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Keurig Elite vs Keurig Supreme (Plus)

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Last updated: December 6, 2023

Quick Answer: I’d recommend buying the Keurig K Supreme Plus over the Keurig K Supreme and Keurig K Elite.

This is my comparison of the Keurig K Supreme vs Keurig K Supreme Plus vs Keurig K Elite. 

I own the Supreme Plus and spent a whole day researching the K Supreme K  Elite by looking at product demonstrations on YouTube, browsing the Keurig subreddit, and speaking to Keurig’s customer support representatives.

With the Keurig Supreme Plus being a bit more expensive than the similarly priced K Elite and K Supreme, I’ll be paying particular attention to whether the Supreme Plus justifies this additional cost over the other two coffee makers.

Should I buy the Keurig Supreme Plus or The Keurig Elite (Quick Verdict)?

You should buy the Keurig K Supreme Plus over the K Supreme and K Elite. 

The Keurig Supreme Plus justifies its additional cost over the K Supreme because its higher brewing temperatures allow it to make better-tasting coffee than the K Supreme.

The K Supreme Plus justifies its additional cost over the K Elite because it has a higher build quality and is less prone to technical problems. The K Elite uses Keurig’s old system for heating water which is much more prone to malfunctioning than the Keurig Supreme Plus.

Our Pick
Keurig K Supreme Plus
$199.99 $184.99

The Keurig Supreme Plus makes better coffee than the K Supreme and offers better value than the K Supreme Plus SMART.

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02/28/2024 12:11 pm GMT

If you think that the Keurig Supreme Plus is too expensive, then I’d recommend going for the Keurig K Supreme over the Keurig Elite. The Keurig Elite is just too unreliable for me to recommend it.

You can find out more about each of these machines in my:

What Are the Differences Between the Keurig K Elite, K Supreme, and K Supreme Plus?

The three coffee makers differ in two main ways:

  • How they brew coffee
  • Their design

Differences in how the Keurig K Elite, K Supreme, and K Supreme Plus Brew Coffee

The Keurig K Elite, K Supreme, and K Supreme Plus’s brewing differ in four ways:

  • They have different strength settings & brew coffee at different speeds
  • They offer different serving sizes
  • They offer different temperature settings
  • They pierce K-cups with different numbers of needles

Different Strength Settings and Brewing Speeds

The Keurig K Supreme Plus brews your coffee for the longest, followed by the K Supreme and then the K Elite.

Longer brewing means better-tasting coffee, as your coffee grounds have more time to extract into your brewing water.

Your Keurig coffee maker’s brewing time can be adjusted through its “strong” button (in the case of the Keurig K Elite and K Supreme) and its “strength” settings (in the case of the Keurig Supreme Plus).

The higher the strength setting, the longer your machine will brew your coffee.

The Keurig K Elite and K Supreme each have two strength settings, whereas the K Supreme Plus has three strength settings.

Even though the K Elite and K Supreme have the same number of strength settings, the K Supreme can brew your coffee for longer than the K Elite because its baseline brew length (its brew length with the “strong” button off) is longer than the K Elite’s

The table below shows the brew lengths of all three machines:

Keurig K Elite Keurig K Supreme Keurig K Supreme Plus
Brew length on lowest strength setting
40 seconds
60 seconds
60 seconds
Brew length on medium strength setting
60 seconds
80 seconds
80 seconds
Brew length on high strength setting
N/A
N/A
100 seconds

For context, my Breville Precision Brewer, which is considered one of the best coffee makers available, brews an 8 oz coffee in 70 seconds.

I, therefore, think that the Keurig K Supreme and K Supreme Plus’s longer brewing times improve their coffee quality compared to the Keurig K Elite. 

That being said, the Keurig K Supreme Plus’s additional strength setting does not significantly improve its coffee quality compared to the K Supreme. The Keurig Supreme with the strong button on will make a similar quality coffee to the K Supreme Plus on its highest strength setting.

Different Serving Sizes

The Keurig K Supreme Plus and Keurig K Elite allow you to make 4 oz, 6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, and 12 oz servings of coffee. The Keurig K Supreme does not have a 4 oz serving size. It only allows you to make 6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, and 12 oz servings of coffee.

I like the K Elite and K Supreme Plus’s addition of a 4 oz serving size.


K -cups only hold enough coffee grounds to brew a strong 6 oz serving of coffee. Anything larger than this comes out watery.

A 4 oz serving allows you to make an extra strong K-cup which is a nice way of switching things up if you want more flavor. I’d certainly use this more than the 10 oz, 12 oz, and even the 8 oz serving size which are very weak in comparison.

If you want an 8 oz or larger coffee, I’d suggest using a reusable K-cup with your own ground coffee. All three machines here are compatible with reusable K-cups.

Different Temperature Settings

The Keurig K Elite offers you six temperature settings, ranging from 187-192 Fahrenheit. The Keurig Supreme Plus has three unspecified temperature settings with the Keurig Supreme offering you just one temperature setting.

With Keurig coffee makers, the hotter you can brew the better. 

This is because you will inevitably have a loss of temperature as heat conducts out of the brewing chamber (Keurig machine’s brewing chambers are not well insulated).

Cooler brewing means less extraction, and therefore a worse-tasting final coffee.

The Keurig K Elite’s added temperature settings therefore only improve its brewing over the K Supreme and K Supreme Plus if its maximum temperature is higher than the other machine’s maximum temperature.

In all honesty, this is really hard to measure, mainly because I cannot get a probe into the machine’s brewing chamber without breaking it.

To reiterate, it’s the machine’s highest potential temperature that matters, not its offered range of temperatures.

They Pierce K-Cups With Different Numbers of Needles

The Keurig Supreme and K Supreme Plus pierce K-cups with five needles at the top. The K Elite pierces K-cups with one needle at the top.

Keurig calls this five-needle piercing “MultiStream technology” and claims that it creates a more even extraction of your K-cup, resulting in better-tasting coffee.

I’m not convinced by this, and comparisons between my Keurig Supreme Plus and Keurig Mini Plus (which punctures K-cups with one needle in the top) lead me to believe that it doesn’t make a difference to your coffee’s taste.

K-cups are so small that you can get an even extraction just with one jet of water running through it.

MultiStream technology is little more than a marketing gimmick by Keurig.

In short, the Keurig Supreme and K Supreme Plus make better-tasting coffee than the K Elite due to their longer brewing times.

The Keurig Supreme Plus makes better-tasting coffee than the K Supreme due to its higher brewing temperature and its ability to brew 4 oz serving sizes.

Design Differences between the Keurig K Elite, K Supreme, and K Supreme Plus

The Keurig Supreme and K Supreme Plus have almost identical designs, whereas the K Elite varies from these two machines in the following ways:

  • The K Elite is a different shape from the K Supreme and K Supreme Plus.
  • The K Elite has a different water reservoir shape from the K Supreme and K Supreme Plus.
  • The K Elite uses a different heating system to the K Supreme and K Supreme Plus.
  • The K Elite’s K-cup port is designed differently from the K Supreme and K Supreme Plus

The Keurig Elite is Oblong Shaped; The K Supreme & K Supreme Plus are Slim with a Reservoir to Their Left

You can see how the machines’ shapes compare in the image below

Despite their different shapes, there’s not actually that much difference in size between the three machines. 

The K Elite is about an inch and a half wider than the Supreme/Supreme Plus, and the Supreme/Supreme Plus is about an inch deeper than the Elite.

I don’t think these differences in size are large enough to make one machine fit well in your kitchen and the other one not.

They do look significantly different, however.

The K Elite Has a Flat Water Reservoir; The Supreme Plus has a Tall “Pitcher Style” Reservoir

The Keurig K Supreme and K Supreme Plus’s reservoir is much better designed than the K Elite’s for two reasons:

  • The K Supreme & K Supreme Plus’s water reservoir has a handle that makes it easy to carry, even when full. The K Elite’s reservoir needs to be carried with two hands.
  • The K Supreme & K Supreme Plus water reservoir sits on a pad beside the machine. This makes it easy to remove/reattach the reservoir to the machine. The K Elite’s reservoir has to slide down the machine to attach to it. This makes it hard to reattach when it is full of water.
The Keurig Supreme Plus’s water reservoir has a handle that makes it easy to carry.

This difference in reservoir design means that the Keurig Supreme and K Supreme Plus are easier to use than the Keurig K Elite.

The Keurig K Elite Heats Your Water in a Tank Inside the Machine; the K Supreme & K Supreme Plus Uses a Heated Line

The Keurig K Supreme and K Supreme Plus have a more sophisticated heating mechanism than the Keurig K Elite. This gives the K Supreme/ KSupreme Plus three benefits over the K Elite:

  • They can make coffees faster than the K Elite (even though they brew more slowly)
  • They are quieter when brewing your coffee than the K Elite
  • The Keurig K Elite is vulnerable to a technical issue where water gets stuck inside the machine. You need to open up the machine to clear out its water tank if this happens. This will never happen with the K Supreme and K Supreme Plus.

This more reliable heating system is the main reason why I’d recommend the Keurig Supreme and Keurig Supreme Plus over the Keurig Elite.

The Keurig K Elite’s K-Cup Port is on a Hinge; The K Supreme & K Supreme Plus’s K-Cup Port is Fixed to the Machine

While the K Elite’s hinge-sprung K-cup port does make placing and removing K-cups marginally easier compared to the K Supreme/K Supreme Plus, it does add an extra point of failure to the machine.

The K Elite’s K-cup port hinges are poorly built, and I could find several complaints online of them breaking. This can render the whole machine unusable as it cannot pierce K-cups properly if these hinges are broken.

This is another reason why the Keurig K Supreme and K Supreme Plus are more reliable machines than the K Elite.

In short, the Keurig K Supreme and K Supreme Plus are better-designed and more reliable machines than the Keurig K Elite.

The table below shows the specifications and functionalities of the Keurig K Supreme Plus and the Keurig K Elite. You can find out more about how these machines compare in my comparison of the Keurig K Supreme vs K Supreme Plus

Attribute Keurig K Elite Keurig K Supreme Keurig K Supreme Plus
Dimensions (width, depth, height
9.90” W x 12.70” D 13.10” H
7.85” W x 12.15” D x x 12.02” H
8.30” W x 13.40” D 12.40” H
Maximum height with lid up
16.50 inches
17.15 inches
17.15 inches
Maximum mug clearance (with drip tray removed)
6.20 inches (7.20 inches)
6.20 inches (7.20 inches)
6.20 inches (7.20 inches)
Reservoir Volume
75 oz
72 oz
72 oz
Serving Sizes
4 oz, 6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz
6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz
4 oz, 6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz
Brew strength settings
Yes, 2 options
Yes, 2 options
Yes, 3 options
Iced Coffee Setting
Yes
Yes
Yes
Auto-on
Yes
No
No
Display screen
Yes, shows time and temperature settings
No
Yes, shows temperature and strength settings
Uses “Multistream Technology”
No
Yes
Yes
Reusable K-cup compatible
Yes, with universal reusable K-cups
Yes, with multistream compatible reusable K-cups
Yes, with multistream compatible reusable K-cups
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I’m now going to compare the three machines across five criteria. They are:

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

Quality of Coffee

The Keurig K Supreme Plus makes the best coffee of the three machines, followed by the K Supreme and then the K Elite.

Assuming that all machines offer a 6 oz serving size, the main variable that determines how well a Keurig coffee maker brews coffee is its brewing time.

The Keurig Supreme Plus and Supreme, therefore, make better coffee than the K Elite due to their slower brewing.

The K Supreme Plus makes better coffee than the K Supreme due to its higher brewing temperature and its offering of a 4 oz serving size. While the K Elite also has these features, it still makes inferior coffee to the K Supreme and K Supreme Plus because it brews too quickly.

Quality of Coffee Winner: Keurig K Supreme Plus

Functionalities

The Keurig K Elite has more functionalities than the Keurig Supreme Plus and Keurig Supreme.

The Keurig Elite has all the features that the Keurig Supreme Plus has. On top of this, the Elite also has a built-in clock and an auto-on mode that allows you to brew coffee at a set time in the future.

This means that you can have a coffee waiting for you when you get out of bed in the morning.

The Keurig K Supreme is the most functionality poor of the three machines given its limited serving size and brewing temperature options.

Functionalities Winner: Keurig K Elite

Ease of Use & Cleaning

The Keurig K Supreme and K Supreme Plus are easier to use and clean than the K Elite.

The main difference between these three machines as far as their ease of use and cleaning is concerned is their reservoir design.

The Keurig Supreme and K Supreme Plus’s tall, thin pitcher-style reservoir is much easier to remove and reattach from the machine than the Elite’s flatter water tank.

The flatness of the K Elite water tank also makes it hard to clean as you cannot fit your hand into the machine to get to its bottom corners. Grime tends to build up in these bottom corners, which needs to be scrubbed off, so the fact you cannot fit your hand in there is a problem.

The K Supreme and K Supreme Plus’s water reservoir is wider so it’s easier to scrub the bottom of it.

Ease of Use and Cleaning Winner: Keurig K Supreme & Keurig K Supreme Plus

Design and Build Quality

The Keurig K Supreme and K Supreme Plus are more reliable than the K Elite.

The K Elite’s outdated internal water tank heating system makes the machine far less reliable than the Keurig K Supreme and Supreme Plus. 

In particular, the K Elite has a habit of draining water into its internal tank, trying to heat it up, and then shut it down halfway through this heating process.

If this happens you’re in trouble as you have to open up the machine to empty its water tank. This is both difficult to do and will void any warranty on the machine.

The K Supreme and Supreme Plus heat water within a tiny pipe that can be easily flushed if water gets stuck in there. They, therefore, don’t have this vulnerability and are more reliable coffee makers than the K Elite.

Design and Build Quality Winner: Keurig K Supreme & Keurig K Supreme Plus

Value For Money

The Keurig Supreme Plus’s better-tasting coffee and added reliability justify its extra cost over the K Supreme and K Elite respectively.

Coffee quality and reliability are the two most important features of any coffee maker, so I think the Keurig Supreme Plus delivers in the right areas to justify its extra cost.

The Keurig Supreme is a better deal than the K Elite. The two machines cost about the same, but the Supreme is better built and should last much longer.

Value for Money Winner: Keurig Supreme Plus

Final Verdict

I’d recommend the Keurig Supreme Plus over the Keurig Supreme and the Keurig Elite.

The K Supreme Plus makes the best-tasting coffee of all these machines. 

The Keurig Elite also has a host of reliability issues due to its poor heating system that the K Supreme and K Supreme Plus do not have.

Our Pick
Keurig K Supreme Plus
$199.99 $184.99

The Keurig Supreme Plus makes better coffee than the K Supreme and offers better value than the K Supreme Plus SMART.

Get it on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/28/2024 12:11 pm GMT

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