The best thermal carafe coffee maker keeps coffee hot and fresh for extended periods of time. Those that enjoy waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee but still want to enjoy that coffee while it’s hot will get a lot of use out of this type of coffee maker. Because a thermal carafe is insulated, it keeps coffee hot and fresh for up to 12 hours without the use of a warming plate.
A thermal carafe keeps the temperature of the brew within certain thresholds for longer periods of time. This makes it possible not only to get every last drop out of your coffee maker but also to serve it up at the perfect drinking temperature without reheating. It’s one of the best coffee makers you can use at home.
Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about thermal carafe coffee makers and how they work.
Top Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers
#1 Cuisinart DCC-3400P1 Coffee Maker
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll be able to brew up to 12 cups at a time with this model, making it a high-capacity option perfect for households. There is a brew-strength control to create the perfect morning cup of joe every time.
- Expert brewing technology
- Brew strength control
- High capacity design
- Has a plastic taste on first use
You’ll be able to enjoy hotter coffee for longer with this machine due to the advanced coffee-making technology. An optimal brewing temperature is always used, so every cup comes out perfectly made every time. The thermal carafe will also help keep your coffee hot. Some consumers report that their coffee machine had a faint plastic smell, translating into a poor first brew. It’s recommended you wash this thoroughly before using it.
The brew strength controls allow you to customize better the coffee you’re brewing. You can choose between regular or bold to perfectly match your preference that day. It will brew up to 12 cups at a time, making it perfect for a large household or even an office. It is a fully automatic model that can be programmed with 1-4 cup settings and has auto-off functionality. There is also an optional tone that will sound when your brew is ready.
#2 Hamilton Beach 48465 Coffee Maker
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll enjoy the programmable nature of this coffee machine. It’s a perfect way to ensure you always have a cup of coffee waiting for you in the morning. It will also keep your brew hot for up to four hours.
- Enclosed brewing system
- Keeps your brew hot
- Fully programmable
- Sometimes produces a burnt taste
This enclosed brewing system has a great internal heater. This means it can keep your coffee hot for up to four hours post brewing. You’ll be able to go back as many times as you like for more cups while knowing they’ll be just as fresh as the last one you had. Some consumers have reported that their coffee began to develop a burnt taste after a while. This is usually caused by not cleaning your machine regularly, however.
Since it maintains its fresh-brewed flavor and temperature, you can easily set it up to brew ahead of time. This is done with the programmable settings that allow you to have fresh coffee in the morning when you wake up. Instead of using a carafe, it holds the coffee in an internal tank. This is why it’s able to keep coffee fresher for longer than competing models can. It also means there’s no carafe to clean up.
#3 BLACK+DECKER CM2035B Coffee Maker
Award: BEST FOR FLAVOR EXTRACTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: The no-drip perfect pour spout is great for skipping any potential mess when you’re pouring yourself a cup. There is also an Evenstream showerhead that allows for even distribution of hot water over your grounds.
- No-drip perfect pour spout
- Has an evenstream showerhead
- Wide-mouth carafe opening
- May leak grounds into your cup
This brewing system offers a high-capacity carafe and can serve up to 12 cups at a time. You’ll also enjoy a double-walled, vacuum-sealed carafe that keeps your coffee hot and fresh for hours. This means you can go back for cup after cup and not worry about getting cold. Unfortunately, this coffee maker has reported allowing some grounds to escape the filtration system. You can generally avoid this with regular cleaning and filter changes.
There are a few options that make this coffee machine what it is. The customizable brewing options are an example of that. There is a brew strength selector and a choice to make small batches. The small batches are between one and four cups of coffee at a time. There is a no-drip perfect pour spout, so you can look forward to having less mess to clean up after you’re done.
#4 Mr. Coffee 10-Cup Thermal Coffee Maker
Award: BEST FOR HIGH CAPACITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: Stainless steel is a highly durable material that is also hygienic. It’s precisely what is used to create this design. This coffee maker also offers a double-walled carafe to keep your brew hotter for longer.
- Brews at 250-degrees
- Double-walled carafe
- Uses stainless steel
- Might have some leakage
This model offers several handy features, such as the removable water reservoir. This makes refilling it super easy and causes less mess than non-removable reservoirs. There are 1300 watts of power in the motor, so you know it’s a high-powered option that’ll work quickly and efficiently. Be careful while brewing, however. Ensure that the spout is done emptying coffee, or you might cause a mess when you remove the carafe.
This option can brew up to 20% faster on average than competitor models. It also brews at a higher temperature, which results in a bolder, deeper flavor profile. It goes up to 205 degrees at the hottest. The Gold Tone permanent filter removes the need to purchase replacements. You can also enjoy waking up to fresh coffee every morning since it’s a programmable model.
#5 BUNN 55200 CSB3T Coffee Maker
Award: BEST FOR QUICKLY BREWING
WHY WE LIKE IT: Clean-up is always a snap with this option since many parts are dishwasher-friendly. You’ll enjoy that it’s a high-capacity option, as well, since you can make up to ten cups at a time.
- Commercial-grade design
- High-capacity option
- Dishwasher-safe parts
- Requires a full tank for brewing
If you need a speedy brewing option for your morning cup of joe, this great Bunn coffee maker is a great option. It’s built to brew in less than half the time of some competing models. This means that you’ll wait less time for the process to finish. It also uses commercial-grade stainless steel, a highly durable material. However, you’ll need to refill the tank fairly consistently for this coffee maker to brew correctly. This inconvenience might be a dealbreaker for some consumers.
You’ll have plenty of brewing options, as well. This coffee machine can make enough to brew a travel mug to a full carafe. This range is between 20 and 50-ounces. The carafe is also double-walled and vacuum-sealed. You’ll be able to enjoy hot coffee for hours to come because of how well insulated it is. There is also a unique spray head for the optimal extraction of flavor notes.
#6 Bonavita BV1500TS Coffee Maker
Award: BEST FOR OPTIMAL TEMPERATURE
WHY WE LIKE IT: The optional pre-infusion mode lets you get the best flavor extraction out of your brew. It also has a high-powered heater that maintains an optimal temperature for the water at all times.
- High-power heater
- Pre-infusion mode
- Plastic is BPA-free
- Has consumer-grade parts
A powerful 1100-watt motor calls this coffee machine home. This allows it to maintain an optimal temperature while brewing coffee, which is essential to maintain quality throughout the process. It heats water from between 195 to 205-degrees. This is the perfect range for full flavor without burning the coffee. However, all of its parts are considered “consumer-grade.” This means that they might not last as long as more advanced competitors use “professional-grade” parts.
A pre-infusion mode is built into this coffee machine. This is an optional feature that will saturate your freshly ground coffee with hot water, which allows for degassing before brewing. The carafe lid, showerhead, and filter basket are all dishwasher safe. This means that clean-up is far easier with this machine than with others. They’re all made out of BPA-free plastic so that the cleaning process is that much easier.
Beginner’s Guide to Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers
What is a Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker?
A thermal carafe coffee maker is a type of coffee brewer that uses a thermal carafe to keep coffee warm after it has been brewed. A thermal carafe is made of better-insulated materials than regular glass, which helps keep the coffee’s temperature within certain thresholds for longer periods of time. This is a perfect pairing for an office coffee maker, so the brew stays hot and fresh when you need it.
The best carafe coffee maker will either have a stainless steel carafe that helps with heat distribution or a carafe made of a material that includes a double or triple wall to keep the coffee warmer. These machines are generally rated to keep a pot of coffee warm for up to 12 hours, so you won’t have to drink your cup of coffee quickly in order to ensure your next cup is still hot.
Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers vs Standard Coffee Makers
Using a thermal carafe coffee maker, like the Bodum BISTRO coffee maker, is much like using any other type of traditional drip coffee maker. Using a thermal carafe allows the coffee to stay warmer for a longer period of time without having to keep the coffee maker on or use the keep warm setting. This makes it possible to enjoy your coffee at a leisurely pace and not have to worry about reheating it multiple times or rushing through your cups without enjoyment.
A coffee maker with a thermal carafe is an excellent option for entertaining because when you have guests over, you want to serve them the best. If you love great-tasting coffee, you may also love great espresso. Read about the best super-automatic espresso machine that makes it easy to make perfect espresso every time.
Unlike models with a glass carafe, a coffee maker with a thermal carafe doesn’t require a hot plate to keep it warm, which reduces the likelihood of burning your coffee or having a burnt taste. This also makes thermal coffee makers a safer option to use around children and pets. It’s also an ideal solution for those who may forget to turn their coffee pot off when they leave the house. While the thermal carafe will keep the coffee warm, it won’t require the machine to stay on.
Other than the brewing process, a thermal carafe coffee maker typically has convenient features that enhance your use, from a removable water tank and programmable timer to a built-in grinder and a charcoal water filter.
You may find that a thermal carafe coffee machine is easier to use thanks to its higher quality components like permanent filters. You’ll be able to take advantage of an optimal brewing temperature for more delicious coffee. And, while you can brew great coffee on the Bella 14755 with brew strength selector, you’ll be forced to leave it on as it doesn’t have a thermal carafe.
While there are coffee makers with standard carafes that have these features as well, you can really make the most of these features with a thermal carafe because it enhances the entire brewing process as well as your enjoyment of the coffee itself.
How a Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker Works
With a few minor exceptions, a drip coffee maker with a thermal carafe works the same way as a standard drip coffee maker. The water is heated and sent through a showerhead above the coffee grounds. This causes the water to be dispersed evenly over the grounds in the filter basket, which helps to create a more balanced cup of coffee.
The brewed coffee travels down a metal or plastic tube and into the thermal carafe. The carafe is designed with extra insulation layers to help keep the coffee warm for longer periods. The coffee remains at an optimal drinking temperature for up to 12 hours as long as it is stored in the thermal carafe.
While this may seem identical to a drip coffee maker, it has some slight differences. Because thermal carafes are designed with wider bases, the coffee has to travel farther than when using a glass carafe. The coffee must be heated to allow for it to stay warm once it reaches the bottom of the carafe. It’s also essential to minimize the distance traveled by the hot water and the coffee by designing the coffee maker accordingly.
When it is time to pour a cup of coffee, the thermal carafe can be placed on a compatible warming plate or stand. This will help to keep the coffee warm. However, it is important not to put the thermal carafe on a hot surface that isn’t compatible because this could damage the machine or cause your coffee to taste burnt.
Why Should You Buy a Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker?
Buying the best thermal coffee maker is an excellent option for anyone who enjoys drinking their coffee hot. Since it can keep the brewed coffee warm without being placed on a hot plate, it is much safer to use. Use a glass carafe on a warming plate to keep your coffee hot, which can burn your brew rather quickly. So if you don’t have a coffee maker with a thermal carafe, you may not even know you’re drinking burnt coffee. If your old model dies or you don’t have a coffee maker at all, it’s definitely time for an upgrade.
Is a Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker Worth Buying?
- They keep your coffee hot: Thermal carafes are designed to keep coffee at a consistent, optimal drinking temperature for hours on end. This means that you can prepare your coffee in the morning and have hot coffee all day long.
- They are durable: Since thermal carafes aren’t subjected to the same heat that glass carafes are, they tend to be much more durable.
- They include additional features: Many models of thermal carafe coffee makers come with extra features, such as digital displays, water filters, and programmable timers. This makes it easy to get the perfect cup of coffee with minimal effort.
Why a Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker Might Not Be For You
- They are more expensive: A coffee maker with a thermal carafe is typically more expensive than its glass carafe coffee maker counterpart. That’s because the carafe contains more, higher quality materials to keep the coffee warm. However, a thermal carafe is ideal for the best travel coffee maker, especially if you’re camping and don’t have a great way to keep your coffee warm.
- They can be difficult to clean: Coffee machines with thermal carafes can be more difficult to clean because thermal carafes aren’t clear like glass. You’ll have a harder time reaching the far recesses of the carafe and you won’t always be able to see when it’s clean. The best way to clean a thermal carafe coffee maker is by running a brew cycle with vinegar and letting the hot vinegar and water solution clean the inside of the carafe as well. If you want a self-cleaning model, you can invest in one with such a pleasant feature like the best dual coffee maker.
How Long Will a Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker Last?
A coffee maker with a stainless steel carafe can last for many years if it is properly taken care of. The only parts that will need to be replaced over time are the filters and the carafe itself. However, you should always check with the manufacturer to see how long their specific thermal carafe coffee maker is guaranteed to last.
How to Choose a Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker
There are several things to think about when searching for a thermal carafe coffee maker. First, you may want to consider price because they can be expensive, followed by brew time, size, and features.
Best Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker Key Factors
1. What is your budget?
Since thermal carafes are usually designed to be more durable, they tend to cost more than models with glass carafes. However, the additional features and longer lifespan of a thermal carafe usually make it worth the investment.
2. How long does it take to brew a pot of coffee?
The average brew time for a thermal carafe coffee maker is about 10 minutes. This is slightly longer than the average 8-minute brew time for a glass coffee maker. However, this longer brewing time is to ensure that the maximum temperature is reached and maintained during the process.
3. What brewing capacity do you want?
Thermal carafes come in a variety of sizes and each has a different capacity, so you can find one that is the perfect fit for your needs. If you are the only coffee drinker in the house, you may not need a large carafe. However, if you routinely have guests over or you have a large household, you will want to choose a model with a larger pot of coffee. It all depends on how many cups of coffee you need to brew per day.
You’ll also find a thermal carafe coffee brewer with a compact design if what you need is something smaller. If you don’t have as much counter space, this is a great option.
4. What features do you need?
Many thermal carafe coffee makers come with advanced features that you can choose from, including digital displays, water filters, and programmable timers. These features make it easy to get the perfect cup of coffee without any additional effort.