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Keurig Compact Review

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Last updated: December 7, 2023

Quick answer: I would recommend the Keurig K Compact to those looking for a cheap Keurig coffee maker. I’d recommend this machine over the Keurig K Mini and the Keurig K Express, but not the Keurig K Express Essentials.

You’ve probably seen that the Keurig K Compact is Keurig’s cheapest coffee machine and wondered whether this low price comes with any catches.

While the K Compact is bigger and uglier than Keurig’s other small coffee makers (like the K Express and K Mini) I actually think that the K Compact is one of Keurig’s best small coffee makers.

In this Keurig Compact review, I’m going to run through what I like and dislike about this machine and see how it stacks up against the slightly more expensive Keurig K Mini and Keurig K Express.

Should I Buy the Keurig K Compact?

You should buy the Keurig K Compact if you are looking for a cheap single-serve coffee maker.

The Keurig K Compact is Keurig’s cheapest coffee maker, and in my opinion, is better than several of Keurig’s other more affordable machines including the Keurig K Mini, Keurig K Slim, and Keurig K Express.

Great value
Keurig K Compact
$89.00 ($89.00 / Count)

The Keurig K Compact is affordable and reliable making it the perfect starter Keurig machine.

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04/02/2024 04:27 pm GMT

Keurig K Compact

Quality of Coffee
7/10
Functionalities
6/10
Ease of Use
7/10
Design and Build Quality
5/10
Value for Money
9/10

Keurig K Compact Pros

Allows you to make a 6 oz coffee, the ideal serving size for K-cup brewing.

It doesn’t have a descaling mode (this often malfunctions on Keurig machines).

It’s the cheapest Keurig machine available.

It can store water in its reservoir between brews.

Keurig K Compact Cons

It is noisy when brewing.

It does not have any strength settings.

Its water reservoir is awkwardly shaped and hard to carry when full.

Overview of Keurig K Compact

Keurig K Compact is Keurig’s cheapest and simplest coffee maker.

It can brew 6 oz, 8 oz, and 10 oz coffees with K-cups or with reusable K-cups.

It has no strength settings, the only buttons on the machine are its three serving size buttons (each marked with a differently shaped cup, rather than actual serving sizes) and one button and a little light that flashes when its water reservoir is empty.

Below is a table of specifications for the Keurig K Compact:

Specification Keurig K Compact
Dimensions (width x depth x height)
8.20” W x 13.20” D x 12.50” H
Maximum height with lid up
16.30”
Cup clearance (drip tray removed)
6 oz (7 oz)
Available Serving Sizes
6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz
Reservoir Capacity
36 oz (can store water between brews)
Removable Reservoir
Yes
Strength Settings
1
MultiStream Technology
No
Descale Mode
No
Where to Buy

I’m now going to assess the Keurig K Compact against five criteria:

  • Quality of coffee
  • Functionalities
  • Ease of use
  • Design and build quality
  • Value for money

Quality of Coffee

The Keurig K Compact makes good but not great K-cup coffee.

There are two factors that determine how well a Keurig coffee maker makes coffee, these are (in order of importance):

  • Whether the coffee maker allows you to brew 6 oz serving sizes: K-cups only hold enough ground coffee to brew a maximum of 6.5 oz of coffee. Any serving size larger than this brewed with a K-cup will be watery because there is not enough ground coffee to extract into such a large quantity of water. K-cup coffee makers that allow you to brew 6 oz serving sizes, therefore, make better-tasting coffee than those that start at 8 oz.
  • Whether the coffee maker has a “strong” button: The strong button on a Keurig machine lengthens its brewing time. Longer brewing creates a tastier coffee as ground coffee has more time to extract into your brewing water.

The table below shows whether Keurig’s four most affordable coffee makers (which includes the K Compact) offer 6 oz serving sizes and a “strong” button:

Machine Name Does it offer 6 oz serving sizes Does it have a “strong” button
Keurig K Compact
Yes
No
Keurig K Mini
Yes
No
Keurig K Express Essentials
Yes
No
Keurig K Express
No
Yes
Keurig K Slim
No
Yes
Keurig K Mini Plus
Yes
Yes

The Keurig K Compact makes better-tasting coffee than the Keurig K Slim and Keurig K Express because it offers 6 oz serving sizes. As I said earlier, this is more important in determining how well a machine brews coffee than whether it has a “strong” button or not.

The K Compact’s coffee is on par with the (more expensive) Keurig K Express Essentials and Keurig K Mini.

Only the Keurig K Mini Plus makes better-tasting coffee than the Keurig K Compact as it can make 6 oz servings and has a “strong button”. Bear in mind that the K Mini Plus is about 50% more expensive than the K Compact. 

In short, the Keurig K Compact makes good-tasting coffee for its price tag, outperforming several pricier machines in this regard.

Quality of Coffee Rating: 7/10

Functionalities

The Keurig K Compact has relatively few functionalities, however, it does have the most important feature that any K-cup coffee maker needs – namely the 6 oz serving size.

The Keurig K Compact can only brew coffee in one way. 

It doesn’t have any strength settings; it can just brew a 6 oz, 8 oz, or 10 oz coffee in one minute with a standard or reusable K-cup.

Although the machine has the fewest number of functionalities of any Keurig coffee maker, I like the fact that it has the most important function of any Keurig machine – namely the ability to make a 6 oz serving of coffee.

Keurig machines that cannot do this invariably make watery coffee due to the aforementioned small quantity of ground coffee inside a K-cup

I also like the fact that the machine does not have a descaling mode. Descale modes are unnecessary and often malfunction on Keurig coffee makers (you can find dozens of threads about this on the Keurig subreddit: here and here are two examples). 

They are a point of failure rather than a useful feature, so the K Compact benefits from not having them.

The main functionality missing from the K Compact is its lack of a “strong” button. This does noticeably improve the quality of coffee it produces and that is why, if you have the money, I’d recommend the Keurig Mini Plus over the K Compact.

Functionalities Rating: 6/10

Ease of Use and Cleaning

The Keurig K Compact’s simplicity makes it easy to use, with its awkwardly shaped reservoir being the only thing that detracts from its usability. Its lack of descale mode (perhaps counterintuitively) makes the K Compact so much easier to descale than other Keurig machines.

Ease of Making Coffees

To make a coffee with the Keurig K Compact, all you need to do is fill its reservoir with water, load a K-cup into the top of the machine, and select the serving size that you want.

The machine will brew your coffee in around one minute.

The K Compact’s water reservoir holds 36 oz, so you can make 3-5 coffees before you need to refill its water tank, depending on your preferred serving size.

One downside of the machine is that its water tank is awkwardly shaped and has no obvious handle. Combine this with the fact that you need to slide it down the back of the machine, and this makes the K Compact hard to fill with water without spilling any.

I’d also prefer it if its serving buttons were labeled with its actual serving size rather than just a small, medium, or large cup. This is a tiny nitpick, however (the awkward reservoir is a much bigger problem).

Ease of Cleaning

Most of the Keurig K Compacts parts that come into direct contact with coffee or water can be removed and washed directly in the sink or dishwasher. These parts are:

  • Drip tray
  • Water tank
  • K-cup port (I wouldn’t recommend dishwashing these)

This means that the only two parts of the machine that you need to clean while they are still attached to the machine are:

  • K-cup needle
  • Internal pipes (cleaned by descaling)

You clean the K Compact’s K-cup needle by scraping off coffee grounds with a small sharp instrument like a toothpick or a straightened paperclip.

Like this

The video below shows how to descale the Keurig K Compact:

Descaling the Keurig Compact is easier than most Keurig machines because the Compact does not have a descaling mode.

While Keurig’s descale mode is meant to help you with descaling, it is so badly programmed more often than not makes the descaling process a lot harder. Its main issue is that the descaling mode often causes the machine to turn off during descaling, and then this in turn makes the machine go into an endless loop of needing to descale.

As the Keurig K Compact has no such descale mode, you never need to worry about this problem.

Ease of Use and Cleaning: 7/10

Design and Build Quality

While the Keurig K Compact was not built with aesthetics in mind, it is just as reliable as other, more expensive Keurig coffee makers.

Design and External Build Quality

The Keurig K Compact has Keurig’s “old style” design which is not as aesthetically pleasing as newer models like the K Slim and K Mini.

It’s also noticeably bigger than Keurig’s newer machines. For example, it is three and a half inches wider and one and a half inches deeper than the K Mini (Keurig’s smallest coffee maker).


In terms of compactness, while the K Compact is larger than the K Mini and K Express, I still think it is better for small kitchens than the Keurig K Slim. The K Slim is such a deep machine that it will likely “jut out” in front of other appliances on your counter and take up food preparation space.

The K Compact is not deep enough to give you this problem.

Although the machine is blocky and has an awkwardly designed reservoir, I couldn’t find any complaints about its external parts being flimsy.

So while its design is a bit worse than other small Keurig coffee makers, it’s not that much worse. 

Internal Build Quality and Known Issues

The Keurig K Compact’s heating system is faster, but noisier than other similarly priced Keurig models.

This has its obvious upside and downside, making the machine a good option if you need to make multiple cups of coffee quickly, but bad if you want to make coffee without waking up children (or upsetting your dog).

Its heater is not obviously more or less reliable than other Keurig coffee makers.

The K Compact’s pump is the machine’s biggest weakness and will almost certainly be part of the machine that fails first. This is however true of all Keurig coffee makers, even their premium “Supreme” range.

The fact that the K Compact is the cheapest Keurig coffee maker means that I am a bit more forgiving about its fragile pumping system than I am with other Keurig models.

The “All Lights On” Error

The Keurig K Compact has a common error where all its lights stay on and the machine cannot brew a coffee.

This occurs when there is a blockage in its pump. When this happens you have to open up the machine, disconnect the rubber tube that connects its pump to its dispenser and clear the blockage.

You can see a YouTube short of someone resolving this issue here. Personally, I’d be intimidated by having to do something like this.

I could find four reports of this error online which considering the machine has been reviewed 5848 times on Amazon makes me believe that it is not too common.

You can lessen the chances of this happening by descaling the machine regularly (this is one disadvantage of not having a descaling mode – it reminds you to descale. With the K Compact you just have to remember to do this).

Design and Build Quality Rating: 5/10

Value For Money

The Keurig K Compact is excellent value for money.

As I’ve said a few times now, the Keurig K Compact is Keurig’s cheapest coffee maker, yet it makes far from the worst coffee of all Keurig machines.

While you lose a little bit in terms of compactness and aesthetics, the machine is no less reliable than more expensive Keurigs. This makes the K Compact one of the best value-for-money Keurig coffee makers available.

Value for Money Rating: 9/10

Should I Buy the Keurig K Compact or Keurig K Mini?

I’d recommend the Keurig K Compact over the Keurig Mini.

The Keurig K Compact is easier to use than the K Mini as the latter machine requires you to fill its reservoir each time you want to make a coffee. 

This, combined with the Mini’s reservoir’s hard-to-read measurements, significantly adds to the amount of work that goes into making every coffee with the Mini compared to the Compact.

The Keurig K Mini is significantly smaller than the K Compact, however, if you prioritize a small footprint over everything else I’d recommend the Keurig Mini K Plus over the Keurig K Mini. 

You can find out more about these two machines in my comparison of the Keurig K Mini vs K Mini Plus.

Should I Buy The Keurig K Compact or Keurig K Express?

I’d recommend the Keurig K Compact over the Keurig K Express, but the Keurig K Express Essentials over both the Compact and the Express.

The Keurig K Express is a better-designed machine than the K Compact (smaller footprint, easier to remove/reattach water reservoir), however, the K Express is let down by the fact that it does not offer 6 oz servings of coffee.

This means that the Keurig K Express makes worse coffee than the Keurig K Compact.

The Keurig K Express Essentials does offer a 6 oz serving size and combines with the Express’s superior design. I’d therefore recommend the Keurig K Express Essentials over the Keurig K Compact.

You can find out more about how these machines compare in my comparison of the Keurig K Express vs Keurig K Compact.

More user-friendly than the Keurig K Compact
Keurig K Express Essentials
$94.58

The Keurig K Express Essentials’ ergonomic design makes it easier to use than the Keurig K Compact.

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04/03/2024 10:41 am GMT

Final Verdict

I’d recommend the Keurig K Compact if you’re looking for an inexpensive K-cup coffee maker.

The Keurig K Compact is excellent value for money, allowing you to make a good K-cup coffee without breaking the bank.

Keurig K Compact

Quality of Coffee
7/10
Functionalities
6/10
Ease of Use
7/10
Design and Build Quality
5/10
Value for Money
9/10

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