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Best Keurig coffee maker 2021: all the latest models compared

Included in this guide:

best Keurig coffee maker
(Image credit: Keurig)

Keurig coffee makers offer the ease of a pod machine without breaking the bank. Not only are the devices themselves among the cheapest pod brewers on the market, but with a massive range of K-Cup pods to choose from there's plenty of variety to keep your morning brews exciting as well. 

All of that doesn't mean these are basic machines, though. Some of the best Keurig coffee makers offer premium features like strength control settings, programmability, and built in milk frothers. If you're not one for fussing over grind sizes, brew times, and pre-infusion but still want a high quality cup of coffee, there's likely something for you in Keurig's range. 

Working out the best Keurig for you model comes down to how many different serving sizes you will need, how much free counter space you have, and whether you want to take advantage of any premium features. We're rounding up all the best models right here as well as all their latest prices. 

There are, however, a few downsides to the speed and convenience of a Keurig coffee maker. The coffee may be weaker than what you'll get with the best coffee makers and the best espresso machines, and the pods themselves range from about 60 to 80 cents each, making them far more expensive than ground coffee. 

However, with easy cleaning and a no fuss approach to your morning coffee, there are plenty of reasons to check out the best Keurig coffee makers available.

The best Keurig coffee makers available now

best Keurig coffee maker

(Image credit: Keurig)

1. Keurig K-Classic

Keurig's best-selling, no fuss coffee maker

Specifications
Reservoir Capacity: 48 ounces
Size: 13.3 x 13 x 9.8 inches
Brew sizes: 3 (6-, 8-, 10-ounce cups)
Removable water reservoir: Yes
Milk frother: No
Strength settings: No
Iced coffee: No
Reasons to buy
+Reservoir can be filled at the sink+Can be used with reusable coffee filter+Makes three serving sizes
Reasons to avoid
-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. With a one minute brew time, this is a speedy machine indeed, and thanks to the programmable auto-off feature you won't have to worry about powering your machine on and off either. It's always ready to brew and simply shuts down when not in use.

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. 

Keurig coffee maker 2021 K-Mini

(Image credit: Keurig)

2. Keurig K-Mini

Cheaper and better for smaller spaces

Specifications
Reservoir Capacity: None
Size: 12.1 x 11.3 x 4.5 inches
Brew sizes: 4 (6-, 8-, 10-, 12-ounce cups)
Removable water reservoir: No
Milk frother: No
Strength settings: No
Iced coffee: No
Reasons to buy
+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
Reasons to avoid
-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, and you're even getting an extra slot for storing up to 9 K-Cup pods as well.

You will have to fill it up with water each time you use it though, which means 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.     

Keurig coffee maker K-Cafe

(Image credit: Keurig)

3. Keurig K-Cafe

Minimum fuss lattes and cappuccinos

Specifications
Reservoir Capacity: 60 ounces
Size: 11.7 x 15.3 x 12.5 x 11.7 inches
Brew sizes: 4 (6-, 8-, 10-, 12-ounce cups)
Removable water reservoir: Yes
Milk frother: Yes
Strength settings: Yes
Iced coffee: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Reservoir can be filled at the sink+Can be used with reusable coffee filter+Makes four serving sizes+Dishwasher-safe frother for cappuccinos and lattes+Automatic shut-off+High-altitude setting
Reasons to avoid
-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. 

It's a little pricier than the simpler Keurig coffee makers on this list, but if you're after that coffee shop feeling at home it's packed full of features and extra accessories to experiment with, all with easy to use buttons and smart heating for extra speed as well. 

best Keurig coffee maker

(Image credit: Keurig)

4. Keurig K-Elite

This versatile model can also make iced drinks.

Specifications
Reservoir Capacity: 75 ounces
Size: 13.1 x 12.7 x 9.9 inches
Brew sizes: 5 (4-, 6-, 8-, 10-ounce cups)
Removable water reservoir: Yes
Milk frother: No
Strength settings: Yes
Iced coffee: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Can be pre-programmed to start heating water+Reservoir can be filled at the sink+Can be used with reusable coffee filter+Makes five serving sizes+Plenty of customization+Automatic shut-off+High-altitude setting
Reasons to avoid
-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. 

If you don't like the lack of control many pod coffee machines offer, this is an excellent choice. You can program everything from temperature to strength, and even offers a specific setting for iced coffee as well. This seeing keeps the coffee from being diluted when you brew over ice, and you're also getting a hot water dispenser for making tea with a teabag. 

The Keurig K-Elite also benefits from Quiet Brew, which minimizes noise during brewing, and reminds you when it's time to descale as well.

As you would expect, though, 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.  

best Keurig coffee maker

(Image credit: Keurig)

5. Keurig K-Duo Essentials

Perfect for single serve or carafe brewing

Specifications
Reservoir Capacity: 60 ounces
Size: 13.4 x 12.8 x 12.3 inches
Brew sizes: 4 (8-, 10-, 12-ounce cups + 12-cup carafe)
Removable water reservoir: Yes
Milk frother: No
Strength settings: No
Iced coffee: No
Reasons to buy
+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
Reasons to avoid
-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 dinners. However, this device has fewer options than other Keurig coffee makers or full-size machines. 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.

best Keurig coffee maker

(Image credit: Keurig)

6. Keurig K155 OfficePRO Premier Brewing System

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

Specifications
Reservoir Capacity: 90 ounces
Size: 14 x 13.9 x 10.4 inches
Brew sizes: 4 (4-, 6-, 8-, 10-ounce cups)
Removable water reservoir: Yes
Milk frother: No
Strength settings: No
Iced coffee: No
Reasons to buy
+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
Reasons to avoid
-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 also been certified by UL to meet the demands of commercial use if you're looking to kit out a communal office space as well. 

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.

How does a Keurig coffee maker work?

Keurig coffee makers 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.

How long to Keurigs last?

Keurig offers a one year warranty on all of its home coffee makers, under usual everyday use. That means you're covered for the first year of your coffee maker's life, but consumers generally report that their Keurig coffee makers can last from between two to five years. To make the most out of your machine, then, it's advised to keep regular maintenance and follow the top tips below. 

How to care for and maintain a Keurig coffee maker

Find out how to clean your Keurig to ensure fresh brews and a seamless process every time. 

  • 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.

Keurig coffee makers 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 have been rolled out across the US through 2019 and 2020. Keurig promised that by the end of 2020, all K-Cups will be recyclable, however there hasn't been an update on this initiative since then. That means you may have to double check you are buying a recyclable K-Cup pod. To identify 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.

Sharon Franke

Sharon Franke is a journalist who specializes in testing and writing about kitchen equipment. A thirty-year veteran of the Good Housekeeping Institute, Sharon also worked as a professional chef in New York City restaurants for seven years. In her free time, she is an avid home cook who is in the process of mastering the art of baking sour dough bread.

  • Reboots
    What about a segment on the coffee makers that use K-Cups that are NOT made by Keurig. People want to know.
    Reply