In the world of coffee makers, you get to choose from a wide range of machines, both manual and automatic. And each category has its own set of loyal following. Some coffee lovers are simply crazy about traditional i.e. manual methods of brewing, such as French Press, Pour-Over, etc. While the others prefer automatic single-serve machines, for example Keurig.
Ever since Keurig’s K-cup patent expired in the year 2012, the coffee maker market has witnessed the discovery of some of the best Keurig alternatives. These machines, with no hesitation, are just as convenient and brilliant to use as Keurig. In fact, some are even more impressive in terms of features, functionality, affordability, etc.
So how about you get to know these alternative K-cup pod brewing systems that are not Keurig-made?
- Best Single-Serve K-Cup Coffee Makers That Are NOT Keurig
- 1. Breville BNV250BLK1BUC1 Virtuo Coffee and Espresso Machine
- 2. Cuisinart SS-10P1 Premium Single-Serve Coffee maker
- 3. Mueller Single Serve Pod Compatible Coffee Maker
- 4. Bunn MCU Single Cup Multi-Use Home Coffee Brewer
- 5. CHULUX Single Serve Coffee Maker
- 6. Nespresso EN80B Original Espresso Machine
- 7. Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker
- 8. Ninja Single-Serve Pod-Free Coffee Maker
- Choosing The Best Alternative To Keurig
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The End Note
Best Single-Serve K-Cup Coffee Makers That Are NOT Keurig
1. Breville BNV250BLK1BUC1 Virtuo Coffee and Espresso Machine
You could be a devoted Keurig coffee drinker for several years and still never go back to Keurig again once you use this coffee and espresso machine by Breville. The options for both espresso and coffee are endless here. Plus, the milk frother is a feature you’re likely to love the most.
It’s a sturdy, compact machine that comes with a wide variety of delicious, flavorful pods. With Nespresso, you can actually look forward to sipping cafe-quality coffee in a more convenient and even cheaper manner.
- Single-serve coffee and espresso machine with built-in milk frother
- Brews 5 different cup sizes
- Adjustable coffee volume, mixture, and temperature
- Centrifusion extraction technology for perfect crema
- Automatic blend recognition automatically adjusts brewing parameters
- Simple, one-touch brewing with 12 Nespresso Virtuo capsules
- Coffee is not as hot as it should be
2. Cuisinart SS-10P1 Premium Single-Serve Coffee maker
Cuisinart is a brand that never lets you down, especially if you’re looking for a Keurig replacement or alternative. Just so you know, this premium single-serve coffee maker gets the job done in only 8 seconds. Mind you, the machine is not only quick but also abundantly functional and stylish-looking.
A reusable filter cup is a part of the package. Also, there’s a separate hot water dispenser for allowing you to use the machine to make hot cocoa, tea, etc. No debate about the fact that this K-cup compatible coffee maker is superior to Keurig as well as the single-serve machines by other top brands.
- Fully programmable single-serve coffee maker
- 72-ounce water reservoir and 5 different brew sizes
- Reusable filter cup included for ground coffee
- Control panel with programmable clock and auto on-off
- One-touch Hot Water and Rinse buttons
- It vibrates during brewing and is too loud
- To fit taller mugs/tumblers, you have to remove the drip tray
3. Mueller Single Serve Pod Compatible Coffee Maker
Even though you love your French Press or Pour-Over coffee, having a single-serve machine as well at your disposal means access to a quick yet delicious cup of coffee whenever you want. In that case, why purchase a gigantic Keurig coffee maker that you might have to clean more than you use. Instead, go for Mueller, which has a much smaller footprint and lower maintenance.
It works with all types of coffee pods. In fact, it even works with reusable K-cups in case you want to save the environment. But what we found to be the most appealing is the Rapid Brew heater technology. It brews quickly while also maintaining the optimal temperature.
- Single-cup coffee maker with 4 brew size settings
- Large, removable water reservoir easy to refill and clean
- Rapid Brew heater takes care of optimal speed and temperature
- Auto shut-off, removable drip tray, and Cool Touch exterior
- Tall cups don’t fit below the dispenser
- Leaks water sporadically
4. Bunn MCU Single Cup Multi-Use Home Coffee Brewer
Why purchase Keurig brewers that are designed to only accept their labeled coffee, right? Rather get a coffee maker that allows you to use any coffee you like. In that case, let’s welcome this single-cup, multi-use coffee brewer by Bunn. The machine prepares fantastic coffee, be it from a K-cup or ground coffee.
The term multi-use here means the convenience of brewing not just coffee but also loose tea, tea bags, etc. No doubt, it’s an incredibly flexible single-serve brewing system minus the gimmicks.
- Single-cup coffee maker with hot water dispenser
- Compatible with K-cups, ground coffee, and tea bags
- Pulse Brew for bolder, more flavorful extraction
- Removable drip tray enables efficient clean-up
- Dishwasher-safe drip tray cover, drip tray, top rack, and drawers
- No on/off switch
- Coffee ground attachment tends to get clogged easily
5. CHULUX Single Serve Coffee Maker
An absolute delight to use in comparison to Keurig, the small yet powerful CHULUX Single Serve Coffee Maker does exactly what the brand claims. It’s a very basic coffee machine available at an impressively discounted price, but without the fancy features of Keurig, which to be honest, you don’t really need.
The heating element takes care of rapid brewing. And the one-button operation makes the coffee maker extremely user-friendly. So if you can’t afford Keurig, then it doesn’t mean you have to compromise any aspect of your coffee experience.
- Single-serve coffee maker compatible with K-cups and ground coffee
- Indicator light, auto shut-off, and Rapid Brewing system
- Compact, lightweight design, thus easy to move around
- Removable drip tray accommodates a larger mug
- BPA-free piercing needle and water tank
- 800W only, thus coffee is not as hot as it should be
6. Nespresso EN80B Original Espresso Machine
It’s only common for coffee novices to assume that all espresso is incredibly bitter. And it surely takes a little bit of experimenting on your part to realize that’s not true. Once you get this affordable Nespresso machine, chances are quite high that you are never going to power on a Keurig again.
Coffee tastes bright and intense-flavored. And you don’t even feel the need to add a lot of sweetener to do away with any excess bitterness. With two size options, Espresso and Lungo, the operation is easy as a breeze. Just hold down the button and watch the magic unfold.
What’s more is that the coffee maker takes only half a minute to power on completely. On top of that, it shuts off automatically after 9 minutes of inactivity. So it’s safe for us to declare that this Nespresso creation is definitely less power-consuming than Keurig and even other conventional coffee makers.
- Barista-grade single-serve espresso coffee machine
- Prepares 9 single-serve cups in a single refill
- 2 programmable cup sizes, folding drip tray, and auto shut-off
- Machine is very loud
- It also drips after every use
7. Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker
Don’t think that your only hope is a costly Keurig machine just so that you can treat yourself to a delicious cup of coffee at home. This Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker comes to the rescue to prepare a large single-serve cup and regular mug-size coffee. That means compatible with both K-cups and ground coffee.
And no worries about making place for a new machine in your small kitchen either. After all, it is a compact unit.
- Brews single-serve and full-pot coffee
- Fully programmable with automatic shut-off
- Brew strength options – Regular and Bold
- Keep-hot warming plate and 24-hour timer
- Extra-large carafe-side water reservoir
- Takes a slightly longer time to brew
8. Ninja Single-Serve Pod-Free Coffee Maker
You’re bound to forget all about Keurig with this Ninja coffee maker that does both multi-serve and single-serve brewing. And you don’t even have to spend any extra money on coffee pods, which is good news for cutting down costs.
It has plenty of different functions to enhance the taste of your coffee. There’s espresso, cafe forte, over-ice brew, classic brew, rich brew, plus a milk frother for preparing deliciously rich and creamy lattes. As for cleaning, certainly much more convenient and time-saving than Keurig!
- Pod-free coffee maker with Advanced Thermal Flavor Extraction
- Auto-iQ one-touch Intelligence technology controls water ratio
- Built-in milk frother included for rich, silky microfoam
- Custom brews (classic, rich, specialty, etc.) and custom brew sizes
- Cleaning light stays on (and cleaning cycle takes too long)
- No automatic brewing after preheating (manual intervention required)
Choosing The Best Alternative To Keurig
You have to give importance to the following features if you want your single-serve coffee maker to be just like or even better than any Keurig machine out there…
There are single-cup coffee machines that prepare either drip coffee or espresso. So what do you drink on a daily basis? Deciding this is going to narrow down your search. As for coffee makers that offer both options, these indeed are very few.
But if you enjoy sipping cappuccinos and lattes, then I’d highly recommend buying a machine outfitted with a milk frother.
And if drinking hot chocolate, tea, etc. is also a part of your daily life, there are coffee makers built with a hot water station. This dispenses hot water for savoring hot beverages other than coffee.
Single-Serve Cup Sizes
Keurig coffee makers are so highly praised because of their single-serve brewing. So you’re not compelled to prepare an entire pot of coffee just to devour a single cup. On that note, it’s best for the alternative to also offer the same.
As for the size of this single serving of coffee, some machines give you the option to choose the cup size. For example, pre-programmed sizes between 4 ounces and 12 ounces. After all, it’s all about convenience, isn’t it?
Then you may also stumble upon single-serve coffee makers, non-Keurig of course, that feature full-pot brewing as well. So can decide between the two based on your caffeine cravings or company.
This is the ultimate factor for convenience. And it’s also precisely why you’re considering buying such a coffee maker in the first place, right?
So what are the features responsible for user-friendliness? Programmability, brew-strength control, cup size options, temperature control, cleaning alert, automatic cleaning cycle, one-touch operation, hot water dispenser, etc.
Size Of The Water Reservoir And Coffee Maker
The majority of single-serve at-home brewers are compact units. They’re specifically designed for small spaces like office desks, kitchens, etc. Nevertheless, take into account the size of the machine at the time of buying.
This brings into the picture the size of the water reservoir of the coffee maker. When the tank is large, the appliance is also bound to be large. But the perks of a large water reservoir is that you don’t have to constantly refill it. So make a wise decision.
It’s only the best alternative to Keurig if the coffee machine is compatible with Keurig pods. That means your options get limited if the single-serve coffee maker accepts only special pods, such as Nespresso.
Compatibility with Reusable K-Cups
For environment-friendly coffee drinkers, it’s best to purchase a coffee machine that works with the eco-friendly version of K-cups i.e. reusable K-cups. These reusable coffee pods require coffee grounds, which you can either buy pre-ground or grind on your own at home.
Plastic is a part of Keurig models, so it’s natural for the material to play its role in Keurig alternatives too. Just make sure it’s BPA-free plastic. So the harmful chemicals don’t leach into your beverage when exposed to a high-temperature range.
Speed of Brewing
The manual brewing method takes about 10 minutes on average. And one of the primary reasons for switching to a machine is so that the brewing time and effort are significantly reduced.
As for how long do the best single-serve coffee makers take to complete a single brewing cycle, it’s around 5 minutes in the case of Keurig. The alternative is much faster though, which is 3 minutes. In fact, there are those that require just 1 minute.
Just because you’re using an automatic coffee machine doesn’t mean wasting energy and increasing your bills. That said, an automatic shut-off function seems like a blessing in disguise. Plus, it brings safety into the picture for times when you’re a little forgetful.
More often than not, renowned brands, Keurig or otherwise, install auto shut-off that turns off the coffee maker after a stipulated amount of time of inactivity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Choose A Keurig Alternative?
Firstly, because there is a wide range of high-quality, equally promising non-Keurig single-serve coffee makers. Secondly, because Keurig machines are expensive, and sometimes this price tag is unnecessarily so.
Thirdly, and most importantly, because Keurig is compatible with only official K-cups. That means if the K-cup brand isn’t Keurig-licensed, then it might not work on your Keurig.
And lastly, Keurig single-serve coffee makers, at least the original ones, brew just one cup. But the alternatives brew both a single-serve and full carafe.
Do Keurig Alternatives Use K-Cups?
Most of the non-Keurig coffee machines we’ve reviewed are compatible with K-cups. But then there are those that aren’t, for example Nespresso. You can also use reusable coffee pods or other brand coffee pods at such times.
What Keurig Alternative Is the Best for Office Use?
Preferably one with a large water reservoir, quick brewing time, and cup size options. The large water tank is for less frequent refills. The quick brewing time is for not having to wait for too long. And the cup size options because caffeine cravings are not always the same.
What Keurig Alternative Is the Easiest to Clean?
Keurig machines are often criticized for getting very dirty because of loose coffee grounds. So make it a point to choose a non-Keurig coffee maker that features a self-cleaning function. It consists of the cleaning cycle plus lets you know when cleaning is due.
The End Note
When not choosing Keurig, you don’t have to make any compensations. There are plenty of high-quality, high-performing, and even better single-serve coffee machines not manufactured by Keurig.
Brands like Nespresso, Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, Mueller, Bunn, and some more have made an appearance. And some of these coffee makers prepare both a single-serving and full pot. So the experience is even better than Keurig in our opinion while also being more affordable.