Keurig Coffee Machines Comparison – The K45 Elite System Vs. The K55 K-Classic

by | May 28, 2019

So you’re in the market for a new single-serve coffee maker. It could be just because your old one has given up the ghost. You might be treating yourself or someone else to a housewarming or special occasion gift, or you might just feel like a change.

Whatever the reason for the purchase, Keurig is one of the first brands many of us consider. But with so many great choices out there, how do you make that decision?

Which Machine Is Better?

Our Winner: Keurig K45 (4.5/5)

We know you’ve already narrowed it down to just a few models, and before you make that final purchase, you need to know which one is going to be right for you. So to help you make that decision, we’ve looked at the best – and worst – features of the Keurig K45 versus the Keurig K55 Classic.

Keurig’s serious approach to customer service is well-known: even their name means “excellence” in Dutch. Since 2004, when the company’s domestic coffee machines first made their appearance, their coffee makers have gained a reputation for being just right for students, single-person households, couples, and smaller families.

No matter which of these two machines you opt for, you’ll be able to have your choice of beverages – more than 500 of them, in fact. Your coffee shop of choice is fairly likely to have at least a couple of offerings in there – so you can combine saving money with the convenience of brewing up in the comfort of your own home.

Our Choice
Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Discontinued)
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 To 10 Oz. Brew Sizes, Black
Amazon Rating
Brew Sizes
6 - 10 oz
6 - 10 oz
Specialty Beverages
Automatic Shut-off
Water Reservoir
48 oz
48 oz
Dimensions
14.9 x 12.2 x 14.2 in
9.8 x 13.3 x 13 inches
Weight
12.6 lbs
11.5 lbs
Prime Benefits
-
Our Choice
Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Discontinued)
Amazon Rating
Brew Sizes
6 - 10 oz
Specialty Beverages
Automatic Shut-off
Water Reservoir
48 oz
Dimensions
14.9 x 12.2 x 14.2 in
Weight
12.6 lbs
Prime Benefits
-
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 To 10 Oz. Brew Sizes, Black
Amazon Rating
Brew Sizes
6 - 10 oz
Specialty Beverages
Automatic Shut-off
Water Reservoir
48 oz
Dimensions
9.8 x 13.3 x 13 inches
Weight
11.5 lbs
Prime Benefits

 

The Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System

CoffeeGearSpy.com Rating: (4.5/5)

This is a very straightforward, no-fuss machine. The machine has very straightforward controls: pop in a pod, press the button to choose the serving size that’s right for you and wait for less than a minute. Hey, presto! A steaming cup of coffee, tea, or other delightful drink will appear, to keep you going.

Overall, this machine is super-easy to use: it may not have the bells and whistles of some of the later models, but it’s tried and tested, very popular, and a great introduction to the Keurig range. You also get a lot of coffee machine for your money.

 

Keurig K45 Elite Single-Serve Brewer 

Sale
Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Discontinued)
2,854 Reviews
Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Discontinued)
  • Discontinued model, replaced by model K55
  • Includes: 1 Water Filter Handle, 1 Charcoal Filter, 12 count K Cup Variety Pack
  • Brews coffee, tea, hot cocoa, specialty, and iced beverages, Brews 6 oz., 8 oz., and 10 oz. sizes
  • Always ready and brews in under a minute, Removable 48 oz. Water Reservoir
  • Auto On Off feature, Indicator lights

The Keurig K45 usually ships with 1 water filter handle, a charcoal filter, and a variety pack of 12 K-Cups to get you started. You can whip up a fresh coffee in around a minute; or if you prefer tea or hot cocoa that’s an option too. For iced coffee and the like, just brew your drink as normal and then add ice and sweeteners of your choice to taste.

There are three sizes of drink available: 6 oz, 8 oz and 10 oz. The removable water reservoir holds 48 oz of water, so you don’t need to worry about refilling until you’ve prepared between 4 and 8 cups of your favorite drinks. Of course, one of the best features of the Keurig single-serve machines is that everyone gets to choose their own drink, so if you’re an avid coffee drinker but your kids prefer hot chocolate, everyone’s happy. It’s no wonder single-serve has become so popular in recent years, and not only in America.

While this model isn’t programmable, there is an “auto on-off” feature, plus indicator lights so you can see at a glance whether it’s “awake” or not.

 

Pros & Cons

What we really like

Super easy to program

Tried and tested

Extremely wide choice of beverages including coffee, green and black tea, chocolate and cocoa

Also allows you to brew specialty drinks

What we don't like

✗ Can be a little noisy

✗ Technology on the older side – doesn’t have some of the “bells and whistles” you might find on later models

 

The Keurig K55 K-Classic Coffee Maker

CoffeeGearSpy.com Rating: (4/5)

Like the K 45, you have a choice of the three most popular cup sizes, 6 oz, 8 oz and 10 oz, with 6 oz giving you the strongest brew. The cup holder can also be removed to allow you to slip a travel mug underneath for the extra convenience of coffee on the go.

The water reservoir is 48 oz and, like the drip tray, is removable to make it easy to refill and to clean. If you only use your Keurig K55 to make coffee, you’ll probably be okay with cleaning the machine thoroughly once a month (depending on how hard your water is), and for the best-tasting drinks, bottled water is recommended although this will, again, depend on the water in your area.

 

Keurig® K55 Classic 

Sale
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 To 10 Oz. Brew Sizes, Black
10,706 Reviews
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 To 10 Oz. Brew Sizes, Black
  • BREWS MULTIPLE K-CUP POD SIZES: (6, 8, 10 oz.) – the most popular K-Cup pod brew sizes. Use the 6oz brew size to achieve the strongest brew.
  • LARGE 48 oz. WATER RESERVOIR: Allows you to brew 6+ cups before having to refill, saving you time and simplifying your morning routine. The water reservoir is removable, making it easy to refill...
  • DESCALING: An important part of cleaning your Keurig brewer. This process helps to remove calcium deposits, or scale, that can build up inside a coffee maker over time.
  • AUTO-OFF: An auto-off feature is easily programmed to turn off your coffee maker after it has been idle for two hours, helping to save energy.
  • SIMPLE BUTTON CONTROLS: Just insert a pod, select your desired cup brew size, and brew a great-tasting cup in under a minute.

For those who like to use the technology to make tea as well, you’ll get the best results if you run a water-only cycle (ie without any pod in the slot) after you’ve finished making the tea; and if you’re using it for chocolate, then you really need to run the hot water only option immediately after each pod. You also need to descale regularly, to get rid of the scale that can build up inside your equipment over time. The official descaling video has really clear instructions.

You can choose to program the machine, but only for auto-off: after it’s been sitting idle for two hours, it will then turn itself off. This model does not come with a timer or auto-on feature. It takes around a minute to brew your beverage, and you know it will always come out tasting fresh. Just a word of caution – you can’t change the factory pre-set temperature. You need 15 inches of clearance above the lid for this machine when closed, and 18 inches when you’re opening the lid to add a pod.

 

Pros & Cons

What we really like

You can program the auto-off feature so the machine will turn itself off after 2 hours of sitting idle

Removable drip tray

Decent sized water reservoir

What we don't like

✗ Doesn’t have a specialty drinks feature

✗ You can’t change the pre-set factory temperature for drinks

 

Key features: Keurig K45 vs. the Keurig K55

Both the Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System and the Keurig K55 K-Classic Coffee Maker are sturdy, well-received drinks makers. There are relatively few differences: both allow you to choose from the extremely wide range of drinks out there; both allow you to use the hot water only feature to extend the versatility of the machine.

Both are super-easy to operate. In terms of space, this is a very neat little machine. Height wise, both are around 15 inches tall, but you do need to make sure you can raise the lid another 3 inches to pop a pod in there. The K55 Keurig is very slightly lighter than the Kuerig K45. Whatever size of drink you like, 6 oz, 8 oz or 10 oz, each machine has a setting that will suit. Oh, and if you were wondering what the most popular size serving of coffee is, it’s typically in the 10 oz to 12 oz range.

 

Water Reservoir

You’ll find the same decent-sized 48 oz water reservoir on both, easily removable for refills and cleaning, and either machine is happy to be descaled either with descaling fluid, or with white vinegar. Descaling is straightforward and recommended regularly to keep your machine running smoothly and producing delicious drinks: you can either purchase the descaling fluid or run white vinegar through the reservoir.

The power cord is around three feet in length, so you do need to be able to position the machine fairly close to a power socket. The Kurig K55 weighs around 12 pounds.
Where the K45 Keurig scores particularly highly is in its track record: there are hundreds of Keurig owners out there who have been particularly happy with this model. Where it scores particularly highly is in its ability to cope with specialty drinks.

The Kuerig K55 has a removable drip tray and an “auto-off” feature.

 

Environmental considerations

If you’re worried about the environmental impact of using single-serve coffee pods or cups, you can reduce your impact by adding one of the reusable K-cups to your collection of Keurig accessories. This allows you to use the ground coffee, loose leaf tea, or hot chocolate of your choice. You will need to buy the re-usable K-cups as an add-on as well; they don’t come as standard. Drinks typically come out very hot; the factory preset temperature is 192F and you cannot change this.

 

Who’s the K45 suitable for?

It’s not really suitable as a workplace machine, due to its relatively small reservoir, but it might work quite well in the reception area of somewhere like a recruitment agency or a salon. You might find it a little noisy at times, but only during the brewing cycle, and that’s the case with most coffee machines.

The very useful hot water only option, where you just run the machine without a K-cup present, means you can also use it for tea and herbal drinks as well as to make instant noodles, porridge oats, dehydrated potato and soups. This feature makes it ideal for students or those with limited kitchen space, or for those who just want a quick hot snack.

 

Conclusion – Which one would we recommend?

Our Winner: Keurig K45 (4.5/5)

Well, while there’s really not that much in it overall, the Keurig K45 just slips in ahead of the Keurig K55, especially for its track record and its specialty drinks range. So now that the clock tells me it’s coming up to tea-time again, let’s fire up the Keurig, and get ready to drink!

 

Keurig® K45 Elite Brewing System 

Sale
Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Discontinued)
2,854 Reviews
Keurig K45 Elite Brewing System, Black (Discontinued)
  • Discontinued model, replaced by model K55
  • Includes: 1 Water Filter Handle, 1 Charcoal Filter, 12 count K Cup Variety Pack
  • Brews coffee, tea, hot cocoa, specialty, and iced beverages, Brews 6 oz., 8 oz., and 10 oz. sizes
  • Always ready and brews in under a minute, Removable 48 oz. Water Reservoir
  • Auto On Off feature, Indicator lights

  Last update on 2019-12-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

  Last update on 2019-12-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

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