Reviews You Can Rely On

How We Tested Keurig Coffee Makers

Wednesday February 1, 2023

Keurig coffee makers have become a staple in the home brewer industry. And rightly so — these machines deliver convenient single-serve coffee in just a few minutes. With many Keurig options out there, we understand why it can be overwhelming to find the right brewer. So, we devised a series of tests, measuring each brewer's performance, user experience, customization, and ease of cleaning.

keurig coffee maker - we analyzed each brewer with the same type of k-cup in comprehensive...
We analyzed each brewer with the same type of K-Cup in comprehensive back-to-back tests.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw


We brewed three cups of coffee for each Keurig: Cafe Verdona, Pike's Place, and French Roast. We started by measuring our empty mugs. After the coffee was brewed, we remeasured. This value represented the liquid volume of each pour. During the pour we placed two thermometers in the mug. We noted the max temperature reached and the overall temperature at the end of the brew. We also timed each pour and compared any variation between each round. Lastly, we blind-taste-tested each cup, noting the flavor and texture. Consistency was ideal in all instances.

keurig coffee maker - we weighed each cup of coffee to determine the pour size consistency.
We weighed each cup of coffee to determine the pour size consistency.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

User Experience

Next, we focused on the user experience. Most Keurigs need time to heat the water before brewing. We measured this time and considered how loud this process was. We also considered the water reservoir size and its ease of use. Some reservoirs include handles that make transporting it streamlined, while others are a bit harder to carry. We looked at the storage footprint of each machine. Those that were smaller and lighter earned higher scores, while bulkiness lost points. We then assessed the coffee maker's interface. The machines were scored based on how intuitive the operational system was. To test this, we assessed how well the system responded to buttons, screens, or app. Finally, we removed the K-Cup housing, scoring how easy this process was and how well it clicked back into place.

keurig coffee maker - the k-supreme plus smart has a larger footprint than others but...
The K-Supreme Plus Smart has a larger footprint than others but includes a large reservoir with a helpful handle.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


We then looked deeply into how customizable each brewer was. We started with features and adjustability. Then, we looked for features like auto on, auto off, temperature control, iced settings, a display screen, and a clock. The more of these features the brewer had, the better it scored. We looked into adjustments on brew amount and brew strength. Likewise, those that included these options scored higher. We also tried each of these features, noting where they made distinguishable changes to functionality and taste.

keurig coffee maker - the k-supreme plus smart has a simple and intuitive interface that...
The K-Supreme Plus Smart has a simple and intuitive interface that allows for ultimate functionality.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Then we removed the drip tray and measured the max mug accommodation space. A big advantage to single-serve brewers is being able to brew directly into a travel mug. Typically these are larger than regular coffee mugs, so removing the drip tray provides maximum space to assess. Finally, we looked into all the colors these brewers were available in. Those with more options earned a higher score.

keurig coffee maker - the k-mini has a small footprint and is available in multiple, fun...
The K-Mini has a small footprint and is available in multiple, fun colors.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Cleaning

Lastly, we cleaned each machine and rated this process. Following each brewing procedure, we inspected the amount of splashing that occurred. We then cleaned up the mess, noting the difficulty of doing so. After using each machine, we also searched for fingerprints. Then, we looked into how streamlined the descaling process was for each. Most Keurigs in our lineup suggest descaling every three to six months. We noted which machines have descaling reminders and built-in modes. Additionally, we awarded points to those with dishwasher-safe components.

keurig coffee maker - the k-cafe rarely splashed outside the cup. when it did, the black...
The K-Cafe rarely splashed outside the cup. When it did, the black finish concealed any coffee spots.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


We hope our in-depth testing process helps guide you to the best Keurig based on your preferences. Next, we recommend checking out our comprehensive review on Keurig Coffee Makers.

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More