This is my comparison of the Keurig K Supreme Plus and the Keurig K Elite. These are two of Keurig’s most expensive coffee machines.
I own the Supreme Plus and spent a whole day researching the Elite by looking at product demonstrations on YouTube, browsing the Keurig subreddit and speaking to Keurig’s customer support team
The two machines are similarly priced, so I’ll be comparing them on a completely even playing field across criteria including the quality of coffee that they produce, ease of use, and aesthetic value.
Let’s get started.
Should I Buy the Keurig Supreme Plus or The Keurig Elite (Quick Verdict)?
You should buy the Keurig K Supreme Plus over the Keurig K Elite. The Supreme Plus makes better coffee than the Elite because of its additional strength settings and its use of five needles to puncture K cups, rather than one.
The Supreme Plus is also a faster and quieter machine than the K Elite, making it more pleasurable to use.
The only circumstances that I would buy the Elite over the Supreme Plus are if you plan to use it to make coffee during a busy morning.
This is because the Elite has an auto-on setting that automatically turns on and warms up the machine at a preset time.
Overview of Two Products
The table below shows the specifications and functionalities of the Keurig K Supreme Plus and the Keurig K Elite.
|Attribute||Keurig K Supreme Plus||Keurig K Elite|
|Dimensions (Height, Width Depth)||12.40 inches x 8.30 inches x 13.40 inches||13.10 inches x 9.90 inches x 12.70 inches|
|Maximum Height with lid up||17.15 inches||16.50 inches|
|Maximum mug clearance (with drip tray removed)||6.20 inches (7.20 inches)||6.20 inches (7.20 inches)|
|Reservoir volume||72 oz||75 oz|
|Serving sizes||4 oz, 6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz||4 oz, 6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz|
|Brew strength settings||Yes, 3 options||Yes, 2 options|
|Temperature settings||Yes, 3 options||Yes, 6 options|
|Over ice mode||Yes||Yes|
|Display screen||Yes, shows temperature and strength settings||Yes, shows time and temperature settings|
|Uses multistream technology||Yes||No|
|Reusable K cup compatible||Yes, with multistream compatible reusable K cups||Yes, with Universal reusable K cups|
|Compatible with charcoal water filter||Yes, the filter included||Yes, the filter included|
|Buy on Amazon||Buy the Keurig K Supreme Plus on Amazon||Buy the Keurig K Elite on Amazon|
Differences Between the Supreme Plus and the Elite
- The Keurig K Supreme Plus punctures K cups with 5 needles at the top, whereas the Elite punctures K cups with only one needle at the top. Keurig calls this 5 needle puncturing “multistream technology”.
- The Supreme Plus has three strength settings, the Elite only has two.
- The Elite has 6 temperature settings, the Supreme Plus only has 3.
- The Elite has an auto-on setting that allows you to set the machine to turn on and heat up at a specific time. The Supreme Plus does not have this feature.
- The Supreme Plus allows you to save preset brew types, the Elite does not have this feature.
- The Supreme Plus has a 72 oz “pitcher” style reservoir with a handle. The Elite has a 75 oz flat reservoir with no handle
- The two coffee machines look significantly different, with the Elite being square and the Supreme Plus being more rectangular like Keurig’s other machines.
Similarities Between Keurig Supreme Plus and Elite
- An over-ice setting
- Preset serving sizes of 4 oz to 12 oz
- Both machines take standard and reusable K cups
- Both machines can accommodate travel mugs up to 16 oz
- Both machines have removable reservoirs.
For more information about the Keurig Supreme Plus please see my comparison of the Keurig Supreme vs Supreme Plus.
Let’s have a closer look at how the machine’s different features affect its quality and usability.
Quality of Coffee
The Supreme Plus makes better coffee than the Elite due to its additional strength settings and use of 5 needles to pierce K cups (as opposed to the Elite’s 1 needle). This results in longer brewing times, more even extraction, and ultimately better-tasting coffee.
There are three variables that differ between the Keurig K Supreme Plus and the Keurig K Elite as far as the quality of coffee is concerned. These are:
- Brewing time
- Evenness of percolation
- Brewing temperature
The Keurig K Supreme Plus can brew coffee for about 35 seconds longer than the Keurig K Elite. This results in the Supreme Plus creating stronger, fuller-bodied coffee than the Elite.
The Supreme Plus has three brew length settings (described by the machine as “strength” settings).
The Elite only has two such settings, dictated by the machine’s “strong” button either being on or off.
The table below shows what the brewing times are for the Supreme Plus and Elite on each strength setting:
|Strength Setting||Keurig K Supreme Plus||Keurig K Elite|
|Low (Supreme Plus) / “Strong” button off (Elite)||60 seconds||40 seconds|
|Medium (Supreme Plus) / “Strong” button on (Elite)||80 seconds||65 seconds|
|Highest (Supreme Plus)||100 seconds||Does not have this setting|
As we can see there is not much difference between the brewing length of the Elite with the “strong” button on and the Supreme Plus on its lowest setting.
This explains why the Supreme Plus makes much stronger and fuller bodied coffee than the Elite.
The Keurig K Supreme Plus, is, in my opinion, the best K cup coffee maker, as far as quality of coffee is concerned.
Evenness of Percolation
The Keurig K Supreme Plus achieves more even and thorough extraction as water enters the K cup from five points rather than the Elite’s one point.
The Keurig K Supreme uses “multistream technology” which is Keurig’s term for the machine puncturing the K cups with 5 needles at the top.
The Elite does not use multistream technology, instead puncturing K cups with only one needle at the top.
Having a single point of entry into the K cup means that the coffee directly underneath this point of entry gets significantly more extracted than coffee that is not directly underneath it.
Five points of entry mean that all the coffee in the K cup is getting extracted, resulting in a stronger brew from the Supreme Plus rather than the Elite.
The Keurig K Elite brews at a higher temperature than the Supreme Plus and gives you more control over its temperature. Although this does improve coffee quality, it does not outweigh the effects of the Supreme Plus’s longer brewing times and more even extraction.
The Keurig K Elite allows you to programme specific brewing temperatures ranging from 187 – 192 Fahrenheit.
The Supreme Plus just gives you three vague temperature settings (low, medium, high).
Tests suggest that the Supreme Plus’s higher temperature is only in the late 180 Fahrenheit, this means that the Elite can brew at significantly higher temperatures than the Supreme Plus.
The ideal brewing temperature is 200 Fahrenheit, meaning that both machines brew below the ideal brewing temperature.
Quality of Coffee Winner: Keurig K Supreme Plus
Ease of Use
The Supreme Plus is an easier machine to use on a coffee-by-coffee basis, given its quick, quiet heating element, well-designed reservoir and ability to auto programme coffee types. I do, however, love the Elite’s auto-on feature which can shave a significant amount of time off how long it takes you to create your morning coffee.
I’m going to break down the ease of use of these two machines into:
- The ease of filling their reservoirs
- The ease of programming coffees
- Speed and noise levels of machines
Ease of Filling Reservoir
Keurig K Supreme Plus has a tall “pitcher” style reservoir with a nice handle so you can hold it with one hand, making it very easy to carry to and from the machine to the sink, even when full.
The Elite’s reservoir is shorter, wider, and does not have a handle.
This makes it hard to carry when full without water sloshing everywhere.
Even though you only need to fill each reservoir every 8 – 9 coffees, the Elite’s poorly designed reservoir is a pain to use compared to the Supreme Plus.
Ease of Programming Coffees
Both machines have very intuitive control panels. This is something that Keurig does well across its range of machines.
Both machines automate the coffee-making process, but in slightly different ways:
- Keurig Supreme Plus gives you three brewing presets where you can add a strength setting, temperature setting and serving size to your favorites. Once your favorite is set up just press its corresponding preset button and then press brew to make that coffee.
- Keurig K Elite has an auto-on button where you can set the machine to turn on and heat up at a certain time. The Elite has a digital clock built into the machine to enable it to do this.
The Elite’s auto-on is a more useful feature than the Supreme Plus’s presets.
It only takes about 10 seconds to select a coffee type on either machine, but it can take over a minute for the machine to turn on and heat up. Auto-on, therefore, saves you far more time than brewing presets.
Speed and Noisiness of Machines
The Keurig K Supreme Plus is a quieter and quicker machine than the Elite.
I’m always amazed by how quiet the Supreme Plus is when brewing. Side-by-side demonstration videos indicate that the Elite is a much noisier machine than the Supreme Plus when heating water and brewing
The Supreme Plus also has a superior heating element compared to the Elite. This allows it to make coffees faster than the Elite, even accounting for the Supreme Plus’s longer brewing times when set to medium or highest strength.
The additional speed of the Supreme Plus is particularly useful if you want to make multiple cups of coffee in a row.
Ease of Use Winner: Keurig K Supreme Plus
The Keurig K Supreme Plus wins this round due to the awkwardness of the Elite’s reservoir and the Supreme Plus’s speed and quietness. I do really like the Elite’s auto-on feature however and wish that the Supreme Plus had this.
Size and Aesthetics
The Supreme Plus is a more compact and better-looking machine than the Elite. The Supreme Plus’s steel finish gives it an expensive look that the Elite clearly strives for but doesn’t quite meet.
The Keurig K Supreme Plus and Keurig K Elite look completely different. The Elite is much more square than the Supreme Plus, which is more rectangular, in line with Keurig’s other single-serve coffee machines.
You can see an image of the Keurig K Supreme Plus below:
The Elite’s shape, by contrast, is closer to the Keurig Duo’s.
Although the two machines look significantly different, their dimensions are quite similar.
The only dimension where one machine is more than an inch larger than the other is the width with the Elite being 1.1 inches wider than the Supreme Plus.
The additional width of the Keurig K Elite is exacerbated by the reservoir being flush with the machine. This means that you either need to turn the machine 90 degrees anti-clockwise or reach round the machine to remove the reservoir. This makes the Elite very unsuitable for countertops that lack lateral space.
The Keurig K Supreme Plus has a steel finish which makes it look sturdier and more expensive than the Elite which is plasticky both in look and feels.
The Keurig K Elite comes in three colors: brushed gold, brushed slate and brushed silver.
These colors clearly are an attempt to give the machine an expensive feel, but a metal finish achieves this much better than plastic with a metallic color.
Size and Aesthetics Winner: Keurig K Supreme Plus
What Users Say
I trawled through Amazon reviews, the Keurig subreddit and the comment sections of videos demonstrating the two machines to find out what users had to say about each coffee maker.
Keurig K Supreme Plus
The Keurig K Supreme Plus has an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 on Amazon. It has been reviewed over 5,000 times as of June 2022.
Positive reviews often mention the superior quality of coffee compared to Keurig coffee makers that puncture K cups with one needle at the top.
Amazon review, April 2022: “The multi-stream technology really does bring out the flavor MUCH better than the older single stream does. I need to add that the flavor I got – was with the Keurig set in the “weak” mode. It had two more modes for stronger coffees.”
Negative reviews of the machine often talk about how its heating mechanism is prone to burning out.
Amazon review, September 2021: “I’ve gone through 4 of these Keurigs in 9 months. It seems like the machine has trouble pumping water through the heater line and eventually it overheats and the board burns out.”
Several people on the Keurig subreddit have found that the Keurig heater often burns out after the machine goes into descale mode. This is particularly likely if you let the reservoir empty completely while the machine is in descale mode. You can find a thread about this issue here.
Keurig K Elite
The K Elite has an average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 on Amazon. It has been reviewed over 38,000 times.
Positive reviews tend to say that the Keurig Elite has all the important features that a Keurig machine needs, without any unnecessary complexity.
Amazon review, August 2021: “Last week we purchased K-Elite again, and we could not be happier. It is one of those models where Keurig got everything right. It is a bit bulky and takes some counter space, but it is a gem of a product. It has temperature control, strength control, auto turn on/turn off feature, and five different serving sizes.”
Several negative reviews say that the Elite’s reservoir has a tendency to leak water.
This problem also has been discussed on this thread in the Keurig subreddit.
I would recommend purchasing the Keurig K Supreme Plus over the K Elite.
The Supreme Plus makes better coffee than the K Elite. This is ultimately the most important feature of a coffee machine.