, I did notice that it started leaking.. everywhere!

No matter the filter type or coffee grind I tried, it continued to spill hot coffee mess all over my countertop.

This required me to take the entire coffee machine into the sink and clean the whole thing out – Not an easy job.

Pros

  • Removable water reservoir and filter basket lift out for fast and easy filling and cleaning 
  • Extreme 205 F temperature means a richer taste
  • The water filtration system removes up to 98% of chlorine
  • Wake up to fresh coffee with the Delay Brew feature
  • Freshness timer ensures you always know how fresh your cup of coffee is
  • Brews up to 20% faster than other competitive units
  • 2-hour auto shut off 

Cons

  • The design quality is poor leading to leakages and constant cleanups  
  • The filter system can clog easily, and grounds end up in your coffee
  • Might make brewed coffee that’s not strong enough for espresso lovers
  • Can’t program it to start in the morning before you wake up

Perfect for the forgetful person.

I used to always forget to check the water reservoir. I’d attempt to make a coffee with no water and wreck my latest brewer. No need to worry with this beauty. It automatically switches off when the water reservoir is empty! Yes!

It’s easy to use with a simple push of a button. 4-6 minutes later you have 10 cups of your favorite hot beverage.

This is the best option if you’re always on-the-go. I found the carafe was able to keep coffee hot for up to an hour. Plus, it includes a free travel lid, I was ready to go about my daily routine caffeinated!

Coffee brewing experts prefer this thermal carafe over others because of its genius design.

My favorite feature is the cone shape brew-basket design. This maximizes the flavor complexity.

What’s more, you can experiment with your brew time. I found manually adjusting the steep time longer got me a much stronger, richer espresso, just the way I like it.

Pros

  • Quality copper boiling element (no pumps) keeps temperature 196º– 205º F
  • Feel at ease with a guaranteed 5-year warranty  
  • Manual coffee flow adjustability, making a stronger brew
  • Bonus travel lid included keeping your coffee hot for longer
  • Handmade in the Netherlands from durable metal housings and sustainable plastics

Cons

  • More expensive than other carafe brands and the quality doesn’t match
  • Brew basket requires manual operation to stop the dripping 
  • Design flaws make cleaning difficult
  • Plastic parts do not fit together perfectly and can lead to leakage
  • Ground coffee can overflow the filter holder making a mess everywhere

One of the few carafes to earn the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) ‘golden cup’ award. It looks slick and makes a pretty mean brew.

If you like to control all the elements of your morning coffee, this might be the best choice for you.

It allows you to adjust your brew time, water temperature and you can customize how much coffee you’d like to brew. This is great if you only want to make 1–2 cups rather than 9 cups.

Be mindful that, if you have low benches, OXO might be too tall at 15 inches. The standard height of low slung cabinets is normally 12 inches.

In short, if you love a carefully crafted pour-over, then OXO might disappoint. It does, however, make a great daily coffee with ease.

Overall, I think it tastes better than most of the standard coffee makers. Although some have said it creates coffee a bit too bitter for their liking, but that’s probably the beans!

Pros

  • Microprocessor unit for better results
  • Homebrewer certified quality  
  • Transparent clearly marked water reservoir
  • Sleek design and functionality  
  • Smart LED screen display  
  • Rainmaker showerhead technology for even water distribution

Cons

  • There’s no separate hot water carafe 
  • The short power cord is annoying 
  • Expensive to replace parts  
  • Drip-stop on filter basket doesn’t work 100% and can make a mess
  • Brew time could be quicker 
  • Doesn’t have built-in water scale or presoak function
Budget Pick
4/5

There’s a lot of thought that’s gone into the design of this model. It’s compact and certainly gives you a lot of ‘bang for your buck’.

I would highly recommend the Black & Decker, especially for the price. It’s not the most expensive, but this model performs.

I have had several of the Cuisinarts and Bonavitas at twice the price and this one is just as good.

Great for those who like a strong cup of joe. Not so much for those who are in a hurry. The brewing cycle can be quite long.

Another great feature is that the carafe is well balanced, easy to pour from, easy to clean, and not too heavy.

If you drink the majority of your coffee in the first few hours of the day, this coffee maker is probably just right for you.

Pros

  • Large 12-cup capacity, compact carafe  
  • Vacuum-sealed to keep your coffee hot for longer  
  • Adjustable brew strength from regular to strong
  • Perfect Pour spout 
  • Even stream showerhead technology distributes water evenly for maximum flavor
  • Clear water-level window with measurements 
  • Wide mouth makes it easy to clean 
  • Durable stainless steel thermal carafe construction

Cons

  • Does not have a water filter 
  • The temperature could be a little hotter on initial brew 
  • Fittings and joints can leak occasionally
  • Doesn’t stay as hot as a glass carafe 

Final Word

After trying, testing, and reviewing the best coffee makers on the market, it was easy to come to the conclusion for which one would be the pick of the bunch.

My personal choice for a front runner for the best thermal carafe coffee maker would definitely have to be the the Bonavita! More specifically:

It’s a high-end design and product. But let’s be honest you pay for what you get.

I take my coffee-making seriously, and yes, some would call me a coffee snob. 

I’m okay with that because I’ve tried enough coffees to know exactly what I like, and the Bonavita makes the perfect thermal carafe coffee every time.

This carafe has all the standard elements like stainless steel and then some extra. It’s durable and doesn’t break or leak like a lot of other models.

This product definitely stands out from the rest because of its ease of use and ability to keep your coffee piping hot all day.

To give you an idea of just how well this thermal coffee maker works, here’s my daily routine.

I made an 8-cup batch of coffee around 8 am. The carafe of coffee sat on my kitchen counter until 3 pm. I decided to see how warm the coffee was…

I poured another cup. It absolutely blew me away! 7 hours after the original brew, it kept the coffee toasty. Not ‘sip’ hot, but much hotter than ‘warm’. The coffee at 3 pm also still tasted freshly-brewed!

For those who are serious coffee drinkers and can’t stand a bitter rubbish cup of coffee this is the best coffeemaker, in my opinion.

Start your morning with a Bonavita thermal coffeemaker, and you’ll have the best day. (Or at the very least, your morning will start off right.)

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