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Keurig Mini vs Mini Plus

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Last updated: December 6, 2023

Quick Verdict: I’d recommend the Keurig Mini Plus over the Keurig Mini in every circumstance.

You’ve probably looked at the Keurig Mini and Mini Plus online and wondered whether it’s worth paying the extra $20 to get the Keurig Mini Plus vs Keurig Mini.

I own the Keurig Mini Plus, and for the last couple of weeks, I used it without taking advantage of the four features that it has over the Mini in order to compare the two machines. 

These four features are:

  • A “strong” button
  • A pod holder
  • A removable water reservoir
  • Cord storage

Here I’m going to explain exactly how these features make the Keurig Mini Plus a better machine than the Keurig Mini and investigate whether or not these improvements justify spending an extra $20 on the Keurig Mini Plus vs the Keurig Mini.

Should I Buy The Keurig Mini or Keurig Mini Plus?

I would recommend buying the Keurig Mini Plus over the Keurig Mini. The Mini Plus makes better coffee than the Mini and is easier to use, clean and store. This makes easily justifies its small additional cost.

Better than the Keurig Mini
Keurig K Mini Plus
$109.99 $93.99 ($93.99 / Count)

The Keurig Mini Plus makes better coffee and is easier to clean than the Mini.

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04/03/2024 02:37 pm GMT

The “strong” button on the Keurig Mini Plus means that it makes a noticeably better coffee than the Keurig Mini.

The Mini Plus is also much easier to clean and store than the Mini because of its removable reservoir and built-in pod storage chamber.

This pod storage chamber costs $25 on its own. This is more than the typical price difference between the two machines. 

The fact that the pod storage is just one of four advantages that the Keurig Mini Plus has over the Mini demonstrates that the Mini Plus is easily worth the extra money over the Mini.

What are the Differences Between the Keurig Mini and the Keurig Mini Plus?

The Keurig Mini Plus has four features that the Keurig Mini does not have. They are:

  1. The addition of a “strong” button lengthens the Keurig Mini Plus’s brewing time compared to the Keurig Mini. This means that the Keurig Mini Plus makes a stronger coffee than the Keurig Mini.
  1. A removable water reservoir so you can clean fill and the Mini Plus’s water tank directly in the sink.
  1. A pod container that slots into the front of the machine so you can store your pods without increasing the machine’s footprint.
  1. The ability to store its cord inside the machine. This is really useful if you want to travel with the Mini Plus in your luggage.

Other than these three features, the two machines are identical. Their main points of similarity are:

  • They are the same shape and size (although the Mini Plus’s pod and cord storage make it a better machine for tight spaces in dorm rooms).
  • They can both brew with K-cup and with reusable K cups (reusable K cups are sold separately)
  • They offer the same serving sizes (anywhere from 6-12 oz).
  • You cannot store water in either of their water tanks between brews.
  • They both have a maximum mug clearance of 6.5 inches with the drip tray removed so are not suitable for travel mugs.

The table below shows the key similarities and differences between the Keurig Mini and Keurig Mini Plus.

Attribute Keurig K Mini Keurig K Mini Plus
Dimensions
4.50” W x 11.30” D x 12.10” H
4.50” W x 11.30” D x 12.10” H
Maximum Lid up Height
16.80”
16.80”
Serving sizes available
6-12 oz (depending on water in reservoir)
6-12 oz (depending on water in reservoir)
Reservoir size
12 oz
12 oz
Removable reservoir
No
Yes
“Strong” button
No
Yes
Built-in pod storage
No
Yes
Cord storage
No
Yes

You can find out more about the features and specifications of the Keurig Mini Plus in my Keurig Mini Plus review.

I’m now going to compare the Keurig Mini vs Mini Plus across five criteria. They are:

  • Quality of coffee
  • Features and Functionalities
  • Ease of Use and Cleaning
  • Design and Build Quality
  • Value for Money

Quality of Coffee

The Keurig Mini Plus makes better coffee than the Keurig Mini due to its inclusion of the “strong” button. The “strong” buttons lengthen brewing time, resulting in a richer fuller bodied coffee.

As I mentioned earlier, the Keurig Mini Plus has a “strong” button which the Keurig Mini lacks.

I tested out the “strong” button on my Mini Plus by doing a blind tasting comparing coffees brewed with and without the “strong” button switched on.

I found that the “strong” button did noticeably improve the strength of coffees brewed at 6 oz and 8 oz servings, but that differences were less noticeable at 10 oz and 12 oz servings.

Therefore you are most likely to benefit from the Mini Plus’s “strong” button if you like a strong coffee and prefer to drink 6-8 oz serving sizes.

Regardless of serving size, I always brew with the “strong” button on and think that this alone justifies the additional cost of the Keurig Mini Plus over the Mini.

Quality of Coffee Winner: Keurig Mini Plus

Features and Functionalities

The only difference in functionality between these two machines is the Mini Plus’s strong brew function. The Keurig Mini does not have this, and therefore gives you a poorer variety of brewing options than the Mini Plus.

The table below shows how long the Keurig Mini and Mini Plus take to brew an eight-ounce coffee with the strong button on and off:

Brewing Time Keurig K Mini Keurig K Mini Plus
Strong button off
50 seconds
50 seconds
Strong button on
N/A
65 seconds

As a comparison, my fancy Speciality Coffee Association-certified Breville Precision Brewer brews an eight-ounce coffee in 70 seconds.

This means that the Keurig Mini Plus gives you the option to brew at the same speed as a fancy drip brewer, but the Keurig Mini does not.

Now, brewing speed is not the only factor that goes into making good coffee, but it is an important one. The Keurig Mini Plus is therefore significantly closer to being a top-end brewer than the Mini.

The two machines have identical functionalities other than this. This includes the ability to brew with reusable K cups as well as standard K cup pods.

Features and Functionalities Winner: Keurig Mini Plus

Ease of Use and Cleaning

The Keurig Mini Plus is easier to use and clean than the Mini because you can remove its water reservoir. This allows you to fill it and clean it directly in the sink, rather than having to awkwardly fill/clean it while it’s still attached to the machine.

Ease of Making Coffee

It’s easier to make a coffee with the Keurig Mini Plus than the Keurig Mini as you can remove its water tank and fill it up directly at the sink.

As you can see from the image below, the Keurig Mini/Mini Plus’s water reservoir is small and the measurements on it are hard to read. You, therefore, need to fill it slowly and carefully to get an accurate water dose.

The Mini Plus’s removable water tank detached from the machine. Filling to the right line can be hard to do while it’s still attached to the machine.

This is much easier to do when you can take its water tank directly to the sink rather than having to fill it while it’s still attached to the machine.

The control panels on the two machines are identical, save for the fact that the Mini Plus has an additional “strong” button that controls the machine’s brewing time.

Ease of Cleaning

The main benefit of the Keurig Mini Plus’s removable water reservoir is that it makes it much easier to clean than the Keurig Mini.

With the Keurig Mini, you need to sponge-clean the water tank. It can be hard to get the sponge into the corners of the water tank, which is where the grime typically builds up. 

With the Mini Plus, you can just remove its water tank and clean it directly in the sink. Blasting the corners of the water tank with your tap should remove the grime from it.

This tap-blasting isn’t an option with the Mini, sadly.

Other than that cleaning both machines is the same, they both need:

  • Descaling every few months
  • To have their needle cleaned occasionally with a sharp instrument (I use a toothpick)
  • To have their drip tray removed and emptied (unfortunately neither machine has a float that tells you when its drip tray is full).

Ease of Use and Cleaning Winner: Keurig Mini Plus

Design and Build Quality

Both machines have the same, not very high, build quality. The Keurig Mini Plus’s built-in pod and cord storage make it a more compact machine than the Keurig Mini.

Build Quality

Both machines have the same basic design and build quality. This manifests itself in the following ways:

  • They are two of the slimmest machines on the market: They are both ideal if you have limited countertop width (although the Mini Plus is better for this).
  • They have the same heating mechanism: They both take around 30 seconds to warm up and need a minute-long break in between brews.
  • They both have poorly built pumps: Both machines are likely to have pump deterioration within three years of ownership. This usually causes the machines to not be able to empty their water tank entirely, so you end up with smaller and smaller servings of coffee over time. Both machines have the exact same pump so this problem affects them equally.

Ease of Storage

The Keurig Mini Plus’s built-in pod storage means it takes up less space than the Keurig Mini.

Here is a side-by-side of the Keurig Mini Plus with its pod storage container attached to, and detached from, the machine.

The container can hold up to twelve K cups.

The Keurig Mini does not have this pod storage feature so you need to find a separate space for your pods.

This probably won’t be a problem if, like me, you keep your machine in your kitchen. However, if you want to keep your machine in your bedroom or dorm room then needing extra space for your pods can be annoying.

Design and Build Quality Winner: Keurig Mini Plus

Value For Money

The Keurig K Mini Plus is well worth its extra cost compared to the Mini.

The Keurig Mini Plus is, in my opinion, a big step up from the Mini – and well worth a few extra bucks.

It makes better-tasting coffee than the Mini, which is the most important thing for a coffee maker.

The Mini Plus’s removable reservoir seems like a small difference, but it really does make the machine a lot easier to use and clean.

The Mini Plus’s pod holder retails by itself for $20, which is the typical difference in cost between the two machines. This means that you get the “strong” functionality and the removable reservoir for free with the Mini Plus.

Finally, I’ve noticed that the Mini Plus keeps dropping in price and is slowly getting closer to the Mini.

I think Keurig will likely phase out the K Mini in the future, as the two machines are gradually approaching the same price. 

The Mini Plus has proven itself as the superior machine, as well as one of the best Keurig coffee makers more generally, and will likely be Keurig’s flagship entry-level machine going forward.

Value For Money Winner: Keurig Mini Plus

Are There Any Situations Where I Would Recommend the Keurig Mini Over the Mini Plus?

No.

The difference in price between these two coffee machines is so small (and getting smaller as time goes by) that I don’t think you can justify buying the Keurig Mini over the Mini Plus based on price.

Add to this the fact that there is no facet where the Keurig Mini is better than the Mini Plus, and I just cannot think of a single circumstance where you are better off buying the Keurig Mini Plus over the Mini.

Are There Any Cheaper Alternatives to the Keurig Mini Plus?

If the Keurig K Mini Plus is a bit too expensive for you then the best cheaper alternative is the Mixpresso Single serve 2-in-1 Coffee Maker.

Budget Pick
Mixpresso 2 in 1 Coffee Maker
$24.99

The Mixpresso 2 in 1 Coffee Maker is the cheapest single-serve coffee maker on the market.

Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/03/2024 03:37 pm GMT

The Mixpresso Single Serve 2-in-1 is pretty much the cheapest single-serve coffee maker you can buy. Its slow brewing means it makes better coffee than most single-serve coffee makers.

The Mixpresso Single Serve 2-in-1 is about one-third of the price of the Keurig Mini Plus.

Much like the Mini Plus, it brews your coffee for over a minute, just like a fancy brewer.

This means that it makes better-tasting coffee than the majority of single-serve brewers.

The machine lacks durability but is still a steal, especially for the price.

Final Verdict

I would recommend the Keurig Mini Plus over the Mini 100% of the time.

The Mini Plus is a significantly better coffee maker than the Mini, and the difference in their price is so small that the Mini Plus is a far, far better purchase.

Better than the Keurig Mini
Keurig K Mini Plus
$109.99 $93.99 ($93.99 / Count)

The Keurig Mini Plus makes better coffee and is easier to clean than the Mini.

Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/03/2024 02:37 pm GMT

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