Thermal vs Glass Carafes: Which Is Better For Your Coffee?

Thermal vs Glass Carafes

Many factors are considered when purchasing a coffee maker that would suit you just right. It could be size or cost, or coffee preference. One significant factor that many people may not consider is the carafe. The carafe houses your coffee for very long periods so that these vessels can affect your coffee in a couple of ways. 

There are two major types of carafes, and these are thermal carafes and glass carafes. They have their respective pros and cons, and these would be highlighted for you. After you understand how they work and know their respective pros and cons, you can choose based on your preference.

Thermal Carafe

thermal carafe

A thermal carafe can be made with different materials, but the most commonly used materials are stainless steel or aluminum. The thermal carafe has double walls and between both walls is a vacuum. The function of this vacuum is to ensure that heat transfer is minimized to the barest level. Sometimes, the thermal carafe is made with materials like a rolled steel, stainless steel, and plastic for the first layer and aluminum for the second.

The two layers of the thermal carafe come in contact with each other at a few spots, minimizing heat transfer and keeping the coffee warm and fresh for a long time. These physical properties of the thermal carafe are responsible for its ability to retain heat. The metal used in making the thermal carafe ensures the durability and longevity of the device. The outer layer is strong and can withstand force or pressure. Investing in the thermal carafe is a wise decision because it lasts long and works in a good state for a long time.


  • Preserves heat of the coffee inside
  • Metal material is strong and long-lasting
  • Retains the aroma and flavor of the coffee
  • Very good for coffee businesses


  • Much weightier than other types
  • Not easy to clean properly
  • Much more expensive than others
  • There is no visible mark to see the amount of coffee remaining.

Glass Carafe 

filled pitcher

A glass carafe is a vessel made of glass that is used to house liquids. This carafe is the usual option of choice for many homes and businesses. The glass carafes have been used for a long time, even longer than the metal carafe, and hence it is more commonly used today. Many coffee makers come with a glass carafe, and this also makes the glass type more common. Apart from glass, the handles of the glass carafes are made with materials like plastic or wood. Materials like these prevent heat transfer and remain cool when held, regardless of the coffee temperature. 

With glass carafes, you can easily observe how much coffee is left in the vessel, and when you will likely run out of coffee. The glass carafes are usually less expensive and more cost-friendly than thermal carafes. You can clean glass carafes easily and faster than thermal carafes, and sometimes, dishwashers can be used for glass carafes.


  • More aesthetically pleasing.
  • It can be cleaned using a dishwasher.
  • Cost friendly.
  • The coffee level can be observed.


  • Can break easily.
  • Coffee becomes cold after a while.
  • It does not keep coffee fresh for long or preserve aroma or flavor.

You can make an informed decision when you know the differences between the thermal and glass carafes. It is easier to choose one that best fits your needs or preference. We have reviewed two well-known carafe models for you.

Bestek coffee carafe 

Bestek coffee carafe

The Bestek coffee carafe is a type of thermal carafe made of stainless steel. This double-walled vessel is capable of keeping the liquid contained at an optimal temperature. It is very easy to use as the spill-proof mechanism is used to manufacture it. It is very easy to pour out your beverage because of this technology.

The Bestek carafe is very suitable for the home or office, or social gatherings. Like most thermal carafes, the inner part has a vacuum liner, which is made of glass. Coffee can remain hot or cold for many hours because of this technology. Bestek carafe can house fifty ounces of beverage, which can cater to many people.


  • Can contain any beverage
  • Preserves temperature of beverage for as long as eight hours
  • Large capacity of fifty ounces
  • Easy to clean and use
  • Great for the home, office, and restaurants


  • The lid can be hard to close and open

CHEMEX pour-over glass coffeemaker

Chemex Classic Series, Pour-over Glass Coffeemaker, 8-Cup

The Chemex coffee maker is a glass type of carafe. It is popularly known as a pour-over coffee maker, and borosilicate glass is used in manufacturing it. This carafe comes in different sizes and various styles. There are all glass types and a classic type that uses a wooden collar. This collar serves to insulate the handle of the vessel and protect the hand from heat. The Chemex carafe is easy to use and has a great design. It uses proprietary bonded paper filters to produce clear and neat coffee that is void of a bitter taste.


  • Sleek and beautiful design
  • Comes in various sizes
  • Made from strong and unique glass
  • Very simple to clean


  • Can break if it falls
  • Not very suitable for trips

In conclusion, we may not explicitly state which type of carafe is better suited for you because it depends on your needs and preference. The rate with which you drink or sell coffee at home or in your shop is also an important factor. Your preferred drinking temperature also matters, and different people like cold, lukewarm, or hot coffee. The glass carafe is suitable for cold or lukewarm coffee, while the thermal carafe is good for hot coffee.

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Self-proclaimed coffee drinker. I would, on a typical day, start my day by grinding my coffee with a manual grinder and use a French Press as a starter (2 cups), then a pour-over in the afternoon (4 cups). I had my fair share as a barista but I prefer to drink it, not serve it.