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Keurig Coffee Maker Buying Guide: Affordable to Deluxe Models

(Image credit: Keurig)

It's easy to see the convenience of a Keurig machine. In just a couple of minutes, it brews a single cup of coffee, ideal if everyone in your household is in a hurry and on a different schedule. There's a minimal amount of waiting for your morning mug, no messy drips on the countertop, and you won't find yourself pouring half a pot down the drain. A Keurig works with pods containing a variety of brands and types of coffee as well as tea, cider and hot chocolate, so it's also great if everyone in the family prefers a different beverage. 

There are some downsides to consider. The coffee may be weaker than what you'll get with other coffee makers and espresso machines. The pods themselves range from about 60 to 80 cents each, making them far more expensive than ground coffee. If you stock up on an assortment of pods, you'll have to find room in a cabinet or on the countertop to store them. (There are carousels and storage bins sold to organize them.) Most concerning is the effect of the pods on the environment (see below for more information). However, if you  are set on purchasing a Keurig coffee maker, here are the six models we think are the best for all types of coffee drinkers.

How we picked

To come up with our list of the best Keurig coffee makers, we looked at various review sites, including Wirecutter and Wired, as well as user reviews on sites such as Amazon.

PriceCup SizesReservoir CapacitySize LWH (inches)Finish Options
K-Classic$806, 8, 10 ounces48 ounces13.3 x 9.8 x 13Black, Red
K-Mini$606, 8, 10, 12 ouncesNo reservoir 11.3 x 4.5 x 12.1Black, Oasis (pale teal) Light Gray
K-Cafe$1606, 8, 10, 12 ounces60 ounces 11.7 x 15.3 x 12.5Black
K-Elite$1604, 6, 8, 10, 12 ounces75 ounces12.7 x 9.9 x 13.1Brushed Silver, Brushed Slate, Brushed Gold
K-Duo Essentials Single Serve & Carafe Coffee Maker$1008, 10, 12 ounces, 12-cup carafe60 ounces13.4 x 12.3 x 12.8Black
Keurig K155 OfficePRO Premier Brewing System$2504, 6, 8, 10 ounces90 ounces14 x 10.4 x 13.9Silver

Latest news & updates (September 2019)

Recognizing that in addition to a machine that makes a cup at a time, many households also need one that brews a full pot, Keurig is expanding its Duo line of machines that can do both. The K-Duo Plus Single Serve & Carafe Coffee Maker ($230) has a sleek design to minimize the amount of counter space it takes up and a 2-cup thermal carafe that is perfect for bringing to the table during brunch or after dinner. It can be programmed ahead of time to have a full pot ready in the morning. For coffee drinkers who like a full-bodied cup, it has a Strong Brew button.

(Image credit: Keurig)

1. K-Classic

Reservoir Capacity: 48 ounces | Size: 13.3 x 13 x 9.8 inches | Features: Brews 6-, 8- and 10-ounce cups; Automatic shut-off (2 hours)

Reservoir can be filled at the sink
Can be used with reusable coffee filter
Makes three serving sizes
Automatic shut-off
Largest serving size is 10 ounces

If you're looking for a basic model without too many bells and whistles to complicate things, this is the one to choose. From a full tank of water, you can make anywhere from four to eight drinks, depending on how big a cup you brew into. However, if your favorite mug is huge, this might not be the machine for you, as the largest-size beverage you can select is only 10 ounces. The K-Classic comes in basic black or red.    

What reviewers say:

Wirecutter: "If you absolutely must get one, the Keurig K-Classic was the best model we tried."

(Image credit: Keurig)

2. Keurig K-Mini

An inexpensive space-saving model.

Reservoir Capacity: None | Size: 12.1 x 11.3 x 4.5 inches | Features: Brews 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-ounce cups; Automatic shut-off (90 seconds); Cord storage

Doesn't take up a lot of countertop space
Can be used with reusable coffee filter
Makes four serving sizes
Automatic shut-off
Cord storage
You need to add water every time you brew
Water reservoir can't be filled at the sink

The Mini is perfect if you have a small kitchen or there's only one coffee drinker in your house.  At less than 5 inches wide, it's so compact you can even pack it in a suitcase and take it with you. The cord tucks away in a compartment in the back to keep things neat on the counter or on the road. As you have to fill it up with water each time you use it, it's not ideal if you return for cup after cup throughout the morning. On the positive side, it does mean you start with fresh cold water every time you brew. You can choose your Mini in black, pale gray or Oasis, a pale teal shade.     

What reviewers say:

Amazon: "Makes a great cup of coffee — nothing more, nothing less. "

(Image credit: Keurig)

3. K-Cafe

For those who like to make lattes and cappuccinos with minimum fuss.

Reservoir Capacity: 60 ounces | Size: 11.7 x 15.3 x 12.5 x 11.7 inches | Features: Brews 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-ounce cups; Makes strong "shots" for specialty coffee drinks like cappuccino; Strong setting to increase coffee strength; Frother; Cold setting for cold, frothed milk; Automatic shut-off (2 hours); Descaling alert

Reservoir can be filled at the sink
Can be used with reusable coffee filter
Makes four serving sizes
Has a dishwasher-safe frother for cappuccinos and lattes
Automatic shut-off
High-altitude setting
Expensive
Large

Let's face it, the reason many of us indulge in cappuccinos and lattes is because we love the frothy milk, not the espresso. If you're one of those people, you'll appreciate the K-Café's onboard frother that makes it easy to whip up a foamy topping. You can get a stronger cup of coffee by choosing a dark roast and using the shot setting. This machine conveniently "tells" you when it needs a descaling.   

What reviewers say:

Wired: "This....Keurig isn't for the hardcore espresso enthusiast or coffee connoisseur... But if you like pod coffee or want a way to make a damn quick latte or cappuccino with very little hassle or cleanup, the K-Café is an attractive way to get your fix."

(Image credit: Keurig)

4. K-Elite

This versatile model can also make iced drinks.

Reservoir Capacity: 75 ounces | Size: 13.1 x 12.7 x 9.9 inches | Features: Brews 4-, 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-ounce cups; Clock; Strong setting to increase coffee strength; Cold setting for iced drinks; Hot water setting; Adjustable brew temperature; Programmable start; Quiet brew technology; Automatic shut-off (15 minutes or 2 hours); Descaling Alert

Can be preprogrammed to start heating water
Reservoir can be filled at the sink
Can be used with reusable coffee filter
Makes five serving sizesLots of options for customizing your beverage
Automatic shut-off
High-altitude setting
Expensive
Large

This is the Keurig for families with lots of people with many different beverage preferences. For starters, it offers serving sizes anywhere from a minuscule 4 ounces to a whopping 12. The temperature and the strength of the coffee are adjustable. It has a special setting that keeps coffee from being diluted when you brew over ice, and a hot water dispenser for making tea with a teabag. As you would expect, more options mean this model is a little more complicated to operate and takes up more space on your countertop. You can choose from brushed silver, slate and gold.  

What reviewers say:

Business Insider: "When Keurig says that its new machine delivers 'the most beverage customization in any Keurig single cup coffee maker model,' it's telling the truth."

(Image credit: Keurig)

5. K-Duo Essentials Single Serve & Carafe Coffee Maker

This double-duty machine can make either a single cup or a carafe.

Reservoir Capacity: 60 ounces | Size: 13.4 x 12.8 x 12.3 inches | Features: Brews 8-, 10- and 12-ounce cups, Brews a 12-cup carafe, Automatic shut-off (1 minute after a single cup or 2 hours after a carafe)

Reservoir can be filled at the sink
Can be used with reusable coffee filter
Makes three serving sizes or a full carafe
Automatic shut-off
Large

With the Duo, you get a single-serve brewer and an automatic-drip coffee machine in one package. That makes it convenient for quick cups on weekday mornings and full pots to serve at weekend breakfasts and company dinners. However, this machine has fewer options than other Keurigs or full-size coffee makers. There are only three single-cup sizes, no adjustable settings, and no clock for programming it ahead of time to brew a full carafe. It's also available only in black. 

What reviewers say:

Forbes: "The K-Duo is a good device to have around when you have more than one person consuming coffee in the morning, but still want the quick convenience of a quick pod-based cup of coffee."

(Image credit: Keurig)

6. Keurig K155 OfficePRO Premier Brewing System

A heavy-duty coffee maker, with a price to match.

Reservoir Capacity: 90 ounces | Size: 14 x 13.9 x 10.4 inches | Features: Brews 4-, 6-, 8- and 10-ounce cups, Controls can be set to English, Spanish or French; Clock; Adjustable brew temperature; Programmable start; Quiet-brew technology; Automatic shut-off (2 hours)

Designed and tested to withstand heavy use
Can be preprogrammed to start heating water
Reservoir can be filled at the sink
Makes four serving sizes
Automatic shut-off
Expensive
Large
Cannot be used with reusable coffee filter

Consider this machine if you have a home office or just a lot of heavy coffee drinkers coming through your kitchen. It's been certified by UL to meet the demands of commercial use. While it's the most attractive Keurig, it's also the biggest and by far the most expensive. There's an LCD screen for programming the time you want it to turn on and off, the cup size, the brew temperature and whether you prefer it to read out in English, Spanish or French. With its huge 90-ounce water tank, the PRO can brew nine to 22 cups of coffee before it needs refilling.  Available only in silver.

What reviewers say: 

Leads Rating: "I have the Keurig 155 placed in my office, and whenever people come in, the coffee brewer always catches their attention and some even compliment how perfectly it blends with the indoor interior." 

Amazon:  "Operation is noticeably quieter than 'home' models."

How does a Keurig work?

Keurig machines use K-Cups, small sealed pods containing ground coffee. After inserting the pod into a compartment in the coffee maker, you then select the size drink you want. The machine then pierces holes in either end of the pod and forces water through the ground coffee in the pod and down into your mug. Once the water is hot, the brewing process takes just a little over a minute.

Keurigs and the environment

Until recently, K-Cups were not recyclable and wound up in landfills. New recyclable K-Cups made of polypropylene have been developed and are being rolled out in the United States throughout 2019. Keurig promises that by the end of 2020, all K-Cups will be recyclable. To identify the recyclable pods, look for a symbol on the package if you're buying them at a store, or on the listing on Keurig.com if you're shopping online. 

Although the pods are recyclable, they are not compostable. And they're only recyclable if you take the time to peel off the lid, toss or compost the coffee grounds inside and then rinse out the pods before throwing them in your recycling bin. There is also a concern that because they are so small, the K-Cups may be filtered out at recovery facilities and still wind up in landfills. 

You can purchase a so-called My K-Cup Reusable Filter that you can use with your own ground coffee and then wash and reuse. Although it solves some of the problems associated with the pods, it does reduce the convenience of brewing with a Keurig, especially if you have many people using the machine throughout the day.

How to care for and maintain a Keurig coffee maker

  • If you're using a reusable coffee filter, be sure to use coarsely ground coffee and fill the mesh basket only to the bottom of the brown band (2.5 tablespoons).
  • If you find grounds in your coffee or you're getting a smaller cup of coffee than the size you selected, one of the needles may be clogged or need cleaning. Before cleaning the needles, unplug the machine. To unclog the exit needle, you need to remove and disassemble the pod holder and then use a paper clip to clear away any debris. Lift the head and use the paper clip to clean the entrance needle. We suggest that you watch this helpful video on the Keurig website before beginning the procedure.
  • Every three to six months, or when you notice that brewing has slowed down, we recommend descaling your Keurig. Begin by filling the reservoir with 10 ounces of white vinegar (or Keurig's Descaling Solution). Start the brew cycle without a K-Cup in place and let the machine run as usual, being sure to use a mug to catch the liquid. Repeat this process a second time with vinegar and then a third time with 10 ounces of fresh water.