For most people, making iced coffee means brewing a pot of hot coffee than trying to cool it down with some ice. This isn’t the most efficient way to make iced coffee, and it doesn’t really make the best-tasting iced coffee either.
When it comes to making iced coffee, a good brewing option is a good quality cold brew coffee maker.
Cold brew is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to enjoy coffee. It is also one of the best ways to make a flavorful, not watered-down cup of iced coffee. Picking a good coffee maker for making iced coffee is a must if you are going to make this coffee house favorite at home.
Unfortunately, there are a ton of options out there, and it can be challenging to find a good iced coffee maker without spending hours of time in research.
We’ve done the research and taken the time, and have come up with our list of the five best iced coffee makers. We’ve also put together a helpful buying guide to help you make the best decision for you.
at a glance: Best Iced Coffee Maker
How to Choose an Iced Coffee Maker
When it comes to selecting a good iced coffee maker, there are plenty of things you need to consider. Not all are equally important, and sometimes considering too many factors can make the decision even more complicated.
Our buying guide gives you some of the most important things you need to consider when shopping for a great iced coffee maker. The product factors listed below give you the most important performance considerations. Everything else is just personal preference.
Iced Coffee Vs. Cold Brew
If you didn’t know already, there is a difference between iced coffee and cold brew. Iced coffee is regular coffee that is brewed extra strong. The hot coffee is poured over ice and often mixed with sweeteners, flavored syrups, or milk. The ice is actually supposed to dilute and smooth the strong coffee. Iced Coffee has become very popular at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.
Cold brew coffee is coffee that is steeped in room-temperature water for a number of hours. This slow brewing process allows the flavors of the coffee beans to pass from the beans to the coffee, without the added bitterness. Cold brew coffee is almost always served over ice.
Like with iced coffee cold brew can be fancied up with syrups, sweeteners, or milk. It does take a long time to properly brew cold brew coffee, so you do need to be prepared for the long haul when it comes to making cold brew. If you are in a hurry in the morning, iced coffee may be a better option if you don’t have a pre-made cold brew in your fridge.
Cold brew, in a way, is the new iced coffee. The smooth flavored result is quickly becoming the preference for coffee drinkers that like chilled coffee but don’t love having to make extra strong coffee so that it can be diluted with melted ice.
When we talk about capacity, we are really talking about the amount of coffee your ideal coffee maker will produce. Traditionally a “cup” of coffee is about six ounces. Most of us drink more than that, so you do need to consider the size of your cup relative to the size of your coffee maker.
A standard 32-ounce coffee maker, with today’s larger cup size, may only be enough for a family of four. If you are entertaining on a regular basis, you may want to consider a larger capacity coffee maker, or one that brews faster, to make enough coffee.
When you are considering the size of your iced coffee maker, you also want to consider the space you have for storing it. If you buy a larger-capacity iced coffee maker but don’t have a lot of room to store it, then you’ve probably picked the wrong one.
You really have two options when it comes to the type of coffee maker you select to make iced coffee. You can pick a regular coffee or espresso machine that will make hot coffee. This coffee you’ll pour over ice and allows you to have a machine for making hot coffee as well.
The other option you have is to use a cold brew machine. If you only like cold coffee this is probably a nice pick for you. Cold brew machines allow you to make a quantity of cold-brewed coffee and then store it for later.
The problem with these limited-use machines is just that, they only make cold brew. If you are interested in making hot coffee, you are going to need to invest in another appliance.
When it comes to the material of the iced coffee maker you select, you should really consider durability. Iced coffee makers with glass carafes or glass coffee pots may not be as durable as a stainless steel or plastic option.
You should also consider the looks of the machine that you are selecting. Stainless steel and glass options look great and can bring a bit of class to your space. Plastic iced coffee makers are affordable but some just don’t look very attractive sitting on your kitchen counter.
Certainly, you will want to consider the price. Most of us are working on some sort of budget these days, so dropping a thousand dollars or more on a coffee maker is probably not ideal for most of us. Iced coffee makers range from less than $50 to well over $1000.
More expensive options have added features like built-in grinders, removable water tanks, fancy filters, and other add-ons that increase the price.
Just remember, you don’t have to buy an expensive iced coffee maker to get a good cup of coffee. The quality of the coffee you make depends on the quality of the ingredients.
Ease of Cleaning
For us, ease of cleaning is really an important consideration when we are buying any kitchen appliance. Coffee makers particularly need to be easy to clean and maintain.
Because you are going to use your iced coffee maker daily, it should have an easy way to remove grounds, and ideally, parts that are dishwasher safe.
You also want to make sure that any automatic coffee maker has a cleaning cycle and a way for you to remove water deposits. This will help you maintain a high-quality taste in your iced coffee.
Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Best Iced Coffee Maker
|OXO 32 Ounce Cold Brew||CHECK CURRENT PRICESee Customer Reviews|
|Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew||CHECK CURRENT PRICESee Customer Reviews|
|Mr. Coffee Iced and Hot||CHECK CURRENT PRICESee Customer Reviews|
|Airtight Cold Brew Iced||CHECK CURRENT PRICESee Customer Reviews|
|KitchenAid KCM5912SX Cold Brew||CHECK CURRENT PRICESee Customer Reviews|
Our Top 5 Best Iced Coffee Makers
Now that you know how we look at iced coffee makers, and the features that we use to select great products, it is time for us to give you our list of great iced coffee makers.
Our list gives a variety of options. From those that are specifically designed to make iced coffee to versatile options that make iced coffee and hot coffee.
1. OXO Good Grips 32 Ounce Cold Brew Coffee Maker
The OXO Good Grips cold brew coffee maker is a really great option if you like cold coffee and don’t have a need to invest in a hot coffee maker.
This 32-ounce cold brew coffee maker is designed to steep grounds for up to 24 hours, producing a delicious coffee concentrate. The OXO is really simple to use and disassembles easily for cleaning and maintenance.
The OXO is designed with some great convenience features. The plastic steeping container has a rainmaker top, which allows you to bloom your grounds as you add water.
The borosilicate carafe is designed to fit under the dispenser, triggering the release of coffee concentrate when the carafe is inserted, and stopping the flow when the carafe is removed. The carafe comes with a snug-fitting lid so you can store your coffee concentrate in the refrigerator without worrying about spills.
All of the parts of this coffee maker are dishwasher-safe and made from durable, long-lasting materials.
- Utilizes a mesh filter and can also accommodate paper filters to catch more grounds during dispensing.
- Rainmaker works well for evenly distributing water across grounds
- Good quality materials and sturdy construction
- Doesn’t take up a ton of space on counters or cabinets
- Super affordable at just over $50
- The dispenser switch is nice but it is a bit finicky
- Only makes cold brew coffee concentrate
- Plastic construction is a little disappointing.
2. Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker
The Takeya cold brew coffee maker is a very simple-to-use and compact way to make your iced coffee. This cold brew coffee maker works by slowly steeping coffee grounds in cold water. The pitcher with filter basket sits perfectly in your refrigerator and makes a quart of cold brew coffee, which is ideal for iced coffee drinks.
The Takeya is simple to use. You simply fill the basket with your favorite coffee grounds, fill the pitcher with water and let it sit in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When your coffee has reached your desired flavor profile, remove the filter basket with grounds, and replace the lid. This coffee maker also serves as a storage carafe and serving pitcher.
The BPA-free plastic design is both durable and easy to maintain. The stainless steel mesh filter keeps fine grounds from passing into your coffee, and like all of the other parts of the Takeya cold brew coffee maker, is dishwasher safe.
If you are in a pinch, the Takeya is also durable enough to handle hot water, so it is a great way to make iced tea or even a pitcher of hot tea or coffee if needed.
- Versatile coffee maker is also a carafe and serving pitcher
- Makes great cold brew and hot drinks
- All parts are dishwasher safe
- Highly affordable priced at less than $30
- Comes in one and two-quart options
- Mesh filter doesn’t keep all of the fine grounds out of your coffee
- The resulting cold brew is not as robustly flavored
- Plastic parts are kind of cheap looking
3. Mr. Coffee Iced and Hot Coffee Maker
Certainly, you cannot go wrong with an iced coffee maker from one of the most reliable names in coffee making. The Mr. Coffee iced and hot coffee maker is a great choice if you are just looking to make a single cup of coffee, whether hot or cold, for your enjoyment.
This coffee maker is a great single-serve option and works much like your larger-size coffee makers. The Mr. Coffee works without using coffee pods, which is a great benefit if you are looking for a single-serve coffee maker, but don’t love the waste of machines that use coffee pods.
The Mr. Coffee iced and hot coffee maker comes with a 22-ounce cold coffee tumbler that fits perfectly under the dispenser. It also accommodates a variety of coffee cup sizes if you want a cup of hot coffee. The easy controls on this coffee maker allow you to make 6, 8, 12, or 16 ounces of coffee, directly into your cup.
There are minimal parts to this coffee maker, so it is easy to maintain. The owner’s manual comes with helpful instructions on how to clean the machine periodically. Otherwise, the removable parts and tumbler are all dishwasher safe.
- Quickly brews up to 16 ounces of coffee
- Great option for single-serve coffee brewing
- Comes with a reusable filter, coffee pods are not necessary
- Good value at less than $70
- Plastic construction is not as nice looking
- No additional features or accessories
- Only brews hot coffee, not able to make cold brew
4. Ovalware Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
The Ovalware RJ2 airtight cold brew and iced coffee maker is perfect if you are looking for an easy-to-use and compact way to make a great cup of cold brew or iced coffee. This is also one of the most attractive iced coffee makers that you can choose from.
The RJ3 is made from hand-blow BPA-free borosilicate glass. This is the same grade of glass that is used in laboratory equipment, so it is made to handle both hot and cold liquids. The stainless steel airtight lid and filter basket are also high quality and made for lasting durability. All of the parts of this iced coffee maker are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
We like that this cold brew and iced coffee maker is a bit larger than some of the other compact options. It comes in 1-liter and 1.5-liter options, which gives you enough cold brew for iced coffees for you and your guests. Because this iced coffee maker is made from a heat-safe material, it can also be used for making a larger quantity of hot tea, than just a single cup.
Do keep in mind that though borosilicate glass is more durable than other types of glass, it can still break when dropped. If you have small children in your home, or if you just aren’t the most graceful until you have enjoyed a cup of coffee, you may want to choose a more durable option.
- Great quality product for a reasonable price
- Very easy to use and clean
- All parts are dishwasher safe and BPA-free
- Design is simple but stylish
- Compact enough to fit in your refrigerator
- Making cold brew does require steeping overnight at least
- Glass construction is not as durable as other materials
- Needs to steep for at least 24 hours for a robust coffee flavor
5. KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker
The KitchenAid cold brew coffee maker is designed to make robust cold brew concentrate that can be diluted with water or milk and served over ice for a delicious iced coffee. We really like the design of this coffee maker. The square shape is unique and not typical for cold brew coffee makers.
The KitchenAid is a really attractive cold brew and iced coffee maker. The glass, stainless steel, and aluminum construction make this a perfect iced coffee maker for entertaining or for sitting on your kitchen counter. The coffee maker uses a dishwasher-safe, fine mesh, stainless steel filter basket. This is one of the few iced coffee makers of this style that doesn’t leave a lot of fine grounds in the bottom of your coffee.
We like that this coffee maker stores your finished coffee and works as a dispenser as well. The included stand is ideal for entertaining. Or, the square container fits compactly on the shelf of your refrigerator.
This is a more expensive iced coffee maker, but KitchenAid is a well-known and reliable appliance brand so you know that it is designed and constructed to last a long time.
- Attractive and durable construction and materials
- Makes a larger batch of cold brew or iced coffee
- Handle makes it easy to move around
- Square design fits nicely in the fridge
- The most expensive of the iced coffee makers
- The dispenser spout makes this coffee maker not as easy to clean
- Stainless steel parts add some weight to this coffee maker, even when empty
The Best Iced Coffee Maker – Final Thoughts
If you love a cup of iced coffee on a hot day, but don’t always want to run down to your local coffee house, it’s time to invest in an iced coffee maker.
Iced coffee can be made using hot coffee or cold brew coffee, both of which use different equipment for brewing coffee. If you like to enjoy both hot coffee and iced coffee a versatile option that makes both hot and cold coffee is a must.
If you just love a good cup of iced coffee, you may be able to go with a cold-brew coffee maker only.
Our favorite iced coffee maker, the OXO Good Grips cold brew coffee maker is an affordable way to make a delicious cup of iced coffee.
It comes with all the equipment you need to make your cold-brew coffee, including a carafe to store it in. With this setup, you can enjoy a delicious cup of iced coffee whenever you have a craving.