Table of Contents_
The best Keurig coffee maker is very popular. Looking for a great single-use Keurig coffeemaker for your home or office? If you don’t mind investing in pods, then most people would suggest a Keurig model. You can also check out the best coffee pods to learn more. The problem, in our opinion, is deciding between the Keurig K50 vs. K55.
Although, if you’d like a peek at the pros and cons of different models, you’d like our comparison articles about Aeropress and Keurig, and K-compact vs K-Select.
These two types of coffee makers are the most popular, best-selling Keurig models; the K50 and the K55 “Classic”. These two models have a lot of similarities, but what are the important differences? Let’s take a look at several key comparisons to help you make up your mind and learn more about these Keurig Models. With your breakfast covered, you’ll just need the best pasta maker for the perfect lunch.
Additionally, if you’re having problems with your machine, you’ll want to read our guides about a coffee maker making low-humming sounds and why a coffee maker is tripping your GFCI.
Both Keurig machines are single serve options with water reservoirs that can hold 48 ounces and options for 6, 8 and 10-ounce pours. Or, if you’d rather have a latte in the morning, take a look at our Krups XP5280 Espresso machine review too.
They both offer auto-on controls, high altitude settings, and compatibility with the same coffee pods (K-Cups are preferred, but unlicensed versions of K-Cups will also fit these machines). Both prep and pour a cup of coffee in about the same amount of time, and neither natively makes stronger coffee than the other.
In fact, with their jet black design, they look remarkably alike too, since the Keurig K55 is primarily an updated K50 model. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily better in every way.
Both the K50 and K55 offer the same basic options for turning on and choosing your pour size (no customized temperature control here), so the controls are also more or less the same.
However, this is one of those times where the updated design of the K55, while still quite similar to the K50, improves the coffee-making experience.
The buttons on the K55 are just a bit better designed, with smoother functionality. No one gets up in the morning looking forward to pressing a button on the coffeemaker, but it is a slightly more enjoyable experience on the K55.
You might expect the K55 to be the more durable model since it has updated materials. But here’s the thing: Keurig durability depends almost entirely on maintenance and how well you take care of it.
The most likely problem is scale build-up from repeated use. This scale can be cleaned by running a vinegar solution through the Keurig, but you have to do it regularly (every several months or so is a good idea).
You can also clean the removable drip tray regularly. The durability of inside parts doesn’t matter in this situation and isn’t something to be worried about with proper maintenance and cleaning.
Since we just mentioned scale issues, let’s talk briefly about descaling options (there’s not significant water filter built into the unit).
The K50 has no descaling control at all so you have to do it manually – in this case, that simply means commanding the machine to pour cups of vinegar solution so that you can run a tank or two of cleaner through the system, followed by pure water to rinse everything out.
The K55, on the other hand, does have an auto-descaling process, but you still have pour descaling agent and handle most of the work. However, if you’ve never descaled before, the K55 is better at holding your hand while you work it out.
Weight is a surprising spec where the two coffeemakers differ significantly. Despite being roughly the same size and with a similar design, the K55 is made with different materials and construction that make it heavier.
The K50 is only 7.6 pounds, while the K55 is 12 pounds. That makes the K55 more difficult to move around, which may be a factor if you need a highly mobile coffeemaker.
Keurig touts the K55 as having an energy efficiency boost, which means that it probably uses less electricity for heating and pouring than the K50.
Keep in mind, we are talking about coffee makers, not furnace units, so the amount of energy this saves remains…minor. But every little bit helps, and if you care how green your coffeemaker is, check out the K55.
Both the K50 and the K55 have an MSRP of $100 and can be found for $89.99. However, the K55 model tends to have better availability, which means that in some cases – like on Amazon – you can only find the K50 for a higher price. This gives the K55 a small edge.
The K55 is almost always the better choice in coffee machines. The exception may be if you are frequently moving a coffeemaker from place to place, perhaps as a catering component or event setup. In that case, the lighter K50 may be easier to move around.