Single-serving coffee machines are incredibly popular because of their ease of use. With these devices, you no longer need barista skills or lots of brewing equipment, and your morning cup will be ready in seconds.
capsule brewing machines such as Keurig or Nespresso have recently become the second most popular brewing system in the US, after standard drip coffee makers, with 26 percent of American coffee drinkers using them in 2018.
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The rising popularity of these brewers creates convenience in our homes but is also a problem for the environment. Since the single-use coffee pods aren’t widely recycled, they are considered one of the most unnecessary sources of landfill waste.
Can you still keep using your Keurig but in a more sustainable way? How do you know which reusable K Cups to buy? And what are the best ones on the market right now?
We will look at some of the best reusable K Cups that have benefits beyond lessening the environmental impact.
At a Glance: Our Top 5 Picks For Best Reusable K-Cups
Rising Popularity And Rising Waste of K-Cups
Because of their convenience, single-use capsule coffee machines have become more and more popular in the coffee industry. Having your caffeine hit ready in a few seconds appeals to many Americans. In 2015, Keurig alone sold over nine billion single-serve capsules. While that’s a lot of coffee products sold and a lot of profit generated, that’s also a lot of unnecessary waste.
What’s worse is that because of the materials these cups are made of, a single pod takes 150 to 500 years to completely break down in a landfill. And with around 13.2 billion capsules sold by Keurig each year, this has a significant impact on the environment.
Keurig is aware of the issue, and they work hard to encourage consumers to recycle the capsules. The problem is that while the caps are recyclable, you have to separate the pod components to do so.
Since most consumers are attracted to single-use capsule machines for their convenience, they are also more likely to get rid of the used capsules more conveniently — by tossing them into the bin.
Could reusable K-Cup filters be the solution? Read on to find out!
Reasons to Consider Reusable K-Cups
It’s no secret that store-bought K-Cups aren’t great for the environment; in fact, their effects are so harmful that even Keurig co-founder John Sylvan regrets inventing them!
The truth is, traditional K-Cups aren’t sustainable, and tens of billions of the non-reusable, non-recyclable plastic pods have found their way into landfills across the world. For that reason, one of the biggest arguments for using reusable K-Cups and regular coffee grounds is that they reduce the negative impact single-use pods have on the environment.
People love reusable K-Cups because they allow you to keep the simple and easy coffee-making process your handy Keurig offers while simultaneously reducing your carbon footprint. More reusable K-Cup filters mean fewer plastic K-Cups sitting in landfills — we’ll drink (coffee) to that!
Apart from having a positive impact on the environment, this swap will positively impact your bank account, too, as the convenience of the single-use K-Cups means a higher price tag on your daily cup.
Most people are surprised to find that the biggest expense of joining the ranks of Keurig fanatics isn’t buying the machine itself; it’s actually purchasing the pods that make this type of brewing less than cost-effective.
On average, K-Cups cost you about four times more than ground coffee of the same brand! No matter how you crunch the numbers, you’ll find that buying a reusable K-Cup and a bag of fresh coffee beans can be done for a much more reasonable price.
Drink Better Coffee
Maybe sustainability and cost aren’t good enough reasons to convince you to rely on reusable Keurig pods to fill your coffee cups. But, perhaps this will be: reusable K-Cups give you more than just drinkable coffee — they brew a cup of coffee that’s better than what you’d get from a pre-packaged pod.
The single-use capsules on your grocery store shelf limit the control you have as you brew coffee. The coffee inside of them has also often lost its freshness before you’ve gotten a chance to use the pod because the beans were likely ground months before you even bought them.
Reusable K-Cup coffee filters give you the freedom to choose whatever coffee beans you want, making it easy to use your coffee machine to brew a single serving of your favorite single-origin or your local café’s house blend. Even if you’re buying only the best coffee beans, the final cost is still lower than it would be if you were buying single-use pods. We think that makes the decision to try a reusable coffee filter a no-brainer.
Quick Summary: Best Reusable K-Cups
|KEURIG MY K-CUP POD UNIVERSAL COFFEE FILTER
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|MAXWARE REUSABLE COFFEE FILTERS
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|DÉLIBRÜ REUSABLE K-CUPS
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|IPARTSPLUSMORE REUSABLE K-CUPS
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|DI ORO MAXBREW 24K GOLD K-CUP REUSABLE FILTER
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|EZ-CUP STAINLESS STEEL REUSABLE COFFEE POD
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|YEOSEN STAINLESS STEEL REUSABLE K-CUP
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Roasty Rankings: Best Reusable K-Cup
Keurig My K-Cup Pod Universal Coffee Filter
If you love your Keurig and want to stay loyal to your brand, Keurig’s My K-Cup might be a good choice for you. Besides, who can you trust more to meet your brewing needs than the manufacturer of the most popular coffee machine itself?
One of this reusable K-Cup’s most significant advantages is its compatibility; it fits all Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 models, including the Mini and Plus series. The cup consists of three parts — a filter basket, a lid, and a filter holder — and it also comes with a Plus series adapter that will need to be removed if you plan to use it in a Keurig Classic brewer. Unfortunately, more parts mean more hassle, harder cleanup, and a higher likelihood of something being damaged or lost.
This K-Cup also has useful lines inside that indicate how much coffee you should use for each brew size, and it’s compatible with both regular and travel mugs. Here’s one last bit of good news about this product: all of its plastic components are BPA-free!
Maxware Reusable Coffee Filters
If you’re exclusively looking at reusable filters that come at affordable prices, this set of four reusable K-Cups is exactly what you need to make your daily coffee consumption as sustainable and waste-free as possible.
These pods are pretty durable and boast the ability to brew a stronger cup than regular K-Cups can, and they’re easy to clean; all you have to do is rinse them off once you’ve dumped out your used coffee grounds. Unfortunately, though, these babies don’t work in the Keurig Mini, so if that’s the machine you’ve got sitting on your kitchen counter, you’ll need to find something else.
Délibrü Reusable K-Cups
Good news, Keurig lovers! These reusable K-Cups from Délibrü are designed to fit into any Keurig brewer, new or old. No matter where you are or what machine you’ve got access to, Délibrü provides a fast and convenient single-serve coffee brewing experience.
These cups are made from 100 percent BPA-free plastic and food-grade stainless steel mesh, and they’re dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. They’ve even got tightly sealed lids, which means there will be no leaks or messes as you brew.
iPartsPlusMore Reusable K-Cups
iPartsPlusMore’s K-Cups are known for bringing all the flavors you love into your cup. The stainless steel pod’s mesh design allows all the coffee oils — but none of the gritty grounds — to flow into your mug.
These cups, which are versatile enough to brew tea and coffee, require no additional accessories and are ready to use with most Keurig brewer models. They also boast a leak-free design and simple cleanup — just load them into your dishwasher!
DI ORO MaxBrew 24K GOLD K-Cup Reusable Filter
DI ORO filters are among the most popular reusable filters for use with Keurig’s single-serve coffee makers. The brand’s unique and aesthetically pleasing 24-karat gold-plated MaxBrew filter promises a better-tasting cup and gives you the ability to use finer grounds that wouldn’t work with other filters.
The metal used to make these honeycomb-patterned filters doesn’t absorb any of the joe’s natural oils or alter the taste of the coffee in your cup. And thanks to the high-quality BPA, DEHP, and lead-free materials, no harmful chemicals are added to the mix, either.
The product, which is compatible with most Keurig machines, is solidly constructed, making it durable enough to withstand the daily demand of most users. It’s also dishwasher-safe, ensuring easy cleanup. It even comes with a reassuring lifetime warranty!
If this filter lets some of the coffee grounds into your cup, you can use disposable K-Cup paper filters with it. However, that will cut the simplicity and add cost.
EZ-Cup Stainless Steel Reusable Coffee Pod
This stainless steel reusable K-Cup filter from EZ-Cup is perfect for those who aren’t all that crazy about using a product mostly made of plastic. Its completely metal body and semi-plastic lid are BPA-free, so it’s totally safe and trustworthy when brewing all of your cups of coffee.
This pod comes with paper filters, and though using those means you’ll have an extra step in your cleanup routine, you’ll also have a clean, smooth, and sediment-free brew every morning or afternoon.
Yeosen Stainless Steel Reusable K-Cup
Yeosen’s reusable K-Cup offers a more premium design and experience by using stainless steel construction. It promises to preserve coffee’s natural oils and flavors better than plastic ones can.
It’s compatible with both Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 machines, is exceptionally simple to use, and very easy to clean. It comes with a spoon so you can easily scoop your fresh coffee grounds into it, and it’s made of high-quality materials that are free of BPA, lead, and DEHP.
Keep in Mind Before Buying
Reusable coffee pods for Keurig are not made in a “one-size-fits-all” approach. While popular options tend to cover most models, it is crucial to check whether the pod is compatible with your Keurig machine.
Reusable coffee pods need to withstand the pressure of constant use. They need to withstand the heat from the machine and the dishwasher and even take in an occasional drop without breaking and falling apart.
Even refillable K-Cup should be easy to use. The more parts the pod consists of, the harder it is to keep track of them and the easier to lose. If convenience is your priority, go for the reusable K-Cup that doesn’t require removing and adjusting parts before use.
Even though reusable K-Cup filters don’t tend to break the bank, some are still more budget-friendly than others. While any Keurig reusable pod will pay for itself in the long run by saving you money on single-use caps, the price might be a factor some want to consider.
Keep in mind that the cheaper options tend to be flimsier and less durable, but if you know you won’t be using it that much, these might be good enough for you.
Reusable K-Cup and Keurig Queries
How much coffee should I put in a reusable K-Cup?
Almost any reusable coffee filter designed for use in a Keurig single-serve coffee maker is designed to hold around two tablespoons of ground coffee, which is the recommended amount of grounds needed to brew a standard six-ounce cup.
How long does a reusable K-Cup last?
While the standard, disposable K-Cups are only good for one use, reusable K-Cups can be used for years if they’re made of durable materials and well taken care of.
Part of prolonging your reusable K-Cup’s life is proper cleaning. Once you’ve disposed of your used coffee grounds (don’t rinse them down the sink, please!), most reusable K-Cups can be washed in warm soapy water with the rest of your dishes.
What coffee grind size goes into a reusable K-Cup?
Grinding your favorite coffee beans to a medium to medium-coarse grind size (the coffee particles should be the size of table salt) before spooning them into your reusable K-Cup is your best bet for brewing delicious coffee.
If your favorite ground coffee is too fine, you risk clogging the machine’s filter or creating a weak, under-extracted mess — gross.
Do you need filters for reusable K-Cups?
Many of these reusable K-Cups have mesh filters built into them, and if you purchase one of those, there’s no need for an additional filter. However, some Keurig coffee connoisseurs insist on using paper filters with their reusable K-Cups, swearing that these brewing companions produce cleaner cups of coffee by keeping loose grounds and sediment from dripping into your mug.
Do reusable K-Cups work in all Keurig coffee machine models?
Unfortunately, no. Reusable K-Cups aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution to all your Keurig coffee brewing needs, so before you click “add to cart,” be sure any of the reusable coffee pods you’re eyeballing will fit into your brewer.
Why does my reusable K-Cup make weak coffee?
The best way to get the day started is by sipping a piping hot mug full of strong coffee, so it’s especially disappointing when your beloved Keurig and reusable K-Cup let you down with a weak, lackluster brew. But before you toss them both out and purchase an all-new brewing setup, do a little troubleshooting.
The contents of your cup may be weak because you’re filling your K-Cup with grounds that are the wrong size. You can end up with a watery brew if they’re too coarse and a clogged machine if they’re too fine, so pull out your burr grinder and whole beans and do a bit of experimenting to find the perfect grind size.
You can also try using darker or bolder coffee beans than you’d usually go for since a Keurig brewer may dilute the brew a bit.
Can you make espresso with a Keurig machine?
The downside of using a Keurig to get your coffee on demand is that, even though the brand sells single-serving espresso pods, there’s no chance of getting an authentic espresso shot with the quick-brewing machine.
This is because the Keurig system makes coffee in a matter of seconds, uses a brewing temperature that’s lower than necessary for good espresso, and doesn’t brew with enough pressure to pull a shot. The result is a cup of strong, dark roast coffee, but it’s not espresso.
The Bottom Line
The rising popularity of single-serve pod machines like Keurig causes the rise in the number of used pods that keep ending up in landfills. And while using a one-touch operation machine for your morning cup offers convenience, it comes with a negative impact on the environment.
Reusable K-Cup pods offer a solution so you can keep enjoying your Keurig machine with a clear conscience. They also have other benefits like saving you money and giving you the freedom to make more diverse brews.
We’ve listed some of our best picks from the reusable K-Cup coffee filter department. Which one will you choose?