Weigh up the K-Duo and K Duo Plus, but stay away from the K Duo Essentials

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Last Updated on November 14, 2021  

Let's compare the Keurig K-Duo and the K Duo Plus, and dump the K Duo Essentials.

Initially this was going to be a comparison review on the K-Duo and K-Duo plus as these are very similar machines. After a bit of research I changed my mind. This article compares the features of the K-Duo and K-Duo Plus, and I'll give you my recommendation out of these 2 coffee machines.

I'm also going to recommend you steer clear of the Keurig K-Duo Essentials. Keep scrolling to find out more.


If you already know if the K-Duo or the K Duo Plus is for you, click on the button above to buy directly from Amazon. 

Keurig Carafe & Single Serve Coffee Machine

The K-Duo is a both a Carafe and a Single Serve Coffee Machine

At a Quick Glance - Compare the K-Duo and K-Duo Plus Models


  • 4 Brew Sizes for Cups and Carafe
  • Energy Saving  
  • 60 oz Water Reservoir
  • 12 Cup Glass Carafe and heating plate
  • Programmable Carafe Auto Brew
  • Pause and Pour Function
  • Stronger Brew Button
  • Accommodates Travel Mugs up to 7.0" tall

K-duo Plus 

  • 4 Brew Sizes for Cups and Carafe
  • Energy Saving  
  • Multi Position 60 oz Water Reservoir
  • 12 Cup Thermal Carafe
  • Programmable Carafe Auto Brew
  • Pause and Pour Function
  • Stronger Brew Button
  • Accommodates Travel Mugs up to 8.0" tall

Keurig Duo & Duo-Plus Features

Cup & Carafe Brewing

One of the really cool features of both the Duo and the Duo Plus is the ability to make either a single cup of coffee, or a whole carafe.

Many people end up buying 2 machines as they tend to drink more coffee during the weekend than on the weekdays, or vice versa. They have one machine for the a single coffee brew, and the other is a carafe style machine which is also handy when guests are visiting. With both the Duo and the Duo Plus, you get to have both of these options in the one machine. 

The Duo and Duo Plus has options for single serve brews, or you can brew between 6, 8, 10 and 12 cups with the carafe. The cup sizes on are 6, 8, 10 and 12 ounce cups. 6 to 8 ounces is considered a standard coffee cup size, and 10 to 12 ounces covers larger mugs and travel mugs.

Selecting the cup size is easy with the cup sizes shown on each button. Both coffee machines have the same button layout. 

Coffee Brewer Buttons

Choice of Ground Coffee or K-Cup Pods

These coffee brewing machines use both ground coffee and K-Cup pods. 

Included with the Duo Plus coffee brewer is a 12 cup thermal Carafe, and a reusable mesh coffee filter for ground coffee.

The K-Duo is compatible with the Keurig Gold Tone Mesh Filter accessory, but this is not included with this coffee brewer. This is a reusable filter made with the safest materials possible. It's 100% BPA, LEAD and DEHP free. The gold mesh filter is an additional purchase that's well worth buying. This filter won't alter the taste or flavor of your coffee, is easily to clean under running water.

Reuseable Gold Mesh Coffee Filter - K-Duo

Brew Strength Control 

Both the Duo and Duo Plus has a button that gives you the option to select a more intense flavored coffee. 

Compare their Carafes

The Duo comes with a 12-cup glass carafe which is heated using the warming plate on the coffee machine. The Duo Plus comes with a 12-cup thermal stainless steel carafe that will keep the coffee warm for up to 2 hours. It doesn't have a heating plate. 

Programmable Carafe Auto-Brew

The Duo and Duo-Plus will let you set a brew time for the carafe of up to 24 hours before hand. This way, you can have a Carafe ready and waiting for you when you want it. 

How to set the Auto-Brew Carafe Function

  1. 1
    To set up Auto-Brew, make sure the water reservoir is filled to the MAX line and make sure the carafe is in the correct position. Insert the filter or mesh basket and add the coffee grounds. After you press the Power Button, the Pod and Carafe buttons will blink. 
  2. 2
    Select CARAFE and press the AUTO button. Then use the H/M buttons to set the time, and follow this by pressing the blinking BREW button to confirm the time.
  3. 3
    Choose your brew size, and press the blinking BREW button to confirm the size. The Auto-Brew setup is now complete!
    A clock icon will appear on the LCD screen and AUTO button will be illuminated to signal AUTO is on.

Note: Once you have set AUTO you cannot brew a carafe brew, you can only brew a single cup.

Pause & Pour Feature 

A feature of both of these coffee machines is the Pause and Pour function. This gives you the option to pause the brewing mid way through on the carafe. Brewing is paused for for 20 seconds to give you time to pour yourself a cup of coffee from the carafe. 

The idea behind this is that you don't have to wait for the entire carafe to be brewed. 

To give you an idea of brewing times, the carafe will take around 6 minutes to brew 6 cups, 7 minutes for 8 cups, 8 minutes for 10 cups, and 9 minutes for 12 cups.

Energy Saving - Auto Off

As an Energy Saving feature, the Auto-Off feature turns your coffee maker 5 minutes after the last brew on the Duo and the Duo Plus. The heating plate on the Duo will turn off 2 hours after the last carafe brew.

Travel Mug Friendly

Keurig K-Duo Travel Mug Friendly
K-Duo Plus - Travel Mug Friendly

The K-Duo will accommodate a travel mug up to 7 inches tall with its drip tray in place. The K-Duo Plus will happily fit a travel mug up to 8 inches tall once its drip tray is removed. 

Dimensions of the K-Duo & K Duo Plus

Keurig K-Duo - Dimensions

K Duo Dimensions

12.92” H x 10.94” W x 12.76” D
Height with handle open: 17.63”H

The K-Duo weighs 9.71 pounds.

Fits an 8” tall Travel mug with drip tray removed
Mug clearance with Drip Tray in place - 6.25" H

Brewer Weight: 9.71 lb
Carafe Weight: 1 lb
Cord Length: 30 inches

Keurig K-Duo Plus Water Reservoir

K Duo Plus Dimensions

Water reservoir in rear: 14.19”H x 7.68”W x 15.88”D
Water reservoir on side: 14.19”H x 8.2”W x 11.7”D

Height with handle open: 17.5” H

The K-Duo Plus weighs 10.97 pounds.

Fits an 8” mug clearance with drip tray removed.
Mug clearance with Drip Tray in place 7.25" H

Brewer Weight: 10.97 lb
Carafe Weight: 1 lb
Cord Length: 39 inches

60 oz Water Reservoir

K-Duo 60 oz Water Reservoir

The 60 ounce water reservoir of the Keurig Duo coffee maker is removeable, or you can fill it while it's in place using a water jug. 

Keurig K-Duo Plus Water Reservoir
Keurig K-Duo Plus Water Reservoir

The water reservoir of the Keurig Duo Plus is removeable and can be positioned at the rear of the coffee maker, or on either side or the machine. 

How to Reposition the K-Duo Plus Water Reservoir

Have a quick look at the video below to get a quick rundown on how to set up or reposition the water reservoir on the Keurig K-Duo Plus. The video runs for just over a minute. 

Click to play

Why I don't recommend the Keurig Duo Essentials?

This review started out as a comparison of the features of the K-Duo and the K-Essentials. I thought it would be helpful to see how the features and functions of these 2 machines stacked up against each other. After all, they are very similar looking machines, and close in price. 

After very little research, I kept coming across a lot of customer complaints of the K-Essentials coffee machine. There are a few complaints about the K Duo but these are such a small proportion when compared to the favorable reviews.

Complaints about the K-Essentials would start within a week or two of purchasing, and it seemed the carafe could never brew the designed amount of coffee, before giving it up completely. Many machines didn't last a year. This is not what we've come to expect from Keurig. 

There are always going to be bad reviews, but the amount of people that were disappointed with the K-Essentials led me to believe there is no way I would ever suggest anyone buy this coffee brewer. 

What is missing on the Keurig Duo and Duo Plus?

Descale Light 

Descaling your brewer will extend its life. It also removes built-up calcium deposits. Neither the Duo or Duo Plus have a Descale button. Descale buttons let you know when it's time to descale. 

You usually have to descale your machine once every 3 to 6 months depending on how often you use it. 

Milk Frother

Neither the k-Duo or K-Duo Plus come with a milk frother. These can be purchased separately if you like your coffee to taste like you've just purchased it at the local coffee shop.  

Best K-Cup Pods Compatible with the Keurig Coffee Brewers

K-Cup Capsule Range

The range of K-Cup compatible pods is extensive. Some favorite K-Cups for coffee lovers include the Keurig Variety Packs, Starbucks, Folgers, Peet's Coffee, Dunkin' Donuts, Caribou Coffee, Green Mountain, Mr Donut, and McCafe.

Keurig K-Duo Plus K-Cup Coffee Choices

Click on the links below to see either the full range of K-Cup Coffee Capsule range on Amazon, or buy the Donut Shop K-Cup capsules.  

Reusable Coffee Filters and K-Cups 

K-Duo - Use Ground Coffee or K-Cup Pods

The K-Duo takes either paper filters or reusable mesh coffee filters for the carafe, and K-Cups for a single coffee brew. It's going to save you money in the long term if you buy a reusable carafe filter, and K-cup pods. These will not only help you save money by not having to buy paper filters, but it also saves on general waste and landfill.

Reusable Mesh Gold Tone Coffee filters and refillable K-Cup pods are made from premium stainless steel mesh. These are designed for freshly roasted ground coffee or loose tea leaves. Use either with your favorite high-quality beans for a superior tasting coffee at home.

The filter basket holds up to 15 tablespoons of regular coffee or up to 12 tablespoon of decaffeinated coffee.

Premium Keurig reusable pods are made of durable, BPA-Free materials with a handy lid and stainless steel design mesh filter. These are easy to hand wash, and are top-rack dishwasher safe. 

K-Duo Reuseable Mesh Carafe Filter and Reuseable K-Cups
K-Duo Paper Filters

Click on the button below to see the current price of Reusable K-Duo compatible filters available from Amazon. 

The Conclusion

K-Duo Plus with 12-Cup Stainless Steel Carafe

The Keurig K-Duo is a coffee brewer that will give you single cup coffee or brew a carafe. 

Most customer reviews on the K-Duo are from happy customers, but there is a percentage that have reported on problems with the carafe side of this machine.

A lot of customer complaints are simply because the K-Duo dribbles coffee all over the bench when pouring from the carafe. This is a basic design flaw that Keurig should be addressing. 

I definitely do not recommend you buy the Duo Essentials. It looks like Keurig is phasing this coffee machine out, and for good reason. 

For these reasons, I'd recommend you spend the extra if you can and go for the Duo Plus. It has great customer reviews, the exact same features and functions as the K-Duo, but is more compact. It also comes with a reusable mesh coffee filter for the carafe. 

If you like the idea of a compact machine that offers you the option of a single coffee brew, as well as the option for brewing anywhere between 6 to 12 cups with the carafe, then the K-Duo Plus is the machine for you. 

5/5 - (2 votes)

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