The Best Coffee Carafes for Style and Function

You may not even know how much you need a coffee carafe in your life, but once you have one, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.

Woman pouring coffee from Hastings Collective carafe

Just so you know, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made via bold red links, buttons or images.

Last Updated on December 3, 2023

You may not even know how much you need a coffee carafe in your life, but once you have one, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.

Whether you’re brewing for the household or a dinner party, perfecting your pour-over method, or keeping your coffee hot throughout the day, a carafe will enrich your home brewing experience and the flavor in your cup.

There are endless carafes to choose from, and how you intend to use yours will be the defining factor in making your selection. Whether you want an elegant serving vessel for a group, a stylish direct brewing system, or a thermal carafe to keep your coffee hot all day, there’s a great option out there for you.

Our top pick, the Hastings Collective Thermal Coffee Carafe, manages to perfectly balance form with function. It comes in three classic colors, a range of sizes, and combines an attractive modern style with impressive heat retention.

We’ll explore the Hastings Collective range in more detail below, along with our other top picks for both glass and thermal coffee carafes.

Glass vs. Thermal Carafes

There are two main styles of coffee carafes: glass and thermal.

In general, glass carafes tend to be more eye-catching, and thermal carafes tend to be more functional.

Glass Coffee Carafes

If you use a pour-over method and want to brew several cups at once, or simply want a more convenient and functional setup, a glass carafe will suit you well. It’s a simple and elegant way to serve your delicious brew.

Closeup of hot coffee in a Chemex carafe

There are some truly show-stopping glass carafes that are as much a work of art as they are a functional kitchen tool. If impressing your friends at a dinner party, or simply beginning your day with a touch of beauty sounds like your style, then something like the Yield Pourover Carafe would be a sensational addition to your coffee arsenal.

The downside to a glass carafe is that their heat retention is limited. They tend to be best used for somewhat immediate use, rather than as a vessel to keep your coffee hot for an extended period of time. Choosing a carafe that’s double-walled or made with thicker, heat resistant glass will help, as will options that come with a lid, but overall your coffee won’t stay hot for more than about 30 minutes.

Coffee experts would argue that your coffee’s flavor starts to degrade at about that mark anyway, so there’s really no point in keeping it longer.

Thermal Coffee Carafes

What thermal coffee carafes lack in beauty they make up for in function. Thermal carafes seal in aromas and reduce undesirable characteristics such as bitterness that can develop if you keep your coffee pot on a warming device.

If you’re looking for a vessel that will hold several cups of coffee while keeping it hot for hours, a thermal carafe is the only way to go. If you keep a thermal carafe sealed it will keep your coffee both hot and fresh for at least six hours, some up to 12 hours.

68oz Coffee Carafe Airpot Insulated Coffee Thermos Urn Stainless Steel Vacuum Thermal Pot Flask for Coffee, Hot Water, Tea, Hot Beverage - Keep 12 Hours Hot, 24 Hours Cold …

Keep in mind when you open your thermal carafe, oxygen will enter and your coffee will start to oxidize and its freshness will diminish. If you intend to use your carafe for longer periods, I recommend finding one with an easy pour button, rather than a lid that flips opens when you pour. This will help keep your coffee hot and fresh for longer. When we’re compromising on form, we want to make sure we’re maximizing function.

If you like to brew a large French press or pot of drip coffee, and enjoy it throughout the day, or you love to throw large gatherings and events, a thermal carafe is what you want.

Best Coffee Carafes

Once you know what style of carafe best suits your taste and needs, you may still be overwhelmed by the myriad options on the market. We’ve rounded up our favorite coffee carafes, including our No. 1 pick the Hastings Collective, so let’s dive into the details and find the perfect carafe for you.

Best Overall: Hastings Collective Thermal Coffee Carafe

Hastings Collective Thermal Coffee Carafe 68 Oz - Large Stainless Steel Insulated Carafe - 2 Liter Double Walled Vacuum Thermos Coffee and Beverage Dispenser with Tea Infuser and Strainer (Black) Check availability

The Hastings Collective line of carafes gets my top vote because they’re able to provide a functional, heat-retaining vessel that still looks incredible. I love the modern style of these carafes, and yet they still prioritize function.

They sport an interlocking, leak-proof lid with push-button release for pouring. This minimizes heat escape, keeping your coffee hot for at least six hours.

Each carafe comes with a set of reusable filters for either coffee or tea, and is perfect for hot or cold beverages.

You can select from a range of sizes: 40-ounce, 50-ounce or 68-ounce carafes; or an 85-ounce airpot, all in a sleek white, black, or grey.

They are extremely simple to both use and clean, and prove that we don’t necessarily have to sacrifice beauty for functionality.

Pros:

  • double walled and vacuum sealed
  • stylish and modern design
  • good heat retention
  • comes with filters for brewing
  • range of sizes
  • coffee or tea use
  • easy to clean

Cons:

  • less heat retention than other thermal carafes on the list
  • slightly higher price point

Best Heat Retention: Cresimo 68-Ounce Thermal Coffee Carafe

68 Oz Thermal Coffee Carafe - Insulated Stainless Steel Double Walled Vacuum Flask / Thermos - Coffee Carafes For Keeping Hot Coffee & Tea For 12 Hours - Cresimo Coffee Dispenser Check availability

If you’re looking for a carafe that can hold several cups of coffee and keep them hot all day, the Cresimo Thermal Carafe has you covered. It’s not particularly attractive, reminiscent of something you’d find in a restaurant or cafe. Actually, it’s quite possibly exactly what you’d find there, and it would be an excellent choice if that’s what you’re looking to use it for.

Double-walled and vacuum-sealed, this one keeps coffee hot for 12 hours. It’s likely more than you’d need for home use, but it’s super durable and portable. If you throw events or work on film sets it would be a great addition to your coffee setup.

Pros:

  • great heat retention
  • super durable
  • easy to pour
  • large capacity
  • great value

Cons:

  • not attractive
  • plastic lid isn’t the most solid

Best Blend of Style and Heat Retention: Pykal Vacuum Insulated Carafe

Thermal Coffee Carafe by PYKAL, Insulated Stainless Steel, 68Oz/2 liter, HEAVY-DUTY, LAB TESTED 24HR>140F, 2YR Warranty, FREE Long Handle Brush, Vacuum Insulated, Coffee Pot, Satin Finish Check availability

The Pykal is extremely similar to the Cresimo in almost every way. There are two main differences: one in its favor and one against.

It’s far more attractive, with a sleek stainless steel body. The Pykal is something I wouldn’t mind having on hand at home for dinner parties.

The downside is the lid design, which flips open rather than using an easy pour button. This is part of what makes it look sleeker, but it also makes it a bit awkward to use, allowing heat and aroma to escape on every pour.

Pros:

  • great heat retention
  • large capacity
  • elegant design
  • great value

Cons:

  • lid is awkward and will release heat
  • handle gets a bit warm

Best Small Capacity: Zojirushi Thermal Coffee Carafe

Zojirushi SH-HC10AD Stainless Steel Vacuum Carafe, 1-Liter, Matte Navy Check availability

If you’re looking for the impressive heat retention of the Cresimo or Pykal but on a smaller scale for home use, the Zojirushi Thermal Carafe is an attractive and durable option.

It comes in both a one-liter or 1.5-liter option and you can choose from either matte black, navy blue, silver or copper.

The design is still a bit reminiscent of a café-style carafe, but the smaller, stouter build and fun colors give it a bit more panache.

With an impressive heat retention of 12 hours it will keep your home brew hot all day, and would be great for dinner parties. It’s super easy to both use and clean, and its extreme durability justifies its slightly higher price point.

Pros:

  • great heat retention
  • perfect size for home use
  • easy to use and clean
  • fun colors
  • durable

Cons:

  • not the most attractive
  • slightly higher price point

Best Heat Retention in Glass: Fellow Stagg Double Wall Coffee Carafe

Fellow Stagg Double Wall Coffee Carafe - Vessel for Pour Over Manual Coffee Maker, Handblown Borosilicate Glass Decanter, 20 oz Clear Pitcher Check availability

If you love the style and elegance of a glass carafe, but you’re hoping for at least a bit of heat retention, the Fellow Stagg Double Walled Carafe is a great home option.

It doesn’t have a huge capacity, so it’s best suited for personal use.

It’s made of double-walled borosilicate glass, which is both heat-resistant and durable, and comes with a handy silicone lid to further improve heat retention. You’ll get a solid half an hour out of your Fellow Stagg, and possibly even 45 minutes if you preheat it.

If you’re like me and you like to slowly enjoy several small cups of hot coffee in the morning rather than a large mug that is invariably cold by the time you get to the bottom, then the Stagg is a great choice.

Pros:

  • elegant design
  • fairly durable
  • decent heat retention for glass
  • nice size for personal use
  • comes with a lid

Cons:

  • limited heat retention
  • smaller capacity

Best Brewing Design: Chemex Coffee Maker

Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker - Classic Series - 8-Cup - Exclusive Packaging Check availability

When you think of pour-over, you think of Chemex. They took the filter basket off your mug and offered something more elegant and functional. I will admit to sleepily putting my metal filter basket onto my mug in the morning, often to have it slip out of position or overfill on me. Brewing straight into your mug totally gets the job done, but there’s something particularly frustrating about cleaning up a mess before I’ve even had my coffee.

The Chemex system is elegantly designed with the filter shape built right into the carafe. You can use either paper filters or a reusable metal option, whichever flavor profile you prefer, and brew up to eight cups.

It’s made with heat-resistant glass so the exterior doesn’t get too hot, and also has an eye catching wood band for easy handling.

The downside is that the Chemex carafe isn’t insulated, so heat retention is almost non-existent unless you use an electric warming plate or a cozy. Leaving fresh coffee on a hot element for too long, however, will result in loss of aromas and increased bitterness.

Chemex is best suited for immediate enjoyment, and is great for entertaining guests.

Pros:

  • elegant and functional design
  • great size
  • good value

Cons:

  • no heat retention
  • not the most durable

Best Aesthetic: Yield Pourover Carafe

Yield Pourover Carafe on a table next to a salad and a cup of coffee
Check availability

Sometimes you just want to start your day with something beautiful. If a blast of elegance and refinement sounds like a dream to you, the Yield Pourover Carafe can make it a reality.

It offers a similar experience to the Chemex with an added aesthetic flare that is simply undeniable. The design is striking and the colors are retro magic. Choose from burnt orange, smoky grey, olive green, or sapphire blue to wow at your next dinner party.

Made from thick borosilicate glass, and sporting a matching glass lid, the Yield is arguably more durable than the Chemex, and offers slightly better heat retention.

Being a glass carafe, we’re still looking at around 30 minutes or so to enjoy the Yield’s 1-6 cups of either hot coffee or tea. It’s also great for cold brew or iced tea.

It’s the most expensive on the list by quite a margin, but hey, that’s the price of fine art.

Pros:

  • striking and functional design
  • durable borosilicate glass
  • lid to aid in heat retention
  • great size

Cons:

  • limited heat retention
  • higher price point

There’s no question a coffee carafe will add ease and enjoyment to your daily coffee routine and special events. Hopefully you now have a better idea of which style is right for you.

The Hastings Collective line is sure to impress, perfectly balancing form and function and getting the job done at a price point almost as attractive as the product.

Whichever carafe you choose, you’ll now be able to enjoy your home brew with a touch of elegance and sophistication. 

Thumbnail image: © Hastings Collective

In a carafe, coffee's confined,
Its warmth and taste perfectly aligned.
Whether glass or thermal,
Each sip is eternal,
In this vessel, life's joy we find.

About the Author