Hard water not only leads to stains in your shower and sink, it can also have a big impact on your coffee machine. The best coffee makers for hard water have a cleaning function, cleaning indicator, and water filter to produce the best quality brew.
Hard water causes two problems for coffee machines: it can create mineral build up that clogs the coffee maker, and it can impact the taste of your coffee. Hard water has higher levels of magnesium and calcium, and these minerals can build up over time. When this starts to happen in your coffee maker, it's best to clean it with a decalcifying solution like a mixture of vinegar and water, which removes the built up minerals. No coffee makers are immune to mineral build-up, but models with automatic clean settings make decalcifying easier, since all you have to do is add the solution and press a button.
To tackle the problem of subpar-tasting coffee, look for coffee makers with built-in water filters, which can remove contaminants that impact the flavor of your brew. Some people actually prefer the flavor of coffee made with hard water, since the additional magnesium makes coffee stronger. However, if you dislike the taste of your coffee and you know that the culprit is magnesium and calcium, the best solution is to use bottled water.
As with any coffee maker, you'll want to consider what additional features you'd like, like programmability, brew strength, and temperature settings that help you get your coffee how you like it, when you like it, as well as auto-pause functions that allow you to sneak a cup mid-brew. If you like to drink coffee all day, look for a maker with a thermal carafe that keeps liquids warm for a longer period of time.
Ready to brew a strong, great-tasting cup of coffee? Here are the three best coffee makers to use with hard water.
1. The Best Overall
This 12-cup coffee maker has a replaceable water filter to give you better tasting brew, no matter what kind of water you start with. The cleaning indicator light lets you know when there is too much mineral build-up, and the self-cleaning function, which should be run with a vinegar and water solution, makes this model perfect for homes with hard water. This coffee maker can be programmed to brew at any time and has a convenient auto-shutoff feature. The carafe has three heat settings to keep your coffee warm all morning, and the brew strength buttons help you get your coffee just right. The standard model comes with a glass carafe, but if you like to keep your coffee warm all day long, a thermal carafe is also available.
One fan raved: “Love it so far. We've had it a couple of months. This unit appears to fix all of our issues with our old drip machine (which wasn't a Cuisinart): very fast brew time, relatively quiet, no leaks, and it looks like the charcoal filters might help control our crazy hard water (more time will tell).”
2. The Budget Pick
This 10-cup programmable coffee maker has a built-in water filter that can remove up to 97% of chlorine, resulting in better-tasting coffee. The double-walled thermal carafe keeps your coffee warm for longer, and the removable coffee filter is easy to clean. This coffee maker also has an auto-pause feature, so you can pour yourself a cup mid-brew without spilling any. Like the Cuisinart coffee maker, this one has a cleaning indicator light and function, so it'll wash out mineral buildup caused by hard water. This coffee machine also has a strong brew button for those mornings when you need a stiff cup.
One fan raved: “I have been using this model coffee maker for years and absolutely love it. I have very hard water and the cleaning feature keeps it going. The flavor is great and I love the carafe keeps the coffee warm and doesn’t burn it.”
3. The Best 2-in-1 Option
With this dual design coffee maker, you can make a whole carafe of coffee or a single cup. It can make up to 10 cups of coffee on the carafe side, and 6-, 8-, or 10-ounce cups on the single serve side. This coffee maker is also programmable, and has three temperature settings for the carafe. The cleaning indicator light and cleaning function make it easy to combat hard water minerals, and the removable water filter helps you get better tasting coffee.
One fan raved: “I've had many coffee makers over the years and this is by far the best. Most of the makers I have had were Cuisinart brands, but 2 were Keurig (one was the newest model) I love this machine and have not found any issues in the few weeks I've had it. I generally make a pot of coffee in the morning and use the single serve in the afternoon or evening. I have used several types of coffees and each one tastes great. It is easy to use and clean. Very happy with this purchase.”