Having the power to brew a full carafe of coffee or a single cup is pretty awesome. Today I’m going to give you a quick rundown on what I think are the best dual coffee makers out right now and what you should be looking for before choosing one.
Dual Coffee Makers Being Reviewed
- Ninja Hot and Cold Brew System
- Cuisinart SS-15P1 Coffee Center – My Favorite Coffee Picker
- Hamilton Beach 2-way Brewer Coffee Maker
- Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker
- Cuisinart CHW-12P1 12-Cup Coffee Maker
- Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Thermal Coffee Maker
Key Features To Look For
When you’re choosing your coffee maker, consider getting one with a timer that you can program. This lets the coffee maker prepare fresh coffee automatically at whatever time you want. By just programming the timer, you can wake up to freshly brewed coffee without having to stand and wait for it to brew in the morning.
Dual coffee makers can come with either one very large water reservoir that both sides use or two separate tanks. Having two tanks means you’ll have to refill them more often if you make coffee daily, because they’re usually smaller.
Sometimes the water reservoir for the single serve size will only hold enough water for one serving. If you want to save time from having to refill water often, pick one with a large reservoir that both will share.
A little feature that lets you grab a cup of coffee during a brewing process. If you’re impatient like me, this is like the best feature any coffee maker can have.
Pods & Ground Coffee or Ground Coffee For Both Sides
You’re going to have choices of getting a machine that uses pods/k-cups, ground coffee, or both.
The pods/k-cups are mostly going to only work on the single-serve side and the carafe side will take ground coffee. It is easier to just pop in a pod and press the button to start making you coffee.
Your other option is getting one that’ll take ground coffee for both sides. This is a good option if you have a specific bean you like to use. If you really want to, just pop the little covering on a pod and fill up the single-serve side filter. They usually take about the same amount of coffee grounds as a pod anyways.
There are a few more little things to look for in your coffee maker that I’ll list down below, because most of you probably want to get into the reviews by now!
Starting off we have the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System. This dual coffee maker does more than just make single serve or carafe coffee. You’ll have options to brew hot coffee, tea, or even cold brew. The cold brew will not be as strong as traditional cold brew, it makes a pretty good attempt at making it in 10-15 minutes!
It comes with two different brewing baskets. One for your coffee and the other for tea if you happen to be a tea drinker. The Ninja will even recognize which one you put in. A handy little feature, to keep your brew baskets separate, so that you won’t mix tea and coffee flavors.
The carafe you’ll be getting with this is a thermal carafe. You’ll have the option to brew from a single cup, all the way up to a full carafe. It’ll keep your coffee hot for a few hours, which is good enough for most people.
One cool feature that I like about this, is that it comes with a milk frother. A milk frother is different from a milk steamer. It’ll only froth your milk, it will not heat it up for you. But, this allows you to make froth for your hot or cold drinks (lattes, iced lattes, cappuccinos, etc).
Something to note about this is that you will not be able to pull the carafe out during a brew cycle. You’re going to have to be patient and wait for it to finish brewing!
|You can brew either coffee or tea||Does not have sneak-a-cup feature|
|Awesome design that’ll tell you which brew basket you’re using, so you won’t mix flavors||Very lightweight|
|Does a pretty good job of making sudo-espresso for specialty drinks (lattes, cappuccinos, etc.)|
The next coffee maker on the list, we have the Cuisinart SS-15PQ. It comes with a 12-cup glass carafe which is awesome if you need a lot of coffee. This comes with a gold-tone filter and charcoal filter to remove impurities, giving you better tasting coffee.
The Cuisinart dual coffee maker comes with separate water reservoirs. The single-serve side even has a light up indicator to let you know when it needs more water. Each one of the reservoirs is removable. Something to be aware of is that you will need to reach into the reservoir to grab the handle on the carafe side.
On the single-serve side you’ll have the option to brew either 6, 8, or 10 ounces. Something I think you should be aware of before getting this, is that you’ll need to line up your k-cup. What I mean by this, is that there is an arrow on the k-cup size and an arrow on the k-cup that needs to be aligned. If they’re not you’ll end up with a coffee explosion mess. Easily avoidable, but can be annoying if you forget to do it.
Just like the other cuisinart that I have on this list it comes with programming options of: brew time (24-hours in advance), sneak-a-cup, auto shutoff (but on this model you can manually shut it off as well, and brew strength. The key difference between this model and the other are the filtration systems, having the option to manually shut off the heating plate, and size options for the single-serve side.
This model is more aligned with being a dual coffee maker for carafe or single-serve. I would choose this one over the other if you don’t need the hot water system.
|Carafe does not spill coffee when you pour from it||The carafe water reservoir handle is on the inside of it, you’ll have to reach into to grab it|
|The water reservoir for the single-serve side is removable for easy cleaning and filling||The single-serve side does splatter a bit, a taller mug is a easy fix for this|
|You can manually shut off the heating plate if you don’t want it to stay on the full 2-hour duration|
This dual coffee maker system lets you brew either a 12-cup carafe or single serving on different sides.
A few features and tips for the single-serve side. The single serve side will fit larger travel mugs. This coffee maker only takes ground coffee, but I found out that the single-serve side will take a k-cup/pod serving size. All you have to do is open it up and pour the grounds into the basket/filter on that side. And lastly, the amount of water you put into the reservoir is how much coffee you’re going to be getting from the single serve side. Make sure not to put too much and overfill your cup!
The Hamilton Beach 2-Way is programmable. You can program it up to 24 hours in advance to have it make you fresh coffee. It has the auto shutoff feature, after keeping your coffee warm for 2 hours. You have the option to choose between regular and bold brewing options. Note that bold will take a little longer to brew, but you’ll get more flavor extracted from your coffee grounds.
With all these great features, this machine still has a few quirks that I think you should know about. The machine is quite large, be sure to see if you have enough countertop space for it. Another thing is that you’ll want to make sure to run a vinegar brewing cycle through the machine before you use it. It’ll get rid of it’s plastic-y smell and taste that others have noted about this machine.
Other than that it’s a pretty great machine that lets you brew full carafes or single cups.
|It’ll fit single serve mugs and travel mugs||The coffee machine is kind of big|
|Super easy to use and has nicely lit up panel||Plastic-y smell/taste, but goes away with one brewing cycle of vinegar|
|Comes with a reusable coffee basket and has a frothing wand|
Like its other competitors on this list, the Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker comes with a 12-cup carafe. This side of the coffee maker takes ground coffee, while the single-serve side takes k-cups.
The single-serve side can fit mugs and larger travel mugs if you need to take coffee on with you. It has a removable tray, the single-serve side, that’ll let you fit up to an 8 inch mug.
This dual coffee maker comes with a 60 ounce water reservoir that both sides will use to brew coffee. Having one reservoir for both sides means that you won’t have to fill it as often, depending on how often you make coffee. It’s also removable for easy refilling and cleaning.
It has a lot of the common features that we’ve talked about before in other models. That includes: being programmable 24-hours in advance for brewing coffee, sneak-a-cup feature if you want to grab a cup before the brewing process is done, and brew strength options between regular and bold.
This dual coffee maker is great if you like having the options to brew with both ground coffee of your choice and k-cups. One thing that may bother some people is that it can get pretty noisy when it starts brewing. The second thing is that you’ll need to pour very lightly with this carafe or you’ll spill. It can be hard to do this in the morning when you’re in a rush, I know. If you don’t care about these two things this is a great option from the list!
|It brews coffee pretty fast||It’s pretty noisy for a coffee maker|
|The water reservoir is easy to clean out||Have to pour with a light hand or you’ll spill from the carafe|
|2 hour automatic shut off on the carafe side and 2-3 minutes for the single serve side|
We have another 12-cup carafe dual coffee maker that made this list. You’ll have the option to brew 1-4 cups into a carafe. It’s not quite like the others on the list, but the next feature I think makes worth adding to the list.
The feature that makes this one stand out is that it has a hot water dispenser. What I like about it is that it has its own heating source and water reservoir. It’s great for making tea, instant coffee, adding hot water to soup, etc.
This programmable unit lets you set a time 24-hours in advance for your coffee to brew. It’ll automatically shut off between 1-4 hours of your choosing and will let you know with a beep sound. It has a self-cleaning function, just to make your life a little bit easier. My favorite feature is that it gives you a few options between how hot you want the warming plate to be. Some of us like to keep our coffee scalding hot and some of us like drinkable temperatures, this lets you do that.
Be aware this thing is kind of tall. Its height is at 14 ¼ inches. If you don’t plan on putting this underneath cabinets, then it’s not so much a problem for you. This is another story if you do plan on having them under cabinets. Make sure you’ll have enough room for it to open up for coffee grounds (a few more inches) and to fill the water reservoirs. So you won’t have to pull it out every time you want to make coffee.
|Comes with a hot water dispenser||Kind of tall, you’ll need a lot of headspace for this unit|
|Very easy to use controls and programming||The lid doesn’t have a hinge, it snaps in. You might like this or hate it|
|Beeps when it’s done brewing and will let you know when you need to refill it with water|
The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew comes with a 10-cup thermal carafe to keep your coffee warm. This dual coffee maker gives you the option to use either grounds for the carafe side or k-cups/pods for the single-serve side. It comes with a pod holder and a coffee ground holder for the single-serve side to make cleanup easier.
The bottom drip tray is removable and also doubles as storage. You can keep some k-cups underneath it if you’d like. Being removable lets you fit taller travel mugs under the single-serve side.
It has two separate water reservoirs that are easily visible from the sides. It’ll also let you know if you try to brew and there’s no water in the reservoir, sometimes it happens!
A few of the standard features that I’ve talked about by now. You can program it to brew you coffee at a certain time. It’ll shut off after 2 hours of keeping your coffee warm. Sneak-a-cup of coffee in the middle of the brewing cycle if you happen to need to. The two brew strength options, between regular and bold.
It has very large buttons and a bright screen, so you know what you’re doing on those early, groggy mornings.
A couple of deal breakers for some of those out there. It takes a bit longer to heat up than other models, but you don’t have to really worry about this if you use the programming feature. Since it’ll probably start before you’re ready for the cup of coffee. A second thing is the water reservoirs are not detachable. Non-detachable reservoirs are typically harder to clean and get to for refilling. If you can get past these two things, then it’s a very solid choice in my opinion.
|Removable base on the single-serve side to fit travel mugs||The water takes a bit longer to heat compared to some of the other models|
|Large control buttons make it easy to use and has a nicely lit screen for early mornings||Water reservoir is not detachable, so you’ll have to pull it out if you don’t have a lot of space above it|
|Single serve brews 14 ounces of coffee|
My Dual Coffee Maker Pick
Each of these dual coffee makers could be the best dual coffee maker to somebody. They all have their own little features that make them stand out from one another. You should pick one that fits what you want your coffee maker to do.
If you want my opinion on what I think is the best dual coffee maker, it would have to be the Cuisinart SS-15PQ Coffee Center. It has all of the standard features that I would expect a coffee maker to have. That includes: setting a brew time, auto shutoff, sneak-a-cup, different sizes for the single-serve side, heating plate temperature settings, and a couple other things.
The reservoirs are both removable, which makes refilling and cleaning easier. It comes with the gold-tone filter and charcoal filter to improve your coffee’s taste.
Having all these options is why it’s my favorite on this list. Well, I hope you found a coffee maker that’ll work for you!
Other Features To Consider
Thermal or Glass Carafe
Thermal carafes are an awesome way to keep your coffee warm. They’re designed to hold your coffee and keep it hot until you’re ready to pour a cup, without burning your coffee. Coffee makers that come with thermal carafes do cost a little more.
Most coffee makers that come with a glass carafe also come with a hot plate. The hot plate continually heats your coffee, which usually results in burnt tasting coffee after a long time. But in saying that, they will guarantee that your coffee stays hot. Glass carafes do let you see how much coffee you have left and are more stylish than a thermal.
Coffee makers are usually built with stainless steel or plastic. Both types of material are pretty strong and long-lasting, however stainless steel is generally stronger and definitely better looking.
You usually won’t find a coffee maker that is completely plastic-free. Also, make sure you look at the warranty that comes with your coffee maker. It can tell you how much confidence the manufacturer has in its quality by how long the warranty is.
Size & Capacity
For some kitchens, the size of the machine’s footprint matters a lot, since you’ll need to make sure you have enough space for it on your counter. The height is something to take into consideration as well. If you’re going to be placing your coffee maker underneath cabinets, make sure there is enough room between your counter and cabinet for your coffee maker.
Cleaning and Design
Not all coffee makers are designed the same. If you’re not too big on having to clean your machine often, look for one that is low maintenance. The design of a coffee maker can impact how often you’ll have to clean it as well.
Auto shutoff functions are becoming pretty standard for most coffee makers. Just a small reminder, to check if a model has this feature. It is a really awesome feature to have, so you’ll never have to worry if you turned off your machine or not.
Getting a coffee maker that has different brew strength options is another way you can customize your cup of coffee. They typically come in regular or bold options. The bold option will give you the choice to make the flavor of the coffee stronger.