This research note investigates how people combine their views on two radically opposing welfare reforms: a universal basic income and a fully means-tested welfare state. Using data from the 2016–2017 European Social Survey, we found that support for transformative welfare reform is rooted in perceptions of the performance of the current system. The preferred direction of reform, however, strongly depends on the specific aspects of the welfare state people are happy or unhappy with. At the country-level, we show that underperforming welfare states—in terms of higher poverty rates and lower social spending—increase popular demand for transformative welfare reform, in either direction. These findings are of crucial importance for ongoing debates about the future of the welfare state.