Let’s face it, if you want a quick cup of coffee in the morning without all the fuss of “making coffee” then k-cup coffee was designed for you!
It’s is super simple and crazy easy to brew… and it’s lightning fast.
These days there are a ton of different k-cup coffee makers on the market. Keurig themselves has a wide product line even if you don’t consider the amount of brewers they have discontinued over the years.
Keurig’s aren’t cheap though.
Most of them come with bells and whistles that only a select few people care about.
On the low end there is a surprising amount of companies making entry level k-cup coffee makers and the vast majority of them work just as good as the base model K-Classic, K-Select, or the older K55 for a much smaller price tag.
In this article I’m going to give you a run down of the cheapest k-cup coffee makers on the market complete with a miniature review so that you can be confident in buying a low cost alternative to the Keurig brand.
I myself am a coffee snob. I roast my own beans, grind them in high end grinders, brew with great care but even still, at 4:45am with a baby that won’t go back to sleep I still pop a k-cup into my Farberware k-cup coffee maker because it’s the easiest option for me.
In many cases the cheapest machines are simply the best choice for the consumer, especially for the person that doesn’t care about making the best cup but rather only wants to get something decent, quick, and easy for the best price possible.
To start I’ll give you the list of machines that I’ll be reviewing below (in no particular order). They are all very affordable, some priced well under $50, and none come with the Keurig brand name on them.
- CHULUX Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer
- Chefman Instabrew Single Serve K-Cup Brewer
- Hamilton Beach Flexbrew (49974)
- Mixpresso K-Cup Coffee Maker
- Aicok Single Serve K-Cup Coffee Machine
- Single Serve K Cup Coffee Maker by Hamswan
I would consider each of these a good low cost alternative to Keurig machines so now let’s dive into the reviews.
My Reviews of the Cheapest K-Cup Brewers In The Market
Before you read the first review on the list below please note that I am not sorting these by price nor am I sorting them by quality or anything else for that matter.
I have chosen brands that are stable and have been around for a while although they are not known for selling any top-of-the-line products.
Each machine listed below should be for sale for a long time and although they aren’t premium pieces of equipment they should hold up and the company should be responsive in case you need to get a hold of them for any reason.
CHULUX Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer
This brewer is cheap and it get the job done just fine.
In fact it is a dual brew machine meaning you can brew regular coffee grind in it as well as k-cups. The heater is 800 watts so it won’t be the fastest to heat up but when only heating a max of 12 ounces of water it shouldn’t take more than 90 seconds or so to come to brewing temperature.
It’s pretty small too so it should fit under most over-counter cabinets just fine.
It can be found here on Amazon.
Chefman Instabrew Single Serve K-Cup Brewer
This brewer is probably the best value on this list if you ask me.
It’s one of the lowest cost options you’ll find anywhere and gives you the flexibility to brew up to 14oz at a time with either a k-cup or regular grounds.
The heater is strong enough to heat water in about a minute making it a bit faster than the Chulux.
It can be found here on Amazon.
Hamilton Beach Flexbrew (49974)
I own the Flexbrew and have used it periodically for the past year or so. It’s super easy to use and it’s slightly wider base makes it a bit more stable on the counter compared to a few of the taller skinnier models.
Flexbrew machines are actually very popular and there are many different versions of the Flexbrew. This is the entry level model and it performs very well. My coffee is always hot, the machine is easy to clean, and the pump seems as strong as ever.
You can see my head-to-head comparison of the Flexbrew to Keurig machines right here.
This model however can be found here on Amazon.
Mixpresso K-Cup Coffee Maker
This Mixpresso k-cup brewer is the tank of the low cost models. It’s big enough to have an on board water reservoir so you don’t have to fill it up every time you want a cup of coffee.
The heater is huge too so it should be the fastest on this list to heat up meaning your coffee will be super fast to make… possibly as fast as half a minute!
This isn’t the cheapest option on this list but it’s close and it’s probably the one I’d replace my Farberware or Flexbrew with if either starts to fail on me.
Aicok Single Serve K-Cup Coffee Machine
If you care about warranties then you’ll appreciate this brewer by Aicok which is covered for a full 24 months.
It’s other main selling points are it’s ultra low price and super small footprint. It won’t take up a lot of room on a counter, that’s for sure.
It can be found here on Amazon.
Single Serve K Cup Coffee Maker by Hamswan
This machine is the most expensive on our list and it’s also the most feature rich.
You can change brew strengths or cup sizes at the press of a button and the machine uses double wall insulation to ensure your coffee is brewed at the right temperature.
For that focus the coffee comes out a bit slower than some other options on this list but will most likely come out tasting a pinch better.
You can check out pricing for the Hamswan k-cup coffee maker here on Amazon.
What’s the Difference Between Keurig and The Low Cost Alternatives?
I could go into detail on each company listed above and some others I left off this list but that would be overkill. The answer to this can be summarized quite succinctly.
Keurig is a major name brand and commands a premium price tag for any and all of it’s products. They also sell their products for more because they invented the K-cup and the brewers that make coffee from them.
What about quality you ask?
It’s true, the Keurig machines are better made than the average “knock-off” but hand-over-foot the better quality you get from the Keurig machines isn’t usually worth the price tag that can be 3-5 times as large.
Non-Keurig brands brew k-cups the exact same way the Keurig brewers do. They puncture the coffee pod in an enclosed basket on both the top and bottom. Water is then heated and pumped through the cup via the upper needle.
Typical coffee makers use simply physics and gravity to brew coffee but all k-cup brewers use a water pump which is why none of them will last as long as a basic $20 drip coffee maker.
The Keurig machines will likely feel stronger, heavier, and more durable than the cheaper units and they may indeed have a better quality water pump that might last longer but I don’t think it’s a big deal as all of these machines are likely to be replaced at a faster clip than standard automatic coffee makers.
If you care about how your coffee tastes then you’ll also find that almost every k-cup brewer will make coffee that tastes similar. Some of the needles will allow more debris through than others but on the whole they will all taste similar until one starts brewing at a low temp or starts pumping water poorly.
If you are willing to spend a little more and want some flexibility in the coffee you brew then make sure to see our post reviewing the best 2-way coffee makers on the market or see this post that I’ve written that actually compares all of the best single serve coffee makers on the market. Many of them aren’t cheap but they do make the best coffee one cup at a time.
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Gamble Bay Coffee