In-depth reviews of the top-rated Keurig coffee makers of 2023
One of the best Keurig coffee makers may be the solution if you need a new coffee maker but are limited by a tight budget. Unlike other coffee makers, Keurig machines don't break the bank and are incredibly simple to use. Pod coffee makers allow you to quickly and easily make a cup of coffee by simply inserting a pod and choosing the desired serving size. Although Keurig isn't widely recognized for its taste, certain models, especially those with a "strong" brew setting, stand out from the crowd.
How do you know which Keurig model is best for your home, though? We put several different machines through their paces so you don't have to. We tested each machine in a home environment, as you would, and analyzed its advantages and disadvantages. We started by analyzing the time, temperature, and energy spent on the brewing process, as well as the final product's quality. We listened to the current background noise levels; after all, you wouldn't want to wake everybody up first thing. We also took into account the design's practical benefits, such as the product's user-friendliness, cleanliness, and compactness. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the top rated Keurig coffee makers. We've got the solution whether you're looking for a compact model or one that can make milky beverages.
Presenting, our top picks for the current crop of top-tier Keurig coffee makers.
Reasons to have faith in Tom's Guide So that you can make an informed purchase, our expert reviewers spend countless hours researching, testing, and comparing various products and services. Check out our testing procedures if you're interested.
The K-Cafe combines the best features of both pod coffee makers and espresso makers for the home, making it the best Keurig coffee maker available. In our taste tests, we discovered that the "strong" brew setting produced a darker, richer cup of K-Cup coffee, while the "shot" setting brewed a concentrated, espresso-like 2-ounce pour of coffee that was a fantastic recreation of tasty espresso. Its milk frother is a nice feature because it can heat and froth dairy and milk alternatives in under two minutes, making it ideal for making iced and hot lattes and cappuccinos.
We brewed three cups of each size to get an average brewing time, and the K-Cafe came in at 36 seconds, placing it third behind the K-Elite and K-Classic. However, the frother takes significantly more time, typically 1 minute and 35 seconds per pitcher. It's important to remember that the K-Café can't simultaneously brew coffee and froth milk. One potential annoyance for left-handed users is that the frother is on the right side of the machine. This Keurig model, however, is the only one of its kind to include a built-in milk frother, making it one of the most flexible options available.
While the K-Cafe's coffee had a pleasant flavor, we were disappointed by the lackluster temperature control. None of the Keurigs we tested could produce a hot cup of coffee. We measured 176 degrees Fahrenheit as the highest temperature for a cup of coffee brewed in a K-Cafe. Those who like their coffee very hot may be dissatisfied with the current temperature.
The K-Cafe has the highest energy consumption we've measured for a Keurig machine at around 160 kWh, but this is to be expected from a device that can brew and froth milk. The K-Cafe's brew cycle produced the second-most noise (75 dB) of any Keurig model we tested, but the machine was noticeably quieter during the warm-up phase (65 dB).
Despite its high price, this premium Keurig is a lifesaver on busy mornings when a barista-quality cup of coffee is a must-have. The K-Cafe is the Keurig model to get if you want the coffeehouse experience in your own home or just prefer a stronger K-Cup in the morning. And the fact that it can be used by virtually anyone is icing on the cake.
For more, check out our in-depth analysis of the Keurig K-Cafe.
The K-Slim is an excellent entry-level Keurig machine that takes up only four inches of counter space. Extending a full 7 inches in width Its slim design is in stark contrast to Keurig's usual bulky machines, and the water reservoir and drip tray are both dishwasher safe, so cleaning is a breeze. Additionally, its multistream technology guarantees a richer cup of coffee by fully saturated its K-Cups; we found the flavor to be comparable to the robust quality found in other Keurig machines during our evaluation.
There wasn't a single cup of coffee that didn't turn out well when brewed in the K-Slim. However, like all Keurigs, it doesn't get nearly hot enough to produce optimal coffee flavor. At 181 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest cup ever measured, the lowest was at 168.
Also, the average brew time was 1 minute and 25 seconds, but unlike the K-Cafe and K-Elite, which have separate warm-up and brew cycles, the K-Slim combines the two into a single cycle. However, the K-Slim can still brew a cup in under two minutes, just like any other Keurig.
Towards the end of its brewing cycle, the K-Slim reaches a peak noise level of around 74 decibels. It also has a higher energy consumption rate than the K-Elite, at around 139 kWh per day.
The lack of frills in its design, however, may be one of its weaknesses. The K-Slim can only make coffee in three different sizes: eight, ten, and twelve ounces, and the water reservoir is in the back, making it a little inconvenient to fill. However, the K-Slim produces the best tasting K-Cup coffee for the least amount of money, and it is available in a wide variety of colors (red, mint green, gray, and white). And that's why it's considered one of the finest Keurig coffee machines available.
If you're looking for a Keurig K-Slim review, you've come to the right place.
The "strong" button on the K-Elite allows you to brew your K-Cups more slowly, which is the key to a richer, more flavorful cup of coffee. Although this Keurig model does not include a milk frother, it more than makes up for it with its ability to brew iced coffee, a hot water dispenser, a programmable clock, and a 75-ounce water reservoir. The K-Elite also has the largest variety of cup sizes, as it can produce drinks in 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces. Included in the package is a Keurig water filter to further eliminate impurities from the reservoir.
During our testing, the machine brewed K-Cups at home at a rate of 34 seconds per serving, which was faster than any other Keurig home model we had tried before. Its energy consumption of 115 kWh is slightly higher than what we measured with the smallest Keurig model, the K-Mini. This machine is user-friendly and silent, with a 67dB noise reading and a coffee pod latch that practically glides open.
The coffee made by the K-Elite was also the best tasting of the bunch. We thought it tasted and felt just like coffee from any other coffee machine. The K-Elite, like the other Keurigs on this list, falls short when it comes to producing coffee at the optimal temperature for maximum flavor. We measured 182 degrees Fahrenheit for the hottest cup of K-Elite coffee and 165 degrees for the warmest.
Though its high price and lack of a frother may put off some potential buyers, this Keurig coffee maker is among the best on the market.
Take a look at our comprehensive Keurig K-Elite review.
The K-Select is an intelligent improvement upon the K-Classic, and its slightly reduced size and bulk make it feel like a more refined model. The "strong" button, which is only found on a select number of Keurigs and amps up the flavor of K-Cups, is present and it delivers. Testing revealed that the K-Select warms up and brews more quietly than the K-Classic while providing identical levels of boldness. It has the largest serving size amongst Keurigs at 12 ounces, and its 52-ounce water reservoir is 4 ounces larger than its predecessor's.
Typically, the Keurig will have a distinct volume range for the warming and brewing phases of the process. During its warm-up phase, the K-Select was the quietest machine we measured at 63 decibels, and its final brew volume was around 67 decibels, making it the quietest of all the machines we tested. Among the Keurig models we've tried, the K-Select is the quietest. We measured the K-Classic to use 130 kWh, so its consumption of around 125 kWh is a welcome reduction. It's also simple to operate and maintain, thanks to its intuitive button layout and detachable water tank. However, you should be aware that the brewing process can result in a lot of splashing, which can make cleanup more of a hassle.
The K-Select brews a cup of coffee in an average of 54 seconds, including the typically longer "strong" pour, and heats up in about the same amount of time as a standard Keurig.
When compared to other Keurig models, the K-Select shines for two reasons: its quiet operation and high quality coffee. However, its large size and noisy brewing process make cleanup more difficult than it appears. Still, in terms of quiet operation and tasty coffee, it ranks among the top Keurig models.
For more, check out our in-depth look at the Keurig K-Select.
You can't buy an easier Keurig machine than the K-Mini. Whatever amount of water you put into its reservoir is precisely how many cups of coffee you'll get out of it. Six to twelve ounces can fit inside, and it can brew just as much. It has a cord storage compartment that folds away out of the way, making it portable, and its two buttons (one for power, one for brew) make it simple to use. With a footprint just 4 inches square, this Keurig is the tiniest one on the market. it's slimmer than the K-Slim at 5.5 inches wide and 11.5 inches deep, and it comes in a variety of eye-catching colors like green, rose, teal, gray, and red
The K-Mini, like other stripped-down Keurigs without a "strong" setting or multistream technology, is unable to create an intense flavor profile. This machine makes passable coffee compared to others on our list, but it falls short of the best of the best. The K-Mini produces coffee that is both flavorless and overly burned, though its temperature of 189 degrees Fahrenheit is surprisingly the highest we've ever measured. No brewed coffee, in fact, was below 180 degrees.
Among the Keurig models considered here, the K-Mini takes the longest to brew a pot of coffee, with a total brew time of 2 minutes and 33 seconds. The brew cycle of this one is also the noisiest, clocking in at 80 dB.
It is the least energy-hungry of the bunch, using only 110 kWh per year, and it is remarkably simple to use thanks to its few buttons and tiny water tank. Although it may be annoying to have to constantly refill the water reservoir, doing so helps prevent water from being wasted due to evaporation. If you're short on counter space but still want one of the best Keurig coffee makers, this is a good option to consider.
To learn more about the Keurig K-Mini, check out our comprehensive review.
Methods for evaluating Keurig coffee makers
We put numerous Keurig machines through their paces, evaluating each one based on a wide range of criteria, from hard data to user feedback, to determine which ones were the best.
We monitored how long it took each Keurig to heat up, brew coffee, and froth milk. After 30 minutes of use, we also recorded each device's energy consumption. We measured the volume output of each Keurig and compared the results to one another using a noise meter to determine which was quietest for home use.
We brewed at least three cups of each K-Cup variety, per machine, and sampled them iced, on "strong," and in between. So that our taster could try each one without staying up all night, we roasted our beans with decaf coffee from Publix. (Wow, that's an excessive amount of caffeine. We rated the roast level and flavor profile of each K-Cup based on how hot it was when we drank it and how long it stayed hot after we brewed it in each Keurig machine.
In the United States, the National Coffee Association In this new window: believes that brewing temperatures between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal. Our Keurig-made coffee always came out at a lower temperature, between 160 and 189 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, the maximum temperature and setting on most Keurig machines are both pre-set to 192 degrees. To view the video, click here (opens in a new tab) is less than what the NCA recommends as the ideal
Based on the number of features, buttons, and detachable accessories offered by each Keurig, we also ranked their overall usability and cleanliness. Appliances with fewer buttons fared better than those with more, though it should be noted that all of the Keurigs on this list are simple to use. There was a significant quality gap between machines with finger inserts or a handle and those without, and those with weaker water reservoirs that were more difficult to fill received lower marks. Most Keurig parts are dishwasher safe, so all but two of the evaluated machines had high marks for tidiness. The amount of splashing and condensation a Keurig produced during brewing accounted for a negative score.
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Where can I find a Keurig coffee maker that wasn't included?
We also tried the K-Classic and the K-155 Office Pro, but they didn't measure up to the standards we set for the top Keurig coffee makers. The K-Classic brewed coffee quickly and quietly, but its cumbersome build let it down. Additionally, it resulted in coffee that was flat in both taste and body. While the K-155's design is more cutting-edge, its flavor is lacking and it doesn't provide good value to customers.
Coffee for Keurig machines comes in K-Cups, which are individual packets of ground beans. A coffee pod is inserted into the coffee maker, and the desired beverage size is chosen after the pod has been inserted. The machine will prick the pod on both ends, allowing water to be pushed through the ground coffee and into your mug. Brewing time is less than a minute once the water is heated.
The standard Keurig coffee maker comes with a one-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. That covers the first year of ownership, but Keurig coffee makers have a reputedly long lifespan of anywhere from two to five years, so you shouldn't worry about replacing it too soon. Therefore, keep up with routine maintenance and use the following guidelines to get the most out of your machine.
Instructions for keeping your Keurig in tip-top shape
Check out this guide on how to clean your Keurig machine for consistent, high-quality results with every cup of coffee you make.
- Coarsely ground coffee should be used with a reusable coffee filter, and the mesh basket should only be filled to the bottom of the brown band (2 cups). (1 cup)
- One of the needles may be blocked or require cleaning if you notice grounds in your coffee or if your brew yields a smaller cup than the one you selected. If you need to clean the needles, unplug the machine first. The pod holder must be taken apart and the exit needle cleaned with a paper clip if it becomes clogged. Raise the cranium and sterilize the induction needle with the paper clip. It is highly recommended that you view this informative video. In this new window: on Keurig's official website before getting started.
- We advise descaling your Keurig every three to six months or when you notice the brewing process has slowed down. First, put 10 ounces of white vinegar (or Keurig's Descaling Solution) into the water reservoir. (link opens in a new tab) ) Just put a mug under the spout and start the brew cycle as usual without a K-Cup in the machine. And then do it all over again, this time with vinegar, and then with 10 ounces of clean water.
The Impact of Keurig Coffee Makers on Nature
K-Cups have been destined for landfills because they were not recyclable until recently. The United States has begun distributing new recyclable K-Cups made of polypropylene. Although Keurig originally stated that all K-Cups would be recyclable by the end of 2020, the company has not provided any further information on this front. That's why it's important to make sure you're getting a recyclable K-Cup pod. Pods that can be recycled can be identified by a symbol on the packaging or in the product description on Keurig's website. online shoppers should direct their attention to com.
The pods can be recycled but unfortunately cannot be composted. Additionally, in order to recycle them, one must first remove the lid, discard or compost the used coffee grounds, and then rinse the pods. K-Cups are so tiny that some people worry they will be overlooked at recycling centers and will eventually end up in landfills.
My K-Cup Reusable Filters can be purchased so that you can use your own freshly ground coffee in your Keurig machine. It helps with the issues that have been plaguing the pods, but it makes using a Keurig less convenient, especially if multiple people use it throughout the day.
If you're not sure what kind of coffee maker you need, have a look at our guide.
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