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Keurig K-Elite Vs K-Compact: Which is Better?


Wondering if you should get the Keurig K Elite or Keurig K Compact?

We’ll help you make your decision. We’ve written this guide to compare and contrast the Keurig K Elite vs K Compact. 

Here’s what you’ll learn about these Keurig machines:

  • Similarities shared by the K Elite and K Compact
  • Differences between these coffee makers
  • Our advice on which one you should buy

Let’s jump right in.

Quick Summary

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Keurig K-Elite

Keurig K-Compact


Keurig K-Elite Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker, Brushed Slate, 12 oz. Brew Size

Keurig K-Compact Single Serve Coffee Maker

Water Tank Capacity

75 oz

36 oz

Iced Coffee Brew Option



Brew Time

<60 seconds

<60 seconds

Adjustable Coffee Strength



Removable Drip Tray



Drink Sizes

4, 6, 8, 10 & 12 oz

6, 8 & 10 oz

Ideal Uses




Are you in need of a coffee maker for a larger household?

The Keurig K Elite is perfect for those types of situations, with an expanded array of drink sizes, larger water tank, and iced coffee option.

The Keurig K Compact was specifically designed for personal use with its slim and easily refillable water tank.

This machine is a match for you if you need a coffee maker for yourself and all you want is simple, straightforward basics.


Short Brew Time

Most people don’t like standing around waiting for a coffee maker to finish brewing.

The K Elite and the K Compact cut down on this waiting time with their rapid brewing technology. On either one of these machines, you can expect your cup in less than 60 seconds.

That leads to less time wasted on waiting, and more time to attend to the things that really matter – like savoring your drink.

Removable Drip Tray

Keurig really did think about everything when they added removable drip trays to these machines.

No one wants to clean up a messy spill, and the drip trays help save you from having to do so. The drip trays catch any overflow from the cups on them or if the machine drips a little once the cup is removed.

Bonus: when you remove the drip trays, you can fit a travel mug under either one of these coffee makers. This is perfect for coffee lovers on the go.

Pod Or Ground Coffee Compatibility

One of the things that makes the K Elite and K Compact suitable for users of every skill level is their ability to use either pods or ground coffee.

Pods are fantastic for beginners or those who have no experience making their own coffee. With pods, you just select a capsule for the flavor you want, put it in the machine, and wait.

Ground coffee is better for discerning coffee enthusiasts who have a precise flavor in mind. Freshly grinding your own coffee results in a much livelier flavor, but it takes some know-how to figure out how to grind coffee correctly. 

No matter what you’re more comfortable with, these Keurigs can handle it for you. 

Auto Off

Either the K Elite or K Compact can help reduce utility bills. How?

They come built with an environmentally friendly auto-off feature. Two hours after each cup, if no one else uses these Keurigs, they’ll turn themselves off.

This prevents wasteful energy consumption, and keeps your utility bills from rising due to anyone forgetting to shut them off.

On the K Elite, you can even take it a step further by programming a specific time of day for the machine to turn itself off. 

Hot Water 

Sometimes you need hot water for tea or certain foods, such as instant oatmeal.

Both the Keurig K Elite and the Keurig K Compact can supply you with hot water easily. This ability is useful for those who don’t drink coffee, or those who just need a little hot water for an instant lunch or breakfast.

Smart Start

Smart Start is one feature that streamlines the brewing process.

Instead of having to turn the coffee maker on, wait for it to heat up, and then brew a cup, the K Elite and K Compact combine these steps into one. Simply turn on the machine, add your grounds or pod, and choose your cup size.

It’s a thoughtful quality that makes your first cup of the day that much closer. 

Single-serve Portions

Want to reduce waste from pouring out leftover cold pots of coffee?

The answer to that problem is single-serve portions. These Keurig machines both make one cup at a time.

While that may sound slow, especially if you’re used to brewing whole pots at once, this can be a real gift to your home. Because each person is making precisely the amount of coffee they need at once, they’re not getting extra they won’t drink.

At the same time, this is great for making sure everyone gets what they want. When you brew a larger batch of coffee, there are those who won’t want any for various reasons, whether it’s because they want a different kind of coffee or different drink entirely.

Single-serve portions allow you to get the drink you want every time.


Water Tank Capacity

A larger water tank means you have to stop to refill the coffee maker even less. 

While it may not take much time to refill these Keurigs, you can still save time when you don’t need to pour water in so often. That’s what makes the huge 75-ounce water reservoir on the Keurig K Elite so useful.

You’ll be able to brew cup after cup without interruption. In fact, you’re able to make around eight cups before you need to worry about a refill – that’s plenty for a family sitting at the breakfast table. 

The Keurig K Compact, on the other hand, was specifically designed with a slimmer 36-ounce water tank. This does mean you’ll need to refill it more frequently, but it also means it won’t take as long to refill it. 

Drink Size Options

More choices means it’s easier for everyone to get the drink they’re looking for. 

For that reason, the K Elite has almost twice as many drink sizes to choose from as the K Compact. On the K Elite, you can choose from five different sizes: 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces. 

Those who need a little bit more to get themselves through the morning or afternoon have a large 12-ounce choice, and those who just need a bit have smaller options to select.

In comparison, the K Compact has three choices: 6, 8, and 10 ounces. It doesn’t have the extra-small or extra-large selections, but it does include the most popular drink sizes to fit with the demands of most people.

Keurig K Elite Iced Coffee

Iced drinks have become a recent coffee shop staple, and you can enjoy this same refreshing choice on the Keurig K Elite.

With its iced drink option, you’re able to brew a drink directly into a cup filled with ice. For those stuffy summer days, this is invaluable.

In comparison, the K Compact does not have an iced drink button. However, this doesn’t mean that you couldn’t add your ice to a cup after it’s been brewed. 

Keurig K Elite Temperature Control

Some like it hot, and others like it cooler. 

No matter which temperature you prefer, the K Elite can make a drink that hits the spot for you. It comes with a temperature control function that lets you tweak the temperature of a hot drink anywhere from 187 to 192 degrees Fahrenheit.

This makes it possible for drinks to be personalized with an even greater degree of accuracy, so everyone can brew a cup just the way they like it.

Keurig K Elite Strong Brew

Flavor preferences vary as widely as people do. Some like their coffee stronger-tasting, and others like a milder coffee taste.

The Keurig K Elite can easily handle both these preferences with its Strong Brew button. For those people who just need a more potent coffee taste, all you need to do is press the Strong Brew button.

The result is a more robust coffee flavor. If you love the way coffee tastes and want to savor every sip, you’ll also love this feature of the K Elite.

On the other hand, if you want a more moderate coffee taste to blend into creamer or some kind of sweetener, you can just brew the cup as normal. 

Regardless of what how anyone is feeling, the K Elite can help you concoct the perfect drink.

Which One Should You Buy? 

Now that you know a little more about what the Keurig K Elite and the Keurig K Compact have to offer, there’s one more question to answer:

Which one should you buy?

Think about the number of people who are going to be using the coffee maker. If you’re planning to use it for multiple people, such as a large household, then the Keurig K Elite is a terrific selection. 

It has a much larger menu to choose from. Users can have iced or hot drinks, adjust the temperature of each drink as necessary, and brew extra-large or extra-small cups. 

Its much larger water tank, which is about twice the size of that in the K Compact, means it can make more back-to-back drinks without a refill. This may not be as big a deal when you’re the only person using it, but can make all the difference when several people are needing to make cups in the morning for breakfast.

But if you just need a coffee maker for your own personal use, the Keurig K Compact will be more than sufficient. Its modest water tank means quick and easy refills, while its drink selection is plenty for the average person. 

The bottom line is: 

Choose the Keurig K Elite for circumstances where more people will be brewing coffee, like in big households.

Pick the Keurig K Compact for personal use, or if all you want is simple, uncomplicated cups of coffee.

Interested in reading up on these Keurigs? You can find more about them here:

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