Want mess-free, stress-free coffee? The OXO French press is the answer

Has OXO just changed the game on what a basic French press should do?

OXO French Press on the countertop with a white mug and a plant on the table
(Image credit: OXO)
Homes & Gardens Verdict

The OXO is excellent value, easy to clean, and it makes delicious coffee too. The 8-cup capacity suits four-person families perfectly. If you're shopping for value, this is an excellent buy.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Really easy to clean

  • +

    Feels premium

  • +

    Sleek design

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Some plastic parts feel cheap

  • -

    Not the best insulator

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OXO famously delivers inexpensive coffee makers that are capable of making delicious coffee and their French press is no exception. It’s sturdy, sleek, and easy to use. With a $40 price tag, it's incredible value for money, what more could you ask for?

I’ve been testing the best French presses on the market for the last few months. As a former barista and big French press fan, I’ve enjoyed working through iconic names such as Bodum and Espro. However, I’ll admit, I didn’t have the highest hopes for OXO’s $40 model. I was proven wrong. This is fantastic. 

I tested the quality, capacity, and brewing capabilities of this unassuming French press. The GroundsLifter is a game-changer for cleaning, the double-filters are smooth, and it's a stylish model too. I think it’s OXO’s best-kept secret, which is why I'm shouting about it.


OXO French press on a white background

(Image credit: OXO)
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Dimensions5.8 x 8.9 inches
Weight2.1 lbs
MaterialStainless steel and borosilicate glass
Capacity8 cups


OXO French Press unboxed on the countertop

(Image credit: Future)

There’s rarely much faff or flourish to coffee maker packing, especially French presses. The compact cardboard box is completely recyclable, as is the rest of the ‘plastic wrap’. 

Just lifting the OXO out of the box I was struck by how premium it feels. The brushed stainless steel carafe has some satisfying weight to it and the inner pitcher is made from borosilicate glass too. This means that the overall French press has enough weight to feel like a luxury French press without tipping into a problematically heavy coffee maker. This is the first of many sweet spots hit by OXO’s design team.

Who would it suit?

OXO French Press in front of box on countertop

(Image credit: Future)

It would be quicker to suggest who the OXO wouldn’t suit, because this ticks so many boxes. The 8-cup capacity is big enough to brew coffee for the whole family without making it too big to store in a smaller cupboard or countertop, even in an urban apartment. As I’ve mentioned, it feels premium without the inflated price tag. 

If you don't like cleaning, you're about to enter a French press dream. One of OXO's biggest sells on this is the GroundsLifter. It sounds techy, but it's really just a simple plastic scoop that sits at the bottom of your carafe. It drains water off your used grounds and makes them easy to scoop and dispose of. Sometimes, it's the simple things that make the biggest difference.

If you’re clumsy, you might want to steer clear of the OXO, since the carafe isn’t shatterproof. Equally, forgetful coffee drinkers won’t be able to enjoy hot coffee half an hour after it has brewed, because, although the OXO’s glass is thick, this isn’t enough to insulate your brew for a long time like the Espro or Stanley French presses can.

What is it like to use?

OXO French Press with grounds in the bottom of the carafe

(Image credit: Future)

The OXO is as straightforward to use as it looks. The only slightly irritating point is how the lid and plunger lift out. There’s a lip that you need to lift from to bring out the plunger, lid, and grounds sifter. This can be a bit of a handful when the OXO is empty, but it’s worth it for what the GroundsLifter does for your cleaning. 

I gave my carafe a rinse before using it, not because OXO instructed me to or because it looked particularly dirty, but because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t accidentally brewing with factory dust and dirt. 

I replaced the GroundsLifter into the base, then added my coffee grounds and hot water. If you forget to add the grounds sifter, it’s not the end of the world. The OXO will work like any other French press, but if you remember to include it, you’ll thank yourself when you’re at the sink.

OXO French Press full of coffee

(Image credit: Future)

I tested the OXO on brewing a single cup of coffee. I thought this could be tricky for the large carafe and was keen to see how quickly it cooled my coffee. 

I follow the golden 1:15 ratio of coffee to water when making French press. I put one scoop of coffee (about 3 tbsp) and 8 oz of water into my carafe. The water was boiled to 185 degrees before I poured it over my coffee grounds. I let it steep for five minutes. Then, fitting the plunger onto its (very specific) position, I plunged and poured my cup of coffee. Getting the filter in the right place is key (and a little fiddly), but it’s worth it. 

The filter did a good job of making a smooth cup of coffee. The carafe was easy to pour from, and the flavors of my cup were deep and rich. There was more silt towards the bottom of my cup, but that was after drinking my coffee very very slowly. Overall, it probably cost me about two teaspoons (one sip) of coffee in total. 

A cup of coffee in a white cup in front of the OXO French Press

(Image credit: Future)

Brewing a full carafe was much of the same story. My coffee was full-bodied and delicious with a little bit of silt at the bottom. It kept its heat relatively well for an uninsulated carafe. 

Before you make coffee in your OXO, I'd recommend pouring boiling hot water into your empty carafe, letting it sit for a few minutes, before pouring it back out and drying the carafe. This will pre-warm your carafe, helping to slow down how quickly it cools. I wouldn’t leave my coffee for more than ten minutes because you begin to lose the best heat from your cup, but this was a good result and enough for four people. 

Cleaning, storage, and maintenance

The GroundsLifter pulling old grounds up from the bottom of the French press

(Image credit: Future)

It’s rare that I get to relish in cleaning up my coffee makers, but that was one of the best bits of the OXO. After lifting off my plunger, I could lift the handle of my plastic silt collector. This felt flimsy, but it’s flat enough to drain water off your grounds, leaving you with a scoop of saturated coffee. I could then tip straight off the scoop and into your compost, garden, or bin without making a mess. 

The rest of the cleaning was easy. The inner carafe is dishwasher safe and slips easily off the handle and carrier. I wouldn’t put the brushed stainless steel outer in the dishwasher, but this will rarely need cleaning anyway since the OXO doesn't really dribble coffee. I would recommend giving the filter some care and attention when cleaning, but that’s the case with all French presses. 

How does it rate online?

OXO French Press on the countertop

(Image credit: Future)

Unsurprisingly, the innovative GroundsLifter gets a mention in almost every review of the OXO French press. The scoop is a clever feature that makes the OXO uniquely easy to clean. I couldn't find a single review that criticized it. 

OXO's older French presses used to have markings on so that you could free-pour water into your carafe. Lots of reviewers said that they missed this feature, even if it made the overall aesthetics of the French press look sleeker. 

A number of people warned that the glass carafe is a poor insulator and very breakable. In fact, most reviews that were critical came from someone who had broken their carafe. This didn't affect people's perceptions of quality. In fact, a number of reviews said that this feels durable and sturdy, which I wasn't expecting.

How does it compare?

Coffee grounds blooming at the bottom of the OXO French Press

(Image credit: Future)

Another affordable French press with a glass carafe is Bodum’s Chambord. The Bodum is half the price of the OXO, making it ridiculous value for money. It makes a great cup of coffee too, which is why it's in the second spot in our buying guide for French presses. Even though the Bodum is cheaper, the coffee it brews is ever so slightly smoother and a little lighter, but there’s not much in it. 

The biggest difference between the two is the build quality and aesthetics. I felt that the glass on the OXO was thicker, so the French press felt more durable and robust. Even though the OXO's GroundsLifter felt flimsy, it’s well worth having. The fiddly OXO lid is another quirk that possibly gives the Bodum the upper hand, but you get used to the OXO pretty quickly. 

Design-wise, the Bodum takes the edge. It’s elegant and European, boasting an iconic silhouette. The OXO isn’t ugly, it’s just simple. If you're interested in learning a bit more about it, I have a more detailed review of the Bodum Chambord here.

If you’re hesitating about buying the OXO and Bodum because of their glass carafe and lack of insulation, consider the Stanley Stay Hot French press or the more expensive Espro P7 (available at QVC). These both more than match the OXO and Bodum in coffee flavors but will keep your coffee hot for hours. I don't think they're as beautiful, but functionally they're much better.

Should you buy it?

OXO French Press on the countertop with a full carafe

(Image credit: Future)

If you’re shopping for a French press and you’re on a tight budget, you’re in good company with the OXO. It’s excellent value, not without some slightly flimsy plastic features, but it will get you to a good French press cup of coffee without breaking a sweat (or the bank).

How we test

Fellow Clara French Press next to the Stanley and Zwilling

(Image credit: Future)

We’re particular and meticulous in how we test coffee makers at Homes & Gardens. Before we even consider reviewing a French press. Once we’ve decided that you might like it, we call it into our test kitchen where it undergoes a rigorous testing process. We make notes on everything from the unboxing to what a French press is like to clean up. 

Most importantly, we let you know what the coffee tastes like. We use Union coffee beans, ground coarsely and filtered water at 185 degrees. We brew a single cup of coffee as well as a whole carafe, so that we can see how the French press performs across a range of functions. We’ll look at the silt at the bottom of our cup of coffee as well as the flavor notes that we can taste. 

By the time we’re finished, you’ll know whether the French press is good value, good quality, and capable of making a good cup of coffee. 

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.