Keurig Filters: How Often Should They Be Changed?

Picture of a Keurig on a table

Keurig has been providing coffee enthusiasts with invigorating cups of coffee since the compact machine was first launched in 1998. Since then, Keurig has come out with several models and customizable options to fit everyone’s style and brewing preference.

To ensure that you are brewing the best cup of coffee that Keurig has to offer, the company suggests a strict maintenance and cleaning regime. In fact, everything from rinse pods to water filters and descaling solutions are advertised on the company’s website. From a quick cleanse of the K-cup pod holder to a deep cleaning of the internal components, Keurig has thought of it all. On top of that, the company sells water filters that are made to last up to 2 months. As with cleaning and maintaining the machine, the water that is used to brew coffee is just as important.

Water Filter Longevity

Depending on how often the Keurig is used, each charcoal cartridge can last for 60 tank refills. With its purpose being to purify the water used to brew coffee, keeping up with water filter replacements keeps your coffee flavor amplified and flavorful.

Be careful if you are filling your Keurig water reservoir straight from the sink. Hard tap water contains high amounts of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, sodium, and chloride. The overabundance of these minerals can cause deposits and buildup to form, making your coffee taste unappealing and leaving the machine in a state of despair. This can also make your water filter work overtime, decreasing how long it will be effective at purifying the water.

To ensure that your water filter performs for the maximum amount of time, it is recommended that you use only filtered or bottled water. This will limit the amount of minerals that pass through the Keurig, allowing the water filter to purify for the maximum amount of time. Using bottled water is also better for the overall longevity of the Keurig, keeping the internal components free of mineral deposits and brewing the best-tasting cup of coffee possible.

When It’s Time to Replace the Filter

If you have lost track of the last time the water filter was replaced, or you use your Keurig sparingly, you can always rely on your taste buds. When it’s time for a charcoal filter replacement, your coffee will start to taste different. If you brew a hot cup of coffee to start your morning and the flavor is flat, lifeless, and leaves you disappointed, it’s time to take a closer look at your water filter.

Where Do I Find Water Filters?

If you are in the market for Keurig water filters, the most obvious place to check would be the company’s website. Since different models of Keurig machines require select filters, the website can point you in the right direction. They are also sold online through various vendors, both big and small, and in select brick-and-mortar stores.

Which Filter Does My Machine Take?

Select models of Keurig take special charcoal filter products. The serial number on the machine determines what filter works with your brewer.

  • Serial numbers that start with 44, 45, and 48 require the K-Classic Water Filter
  • Serial numbers that start with 55, as well as the K-Supreme, K-Supreme Plus, K-Duo Plus, K-Cafe, K-Elite, K-Select, K-Slim, K425 and K525 (models with side water reservoirs), need the Tall Handle Water Filter
  • Models with rear water reservoirs, like the K250, K-Compact, K-Latte, K-Duo and K-Duo Essentials, must use the Short Handle Water Filter

Replacing a Keurig Water Filter

According to the directions on the company’s website, replacing the water filter is easy and can be completed in just a few easy steps. On top of that, it can be completed in less than 10 minutes.

Before beginning this process, it should be noted that there are three parts that make up a Keurig water filter: upper filter holder, lower filter holder, and the water filter cartridge.

  1. Take a new charcoal cartridge out of its package and submerge it in clean water for 5 minutes. After the time is up, rinse the cartridge under running water for 60 seconds.
  2. Discard any water that remains in the water reservoir. You will also need to detach the filter holder from inside the reservoir, separate the upper filter holder from the lower filter holder, and throw away the old charcoal cartridge.
  3. Rinse the lower filter holder under running water. Then, insert the charcoal cartridge into the lower filter holder.
  4. Place the upper filter holder on top of the lower filter holder.
  5. With the water reservoir emptied out of any water, push and lock the filter holder into place. Then, you are ready to make a fresh cup of coffee.

It’s important not to skip any steps when replacing the water filter in a Keurig. The first step, which involves soaking and rinsing the charcoal cartridge, is essential for removing any excess charcoal on the cartridge.


To consider yourself a responsible Keurig owner, taking care of all the maintenance and cleaning in a timely manner is essential for prolonging the life of your appliance. While cleaning the internal tubes and heating element is important and cleansing the K-cup holder and exit needle is a must, so is changing out the water filter.

Keurig water filters are important for purifying the water that is used when brewing a cup of coffee. The company recommends using only filtered or bottled water to maximize the flavor of your coffee and minimize the potential wear and tear on your appliance. Since changing your Keurig filter can be done in five easy steps, and the charcoal cartridges are easy to come by, this part of Keurig maintenance is a breeze.

Before taking on this challenge, however, be sure to double check with the company to match your appliance’s serial number with the appropriate filter. Side water reservoirs require a different style of filter than a rear water reservoir. Regardless of what style you have, Keurig strongly suggests replacing the cartridge in the water filter every 2 months or after 60 tank refills to keep the flavor alive in your morning coffee.