Keurig K-express vs K-supreme | Best bang for buck is…

By Barath
Last Updated:
keurig k-express vs k-supreme

The winner is K-supreme, its superior thermal system, multistream technology and thoughtful design with a flexible water tank positioning mechanism means better usability for you. Improved strength and temperature control for coffee over ice make it the ideal home coffee maker you need.

K-express is nothing less, though it doesn’t compare with K-supreme in usability and better controls, K-express is a compact entry-level coffee maker that is used by many. The compactness means you can pack it in a bag and take it with you. For frequent travelers, my first recommendation is K-express.

Choosing a good Keurig can be tiresome, especially with as many as 20 different models that have varying controls. But if you are looking for an ideal coffee maker that delivers bang for the buck then read through this guide.

Short on time? The key differences between K-Express and K-Supreme are

  • K-supreme has a larger water reservoir, 66 oz (1.95L), while K-express has a 42 oz tank
  • K-supreme comes with Multistream technology and strength control, while K-express only has a strength control option
  • K-supreme additionally has a Coffee over ice (reduces water temperature by 10F)
  • K-supreme has 4 brewing options (6, 8, 10, 12 oz) while K-express has 3 (8, 10, 12 oz)

Quick Glance

Keurig K-Express

Water Reservoir – 42 Oz (1.254 L)

Size – 12.6” H x 5.1” W x 12.8” D

Controls – Strength

Brew Sizes – 8, 10, 12 Oz

Detachable reservoir + carbon filter

Pod detection restricts non-keurig

High Altitude setting

Keurig K-Supreme

Water Reservoir – 66 Oz (1.95 L)

Size – 10.12″D x 14.84″W x 14.41″H

Controls – Strength & Temperature

Brew Sizes6, 8, 10, or 12 oz

Movable & Detachable reservoir

Pod detection restricts non-keurig

High Altitude setting

K-express: Keurig’s entry-level, newly updated thermal unit model. K-Express measures less than 5″ wide (just like the K-Mini and K-Slim) with 8-12 oz brew sizes, Strength Control, and a 7.4″ cup clearance. For entry-level keurig, this is the best compared to K-mini and K-express-essentials (K25). Suitable for travelers and home use, costing well under $100.

K-Supreme: Keurig K-Supreme is the first in the line of the Supreme series, having a bigger reservoir compared to other Keurigs. It started the sleek design look of Keurig coffee makers, with a similar design that can be found in Keurig K-mini, and K-slim series. Improved thermal unit, with the 5 needle Multistream technology means a better tasting coffee compared to K-express. Suitable for office or home use only.

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Design and Look

When it comes to design, the Keurig K-express is compact compared to K-supreme. Both the coffee makers look sleek and do not have the plastic feel that you find in cheap coffee makers.

Color options

K-express has only 1 color option, Black, and K-Supreme has 5 color options.

I could only find 3 color options for K-supreme on Amazon, while all 5 colors are available on the Keurig web store.

If you are not in it for the color and want a value-for-money coffee maker, then K-express will be my choice. But K-Supreme gives better controls for office and home use. The color option of K-supreme definitely comes in handy.

Check the various color options for K-Supreme

Tank capacity

The water reservoir is primarily designed not for extensive water storage (the max it uses is 12 oz at a time), but to enable consecutive brewing operations. Since none of the latest Keurigs can brew K-carafe or the K-mug pods, the size of the tank doesn’t matter in my opinion.

K-supreme has a 66 Oz(1.95L) tank while K-express has a 42 Oz (1.25L) reservoir.

K-express can hold enough water for 4 coffees(10 Oz) back to back. The thermal unit also allows for this, by not taking a lot of time to cool down after brewing.

K-supreme performs similarly and can brew 4-6 cups of coffee back to back. A similar thermal unit means the efficiency is maintained.

The X-factor is the design of the water reservoir on K-supreme. The dual positioning of the reservoir can fit any countertop. It can be either attached to the side, or at the back easily by moving the bottom plate around. This is so much better than models like K-Slim that tend to not fit on some of the short countertops.

k-express k-supreme water tank position
K-supreme has a easily movable water reservoir mechanism. Very useful for short or long countertops

K-Express has a fixed reservoir at the back, but it is very compact given the small frame, therefore fits in most of the countertops

WINNER - K-Supreme

Mug capacity

The Keurig K-express is tailored to the needs of frequent travelers, whereas the K-Supreme is intended for daily home use. Nevertheless, what matters most is having a coffee maker that can fill your mug satisfactorily! The height of the machine plays a role in accommodating different mug sizes.

The K-express has a bottom that can’t be removed, but you can take it off the drip tray. The machine is tall enough to fit travel mugs up to 7.4 inches, making it perfect for a 12 Oz (350 ml) coffee in regular-sized travel mugs.

Cleaning the non-removable bottom can be a real pain sometimes. I get pretty annoyed having to keep dabbing it with a cloth just to get rid of any leftover water.

The K-Supreme comes with a drip tray that you can remove. This means you don’t have to stress about its height in theory! Just put your Keurig on top of a box, and you can fill any size travel mug, whether it’s 16 or 24 ounces.

In comparison to the K-express, the K-Supreme can accommodate a mug up to 7 inches even with the drip tray attached. This height is standard for most coffee makers, and regular travel mugs fit in it comfortably.

Unfortunately, both these keurigs are not designed to fit a carafe.

Looking for a compatible, cool travel mug for your K-express and K-Slim? Consider the Yeti shot shambler

WINNER - K-Supreme

Compatible K-cups

When it comes to K-cup options, neither of these models will take a non-Keurig capsule. But don’t worry, you still have plenty of choices!

Both machines can handle standard K-cup pods (there are more than 100 varieties to pick from) and support the reusable My-Cup Coffee filter. If you want to save on coffee pods, getting the reusable K-cup filter is the way to go.

It works with both the K-express single needle technology and the K-Supreme multistream technology needles. This can be super useful if you’re trying out different coffee makers before settling on one.

However, watch out for some knock-off filters as they might not fit properly in both models and could cause problems with the lid not closing fully.

Control Panel

k-express k-supreme controls

K-express has a control panel on the front, that includes brew buttons, strength control, and indicator lights. This is quite useful especially if you are at an office setup.

I personally like the buttons at the top like K-Supreme does, but K-express controls are quite comfortable as well.

With K-express, I personally noted a strong coffee on some K-cups using the strength button, while others tasted roughly the same. Technically, you cannot increase the caffeine content magically, the brewing technique increases the boldness of coffee, delivering a punch.

K-Supreme comes with 2 additional controls and 4 brews size buttons. The controls are for Strength, which soaks the coffee for a long time (same as k-express), along with the multistream technology, makes good coffee.

There is also an ‘Over Ice’ button which k-express does not have. Note that this does not make cold coffee as many people wrongly say, it just reduces the temperature of the water and brews for a longer period so it can be poured over ice.

This might not be a good option for some K-cups that are light or medium roasted beans. Buy capsules or beans that are roasted for drinking over ice to enjoy a better brew.

k-express vs k-supreme needle

The only difference then is the 5-needle puncture, which is supposed to provide better aroma and flavor. I personally think, without the creme layer, which cannot usually form with lower-temperature brewers like Keurig, the multistream is not very useful.

However, some people do taste a noticeable difference in flavor with multistream.

Winner - K-Supreme

Temperature Check

I did a temperature check with K-express and gathered as much information about the consistency of the coffee temperature using K-Supreme.

K-express: Out of 10 brews, 8 had a temperature between 165-170F, while the other two were warm.

K-Supreme: Out of 10 brews, 9 had a temperature above 175F, while others were still warm. K-Supreme has some of the best ratings for hot coffee brewed consistently.

Both coffee makers have a high-altitude setting which is helpful if you want to brew above 1500 feet from sea level. Press and hold the POWER button and 10 oz button for 3 seconds till the 12 oz button starts to illuminate.

They also have the auto turn-off feature in common, the machine turns off 5 minutes after the last brew automatically to conserve electricity.

K-express comes with better core controls and a superior thermal unit and makes better coffee overall.

WINNER - K-Supreme

Brew Time and Machine Noise (Usability)

What I really like about both K-express and K-Supreme is that they brew back to back. But K-express with a smaller reservoir and better thermal system makes a 12 Oz coffee in 50 seconds while K-Supreme takes well over a minute and a half for a 12 Oz coffee. [Source]

K-express is silent when it runs, compared to the other models where you can hear the K-cup spinning. You seem to lose the sound even if you are in the same room.

K-Supreme is also quiet but does produce the rumbling noise you find in most coffee makers. It takes up a longer time to heat the water in the first brew after turning it on. The overall brewing experience with K-Supreme is smooth and does not have any complex controls.

Both machines have a simple, no-nonsense approach for first-time users, but K-Supreme is better for everyday coffee.

WINNER - K-Supreme

Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning a Keurig is a piece of cake! Just run some hot water through it(Press the 8 Oz button to run water), and you’re good to go. Make sure to clean it, especially after brewing hot cocoa, tea, or any strong-flavored coffee. The nozzle might still have some of the previous brew left, so it’s essential to keep it clean.

To turn on the cleaning mode, fill the reservoir with water, and have no K-cup on the holder. Press the 8 Oz button to run hot water through.

K-express and K-Supreme have a removable tank and a water filter support that makes it easy to clean. I clean the tank once every 2 weeks, and the removable tank on the side comes in handy. Cleaning the needle is also easy, as you can detach it in 2 simple motions. [3]

The process of descaling both K-express and K-Supreme is quite similar. You just need to press the 8 Oz and 10 Oz buttons (for K-express) or 8 Oz + 12 Oz buttons (for K-Supreme) to put your machine in descaling mode. Then, add the descaling solution to complete the process. Descaling your machine regularly helps it last longer. [4]

K-express and K-supreme have a descale indicator light that turns on when put into descale mode, which is typically after 250 brews.

Intuitive enough to understand the simple settings make both K-express and K-Supreme land in a tie.

WINNER - Both K-express & K-Supreme

Best Overall – What should you buy?

If you’re not a frequent traveler and want a dependable everyday Keurig, then K-Supreme is the one for you. It comes with strength and temperature control, perfect for making iced coffee. With its new multistream technology, you can enjoy better-tasting and aromatic coffee every single time.

For everyday use and frequent travelers, K-express is your go-to! You get the perk of longer brews with extra strength control for that robust coffee flavor. Plus, if you need it to be travel-ready, simply remove the water reservoir and pack it separately.

Barath is a coffee lover, who has been brewing his coffee at home for several years. He talks about coffee tasting, brewing guides and much more in home coffee wizard. Follow barath on X (twitter) @diputsC