Plastic gets a bad rap. Even the ‘safe’ kinds like ABS. So while plastic coffee makers are affordable and convenient, you may prefer to stay away from it. But whether your reasons are moral, environmental, or aesthetic, you still want a coffee maker to brew your favorite mug.
So today, we’re on the hunt for the best plastic-free coffee maker. We’ll start with a list of seven popular plastic-free models. We’ll explain what we like about them and what features are a little less desirable. Then we’ll tell you what our favorite model is. Sound good? Let’s do it!
Quick Glance: The Best coffee maker without plastic
The Best No Plastic Coffee Maker In 2021
1. Secura French Press Coffee Maker (Our Top Pick)
Ordinarily, metal is highly conductive. So a metal teapot or coffee kettle is perfect for stovetop brewing, but you have to handle it carefully to avoid burning yourself. It might be why the best plastic-free coffee maker is made of metal. But to evade some of the issues that may cause, the Secura’s stainless steel handle is designed to stay cool so you don’t hurt yourself serving.
The sides of your coffee maker also have a double-layered structure. This helps your coffee stay hot for longer periods because the gap between metal layers slows the loss of heat. The inner surface is polished steel for enhanced heat reflection while the outer layer is 304-gauge 18/10 stainless steel to withstand heat and rough handling. And you’ll love it if you prefer clear coffee.
Why? Because it has three individual filters so even the finest grounds will be sifted out of your drink. The coffee maker is about 9 inches tall and roughly 4 inches in diameter. You can get some extra use out of this coffee maker – the triple filter can be repurposed as a milk frother! Just load the kettle with hot milk and pump 30 to 40 times to get a rich foamy result you’ll love.
If the glossy finish doesn’t get you, the intricate innards will draw you in. This plastic-free coffee maker has dual screens and a mirrored finish. It has a 1-liter capacity and two extra screens.
- The highly polished finish is both attractive and functional.
- This model comes in 8 colors and has a 34oz capacity.
- The filtration system is triple-layered.
- Despite the double-wall, your Secura will barely keep coffee warm for half an hour.
2. Coffee Gator Paperless Pour-Over Coffee Maker
When it comes to coffee, some people want large coffee makers so that let them brew less often. But with pour-over makers, time is a factor. If the coffee sits too long, it may become bitter and unpalatable. That’s why this small unit is the best plastic-free coffee maker – at least in the glass category. It holds a cup or two, so it’s great for a nightcap on date night, or even for solo use.
Since you’re the type of person that seeks a plastic-free coffee maker, you probably care about protecting your surroundings. So you will love having a coffee maker that eliminates paper waste. This Coffee Gator uses a permanent stainless steel mesh filter, so you don’t need paper.
The brewing carafe is made of heatproof glass and the metal mesh is high-grade steel. To avoid burning your fingers, the filter grip and carafe rim are well insulated. These are the parts of the coffee maker you’ll touch the most –often without even thinking about it. So the insulation is intuitively positioned for safety and comfort, especially at the ‘collar’ near the spout.
The Coffee Gator is a pretty brewing flask that makes rich, aromatic coffee. The pour spout and insulated neck help you serve your drinks with minimal spillage or injuries.
- It’s cute and compact at 5.7 inches tall and 4 inches in diameter.
- The stainless steel mesh filter is laser cut for brewing precision.
- The coffee maker has a 10.5oz capacity.
- The glass resists heat fairly well but it’s not Chemex or Pyrex, so handle with care, avoid dropping it, and let it cool before rinsing, especially if you’re using cold water.
3. Bunn Speed Brew Classic Coffee Maker
Many coffee makers are a mix of black with stainless steel accents. Or vice versa. And sometimes, those gray parts are painted plastic designed to mimic brushed metal. In this case, the coffee maker is largely stainless steel. And while parts on the housing have black ABS detail, there’s no plastic on the inside and no poly-parts touching your coffee. So yes, it’s plastic-free.
The Bunn is a fast coffee maker – it’s among the quickest brewers in the field. It has a 10-cup capacity and can get your coffee ready in three minutes. It has simple controls – the switch toggles on or off and has an indicator light for confirmation. It brews into a glass carafe that has a unique spill-free serving spout. It’s a mid-sized device measuring 14.3 by 13.8 by 7.1 inches.
One of the reasons your Bunn Velocity Brewer works so first is constant heating. The coffee maker heats water to the ideal coffee temperature and keeps it there so you never have a ‘cold start’. This does mean your power bill will feel the pinch, especially since there’s no auto-off button. But it offers convenience because you never have to wait for the water to boil.
Most coffee makers have a plastic water reservoir, but the Bunn Velocity Brewer has a stainless steel one. This means your coffee never has a plasticky taste and stays hotter for longer.
- Your coffee is ready in minutes.
- The stainless steel tank is a nice touch.
- It has an unusual yet effective serving system on its carafe.
- The perpetual heating feature uses up more electricity than average coffee makers.
4. Bodum Brazil French Press Coffee Maker
The term ‘plastic-free’ is a tricky one because at least some portion of every modern coffee maker has poly-something-or-other in it. So when brands claim the plastic-free label, they usually mean BPA-free. That’s the case with this Brazilian coffee maker. It has a glass carafe whose base, handle, lid, and plunger knob are insulated with BPA-free plastic.
The insulated versions come in green, red, or black, and you can buy it in three sizes – the largest being their 51-ounce model. Bodums have a three-filter system and every section is made of stainless steel. So as much as this coffee maker has plastic parts, those parts are outside the carafe. They don’t come in contact with your coffee so you have no chance of ingesting plastic.
This Bodum coffee maker is good for you because even with the hottest brew, you won’t be exposed to toxins. And it’s good for the environment too because the triple-layered filters eliminate the need for paper filters. It’s a pretty coffee maker and it’s low maintenance as well because it safely sits in the dishwasher for cleaning. The carafe can bear heat and hard brushes.
One upside of polypropylene is aesthetics – you can get this coffee maker in lots of bright, cheerful colors. And it’s the safe type of plastic, so you’re safe from toxic fumes.
- It has polypropylene insulation and a stainless steel plunger.
- The carafe is tempered borosilicate.
- All its parts are dishwasher-safe.
- If you’re an absolute purist, even those ‘safe’ traces of plastic will bug you.
5. Presto Stainless Steel Coffee Maker No Plastic
When you say ‘no plastic’, do cables count? Not usually. The focus of plastic-free covers two aspects. One, disposables. This may include packaging, wrappers, replaceable parts, and other litter. The types of components that will end up flooding landfills. Two, consumables. The type that could leach into your digestive or respiratory systems and trigger health conditions.
In the case of the Presto ‘percolator’, there are plastic bits involved, yes. But these are in the permanent sections of your coffee maker. Namely, the power cords and swivel base, and maybe the LED cover. Those parts are made of sturdy ABS that won’t break, melt, or release fumes into the air (or into your coffee). They’re electronic bits and bobs and are therefore recyclable.
But the key part of your coffee maker – that’s stainless steel. So yes, this counts as a plastic-free coffee maker. It a massive one that stands 13 inches high and has a 12-cup capacity. But it uses average amounts of power – 800W. It’s auto-off and quick brewing are energy efficient so it’s still good for the environment. It takes about a minute to brew a cup so it’s a quick device too.
- It’s an automated one-touch coffee maker.
- You can set it to brew 4 to 12 cups.
- The coffee maker carries a 1-year warranty.
- Presto recommends using a paper filter to reduce sediments, so you’ll still generate some waste.
6. Hario V60 Ceramic Ceramic Pour-Over Coffee
In the world of cooktops and cookware, ceramics often mean glass. But in the coffee apace, it actually refers to glazed pottery. And this case, the coffee maker is shaped like a vintage teacup and fitted with a paper filter to soak up the grounds and keep them out of your carafe. The Hario V60 is a pour-over device that might be more aptly described as a funnel than a coffee maker.
And it’s not a self-contained item. You still have to place it over a mug or carafe for it to function. It’s cleverly designed to mimic a cup and saucer, but with tapered sides that use gravity to feed you water through the grounds. The funnel shape is ideal for paper filters and the flattened ‘saucer rim’ sits safely on your travel mug or carafe preventing spills.
The Hario isn’t so much a plastic-free coffee maker. A more accurate descriptor is a brewing cone. But whatever you choose to call it, it’s a top pick for environmentally conscious consumers. It’s re-usable, low maintenance, and doesn’t use electricity or generate waste – unless you count the paper filters. It comes in lots of colors to suit your mood and style, and it’s glossy too!
This brewing cone is aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sound. But cracked ceramics can be sharp, so handle it with care and inspect it regularly to check for chinks.
- Its unexpected design makes a good conversation piece.
- The coffee maker comes in lots of pretty colors.
- Ceramics retain heat longer than metal or glass.
- At 349g, it’s on the heavier side, so you want to be careful not to break it.
7. Café du Chateau French Press
You don’t get lifetime warranties on glass items. But when that glass is borosilicate framed in 304-grade stainless still, you can be sure the warranty holds. In addition to the high-quality construction materials, this coffee maker also has a 4-filter system for the purest, most aromatic mug you’ve tasted. Functionally, it works like any other French press, but it has some pluses.
It’s a medium-sized brewer so you get 34 ounces. That’s about 8 teacups (4 ounces a piece), but if you take your coffee by the mug, this brews two to three per carafe. You may worry about gunk sneaking between the glass and the metal. This isn’t an issue because the glass carafe is fully removable for easy cleaning and refilling. The handle and knob stay cool while brewing.
When you’re shopping plastic-free, your main options are metal or glass. This pretty French model has both! And metal partially protects the glass, making it less fragile. Nice!
- It’s so pretty! (Your guests will be impressed.)
- The coffee maker has four filters.
- It’s made from borosilicate.
- This coffee maker is great for coffee and tea, but only if you enjoy the flavor of coarse grounds. It can’t brew fine grounds since they’ll slip through the mesh.
Coffee, Steel, and Glass!
Based on our research, the best plastic-free coffee maker is Secura. Here’s why:
- The Secura doesn’t contain any plastic, not even ABS.
- Who can resist anything so shiny?
- It doubles as a milk frother.
- The medium capacity is good for a few extra cups.
- Its triple filter eliminates coffee sediments.
- All its parts are dishwasher-safe for easy maintenance.
- The high-quality steel promises durability.
- It’ll keep your coffee warm for about half an hour.
- It barely takes 5 minutes to brew and doesn’t need power.
What plastic-free coffee maker are you using? Show us some photos in the comments!
The plastic-free coffee maker Buying guide
Why buy a plastic-free coffee maker?
The manufacture of plastics from the 1950s onwards changed the way we live our lives. Cheap and lightweight, they brought many benefits. But in recent years there’s been increasing concern that some kinds of plastics can harm human health.
The most well-known suspect is a substance called Bisphenol-A, or BPA. Until 2008 it was widely used in plastic products for babies and toddlers, such as drinking bottles and cups.
But then came a study suggesting it could seep into the body when used as containers for food and drink. Possible side effects were identified in relation to the brain and heart. It was even linked with cancer.
It’s for this reason that you’ll find many manufacturers now state their products are BPA-free.
But it’s worth remembering that there’s no conclusive link between BPA and health problems in humans. The majority of research has looked at animals.
The few studies using human data have produced inconclusive – and sometimes contradictory – results (1). This YouTube video provides a good overview of the findings.
And whilst BPA has grabbed the headlines, the verdict is also out on other plastics sometimes used in its place.
Researchers at Kings College London looked at six alternatives used in containers labeled BPA-free. They looked specifically at hormone levels associated with breast cancer. The findings were surprising. Some of the substances had a stronger effect than the BPA they replaced.
At this point, you might be wondering what you’re supposed to do to reduce your risk. It’s worth repeating: there’s no conclusive link between plastic containers and human health problems. But if you’d rather be safe than sorry, steer clear of plastic altogether.
And there are other advantages of going plastic-free.
The first is the environmental impact. Plastics degrade very slowly. That means when they’re no longer needed, they’re a real problem for the environment.
Stick them in the landfill and they’ll leach chemicals into the soil. And the impact on the oceans is arguably even worse.
If that doesn’t convince you, think of the taste. Reviewers of coffee makers complain time after time about plasticky flavors in their brew. Ditch the plastic and enjoy a cleaner taste.
Convinced? Here’s how to go about it.
What are the alternatives to plastic?
As any coffee lover knows, there’s an enormous range of coffee makers out there. They come in different shapes, sizes and price points. And with a little careful hunting you can find plenty of plastic free options.
Look for machines made of glass or stainless steel. Glass versions will usually be easier to clean too. The glass will be toughened to withstand high temperatures, so most will cope with a cycle in the dishwasher.
Remember that a machine that looks as if it’s made of stainless steel may have plastic components. Don’t be fooled by a smart metal case – look at what’s going on inside.
Most important of all, consider the parts that will come into contact with the coffee and hot water.
What kind of brewer?
When it comes to choosing a plastic free option, most of the questions to consider are the same as for any other coffee maker.
How much coffee do you want to brew at once? Do you want any extra gadgets? And of course, how much are you prepared to pay?
But it’s far easier to find plastic free versions of some styles of coffee maker than others.
The good news is that they needn’t be expensive. In fact, it’s usually the simpler types of coffee machine that don’t incorporate plastic parts.
And because they use materials like glass, copper and stainless steel instead, they’re often rather beautiful.
The downside is that machines with more bells and whistles almost always use plastic. If you want a super automatic espresso maker that’s plastic free – well, good luck. We haven’t found a single version that doesn’t use a plastic brew group.
The same goes for single cup coffee makers. Even beauties like the Nespresso KitchenAid, made in die-cast metal, have plastic components.
With simpler options like French presses, Moka pots, or pour over coffee makers, on the other hand, there’s more choice. Check out our reviews for some possibilities.