Metal French-press coffee makers are, in many ways, the most versatile. Like ceramic or stoneware coffee makers, metal French presses are also ideal for entertaining, handsome enough to put out as part of a fancy brunch spread. Though metal isn’t known for retaining heat, these are often well-insulated with double walls, meaning your fresh coffee will stay hot for a while. A lot of metal French presses are also dishwasher-safe, and the chances of breaking one are slim to none. The trade-off is that metal French presses are often quite expensive, so you’ll be paying if you want this kind of versatility.

Mr. Coffee, of course, is better known for its automatic drip coffee machines than for its manual brewing devices. Were it not for the fact that a branded French press is practically a compulsory addition to the catalog of any housewares brand that dabbles in gear for warm drinks, it would be a surprise that Mr. Coffee, the company that revolutionized the coffee industry with the original auto-drip home coffee machine in 1972, would issue a French press at all. It’s less surprising to note that Mr. Coffee also, for a time, sold an electric French press. What’s not surprising is that, as the company today seems to hang its hat on inexpensive appliances for the budget-minded shopper, the construction of its low-cost press pot is not the best.

Chicho Friends

After studying a wide range of reviews, articles, and Amazon user comments, we settled on seven French presses to test across three categories: glass carafe, insulated stainless steel, and insulated plastic. In the glass category, the Espro P3, which has garnered lots of praise from critics and Amazon users, was the tightest competitor with our top pick, the Bodum Chambord, and after using it a few times, its charms were clear. The unique bucket-shaped filtering system did the most thorough job of separating the grinds from the brew of any of the presses we tested, yielding coffee that was bright and clean tasting, with barely a trace of sediment in the cup. The Espro's glass carafe was also slightly better at retaining heat than the Chambord's, keeping the coffee seven degrees warmer inside the pot after 30 minutes. But compared to the Chambord's chrome frame, the Espro's plastic frame and handle felt a bit chintzy and fell short on style points. Most importantly, the 32-ounce Espro P3 costs around $70, almost twice the price of the 34-ounce Chambord. Ultimately, while we were impressed by the Espro's performance, we didn't think the difference was dramatic enough to justify the disparity in price.
Here’s a little secret about French-press coffee makers: They all basically work the same. You add the coffee grounds, you pour in hot water from your kettle, you stir, you cover and wait about four minutes, you plunge, and then you pour into a mug and enjoy. And unlike drip coffee makers, which will only make coffee as good as the machine, the quality of coffee you get from a French press relies pretty heavily on your skill and process, as well as the quality of beans that you’re using. That’s why it can be hard to tell if coffee was made in a French press that costs $10 or $100, just by sipping it.
In today's world, with the plethora of options available to the coffee connoisseur, there is a new breed of carafes making the rounds. These are hybrids, with construction made of a combination of glass, stainless steel, and plastic parts. Though the durability of the products, and the quality of the brew they produce, are yet to be thoroughly tested, we believe a mention of them does need to be made for a complete review of the French press genre. 
A final note on price: compared to its competitors, the Chambord came across as a real value, delivering top-notch styling and serious coffee at a very reasonable cost. But it is possible to get an almost identical Bodum model, the Brazil, for more than half the price. The only difference between the two presses is one of form, not function: instead of a chrome frame, the cage around the Brazil's carafe is plastic. Our preference is to eliminate household plastic wherever possible, but if budget is an issue for you, the Brazil is a great buy.

Coffee Bean Direct

On the other hand, an argument could be made that, because the French press method is classic, and because glass is the classic material for the carafe, then a traditional cup prepared by this method ought to be brewed with a steeply declining temperature profile. Staunch traditionalists may therefore prefer the Chambord cup as it is, while contemporary perfectionists can always choose to spend more on a brewer with a better-insulated carafe to meet today’s more exacting standards for brewing consistency and control.

Caribou Coffee

We selected the top nine products and, over a highly caffeinated five-day stretch, performed four in-depth tests on taste, usability, heat retention, and amount of coffee grounds remaining after a pour. We also compared their key metrics: cost, capacity, cleaning ease, material, accessories, and portability. Our finalists are all made of high-quality material, like borosilicate glass and stainless steel.
The Bottom Line: Quality comes at a price, and we would argue that a mild splurge on an Espro Press is well worth it. A niggling issue or two around cleaning the brewer keeps it from scoring even higher, though its heat-retention, its subtly elegant design and its nearly silt-free cup bring the Espro Press closer to perfection than any other press pot we tested.

The Bodum Chambord was the first French press I ever owned, fresh out of college, and over the years it's one I've returned to again and again. Chances are, if you've ever ordered press coffee at a cafe, it was made in a version of the Chambord. Designed in the 1950s, the chrome frame and glass carafe are what most people envision when they picture a French press. But when I embarked on these tests I had to wonder: did the Chambord become ubiquitous because it really outperforms the pack? Or just because it has been around so long?
Material When you think of French press coffee makers, you might think of a glass carafe with a metal plunger — but as French-pressed coffee has become more popular, presses are being made from a wider variety of materials. Glass has the advantage of being clear so you can see the coffee, but it’s breakable. Metal is more durable but might not be as pleasing to the eye. Materials also affect the insulating ability of the carafe, and thus the length of time the coffee will stay hot.
The Freiling Insulated Double-Wall Stainless Steel French Press is another favorite among critics and has hundreds of glowing Amazon reviews praising its luxe, insulated stainless body and the nuanced, light coffee it produced. We were impressed by the tightness of the seal around the filter—nary a particle of grit found its way into our cup—but that same tightness also made it a little awkward to use as we wrestled to get the plunger smoothly into the carafe. We also wondered if the Freiling's filter might be a little too effective: of all the models we tried, it produced coffee so clean that it tasted like pour-over. Which begs the question: if you're choosing a French press over a filter brewer, don't you want your coffee to have a little bit of body? The Frieling also costs about $100. During our tests, its inexpensive clone, the SterlingPro, performed nearly as well at brewing (and better at heat retention) at about a quarter of the price.
Just like the name suggests, this French press from Frieling features a double wall intended to keep the contents warm at a steady temperature for long periods of time. It also features a spacious carafe that doubles as an insulated serving pitcher, a feature that helps it retain heat four times longer than glass carafes. Furthermore, this press features a two-stage filter system with a pre-filter & super-fine mesh to minimize the risk of sediments.

Mountain Thunder

Delivery was as promised and even with the delivery person dropping the box in the driveway the product was received unscathed. It was exactly as described. This is a small French Press. The directions specify not to fill beyond one inch from the top which is where the top part of the upper metal band is, a good visual reference. I measured out 12 ounces to see how much this version of French Press really holds. Twelve ounces comes right to the top of the metal band, about one inch from the top. Ahh, but there is a rub here as Archimedes discovered during his bath. If you put 3 scoops of coffee into the device you can't possibly fit twelve ounces of water due to that whole displacement thing. Three scoops was too strong for me so I used two. I boiled a pot of water in the Ovente electric kettle. Letting it sit until it came off the boil I measured out 12 ounces and poured it into the Bodum. Mixing the grounds gently with a plastic spoon I then put the top on and let it sit for 4 minutes. Then I began the final step of the extraction process. Slowly and gently I pressed my palm into the firm roundness of the plunger. The slightest resistance noted, I pushed on, gently. Finally I reached the limit when I could push no more. I noted the creamy liquid forming on the top of the coffee. I rotated the lid and poured the hot, steaming beverage into the measuring cup. Ten ounces. I'm ok with that. No grounds or sediment was noted. I used Cape May Roasters coarse ground Lighthouse blend. Delicious.
Pressed coffee is more full-bodied and textured than other brews, but also more muddy, because the French press’s mesh screen is more porous than a paper filter. Some people love the robust, oily flavor of French press coffee, while others dislike how the brew loses the highlights and delicacies of fancy coffee beans. It’s really a matter of taste.
Whichever size you choose, the Brazil is very well-made for the price! Bodum manufactures all their models in Portugal, including this one. It’s built around a heat-resistant, borosilicate glass carafe. That’s the same material you’ll get on the best french presses. The plunger is a 3-part stainless steel assembly, with a permanent mesh filter. The Bodum’s base, handle, and lid are high-density plastic.
The AeroPress is a very simple but effective method for getting a quick foamy cup of rich coffee on the go, and there is a formidable subculture of java heads that have ditched everything else altogether in light of it. It's also quick, especially because it requires espresso grounds, so there's not so much steeping time as there is with a French Press.

While a “cheaper” material like plastic may sound less elegant than glass or stainless steel, polycarbonate offers many of the same positive qualities as glass — but without the fragility or heat retention issues. Polycarbonate carafes are shatter-resistant and allow you to observe the brewing process. Many entry-level and mid-range French presses include polycarbonate carafes.
Because I got the 17 oz, I will say that the wideness of the press is unusual and I was a bit taken aback by how this particular wide design made the filter feel as it plunges. At first, I honestly thought there was a design flaw since the plunger didn't depress as easily as other presses I have had in the past. However, after using it to make coffee a few times now, it works flawlessly and I appreciate the extra resistance while plunging.
The classic Bodum Chambord makes a balanced cup of coffee, retaining most of the tasting notes of the coffee and little of the grit of the grounds. Designed in the 1950s, the Chambord looks like the quintessential French press, and its steel frame is more durable than the Bodum Brazil’s plastic body. The Chambord didn’t make the brightest coffee of the bunch, but the flavors of its brew held their own against those of presses three times its price.

Magnum Exotics

The plunger and filter assemblies are made of stainless steel, but the actual grade of that steel may be variable. We do like the fact that the Primula's fragile carafe is protected by a plastic framework with a full-sized handle for easy pouring. Our conclusion is that the Primula Tempo is ideal for the casual coffee drinker who may only require one or two full cups at one sitting. The Primula Tempo's advertised capacity is six cups, but that is closer to three American-sized mugs.

In today's world, with the plethora of options available to the coffee connoisseur, there is a new breed of carafes making the rounds. These are hybrids, with construction made of a combination of glass, stainless steel, and plastic parts. Though the durability of the products, and the quality of the brew they produce, are yet to be thoroughly tested, we believe a mention of them does need to be made for a complete review of the French press genre. 

The three buttons at the top of the handle, which control power on/off, timer start/stop/clear, and taring the scale to zero, are also somewhat sensitive and positioned close together. It requires care to avoid accidentally turning something on while handling the press, particularly during cleaning. This is about as minor as nuisances come, though it can cause undue battery drain.

The Chambord’s polished, symmetrical steel design looks more upscale than most other presses we tested. The press has tiny feet that lift the hot glass beaker a half-inch off your counter and keep it from breaking if you put the press down too hard. Plus, the gleaming steel frame looks nice in any kitchen. The Chambord’s metal body also felt sturdier than the Brazil’s plastic frame and will scratch less easily over time.

This is one of our favorite newcomers to the French press market in 2018. Espro is by no means a new brand, but their P5 model is a complete revamp of their older P3 version. It has a much improved and airtight filtration system that does not get clogged even when using the richest and darkest grounds. The P5 has a very elegant, but yet sturdy, glass design and we think it will fit nicely in most modern kitchens.

Kohana Coffee

The Planetary Design Table Top French Press remains our favorite coffee maker for camping. It brews cleanly and offers better insulation than any other press we tested. But while it travels well to a campsite, it looks unwieldy on a kitchen counter. If you plunge too fast, you’ll end up with splattered droplets of hot coffee on your breakfast. It’s also harder to clean, with a small metal cap that detaches from the end of the filtering pole and can slide into the drain if you’re not careful.
The Espro Press entered the market about five years ago with the distinction of having been the focus of one of the earliest successful coffee-related Kickstarter campaigns. When the crowd-funding platform itself was less than three years old, the Espro project raised over 550 percent of its $15,000 goal, then actually shipped its promised product to backers only three months later. So, not only did the company pitch, design and manufacture a superlative product, but its fundraising efforts and follow-through were also exemplary.
Buy the color that fits your kitchen. This copper one is lovely and a joy to see in the mornings. I wish it was more of a joy to use. The plunging mechanism tends to be wobbly, sometimes going down unevenly unless I steady the metallic base with my other hand. After four different types of coarsely ground beans, it rarely seems to plunge as smoothly as in the video.
Well, yes, one gets what one pays for. I paid only 10 dollars for my unit. Does anyone really need to drop more than a sawbuck on a French press to make a basically drinkable cup? For patient cleaners and those who don’t mind a murky cup, perhaps not. But for anyone else, given there are so many other options available at an only slightly higher price, it will pay to shop around.
Meanwhile, we had high hopes for Le Creuset, given the impressive quality of other products from that brand. We were especially curious how well its attractive stoneware carafe would perform. We were disappointed to discover, however, that the robust-looking stoneware does not retain heat well during brewing. Add to poor heat retention a wobbly lid and middling-quality filter, and we were left with a fine looking but technically limited brewing device.