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3 November 2021

Best cafetieres and French presses

We reveal the best cafetieres and French presses for keeping granules out of your coffee and the easiest ones to press and clean
Joel Bates
A cafetiere being filled with coffee grounds

A cafetiere (also known as a French press) makes drinking delicious coffee easy without the need to go out to a coffee shop. But which cafetiere is best?

In February 2021 we bought 10 popular cafetieres from the likes of Bodum, Le Creuset, VonShef, Kitchen Craft and ProCook to find out which ones filter out coffee granules the best, and which are the easiest to press, pour and clean.

Overall we found all of them pretty good, but there was one that stood head and shoulders above the rest to earn our Best Buy recommendation.

See our full results below to find out which cafetieres came out top in our tough tests.

Prices and availability last checked 3 November 2021.

The best cafetieres and French presses

Only logged-in Which? members can view the cafetiere test results below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the cafetieres we tested. Join Which? now to get instant access to our recommendations below.

Asda George Double Walled Stainless Steel Cafetiere

Cheapest price: £12, available at Asda (out of stock)

Type Stainless steel

Sizes available 350ml

Dishwasher safe? Yes

Accessories included None

Asda George's Double Walled Stainless Steel Cafetiere is one of the cheapest we tested, and as it's made of stainless steel you won't have to worry about it breaking like you might with a glass cafetiere. Our tests reveal how cheap cafetieres compare with those more than twice the price.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Bodum Caffetiera cafetiere

Bodum Caffettiera

Cheapest price: £14.99, available at Amazon and Robert Dyas, also available at Bodum

Type Glass

Sizes available 350ml, 500ml, 1,000ml, 1,500ml

Dishwasher safe? Yes (beaker and frame only)

Accessories included 7g plastic coffee scoop

The Bodum Caffettiera has feet at the bottom of its metal frame that raise the beaker, which is handy for keeping it off any delicate surfaces when it's hot. We investigated whether it's handy for brewing coffee, too.

Log in or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Bodum Chambord

Cheapest price: £13.50, available at Amazon, also available at Bodum, John Lewis, Ocado

Type Glass

Sizes available 350ml, 500ml, 1,000ml, 1,500ml

Dishwasher safe? Yes (beaker and frame only)

Accessories included 7g plastic coffee scoop

Although the frame is metal, the Bodum Chambord has a plastic handle that keeps it from getting too hot while your coffee is brewing. Our tests reveal how comfortably it pours as well as how it presses and cleans.

Log in or join Which? to unlock our test results.

John Lewis & Partners Double Wall Stainless Steel Coffee Press

Cheapest price: £20, available at John Lewis (out of stock)

Sizes available 350ml, 1,000ml

Dishwasher safe? Yes

Accessories included None

Thanks to its thick stainless steel design, the John Lewis Double Wall Stainless Steel Coffee Press was one of the better cafetieres we found for keeping your coffee hotter for longer. 

We also assessed how good it is at filtering out coffee granules, and other key factors, so log in or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Kitchen Craft Le'Xpress Deluxe

Cheapest price: £16.95, available at Amazon

Type Glass

Sizes available 350ml, 500ml, 700ml, 1,000ml

Dishwasher safe? Yes (beaker and frame only)

Accessories included 7g plastic coffee scoop

The Kitchen Craft Le'Xpress Deluxe cafetiere comes with a scoop in the box to help you be exact with your coffee grounds.

Log in or join Which? to unlock our test results and find out how well it filtered those grounds out in our filtration tests. 

La Cafetiere Monaco

Cheapest price: £15.33, available at Amazon

Type Glass

Sizes available 350ml, 1,000ml

Dishwasher safe? Yes (beaker and frame only)

Accessories included None

The La Cafetiere Monaco is a stylish cafetiere that comes in a variety of colours: black, red, cream, grey, blue and pistachio. We tested the pistachio one, but our results will tell you how good it is whichever colour you like best.

Log in or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Le Creuset Stoneware Petite Coffee Press

Cheapest price: £59, available at Le Creuset, also available at John Lewis (out of stock)

Type Stoneware

Sizes available 350ml, 1,000ml

Dishwasher safe? Yes

Accessories included None

The Le Creuset cafetiere is the most expensive and the only stoneware cafetiere we tested. We put it through the same tough tests as the rest to see if it's worth paying more for your cafetiere.

Log in or join Which? to unlock our test results.

ProCook Satin Stainless Steel Double Walled Cafetiere

Cheapest price: £21, available at ProCook (out of stock), also available at Amazon (out of stock)

Type Stainless steel

Sizes available 350ml, 1,000ml

Dishwasher safe? Yes

Accessories included None

On top of how well it filters out coffee granules and sediment, we also tested how easy it is to press, pour and clean this ProCook cafetiere.

To find out if it's the best cafetiere you can buy, log in or join Which? to unlock our test results.

VonShef French Press

Cheapest price £16.99, available at VonHaus (out of stock), Amazon (out of stock)

Type Glass

Sizes available 1,000ml

Dishwasher safe? No

Accessories included None

The VonShef French Press is the only cafetiere we tested that can't go in the dishwasher, so every time you use it you'll have to scrub it clean by hand. We cleaned it multiple times to judge how easy a task that is.

Log in or join Which? to unlock our test results.

How we tested these cafetieres

To find the best cafetieres, we put each one through a series of robust and challenging tests.

We selected and bought 10 bestselling cafetieres that were widely available from leading UK retailers at the time of testing and often recommended online.

We aimed to cover a broad range of types and prices, but mostly stuck to cafetieres between £11 and £20 as Which? members told us that's how much they'd be willing to spend on one.

Ease of pressing and pouring

A cafetiere should be comfortable to hold and pour, and you shouldn't need more than a gentle push to press the filter down.

We judged how convenient each cafetiere was on each of these factors and penalised them if they poured messily or took a lot of effort to press.

Coffee granule filtration

The filter screen in your cafetiere should effectively push the coffee granules to the bottom of the beaker without letting too many through. Cafetieres that filter poorly will leave you with bitter granules floating around in the top of your cup.

To find out how much each cafetiere lets through, we poured the contents of each cafetiere through a separate filter screen and assessed how much detritus was left on the screen.

We put the same amount of pre-ground coffee and hot water in every cafetiere, and tested each one twice to ensure consistency in our results.

Filter screens with small amounts of granules and sediment earned higher filtration scores than those that let more through.

Heat retention

It's important that your cafetiere keeps your coffee warm and doesn't cool down too quickly, so you're not left with a lukewarm brew to drink if you fancy another cup after you've had your first.

We used a thermometer to record the temperature of each 350ml cafetiere over one hour to find out which ones cooled down the fastest.

The graph below shows the how quickly each cafetiere cooled down. Log in to Which? to reveal which ones kept the coffee hottest.

Heat retention of 350ml cafetieres over one hour

Although useful, we chose not to factor these results in our overall scoring. This is because more insulated types such as stainless steel would have an unfair advantage over other types.

Durability

We opted not to do a durability test for similar reasons. A stainless steel cafetiere is far less likely to break when dropped than a glass cafetiere, and we felt consumers would know this when choosing which to buy. We therefore didn't think it was a factor worth scoring in our tests.

Ease of cleaning

Cafetieres can be a nuisance to clean. Coffee granules love to get lodged into the nooks and crannies of the press, so it's important that your cafetiere is easy to take apart and clean.

We used a sponge, warm water and washing-up liquid to clean each cafetiere multiple times, looking out for any staining, smells or sharp edges. We also noted when the cafetieres proved difficult to disassemble for cleaning.

How do you make coffee in a cafetiere?

Cafetieres combine ground coffee granules and hot water to brew fresh coffee. You can buy pre-ground coffee, or you can grind the coffee beans yourself using a coffee grinder, which makes for a much fresher brew.

See our picks of the best coffee grinders.

How do you use a cafetiere?

Follow these four simple steps to make your perfect brew:

  1. Load up your ground coffee into the cafetiere. If you're unsure how much to use, 7g of ground coffee for every 120-150ml of water should work as a rough guide.
  2. Pour your hot, but not boiling, water into the cafetiere and put the lid on with the press raised to start brewing.
  3. After about four minutes of brewing, gently push the press down to separate the coffee granules from the coffee.
  4. Pour the coffee into your mug and add any milk or sugar as preferred.

How long should you leave a cafetiere?

Rather like how long you should leave your tea bag in for, this question has a different answer depending on who you ask.

Four minutes is the generally accepted amount of time people let their cafetieres brew for before pressing, and is how long we left each cafetiere to brew for in our tests.

If you prefer your coffee to be milder, let it brew for less time, and if you like your coffee stronger and more bitter you can leave it for longer.

Be careful not to leave it for too long, though. Once you go past the four-minute mark you risk over-extracting the coffee, which gives you a very bitter brew most will find unpleasant to drink.

Five things we learned testing cafetieres

1. Size doesn't matter

We bought the 1,000ml version of one of our 350ml cafetieres to see if we could spot any major differences in how well they worked. When using the same amount of ground coffee and hot water in each we couldn't spot any major differences.

2. Stainless steel cafetieres keep coffee hotter for longer

Stainless steel cafetieres are popular for keeping your coffee insulated, and our heat retention tests confirmed that.

The stainless steel cafetieres cooled slower than any of the other cafetieres we tested. The best steel cafetiere for heat retention lost less than half the heat in the first 10 minutes that the worst non-steel cafetiere did.

3. Filled cafetieres also keep coffee hotter for longer

We measured the rate that the temperature of each cafetiere dropped over one hour, and discovered that a 1,000ml cafetiere containing 350ml coffee cooled down faster than a fully filled 350ml cafetiere.

However, a fully filled 1,000ml cafetiere retained heat for longer than a fully filled 350ml cafetiere, so whatever size your cafetiere is you should fill it up to capacity to keep it warmer for longer.

4. Stainless steel cafetieres take the most effort to press

We tested three stainless steel, one stoneware and seven glass cafetieres, and all three stainless steel cafetieres took much more force to press than the others. Those concerned about how much effort you'll need to press their cafetiere should bear this in mind when choosing.

5. Wear washing up gloves to avoid spiky filter screens

It's important to take apart the press when cleaning, as coffee granules can get wedged between the different parts, but the filter screen can have sharp edges.

Take care when washing the screen and wear washing-up gloves to reduce your chances of pricking yourself on the sharp bits.

Prefer to spend the big bucks on a full-size bean to cup coffee machine? Compare our coffee machine reviews.