Assess your needs.
Consider the capacity you need. Most common are 4-cup, 10-cup and 12-cup coffeemakers.
Do your research.
Read Consumer Reports or other magazines to see which brands produce the best-tasting and hottest coffee.
Decide if you want to be able to program your coffeemaker. A programmable coffeemaker can be set to deliver fresh-brewed coffee whenever you want – for example, you can have your coffee ready first thing in the morning.
Look for an automatic shutoff function, which will guarantee that you don't leave the coffeemaker on all day.
Start with good water.
If your water doesn't taste good out of the tap, consider a coffeemaker with a built-in water filter.
Grind, baby, grind.
Determine if you want to grind your own beans. A few models come with an integrated, automatic coffee grinder.
Put it on pause.
If you don't want to wait until the whole pot is brewed before drinking some, consider a feature that pauses the coffee's dripping while you remove the carafe to pour.
Test the handle on the carafe and see if it's comfortable. Also, look at the water reservoir and basket to see how convenient adding water and coffee will be.
Drip or Espresso?
If you also want an espresso machine, consider models that combine drip coffee and espresso in one unit.