Nespresso coffee machines are known for their convenience and quality, but what about the noise they generate? In this article, we’ll delve deeply into this controversial aspect.
First, we’ll examine how noisy these coffee machines are when functioning correctly, without faults. Then, in the second part, we’ll explore why a Nespresso machine may start to make more noise over time or due to specific problems.
How noisy is a Nespresso machine?
It’s often believed that all coffee pod machines are particularly noisy, and Nespresso is often pointed out as one of the most notorious examples. However, this perception is not entirely fair. Nespresso machines are no noisier than their competitors in the coffee pod market.
To illustrate this, let’s look at a comparative table showing the noise level of 7 different Nespresso models, both in the coffee preparation process and when piercing the coffee pod, where they reach their peak noise level. All values are presented in decibels (dB), providing a clear and quantifiable perspective of their acoustic performance.
|62 – 63 dB
|57 – 58 dB
|65 – 66 dB
|58 – 59 dB
|54 – 55 dB
|65 – 66 dB
|59 – 60 dB
According to the results I analyzed, the Pixie model is the noisiest. It makes more noise when piercing the coffee pods and during coffee preparation. Furthermore, I discovered that, on average, the maximum noise level of these coffee machines is 72.6 decibels, and during coffee preparation, it is 60.5 decibels.
⚠️ Harmful effects of noise: Above 55 dB, any sound is considered annoying, so we can affirm that Nespresso machines are noisy.
What parts of a Nespresso machine produce sound?
When analyzing a Nespresso machine’s noise, we must start by examining which components produce any sound during coffee preparation. Do they have different components than other coffee pod machines? Are these components especially noisy?
➡️ Nespresso makers, like all coffee machines, have a single component directly producing sound: the water pump. However, there are other elements of the machines that produce sound indirectly, which are more numerous:
- The thermoblock
- The injector or coffee pod piercer
- The coffee machine casing
- Moving parts
The sound of the vibratory pump in a Nespresso machine
The water pumps in Nespresso’s (and other brands’) coffee machines are called “vibratory pumps” because inside them, a piston “vibrates,” causing water to be pushed with enough pressure. This vibration is a result of an electromagnetic field generated inside the pump. Thus, the sound that comes from a vibratory pump is threefold:
- On one hand, the electromagnetic field produces a humming
- On the other hand, the piston produces a hammering inside
- Lastly, both combined produce a vibration of the pump
Note: The pumps in European Nespresso machines operate at 50Hz, that is, 50 cycles per second, while those in the US operate at 60Hz or 60 cycles per second. This means the piston moves 50 or 60 times per second.
To determine if the pump is the cause of an increase in noise from a Nespresso maker, it is necessary to ascertain if the noise originates from the magnetic field generated by the internal movement of the piston or from the vibration of the entire pump.
To ensure a pump operates quietly, it must be in the best possible working condition. Therefore, accumulating scale inside is one of the main reasons a water pump becomes noisier in vibration.
Note: If the problem comes from the magnetic field, it relates to the machine’s wiring or the pump’s integrity. Hence, you should check that the power cord is not damaged.
The sound of a Nespresso’s thermoblock
The thermoblock of Nespresso makers does not produce any noise on its own. However, it indirectly does so when water flows through it under high pressure and temperature. These sounds are similar to whistles, which intensify when the internal channels of the thermoblock are obstructed, or there is a water leak.
In some Nespresso models, the thermoblock is located right behind the coffee pod piercing channel, so if there is a very loud noise at the time of water injection into the coffee pod, the thermoblock could be partly responsible. In any case, it is unlikely that the thermoblock is the culprit for a Nespresso coffee maker becoming especially noisy.
The sound of a Nespresso’s casing
As with the thermoblock, the casing of a Nespresso does not produce any sound by itself, but it does when the vibrations from the pump are transmitted to the outside of the coffee maker. For this reason, it is important to keep the screws of the coffee maker tightly fastened, as well as the small rubber bases on its bottom, which absorb much of the vibration.
The sound of the moving parts of a Nespresso maker
The water tank, coffee pod collection tray, and drip tray are three of the biggest causes of unwanted noise in a Nespresso coffee maker and the most overlooked. They can produce terrible noise when not properly placed due to the machine’s vibrations.
Ensuring that all moving parts are securely fastened and adjusted before preparing our coffees is important.
Has your Nespresso suddenly become noisy?
With everything we have seen so far, you can, on one hand, determine if your coffee maker has become noisy compared to the table above, and on the other hand, start investigating where the problem lies, if it has become noisier than normal.
My advice is to rule out the components that can produce the noise one by one. Dismantling the coffee maker is a great idea to eliminate factors like moving parts and casing, and it also allows you to closely check the condition of the pump, the thermoblock, and other internal components.
To measure the decibels of your coffee maker, you can download any free app on your phone, as you don’t need the measurement to be incredibly precise, just enough to compare with standard sound values for Nespresso coffee makers.
Solutions to make a Nespresso quieter
Although none of these methods are “magical solutions,” thanks to my experience in repairing these types of coffee makers, they will reduce the noise produced by your Nespresso by 10 to 15 decibels.
I am 100% sure that with these methods you will be able to reduce the noise by at least 10 decibels.
Solution 1. Descale your Nespresso to reduce noise
The accumulation of scale and other sediments inside the Nespresso is the most likely cause of most malfunctions, and in the case of noise, as well. Download an app on your phone to measure decibels and note how much noise the coffee maker makes, descale it and measure again.
Solution 2. Place a vibration-absorbing surface under your Nespresso
An effective way to reduce the noise of your Nespresso maker is to place it on a surface that absorbs vibrations. When the coffee maker is operating, especially during the piercing of coffee pods and the coffee preparation, it generates vibrations that can cause noise when transmitted through the surface it’s placed on.
You can use an anti-vibration base or a rubber mat to solve this. These materials act as dampers, absorbing the vibrations before they can spread. As a result, the perceived noise significantly decreases.
Another option is to use a thick cloth or a folded towel. Although they are not as effective as solutions specifically designed for this purpose, they can be a practical alternative if you need a quick and no-additional-cost solution.
Placing your Nespresso maker on a vibration-absorbing surface reduces noise and can also help protect the surface of your countertop or table from potential damage caused by constant vibrations.