Compare Keurig Models: Top 8 Picks

In a hurry? My top pick is Keurig K-Elite.

Keurig has a ton of machines on the market today.

Narrowing down your choices can be a daunting task.

From cup sizes to brewing styles, there are a lot of things to consider.

In this article, I’ll compare Keurig models and walk you through the best aspects of my top choices.

Then I’ll explain a few of the bigger things to look for when deciding.

Let’s jump in!

Let’s compare Keurig Models: Top 8 Picks

Keurig K-Elite

Keurig K Elite is hands-down my top choice for the best Keurig machine.

This Keurig model has 5 cup size options from 4-12 oz. But it also has a high-altitude setting, a strong brew setting, and an iced coffee setting.

On top of all those options, you can even have on-demand hot water. 

The water tank is a large 75 oz so you don’t have to refill too often. 

The water tank is also removable, making cleaning easy. And the drip tray is removable to accommodate travel mugs and make cleaning that easy, too.

Look, the bottom line is that the K-Elite has all the benefits you expect from a Keurig coffee maker at a price that’s reasonable.

The only possible downside is that it doesn’t brew carafes. But if you don’t drink pots of coffee, that’s not really an issue.

Pros

  • 5 cup size options from 4-12 oz give you a lot of options for your coffee
  • 75 oz water reservoir means less refilling between cups
  • Temperature and high altitude options give you a ton of control over how your coffee tastes
  • The iced coffee setting makes it a lot easier to brew iced coffee and other drinks

Cons

  • No carafe option, so you can still only brew single cups at a time
  • On the bigger side at almost 10 inches wide and over 1 foot tall, so you’ll need to make sure you have the space
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Keurig K-Classic

There’s a reason this Keurig model is called the K-Classic. It’s just that: a classic.

Back in high school, I used a Keurig nearly every day before school. I am a big fan of the fast warm-up time and fast brew time.

You can choose between three cup sizes: 6, 8, or 10 oz. I found that the 8 oz option produces the best cup. 

The 6 oz option was a little too strong and not developed enough. The 10 oz option is a little diluted, depending on the coffee.

The 48 oz removable water tank was plenty for me and my mom to both brew our morning cups for a few days before refilling. 

While 48 oz isn’t huge, it’s enough for around 6 cups before having to refill.

The downsides? It doesn’t have as much range as other Keurig machines. Only three cup sizes, no temperature control, and no high-altitude setting.

But what it does do, it does well.

Pros

  • 3 cup sizes offer a good range for all drinks, especially for non-coffee drinks like hot cocoa
  • 48 oz water tank allows you enough water to brew a decent number of drinks before refilling
  • A fast brew time means no standing around waiting for your coffee
  • Compatible with My K-Cup filter, so you can brew any coffee even if there isn’t a pod for it

Cons

  • Limited options for cup sizes and temperatures mean you don’t have as much control over the taste and strength of your cup
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Keurig K-Cafe

Keurig K Cafe fills the espresso machine spot in Keurig’s lineup. That’s not to say that it is just an espresso machine, however.

It acts like a regular Keurig: it has 4 cup sizes from 6-12 oz. But it also has a “Shot” button for brewing a concentrated cup for use in lattes and cappuccinos.

Don’t be fooled, though, because this is not really an espresso. Keurig doesn’t even claim it is an espresso. It really is just a concentrated cup of coffee.

If you’re looking for a single-serve coffee machine that can make a latte, this is a good choice. But don’t expect it to replace your espresso machine.

A big bonus of the K Cafe is the milk frother. It’s one of the few Keurig machines that have one.

It’s removable and dishwasher safe, so cleaning is really simple.

The water tank is a massive 60 oz, so you won’t have to refill it often.

Pros

  • Integrated milk frother for easy specialty drinks, so you can make anything from cups of coffee to cappuccinos
  • 4 cup sizes for coffee means you have more options for your drinks
  • A “Shot” option for brewing concentrated coffee for specialty drinks
  • A Big 60 oz water tank means you don’t have to refill it too often

Cons

  • It doesn’t brew true espresso, so it can’t replace your espresso machine
  • No strength option means you lose a little control over how your cup tastes
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Keurig K-Mini

I’m a big fan of the simplicity of the Keurig K Mini.

It’s one of the smallest Keurig machines available, so it will almost certainly fit in your kitchen.

It has a one-cup reservoir, so you have to refill it every time. But the reservoir is removable, making cleaning super easy.

The K Mini brews anything from 6-12 oz of coffee and has a removable drip tray for travel mugs.

Combine that with the quick, 1-minute brew time and you have your coffee ready fast.

The K Mini isn’t a fancy brewer. It is meant to be simple and does one thing.

For that reason, I wouldn’t recommend this for someone who brews a ton of coffee. Or for more than one person.

However, if you only brew one or two cups a day and there are only one or two people who will use this coffee maker, then it’s a great option.

It’s also really friendly on the budget. If that’s a factor in your decision, this is a great choice.

Pros

  • It’s a really small coffee maker, so it fits every kitchen
  • Many cup sizes from 6-12 oz, so you have some choices for your drinks
  • Internal cord storage makes it really easy to tuck the K Mini in a cupboard when not using it
  • The removable water reservoir makes cleaning fast and simple

Cons

  • The one-cup reservoir means you have to refill it every time
  • No options beyond brewing, so you lose a lot of control over the taste of your cup
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Keurig K-Duo Essentials

Do you like to brew a whole pot of coffee in the morning?

Then the Keurig K Duo is a great option.

The ability to brew carafes as well as single cups makes the K Duo versatile. I like the fact that it takes both pods and ground coffee.

The reservoir isn’t as big as I would like for a machine that does both. At 60 oz you’ll have to refill after a large carafe and a couple of cups.

But I do like that it only has one reservoir. Both the single cups and carafes draw from the same water tank.

It also only has three cup size options: 8, 10, or 12 oz.

And if you want more than a single cup, there are three options for carafes: 8, 10, or 12 cups.

This coffee maker is for someone not ready to commit to only a single serve pod-style coffee machine.

The versatility is a big selling point for me. Sometimes I prefer a quick cup instead of a whole pot. But having the option for both is really nice.

Pros

  • Both carafes and single-cup means you get a ton of versatility
  • You can use ground coffee for the carafes, so you don’t need to use the coffee pod
  • Pause feature while brewing carafes means you can serve while still brewing
  • 3 choices for carafe brew size give you options over how your coffee tastes

Cons

  • At 60 oz, the reservoir is small for a machine that brews carafes and single serve cups
  • Only 3 cup sizes mean you sacrifice some versatility when using pods
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Keurig K155 OfficePRO Premier Brewing System

While it says office in the name, the K155 can still be used at home.

But it is a big machine that’s meant to serve a lot of people in a short time.

It has a behemoth of a water reservoir. At 90 oz, it serves up to 18 cups before needing a refill.

Both the reservoir and drip tray are removable, which means cleaning is super easy and it fits travel mugs.

It also has a touchscreen display with temperature control.

Personally, I think the touchscreen display is unnecessary and adds to the price.

But it is nice to see all the options laid out on a screen.

You can choose between 4, 6, 8, or 10 oz cups. And it brews in under 1 minute.

I wouldn’t recommend this for home use unless you have a big family and everyone wants to brew coffee.

Pros

  • The huge 90 oz reservoir means no refilling for a long time
  • 4 options for cup sizes means a lot of versatility in taste
  • Temperature control ensures you get a good and even extraction
  • The removable water tank and drip tray make cleaning easy

Cons

  • The touchscreen is unnecessary and bumps up the price
  • Pretty expensive for not many features
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K-Duo Plus

The K-Duo Plus is another Keurig model in the carafe and single serve style of machines.

It allows you to brew either with pods or ground coffee. And you can brew either 6, 8, 10, or 12 oz cups or carafes.

There is a strong brew option for brewing coffee with a little extra punch.

I like the slim design of the K-Duo Plus.

Instead of the single-cup and carafe being side-by-side, they actually use the same water system and sit together.

That keeps the width of the machine down to less than 8 inches, meaning it will almost certainly fit in any kitchen.

The water reservoir is pretty small at 60 oz. But it does have three positions. It can sit on either side or at the back of the machine. That makes fitting into your space easy.

Two final things: it comes with a 12-cup thermal carafe to keep your coffee hot, and is programable up to 24 hours in advance.

Pros

  • A slim brewer that will certainly fit even small kitchens
  • You can use pods or ground coffee, which opens more versatility than just using a Keurig K cup pod
  • Programable up to 24 hours in advance, so you can have a fresh pot of coffee when you wake up
  • The strong brew option gives you more control over the taste of your coffee

Cons

  • The 60 oz water tank is pretty small, especially for a carafe-style brewer
  • No temperature control takes away some of your power over-extraction
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Keurig K-Slim

The Keurig K-Slim is a great balance between power and simplicity.

As the name suggests, it’s a really slim design at only 5 inches wide. That means it fits really well into even small kitchens.

Unlike other slim coffee machines, the K-Slim still has a relatively large 46 oz water reservoir. You can brew up to 4 cups before having to refill.

The reservoir is also removable, making cleaning easy.

It only brews 3 cup sizes: 8, 10, or 12 oz. But it has Keurig’s Multistream brewing system. Basically, that means that it more evenly extracts your coffee and produces a more balanced taste.

The drip tray is removable, so you can brew straight into a travel mug.

I would be a bigger fan of the K-Slim if it had temperature control or a strong brew option.

That said, it’s a great option for someone who wants a small machine for a few cups in a row.

Pros

  • Multistream brewing means you get a better and more balanced cup of coffee
  • 46 oz water reservoir is big for a slimmed-down machine
  • It’s a small machine at only 5 inches wide, so it will fit even small kitchens
  • The removable drip tray allows for a travel mug and makes cleaning easy

Cons

  • No strong brew or temperature option, so you’re limited in how much control you have over your cup
  • Only 3 cup sizes mean you have limited options
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Things to Consider When Buying a Keurig

Keurig has so many machines that choosing the right one is tough.

There are a ton of features and styles to choose from.

Here’s a simple guide to help you narrow down your choices and make the right pick.

Temperature & Strength Control

Temperature and strength control are important when considering how you want your coffee to taste.

You’ll need temperature control if you want to brew slightly lighter or stronger.

The strength button on some Keurig machines is an easy way to add some boldness to your cup. But the dedicated temperature control gives you better power over your final cup.

That said, they are not necessary to get good coffee.

Keurig coffee machine without temperature or strength control still makes great coffee. 

Cup Size

different size cups of coffee

Keurig’s come with pre-set cup sizes. But you just might find that one of the cup sizes works best for some coffees. 

Generally, they range from 4-12 oz for a single cup.

You should ask yourself how much coffee you actually like to drink per cup. Then you can make sure your Keurig coffee maker makes that brew size.

Having more cup sizes can be nice when dealing with different coffees, as some coffees might taste better in a smaller cup.

The other thing to consider is a carafe option.

Do you like to brew whole pots of coffee at once? Or do you like the idea of using your own ground coffee instead of coffee pods?

Then you should opt for a Keurig coffee maker capable of brewing carafes.

Water Tank Capacity

This is a big thing to consider before buying a Keurig coffee maker.

The water tank capacity tells you how many cups you can brew before needing to refill.

Obviously, the bigger the water tank, the less time you’ll spend refilling.

But there’s a lot of room in between. From single-cup reservoirs to 90 oz tanks, there are machines that have all sizes.

If you plan on using your Keurig coffee maker for many cups in a short time, then go for a machine with a bigger water tank.

But if you only brew one cup every now and then, a smaller water tank is all you need.

Speed

couple using keurig coffee maker

All Keurig machines are pretty fast brewers. That’s the whole point of them, after all.

But some machines are quicker at heating up and getting ready to brew than others.

How much time do you have to wait around for the machine to start brewing?

Do you need a programable machine that you can set to start brewing before you wake up?

Answering those questions will help you narrow down your choices.

User Interface

Keurig machines are designed to be super easy to use. Most of them use buttons for their user interface, but a few use touchscreen displays.

Personally, I prefer buttons on my Keurig brewer.

There just aren’t enough options to justify an expensive touchscreen.

However, it can be nice to see all the options you have laid out in an interactive touchscreen display.

That said, the touchscreen Keurig’s are probably best for office use instead of at home.

Verdict

After all that, I’m still going with the Keurig K-Elite as my top choice. 

The 5 cup sizes from 4-12 oz make for a lot of versatility.

Add to that the big 75 oz water tank and you have a lot of coffee before needing to refill.

The K-Elite also gives you the temperature, strength, and altitude control. For me, the K-Elite gives you the most control over how your coffee tastes in the cup.

Don’t like hot coffee in the summer? The K-Elite actually has an iced coffee option, too.

Given all that, this machine is the best Keurig coffee maker and a great option for just about anyone.

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Craig Carey
Craig spent a year as a barista in Denver's specialty coffee world. He spends his days rock climbing, cycling, drinking espresso, and hanging around the Rocky Mountains. He still lives in Colorado.