A fresh cup of coffee is something to look forward to in the morning, and the best quiet coffee grinders can make prepping the beans a lot more pleasant for everyone in the house. Coffee grinders come in both electric and manual varieties. Manual burr grinders don’t have motors, which makes them the quietest type of grinder, but some find them inconvenient to hand-crank, especially when preparing extra-fine espresso or making multiple servings of coffee. If you’d rather take it easy with an electric grinder, an electric conical burr grinder is a great choice. While they’re louder than manual models, electric conical burr grinders strike the balance between being quiet and giving you a high-quality, low-effort grind.
Burr grinders utilize spinning abrasive surfaces (aka burrs) made from ceramic or steel, but which material doesn't make much of a difference. While manual burr grinders feature conical burrs, electric burr grinders can feature conical burrs or flat burrs. Conical burrs grind beans quietly, slowly, and uniformly — and they’re generally quieter than flat burr grinders. But some serious coffee enthusiasts prefer the precise grind offered by powerful flat burr grinders, which can include hundreds of customizable settings.
If you want an electric grinder but are on a tight budget, you might want to opt for a blade grinder rather than a burr grinder. Blade grinders tend to be louder and less consistent than burr grinders, because they chop up the beans with metal blades rather than uniformly grinding them. However, they are cheaper than burr grinders and some can get the job done without too much noise if you aren’t particular about the quality of your brew. (Plus, some blade grinders can double as spice grinders!)
Most of the coffee grinders I came across in my research didn’t specify a decibel rating, but I combed the reviews to find models that noise-averse users assessed positively. From a simple-to-use manual grinder to a high-tech commercial coffee grinder, here are four tools to help you grind and brew a perfect cup of coffee — without making a racket.
1. The Quietest Option: A Manual Conical Burr Grinder
If quiet is your primary goal, and you don't mind using a little arm muscle, you can't go wrong with a manual burr coffee grinder like this JavaPresse one. The ceramic conical burr style unit can churn the beans down to one of 15 grind sizes, both fine and course. While the manufacturer doesn't specify the exact capacity, it does suggest using for 1 - 2 cups of coffee at a time, and users recommend it for single-serving use. (For larger quantities of coffee, opt for one of the electric grinders below!)
The stainless steel grinder measures 1.8 inches wide and 7.5 inches tall, and it weighs under 10 ounces, making it perfect for small spaces and even taking with you on the go. With more than 11,100 reviews, you can be assured that it's a tried-and-true option.
Positive Amazon review: “I've historically bought ground coffee because our electrical blade grinder is SO LOUD I could never use it in the morning without waking up the whole household. [...] With the JavaPresse I'm back to grinding beans, and it works great. [...] Best of all it's quiet, so I can use it when the house is asleep, which means I actually use it every day!”
2. A Quiet, Slow-Speed Conical Burr Grinder
Looking for a quiet electric coffee grinder? The Capresso Infinity grinder contains steel conical burrs, plus a gear reduction motor that the manufacturer claims has the “slowest grinding speed in its class” to decrease the amount of noise, static, and heat the machine produces. It has 16 grind settings ranging from extra fine to course, as well as a timer you can set to grind from 5 to 60 seconds. The upper burr is removable to making cleaning easier, and the grinder shuts off when the bean container isn't securely locked.
The grinder is made of plastic with a stainless steel-like finish and also comes in a black version. The bean container can hold up to 8.8 ounces, and the ground coffee container can hold up to 4 ounces.
Positive Amazon review: “I am so glad to have this! I had some entry level burr grinder that was about $30 and it was loud! It made this slightly high pitched noise that would run people out of a room [...] But this is great! It is so quiet and the grinder works fantastically.”
3. A Budget-Friendly Blade Grinder That Also Works For Spices
A blade grinder is rarely going to be super quiet, but the KRUPS Silent Vortex electric grinder is designed to be quieter than most. Like other spice grinders, this one uses blades to chop ingredients instead of burrs to grind them — but what gives this blade grinder a step up is the way it pulls ingredients into the blades to grind them more efficiently. It has a capacity of just over 3 ounces (that's 90 grams) and can be used with coffee beans, spices, and dry herbs. It comes with a lid to seal the grinding bowl and keep any leftover ground coffee fresh longer. The grinding bowl is dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze.
Overall, this grinder is ideal for anyone on a tight budget or not super picky when it comes to their coffee. KRUPS also makes a slightly pricier version that lets you control the speed when you're grinding beans.
Positive Amazon review: “Wow!! No joke this is exceptionally quiet. Great quality, sturdy and does a nice job. Can’t believe our favorite coffee grinder was one at this price point, it’s awesome.”
4. A Professional-Grade Flat Burr Grinder For Serious Coffee Enthusiasts
Not for casual coffee drinkers, the Baratza Vario-W grinder has a whopping 230 grind settings, complete with both macro and micro adjustments. Its powerful, high-torque motor turns the 54-millimeter ceramic flat burrs slowly to make operation cooler and quieter, and it can produce perfectly sized grounds for all brewing methods, from espresso to automatic brewers and French presses. The LCD display and built-in scale allow you to measures out doses by weight, and you can even program up to three personalized settings for the machine to remember. The bean container capacity is 8 ounces, and the grounds container can hold just over 6 ounces.
While flat burr grinders aren’t known for being the quietest option, serious coffee drinkers will enjoy all of the choices this model offers — and this model is relatively quiet, according to reviewers. The Baratza Vario-W comes with a 1-year warranty, too.
Positive Amazon review: “I've owned several grinders over the years, and this is by the far the best. Has been going strong for about 6 months. You get nice, even grinds every time, and it's fairly quiet and quick compared to other grinders I've owned. It's expensive, but it is worth every penny if you are a coffee aficionado.”