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You used to have to choose between quality coffee and convenience. Coffee lovers wanted to get behind the convenience of early pod coffee makers, but they just made miserably weak coffee.
Keurig tried to solve this with a brew strength setting, and it went a long way. But the K-Supreme and its successors were an even bigger leap forward, providing coffee drinkers with high-quality coffee that is even more convenient than even earlier Keurigs.
The question remains: Which K-Supreme model is best? That’s what we’ll be tackling today as we compare the key differences between the Keurig K-Supreme vs K-Supreme Plus vs K-Supreme Plus Smart. By the end, we’ll finally know which machine deserves to be called the best Keurig coffee maker.
Quick Take: Keurig K-Supreme vs K-Supreme Plus vs K-Supreme Plus Smart
Which Keurig K-Supreme Makes the Best Coffee?
The K-Supreme, K-Supreme Plus, and K-Supreme Plus Smart all make better coffee than earlier Keurig coffee makers. That’s because the K-Supreme line introduced the company’s biggest innovation in several years: MultiStream brewing technology.
Older Keurigs shot a single stream of water through the k-cup, which often failed to extract all of the grounds from the pod. That resulted in weak, watery coffee. MultiStream replaces that single stream with five streams of water that evenly soak the grounds, extracting far more flavor from each pod.
The coffee quality of the K-Supreme and K-Supreme Plus is essentially the same. However, the K-Supreme Plus does have temperature control, which gives you more control over the flavor of your brew.
The K-Supreme Plus Smart produces the most consistently delicious brew of any of the Keurig K-Supreme coffee makers. This machine is the first (and so far only) Keurig to have their BrewIQ system, which recognizes individual k-cups and automatically optimizes the brew settings based on expert recommendations.
I covered BrewIQ in more depth in my K-Supreme Plus Smart review, so you can check that out if you’re interested. But if you just want to guarantee yourself the best cup of coffee any Keurig can provide, the K-Supreme Plus Smart is absolutely the right answer, especially if you pair it with some of the best coffee k-cups.
Brew Size Options: K-Supreme vs K-Supreme Plus vs K-Supreme Plus Smart
Most Keurig machines have between three and five cup size settings. The only exceptions are the K15 and K-Mini Plus that don’t technically have brew size buttons (more on that in my K-Mini Plus review).
The K-Supreme has the 6, 8, 10, and 12-ounce brew size options. The K-Supreme Plus and K-Supreme Plus Smart both have the full range of Keurig coffee cup sizes (4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 ounces).
Unlike Nespresso VertuoLine machines, all Keurig cup sizes use the same pods and thus the same amount of ground coffee. That means that the 4-ounce cup size offers the most concentrated cup of coffee, and the 12-ounce is the most watery.
Most Keurig drinkers tend to stick to the 6 or 8-ounce cups for their daily caffeine drinks. I generally recommend against the 10-ounce and especially the 12-ounce unless you like weak coffee. The 4-ounce is great for making espresso-style Keurig drinks, but its lower volume might turn off drip coffee drinkers.
While the 4-ounce cup size is a nice addition, most Keurig fans will be happy with the brew size options of any of the K-Supreme machines.
Machine Size: K-Supreme vs K-Supreme Plus vs K-Supreme Plus Smart
|K-Supreme||K-Supreme Plus||K-Supreme Plus Smart|
(H x W x D) (inches)
|12.15 x 7.85 x 12.02|
(water reservoir on side)
12.15 x 6.36 x 15.11
(water reservoir on rear)
|12.2 x 8.3 x 13.3||12.35 x 8.3 x 13.35|
The K-Supreme models are all amongst the smallest Keurig coffee makers. The size differences between the K-Supreme options are fairly small, although the original K-Supreme is the narrowest of the bunch and the lightest by almost two pounds.
The size difference between the K-Supreme Plus and K-Supreme Plus Smart is tiny, so I’ll focus entirely on the original K-Supreme and how it compares to the other two.
If your counter space is at a premium, the K-Supreme’s adjustable water reservoir makes it the most flexible of these models. For some reason, Keurig did away with this feature in the later models, likely because of the larger water tank.
When you put the reservoir on the side, the K-Supreme becomes the least deep of the three by a whole inch and still keeps about 1/2 inch less width than the others. When the reservoir is in the back, it is deeper than the others, but the width becomes two inches narrower than the Plus and Plus Smart.
Water Tank: K-Supreme vs K-Supreme Plus vs K-Supreme Plus Smart
The original K-Supreme’s 66-ounce water tank was already the second-biggest of any Keurig model (only the K-Elite held more water). But the K-Supreme Plus and K-Supreme Plus Smart went even bigger with an impressive 78-ounce tank.
If you’re brewing 6-ounce cups, the K-Supreme can make 11 cups of coffee between refills and the K-Supreme Plus can brew 13 cups between refills.
All of the K-Supreme water tanks are removable, which makes both refills and cleaning a whole lot easier. A poorly cleaned water tank can really hurt the flavor of your coffee — and it can eventually become a health risk — so a removable water tank is a must-have for me.
As mentioned in the previous section, only the original K-Supreme has an adjustable water tank. Both of the higher-end models have rigid water tanks.
Color and Design of K-Supreme, K-Supreme Plus, and K-Supreme Plus Smart
The K-Supreme models all have the same basic design. They look similar to Keurig’s other small coffee makers except for the protruding water tank. The tank does take away from the sleek look that most Keurigs have, but these are still gorgeous coffee makers.
There aren’t a lot of color options with any of the K-Supreme models. The baseline K-Supreme can be purchased in white, black, or gray. The K-Supreme Plus is only available in a stainless steel color. Finally, the K-Supreme Plus Smart is available only in a black stainless steel color.
Other Features: K-Supreme vs K-Supreme Plus vs K-Supreme Plus Smart
Until recent years, it’s been rare to find a coffee maker with temperature control options, but automatic pour-over coffee makers have shown just how pivotal temperature control is to producing the optimal coffee.
Changing your brew temperature alters the flavors that are extracted from your coffee grounds. Hotter temperatures extract more flavors, including the sweeter and eventually more bitter notes that tend to linger in the grounds.
The K-Supreme has no temperature control options. The K-Supreme Plus lets you choose between three temperatures. That’s already impressive, but it’s nothing compared to the six temperature options on the K-Supreme Plus Smart.
Brew strength settings
Brew strength options are a must-have for Keurigs as they help to offset the stereotypically weak coffee of pod coffee makers. The Keurig strong button and other brew strength settings slow down the brewing process, allowing more of the coffee flavors to be extracted.
The original K-Supreme has just two brew strengths: regular and strong. That’s the same as most of Keurig’s mid-tier coffee makers at this point.
The Keurig K-Supreme Plus has those same regular and strong settings plus an over ice setting which brews even stronger and at a lower temperature. That setting is great for making an iced coffee that can resist the flavor-diluting effect of melting ice cubes.
The K-Supreme Plus Smart has five brew strength settings (from balanced to intense), further entrenching its role as the most versatile of all Keurig’s coffee makers. Just as with the Plus, there’s also an over ice button which, in this case, uses the intense brew setting and the lowest of the six temperature options.
Sharing a customizable coffee machine with your roommate or significant other can be tough if you have different preferred settings. Fortunately, the K-Supreme Plus and K-Supreme Plus Smart make this easier by introducing favorite presets for all of your brew settings.
With the Plus, you can save up to 3 presets. The Plus Smart goes even further, with a whopping 10 preset slots. You may not have that many roommates, but it can be great to have different presets for regular pods, strong coffee k-cups, flavored k-cups, and whatever other k-cups you use.
The K-Supreme Plus Smart is the only machine in this line that can be programmed to start a brew in advance. And you can do that from right in the app, which is even more convenient.
All of the K-Supreme coffee makers can fit travel mugs up to 7.5 inches tall courtesy of the removable drip tray.
The K-Supreme Plus Smart adds a digital display to make it easier to manage your favorites, change settings, and see other machine details. That display is especially convenient for viewing the BrewIQ default for your chosen k-cup and adjusting it to fit your unique preference.
The K-Supreme Plus is Keurig’s first real Wi-Fi coffee maker. Once you connect the machine to Wi-Fi, you can control the machine from the Keurig app on your iPhone or Android. That way you can manage the presets, start a coffee brew, and get personalized beverage recommendations right on your phone.
Which Offers the best Value: K-Supreme or K-Supreme Plus or K-Supreme Plus Smart?
There’s only about a $50 price spread between the K-Supreme machines. The larger water reservoir of the K-Supreme Plus and K-Supreme Plus Smart, as well as the latter’s innovative BrewIQ system, easily justifies that price difference.
That being said, I do understand wanting to save a few dollars. Any of the K-Supreme models are a huge step up in quality and value from other Keurigs, so you’ll likely be happy with even the original K-Supreme if that’s the one in your budget.
If you’re looking to really increase the value of your pod coffee maker, you should consider getting a reusable k-cup for whichever Keurig you buy. Loose coffee grounds are cheaper than k-cups, so you can save a few bucks that way and experience a wider range of coffee varieties. Of course, you will be sacrificing some convenience when you use your refillable coffee pod.
K-Supreme vs K-Supreme Plus vs K-Supreme Plus Smart: Which Is Better?
The K-Supreme Plus Smart stands alone as the best Keurig coffee maker, especially with the optimized coffee from the new BrewIQ system. The only reason to instead go with the K-Supreme Plus is if you want to save a few bucks.
If you’re looking to save both space and money, the original K-Supreme is also excellent, but you’ll be sacrificing the larger water tank and the brew strength and temperature settings that enhance coffee flavor in the Plus and Plus Smart models.
If you want to see more Keurig options, take a look at my comparison of all Keurig models. I’ve also done head-to-head comparisons of the two top flagship Keurig models: the K-Elite and K-Select. And if even the K-Supreme is too big, the K-Mini Plus and K-Slim are great space savers.
You can also check out my review of the Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe which is an excellent Keurig alternative that can also make espresso. And if you’re looking to save money and cut down on waste, I’ve put together a list of the best no-pod single-serve coffee makers.
|Keurig K-Supreme Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, With MultiStream Technology, 66 Oz Dual-Position Reservoir, and Customizable Settings, Gray||Check price|
|Keurig K-Supreme Plus Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, With MultiStream Technology, 78 Oz Removable Reservoir, and Programmable Settings, Stainless Steel||Check price|
|Keurig K-Supreme Plus SMART Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, BREWID and MultiStream Technology, 78 Oz Removable Reservoir, Brews 4 to 12oz cups, Black Stainless Steel||Check price|