Are Keurig Water Filters Universal?


I love my Keurig for the convenience and speed at which it makes a decent cup of coffee. But with so many different models to choose from, I wondered are Keurig filters universal?

Here’s what I know from testing them out:

Keurig water filters are universal in all Keurig coffee makes except for the Keurig MINI PLUS which does not use a water filter. They are also not compatible with Keurig’s Rivo brewing systems. Additionally, they are unlikely to work in other brands of coffee makers.

But that’s just a quick answer.

After all, there are a lot of different models of Keurig coffee makes. And additionally, aside from the water filter, there are also coffee filter pods which we’ll get into also.

There is still a lot to learn about Keurigs and how their filters work. Let’s dive into it.

Are all Keurig water filters the same?

Keurig water filters are universal for every model except the Keurig MINI PLUS and Rivo brewing systems. K-cups, which act as the filter between the coffee and water are universal across all models of Keurig coffee makers.

So if you’re concerned about water filters, almost all Keurig water filters are the same now except for the two I mentioned. They look like little packets made with charcoal that should be soaked before putting directly into the water reservoir.

The difference in where the water filter goes is with the water reservoir.

When you get a Keurig, it will either have a side reservoir or a rear reservoir. The side reservoir has two different containers it can use, while the rear only has one. The two side ones are called a side reservoir water filter and a k-classic water filter. The rear one is pretty obvious. It’s a rear reservoir water filter.

The rear and side reservoir water filters look somewhat similar at a glance, but as you take a closer look, you’ll find the differences. The rear water filter is much shorter than a side water filter. However, they’re both a white, almost transparent color with the filter being placed at the bottom of it.

The k-classic water filter is black and about the same length as the side water filter.

This version has a dial at the top, and the filter sits at the bottom. The dial is made to remind you when to change the filter. If you set the dial to 2, then it will remind you in two months.

However, most newer Keurig has a reminder option built into the display and button settings. So on top of the filter container reminding you so with the Keurig itself.

Let’s talk about exactly where these filters sit in your Keurig.

Where is the water filter in my Keurig?

The water filters in a Keurig are located inside the water reservoir of the Keurig. Remove the lid to the water reservoir, and grab the plastic handle which protrudes up and pull straight out. The filter is at the bottom encased in a plastic holder which can be removed by pressing 2 clips.

The filter’s location may vary for certain Keurig models, though.

To help you visualize where the filters are, we’re going to talk about three models that will most likely be in anyone’s house: The Keurig Duo, The Keurig K-Select, and The K-Mini Coffee Maker. Let’s dive into the Duo first.

The Keurig Duo

The Duo is my favorite because it gives you a classic feel with the coffee pot but still gives you the flexibility of a single serving. This Keurig has a rear reservoir that can hold 60oz of water.

The water filter for this is really simple.

All you’re going to do is take off the reservoir and make sure everything is clean. When you look at the reservoir, the numbers are facing away from you; you should see a little black dot on the bottom left of the reservoir. Once your water filter is ready and is in the container, you will click the container down onto that dot to secure it in place. It should easily click into place.

The Keurig K-Select

This is the basic Keurig that you see in a lot of households. The alternative that you make see to this is the Keurig K-Compact. The K-Compact is a smaller version of the K-Select, so it’ll fit better in smaller households. The main difference other than size is where the reservoir is.

The K-Select has your normal single serve method with a side water reservoir. In comparison, the K-Compact has a rear reservoir. The K-Select reservoir can hold 52 ounces of water and uses a side reservoir water filter.

When you take the reservoir off of this Keurig, you’ll notice the black dot on the bottom right this time. Do the same as you would with the Duo, and the filter container will click in place.

The piece that you are clicking the container into is called the lower portion of the water filter. You have this part, the filter itself, and the container that holds the water filter. Please don’t let the filter simply float in the water.

The Keurig K-Mini

This coffee maker is perfect for small kitchens. The only downside to this Keurig is that you use all the water in the reservoir when making a coffee cup.

The reservoir holds 12 ounces and will need to be refilled every time you use it. If you don’t drink a lot of coffee or simply don’t use your Keurig often, this would be the perfect option for you.

The reservoir is not removable, but that’s okay because it doesn’t have a water filter!

That’s right! If you’re trying to figure out how your water filter container will fit in that small space well, it won’t fit at all. Since you use the full amount of water in the container, there isn’t much need for a water filter.

However, it is common to have problems with your Keurig not dispensing right in the Keurigs mentioned above. I have a recent article on why this happens and how to prevent it.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Can you run your Keurig without a water filter?

Keurigs can operate perfectly without the water filter in place. The filter is designed to remove impurities from the water such as excess calcium. Too much calcium can lead to scale build-up in the Keurig which could eventually cause clogs and prevent its operation.

But Keurigs are made to be very versatile.

You can make hot cocoa, coffee, tea, and much more with no mess all in one machine. Keurig even has a duo set that has your normal Keurig with the K-cups, but it also has the usual coffee pot.

This question doesn’t have a straightforward answer, as there are many different designs behind Keurig. 

The water filter isn’t essential to run the machine; however, it is advised to use it for the best tasting coffee you can get. That being said, you also don’t have to worry about the water filter if all you’re making is hot water. You can just do an empty brew cycle. 

The water filter for your Keurig is mainly meant for what we call hard water.

Hard water is when your water has too many minerals in it. Most newer Keurigs will sense this and give you an error code. Not to mention if you continuously use tap water, depending on where you live, you might need to clean your Keurig more often.

This is because hard water over time does a lot of damage to your pipes and will do the same to your Keurig.

I have a recent article that goes over why your coffee may be tasting a little funky when you use your Keurig. It might have to do with the water you use.

Click the link to read it on my site and find out the real answer. Let’s talk more about the type of water that is best for your Keurig.

Are water filters necessary for coffee makers if I use purified or spring water?

Water filters are not necessary for coffee makers, if using purified water, but spring water could have high levels of calcium present which could create scale buildup and cause blockages in the coffee maker’s water lines.

So let’s break down what the water filter is used for again. The water filter is mainly used to make sure your coffee tastes better by filtering your water.

Not using the filter won’t hurt your Keurig. 

Tap water is different all around the world. It probably has the most minerals in it out of all the water in your house. Your Keurig has a sensor that senses the minerals in the water. You can easily use tap water in your Keurig, but you will need to clean it more often to avoid errors because of the high mineral count.

Now you may be thinking that distilled water would be the next best option for your Keurig. Well, that may not actually be true. Distilled water is a hard no for Keurig 2.0. This is because of that sensor I talked about. If your Keurig doesn’t sense any minerals, it’ll give you an error code.

So what is the best water? Perhaps bottled water? This can be tricky, too, but it is usually pretty decent.

If you use spring water, you just have to be aware of the minerals, and if you use purified water, you’re probably on the safer side. Purified water went through more filters before getting bottled.

That being said, if you really want what is best for your Keurig, then make sure you have filtered water. Whether that’s filtered tap or bottled water and make sure you clean your Keurig every six months or after every other filter change.

I have a recent article that talks about how you can clean your Keurig without using the Keurig descaling solution. 

Simply click the link to read it on my site. 

Usually, you can get a 6 or 12 pack of water filters for your Keurig, and you’re going to want to change them out every two months with consistent use. If you don’t consistently use your Keurig, then you should change it out every 60 tank fills.

If you do choose to use water filters, make sure you change them regularly. Make sure you also have the filter container and put the filter there instead of letting the filter float throughout the reservoir.

Remember, though, if you’re on a tight budget, you don’t need that water filter in order to use your Keurig.

Did I cover everything you wanted to know about Keurig filters?

In this article, we went over a favorite appliance for coffee lovers.

We focused mainly on water filters.

What they’re used for, where they go, and if we can do without forking up more money for our coffee.

We learned that Keurig water filters, for the most part, are universal and have the same shape. The part that is different is the top of the water filter called the filter container. Remember, if your water has a lot of minerals in it, it’s best to use a water filter even though it’s mainly meant for flavor enhancement.

Stay safe in the kitchen, and enjoy your favorite morning drink!

 

Jeff Campbell

Jeff was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades and is now a recovering foodie. When he's not spending time in the kitchen, he can usually be found with his wife & 3 daughters, he can usually be found practicing martial arts, making music, or blogging on his other sites. Click to learn more about me

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