Do Coffee Makers Turn Off Automatically?

Imagine you wake up late one morning. You’re either rushing to make it on time to work. Or drop your kids off in time before the bell!

You’re out the door and in the car. But wait: did you turn off your coffee maker?

You can’t remember. And so you’re not sure if you should head back home. This problem makes you think: do coffee makers turn off automatically?

What is an Automatic Shut-Off Feature?

More and more coffee makers nowadays come with an auto shut-off feature. This means they’ll turn off 30 minutes to several hours if you don’t touch them for that time period.

You’ll need to check your specific coffee maker to figure out whether:

  • the automatic shutoff feature is enabled by default
  • or if you need to enable it (via a button, touch screen, app, or other modern features)

Do All Coffee Makers Have an Automatic Shut-Off?

Not all coffee makers have an automatic shut-off feature.

Usually you can find out by checking the coffee maker’s instruction manual, website, or product listing (if you bought it on Amazon). If you can’t find out from any of those places? This likely means your coffee maker does NOT have an automatic shut-off.

To be sure though, let’s explore other ways to figure out if your coffee maker has automatic shut-off:

Looking at Your Coffee Maker for Auto Shut-Off Features

Sometimes coffee makers show their automatic shut-off feature to users. It might show a light, timer, or something else on the touch screen.

see the small light on the coffee maker’s top left!

Below are some examples!

Coffee Maker Auto Turns Off By Default

Usually these kinds of coffee machines come in 2 forms:

  • single serve coffee machine – turns off a few minutes after it’s finished brewing coffee
  • multi cup coffee machine – turns off a few hours after brewing by default

Single Serve Coffee Machine

Obviously it’s easy to tell for a single serve coffee machine. Just wait 5 minutes and see if your coffee machine’s still on!

Multi Cup Coffee Machine

For multi cup coffee machines, definitely check if there’s some timer or light with text that says something about “auto” or “off.”

They might not have these though. There’s a new coffee maker trend where companies make non programmable machines that just turn off 2 to 3 hours after they finish brewing coffee.

The only way you can find out – if their website or instruction manual doesn’t say – is to leave your coffee maker on for a few hours then check.

At this point though, we wouldn’t count on it. It’s better to set a timer or remember to turn it off yourself!

Programmable Coffee Machine

You’ll usually find a touch screen along with buttons that say something like: “Hour”, “Min”, and “Auto Off.”

modern coffee maker with prog and auto off

The workflow might go something like this:

  • Press and hold the “Auto Off” button until a timer shows up on the touch screen
  • Press the “Hour” and “Min” buttons until you select your desired auto shut-off time (we suggest two to four hours at most!)
  • Press the “Auto Off” button
  • You should see a light indicator (maybe the “Auto Off” button lights up)

Congrats, you made sure your coffee maker turns off exactly when you want! A programmable coffeemaker makes sure your coffee maker works along with your schedule.

Definitely shop around to find the right fit for your lifestyle. And note that not every programmable coffeemaker works like the example above. You can explore a wide range of coffee makers such as automatic bean to cup coffee machines or even fancy built-in coffee machines.

Benefits of Automatic Shut-Off

Save Electricity and Money

Many modern coffee makers are designed to keep your coffee hot and fresh. This means the warming plate needs lots of energy. And so if your coffee maker stays on for an extended period of time, you’ll have increased electricity bills!

Use coffee makers with automatic shut-off to lower your electricity bill and help save energy for the world.

Prevent Dangerous Situations

prevent your coffee makers from becoming fire hazards

Chances are that if you forgot to turn off your coffee maker, you also forgot that a SUPER HOT coffee pot is sitting around. What if you – or even worse – small kids knock over the coffee?

Everyone in America remembers the McDonalds coffee incident. Let’s not recreate one in our own kitchen!

And just as important: a modern coffee maker is not designed to stay on all day. It will eventually overheat. This will eventually damage your coffee machine and be a fire risk!!

Pro tip: if you’re providing a coffee maker in a furnished apartment or an Airbnb – you definitely need to have a coffee maker that automatically turns off. Don’t risk tenants or guests ruining your property.

Prevent Burnt Coffee in Coffee Pot

Coffee left out for a long period will eventually burn! Many people think that they can leave coffee in their coffee machine overnight and still enjoy tasty cups the next day.

don’t burn your coffee please

But most people will notice significantly worse flavor. They might even get an upset stomach from that burnt tasting coffee.

What if Your Coffee Maker Does Not Have Automatic Shut-Off?

Option 1 – Manually Turn Off and Unplug After Brewing

The easiest way to reduce your electricity bill and prevent a house fire? Turn off and even unplug coffee makers as soon as you pour the last cup of coffee.

There’s no reason to waste energy or risk a fire here.

Option 2 – Set a Reminder

But you might brew a large pot of coffee in advance. Then it makes sense to leave the coffee pot on the hot plate for a longer period of time.

No problem, just remember to set a timer on your smartphone. Or ask Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant to remind you in a few hours.

If these options don’t work for you, get your family or roommates to help you remember. Do whatever you can to make sure you don’t forget!

Bonus Option – Keep Coffee Insulated and/or Microwave

What if you don’t want auto shut-off but still want to keep your coffee warm? Try out a stainless steel thermal carafe!

Pour the coffee pot into the carafe, turn off and unplug your coffee maker, then enjoy fresh coffee throughout the day. Pour into a new cup and use your microwave if you’ll drink coffee remaining in the carafe the next day.

Chances are your coffee will taste a lot better than if you’d left it in your coffee maker overnight.

Recap

Many modern coffee makers come with an automatic shut-off feature. A few reasons why are:

  • Save energy and money
  • Prevent damage to the coffee maker or even an electrical fire
  • Prevent bodily harm
  • Prevent burning your coffee

Not all coffee makers have an auto shut-off feature though. The best way to find out, is to read the coffee maker’s instructions, website, or product listing. Many manufacturers will advertise their coffee maker’s features and include auto shut-off.

Other times you can tell just by using or looking at your coffee maker.

Hopefully you now see the value of getting a coffee maker with auto shut-off or even a programmable coffee machine!

Bryan Han

By day, Bryan is a software engineer with experience at startups and top software companies. By night, he runs and writes for My Kitchen Sensei. Bryan is especially proud of his cheap excursions to cheap Michelin rated restaurants throughout Asia and in Hong Kong during his exchange there. His favorites include nitro-cold brew coffee and steak.

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