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Few brands of coffee makers are as well-known as Keurig. The brand revolutionized the modern approach to coffee by introducing the quick, user-friendly pod coffee maker. Now, people are brewing fresh cups of coffee just the way they want them rather than churning out a large pot all at once.
Thanks to Keurig, the focus has shifted to personalized coffee–quality rather than quantity. Not only do the Keurig coffee makers offer a quicker cup of coffee, but they offer an impressive array of over 250 hot and cold beverage flavors.
If you’re considering buying a Keurig, you may find yourself a bit overwhelmed by all the models available. Since the introduction of the first pod coffee makers, Keurig has continued to release new models every year. Don’t worry if there are too many models to decide—we’re here to help! Below, we’ve got everything you need to know about the best Keurig models for you to consider…
A Look at the Keurig Models
Keurig has a number of models available:
Keurig K-Cup Brewers
These are Keurig’s original pod coffee makers, the ones that brought K-Cups to the forefront of popularity. The Mini Plus and Elite are the only two models still in production, and the Special Edition, Platinum Plus, and Platinum have all been discontinued.
Keurig 2.0 Brewers
The 2.0 line uses both K-Cups and K-Carafes for brewing, and they use bar codes to read the lids of the K-Cups (the new ones) to ensure they are produced by Keurig and not a third-party manufacturer. You won’t be able to use third-party filers, reusable K-Cups, and very old-model K-Cups (without the readable lid) with the latest line of 2.0 brewers.
This Cappuccino and Latte system use Rivo Lavazza Espresso cups to brew delicious espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes. It won’t make standard coffee, however, but ONLY speciality coffees. You’ll have to use the special coffee pods for this machine.
Vue machines are no longer being produced, but older models are still available. Their brewing systems are identical to the system used in the 2.0 line, but they don’t use the popular K-Cups. Instead, they use Vue Packs, of which there is only a limited selection.
Factors to Consider
When looking into a Keurig coffee maker, here are a few factors to take into account:
Not all Keurig coffee makers can handle commercial (office) use but are designed for smaller households. The machines will be UL-listed for Home Use Only.
An office break room has a lot more counter space than an apartment kitchen. Find the coffee maker sized to your kitchen.
If you live in a household with multiple coffee drinkers, it may be a good idea to look for a coffee maker that can brew larger cup sizes. That way, you’ll brew fewer batches to make enough coffee for everyone.
Not all machines will work with reusable coffee pods, K-Carafes, third-party filters, or third-party cups. However, some models will allow you to brew a cup of coffee without a specific brand of pod or cup.
Many users like to program their coffee to brew at a certain time or customize the way their coffee is brewed. Some Keurig machines offer better customizability than others.
Breaking it Down
Let’s take a look at the more popular (and available) Keurig models and give you a short explanation of what makes them the right choice for you:
Keurig K10/B10 Mini Plus
This is the Keurig model for those who want a perfect cup of coffee every time but don’t mind a bit more work. You have to pour water into the coffee machine for each cup of coffee you brew, so it’s not ideal for a multi-drinker household. Just one cup of coffee at a time, but a good one!
- Wonderfully easy to keep clean
- A single-serve coffee maker that delivers a quality cup every time
- Compact; perfectly sized for small apartments, dorms, and kitchens with limited space
- No need to use filters with this machine
- Great coffee flavor!
- Can only produce up to 10 ounces of coffee
- No hot water reservoir; you have to wait for the water to heat up
- Doesn’t fit travel mugs
- No auto-start feature
Keurig 2.0 K350/K450/K550
These Keurig models are ideal for those who want to make lots of coffee at once. These machines are compatible with the K-Carafe, plus they have a built-in reservoir (from 60 to 80 ounces of water) to hold water for instant brewing. However, these coffee makers don’t accept third-party cups or filters, so you have to opt for K-Cups.
- Brews an epic cup of coffee every time
- Custom settings for coffee size and type
- Allows for a stronger brew
- Perfect for those who want a cup of coffee “just so”
- Brews a lot of coffee at once
- Doesn’t use older K-Cups or third-party cups/filters
- Occasionally shows an error message that says “Add Water” even though the reservoir is full
Keurig K45 Elite/K145
These machines are all designed for commercial use, and they can hold up to 48 ounces of water in their reservoir. They can also accommodate 3 cup sizes for a more customized brew. However, you’ll need to use pre-filtered water with the K145, as it doesn’t have a built-in water filter. The good news is that both of these models accept both K-Cups and third-party reusable cups and filters.
- Makes a beautiful cup of coffee with very little mess
- Compatible with non-Keurig K-Cups
- Works with reusable filter
- Fits medium-sized travel mugs (when you take out the drip tray)
- BPA-free plastic
- Great brew flavor and strength
- Nice quiet brewing process
- Not for use at the office; UL-listed for home use only
- No auto-start features
- Requires more regular cleaning
- Brewing too-large cups of coffee weakens the brew
This is built for both home and commercial use, and it’s designed for those who need convenience above all. It is fully programmable, with an auto-on/off switch, and it can be connected directly to a water line so you never need to fill the 90-ounce reservoir. It can brew cups in 4 different sizes, and it accepts third-party filters—though not cups. It’s the auto-brewer that gets the job done!
- Large water reservoir
- Brewing temperature customizable
- Auto-shutoff after 2 hours to reduce energy use
- Programmable settings for maximum convenience
- LCD touchpad screen with clear display makes for easy control
- Runs quietly
- Doesn’t brew larger cups of coffee (12 ounces or higher)
- K-Cups are expensive
- Splashes when you pour coffee into a regular mug
These Keurig models are the ones you want to consider if you’re looking for a great coffee maker. They each serve their own unique purpose and have their own special features, but there’s something for everyone with Keurig coffee makers.
Note: The newer (2.0) Keurig coffee makers are getting a lot of bad reviews, but this is often due to the fact that they can ONLY be used with Keurig pods and K-Cups. If you have a lot of third-party filters or coffee pods, it may be better to opt for an older-model Keurig. However, the 2.0 models are often more reliable than the older models in terms of function, customizability, and longevity.