Normally when I compare Keurig machines on Viva Flavor the differences are only very small. You might get an extra feature here and there, or a larger water reservoir as machine ranges improve over time.
That’s not the case with the K55 vs K250. As they belong to different product lines, there are much bigger differences between the two. How do they compare though, and which is the best one to buy?
In this comparison article, I’m going to take an in-depth look at both machines. I’ll clearly explain the differences between these two popular coffee makers, and help you decide which one will suit you.
(Head back to my massive home coffee brewing guide when you’re done for more help with this side of kitchen life!)
Keurig K55 vs K250: Differences
Before I review the individual machines in greater detail, I wanted to run you through the basic differences between them. Before that though, here’s how each one actually looks:
(This article includes affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.)
The water reservoir of the K250 is 40oz. That’s enough to produce around five cups of coffee before you have to refill the tank.
It gets a little bigger on the K55, however. With 48oz to play with, you’ll get an extra cup or two from the reservoir before it needs topping up.
All this depends of course on how you like your coffee, and the brew size you want from the machine you settle on.
Both of these machines have the classic Keurig design aesthetic, but the dimensions of each are a little different:
9.8” (W) x 13.0” (D) x 13.3” (H)
8.9” (W) x 13.4” (D) x 13.6” (H)
As you can see, the K250 is a slightly narrower machine. We’re not all lucky enough to have large kitchens, so if space is really at a premium you’ll find it easier to work with the K250.
In both cases, just make sure you leave around six inches extra space on the height. That will help you insert and remove the coffee pods.
The K250 makes use of something called Keurig 2.0 technology.
That means you can only use official Keurig pods, although the good news is that there are hundreds and hundreds of them to choose from.
The K250 will also scan that pod when it’s inserted into the machine, and brew the coffee optimally. If you don’t mind the extra expense of the official K-Cups, it’s very handy to have that combination of simplicity and quality.
With the K55, you have more freedom to experiment with off-brand pods. This usually works out cheaper in the long run, but the brewing options are much more limited.
As with all appliances, you’ll need to work out what the best balance between function and cost is for you.
This is where things get really interesting. The K55 only has a few brew sizes to choose from, while the K250 offers much more versatility.
The K250 can also produce a whole carafe’s-worth of coffee, while the K55 can only make a single cup of coffee at a time.
Here are the brew sizes that you can select on both machines:
- K55: 6, 8, 10oz
- K250: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 22, 26, 30oz
Those larger brew sizes on the K250 are for when you want to fill a travel mug, or brew a bigger batch for your family or visiting guests.
Just be aware that you’ll need to buy the K-Carafe and K-Mug separately. You’ll also need to buy coffee pods that are specially designed for those devices, and their larger sizes.
Here’s a little trick though. If you buy the K250 and you already have a carafe and a travel mug, see if your existing accessories will fit in there first.
Just slide out the removable drip tray first and see how much space you have to play with. As a general rule of thumb, a travel mug that’s seven inches in height or lower should just about fit in.
You may be able to save yourself a little bit of money here (and have less clutter in your kitchen!)
Brew Settings & Interface
If you like to tweak your coffee strength, then you’ll find the K55 quite limiting. There’s no Strength Control setting to play around with, for example.
The only option you have is to select your brew size and then hit the brew button. You may find that a plus, however, as it’s almost impossible to go wrong!
If you want to be able to change the strength of your coffee (depending on the time of day, perhaps), then the K250 has a Strength Control setting which will let you adjust the richness of your coffee.
Because it’s a little more complex in this regard, the K250 also has an LCD display screen. It’s very easy to navigate, and you won’t have a problem using it to get your coffee just how you want it.
If you want a stronger cup of coffee from the K55, your only option is to select a smaller serving size!
Auto On / Off
Both the K55 and the K250 have an Auto Off setting, which will switch the machine off after a period of inactivity.
I like this as it means you don’t have to worry about the thing stewing in the background, and you’ll appreciate the power bill savings as well.
Only the K250 has an Auto On function, however. If you’re anything like me and you want to set your first cup of coffee up the night before, you’ll need to go for this model.
If you’re looking for a machine that suits your individual kitchen, you have a lot more options to play with if you choose the K250.
Here are the colour options for both coffee makers:
- K55: Black, Rhubarb (Red)
- K250: Black, Imperial Red, Oasis, Peacock Blue, Plum Grey, Sandy Pearl, Turquoise
Is this a big deal? It depends on how colourful your kitchen is, and whether or not you like your appliances to blend into the background or make a big impact.
I keep things pretty vanilla in my own kitchen, so I’m not too fussed about the restrictions of the K55. If you’re the same, I wouldn’t let this have too much influence over the machine you settle on.
Those are the differences taken care of, but here’s a closer look at the follow specs, pros and cons of both machines separately.
Although the K55 is a pretty simple machine, it fulfils the Keurig promise well: Produce a solid cup of coffee quickly, one cup at a time, and do so with as little fuss and mess as possible.
Despite the lack of advanced features, I quite like that simplicity. If you’re new to Keurig machines, this thing will get you hooked in no time – you really can’t mess things up here.
If you’re not going to be serving guests, and you’re the only coffee drinker in your house, then I think the K55 will serve you very well indeed.
You can, of course, upgrade your machine once you gain some confidence and want to have a little more control over exactly how your coffee is brewed.
Have a look at my K55 review for an much deeper dive on this machine.
- A decent size water reservoir which should keep the coffee flowing nicely.
- A very straightforward machine, making it great for Keurig newcomers.
- Multiple serving sizes help you manually adjust the strength of the brew.
- Can be used to make other hot drinks, such as tea and hot chocolate.
- Easy to clean and maintain, with a removable drip tray.
- You don’t have any direct control over the strength of your coffee.
- There’s no Auto On function, which means you can’t programme the machine in advance.
- It’s a little noisy when brewing, although the K55 is far from alone in this regard.
- It has a bigger footprint than other Keurig machines, including the K250.
- Only very limited colour options. You can have a red or a black K55, and that’s it!
- Brewing System: Keurig 1.0
- Pods: Non-branded K-Cups, Keurig 2.0 K-Cups, Keurig 1.0 Reusable
- Brew Sizes: 6, 8, 10oz
- Water Reservoir: 48oz
- Water Filtration Starter Kit: No
- LCD Display: No
- Auto On: No
- Auto Off: Yes
- Temperature Control: No
- Strength Control: No
- Dimensions: 9.8″W x 13.0″D x 13.3″ H
Despite it’s smaller water reservoir, the K250 is a more advanced machine overall. Just be prepared to top it up a little more often than you will the K55.
If you want to keep things very simple, then it works in much the same way as the K55. If you want to be able to tweak your settings just so, then you have the extra options of the Strength Control function.
The big plus, of course, is the compatibility with K-Carafe and K-Mug coffee pods. If you need to serve more coffee for guests, it’s much easier to be able to brew a big batch. It’s a lot less awkward than standing there, making one cup at a time for your guests as well!
The LCD screen isn’t the largest in the Keurig range, but it’s more than enough to help you navigate the settings and set everything up. That includes being able to set it up in advance, and get the day started the right way.
As for the design I don’t think you’ll struggle to fit this slimmer-width machine in your own kitchen. There’s surely enough countertop space somewhere to make a home for the K250.
I also like the range of colours it’s available in. That’s not a huge buying factor for me personally, but it’s nice for those of you with brighter kitchens.
I’ve taken a much closer look at this machine in my K250 review, but here are the basic pros and cons of this machine:
- Auto On and Off functions are both very welcome features.
- Many different brew sizes, including the ability to brew a carafe of coffee.
- LCD display screen makes setting this machine up a piece of cake.
- A slim-fit machine that you can almost certainly accommodate in your kitchen or home office.
- Lots of different colours to choose from, although you may have to shop around to find some of the more obscure ones.
- You’re limited to using official 2.0 pods only, unless you want to “hack” the machine to accept non-branded cups.
- The K250 has a slightly smaller 40oz reservoir than the K55 (48oz), although it’s unlikely to make an enormous difference to your day-to-day use.
- If you want to use K-Carafe or K-Mug pods, you’ll need to buy those accessories separately. Alternatively, just see if your non-branded accessories fit once the drip tray’s taken out.
- Brewing System: Keurig 2.0
- Pods: Keurig 2.0 K-Cup, K-Mug, and K-Carafe pods, Reusable My K-Cup
- Brew Sizes: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 22, 26, 30oz
- Water Reservoir: 40oz
- Water Filtration Starter Kit: Yes
- LCD Display: Yes
- Auto On: Yes
- Auto Off: Yes
- Temperature Control: No
- Strength Control: Yes
- Dimensions: 8.9″W x 13.4″D x 13.3″ H
Keurig K55 vs K250 Conclusion
Taking everything into consideration, I think the K250 is the superior machine and the one to buy if I had to choose between this and the K55.
That’s assuming you’re like me and are OK with using official coffee pods, and you don’t mind the marginally smaller water reservoir.
It’s got a smaller footprint too, which makes it easier to find a home for in my kitchen. If you want to experiment with colours and liven up your kitchen, you’re spoiled for choice.
I’m also a big fan of being able to “scale up” appliances when necessary. For my Keurig, that means being able to make a bigger brew when we have friends over.
Otherwise I get to make just as much coffee as I need – and no more – and I can also change the strength to suit the time of day I’m drinking it.
Click here if you want to learn more about the K250 on Amazon.
Mark’s a lifelong food fanatic and spent ten years working as an entertainment journalist. He now combines his love of food, drink and writing as the founder and editor of Viva Flavor. Read more