8 Keurig Models Comparison
Our Keurig models comparison determined that has continued to innovate with new features and models so whether you are looking to buy your first Keurig, or want to replace an aging model then you may be confused at the options out there. Our 2020 Keurig Coffee Maker Buyers Guide looks at 8 models to help you decide which is best for you. Below are reviews and ratings of the K-Elite, K-Compact, k-Café, K-Mini and Mini Plus, the K-Duo and Duo Plus and the K-Classic.
Keurig revolutionized coffee first with its pod system, first targeting small offices and then homes and larger businesses. Despite cost and environmental concerns, the systems are very popular and for good reason. Keurig’s produce very credible coffee, sometimes excellent coffee, they support lots of new types of drinks and are convenient to operate and relatively easy to clean.
- Four sizes 6oz, 8oz, 10oz and 12 oz
- Iced Coffee Support
- 75 oz water tank
- Fits Travel Mug
- No strength settings
- No milk capabilities
- No drip coffee
The Keurig K-Elite is a compact machines with iced coffee capabilities. At less than $125 it is a good value if iced coffee support and the large water tank are valuable to you.
The K-Elite has a large, 75-ounce water tank, will support a travel mug and has a setting for iced coffee. It also has some basic features like temperature control (which does help coffee quality) and auto on and off. It comes in three nice color choices. These are Brushed Silver, Brushed Slate, Brushed Gold. This is good options for a base model Keurig. The K-Elite dimensions are 13.1” H x 9.9” W x 12.7” D.
Like most Keurig’s, the K-Elite model is for coffee drinkers and is a single shot model. When we compare the K-Classic vs. the K-Elite you do seem to pay a lot for a few features and color choices. It also doesn’t make carafes of drip coffee and doesn’t support frothing milk so you wont get true lattes or cappuccinos from the K-Elite.
- Very slim at 12.5” High x 8.2” Wide x 13.2”
- Good value at less than $70 USD
- Solid Coffee Brewing
- You Get What You Pay For
- A Bit Loud
- Sometimes Spits Water
The Keurig K-Compact is am inexpensive way to get a surprisingly compact coffee maker. It will fit just about anywhere. It brews good coffee along with the other K-Cup system pod drinks and is good for small kitchens, dorms, small offices and other areas like that. See our review of the K-Mini and Mini Plus models, which are more compact than the K-Compact.
The K-Compact model is to make single serve coffee and drinks that is really it. Every other model on the list has some feature this one is missing so it is hard to list all the things it doesn’t have. But it is small, inexpensive and gets the job done. The K-Classic is still the better choice unless space is a real issue. When we look at the K-Compact vs K-Mini vs K-Mini Plus we prefer the K-Compact or K-Mini.
- Makes Lattes and Cappuccinos
- Dishwasher safe frother supports dairy, soy, almond milks, etc.
- No drip coffee setting
- No iced coffee setting
The Keurig K-Cafe is a very good model that does a lot at a low price. At less than $175 USD it is a viable alternative for cappuccino and latte lovers who want a pod system.
There are still plenty of features that you don’t get with this model that other Keurig coffee maker models do have. The K-Cafe doesn’t make drip coffee and it has no temperature control, iced coffee setting, no heating plate no auto on (they all have auto-off). It also doesn’t have a display.
We didn’t try the Keurig K-Café Special Edition model. As best we can tell it has a different finish, Nickel colored exterior, which look nice and little else. Keurig does this a lot, they add $20 to a model but no real features to justify the price difference. The K-Cafe and Special edition both do have the high-altitude setting.
Keurig models comparison K-Mini Plus
K-Mini Plus Pros
- Smaller than the K-Compact
- Nice color options
K-Mini Plus Cons
- $20 premium of K-Mini isn’t worth it
- More expensive than the K-Compact model
- No water tank
- A bit loud
Both the K-Mini and K-Mini Plus have the same dimensions at 12.1” H x 4.5” W x 11.3” D. The Plus model costs more than the K-Mini and K-Compact at about $89. It is a basic, very compact pod coffee maker. See out K-Mini review below for more details on features missing from both models.
So, what do you get for the extra $20 that the Plus typically costs over the K-mini model? Only the K-Mini Plus has travel mug space and comes with a pod storage holder.
You do get some nice color options with the K-Mini Plus model. The Mini Plus has 4 colors vs the K-Mini’s three. The colors are Black, Cardinal Red, Evening Teal, Studio Gray. Comparing the K-Mini vs K-Mini Plus we have no idea why someone would buy a K-Mini plus in black when they can get the other models for less. Surprisingly the Oasis which is available in the Mini isn’t available on the Plus which adds Cardinal Red and Evening Teal instead.
Keurig models comparison K-Mini
- Very small and inexpensive
- Brews as well as more expensive models
- Cheap feel, you get what you pay for
- A bit noisy
At less than $70 the Keurig K-Mini model is about the same price as the K-Compact. Because it is a basic model, we recommend this or the K-Compact over the K-Mini plus unless you really want one of the premium colors the K-PLus offers. The K-Mini only offers Black, Studio Gray, Oasis
With both you must add water each time and they have auto off (but no auto-on features). Neither have milk features so no lattes or cappuccinos.
No displays or clocks, strength or temperature control, iced settings or a heating plate, no auto on. Neither has high altitude settings.
The Keurig K-Mini model earned a better review score than the Plus model and is a great choice if cost and space are your top concerns. We did like the way the K-Compact operates a little better. So, our Keurig models comparison finds that the K-Compact vs K-Mini vs K-Mini plus contest we chose the K-Mini.
Keurig Model Comparison K-Duo
- Drip Coffee and K-Cup Pod Systems
- Good Brewing
- Simple to Use
- No Amazon Prime at This Time
- A Little Messy
The Keurig K-Duo is an excellent option for people who do not want to be limited to the pod system but want to be able to make drip coffee. It does have a glass carafe and warming plate and Keurig does offer a thermal carafe option in its K-Duo Plus. We will look at the K-Duo vs K-Duo Plus models.
At around $127 you could buy a cheaper Keurig model and a better bean to cup coffee maker for almost the same price but that would mean two separate appliances taking up space. Also, we reviewed the Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew which also makes both drip coffee and K-Cup compatible beverages.
The K-Duo model supports four beverage sizes; 6, 8, 10 and 12 ounces and it also has a large, 60-ounce removable water reservoir. Like most other Keurig’s, you can’t make lattes or cappuccinos and you cannot control the strength or temperature, and the K-Duo does not have an iced coffee setting, milk heating,
To Keurig’s credit, the K-Duo model is very different than the Plus model. With dimensions of 12.92” H x 10.94” W x12.76” D it is shorter, wider and deeper than the Plus. This makes our Keurig models comparison a bit tougher.
Keurig Models Comparison K-Duo Plus
K-Duo Plus Pros
- Only pod system plus thermal carafe drip coffee option
- Nice thermal carafe
- Good brewing
K-Duo Plus Cons
- No Amazon Prime Option
Keurig K-Duo Plus is Keurig’s drip coffee maker with a thermal carafe. We like thermal carafes. You can get much better thermal carafe coffee makers and pay less but none also support the K-Cup system.
The K-Duo Plus model is very different than the base K-Duo. Its design, look and dimensions are difference. This machine is 14.19” H x 8.2” W x 11.7” D
The Plus has a Stainless-Steel Thermal Carafe which is a nice upgrade over the glass carafe in the base model. Both make 6, 8, 10 and 12 oz. beverages and 60-ounce water tanks.
Both the Keurig K-Duo Plus and K-Duo are only available in black. Both also have clocks and high altitude settings.
Keurig Models Comparison K-Classic
- Good value
- All the basic features
- Brews Well
- Need to pay for upgraded model for many features
The Keurig K-Classic should still be your choice unless size, milk support or drip coffee functionality, or stylish colors really means a lot to you. If all you care about is K-cup single pod support then buy a K-Classic. It supports three sizes, 6oz, 8oz and 10oz beverages, it is 13.0″ H x 9.8″ W x 13.3″ D and has a 48 oz water capacity. It also supports large travel mugs.
The K-Classic model doesn’t froth milk so it doesn’t make lattes or cappuccinos and it doesn’t brew drip coffee. It also has no coffee brew strength control, temperature control, iced coffee setting, display screen, or auto on feature. Every Keurig has an energy saving auto off feature.
The Keurig K-Classic model comes in two colors, black and Rhubarb.
Should I Buy a Keurig Model?
If you want to understand who you are doing business with then you can read about the history of Keurig and the company that makes Kuerig models. We also address environmental and cost concerns with Keurig pod system coffee makers. Many people about Nespresso vs Keurig and we covered that topic in detail. Also, the CHULUX coffee maker is an interesting, inexpensive alternative.
We explain that the best bean to cup coffee machines and top super automatic espresso makers cost more up front. But they can save a lot over time and typically produce better coffee and espresso based drinks. For some great alternatives to a Keurig pod system look at our Breville coffee maker guide for 2020.
Are Keurig’s Well Made?
Keurig’s are professionally designed and manufactured and they come with a warranty. So you are unlikely to have a problem in the short and medium term. Our Keurig concludes that, in their classes, they are reasonably high quality.
Better made espresso makers and coffee makers are often designed to last a lifetime (or more). They are designed to allow for better cleaning, more maintenance and you can replace key systems and parts. Also you can often find local companies that will service and repair them.
Typically, inexpensive small appliances like most low to mid priced coffee makers and lower end espresso machines are disposable appliances. This includes the Keurig coffee maker models. They do not have easily accessible subsystems and are not meant to be serviced, they are meant to be replaced.
Keurig Models Comparison
We hope our Keurig Models comparison has helped you choose the best model for you. If you are looking for other, non-Keurig models as alternatives, there are a lot of options. Please check out our other recommendations on our Nespresso vs Keurig list and our reviews of the Nespresso Creatista and CHULUX coffee maker.