Best Coffee Maker for K Cups

This is my roundup of the best coffee maker for K cups.

I researched and personally tested nine coffee makers that brewed K cups to put together this article.

I concluded that the best coffee maker for K cups is the Keurig K Supreme Plus

The Supreme Plus made the best coffee of all the coffee makers I tested, and is also the most durable K cup machine on the market.

Top Picks

These are the best K cup coffee machines depending on your specific need.

Best Overall: Keurig K Supreme Plus

Best for Desks and Dorm Rooms: Keurig K Mini Plus

Best Affordable: Mixpresso Single Serve 2 in 1 Coffee Brewer

You can find out more about how I have categorized how different K-cup coffee makers meet each specific need in my

Let’s have a look at each of these machines in a bit more detail.

Best Overall: Keurig K Supreme Plus

The Keurig K Supreme Plus is the best K cup coffee maker on the market because it offers you unparalleled control over how you brew your coffee. This allows you to both make the best possible coffee and to make a large range of different coffee drinks.

Quality of Coffee

The Keurig K Supreme Plus makes superb coffee due to the fact that it punctures K cups with five needles, rather than just the one needle used by most K cup coffee makers. It also brews K cups for much longer than all other machines on the market, resulting in a better-bodied coffee.

Puncturing K cups with five needles means that water comes into contact with the ground coffee inside K cups much more evenly and thoroughly than if the K cup was punctured with one needle.

More thorough and even extraction means that more of the flavor-carrying oils in the ground coffee end up in your drink, resulting in a more complex tasting and better-bodied coffee. 

K-cup with five punctures and one puncture
K cup punctured by five needles in the top vs one needle

The Keurig Supreme Plus has three strength settings, and on its highest strength setting, it will brew coffee for 100 seconds.

This means that it is the only K-cup coffee maker to brew anywhere near the recommended two-minute brewing time for a proper filter coffee.

At the right strength and serving size settings, the Keurig K Supreme Plus can make coffee that rivals drip coffee in terms of flavor while still keeping the convenience of K cup brewing.

The Supreme Plus is the only K-cup coffee maker that can do this.

Functionalities

The Keurig K Supreme Plus offers you the widest range of coffee-making options of any K cup coffee maker.

These options are:

  • Serving sizes of 4 oz, 6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz.
  • Three strength settings dictate how long coffee is brewed.
  • Iced coffee setting which cools coffee as it exits the machine so it does not melt your ice.
  • Three temperature settings (although these do not seem to do much)
  • Compatibility with standard and reusable K cups

By far the highlight of the machine, as far as its functionalities are concerned, are its three strength settings.

This mitigates a problem that is always levelled at K cup coffee makers, namely that the coffee they make is too weak.

This simply is not an issue for the Keurig K Supreme Plus if you brew at its highest strength setting.

Ease of Use 

Keurig has done an excellent job in making the Supreme Plus as easy to use as possible, despite its large range of functionalities. 

Making a coffee with the Supreme Plus is very straightforward due to its well-designed reservoir and intuitive control panel.

The Supreme Plus uses a “pitcher” style reservoir with a handle meaning that it can be carried easily with one hand even when full. This means you can take it off the machine, fill it up at the sink, and reattach it without much risk of spilling water everywhere.

A lot of other K cup coffee makers have shallower, wider reservoirs that are awkward to carry without sloshing water everywhere.

Holding the Supreme Plus’s pitcher-style reservoir

The Supreme Plus’s control panel has a dedicated button for each of the machine’s functionality. The relevant buttons light up for each stage of the programming process so you are left in no uncertain terms about what you need to press next to make the coffee that you want.

Keurig K Supreme Plus control panel
Supreme Plus’s control panel tells you to select the serving size and then strength and temperature are set to low

The display screen on the control panel also tells you which strength and temperature settings you have selected. Keurig really has pulled out all the stops to make using the machine a breeze.

The Supreme Plus lets you programme three “favorite” presets where you can choose serving size, strength, temperature and coffee type.

Once these have been pre-programmed you can set the machine to make your favorite coffee with just two button presses.

The machine can make coffees quickly in succession, which is something that most other K cup coffee makers struggle with (even the more expensive ones).

Ease of Cleaning

The Supreme Plus’s reservoir, K cup port and drip tray are all removable and can be easily cleaned in the sink.

Unfortunately, these removable parts are not dishwasher safe.

The machine tells you when it needs to be descaled by having the word “descale” flash up on its display screen. When this happens the machine will go into descaling mode where it can only make 12 oz brews.

You then descale the machine by filling its reservoir up with a descaling solution and running a 12 oz brew.

One problem some people find with the machine is that the heating element can malfunction after it descales. This can happen if the machine uses all the water in its reservoir when in descale mode. 

To prevent this from happening, make sure that you keep the Supreme Plus’s reservoir topped up when it’s in descale mode.

Size and Build Quality

You can see a table with the Keurig K Supreme Plus’s key dimensions below:

DimensionKeurig K Supreme Plus
Height x Width x Depth12.40 inches x 8.30 inches x 13.40 inches
Maximum height with lid up16.94 inches
Mug clearance (drip tray removed)6.20 inches (7.20 inches)
Reservoir volume72 oz

The machine’s maximum lid-up height of just under 17 inches means that it should be able to fit on counters with the relatively low countertop to cabinet space. 

The Supreme Plus has enough mug clearance to accommodate up to a 16 oz travel mug.

The machine feels far more solid and heavily built compared to the other coffee machines that I tested. The levers that open the K cup lid are double enforced which adds more durability to one of the most vulnerable points of a lot of coffee machines.

The build quality of the Supreme Plus’s internal components is very high.

The machine can make several cups of coffee in a row very quickly due to its powerful heating element. Keurig has also revamped the pumping mechanism in the Supreme Plus, making this the quietest K cup coffee maker on the market.

The Supreme Plus comes with a charcoal water filter which protects its pump from deteriorating over time.

This is what the charcoal filter looks like (to the right of the machine)

Known Issues with the Keurig K Supreme Plus?

As I mentioned earlier, I saw a few Keurig K Supreme Plus users complaining that the heating element stopped working once the machine finished descaling.

This problem seems to occur if the machine uses all the water in its reservoir before it finishes descaling. The heating element is forced on for longer than usual when the machine is in descale mode, and if it has no water to heat up then it will burn out.

You can find people discussing the problem on this thread in the Keurig subreddit.

You can lower the likelihood of this problem occurring by making sure that the machine’s reservoir does not completely empty when it is descaling.

The Supreme Plus’s excellent build quality means that it is less likely to succumb to technical issues that often affect K cup coffee machines including the pump becoming weaker over time and the machine taking longer and longer to heat up water.

Pros of the Keurig K Supreme Plus
  • Makes the best possible coffee from K cups
  • Durable
  • Can make lots of different types of coffees
  • Fast and Quiet
Cons of the Keurig K Supreme Plus
  • Parts are not dishwasher safe

Best for Desks and Dorm Rooms: Keurig K Mini Plus

The Keurig Mini Plus’s brew strength functionalities mean that it makes the best-tasting coffee out of all the compact K cup coffee machines.

Quality of Coffee

The Keurig K Mini Plus’s strength settings mean it makes the best coffee of all the small K cup coffee machines.

The Keurig K Mini Plus has two strength settings, activated by pressing its “strong” button either on or off.

With the “strong” button off the Mini Plus brews coffee for 50 seconds. Turning the “strong” button on lengthens this brew to 70 seconds.

I would always use this machine with a strong button on. With this button on, The Mini Plus can make a better 6 oz – 8 oz coffee than any other small K cup coffee maker.

You can find out more about how the “strong” button affects the quality of coffee in the Keurig K Mini Plus in my comparison of the Keurig Mini vs Mini Plus.

Serving sizes over 8 oz come out watery from the Mini Plus, however, this is a universal problem across all K cup coffee makers as K cups simply do not hold enough coffee grounds to brew a strong coffee at this size.

Size and Build Quality

The Keurig K Mini Plus is designed to be as compact as possible. You can find the key dimensions of the machine in the table below:

DimensionKeurig K Mini Plus
Height x Width x Depths12.10 inches x 4.50 inches x 11.30 inches
Maximum height width lid up16.80 inches
Maximum mug clearance (drip tray removed)6.00 inches (7.00 inches)
Reservoir volume12 oz (requires fresh water for each brew)

In addition to its slim design, the Mini Plus saves space by having a K cup holder that slides into the machine. This essentially allows you to store up to nine K cups within the machine so you don’t need separate storage for it.

The Mini Plus also has cord storage in the back of the machine. This is particularly useful if you are travelling with the machine in your luggage as you do not have to worry about loose cords.

The Mini Plus’s cord length is 30 inches. I would have preferred it if it was a bit longer as it can be hard to find a suitable plug for the machine if you do not have a lot of counter height sockets (such as in a bedroom or doom room, for example).

The machine comes in seven available colors, with the retro Cardinal Red being particularly popular among users.

Functionalities

The Keurig K Mini Plus has a stripped-back design, opting for saving space over having as many bells and whistles as possible.

The machine offers you serving sizes from 6 oz – 12 oz. It uses whatever water you put in its reservoir in each brew (rather than having preprogrammed serving sizes). 

It, therefore, requires you to fill its reservoir for each coffee that you make.

As mentioned earlier, the machine has two strength settings, activated by pressing the “strong” button either on or off.

The Mini Plus is compatible with standard and reusable K cups. Its reusable K cup compatibility means that it can make excellent 8 oz coffees.

That’s all the functionalities you have with the Mini Plus. Again, it’s a stripped-back machine, but the strength setting function really does set it apart from other small K cup coffee makers.

Stripped-back functionalities mean that the Mini Plus has a very simple control panel.

Ease of Use

The Keurig K Mini Plus requires you to fill its reservoir each time that you use it.

Although its reservoir is removable, it is so shallow and wide that it’s hard to carry when full without sloshing water everywhere. I prefer to just fill the reservoir when it’s attached to the machine.

The reservoir has measurements embossed on it to tell you how much water to put in it, however, these are not the easiest to read.

I wish that the measurements on the reservoir were a bit easier to read

The easiest way to fill up the reservoir is just to fill your mug with the amount of coffee you eventually want and then pour that into the reservoir.

With just two buttons on the machine, it could not be more simple to program the machine to make your coffee. The brew button flashes when it’s ready to be pressed to make things even easier for you.

The machine takes about two minutes to heat water. This does make it quite a slow machine to use if you want to make multiple cups of coffee at once. If you are likely to do this regularly, I’d recommend opting for the Keurig K Slim instead of the Mini Plus.

Ease of Cleaning

The Mini Plus is one of the few smaller K-cup coffee machines that have a removable reservoir. 

Although I do not like to remove the reservoir to fill it up, it does make it much easier to sponge clean in the sink (rather than having to sponge clean it still attached to the machine).

The K cup port and drip trays can also be cleaned in the machine.

The machine needs to be descaled every 2-3 months and unfortunately, it does not tell you when it needs to be descaled. You need to set reminders to do this.

As Keurig does not manufacture a reservoir filter that is compatible with this machine, it does need to be descaled more regularly than machines with larger reservoirs.

Known Issues with the Keurig Mini Plus

A significant number of Keurig Mini Plus users report that the machine’s pump deteriorates in the first year of ownership to the point where you need to brew several “servings” just to get your desired amount of coffee.

I think that one of the biggest reasons for this is that people do not descale the machine regularly enough.

The machine does not tell you when it needs to be descaled and this, combined with the fact that the reservoir does not have a filter, means that the machine should be descaled every 2-3 months (this is more regularly than most K cup coffee makers).

Keurig Mini Plus Pros
  • Makes better coffee than other small K cup machines
  • Very compact
  • Comes in a range of colors
  • Suitable for traveling with
Keurig Mini Plus Cons
  • Internal pipes scale up quickly

Best Affordable: Mixpresso Single Serve 2 in 1 Coffee Brewer

The Mixpresso 2 in 1 brew K cups slowly, meaning that it produces better tasting and fuller-bodied coffee than other inexpensive K cup machines. The fact that it takes coffee grounds, as well as K cups, allows you to make larger servings of coffee without it becoming watery. This is a feature that few other K cup machines have.

Quality of Coffee

Due to their lack of strength functionalities, when evaluating the quality of coffee produced by more affordable K cup coffee machines the two most important things to look at are the machine’s brewing times and brewing temperatures.

The Mixpresso 2 in 1 is the only affordable K cup machine that brews K cups for longer than a minute and brews the coffee at over 190 Fahrenheit.

This means that Mixpresso makes the best coffee out of all the affordable coffee machines.

Its coffee quality is comparable to the Keurig Mini Plus with the strong button on, even though the Mixpresso is a far cheaper machine.

Functionalities

The Mixpresso 2 in 1 is compatible with standard K-cups and uses its brew basket for ground coffee that holds up to 0.6 ounces (17 grams) of ground coffee.

This means that it can make a decent strength 6 oz – 8 oz coffee if you use the standard K cups for 6 oz and ground coffee for 8 oz (coffee should ideally be brewed at a 1:16 coffee to water ratio)

The Mixpresso 2 in 1 has preset serving sizes of 6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz, and 14 oz. 

Although I wouldn’t want a coffee larger than 8 oz from this machine, having preset serving sizes makes the coffee-making process much easier.

That’s it as far as functionalities go. 

Although the Mixpresso doesn’t have the bells and whistles of more expensive K-cup coffee makers, its high brewing times and temperatures mean that it does the basics very well.

Functionalities

The Mixpresso 2 in 1 is compatible with standard K-cups and uses its brew basket for ground coffee that holds up to 0.6 ounces (17 grams) of ground coffee.

This means that it can make a decent strength 6 oz – 8 oz coffee if you use the standard K cups for 6 oz and ground coffee for 8 oz (coffee should ideally be brewed at a 1:16 coffee to water ratio)

The Mixpresso 2 in 1 has preset serving sizes of 6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz, and 14 oz. 

Although I wouldn’t want a coffee larger than 8 oz from this machine, having preset serving sizes makes the coffee-making process much easier.

That’s it as far as functionalities go. 

Although the Mixpresso doesn’t have the bells and whistles of more expensive K-cup coffee makers, its high brewing times and temperatures mean that it does the basics very well.

Ease of Use

The Mixpresso 2 in 1 has a removable reservoir that attaches by sliding down the back of the machine.

The reservoir is tall and slim enough that you can carry it in one hand. It is easy to carry when full without sloshing water everywhere.

It can, however, be awkward to reattach back to the back of the machine, so you might want to just keep it attached to the machine and fill it with a jug if you have limited clearance above your counter.

Making a coffee just involves selecting whether you are going to brew with a K cup or with coffee grounds (the buttons are labelled “K cup” and “ground”), select your serving size (again buttons are labelled with their corresponding serving sizes) and then press the brew button on the right-hand side of the machine.

Ease of Cleaning

The K cup port, reservoir and drip tray can all be removed and cleaned in the sink, none of these parts is dishwasher safe.

The machine will not tell you when it needs to be descaled. Due to its lack of water filter, it should be descaled every two months.

Something I really like about this machine is that you can move its drip tray up to lower the mug clearance. This means you can push the mug closer to the spout where the coffee comes out to minimize any spilt coffee. 

This makes the Nespresso 2 in 1 one of the least messy K cup coffee makers around.

Size and Build Quality

The Mixpresso is much taller than Keurig’s coffee makers, making it unsuitable for countertops with low cabinet clearance. You can find a table with its dimensions below.

DimensionsMixpresso Single Serve 2 in 1 Coffee Brewer
Height x Width x Length14.5 inches x 6.5 inches x 9.5 inches
Maximum height with lid up20 inches
Mug clearance (drip tray removed)5.5 inches (6.5 inches)
Reservoir volume30 oz

The machine’s K cup port is towards the back of the machine. This means when you lift its lid, the whole of the top machine is lifted upwards, making its maximum lid up height around 20 inches.

Although the machine is plasticky, it has a decent weight to it and does not feel flimsy.

Its heating element is not the strongest, taking around 2 minutes to heat 8 oz of water. A lack of filter means its pump will be liable to scale up quickly.

The machine comes in four available colors: red, white, black and grey.

Known Issues with the Mixpresso Single Serve 2 in 1 Coffee Brewer

One issue that crops up fairly regularly among users of this machine is that it does not pump enough water for the serving that you select.

This appears to be an issue that affects the machine out of the box, so it is to do with a fault in the machine’s internal mechanism rather than a scale issue.

Cheaper machines are more prone to these types of technical issues, and the Mixpresso’s 4.1 stars out of 5 from over 2,000 reviews on Amazon suggests that it is only a small number of machines that are affected by this problem.

Pros of Mixpresso Single Serve 2 in 1 Coffee Brewer
  • Makes the best coffee compared to similar priced machines
  • Removable and easy to clean reservoir
  • Has a dedicated brew basket for ground coffee.
Cons of Mixpresso Single Serve 2 in 1 Coffee Brewer
  • Very tall so unsuitable for countertops with low clearance
  • Not the best build quality

How I Selected the Featured Machines

I started by researching the different K cup coffee makers online and then categorized them into three different categories: best overall, best for a dorm room or desk, and best affordable.

The online sources that I paid most attention to were:

  • Product demonstration videos on YouTube
  • Reviews on Amazon
  • Not-for-profit consumer awareness publications such as Consumer Reports
  • Reddit, particularly the subreddits r/keurig and r/coffee
  • The websites of the company that manufacture these products

I also spoke to the customer representatives of the companies that make these coffee machines.

I then purchased the three top-performing machines in each category, based on my research, and tested them out myself.

How I Categorized the Machines

The criteria for each category runs as follows:

Best Overall

This was an open category, but inevitably the machines that made it in here tended to be the most expensive and recently manufactured ones. 

The three machines shortlist for this were: Keurig K Supreme Plus, Keurig K Elite and the Cuisinart SS-10P1.

I also did a comparison of the Keurig K Supreme Plus vs Keurig K Elite.

Best for a Dorm Room or Desk

These machines had to have a footprint of smaller than 70 square inches.

The three machines shortlisted for this were: Keurig K Mini Plus, Keurig K Express and the Keurig K Slim.

I also did a direct comparison of the Keurig Mini Plus vs K Slim.

Best Affordable

These machines had to be priced on at least two websites at under $50.

Prices may vary depending on the time of year and where you buy your machine from.

The three machines shortlisted for this were: Mixpresso Single Serve 2 in 1, Mr. Coffee Single Serve (BVMC-KG5) and the Black and Decker Single Serve Coffee Maker.

What to Look for When Buying A K Cup Machine

To help you when choosing which K cup machine to buy, I am going to run through the most important parameters to look out for when purchasing one of these coffee makers

For each parameter, I will explain why it is important and what the range of measurements is for these machines (if applicable).

Size

Pay particular attention to depth (takes up workspace) and lid-up height (especially if you have a kitchen with a low countertop to cabinet clearance).

Countertop to cabinet clearance starts at around 19 inches in most homes. So any machine with a lid-up height of 17 inches or more could be hard to use if directly under cabinets.

K cup coffee makers usually have a depth ranging from 10 inches to 16 inches. Anything larger than 14 inches will likely “jut out” ahead of other kitchen appliances and potentially take up the workspace on your kitchen counter.

Mug clearance is important if you have a travel mug. For most travel mugs you want at least 6.5 inches

Available Serving Sizes

You want to purchase a K cup machine that offers 6 oz serving sizes.

Many machines start at an 8 oz serving size. This is a big disadvantage compared to machines that produce a 6 oz serving.

This is because K cups only contain enough coffee to brew a 6 oz coffee at sufficient strength.

If you are brewing a coffee larger than 6 oz you want to use a My K cup Universal Reusable K cup as this can hold more ground coffee.

A K-cup coffee maker will always make a watery coffee at a serving size larger than 10 oz. Even the largest reusable K cup cannot hold enough coffee grounds for this serving size.

Compatibility With Reusable Cups

Since a K cup coffee maker needs to use reusable K cups to make a decent coffee over 6 oz, you want to buy a coffee machine that is compatible with some sort of reusable K cups.

Reusable K cups tend to hold between 0.5 oz and 0.6 oz (15-17 grams) of ground coffee. This is enough to make a good 8 oz coffee and a decent(ish) 10 oz coffee in most machines.

Strength settings

As a very general rule of thumb, you want more strength settings on your K cup coffee maker.

Strength settings work by lengthening the amount of time that coffee takes to brew.

Longer brewing times make stronger coffee.

The K cup coffee maker with the longest brewing time is the Keurig K Supreme Plus which brews for around 100 seconds when on its strongest setting.

Ideally percolation brew coffee (the brewing method that K cups use) brews for 90 – 120 seconds.

This means that nearly all K cup machines brew their coffee too quickly.

Therefore you want a K cup machine that can lengthen its brewing time as much as possible.

Descale Warning

The biggest cause of deterioration of performance in K cup coffee machines is scale.

Not descaling your coffee machines when they scale up puts undue pressure on the heating and pumping systems of the machines. This can leave lasting damage even after you descale.

You, therefore, want a machine that tells you when it needs to be descaled.

Setting reminders to descale at certain intervals is not as good as the machine telling you when it needs to be descaled as the hardness of your water can greatly affect how quickly limescale builds up in pipes.

Water Filter

A water filter in your coffee machine’s reservoir will drastically reduce the rate at which your machine scales up.

Ideally, you want your K cup machine to come with a filter. Failing that, then you at least want a machine that can take a filter in its reservoir.

Machines with smaller and non-removable reservoirs are less likely to be compatible with a filter.

Final Verdict

The best coffee maker for K cup brewing is the Keurig K Supreme Plus.

If countertop space is a concern then you might want to buy the Keurig K Mini Plus, the best compact K cup maker.

The best affordable coffee maker is the Mixpresso Single Serve 2-in-1 Coffee Brewer.