True coffee lovers know the real meaning of rise and grind; that is, they brew their morning cup of joe from freshly ground beans. For those connoisseurs, a good coffee grinder is a kitchen staple on par with a frying pan or a cutting board.
Why bother grinding whole beans when you can get high-quality pre-ground coffee? It all comes down to freshness, says Monica Russell, barista, nutritionist, and founder and CEO of Acquired Coffee.
“When you grind your beans just before brewing, the coffee oils are still intact, providing a fresher and more flavorful cup of coffee,” she explains. “Pre-ground coffee, on the other hand, can lose its flavor and aroma quickly as the coffee oils degrade over time. Purchasing whole-bean coffee also allows for more control over the grind size, providing a more customized coffee experience.”
Our PEOPLE Tested team put more than 20 coffee grinders to the test, evaluating each one on its design, performance, ease of use, and overall value. Aside from noting the consistency of the grind, we also brewed the coffee to see which grinder made the best cup of coffee.
If you’re looking to elevate your at-home coffee experience or are already among the ranks of those for whom pre-ground coffee or — gasp! — prepared pods simply won’t do, keep reading to learn which coffee grinders made our list.
Bodum Bistro Premium Burr Grinder
Intuitive settings make it easy to achieve a consistent grind
Simple to clean
Anti-static glass doesn’t stick to grounds
Rather quiet compared to other grinders
This machine was very simple to use. There are three main grinding settings — fine, medium, and coarse — and each has four intermediate options of their own for a total of 12 settings, so you’re sure to get the right texture to brew your perfect cup, from espresso to a French press brew. We noted that the settings were quite intuitive (though there is an instruction manual), making the Bodum a good choice for beginners, though it would fit well into anyone’s coffee routine.
It’s also rather quiet for a coffee grinder, so you don’t have to worry about waking up the whole house when it’s time for coffee. We were impressed with its clean design, but its performance is what nabbed the top spot for the Bodum; during testing, it produced very consistent grounds each time. The machine is also easy to clean. It doesn’t come with a brush, but you don’t necessarily need one to keep it clean — just a damp paper towel will do. All in all, we concluded it was a great value for the price.
Price at time of publish: $99.95
Type: Burr | Dimensions: 7.6 x 7.1 x 12.5 inches | Settings: 12 | Capacity: 7.75 oz.
Best for Beginners
OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
This machine is far from complicated; the settings were intuitive and there was very little setup, though the detailed instruction manual is there if you need it. The stainless steel chamber made easy work of pouring the grounds out for use. The settings are numbered, making them easy to follow, plus the brewing methods are clear. In fact, the only thing that at first seems intimidating with this machine is the cleanup, but the directions were clear and the small brush and dry paper towel were all that were needed.
Though the machine was impressive with its ability to grind the beans with consistency and created grounds to brew a cup with a rich caramel color, we did notice that you had to choose a higher setting than what was recommended in order to achieve those results. The dial is numbered precisely so you can get just the grind you want. We liked the sleek design of the grinder, as the stainless steel keeps the grounds from sticking, while the tinted hopper preserves the beans between grinds.
Price at time of publish: $99.95
Type: Burr | Dimensions: 5.3 x 7.75 x 12.8 inches | Settings: 15 | Capacity: 12 oz.
Comandante C40 Nitro Blade Grinder
Despite the name, this manual grinder operates using burrs, not blades. We found that the long handle made for easier grinding and thought that this would a step up from an electric grinder for the home coffee aficionado. While it’s easy to use, beginners might have a bit of a learning curve. There is a video to watch on how to use it — and it’s a must-watch for cleaning purposes.
This grinder has a click setting guide to adjust the level of coarseness. Don’t be intimidated, though; it encourages you to mess around to find your sweet spot, which we recommend anyway since the instruction manual isn’t that helpful. The wood and glass design is a departure from the stainless steel and black bodies that many other grinders have. While the design is simple and modern for every type of kitchen decor, the price point certainly won’t fit every budget. This is a luxury item, pure and simple, but a great one if it’s what you’re looking for.
Price at time of publish: $325
Type: Manual burr | Dimensions: 8 x 4 x 4 inches | Settings: Manual
Best for Coffee Enthusiasts
Breville The Smart Grinder Pro
Highly precise settings
Coffee connoisseurs who are ready to ramp up their at-home café experience would fare well with this model from Breville. For those who like their ground coffee just so, the settings were very precise — and maybe a little too precise — as it took some time to dial into exact settings. There’s a quick start guide to get you up and running and a coffee chart guide that simplifies the process.
The brewed coffee had a light aroma with nice floral notes on the front. We had found the grind adjustment knob difficult to turn at first, though the settings themselves were easy to see, thanks to a backlit display that shows grind time, size, and cups clearly. There were some coffee bean remnants that stuck around the blade, but it was easy to clean in general. Overall, the performance was consistent and a strong match to the control samples for each of the brews, so if you don’t mind a more complex machine, you’ll be happy with the Breville.
Price at time of publish: $199.95
Type: Burr | Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 15.5 inches | Settings: 60 | Capacity: 18 oz.
Krups Silent Vortex Electric Grinder
Quiet, but not exactly silent
Not as compact in size as other options
If you’re new to coffee grinders and are concerned that you’ll have to break the bank on an expensive burr machine, this one from Krups will have you thinking differently. We liked the sleek design of this, though it is a bit tall. There’s just one button to operate it, so it’s super easy to get started.
While it’s not silent, it is quiet. We found that it produced an even grind without having to shake up the grinder to redistribute the beans, and it has a very consistent grind for the blade type — no need to agitate or manipulate beans mid-grind to ensure an even product. The result was a brew with a light and pleasant taste and a sweet finish. There aren’t many features on this budget-friendly coffee grinder, though the insert does lift out and has a lid to store the ground coffee. It’s also very easy to clean.
Price at time of publish: $43.99
Type: Blade | Dimensions: 4.33 x 4.02 x 8.46 inches | Capacity: Enough for 12 cups of coffee
Fellow Ode Electric Brew Grinder
Modern, sleek look
Easy to clean
During testing, we found that this grinder was simple to use, since the settings and markings on the machine are clear and intuitive. However, even with clear settings, it might take some trial and error to get the grind right; we initially ground the beans a bit too finely for our brewing needs. The coffee brewed was light in color and had a mild aroma.
This one took the top spot for Best Design because of its clean, modern, and well-designed look. Visually, it would make a nice addition to any kitchen. The machine was simple to clean, thanks to the brush it comes with; just wipe the cup with a damp paper towel and you’re set for next time.
Price at time of publish: $255
Type: Burr | Dimensions: 9.4 x 4.2 x 9.5 inches | Settings: 11
Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Easy to clean
The Baratza Virtuoso+ is an impressive-looking coffee grinder though it’s simple to set up, thanks to a guide that offers clear instructions in more than 20 different languages. The backlit display makes it easy to see the timer countdown as well as the settings — there are 40 different ones so you can grind a variety of coffee beans. We found the buttons were a bit sensitive and kept turning on the pulse mode by mistake, so there might be a bit of a learning curve at first with that.
Overall, this grinder performed very well and was consistent with the control for the various brews. The blind taste test found the Virtuoso+ produced coffee that had a nutty flavor with mild aroma and a slight hint of bitterness but very pleasant taste. The sleek design of the machine also makes it very easy to clean up.
Price at time of publish: $249.95
Type: Burr | Dimensions: 6.69 x 6.69 x 12.6 inches | Settings: 40 | Capacity: 230 grams
1Zpresso Q2 Manual Coffee Grinder
The long handle of the crank makes this manual grinder easy to use, though it might take a beginner a bit of time to get used to the motion. For experienced at-home baristas, though, we feel like this is the next step up from an electric grinder for the home coffee aficionado. The grounds produced resulted in a cup of coffee that was a bit bready and bitter on the end and had a bit of an amber ale feel.
We did think this grinder was quite heavy and felt like something for when you wanna be serious about coffee — so get ready for an arm workout if you don’t expect to leave this grinder out on a counter. A QR code takes you to instructions on their website, which makes for a quick and easy assembly. Cleanup is easy thanks to a dual ended brush (one side is fine and the other coarse) to get out all the coffee grounds in between uses.
Price at time of publish: $109
Type: Manual burr | Dimensions: 7.52 x 4.49 x 2.8 inches
Best for Drip Coffee
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
The Baratza Encore has 40 settings to achieve the ideal grind for your desired coffee bean. It produced a flavorful coffee that had a clear appearance and nice aroma. We did have a bit of difficulty with the setup of this grinder, due to a missing gasket and parts that were difficult to align despite the instructions being rather clear. Though it’s easy to adjust the settings, it would have been even better if the grind preferences were indicated on the machine.
However, this machine is a nice size for storage in a cabinet or on a counter, and we like that it comes in either black or white. It was also easy to clean, thanks to the cone-shaped cleaning brush.
Price at time of publish: $118.95
Type: Burr | Dimensions: 4.7 x 6.3 x 13.8 inches | Settings: 40 | Capacity: 5 oz.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Coffee Grinder
There are two types of coffee grinders: blade and burr. “Blade grinders use a spinning blade to chop the beans, while burr grinders use two revolving abrasive surfaces to grind the beans,” explains Russell. “Burr grinders are considered to be superior as they produce a more consistent grind size, which is essential for achieving a balanced and flavorful cup of coffee.”
The capacity of a coffee grinder refers to how many whole beans you can grind at once. “Smaller grinders are more portable, while larger grinders are able to handle larger quantities of beans,” says April Jamison, barista and founder of Brew That Coffee. Consider how much coffee you’ll need to brew at a time, then purchase a grinder accordingly.
Making coffee at home as opposed to buying it at the café will definitely save you money in the long run, even if you purchase the most expensive coffee grinder on this list. “Grinding your own coffee beans is a more cost-effective way to enjoy a great cup of coffee,” says Jamison. “Pre-ground coffee can become stale quickly, which results in a less flavorful cup. Furthermore, pre-ground coffee does not always offer a wide selection of beans or the quality and freshness that come with fresh-ground beans.”
But determining a budget for your coffee grinder also comes down to how much you’ll use it. If you’re ready to make coffee making part of your daily routine, then go ahead and splurge on the Comandante C40 Nitro Blade Grinder. Not sure if you can commit to rising and grinding every day? Then maybe go with a more affordable Krups Silent Vortex Electric Grinder.
Settings and Features
Coffee grinder settings are important. “Look for a grinder with a range of grind size settings, as different brewing methods require different grind sizes,” says Russell. “For example, a French press requires a coarser grind than a pour-over.”
Some grinders have features that make them easier to use, like a removable hopper, a built-in scale, and even a timer, Jamison notes. “At the end of the day, knowing which coffee grinder to buy is entirely up to the user and their individual preferences,” she says.
How We Tested
Our PEOPLE Tested team unboxed 21 coffee grinders, noting the ease of setup/assembly and variety of settings. First, we tested out our grinding capabilities on 15 grams of whole coffee beans, using settings 14, 20, and 26 as calibration controls. After grinding the beans, we weighed them to determine uniformity and consistency. Then, we ground another batch of coffee beans — this time 60 grams of medium roast coffee — with the assistance of a coffee expert to determine the proper grind with the Virtuoso+ coffee grinder.
Next, we brewed the coffee using the OXO Brew 8-Cup Coffee Maker for a blind taste test. During testing, we used spit cups to preserve our palates in between sips. We analyzed flavor details such as bitter/acidic taste, sweet/semi-floral notes, and intensity of the brew. Afterward, we cleaned each grinder per the manufacturer’s instructions, noting which ones were the easiest or most difficult to clean.
We also took into account other features, such as noise level while grinding, design features that preserved the beans (like a tinted hopper) or made it easier to grind (like an anti-static design), as well as how easy it was to adjust the settings to achieve the proper coffee texture. In making our final selections for our best coffee grinders list, our PEOPLE Tested team rated each grinder based on its design, performance, ease of use, and overall value.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best coffee grinder for home use?
While burr grinders are considered to have the edge over bladed ones, it really depends on your preference and your coffee brewing needs. If you’re looking to level up your cup of joe only on occasion, then it’s fine to go with whatever grinder is in your budget. But if you’re looking for ease of use and consistency of grind, many coffee connoisseurs will say a burr grinder is best.
Does a better grinder make better coffee?
In a word, yes. “Investing in a coffee grinder that is well-constructed, durable, and backed by a warranty can save you money in the long run and ensure that you have a reliable and consistent tool for brewing delicious coffee,” says Russell. If you’re thinking of your coffee grinder as an investment, then go ahead and splurge on the Comandante C40 Nitro Blade Grinder.
What is the best low-cost coffee grinder?
If you are just giving freshly ground coffee a whirl, it’s understandable that you don’t want to sink hundreds of dollars into a grinder. While a more economical version won’t have the features and settings of a high-end grinder, you might be fine with a more simple grinder. If so, try the Krups Silent Vortex Electric Grinder, a basic coffee grinder that gets the job done for under $50.
What Is People Tested?
We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.
But we don’t stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we’ve awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.
In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.