If you need your coffee on the fly, a Keurig is the answer. We researched and bought the best 6 convenient Keurig coffee makers on the market and put them through extensive side-by-side testing. Cup after cup, we evaluated each brewer's performance, user experience, customization, and ease of cleaning. With so many Keurig options available, we understand why it can be challenging to settle on just one. Our comprehensive analysis is designed to help you find the best Keurig coffee maker based on your preferences and budget.
Keurig coffee makers are just a small drop in the ocean when it comes to the coffee industry. If you're looking to build a home coffee bar and not sure where to start, we have tested an extensive array of coffee and espresso products. If you're specifically looking for other brands that serve individual-sized coffee, check out our in-depth review on single-serve coffee makers. If you want to up your coffee and espresso game, check out our comprehensive espresso machine and coffee maker reviews.
Editor's Note: We created this review on February 1st, 2023, to help you find the best Keurig for your needs and budget.
The Keurig K-Supreme Plus Smart is the cream of the crop when it comes to Keurig coffee makers. For starters, the brewer is among the most advanced, with excellent features and adjustable programs. Yet, the brewer remains simple and intuitive, all while providing great-tasting coffee. The coffee maker can be controlled from anywhere via the Keurig app. This means you can have a hot cup of coffee waiting after remotely starting it. We found the app particularly useful for creating schedules for auto-on and adjusting settings. Additionally, the app provides step-by-step recipes as well as automated pod delivery. The brewer is highly customizable, with six temperature options, five brew sizes, adjustable strength settings, and an iced coffee option. This is among the few that incorporate BrewID into the brewing process. BrewID recognizes which K-Cup is inserted and automatically changes the strength and temperature settings based on the manufacturer's recommendation.
Though this Keurig brewer was our favorite, it had some minor setbacks. With occasional splashes and no dishwasher-safe parts that we could find in our testing, this brewer took a little extra time to clean. However, the cleaning process was fairly straightforward and often only required a quick wipe-down. The initial setup wasn't as streamlined as we would have hoped. While we initially had issues pairing the machine to the app, once connected, it worked great.
Cup Sizes: Between 6-12oz | Dimensions: 11.3" x 4.5" x 12.1"
REASONS TO BUY
Available in many colors
REASONS TO AVOID
No removable reservoir
Prone to splashes
The Keurig K-Mini is the ultimate option when it comes to simplicity and convenience. Just one button controls the entire machine. Rather than choosing a cup size, up to 12 ounces of water is added directly to the non-removable tank. After the K-cup is inserted, the user simply pushes the large button to start the cycle. This process was the most straightforward of them all, which is why we enjoyed this coffee maker so much. The brewer is the smallest and lightest of the bunch, making it great for small spaces like college dorms or apartments. Given its lightweight and unintrusive design, this machine could easily be stored after every use rather than living on the countertop permanently. Unlike most grayscale machines, this one is available in seven fun colors. Best of all, this machine won't break the bank.
The K-Mini is as simple as they come, which has many perks. However, this might be a drawback for those who are looking for customization and programmable features. You won't be able to select a cup size with a button like most others. Instead, the machine uses the 6 to 12 ounces of water that was added to the small tank. We weren't overly impressed with the quality of the coffee as it was often watery and weak. Additionally, this machine splashed quite a bit. With its light-colored body, there was no concealing the mess. Though it was easy to wipe down the machine, we needed to do so after almost every use.
The Keurig K-Cafe provides the convenience of traditional Keurig coffee makers yet has unique options for specialty drinks. Options for lattes, cappuccinos, and iced coffee are among the pre-programmed features. However, the possibilities don't end here. The K-Cafe includes adjustable features such as brew strength, temperature, a "shot" option, and cup size. Our drinks were made even fancier with the addition of frothed milk. This was the only machine in the lineup that included a frother. We were particularly pleased to top our drinks with roughly two inches of foam. The K-Cafe brewed some of our best-tasting coffee, keeping a consistent temperature throughout the process. The brewer was pleasantly simple to use, with a large 60-ounce reservoir that was easy to refill and replace.
The spacious reservoir comes at a price. The brewer has a large footprint and is on the heavier side. Fitting this in small spaces will likely pose a challenge. It also wasn't the most consistent when it came to pour size. We received pours of nearly 3/4 a cup. That said, we absolutely love the opportunity to create specialty drinks with this brewer. However, we weren't overly impressed with the shot it pulled. It tasted more like concentrated coffee rather than a proper shot.
Why You Should Trust Us
We dedicated weeks and many K-cups in order to determine which Keurig stood out. Before we took our first sip, we laid out an in-depth plan to analyze each product. After researching every Keurig on the market, we purchased the most appealing options at full price, ensuring total objectivity. We put each of these brewers through a series of comprehensive tests. These results represent hours of analyzing each brewer to the fullest.
Our testing for Keurig coffee makers is comprised of four rating metrics:
Performance (35% of overall score weighting)
User Experience (30% weighting)
Customization (20% weighting)
Ease of Cleaning (15% weighting)
Leading our testing process is Genaveve Bradshaw. Over the years, Genaveve has acquired a taste for coffee. She is no novice when it comes to kitchen appliances. She has tested everything from coffee grinders to blenders and is a true kitchen expert. Joining Genaveve in this process is Becca Glades. Becca has also reviewed our top coffee makers and has a deep understanding of how crucial a good cup of coffee can be. With these two coffee connoisseurs leading the team, you can rest assured that each of these Keurig coffee makers has been tested thoroughly.
Analysis and Test Results
A good cup of coffee has been an essential part of the morning routine for many, many decades. That is why we thoroughly analyzed each Keurig coffee maker, noting each model's strengths and weaknesses. First and foremost, we focused on how well these coffee makers performed while brewing three cups of coffee in a row. We also carefully considered the user experience of each model, along with the customizable features and ease of cleaning.
If you're in the market for a Keurig, you're likely looking for a convenient option for making coffee. We define value as the perfect balance between performance and price. We recommend the Keurig K-Supreme Plus Smart for an exceptional product without the premium price tag. If you're shopping on a budget, the Keurig K-Mini is a straightforward, inexpensive machine with no adjustable features. Its minimalist design might be intriguing to some. However, the K-Slim offers a very similar simple design but includes features the Mini lacks. We found the more expensive options have more features available. If you're looking for ultimate adjustability and customization, it is worth shelling out the extra cash for one of these machines. Additionally, these machines tend to be more consistent in their brewing process, which delivers more flavorful coffee.
Performance was the most heavily weighted metric in our test. We started by weighing our mugs. We then brewed three cups of coffee with each machine, timing the process. We re-weighed our full mugs to determine the volume accuracy. We also measured the temperature of the coffee, noting the consistency and max temp. Then, we tasted every cup, noting the taste, consistency, and flavor profile. We also thoroughly assessed any additional features like milk frothing, cold brew, adjustable settings, and more.
The K-Elite was our top performer in this metric and for good reasons. The K-Elite remained incredibly consistent throughout our testing rounds. The temperature output was among the highest of the bunch and had minimal variation. Likewise, the volume output has no variation whatsoever, brewing 200g time and time again. We expect a good-tasting cup of coffee to have consistent temperature and volume, which the K-Elite had no trouble achieving. The Elite includes a water filter aimed at removing 97% of chlorine to enhance the flavor. Though it was difficult to tell if this changed the flavor, it was one of our best-tasting cups of coffee.
Additionally, this was the fastest coffee maker, with a total brew time of almost half a minute.
The K-Supreme Plus Smart also did well in this metric, brewing our best-tasting and most robust cup. Its adjustable temperature and strength settings led to noticeably different flavor profiles rather than the typical Keurig brew. The Supreme includes BrewID, which recognizes the inserted K-Cup and automatically changes settings based on the manufacturer's recommendations. These settings can be overridden; however, we didn't find this necessary. We were impressed with how quiet this machine was during use, as many can be quite loud.
The K-Slim and K-Supreme Plus Smart both have MultiStream Technology incorporated into their designs. The traditional Keurig design has a single needle that punctures the K-Cup. Water is then sent through the needle into the K-Cup to brew the coffee. MultiStream Technology includes more than one needle. These needles puncture the K-Cup in multiple locations, with water flowing through each. This allows more than one stream of water to saturate the coffee grounds more evenly, brewing a more flavorful cup of coffee.
Keurig coffee makers are known for their convenience and ease of use. Most people who are looking into these brewers are likely searching for easy, hassle-free coffee. We devised a test to ensure the user's experience was up to par with this expectation. We focused on key aspects like the length of water heating and brew process, as well as noise level. Then we evaluated the storage footprint of each machine. Along with this, we assessed the reservoir capacity and its ease of use. Unsurprisingly, a well-designed reservoir can prevent spills and cleanup hassle. Lastly, we removed and replaced every K-Cup unit multiple times and noted the ease of this process.
Due to its versatility and user-friendliness, the K-Supreme Plus Smart did the best in this category. We were pretty impressed with this brewers reservoir. It is among the largest at 78 ounces and includes a handle on the side, resembling a water pitcher. Since these larger reservoirs can get somewhat heavy, it was quite helpful to have this handle. This seemingly minor detail prevents spills and issues with inserting the reservoir back into the machine. The K-Supreme Plus Smart has some of the most advanced features of the bunch, with an intuitive app and a simple interface. The mobile app made the user experience much greater. However, the app isn't necessary to run the machine. The coffee maker has a small screen that gives the user almost all the same options as the app. From here, you'll be able to choose brew strength, size, temperature, and more.
Among the smallest is the simple Keurig K-Slim. The body closely resembles the K-Mini, though slightly larger and heavier. The K-Slim was one of the most effortless machines to use while still allowing some adjustability. There are three cup size options, with reminders to descale and refill the machine. The brewer has a 46-ounce removable reservoir which is easy to fill and replace. The water heating cycle is incorporated into the brewing process, so there is no need to preheat the machine. Simply pop a K-Cup in, choose a size, and press start. The entire brewing process takes roughly a minute and a half. All things considered, this brewer is one of the most straightforward and intuitive options in our lineup. However, we weren't too impressed with the K-Cup housing. It felt finicky and was quite difficult to remove entirely.
We were also impressed with the K-Elite and K-Cafe. Both of these coffee makers have intuitive interfaces with clearly labeled buttons. The Elite is similar in size and shape to the K-Classic. However, the K-Elite has options for five cup sizes, temperature, strength, and even iced coffee. The K-Elite was the fastest to heat the water and includes a sizable 75-ounce reservoir. Both of these features are great for those planning on sharing the machine. The Elite will have no trouble brewing back-to-back cups of coffee. The K-Cafe was similar in functionality with its hefty 60-ounce reservoir. However, this machine includes unique pre-programmed buttons to create lattes, cappuccinos, and iced coffee.
A significant advantage of Keurig machines is how customizable they can be. While most include cup size options, some are highly customizable, with the ability to adjust brew strength and temperature. Additionally, some have auto-on, auto-off, and iced coffee settings. We thoroughly assessed these features along with the maximum mug size accommodation and available colors.
The K-Supreme Plus Smart is easily the most customizable Keurig in our lineup. Though the app is not necessary to run the machine, it increases the brewer's functionality, allowing the user to choose from five sizes and strengths and also six temperatures. We were able to create a brewing schedule by choosing dates and times to begin brewing. The app allows you to "favorite" and name up to 10 setting profiles which we found convenient for multiple brew styles. That said, the program will track the user's brewing activity and give recommendations based on taste profiles. The K-Supreme is available in two colors: black stainless and stainless.
All of the brewers in our lineup could accommodate a 7-inch mug with the drip tray removed. The K-Elite and K-Cafe can accommodate slightly larger mugs with a max size of 7.2 inches. We were particularly impressed with the K-Cafe as it offered features that none of the others did. Though it doesn't have auto-on or temperature controls, it froths milk, includes a shot setting, and makes specialty drinks. The shots weren't as strong as we would've hoped, but we still appreciated the option to have specialty drinks, hot or cold. Because water boils at lower temperatures as elevation rises, Keurig has included a high elevation mode in the K-Elite and K-Slim. Ultimately, this mode lowers the max temperature to 187 degrees Fahrenheit for those above 5,000 feet in elevation. This is intended to avoid over-extraction of the coffee grounds and provide a more flavorful cup of coffee.
Though the K-Mini doesn't have any features that can be adjusted, it does have the largest selection of colors to choose from. As most coffee makers only come in monochromatic colors, we found this colorful opportunity delightful and an excellent way to customize a coffee maker based on your style. With how small these brewers are, they can be placed almost anywhere. With the color options, it can easily blend into almost any room.
Ease of Cleaning
We understand the inconvenience of needing to clean a coffee maker constantly. That's why we inspected each brewer following its cycle to see how much splashing occurred. Then, we cleaned each machine, including the reservoir, drip tray, and K-Cup housing. We also deducted points if the components weren't dishwasher safe or if fingerprints were visible.
The K-Elite and K-Classic were the easiest to clean. Both machines had minimal splashing and no visible fingerprints, minimizing the need to wipe down the machine constantly. When it came to cleaning these machines, the descaling process was straightforward. The K-Supreme has no dishwasher-safe parts, whereas the K-Classic drip tray is.
Most of these brewers had some sort of splashing; however, they were easy enough to wipe down. We noticed the lighter-colored machines showed coffee spots easier. Likewise, some of the machines with metallic finishes showed fingerprints. Again, they were easy to clean, but this was somewhat annoying to keep doing after every brew. Every machine in our lineup had removable drip trays and K-Cup holders that could easily be hand washed. The K-Cafe had the most dishwasher-safe components, including the frother, reservoir, and drip tray.
Like traditional drip coffee makers, Keurig machines need to be descaled regularly. Most need to be descaled every three to six months, though this can depend entirely on how often it is used. All of these brewers have a descale indicator light. The K-Supreme Plus Smart has the most intuitive descale mode. This mode walks you through the entire process on the Keurig app and will notify you when the process is complete. The K-Slim also has a fairly straightforward descale mode. Though there is no app to walk you through this, the brewer's simple interface includes a descaling light that indicates where you are in the process.
Keurig coffee makers are a great way to make a cup of coffee without committing much time or hassle. Using the right brewer can easily become a joyful part of your morning routine. We hope our in-depth review has helped you decide on a new Keurig coffee maker based on your preferences and needs. You're going to want some K-Cups for your new brewer. Check out our comprehensive review of the best coffee pods on the market.
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