K-Cup coffee machines are one of the quickest ways that the consumer can brew their morning coffee. All they have to do is fill the machine with water, place a K-pod into it and then start it. After that’s been done, the machine will then brew the coffee in only a few minutes. We like them so much we’ve decided to review some of the best K-cup coffee makers available. Machines that will help the consumer find a model that suits their needs. Since different K-cup models have different features, we’ve decided to choose as wide of an array of models as possible.
Quick Summary of the Best K-Cup Coffee Makers
- Best Overall: Keurig K-Cafe Single-Serve Coffee Maker (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value: Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker (Amazon) – Review
- Best Affordable: Chefman Insta-Coffee Single-Serve Coffee Maker (Amazon) – Review
Best Overall: Keurig K-Cafe Single-Serve Coffee Maker
This easy-to-use K-cup coffee maker has the size and the features that consumers need to make great cups of coffee. This model is equipped with a 60-ounce reservoir, so it’s capable of brewing up to 6-cups of coffee at a time. This makes setting it up a lot less tedious and saves the consumer a whole lot of time. Another thing we liked about this machine was that it had simple controls that felt very intuitive and allowed just about anyone to make their favorite type of coffee.
Using this machine, the consumer can make great-tasting coffee, lattes, and cappuccinos. Thanks to its controls, the user can choose to have the machine brew a shot, or make coffees in 6, 8, 10, or 12-ounce sizes. It’s also equipped with a handy milk frother that allows the consumer to make some delectable and creamy coffee drinks. And because this unit has a smart-start, the consumer doesn’t have to wait for it to warm up before they select their coffee cup size and begin brewing.
Another thing that we liked about this model was that it was large enough to accommodate just about any size cup. It can brew coffee right into small demitasse cups, normal coffee cups, or even 7.2-inch tall travel cups. And because this model is energy-efficient, this unit uses less power than some other coffee machines. It has a programmable automatic off feature that will shut the machine down two hours after the last brew cycle.
This coffee machine is approximately 17.3×14.2×14.4-inches, the milk frother is dishwasher safe and it has a dishwasher tray that can be washed easily in the dishwasher. All of these features make this a great system for any home to use, but this machine also has one more thing going for it. For some reason, its system makes some great coffee that seems to outshine any of the other K-cup coffee makers that we’ve tried.
Best Value: Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker
Another model that we think works extremely well and makes good coffee is this model from Keurig. It allows the consumer to brew up to 8-cups of coffee before having to refill the water reservoir. It’s also capable of accommodating travel mugs up to 7.2-inches tall and can brew coffee very quietly. Thanks to its K-cup technology, this model can be used for brewing tea, coffee, hot cocoa or other specialty coffee drinks. It’s even possible to use ground coffee–if the consumer purchases a reusable coffee filter that’s sold separately.
This machine is also equipped with some exciting features that make it quite handy to use. It has an alert that tells the consumer when it’s time for them to descale the coffee maker, a removable drip tray that can be cleaned in a dishwasher. It also has a strong brew button that can increase the strength of the brew as needed. Other features found on this model include an energy-saving mode, the option to choose from one of five different cup sizes (4,6,8,10 and 12-ounce cups), and a quick brew cycle.
This machine is 13.1-inches high, 12.7-inches deep, and 9.9-inches wide. That’s just the right size in our opinion to allow it to sit neatly on just about any counter-top. This machine is also equipped with an automatic on/off feature and a high-altitude brewing cycle. All of which makes this a great coffee maker.
The only thing that we didn’t like about this model was that we felt that its water reservoir was poorly designed. Not only did we think that it was too heavy and awkward to easily refill, but it’s also not very easy to see how much water is in it. If it wasn’t for that slight flaw, we feel that this would’ve been one of the best K-cup coffee makers that we’ve ever had the opportunity to use. Unfortunately, this flaw lead us to put this model at the number two position.
Best Affordable: Chefman Insta-Coffee Single-Serve Coffee Maker
Although this model has only risen to the number three spot on our list, there are quite a few things to like about it. The first thing that we liked was that it was extremely inexpensive. It’s a model that’s 50% to 100% cheaper than some of the high-end K-cup models. We also like the fact that it’s easy to use. It’s a model that can be used with either K-cup or with ground coffee. And it’s a machine that doesn’t require extensive descaling like some of the luxury models require.
This 950-watt coffee maker can be operated with just one touch and it can brew up to 14-ounces of coffee. We also appreciate the fact that this model has a small profile that’s tall enough to handle most 14-ounce travel mugs but is small enough to sit on just about any counter. It’s compact size also makes it the perfect traveling companion for anyone who wants to take this coffee maker on the go so they can brew a hot cup while on the road.
And finally, this model has a fast-brew time that allows the consumer to have coffee brewed in 30-seconds flat, which is good for people on the go. If there was one problem that we had with this particular coffee maker it’s the fact that coffee strength can’t be adjusted at all. That means that if the consumer wants a strong cup of coffee, then they’re going to have to use ground coffee and not use a K-cup. It’s a small complaint, but still, one that has to be mentioned. If it weren’t for that slight flaw, this model would be higher on our list. It’s still a good model, but we were a bit disappointed by this lack of control over the brewing process.
The Ultimate K-Cup Buying Guide
We’ve outlined a few of the K-cup machines that we’ve liked, and now we’re going to give our readers some tips on how to purchase the best K-cup coffee maker. Below are some tips that will enable the average person to navigate the laundry list of features that many of these machines have for them to discover which machine is right for them and which ones are not.
Consider Water Capacity
One of the first things that the consumer is going to want to consider is the water reservoir capacity of the machine. K-cup coffee makers come with a variety of different reservoir sizes—from a 4-ounce capacity up to 60-ounce capacity. If the coffee drinker only intends on making a single cup of coffee every morning, and don’t mind refilling it daily, then they can choose a smaller model. On the other hand, if the consumer doesn’t want to have to refill the machine every day or want to make more than one cup of coffee at a time, then they will want to consider a model with a larger water tank.
Consider A Self-Cleaning Or Descaling Mode
A feature that makes it easy to keep the K-cup in good condition is a self-cleaning or descaling mode. This feature allows the consumer to remove any built-up hard water deposits so that their coffee not only tastes better but their machine performs better as well. Regularly cleaning a K-cup coffee machine also extends its life, so it’s a very useful feature to have and one that the consumer is definitely going to want to consider.
Can It Brew More Than K-Cups?
Another thing that the consumer might want to consider is whether they want a coffee maker that only uses K-cups or if they want an option to use ground coffee with it as well. Although it depends on the needs and wants of the consumer which model they choose, they should keep in mind that some K-cup models don’t have an adjustable brew strength. In those instances, the consumer is going to want to by a model that uses K-cups and ground coffee so they could adjust brew strength.
Does It Have An Adjustable Brew Strength?
Since we briefly covered the fact that not all K-cup coffee makers have adjustable brew strength up above, we thought it might be appropriate to go a little bit more into detail in this section of the guide. Models that are equipped with the option to adjust brew strength usually allow the consumer to choose between making a regular cup of coffee, or brewing a medium or strong cup of coffee. As we said, not all K-cup machines have this feature, but the ones that do are versatile and handy to use.
Does The Model Have A Carafe?
It’s also worth noting that not all K-cup coffee makers come with a carafe. Some models are designed to dispense the coffee into coffee cups or travel mugs directly. If the model doesn’t have a glass carafe and is going to be used with a travel mug, then the consumer should take the time to figure out whether the travel mug that they use will fit in the K-cup coffee machine they’re thinking of buying.
Does The Machine Have A Built-In Water Filter?
Although it’s not very common for K-cup coffee makers to have built-in water filters, some models do. Filtered water does make a better-tasting coffee, but the machine doesn’t need to have one unless the consumer feels like they need one. Either way, it is worth thinking about before purchasing a new coffee maker.
Does The Machine Have Adjustable Cup Sizes?
Some machines also have an adjustable cup size feature that allows the consumer to choose the cup size. Some of the more common cup sizes include espresso shots, or cup sizes ranging from 4-ounces to 12-ounces. If the consumer wants the ability to brew different cup sizes, then it’s worth thinking about whether they need a machine that has this feature.
Some Final Features To Think About
Okay, now that we feel that we’ve covered some of the basic features found on the best K-cup coffee machines, we thought that we would now cover some other features that aren’t necessary but do make the machine a lot easier to use. With that being said, below are some features for consumers to think about before buying their next coffee maker.
- Removable Drip Trays
- Removable Water Reservoirs
- Built-In Milk Frothers
- Carafe Warming Plate
- One-Touch Operation