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Instant Pod vs. Keurig K-Classic

Keurig’s K-Classic and Instant Pod machines are two options to get your day started with a quick cup of coffee, but which will add that special moment to your morning? While both the K-Classic and the Instant Pod were designed to give you a dose of caffeine, each machine offers a different set of features and compatibility with varying coffee pods. From brewing sizes to special features, here’s a look at what each device has to offer so that you can decide which is the perfect upgrade for your kitchen or office.

Already have a Keurig, but it isn’t working correctly? Check out our guide on how to clean a Keurig machine — it might just need a bit of help.

Coffee compatibility

Instant Pod Capsules

In America, Keurig can be credited with starting the pod-based coffee brewing boom, and the K-Classic sticks to its roots. You can begin brewing K-Cup pods with a K-Classic — those short, cylindrical coffee pods you have probably seen in every business conference room, hotel lobby, and car dealership. K-Cups offer various coffee brewing options from brands such as Dunkin Donuts, Green Mountain, and Starbucks. K-Cup pods also offer tea from Twinings and hot chocolate from Swiss Miss.

In comparison, the Instant Pod machine also takes K-Cups but then adds on the ability to use Nespresso capsules for more variety. If you aren’t in the mood for a cup of tea or coffee, you can pop in a Nespresso capsule for a few espresso shots. If you’re feeling fancy, you can whip up a Cafe Misto or froth up some milk to create a latte or cappuccino. Just note that the frothing will require a separate device, as the Instant Pod doesn’t include a built-in steaming wand or milk frothing unit.

While both the Instant Pod and Keurig K-Classic can handle K-Cup pods, only the Instant Pod can accept Nespresso capsules, giving an edge over the current champion.

Winner: Instant Pod

Cup sizes


How big of a cup of coffee do you want — are you brewing enough for a quick afternoon pick-me-up or a large morning travel mug? Both the Instant Pod and Keurig K-Classic allow you to pick various cup sizes to best suit your needs. Keeping it simple, the K-Classic allows for three sizes: 6 ounces, 8 ounces, and 10 ounces.

The Instant Pod also offers three sizes for K-Cup pods, but wants to keep you a bit more caffeinated with 8-ounce, 10-ounce, and 12-ounce options. When it comes to the Nespresso capsules, you gain another three sizes for espresso, including 2-ounce, 4-ounce, and 6-ounce — about the equivalent of one, two, and three shots.

Again, the Instant Pod edges out here due to its versatile cup sizes that help to accompany both coffee and espresso. We think coffee fans will also love the extra-large 12-ounce size offered with the Pod machine.

Winner: Instant Pod

Water reservoir

Instant Pod Reservoir

It would be quite a time-consuming process if you needed to fill up either coffee maker with water every time you wished to use it; thus, both Keurig and Instant have included built-in water reservoirs. The Keurig K-Classic consists of a 48-ounce reservoir, while the Instant Pod offers an even larger 68-ounce reservoir. Both machines feature reservoirs that can be removed for easy filling and cleaning, so you’re not stuck moving the entire machine.

The Instant Pod’s larger water reservoir is a benefit indeed, allowing you to brew over a dozen cups of coffee (4 ounces per cup) without needing to refill the tank, a slight increase over the K-Classic’s nine cups.

Winner: Instant Pod


Instant Pod Waste Bin

These coffee machines are quite basic models, with neither featuring standout features, beyond pod and capsule compatibility. However, we do like one extra part of the Instant Pod. If you find yourself always forgetting to remove Nespresso capsules after brewing, the Instant Pod features a nifty used capsule container that stores the tiny pods to later discard. Both the K-Classic and Instant Pod feature auto-shutoff timers to give you peace of mind and save you some electricity money if you forget to shut the unit off.

We will give the K-Classic one point for personality, though, as you can purchase it in either black or Rhubarb (red). The Instant Pod follows Henry Ford’s famous mantra of the past decade — you can have it in any color, as long as it is black.

Winner: Instant Pod

Winner overall: Instant Pod

Instant Pot Instant Pod 2-in-1 Single Brew Coffee and Espresso Maker

The Instant Pod took this battle by storm, winning every category thanks to its larger reservoir capacity, ability to brew both coffee and espresso pods, and choice of large brewing cup sizes. While the K-Classic remains a solid choice, the Instant Pod can’t help but cast a shadow over it. Of course, the K-Classic isn’t Keurig’s only in-house option, so be sure to check out our guide on the best Keurig coffee makers available currently.

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Archambault
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Michael Archambault is a technology writer and digital marketer located in Long Island, New York. For the past decade…
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