Whether you are falling into the rabbit hole of specialty coffee or just beginning to brew coffee at home, buying a manual drip coffee maker is a must. Automatic drip machines are super convenient, but the result is rarely fantastic. So this article will teach you what to look for when choosing the best pour over coffee maker.
Even though it takes more time and effort to brew manually, we think you’ll find it is well worth it. So if you are finally ready to take the plunge and buy a manual coffee dripper, keep reading to learn all about the best options.
**Best of Brewing is supported by our readers, and we sometimes earn a commission through the affiliate links on our website.**
What Is a Manual Pour Over Coffee Dripper?
Pour over coffee refers to the manual method of drip coffee. Instead of a machine dispersing water above a bed of ground coffee, you pour the water manually. Using a manual dripper gives you full control over brewing variables like water temperature, flow rate, and dosing.
Overall, taking the time to brew by hand leads to better/more even extraction and more delicious coffee.
Best Pour Over Coffee Maker: Our Top 3 Picks
Best Overall Value
- Ceramic, plastic, or copper materials
- Sleek design
- Used by many World Brewer’s Cup winners
Best For Beginners
- Ceramic, glass, stainless steel, and copper materials
- Simple design
- Three holes for easier draining
Best Large Brewer
- Beautiful design
- Brew up to 10 cups
- Thick filter= clean taste
All of the pour over coffee makers in this article produce great coffee when used correctly, and sometimes choosing the right dripper comes down to personal preference. We will help you with that decision by giving thorough reviews and buying tips for each one, including some tips for brewing with them.
But before getting lost in the details of each dripper, we wanted to give you our favorite pour over coffee maker up front–perhaps that will be all the research you need!
Top Choice: Hario V60 Plastic Coffee Dripper
Hario is an industry favorite among specialty coffee brands, and the V60 dripper, in particular, is probably their most well-known product. And because it is such a popular coffee dripper, there are endless recipes around the internet. Keep reading the next section for the full review of the Hario V60 and why we think it is the best manual drip coffee maker.
Read our full Hario V60 Review if you want more detail on whether this dripper is worth it.
**Note: Hario also makes a glass carafe that works perfectly with the V60 dripper.**
At a Glance: Best Manual Drip Coffee Makers
Before getting into the details on each product, here is a general overview of what we selected as the top pour over brewers currently on the market and why we chose them:
- Hario V60: Best overall value
- Kalita Wave: Beginner-friendly and great value
- Chemex Coffee Maker: Beautiful design and up to 10 cups
- Blue Bottle Coffee Ceramic Coffee Dripper: Unique 1-hole design
- Clever Coffee Dripper: A blend of French Press and pour over flavors
- Beehouse Coffee Dripper: Compatible with standard paper filters
- Coffee Gator Pour Over Coffee Maker: Reusable mesh filter
- Kajava Mama Pour Over Coffee Dripper: Budget pick
- Bodum Pour Over Coffee Dripper Set: Budget Chemex
The 9 Best Pour Over Coffee Drippers: Detailed Reviews
Now that you have an overview of the manual drippers we’ll be recommending, let’s examine the details of each product to help you narrow down your choices.
Hario, established in Tokyo in 1921, is a hugely popular manufacturer of coffee equipment and accessories. That reputation, along with the competition-winning recipes performed on the V60, makes this dripper an industry favorite amongst manual coffee brewers. It has a cone shape and a large hole at the bottom for consistently smooth flow.
The V60 comes in three different sizes, and within each model, there is a range of acceptable brewing ratios–in other words, it is a flexible brewer. Depending on your preference, you can get the ceramic model or the plastic model, plastic being convenient for traveling. And if you want to get fancy, Hario sells an affordable coffee pour over kit that comes with the plastic V60, a glass carafe for coffee, and a pack of filters.
But probably the best aspect of the V60 is that brewing coffee with a V60 can be as complicated or easy as you want. Beginners can easily make a decent cup, and with more advanced techniques you can brew truly amazing coffee—this is the main reason why it won our vote for the overall best coffee maker.
- Ceramic, plastic, or copper materials
- Sleek design—easy for storing and travel
- Use by many World Brewer’s Cup winners
- Ridged sides prevent paper filters from sticking
- Can’t brew large batches
The Hario V60 won our vote for the best home coffee brewer in the manual pour over category because it is an industry favorite brewer at an affordable price. It has a slight learning curve, but it will grow with you as you advance in coffee and remain a part of your collection.
Need more information? Check out my Hario V60 review for the full details.
You can think of the Kalita Wave as the primary challenger to the V60. Named for the wavy shape of its paper filters, this brewer is a more beginner-friendly model that makes it easier to get an even extraction. It is a flat-bottomed coffee dripper and has three drainage holes, which means that even if you mess up the grind, it should still drain in time.
Kalita sells two sizes of this model, and in both sizes, they say that the filter design and the three holes on the bottom provide an even extraction. In our testing, though, we found it harder to get great extractions from the larger brewer when using more than 30 grams of coffee–clogging tended to disrupt the flow.
- Ceramic, glass, stainless steel, and copper materials
- Simple design
- Three holes for easier draining
- Special filters required
Conical drippers like the V60 are less forgiving to brewing mistakes, but the Kalita Wave’s design is more forgiving. It’s a sturdy brewer, comes in multiple sizes, and is well-suited for beginners.
Chemex Glass Pour Over Coffee Maker
If you are not the only coffee drinker in your house, the Chemex Glass Coffee Maker is your best bet for brewing large amounts of manual pour over coffee at once. Invented by German inventor Peter Schlumbohm, this glass coffee dripper—a one-piece borosilicate glass design—is an iconic piece of coffee history. It is as much a piece of beautiful decor as it is a fantastic brewer—is even in the permanent collection of art museums such as the Smithsonian Institution, Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Philadelphia Museum.
**Read our Chemex Coffee Maker Review for even more detail.**
It comes in multiple sizes, with the largest being 10 cups (50 ounces). Keep in mind that you do not have to brew the full amount if you buy a larger Chemex—you can brew half the amount that it fits and still get great results. For the 8-cup model that we regularly use, anything above 20 ounces brews well. And the thick paper filters give a uniquely clean-tasting cup of coffee!
- Beautiful design
- Brew large amounts (up to 10 cups)
- Thick paper filters produce a clean taste
- Can’t brew small amounts
- Must use Chemex filters
The Chemex is a classic manual coffee brewer that has been around for over 80 years. It looks beautiful in your kitchen, can brew up to 10 cups at once, and has thick paper filters that produce uniquely clean-tasting coffee.
Blue Bottle Single Cup Coffee Dripper
Blue Bottle, a coffee roaster with a massive reputation in the specialty coffee world, was founded in 2002 in Oakland, California. At the time, founder James Freeman was riding the third wave coffee hype by delivering fresh-roasted coffee to people’s homes, and the company exploded over the proceeding ten years. There are now almost 100 locations around the world.
And in 2016, the Blue Bottle Single Cup Dripper came out for use in all of its cafes. The dripper has a unique design in that it has only one hold, despite being a flat-bottomed dripper. But something about the design works because the flow rate is fantastic. If you have struggled with pour-overs clogging in the past, this design might be worth trying.
Blue Bottle even has a book, The Art of the Pour Over, detailing this coffee ritual artfully. If you are a fan of the slow/meditative process of making pour over coffee, you will love Blue Bottle’s approach!
- Sturdy ceramic material
- Simple to use
- Flexible recipes
- Great flow rate
- Heavy—not great for traveling.
The unique design of this product—having a flat bottom and yet only one hole—seems to produce a different extraction than the other flat-bottomed brewers like the Kalita Wave. Overall, the Blue Bottle Single Cup Dripper is easy to use because it requires less babysitting.
Clever Single Serve Dripper
The standout feature of the Clever Coffee Dripper is that it has a shut-off valve to restrict water from flowing out of the bottom. In this large 18-oz brewer, which also has a lid for heat retention, you pour all the water at once. After steeping, placing the dripper onto your cup or carafe releases the valve. This feature makes it a unique blend of filter and immersion brewing.
Great French Press coffee has a full body and a bold taste, but many coffee drinkers do not like the unfiltered aspect of the French Press—for them, there is too much sediment in the cup. The Clever Dripper fixes this problem by allowing you to get the bold flavors of immersion brewing while still achieving the clean mouthfeel of filtered coffee.
The Clever Dripper is beginner-friendly and easy to use because you do not have to babysit it. During the two-minute immersion stage, you can do something else.
- BPA-free plastic
- Clever stopper valve for full immersion flavors
- Lid (great for heat retention)
- Easy cleanup
- Atypical pour over brewing method
This Clever Coffee Dripper is unique in combining filter coffee and immersion brewing. Consider buying this one if you love the bold flavors of French Press or if you want a less attention-demanding pour-over experience.
Beehouse Small Coffee Dripper
The Beehouse Ceramic Coffee Dripper, which comes in two sizes, is another flat-bottomed brewer. Unlike the three holes of the Kalita Wave, this one only has two holes. The smaller model in particular is great for those who only want to brew small amounts at once.
Design-wise, there is a wedge shape that helps with heat retention. And the grooves along the side prevent the filter from sticking.
- Sturdy ceramic material
- Flat bottom—easier for beginners
- Works with Melitta and Filtropa filters
- Cannot brew larger amounts
This ceramic dripper is all about simplicity, and the fact that it does not require proprietary filters is a great bonus. The small size is especially great for those who daily brew coffee for just themselves.
Coffee Gator Glass Drip Coffee Maker
Coffee Gator launched its company in 2015, and since then, they have been making some noise in the coffee world. The Coffee Gator Pour Over Coffee Brewer is a one-piece design like the Chemex and features a cool-touch handle that allows you to serve your coffee after the final drawdown.
Compared to other drippers in this article that require a separate carafe, being able to swirl your coffee at the end of the brewing process is a great bonus. Decanting coffee like this has a surprising effect on the flavor!
And with three sizes—10.5, 14, and 27 oz—you can brew anywhere from 1-5 cups, bringing it into the territory of the smaller Chemex models. And it comes with a reusable mesh filter that will give your brew a bold and heavy mouthfeel—it is fantastic for those who like the natural oils in French Press coffee.
- Heat-resistant glass material
- Reusable stainless-steel mesh filter
- Cool-touch handle
- One-piece design with spout for easy pouring
- The metal mesh filter allows oil/sediment into your cup.
The Coffee Gator Dripper is a sleek product that looks great and brews great. Its one-piece design gets you a dripper and a carafe in one purchase, and the reusable mesh filter means you can enjoy a fuller flavor. Plus, you never have to worry about reordering paper filters.
Kajava Mama Pour Over Coffee Maker
You can think of this Kajava Mama Dripper as a more budget-friendly version of the V60, with a similar large-hole design. It comes in two sizes, and the brewing process will be similar to that of a V60. There are a lot more color options for this dripper, so that could be a factor if you want a unique color like pink or black.
To be honest, this brewer looks like a copy of the Hario V60, and you could easily be fooled by just the pictures. We love the V60 because you get the great design plus the trusted name of Hario, but we are including this Kajava Mama product as a budget-friendly option.
- Ceramic material
- Unique colors
- V-shape with a large hole
- The bottom hole is too large—filters break more easily.
The Kajava Mama Dripper is a cheap coffee brewer compared to the similarly designed V60. It doesn’t have the same industry reputation as the Hario dripper but has a similar cone-shaped design but with a larger hole.
Bodum Pour Over Coffee Set
This Bodum Pour Over Set is a great way to have a Chemex-like brewing without having to spend as much. Like the Chemex, it is a borosilicate glass carafe and brewer in one design, and it has a cork band around the middle for easy handling.
We recommend the 34-ounce model for its convenient combination of size and brewing ability, but across the range of sizes Bodum offers, you can brew anywhere between 4-12 cups. And, the reusable filter means you will get a strong/oily brew and the brewing process will occur more quickly than with the thick Chemex paper filters.
- One-piece glass design
- Cork band for holding
- Flexible sizes
- Fast brew time
- Many people won’t like the stainless steel mesh filter.
This Bodum Pour Over Set is a large brewer that resembles the Chemex in design, minus the fact that it has a permanent filter that results in more sediment and oils in your coffee. Consider this a budget-friendly version of the Chemex—it is not as good, but comes close!
Choosing The Best Pour Over Coffee Maker: Considerations
Now that you have read through the details of the various pour over coffee makers, you might be interested in some general considerations that will help you settle down on the right coffee dripper for you.
How Much It Brews
A good coffee maker will give you a range of brew sizes—just make sure you adjust your coffee recipe according to your desired brewing ratio. For example, in the Size 02 Hario Coffee Dripper, you can brew as little as 16 grams and as much as 24. But brewing outside of that range will lead to bad extractions.
So before you commit to one of these brewers, think about how many people you will be brewing for. If it is just you 90 percent of the time, go with a single cup brewer to avoid waste. We prefer to keep both a V60 and a Chemex around so we can brew anything from 1 to 8 cups, depending on how many people want coffee.
Style of Filter Basket
The style of the filter basket refers to what shape the bottom of your coffee bed will be in. This shape affects the pouring technique and how the water will draw down at the end of brewing. Generally speaking, there are conical filter baskets and flat-bottomed ones.
The conical shape, like the Hario V60, tends to require a more precise technique and presents extraction problems when failing to use a gooseneck kettle. But a flat-bottomed coffee dripper like the Kalita Wave, while still requiring careful attention, is more forgiving to how precisely you pour, hence why it is more beginner-friendly.
Brew time is a huge consideration for those who add coffee to their morning routine and need to be out the door early. For a larger coffee maker like the Chemex, it will take more time to heat water and brew coffee. Even without the prep work of weighing beans, grinding them, and heating water, a Chemex can brew for six minutes or more.
But the Hario V60 brews within three minutes, which is why it is a fantastic coffee dripper when you are crunched for time.
How portable a coffee dripper is might be one of your biggest considerations. If you travel a lot and can imagine yourself bringing your dripper and hand grinder on the road with you, you probably do not want to be lugging around the Chemex.
You also do not want to carry around a glass coffee brewer which can easily break inside your luggage. Instead, you would probably want something small and sturdy like the metal Kalita Wave or the plastic Hario V60.
Pour Over Coffee Sets
Pour over coffee sets are convenient if you are new to buying coffee gear. For one purchase, you can get a dripper, glass pot, filters, and maybe even a measuring spoon.
Pour Over Iced Coffee
Another consideration is whether or not you can make cold coffee during the summer, which is only feasible in some of these brewers. If you have a carafe coffee brewer with enough space to add iced cubes, you can make pour over iced coffee with the Japanese method. This recipe works best with larger pour over coffee makers like the Chemex or any large coffee brewing carafe.
Note that this cold coffee is different from cold brew coffee, which uses room-temperature water and brews for 18-24 hours. You can make pour-over iced coffee in the normal way with hot water, the difference being that the coffee drips onto a calculated amount of iced cubes.
But if you prefer the taste of iced cold brew, making homemade cold brew coffee is super easy and there are plenty of recipes.
How To Use a Pour Over Coffee Maker
Any coffee brewer knows that no matter how fancy or expensive your pour over coffee maker is, you will not make delicious coffee without a solid recipe and a fantastic pour technique. A great pour-over coffee recipe combines the right ratio, grind size, and timing to extract as much flavor as possible without over-extracting into bitterness.
Since we have a separate article with a complete guide to pour over coffee brewing, we will leave you with just a few tips below to get you started.
To get the best pour, we recommend investing in a gooseneck kettle, which allows you to pour the hot water with delicacy and complete control. This control is essential because the pour-over brewing process is all about repeatability—you want to brew with the same details every time.
Plus, using a gooseneck kettle is a remarkably meditative experience—it will make the pour over brewing process much more relaxing. So if you are already in the market for a drip coffee maker, you might consider including a gooseneck kettle to get consistently delicious cups.
**Pro Tip: Use a water filter for optimal coffee extraction, especially if your tap water has a lot of mineral content (aka hard water).**
While ground coffee is convenient, the extra surface area ages coffee much faster—a whole coffee bean protects the interior from the damaging effects of oxygen. And finely ground coffee beans age especially fast due to the extra surface area.
Rinsing the Coffee Filter
Read the complete guide on brewing pour over coffee linked above to get geeky about the details, but we will quickly make one suggestion here about paper filters. Whatever coffee dripper you end up choosing, make sure you rinse the paper filter at the beginning of the brewing process.
Paper filters impart their taste into the water when not rinsed, something you can easily prove if you soak a paper filter in hot water and then drink the water. And since coffee is over 98 percent water, it is worth the extra effort to make sure the water part tastes good!
Pour Over Drip Coffee Makers: FAQ
Before finishing the article, let’s answer a few of the most common questions people as about manual drip coffee makers.
What is the best pour over coffee brewer?
Overall, we recommend the Hario V60 Plastic Dripper as the best overall brewer for most people. It is affordable, highly portable, and flexible with regards to how much you can brew.
Are pour over coffee makers worth it?
If you are willing to put in extra time while brewing coffee at home, buying a manual pour over is worth the investment and is almost always better than drip coffee. You will get a much more even extraction and consistently delicious coffee!
What is the disadvantage of pour over coffee?
The primary downside to pour over coffee brewing is that the process takes time and attention. You need to learn a proper recipe and slowly brew your coffee over 3-5 minutes.
Is pour over coffee stronger than French press?
In the competition between pour over vs French press, pour-over coffee will be smoother and have a cleaner taste. As an unfiltered immersion method, French press coffee has a heavy body and bold taste.
Best Pour Over Coffee Maker: Final Thoughts
Ultimately, the best manual dripper for you depends on your specific situation. If you are regularly brewing for 3-4 people at a time, go for a Chemex, which is also great for easy homemade iced coffee. Or, if you usually brew just for yourself, stick with a single cup coffee brewer like the Hario V60 or the Kalita Wave.
You can also blend French Press style with pour over by choosing the Clever Dripper. Either way, the best coffee brewer is the one that makes you happy!