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How to Choose the Right Keurig Coffee Maker

How to Choose the Right Keurig Coffee Maker
Credit: Abriah Wofford
By Becca Glades ⋅ Review Editor
Wednesday February 1, 2023

Thinking of buying a convenient home coffee maker to avoid long lines and expensive coffee? Keurig coffee makers are a top option in the single-serve and pod-style brewer industry as they are simple, quick, and easy to use. We have spent tens of hours testing and researching the most compelling Keurig coffee makers on the market and have created a step-by-step outline to help you find the best brewer.

keurig coffee maker - keurig coffee makers are available in a large selection of sizes...
Keurig coffee makers are available in a large selection of sizes with different settings and features.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Why Choose a Keurig?

There are plenty of coffee brewing processes out there. From pour-over and French press to classic drip coffee makers. So, why choose a Keurig over any of these tried and true methods? Keurig brewers have dominated the single-serve coffee maker industry for many years. Rightly so, these machines quickly brew a fresh cup with very little user involvement. Keurig coffee makers are great for busy people or those who don't have the time to spend measuring and brewing coffee. Keurigs aren't necessarily going to brew the freshest or highest quality coffee; however, if convenience is your number one priority, then this shouldn't be a problem.

keurig coffee maker - we brewed back-to-back cups of coffee, noting the flavor and texture...
We brewed back-to-back cups of coffee, noting the flavor and texture of each.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Step 1: Extravagant or Bare-Bones?

Some of these Keurigs come with a large assortment of features, while others are just simple brewers. Before considering which Keurig is the best, it makes sense to decide which features you want, if any. If you're looking for something simple, it might not be worth shelling out the extra cash for a brewer that has all the bells and whistles. For example, some brewers are controlled by one button and simply brew coffee. These units tend to be a little less expensive. In contrast, others have features that allow for iced coffee, frothed milk, and specialty drinks. Though these features come with a heavier price tag, they are worth it if you're interested in getting creative with your coffee.

keurig coffee maker - the keurig k-elite has excellent functionality with a large...
The Keurig K-Elite has excellent functionality with a large selection of adjustable features.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Step 2: Consider Convenience

Arguably, the most essential factor of Keurig machines is how convenient they are. If you're looking into one of these machines, you're likely not interested in spending more than a few minutes preparing coffee. This is important to consider when choosing a machine. Some only have one button, whereas others have multiple and require a few extra steps, like selecting cup size. It's also worth considering how much time you want to wait on your coffee. While most Keurigs have speedy brew times, some are much quicker than others.

keurig coffee maker - when the drip plate is removed, most keurigs are able to brew...
When the drip plate is removed, most Keurigs are able to brew directly into travel mugs.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Often we think of convenience as the most simply designed option. However, this isn't always the case. When considering a Keurig, it's worth noting that all of these machines are convenient, some more than others. If your goal is to make a 12-ounce cup of coffee at a certain temperature with specific strength, it is going to be more convenient for you to choose a machine that allows you to do so. If this is your goal, selecting one with no adjustability is going to be frustrating and time-consuming. Likewise, if you simply want to insert a K-Cup and push "start", it'll likely be pretty inconvenient to click through the setting options.

keurig coffee maker - the k-elite has a large selection of options, from cup size to brew...
The K-Elite has a large selection of options, from cup size to brew strength.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Another factor to consider is the water reservoir. Some have a larger capacity and won't require constant refills. Others require a refill every time. Though it might seem insignificant, some reservoirs have handles that can make the refill process easier and prevent spills. Will your machine be used back to back? If so, it's worth considering a larger reservoir.

Step 3: Consider Adjustability

While most of these brewers have cup-size options, a handful offer adjustable brew strength and temperature. This is great for personalizing the process to get your coffee tasting just right. Some Keurigs include advanced features like BrewID and MultiStream Technology. BrewID recognizes the K-Cup that is inserted into the housing. The Keurig will automatically adjust the brew strength and temperature based on the K-Cup manufacturers' recommendations. MultiStream Technology works to extract more flavor from the grounds. Traditional Keurig machines have one puncture needle. The water is sent into the K-Cup through this single needle. Machines with MultiStream Technology have more than one puncture needle. The water will flow through each of these needles, more evenly saturating the grounds and providing a stable flavor profile.

keurig coffee maker - some keurigs have multistream technology. these machines have...
Some Keurigs have MultiStream Technology. These machines have multiple needles that inject water into the K-Cup to more evenly saturate grounds.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Keurig has a mobile app that can be connected to select products. This app gives the user ultimate control over the machine, with options to adjust brew strength, temperature, and cup size, as well as remotely start the machine. These features are available anywhere and at any time. Additionally, there are options to set up auto-shipments of K-Cups as they are used. If this sounds intriguing, you might want to look into the brewers that can be paired with the app.

keurig coffee maker - the k-supreme plus smart connects to an intuitive app that gives the...
The K-Supreme Plus Smart connects to an intuitive app that gives the user ultimate control over the machine.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Step 4: How much space do you have?

Keurig coffee makers come in an assortment of sizes and shapes. If you're living in a dorm room or smaller space with minimal counter space, there are still great options available. Some of the smallest Keurigs will fit nicely on shelves or countertops, taking up very little space. However, these brewers tend to be simpler with less extravagant features. That said, some of the models with more features are heavier and have a larger footprint. Likewise, those with larger reservoirs, though convenient, will take up more space.

keurig coffee maker - the keurig k-mini comes in seven unique colors and has a minimal...
The Keurig K-Mini comes in seven unique colors and has a minimal footprint.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Step 5: Consider Consistency

While extra features aren't necessary, consistency is a factor you'll want to keep an eye on. In our testing process, we measured the coffee temperature output, volume accuracy, and speed of all the brewers. This is important as the taste of the coffee will significantly vary from cup to cup if these factors aren't consistent. For example, if the volume output is too low, you'll end up with a concentrated, overpowering coffee. On the other hand, if the volume is too much, you'll have a watered-down and flavorless brew. It is a similar situation for water temperature consistency. If the water temperature is too low, the coffee will be under-extracted and sour. When the water is too hot, it creates over-extracted bitter coffee. However, this might not be too important if you're looking for a caffeine hit and don't care too much about the taste.

keurig coffee maker - each brew was timed and had temperatures measured to compare...
Each brew was timed and had temperatures measured to compare consistency.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

As elevation increases, the boiling temperature of water decreases. A handful of Keurig coffee makers have a "high altitude" mode with this in mind. When using this mode, the machine drops its set temperature to 187 degrees Fahrenheit, which prevents over-extracting the coffee. This mode is meant for those living above 5,000 feet. Ideally, using this mode will keep your coffee tasting better with a more consistent brew.

Step 6: How much upkeep are you okay with?

It's safe to say most of us don't want to spend a whole lot of time cleaning our coffee makers. Most of the Keurigs in our lineup don't have any dishwasher-safe parts. However, we didn't find this too troublesome as most were easy and straightforward to wipe down. The annoyance is with how often some of these need to be wiped down. A handful of these had no issues brewing directly into the mug. Others, well, splattered a lot. This creates a backsplash on the machine and countertop, requiring a bit more cleaning.

keurig coffee maker - keurig coffee makers feature a removable drip tray. this makes...
Keurig coffee makers feature a removable drip tray. This makes cleaning easier and lengthens the max mug accommodation.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Like most other coffee brewers, Keurigs require regular descaling. Some machines even have handy reminders to indicate when descaling is needed. The K-Cup housing is also removable and needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent build-up. Many of these brewers are available in different colors and finishes. Some lighter-colored machines easily show coffee splatter, while some metallic brewers easily show fingerprints. It is important to consider how often you'll be willing to clean your Keurig based on the model, color, and finish you select.

What about other single-serve coffee makers?

There are plenty of other brands that make single-serve pod-styled coffee. While others might arguably make more satisfactory coffee, most can't compete with the convenience of the Keurig brand. K-Cups, for example, are inexpensive and available at almost any grocery store. In contrast, other manufacturers' pods might be less accessible and more expensive. There are also more options available with Keurig-style pods. Beyond coffee, there are K-Cups available for tea, hot cocoa, and hot ciders. We recommend you check out our review on single serve coffee makers for more on this.

keurig coffee maker - we brewed lots and lots of coffee during our testing phase.
We brewed lots and lots of coffee during our testing phase.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw


We hope this guide has been helpful in selecting a Keurig coffee maker. Next, we recommend taking a look at our comprehensive review on Keurig coffee makers to find out which ones are up to par. If you're wondering how we decided which coffee makers were best, you can check out our entire testing process.

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