Last updated: December 2021
What is a Dual Coffee Maker?
A coffee maker that makes both single serve and a full carafe is know by many names: 2-way coffee maker, combination coffee maker or a dual coffee maker. It is a very convenient choice for anyone looking for the best of two worlds. Lucky for anyone who’s looking for this type of coffee maker, many choices are available. You can get a two-way coffee maker that uses ground coffee, coffee pods, or both. Even a coffee maker with built-in grinder that does both a single cup and carafe serving is available. All which we will be listing below.
What To Consider Before Choosing a Dual Coffee Maker:
- Do you want to use ground coffee or single serve pods? There are brands that use both and others that rely on pods only.
- Cup sizes: many people want to brew right into a travel mug when choosing the single serve option. If that’s something you want, make sure the coffee maker you’re buying can accommodate a travel mug and support this brewing size.
Top Pick – Ninja DualBrew Coffee Maker
Ninja has been a maker of very reliable coffee makers, and what always sets it apart from other brands is the wide variety of serving sizes it can brew.
The DualBrew is no different. It allows you to choose from 9 brew sizes for ground coffee as well as 4 sizes for k-cup pods.
- (Small Cup, Cup, XL Cup, Travel Mug, XL Travel Mug, ¼ Carafe, ½ Carafe, ¾ Carafe, or Full Carafe)
- 6, 8, 10, or 12 oz. for K-Cup pods
Strength control is known as ‘Brew Styles’ in Ninja Coffee makers. You get to choose from: Classic, Rich – which gives you a bolder tasting coffee or Over Ice, which is perfect for iced coffee that won’t taste watered down.
On the control panel of the machine, you’ll also find a digital clock for setting auto brew up to 24 hours in advance. The touch-screen buttons are easy to use and clear to read.
The machine comes with a 12-cup glass carafe and a Keep warm function keeps your coffee warm for up to 4 hours.
If you like specialty coffee drinks like cappuccinos and lattes, you’ll want to go for the PRO version of the DualBrew which has:
- a ‘Specialty’ brew style that makes 4 oz coffee concentrate similar to espresso.
- Built-in frother to create creamy froth for your beverages.
- Hot water on demand, which can be used for Americano or instant meals or tea.
Runner-Up: Keurig K-Duo Single-Serve and 12-Cup Coffee Maker
- Multi-serve coffee maker that has two compartments, one for using K-Cup pods and another for carafe brewing using ground coffee.
- Brew carafe sizes: 6, 8, 10 and 12 cups.
- Brew single cup sizes: 6, 8, 10 and 12 oz.
- Large 60oz water reservoir that is shared between the two sides of single-serve and carafe brewing.
- Strong Brew option for single cup brewing.
- Programmable auto brew for carafe brewing. Program your machine to brew a carafe up to 24 hours in advance.
- Includes a 12-cup glass carafe.
Keurig K-Duo vs. Cuisinart SS-15 – What’s The Difference?
Serving sizes: the K-Duo goes up to 12 oz for single serving brewing, while the Cuisinart goes up to 10 oz. For the carafe sizes, both have 12-cup carafes.
Water Reservoir: The K-Duo has a single removeable 60 oz reservoir. The Cuisinart has two reservoirs, a 60 oz non-removable reservoir for the carafe size and a 40 oz removable for the single serve side.
Worth Considering: Hamilton Beach Flex Brew 2-Way Coffee Maker
- coffee maker with two brewing spouts: one for carafe and another for single serve.
- Single serve side can accommodate a travel mug up to 8” tall.
- Carafe side features auto on/off.
- Brew single serve cups using ground coffee or K-Cup pods.
- Brew up to 10 oz using K-Cups or up to 14 oz using ground coffee. (for single serve side).
- Choose from 2 strength settings.
- Uses two separate reservoirs for each side.
- Automatically pausing brewing when you remove the carafe.
- Carafe capacity: 12-cups.
Common Questions about Hamilton Beach Flex Brew:
Will K-Cups Work in Hamilton Beach? What Kind?
Yes, in the Hamilton Beach Flex Brew pictured above, you can use K-Cup pods, either old or branded type. The adapter needed to use K-cups is included with the machine. Your other option would be to use the second included basket for ground coffee.
Can I Use a Reusable Filter or Paper Filter?
Both filters can be used, the choice is all yours!
Which Of These Coffee Makers Is Best To Buy?
You asked for the best dual coffee makers with k-cup pods, we gave you three picks. Here’s how these choices came about:
Ninja’s DualBrew is our top pick because it nearly has no limits. Need a single-serve cup using ground coffee? It has several serving sizes for those: a small, large or XL cup, or even a travel mug. Want a quick pod serving? you got several sizes of those, too. You also get several brew styles, too. Going for the Pro version gives you even more features for specialty coffee drinks and more.
Keurig’s K-Duo and Hamilton Beach FlexBrew use ground coffee for carafe brewing and K-Cup pods for single-serve brew. Does that mean you can’t use ground coffee for single-serve brewing? No, you can do that, but you’ll need to use a refillable k-cup pod filter, and those can be a hit or miss. This comes included with the Hamilton Beach but sold separately for the Keurig machine.
So why does the Hamilton Beach come last? Only because it can only go up to 10 oz for K-Cup pod brewing. If you choose to use ground coffee, you’ll be able to brew 14 oz.
Your budget will play a role in which of these you pick, as they come a range of prices. The great news is, no matter what your budget is, these are all great machines that will serve the purpose of dual brewing just as promised.