Keurig K Mini Review

This is my Keurig K Mini review — an evaluation of Keurig’s smallest single-serve coffee maker.

I own the Keurig K Mini Plus, Keurig’s upgrade of the Keurig K Mini, and I spent four hours looking through product demonstrations of the Mini on YouTube, reading the Mini’s manual and talking to Keurig’s customer support team to find out everything there is to know about the machine.

Let’s get started.

Is the Keurig K Mini Worth It (Quick Answer)?

The Keurig K Mini is only worth buying if you cannot bear to spend a bit extra on the Keurig K Mini Plus. Although the K Mini works ok as a compact K cup coffee maker, its lack of a “strong” button means that the K cup coffee it makes is rather weak. I’d therefore recommend the Keurig K Mini Pus over the Mini. The Mini is still a solid choice if you are on a budget.

Keurig K Mini at a Glance

The Keurig K Mini is Keurig’s smallest and least expensive single-serve coffee maker

The coffee maker is 4.5 inches wide, 11.3 inches deep and 12.1 inches high.

It has a maximum lid-up height of 16.8 inches and a maximum mug clearance of 7 inches when you remove the drip tray.

The machine only has one brew setting, and serving sizes are determined by the amount of water that you put in the reservoir. The reservoir will use whatever water you put in it in each brew, meaning that you cannot store water in the reservoir for later use.

The reservoir is also non-removable, meaning that you will need to fill it up with a separate vessel.

The Keurig K Mini’s reservoir can hold a maximum of 12 oz of water, meaning that it can create K cup coffees from 6 oz to 12 oz.

The machine is compatible with all standard K cups and My Universal Reusable K cups.

Pros
  • Inexpensive compared to other Keurig Machines
  • Slim design is great for crowded countertops
  • Can take reusable K cups
  • Available in a range of colors
Cons
  • No strong setting
  • Non-removable reservoir is hard to clean
  • Water pump often becomes faulty

Size and Appearance

The Keurig K Mini is the joint smallest of Keurig’s single-serve coffee makers along with its direct upgrade, the Keurig K Mini Plus.

The table below shows how the Keurig K Mini compares in size to Keurig’s other coffee makers.

MachineDimensions (Height, Width, Depth)Maximum height with lid upMaximum mug clearance (drip tray removed)
Keurig Mini12.10 inches x 4.50 inches x 11.30 inches16.80 inches6.00 inches (7.00 inches)
Keurig Mini Plus12.10 inches x 4.50 inches x 11.30 inches16.80 inches6.00 inches (7.00 inches)
Keurig Express12.60 inches x 4.56 inches x 12.80 inches17.20 inches6.50 inches (7.50 inches)
Keurig K Supreme12.20 inches x 6.40 inches x 12.00 inches16.94 inches6.20 inches (7.20 inches)
Keurig Supreme Plus12.40 inches x 8.30 inches x 13.40 inches16.94 inches6.20 inches (7.20 inches)
Keurig K Elite13.10 inches x 9.90 inches x 12.70 inches16.50 inches6.50 inches (7.50 inches)
Keurig Slim12.14 inches x 4.76 inches x 15.20 inches17.28 inches6 inches (7 inches)

It seems that when Keurig wants to design a small machine, its focus is on reducing the machine’s width as much as possible.

While the machine is significantly slimmer than most K cup coffee machines, it still has a similar height and depth to other, similar coffee makers.

Therefore you will only benefit from the Keurig K Mini’s compact design if you have a small or crowded countertop.

If a lack of clearance between your countertop and cabinets is your main concern, then the Keurig Mini may not seem like as much of a practical solution.

The Keurig K Mini, although slim, is still tall enough to cause issues with low cabinets.

The Keurig K Mini looks good. They have clearly designed the machine with aesthetic “cuteness” in mind and this is epitomised by the fact that you can purchase the machine in six different colors.

Available colors for the Keurig K Mini:

While the machine looks like it has a metal finish, as soon as you touch it you can feel that it is actually made out of thin plastic. The machine’s feel reminds me of an old-school printer (not a compliment) and I doubt it would survive being knocked on its side, never mind falling to the floor from the counter.

One final impracticality I found with the machine’s size is that it only has a 30-inch chord

I wanted to keep the Keurig K Mini Plus (which has the same chord length) in my bedroom, but I could not find a place where it would reach a plug without the machine living on the floor.

The Mini’s short chord may make it impractical for travelling with, which is a shame since Keurig has marketed the product as being “travel friendly”.

Functionalities

The Keurig K Mini can make K cup coffee with serving sizes from 6-12 oz and with one brew setting.

The machine has no preprogrammed serving sizes but rather just brews with whatever water you put in its reservoir.

Just fill the reservoir with your desired amount of water, press the brew button (the only button the machine has other than the on button) and wait for it to brew.

I think that the lack of a “strong” button is a major downside of the Keurig K Mini. 

With the Mini Plus, I always use the “strong” button as the additional brewing time gives your coffee a richer flavor and better body. Even 6 oz K cups are a little on the watery side when you don’t use the “strong” button.

I also find that, without a preprogrammed serving amount, it is hard to measure servings accurately.

There are measurements on the side of the reservoir, but these are hard to read, especially when you are pouring water at the same time.

The Keurig K Mini is compatible with most standard K cups and My K cup Universal Reusable K cups. I really like the fact that the machine is compatible with My Universal Reusable K cups as these can hold enough coffee to make a 10 oz K cup of coffee of decent strength.

Quality of Coffee

Short brewing times and a lack of strong buttons mean that the coffee made by the Keurig K Mini is weak, even by K cup standards.

The K Mini brews K cups for around 50 seconds, this is the same (give or take a couple of seconds) as my K Mini Plus without the “strong” setting on. 

K cups brewed for this length of time are simply too weak.

If you purchase the Keurig K Mini Plus instead of the Mini the “strong” button will add an extra 20 seconds to this brewing time. This significantly improves the coffee that the Mini Plus makes compared to the Mini.

The Mini’s one saving grace as far as coffee quality is concerned is that it will work with a My Universal Reusable K cup. These can hold up to 17 grams of coffee, compared to the standard K cups’ 10.5 grams.

Since you ideally want a 1:15 coffee to water ratio, you will need a My Universal Reusable K cup to make a decent strength coffee of 8-10 ounces.

Even with the My Universal Reusable K cup at full capacity, I would not recommend making a coffee larger than ten ounces with a Keurig machine.

In short, if you want a compact K cup machine that brews coffee of a decent strength, I wouldn’t recommend the Keurig K Mini, instead, you should opt for the Keurig K Mini Plus.

Ease of Use

The Keurig K Mini’s stripped-back functionalities make it easy to programme, however, it’s poorly designed reservoir makes it difficult to load with the correct amount of water and clean thoroughly.

Ease of Setup

The Keurig K Mini takes minutes to set up. All its parts come assembled out of the box. All you need to do is plug it in, fill up the reservoir to its brim and have it make one brew without a K cup in it to rinse it out.

Then you’re ready to go.

Ease of Brewing Coffee

The brewing process seems easy enough at first, just load up the reservoir with the amount of water that you want, put it in the K-cup and press the brew button (the big button at the top of the machine).

The first difficulty you’ll find when making a coffee with the Mini is that it’s hard to see how much water you put in the reservoir

The reservoir does have serving measurements, but they’re very faint and on the side of the reservoir. Couple this with the fact that the reservoir cannot be removed from the top of the machine and you will find yourself having to crane your neck around the machine and squinting at the measurements just to see how much water you have put in.

The measurements on the side of the Mini’s reservoir are not easy to read

Other than that, inserting the K cup and pressing the only button on the machine that doesn’t have an obvious power symbol is, unsurprisingly, very easy.

Ease of Cleaning

There are four main parts of the Keurig K Mini that require cleaning: the drip tray, the reservoir, the K cup port and needle, and the internal pipes (descaling).

The drip tray and K cup ports are removable and therefore are easy to just take off and clean in your sink. The ports and K cup needles have quite a few small nooks which need to be cleaned with something thin and solid (a straightened-out paperclip for example), however, this is a universal problem for all K cup machines.

Descaling the Keurig K Mini is also very straightforward. Just fill the reservoir to the brim with a descaling solution and brew without a K cup in the machine. 

You can descale with white vinegar rather than a descaling solution but this will void the one-year warranty so I’d avoid doing this if your machine is less than a year old.

The Mini’s reservoir being non-removable does make it a pain to clean. 

The non-detachable reservoir can be hard to clean if you have a crowded countertop

The reservoir can build up grime quickly (every few weeks) and therefore need to be scrubbed to be cleaned properly. The reservoir’s filter also collects grime and this needs to be carefully cleaned with a thin, solid instrument. Both these things are awkward to do with the reservoir attached to the machine.

Overall, the Keurig K Mini is straightforward to use, although the addition of a removable reservoir and clearer measurement lines would have improved its UX.

Known Issues

I found numerous complaints online about mechanical faults with the Keurig K Mini’s water pump. 

These issues can essentially be boiled down to one of three problems. They are:

The Machine Stops Pumping Water

Many Keurig K Mini owners say that the machine randomly stops pumping water from the reservoir into the machine, rendering the coffee maker useless. 

The most common reason for this is that the Mini needs to have some water in its reservoir to trigger the pump to start. 

Therefore the problem can often be fixed by filling the reservoir before turning the machine on. You can find a video of someone fixing this problem here.

Machine Buzzes After Use

There are many reports on the Keurig subreddit that the K Mini makes a constant buzzing noise, continuing even after the machine has been turned off.

This issue is also caused by a problem with the machine’s water pump. Sometimes the Mini fails to brew out all the water when it makes a coffee, leaving some leftover water in its internal pipes. When this happens the water gurgles inside the machine, causing this humming noise.

You can fix this by turning the machine back on and holding the brew button for 10 seconds when its reservoir is empty. This should force the machine to release any water stuck in its pipes.

The Machine Does Not Pump Enough Water in Each Brew

Many Amazon reviews claim that the machine brews with gradually less water over the course of its lifespan. Many users report that the machine can get to the point where you have to brew it 3-4 times just to get an 8 oz serving.

There is no established fix for this, although I do wonder if the users who report this bother descaling their machine and cleaning their reservoir’s filter as this is supposed to (in theory at least) prevent these issues from happening.

What Users Say

As of May 2022, 67,721 users gave the Keurig K Mini an average of 4.6 stars out of 5 on Amazon.

Positive reviews praise the machine’s small footprint and ease of use. For example:

“Decided to buy a Keurig because my husband always makes far too much in a pot, and a lot was going to waste. The mini is super compact, taking up roughly half the counter space our previous pot-style coffee maker did. It’s incredibly easy to use, and makes a delicious cup.”

Amazon reviewer – March 2022

Most negative reviews talk about how the machine’s pump rapidly gets weaker over time. For example:

“It worked great initially. For about 3 weeks. Now it will only take in 2 ozs of water with each button push… so for an 8 oz cuppa java, you actually have to raise the handle up & down & push the button 4-5 times. It’s a workout.

Amazon reviewer – January 2022

Many other positive Amazon reviews remark on how being able to choose your machine’s color improves its aesthetics, especially as you can match it to the color schemes in your kitchen. See all Amazon reviews.

Alternatives to the Keurig K Mini

Here I’ll go through a few of the better mini K cup coffee makers available.

The Keurig K Mini Plus

The Keurig K Express is a more hands-off compact K cup machine.

Rather than having to pour the water for each coffee individually. The Express has a 48oz reservoir and preprogrammed serving sizes of 8 oz, 10 oz and 12 oz. 

This makes it the best option for people who want to make a coffee with as little time or effort as possible.

The Express’s additional reservoir (which is removable) does add an extra inch and a half to its depth, however, it is equally as slim as the Mini and Mini Plus.

The machine also has a “strong” button, just like the K Plus.

The Keurig K Express is around 50-60% more expensive than the Keurig K Mini. 

If you want to find out about the differences between these machines in more detail, please see my comparison of the Keurig K Mini vs Mini Plus

In my opinion, by far the biggest advantage the Express has over the Mini is the addition of the “strong” setting. That alone is worth the additional cost. If ease of use is of high priority to you then the larger reservoir and serving size presents will also be a nice addition.

Keurig K Express

Keurig K Express dimensions

The Keurig K Express is a more hands-off compact K cup machine.

Rather than having to pour the water for each coffee individually. The Express has a 48oz reservoir and preprogrammed serving sizes of 8 oz, 10 oz and 12 oz. 

This makes it the best option for people who want to make a coffee with as little time or effort as possible.

The Express’s additional reservoir (which is removable) does add an extra inch and a half to its depth, however, it is equally as slim as the Mini and Mini Plus.

The machine also has a “strong” button, just like the K Plus.

The Keurig K Express is around 50-60% more expensive than the Keurig K Mini. 

If you’d like to find out more about the differences between these two machines, please see my comparison of the Keurig K Mini vs Keurig K Express.

In my opinion, by far the biggest advantage the Express has over the Mini is the addition of the “strong” setting. That alone is worth the additional cost. If ease of use is of high priority to you then the larger reservoir and serving size presents will also be a nice addition.

Mixpresso Single Serve Coffee Maker

The Mixpresso Single Serve Coffee Maker is the best of the “off-brand” mini K cup coffee makers.

The machine is even smaller than the Keurig K Mini with dimensions of 4.7 inches in width, 8.2 inches in depth and 9.1 inches in height. It does, however, only have a maximum cup clearance of 5.5 inches so cannot be used with travel or even some larger coffee cups.

My favorite thing about the Mixpresso Single Serve Coffee Maker is that it has a brew length of 70 seconds. This is roughly the same as the Keurig K Plus/Expresso with the “strong” button on, and significantly longer than the 50-second brew time that the Mini has.

This means that the Mixpresso Single Serve Coffee Maker will make stronger coffee than the Keurig K Mini.

Many reviews of the machine indicate that its cheap build quality means it might not have the most longevity. This is unsurprising since the machine is about half the price of the K Mini.

I do, however, think that the Mixpresso Single Serve Coffee Maker offers serious value for money compared to Keurig’s offerings.

Wrapping up

The Keurig K Mini delivers what it promises: it allows you to easily make a K-cup of coffee without taking up too much space on your counter.

A lack of a “strong” button means that you are not going to get the best coffee in the world from it, but as far as convenience and ease of use are concerned it’s a solid option.

I still think that the “strong” button on the Keurig K Mini Plus is worth the additional money, so do not regret my choice of opting for that machine.

If you are interested in finding out more about how the Keurig K Mini and K Mini Plus compare, please read my write-up of the Keurig K Mini vs Keurig K Mini Plus.