As the (paraphrased) saying goes, you can please all people some of the time; some people all of the time; and all of the people none of the time: and nowhere is that truer than when it comes to coffee. You can, however, be pretty confident that you’ll be able to please most people, most of the time, if the coffee machine taking pride of place on your kitchen counter is a Keurig.
Both the Keurig K50 and the Keurig K55 are single-serve coffee makers; both use K-cups. So, if you’re trying to work out which one is the best choice for you, how do you make that executive decision? What, exactly, is the difference between the K50 vs the K55?
Well, both machines are sometimes referred to as the K-Classic; and while names aren’t everything, the use of the word “classic” tells you pretty much what to expect.
The Keurig K50 Classic
The K50 is a very solid entry-level machine. It’s a great choice whether you’re just dipping your toe into the water with your first coffee maker, as it were, or if you’re a coffee machine veteran. It’s a no-frills, no-nonsense, single-serve machine, and with a choice of over 500 different drinks for this machine in the K-cup range, you’re sure to find one that will suit you.
If you really can’t find a K-cup that’s to your taste, you can choose to use your own favorite blend of ground coffee instead, but you must make sure you use the Keurig My K-Cup Reusable Filter, which is the special filter for this machine. (You may need to buy this separately from the machine itself.)
- 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 | Indicator lights
- Programmable Auto Off feature | Removable Drip Tray
This is not a silent machine when in operation by any means, but it is relatively quiet for a coffee maker. It’s also very light and compact, so perfect for smaller spaces, at just 9.3 inches wide, 13 inches deep, and 13 inches tall. It weighs just under 8 pounds (7.6 to be exact). There are countless happy users in RVs, cabins, small kitchens and large kitchens all over America; it would also make a perfect “starting college” gift (or a Mother’s Day gift, Christmas present, Father’s Day gift, housewarming present….)
The Keurig K55 – just a little upgrade
The K55 shares many features with the K50; the main difference is on the inside, as the engineering is a little more recent. The chances are, though, that you won’t really notice the difference on a day-to-day basis. The K50 is very slightly taller and noticeably heftier in terms of weight. It’s quite a lot pricier than the K55, though, so it’s up to you to decide whether, for the very slight differences, it’s worth spending the extra dollars.
- The Classic Keurig K-Cup Single Serve Coffee Maker. Includes 4 K-Cup pods and a water filter handle + 2 water filters to help your beverages taste their best.
- 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. Please refer to our descaling...
- 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.
For both machines, however, the coffee is always fresh and there is a great range of choice. Neither has temperature or water pressure controls; neither has a light to alert you that the water reservoir is running low, although it’s easy enough to see on both models when it needs refilling.
The Kuerig K55 offers you one extra color choice: it comes in red as well as the black and white available for the Keurig K 50.
The Keurig K55 vs the Keurig K50 difference
No matter which of the machines you choose, your coffee will always taste fresh. Both coffee makers have easy to use and easy to clean button controls; both have an auto-off function; both have the 48 oz removable reservoir, the same choice of brew sizes, and removable drip trays. Both will get your morning coffee or afternoon pick-me-up ready in around a minute.
Cup sizes and capacity
You have a choice of cup sizes: 6 oz (recommended if you like your coffee on the strong side), 8 oz and 10 oz, and even the larger sizes only take around a minute. The removable reservoir holds 48 oz of water, and the drip tray is also removable for easy cleaning. With the drip tray removed, the machine will take a travel mug up to 7 inches high, so if “coffee on the go” is your thing, you need look no further.
Refilling the reservoir
Although there’s no refill light indicator on either, it’s pretty easy to see when the water reservoir needs refilling. Depending on how much use it gets, giving the machine a quick clean every three or four days is a good idea, and descaling every three or six months will help prolong its life and keep your coffee tasting great.
Your choice? What kind of coffee can you expect?
You won’t get lattes and cappuccinos from these coffee makers, nor espressos, but you can opt for the stronger blends and/or smaller cup sizes if you like your coffee with a little more of a kick. If you like flavored or milder coffee, teas, or hot chocolate, you’re really spoilt for choice. There are even green tea and cider options in the range. And whichever brand of coffee shop you like to drink, chances are there’s a K-cup with your name on it.
The K50 happily brews coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cocoa, and although there is no cold setting as such, it can be adapted to provide the base for iced beverages if you make your drink and then add ice later. The machine will also happily dispense hot water only – just don’t put anything where the pod would normally go.
What’s in the box? The K55 Keurig
The K55 comes with a water filter handle as well as two water filters, and 4 K-cup pods to get you started. Like the K50 Keurig, you have a choice of 6, 8, or 10 oz cups, with the 6 oz, again, offering the strongest tasting option. The water reservoir has a capacity of a very decent 48 fluid ounces, like the Keurig® K50 coffee maker, and is also removable, so filling it up and cleaning it couldn’t be easier or more convenient.
Keeping your Keurig coffee maker in tip-top condition
Descaling remains an important part of caring for your machine whichever model you opt for, and is especially important if you live in a hard water area. (This doesn’t mean you’re off the hook if you live in a soft water area, it just means it’s likely to take a little longer for the calcium or scale to build up. There’s a great informative video showing you the best methods for descaling your device. Either white vinegar or Keurig’s own descaling solution will help you keep your machine in tip-top condition, and your drinks will go on tasting great.
Peace of mind
The K55, like the K50, also has an auto-off feature to give you peace of mind once you’ve finished using your coffee maker for your batch of brews, as well as allowing you to cut down a little on energy consumption.
It’s all in the design
The K55 is a little taller than the K50, at just under 10 inches (9.8 exactly), by 13 inches wide and 13.3 inches deep. Weight wise it’s different too, weighing around a third more than the K50: twelve pounds compared to eight. The designs are very subtly different – the K50 has a very slightly more defined point to the top, while the K55 is all curves The K50 comes in black or red; the K55 comes in black, red, or white.
So, what’s the verdict, in the K50 vs the K55 battle?
Well, both models are excellent contenders if you’re looking for a versatile, value-for-money, smallish coffee machine, in domestic, college, travel and even small workplace settings. Both models offer a great range of choice when it comes to the drinks available in terms of size and flavors. Finally, both the K50 and the Keurig® K55 have removable drip trays and reservoirs as well as decent capacity in terms of water reservoirs.
The Keurig K50, however, just has the edge, in terms of size and weight, and most definitely in terms of affordability, size and simplicity, and overall value for money. So if you’re looking for a great entry level coffee machine, either for yourself or as a gift to a friend, relative, or simply the household, the K50 is an excellent choice.
It’s tried and tested, and it’s also slightly lighter and slightly smaller than the Keurig K55. The coffee tastes great whichever machine you’re using (not to mention the black tea, and the green tea, and the herb teas, and the chocolate, and the cocoa, and the cider – all right, we’ll be quiet about the choice for a minute or two).
I really, really wish these machines had been around when I was a college junior and entertaining friends in my dorm room. The best we could manage was a travel kettle and a jar of instant coffee…and on that note, I’m off to select my “beverage du jour”, if you’ll (literally) pardon the French (and yes, I know they’re more likely to use ‘boisson’ or ‘tisane’ in modern France)!
Hi my name is Larry, a coffee aficionado and passionate traveler from the US. I have already visited Colombia, Sumatra, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Jamaica in my pursuit of finding the best-tasting coffee beans that make you feel like you are in heaven. I currently write from Bali and enjoy the relaxed life that you can find only in Indonesia. Welcome to my coffee world!
Last update on 2019-05-17 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API