Keurig K50 vs K55 – What’s the Difference? (2018 comparison)
If you’re considering investing in a new Keurig model. Keurig K50 vs K55, Which is better? Many people don't know the difference.
Wonder no longer!
We’re going to take you through the features of both coffee makers. And when we’ve finished, you’ll be able to weigh up both the similarities and differences.
Then it will be time to flex that credit card and start enjoying your new Keurig!
Keurig K50 vs K55 Comparison
6oz, 8oz, 10oz
6oz, 8oz, 10oz
9.8 x 13 x 13.3 inches
10.1x 13.2x 13.3 inches
Water Filter Kit
Quiet Brew Tech
Keurig K50 Coffee Maker Unboxing
Keurig K55 Coffee Maker Unboxing
Why buy a Keurig?
When you’re desperate for your cup of Joe, all you do is pop a K-Cup in your machine and press a button. Yes, that’s really it. For anyone with a hectic morning routine, the Keurig is a godsend.
There are loads of different flavors of K-Cup. And if the original capsules aren’t enough, a host of independent coffee makers and supermarkets also produce compatible pods.
If you have specific tastes, you can take advantage of the refillable K-Cup option. Not only is this more environmentally friendly than sending loads of K-Cups to landfill, you can fill it with the coffee of your choice (2).
If there are some days when you have more time, consider grinding your favorite beans and filling a few pods in advance. You won’t get the full range of flavors and aromas as you would with a bean to cup machine. But you will get your coffee a great deal quicker.
Where to start when you’re trying to choose a model
Keurig launched its first brewers in 1998, but back then the company was focusing on the office market. In 2004 it began marketing machines for domestic use – and since then, there have been a whole range of different models (3).
All work in essentially the same way. First, you insert the pod containing coffee into the machine. You pull down a handle, and a pair of needles pierce the top and bottom of the pod. Water is heated and flushed through it into your cup. Hey presto, your coffee is ready!
But there are plenty of bells and whistles that can be added to this basic format. Some Keurigs allow you to change the temperature of your water. Others can be programmed to your own specifications.
And while they all look broadly similar, the higher end versions have LED displays and lights in their reservoirs. They’re often sold with a supply of K-Cups, and sometimes water filter systems. If you’re comparing prices, check to be sure about what you’re getting.
If you don’t want your machine in banana yellow, and you can live without a flashy display to tell you when it needs descaling, a basic model is a good choice.
No matter how many extra features it has, a Keurig is still making coffee with a K-cup. Its major advantage is consistency and convenience. But it’s never going to produce the results of a super automatic espresso maker; so save your money.
Both the K50 and K55 are entry-level Keurigs. You could spend more than twice as much on other options – but you won’t get a superior coffee. For a good balance between price, quality and convenience, we think either model is a sound bet.
So what will they give you?
Keurig K50 vs K55: What's the key features
There are a number of similarities between both the K50 and its successor, the K55.
#1 Serving size
Both machines produce three different sizes of drinks: 6 ounce, 8 ounce and 10 ounce. You won’t get the bigger 12 ounce serving available with the K-Select model, nor the enormous 30 ounces offered by the K250. But that’s not such a bad thing.
It’s worth remembering that the Keurig’s brewing process is pretty simple. You’ve got a pod with coffee, and some water. If you select a bigger serving size, you’re not going to be adding more coffee to the pod. The difference is all water – so you get a weaker drink.
If you love a huge coffee, a far better bet is to make two small servings using two pods. It will be more expensive, but you’ll get a better flavor.
The alternative, of course, is to use a refillable K-cup and add more coffee. That will help – but remember you won’t have the option to adjust how quickly the water pours through. That means you risk under-extracted coffee.
All that means that a Keurig offering a larger serving size may not be as big an advantage as you’d imagine.
#2 Other features
Auto Off Feature
Neither the K50 nor the K55 have very many other features to write home about. Both have a 48 ounce water tank and a removable drip tray. Both have an automatic descaling feature. And they’ll both switch themselves off after not being used for a while to save power.
That, though, is where it ends. There’s no digital control pad or screen to tell you what’s happening. And you won’t be able to select from different water temperatures as you can with other, more expensive models.
The major advantage of a simple machine, though, is that there’s less to go wrong. And a few simple steps will keep it in working order for even longer. (We’ll say more about that later.)
Add to this that all coffee gurus suggest selecting the Keurig’s highest temperature to get the best flavor. So not having variable temperature options for the K50 or K55 might not be much of a loss after all.
So much for the advantages of these models over their more expensive alternatives. But what about the differences between them?
Key differences between the K50 and K55
Let’s start with the key message here: there is far more that’s similar about the K50 and K55 than is different. You might wonder why, in that case, Keurig bothered producing the “upgraded” K55 at all.
We have our own theory about this, which may or may not be true.
#1 The conspiracy theory
That’s why they’ve bought a machine that dispenses coffee at the touch of a button. Most don’t have the time or inclination to search for troubleshooting solutions or to tinker with their machines.
They’re far more likely to go out and buy something new. And if they weren’t impressed with how long their K50 lasted – well, Keurig don’t want them buying something from a different manufacturer. So instead they give them another option: the K55.
It looks almost the same as the K50 and has pretty much the same features. It’s familiar enough that K50 users will be able to use it straight from the box. And it doesn’t cost any more than the old model.
Even better – it’s been “upgraded”! Surely this version will last longer than the machine they’ve just binned?
Maybe I’m doing Keurig a disservice here. Maybe they’re not this Machiavellian at all. But whatever the reason, when you look at what’s really changed with the K55 the answer is – not a lot.
Some claim that the K55 is a little more compact than its predecessor. It’s surprisingly difficult, however, to verify whether this is actually the case. Whilst it’s easy to find the dimensions of the K55 online, the K50 is a different story.
They’re actually exactly the same size. For most people, the precise dimensions might not matter. But if you’re working with a small space, check the measurements with your retailer before you buy.
Only Matt black
Here’s one thing that really is different about the K55 – it comes in more colors than the K50. (And if you were a manufacturer looking for a change that people could see easily and that didn’t cost a lot of money – what better option than the color?)
The K50 is only available in matt black. The K55, on the other hand, comes in red and white too.
That might not be reason enough to ditch your perfectly-functioning K50. But if you’re buying your first Keurig or replacing one that’s had its day, why not get a machine to match your color scheme?
#4 Brewing noise levels
Quiet Brew Tech
The K55 comes with something called “Quiet Brew Tech”. It claims to do just what the name suggests – brew your coffee quietly. If, like me, you can’t stand noise when you’ve just woken up, that’s a great feature.
However, suggest Quiet Brew Tech isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And whilst some people say they’ve found their K55 much less obtrusive than the K50, others report the opposite.
Overall, the success of this feature seems to be a little hit and miss. It may be worth giving the K55 a try if noises levels are important to you. But don’t be surprised if you find it’s not as quiet as you’d hoped.
Related Post: Keurig K55 Review (Is It Worth Buying?)
Getting the most out of your Keurig
Whatever model you choose, the Keurig is a super-easy way of brewing a coffee. But even with a machine this simple, there are things that can go wrong.
All too often, people abandon their Keurigs and buy a new machine when a simple fix could have sorted the problem out. Don’t be tempted to follow their example! A lot of issues can be resolved without even needing to get out a screwdriver.
One of the most common problems is caused in the area around the needle that pierces the K-Cup. This often becomes clogged with coffee grounds. You can clean it easily using a straightened out paperclip. Take a look at this YouTube video to see how.
As with all coffee makers, your Keurig will only keep working properly if it’s regularly descaled. Follow the instructions in the manual and repeat the process every three months or so. You can extend the length of time between descaling operations by using bottled or filtered water.
Finally, a word on coffee temperature. Your Keurig uses a pump to heat your water and a frequent complaint is that it doesn’t get hot enough. An easy fix is to make sure your cup is doing as much as possible to keep your coffee warm.
A paper coffee cup will lose heat very quickly. A china cup or, even better, an insulated stainless steel mug with a lid, will work much better.
And before you brew a coffee, run a “fake brew” without a K-Cup in the machine. Use the hot water to rinse around your cup to warm it up. The process will also heat up the internal parts of the machine. As a result, when you push the button again with a K-Cup inside, the brewing temperature will be slightly higher.
To sum up: if style is important to you, the different color options for the K55 might be tempting. And its Quiet Brew Tech is worth considering if you like a peaceful kitchen.
Otherwise, you won’t find many differences between the K50 and the K55. Whichever one you choose, you’ll be getting consistent coffee at a reasonable price. And you won’t find an easier way to brew.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this comparison guide. Please comment and let us know what you think!