Keurig coffee makers have revolutionized the morning rush. No longer do you have to measure coffee grounds, add water and leave a half-filled coffee pot to burn on the heating element. Plus, Keurig coffee makers are affordable, and you have a wide range of coffee varieties from which to choose.
Still, there are so many options available that it might be hard to choose which one is the best for you. We’ve broken down the most important features to look for, the characteristics that distinguish the different machines and the ones that have the best user reviews.
Key Benefits And Features Of A Keurig Coffee Maker
Keurig has become one of the most prominent brands of coffee maker in the U.S. You can purchase machines for commercial or home use. Their design is streamlined and attractive, and their ease of use makes them ideal for keeping in your kitchen or office.
Advantages Of Using K-Cups
There are more than 500 varieties and brands of K-cups, which include coffee, hot cocoa, tea and other beverages. The airtight seal keeps the grounds fresh until you use the K-cup. The ground coffee is pre-measured, and the machine punctures the foil seal just before brewing.
There is no need to measure the coffee, and it’s virtually impossible to mess it up. Unless you choose a blend that you don’t like, it’s difficult to make a bad cup of Joe with a K-cup.
Keurig coffee makers with strength selection let you adjust the potency of your brew. You can use more water and make a larger, mellower cup of coffee or brew with less water for a stronger beverage.
Although K-cups are a little more expensive than buying coffee beans or grounds in bulk, they’re cheaper than purchasing a cup of java at a coffee shop. Because you don’t have to guess about the measurements, you’ll never throw out a carafe of unconsumed coffee again.
Plus, many sellers offer discounts. You can even join a coffee club to buy K-cups at a reduced price.
Features To Look For In A Keurig Coffee Maker
When you’re buying a Keurig, consider the purpose for which you need it, the size, the programmable features and the water reservoir capacity.
Home Or Commercial Use
A commercial coffee maker can be used at home if you brew a lot of coffee every day. However, a machine designed for home use can’t be used in a restaurant or office.
Home brewing machines are designed with features and style that are appropriate for a home kitchen. Commercial rated machines are constructed to withstand the unique electrical requirements of an industrial establishment, including power spikes produced by the use of other equipment in the same building.
A compact coffee maker will fit better in a smaller kitchen. It is also more portable, which is important if you take your Keurig with you when you travel.
Smaller Keurig models dispense coffee directly into your mug. Larger machines may offer compatibility with Keurig carafe pods, which contain up to 26 grams of coffee and dispense into a specialized Keurig carafe.
Water Reservoir Capacity
The water reservoir is also something to consider. All except for the most basic Keurig machine offer a water reservoir that can hold enough water for up to six cups of coffee. That means that you likely won’t have to refill it more than once a day if you’re in a small household or office.
However, larger models and those designed for office or commercial use hold even more water. The Keurig K-Mini K15 Single-Serve coffee maker holds only the amount of water necessary to brew the next cup of coffee.
Some Keurig coffee makers offer automatic shut-off and adjustable temperature controls. They may also offer de-scale indicators that let you know when it’s time for a cleaning.
Other programmable features that are available in some models include:
- Iced coffee setting
- Strength settings
- Customizable night light
- Auto brew option (with K-carafe cups)
The Best Keurig Coffee Maker Reviews
Keurig K-Mini K15 Single-Serve Coffee Maker
This is the most basic option available from Keurig. What it lacks in features and programmability it makes up for with its compact size and ease of use.
This is the perfect coffee maker for someone who doesn’t have a lot of space in the kitchen. At 7.5 inches wide and 10.5 inches deep, it has a small footprint and measures 12.8 inches tall when the water reservoir lid is open. You can even pull it out and stash it away with each use. Even though it is small, the drip tray can be removed to accommodate a travel mug up to 5.2 inches tall.
If you make one or two cups of coffee a day and don’t mind refilling the water reservoir before you brew your coffee, you might find this low-price-point coffee maker ideal for your needs.
You can select from 6, 8 or 10 oz. brews. Because the machine heats the water after you’ve inserted a K-cup, it can take up to 2 or 3 minutes to brew a single cup, which is a little longer than the machines with a heat-retention water reservoir.
- Simple, one-button operation
- Compact size makes it portable
- Shuts off automatically after brewing to conserve energy
- One of the least expensive Keurig machines
- Drip tray holds an entire cup of coffee to catch messes
- Doesn’t accommodate taller travel mugs
- Doesn’t accept more than 10 oz. of water at a time
- Doesn’t measure water automatically like Keurig machines with reservoirs do
Keurig K-Elite Single-Serve Coffee Maker
This model is a stylish step up from the K40/45 Elite coffee maker, which was rebranded as the K-Classic brewer in 2015. It features a slate-gray color that complements stainless steel appliances and brews all Keurig-branded single-serve K-cup pods, including the My K-Cup reusable coffee filter.
The Keurig K-Elite is 16.5 inches tall when open and 13.1 inches tall when closed. It’s 9.9 inches wide and 12.7 inches deep.
The Keurig K-Elite doesn’t have a touch screen, as some other models do, but the multi-button operation is straightforward and might be less prone to malfunction. It can brew a variety of cup sizes, including 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 oz. beverages. Select the strong brew setting to enhance the bold taste of your coffee.
The iced coffee feature customizes the brew to maintain its flavor when hot coffee is added to ice. You can also adjust the brew temperature, program the brewer to turn on at a certain time and modify it to perform perfectly at high altitudes.
One of the standout features of this model is its large water reservoir. The 75 oz. reservoir brews up to eight cups of coffee before needing a refill. It also dispenses hot water on demand, which you can use to make soup or tea.
- Stylish aesthetics
- Extra-large water reservoir
- Brews single-serve pods in less than a minute
- Accommodates mugs up to 7.2 inches tall
- Drip tray holds a full accidental brew
- Not as portable as the K-Mini K15
- Doesn’t accommodate K-Carafe pods
Keurig K145 OfficePRO Brewing System
Although it’s less expensive than the K-Elite, this Keurig model offers heavy-gauge construction for high-volume use. This is the ideal model to use in an office setting.
It’s easy to clean and simple to use, which leads to less troubleshooting when many users are operating the machine. The drain button eliminates all of the water from the reservoir and inner tank. The machine also features a de-scale button that tells you when it’s time to clean it.
Because the pump is more robust, it is louder than many of the machines designed for home use. Still, it’s quieter than grinding your own coffee. It also contains a heavy-duty power cord, which is not available with the residential machines.
The 48 oz. water reservoir holds enough liquid to brew six 8 oz. cups of coffee before it needs a refill. You can select from 6, 8 or 10 oz. cup sizes.
Although this unit doesn’t have the variety of programmable features available in the K-elite, it is sturdier and likely to last longer if you make many cups of coffee each day. You can still brew a 6 oz. cup of coffee and pour it over ice. The machine shuts off automatically after two hours when it’s not in use.
The chrome trim adds an upscale element to this coffee maker. If you’re concerned about looks, you’ll find the aesthetic of this model to be suitable.
- Suitable for office use
- Large reservoir
- Easy-to-use buttons
- Brews coffee within 1 minute
- Loud pump
- Cannot be used with My K-Cup
- Doesn’t accommodate K-Carafe pods
The best Keurig coffee maker probably depends on your needs. If you’re using it in an office setting, the K145 OfficePro is the way to go. If you make a lot of coffee at home, you might want to consider this model for its longevity. It’s more expensive than the K-Mini K15, but it’s still more affordable than the feature-rich K-Elite.
That said, if you love a machine that does almost everything for you and have a little more money to spend, you may want to choose the K-Elite. On the other hand, if you just want to brew a quick cup of coffee in your apartment every morning or need the portability of a small coffee maker, choose the less expensive K-Mini K15.
Whatever you choose, you’ll be able to use the same pre-filled K-cups in each machine. If you rely on the filters that you fill with your own ground coffee, choose the K-Mini K15 or the K-Elite.