Ninja DualBrew vs DualBrew Pro – Which One Do You Buy

Dual (or two-way) coffee makers are popular pick for anyone who wants to enjoy their coffee in two ways: ground coffee or single-serve pods.

We’ve looked into dual coffee makers from many popular brands, most famously Hamilton Beach and Keurig. And now, Ninja as joined the party with their DualBrew coffee maker.

DualBrew vs DualBrew PRO – What’s The Difference?

Dualbrew vs DualBrew PRO
DualBrew ProDualBrew
Touch ScreenYESNO
Hot Water DispenserYESNO
Carafe MaterialGLASSGLASS
Repositionable ReservoirYESNO
Milk FrotherYESNO
Specialty BrewYESNO
Brew Styles43
Cup Sizes (Grounds)99
Cup Sizes (Pods)44

Features of Ninja DualBrew System

The DualBrew coffee system gives you a wide variety of brew sizes and strength to meet your every mood, using either your favorite coffee ground or K-Cup.

Brew sizes vary based on your brew method. Using the single-serve K-Cup pod option, you can brew sizes 6, 8, 10 and 12 oz. But if you’re using coffee grounds, the brew sizes are even more variable: Small Cup, Cup, XL Cup, Travel Mug, XL Travel Mug, ¼ Carafe, ½ Carafe, ¾ Carafe, or Full Carafe.

Ninja DualBrew

When it comes to Brew Styles – which is another word for coffee strength, you can select between classic, rich or over ice, which brews even stronger so your coffee doesn’t taste watered down when the ice melts.

On the control panel of the DualBrew machine, you’ll notice that it also has a timer for auto start and a keep warm option to keep your coffee warm on the hot plate for up to 4 hours.

What’s Inside the Box:

The coffee maker – 12-cup glass carafe – paper filter kit – K-Cup pod adapter – coffee scoop.

Where else to Buy Ninja DualBrew:

TargetNinja Kitchen

Features of DualBrew Pro

With the Pro version of the DualBrew, you get all of (features of the non-Pro version) and a few extras:

  • Four Brew Styles: Classic, rich, over ice and Specialty, this brew styles makes a coffee concentrate that resembles a shot of espresso that allows you to create delicious milk based coffee drinks. Learn all about Ninja’s Brew styles here.
  • Milk Frother: To make those delicious cappuccinos and lattes, you’ll need a frother. The DualBrew Pro has a built-in frother, the whisk type, so it will not heat the milk like a steam wand does, it only creates froth.
  • Hot Water on Demand: DualBrew Pro has a separate spout to dispense hot water on demand. You can select from hot or boil water temperatures.
  • Repositionable water reservoir allows you to change where the reservoir sits, either on the side or back of the coffee maker.

Is There Any Reusable Filter Pods for the Ninja DualBrew?

I’ve received this question via email. The simple answer is it’s not needed. The DualBrew is able to brew single cups using ground coffee, making the need for a reusable filter pod redundant. I would not advice you try Keurig’s reusable filter pods, they won’t work as the punching needle on the DualBrew is different than Keurig’s. In fact, DualBrew has three needles instead of one. So It’s different from Keurig’s single needle machines and MultiStream machines which have five needles.

Ninja DualBrew Comparisons

DualBrew CFP301 vs CFP300 vs CFP201 vs CFP305

Turns out, Ninja is making a whole lot of DualBrews! They come in several models with slight changes, so here’s what you need to know.

CFP301 PROCFP300 PROCFP 305 PROCFP201 (DualBrew
Touch ScreenYESYESYESNO
Hot Water DispenserYESYESYESNO
Carafe MaterialGLASSGLASSSTAINLESS STEELGLASS
Repositionable ReservoirYESYESYESNO
Milk FrotherYESYESYESNO
Specialty BrewYESYESYESNO

So as you can see, the CFP301, 300 and 305 are all variations of the PRO model, while the CFP201 refers to the DualBrew model.

DualBrew Pro vs. Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker

Ninja Specialty Fold Away Frother CM401 Coffee Maker

Ninja’s Specialty Coffee Maker was a release prior to the DualBrew. While it came before the DualBrew, it is still sold and available from Ninja or other vendors, so as the time of writing, it is not a discontinued model.

Basically, the Specialty coffee maker was designed the same thing the DualBrew Pro can do. It has a built-in frother and the Specialty Brew option to make specialty coffee drinks. But there are still some differences. Here they are compared side by side:


DualBrew ProSpecialty Coffee Maker
Brew Styles4 (Classic – Rich, Over Ice, Specialty)4 (Classic – Rich, Over Ice, Specialty)
Brew Sizes9 (Small Cup, Cup, XL Cup, Travel Mug, XL Travel Mug, ¼ Carafe, ½ Carafe, ¾ Carafe, or Full Carafe)6  (Cup, XL Cup, Travel Mug, Multi-Serve Travel Mug, Half Carafe & Full Carafe) 
K-Cup PodYES – 6,8, 10, 12 ozNO
Touch ScreenYESNO
Repositionable ReservoirYESNO
Reservoir Capacity60 oz40 oz
Hot Water SystemYESNO

One of the biggest differences in these two models is that the DualBrew Pro is a dual coffee maker that can brew both ground coffee and K-Cup pods. While the Specialty coffee maker is a no-pod system, it can brew single cups, but does not use any pods.

The DualBrew Pro also features three additional cup sizes and a hot water dispenser.

Is It worth it to buy an older model (Specialty Coffee Maker) or should you go for the DualBrew Pro?

It really depends on what you need. If you don’t need the K-Cup pods brewing option and happy with brewing ground coffee only, the Specialty coffee maker is a solid choice. But I would also consider its price. If it is sold at a small price difference to what the DualBrew is sold for, then definitely go for the DualBrew Pro. But if the older model is heavily discounted, then why not.

DualBrew vs. Hamilton Beach

The Hamilton Beach FlexBrew is one of the earliest two-way coffee makers available on the market. Here, I will be comparing the Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew to the Ninja CFP201 DualBrew..

Ninja CFP201 DualBrew System 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Single-Serve for Grounds & K-Cup Pod Compatible, 3 Brew Styles, 60-oz. Water Reservoir & Carafe, Black
Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew Trio 2-Way Coffee Maker, Compatible with K-Cup Pods or Grounds, Combo, Single Serve & Full 12c Pot, Black
Ninja CFP201 DualBrew System 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Single-Serve for Grounds & K-Cup Pod Compatible, 3 Brew Styles, 60-oz. Water Reservoir & Carafe, Black
Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew Trio 2-Way Coffee Maker, Compatible with K-Cup Pods or Grounds, Combo, Single Serve & Full 12c Pot, Black
Separate Spouts/Water Reservoir
Brew Single Cup Using Coffee Ground
Carafe Capacity
12-cups
12-cups
Single Serve Brew Sizes
6, 8, 10, 12 oz
6, 8, 10, 12 oz - up to 14 oz if using ground coffee
Strength Control
3 settings
1 setting
Auto Start for Carafe Brewing
Ninja CFP201 DualBrew System 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Single-Serve for Grounds & K-Cup Pod Compatible, 3 Brew Styles, 60-oz. Water Reservoir & Carafe, Black
Ninja CFP201 DualBrew System 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Single-Serve for Grounds & K-Cup Pod Compatible, 3 Brew Styles, 60-oz. Water Reservoir & Carafe, Black
Separate Spouts/Water Reservoir
Brew Single Cup Using Coffee Ground
Carafe Capacity
12-cups
Single Serve Brew Sizes
6, 8, 10, 12 oz
Strength Control
3 settings
Auto Start for Carafe Brewing
Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew Trio 2-Way Coffee Maker, Compatible with K-Cup Pods or Grounds, Combo, Single Serve & Full 12c Pot, Black
Hamilton Beach 49976 FlexBrew Trio 2-Way Coffee Maker, Compatible with K-Cup Pods or Grounds, Combo, Single Serve & Full 12c Pot, Black
Separate Spouts/Water Reservoir
Brew Single Cup Using Coffee Ground
Carafe Capacity
12-cups
Single Serve Brew Sizes
6, 8, 10, 12 oz - up to 14 oz if using ground coffee
Strength Control
1 setting
Auto Start for Carafe Brewing

To start, Hamilton Beach has two separate sides for each brewing method, the carafe brew and the single brew. Each side has its own separate water tank, too.

In fact, the 12-cup carafe brew side has a reservoir, but on the single-serve brew side, you’ll have to fill fresh water in the tank with the serving size you want to brew.

The single-serve side can use either K-Cup pods or ground coffee. The maximum serving size will depend on your method, it’s 12 oz for the K-Cups or 14 oz for the coffee ground.

Strength brew option allows you to make a bolder brew.

Digital clock allows you to set an auto start timer, but only for the carafe side.

Which Do You Pick?

Generally speaking, both the Hamilton Beach and Ninja DualBrew serve the same purpose. But there are a few things to consider:

  • If you care what your appliances look like, then first thing you’ll notice is how a lot modern looking the Ninja brewer looks. Since it uses one spout and reservoir for both brewing methods, it is slimmer in width and would look a lot nicer on a countertop.
  • While both machines have strength control, Ninja DualBrew has an ‘Over Ice’ option. This option takes into consideration the fact that you’re adding ice to your coffee that will melt and water it down. So while the coffee still brews hot, it will be bolder so it never tastes watery.
  • Budget-wise, there’s a huge price difference* between the two brands (*as of time of writing). If the Ninja DualBrew is within your budget, then you’ll love having a more modern machine with a sleek design and better functionality. But if all you really want is a good cup of coffee (and don’t care for the wider counter space you’ll need), the Hamilton Beach will be just fine of a choice.

DualBrew vs. Keurig K-Duo vs. K-Duo Plus

Ninja CFP201 DualBrew System 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Single-Serve for Grounds & K-Cup Pod Compatible, 3 Brew Styles, 60-oz. Water Reservoir & Carafe, Black
Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker, Single Serve and 12-Cup Carafe Drip Coffee Brewer, Compatible with K-Cup Pods and Ground Coffee, Black
Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker, Single Serve and 12-Cup Carafe Drip Coffee Brewer, Compatible with K-Cup Pods and Ground Coffee, Black
Ninja CFP201 DualBrew System 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Single-Serve for Grounds & K-Cup Pod Compatible, 3 Brew Styles, 60-oz. Water Reservoir & Carafe, Black
Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker, Single Serve and 12-Cup Carafe Drip Coffee Brewer, Compatible with K-Cup Pods and Ground Coffee, Black
Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker, Single Serve and 12-Cup Carafe Drip Coffee Brewer, Compatible with K-Cup Pods and Ground Coffee, Black
Carafe Capacity
12-cups
12-cups
12-cups
Single Cup Brew Sizes
6, 8, 10 and 12 oz
6, 8, 10 and 12 oz
6, 8, 10 and 12 oz
Reservoir Capacity
60 oz - shared
60 oz - shared
60 oz - shared and repositionable
Coffee Strength
3 settings
1 setting
1 setting
Carafe Material
Glass
Glass
Thermal
Ninja CFP201 DualBrew System 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Single-Serve for Grounds & K-Cup Pod Compatible, 3 Brew Styles, 60-oz. Water Reservoir & Carafe, Black
Ninja CFP201 DualBrew System 12-Cup Coffee Maker, Single-Serve for Grounds & K-Cup Pod Compatible, 3 Brew Styles, 60-oz. Water Reservoir & Carafe, Black
Carafe Capacity
12-cups
Single Cup Brew Sizes
6, 8, 10 and 12 oz
Reservoir Capacity
60 oz - shared
Coffee Strength
3 settings
Carafe Material
Glass
Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker, Single Serve and 12-Cup Carafe Drip Coffee Brewer, Compatible with K-Cup Pods and Ground Coffee, Black
Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker, Single Serve and 12-Cup Carafe Drip Coffee Brewer, Compatible with K-Cup Pods and Ground Coffee, Black
Carafe Capacity
12-cups
Single Cup Brew Sizes
6, 8, 10 and 12 oz
Reservoir Capacity
60 oz - shared
Coffee Strength
1 setting
Carafe Material
Glass
Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker, Single Serve and 12-Cup Carafe Drip Coffee Brewer, Compatible with K-Cup Pods and Ground Coffee, Black
Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker, Single Serve and 12-Cup Carafe Drip Coffee Brewer, Compatible with K-Cup Pods and Ground Coffee, Black
Carafe Capacity
12-cups
Single Cup Brew Sizes
6, 8, 10 and 12 oz
Reservoir Capacity
60 oz - shared and repositionable
Coffee Strength
1 setting
Carafe Material
Thermal

Keurig’s K-Duo is another option for a two way coffee maker that offers a variety of brew sizes, including a full 12-cup carafe.

Like Ninja’s DualBrew, the K-Duo is available in two versions: K-Duo and K-Duo Plus. You can read about the two versions in a full post here.

Here’s a quick look at the features of the K-Duo:

Sale
Keurig K-Duo Coffee Maker, Single Serve and 12-Cup Carafe Drip Coffee Brewer, Compatible with K-Cup Pods and Ground Coffee, Black
  • What’s in the box: 12-cup glass carafe included with your brewer along with a heating plate to keep coffee hot.
  • Brew a cup and a carafe: Use both ground coffee and k-cup pods. Height with handle open-17.63 H inch. Height with drip cover open-18 H inch
  • Multiple brew sizes: Brew a 6, 8, 10, or 12-cup carafe and a 6, 8, 10, or 12 ounce cup.
  • Compatible with keurig gold tone mesh filter accessory: A reusable coffee filter you can use to brew your perfect carafe (sold separately).
  • Large 60 ounce water reservoir: The 60 ounce water reservoir is shared between the single serve and carafe brewing, saving you time and simplifying your morning routine. Removable reservoir makes refilling easy.

This model has a design that is similar to Hamilton Beach’s FlexBrew. It has two sides: the carafe brew side and the single-serve side.

On the full carafe side, you have the options to brew 6, 8, 10 or 12 cups of coffee. The included carafe is glass and a hot warming plate can keep it hot for several hours.

When brewing a K-Cup pod, you can brew serving sizes 6, 8, 10 and 12 oz. It is compatible with any type of K-Cup pod (branded, non-branded) as well as refillable cups, but if you choose to buy a 3rd party refillable pod, make sure it is compatible. Otherwise, you can opt for the official refillable pod from Keurig that is guaranteed to work with the machine.

Other options include: Pause and Pour – for pausing the brew cycle before it is fully complete. Strong Brew for a bolder coffee (works for the single-serve brew only). Programability and auto brew for the carafe side.

Reservoir size is 60 oz, shared between the single-serve and carafe side.

Features of the K-Duo Plus:

Sale
Keurig K-Duo Plus Coffee Maker, Single Serve and 12-Cup Carafe Drip Coffee Brewer, Compatible with K-Cup Pods and Ground Coffee, Black
  • What’s in the box: 12 cup thermal carafe and mesh reusable ground coffee filter included with your brewer
  • Brew a cup and a carafe: Use both ground coffee and k cup pods
  • Strong brew: Brew a stronger, more intense single cup and carafe
  • Multiple brew sizes: Brew a 6, 8, 10, or 12 cup carafe and a 6, 8, 10, or 12 ounce cup
  • Multi position 60 ounce; Water reservoir: Can be positioned to the right, left, or along the back of the brewer to optimize counter space

If you need a slimmer design, that is more in line to what the DualBrew by Ninja looks like, the K-Duo Plus is the model to consider.

The K-Duo Plus has a single spout design that can be used either for full carafe brewing or single cup brewing. It offers the same serve sizes as the K-Duo: 6, 8, 10 and 12 cups or 6, 8, 10 and 12 oz for single-serve brewing. It also has the same reservoir size, 60 oz, however, this time it is repositionable, it can sit behind or on the side of the machine, whichever suits your space best.

Another difference is the carafe, the K-Duo Plus has a thermal carafe. Therefore, it does not have a hot plate.

Everything else is similar to the K-Duo including: auto-start, programability, Pause and Pour and Strong Brew option.

Which Do You Pick

Although both Keurig K-Duo models and Ninja DualBrew offer the same functionality for the most part, The K-Duo Plus is the most comparable to the DualBrew due to its design.

When it comes to brewing styles and serving sizes, the DualBrew offers more variety. You’ll have the option of three or four brew styles (strength): Classic, Rich, Over Ice and Specialty (in the pro model only), this option is designed to replicate an espresso shot. The Pro version of the DualBrew also has a built-in milk frother – this, together with the Specialty option, allows you to make coffee drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes. None of Keurig’s K-Duo models has this option.

Personally, I am leaning towards the DualBrew by Ninja as a better option. It’s modern, offers more options and gives you a better user experience overall. However, there’s the subject of budget, too. There’s not a huge difference in price between the Ninja DualBrew and Keurig K-Duo Plus – you’ll have to check for yourself as prices change frequently.

Possible Issues You Could Encounter Using the Ninja DualBrew and DualBrew Pro

Like many appliances, Ninja coffee makers could face the occasional problems. But they’re easily solvable, and you can read all about them here:

The one thing all these problems have in common is that most of them start because the machine has not been cleaned or descaled. So keep in mind that cleaning your coffee maker regularly will help you avoid these issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Pods Work with Ninja DualBrew?

Any K-Cup pod should work. Refillable K-Cup pods will NOT work though. Only regular pods.

Does Ninja DualBrew Pro Make Espresso?

No, they’re not designed to make espresso. You can, however, try Espresso style pods that can be used to make really strong coffee. With the PRO version, you can use the ‘Specialty’ selection to make a coffee concentrate close to an espresso shot.

Does Ninja DualBrew Have a Water Filter?

No, none of these brewers have a water filter other than the small filter in the bottom of the reservoir, which does not do much filtration. It’s highly recommended hat you use filtered water when brewing your coffee.

Is DualBrew Programmable?

The ground coffee part of the machine is programmable in the sense that you can set it to auto start and brew. Other programmable features like brew style and size customization applies to both ground coffee and pod brewing.

Does Ninja DualBrew Include a Permanent Filter?

No, the machines will come with a pack of paper filters to get you started. If you want a permanent filter basket, you’ll have to buy it separately.