Keurig Mini vs. Mini plus
When it comes to compact coffee makers, Keurig offers some of the best options that deliver exceptional coffee while saving you maximum space on your kitchen counter and storage spaces. Loved by millions around the world, the Keurig K Mini series is the go-to coffee maker for a small appliance that accomplishes big things. Deciding between Keurig Mini vs Mini Plus can be tough.
In this review, you will discover the core differences between two of Keurig’s best-selling compact coffee machines, the Keurig K Mini and the Keurig K Mini Plus. By weighing up the benefits and pitfalls of each machine as well as their differences and similarities, you’ll come to understand how these pod coffee makers work and the subtle aspects that make each one unique.
At the end of this Keurig Mini vs Mini Plus review, there will be a FAQ section where you can get answers to the Internet’s most commonly-asked questions regarding these Keurig machines and you will also be provided with links to insightful customer reviews and online purchasing options to get yours today!
What is Keurig Mini?
The Keurig K Mini is a single-serve coffee maker that can brew quality coffee using gentle pressure that protrudes the ground coffee of the K-Cup pod and through the encapsulated paper filter and out into your cup, ready for consumption.
These machines are designed to be compatible with all K-Cup varieties and are able to produce coffee in multiple cup sizes. Using an attached water tank and a pod storage container, the Keurig K Mini comes with an environmentally friendly plastic construction that reduces the amount of “virgin” plastic used in order to reduce carbon footprints and increase sustainability.
Coming in with a removable drip tray and a cord storage unit, the Keurig K Mini is the ultimate compact machine that delivers great-tasting coffee at the push of a button. You can learn all about it in our Keurig Mini Review.
What is Mini Plus?
Another product and essentially the “next level up” in the Keurig K Mini line is the Keurig K Mini Plus which is essentially the “big brother” of the Keurig Mini. This means it still performs many of the same functions as its predecessor in terms of brewing multiple cup sizes and using gentle pressure to extract the optimum level of flavor from the K-Cup pods.
However, the Mini Plus comes with a few more features that also warrant an extra cost, making it the pricier option between the two machines. Coming in with a pod storage compartment of up to 9 pods and a one-cup water reservoir, the Mini Plus has all the extra features to put it above the Keurig Mini, but let’s see if this is really the case.
You can learn all about it in our Keurig Mini Plus Review.
How are they different?
Indeed, the main differences between the Keurig K Mini vs K Mini Plus come down to the latter providing more options in terms of features and functionality at the price of a few extra bucks.
For instance, the K Mini Plus comes with a removable water reservoir that makes it easier to refill when needed and to clean using your dishwasher as preferred. The Mini Plus also features a removable drip tray to accommodate a taller travel mug to suit the “on-the-go” coffee lovers who need one for the road. This drip tray also comes with a nice chrome accent which you can’t get with the K Mini, and there are generally more color options to choose from.
However, where the K Mini strikes back in this regard is their unique oasis blue color option which is the one color not available for the Mini Plus. Lastly and perhaps most importantly is that the K Mini Plus comes with a strong brew button which the Keurig K Mini does not include, making it a potentially better option for those seeking a stronger cup.
How are they similar?
In spite of all these differences, these two coffee machines remain very similar in their fundamentals, both coming in at a compact 12.1 x 4.5 x 11.3-inches of dimensions, making them suitable for storing in tight corners of your kitchen counter space.
Additionally, both these mini Keurig coffee makers feature a cord storage unit to help you pack away the machine when not in use, or conveniently travel with it when on a trip. When it comes to the brewing method, these two coffee makers use gentle pressure to extract the flavors and aromas from an inserted K-Cup for a delicious coffee at the press of a button.
Both the K Mini and the K Mini Plus are compatible with K-Cups and come with equally sized 12 oz water tanks per item as well as an auto-off function that automatically powers off the machine after a period of inactivity to save you energy.
Finally, both machines are able to brew coffee between 6-12 ounces per cup and are available in a pitch-black color option.
What’s better about Keurig Mini?
The Keurig Mini does not have many features that the Mini Plus can’t do better, with the exception of the oasis blue color option which could potentially be a deal-maker for some. On the topic of colors, the Keurig Mini also offers a more pitch-black design option that is void of the chrome accent layer on the Mini Plus’ drip tray, offering a sleeker and more stealth look.
While it may seem grim for the Keurig Mini in the face of the outshining Mini Plus, there are situations where less is more, and in that aspect, the Keurig Mini can really appeal to some customers.
For instance, by not having a pod storage container, the user is forced to dispose of the K-Cup after each brew. While this may require a small amount of extra effort each time, it greatly reduces the maintenance effort that comes periodically when it’s time to empty out the storage compartment.
In similar regard, by not having a removable drip tray, you eliminate the risk of potentially breaking the bonding element between the tray and machine and ultimately avoid the risk of compromising your drip tray in the long run.
This could also be said for the water reservoir, which is safe and secure with a permanent attachment to the machine, meaning you don’t run the risk of damaging it during the cleaning cycle or via your dishwasher.
What’s better about Mini Plus?
The Mini Plus excels when it comes to all those extra features such as a removable water reservoir, removable drip tray, and strong brew button. While the brew sizes remain the same among these Keurig models and even the one-cup reservoir size, the K Mini Plus always offers something a little bit “extra” that makes life a whole lot more convenient for most people.
In spite of what was said regarding the Keurig Mini’s “less is more” advantages, the reality is most people would prefer a 9-pod storage unit rather than removing the K-Cup yourself after each use. Additionally, the risk of actually damaging your removable drip tray while cleaning it is simply too small to contest the benefits gained by enabling compatibility with travel mugs.
The same goes for the removable tank, which allows you to more easily access fresh water to refill when needed and to clean via your dishwasher or handwash under the sink as preferred.
Who should get Keurig Mini?
Ultimately, the Keurig Mini would best suit coffee lovers who are either on a budget and looking to save wherever they can or those who have very specific color preferences and prefer a simpler machine that just does the basics.
The Keurig K Mini is unlike most other Keurig machines when it comes to its pure compact and lightweight design that makes it great for traveling and for more fragile users who can easily transport it around.
Fresh-brewed coffee at the touch of a button is what the Keurig K Mini is all about, boasting a K-Cup brewer that delivers a fresh cup of coffee at your preferred brew size anytime you want. If you seek the simple life (and have a thing for the blue oasis color) then definitely consider this super affordable compact coffee maker for a perfect cup of coffee every time without the fuss!
Who should get Mini Plus?
The Mini Plus is for those looking out for the “extras” that make life easier and that give the user more control over their brewing process.
The best Keurig coffee makers are those that can deliver a high brew quality while making the user experience pleasurable, and the Mini Plus achieves this with a removable water tank, drip tray, K-Cup pod storage unit, and strong brew button. Combined, these features create a slightly more “deluxe” product resulting in an extra cost to purchase, but for the right customer, it is a worthwhile investment.
The K Mini Plus is highly recommended for those intending to use their dishwasher to clean the removable components and for coffee connoisseurs who prefer to control the strength of their coffee. It’s also a great option for those on the go who prefer to take their travel mug to work rather than buying coffee from a cafe, as the removable drip trays of the Mini Plus models are designed to cater for just that.
When it comes to the water reservoir capacity of the Keurig Mini and the K Mini Plus coffee makers, they are both coming in at 12 ounces. This means you can only brew one cup at a time (or one-and-a-half at most) and must therefore add water to the reservoir with each use.
Fundamentally the same in terms of size and material, the only difference between these two reservoirs is that the K Mini Plus’ one can be removed while the Keurig Mini’s cannot.
Ultimately, the K Mini Plus provides more versatility in design and offers a greater level of maintenance management with this feature. While some may prefer the more secure-locked reservoir of the Keurig K Mini, the vast majority of users are more likely to get on board with the removable water reservoir option as it offers more with little to no risk of damage.
Winner: Mini Plus
The Mini Plus offers the ability to remove the tray while the Keurig Mini does not, making the Mini Plus a better option overall for its convenience in maintenance and cleaning as well as accommodating travel mugs.
Winner: Mini Plus
In terms of brew sizes available, the K Mini Plus and Keurig Mini are practically identical with both machines offering coffee cup sizes of 6-12 ounces each. The main difference lies in the additional strong brew button provided by the K Mini Plus, offering a stronger and more concentrated coffee to appeal to a wider audience. Thus, while both models can provide the same amounts of coffee at the same temperatures and using the same K-Cup pods, the K Mini Plus wins this bout cleanly with its extra option that gives it a slight but clear edge over its predecessor.
Winner: Mini Plus
The pod storage container of the Mini Plus can hold up to 9 K-Cup pods at a time before emptying it out is mandated. Contrastingly, the Keurig Mini does not support pod storage capabilities, for better or for worse, and requires the user to eject the K-Cup and dispose of it after each brew. While some may prefer this, most people would really prefer to reduce the frequency of maintenance in exchange for one big maintenance job periodically, while some may prefer the little extra daily maintenance that eliminates the periodic task of emptying out the storage unit. Regardless, the winner in this instance will once again have to go to the Mini Plus due to the majority of modern customer preferences.
Winner: Mini Plus
Machines that are more selective about their features and don’t overwhelm the item with too many perks always win in one important aspect, and that is simplicity. While the Mini Plus is practically better than the K Mini in every way, one cannot deny the sheer simplicity and straightforward functionality of the K Mini.
Coming in with a simple design and a “one-size-fits-all” concept of brewing, users can rest assured that they will always get the same consistent blend of coffee with every brew. Nothing is worse than having to empty your coffee out because it’s stronger than anticipated, and the simple design of the Keurig K Mini eliminates that risk for good.
Winner: Keurig K Mini
It may not be classified as a “feature” of the K Mini, but one cannot deny it is a fair bit more affordable than the K Mini Plus, which comes in at a few extra bucks.
Essentially, both the K Mini and K Mini Plus come with an eco-friendly design that is sustainable and environmentally friendly as well as an auto-off feature that lets you save energy by powering off the coffee machine after a period of time.
Thus, we can see that as far as cost-saving benefits go between the Keurig K Mini vs K Mini Plus, the former wins this bout purely on the basis of the flat price that you purchase the machine for.
Winner: Keurig K Mini
Keurig Mini vs Mini Plus FAQ
Is the Keurig Mini Plus worth it?
As the most compact Keurig coffee maker available and offering an abundance of convenient new features, the Keurig Mini Plus is a great investment that turns your favorite coffee grounds from all varieties of K-Cups into a delicious coffee blend with enhanced aromas and richness.
Does Keurig Mini Plus use regular K cups?
Absolutely, all Keurig coffee makers including the K Mini Plus are compatible with regular K-Cup varieties and are designed for K-Cup pod brewing.
Does Keurig Mini use same size pods?
Yes, while you can use the standard K-Cups to brew coffee with your Keurig Mini, you also have the option of providing your own coffee pods of the same size or reusable pods to brew your favorite coffees.