If you are a Keurig coffee maker owner, you're aware that the brewers have many working parts and regular maintenance required. You may have wondered if the filter is necessary? Do all Keurigs have water filters? We've researched these questions and have helpful results to assist you in your Keurig ownership.

Yes, most Keurig coffee makers have filters to ensure the water is free of excess chlorine and mineral debris. However, the K-Mini, K-Mini Plus, K15, and Rivo system models do not have replaceable water filters. The coffee makers with water filter cartridges need to be replaced every two months or 60 tank refills for great tasting coffee and damage reduction to the coffee maker. 

There are over 50 models of Keurig coffee makers on the market--navigating the world of Keurig ownership can prove to be a bit daunting. We've made your day a little bit easier with our results. Please continue reading, as we have well-researched information to share with you!

An expensive coffee maker pouring coffee onto a small white coffee mug, Do All Keurigs Have Filters?

Which Keurig does not have a water filter?

Keurig K-Mini, K-Mini Plus, K15, Rivo system models do not have charcoal water filters and do not require any form of filter maintenance. These models were intended for single-households and small offices. Refill the removable water tank after each brew with filtered water for best results. Avoid distilled and tap/hard water.

A used coffee filter on a white background

Which water filter fits my Keurig?

Keurig makes a few different-sized water filters. Purchasing the correct filter for your coffee maker is important because the filters are not one-size-fits-all. To decipher which is the correct replacement filter, firstly, locate your serial number.

Serial Number Begins with 44, 45, or 48

Suppose it begins with 44, 45, or 48 --order the K-classic water filter for these serial numbered machines.

Universal Filter

Try these universal, Keurig compatible filers from Amazon. Just enter your model number prior to purchasing to confirm the fit.

Tall Handle Water Filter (Serial Number Begins With 55)

Purchase the Tall Handle Water Filter for serial numbers starting with 55 or the:

  • K-Supreme
  • K-Supreme Plus
  • K-Duo Plus
  • K-Cafe
  • K-Elite
  • K-Select
  • K-Slim
  • K425
  • K525 models

Short Handle Water Filter For Rear Water Reservoirs

You will need the Short Handle Water Filter for any Keurig with a rear water reservoir, and including:

  • K250
  • K-Compact
  • K-Latte
  • K-Duo
  • K-Duo Essentials

Can you use tap water in Keurig?

Yes, it is possible to run your Keurig with tap water. However, it is not advisable to do so. Tap water, also referred to as hard water, contains a great number of minerals. According to the USDA, most tap water contains moderate levels of calcium, copper, magnesium, and sodium.

The minerals will clog the interior of the Keurig and cause numerous error messages stating that it is time to descale. The mineral deposits will cause the motor to work much harder than necessary. Also, the brewer will run much slower when clogged, and the coffee may not reach the desired temperature.  All of these factors will decrease the lifespan of the appliance.

Another reason to avoid tap water is the mineral concentration in the water will greatly impact the taste of the coffee. Each cup of coffee is 98% water, give or take with cream and other flavorings. The quality of water is one of the main factors to consider when brewing. Use filtered water for the best possible results for your Keurig brewer and coffee blends.

Avoid brewing with distilled water. The lack of minerals in the water causes error messages because the brewer has difficulty detecting the presence of the water in the reservoir. Distilled water causes corrosion in the boiler and other heating elements. Also, water with nearly zero mineral content is not the best for brewing coffee because it has little to no flavor. Coffee fans have reported that the coffee tastes flat and flavorless.

Click here to read our article about Keurig versus drip coffee. 

Can you run your Keurig without a filter?

The Keurig will run without a filter, but it is not recommended. The filter is a vital aspect of the appliance that ensures the water will not damage the inside of the brewer. The filter protects the boiler and other heating elements from mineral buildup and protects the coffee drinker from drinking excessive amounts of minerals in their morning coffee.

How often to replace a Keurig filter?

Keurig states to change the filters every two months or every 60 water reservoir refills. These instructions are applicable to all Keurig coffee brewer models.

The pure water accentuates the robust flavors of the coffee beans without the distraction of the water taste from getting in the way. Another reason replacing the filter in a timely fashion is helpful---the Keurig is great for heating filtered water for cocoa or teas.

How to replace the Keurig filter?

  1. Unwrap the water filter cartridge and place it in a cup of water to submerge for five minutes.
  2. Rinse under the faucet for at least 60 seconds.
  3. Wash the stainless steel mesh located on the lower filter holder.
  4. Insert the rinsed water filter into the upper filter holder and snap the lower filter holder back on.
  5. Connect the water filter assembly into the water reservoir and push downwards until it locks in place.

How do I clean my Keurig filter?

The filters are not designed for cleaning and reinstalling inside the brewer. Moreover, once the filters have filled to capacity with impurities, the filters should be thrown out and replaced with new filters. Attempting to clean the filter would not be advisable.

The charcoal inside the filters can absorb an impressive amount of impurities; one could not completely wash those out of charcoal filters. The filters are contaminated with impurities and are ineffective for safely purifying water after several weeks of use.

Click here to view Keurig filters at Amazon. 

How to clean the Keurig

In addition to changing the filters every two months, you should incorporate descaling to your Keurig's maintenance schedule. Descaling is the process when every three to six months, you add a descaling solution to the Keurig to clean out any mineral deposits. The frequency of descaling depends on the mineral levels in your water—also, another reason to replace the water filters on schedule is that it will reduce the internal mineral buildup.

Keurig recommends descaling every three to six months. The Keurig logs the amount of water used and will send the “Time to descale the brewer!” reminder to the screen. Please do not ignore the friendly reminder. It will send the same message every six weeks until the brewer is descaled.

Click here to view a Keurig brewer care kit at Amazon. 

How to descale a Keurig

The instruction will vary slightly depending on the model. Follow the instructions that came with your Keurig brewer to ensure accuracy. Moreover, the steps are fairly similar from model to model.

Start with turning the machine off and pouring the directed amount of Keurig descaling solution and measured water into the water reservoir. Set a large mug on the drip tray plate and turn the brewer on. Allow the solution to flow through the machine and into the cup. Pour the dirty solution water into the sink. Repeat a rinse cycle as directed.

Click here to view Keurig's descaling solution at Amazon.

In closing

Keeping your Keurig in its best working order is a task for your never-ending to-do list. Moreover, if you continue to prioritize taking excellent care of your small appliances, they will function properly and last longer. We hope this article has helped you discover new ways to extend the life of your Keurig. Please visit Kitchenseer.com soon for more content!


  1. Imagine this, I attempt several sites to buy a filter for my newly purchased ‘ K-compact K35 Keurig” coffee maker and… nothing specified for this model. No problem I will return it in the morning. Some customer service!

  2. We have an original k-40 keurig machine. I have religiously kept it clean over the years. Now I find out theres a filter somewhere??? we have 3 screws inside the bottoms of our machine were not messing with and a screen. As long as the machine is clean and we have a decent cup of coffee in the morning were happy campers. thought you’d like to know!

  3. I bought a small Keurig coffee maker for my grandson to take to college. It does not have a place for a filter. Can you buy a column and filter to put in this machine?

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