The Best K Cup Coffee Makers

best-k-cup-coffee-maker

When you think of coffee machines using K-Cup pods, perhaps Keurig springs instantly to mind.

This is understandable since they dominate this segment of the market and have a broad range of outstanding pod-driven coffee makers.

As you’ll see today, though, there are also plenty of other brands with some great capsule-based machines compatible with K-Cup pods.

As usual, we put a sizeable number of machines through their paces and whittled this down to 15 of the strongest models in a crowded market. We chose a fair few Keurig machines since they continue to make the best K-Cup coffee makers. We’ve also thrown in offerings from a wide range of other manufacturers.

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As always, we’ve also tried to cater for all budgets and we managed to find some ultra-compact machines ideal if you live in a smaller apartment.

We’ll get straight down to business now with our reviews then we’ll tail off with some handy hints so you can get the most effective pod-based coffee maker for your needs the easy way.


I. Top 15 Best K Cup Coffee Makers

1. Our Pick: Keurig K-Elite K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

Keurig-K-Elite-K-Cup-Pod-Coffee-Maker

Our favorite K-Cup coffee maker by some distance, the Keurig K-Elite (also known as the K475) gives you enormous flexibility to make near-instant coffee just the way you like it.

You can choose from any size pod whether you want a double shot of 4oz or a much larger and longer 12oz coffee. You can tweak the strength setting as well as the size but you won’t be limited to piping hot coffee…

Hit the Iced button and enjoy a refreshing cold coffee or opt for Hot Water on Demand if you prefer tea or soup. Flexibility is uppermost with the K-Elite so you won’t be restricted like you are with some more limited single-serve machines.

You’ll even get a 6-pack of K-Cup pods so you fire up a brew straight out the box and you’ll also get a water filter and handle bundled to complete a winning package from an industry legend.
Things We Like

  • Brew hot or iced coffee with push-button ease
  • Choose from a full range of K-Cup sizes from 4oz through 12oz
  • Oversized reservoir good for a full 8 cups before it needs refilling

Things We Dislike

  • A few reported problems with leakage although we did not experience this during testing

See Also: Top 20 Best K-Cup Coffee Pods


2. Upgrade Pick: Keurig K-Café Coffee, Latte and Cappuccino Maker

Keurig-K-Cafe-K-Cup-Coffee-Maker

Another remarkably versatile Keurig single-serve machine, this pod-driven beauty allows you to make regular coffee along with latte and cappucino.

Pop in your favorite K-Cup pods and you can enjoy a range of your favorite roasts with push-button simplicity. If you prefer creamier and longer drinks, the frother might not be world-beating but it gets the job done and helps you generate serviceable latte and cappucino.

A neat touch with the K-Café is the Shot button. This delivers an intense shot of highly concentrated coffee so you can create more specialized drinks if you’ve got an adventurous palate.

While you won’t get quite the capacity of the K-Elite, the 60oz water tank gives you the scope to rack up a half-dozen coffees to get the whole family going in the morning.
Things We Like

  • Brew 4 cup sizes up to 10oz and enjoy super-strong coffee at the press of a button
  • Dishwasher-friendly manual frother suitable for all types of milk
  • Brew up 6 cups before you need to top up the water reservoir

Things We Dislike

  • A few complaints leveled at the quality of the frother by disgruntled users

See Also: 7 Best Keurig Coffee Makers


3. Best Drip and K-Cup Coffee Maker Combo: Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Coffee Maker

Best-Drip-and-K-Cup-Coffee-Maker-Combo

If you’re looking for a real bargain and you can’t choose between the richness of drip coffee and the convenience of pods, why compromise? You can get both in one powerful machine from Hamilton Beach.

On one side of this machine, you simply pop in your preferred K-Cup pods and you’ll get nigh-instant coffee. If you’re not sure which pods to choose, check out our detailed guide right here.

Using pods on an ongoing basis gets expensive, though. A glass carafe on the other side of this coffee maker lets you sidestep that problem completely and use freshly ground coffee instead. Water reservoirs work independently to keep things simple. Thanks to the innovative FlexBrew technology baked in, water isn’t continuously heated but warmed on demand so you won’t face a rampant power bill.

Get the best of both worlds from Hamilton Beach and serve up coffee for the whole family however they prefer to drink it.
Things We Like

  • Benefit from the economy of drip coffee on one side with the option of quickfire pod delivery on the other
  • Independent water reservoirs catering to each brewing method for ease of use
  • Energy-efficient FlexBrew system only heats water when you need it

Things We Dislike

  • Some issues with build quality and lifespan

See Also: Top 20+ Best Coffee Makers


4. Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker

Keurig-K-Classic-Coffee-Maker-K-Cup-Pod

The K-Classic is arguably the most popular of all Keurig single-serve machines. You’ll get all main bases covered without any frills and this coffee maker comes in at a price you’ll love.

The 48oz water reservoir allows you to make up to 6 large coffees and you’ll be able to flit between K-Cup pods and freshly ground coffee giving you maximum latitude.

While the plastic look is not to everyone’s taste, the K-Classic comes in an array of vibrant colorways so there’s something to fit in with any design scheme.

As with all single-serve machines, what you dip out on in terms of choice and increased cost, you gain when it comes to fuss-free coffee in your cup in 60 seconds flat.

Integrated descaling keeps your K-Classic running optimally without any labor-intensive clean-up.

As an exercise in simplicity giving you everything you need and nothing you don’t, the Keurig K-Classic is another home run from the company synonymous with single-serve capsule-based coffee.
Things We Like

  • Stripped-down functionality ideal for complete beginners
  • Integrated descaling function to prolong the lifespan of your machine
  • Accepts reusable filter if you prefer brewing freshly ground coffee

Things We Dislike

  • Aesthetics leave something to be desired

See Also: 13 Best Single Serve Coffee Makers


5. Cuisinart SS-10 Premium Single-Serve – K Cup Coffeemaker

Cuisinart-SS-10-K-Cup-Coffeemaker

The updated version of the outgoing Cuisinart SS-700, this iteration is finished in BPA-free plastic but looks more like a stainless steel model.

Core functionality is pod-based coffee and you’ll be able to use any K-Cup pod with brew sizes from 4oz to 12oz. If you want a change from the norm, make tea or hot chocolate with hot water on demand. You can also take advantage of the reusable filter provided if you get a hankering for your favorite ground beans.

The jumbo 72oz reservoir is class-leading and allows you to brew up to 10 coffees on a single fill.

With auto shut-off after 30 minutes and a neat rinse feature to keep maintenance to an absolute minimum, the SS-10 is a tech-driven and user-friendly single-serve coffee machine worthy of a place in any kitchen.
Things We Like

  • Striking looks but not a case of form over function
  • Hot water on demand widens your repertoire beyond pods
  • High level of programmability with crisp, clear interface

Things We Dislike

  • Some splashing which is a slight disappointment

6. Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker

Sboly-K-Cup-Coffee-Maker-Brewer-for-K-Cup-Pod

Sboly might not be the most instantly recognizable brand but this nifty little single-serve coffee maker merits a place on any shortlist.

As with many of the best single-serve coffee makers, you’ll be able to switch between K-Cup pods and freshly ground coffee giving you maximum freedom in a single compact appliance.

The slimline form factor of the Sboly makes it an ideal fit in cramped kitchens or on crowded countertops.

In the interests of accuracy, we should point out that a number of disgruntled users have reported coffee grounds leaking through the filter. While we didn’t notice this ourselves during testing, it’s a frequent enough complaint that it bears pointing out so do your own ue diligence.
Things We Like

  • Exceptional price to performance ratio
  • Auto-clean function keeps your machine in tip-top condition with no user input required
  • Choose from brewing freshly ground coffee or using K-Cup pods for a flexible experience

Things We Dislike

  • A couple of complaints about grounds from the filter coffee leaking through

7. Bunn MCU Coffee Brewer

BUNN-MCU-Single-Cup-Multi-Use-Home-Coffee-Brewer

The Bunn MCU is compatible with all K-Cup pods but also allows you to brew hot water on demand so maximizing your scope of drinks wonderfully. Whether you want some flavored pods, a cup of tea or a relaxing hot chocolate, the world’s you oyster with the MCU.

If you prefer a stronger coffee, take full advantage of pulse brewing to extract a fuller and deeper flavor. This is an unexpected bonus in a machine at this price-point.

With the drip tray, cover and drawers all removable and safe to pop in the dishwasher, you won’t be saddled with any messy clean-up in pursuit of gourmet coffee at home.

Where most single-serve machines let you brew cups to 12oz, you’ll be able to amp it right up to 14oz beasts with the Bunn.
Things We Like

  • Stark and utilitarian design perfect for minimalist kitchens
  • Brew large cups up to 14oz
  • Make K-Cup pods or use freshly ground coffee, loose leaf tea or even tea bags

Things We Dislike

  • A little too much plastic for some people’s liking

8. Cuisinart SS-15 Coffee Maker

Cuisinart-SS-15-Maker-Coffee-Center-12-Cup-Coffeemaker-and-K-Cup-Brewer

This upscale Cuisinart might not be cheap but it delivers in fine style across the board. What makes it so good, though?

As with all the best K-Cup coffee makers, you’ll also enjoy the ability to use freshly ground coffee beans so you won’t be pegged to capsules only. With a gold tone filter, you’ll get the best results with minimum fanfare.

On the single-serve side of the machine, you’ll get a removable 40oz reservoir so you can refill it without contorting yourself and keep things clean as a whistle.

The control panel is feature-rich but remarkably easy to use. You’ll benefit from full 24-hour programmability so you can come downstairs in the morning to a kitchen filled with the smell of fresh coffee and a drink in your cup in seconds flat.

As sample pack of 3 capsules lets you test out medium and dark roast to see which takes your fancy and also included an aromatic French vanilla for good measure.
Things We Like

  • Generous 12-cup carafe perfect for larger families
  • Accepts both reusable filters and K-Cup pods
  • Gold tone filter for top-tier performance and the perfect extraction every time

Things We Dislike

  • Not the cheapest of single-serve machines but still excellent value

9. Keurig K-Select Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Keurig-K-Select-Single-Serve-K-Cup-Pod-Coffee-Maker

Its tough not to fill today’s curated list with nothing but Keurig machines. They exert such a dominance over the single-serve space we’re duty-bound to bring you a selection of their wide and deep range.

The K-Select is at the cheaper end of this range so keep your expectations reasonable. You can’t expect a machine to last for a decade at this price point but you should still get plenty of faithful service from your Keurig.

The push-button simplicity of this single-serve machine gives you great-tasting capsule coffee in less than a minute.

When it’s time to descale, you’ll get a useful reminder so you can keep things running full clip.

You’ll even get a 6-pack of K-Cup pods thrown in so you can get going straight out the box and decide for yourself which blend to invest in.
Things We Like

  • Wide spread of colors to choose from
  • Brew an assortment of cup sizes to suit (6oz, 8oz, 10oz and 12oz)
  • Substantial 52oz water tank keeps refilling to a minimum

Things We Dislike

  • Some issues with build quality and problems developing over time

10. Keurig K-Mini Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Keurig-K-Mini-Single-Serve-Coffee-Maker

Most coffee machines eat up a great deal of room on the kitchen counter but how about if you simply don’t have the space but you don’t want to sacrifice your specialty coffee?

Keurig step in to the rescue with this tiny single-serve machine that proves conclusively great things can come in small packages.

You’ll be limited to K-Cup pods with the K-Mini but you’ll be able to brew multiple sizes up to and including travel mugs.

The auto shut-off is a valuable safety feature you wouldn’t expect from a budget coffee maker.

While the upper end Keurig machines are all built to stay the distance, the cheaper models like the K-Mini do seem to manifest problems over the course of time so buy with your eyes wide open and don’t expect something that will keep going for a lifetime.

On the flipside, it’s priced accordingly and there are no other single-serve coffee makers coming close to the tiny footprint of the K-Mini.
Things We Like

  • Space-saving machine measuring less than 5 inches across so fits just about anywhere
  • Cord storage keeps things tidy in the kitchen
  • Despite the slimline dimensions, the K-Mini accepts travel mugs so you won’t lose out on capacity

Things We Dislike

  • Some issues with build quality over time which is a constant with cheaper Keurig models

11. Mixpresso Single-Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker

Mixpresso-Single-Serve-K-Cup-Coffee-Maker

If you’re looking for a cheap, no-nonsense K-Cup coffee maker, the Mixpresso is a versatile and hardworking model well worth your further investigation.

You’ll get a reusable filter if you prefer using freshly ground beans or you can opt for the sheer convenience of capsules for the double-win. You can use Mixpresso’s proprietary pods along with any other type of K-Cup capsules so you’ll get the widest possible choice without being locked in to any specific brand.

Thanks to the potent heating element, pre-heating is super-swift and you’ll get piping hot coffee near-instantly however you choose to brew it.

With a 45oz water tank good for 6 cups, you can fix steaming coffees for the whole family in the morning with the minimum of fanfare.

Coming in a choice of 3 commanding colors, the Mixpresso might not be the most immediately recognizable brand but it’s well worth giving a try if you want gourmet coffee on a budget.
Things We Like

  • Brew espresso as well as straight-up coffee
  • Powerful 1200-watt heating element
  • Brew up to 6 cups before needing to top up the water reservoir

Things We Dislike

  • Fairly cheap-looking with a preponderance of plastic

12. AICOK Single-Serve Coffee Maker

AICOK-5-Brew-Sizes-One-Cup-Coffee-Machine

The AICOK is another single-serve coffee maker that doesn’t lock you forcibly into using a specific type of pod. You’ll be able to use both first-generation and 2.0 K-Cup pods and also a reusable filter so you can take your coffee however you like it without feeling restricted.

The stripped-down interface is a pleasure to use. Marketed as the fastest single-serve coffee maker, you’ll have a steaming drink in 30 seconds flat. Few brewing methods can compete with that speed of delivery and with the ability to use freshly ground coffee if you prefer, you won’t feel restricted in the quest for convenience.

You’ll be able to brew 5 cup sizes from a dinky 4oz on up to 12oz mugs so you can take your coffee just the way you like it.

For a highly capable all-rounder at a very keen price, the AICOK merits a closer look if you’re looking for high performance on a tight budget.
Things We Like

  • Huge cross-compatibility with all varieties of K-Cup pods
  • Shotgun brewing time of less than 30 seconds
  • Lifelong technical support layered on top of 2-year limited warranty for your complete peace of mind

Things We Dislike

  • Pods can split open which is disconcerting and messy

13. Hamswan Coffee Maker

HAMSWAN-K-Cup-Coffee-Maker-for-K-Cup-Pod-&-Ground-Coffee

Another less recognizable brand, Hamswan nevertheless knows a thing or two about making coffee machines.

Whether you opt for K-Cup pods or freshly ground beans, you’ll have top-tier coffee in precious little time giving you complete convenience on those hectic mornings.

Attention to detail is surprising considering the pocket-friendly pricing. The temperature control gives you coffee that’s neither scalding hot nor too tepid for comfort so you’ll get that perfect golden cup every time.

Complete automation down to the cleaning function gives you all the ease you’d associate with a single-serve machine married to the flexibility to make filter coffee as an added bonus.

For a highly effective K-Cup coffee machine at a price you’ll love, why not put your faith in an outsider and give this Hamswan a road test? We’re quietly confident you’ll be impressed.
Things We Like

  • Choose from K-Cup pods or filtered coffee depending on your mood
  • Double-wall insulation for optimum temperature control
  • Thermal drip technology capable of delivering a full carafe in just 3 minutes

Things We Dislike

  • Basic appearance polarizes opinion

14. Homia Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Coffee-Maker-Machine-Electric-Brewer-for-Ground-Coffee-K-cup-Сompatible

This tall and slim machine from Homia looks the part and punches above its weight to give you first-class coffee at a reasonable price.

You’ll be able to use more or less any K-Cup pods so you won’t be tied to a proprietary blend. You’ll get 3 capsules included so you can rack yourself up a tester directly out the box.

Make sure you have a 110-volt power supply or you’ll need a transformer which would boost your expenses considerably.

Despite the potent heating element, this machine runs extremely quietly and comes rated at less than 65 decibels.

If you’re prepared to deviate from the default option of a Keurig, this is a highly effective single-serve machine that gives you a user-friendly and powerful experience at a cut-throat price.
Things We Like

  • Simple, stress-free one-button functionality ideal for complete beginners
  • Accommodate travel mugs so enjoy coffee on your way to work without needing to stop off at Starbucks
  • 1000-watt heating element gives you a piping hot drink in a matter of minutes

Things We Dislike

  • Only runs on 110 volts so make sure this is the electricity supply you use

15. Gloridea Single-Serve Coffee Maker

Coffee-Machine-for-K-Cup-Pod-&-Ground-Coffee

Last but by no means least in our quest for the best K-Cup coffee maker, the Gloridea is another budget model with deceptively strong performance.

As with any cheaper coffee machine, you’ll take a slight hit on the appearance front but you won’t need to compromise quality when it comes to the coffee in your cup.

Whether you want the instant convenience of a capsule or the improved economy of using freshly ground coffee, you’ll be able to enjoy both in one multipurpose workhorse.

Small enough to fit neatly on a busy worktop, this is also a machine ideal for use in your RV or when you’re out camping so you’ll get a highly versatile and eminently portable coffee maker without breaking the bank.
Things We Like

  • Brew up coffee from 4oz on through to 14oz giving you maximum scope
  • Choose from disposable K-Cup pods or a reusable filter and freshly ground coffee according to your mood and budget
  • Brisk delivery in minutes flat even when using fresh coffee

Things We Dislike

  • Not the most elegant looking machine

II. Things to Look for When Buying a K Cup Pods Coffee Maker

Things-to-Look-for-When-Buying-a-K-Cup-Pods-Coffee-Maker

Before launching in to buy a single-serve coffee maker, you should ask yourself first if this is the right brewing method for you.

With K-Cup machines, you might leave a heavy environmental footprint with all that plastic, but you’ll be rewarded by the freshest coffee with no waste and the majesty of push-button convenience. Unlike some more labor-intensive brewing methods, you won’t be faced with any messy clean-up either.

As outlined above and evidenced in our reviews, you don’t need to stick to Keurig these days. Many other manufacturers have entered the competitive single-serve coffee maker space so your choice is diverse.

While it might seem like the simplest buying decision in the world, there are some key areas you should consider if you want the most effective K-Cup machine for your needs.

  • Price: Machine and Pods
  • Can You Use Freshly Ground Coffee?
  • Speed of Brewing
  • Temperature
  • Brew Strength
  • Cup Size
  • Does The Machine Have Hot Water on Demand?
  • Hot and Iced Drinks?
  • Programmability
  • Aesthetics

Price: Machine and Pods

You should think about budget in 2 areas:

  • Price of machine
  • Price of pods

While you don’t need to spend a fortune for the best pod machine, those at the upper end of the market have much broader functionality combined with superior build quality. Since even the costlier pod machines are not particularly pricey, we’d urge you to buy the best you can afford.

Factor in the ongoing cost of pods relative to the amount of coffee you drink. And, if this seems a little expensive for your liking, look for a machine that allows you to use fresh coffee, too…

Can You Use Freshly Ground Coffee?

Many single-serve machines allow you to pop in a reusable filter and your favorite blend of freshly ground coffee.

If you drink a great deal of coffee and you’re concerned about expense, this affords you the convenience of a quick pod coffee when you need one in a hurry along with the economy of buying freshly ground coffee or beans in bulk.

Even if you’re not on such a tight budget, the added flexibility of a dual-purpose machine is well worth considering anyway.

Speed of Brewing

The vast bulk of pod coffee makers give you your drink in as little as 30 seconds.

While some are labelled super-fast, they all perform at roughly comparable pace so don’t fall for the marketing hype.

Brew Strength

Keurig offers you a great deal of freedom to manipulate brew strength so you can enjoy a deeper, bolder coffee.

Some machines also allow you to pour a concentrated shot of intense coffee ideal for using as the base for specialty coffees.

If you’ve got exacting tastes, keep your eyes peeled for a machine that gives you the scope to tweak strength to taste.

Cup Size

All pod machines will list the variety of brew sizes you can make. Starting at 4oz and running up to 14oz at the upper end, think about how you like your coffee and buy accordingly.

Not all machines will offer such a spread of sizes so laser in on this if you have a larger family and everyone takes their coffee differently.

Does The Machine Have Hot Water on Demand?

If you frequently drink tea or hot chocolate, look for a machine that provides hot water on demand.

Most of the machines we looked at today offer this facility but you should double check the models you’re considering if you often drink more than just coffee.

Hot and Iced Drinks?

Not many pod-based machines allow you to make iced coffee so if you’re a big fan of colder coffee, we’d strongly recommend the Keurig K-Elite. You’ll get first-class iced coffee at the push of a button.

Programmability

Rather than searching for the most feature-rich machine you can find purely for the sake of it, think about the level of programmability you’ll actually find rewarding.

If you like the idea of coming downstairs in the morning to find a steaming coffee waiting for you, angle for a machine that offers 24-hour programmability.

Make sure as well that the machine is easy enough to use for everyone in the family.

Aesthetics and Sizing

Design should certainly not be you primary motivator when you’re buying a single-serve coffee maker. What counts is the quality of the coffee in the cup.

That said, if you’ve found several machines that seem pretty much equal across all the categories that count, it makes sense to roll with the one you like the look of most.

Tied in to design is the overall dimensions. Think about the size of your kitchen and how much countertop space you have. If you’re struggling for space, look for one of the more compact models we reviewed.


III. Conclusion

Well, by now you should have a clear idea about whether or not a single-serve coffee maker makes sense for you.

While Keurig is the default choice, you should also see there are plenty of other options at your disposal if you want the raw convenience of a pod-based coffee maker.

The other thing we’ve tried to illustrate today is that buying a capsule-driven machine doesn’t mean you need to be restricted to only that brewing method. Increasingly, K-Cup machines also offer you the ability to harness reusable filters and freshly ground coffee to widen your repertoire. Throw in hot water on demand and you’ll be amazed at the scope of the drinks menu you can rustle up.

The Best K Cup Coffee Makers
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