Keurig K-Express vs K-Mini & Mini Plus: The Differences Explained

K-express vs k-mini

The newest Keurig machine in the Essentials line is the K-Express and I think it’s an excellent alternative to the base model K-Mini which has been a best seller and one of my favorite entry-level Keurig’s for a while now.

The K-Express Essentials may be a better choice for you over the K-Mini because it is usually lower in price and because it brews coffee that tastes just as good as the K-Mini while also offering a removable water reservoir and the ability to accept a charcoal water filter.

The best place to buy the K-Express (or the Essentials version) for the lowest price possible is usually either here or here, however your local retailers can sometimes give you even lower prices if you hit the sales cycle just right.

k-express is better than the k-mini
IMO the K-Express Essentials from Walmart is better than the basic K-Mini.

There Are Upgraded Versions Though

If you are considering the K-Mini Plus then I would opt for that over the K-Express Essentials because the Express Essentials doesn’t give you a “strong” setting to use to improve the favor of each k-cup you brew while the Mini Plus does.

K-Mini Plus Is A Great Upgrade
The K-Mini Plus Is A Great Upgrade And Worth The Extra Money

Best prices on K-Mini Plus tend to be right on Keurig’s website, it’s a loss leader for them IMO so discounts are gigantic this time of year when you buy it as a package deal. See current deals here.

You should see this article to learn more about the differences between the K-Mini and the K-Mini Plus and you should note that I have ranked the K-Mini Plus higher on my list of best Keurig coffee makers this year.

To muddy the water even more the Express Essentials has an “upgraded” version simply called the K-Express which is available all over the place. It is a slimmer design but overall I still think it’s not as good as the cheaper Walmart version because it offers a, 8, 10, 12oz brew cup size instead of the 6, 8, 10oz cup size from the Essentials line.

K-Express Cup Sizes
The K-Express Cup Sizes Are Different Than The K-Express Essentials

Nevertheless if you do need a skinnier machine and/or want a unit that offers the larger cup sizes then the regular Express available at places like Kohls, Target, or Amazon may be the way to go.

Right now there is a big sale on the regular K-Express going on right here giving you one of the lowest prices you’ll see this year. I won’t buy it but it may be perfect for you.

I believe that the K-Express is being positioned as a better alternative and perhaps a replacement in the Keruig lineup to the K-Slim which has a water reservoir of the same size and also is lacking the same bells and whistles…the difference however is in the shape and styling which I like better in the K-Express and in the cup size options the two machines offer.

K-Express Water Tank Compared
This is the K-Express Essentials Water Tank Compared to the K-Slim

The K-Express can brew 6, 8, and 10 ounce cup sizes just like the K-Mini but unlike the K-Slim it won’t go up to 12-ounces and I believe that is a good thing. There’s almost no circumstance where I could get behind brewing a 12-ounce cup of coffee.

The K-Mini and the K-Mini Plus can take up to 12-ounces at a time but I only put that much water in when I’m running a rinse cycle or brewing a cleansing batch of white vinegar.

URGENT UPDATE – If you are looking for a good Keurig at the best price possible then pricing offered on the regular K-Mini is going to be hard to beat at any point in the near future. Here’s a direct link to the best deal I’ve found yet.

If you really want that strong button though then the K-Mini Plus is your only option. Best pricing for it is typically through this link.

See the following posts for in depth comparisons of the K-Express to the other entry level options:

The Smallest K-Cup Coffee Makers
K-Slim vs K-Express vs K-Compact

These posts compare the K-Mini to other common alternatives:

K-Slim vs K-Mini (Plus)
K-Mini vs K-Compact

If you’d like to price out the either the Mini or the Express then use the following links where I’ve provided my recommendations for the best places to buy them:

Where To Buy The K-Express
Where To Buy The K-Mini

Is The K-Express Only Sold At Walmart?

Unlike the K-Mini and K-Mini Plus which are sold all over the place the K-Express is part of the Essentials line of Keurig machines. These are basic models that are largely only sold at Walmart and

URGENT UPDATE – The K-Express is currently being priced very low, most likely for Black Friday. Check it out right here before pricing goes back to normal.

In one way of looking at it the K-Slim is the entry level low cost Keurig that is sold all over the place and the K-Express is the Walmart version. In this case however I prefer the K-Express a lot.

The Walmart Essentials Keurig Machines Aren’t Bad

Along the same vein I’d like to point out that I like most of the Walmart Keurigs a lot – I think they offer a great value for a low price.

The K-Express Essentials is an alternative to the K-Compact which is also part of the Essentials line. Both are small reservoir brewers but they both come in different styles.

The K-Compact is basically a smaller version of the K-Classic and I find it to be a better value. You can see more of my thoughts on this in my K-Compact vs K-Classic article.

I also find the K-Latté to be a great low cost option for pod coffee/espresso machines and the K-Duo Essentials to be perfectly fine for most people just wanting the options to brew the occasional k-cup or carafe.

With the K-Express on the 6-ounce setting and a good quality k-cup in hand you will have a better cup of coffee at a small price point.

Here are a few articles where I cover each of these concepts in greater depth:

K-Café vs K-Latté
Best Biodegradable & Compostable K-Cup
Keurig K-Duo vs K-Duo Plus vs K-Duo Essentials
Difference Between K-Compact, K-Classic, and K-Select

How Big Is The K-Express?

One of the things I like most about the K-Express is the dimensions or it’s footprint. It is styled like the modern Keurigs after 2018 but it’s designed to halve the water reservoir to the side instead of in the back. This makes it slightly wider but nowhere near as deep.

With limited horizontal counterspace this may be a problem but I find the deep Keurigs to be more of a problem when I’m cooking because they stick out from the back wall so far.

The units that have side mounted water holding tanks are also much easier to refill because you can usually pick them up without moving the entire coffee maker.

I find the essentials machine to be similar in size to the K-Supreme which doesn’t feel big at all in my kitchen.

If you are unfamiliar with the K-Supreme then see the following article where I compare the K-Supreme to the K-Elite.

Keeping The K-Express Clean Compared To The Mini

One of the things I focus on a lot in my k-cup coffee maker reviews is a machines ability to be maintained and cleaned regularly. Some are better than others.

The K-Express has a removable water reservoir and you can use a charcoal water filter in the machine too which sets this unit apart from the K-Mini series by a landslide. You can’t hardly clean the water tank on the K-Mini at all nor can you install a filter. The K-Mini Plus can at least be removed for a dishwasher session or a scrub down at the sink but you still can’t filter the water entering the inner tubing of the machine.

When the tubing clogs then it’s easier for the pumps to fail so this is potentially a big deal. No matter what machine you buy however you should check out my article on preventing and clearing clogs and my thoughts on how to make sure your machine makes coffee that tastes good because oftentimes the cleanliness of the inside of the machine causes a bad taste in your coffee.

If you are thinking about buying the K-Express or a K-Mini I have provided links below to my recommended places to buy these machines. check them out.

Where To Buy The K-Express
Where To Buy The K-Mini
Where To Buy The K-Mini Plus

Learn More About Keurig Coffee Makers Below

Do Travel Mugs Fit Under Keurig Coffee Makers
K-Cup Coffee Makers With Bold or Strong Setting
What Does The Keurig Strong Button Do
Keurig vs Cuisinart
Difference Between The K-Supreme Plus & K-Supreme Plus SMART
K-Elite vs K-Select
Keurig K-Café vs Nespresso Vertuo Plus
Keurig K-Supreme Plus SMART Review

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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