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Keurig K Express vs K Mini (2022): Which Single Serve Coffee Maker Is Better?

For those intimidated by the sight of a carafe or filter, Keurig’s wide range of coffee makers makes the process of brewing a cup more approachable. The brand’s catalog includes entry-level models like the Keurig K-Express and Keurig K-Mini. As single-serve coffee makers, Keurig emphasizes minimalism in the K-Express and K-Mini’s design. There are no complicated buttons, and all you need to do is pop in a K-Cup and wait for your coffee. But given their slim forms and near-identical target market, choosing can be tricky. Which one should you buy?

Keurig K Express vs K Mini Comparison Chart

ModelKeurig K-Express Single Serve Coffee MakerKeurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker
 
Price
Single Serve Coffee8, 10, 12 oz.6 – 10 oz.
Water Reservoir Capacity42 oz, removableAdd fresh water each time
Fits Travel MugYesYes
Auto OffYesYes
Strength ControlYesNo
Temperature ControlNoNo
Iced SettingNoNo
ColorsBlackStudio Gray, Dusty Rose, Matte Black, Oasis, Poppy Red, Evergreen
Dimensions (H x W x D)12.63 x 4.56 x 12.87 in.12.1 x 4.5 x 11.3 in.

Design

Keurig’s K-Mini brewer is slimmer and more sophisticated-looking than the K-Express.

Keurig K Express vs K Mini Dimensions
Both the Keurig K-Express (left) and K-Mini (right) feature tall and narrow forms.

Unlike some of the best Keurig coffee makers, the Keurig K-Express and K-Mini are fairly compact machines. The K-Mini is slightly shorter and narrower, but both units should fit most counters. Its K-Cup compartment also looks integrated into the rest of the brewer’s body. On the other hand, the K-Express’s coffee nook appears to hang from the top of the coffee maker.

The K-Express has 6.5 inches of headroom for your containers, so travel mugs fit nicely. If you get the K-Mini, you may have to settle for a smaller tumbler that fits. You won’t find any carafe or heating plate on these brewers. Instead, they have a simple drip tray base for your cups and, at the top, a latch for raising the K-Cup compartment. The drip tray is removable for cleaning.

With the K-Express, you also get an additional moveable part outside the latch and drip tray. At its back is a removable water reservoir. In terms of aesthetics, however, the K-Mini’s matte finish looks more sophisticated than the glossy coating of the K-Express. Moreover, the K-Mini has more color options, like red and green. The K-Express is only available in black.

Capacity and Features

The Keurig K-Express has more features and a larger water capacity than the K-Mini.

Keurig K Express vs K Mini Capacity and Features
Here’s a look at some of the features of the Keurig K-Express (left) and K-Mini (right)

One of the main gripes about the Keurig K-Mini is its modest water reservoir. For every brew, you’ll need to add fresh water. Keurig addresses this concern on the K-Express by adding a 42 oz. water reservoir. As mentioned in the design section, the reservoir can be detached from the brewer.

There’s hardly a learning curve with these coffee makers. If you opt for the K-Mini, you only need to press the power button above the K-Cup compartment to start brewing. In contrast, the K-Express has a basic control panel on its right side. Here, you’ll find buttons corresponding to the brewer’s key features. For instance, the K-Express can make three cup sizes — 8 oz., 10 oz., and 12 oz. Simply press the size that matches the cup size you need.

Below these keys, you’ll also find a Strong Brew button and indicator lights for adding water and descaling. Keurig’s K-Cups have been criticized for their weak taste and watery brews. By pressing the Strong Brew button before choosing a cup size, the K-Express extends the brewing time for a stronger cup of joe. None of these features are available on the K-Mini.

Care and Compatibility

The Keurig K-Express is easier to clean and maintain than the K-Mini.

Keurig K Express vs K Mini Care and Compatibility
A look at the K-Express removable water reservoir (left); keep counters tidy with the K-Mini cord storage (right)

The Keurig K-Express and K-Mini are easy to maintain. For the exterior, you can wipe the surface using a damp, soapy non-abrasive cloth. The drip trays on both coffee makers are also removable and can be rinsed and wiped clean. When it comes to the water reservoir, the K-Express has the advantage since it’s removable, too. On the K-Mini, you can only wipe the tank.

Over time, water used for brewing can cause a build-up in these coffee makers. To clean these accumulations, you’ll need to descale the K-Express and K-Mini. Keurig offers its own descaling solution, and the process is straightforward, thanks to step-by-step instructions. Typically, it takes around 250 brews before you need to descale the brewers. The K-Express makes it easier with a descale light indicator.

Although the K-Express and K-Mini lack settings for iced coffee, lattes, and cappuccinos, they are compatible with most Keurig K-Cups. Some popular pods include caramel vanilla coffee and dark magic coffee. You can also get your hands on original and special blends.

Verdict

The Keurig K-Express is a better entry-level single-serve coffee machine than the Keurig K-Mini.

Keurig’s entry-level single-serve brewers are not out to impress coffee purists. For most who want a convenient brew, however, the Keurig K-Express and K-Mini do a decent job of making a cup of joe. While both are compact coffee makers, you’ll find more features on the K-Express. These include cup size options and a Strong Brew function to customize your coffee better. And for the added functions, the K-Express isn’t a huge leap in price. On the Keurig website, the K-Mini even retails for $10 more. If you’re looking for value, then the K-Express should be your choice.

FAQs

📌 What is the main difference between the Keurig K-Mini vs Keurig K-Express?

While both are compact single-serve coffee makers, the Keurig K-Express comes with more features like cup sizes and a strong brew function.

📌 Can I adjust the cup size on my Keurig K-Mini?

The K-Mini does not have cup size functions. Instead, you’ll need to adjust the amount of water you pour into the reservoir.

📌 How long is the warranty of the Keurig K-Express?

The Keurig K-Express Single Serve Coffee Maker comes with a limited one-year warranty.

📌 Does the Keurig K-Express have a display?

No, the Keurig K-Express brewer does not have a display.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.