When Keurig released their first K-Cup machine, it changed the coffee game forever.
Now, there’s finally an easy way to get barista-quality coffee at home, and it doesn’t involve lining up at the local café or spending hundreds of dollars a month just to get it.
If you’ve been in the market for the best single serve coffee maker like the K-Cup, this buying guide is for you.
The best K-Cup coffee maker might look different for everyone, and with so many models out there to choose from it depends on the individual.
For the everyday coffee lover and those looking for value for money, we’ve scoured countless single serve coffee maker reviews to find you the best of the best.
This comprehensive buying guide will show you our top picks in the one cup coffee maker category as well as the best choices for those who want to shop for value.
Either way, you’ll walk away with the best coffee machine on the market and be able to transform the way you get your caffeine hit in the morning.
The Best K-Cup Coffee Maker
There are hundreds of different single serve coffee makers on the market today, which can make the search for the best all the more challenging.
If you’re searching for the best K-Cup coffee maker overall, there are our recommendations, and they come in a variety of prices and with varying features to suit.
Best overall: Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker
Who better than Keurig to make the best K-Cup coffee machine?
The K-Elite Coffee Maker is our recommendation for the best machine overall, and it has all the bells and whistles you’d expect.
The K-Elite has a huge 75 oz water reservoir that makes up to eight cups of coffee before needing a refill, and it can make many drinks ranging in size from four to 12 ounces.
The ease of use that this, and other K-Cup machines, are known for is what makes this the winner.
Every step of the way is easy even if you’ven ever used one before, and by far the coolest part is the maintenance reminder.
Descaling a coffee machine is an important task that has to be done to keep it running smoothly, and Keurig makes it easy with a reminder alarm that goes off when it’s time.
One major design flaw on the water reservoir lost this machine some points, and it seems to be part of the updated look of these newer coffee makers.
It’s hard to tell exactly how much water is in the reservoir as there’s no longer a transparent panel on the front.
Some people also find it hard to remove and fill up the water without at least some spillage, so with this one problem fixed it’ll be close to perfect.
It’s capable of holding eight cups of water so you can usually go a week without needing to refill it, but the second-guessing is a hindrance.
The K-Elite machine can make all types of drinks including hot cocoa, tea, and iced beverages, as well as your favorite coffees.
It accommodates travel mugs up to 7.2 inches so you can take your coffee with you and has a removable drip tray that can hold a full cup of coffee in it, should any accidents occur.
It runs quietly and smoothly, giving you a cup of coffee in under a minute every morning.
This machine comes with a water filter handle, filter, and six pod variety pack to test out the flavors.
Priced at around $150 with free shipping on Amazon, it’s great value, and it comes with a one-year limited warranty just like their other machines.
If you want the best of the best and you’re happy to pay extra to get it, the K-Elite is our favorite Keurig K-Cup coffee maker by far.
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Runner Up: Sboly Single Serve Coffee Brewer
There’s no need to invest in a Keurig machine just to make quality K-Cups, as proven with the Sboly Single Serve Coffee Brewer.
With a 14oz capacity, you can choose the perfect size coffee and easily fit one of the K-Cup branded pods inside.
It weighs a tiny 2.53lbs so you can even travel with it, and can make just one cup of coffee at a time, so it’s perfect for the single user.
What customers like best about this coffee machine is the quality of the coffee, especially when compared to other more expensive machines.
Although they had to wait a little longer for brewing, they found the result to be smooth and strong, getting an ideal flavor out of the coffee pods.
Because you can use K-Cup pods or any other brand you’ve got a lot more versatility in the type of coffee you can brew.
One annoying thing about this machine is that you have to fill the water reservoir each time you make it.
You won’t be able to leave enough in there to last the week and you’ll have to get the amount just right to suit the size of coffee you want to make.
With a three minute brew time it’s pretty lengthy compared to a Keurig, so don’t expect your coffee in seconds just like they can produce.
Other noteworthy features include the 2-in-1 brewing function which allows you to choose between a K-Cup pod or traditional coffee-making methods, with a simple side button push.
The cleaning system is convenient and can be activated with a two-button push, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty when it’s time for maintenance.
It’s compact and can fit on any benchtop or table, so if you have a smaller kitchen this is ideal.
The Sboly Single Serve Coffee Brewer can be purchased on Amazon for around $60 and that includes free shipping direct to your door.
There’s no official word on a warranty, which is disappointing, but judging by the review it has definite staying power.
You get the option to brew one of two ways and it’s compact enough to enjoy anywhere.
If you want a K-Cup coffee machine without the brand name, this is one of our top picks.
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Alternative: Keurig K-Cafe
Keurig offers the full café experience with the Keurig K-Café Coffee Machine, giving you a way to make delicious coffees to pair with frothy milk as well.
With the K-Café you can make their standard pod coffees, as well as lattes and cappuccinos thanks to a milk frother, and even cold drinks as well.
With a 60oz water reservoir, you’ll be able to make six cups of coffee before having to change it and it works with a travel mug up to 7.2 inches in size to take your coffee on the go.
This coffee machine has some great automatic functions that sets it apart from the rest and lends to the hefty price tag.
You can automatically program your machine so it turns off after two hours without use to save energy and it has a Smart Start function so the heating and brewing is all done in one step, saving you time in the morning.
There are backlit buttons on the control panel and everything is easy enough to do, even if you’ve never owned a coffee machine before.
What lets this Keurig machine down, though, is the many different features you have to apply to get your cup of coffee tasting any good.
Rather than just letting it automatically create you a drink, you need to adjust temperatures, foam, and other settings to get it perfect, so be prepared to put in some work in the early stages.
With coffee being such an individual taste, there’s no setting that will be the right fit for everyone and there will be a bit of trial and error.
Other features of the Keurig K-Café include dishwasher friendly parts for easy cleaning and a dishwasher safe frother.
This machine works with all K-Cup pods and also the reusable coffee filters that reduce your daily waste.
The K-Café weighs a hefty 13.5lbs and takes up a bit of bench space but it’s an appliance that will gladly be used every day.
It comes in a dark charcoal color only, so there’s no options to match your new Keurig with your other appliances, which is a minor disappointment.
The Keurig K-Café comes with a one year limited warranty like their other machines and can be purchased for the best price from Amazon for around $170 with free shipping.
These machines have been built to last so once you’ve established which settings work best, the K-Café should provide you with delicious coffees directly from your benchtop for years to come.
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Single serve coffee makers are usually some of the more expensive appliances you have in the kitchen, but they don’t have to be.
These K-Cup coffee makers get the job done and at a fraction of the price of other machines.
Here are our top picks worth considering if you’re looking to make your morning coffee on a budget.
Best for the Money: Chefman Instacoffee Single Serve Coffee Machine
The Chefman Instacoffee Single Serve Coffee Machine proves that you don’t have to spend big just to get a delicious cup of coffee each day.
This single serve coffee maker is lightweight at just 3.05lbs and can make up to 14oz of coffee in just one go using the K-Cup branded pods.
It’s compact enough to fit on any size bench space or kitchen cupboard and you can easily travel with it as well.
The thing that customers liked most about this compact machine was how fast it brewed a delicious cup of coffee.
According to Chefman, the Instacoffee stays true to its name and can make a fresh K-Cup drink in just 30 seconds.
This is half the time it takes for most K-Cup machines to do the same and minutes faster than many other top-selling machines that we’ve seen.
It also has a reusable filter so you can save on waste and not have to feel guilty drinking your morning coffee.
There are a few negatives to consider though, which is understandable at such a cheap price.
The filter is the main issue in that people found it tricky to get aligned.
This could add some time to the coffee-making process overall, but once you get the hang of it then it no longer presents a problem.
It feels pretty flimsy as well, due to its size, so if you prefer something heavy-duty and solidly made then this won’t be the coffee machine for you.
Other features worth discussing include the 950-watt power capacity and a handy self-cleaning feature.
There’s no need to take everything apart and run through lengthy cycles just to give it a clean, and doing this will keep your machine running for years to come.
If you’re not in the mood for K-Cup coffee you can also use this to brew the traditional way with fresh coffee grounds.
You can even brew with loose leaf tea when you’re in the mood, so there are three ways to put it to good use.
This coffee maker comes with a one year limited warranty, so even at this cheaper price, it’s still got a quality guarantee.
The Chefman Instacoffee can be purchased through Amazon for around $40 which includes free shipping, so it’s excellent value.
If you want fast and affordable K-cup coffee with all the basics a machine should have, this is by far our favorite pick.
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Runner Up: Tru Single Serve Brew System
The Tru Single Serve Brew System is a great choice for people shopping on a budget who don’t want to miss out on the convenience of a K-Cup machine.
It has all of the basic features you need like a capsule holder, 14oz capacity, and compatibility with Keurig brand pods, but all packaged up in a lightweight 12-inch machine.
With a stylish black finish and basic plastic construction, it looks like something that costs a lot more than it does.
The best thing about this brewing system is how well it makes a cup of coffee, even if it does take a little longer than you’re used to.
The water is filled easily into a flip-top water reservoir and the capsule is placed in the holder, leaving the machine to do the rest.
There’s a removable filter basket so you can use freshly ground coffee, giving you an option to suit whatever setup you prefer.
You can’t set this machine to a specific size before you make your coffee, so you’ll have to fill the water to the correct line each time.
This can be pretty annoying and takes away from some of the convenience.
Some users also mentioned that it came with a plastic taste that took a few brews to get rid of, so don’t waste any good coffee at the beginning while you’re trying to get rid of it.
The brew time for this machine is around three minutes and it can make up to a 14 oz cup of coffee.
You place the capsule in the holder just like other Keurig branded machines, and it does the work for you.
The Tru Single Serve Brew System takes all standard K-Cup pods as well as some other brands, and because it’s so lightweight at 2.6lbs you can easily pack it into your suitcase and travel anywhere with it.
You can get the Tru Single Serve Brew System on Amazon for under $30 and it’s the cheapest one we’ve found that still makes quality coffee.
Tru doesn’t appear to offer a warranty for this machine, which is understandable at this price, but customers who’ve had issues have found them eager to help and offering replacement machines if needed.
If you want to test out the K-Cup craze without spending a fortune, this a great entry-level coffee maker.
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Investing in a K-Cup coffee maker is an important decision, especially if it’s your first time switching to this type of machine.
We’ve made matters easier by asking some common questions that customers have when making the decision, to give you the rundown on what the K-Cup coffee pods are all about.
Do K Cups Fit All Machines?
Not every machine was made to fit a K-Cup shape of pod, and traditionally they were only made to fit this specific brand of coffee maker.
Keurig updated their machines and pod design a few years ago and although they are different, the brand ensures that the new style of cups will still fit into the old machines.
What Other Coffee Makers Use K Cups?
There is now a long list of coffee machines that are compatible with K-Cups, so you don’t have to buy a Keurig just to get this instant coffee if you don’t want to.
Hamilton Beach, Sboly, Mueller, and Chulux are just a few brands that have designed their machines to take the K-Cup capsules as well.
How Much Coffee Do You Put In A Refillable K Cup?
The amount of coffee needed for a K-Cup will depend on the size of the coffee you’re making.
The recommendation is around two rounded tablespoons for coffee for every six ounces of water or 10 grams of coffee per six ounces of water.
Is Nespresso Better Than Keurig?
Coffee is a personal preference and deciding which machine or coffee pods are best will depend entirely on the individual.
The Keurig and Nespresso machines are two of the most popular coffee pod makers on the market, but it’s difficult to say one is better than the other.
The Convenient Future of Coffee
No matter which of these K-cup coffee makers you choose, you’ll be joining thousands of others who prefer to make their morning brew with one of these machines.
They’re fast, convenient, and full of flavor, saving you time and money at the coffee house while not having to sacrifice on the delicious coffee taste.