Best Iced Coffee Makers: Get a Perfectly Cold Cup Every Time

If a brisk brew is cold comfort, get a machine that’s specifically made for iced coffee.

byCarla Sosenko| PUBLISHED Apr 14, 2021 1:37 PM
Best Iced Coffee Makers: Get a Perfectly Cold Cup Every Time
Get your sip on. Archie Binamira, Pexels

Iced coffee is one of those things that’s easy to make but hard to make well. Or at least it used to be. Iced coffee makers have come a long way, and they’re available at multiple price points depending on how many extra functions you want. A brewer made especially for iced coffee means you get maximum flavor from your beans, whether it’s brewed hot or cold. (Cold brew is brewed cold and never heated; iced coffee is brewed hot, then cooled down. Which one is right for you comes down to personal taste and how much time you have.) These brewers help you wake up and smell the perfectly made, never weak iced coffee!

Our Pick
The company that revolutionized the way we make hot café changes the game when it comes to the cold stuff too. Just fill your glass with frozen cubes, pop in a ground-filled bundle, and press a button on this iced coffee maker.

If you don’t exclusively want iced coffee but do want the option, consider a model that has both iced and hot capabilities, so you don’t have to double down on your appliances. Most high-end options offer both, plus straight hot water (for tea, hot cocoa, and oatmeal), auto on-off, and other bespoke settings (e.g. for high-altitude). You’ll pay for it up front, but in the end, you may end up saving money. Another way to save money—and the environment—is to invest in a reusable, fillable pod if you’re working with a Keurig K-Cup brewer or something similar: Instead of buying the use-once-and-toss pods, you can use your own grounds and cut down on waste.

Top of the Line
This one works with loose leaves and bags, and can churn out a 50-cup serving, making it perfect for parties. It’s also capable of adding layers of milk—warm or icy!—to any beverage.

Know thyself when investing in iced coffee makers. If you’re easily intimidated by complicated machines, tend to lose the instruction manual as soon as you open the box, or have an entire room of dust-collecting contraptions you used once, steer clear of the $100-plus options. Everybody else: If you love kitchen gear, the world of coffee has loads of options to get excited about. Options on high-end brewers include smart-basket recognition, which can intuit whether you’re making coffee or tea, with separate baskets for both beverages; multiple brew options, from classic to rich to custom; and the ability to make drinks that stay hot for up to two hours. If you’re willing to spend the money (and take a few minutes to get to know your machine), you may never need another cup of Starbucks or Dunkin’ again.

Good Value
What it lacks in bells and whistles, this one makes up for in simple functionality. Just pour grounds into the infuser, twist the airtight lid, and let the fine-mesh filter do its thing in the fridge for a cold cup o' joe.

The downside to a device that doesn’t brew iced coffee instantly is that you have to plan ahead. But for anyone who knows that they’ll regularly want cold coffee—or prefer cold brew to iced coffee—a simple BPA-free jug option that sits in the refrigerator door is a solid option. Just make it a part of your daily routine: When you’re filling the coffee maker with grounds for the next day, do the same with your fridge brewer. Easy-peasy.