Dual coffee makers brew coffee in two different ways. They can make diner-style carafes for when you’re entertaining friends or family, or make quick single-cup brews for when you’re on the run.
But with so many options on the market, which are the best dual coffee makers out there?
Luckily for you, we’ve done all the leg-work already.
We’ve reviewed a whole range of two-way coffee makers from a variety of brands. You’re sure to find one that perfectly fits your needs, as well as some useful advice on which features are best for you.
Dual Brew Coffee Maker Reviews
1. Cuisinart SS-15 12 Cup Coffee Maker
Like pretty much all of the dual coffee makers reviewed here, the Cuisinart SS-15 allows you to use both coffee grounds straight from the bag or ESE pods for extra convenience.
The machine has two separate water reservoirs, one for the carafe and one for the single pour. Each of these reservoirs comes with an activated charcoal filter so you can be sure of the water quality of your drink.
If you’re trying to be eco-conscious it has the added benefit of coming with a reusable mesh filter. No more will you have to waste the disposable paper filters after each drink, simply wash out the filter and you’re good to go.
The machine itself is well designed and nice to look at. There’s a lot of plastic, especially inside, but it’s all BPA free so you can rest easy about any health concerns.
The 12-cup carafe is fully programmable so you can set your machine up to have coffee ready for you as soon as you wake up. The glass carafe sits on a warming plate that stays hot for up to two hours so there’s no risk of a lukewarm drink.
The filter unit is designed with flavor in mind. It spreads the coffee grounds over a large area which increases the level of extraction during the brew. This results in a richer and stronger coffee.
Why We Like It: It’s a sleek-looking machine with loads of programmability. A great place to start if you haven’t used one of these coffee makers before.
2. Keurig K-Duo
Keurig is pretty much a household name in the coffee business at this point. They’ve been making coffee makers for decades and the experience shows.
The Keurig K-Duo comes with a massive 60oz water reservoir that is shared between both brew units. This eliminates the chore of having to refill two separate tanks when you change from the carafe to the single pours.
It might seem minor, but with dual coffee makers, convenience is king. It’s compatible with K-Cup Pods
The drip tray for the single pour unit is detachable. This lets you get larger travel mugs into the coffee maker.
The Keurig has an option for strong brew coffee for those who prefer a more intense flavor. We did find that after using this option the standard brew tasted a little watery. The strong brew is definitely the way to go.
Another advantage of the K-Duo is its simplicity. All the programming buttons are in a neat wheel on top of the coffee maker and we didn’t find navigating it to be much of an issue. Setting the desired brew time is a dream.
It’s not the fastest coffee maker on the market though. The carafe pours in particular can take up quite a bit of time. This isn’t a huge problem if you’re just hanging around the house on a Saturday. But if you’re in a rush to get to work you don’t want to be hanging around waiting for your wake-up juice to finish pouring.
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Why We Like It: Keurig makes well-designed and sturdy coffee makers. It also pours some seriously good coffee.
3. Ninja Hot & Cold Brew System
This is a seriously impressive and versatile dual coffee maker. You can use either ground coffee or ESE pods (or even loose tea!)
The main selling point of the Ninja is in the name: Hot & Cold. The machine quite happily makes traditional rich and dark coffee or you can set it to pour over ice. It even has a cold brew option for when it’s too hot to drink a steaming cup.
It’s also the only machine that has an option to brew tea. It has a separate, smaller filter unit specifically designed for tea leaves and the resulting drink is great. Not only that, but there are also different options for the brew depending on what tea you’re drinking.
Green, oolong, black, herbal, the Ninja really does do it all.
The Ninja is one of the few coffee machines that come with a milk steamer if you want to make a cappuccino or latte.
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One of the secret perks of the Ninja is that all of the removable parts are dishwasher safe.
The thermal carafe is stainless steel rather than glass. It’s better at keeping your drink warm and fresh, but we have to admit, we miss the look of the glass.
The only real obstacle to this machine is the price tag. All those extra bits really start adding up so if you’re not likely to use every feature it may not be worth the cost.
Why We Like It: Despite all the various options it’s not difficult to use. It makes such a wide range of drinks you won’t ever get bored.
4. Bella Dual Brew
The Bella Dual Brew Single Serve Coffee Maker is a relatively compact unit. It’s a clever little design where, unlike all the other machines we reviewed, it only has one brew unit for both the carafe and the single-serve coffee.
This makes the machine itself much smaller, measuring just under twelve inches high. This makes it a great product for anyone living in a small or communal space. Sharing a house or stuck in a tiny dorm room? No problem.
The carafe holder is completely adjustable. Simply shift it up to pour into a cup or travel mug or down to insert the 15oz carafe.
It’s considerably less pricey than a lot of the other machines on this list. Unfortunately, this does negatively affect the build quality. While we had no problem with mine, there are quite a few reports of the machine breaking down after only a few months.
The Dual Brew uses a washable, reusable filter. Something seems to have gone a little wrong in the design though, and finding coffee grounds at the bottom of your cup becomes a pretty frequent occurrence.
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Why We Like It: It’s nice and small and will fit in even the coziest kitchens. But there are too many other drawbacks to truly recommend this coffee maker.
5. De’Longhi All-in-One Combination Coffee Maker
This is another beast of a machine that is meant to compete with De’Longhi’s other espresso machines. If you know anything about coffee makers then you’ll know that De’Longhi really knows what they’re doing.
Naturally, if you want the experience and quality that De’Longhi is putting on offer, you’re going to have to pay for it. And this machine will set you back a pretty penny.
If you’re a more adventurous coffee drinker looking to experiment this coffee maker is ideal. The combination coffee maker has an 8-cup carafe that is fully programmable. Next to the carafe is a tradition-style espresso maker with a portafilter and Panarello milk steamer.
This does mean that if you want espresso in a hurry you might be out of luck since you have to go through the whole process of packing and tamping the filter. But if you enjoy the ritual of making a strong cappuccino then this is great.
The steamer works nicely too. The Panarello is adjustable so you can get that velvety foam just right. It also has a clever dual heating system and is the only dual coffee maker on this list that will allow you to make espresso and filter coffee simultaneously.
Between the espresso pourer and the milk frother, this coffee maker can make pretty much any drink you can think of. If you want to start playing around with latte art it’s a great place to start.
Why We Like It: If you’re like us and you enjoy packing your own coffee it’s a treat. Being able to foam milk gives you a much wider variety.
6. Hamilton Beach Flexbrew Coffee Maker
The Hamilton Beach Flexbrew is a more middle-of-the-road coffee maker. It comes with all of the features that you’d expect with this kind of coffee maker but lacks some of the frills and flair of the more expensive units.
It has two separate water tanks for the carafe and the single-pour brewers. The carafe holds an impressive 12 cups which is useful for entertaining large parties.
The single-serve side has a detachable drip tray which you can remove if you want to fill up a large travel mug. The tray itself also doubles as a neat little storage compartment for the various bits and bobs of the machine.
Annoyingly, the single-serve brew will pour out all of the water in the reservoir when it’s used. This means that you have to refill the tank after each use. This would be less of a hassle if you could take the reservoir out of the machine. Unfortunately, it is fixed in place.
It does pour a nice cup of coffee though. It has an adjustable brew strength control which works well if you like your coffee on the stronger side.
Why We Like It: You’re not likely to go wrong with this dual coffee maker. It comes with all the usual features and they work as intended.
7. Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer
This is a more budget-friendly version of Hamilton Beach’s Flexbrew. It comes with pretty much the same features but sacrifices a bit on quality to keep the costs down.
However, it is quite a bit smaller than its bigger brother so it’s ideal for anyone who’s not willing to give up so much counter space.
Like the Flex Brew, it has a large 12-cup glass carafe which is more than enough for most people’s needs.
The single-serve side is sorely missing the adjustable sizes. It’s nice and high so that you can fit an 8-inch travel mug underneath it, but we found that with some of our smaller mugs the coffee had a habit of splashing out a little bit.
The carafe is fully programmable so you can set it up to make sure your coffee is ready for you as you wake up.
Like the Flex Brew, it’s mostly made of plastic. As far as we could make out, the stainless steel parts it did have were mostly for aesthetics rather than sturdiness.
While the Flex Brew isn’t exactly a looker, the 2-Way Brewer is even less attractive. The parts move around as you operate it and it definitely looks kind of cheap.
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Why We Like It: It’s cheaper and smaller than a lot of other models on this list which makes it an ideal starter unit. Despite the various drawbacks, it can still make a really nice cup of coffee.
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Dual Coffee Makers Buyer’s Guide
With such a huge difference between each dual coffee maker and its various features, it can get complicated to pick out which best dual coffee maker is best for you.
If you’re still not sold on any particular product, check out the buyer’s guide and we’ll go over what the various features mean to you.
The idea behind a dual coffee maker is primarily convenience. If you want to wake up to a pot of freshly brewed coffee, make sure to get a unit with a programmable carafe.
This lets you pick a time that you want to have your coffee done by. The coffee maker will wake up when it needs to to make sure it’s ready for you.
If you don’t think you’re going to need an entire carafe in the morning, you can skip over the programmable carafe. Instead, focus on getting a machine that pours out a single-serving nice and fast.
It’s also important to remember that extraction takes time. Speed normally means sacrificing on flavor. If you’re willing to wait five minutes for a single cup, something like the De’Longhi will work fine. Otherwise, a coffee maker like the Keurig K-Duo will let you wake up and go.
The carafe is half of the point of the dual coffee makers, so it’s important to get the right one.
They can vary in size anywhere between 12 and 8 cups and this will affect the overall quality of the coffee. If you regularly entertain large groups, a bigger carafe is more suitable. If not, you’ll be pouring out a lot of coffee that doesn’t get drunk.
Most of the coffee makers use glass carafes. Personally, we prefer the way the glass carafe looks. But bean-heads are pretty insistent that stainless steel is the way to go. Supposedly, it keeps the coffee fresh for longer and circulates heat better.
While I found very little difference between the two, it’s certainly something worth taking into consideration. If you prefer steel, the Ninja Hot & Cold is the best option.
Dual coffee makers have all sorts of different features. But you don’t want to spend money on a dual coffee maker that has an array of different buttons and brewing options that never get used.
It’s best to be honest with how much you think you’re likely to use the features on a coffee maker. If you mostly take your coffee black, you’re probably not going to get much use out of a coffee maker with a milk steamer.
But if you enjoy spoiling yourself with a milky cappuccino now and then, something like the De’Longhi is a treat.
If you’ve got piles of espresso pods gathering dust in your pantry then consider going with something like the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew that lets you use loose-grounds as well as the pods. But if you’re trying to be eco-conscious you may want to give that a skip.
The same goes for the coffee filters. Disposable filters can give your coffee a slightly better taste, but they can be wasteful. If you’re avoiding unnecessary waste, go with something like the Cuisinart Coffee Centre that has a reusable filter.
So we’ve gone through each dual coffee maker and what its various features mean for you. But which machine stands the winner at the end of this best dual coffee maker round-up?
It’s the Ninja Hot & Cold Brew System. With its “anything you can do, we can do better” attitude it’s near flawless. It looks great and is super simple to use despite all the brewing options it comes with.
If you take your coffee as seriously as we do, it’s hard to recommend anything else. The only thing really holding it back is the cost. But this is the kind of device that lasts a lifetime, so it’s well worth the investment.
The De’Longhi is a close runner-up. It’s a bit cheaper which is always a plus. And if you enjoy a nice strong espresso with a lot of versatility the De’Longhi has got you covered. You can make any espresso-based drink easily.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Keurig K-Duo is a great little unit. It’s one of the easiest to use on the market and will get you what you want with a single button. On top of which, it makes a seriously good cup of coffee.