If you are thinking about upgrading your old Keurig machine or you are thinking about buying one for the first time, perhaps you are wondering about the difference between Keurig K425 vs K525.
Here, we look at the two machines to help you choose which one to buy.
What is a Keurig brewing system?
Before we talk about these two models, let’s remind ourselves what Keurig brewers do and why you might consider buying one (1).
Keurig machines first appeared in the late 90s as a solution to the age-old problem of the office coffee pot that would sit stewing all morning.
Keurig’s innovation was a machine that produced fresh individual cups of coffee every time by using sealed pods known as K-Cups.
In the beginning, they were intended solely for office use – but such was their success that the company soon released a home version of their brewer. Since then, the machines have gone on to dominate the North American home brewing market.
Keurig machines have several advantages over traditional brewers. First, they are extremely easy and convenient to use - all you do is place the K-Cup of your choice into the brewer and hit “go” – the machine does the rest.
Using a single-serve pod-based machine also removes human error from the brewing process. Brewing manually means carefully controlling the dose of coffee, the grind, the extraction time, the temperature of the water and so on. Keurig machines do all this for you.
Finally, once you’ve finished, there’s nothing to clear up or clean – you simply dispose of the empty pod and you’re ready to brew again.
However, there are also a few downsides. The machines themselves are moderately priced, but the cost of the pods works out at up to two or three times more than a cup brewed with regular beans or grounds.
There is also the issue of being restricted to using only coffee sold in Keurig-compatible pods (although it is now also possible to buy reusable pods).
Finally, there is the ecological question of what happens to the billions of used K-Cup pods that are used and discarded each year (2).
Related Post: Keurig K425s Review – Is It Worth the Money?
What is the Keurig 2.0 range?
When the original patents for Keurig machines began to expire, Keurig launched their 2.0 range. Both the K425 and the K525 belong to this range, and these machines all include various upgraded features compared to the original series.
One of the most useful innovations Keurig 2.0 brought was the ability to brew larger mugs or even carafes of coffee rather than simply single-serve cups. This makes these machines much more versatile and practical for family use or when making coffee for groups of people.
Other improvements included things like color touchscreen control panels, programmable timers and nightlights on some models.
However, a less welcome inclusion built into all Keurig 2.0 machines was a DRM device designed to prevent the use of any pods other than official Keurig 2.0 pods.
Although it is possible to “hack” a Keurig 2.0 machine (check out this video to see how).
This created something of a backlash among loyal Keurig customers who resented having the company dictate what coffee they could and couldn’t drink.
Keurig has since relented somewhat, and it is now possible to buy reusable K-Cup pods that are compatible with Keurig 2.0 machines – once again allowing customers more freedom over the coffee they choose to drink.
Related Post: Keurig K525 vs K575 – What's the Difference?
What features do the K425 and the K525 share?
In the Keurig 2.0 range, many machines are identical, the only difference being the accessories they are sold with.
With the K425 and the K525, this is not the case – these two machines are actually distinct in several ways – but they are still quite similar. First, let’s look at the features these machines share.
As with all Keurig 2.0 machines, these models both have the ability to pour a range of different sized drinks. They are both compatible with K-Mug pods and K-Carafe pods, giving a total of 10 different sizes of drink from a 4oz cup right up to a 30oz carafe.
Both machines include a color touchscreen display and control panel, and both machines offer the ability to adjust the temperature and strength of the drink according to your taste.
Another common feature they share is the programmable timer. This allows you to program the machine to begin brewing at a predesignated time meaning it can be told to have a steaming brew poured and waiting for you just as your alarm sounds.
Both machines have a high-altitude mode that allows you to brew coffee at up to 6,000ft – perhaps not useful for those dwelling at sea level but invaluable for those whose homes are located at higher elevations.
The machines are the same size (although the K525 is slightly heavier), and it is also worth noting that while both are compatible with K-Carafe pods, neither are supplied with the carafe.
Keurig K425 vs K525: Summary of the 7 similarities
Here’s a summary of the features that both models share:
So how are they different?
These two machines are very similar, but they do also have some clear differences which go beyond simply the accessories that come with them.
The K525 has a slightly larger water reservoir of 80oz compared to the 70oz reservoir of the K425. The K525 boasts a slightly larger touchscreen display of 2.8” compared to 2.4” on the K425. The wallpaper on the display is also customizable on the K525 whereas the one on the K425 is not.
The final added extra on the K525 is a nightlight, which could be useful for those who tend to be active during the night or for those who need to leave for work before sunrise.
The K525 also includes a water filter kit and a reusable K-Cup pod, allowing you to use any coffee you choose without needing to buy any further accessories.
Of course, since the K525 has extra features and accessories, it is also the more expensive of the two options.
Keurig K425 vs K525: Summary of the 6 big differences
Here’s a summary of the differences between the two models:
8” touchscreen display
4” touchscreen display
Customizable touchscreen wallpaper
Touchscreen display not customizable
Includes water filter kit
No water filter kit
Includes reusable K-Cup pod
No reusable K-Cup pod
1. Keurig K425 review
In most ways, the Keurig 2.0 range was a definite improvement on the original range of Keurig brewers. The K425 has the ability to brew many different sizes of drink as well as being compatible with the K-Mug and K-Carafe; these are welcome developments.
We also like the way the newer models such as the K425 allow you greater control over your brew with the temperature and strength controls.
The new color displays are intuitive and simple to use, so even the most tech-averse will easily master these machines. We also love the programmable option – the idea of having that first cup of steaming coffee already brewed and waiting when the alarm sounds is an ingenious idea.
Our main issue is with the DRM device which severely limits your choice, although the reusable K-Cups help to rectify this problem – and if you really want to, you can hack your machine to allow you to use pods from rival companies.
Overall, a solid option for someone who needs the mug and carafe options – but slightly spoiled by the DRM device that limits choice.
2. Keurig K525 review
This machine is very similar to the K425, so here we need to evaluate the various extra features of this model.
The reservoir is only larger by 10oz – that represents only one or two cups of coffee. For us, the difference between the two is too small to be a deal-breaker.
We definitely appreciate the larger display – you would be surprised how much difference half an inch can make. As for the nightlight and the customizable wallpaper, these feel more like gimmicky extras rather than anything that adds to the machine.
The water filter kit will be useful for anybody since clean and pure water is vital in ensuring your coffee is of the highest standard – but especially in hard water areas. The reusable pod is also welcome but not essential – you can always choose to buy one at a later date if you feel you need it.
Overall, an excellent coffee machine, but you need to look at the extras and decide for yourself if they are really necessary for you before opting for a K525 rather than a K425.
Weigh up the options and the extra price
Both of these similar machines are excellent coffee brewing systems. To choose between them, you need to look at the extra features on the slightly superior K525 and decide whether they are useful for you and whether you feel it is worth paying the extra money to benefit from them.
Do you have a K425 or a K525? Which do you prefer? Or which would you choose to buy? If you have an opinion, please leave us a comment since we always love hearing from you – and if you enjoyed reading the article, please don’t forget to share!
My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Ag Ferrari, a Coffee buff. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.