If you’ve been looking to purchase a single serve coffee brewer, you’ve no doubt come across the name Keurig during the earliest stages of your research.
That’s because Keurig is an industry leader in the coffee community and for good reason. Its high-quality products satisfy the needs of coffee lovers all over the world. According to their website, Keurig is currently the 7th largest food and beverage company in the entire US.
When it comes to single serve coffee brewers Keurig has a whopping 29 options for you to pick from at the time of writing. This means that deciding on one specific model can be a pretty difficult task by anyone’s standards.
But don’t fret! We’re here to help make this decision a little easier for you by comparing two of Keurig’s bestselling single serve coffee brewers: the Keurig K50 vs K55.
Now it’s important to realize right from the get-go that these two models are both entry-level coffee makers that are low on features and void of any bells & whistles. If you’re looking for a K-Cup coffee maker that includes features such as the ability to produce cappuccinos or temperature control functionality, you’ll have to look elsewhere in the Keurig product line.
We’re ready to spill the beans on these two coffee makers. Are you ready to drink up all of the information that’s coming your way?
Then let’s dive right in.
Keurig K50 vs K55 – The Comparison
The K50 and K55 are part of the Keurig 1.0 series. The K55 is technically a separate model but it is thought of and referred to as the upgraded version of the K50, but we’ll get to that later.
In all honesty, you’d be forgiven for making the mistake of thinking that the two Keurig models in question are the same model as so many others do.
The two models DO in fact share plenty of similarities but in this Keurig K50 vs K55 comparison article you’ll come to realize that there are far more differences between the models than meets the eye.
Before we talk about the differences between the K50 and the K55, let’s go over what the two popular coffee makers have in common:
- The two are extremely similar in appearance, at a glance the K50 and the K55 look almost identical
- Traditional buttons are used in place of LED touchscreens on both models
- Cup sizes of 6, 8 and 10 oz can be brewed with both Keurig coffee makers
- Both models are incompatible with K-Carafe and K-Cups 2.0
- The K50 and K55 both take between four and five minutes to warm up
- Each model lacks temperature control, timers, and pressure adjustment capabilities
- Both models have a 48 oz water reservoir which allows you to enjoy up to 6 cups of coffee before it needs refilling
Comparison Chart between Keurig K50 and K55
|Keurig K50||Keurig K55|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Dimensions||9.8 x 13 x 13.3 inches||9.8 x 13.3 x 13 inches|
|Weight||7.6 lbs||12 lbs|
|Colour||Black||Black,Coconut white, Patriot Blue, and Rhubarb Red|
|Brew Size||6, 8, and 10 oz.||6, 8, and 10 oz.|
|Water Reservoir||48 oz.||48 oz.|
|Removable Drip Tray||Yes||Yes|
Design and Appearance
The classically cool design that Keurig coffee machines are known for is found in both models. Either machine will look beautiful on any kitchen counter—partly because they look strikingly similar.
So how exactly do the K50 and K55 differ in design and appearance?
Keurig K50 – The Keurig K50 is only available in one color: a sophisticated shade of black that will look right at home in any kitchen or office. The model has dimensions of 9.8 x 13 x 13.3 inches and weighs 7.6 pounds. This means it’s slightly smaller than the newer K55, making this machine the better option for coffee lovers who’re working with seriously limited counter space.
Keurig K55 – A notable difference between the appearance of the two models is that, in addition to black, the K55 comes in coconut white, patriot blue, and rhubarb red. The Keurig K55 measures in at 10.1 x 13.2 x 13.3 inches and weighs 12 pounds—that’s almost double what the K50 does! But why the dramatic increase in weight?
The answer to the above question is simple. According to Keurig, the K55 is heavier because it houses more features than those found in the K50.
What are these features that the company speaks of? Let’s find out by taking a look under the hood of each K-Cup coffee maker.
Keurig K50 – The Keurig K50 is capable of brewing tea, hot chocolate, specialty coffees and iced coffees on top of being able to produce a typically great cup of coffee. A Strong Brew option means you can enjoy robust cups of coffee. It has a removable water reservoir, helpful indicator lights and traditional button selection. Finally, it has an auto-off feature that deactivates the machine after 90 seconds of inactivity.
Keurig K55 –The K55 shares all the same features as the K50, excluding the Strong Brew option. In addition to all the features found in the K50, the K55 has a couple of features that aren’t present in its predecessor. These extra features consist of an auto-descaling feature, greater pod compatibility, new indicator lights and the incorporation of Quiet Brew technology.
Usability and Performance
A steaming cup of coffee at the touch of a button is guaranteed when using either the K50 or the K55. Because neither the K50 nor the K55 have an abundance of bells and whistles, there’s no need to spend time fiddling with different settings, buttons & levers to get your java fix.
Before we dive into the differences in usability between the two models, let’s take a quick look at how each of them works:
- Power the machine up by inserting the power cord into its own grounded power outlet. Coffee makers require their own grounded outlets as too many appliances drawing power from one electric circuit can hinder the machine’s overall performance.
- Fill the 48-ounce removable water reservoir up with distilled water or filtered water. The usage of mineral water and water straight from the tap isn’t recommended as their mineral compositions don’t work well with Keurig machines.
- Insert a pod into the K-Cup holder. One of the reasons why these models remain so popular is that they are compatible with all kinds of pods—from Keurig-approved producers to those created by third parties. What this essentially means is that you can enjoy more than 200 flavors.
- Turn the machine on. In approximately four to five minutes your K-Cup coffee maker will have warmed up the water and officially be ready to brew. Both machines brew at a set temperature of 89 degrees Celsius.
- Pick between the options of a 6, 8, or 10 oz brew and place the corresponding cup onto the removable drip tray. Select which brew size you’re going for and somewhere around the one-minute mark your cup of coffee will be ready for you to enjoy.
Keurig K50 – The K50 uses a pre-set pressure-based brewing system. Unlike higher-end Keurig models, there are no pressure controls found in the K50. Using the machine is a breeze, its traditional button operating system eliminates the need to fiddle. Because of its lack of touchscreen display, users of all ages and levels of tech-saviness can comfortably use the K50. The K50 will perform optimally for a good couple of years of continued usage. One thing worth mentioning is that many users find the operating noise of the K50 a little too loud which is a common complaint of machines found in this price range.
Keurig K55 – In terms of performance and usability, the K50’s successor is equally easy to use. The K55 is simple to set up, operate and maintain which cements this as a top choice for people who prefer uncomplicated products void of the fancy features commonly associated with modern-day coffee makers. Users of the K55 appreciate its Quiet Brew functionality which reduces the amount of noise produced while the machine is operating. Because of its slightly larger size and significantly heavier weight the K55 will last longer than a K50 will.
There’s no denying it: people love Keurig and its products. The Keurig Dr. Pepper’s 2017 combined net sales of $11bn speak to this statement. But people are especially fond of the 1.0 series. Why is that?
Well, it’s simply because they can use off-brand pods whereas in the latest Keurig models only Keurig-licensed pods. This is thanks to Keurig’sinnovative ink-recognition system that prevents “counterfeit” pods from being used in their machines.
Keurig K50 – People who enjoy the simpler things in life appreciate the simplicity of making a cup of coffee using the K50. Its typical retail price is also attractive to many people who want products to proudly display the Keurig name, but don’t want to fork out the cash usually needed to purchase a Keurig product. At the time of its initial release the K50 was well-received and despite the documented problematic nature of the product, it remains one of the brands bestselling products.
Keurig K55 – It’s undeniable: the people of today likenew objects. Its improved functionality and addition of clever features mean that the K55 is often chosen rather than the K50. It’s also difficult to ignore the fact that the K55 was unofficially invented as a solution to the problems that were presented by the K50. In our opinion, this is reason alone is enough for Keurig customers to pick the K55 over the K50.
Cleaning and Maintenance
As anyone who has ever owned a coffee machine will attest to, cleaning and maintaining a brewer can be a pain. More often than not the process of cleaning a coffee maker is time-consuming and the maintenance requirements are complicated ¬hing short of a hassle.
But it’s evident that Keurig has put quite a lot of thought into making all of their products as user-friendly as possible. This specifically shows in the cleaning & maintenance requirements associated with both models.
Keurig K50 – All of the K50’s main parts can be deconstructed for easy cleaning. The exterior of the K50 can be cleaned with a damp, soapy cloth that is free from lint and has non-abrasive properties. The same cloth can be used to clean the water reservoir and its lid. The removable drip tray can also be cleaned using this same cloth or you can place it on the top rack of a dishwasher. A paperclip is used to clean the exit and entrance needles.
Keurig K55 –The K55 is equally easy to clean. Maintaining the machine is even easier thanks to its innovative addition of the auto-descaling feature. In contrast to the K50, with the K55 you won’t have to worry about keeping track of when it’s time to descale your machine (every 3 to 6 months) as the machine has auto-descaling technology that notifies you when descaling needs to happen.Sounds simple enough, right?
What good is a coffee machine if it can’t serve its sole purpose: brewing a delicious cup of steaming hot coffee. Because neither the K50 nor the K55 have settings that allow the user to control the temperature or pressure the resulting cup of coffee is often weaker than what many coffee lovers prefer.
But, strength aside, coffee-lovers are often drawn to this line of Keurig product because more than 200 beverage flavors can be enjoyed when using them. This factor makes the K50 and its K55 counterpart perfect for people who love experimenting with new flavors & changing up their daily coffee routines.
Keurig K50 – The K50 features a Strong Brew button that allows for a stronger cup of coffee. Most of the time the Keurig K50 produces a smooth, fragrant, strong cup of coffee. But many users have reported that sometimes a plastic taste finds its way into their brew. This indicates that the mess filter found inside the K50 is inferior.
Keurig K55 – Unlike the K50, the K55’s design features compatibility with charcoal-based water filters, so there is no risk of drinking a plastic-infused cup of coffee. However, for some inexplicable reason that puzzles most people, there is no Strong Brew button found in the K55’s design. Despite its lack of Strong Brew functionality, the coffee produced by the K55 is full-bodied, well-balanced and smells delicious.
Keurig is renowned for their detailed user manuals, so more often than not any questions you have about a Keurig product can be answered by flipping through those very pages.
A quick visit to support.keurig.com will impart a wealth of knowledge to the reader. Helpful how-to videos, articles, and FAQs arranged in an easy-to-navigate layout are at your disposal. Finally, the Keurig customer support team can be reached via email, post or telephone.
Keurig K50 – Even though the Keurig K50 has now been discontinued, a standard 12-month manufacturer warranty still covers this model. Should you need to send in your K50 for a warranty servicing, you must first consult with a Keurig representative and obtain a Return Authorization number. Without this, your machine will be sent back to you without being serviced.
Keurig K55 – Just like the K50, the K55 is covered by Keurig’s 12-month limited warranty. An important note to remember is that if you use non-Keurig pods or accessories your warranty may become void and you’ll have to pay a hefty service fee. The same rule regarding speaking to a Keurig customer support member applies when sending the K55 in for servicing.
Value for Money
Both the K50 and K55 are classed as entry-level coffee machines so when it comes to value for money they score equally well. In saying that, if you’re on an extremely tight budget you’ll be better off looking elsewhere as Keurig products are notoriously expensive to run.
Setting the initial cost to purchase aside, just how much bang for your buck are you getting when you opt to purchase either of these machines? It’s time to talk numbers.
Keurig K50 –Although Keurig has stopped producing the machine, it is still sought after because it meets the basic needs of coffee enthusiasts without breaking the bank. The Keurig K50 can typically be purchased for $119.99 but the product is often on sale—sometimes you can bag yourself a K50 for under $80!The K50 makes use of mesh filters which will wear down over time, meaning you’ll have to replace them occasionally.
Keurig K55 –Given that the K55 is a newer model with improved functionality and added features it makes sense that it retails for a higher price, typically being $170. But because it is one of the company’s bestselling products, the K55 is often on sale at unbelievably discounted prices. When the product is on sale, you can expect to purchase it for as little as $101.
Common User Complaints
As with all things in this consumer-focused world, even products from the almighty Keurig aren’t without their complaints. And we aren’t talking about the complaints relating to the company’s unrecyclable K-Cups filling up landfills, we’re talking about complaints relating to the actual models featured in this article.
We hope you’re thirsty because we’re about to spill the tea (or coffee, rather!) on these Keurig models. Here’s an overview of the most prominent complaints associated with these single serve coffee brewers.
Keurig K50 – Many users reported a plastic taste in the cups of coffee produced by the k50 in addition to the unappealing aroma of burning rubber. On top of this, claims that the advertised one-minute brewing time is incorrect can be found all over the internet. The longevity of this model is also often called into question with some users claiming that the product lasted less than a year while others state that the product was a “one and done” experience. Did Keurig address these issues in the later released K55? Let’s find out.
Keurig K55 – As we mentioned earlier the K55 was essentially released to rectify the issues present in the K50 and for the most part they seem to have done so successfully. The only major issue that is frequently voiced by users is that the K55’s pump has a tendency to clog or fail. A handful of users seem to have received lemons that died within just a few months, although those accounts are few and far in between. Overall, there are far more compliments than complaints found when reading reviews of the K55 left by previous users.
Overview & Ratings
|Keurig K50||Keurig K55|
|Design and Appearance||7/10||8/10|
|Usability and Performance||7/10||8/10|
|Cleaning and Maintenance||6/10||8/10|
|Value for Money||7/10||8/10|
|Common User Complaints||7/10||8/10|
There’s no denying that the two models are undeniably similar in more than just their aesthetically pleasing appearance. But after comparing every aspect of the Keurig classic K50 vs K55, it’s safe to say that one model is slightly superior to the other.
To recap our reasons in one concise list:
- The activated charcoal filter found in the K55 is far superior to the K50’s mesh filter
- While marginally bigger than the K50, the K55 is still considered a compact coffee maker
- The K55 brews coffee slightly faster than the K50 does
- An auto-descaling feature means that the K55 is easier to maintain
- The K55 is available in more color options to match your kitchen’s design scheme
- The level of noise produced when operating the machine is reduced in the K55
- None of the issues found in the K50 are present in the K55
By no means is the K50 a “bad” coffee maker, it just doesn’t have any features to write home about when compared to the K55. Owners of the K50 can expect a simple, uncomplicated user experience that—bar the risk of plastic-flavored coffee—results in a great cup of joe.
But when we consider the reasonable price point, the fact that the K50 has been discontinued and that the K55 has a few extra features we dub the K55 the winner of the battle of Keurig K50 vs K55.
It’s faster, stronger and all but guarantees a better tasting cup of coffee.
Do you agree with our judgment or are you a hardcore K50 fan? Let us know in the comments section below which model comes out victorious in the battle of the Keurigs.