Starting your day with a delicious cup of coffee is the highlight of the morning for many people.
But for elderly seniors, brewing a cup of coffee can be difficult.
Many modern coffee makers are covered in small buttons and indecipherable text, with tons of customization options that are overwhelming for many.
No one deserves to feel stressed while trying to brew a cup of coffee – especially not a senior who just wants a simple cup of joe to start the day!
In this guide to the most simple coffee makers for the elderly, we’ll dig into what features to look for in a senior-friendly coffee maker and highlight some top picks. Read on!
Features to Look for in a Coffee Maker for Seniors
Choosing an ideal coffee maker for seniorsmeans sorting through several different features and units of varying sizes, shapes, and colors.
Before picking a unit, consider these characteristics to find the right mix that suits your senior and their preferences.
Simple Controls and Auto Shut-Off
The auto-shutoff feature on a coffee maker is an excellent way to prevent the machine from getting left on and coffee burning to the bottom of the carafe.
Simple controls are also a big benefit for seniors, as many more sophisticated coffee machines have displays are overwhelming and confusing.
Opt for a coffee maker with just a few buttons that are large, prominently displayed, and easy to press.
Also consider whether a senior will want to set their brew times using the programming feature and – if this feature is important to them – ensure that it’s not too difficult to set up. Even if programming the auto-brew schedule is complicated, usually a caregiver can help set the coffee schedule upon the initial setup.
French Press vs. Drip Coffee Maker vs. Percolator
There are many different types of coffee makers an elderly individual can use to prepare a fresh cup of brew! But what type of coffee maker is best for seniors?
A french press is the simplest way to make coffee if the individual has access to boiling water – just put the coffee grounds and hot water into the carafe, let it sit for a few minutes, and then press down the plunger filter to enjoy. A french press doesn’t even need electricity!
However, drip coffee makers are often more familiar to seniors and are also relatively simple to set up and use. A drip coffee maker also offers additional features that can make life easier for a senior such as programmable brewing that isn’t available on a french press.
Percolators can be a bit more dangerous from a burns perspective, but many senior are familiar with the percolator design and may prefer this option over others.
What is the Senior Used To Using?
The best coffee makers for seniors are what they are used to using and have used for most of their lives.
Some individuals will prefer a percolator as that is what they used growing up, but others will prefer a drip machine. Familiarity can help those struggling with dementia, memory loss, or thosewho dislike change and prefer machines they already know how to use.
Check the Carafe Handle
An easy to grip handle is essential for elderly individuals, as it needs to be ergonomic and comfortable to use. A poor handle can increase risks of dropping or spilling the carafe!
Some carafe handles come with knuckle-guards and dripless spouts, which can also minimize the potential for burns.
Accessing the Filter Basket
Accessing, emptying, and refilling the filter basket can be strenuous for those with arthritis or carpal tunnel. One way to make this process easier is by choosing machines where the filter basket is fully removable or, at the very least easy to access.
Programmable Coffee Makers and Timers
Programmable coffee makers have been around a while, and these devices are helpful for those who want a cup of coffee ready at a set time each day. Many coffee makers allow you to program them to turn on a set number of times during a 24-hour period, but it’s a good idea to read the owner’s manual to ensure you have the correct settings.
Some coffee makers may also come with a timer or an option to brew a beverage at a set time. If there is a caregiver in the home, this feature allows for a pot of coffee to brew for a senior at a set time without the caregiver needing to be present.
Glass vs. a Stainless Steel Carafe
Stainless steel carafes may be less common than glass and plastic ones, but they do keep your coffee warmer for a more extended period and don’t break as easily as glass. Many individuals prefer the look of a steel carafe over glass one, but one drawback is that you can’t see through it the way you can with a glass carafe, so you aren’t able to see how far along in the brewing process the coffee maker is.
Steel carafes may have different cleaning needs too, and it’s more challenging to see how clean they are when compared to glass.
Coffee Maker Footprint
Many seniors don’t have a large amount of counter space to dedicate to a large coffee maker. Instead, those with small kitchens may prefer a small footprint coffee maker that won’t take up too much space.
Large coffee makers tend to be those with more functionality, such as programmable options, built-in grinders, and large capacity water reservoirs.
Luckily, there are plenty of options for elderly individuals, with bigger machines as well as compact designs that make them worthy additions to even the most space-conscious kitchens.
Easy to Read Buttons and Numbers
Many coffee machines and other devices will have a mix of different sized buttons, some of which will be on the smaller side and difficult for some seniors to read.
However, there are some coffee makers with few or no small buttons, opting instead for just one or two large buttons, and these can make using this device much faster and less complicated.
You’ll also want to make sure that any numbers on the device that indicates measurements are easy to read.
These markings are often found on the carafe and indicate the number of ounces left in the pot. You’ll also see them on the side of the reservoir, so you know if you have enough water for your brew.
A Bright Display
Many coffee makers will have an LCD display, and these should be brightly lit and large enough to be easily visible. Often, the display area will include backlit buttons, which are an excellent feature if the individual will be using this coffee maker in less than ideal lighting.
Loud & Clear Sounds
Many coffee makers are silent, but a few have an alarm to indicate when they are ready. These alarms may be in addition to buttons beeping as you press them and help seniors with navigating more complex machines.
Best Easy Coffee Makers for the Elderly: Our Top Picks
Looking for a coffee maker that is easy for a senior to use but doesn’t skimp on essential features or brew quality?
Our list of best coffee makers for seniors highlights some compact options that make brewing an excellent cup of coffee a straightforward process.
These brewers are also easy to clean, fit well in smaller kitchen spaces (for the most part), and feature a brand-established reputation for producing good quality kitchen products.
1. Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine
About: The Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine is an excellent option for those who want to enjoy high-quality coffee and espresso but don’t want to deal with complicated buttons or cleaning regiments.
A high-end pod brewing machine
This cutting-edge coffee and espresso machine is simple, easy, and ideal for coffee aficionados.
The Vertuo coffee and espresso machine uses aluminum pods that are more earth-friendly than the plastic versions, and it spins them to create a frothy crema for the top of your drink.
This machine also has a generous 40-ounce water reservoir that is easy to access on the side, and a complimentary set of twelve Nespresso Vertuo capsules to get you started. These capsules are hermetically sealed, recyclable, and contain carefully chosen coffee and espresso varieties designed to help you find your favorites.
The Nespresso Vertuo is simple to use, but the inner workings are part of a cutting edge brewing process that results in a distinguished cup of coffee! The machine pre-wets the coffee for superior taste, and users an internal laser to read each pod barcode and brew the drink uniquely based on whether the pod is for a dark or light roast, flavored or unflavored, etc.
To brew, simply lift up the top, insert the pod, close the top, rotate the top handle into the lock position (an extended knob makes this easy to do), and press the flashing button on the top of the machine. That’s it! The capsules eject themselves after brewing, so you don’t even have to take out the old pods..
- Five different cup sizes
- Simple one-touch espresso and coffee brewing
- Only 15-20 seconds of preheating time for each brew
- Advanced extraction system called Centrifusion for perfect crema
- Weighs 12 pounds
- Measures 10.75 x 14 x 14.5 inches
- 15-20 second preheating time
- Best for those who care a lot about coffee quality
- Relatively small footprint
- Easy-access, large-capacity water reservoir
- Uses capsules for less mess and consistent drinks
- Easy to choose your cup size
- No temperature adjustments for hotter drinks
2. Cafetiere French Press Coffee Maker by VeoHome
About: The Cafetiere French Press coffee maker features stainless steel construction with double walls for better insulation – it even claims to be unbreakable! This means that if an elderly individual happens to drop the carafe, there will be no dangerous glass pieces to clean up – this carafe should be just fine!
Stainless steel french press
Shatter-proof french press that’s double-walled to keep coffee warm
This double-walled french press helps keep beverages hot longer and comes in both 27 ounces and 34-ounce sizes. No filters, capsules, electricity, button-pressing, or an understanding of electronics needed for this device.
The handle for this carafe is large and prominent, with a shape that’s easier for seniors to grasp than the more standard straight-handle commonly seen with traditional french press brewers.
The Cafetiere French Press comes with a replacement guarantee if you do manage to break it, which lasts for two years. This french press utilizes an unusual design to maximize the aroma and flavor of the coffee while also taking up just a small amount of counterspaceand requiring minimal cleaning.
- Double-walled stainless steel construction
- No paper filters or capsules required
- Shiny exterior and ergonomic handle
- Features a three-part reusable filter
- Holds 34 ounces of liquid
- Weighs 2.16 pounds
- 7.25 inches tall with the plunger in the downward position
- Attractive, shiny steel exterior
- Virtually unbreakable
- Easy to clean
- Ample and secure feeling handle
- The handle may get slippery when wet
3. Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
About: The Keurig K-Classic is a pod-style coffee maker that’s simple and easy-to-use for any senior. Just press the power button, insert your pod, and press one of three buttons based on which size cup you want to brew.
The classic Keurig pod brewer
This large-reservoir pod brewer is ultra-simple and great for serving multiple people
Plus, the Keurig K-Classic brews a cup of coffee in just under a minute, so you don’t have to wait to long to enjoy your morning brew!
The Keurig K-Classic features an easily accessible water reservoir on the side of the device that holds up to 48 ounces of water. The drip tray can also be easily removed, making room for larger cups or travel mugs.
This device allows you to choose from 6 oz, 8 oz, or 10 oz brew sizes, with 6oz making the strongest cup of joe.
This coffee maker also features an auto-off function that turns off the device once it has been idle for two hours – a handysafety feature that helps save energy
- Energy-saving auto-off feature
- Large water reservoir that is easy to remove and clean
- Removable tray catches drips or accidentally brewed drinks
- Accommodates a travel mug up to 7 inches tall (with tray removed)
- Measures 13.0 x 9.8 x 13.3 inches
- 48-ounce water reservoir
- Weighs 10 pounds
- 17.6 inches tall when pod hatch is open
- Only requires touching the power button and size selection button for simplicity
- Comes in black or red to match your decor
- Compatible with travel mugs
- Auto-off feature to save energy
- Large-capacity, easy to remove the water reservoir
- The water pump in the machine could be more robust for brewing stronger coffee
- Takes up a significant amount of counter space
4. Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker
About: The Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker is an ultra-compact and slim Keurig pod brewer that’s ideal for single-servings and boasts an incredibly small footprint, especially compared to standard Keurigs.
An ultra-slim pod brewer
This compact small-footprint pod coffee maker comes in several fun colors
This device comes in four different colors (Black, Oasis, Studio Grey, Dusty Rose) to match your decor and brews individual cups in six to twelve-ounce quantities. You’ll need to add water for each brew, but this unit is less than five inches wide and can brew your drink in mere minutes.
The removable drip tray allows you to use any container up to seven inches tall, including travel mugs. The tray also can hold up to an entire brew if you accidentally spill, and this unit is compatible with the universal removable k-cup filter. This removable filter works with a Keurig machine and you can fill it with your favorite ground coffee or tea leaves.
This energy-efficient device turns off ninety seconds after you finish using it and features a hidden area for cord storage.
- Single-serve water reservoir lets you add the exact amount of water you need for each brew
- Ultra-slim design that fits in any 5” wide area with several color options available
- Compatible with the reusable k-cup filter
- The drip tray can hold up to 12 ounces of liquid
- Unit measures 12.1 x 4.5 x 11.3 inches
- Weighs 4.6 pounds
- 24-inch power cord with hidden storage
- Accommodates travel mugs up to seven inches tall
- Space-saving and discreet design
- Hidden cord storage and a longer cord
- Comes in multiple colors
- Auto-off feature
- Inconsistent performance with reusable k-cup filters
- Need to add water each time you brew, and reservoir is not removable – you’ll need to pour water into the top.
5. Presto 6-Cup Stainless-Steel Coffee Percolator
About: The Presto Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator features a retro style and familiar percolating sound that many seniors will find nostalgic and comforting.
Stainless-steel percolator that brews 2-6 cups of joe with a ready-to-serve light
This percolator is 500-watts and made of stainless steel. It’s able to brew anywhere from 2-6 cups of coffee.
The Presto Percolator features a large and easy-to-grip handle on the base and another large handle on the top. These handles feature plastic construction but stay cool to the touch.
This percolator also has an automatic warming feature, keeping the carafe warm while your first cup of joe is being enjoyed. In addition, it boasts a stay-cool base, a ready-to-serve indicator light, and a dripless spout to minimize the possibility of burns. This device also has a detachable cord so that you can relocate the carafe to the table while you enjoy your coffee.
- Brews up to 30 ounces of coffee at one time
- The power cord is detachable
- A drip-free spout and durable stainless steel body
- 500 watts/ 120 volts
- A total capacity of 6 cups
- Measures 7.5 x 4 x 10 inches
- Weighs one pound
- Classic shiny stainless steel exterior
- Nostalgic percolator brewing familiar to many seniors
- Large ergonomic handle on base and top
- indicator light lets you know when your coffee is ready
- No options for stronger brewed coffee
- Touching the stainless steel carafe while on could result in a burn
6. Mr. Coffee 10 Cup Coffee Maker
About: The Mr. Coffee 10 Cup Coffee Maker is a traditional drip-style coffee maker featuring several bonus brewing features like a delayed brew option and a built-in freshness timer to keep track of how fresh your pot of coffee is during the day.
Drip-style coffee maker with bonus programmable options
In addition to a sleek design, this coffee maker features delayed brew options, a freshness indicator, and an LED clock
The Mr. Coffee 10-Cup has a stainless steel exterior with black plastic accents and a permanent filter to cut down on waste.
This coffee maker boasts the ability to make hotter coffee faster than competitor products for a richer taste – an important feature for those who are picky about their coffee.
The removable water reservoir on the side comes out easily for refilling or cleaning, and the insulated carafe keeps your hot coffee warm longer to preserve the flavor.
An LED panel is includes on the coffee maker that can be set to show the time, double functioning as a kitchen clock.
The carafe also features a large ergonomic handle, and the display panel has a minimal number of buttons that are easy to read.
- Insulated stainless steel and plastic carafe
- Permanent filter that cuts down on waste and removes chlorine
- Programmable brewing and pause feature
- Built-in timer to keep track of freshness + LED clock panel
- Brews at 205 degrees – hotter than most other coffee makers
- 2-hour auto shut off feature
- Brews 20% faster than competitor models
- Measures 8.70 x 13.11 x 14.33 inches
- Weighs 5.10 pounds
- “Pause and serve” and programmable features
- Makes coffee hotter than other coffee makers
- Easy to remove reservoir that is straightforward to clean
- Clearly labeled buttons
- Requires extra counter space to remove the reservoir and permanent filter from the sides
- Slim horizontal buttons may be too difficult to press for some seniors
7. Cuisinart Grind & Brew Automatic Coffeemaker
About: The Cuisinart Grind & Brew Automatic Coffee Maker is a high-end feature-packed coffee maker for seniors who want the freshest coffee possible.
High-end coffee maker with built-in grinder
Includes an auto shut-off switch, programmable brew options, and more
The Cuisinart Grind & Brew features a stainless steel exterior with black plastic accents and a glass carafe for a sleek, modern look.
This coffee maker’s claim to fame is it’s built-in grinder, which will grind beans instantly before brewing, resulting in an unbeatable freshness. Using ground coffee? No problem – the grinder can be turned off easily.
This machine has a somewhat unconventional silhouette as a coffee bean reservoir sticks out of the side.
This unit can brew up to 12 cups of coffee at a time, and features a dripless spout to minimize the potential for burns, along with a arthritis-friendly ergonomic handle.
This coffee machine also features a unique way of combining the hot water and the coffee grounds for brewing. It utilizes a showerhead style water dispenser that releases water more evenly over the grounds and with less temperature loss for a better-tasting drink.
The Cuisinart Grind & Brew also includes an auto shut off switch (which can be set to turn-off after anywhere from 1-4 hours), LED clock display, and 24-hour programmed brewing to schedule coffee to brew at a set time.
- 12-cup carafe with a dripless spout + ergonomic handle
- Showerhead style water mechanism covers grounds with hot water evenly for better brewing
- 24-hour programmable brewing
- Scratch-resistant and non-stick heating plate
- Gold-tone commercial-style filter and charcoal water filter
- Weighs 10.8 pounds
- Measures 7.48 x 11.2 x 15.16 inches
- Three-year limited warranty
- Built-in grinder for grinding coffee beans
- Programmable brewing and pause brewing feature easily removable water reservoir with a flip back top
- Uses conventional #4 style paper filters
- Built-in charcoal water filter improves coffee taste
- Grinder is loud and takes about 30 seconds to grind the beans
8. Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Switch Coffee Maker
About: The Mr. Coffee Switch coffee maker is a simple, no-nonsense drip coffee maker that’s affordable for seniors on tight budgets.
Simple one-touch coffee maker that gets the job done
Ultra-simple and lightweight, this coffee maker is budget-friendly with basic features like a pause option and indicator light
This coffee maker allows you to pause the brewing to pour yourself a cup whenever you’d like, and a clearly visible light indicates when the unit is on or off.
There are two windows on the water reservoir so you can clearly see the water level at any time and know when the reservoir needs to be topped off. The brewer’s removable filter basket is also perfect for quick cleanups and the stainless steel warming plate is designed to resist coffee burn stains..
This device has a white exterior and a four-cup glass carriage with a generously rounded handle for a secure grip. This coffee maker is also fairly compact at just 9 x 7 ¼ x 11 inches and has an overall weight of only 2.2 pounds thanks to the lightweight plastic components.
- Simple drip coffee maker with no unnecessary extras
- All white exterior
- Lightweight and compact
- Small 4-cup glass carafe
- Light-up button to indicate on/off
- Pause feature built-in
- Weighs 2.2 pounds
- Single-button for on/off
- Carafe holds 20 ounces of liquid
- Compact and easy to clean
- Removable filter basket
- Single-button operation
- Generous carafe handle
- Not programmable
- No auto-off feature
9. Cuisinart 4-Cup Coffeemaker
About: The Cuisinart 4-Cup Coffee Maker is a relatively small drip coffee maker with a straightforward one-button design and a stainless steel carafe that won’t break apart if dropped.
This lets elderly individuals avoid any broken glass hazards that can occur when dropping standard glass carafes.
Simple yet durable drip coffee maker
This no-nonsense drip coffee maker comes with a stainless steel carafe to make it safer and drop-proof
This coffee maker features an indicator light to show when it’s on and an easily accessible filter basket that uses standard paper filters.
You can pause the brewing to pour yourself a cup, and the carafe features a dripless spout and knuckle guard for added safety when pouring. This lightweight coffee maker is easy to move around when needed and is compact for secure storage when it’s not being used regularily.
- Four-cup stainless steel carafe
- Dripless spout and knuckle guard
- 30-minute automatic shutoff
- Pausable brewing
- Weighs 3.3 pounds
- Measures 10 x 8 x 5.25 inches
- Built to North American Electrical Standards
- Dripless spout and knuckle guard prevent burns
- Smaller size but fast brewing
- Power indicator light and 30-minute shut off feature
- BPA free plastic parts
- Exterior of the carafe does get hot enough to burn
Coffee Maker Safety Concerns for the Elderly
Many coffee makers come with standard safety features that are helpful for most seniors in standard homes. These features include:
- Auto Shut-Off. The auto-shutoff feature prevents the coffee machine from becoming a fire hazard if an individual forgets to turn it off. Some machines will also turn off the coffee maker if they sense that the carafe is empty to prevent coffee from burning onto the bottom.
- Comfortable Carafe Handle. Burns and spills can be an issue for the elderly when using a coffee maker, which is why it’s ideal to get a carafe with a robust and comfortable handle.
- Automatic Pause. The automatic pause feature allows an individual to remove the carafe from the brewing plate, even while the coffee is still in the process of brewing – the system simply pauses the brew process temporarily. Some coffee makers have a pause button, while others automatically detect when the carafe has been removed. The pause feature prevents coffee from dripping onto the plate or your hand when removing the carafe mid-brew, while still allowing you to have an early access cup of joe when you simply can’t wait another moment for your coffee!
- Stainless Steel Carafe. Dropping the carafe is another concern as a full carafe is heavy, and glass carafes will shatter when dropped. There is also the fear that cleaning up a dropped glass carafe can result in cuts on your hands and potential falls from bending over. Stainless steel carafes don’t shatter when dropped and don’t weigh much more than glass carafes, which makes them a good option for seniors who have arthritis or carpal tunnel.
Other Things to Consider When Choosing a Coffee Maker
Other characteristics to consider when choosing a coffee maker include:
- Total brew time
- Single serving machines vs. a carafe
- Single-use filters vs. reusable or permanent filters
These characteristics ultimately come down to personal preferences, but some machines brew drinks almost instantly while a traditional coffee maker can take up to fifteen minutes. Single serving machines are often a better choice for seniors that live alone, and permanent filters cut down on waste and the need to keep a supply of paper filters handy.
Finding a great coffee maker means that you or an elderly friend or relative can enjoy your high-quality brew without a lot of fuss or complicated procedures. What are your top picks for the best coffee makers for seniors? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Last update on 2021-01-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API