Long Live Your Coffee Maker: How Long Do They Last?
Coffee gear is something that every coffee-lover must have. Because we’re all unique in our preferences, the gear itself varies: drip coffee maker, French press, ceramic pour over, espresso machine, single cup machine, and the list goes on.
So, it’s a sad day when you realize your coffee maker is on its last legs. You’ve made the decision to replace it, but wonder, how long do coffee makers last? After all, you want great coffee each time it’s’ brewed. And a coffee pot will only last so long, then it’s time buy a new machine.
What should you look out for? How should you care for your coffee maker? How do you know when it’s time to replace? We’ll fill you in on all of the details here. Read on for some tips and tricks to extend the life of your coffee maker just a little bit longer.
If you happen to click on a link and then make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
- Long Live Your Coffee Maker: How Long Do They Last?
- What is the life expectancy of a coffee maker?
- Do Coffee Machines Wear Out?
- Do Expensive Coffee Makers Last Longer?
- What is the best way to clean a coffee maker?
- How Can I Extend the Life of My Coffee Machine?
- How to Know When It’s Time to Buy a New Coffee Pot
- Alternatives to a Drip Coffee Machine
- Conclusion: How Long Do Coffee Makers Last?
What is the life expectancy of a coffee maker?
The life expectancy of a automatic coffee maker depends on how much you use it. Though most coffeemakers come with a one-year warranty, the average lifespan is about three to five years.
The more often you brew coffee and other beverages in your machine – such as iced tea or hot chocolate – the faster its components wear out. For example, the heating element will deteriorate.
And, how you care for your machine (or ignore regular cleaning!) will affect it’s longevity.
Here’s a helpful list from our friends at OwlyChoice:
- Mr. Coffee coffee maker should work fine for about 2-3 years (about 1000 cups). It can last longer up to 4-5 years, if it is cleaned and descaled regularly.
- A Cuisinart coffee maker should last about 2-5 years
- A Keurig coffee maker should last about 3-5 years. Note that some Keurig machines work only with certain types of capsules or k-cups.
- Hamilton Beach and Black & Decker coffee makers should last 5 years or more (if cleaned and maintained properly).
- Ninja coffee makers are actually reported to have short lifespans of about 1-2 years. The most common issues reported are leaks from the reservoirs and incorrect cleaning cycles.
Remember, these are general guidelines, and they are not black and white absolutely positively cast in stone. But it’s a helpful list to note.
Do Coffee Machines Wear Out?
Do the inner workings of an automatic coffee maker wear out over time? It depends on use. The more often you brew coffee, the faster its components wear out.
If used at least twice per day, a coffee maker may only last about three years before becoming unusable. But if it’s brewed once or less per day, a machine could last up to five years.
Again, how you care for and maintain your machine is going to make a difference, my friend. A coffee pot is like any other small appliance. It needs consistent care to be able to produce properly and for a longer period of time.
Do Expensive Coffee Makers Last Longer?
High end machines tend to have more durable parts, which can lead to a longer life than less expensive models. On the other hand, those additional parts mean that there are more internal workings that can go wrong or have technical difficulties.
Having read many, many reviews of coffee makers, from the least expensive up to those costing hundreds of dollars (or more), my conclusion is that you get what you pay for. If you pay $25 for a bare bones machine and care for it well, the humble little coffee pot could last several years with regular use. But to expect more from that little machine is probably not realistic.
A $600 espresso machine with all the bells and whistles should last a long time, just by virtue of the price. Again, with proper care and maintenance, it should last several years, or longer. Again, it depends on the manufacturer, how much use the machine gets, and how the owner cares for it.
Higher end machines typically come with good warranties, too, so be sure to check out those details before making a purchase decision.
What is the best way to clean a coffee maker?
Some people use a vinegar-and-water solution to clean their coffee machine but that should not be used on aluminum parts. The best way is with soap, water and a brush or old toothbrush.
You can also purchase cleaning solution for your coffee maker, and many manufacturers will provide instructions for best use.
Don’t forget to clean the outside of your coffee maker periodically, too!
A few tips on how often you should be cleaning your machine: Most articles say every six months is a good time frame; if you’re using it more than once per day or have hard water, then do so as soon as three months. The worst thing you can do is go more than six months without cleaning it, as that can lead to corrosion.
How Can I Extend the Life of My Coffee Machine?
If you really want to keep that coffee pot of yours running longer, it will require a little bit of effort on your part. Here are some things you can do if you expect it to last as long as possible:
Maintain your coffee maker faithfully
- keep the coffee machine clean- wipe it out regularly with a damp cloth or sponge and an odor cleanser like dish soap
- clean the inside of carafe by running water through, then wiping down with a soft sponge. Do not use abrasives on glass!
- only use descaler when necessary to prevent precipitation and scale buildup.
Do not use hard water in your coffee maker
Hard water contains chemicals and components that will not only affect the taste and enjoyment of your cup of joe, they can also damage the inner workings of your coffee maker over time.
Use filtered water when you brew your coffee, whatever method you choose to use or type of coffee maker you have.
Turn off the coffee maker when you’re done making and drinking coffee
Yes, it’s great that many coffee makers have an auto shut-off to prevent an accident or overheating the machine if it’s left on for a long time. But, leaving the coffee pot on just because you know it will turn off in two hours doesn’t necessarily make sense, either.
If you turn off the machine when you’re finished using it, you can extend the life of the coffee maker.
Use the proper pods or cups for your single serve coffee pot
If you try to force a pod or capsule into the wrong machine, you risk damaging it and voiding your warranty.
How to Know When It’s Time to Buy a New Coffee Pot
Wondering why your coffee pot isn’t working properly? Here are some tips for knowing when your coffee maker’s lifespan is about up:
Your coffee maker does not heat up anymore
When the coffee maker won’t heat up, that means the heating element doesn’t work, and that’s a sign it needs to be replaced.
Your coffee is not hot enough anymore
When your coffee is never hot enough (and who wants to drink lukewarm java?) there’s most likely a problem with the heating element and it could be an indication that a new coffee machine is needed.
The coffee maker tank leaks or overflows
A leaking coffee maker is very frustrating. I’ve been there, done that. Bottom line? Unless your coffee maker is under warranty, no matter how old it is, that’s a sign that you need to replace it. Usually, a leaking pot is not something that can be readily repaired.
Your taste in coffee has changed
Perhaps your coffee palette has become more discerning that in the past. Or you’re just too busy to make a pot of coffee each day. Either way, when your tastes change or life changes, so should your caffeine machine
Quantity needs have changed
If there are more people in your home now than when you first bought your coffee maker, that’s another sign it might be time to research a more suitable coffee machine. Your household might have outgrown your current appliance.
Or, you might find yourself with a 12-cupper on the kitchen counter and you’re only brewing 1 or 2 cups per day. You may find that a compact 4-cupper or even a single serve machine will be the better choice going forward.
Alternatives to a Drip Coffee Machine
If you’re concerned about the longevity of an automatic coffee maker, consider a different brewing method for your cup of joe. If you’ve never tried these brewing methods, they can seem a bit labor intensive, but I’ve found that once I understand the process, and experiment a little bit with the ratio of coffee to water, I can make an excellent cup of coffee without plugging in a machine! Yes, a simple coffee maker that doesn’t require any electricity to produce the java we love.
Here’s a tip that will help lengthen the life of your drip coffee machine: Alternate your brewing methods! This is what I do in a typical day. I drink three cups of great coffee every day; two are brewed with a single cup machine and the third is brewed using the pour over method.
Not only does the pour over brew a clean, crisp, tasty cup of joe, it helps save on the usage of my single serve machine. Win/win, my friend.
If you’re not familiar with using a French press or ceramic pour over, no worries. Learn more about the difference between the two brewing methods, and which one you might prefer.
The other really good news is that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to begin brewing with either method. Here are a few examples:
Do you enjoy strong coffee? Then consider brewing with a Moka pot. It’s another budget friendly way to make good coffee at home that is also quite strong and espresso-like. Learn more about brewing with a Moka pot.
Conclusion: How Long Do Coffee Makers Last?
Learning how to make a coffee maker last longer can go a long way toward keeping your current machine up and running smoothly. But like all good things, there will come a time when you’ll find it necessary to replace your beloved brewer!
Be realistic in your expectations of longevity, be thorough and consistent with the care and maintenance of your machine, and you’ll be doing your part to help the coffee maker last longer.