A detailed comparison of Keurig vs Drip Coffee Maker

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Johny Morrisson

The unique selling point of Keurig is user-friendliness. Before Keurig, Traditional drip coffee machines were very popular and can be found in every home or office, but since Keurig has come on the scene, the popularity of traditional coffee machines has been declining mainly because coffee lovers are prioritizing convenience over anything else.

Despite its convenience, Keurig also has some drawbacks, also Drip coffee makers have some key benefits that you won’t want to overlook.

That’s what I am going to discuss in this article so you can make an easy decision between Keurig vs Drip coffee makers based on your preferences.

Keurig vs Drip coffee

Is Keurig a Drip coffee maker?

Keurig is not exactly the same as a drip coffee maker but has many things in common. Both brew regular cups of black coffee rather than espresso, and they both prepare coffee by passing hot water over ground coffee and letting it pass through a filter.

The main difference between Keurig and Drip coffee makers is that drip machines use coffee grounds while Keurig uses K cups, although the working principle is almost the same.

Drip machines give you control over brewing parameters such as grind size, amount of grounds, and brewing time, while Keurig doesn’t.

This is both good and bad at the same time: If you want convenience, it’s good; if you want to prepare coffee how you like it, it’s a big negative.

What is a Keurig

Keurigs are single-serve pod-based coffee makers known for their convenience. Keeping up with the demands of our time, Keurig has designed its machines with quickness and ease of use in mind. Keurig comes with a bang in the coffee maker industry and completely revolutionized the way we used to prepare coffee.

It is estimated that more than 36 million Keurig units are being used in homes and offices across the US. Quite a huge number, Isn’t it?


Keurig made the brewing process as simple as possible. Place the pod in the machine, press the brew button, and your coffee will be ready in minutes.

The secret to Keurig’s convenience is their K cup coffee pods. These pods contain predetermined amounts of coffee grounds sealed to preserve freshness.

There are many top companies in the coffee industry that manufacture k cups, such as Peets, Lavazza, Starbucks, and Keurig collaborate with Green Mountain Coffee to make K cups. In addition, K cups are available for tea, hot chocolate, and lattes.

Keurig has launched many different models to satisfy the needs of customers with much-needed features.

Models like the Keurig mini and Slim, with compact designs and minimal features, start at around 100 dollars, while advanced models like the Keurig K Supreme and K café, with many customizable features, cost around 200 dollars.

Pros of Keurig over Drip coffee maker

  • Make the coffee-making process as simple as possible
  • You can choose from a variety of models, from the basic to the advanced
  • A variety of options available in K cups
  • The design of the machines is minimalist and modern
  • Beginner-friendly machines – even a kid can make a consistent cup of coffee using Keurig

Disadvantages of Keurig

  • The machine as well as k cups are expensive
  • Not suitable for big families as it can brew only one cup at a time
  • Generates a lot of plastic waste
  • The taste of coffee is not as flavorful and bold
  • Limited customizable options

What is a drip coffee maker?

Drip coffee makers have been around for decades now – the traditional coffee machines every Millennial has grown up with.

Drip coffee makers are essentially an automatic way to brew traditional pour-over coffee in which water seeps through coffee grounds and filters through a strainer or a paper filter.

Although making coffee in a drip coffee machine isn’t that difficult but it isn’t as convenient as Keurig too.

You have to grind and measure the coffee beans and also you have to clean the filter basket of the machine after every brew.

Different types of drip coffee makers are available on the market, including super-automatic, fully programmable, grind and brew, built-in milk frothers, 2 in 1 espresso and coffee makers, 4-12 cups or carafes, etc.

A few of the leading names in drip coffee makers include Cuisinart, Ninja, Mr. Coffee, and Black + Decker. You can easily buy a decent drip machine at under half the price of Keurig.

Pros of Drip coffee maker over Keurig

  • The taste of coffee is much better than Keurig especially if you use freshly ground coffee beans
  • Most Drip machines have an auto start and brew programmable feature and that is very convenient
  • The price of the Drip coffee machine and the recurring cost of coffee grounds are significantly lower than Keurig
  • More environmentally friendly and has no plastic waste
  • Suitable for big families and parties as it can brew multiple cups at a time
  • Freedom to choose your favorite coffee grounds and alter the amount of coffee grounds according to preference

Disadvantages of Drip coffee maker

  • Not as user-friendly as Keurig and requires a little brewing experience
  • The brewing process takes time – 10 to 15 minutes
  • Cleaning the machine is much hassle

Keurig vs Drip Coffee | Things to consider

In case you’re looking to buy a new coffee maker and finding it difficult to make a decision between a drip coffee maker or Keurig, here are some points to consider.

Which Tastes better Keurig or Drip coffee?

Drip coffee maker delivers a better-tasting drink than Keurig. Hands down!

But only on one condition if you use freshly ground coffee beans. The brewing method of both Keurig and drip machine is almost the same so basically the taste comes down to three things

  • Type of coffee grounds
  • The freshness of coffee grounds; and
  • The amount of coffee grounds

And all these things are in your control while brewing coffee in a drip machine.

There is a variety of flavors available in k cup pods but it is certainly less than the variety available in coffee beans

You can use freshly ground coffee beans in a Keurig too by using reusable k cups but it kills the whole point of buying a Keurig machine, the convenience.

The amount of coffee grounds in a K cup is only suitable for a 5 to 7-ounce serving size anything larger than that will be watered down.

In my experience, Coffee prepared by the Drip machine tastes better only if you are using quality coffee beans and grind them just before brewing. Otherwise, there isn’t much difference!

Consistency in Taste

There is one major plus point of Keurig and that is consistency in taste. You will always get the same decent cup of coffee using pre-packaged K cups.

On the other hand, you can easily mess up your drink while brewing in a Drip Coffee Maker. You must know what’s the perfect grind size and what’s the perfect coffee-to-water ratio. Otherwise, you will end up with a weird cup of coffee.

While Keurig can’t make as tasty coffee as a drip coffee maker, there is no room for messing up the taste completely. That’s why I always recommend Keurig to beginners as busy folks.

Convenience and User Friendliness

If you prefer convenience over everything else then definitely there is no better option than the Keurig coffee maker.

Turn on the machine and it will heat up in a minute put the coffee pod and select your desired coffee size to wait for another minute and your coffee is ready.

Literally a cup of coffee in under 2 minutes! Additionally, you need not clean anything afterward, just discard the coffee pod.

Drip machines, on the other hand, are also easy to use but can’t match the convenience of K cups.


Keurig machines are designed to brew coffee with K-cup coffee pods only. You can also use your own coffee in Keurig with reusable k cups.

In my opinion, this isn’t something anyone should consider using as Keurigs are designed to provide convenience and that can only be achieved using K cups. After all, convenience is the only reason we are paying extra money to buy a Keurig.

If you want to brew coffee using your own coffee grounds then why not buy a significantly cheaper drip machine?

k cup coffee

Cost of Keurig vs Drip Coffee Makers

Drip Coffee makers are significantly cheaper compared to Keurig. A decent drip coffee maker costs around 40 to 80 dollars, whereas Keurig machines start from around 100 dollars and go as high as 250 dollars for advanced models.

Also, the recurring cost of K cups is significantly higher than that of ground coffee which makes using a Keurig more expensive than regular coffee.

Here’s a quick comparison of the yearly cost of a Drip coffee machine and a Keurig.

CostKeurigDrip Coffee
Cost of the Machine100 – 250 $40 – 80 $
Cost per servingA variety of K cups are available typically in the range of 0.5-1.2 $
With mostly around 0.6$
A 2 lb bag of coffee costs around 20-30 dollars and makes almost 60-70 cups of coffee.
So the cost per serving is around 0.3$
Cost for 1 Cup per year0.6 * 365 = 2200.3 * 365 = 110
Cost for 3 Cups per year0.6 * 365 * 3 = 6600.3 * 365 * 3= 330
Cost for 5 Cups per year0.6 * 365 * 3 = 11000.3 * 365 * 5= 550
Cost of Keurig vs Drip coffee

Final Verdict

So, in the end, Are Keurig coffee makers better than Keurig? This question is very subjective!

And when making a decision between Keurig and Drip coffee makers it all comes down to three major points

You want convenience Keurig – Go with the Keurig

You want to save some money – Go with the drip coffee maker

You want to more control over coffee brewing – Go with the Drip coffee maker

Check out other Keurig comparisons


Is Keurigs Environmentally friendly?

Keurig K cups are made of recyclable plastic but the main concern is these plastics aren’t recyclable in all the communities.
However, they are working to achieve complete sustainability by 2025.
Read a guide on how to recycle K cups

Does drip coffee have more caffeine than Keurig?

Drip coffee actually has a little more caffeine compared to Keurig. An average 8 oz cup of drip coffee contains around 75-120mg of caffeine. Whereas a standard 8-12oz Keurig K-cup coffee has 75-100 mg.
However, the Caffeine content depends mainly on the type and origin of coffee beans or K cups you are using.

Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About. He knows everything there is to know about coffee and loves sharing his passion with others.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.

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