The 5 [or 6] Best Keurig Coffee Makers of 2021 With Reviews & Side-by-Side Comparisons

what is the best keurig
Here are the best Keurig coffee makers of 2021. My favorite is the Keurig K-Supreme Plus but there’s a good argument to make that the Duo Plus and the K-Café are the best models too which I’ll go into a bit further down this page.

The newest machine in the Keurig lineup is the K-Supreme Plus SMART. This is a step up from a tech standpoint as it integrates an app and can change brew settings automatically for you based on which k-cup you put in the machine.

I’ll review this new machine in greater depth lower on this page but to be brief I want you to understand that the SMART functions may not be useful or even wanted by a wide majority of people – myself included.

I’ve broken this page down into a few different sections. Click any of the following links to jump straight to the section you care about most.

The Best Premium Units
The Best Value Units
The Best Low Cost Units
Are Keurig’s Even Worth It?


To start off let’s list the premium machines and then work our way down to the basic models followed by the entry level Essentials machines.

The Best Keurigs From Their Plus Line

As Of August 2021 the following top of the line Keurig’s are still being sold left and right. I literally own every one of these units and find some of their premium features to be awesome and some of them to be unnecessary. Regardless however each of these units are well made IMO and they make good coffee if you use the right k-cups and use the right settings.

1. K-Supreme Plus & K-Supreme Plus SMART Edition
2. K-Duo Plus
3. K-Elite
4. K-Café
5. K-Mini Plus

Is The K-Supreme Plus Smart Better Than The Regular K-Supreme Plus?

Generally speaking I prefer to use my K-Supreme Plus over the SMART edition because I don’t value the extra complexity or features in the SMART edition. Mostly the upgrade has to do with app features and automatic brew option selection which I simply don’t think people need. Once I decide my favorite brew selections I rarely ever deviate unless I’m really just experimenting.

Make sure to see my full comparison of the K-Supreme Plus and The SMART version for more.

The K-Duo Plus Is The Best Keurig For People Needing A Dual Brew Machine…Most Of The Time

Because I own both the K-Duo and the K-Duo Plus I am absolutely positive that the Plus version is better for most people because it brews pots of coffee through a screen into an insulated carafe and takes up less horizontal counter space. But for some people it’s not the best by a mile.

If you need a side-by-side unit then this option isn’t even close to your best option. See the following posts for more details on the differences between the K-Duo, K-Duo Plus, and the entry level K-Duo Essentials (284).

When & Why The K-Elite Is Better Than The K-Supreme

The K-Elite has been around for a lot longer than the K-Supreme but for many people it will still be a better made unit and preferred because of the style mostly. For the most part the K-Elite does all of the things the K-Supreme and K-Supreme Plus does but packaged in a different body.

I personally prefer the K-Supreme because the K-Elite brews too fast for my tastes but the K-Elite is highly customizable making it a great option for people who like the older design. Aside from styling differences there are a few functional aspects of these machines that set them apart and many people feel like the build quality of the K-Elite is higher. To learn more make sure to see the following article where I’ve compared the K-Elite to the K-Select and the K-Elite to the K-Supreme series of brewers.

The K-Café Is The Best Keurig For Making Coffee & Espresso-like Drinks

If you want the option of making an espresso like drink then the K-Café is easily your best bet when compared to the 4oz setting on the K-Supreme Plus and the K-Latte.

There’s actually a lot of differences between the K-Café and the K-Latté so make sure to see my comparison of those two machines if you want to learn more.

You may also want to see the following article where I compare the differences between Keurig’s K-Café to Nespresso’s Vertuo Plus which makes similar coffee/espresso drinks.

The Best Small Keurig Is The K-Mini Plus

By far an away I believe the K-Mini Plus is the best entry level Keurig of them all mostly because the price is low and it can brew slow and hot using the strong button which is lacking on other entry level Keurig brewers.

I made a full video review of the K-Mini Plus which I’ve embedded below. Make sure to give it a watch to learn more about why I think it’s the best of the small entry level Keurig machines.

There are cheaper options though if the strong button isn’t important to you.

Make sure to see the following article for more info on what the Keurig strong button actually does (929) and for a thorough comparison of the Keurig K-Mini to the K-Mini Plus (190).

Links to buy the K-Mini Plus are on those pages as well.

What Keurig Machines Offer The Best Value

With the cream of the crop out of the way let’s now look at the best Keurig for your money instead of the best machine possible. After all, most of us won’t be spending money on a Lambo or Rolls even if they may be the best cars, the following Keurigs aren’t top shelf but they are probably the best units for the average homeowner.

Again, I own every single one of these units, I bought them all with my own money and have used them all substantially. Here is the list of them and my summarized thoughts.

1. Keurig K-Supreme
2. Keurig K-Select
3. Keurig K-Mini Plus
4. Keurig K-Duo Essentials
5. Keurig K-Slim

The K-Supreme is One of the Cheapest Premium Keurigs You Can Get

If you want a lower cost premium unit then it’s hard to beat the pain-Jane K-Supreme. It’s the original 5-point Keurig coffee maker and has all the features most people want. Comes with a “strong” setting, 5-point needle for better extraction, variety of heat and cup size settings and it’s cheaper than it’s premium alternatives the Plus and Plus SMART.

I found myself using this more than the Supreme Plus for a while because it was so simple. It’s also lower cost and will perform just fine for the vast majority of people. You can see my full review of the K-Supreme here.

I Think The K-Select Is A Better Buy Than The K-Elite

I have used the K-Elite and the low cost K-Compact numerous times and I find the Elite is simply over priced and the K-classic (& Compact) are stripped down too far. The K-Select is priced in between and offers the best features that you want with a lower price than the top of the line units. I can’t recommend the K-Select more; it’s probably the bets value of all the machines.

See this article to learn more about the differences between the K-Select, K-Classic, & K-Compact (611) and I think you’ll agree with my assessment too.

Alternatively Cuisinart K-Cup coffee makers are good alternatives to the K-Select. See this article for my comparison of Keurig and Cuisinart k-cup coffee makers (270).

The K-Mini Plus Is The Best Entry Level Keurig That Has A Strong Setting

If you want to get a performance Keurig for a low price then you can’t go wrong with the K-Mini Plus. It’s barely more expensive than the cheapest Keurigs for sale and it makes coffee so much better. You can even clean the machine better than the lower cost units too which is a huge plus in my book.

The reason it’s better has everything to do with the strong setting which slows the brew process down and lets the coffee actually extract so that you get full flavored coffee rather than poorly extracted coffee.

In addition to the K-Mini, Keurig also released the K-Slim back in mid-2020. It’s a very low cost unit but it’s inferior to the K-Mini because it doesn’t offer a strong button which makes the coffee brew a cup with full flavor. You can see my comparison of the two coffee makers right here: Keurig K-Slim vs K-Mini (404). Alternatively you can see some of the smallest k-cup coffee makers here (267) if you don’t need to have something that falls under the Keurig brand.

The K-Duo Essentials Is All You Need For A Carafe & K-Cup Coffee Maker

If we are talking about getting as much value for your dollar as possible then of the three K-Duo machines the Essentials model from Walmart offers the most value for your money.

Each of the three machines will brew a full pot of coffee or a single cup but only the K-Duo Plus model is designed vertically, meaning there is only one water spout that drips into a carafe or your cup. The other two models are designed as side-by-side units so the carafe side is on the left and the k-cup side is on the right.

If you want a vertical unit for the space savings or for the stainless steel carafe then the K-Duo Plus is your only option but if you don’t then I don’t usually recommend people get the regular K-Duo, it’s just costs too much more than the Essentials version and doesn’t offer enough to make it a worthwhile expense.

All three are capable of brewing both traditional drip coffee or single cups through the k-cup system but the K-Duo Essentials just does it for less money without sacrificing you much of anything that you would miss.

The Keurig K-Slim Is Even Smaller Than The K-Express And Cheaper

If your version of value is low cost then the K-Slim is still your best bet. The K-Express was released in 2021 and is a newer model compared to the K-Slim but I believe the K-Slim is not as good of a unit and probably a better value just because it can usually be found for sale for less money. Honestly though, it’s pretty much a toss up. Both are very cheap units and very small so I wouldn’t knock you for choosing based on looks alone.


Now let’s briefly look at the entry level units and I’ll explain which ones on the list below are best.

The Best Of The Cheapest Keurig Coffee Makers

The cheapest Keurig machines include the entire Walmart series of stripped down units branded Essentials in some lines as well as some additional units sold from various retailers. These machines include the following:

► Keurig K-Duo Essentials – Probably the best Walmart specific Keurig model.
► Keurig K-Latte – The second best Walmart version of a Keurig.
► Keurig K-Slim – Probably The Worst Keurig On The Market IMO
► Keurig K-Compact – Ehh
► Keurig K-Mini – Might as well get the Mini Plus
► Keurig K-Express – Newest and possibly the lowest cost option available.
► Keurig K-Classic – Good entry level unit but not the cheapest and not nearly as good as the K-Select

In almost all cases I recommend my readers to opt for something with a bold or strong setting. You have to pay a bit more for these but it’s worth it to get a better tasting cup of coffee. Of the low end (entry level) Keurig machines the K-Latte can brew strong through it’s “shot” button.

It functions like a super-strong button and a tiny cup size all in one. This makes it the best option on the low end except for those people looking for a carafe and single cup option like you’ll find in the the K-Duo Essentials.

You can see this post for a more substantial list of entry level k-cup coffee makers that include a bold or strong setting (46).

Of The Lowest Priced Keurigs Which One Is Best?

The most expensive machines are simply not what every person needs. Many of the bells and whistles add unwanted complexity for certain customer groups. Each of the entry-level machines make coffee just fine, simply, and quickly…and these low cost units do it for a lot less money.

This group includes the following models.

K-Express
K-Slim
K-Mini
K-Compact
K-Classic
K-Latte

Of these machines the K-Latte is actually capable of making some of the best tasting coffee of all the machines, including the premium models because of it’s “shot” button. By pressing that button you can get some very rich well extracted coffee and all you have to do is brew three cycles on the shot setting to fill up a cup.

The K-Latte also comes with a milk frother to so you can take those shots and make espresso-like drinks easily and the price for the unit is fairly low.

Of course it’s not the cheapest however. For those truly looking to buy a simple machine that works but also doesn’t cost much then you should go for the regular K-Mini. The K-Mini is slightly more expensive than the K-Slim or the K-Express but it just works so much better.

It uses the water-in-water-out system so you can really dial in your cup size to be nearly whatever size you want. For me I brew 7oz cups and love the flexibility. The machine is build well too so for the price the build quality is very good.

I personally don’t recommend either the K-Slim or the K-Express but I would argue that the K-Express is better simply because there’s just nothing I like about the K-Slim.

For people wanting or requiring a reservoir style brewer then the K-Mini won’t work. I would advise people who fall into this bucket to opt for the K-Compact over the K-Classic.

The K-Classic isn’t a bad device but the value is better for the cheaper K-Compact. I advise my readers regularly to go for the K-Compact or the K-Select if they want a reservoir brewer, the K-Classic sits in the middle in terms of price and function but I think it’s a unit that doesn’t have an ideal customer.

For true in depth side-by-side comparisons of these units see the following articles:

K-Slim vs K-Express vs K-Compact: Subtle Differences Explained
K-Express vs K-Mini
K-Mini vs K-Compact

Are Top Rated Keurig Coffee Makers Worth It At All?

If you’ve read this far down then you know that the best Keurig machines are more expensive but do they even make good coffee at all?

In general I can safely say that the vast majority of coffee made from even the most expensive Keurig machines is inferior to coffee brewed from alternative devices like French presses, moka pots, and espresso. Even drip coffee can be better in many cases because the grounds in k-cups are old and stale compared to fresh grounds easily used in other brewing methods.

You can learn more about my thoughts on this in the following article: Do Keurig Coffee Makers Make Good Coffee: Are They Worth it? (7).

You can also see more options in the low, mid-range, and high-end categories on my k-cup coffee makers review page (3) which is not specific to the Keurig brand.

Here Are A Few Additional Keurig FAQ’s Along With My Personal Recommendations

Why Do Keurig Machines Clog? – 117
How To Unclog A Keurig Coffee Maker – 143
Do Travel Mugs Fit Under Keurig Coffee Makers + Which Are Best? (518)
Best Biodegradable K-Cups – 31

Brian

Head blogger at "Top Off My Coffee Please" and lover of great coffee.

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