Keurig Mini vs Mini Plus: Differences, Similarities and Buying Guide

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keurig mini vs mini plus

Traversing through the affordable coffee maker world can be challenging especially if you haven’t been here before. And with intellectualized jargon from coffee lovers, it’s easy to feel lost. 

That’s what we’re here for: to help you make the most informed buying decision and compare these brewers against each other, in layman’s terms, down to which brewer will serve you best. Meet the K-Mini and the K-Mini Plus

The K-Mini and K-Mini Plus are compact coffee machines from Keurig. These coffee pod machines are designed to give you a crisp cup of coffee at the push of a button. 

But which maker will give you the best result and add the most convenient, optimized, and tailored experience for the user? Let’s find out. 

Highlights at a Glance

Keurig Mini

User-friendly with basic functions

Small design perfect for limited countertop space and travel

Fresh coffee in 2-4 minutes depending on cup sizes

Keurig Mini Plus

Strong brew function to accommodate more variety

12-ounce removable water reservoir

Café-quality coffee in just 2 minutes 

Trendy and polished array of colors

The K-Mini is perfect for the coffee drinker who wants a brewer without all the extra features. All of 5 inches in size, the K-Mini is for creatures of habit. You take your delicious coffee the same way each morning, and you want a brewer just as dependable as you are. 


The K-Mini Plus is for the coffee drinkers who want a little more out of their brewer. Its removable 12-ounce water tank and pod storage add convenience to your routine while giving you a polished design and customizable functional features. Perfect for black coffee drinkers and those who want to up their game. 


Feature Comparisons 

The K-Mini and the K-Mini Plus, at a glance, almost look like twins. Still, there are differences between the two. 

When a product has ‘plus’ in its branding, I think of something new and improved. The manufacturers must have added value and improved functioning to improve the product, right? 

That may be the case for the K-Mini and the K-Mini Plus. Let’s take a look. 

 Keurig Mini Keurig Mini Plus  
Product LineK-Mini LineK-Mini Line
Weight 4.6 pounds4.77 pounds 
Height12.1 inches 12.1 inches
Width 5 inches5 inches
Brew Size6-12 ounces6-12 ounces
Brew SpeedMore than 2 minutesLess than 2 minutes
Strong Button FeatureNoYes
Water ReservoirUp to 12 ouncesUp to 12 ounces
Removable Water ReservoirNoYes
Display Buttons with LED indicators for ‘add water’ and ‘lift handle’Buttons with LED indicators for ‘add water’ and ‘lift handle’
Auto-Off FeatureYesYes
Pod StorageNoYes

Notable Features 

Both coffee makers are equipped with an auto-off function This simple function powers down each machine if no one has used it in 90 seconds. This makes both Mini’s environmentally friendly and energy-efficient, saving you on your energy bill in the long run. 

A valuable new addition to the Mini Plus is the pod storage feature, where you can store up to 9 K-Cup pods in the brewer. No more fumbling through drawers to find your pods; keep them nice and organized right where you brew your cups of coffee or bring your favorite Keurig coffee flavor on the road. 

Winner: Mini Plus

Brewing 

Keurig pods come in a wide variety of flavors, meaning you can find your favorites and have your coffee your way. Not just coffee, the Keurig Mini and Mini Plus also support tea, cocoa, and other savory drink options.

The brewers have identical brew processes where the needle pierces the K-cup and injects hot water into the grounds, giving you a fully automated drip coffee. Keurig takes the work out of brewing a cup of coffee and is easily the most user-friendly maker on the market. 

Hot coffee at the push of a button. 

The simple, one-button brew process reduces your brewing time and makes your mornings uncomplicated. Say goodbye to hit-or-miss coffee and dense coffee rituals; the K Mini and the K Mini Plus give you your coffee effortlessly while not compromising on that exquisite taste. 

Both Mini’s require a regular top-up of the water reservoir each time you brew and therefore need a bit more work than other Keurig makers. That said, it’s a welcomed trade-off as both brewers are small and easily portable. No more lunch coffee runs.  

Make a smooth cup of coffee with no sweat and from anywhere; that’s truly what sets these brewers apart from other bulky, oversized makers. 

Winner: Draw

Taste

It all boils down to which of these coffee makers will give you the better taste. This is where the Keurig K Mini Plus coffee maker blows past the K Mini. 

Both brewers are compatible with regularly sized K-Cups, or if you prefer to source your own coffee beans, you can use a reusable pod or My K-Cup.

The K Mini-Plus is for black coffee drinkers.

My favorite thing about the Mini Plus is the stronger brew strength option. As someone who drinks a lot of espressos, I want my Java to have a stronger kick. With the push of a button, I can have my coffee exactly the way I like it. 

The K-Mini Plus gives you a slower flow rate with higher extraction when making strong coffee. That ‘slow’ flow rate isn’t at a snail’s pace; you can still get a fresh cup of coffee in 2 minutes. Even without the slow flow rate, the K Mini can take up to 5 minutes to brew. 

If you’re someone who likes their coffee on the milder side, no problem! You can always reduce the strength of your coffee by sticking to the original brewing process of either Mini brewer or by filtering more water when in use. 

The K-Mini, unfortunately, doesn’t have an automated strength control setting, meaning you’ll have to do the leg-work and add a bit of trial-and-error before you get your coffee strong enough. 

Winner: Mini Plus

Design 

While the K-Mini and the K-Mini Plus share many similarities in their design, there are some key differences between these two popular models. 

For both brewers, they are 5 inches and are the slimmest makers to date. You’re going to make your kitchen countertops very happy compared to bigger, more cumbersome Keurig models. 

Both accommodate larger sizes of mugs and can even fit 7-inch travel mugs. Yet, you can consider either brewer to be on the go with you at such a compact size. Both the K-Mini and K-Mini Plus have built-in cord storage to make traveling easier.

At this size, it’s also not a question of can I take this brewer with me, but where to? 

The K Mini-Plus has refined design options. 

If you’re someone who weighs aesthetics into your decision-making, I have to give the points to the K-Mini Plus, which offers a contemporary, sleek design compared to the K-Mini, which is a little more glossy and striking. 

Each model is available in six colors, but I found the Mini Plus’ color options better for elevating your space. The evening teal and studio gray palettes give the maker a more trendy, polished look than the K-Mini. 

The K-Mini’s ‘oasis’ and poppy red colors are shiny and vibrant but make the brewer look a little cheap paired with the totally plastic design.  

The K-Mini Plus features chrome accents on the removable drip tray, which gives it a nice pop, and I can appreciate the attention to detail. 

Winner: Mini Plus

Water Reservoir 

For each of the Mini’s, a water reservoir that can hold up to 12 ounces is built into the maker. Only the K-Mini Plus’ can be detached, making cleaning your brewer easier and your coffee better. 

You can remove the water reservoir effortlessly, rinse and clean it to remove bacteria, fasten it back to the brewer, and enjoy. By ensuring the cleanest water for brewing, you can be sure you’ll have a better-tasting coffee—bonus points for the Plus. 

You can still clean the K-Mini’s water reservoir, though. It’ll be a little trickier to get into the nooks and crannies without the removable parts. 

Winner: Mini Plus

Maintenance & Support 

Like all Keurig brewers, the Mini’s don’t require a lot of detailed, demanding maintenance. There are no filters, no spillage, and no messy coffee grounds to clean up. All you have to do is pop your K-cup coffee pod in, and pop it out when done. 

Keurig also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a limited-time one-year warranty on all brewers. They have a toll-free customer service number that operates from 7 am-12 am, 7 days a week, if you have any questions.

Winner: Draw

Customer Reviews 

One recent customer writes that you have about a 5-minute window before your coffee becomes “lukewarm.” This is true of the Mini and the Mini Plus, so take note if you like your coffee boiling. 

After further review, Keurig’s structural operation on their brewers was based on the famous 1994 McDonald’s lawsuit. A woman tripped and spilled her steaming coffee on herself and was awarded 3 million dollars in court. Ouch. 

Here I’ve compiled a list of benefits and drawbacks for the K Mini and the K Mini Plus side-by-side. Have a look at what real people think: 

K-Mini

Pros

Saves on space in tight quarters

Easy one-button operation

Great value makes it affordable on just about any budget 

Cons

Looks “cheap”

Motor runs “very loud” when in use 

Known to have slow brew speed in some cases after a few months

Have to refill the water reservoir after each use


K-Mini Plus

Pros

Saves on space in tight quarters

Can customize the brew strength of your coffee

Slick design makes it look “sophisticated” 

Pod storage makes traveling with your favorite coffee easy 

Cons

Have to refill the water reservoir after each use

Alternatives  

If you like the idea of an automated, dependable, and easy cup of coffee but aren’t sold on the Mini-Series, there are other options in the Keurig family for you. 

Introducing the Keurig K-Slim.

The K-Slim is an upgrade from the Plus and gives you a few additional features at your fingertips and ties up some of the loose ends that could leave you hesitant to buy from the Mini Line. 

This brewer has an enormous 46-ounce water reservoir, meaning you won’t have to refill it after every use like the Mini or Mini Plus. One less thing to think about in the morning. 

The K-Slim also features five-needle multi-stream technology extraction compared to the single needle use of the Mini product line.  

The biggest difference between the K-Slim standard model and minis is that it has a much larger water reservoir, and it’s much heavier and awkward to move if you need to take your brewer with you. It also only comes in black color, compared to the six design options of the K-Mini and K-Mini Plus. 

The Verdict  

In the end, I have to say that the K-Mini Plus has the better technology and is taking home the gold medal. The value is fantastic with only a price difference of around $20 from the Keurig K-Mini

The K-Mini Plus gives you more out of your brewer with its removable 12-ounce water tank and pod storage, polished, trendy design, and customizable brew strength selector. 

The K Mini, while just as reliable as the K Mini Plus, ultimately offers you no customizable strength settings, is more difficult to clean and maintain without the removable parts, and is considered “cheap” in its lackluster color options and design. 

So there you have it, the K Mini Plus comes out on top. Get more out of your brewer and more out of your coffee.

Related Read: Keurig vs Ninja

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Author
Clint's skills as a barista have made it easy for him to transition into writing about coffee. With so much personal experience and passion, he is able to shed light on all aspects of coffee to ensure you can enjoy this delicious beverage as much as he does.

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