Ah, the good old French press. Some experienced connoisseurs swear by it, claiming it is the greatest brew of all time. We still like the pour over the best, but the French press is still an amazing way to brew coffee. Not to mention you can easily use it to make some tasty cold brew at home, which means only one thing, homemade coffee spritzer! What makes this brew so great? Why, the press, of course! If you’re looking for a good-quality, reliable press to make your French press brew, you’ve come to the right place, because we’ve prepared our 11 best French press coffee maker reviews for you to read.
There is one more thing we want to say before our French press coffee maker reviews.
You might be wondering why we, the Blue Penguins have not ranked any of these French press coffee makers.
Well, it’s simple really.
You see, in our opinion a ranking from one arbitrary number to another is all relative. Each person has their own coffee brewing lifestyle, which means everyone’s ranking is different.
Take us for example.
We love the modern look, the clean lines and the simplicity of the stainless steel french press coffee makers, so naturally, we would pick the Freiling, SterlingPro, or LeMeilleur.
But you might not feel the same way.
Maybe you like a more classic look, so you’ll lean towards the Bodum Chambord.
Or maybe you have cast iron cookware from Le Creuset already, so you want to purchase a matching stoneware French press from them as well.
You see, everyone is different, which is why there isn’t a straight up ranking system associated with these coffee makers.
What you will find is our honest opinion on why we chose to include each of these in our top 11 French press coffee maker reviews.
The first of our eleven French press coffee maker reviews is the review for the Freiling Stainless Steel French Press.
This outstanding press is a steel carafe and is available to you in four different sizes.
Its durability is matchless, and it keeps the coffee warm for much longer than most presses.
What’s cool about this press is that it has a two stage filter system to keep the coffee grounds out of your cup (the SterlingPro and LeMeilleurbelow also have this).
The first filter layer or filter stage as Freiling likes to call it is a prefilter which picks up the larger coffee grounds.
The second layer is a super fine mesh to pick up the smaller coffee ground sediments.
- Matchless durability with its 18/10 stainless steel body and plunger.
- Excellent heat retention because of the double-wall insulation. Freiling claims their stainless steel carafe is able to retain heat 4 times longer than a glass carafe, but we’re not sure how they confirmed this.
- 2 stage filter system like we were describing above which really does a great job at keeping the grounds out of your cup.
- Pricier than most in our opinion. If you like the look of stainless steel and want the same features, the better value is the SterlingPro Double Wall (#2 on the list), which is half the price and also features double-wall insulation plus a 2 stage filter system.
- Our biggest complaint with the Freiling is their dishonest marketing. The product is made in China, but the product title makes it appear to be made in the USA. Just to be clear, we have nothing against China made products here, but we do have issues with any misrepresentation of the product.
- We’ll say it again, the price is a little high. For a $100 French we’d rather pay a little more and get the sweet looking Nambe Bulbo French Press (#9 on the list)
Our Favorite Feature:
One of the best things on this Freiling plunger is the heat retention.
If you like sipping coffee all throughout the day, then Freiling is the perfect companion for you.
However, like we said, above, the price is on the expensive side.
If you’re really set on this press, make sure to check out the SterlingPro Double wall or the LeMeilleur (#2 and #8 on the list) too as they are comparable and about half the price.
The It’s American Press Coffee Brewer is such a different, innovative product, that we had to include it in this review.
Although its DNA is not fully 100% French press, it has a unique hybrid design which is best described as a mix between French press and Aeropress.
Let us explain.
Think about a typical French press for a second. The way you brew the coffee is through immersion. You let the coffee sit in the French press and you let the water and time extract the flavors from the coffee.
Pressure is not a factor like an espresso or an Aeropress.
The American Press is different, though. You get the immersion side of the equation. However, you also brew with pressure as you push the coffee basket down through the water.
All we can say is it looks so cool when you are brewing with this beast.
It doesn’t end at looks either.
The American Press brews a bright, clean cup, and you can easily adjust your final brew taste profile by messing with the different brew variables.
Want a bolder cup of coffee?
The American Press has got you covered. Just push down the coffee basket until it is submerged in water and pre-infuse the coffee for a longer duration of time. Then, after you pre-infuse just increase your total press time from what you normally do.
Want a lighter cup of coffee?
You’re covered here too. Just shorten your pre-infuse and press time, and you’re good to go.
Sure. You can do this with a French press, but it is definitely not as flexible.
- There is no other product on the market. It is innovative, easy to use, and has the cool factor.
- An awesome well thought out durable design. Shatter resistant, double wall tritan carafe, reusable coffee basket, stainless steel pouring edge, the list goes on and on.
- You have greater flexibility to change brewing variables which in our opinion makes a better cup of coffee. Of course, taste is relative, though!
- It’s more expensive than most traditional French press coffee makers.
- At first, it’s a little difficult to get the right gram amount of coffee. Unlike a French press, the American press has a coffee basket which holds a certain amount of coffee. So if you grind too much, you’ll have left over coffee grounds you’ll have to find a use for. In all honesty, though, this was because we were so excited to use it that we didn’t read the instructions close enough.
- To get the best flavors out of the American press you’ll have to use a better burr grinder. It uses a medium grind so pre-ground coffee will be too fine to use and cheaper blade grinders might give you a grind too coarse.
Our Favorite Feature
Our favorite feature by far is how good the coffee is that the American Press brews.
Yes, we love how easy it is to use, the cool design, and how easy it is to clean. But all that means nothing at all if the coffee tastes like crap!
Like we were saying earlier, the coffee is so good because you can easily adjust it to your tastes.
You can make a bolder cup, or a lighter cup, or anything in between.
Plus, when you brew with the American Press everyone around you will stop to see what you are doing.
Even though we’ve made well over 100 cups of coffee with our American Press, we’re still fascinated by watching it brew.
Next up is the SterlingPro Double Wall press.
One of the best French press makers on the market, this one utilizes a double screen system that filters out grounds that make their way into the coffee to make sure you aren’t eating gritty leftovers of the brew.
Not to keep repeating ourselves, but the features on the SterlingPro Double Wall are very comparable to the Freiling with one big difference; it’s half the price.
- Double screen filtration system, which works just as well as the Freiling.
- Double wall for better heat retention. SterlingPro doesn’t state how long this model is able to retain heat or cold for, but we assume it’s similar to the Freiling at around 4 hours.
- Comes standard with two extra stainless steel screens which is nice of them to do.
- The durability of the top press knob has been an issue for some users.
- Takes some time to clean as it’s kind of hard to remove the filters.
- There is no indication on the lid where the opening is and there are no markings on the inside of the press to check water levels.
Our Favorite Feature
The best part of this pot is definitely the price, double screen filter, and the double-wall insulation
So in other words and to be blunt, what we are saying here is that the SterlingPro is a much value for your money than the Freiling.
If you’re sold, just wait one second.
There’s still one more stainless steel french press at #8 below, so check it out before you decide.
Here’s a little hint for you. The other stainless steel French press is just as good of a value as this one.
Fourth up in our 11 best french press coffee maker reviews is the FP Coffee Maker press, one of the best and the best-looking coffee makers on this list.
The device’s wonderfully curved and elegant body hides a sturdy plastic frame and container, plus a very fine filter mesh to make sure the ground doesn’t get in your brew.
Don’t let the cheap price of this French press fool you either.
Yes, it may not be as fancy as some of the others on this list, but it will get the job done. Isn’t that what you’re looking for in a French press anyways?
- One of the best price points for the quality that you’ll find in the market.
- Sturdy dishwasher safe design.
- A very efficient and comfortable plunger.
- The edges of the screen can become undone.
- Some ground gets stuck and is not easy to get it out.
- Hard to find a replacement screen.
Our Favorite Feature
One word can be used to summarize this French press.
Ok, on second thought three words.
Basic simplistic value. This coffee press is extremely simple and the price reflects the simplicity, but what FP lacks in complexity, it makes it up in efficiency.
Out of all the features of this French press coffee maker, which includes the easy to use plunger, our favorite feature is the borosilicate glass carafe plus plastic base combo.
You know why we like this feature?
Add the nice plunger design this French press coffee maker has, and you are able to press your grinds down almost effortlessly.
For those more who are more traditional, we have the SterlingPro 8-cup maker, made of glass.
Elegant in design and efficient when it comes to making coffee, this SterlingPro would be a great addition to any coffee enthusiasts brewing arsenal.
Unlike its cousin, the SterlingPro Double Stainless Steel French Press, the SterlingPro 8-cup maker uses a borosilicate glass carafe instead of a double walled carafe.
What does this mean for you?
It means this french press maker won’t be able to hold the temperature as well as its double walled relative, but if you gulp your coffee down and want to save yourself a little money, this one may be a better fit for your lifestyle.
- The borosilicate glass is resistant to thermal shock and physical trauma.
- Uses Double Screen system to keep grounds out like its double walled relative.
- Very affordable and a great value at its price point.
- The glass does not retain as much heat, but you get what you pay for. Remember now, it’s cheaper for a reason and that reason is this french press coffee maker does not have a double wall insulation.
- You may have some difficulties cleaning, but this is a love hate relationship. You’ll love the Double Screen system because it keeps grounds out of your cup. BUT you’ll hate it sometimes because it makes it a little harder to clean.
- It seems like a Bodum knock off. We would recommend paying the extra money and going with the Bodum if you want this design.
Our Favorite Feature
The thing we liked most about this glass SterlingPro is its durability.
Glass French Press makers are known to break due to thermal shock, but the borosilicate glass used in this press greatly prolongs its service life.
Still, although we didn’t run into this issue ourselves, we know that many people had trouble with the build of the plunger itself, so keep a lookout.
Lastly, if it were up to us like we said above, we’d rather pay a little more for the Bodum if this is the design you want.
Coming in at number 6 in our 11 best french press coffee maker reviews, is one of the best known French press coffee maker manufacturers, Bodum.
Their Chambord is one of the sturdiest models out there, and you can rest assured that it will not break as easily due to either thermal shock or physical trauma.
If you’re looking for a French press design which has stood the test of time, look no further as this is the first and original design from the 1950’s.
With that said, although the design is old, the same attention to detail which first made this French press design popular is still just as important.
- Borosilicate glass is very sturdy.
- Reinforced stainless steel bars which undergo the same multi-step chrome plating process since the 1950s hold the glass in place for many years to come.
- This Bodum model is manufactured in their own factory in Portugal unlike the many other brands made in China.
- The stainless steel lid doesn’t hold in place as well as we’d like. Especially as you start to pour the brewed coffee out.
- There are some quality control issues. It didn’t happen to our version, but we’ve heard of people having problems with the quality of the filter and the beaker breaking.
- Nothing else to complain about really.
Our Favorite Feature
Obviously, we would be including the Bodum in our review.
Come on now!
Not including a Bodum on a ‘Best of’ list for the best French press coffee maker reviews, is like not bringing up Babe Ruth if your topic is ‘best slugger in baseball”
It just wouldn’t make sense.
Anyways, the reason we decided to include this specific model, The Bodum Chambord among our French press coffee maker reviews is its durability, history and classic design.
Just like the SterlingPro 8-cup, this maker is made of strong borosilicate glass and is much more resistant to damage than other similar products.
However, what really sets this French press coffee maker apart from the competition is its wonderful history.
When you’re drinking from the Bodum Chambord, it’s kind of cool to know that the design hasn’t changed since the 1950s and is still manufactured in the same Portuguese factory.
Let’s change things up a bit in our French press coffee maker reviews and give you a French press which loves the outdoors.
Do you like to go camping but your coffee addiction is too much to leave at home?
Enter the GSI Java Press!
A perfectly compact and sturdy French press coffee maker, perfect for when you need to satisfy your coffee hunger on a camping trip.
Let us tell you this.
Having a French press coffee maker with you on a camping trip is an awesome experience.
If you’ve been following us at all, you know last year we went on a camping trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota.
Well, guess what?
We had one of these GSI Presses with us on the trip and let us tell you something.
The moment when you wake up in the wilderness, with no cell phone reception and no distractions.
Just you, the campfire, your French press and your cup of coffee. That moment is unforgettable.
- Compact, lightweight and sturdy enough for any of your backcountry trips.
- Keeps coffee well insulated, with the double walled insulated lid and neoprene sleeve. In addition, the neoprene sleeve will protect your hands from burns.
- Good standard selection of sizes between 30 and 50 ounces. We like the 50 oz capacity better, but that’s because we love our coffee here. The 30 oz model might be perfect for you.
- The press tends to get stuck when you’re using it and the design makes it hard to pour the coffee without spilling over the side.
- Clean up is harder than we’d like. Although we love this press, all we can say is wow was it annoying to wash the press in the cold lake on a chilly morning. There could be worse things in life, though.
- You could always use instant coffee or brew a pour over on camping trips instead.
Our Favorite Feature
So, why is this one among our ten French press coffee maker reviews?
Like we said above, if you want to go camping and need your coffee, you will not find a better product for making a French press in the backcountry anywhere else.
And we’ll say it again, having a cup of freshly brewed coffee out in the middle of nowhere is AWESOME!
Next up in our French press coffee maker reviews is a Le Creuset beauty.
If glass isn’t hipster enough for you, then stoneware certainly might be.
Leave it to Le Creuset, the maker of high quality and stylish cast iron cookware to create a one of a kind French press stoneware pot.
This is one of the finer French press pots we have on this list and it doesn’t disappoint.
It has it all – looks, efficiency, elegance and an old school feel to it.
With that said, though, is the cool look and feel of a stoneware French press pot really worth the extra cost?
In our honest opinion, it’s a flat out no, but keep reading to see if it’s a fit with your coffee brewing lifestyle.
- What else can we say, the design is beautiful, but you wouldn’t expect anything less from Le Creuset.
- An awesome selection of colors. We selfishly chose the blue French press coffee maker to display here because after all, we are BLUE Penguin coffee, but they have a huge selection of colors for all design tastes. Just listing a few here, but this model comes in light blue, red, brown, white and more!
- Again, the design. We cannot get over how good this French press looks.
- A little on the expensive side for what you get. In reality, you’re paying for the design and the looks here. For the money, this pot is not going to make a better cup of coffee than the less expensive one. However, you will for sure receive some compliments on your taste in design.
- A tad heavy, which makes it harder to pour out the coffee. This is expected though as it is stoneware after all.
- The stoneware style is cool, but it won’t fit all kitchen styles.
Our Favorite Feature
Our favorite feature is definitely the design and the classic look and feel of Le Creuset’s stoneware.
The Le Creuset retains heat amazingly, but we still feel it a better value of your money to go with the Bodum for a classic design or even the SterlingPro for a stainless steel design.
If you still want a Le Creuset piece for your kitchen, it’d probably be a better idea to spend your hard-earned money on one of their cast iron pieces.
Number 8 in our 11 best french press coffee maker reviews is the LeMeilleur French Press.
This classic looking press is made of polished shatterproof rust proof steel making for an excellent combination of style and substance.
It also boasts a double wall for better insulation, as well as a double screen filter that will ultimately stop the grit from getting in your brew (like its Freiler and SterlingPro relatives).
We like the cleaner lines on the SterlingPro, but you really can’t go wrong with either for the price point.
- Double screen filter, which helps ensure the coffee grounds don’t find its way into your cup + two bonus screens with purchase like the SterlingPro
- Excellent heat retention because of the double walled design. Again, very similar to the Frieling and SterlingPro
- Very nice design that will look good in any modern kitchen. However, we like the look of the SterlingPro more, but that is just our own opinion.
- If a double wall insulated stainless steel french press is your thing, there are little to no negatives in purchasing this product.
- We didn’t have any issues with this, but some people had trouble taking the screens off the plunger to clean.
- It appears water can get stuck in the lid, and it is difficult to get it out because of how it’s designed. This might sound like a small complaint, but you don’t want dirty old water dripping into your freshly brewed coffee. It didn’t happen to the one we tested out, but just keep an eye out.
Our Favorite Feature
Definitely the value for your money.
You really can’t go wrong with the LeMeilleur or the SterlingPro if the stainless steel design is your thing.
Again, like we said a couple of times this one and the SterlingPro are a much better value for your money than the Freiler. At least in our opinion.
Plus, then you can use the money you saved to invest in a nice grinder or some freshly roasted beans.
The next product in our French press coffee maker reviews is the Nambe MT0719 Bulbo press.
Ok, bear with us here. We didn’t add this press into our review because of the good value or bang for your buck it brings.
Not one bit.
We added this press into our review because of its splendid, and unique yet simple design.
Because in all honesty, if you want the best deal or the best french press coffee maker for your money, the other french press coffee makers in this review would probably be a better fit for your lifestyle.
However, if you want a mid-century modern design piece to show off in your kitchen and you want something that no one else will likely have, then the Nambe MT0719 Bulbo might just be the perfect fit for you.
The Bulbo is designed by Lou Henry, a product designer well known for simple, yet unique solutions to everyday items. He is the founder of A2, Inc a creative product development firm out of New York City. His designs have won a multitude of awards, including being displayed in the permanent collections of the Chicago Athenaeum and MOMA New York.
Just take a look at the picture below, the design is incredible. It’s a bit on the expensive end for a French press, but in reality, it’s a piece of art you’re investing in.
- First and foremost, the beautiful functional design and the uniqueness of the piece.
- Nambe, the company which produces the Bulbo has a long history of collaborating with designers to create award winning designs.
- You can tell Nambe did not take any short cuts and paid attention to every little detail. The acacia wood handle and plunger top is a great example of the amount of attention paid to getting the craftsmanship quality right.
- The price is on the high end.
- You will not get a better tasting coffee because of the additional cost. When it comes down to the coffee, the cheaper French press coffee makers in this review such as the SterlingPro and Bodum will make just as good of a cup, if not better than the Nambe.
- The mid-century modern design will feel out of place in some kitchens.
Our Favorite Feature
Do we have to say it again?
Of course, our favorite feature of this French press is the design.
And although it is the most expensive French press in this review, if you think about it, it’s only slightly more expensive than the Frieling.
So if good design is your thing and mid-century modern works with your kitchen, then we say go for it!
You definitely won’t be disappointed in this purchase.
If the taste of the final brew and the total budget is your main concern, don’t worry about getting the Nambe then.
Like we said before, the other French press coffee makers in this review will make just as good a cup of coffee, if not better.
Let’s end our 11 best French press coffee maker reviews on a high note.
The last press in our 11 Best French Press Coffee Maker Reviews is the Grosche Madrid French Press.
This modern minimalist design is simple, yet sophisticated and will fit in most any kitchen.
We like the modern twist the Grosche Madrid takes with its design and like some of the other French press coffee makers in this review, it uses a dual filter system which helps keep grounds out of your cup.
If we had the choice in this price range, though, we would still choose the Bodum Chambord, SterlingPro or LeMeilleur over the Madrid.
But like we said before, that’s just our opinion so keep reading to see if the Grosche Madrid is the one for your lifestyle.
- Good value for the money, especially with the unique design which allows for easy cleanup.
- Made in Germany Schott-Duran Borosilicate glass beaker which is dishwasher safe.
- Dual filter system like others in this review with the exception that the second filter is located in the lid of the Madrid.
- In our opinion for this price range, we feel that the Bodum Chambord or SterlingPro Double wall is a better value for your money.
- The marketing of the French press was a little dishonest and was not 100% transparent. It is clearly stated the borosilicate glass beaker is made in Germany, however, the chrome housing is made in Taiwan. This isn’t a deal breaker for us, but we know some people might care.
- The handle does not do the best job resisting heat. In other words, it gets hotter than we would like from the brewing process.
Our Favorite Feature
Our favorite feature of this French press would have to be its chrome housing design. This design allows for you to easily remove the beaker from the housing in order to clean in. Not to mention it looks pretty cool.
Like we were saying, though, for the money we’d rather pick the Bodum or SterlingPro, but if you think this modern minimalist design is a good fit for your lifestyle, go for it.
You won’t be disappointed with the Grosche one little bit.
Summary of Our 11 Best French Press Coffee Maker Reviews
There you have it.
That’s the end of our French press coffee maker reviews for our favorites so far in 2017.
The French press or otherwise known as the coffee press, cafeteria, or coffee plunger, depending on what country you are in, is one of the most basic, yet tastiest ways to make your coffee.
Now the decision is up to you.
Like we’ve been saying everyone’s preferences are different.
What we tend to like here at Blue Penguin Coffee might not work with your lifestyle and what you like the best, might not work for us.
So take your time, read through the entire french press coffee maker reviews list and if you have any questions, feel free to let us know.
p.s. if you’re getting a French press and are still looking for a good burr grinder be sure to check out our reviews on grinders specific to the French press method of brewing.