Coffee machines are the perfect addition to a caffeine-addict’s home. If you’re already spending copious amounts of cash on regular takeaway coffees each morning before work, you can save a bundle simply by purchasing a home coffee maker, which will soon pay for itself.
These machines come in a range of sizes and vary from the most basic models, to those with heaps of additional functionality, designed for people who like their drink a certain way. It’s all about deciding whether you want all the bells and whistles, or are satisfied by a basic machine that simply brews hot drinks and nothing more.
One well-known and high-quality coffee machine brand is Keurig, which now has many distinct models available on the market. In this article, we’re going to look at the similarities and differences between popular Keurig coffee machines the K200 and K250. Both are mid-range models of a reasonable size, designed for any home kitchen or small office kitchenette. There are smaller, cheaper models available, but also more aesthetically pleasing models, too.
How We Will Compare Them
To compare these two coffee machines from the Keurig range, we’re going to look at the main components and features that come included with each. We’ll look at where the machines are similar, and where there are differences.
In addition, we’ll list out any pros and cons worth knowing about, plus the ideal person who would buy this machine, and finally whether you might want to consider an alternative.
It’s essential to look at these machines in this objective way, as the naming convention for Keurig coffee makers is difficult to understand. Whereas there can be major differences between some, others might only differ in the accessories or consumables that they package in the box. So, read on to find out how the Keurig K200 and Keurig K250 measure up.
Similarities Between the Keurig K200 and Keurig K250
The Keurig K200 and K250 are very hard to differentiate from any angle. Both machines feature a symmetrical design, with a central, removable drip tray, LCD screen and power button on the front, and a wrap-around water reservoir that's mounted into the back of the machine.
The Keurig K250 can be picked up in a range of at least 8 distinct colors, though finding all these variants in the K200 can be tricky given the products comparative age.
Functionality-wise, the machines also come with the same various controls as each other, including temperature, drink strength and drink size control, for fine-tuning your morning cup of coffee.
Some of these functions are normally only seen in the mid to high-range Keurig models, with cheaper alternatives having a basic brewing process with varying cup sizes.
4, 6, 8, 10oz
4, 6, 8, 10oz
4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces
22, 26, 30oz
Drink Strength Control
Hot Water on Demand
Water Filters Included
Descaling Solution Included
Get More Info
When you pick up a coffee from a high-street café, you can typically specify how strong you would like your coffee to be, what size cup you would like it made in, and whether you’d like the milk to be scorching hot or cooler.
It’s this kind of drinks customization that many people find hard to let go of when considering purchasing a coffee machine. However, you don’t have to sacrifice on these choices with a Keurig coffee maker.
The Keurig K200 and Keurig K250 both come with 3 settings that can impact the end result of your drink and better emulate that takeaway coffee feel. Firstly, you have cup size; both machines are capable of brewing drinks at a size of 4, 6, 8 or 10oz.
You can also make carafes of coffee in sizes of 22, 26 or 30oz, though you’ll have to purchase a carafe accessory separately and use a specialized ‘K-Carafe’ coffee pod. Secondly, you have strength control, which dictates how strong your drink will be. Finally, you can dispense hot water on demand if your drink is too strong and needs watering down.
All these functions are controlled via the LCD screen on both the K200 and K250, which is a significant improvement on cheaper models in the Keurig range that use physical buttons.
However, if you don’t care about the LCD screen nor having a number of additional drink controls, then you can opt for something like the Keurig k15, which is a bare-bones machine with a reservoir big enough for a single homeowner.
Over time, much like your hot water kettle, your coffee machine can suffer from a buildup of limescale inside the water reservoir and other components that are touched by water. This process can occur even more quickly if you live in a hard water area; this information can normally be found on government websites online.
If not cleaned regularly, the limescale can affect your machine’s proper functioning and may lead to it breaking down in the long run.
Thankfully, the process of descaling your machine is reasonably simple. When it’s time to do a descaling run, you’re going to need descaling solution. The Keurig K200 doesn’t supply this as part of the product package, but the Keurig K250 does. Regardless, it’s inexpensive to purchase.
The cleaning process involves filling the water reservoir with the solution and topping it up to the maximum fill line with water, before running a brewing cycle through the machine. It’s worth checking out the user manual to see how often you should run this cleaning cycle.
In terms of alternatives, you may get some machines that come with more descaling solution, but any machine can be cleaned in the same way using something such as household vinegar, providing you thoroughly clear out the machine once you’ve finished.
The process itself should be carried out approximately once every 3 to 6 months, though this will vary depending on how often you use the machine, and whether or not you live in an area that has hard water. The K250 just manages a win here, thanks to including descaling solution in the box.
Removable Water Reservoir
Both the Keurig K200 and Keurig K250 come with a water reservoir that can be detached from the machine housing for convenient filling or cleaning directly beneath the kitchen faucet. The reservoirs can hold a total of 40oz of water, which means that both machines can produce 10 cups at the smallest size before they need to be refilled.
As far as other Keurig machines in the brand range go, this is around mid-level, with some machines having up to 70 and 80oz water reservoirs.
Being able to detach the water reservoir also makes the descaling process incredibly straightforward. If you have hard water stains building up on the water tank, you can simply remove it from the machine and bathe it in a combination of descaling solution and water.
Alternatively, to save money, you can opt to use white household vinegar, as it performs essentially the same function.
In terms of alternatives, pretty much all the Keurig machines from the range can have a removable water reservoir that can fully detach from the machine for convenience. The only slight variation on this is with the smallest machine in the range, the Keurig K15 Mini, which features a single-cup reservoir with a different design, though it still detaches.
There are many functions built into the more advanced Keurig machines that allow you to tailor the flavor of your drink on a finer level. For example, you can control strength, size, and temperature on many of the more high-end Keurig machines.
Strength control is indeed a function offered by both the Keurig K200 and Keurig K250, but that’s not what we’re interested in here. There is in fact another factor that can affect the flavor of your coffee, and it’s something that’s less obvious unless you’re familiar with coffee machines.
When you fill your coffee machine’s water reservoir, you’re likely to do so with water straight from the kitchen faucet. However, impurities within the mains water can influence the flavor of your drink, making it more bitter than it would otherwise have been.
You could of course use bottled water to offset this problem, but filling your coffee machine with bottled water every time you want a drink can get expensive. Alternatively, you could filter your water.
Both the Keurig K200 and Keurig K250 have a built-in water filtration feature that removes these impurities from the water, so that you can use the kitchen tap without any problems. You don’t necessarily need to look for this feature when you’re buying a coffee machine, but if you like your drink to be perfect, it’s worth having.
These charcoal filters will need replacing routinely, and the K200 comes with a single filter, whereas the K250 comes with two units. The K250 wins this one, purely for the additional water filter.
Black and White LCD
Keurig coffee machines in the mid to high-level price range typically come with an LCD as opposed to the physical buttons that are used in the majority of lower-end models. The Keurig K200 and K250 both have a built-in LCD screen, which is used to control everything except for the power, which is instead controlled via a single large button on the front of the machine.
Settings such as the strength and cup size control are handled via the black and white LCD, which is touchscreen controlled.
If you’re looking for something with a little more color, then you might want to consider one of the larger machines in the Keurig range, such as the K525 or K575. Though these machines come at a premium, they include a full-color display as opposed to black and white, as well as features such as wallpapers and a nightlight on the latter of these two models.
They also have some degree of flexibility in design, with several different machine colors available. Once again, both machines tie with an equal-spec. LCD machine.
As mentioned above, the difference between one Keurig machine and another can often be very small, limited to only some changes in what’s included within the product packaging. This was a close race between the Keurig K200 and Keurig 250, but in our opinion, the K250 just pips the K200 to the post.
Though the machines are extremely similar in design, the inclusion of descaling solution and an additional charcoal filter in the K250 packaging tips the scales. These are two things that can significantly improve the taste of your coffee and keep your machine running for longer.
Both these Keurig machines are mid-range models that offer more functionality than your basic entry-level coffee machine, but lack the aesthetic improvements and larger components of the more expensive models. If you’re going to be using your machine on a regular basis, such as within a small office or busy family home, then a machine with a larger, heavy-duty pump might help your coffee maker enjoy a longer lifespan.
Similarly, if you want a machine that’s good at making coffee, but don’t care about the bells and whistles offered in pricier models, then you could buy one of the lower range machines, like the K15 Mini or K40.