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Most people can’t function before their morning cup of joe. For many, making a cup of coffee with a traditional coffee maker can feel like too tall a task when you still have crusts of sleep in your eyes and an alarm going off in one-minute increments. If your brain relies on its primitive operating system in the morning, the best Keurig coffee makers simplify the brewing process so even your caveman morning brain can understand: drop K-cup in K-cup sized hole. Press start. Drink coffee. Repeat.
That incredibly simple process is exactly how Keurig coffee makers took over the coffee world. It’s easy to use clichés like “This product revolutionized the industry” or “such and such brand disrupted the game.” But when it comes to Keurig, that’s the truth.
So what is the best Keurig for your home? According to Keurig, the company has produced 87 different models and has 24 currently in production. The company provided its newest coffee makers to SPY for testing, and we’ve been hard at work brewing coffee, taste testing, and comparing the best Keurig coffee makers side-by-side.
In this guide, we’ll share all of our in-depth Keurig reviews and compare the best Keurig coffee makers. We’ve also gathered some of our favorite K-cups and the top Keurig alternatives.
The Best Keurig Coffee Makers for 2022 at a Glance
After testing multiple Keurig coffee makers, we’ve picked the following top choices. We’ve chosen products that are the best overall for all users, as well as picks for specialty drink lovers, people brewing in small spaces and those who fear a single-serving maker might not satisfy their coffee cravings. You can find more details about our testing process and criteria after the product selection.
1. Best Overall: Keurig K-Elite — $190 on Amazon
2. Runner Up: Keurig K-Supreme Smart — $230 on Amazon
3. Latte and Cappuccino Lovers: Keurig K-Cafe — $190 on Amazon
4. Budget Buy: Keurig K-Select — $115 on Amazon
5. Contender: Keurig K-Supreme 12 Cup Coffee Maker — $159.19 on Amazon
6. Best All-in-One Solution: Keurig K-Duo Plus — $230 on Amazon
8. Best Value: Keurig K-Classic — $150 on Amazon
9. Also Consider: Keurig K-Duo — $190 on Amazon
10. Best Coffee Machine for Offices: Keurig K155 OfficePRO Commercial Coffee Maker — $295 on Amazon
1. Keurig K-Elite
Best For: Coffee drinkers who want to customize their coffee settings and hate waking up even a minute earlier for brewing.
Why We Chose It: K-Elite’s settings allow users control without complicating Keurig’s easy brewing. With the right balance of an affordable price and Keurig’s latest features, the K-Elite was the clear winner in our testing.
The K-Elite offers the perfect amount of control while maintaining the notable ease expected of the best Keurig coffee makers. It’s programmable, so you can schedule a brew the night before and wake up to the smell of a freshly brewed cup of coffee. If you forget to schedule your morning brew, don’t worry. Even in a state of sleep-deprived confusion, this machine is easy to use. It’s the most straightforward Keurig machine with this level of customization. Plus, the large reservoir can brew up to eight cups of coffee before it needs to be refilled, so you have eight full mornings of uninterrupted brewing.
For hot summer days, you can brew iced drinks. For the holiday season, you can make hot cocoa. And for those times you just don’t feel like coffee, you can opt for a cozy cup of hot tea. (For tea, you may have to run the hot water a couple of times to get a clean pour without residual grounds).
If you’re the kind of person who begrudges cleaning your small kitchen appliances, the Keurig K-Elite makes it easy by alerting you when it is time for a cleaning (known as descaling). In our testing, we found that using and programming this Keurig coffee maker was a breeze.
- Programmable settings
- Brews iced drinks
- Descaling alerts
- Large reservoir
- Limited colors available
- Not great for tea
2. Keurig K-Supreme Plus SMART Single Serve Coffee Maker
Best For: Coffee drinkers who love gadgets and smart appliances, families and couples who make a lot of coffee daily.
Why We Chose It: This K-Supreme PLUS SMART Single Serve Coffee Maker allows for tons of customization and the ability to brew from your phone, making it one of the most convenient and time-saving coffee makers.
The K-Supreme PLUS SMART is the best Keurig coffee maker in terms of features, so why is it the runner-up to the K-Elite? An affordable price and one-button controls are some of the biggest reasons people love Keurigs, and so the higher price tag and smart features aren’t for everyone. Still, if you’re sharing your Keurig with multiple users and want a smart coffee maker, then this is the best Keurig for you because, with BrewID, you can save up to 10 customized brew settings.
The K-Supreme PLUS SMART uses MultiStream technology to extract the full flavor and aroma of a K-cup and automatically adjusts brew settings based on the specific pod you’re using that day. By far, this machine produced the best-tasting coffee in our brew testing, though the brew might take a bit longer compared to other Keurig coffee makers.
This coffee maker remains easy to use once you explore the app and all the settings, but it does complicate Keurig’s usual button-press ease. Using the app, you can brew in an instant from your phone. You can also schedule a brew the night before, but we had trouble accessing this feature during testing. When you open the app for the first time, you’ll want to enable push notifications, otherwise the scheduled brew can be difficult to set up.
- High degree of customization
- Best tasting coffee
- Can be used on the go via the app
- Handled reservoir is easy to refill
- Scheduled brew process could be streamlined
- Not as easy to use as a classic Keurig coffee maker
3. Keurig K-Cafe
BEST LATTES AND CAPPUCCINOS
Best For: Latte and cappuccino lovers.
Why We Chose It: This K-Cafe can make delicious specialty drinks from the comfort of your own home.
If lattes and cappuccinos are your jam, the Keurig K-Cafe is the best Keurig coffee maker for you. The milk frother creates both hot- and cold-frothed milk to go with your specialty coffee drinks. And if you have a little leftover, you can store it in the fridge using the lid. Plus, cleanup is easy considering the frother is dishwasher safe. When plain ol’ coffee doesn’t do it for you anymore, this milk frothing option is the way to go.
The versatility of this premium Keurig appliance is also a bit of a drawback if you prefer single-button operation. Most people don’t buy a Keurig because they want barista-quality drinks. Rather, they’re looking for simplicity and coffee for coffee’s sake. However, if you prefer a little variety and love the convenience of Keurig, then this will be the best Keurig machine for you.
- Great for specialty drinks
- Dishwasher-safe milk frother
- Reservoir with handle is easy to refill
- Takes up a lot of counter space
Best For: Keurig lovers looking for a little more variety.
Why We Chose It: It’s affordable and simple, but deserving of ranking as one of the best Keurig coffee makers.
When you want a cup of coffee but a few more sizing options than the K-Classic featured below, then the K-Select is a nice upgrade. With four different cup-size options, as well as the ability to choose between regular and strong coffee, the K-Classic keeps things simple with a little more variety.
Like the Elite and K-Cafe options, this Keurig coffee maker will let you know when it is time to descale, ensuring that you continue to have tasty fresh brews. Plus, just like the popular (and retired) Keurig K-250, the K-Select comes with more fun color options to match your kitchen decor.
If you’re looking for the most affordable Keurig, then the K-Select is our top recommendation.
- Easy to use
- Alerts for descaling
- Lots of color options
- Not a ton of customization
5. Keurig K-Supreme 12-Cup Coffee Maker
Best For: Those who are interested in the K-Supreme Plus but are technology averse.
Why We Chose It: It’s a good Keurig coffee maker with a slim design and MultiStream Technology.
While we think there are plenty of good Keurig coffee makers for sale right now, there is a lot to love about the Keurig K-Supreme — the earlier generation of the K-Supreme Plus SMART. The K-Supreme has a streamlined design that’s typical of newer Keurigs, taking up little space on your counters.
This model offers Keurig’s MultiStream Technology, which Keurig promises will extract all of the flavor and aroma from your pod of choice. During testing, we found this technology does deliver on taste. On top of that, the K-Supreme comes with a 66-ounce water reservoir that can rest in two places on the machine, making it one of the best Keurig coffee makers for small spaces. The machine also offers a “Strong Brew” setting.
- MultiStream Technology makes for great-tasting coffee
- Slim design
- Multiple color options
- High price
- Unable to save preferences
6. Keurig K-Duo Plus
BEST ALL-IN-ONE SOLUTION
Best For: Those who don’t want to decide between a single-serving Keurig and a traditional coffee maker
Why We Chose It: The K-Duo Plus offers the ease of a Keurig as well as the option to brew large batches from grounds.
Note: Keurig has discontinued the K-Duo Plus, but it is still available from online retailers while supplies last.
The K-Duo Plus offers a single-serving pod brewer as well as a 12-cup steel Keurig coffee pot for brewing drip coffee — a unique feature that sets it apart from the best Keurig coffee makers. By combining a traditional coffee maker with the convenience of a Keurig, the K-Duo line offers the best of both worlds. Hosting a dinner party? Brew a carafe of coffee with dessert, then use the single-serve coffee maker to unwind the next morning.
The Keurig K-Duo Plus is the premium version of the popular K-Duo model. While we haven’t listed the Plus version of Keurig coffee makers as a separate product previously, we’re making an exception here. The Plus version features a different design that takes up far less room on your countertop. The Plus combines the Keurig coffee pot and single-serve brewers into a single spout, which means this coffee maker is slimmer and more convenient than the K-Duo pictured below.
Finally, the carafe coffee maker can be programmed up to 24 hours in advance, which is a great feature for those who love the convenience of Keurig but prefer a full pot of coffee.
- 12-cup carafe
- Slim design
- Caters to every coffee need
- Limited color options
7. Keurig K-Mini & K-Mini Plus
BEST FOR SMALL KITCHENS
Best For: Coffee drinkers with minimal counter space
Why We Chose It: The Keurig K-Mini is the best Keurig coffee maker for small spaces and comes in many colors.
The Keurig K-Mini is the slimmest Keurig coffee maker, making it the best option for people living in smaller spaces. The Mini Plus even includes a hidden storage compartment to keep up to nine pods. Like other K-cup machines, it can brew 6 to 12-ounce cups of coffee.
The K-Mini reservoir needs to be refilled before every brew, which can be tiresome if you drink more than one cup a morning. The small reservoir can be removed for refilling, but its awkward shape makes it prone to spilling. In our testing, we found this machine produced the least satisfying cup of joe and its brew was louder than other Keurig machines, but we think it might still be the best Keurig machine for cramped spaces.
- Slim design
- Great price
- Multiple color options
- Noticeably noisy
- Must refill water reservoir for every brew
- Awkwardly shaped reservoir is difficult to carry/refill
- The K-Mini cannot fit a travel mug
8. Keurig K-Classic
Best For: No-frills coffee drinkers
Why We Chose It: The Keurig K-Classic is simple with minimal customization.
The Keurig K-Classic offers three different-sized brews” 6, 8 and 10 ounces. Without the option to choose the strength of the coffee, this machine offers the least customization. This is great for people who prefer simplicity. The machine is relatively compact, while still boasting a 48-ounce reservoir.
- Easy to use
- Great price
- No iced setting
- No “strong brew” setting
9. Keurig K-Duo
Best For: Large households
Why We Chose It: The Keurig K-Duo can be programmed 24 hours in advance.
The standard version of the K-Duo Line, the Keurig K-Duo has a more reasonable price point, although it does feature a clunkier design. While it takes up more counter space, the Keurig coffee pot gestures toward a traditional percolator, making it feel homier.
As in other models, the K-Duo has a large water reservoir (shared between the two coffee makers), a compact design and can brew 6 to 12-ounce cups of coffee in seconds. This programmable Keurig coffee maker has another notable feature: it can be set to brew a carafe of coffee up to 24 hours in advance making the K-Duo a great option for second homes, AirBnb rentals and large households.
- Can make large batches of drip coffee
- Stylish glass carafe
- Great price
- No iced setting
- Clunky design
10. Keurig K155 OfficePRO Commercial Coffee Maker
BEST FOR OFFICES
Best For: Small– to medium-sized offices that need a good Keurig coffee maker at scale.
Why We Chose It: The K155 Office Pro Commercial Coffee Maker provides ease of use for the volume it’s capable of.
For offices with more than 10 people, a standard Keurig coffee maker for a family won’t do. That’s when you need to upgrade to one of Keurig’s commercial coffee makers. This commercial Keurig coffee maker has an extra large 90-ounce water reservoir that can make up to 18 cups before refilling. Employees can brew tea, coffee and hot cocoa with this behemoth. The K155 also has an easy-to-use touchscreen and can brew coffee in a variety of sizes. If you’re a business owner or office manager searching for the best Keurig coffee makers for your office, this is a dependable option that’s perfect for small and mid-size businesses.
- Easy to use
- Great for large groups
- Can’t connect directly to a water line
How We Chose the Best Keurig Coffee Makers
For this review, we tested the newest models available from Keurig and compared them side-by-side. While testing these Keurig coffee makers we judged them based on the following criteria:
- Ease of Use: How easy is it to brew a cup of coffee? Is it as easy as a click of a button? Can we brew a cup without consulting the owner’s manual?
- Design: Does it take up more space than it’s worth? Can the water reservoir be removed and easily refilled?
- Taste: Does the model brew a noticeably good or bad cup of coffee?
- Temperature: Does this coffee maker brew at lower or higher temperatures than others?
- Technological Features: Does the coffee maker have SMART capabilities? Can it be controlled by an app? Is the app easy to use? Does the coffee maker use MultiStream Technology?
- Other Special Features: We noted special features like cup sizes, the option to make iced drinks and temperature control
The SPY team tested multiple Keurig machines, brewing too many cups of coffee to count. We performed taste tests, temperature tests and brew time tests for 8-ounce cups using the same K-cup across multiple machines.
We noted a noticeable difference in taste in those using MultiStream Technology. The five-stream brewing process extracts more flavor.
We noted that Keurig machines can all brew an 8-ounce cup of coffee in under two minutes, but the machines take varying amounts of time to heat up before brewing.
We used a thermometer to test each machine’s brew temperature. We found Keurig coffee makers to be remarkably consistent, with most hovering somewhere around 173 degrees Fahrenheit. Those with the option to increase temperature did so.
We will continue to update this post as we test additional models and as new products are released.
The Best Keurig Alternatives
After Keurig coffee makers became wildly popular, essentially all other coffee makers had to adapt. Keurig is not your only choice for a deluxe K-Cup coffee maker. Below you’ll find our recommendations when you want a K-cup coffee maker, but not necessarily a Keurig. Here are the best Keurig alternatives for fans of single-serving coffee.
1. Nutribullet Brew Choice Pod + Carafe Coffee Maker
Nutribullet released its first coffee maker in September 2021. SPY tested out this dual coffee maker, and we found that it did make it easy to brew both full pots and single-serving coffee. Most dual coffee makers do a better job at one than the other, but Nutribullet’s new coffee maker impressed our product testers. If you’re looking for a cheap Keurig alternative, then this isn’t a great option, but it’s an excellent coffee maker and perfect for households that brew full pots of coffee as often as they use K-cups.
2. Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer (49980A)
Like the K-Duo Plus, the Hamilton Beach 2-Way Coffee Maker is capable of easily brewing a full pot and single-serve coffee. Unlike the K-Duo Plus, this Hamilton Beach appliance only costs $50, which is a great value. Plus, because it brews from ground coffee instead of pods, it will arguably serve up better coffee, too. Easy to program and easy to clean, this small coffee maker offers great value and is a more than worthy alternative to the best Keurig coffee makers.
3. Cuisinart SS-10P1
BEST DIGITAL DISPLAY
The large digital display makes it easy to make a quick cup of joe in the morning, especially when you’ve got the morning fog clouding your brain. You can use any brand of K-cup coffee pods with this Keurig alternative. And it has a large water reservoir to make several cups of coffee before it needs a refill.
4. Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine
It’s not quite a K-cup machine, but this Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine makes delicious espresso drinks in your home. It uses patented Centrifusion Technology to spin the pod as water enters to produce that creamy delicious pour of coffee. And the included milk frother can add the finishing touches to any cap or latte. As a Keurig alternative, this might be the top of the list. It’s a great choice if you’re willing to pay a premium on the machine and Nespresso pods.
The Best K-Cups for Your New Coffee Maker
For that single, delicious cup of coffee, it’s all about picking the best K-cup coffee pods. A K-cup puts a single cup’s worth of ground coffee into a “pod.” The pod consists of a thick plastic layer, a permeable filter layer and a foil layer that allows the coffee to be brewed inside the pod. These K-cups come in virtually every variety of roast and flavor, providing coffee lovers with as many options as bagged coffee beans.
The Keurig coffee maker itself has a large water reservoir that will need to be refilled every couple of days. Water is sucked from the reservoir into heating chambers where it is brought up to a high temperature. The pressurized water then makes its way to a hose towards the top of the brewer. After you put the K-cup in the hole, close the lid and select the amount of coffee you want (often displayed in various cup sizes, from 4–10-oz.). Two pins poke the K-cup, one on top to allow the water to enter the K-cup, and one in the bottom where the coffee comes out into your cup. After about 20 to 30 seconds, it’s done brewing. All you have to do is open the lid and throw away the pod.
The first Keurig cups came in little plastic cups, which weren’t great for the environment (more on this below). Fortunately, you can now buy compostable Keurig-friendly coffee pods, although they’re usually a little more expensive. And don’t think you can only use Keurig-branded coffee pods for your Keurig machine. Thankfully, there are a handful of K-cup compatible options we love.
1. SF Bay Coffee Fog
A quick way to remove the morning “fog,” this SF Bay coffee makes a delicious full-bodied, medium roast. The beans come from Central and South America and are 100% Kosher. Plus, they are made from plant-based materials.
2. The Original Donut Shop
For those who like a bold cup of coffee, the Original Donut Shop K-cups is a medium roast that uses more coffee in each pod than your average K-cup for a stronger flavor. This is arguably the best Keurig K-Cup house brand, and one of Amazon’s most popular, with over 20,000 user reviews and a 4.7-star rating. The people have spoken — bold is the way to start your morning.
3. Starbucks Veranda Blend
When you can’t make it to a real Starbucks for your morning cup of coffee, settle for the next best thing. Starbucks makes a lot of K-cup pods with various flavors and roasts, but we prefer the company’s lighter blonde roast, the Veranda Blend. Perfect for those who prefer a stronger cup of coffee but a milder taste, the Veranda Blend offers a great flavor for a single-serve coffee pod. Order from Amazon and get 96 pods that will save you an extra trip to the grocery store.
4. Dunkin’ Original Blend
The most popular blend from Dunkin’ can now be enjoyed from the comfort of your home in K-cup form. It’s a smooth Arabica Coffee, medium roast blend that isn’t too bitter or acidic — a great way to kick off a morning. This pack includes 60 pods or two months of wonderful cups of coffee in the morning.
How Keurig Forever Changed the Coffee World
Keurig coffee machines were first introduced to the home in 1992, around the same time Starbucks started to hit its stride. This is important because Starbucks was popularizing the idea of single cups of coffee to the masses, even though single cups of coffee were (and still are) far more expensive compared to buying in bulk. By 1998, when the first K-cup Keurig machines were released, the company went all-in on a simple premise: People want a single cup of coffee in the morning, but they don’t want to pay Starbucks prices.
Keurig K-Cups, although still more expensive than bagged, bulk coffee, were less expensive than going to your local Starbucks or indie coffee shop. But for nearly a decade after developing the first K-cups, Keurig struggled to break into the “holy grail” of the coffee market: your kitchen counter. According to The Boston Globe, the turning point was the company’s acquisition by Green Mountain Coffee in 2006. Soon after, amid the 2008 Great Recession, the company finally reached critical mass, and America has been obsessed with single-serving coffee ever since.
Have you ever tried to make a single cup of coffee with a pot-coffee machine? It sucks. Sure, making a pot of coffee isn’t difficult, but not everybody drinks multiple cups of coffee a day. And making a single cup’s worth in a pot is hard; it comes out too watery or like mud. In the same way that cooking for one should seem simple but is often more difficult than cooking for a group, making a single cup of good coffee with a regular coffee machine is way harder than it should be.
There are plenty of people in the world for whom a single cup of coffee is all they need (this article was written by one), and Keurig coffee makers are the ideal solution. Single cup, check. Fast, check. Easy, check. Consistent, check. So much so that over 42% of American households now own a single-cup coffee maker, according to Statista. And now that Keurig machines have new tricks up their sleeve like making teas, lattes and iced drinks, the best Keurig coffee machines are poised to remain a staple in our homes.
The Drawbacks of Keurig Coffee Makers
Truth be told, K-cups are a blessing and a curse. They are a blessing for our easily created morning cup of coffee, they are a curse to Mother Earth. Most K-cups are not recyclable, although Keurig is striving for 100% of their K-cups to be recyclable and 100% of all packaging to be converted to recyclable materials. Currently, there are many recyclable and compostable pods, but users still need to peel off the top foil, remove the grounds and remove the filter from the cup before it is considered “recyclable.”
Let’s be honest: if you already aren’t willing to grind up your coffee to make your morning cup, you probably won’t be willing to take the necessary steps to recycle those pods.
Here’s a good compromise. Keurig does make a re-useable K-cup that allows you to put your ground coffee into it, which does two things: helps you save the environment and allows you to brew single-serving coffee using your favorite ground coffee. You lose a little of the convenience factor, which is a big reason why you bought a Keurig in the first place. And speaking from experience, they are a pain to clean.
There are non-Keurig branded reusable pods. Keurig discontinued its own line of reusable coffee pods in 2022, but you can still find these products for sale on sites like Amazon while supplies last.
On a much smaller scale of drawbacks (it’s hard to trump “destroying the planet” as the No. 1 drawback), K-cups are relatively expensive compared to bagged coffee. You can get better-tasting coffee (whole bean is the way to go) and more of it if you’re willing to take the extra time to grind your coffee beforehand (trust us, it is worth it).
Keurig 1.0 vs. Keurig 2.0
Remember: if you’re surfing Amazon for a budget pack of K-cups for your Keurig machine, be sure to read the user reviews. Not all K-cups are sized to work for Keurig 2.0 coffee machines.
As you are right to assume, Keurig 2.0 machines are the newest version of Keurig coffee makers. Unfortunately, when the upgrade happened, so did the size of the pods. Keurig 2.0 machines use bigger pods than previous versions, but most 1.0 K-cup sizes are still compatible with newer machines. But it doesn’t go backward — Keurig 2.0 K-cups won’t fit in a 1.0 machine.
Cleaning Your Keurig Machine
Cleaning your Keurig is pretty straightforward. This is a process called “descaling,” which removes built-up calcium deposits which can hinder the performance of your machine. Keurig sells a descaling solution, but you can just as easily use distilled white vinegar instead. Cleaning your machine is a simple couple of steps:
- Pour the solution or vinegar into the water reservoir and run the machine without a pod
- Run the machine until the entire reservoir is dry
- Let the machine sit for at least a half-hour to let the solution work its magic inside of the machine
- Clean reservoir
- Fill the reservoir with water and run at least 12 large cups worth to ensure solution or vinegar is completely removed from the machine