The Keurig K-Café won our best overall pick after extensive testing. Its versatility allows you to make everything from regular coffee to lattes and cappuccinos, and in multiple sizes, too. If you'd prefer a more basic budget option, the K-Express offers the same coffee-brewing performance with fewer frills.
Keurig is one of the most recognizable names in coffee. Known for its array of pod-based machines, the company helped spark the 21st-century wave of single-serve brewing. These convenient coffee makers can be found everywhere from offices to dorm rooms, and the collection is extensive enough to suit a variety of needs. Some machines are designed to save space on cluttered countertops, while others come with milk frothers to craft lattes and cappuccinos. Keurig now even produces its signature K-Cups for more than just coffee drinkers, with myriad options for tea and hot chocolate.
To help you find the best Keurig model for your space, we tested them side-by-side in our Lab, where we brewed many cups of coffee in each available size, measuring brewing time, final temperature, and accuracy of volume as well as taste. Machines with milk frothers were also used to prepare and test lattes and frothed milk by itself, both hot and cold.
Here are the best Keurigs, according to our Lab tests.
Keurig K-Café Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker
Multiple drink options
Easy to use
Dishwasher-safe milk frother
Not "true" espresso
Takes up a lot of counter space
(Note: The No. 1 top-rated Keurig in our Lab tests was the K250 model, which was recently discontinued. It's still possible to find Keurig K250s on Amazon, but we named our testing runner-up as the official best overall since it is much more widely available.)
The K-Café takes the classic Keurig K-Cup coffee brewer and adds both a milk frother and "shot" mode that makes 2 ounces of highly concentrated, espresso-style coffee for lattes and cappuccinos. Our coffee-snob testers did not find that this machine could make "true" espresso, but it's certainly much less expensive than a dedicated espresso machine. (There are K-Cups made with "espresso roast" coffee, but the "shot" mode still doesn't brew coffee under high pressure like "real" espresso.) The milk frother produced a layer of fluffy peaks in our tests, though the Lab was disappointed to find unwhipped milk beneath the froth rather than a uniform texture.
On the standard-coffee-brewing side, the K-Café passed our tests with flying colors. It took 65 seconds or less to brew up cups in all four sizes available, produced nice hot coffee, and is very simple to operate. The milk frother attachments are also dishwasher safe, a rarity for the mostly hand-wash-only Keurig line. The K-Café's drip tray is removable to fit a tall to-go cup, and its 60-ounce reservoir is enough to make five extra-large coffees without needing to refill.
The machine has an attractive sleek look, but it's kind of an odd shape that makes it take up more counter space than it needs to. On the other hand, if you'll be brewing coffee drinks every morning, it's worth dedicating the square footage.
Price at time of publish: $190
Color: Charcoal | Water Reservoir: 60 ounces | Frothing: Yes | Strong Brew: Yes | Dimensions: 12.5 x 15.3 x 11.7 inches
"This is truly where Keurigs shine. It's so convenient to use. This one even gets bonus points for the pretty effective no-fuss frother."
Keurig K-Express Single Serve Coffee Maker
Easy to use
No temperature or brew strength control
The beauty of the Keurig is that it makes coffee-brewing simple—stick a pod in the machine, press a button, and you're done. The K-Express provides a no-frills version of that experience for just about the lowest price you can find on any Keurig machine. It can make the standard 8-, 10-, or 12-ounce cups and has a regular and strong brew mode, and that's about it. But it performed just as well as the other models we tested in brewing hot coffee, fast.
The K-Express comes in at less than 5 inches wide, which makes it easy to slide away on the counter when not in use, but it can handle up to a 7.4-inch-tall travel mug. At 42 ounces, its removable reservoir is smaller than that of other Keurig models, but it's still enough to make three or four cups of coffee between refills.
Price at time of publish: $80
Color: Black | Water Reservoir: 42 ounces | Frothing: No | Strong Brew: Yes | Dimensions: 12.6 x 4.6 x 12.9 inches
"The K-Express is super-easy to use because it is a very basic single-serve coffee maker. It's worth the price if you're just looking for a quick cup of coffee every day."
Keurig K-Supreme Plus
Saves brewing preferences for up to 3 people
Large, removable reservoir
Slower brew time
Not easy to clean
The great thing about using a single-serve brewer like a Keurig is that each person who wants a cup of coffee gets to choose exactly how they want it brewed. The K-Supreme Plus not only has three strength, three temperature, and five cup-size options, but it can also save three different sets of preferences so you can get your coffee your way with one touch of a button. Its 78-ounce reservoir is larger than most models and can make a lot of coffee before being refilled, and it's removable, too, making it easy to refill when it finally does get empty.
All Keurigs make a pretty quick cup of coffee, but our tests found that this one's a little slower than other models, taking a bit over a minute to make a cup, whereas other models were as quick as 28 seconds. It's also kind of a pain to clean, as you have to disassemble all the pieces and wash them by hand. (Keurig does make special rinse pods and filters to clean the interior of the machine, which of course you have to buy from Keurig.)
Price at time of publish: $200
Colors: Gray | Water Reservoir: 78 ounces | Frothing: No | Strong Brew: Yes | Dimensions: 13.4 x 8.3 x 12.2 inches
"This is a very easy-to-use Keurig. Using the 'strong' setting helped make the coffee significantly bolder and stronger. This product would be good for people who want the convenience of a customizable cup of coffee in the morning."
Best for Lattes
Keurig K-Café SMART Single Serve Coffee Maker
Built-in milk frother makes great froth
Precise control over coffee strength and temperature
Connected app and BrewID system
App is complicated to set up
Difficult to clean
The K-Cafe Smart is smart for two reasons: Keurig's BrewID system reads the particular pod you insert to tailor its settings to the coffee you're brewing and the drink you're using it in, and it connects to the Keurig app, which lets you start your coffee from bed (even via Alexa or other smart assistant). To satiate latte lovers and cappuccino connoisseurs, the K-Cafe features a built-in milk frother that works with hot or cold milk (and non-dairy milk, too, of course) and our Lab found extremely effective.
Via the connected app or onboard controls, you can use any of five intensity settings and six temperature settings to make your coffee exactly how you like it, and there's even an iced coffee setting that brews extra-strong coffee designed to pour over ice. It's good that you don't need the app, though, as our testers found the instructions confusing and couldn't get their machine connected.
Keurig managed to fit all this into a frame that's 4 inches slimmer than the original K-Café, saving customers valuable counter space. The item also has a large and easy-to-remove water reservoir that holds up to 60 ounces. As you might expect, you pay for intelligence: The K-Café Smart is on the pricy end for a Keurig coffee maker.
Price at time of publish: $250
Color: Black | Water Reservoir: 60 ounces | Frothing: Yes | Strong Brew: Yes | Dimensions: 12.7 x 11 x 17.2 inches
"The rich setting makes a strong cup of coffee that has a creamy mouthfeel to it, and the frothed milk was scoopable, with the silkiness of a coffee shop latte."
Keurig K155 OfficePro Premier Brewing System
Adjustable brew temperature
No brew strength control
Great for small businesses or for big families that take their coffee drinking very seriously, this machine is ready to work. A simple touchscreen controls the brew temperature and other settings, and the unit can make a cup of coffee in four different sizes in not much more than a minute. The drip tray is removable, so you can fill a travel mug or taller cup of coffee easily. The OfficePro's huge reservoir is the big appeal for big coffee drinkers; it can make more than 20 small cups, or nine big ones, between refills.
Our Lab found the OfficePro extremely easy to use, with a touchscreen that's pretty much entirely self-explanatory. The water tank needs a few minutes to heat up when you first turn it on, but afterward it was able to make all but the 10-ounce cup in the less than a minute the brand claims. (The 10-ounce cup took a minute and 12 seconds, which is still solid.) The adjustable temperature works accurately and is a nice feature, but testers missed the ability to set the strength of the brew like they were able to do with the other Keurig machines. A nice feature, especially if you're using the machine in an office break room, is that all of its pieces come apart easily for cleaning with simple soap and water.
Color: Silver | Water Reservoir: 90 ounces | Frothing: No | Strong Brew: No | Dimensions: 13.9 x 10.4 x 14 inches
"The LED touchscreen is bright enough to make for very easy reading, and it's incredibly easy to use."
Best With Carafe
Keurig K-Duo Essentials Single Serve & Carafe Coffee Maker
Makes up to 12 cups at once
Can use K-Cups or ground coffee
No temperature or brew strength control
Slower than other Keurigs for single cups
This machine is pretty much a mash-up of a classic Keurig and classic drip coffee maker, for a price lower than most K-Cup-only models. The single-serving side can dispense an 8-, 10-, or 12-ounce mug of coffee, while the carafe side can make 8, 10 or 12 cups. The carafe side takes a standard coffee filter and whatever ground coffee you like, which gives you a much wider selection of options than the K-Cup format. (There is a My K-Cup reusable pod that can be filled with any ground coffee, as well, but that's sold separately.)
In the Lab, testers missed the temperature and brew strength controls other Keurigs offer. They also found that the K-Duo Essentials took longer to make single servings of coffee than other Keurigs, perhaps due to the fact that the whole reservoir has to heat up before using either the carafe or K-Cup side. It only took a little over nine minutes to fill the carafe with 12 cups, which outperformed the other two carafe models we tested, though.
Price at time of publish: $109
Colors: Black or gray | Water Reservoir: 60 ounces | Frothing: No | Strong Brew: No | Dimensions: 15.8 x 15.7 x 15.8 inches
"When using the carafe and following the instructions (1 tablespoon ground coffee per cup you want to brew), the coffee comes out to be some of the best coffee that has been produced in our tests."
Best for Small Spaces
Keurig K-Slim + Iced Single Serve Coffee Maker
Easy to use
"Brew over ice" feature
No temperature or brewing strength controls
Left coffee grounds in the cup
Does your tiny kitchen put counter space at a premium? Or maybe you have a countertop already crowded with air fryer, microwave, sous vide, and mixer? The K-Slim might be perfect for you. It's got all the brewing power of a bigger machine (albeit with a slightly smaller reservoir) in a shape designed to slide between other countertop items.
The K-Slim + Iced doesn't have any custom strength or temperature settings, but it does have a special "brew over ice" mode that starts very hot and finishes cooler to make you an iced coffee that's strong but doesn't melt all the ice in the glass. The controls couldn't be simpler, as it starts to brew immediately when you close the lid. If you forget to put a mug in place, the drip tray also holds a full "accidental brew" so you don't get coffee all over the counter.
The big negative the Lab found in testing with this model is that it left some bits of coffee grounds in the bottom of the cup. That was a surprisingly uncommon issue in our Keurig tests; only a handful of the models we tested left any sediment in the coffee.
Price at time of publish: $130
Color: Gray | Water Reservoir: 46 ounces | Frothing: No | Strong Brew: No | Dimensions: 12.1 x 4.7 x 15.2 inches
"This is a very straightforward Keurig to use. The design is very streamlined and easy to understand."
The Keurig K-Café is the most versatile Keurig you can find, as well as one of the top-performing—backed by extensive testing. It lets users brew everything from lattes and cappuccinos to regular coffee in four different sizes. A more inexpensive option is the Keurig K-Express, which performed well in our Lab and offers all the convenience of a Keurig machine at a comparatively low price.
How We Tested
Our Lab purchased and tested 20 different Keurig models, using Barista Prima Italian Roast K-Cups as the standard for all brewing tests. For each model, we brewed cups of coffee in each available size, measuring brewing time, final temperature, and accuracy of volume as well as taste. We also poured samples of finished coffee through standard coffee filters to look for any sediment left in the brew.
If an iced coffee option was available, we prepared iced coffee following the included directions and rated its flavor and level of ice retention. For models with large-volume carafes, we repeated the same tests at each available carafe fill level. To test machines with milk frothers, we followed the included directions to prepare and rate lattes, as well as rate the frothed milk by itself, both hot and cold.
In addition, we made general observations and ratings for each model on design, ease of use, and cleaning. Testers noted any difficulties they found with setup, filling the reservoir, selecting options, or brewing coffee, and kept an eye out for other helpful features or annoying design choices. After the brewing tests, we cleaned each machine following the manufacturer's directions and noted how easy each one was to disassemble, clean thoroughly, and reassemble.
Other Options We Tested
- Keurig K-Elite: Despite the "elite" name, this is a fairly standard Keurig machine. It offers minimal customization options beyond cup size, and it makes an OK cup of coffee. It does have an extra-large water reservoir, but otherwise, the K-Elite offers the same functionality as the K-Express or K-Slim, only with a larger footprint and higher price.
- Keurig K-Classic: Our tests found most Keurig models to be remarkably consistent in brewing quality and flavor; the K-Cup brewing system does a great job in that respect. The K-Classic machine is no exception, but it doesn't offer any special features that other machines do at the same price point.
- Keurig K-Mini: This was really the only Keurig that we found mechanical issues with in our tests. Testers had to open and close the lid multiple times to get it to start brewing, and it left coffee grounds in the cup. There are cheaper basic models than the K-Mini that make just plain coffee effectively, as well as more expensive ones that have more and better features.
What to Look for in a Keurig
Keurig coffee makers come with all sorts of different features. Figuring out the features that are most important to you is a great way to narrow down your options. Do you want a highly versatile machine with adjustable settings and the ability to make lattes and cappuccinos? Or would you be happy with a more basic, and likely cheaper, model that just makes black coffee?
Many Keurig coffee makers are specifically designed to save space. That's what makes the brand a great option everywhere from offices to dorm rooms to cluttered kitchens. If you do have the space, however, larger Keurigs often have added features, so it may be worth sacrificing a little more room on the countertop if you can spare it.
Price is an important consideration when buying any coffee maker. Luckily, it's a little easier to compare value for money when looking at products all made by the same brand. Think about the features you want in a Keurig coffee maker and see if they fall within your price range. Keurigs are generally more expensive than regular drip coffee makers, but even the top models aren't outrageously pricey.
How do I clean my Keurig?
Regularly cleaning your Keurig device is the best way to ensure consistent long-term performance. Lack of upkeep can cause everything from grounds ending up in your cup to the water not getting hot enough to the machine dispensing too much or too little coffee. Undiagnosed clogs or leaks can quickly ruin your Keurig permanently, so it's important to follow the unit's individual directions for cleaning. In general, you'll need to take apart and thoroughly rinse tanks, tubes, and filters. Most Keurig parts are not dishwasher safe, but they are easy to clean with dish soap and running water.
Descaling is a more thorough cleaning process for a coffee maker that only needs to be done every three to six months. This removes mineral residue (aka “scale”) that slowly builds up inside the machine wherever it's in contact with water. The first step in descaling is to empty the water reservoir and refill with a mixture of water and descaling solution—this can be a product specifically sold for coffee makers or just vinegar you have at home. Next, run the brew cycle until the reservoir is empty and the “add water” light turns on. (Some models have a descaling mode explicitly for this purpose.) After descaling, it’s important to thoroughly rinse and hand wash all parts of the machine to remove any leftover descaling solution.
Why are there coffee grounds in my cup?
Coffee grounds in your Keurig cup are often the result of a clogged exit needle. The fix is quick and easy, but keep in mind that the needle is extremely sharp and should be handled cautiously. To clean the exit needle, first remove the pod holder from your Keurig device. Second, detach the funnel from the pod holder and locate the small tube underneath the exit needle. Third, use a paper clip or small brush to loosen and remove leftover coffee grounds inside the tube. Finally, rinse the pod holder and funnel in the sink before reassembling and placing back in your device. You can also run a brew cycle with just water afterward as a final measure to ensure the exit needle has been completely unclogged.
Why is my Keurig leaking?
The most common source of a leaky Keurig is the water reservoir. This can be verified a couple different ways. First, remove the reservoir and inspect the well underneath; if there’s a buildup of water, the leaking is likely caused by a faulty nozzle at the bottom of the reservoir. You can contact Keurig’s customer service for a replacement reservoir, or try to repair it at home by placing an O-ring (also called a toric joint) around the nozzle. The second test is to fill the reservoir with water and hold it over the sink. If it leaks, chances are the reservoir has a crack in it, which is also an issue to contact Keurig’s customer service about.
Does Keurig offer a warranty?
Yes! Keurig offers a limited one-year warranty for all of its brewing devices. The warranty covers issues that arise from general home use, but it does not cover “consequential or incidental damages.” Depending on the defect, Keurig will either replace individual parts or the entire brewer, both free of charge.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a freelance food writer who specializes in product reviews and recipes. Her work has appeared on Serious Eats, Fine Cooking, and her own recipe blog, Cookistry.com. She's also the author of "Make Ahead Bread," a cookbook meant to simplify the bread-baking process.
This piece was updated by Derek Rose, the coffee and tea expert for The Spruce Eats. He researches a variety of coffee products, from measuring scoops to commercial espresso machines, and interviews field experts for their insight. He typically uses non-electric coffee makers at home, alternating between the Bialetti Moka Express and the Bodum Brazil French Press.
The Spruce Eats commerce writer Jason Horn updated this story with insights from Lab testing. He drinks iced coffee when it's hot out where he lives in Los Angeles, so almost all the time.