Which One is Best?
For coffees as good as you could buy from a high street coffee shop, you can pick up a coffee machine reasonably cheaply for use in your home kitchen (see Keurig K300 vs K350 in detail). They won’t set you back a great deal and will soon pay for themselves if you give up buying a coffee every morning on your way to the office.
What’s more, you might be surprised by the level of functionality that many of these machines can offer. These pod-based coffee machines are also cheaper to operate compared to machines that use fresh coffee grounds.
As far as branding goes, Keurig is one of the best-known and quality coffee machine manufacturers on the market, producing a wide range of coffee makers ranging from the very small models, through to larger models ideal for families.
With Keurig, you have a choice of buying a basic machine that will brew individual cups without any frills, or buying a more advanced unit that can offer varied brew sizes, drinks strength adjustments and other functions to tailor your drinks specifically to your preference.
Still, picking out the right machine from the Keurig range isn’t as simple as reading the model number and name, as Keurig’s labelling system for their machines is complex.
For example, the difference between the K300 vs K350 is very small, despite the increment in model number. So, to make things easier, we’re going to review the similarities and differences between these two models below, as well as any other pros and cons associated with the machines and who the ideal owner would be.
How We Will Compare Them
To look at the similarities and differences between these two Keurig machines, we won’t focus specifically on the differences alone, given that they are very similar. Instead, we’ll review many of the key components and features that the machines incorporate, as well as any advantages or disadvantages that they may have over other coffee makers in the manufacturer’s range.
It’s important to remember that the differences between models in the Keurig range can often be very small, sometimes coming down to the inclusion or lack of accessories and coffee pods in a package.
Similarities Between the Keurig K300 and Keurig K350
At face value, both the Keurig K300 and Keurig K350 look the same. Both come in a sleek black and silver by default, with a water reservoir mounted on the left-hand side. Both have a drip tray, which can be removed from the machine for ease of cleaning, or for fitting larger travel mugs beneath the coffee dispenser. There's also a black and white LCD screen on these machines, which is used for controlling the full brewing process. Only one physical button is featured on each, which is the power control.
4, 6, 8, 10 ounces
4, 6, 8, 10 ounces
22, 26, 30 ounces
22, 26, 30 ounces
Drink Strength Control
Water Filter Kit
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If you’re going to replace your daily takeaway coffee with a coffee maker at home, then you don’t want to sacrifice on the quality or taste of the drink that you’re used to. Luckily, many Keurig machines come with features that allow you to fine-tune the nuances of your coffee, so that you aren’t losing out on quality.
Such settings include adjustable drink strength, adjustable temperature, hot water on demand, and access to a range of over 400 distinct types of hot drinks. However, another factor can influence the flavor of your hot drinks, which is the type of water that you use to fill your machine’s water reservoir.Filling up your machine is obviously going to get expensive, fast. However, regularly replacing charcoal filters in your coffee machine isn’t particularly pricey, so for us it’s the clear winner. Luckily, the Keurig K350 comes with a water filter kit, which includes charcoal water filters to get going straight away. On the other hand, the Keurig K300 does not have any filters within the package, so you’d have to pick them up yourself, separately. You can ultimately determine whether this is a deciding factor for you.
In most cases, owners of a coffee machine will opt to fill their water reservoirs with water directly from the kitchen faucet.
Though there’s nothing wrong with doing so, tap water can contain impurities that affect the taste of your hot drinks, making them potentially more bitter.
This can be avoided in one of two ways; you can either use bottled water to fill up your water reservoir, or you can opt for a coffee machine with a built-in water filter.
Being able to produce a hot drink directly from a disposable pod is convenient and easy, but sometimes you might want to brew a whole pot of coffee for the family or for guests. Some of the larger Keurig coffee machines support this feature, and that includes both the Keurig K300 and Keurig K350. The removable drip tray slides away to make space for the carafe accessory beneath the spout.
Brewing a carafe with either of these machines takes a specialized coffee pod, called the ‘K-Carafe Pod,’ and you can choose from a 22, 26 or 30oz carafe size.
Additionally, unlike other machines in the Keurig range, you do get a carafe included as part of the product package, so you won’t have to source one for yourself.
If you don’t care about brewing up pots of coffee and this seems like an unnecessary boost to the premium that you’ll pay for a coffee machine, then there are alternatives available that don’t take K-Carafe coffee pods.
Hot Drinks Selection
Don't think for a minute that using a coffee machine will limit you to the same boring selection of two or three beverages. In fact, you'll have access to a considerable selection of drinks that exceeds even the biggest of coffee shop brands.
The Keurig K300 and K350 are compatible with more than 400 distinct varieties of tea, coffee and other specialty drinks, such as iced coffees and hot chocolates. These drinks belong to 60 well-known brands that you’ll be used to seeing on the high street.
The only improvement made on these machines by more expensive iterations from the Keurig brand is the inclusion of a ‘My K-Cup Filter’ in models such as the Keurig K525C.
This filter isn’t to be mistaken as a water filter; rather, it’s a reusable coffee pod in which you can place your own ground coffee beans.
With one of these filters, you’ll be able to brew hundreds more types of coffee–literally anything that you can pick up from a shop or market.
In terms of alternatives, the rest of the machines within the Keurig range all use the same types of coffee pods, K-Cups, so they all have access to same range of drinks and brands.
However, it’s worth checking whether your machine is able to use older types of K-Cups, as some Keurig machines scan barcodes to brew the perfect drink and this feature may not work with older coffee pods that do not have these specialized barcodes printed on the package.
Your water reservoir is what feeds the brewing process, and as such you’ll want a smaller reservoir for smaller homes, or a larger reservoir for a larger, busy family home or small business office. When your reservoir runs dry, you’ll have to remove and refill it before you can continue brewing, so it’s important you choose a big enough unit if you don’t want downtime between drinks.
Both the Keurig K300 and Keurig K350 come with a 60oz reservoir. The biggest machines in the range have a capacity of around 80oz, with the smallest machines having approximately 40 to 48oz, so again you’re looking around the mid-range with either of these machines.
That’s sufficient water to brew more than 10 average-sized cups of coffee before having to detach and refill the reservoir.
For the largest business offices, you might want to consider the Keurig K575 or even the largest machine in the range, the Keurig K600.
These units are designed with a heavy-duty pump that is intended for more constant use without wearing out as quickly. They also have the biggest reservoirs in the range.
Keurig machines are numbered loosely based on their size and level of functionality. For example, the Keurig K15 is the smallest in the range, with space for only a single cup of water in the built-in reservoir. On the other hand, the Keurig K525C for example has a huge reservoir with a capacity of 80oz. These product numbers scale up, with the larger numbers representing more capable machines with a greater range of functionality.
The Keurig K300 and K350 are somewhere in the middle, with a reasonable sized water reservoir built into both, and an LCD touchscreen that you don’t get on smaller, cheaper models in the range. This touch-controlled display is used to access all the functionality used to brew your drinks, including strength, temperature and size controls, and hot water on demand.
On later models, this screen is larger and full-color, though these frills aren’t strictly required and are simply nice to have. The LCD screen and fine-tuning around strength and temperature mostly go hand in hand.
That is, if you opt for a machine without the LCD screen, then you’re unlikely to get any of this advanced functionality, as there simply isn’t enough space on the machine for enough physical buttons to control all these features.
Still, if you’re the type of person who normally throws a store-bought, ground coffee into a cup with some milk and sugar, then you might not care about strength and temperature controls, in which case a cheaper Keurig model could be right for you.
The Final Verdict
Whether the Keurig K300 or K350 suits you will depend on what you’re looking for in a coffee machine. Both machines are around the mid-range in terms of size and budget, so if you want a small coffee machine these probably aren’t for you. These machines also don’t come with the ‘Auto-Off’ feature that’s supplied as part of some other machines in the Keurig range.
Otherwise, if you want greater control over the flavor of your morning cup of coffee, then both these machines would suit you, with their strength, size and temperature controls. If we had to pick a winner only based on what’s included out of the box, then it would be the Keurig K350, purely for the fact that you get a water filter kit included. However, if you’re not worried about the impact that water impurities could have on your drink, then these machines are evenly matched.