How Can I Use My European Voltage Coffee Maker in North America?


Europe has a different voltage system than North America, so many electronics may not work in the same way when taken to another country. A power converter can adapt to electricity, but it will also transform 220 Hertz to 60 Hertz and vice versa. Again, this could either be an issue or a benefit depending on the type of appliance you’re using. A step-down transformer or range extender is what you need to get your coffee maker working in North America. 

This article will discuss about European-made coffee makers that can be used in North America. Also, it will discuss about different voltage converters, specifications in the two continents for electricity and appliances and other factors.

Voltage Converters

To use your coffee maker in North America, you’ll need to get a power converter. You can buy them online or at your favorite electronics store. The converter will change the voltage and make the appliance work in America. 

The two basic types of converters are:

Step-Up Transformer
Step-Down Transformer

A step-up transformer is used if the destination country uses less energy than required at home. It also ensures that your appliances or electronics will have enough power to work properly. 

A step-down transformer is used for appliances across the Atlantic Ocean. This is often used for household appliances, and it works on both 120 and 240 volts. 

The voltage will be reduced from 220 volts to 110 volts. The alternating current frequency will remain at either 50 Hertz or 60 Hertz, depending on the requirement. It doesn’t matter if the voltage is higher than the one used in North America because the transformer has a built-in chip that converts the high voltage into low voltage.

From Where Can Voltage Converters Be Bought?

Electronic Online Stores

You can buy the converter from an online store. They are available but will vary from country to country. 

Electronics Stores at Home or in Your Country of Residence

You can make a trip to the nearest electronics store and order your coffee maker’s power converter. It will have a label that specifies all you need to know about specific brands and models. 

Electronics and Appliance Stores in North America

At the time of purchase, ensure the converter’s label and select the right one for your appliance. If you can’t find the converter at the store, search for it online. 

Some Points About Voltage Converters 

If your product requires a special type of voltage converter, you can get it from the manufacturer or the retailer. Suppliers will have a voltage converter that’s specifically designed for that appliance. For example, if you buy an American coffee maker in Europe, the converter you get from the store will be the one that allows your coffee maker to work in North America. This is when looking into universal products comes in handy.

The prices of these converters vary from $5-$35. In addition, most places provide efficient shipping and arrive within a few days.

Most of the converters are tested and approved. A programmable coffee maker often comes with additional information that can help you out further as well. Likewise, the best coffee makers come with adjustable settings for compatibility as well.

Why Your Coffee Maker Won’t Work in North America

There are several reasons why appliances in a new country may not work.

Most commonly, there are electrical compatibility issues. To use the coffee brewer or oven with North American electricity, you’ll need to know what voltage it requires. The transformer will either convert it to 230 volts or 110 volts, but the appliance should be compatible with the apparent change. 

You can find out what voltage your appliance requires by looking at a printout from the appliance manufacturer. It’s also important to choose a coffee maker with a voltage system compatible with the country you’re traveling to. 

Other issues include the shape of the plug that fits into a compatible power source. This may require an adapter or it simply may not fit at all. 

The Use of a Generator

A converter only changes the voltage but not the frequency, so it might not be enough. This is generally because of a problem with the generator, which produces the electricity needed for your appliances. 

The only way to make your appliance work in North America without rewiring the device is by using what is known as an “inverter.” This will step up your voltage from 110V to 220V for your appliance. Inverters are easier than converters and cheaper on top of that.

Electrical Plus in Europe

In Europe, the electrical standard has been 220V at 50Hz for a long time. However, it’s a good idea to check your appliances before leaving homes. 

Additionally, some countries in Europe are trying to change the electrical standard to 230V at 50Hz so their users can have electric power similar to the rest of Europe. However, this would also mean changing the plugs used as well as voltage.

However, it is not a sure thing. This change could take a long time to become effective. 

Electrical Plugs in North America

North American electrical plugs are often referred to as NEMA 1-15p or NEMA 5-15p, depending on their configuration.

In the United States, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) made that standard to replace an older one (ANSI C84.1-1968). The older one had 16 pins and 5 Amp 120/240V, whereas the newer one has six pins and 15 Amp 125/250V. 

How Does North American Electrical System Differ From the European One?

This difference is all about the plugs. Europe used to use a three-pin socket (NEMA 6-15). It required a special adapter for different countries. North American electrical sockets have one round pin and six flat pins, which makes them universal. However, you can’t use European appliances in North America without an adapter.

The Europlug has additional pins and is not compatible with most North American plugs. This means that European adaptors cannot be used to charge the appliances. One would need to buy a converter or get a suitable appliance from North America. 

The European Electrical Standard

The electrical standard used in Europe is 220V at 50Hz (50 cycles per second). It’s also known as The British Electrical Standard BS546.4, introduced in the UK in 1910. Originally, it was only used for lighting and household appliances. Over time, it became standardized and available for all small appliances and electronics too.

The Need for Adaptors for Your Coffee Makers

Even if you’re traveling with your coffee maker, you still need to buy an adaptor for it. 

They work automatically and have no power switch to worry about. You can use a simple adapter that allows changing the voltage at home, or you can get a plug adapter that does it automatically.

Always double-check the voltage on your converter before you leave home to make sure it is compatible with the country you are going to so that your coffee maker will function properly. 

Most adapters for North American appliances are universal, which means they work with both 110V and 230V.

You can find these at around $10 and $30, depending on the size of your coffee maker.
You might also want to pick up an adapter for any appliances that use a frequency other than 60Hz. 

The Need for Transformers in North America

Coffee drinkers who live in North America don’t need a power converter. This is because their existing electrical system is 220V/50Hz, so no transformer is required.

Additionally, onboard transformers are built into your electronics and appliances to allow a choice of voltage. They do not require a power converter for this purpose. However, if you use a North American plug, it might be wise to buy a small adapter plug to work with your appliances while you’re traveling.

How To Use Your Coffee Maker While Traveling 

A powerful coffee maker is perfect when traveling and it’s also an excellent choice for your home.

If you’re planning on traveling with an appliance that requires a transformer, make sure to check the voltage beforehand whether it will work in the country you are visiting or not. If possible, check with the manufacturer to ensure it is rated for a range of voltages. 

Most transformers are universal, meaning they work with 110V and 230V. However, check the instruction manual to be certain. 

Another thing to look out for is how it adjusts its voltage with a jumper cable. If the transformer has a switch that allows you to choose between voltages, switch it to 230V only when using your coffee maker abroad. You can put it back if you’re traveling back home and use it with 110V in Europe or North America.


When you’re traveling, you need to be aware of local electrical standards. The electrical systems for the United States and Europe are different. If you’re an avid coffee drinker and traveling with a coffee maker, it’s best to use it efficiently. A power converter can step down the voltage or change the frequency of your appliance (wattage and amperage), but it will not charge it. The electrical system in North America is different from Europe, so you will need an adapter plug for your coffee machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When do you need a voltage converter or transformer?

A. You should consider getting a voltage converter or transformer if you’re traveling to countries that use different electrical systems. If you’re going to places without electricity, then that’s important to consider as well. Some examples of these include airports, remote areas, and remote islands.

Q. How much voltage power do I need for my coffee maker?

A. To determine the voltage for your coffee maker, you need to check with your appliance manufacturer. This information is written on their website or you can call their hotline number. For some devices, the sticker on the bottom of the coffee pot needs to be removed to find the desired information. 

Q. Can I use an electrical converter or transformer for my coffee maker if my device only has a frequency of 50Hz and 60Hz?

A. Yes, you can use these. All it takes is a simple adapter that costs around $15-$30, depending on the size of your coffee maker.

Q. What is the difference between the voltages in North America and Europe?

A. The North American electrical standard is 60Hz, while the European standard is 50Hz. 

Additionally, the plugs used in North America have six pins, while those used in Europe have sixteen pins. 

Q. Do I Need To Bring My Voltage Converter Or Transformer For My Coffee Maker?

A. You do not need to bring your voltage converter or transformer. You can find one at any store that sells electronic goods. Additionally, you can also find one in airports and stores that sell travel goods or you can buy it online.