Ah, coffee; the absolute best way to start a day right. A steaming cup of freshly brewed, strong coffee boosts the energy and invigorates the senses, helping you remain productive and focused all day. And while there are many ways to make a tasty cup of java, nothing beats the percolator when it comes to brewing ultra-rich and strong coffee. This is because, unlike most coffee makers, the percolator brews coffee multiple times, creating a truly flavorful, bold coffee that is bound to jolt and wake up even the sleepiest of night owls. And while it may not be as popular as it once was, the percolator remains one of the best coffee makers when it comes to producing copious amounts of rich, intense coffee.
If you’re in the market for a quality percolator, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we detail some of the best coffee percolators currently on the market, including the traditional stovetop coffee makers and snazzy electric models, so read on!
Best Coffee Percolator
Made of stainless steel, this durable and sturdy coffee percolator by Farberware makes 8 or 12 cups of intense, flavorful coffee. The model boasts a great price and a stylish silver exterior, so it makes for a fine addition to any kitchen. Importantly, it can be used on any stovetop, and thanks to its permanent filter basket it’s a no-mess option and a great choice for those with a busy lifestyle. The lid is tight-fitting so it seals in heat properly, keeping coffee warm for longer. There is a plastic see-through knob on top which lets you know when the percolating begins, which is always handy. As a nice bonus, the percolator is super-simple to clean as it’s dishwasher safe.
Stainless steel construction and mirror finish
Tight-fitting lid with see-through knob
8 cup or 12 cup models available
- Weight2.35 pounds
Number two on our percolator list is another fantastic model by Farberware. This stainless steel Farberware classic boasts a cool-touch handle and has an automatic mode that can keep your coffee warm once it has been brewed – crucial for fans of strong, steaming cups of coffee. This model can easily make four cups of java at any given time and is thus a great choice for a family. This percolator includes the coffee pot body, a pump tube, a basket, spreader, and a power chord specifically created to North American electrical regulations. It also has a drip-free spout, so it’s a no-mess model that will pour the perfect cup of coffee every time.
Makes 4 cups
Cool-touch handle and lid knob
- Weight3.15 pounds
Looking for a large, quality electric percolator? Definitely check out Presto’s model as it’s made from durable stainless steel and able to make up to 12 cups of great-tasting coffee. The easy-pour spout makes this a super-simple percolator to use, plus there’s a specialized indicator light that tells you when your coffee is ready each time you brew it. While this model makes rich and intense coffee, the taste is also quite smooth, making it a good choice for folks who like a more refined cup of coffee in the morning. As a bonus, the Presto percolator keeps your coffee piping hot automatically.
Stainless steel electric percolator
Filter basket and perk tube
Indicator light shows when coffee is ready
Makes up to 12 cups
- Weight4.6 pounds
If you’re after a traditional coffee percolator with a modern touch, the Cuisinart’s Electric model may be just what you’re looking for. Boasting a stainless steel housing with a cool-touch bottom, this sturdy coffee maker can stand on practically any surface without scarring. It’s easy to use thanks to its long no-drip spout, a large comfortable handle and a ready indicator light that lets you know when the coffee is ready to be served and enjoyed. As a nice little bonus, the knob on the lid is transparent, letting you check the progress of your brew cycle. While the model doesn’t have a keep-warm function, it does a nice job of keeping the coffee warm for about an hour or so after brewing thanks to its heating element. Making 4 to 12 cups at once, this percolator is best suited for large families.
Stainless steel housing and cool-touch bottom
Long no-drip spout and large handle
Ready indicator light
Makes 4-12 cups
- Weight3 pounds
If you’re passionate about brewed coffee and are a fan of camping trips and travel, the Coletti Bozeman percolator is a great choice. This pot can make up to 9 cups of coffee and is a perfect model for anyone who enjoys a rich and flavorful brew. Made of 18/8 stainless steel and a glass cover lid, this coffee maker is guaranteed to last for years. It is also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. This pick works well on a kitchen stove top or camp fire and a 12 cup model is also available for bigger parties. While filters are not necessary for this type of coffee, the Coletti includes 20 filters for those who like an extra-smooth cup of java.
Stainless steel stovetop percolator
9 cup model and 12 cup model available
Perfect for camping
Glass lid and rosewood handle
20 filters included
- Weight2 pounds
Another electrical percolator coffee maker to consider is the West Bend’s model with a detachable cord and heat-resistant handle. This stylish percolator can make 12 cups of coffee and boasts a stunning silver stainless steel finish. A special indicator light shows you when the coffee is ready and so a perfect cup of coffee is pretty much guaranteed every time. Thanks to its in-built warm mode this model will also keep your brew warm and perfect for serving. Since it can make 2 to 12 cups, we recommend it both for small and large families.
Stainless steel construction
Indicator light signals when coffee is ready
Detachable cord for easy use
- BrandWest Bend
- Weight3.85 pounds
Looking for a simple traditional coffee percolator? We suggest checking out Coleman’s campfire classic model. This stainless steel percolator boasts a lightweight design and durability and it can be used both on a stove and grill. It can make up to 12 cups of coffee at once so it’s perfect for bigger parties. As for the coffee taste, let’s just say it’s delicious; seriously, it’s intense yet very smooth, which is hard to produce even with much more expensive models. Importantly, the percolator also resists corrosion and is easy to both clean and use as it has an easy-pour spout and can be wiped clean when necessary.
Stainless steel percolator
Stovetop, grill, and campfire suitable
Makes 12 cups of coffee
Includes a filter basket, lid, and base
- Weight2.3 pounds
Next up is a stylish glass stovetop percolator by Cafe Brew Collection. Although very budget-friendly, this model makes exceptional coffee every single time thanks to its high-quality borosilicate glass construction. It comes with a drip-free spout and is suitable for both gas and electric stovetops, but when cooking on electric, you must use a metal heat diffusing trivet that is included with the percolator. The coffee maker is also stain-resistant and easy to clean as you can just chuck it in the dishwasher when necessary. All in all, a fantastic product that combines quality with value.
Durable borosilicate glass construction
Suitable for gas and electric stoves
Makes 8 cups of coffee
Stain-resistant and dishwasher safe
- BrandCafe Brew Collection
- Weight1.5 pounds
Durable, rust-proof and portable, the Stansport percolator will make your every backpacking and camping trip more enjoyable. Made from aluminum, the model not only heats quickly, but it’s also super-lightweight, which is important if you plan on taking it everywhere with you. It has specialized top and side handles for super-easy handling for when you need to take it off the fire or stove. While we find that this percolator makes delicious coffee regardless of the roast, the makers suggest using a light or medium roast for a perfect cup of java. There are two models available, but we recommend the 9-cup one as it’s more compact.
Sturdy aluminum coffee pot
Perfect for camping
9 or 20 cup model
Top and side handles for easy handling
- Weight12.6 ounces
Stylish, versatile and durable, this stainless steel percolator by Tops makes for another great camping coffee maker as it can be used on both stove and gas tops. This heavy duty pot boasts durability and will stand the test of time. It comes with a glass knob lid so that you can examine the coffee as it brews and a Permawood handle that stays cool to touch. The side of the pot also has cup markings to make pouring the perfect cup an easy feat every single time. Whether you love camping adventures and want to put your pot on the open fire, or prefer having your morning cuppa at home, this pick certainly won’t disappoint.
Stainless steel design
For use on stove or gas top or fire
- Weight2.4 pounds
Best Coffee Percolator Buying Guide & FAQ
So there you have it - 10 fantastic percolators that are guaranteed to take your coffee drinking experience on a whole new level. Still not sure which model is right for your needs and preferences? Take a look at our buying guide where we cover everything you need to know about these traditional coffee makers, including how to find the best one for your budget.
What is a Coffee Percolator?
A percolator is a popular coffee maker that brews coffee by continually cycling boiling water through the ground coffee beans. Conventional models consist of a pot, a water chamber, a special tube, and a section where you place the ground coffee. When the water heats up thanks to a heat source like a stovetop or a fire or an electrical cord, the coffee begins to brew. Because the boiling water is repeatedly cycled through the beans, the result is a rich, intense coffee that is impossible to get with drip coffee makers. Standard models are often made of stainless steel or metal and are usually very simple to use. More modern picks might be electronic or even have built-in indicator lights to show when the coffee is ready.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Coffee Percolator
When you're buying a coffee percolator you'll need to think of a few things. Firstly you need to consider whether you want a modern electronic model such as a programmable coffee percolator, or a traditional one which is typically simpler to use. You will also need to think about the amount of coffee that your pot can brew: are you making coffee for yourself only, or will you be making a pot for the whole family? The more people you're making coffee for, the bigger the percolator that you will need. Also, consider what kind of material you want your pot to be made of and whether you want a model that is dishwasher safe, or you're okay with a hand-wash model too.
Types of Percolator Coffee Makers
- Traditional pot percolator: These models utilize the heat of a stovetop, grill, or fire and don't need electricity. They are often more affordable and a great choice for those who love camping and the great outdoors. Another thing about conventional percolators - they're very convenient and super easy to use.
- Electric percolator: These models use electrical power and often have a detachable cord. They might have an indicator light to show when the coffee is ready and a keep-warm function too. Electric picks are great for those who don't want to use their stove or an external heat source.
Drip Coffee Maker vs Percolator
Drip coffee makers and percolators are pretty different. When it comes to drip coffee, the water runs through the ground coffee just once and it is usually filtered through a paper filter. While tasty, this type of coffee is much weaker and blander than that brewed in a percolator. Because boiling water is continually cycled in a percolator, the coffee is much bolder, richer, and generally stronger.
How to Clean Your Percolator Coffee Pot
While some models are dishwasher safe and thus a bit easier to clean, others will require hand washing. Whatever type of model you have, you will have to take the percolator apart to ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned, plus you'll have to remove the coffee grounds from the filter. You can throw these away or use them in your compost. Always follow the specific instructions for your unique model and adhere to them strictly so your percolator can last for as long as possible.
Coffee Percolator FAQ:
Q: Do I need special coffee for a percolator?
A: You just need regular ground coffee for your percolator. You can either grind your own or opt for coffee beans that have been pre-ground. That said, a medium roast works best for a percolator, but if you're a fan of a milder taste you can use a light roast coffee.
Q: Do I need a filter for a percolator?
A: Most models will have an in-built filter basket, so you won't need extra filters. That said, some models come with disposable filters that you can use if you like ultra-smooth coffee.
Q: How long do I percolate coffee?
A: Brewing time will depend on your percolator model. A stovetop percolator will brew within about 5 minutes, and an electrical model can take up to 10 minutes. Some opt to purchase a coffee percolator with timer to ensure that coffee is brewed to perfection every time, but this is not necessary if you have a few minutes to spare.
Q: Can I reheat coffee in my percolator?
A: Technically you could in some models, but it might result in burnt coffee. Rather opt for electric models that have a keep warm function. This will ensure that you drink warm, fresh coffee every single time. When it comes to percolators, there is an array of models that will keep things toasty.
Our Top Pick
While we love all the percolators on our top list, the Farberware Classic Yosemite model has to be our top pick. Made of durable stainless steel, this percolator is guaranteed to last for years to come. It brews exceptionally rich and bold but smooth coffee, so it should suit all coffee lovers, but especially folks who love a cup of strong java. Because it can be used on any stove or gas top, it's perfect for both home and outdoor use, making it a great choice for camping lovers. Thanks to its in-built filter basket this is a no-hassle pick and is a perfect go-to for those with a busy lifestyle.