The 6 Best Small K-Cup Coffee Makers: My Reviews & Comparisons of Cheap Single Serve Brewers

By | October 1, 2019

If you are looking for the best K-cup coffee maker on the market that doesn’t take up a lot of space or do too many fancy things that most people don’t care about then read on.

I’ve actually purchased and used each of the following seven small k-cup coffee makers and reviewed them just to make it easier on you.

If you are unfamiliar with me then you should know that I’m a bit of a coffee snob although I’m not that bad. I do love good coffee and I do love making the best coffee possible most of the time but in many situations it’s best to just make a quick cup from a single serve coffee maker using a K-cup.

They are just easy.

Here on the site I’ve reviewed a lot of coffee products – this is something I enjoy – so this was a fun experiment and din’t cost too much money for me to complete.

Before we get into the reviews I’ll give you a list of the small kcup coffee makers I purchased in no particular order.

The Smallest Keurigs
I bought the two Keurig Minis, the K-Mini Basic and the K-Mini Plus.

I figured these would be nearly identical but worth a head-to-head comparison nevertheless.

The Cheapest K-Cup Coffee Makers
I also paid for the two cheapest k-cup machines I could find on Amazon, the Chefman Instabrew and the basic Chulux K-Cup coffee maker.

These also happened to be some of the entry-level machines that had the most Amazon verified reviews too since most people are usually looking to buy the lowest cost items they can find apparently.

Best Selling Small K-Cup Machines (Non-Keurig)
Finally, I purchased a Mixpresso and the Hamilton Beach Flexbrew 49974 because they were some of the smallest k-cup coffee makers I could find and because they didn’t cost very much.

The only small k-cup machine I didn’t buy for review that I wanted to was the Bunn MCU which doesn’t look like it’s being produced any more. Right now it’s available on eBay and some fringe outlet shops online but major retails don’t seem to have them in stock any more which is a shame because I was really interested in owning one.

Why I’m Reviewing These
You should know that I chose these units for review mostly due to:

  • their small size,
  • followed next by their low price points and
  • the make/model popularity of their brand.

Of all the units I’ve reviewed the Keurig K-Mini Plus was the most expensive unit I bought while the Chefman Instabrew was the cheapest. I could have bought roughly three Instabrews for the price of one K-Mini Plus!

I bought all models in September 2019 and paid less than $100 for them all. Only the two Keurig units were priced above $50 although some of the other cheap units had “fancier” versions available that were priced slightly above the $50 mark.

Also, a few of these models were purchased in physical stores locally because I was able to get them on sale for less than Amazon’s pricing.

Fun Fact – In many cases Amazon isn’t the cheapest place to get things. Check your local stores and buy when they have sales; you’ll usually save a bit at the expense of convenience.

Let’s get on to the reviews.

The Smallest K-Cup Brewers

Of all the brewers I looked at for this project the smallest brewer by height was the Chulux. It was only 9.06 inches tall meaning it was easy to fit under the lowest of cabinets or even inside cabinets on the shelf for storage purposes.

As a side note the Mixpresso is only 9.1 inches tall coming in at a close second while the Keurig is nearly three inches taller standing 12.1 inches high.

For lateral counter-space the skinniest model was the Chefman Instabrew at only 4.25 inches in width followed closely by the Chulux which was only 4.3 inches wide. In comparison the Keurig K-Mini & K-Mini Plus machines were 4.5 inch wide while the Mixpresso machine came in at a still super skinny 4.7 inches in width.

Of the smallest units available the Chulux is easily your best bet however the model that is built to the best standards for durability is probably the Keurig K-Mini (basic model) as it has the best quality internal components like the pump and heating element and the simplest design.

If pure size isn’t that important for you then definitely check out the Flexbrew, which was the widest and tallest of all six entry-level brewers I tried measuring 13.35 inches high and 6.5 inches wide. These are still small numbers and for the price you probably won’t get better usability. The Flexbrew is the easiest machine in this list to clean and maintain for me by far.

Based on general pricing and size considerations however I’d recommend most everyone get a Chulux. If however you want extra features like Bold settings or better casing then the K-Mini Plus is probably worth it. It’s still tiny and will work better than the others for a longer time due to quality enhancements.

Which One is Best?

Of the models reviewed I would easily say the Keurig K-Mini Plus is the best due to build quality and extra features like brew strength selectors, a removable water reservoir, spent pod storage, casing upgrades, and power cord management.

The Keurig model also heats and pumps water with the most power – 1470 watts. The Chulux and Mixpresso models only use 800 while Hamilton Beach and Chefman use only 1000 watts.

In short the components that make these coffee makers work are bigger and stronger with Keurig and they should last longer too.

This unit can easily be found for well less than $100 both online and in physical stores if you shop around but I still think you can get more value for your money by staying away from the Keurig brand altogether.

Chulux for instance has a slightly upgraded model that only costs a fraction more than their base model. The upgraded model is ever so slightly wider and taller but it uses better casing and components giving it a better more durable look and feel.

If you want the extra brew strength selector you can get it by modeling up in the Hamilton Beach line of Flexbrew machines. Flexbrew model number 49979 still costs almost half that of the K-Mini Plus and although it’s slightly larger it offers you regular strength and strong brew options.

What’s the Best K-Cup Coffee Maker for the Money (Best Value)

Chulux basically is my pick for smallest entry level k-cup brewer and the K-Mini Plus is probably the best of all the small machines but as for value I would have to say the Chefman is probably the best value of them all because it’s so affordable and gets the job done well enough.

I see no issues with leakage or pumps going out prematurely which sometimes happens on cheaper models but if it does quit on you it’s not a big financial loss at all.

For those that really do want some basic upgrades than I think the Flexbrew with Brew Strength Options is you next best value. It is still very low cost compared to the Keurigs and it is only slightly more expensive than the base unit Flexbrew unit.

Looking for specific brewer comparisons or dedicated reviews?

I’ve looked very closely at these six small k-cup brewers and in this article I’ve given you a good overview of the things that will matter to most people but I still have a lot more to say about them.

Which one’s hold the biggest or tallest mugs? Which one is the easiest to clean? Which one is the quietest? Which brews coffee the fastest? What’s the difference between one model over another model?

Below I’ve linked to a handful of articles that directly compare and review these machines and answer these questions and others.