All K-Cups last forever—and not in a good way. Why not help out the planet and get one you can use more than once? This list of reusable coffee pods will help you mitigate your polymer purge.
Someday, hundreds of years from now (or, probably, more like 20), people will gather ’round burning tires to spin oral yarns about what life was like in the “Before Times.”
“These little cups,” an elder will explain. “Made from strange, immutable materials, were left to us by the Gods to use as currency.”
At least, that’s what we hope they’ll think. The reality is we just want coffee. Fast. And, by God, if you can think of a better way to do it that doesn’t create eternal trash, then, by all means, have at it, Einstein!
But there is now a way you can keep using your Keurig without the guilt. There are loads of reusable K-Cups out there you can use with whatever variety of coffee grounds you like.
We’ve narrowed down some of the best options for you.
A Note on Compatibility
This list is comprised specifically of Keurig-compatible reusable coffee pods. But, that’s not a single category, considering the range of Keurig machines out there.
There are two generations of Keurig machines: 1.0 and 2.0. All of the below single-serve pods are compatible with both. The exceptions are the Carafe-size pods—these only fit in the 2.0 Keurigs, as they’re so dang big. That includes the Fill N Save Carafe listed below, and the Di Oro carafe pod that gets an honorable mention under the Di Oro Maxbrew.
“But what if I have the Keurig Vue?” you might ask. This black sheep of the Keurig machine family was discontinued in the summer of 2014, crushed under the freshly treaded wheels of the Keurig 2.0 rollout. We don’t talk about the Vue anymore. If you must, you might be able to wrangle an adapter, but no promises on compatibility with any of the below.
Best Budget Option: GoodCups ($11)
“Boy, that sounds great, but I’m no Jeff Bezos,” you say. “How could I possibly afford a K-Cup that never dies?”
Well, not-Jeff, GoodCups has you covered. For a scant $11, you gain not one, not two, but six reusable K-Cups. While your traditional K-Cup only survives a single brew, each of these little purple-and-mesh buckets will survive, well, lots more.
Of course, these are plastic, but less is more when it comes to pollution, and six plastic pods take up a lot less space at the landfill than, oh, say 730 dead pods after a year of drinking two cups a day.
The GoodCups are also insanely compatible across Keurig machines, but feel free to peruse the listed machines in the buy link if you aren’t the trusting type.
Best Premium Option: Di Oro Maxbrew 24K Gold ($12)
It’s not every day the difference between budget and premium is $1, but today is the exception. After all, we’re talking about little plastic cups here. Are they important? Yes. Just as big things sometimes come in small packages, premium things sometimes come with reasonable prices.
When you do the math, the Di Oro Maxbrew is a fair amount more expensive, considering you just get one K-Cup (as opposed to six with the GoodCups model). But that’s not why it’s our premium pick. It’s the premium pick because it’s got gold in it. More specifically, it’s got 24 whole Ks of gold in it, plating the filtering mechanism (which is stainless steel, internally).
If you’re all about status, you’re probably already sold on the idea of a golden K-Cup. If you prefer to choose your cups wisely, check this out: gold is nonreactive.
Stainless steel is reactive, and paper can have chemicals in it. But gold remains obstinate in the face of hot water and coffee beans. It will not affect the flavor or constitution of your coffee, nor will it absorb old flavors that leech back into your fresh cuppa—which is more than we can say for steel and paper. Plus, the gold filter looks like a honeycomb. This keeps the water flowing evenly. Also, it’s cool.
Goldilocks here is compatible with Keurigs 1.0 and 2.0. And if you’re into accessory packs, you can grab this kit from Di Oro, which bundles this cup with a larger carafe cup and charcoal filters for a few extra bucks ($19).
Best Carafe K-Cup: Fill N Save 2-Pack ($19)
Whether you need a lot of coffee to share with your loved ones, or you’re just trying to fill a massive thermos to get you through the day, Fill N Save’s Carafe K-Cup has you covered.
Each carafe-style K-Cup can brew up to five cups of coffee, which, of course, you can combine in one unreasonably large novelty mug and keep all to yourself.
“Great! I’ll buy one for home and one for the Keurig I rigged up in my car.” Whoa, slow down! This is a two-pack, so purchasing an extra unit is entirely superfluous. Unless you want four, in which case, go nuts!
These are similar to the Di Oro design and feature the gold-plated filter with the honeycomb that keeps your coffee’s flavor unmolested by reactionary metals. It also features a silicone O-ring, which prevents the pulpy bits from getting into your mug.
If you only need one carafe-style K-Cup but also want a regular-sized, reusable pod and some extras, go with the aforementioned Di Oro bundle. But if you want volume and you want it twice, Fill N Save has you covered for about the same price.
Do note that this Fill N Save Carafe is only compatible with Keurig 2.0 machines (specifically, the K200, K300, K400, and K500 series machines).
Best Steel Option: Fill N Save Stainless Steel ($19)
Reusing plastic is better than throwing it in the trash, so the previous reusable K-Cups on this list are at least a step in the right direction. If you want to go even further toward eliminating plastic waste (ultimately, even reusable K-Cups end up in the trash), you need a design that’s more steel, less plastic.
Fill N Save offers a stainless-steel model (with some plastic bits, yes) that costs more but lasts longer. Sure, stainless steel has the downside of reacting with coffee and altering the flavor. But then again, taste is subjective. Plus, according to the marketing materials, you can hit this with a hammer all day with no problem (although, we wouldn’t recommend it).
The point is, this is definitely the most durable K-Cup on this list. The price only gets you one unit, but it’s likely the only one you’ll ever need.
This little fella works just fine in 1.0 and 2.0 Keurig brewers.