Keurig vs Mr Coffee: K Cup Coffee Makers Compared

If you are looking to buy a k-cup coffee maker in the near future then you have to consider the Mr Coffee SC100 k-cup machine that was developed in conjunction with Keurig. It’s cheaper than all the actual Keurig machines and works nearly the same way in all respects.

Is the Mr. Coffee Keurig worth it though?

First of all the Mr. Coffee K-Cup Machine is not the cheapest unit in the market at all although it is much more affordable than most new Keurig branded machines.

You can see this post for reviews of 6 of the cheapest k-cup coffee makers for sale these days.

What is nice about the SC100 is that it’s a dead simple device to use devoid of many of the features found on the expensive Keurigs that most people simply don’t use very often.

With the SC100 there aren’t cup size buttons or settings like you’ll find on Keurigs and there isn’t different buttons for different strengths; it just makes coffee the same way every time.

Seriously, who doesn’t put their Keurig to the “strong” setting every time?

See this post to compare to the best Keurig machines on the market today.

Mr. Coffee makes their unit with the cup sized water reservoir. Every time you want to make a cup you fill your cup with clean water and then pour that water into the back of the machine. So long as you don’t pour in more than 10oz at a time the machine will brew exactly what you add.

Most Keurig branded machines include a larger water reservoir that you can add water to so that you don’t have to fill it up for ever cup brewed.

The smaller machines like the K-Mini also use the per-cup reservoir method and although they are cheaper they are still more expensive than the Mr Coffee machines.

Take a look at Amazon’s pricing for the Mr. Coffee SC100 here compared to the K-Mini here.

So What Makes Keurig Better Than Mr. Coffee Coffee Makers?

Basically both brands allow you to brew through the same k-cups and they both use the same needle puncturing and water pump technology to brew you cup.

The main differences that make the higher price tag of Keurig machines worth it to me can be summed up with the following three points:

  • the cord length,
  • the heating element, and
  • the durability of the water pump

Cord Length

All Keurig machines give you a longer cord which of course gives you a lot more freedom in placement on your countertop.

For those people who have to pull their machine out from under the upper cabinetry to add water or use the k-cup basket the extra cord length is more than a luxury, it’s a necessity unless your power outlet is placed perfectly on your wall.

A typical cord length for a Keurig is 3-feet whereas Mr. Coffee machines only give you around 2-feet.

Heating Element

The heating element is something that is typically not great on low end entry level single serve coffee makers. The SC100 coffee maker for instance uses only 650 watts to heat water and pump it through the K Cup. This can cause it to take a while to brew a 10 ounce cup of coffee. Some people report it takes over three minutes to get the job done.

In contrast the K-Mini Plus which is only a little bit more expensive but still one of the cheapest Keurig machines heats water using 1470 watts resulting in ready to drink coffee in a little under two minutes.

Of course with both machines the water will get hotter faster if you are brewing smaller cups and take longer if you are brewing larger cups so your mileage may vary.

The Water Pump & General Durability

In most things in life you tend to get what you pay for. Keurig has a premium vibe to it and as such their prices are a bit higher and usually things are simply made a bit better with higher quality parts.

This is obviously not a perfect illustration but in many cases it is accurate – heavier products are frequently better made using more durable materials.

The Mr. Coffee Keurig coffee maker weighs 5 pounds compared to the Keurig K-Mini Plus weighing in at roughly 6.4 pounds. This added weight can be attributed to better casing and internal components like the water pump and heating element.

Other Considerations

Lastly I think there are a few additional small considerations that may be important to some shoppers but not others.

If you like to brew larger cups of coffee Keurig machines usually give you the option of brewing larger cups than Mr. Coffee machines.

Keurig machines also give you the strength buttons to refine the way your coffee is brewed.

Paying up for a Keurig will give you the opportunity to choose a machine with a larger water reservoir or even an on-board k-cup storage drawer.

Basically you’ll find that the more expensive Keurig machines give you more accessories and features that you may or may not care for.

Related: See Our Reviews of the Strongest K-Cups For Sale Today Here

One Big Reason to Buy a Mr. Coffee Over a Keurig

As is the case for all Keurig devices one of the biggest reasons to not buy one is the fact than none of them come with a native way to brew your own coffee grounds. To do this you have to buy an extra reusable k-cup and use this.

Most non-Keurig machines give you two options for brewing. You can brew with the puncture needle basket for k-cups or you can swap this basket out for the drip coffee grounds basket.

This is important to me because I roast my own beans and hate filling a tiny reusable k-cup when I can get a better taste and easier experience just spooning grind into the optional grounds basket that comes with Mr. Coffee k-cup coffee makers and most of the other single serve k-cup machines on the market these days.

Also with dual brew machines you even have the option to brew a full pot of regular drip coffee which isn’t possible with all but the most expensive Keurigs… and even they don’t make it easy. You still have to use big k-carafe pods to brew small carafes into a small special Keurig carafe.

If you are interested in also having the option of brewing a full pot of coffee then take a look at this post where we review the best 2-way coffee makers on the market these days.

For me and my house I brew coffee lots of different ways and although I don’t always use Keurig style coffee makers I do still use them regularly. I would much rather brew with a device that gives me a lot of versatility in how I brew and the strength button on a Keurig machine just isn’t what I’m looking for.

I’m not sure if the Mr. Coffee SC100 k-cup brewer is the coffee maker I’d buy but if it came down to a Keurig model vs a Mr. Coffee model I might just go with Mr. Coffee for my home.

I have a few more k-cup brewer comparison articles on the site that you may want to take a look at. You can see my comparison of Keurig to Cuisinart here, Keurig to the Flexbrew system here, and lastly Keurig to the Ninja here.

Keurig VS Mr. Coffee Single Serve K-Cup Coffee Makers: Which Is Worth Buying

Keurig VS Mr Coffee Single ServeWhen buying a K-Cup brewer, you have the option of buying either a Keurig machine or a brewer from another brand like Mr. Coffee.

One of these alternative k-cup brands is Mr. Coffee which you are probably familiar with already due to their plethora of (mostly) entry level drip brewers that they have released over the years. Unlike Keurig Mr. Coffee has solidified itself as an affordable brand that makes machines that work well with minimal functionality.

But don’t let the brand names fool you, there’s a lot of great aspects about both brands and some of the low end Keurig devices aren’t as good as some of the high end Mr. Coffee machines.

Whether you choose a Keurig or another brand, it all comes down to what you want out of your K-Cup brewer and deep your wallet is.

Do you value usability, simplicity, features, or quality?  Insert capsule, touch screen, dispense the drink – is that you thing? Or do you care about dialing the settings exactly to your liking every time?

For these reasons, it is always good to see what options you have before settling on a brewer or a brand. Mr. Coffee’s K-Cup brewers are most comparable to Keurig’s K55 and the K15, so I’ll base most of this comparison to those models but there are other options under both brands.

Make sure to see this post to learn more about the premium Keurig models that are being sold today as they might be the way to go and they are usually the devices I recommend mostly to my readers here on the site.

First Let’s Look At The Mr. Coffee K-Cup Brewers

Mr Coffee Single Serve BrewerLet’s start with the K-cup brewer you might be less familiar with:

If you’re overwhelmed by complicated digital models, the basic black Mr. Coffee Single Serve Brewer might be the machine for you. This single-serve coffeemaker has only two settings. However, as the tank holds just twenty-four ounces, you may find yourself refilling it often if you’re brewing coffee for a crowd.

The Mr. Coffee further helps the morning warrior as it can brew into a travel mug — a nice bonus. Like your coffee hot? This machine delivers. Unfortunately, this brewer does need a head start on the process, as it takes significantly longer to brew than the Keurig standard.

You’ve probably noticed by now, the two brewers have the same brew sizes and brew the same K-Cups. So is there any actual difference between them?

Well, there are slight differences that could make your experience better and swift your decision for one over the other:

  • The Keurig brewers typically feature a larger water reservoir. Eight ounces larger to be exact. This means you get about one extra brew from say a K55 over Mr. Coffee before needing to refill.
  • Keurig K55 itself has a Descale indicator that lets you know when it is time to clean your machine. An ‘Add Water’ indicator is available on both the Keurig brewers and Mr. Coffee brewers.
  • Mr. Coffee brewers do not come with water filters, and so it is important to make sure you’re using good water that won’t leave mineral deposits quickly and influence the taste of your coffee in an unexpected way.

Is a water reservoir important to you?

If yes, then your choice is either Mr. Coffee KG6 or Keurig K55. Which one between those, though? They’re the same in features, however, the Keurig K55 has a slightly bigger reservoir and it comes with a K-Cup sample pack.

If a water reservoir is not a requirement for you, then we do recommend the Mr. Coffee SC100 over the Keurig K15 for these reasons: It has more height and less width, it can easily accommodate a travel mug with the drip tray is removed, and it comes with a refillable filter.

When comparing Keurig K10 Mini Plus vs Mr. Coffee Single Serve Coffee Brewer one finds a very impeccable detail to thrive with the Mr. Coffee. The coffee is brewed at the optimal temperature, 195 F, and for the real coffee snobbery to take place, this factor needs to be achieved.

Cost also being factored in, the Keurig brand name will typically always cost more, and this might be for a multitude of factors but at the end of the day paying for a brand name isn’t necessary when there are many other competitors in the K-cup brewing arena.

Now Let’s Look At The Comparable Keurig Brewers

Keurig Brewer ModelsIf anyone should know the K-cup formula for perfect brewing it should be Keurig.

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of the Keurig so you can better inform your purchasing decision. Since the Keurig lines are full of features and various functionalities, we will discuss some of the more prominent models they produce to give you an idea of the best ones.

To give you an idea of how these brewers are supposed to last, testing shows that the K10 Mini Plus lasts a minimum of three years with basic maintenance. Maintenance is a huge factor in the performance of the Keurigs. It’s interesting to note that many of the problems that stem from K-cup brewing are solved with a simple application of regular cleaning and upkeep.

The K10 Mini Plus comes in 12 different colors if you’re bored of the same old modern and metallic covered coffee machines.

This isn’t a slow brew or a careful barista creation, though one might find that this brew is different than your average drip coffee. There’s a strange sort of pseudo-cream that appears on top of your Keurig brew and that’s exciting for those who don’t really know the difference or grow to appreciate this slight foam and flavor. It’s a quick way to brew a cup of instant gratification. If you want it darker, you can tap the “bold” button, which brews each drink a little longer.

The Benefits of Using K-Cups Over Other Pods or Standard Grind

K-cup varieties

K-cups come in countless varieties. A comprehensive list of organic k-cups can be found here and with all the varieties of coffee out there its no wonder that other companies have started to package their roasts in this format as well.

Why not? Each K-Cup contains very finely ground coffee, tea or other beverage powder, so when hot water runs through it, it brews instantly, making for an incredibly simple solution to chaotic morning routines.

The typical Keurig brewer or k-cup brewers are smaller than one would see with a large format twelve cup brewer, so you can be sure that counter space will be saved if you’re purchasing one for an office, dorm room, or studio apartment.

Just make sure you recycle your K-cups.

Speed is another factor, if not the central most important factor, for the K-cup brewers. These machines brew a cup of coffee in two minutes. After the reservoir is filled and the K-cup is inserted, brewing starts almost instantly. This is a great way to brew for anyone that needs to get on their way in the morning.

If you’re interested in a quick way to brew and don’t mind stocking up on K-cups, then either of these brewers could be a solution to your woes. The variety of K-cups and the possible functions that are implemented with these brewers are vast. Surely, one of them will be the right match for you. However, if you want to put more time and effort into achieving a superior coffee product then try one of the brewing methods we discuss on our blog.

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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