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Keurig vs Ninja

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Last updated: December 7, 2023

Quick Answer: Ninja makes significantly better coffee makers than Keurig. If you’re looking for a dual coffee maker I’d recommend the Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro over the Keurig Duo Plus.

This is my comparison of Keurig vs Ninja coffee makers.

I am going to focus on comparing the Keurig K Duo Plus and the Ninja DualBrew Pro. These are the two most similar Keurig and Ninja coffee machines, being each manufacturers’ best dual K-cup and drip coffee maker.

Since Ninja coffee makers tend to be a bit more expensive than Keurig coffee makers, I’ll be paying particular attention to whether Ninja justifies this extra cost over Keurig machines.

Let’s get started.

Should I Buy a Ninja or a Keurig Coffee Maker (Quick Verdict)?

I’d recommend buying a Ninja coffee maker over a Keurig coffee maker.

If you want a dual K-cup and loose-ground coffee brewer, I’d recommend the Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro over the Keurig Duo Plus.

The Ninja DualBrew Pro has a far better-built pumping system than the Keurig Duo Plus. 

This means the Ninja will have a much longer lifespan than the Keurig, making it a better-value purchase in the long run.

Better than Keurig Coffee Makers

The Ninja DualBrew Pro makes better tasting coffee and is a far more reliable machine than the Keurig Duo Plus.

Overview of Keurig and Ninja

Here is a quick breakdown of the two manufacturers’ coffee machines.

Keurig

Keurig primarily makes single-serve coffee makers that brew coffee with K-cups. These are small plastic pots that hold 10.5 grams of ground coffee.

Keurig also manufactures three combination K-cup and drip coffee machines which have the option of brewing single servings of coffee with K-cups and larger carafes of coffee with loose grounds. Keurig’s three dual brewers are:

  • Keurig K Duo Essentials (cheapest)
  • Keurig K Duo
  • Keurig K Duo Plus (most expensive)

You can find out more about these machines in my Keurig K Duo review, Keurig K Duo Plus review, and my comparison of the Keurig K Duo vs K Duo Plus.

Are Keurig Coffee Makers Worth It?

I think that Keurig coffee makers are a bit overpriced. You are paying a premium for the brand name, and their coffee makers’ poor build quality often doesn’t justify their price tag.

That being said, there are a few decent-value Keurig coffee makers that I would recommend for specific needs. These are:

I suggest that you stay away from Keurig’s aforementioned dual K-cup and carafe coffee makers.

Keurig has not yet mastered carafe brewing technology, so their dual brewers are prone to breaking down far more often than their standard K-cup brewers.

Ninja

Ninja primarily makes coffee makers that brew coffee with loose grounds.

Ninja manufactures three dual-brewer models which can brew single-serve coffees with K-cups as well as larger servings with loose grounds. This line of machines is called Ninja DualBrew, and their specific machines include:

  • Ninja CFP201 DualBrew (cheapest)
  • Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro
  • Ninja CFP307 DualBrew Pro (most expensive)

Are Ninja Coffee Makers Worth It?

Ninja coffee makers are worth the money. They are better valued for money than Keurig machines.

They are, broadly speaking, a bit more expensive than Keurig coffee makers. However, I think that Ninjas justify this extra cost because their machines’ internal build quality is significantly better than Keurigs’.

This improved internal build quality manifests itself in two ways:

  • Ninja coffee makers should last you longer than Keurigs and will be less prone to technical problems.
  • Ninja coffee makers have more accurate serving sizes than Keurig coffee makers. The serving size you select is the amount of coffee that you get. The same cannot be said for Keurig machines.

I think that Ninja’s added reliability compared to Keurig makes the former a better purchase. 

The difference in cost between these two machines is not that much, and if a Ninja can last you around 50% longer than a Keurig then it’s well worth the extra money that you pay upfront.

For the rest of this article, I am going to focus on comparing the Keurig K Duo Plus and the Ninja CFP301. I am comparing these two machines for three reasons:

  • They are both dual coffee makers (so can make single servings with K-cups and carafe coffee with loose grounds)
  • They are similarly priced.
  • They have a very similar design and are clearly trying to cater to the exact same market.

Keurig K Duo Plus vs Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro

  • 6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, and 12 oz K-cup serving sizes.
  • 30 oz, 40 oz, 50 oz, and 60 oz carafe serving sizes
  • Two strength settings for K-cups; 1 strength setting for carafe coffee.
  • Stainless steel thermal carafe.
  • Easy to carry “pitcher style” reservoir.
  • 6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, and 12 oz K-cup serving sizes
  • 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz, 15 oz, 18 oz, 28 oz, 37 oz, 46 oz, and 55 oz carafe serving sizes
  • 2 strength settings for K-cups; 4 coffee styles for carafe coffee
  • Glass carafe
  • Flat reservoir

The Keurig K Duo Plus and Ninja DualBrew Pro both allow you to brew single servings with K-cups and larger batches of coffee with loose grounds. 

Both machines are compatible with reusable K-cups as well as standard, single-use Keurig coffee pods.

What Are the Differences Between the Keurig K Duo Plus and Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro?

Here are the differences between the two machines’ features and functionalities:

Ninja DualBrew Pro has a Wider Range of Carafe Serving Sizes than the Keurig Duo Plus

The Ninja DualBrew Pro lets you make small and large single servings of coffee on its carafe side, whereas the Keurig K Duo Plus starts at a 30 oz serving on this carafe side.

This, in my opinion, is a massive advantage that the Ninja has over the Keurig.

K-cups only hold enough ground coffee to brew a decently strong 6 oz coffee. Any serving size larger than this will come out watery.

The Ninja DualBrew Pro’s ability to make 8 oz, 10 oz, and 12 oz servings of coffee with loose grounds means that it can make these serving sizes much better than the Keurig. 

Unlike with the Keurig, you can brew each of these serving sizes with their ideal quantities of ground coffee.


These serving sizes will always come out watery with the Keurig Duo Plus as it can only make them with K-cups.

Winner: Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro

The Ninja DualBrew Pro Offers More Coffee Types than the Keurig Duo Plus

The Ninja DualBrew Pro offers four coffee types (classic, rich, over ice, specialty) compared to the Keurig Duo Plus’s two-strength settings.

Ninja’s classic and rich settings are pretty much equivalent to Keurig’s default and strong settings.

This leaves us with Ninja’s “specialty” and “over ice” coffee types, which the Keurig Duo Plus does not offer.

“Specialty” lets you make a 4oz serving of coffee brewed a bit slower than usual. 

This is supposed to replicate an espresso and, in all honesty, I think that this is a stupid feature.

A small, slightly stronger-than-normal drip coffee is not espresso. Espresso is a completely different drink and if you want to make espresso then buy an espresso machine – here is my roundup of the best espresso machines for beginners.

Its over-ice setting is good, as it brews slowly and at a lower temperature so it does not melt your ice. This genuinely makes a good iced coffee and was copied (badly) by Keurig with their Keurig K Supreme range.

Winner: Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro

The Keurig Duo Plus has a Stainless Steel Thermal Carafe, the Keurig Duo Plus has a Glass Carafe

Generally, I prefer coffee makers with thermal carafes to ones with glass carafes for two reasons:

  • Thermal carafes do not need to sit on a hot plate to stay warm and hot plates have a tendency to cook your coffee and make it bitter.
  • Glass carafes smash easily and are often the first part of a coffee maker to break.

However, in this instance, I don’t think that the Keurig K Duo Plus’s thermal carafe benefits the machine compared to the Ninja DualBrew Pro’s glass carafe.

The K Duo Plus’s thermal carafe is terribly designed. You cannot pour out of it without a lot of coffee dripping down its front and going all over your counter and floor.

While this problem affects a lot of thermal carafes, Keurig’s carafes are far worse for this than pretty much every other manufacturer. It makes them pretty much unusable.

Unfortunately, Ninja’s glass carafes are more fragile than most, so it’s hard to say that the Ninja DualBrew Pro’s carafe is better than Keurig’s carafe. They’re both terrible.

Winner: No one (both machines have bad carafes)

The Ninja DualBrew Pro has a Milk Frother, but the Keurig Duo Does Not

The Ninja DualBrew Pro’s milk frother only froths your milk, it does not heat and froth your milk like a steam wand does.

You, therefore, have to heat your milk on a stove and then froth it. This, combined with the fact that the Ninja doesn’t make espresso means that I don’t think people will have much use for its frother (frothed coffee drinks are made with espresso, not drip coffee).

I generally think that half-baked features detract from a coffee machine, rather than improve it, so if anything the Ninja’s shoddy milk frother disadvantages the machine compared to the Keurig Duo Plus.

Winner: Keurig K Duo Plus (because the Ninja’s milk frother is so bad)

What do the Keurig K Duo Plus and Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro Have in Common?

The two machines have the following in common:

  • The ability to brew K-cups, reusable K-cups, and loose grounds
  • A built-in clock and the ability to brew a carafe of coffee at a preset time (auto-on)
  • Removable reservoirs for easier filling and cleaning

The table below shows the key specifications of the Keurig K Duo Plus and Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro:

Specification Keurig K Duo Plus Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro
Dimensions (width x depth x height)
7.68” W x 15.88” D x 14.9” H
9.12” W x 11.39” D x 15.54” H
Available serving sizes (K-cup)
6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz
6 oz, 8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz
Available serving sizes (carafe)
30 oz, 40 oz, 50 oz, 60 oz (called 6 cup, 8 cup, 10 cup, 12 cup)
8 oz, 10 oz, 12 oz, 15 oz, 18 oz, 28 oz, 37 oz, 46 oz, 55 oz
Available Coffee Styles
1
3
Available Strength Settings
2
2
Carafe Type
Thermal
Glass
Water Reservoir Capacity
60 oz
60 oz
Auto-on Functionality
Yes
Yes
Hot Water Functionality
No
Yes
Where to Buy

Now that I’ve run through the different features that these machines have to offer, I am going to compare them across five criteria:

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

Quality of Coffee

The Ninja DualBrew Pro makes much better-tasting coffee than the Keurig Duo Plus because of its ability to brew single servings with loose grounds.

As I mentioned earlier, K-cups only hold enough ground coffee to make a strong 6 oz serving. K-cups create watery coffee once you get to serving sizes over 6 oz.

This means that the Keurig K Duo Plus 8 oz, 10 oz, and 12 oz coffees are always watery. 

Since the Ninja DualBrew Pro allows you to make these serving sizes with loose grounds, it can make far better single servings of coffee than the Keurig Duo Plus.

The two machines make larger servings of coffee to a similar standard: good at 30 oz – 40 oz serving size but then getting more watery as you start brewing anything over 50 oz in one go. 

Quality of Coffee Winner: Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro

Functionalities

The Ninja DualBrew Pro’s additional serving sizes and ability to make iced coffee make it a far more versatile machine than the Keurig Duo Plus.

The Ninja DualBrew Pro has far more functionalities than the Keurig Duo Plus.

The Ninja has three coffee types (classic, specialty, and over ice) to the Keurig’s single coffee type, as well as offering nine carafe coffee serving sizes to the Keurig’s four.

In my opinion, Ninja’s specialty coffee type is superfluous, as is its additional milk frother and hot water system. These are just features for features’ sake and don’t really improve the machine.

That being said, its additional serving sizes dramatically improve the quality of coffee it produces (for reasons that I said earlier), and its iced coffee genuinely allows you to make a good iced coffee.

This makes the Ninja DualBrew Pro a better-performing and more versatile coffee maker than the Keurig Duo Plus.

Functionalities Winner: Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro

Ease of Use and Cleaning

Both machines are really easy to use, and there is not much difference between their ease of use. The Keurig Duo Plus requires more cleanup than the Ninja DualBrew Pro because its carafe always spills coffee when you pour from it.

Both machines are easy to make coffee with because they have removable reservoirs and really clearly laid out control panels.

I’d argue that the Keurig Duo Plus is slightly easier to make a coffee with because its water reservoir has a handle. This allows you to carry it without spilling water everywhere, even when it is filled to the brim.

The Ninja DualBrew Pro’s reservoir needs to be carried with two hands which makes you more likely to spill it when it’s filled with water.

Cleaning the two machines is quite similar, both have removable water reservoirs, K-cup ports, and drip trays that can be cleaned directly in the sink.

Both machines have dishwasher-safe carafes.

The main difference between the two machines, as far as their cleaning is concerned, is that the Keurig Duo Plus’s carafe always spills coffee down its front, meaning that you need to wipe up spilled coffee every time you pour from its carafe.

This is really annoying, and is enough to put some Keurig users’ off the machine entirety:

“It is impossible to pour a cup of coffee without the carafe allowing the coffee to dribble down the front of the carafe and all over the counter, the lower cabinets, and the floor” Amazon review of Keurig Duo Plus, February 2023.

The Ninja’s glass carafe does not have this problem, meaning that it creates less mess to clean up than the Keurig K Duo Plus.

Ease of Use and Cleaning Winner: Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro (but only just)

Design and Build Quality

The Ninja DualBrew Pro has a much better pumping system than the Keurig K Dual Plus.

There is not much difference between the two machine’s external build quality. 

They are both pretty plasticky and have poorly built carafes (although poorly built in different ways), however, I couldn’t find many complaints online about either machine’s external parts breaking.

There is a big difference, however, between the two machines’ internal build quality. 

In particular, the Keurig K Duo Plus’s pump is of far worse quality than the Ninja DualBrew Pro’s. This manifests itself in two ways:

  • The Keurig Duo Plus carafe side serving sizes are very erratic and inaccurate. The DualBrew Pro’s are always accurate.
  • The Keurig Duo Plus has a technical fault where it dispenses less and less coffee over time. The DualBrew Pro does not have this issue (or at least it’s much rarer with the DualBrew Pro).

This lack of reliability with Keurig’s pumps is the main reason why I recommend Ninja coffee makers over Keurig ones.

The extent to which pumping is a problem among Keurig machines is epitomized by the fact that there is even a term for this on the Keurig subreddit: “half cupping”. It also appears to be particularly common among Ninja dual brewers, with their carafe pumps being particularly temperamental.

This problem appears to be far less common on Ninja machines – I could barely find any users’ repointing this problem.

You’ll therefore have to replace Keurig coffee makers much faster than Ninja’s. Even if a Keurig machine is initially cheaper than a Ninja, it will likely be more expensive in the long run when you need to replace it sooner.

Design and Build Quality Winner: Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro

Value For Money

The Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro is better value for money than the Keurig Duo Plus.

The two machines are similarly priced, however, the Ninja is better than the Keurig in pretty much every way including its reliability and longevity.

The Ninja DualBrew Pro is therefore a much, much better purchase than the Keurig Duo Plus.

Value for Money Winner: Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro

Is There Any Situation Where I’d Recommend a Keurig Coffee Maker Over A Ninja?’

The only situation where I’d recommend a Keurig coffee maker over a Ninja is if you want a single-serve coffee maker and have very limited space.

Ninja does not make compact single-serve coffee makers, whereas the Keurig K Mini Plus is a pretty good example of such a machine.

Best for limited space
Keurig K Mini Plus
$109.99 $93.99 ($93.99 / Count)
The Keurig K Mini Plus’s tiny footprint and multiple strength settings makes it the best small single serve coffee maker.
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

Final Verdict

Ninja coffee makers are better than Keurig coffee makers.

Ninja machines have a better build quality than Keurig, meaning that they should last you a lot longer.

If you are looking for a dual K-cup and drip coffee maker, and are torn between Ninja and Keurig, then I’d recommend the Ninja CFP301 DualBrew Pro. It is the best value-for-money dual brewer on the market right now.

Better than Keurig Coffee Makers

The Ninja DualBrew Pro makes better tasting coffee and is a far more reliable machine than the Keurig Duo Plus.

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