Pod Coffee makers: 6 models compared

BEST OVERALL
Sale 24%
Keurig K-Elite K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

Keurig are the original K-Cup inventors, so it should come as no surprise that the best coffee maker in this genre comes from their house. Though they have many models, we believe the K-Elite is the best.

For a single serve appliance, it has many features that give you loads of versatility in the kitchen. Select from different brew strengths, cup sizes, and what time your coffee is brewed; they have thought of everything.

BEST VALUE
Sale 18%
Mueller Single Serve Pod Coffee Maker

The Mueller Single Serve Pod coffee maker is best described as a 'Keurig K-Elite Lite.' It's of similar appearance and makes coffee that’s almost every bit as delicious as it is from the Keurig appliance.

Yes, it has fewer features and functions, and the build quality isn’t quite as good (though it’s not far off), but as it’s almost half the K-Elite's price, it's a superb alternative.

K-Cup pods are an incredibly convenient way of brewing coffee that removes the guesswork and minimizes the cleanup process. The pods were invented by Richard Sweeney, co-founder of Keurig, and have since been adopted by coffee maker brands worldwide. 

Today, we’re going to look at six of our favorite K-Cup compatible coffee makers. We base our opinions on price, ability, durability, build quality, appearance, and how easy they are to clean.

Here we go.

1. Keurig K-Elite K-Cup

BEST Pod coffee maker
Sale 24%
Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, With Iced Coffee Capability, Brushed Silver
  • WHAT'S IN THE BOX: One water filter handle, and one filter to help ensure your beverages taste their absolute best
  • BREWS MULTIPLE CUP SIZES: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12oz Enjoy the most popular cup sizes
  • STRONG BREW BUTTON: Increases the strength and bold taste of your coffee’s flavor

Specifications

  • Genre: K-Cup Pod
  • Dimensions: 13.1 x 9.9 x 12.7 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 6.6lbs
  • Capacity:  75oz
  • Material: Plastic
  • Available Colors: Brushed Gold – Brushed Silver – Brushed Slate
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Things To Love

  • Super-Fast Brewing Time: The K-Elite can heat the whole 72oz reservoir in approximately three minutes. It takes one minute to heat enough water for a single cup of coffee.
  • Hot or Iced Coffee: Choose between hot coffee (obviously) and iced coffee with these specific settings. However, you will need to supply your own ice.
  • Programmable Settings: Not only can you choose what time your coffee will be ready, but also the specific temperature of your drink, automatic on and off timer, and a high-altitude setting.
  • Brew Specific Cup Sizes: Five one-touch buttons will provide specific coffee sizes. 4oz, 6oz, 8oz, 10oz, and 12oz are available. Though the buttons only have icons rather than text, so you’ll need to remember which size correlates to which icon.
  • Hot Water Dispenser: This dispenser gives you hot water on demand for tea, soup, or whatever else you might need.
  • Built-In Water Filter & Descale Warning Light: Ensure your coffee has a rich, smooth taste with a built-in filter that removes impurities from your water and a descale warning light lets you know when your K-Elite needs cleaning.

What’s Not To Like?

  • Poor Instructions: The paper instructions that arrive with the Keurig K-Elite are vague and ambiguous, especially when considering the enormous number of features on this appliance.
  • You Supply the Ice for Iced Coffee: We’re nitpicking here, but the ‘Iced Coffee’ feature doesn’t technically produce iced coffee. It’ll provide you with the right strength of brew so that melting ice doesn’t dilute the flavor. You’ll need to bring your own ice.

Final Remarks

The Keurig K-Elite is a K-Cup coffee maker produced through exquisite and thoughtful design to bring you intuitive features that let you experience a variety of coffees at the touch of a button.

You’re not only limited to making coffee with this appliance as the hot water dispenser is ideal for tea, soup, and even oatmeal. The K-Elite has a surprising amount of features for a single serve appliance, and while it’s relatively expensive, it still represents excellent value for money.

Overall Score: 19/20

2. Mueller Single Serve (U700)

Best Value Pod coffee maker
Sale 18%
Mueller Single Serve Pod Compatible Coffee Maker Machine With 4 Brew Sizes, Rapid Brew Technology with Large Removable 48 oz Water Tank
  • Compatible: Mueller coffee maker is designed to fit most coffee makers using pods as well so you can have your cup of coffee the way you want it!
  • Versatile: With 4 different brew sizes available, you choose the strength you want. Can be programmed to brew 6, 8 ,10 & 12 oz cups.
  • Rapid Brew: New heater technology ensures coffee brews quickly and at the perfect temperature - no more cold coffee

Specifications

  • Genre: K-Cup Pod
  • Dimensions: 15.38 x 13.63 x 9.38 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 6.93lbs
  • Capacity:  48oz
  • Material: Plastic
  • Available Colors: White – Silver / Grey
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Things To Love

  • Rapid Brew: Have your coffee within one minute thanks to Mueller’s ‘new heater technology’ that rapidly heats water to the perfect temperature.
  • Looks Great: The Mueller single serve coffee maker has a similar style to Keurig appliances for a fraction of the cost.
  • Programmable Cups Sizes: Three different cup size settings let you choose between 6oz, 8oz, 10oz, and 12oz cups of coffee.
  • Auto Shut-off: Save energy with the auto shut-off feature that’ll automatically switch this appliance off after a period of inactivity, which will save on power costs in the long term.
  • Water Level Window: The external water level window is a useful feature that’s often overlooked by many brands; fortunately, this coffee maker comes equipped with one to help you fill the water reservoir.

What’s Not To Like?

  • Too Small for Travel Mugs: This coffee maker is too small to accommodate a standard travel mug, which is disappointing for a single serve machine.
  • Plastic Taste: It’s not uncommon for cheaper coffee makers to have a plasticky taste/smell when they first come out of the box. Consumers report this will fade with use, so perhaps run a few hot water cycles before brewing any coffee.

Final Remarks

Keurig is the gold-standard for K-Cup coffee makers, though they can be costly. Mueller has developed its own version of the iconic Keurig design.

While this single serve appliance doesn’t have the same functionality as the K-Elite, it still makes an excellent cup of coffee at a fraction of the cost.

Overall Score: 16/20

3. Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Coffee Maker (49976)

Hamilton Beach FlexBrew Trio Coffee Maker, 2-Way Single Serve & Full 12c Pot, Compatible with K-Cup Pods or Grounds, Combo, Black (49976)
  • THREE WAYS TO BREW. Brew up to 12 cups with ground coffee on the carafe side or use dual purpose single serving to brew a pod or ground coffee on the other. The included pod holder and single-serve grounds basket easily handle both options
  • SINGLE-CUP COFFEE MAKER. Brew a cup with a K-Cup pod, another pod brand, or ground coffee. The included pod holder and single-serve grounds basket easily handle both options and the cup rest removes so you can brew into a tall travel mug
  • BREW A FULL POT OF COFFEE: This programmable coffee maker has Easy-Touch programming for wake-up ready coffee. After brewing, coffee stays warm for 2 hours and the power automatically shuts off. AutoPause & Pour lets you pour a cup as coffee brews

Specifications

  • Genre: K-Cup Pod
  • Dimensions: 13.6 x 14.5 x 15.13 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 8lbs
  • Capacity:  10-Cup
  • Material: Plastic
  • Available Colors: Black – Black & Stainless – Black & Silver – White
  • Dishwasher Safe: Selected Parts

Things To Love

  • Two Ways To Brew: While we’re primarily interested in the K-Cup compatible feature of the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew, this appliance can brew larger coffee batches using a 12-cup carafe.
  • Compatible with K-Cups or a Reusable Filter: You can brew coffee with K-Cups or alternatively make coffee using loose coffee grounds and the permanent filter.
  • Removable Drip Tray & Storage: The drip tray is removable, which makes it easier to clean. It also doubles as a storage device where you can keep the single serve brew basket or a K-Cup or two. Taking the drip tray out also leaves room for a travel mug.
  • Dual Reservoirs: Both single serve and carafe sides of this coffee maker have a dedicated water reservoir. Each water tank has its water level window for you to keep track of the water in your coffee maker.

What’s Not To Like?

  • Looks Dated: The Hamilton Beach FlexBlew is an excellent appliance, but there’s no getting away from that fact that it looks incredibly dated. Almost like an old VHS recorder.
  • Slow(ish) to Brew: Not the slowest brewer on the market by any means, though it’s slow enough that you’ll notice. 

Final Remarks

The Hamilton Beach BrewFlex might look like it belongs in the 1990s, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great coffee maker. Ideal for households with multiple coffee drinkers, this appliance combines the convenience of a K-Cup pod device and the luxury of brewing drip coffee into the carafe if you feel that way out. All for a pretty reasonable price tag.

Overall Score: 16/20

4. Sboly Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer for K-Cup Pod & Ground Coffee Thermal Drip Instant Coffee Machine with Self Cleaning Function, Brew Strength Control
  • Rapid Brewed Coffee Right At Your Fingertips: This personal single serve coffee maker will give you that fresh, pure taste that is required to jump start your day. Have your cup ready to drink in only 3 minutes. Hot enough to still have hot coffee with cream added. The water adjustment function allows you to control how much coffee you want to brew to save expensive grounds.
  • Durable & Compact Design: Innovatively designed to be compact and durable, yet extremely effective, this coffee maker is much smaller than others. You will be able to fit it in tight places on countertops, office tables, etc.
  • 2 In 1 Brewing: Whether you want to brew a coffee pod or make a cup of coffee the traditional way, this innovative machine will allow you to do either. The simple side button feature allows you to conveniently choose between these 2 brewing styles.

Specifications

  • Genre: K-Cup Pod
  • Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.4 x 11.6 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 2.53lbs
  • Capacity:  14oz
  • Material: Plastic
  • Available Colors: Glazed Black
  • Dishwasher Safe: Selected Parts

Things To Love

  • K-Cups or Traditional Brewing: This coffee maker has both K-Cup and traditional permanent filter attachments.
  • Auto-Clean: Press the ‘Grounds’ and ‘Capsule’ buttons simultaneously, and the Sboly K-Cup coffee maker will clean itself internally.
  • Thermal Travel Mug: This coffee maker includes a thermal travel mug with double-walled double insulated sides. It also has a travel handle for convenience. 
  • Quick & Compact: The Sboly single serve coffee maker is one of the smallest appliances we’re looking at today, and it can brew a full cup of coffee in approximately three minutes.

What’s Not To Like?

  • Very Strong Plastic Smell/Taste: Brand new coffee makers often have a plastic smell and taste when you use them for the first time. The Sboly single serve coffee maker has a more pungent odor than almost any appliance, though it will dissipate after a couple of cleaning cycles.
  • Insufficient Water Level Markings: Water level markings in the reservoir are barely visible, and there is no water level window on the exterior.
  • Lots of Splash-Back: There seems to be a lot of splash-back when this coffee maker is brewing a cup of coffee.

Final Remarks

The Sboly Single Serve K-Cup coffee maker is a dependable appliance that is super simple to use and makes excellent coffee. Consumer complaints are minimal, and most people who buy this device are happy with their purchase.

However, the Keurig K-Classic is only marginally more expensive, so unless you’re on a tighter budget or you’d prefer being able to brew loose grounds alongside K-Cups, we see no reason to choose this appliance over the K-Classic.

Overall Score: 15.5/20

5. Keurig K-Mini K-Cup Coffee Maker

Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 to 12 oz. Brew Sizes, Black
  • FITS ANYWHERE: Less than 5 inches wide, perfect for small spaces
  • YOUR PERFECT AMOUNT: Brew any cup size between 6-12oz with Keurig K-Cup pods
  • ONE CUP RESERVOIR: Just add fresh water for each brew

Specifications

  • Genre: K-Cup Pod
  • Dimensions: 11.3 x 4.5 x 12.1 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 2lbs
  • Capacity:  12oz
  • Material: Plastic
  • Available Colors: Black – Dreamy Blue – Dusty Rose – Oasis – Studio Gray
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Things To Love

  • Simplicity: Not everybody loves gadgets and gizmos; some folks buy a coffee maker just to make coffee. And the Keurig K-Mini is the epitome of simplicity. 
  • Compact & Lightweight: Compact and lightweight; the K-Mini is perfect for small kitchens and office-spaces.
  • Removable Drip Tray: This coffee maker has a removable drip tray for ease of cleaning. Though, it does feel a bit on the cheap side.
  • Power Cord Storage: A storage compartment for the power cord keeps your kitchen tidy and helps avoid any untimely accidents.

What’s Not To Like?

  • It Has a High Price Point: Considering the Keurig K-Mini is a small, uncomplicated coffee maker, it has a relatively high price point.
  • Spent K-Cups are Challenging to Remove: The headache of removing empty K-Cups from the K-Mini is one of the few negatives with this appliance. The angle of the basket makes it trickier than it should be.
  • Initially Confusing to Use: Keurig has a history of producing quality appliances but not putting the required effort into making clear and concise instruction booklets.

Final Remarks

The Keurig K-Mini is ideal for folks with a hectic lifestyle. There’s no messing around with confusing functions and features; brew your coffee and go. 

There’s beauty to be found in its simplicity, and the appliance is well made and brews excellent coffee. There’s nothing wrong with the K-Mini, except for the price point, which we feel is a little high for this small appliance.

Overall Score: 15.5/20

6. Chulux Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker

Sale 39%
CHULUX Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer for Single Cup Capsule with 12 Ounce Reservoir,Black
  • 【SINGLE CUP COFFEE BREWER-12OZ】CHULUX personal coffee maker fits 1.0 and 2.0 pod coffee capsules to meet your multiple favour.You also can use ground coffee (refillable filter NOT included),then create your private cafe at rushing hours or relax time.
  • 【ONE BUTTON ON/OFF OPERATION】800W heating element with rapid brewing system.Our brewer with blue indicator light,also features auto shut-off preventing from overheating and keeping safe.One cup of delicous brewed coffee will ready for you just within 3mins.Also can use it as a water boiler to get hot water.
  • 【LIGHTWEIGHT + TRAVEL SIZE】The compact design takes up tiny space and make this one cup brewer easy to carry anywhere,especially for business trip or vocation.It perfect for home,office,dormitory,small lounge,RV and ect.Only be used for 120V voltage.

Specifications

  • Genre: K-Cup Pod
  • Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.3 x 9.06 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 2.31lbs
  • Capacity:  12oz
  • Material: Plastic, Stainless-steel
  • Available Colors: Black – Blue – Cyan – Green – Gray – Orange – Red
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Things To Love

  • Travel Size: The Chulux Single Serve K-Cup Pod coffee maker is, by far, the most compact appliance we’ve looked at today. It has a tiny footprint that will take up very little kitchen space.
  • ‘Safe Lock Brewer Lid’: A ‘safe lock’ lid ensures you can use this brewer with peace of mind.
  • Multiple Color Choices: With various color options, you can choose a coffee maker to match your kitchen’s décor.
  • Auto Shut-Off: To further ensure your safety, the Chulux K-Cup coffee maker will automatically power down after a brew cycle. This will also save energy.

What’s Not To Like?

  • Some Longevity Issues: While there is no denying this appliance is fantastic when it functions, numerous consumers have reported a less than satisfactory lifespan for this coffee maker. Most people are happy with their purchase, but there are enough complaints to give us pause for thought.
  • Inconsistent Coffee Servings: It appears that the amount of coffee you’ll find in your cup after a brew cycle will be different each time. Not by a huge amount, but it’s worth noting.

Final Remarks

The Chulux Single Serve K-Cup Pod coffee maker is a decent appliance when it works. It has some useful safety features and a variety of colors to choose from. However, there’s no getting away from the fact that it does have potential quality issues. We feel there are better options on the market for this price point. 

Overall Score: 13.5/20

Get Kitchen equipment deals

Subscribe to get our curated list of discounts on cookware and kitchen appliances as soon as sales start!