Alex has never been professionally involved into the world of coffee, however he knows much more than any average barista. Being an avid coffee lover, Alex is constantly searching for new tips, tools, and techniques to make his morning cup of java even more perfect.
Mary has been dealing with coffee almost all her life long: in her teenage years, she worked as a barista in a number of well-known coffeehouses, later developing her knowledge and skills while studying at the university as well. Several years after graduation, she managed to open her own small coffee bar.
Last updated: July 23, 2021
Can't decide between Keurig and Ninja? We compared them for you.
Coffee Statistics is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Any avid coffee drinker knows the value of a good coffee maker. If you are looking to invest in a solid one, you are likely to encounter the 2 popular brands: Keurig and Ninja. Both brands are highly reputable and are preferred by many for their top-notch performance. Each of the brands has a plethora of machines, from models that can brew a single cup to those that can give you a full barista experience from the comfort of your home.
The Keurig vs. Ninja choice is a hard one. Although both brands are undisputed coffee making champions; they have distinguishing features and aspects that set them apart from each other. Therefore, they are targeted at somewhat different consumers. The major defining differences between Ninja and Keurig is that Ninja models come with a specialty-brew functionality and they are not pot-based while Keurigs are pot-based and pretty basic.
For you to know which brand suits you best, you must have enough details about each of them. Here are some facts about Ninja and Keurig and how they compare with each other;
Ninja is a famous household appliances producer. They have been in the game for more than a decade now and have made a name for themselves with their wide array of products. Their coffee machine line is known for sheer versatility.
The machines are carefully designed to reduce the number of appliances you would need for a complete setup that would give you the ultimate barista experience at home.
If you are a coffee extraordinaire, a Ninja coffee maker is your best bet. The machines come with 4 brewing options; specialty, iced, rich and classic. Some even come with the Café forte feature.
The classic option is super-easy to use. It offers the standard cup of coffee, like the one you’d get from a high-quality drip coffee maker.
The rich option is perfect for anyone who enjoys milk or creamer but still wants to feel the taste of coffee. It’s basically just something between the specialty brewing option and the classic.
The iced coffee option should be enough proof that Ninja coffee machine are versatile. It allows you to brew coffee hot enough to serve over ice.
The specialty option is perfect for specialty drinks like latte and cappuccinos. In essence, it is a coffee concentrate. Therefore, you might not like having it as a shot.
Lastly, with the Café forte option, you can effectively highlight the flavor notes of your coffee grounds. Plus, you can drink it black.
Keurig is also a brand that doesn’t need introduction. It is a coffee powerhouse with over 50 different coffee making machine models. The company specializes in single-serve pod coffee machines.
Keurig coffee makers are a famous go-to for many because of their simplicity and efficiency. They are pretty straightforward to operate and can brew a good cup of carafe in no time. The machines have a pod-based system which involves heating a certain amount of water which is then pushed through a selected coffee pod then directly into your cup.
On top of being easy to use, the Keurig models offer super-fast brewing. In a minute or less you’d be having a delicious cup of coffee. The brewing time varies from machine to machine.
Moreover, the machines have an exclusive compatibility with Keurig coffee pods. You can use other pods, but they are usually hard to find and totally not worth the risk.
Most of the models also come with removable parts which make maintenance a breeze. These include: removable water reservoirs and drip trays.
Keurig also prioritizes your safety and power saving with the auto-off feature. It ensures the heating element of your coffee machine is powered off after the time you set elapses.
Keurig and Ninja: Comparing two popular models
Keurig proudly claims that owning the K-café is like owning a café in your home. The Ninja specialty coffee maker on the other hand, boasts its unparalleled versatility. It can brew over-ice and specialty coffees in no time.
Here is a clear illustration of their differences and similarities:
Keurig K-Cafe vs Ninja (CM401) Specialty Coffee Maker
Regardless of the model you choose, all Ninja machines are pod-free while all Keurig machines use pods. If you choose the Keurig K-café, you will have to purchase the Keurig coffee pods that are compatible with the machine. Alternatively, you can buy a My K-Cup Universal Reusable coffee filter to be able to use other coffee brands.
On the other hand, Ninja coffee machines feature a basic filter basket in a conical shape. The filter basket allows you to use any brand of coffee you desire.
If you like your coffee in different ways every other day, you better invest in a Ninja coffee bar machine. It comes with multiple brewing options including; rich, classic, iced, and specialty. If you are lucky to get a model with the café forte feature, you will be able to control the flavor profile of your regular coffee.
Keurig machines don’t have as many brewing options. The K-Café model includes a shot and strong brew option. You also get a frother, which you can use to make specialty drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.
Water reservoir capacity and brew sizes
Before choosing a Ninja or Keurig coffee machine, there are a few thing you need to consider like the amount of brewed coffee you consume in a day and the number of people looking to use the machine as well.
If you are looking to make more than a cup of coffee at once, go with the Ninja specialty. It brews up to 6 cups which is perfect even when you have guests over.
The K-café is the machine you buy if you live alone or you aren’t a mad brewed coffee fan. It is a single-serve machine and it lacks the carafe capability. On the bright side, you can comfortably fit 7-inch travel mug beneath it.
As for water reservoir, the sizes vary across models. Most Keurigs tend to have larger water reservoirs than Ninja models. You can get a low-end Keurig like the K50 with a 48oz reservoir. The K-café has a larger water reservoir than the Ninja specialty coffee maker and that means you will get to refill it less often.
Brewing time varies with different models. Ninja coffee machines generally have a longer brewing process compared to Keurig. The k-café will has a very fast brewing time. In 2 minutes you will be having your cup of coffee. Even so, the Ninja Specialty, sets itself apart with the programmable delay brew feature which the K-café doesn’t have.
The feature allows you to program the machine to make you coffee at a later time within a 24hr period. If you are a super-busy coffee lover who cannot imagine spending a second at the coffee machine, this feature is a huge bonus.
The K-café comes with a milk frother but the Ninja specialty doesn’t. The Ninja specialty is designed to automatically mix the milk until it gets foamy. However, it will not heat up the milk for you. This is a deal breaker for most people as they don’t imagine pre-heating milk every morning they need a cappuccino.
On the flip side, the K-café’s frother has a flimsy element that could possibly end up in your coffee. This makes the Ninja specialty a better option because picking things out of your coffee every morning can be tedious.
The brew quality of Ninja specialty is lower compared to that of K-café. The brewing process takes longer and the temperatures can go as high as 208 degrees F. This results in bitter over brewed coffee.
The brew quality of K-café is pretty ok. It is nothing like a professionally-brewed coffee as it is watery and bit weak but is will certainly satiate your craving for caffeine in the morning.
Ease of use
The Keurig is the winner when it comes to simplicity and ease of use. Its operation is practical enough for first time users to figure it out. All you need to do is insert a coffee pod then hit a few buttons.
Frothing is just as easy with Keurig machines. All you have to do is put some milk in the frother then push a single button.
The only feature that makes the Ninja specialty easy to use is the delay brew feature.
Ease of cleaning
Keurig wins again when it comes to ease of cleaning and maintenance. It has a smart design with removable parts. You can remove the parts with your hands. The frother is dishwasher friendly. If you choose ground coffee over pods, you will only need to clean the universal filter.
The Ninja specialty has folding parts that make cleaning it bearable. The water reservoir is removable for cleaning and you will never need paper filters.
Different Ninja and Keurig models have different price points but majority of them are considerably within the same price range. So, when it comes to upfront costs, the two brands are somewhat similar.
However, when it comes to running costs, Keurig is inherently more expensive, K-cups are not cheap. They have a higher cost per cup compared to regular coffee. Ninja has the cost advantage, unless you opt for reusable K cups.
The Keurig vs. Ninja showdown is a tough one because both brands are renowned and famous for their high-quality coffee making appliances. Choosing either wouldn’t hurt as the quality is guaranteed. If you get to a point where you must one, you can refer to all the information we have provided on both brands and how they compare. Each of them has strengths and distinguishing aspects that should help you choose what suits you best.
At the end of the day, nothing beats having coffee in various ways and in multiple brew sizes. Programming your next coffee brew is the icing on the cake and when it’s hot during summer, you can still enjoy your favorite coffee with the over-ice setting. This is why Ninja coffee machines are the most recommended. Their versatility is unmatched, plus, they have lower running costs.