On this site, we consistently advocate using a water filter with your coffee maker, especially if you are not using filtered water. Nobody likes contaminated coffee. This liquid gold has a unique aroma and taste that is easily ruined by the contaminants in unfiltered water.
Your Keurig coffee maker is likely to last longer if you consistently use a water filter that removes the chemical residues in the water. The residues are known to gradually degrade the water lines.
Keurig coffee makers come in different shapes and sizes. Whether your Keurig is a single-serve or a dual brewer, all Keurigs can use a water filter.
Now that we know some of the benefits of using a water filter in a Keurig coffee maker, let’s look at how to find the water filter on a Keurig and the types of Keurig water filter starter kits
Where is the Water Filter Located in a Keurig Coffee Maker?
The water filter on a Keurig is located inside the water tank. The Keurig water filter goes inside the pocket on the bottom end of an upright plastic handle in the water reservoir. Depending on your Keurig model, the plastic handle is either short or long.
To access the water filter, simply pull the plastic holder straight up and then press the two tabs at the bottom as you pull the handle away to remove the bottom cover. The bottom cover should easily slide out but if it’s too tight, press the tabs and wiggle as you pull the two parts apart.
Some Keurig models such as the Keurig K-Duo special edition do not come with a water filter but you can purchase it separately. So, do not be spooked if you can not find a water filter with your new Keurig coffee maker.
You may want to double-check the packing slip to confirm the accessories that come with the Keurig, especially for online purchases.
What Do Keurig Water Filters Do?
A Keurig water filter traps and removes debris, chlorine residues, odors, and tastes from unfiltered water. This happens in the water tank so that only filtered water goes through the water lines all the way to the K-cup or ground coffee to make a clean brew.
Without the water filter, your coffee may become fusty and taste like chlorine. Moreover, the particles in unfiltered water are likely to get trapped inside the water lines and affect the water flow. The chemicals and chlorine residues are also likely to gradually degrade the plastic lines of your Keurig and potentially cause leaking over time.
What is a Keurig Water Filter Starter Kit?
The Keurig water filter starter kit contains a plastic handle or holder and at least one charcoal filter. The plastic handle has a pocket with a cover at the bottom and a calendar dial at the top where you can set the next date to change the carbon filter.
There are two types of Keurig water filter starter kits:
- The Keurig rear reservoir water filter starter kit. It has a short handle plastic holder that is compatible with Keurig coffee makers that use a rear water tank
- The Keurig side reservoir water filter starter kit. It has a long handle plastic holder that is compatible with Keurig coffee makers that have a side water tank
Evidently, the difference between the rear and the side reservoir water filters is the size of the plastic holder. The carbon filter has one size so it fits perfectly in both short and tall plastic holders.
Key Tips To Buying Keurig Water Filters
To avoid buying a Keurig water filter starter kit that can not fit in your brewer
- Identify the positioning (rear or side) of the water tank on your Keurig. If it is a multipositional tank like the K-Duo Plus, consider it a side water tank
- Check the height of your water tank. Water tanks that are below 8.0 inches tall will use a short handle starter kit and vice versa
After determining the positioning of the tank and its height, buy a short handle starter kit if the tank is to the rear of the brewer and/or is below eight inches tall.
The rear reservoir water filter below is compatible with the Keurig K35, K250, K200, K-Duo Essentials, K-Duo Special Edition, and the K-Latte.
If the tank is to the side of the coffee maker and/or it’s more than eight inches tall, buy a tall handle water filter starter kit.
The Keurig side reservoir water filter starter kit below is compatible with the Keurig K-Duo Plus, K-Cafe, K-Select, K-Elite, K-Supreme, and K-Classic. Other 2.0 brewers that can use this kit include K350, K400, K425, K450, K475, K500, K525, K550, and K575
Alternatively, check whether the model of your Keurig is listed as compatible with the tall or short handle starter kit that you want to buy. However, sometimes there are errors in such listings and some Keurigs, especially older models may be erroneously listed or omitted. So, you may want to apply the tips we have detailed above as they are more accurate.
Can You Buy Keurig Water Filters Without the Plastic Holder?
Yes, you can buy the water filter cartridges for Keurig without the holder if you already have a holder for your brewer. You only need to buy the full starter kit if it was not included with your Keurig coffee maker or if you want to replace the filter assembly.
For the best results, you should change the water filter cartridge in your Keurig every two months or after 60 brew cycles.
The K&J charcoal filters below fit in both the tall and short Keurig plastic holders and they are fairly priced for a pack of 12 filters that will last about a year.
Final Thoughts About Where the Water Filter on a Keurig is Located
The charcoal water filter is at the bottom of the upright plastic holder in the Keurig water tank. To access the filter you have to pull the holder out of the water and then open the cover at the bottom.
There are two types of Keurig water filters;
- the rear reservoir water filter that is compatible with Keurigs with short water tanks or water tanks that are positioned to the rear of the brewer
- the side reservoir water filter that is compatible with Keurigs with tall or side water tanks
Regardless of the water filter that you are using (rear or side reservoir), Keurig water filter cartridges will fit perfectly.