How to choose the best Nespresso machine
If you’ve started looking for a Nespresso machine already, you’re probably a little confused about what all the names mean. As well as model names, there are also co-branded Nespresso machines and now a new line of Nespresso machines.
We’re here to help you sort one from the other and help you discover the best Nespresso machine for your kitchen or office.
Original vs VertuoLine
It’s no longer just a matter of choosing the model you like the best. Since 2014, you’ve also had to decide whether you want an original style machine or something from the VertuoLine range. The selling point for these new Nespresso machines was their ability to make both coffee and espresso. As opposed to just two for the original (espresso and lungo), the VertuoLine machines produce five: espresso, double espresso, and three regular coffee sizes.
The way you brew coffee is also changed. The original Nespresso machines mimic an espresso machine by using high pressure to extract the coffee – with the manufacturer claiming 19 bars. The Vertuo machines, on the other hand, use what’s been dubbed Centrifusion, a portmanteau of the words “centrifugal” and “infusion”.
Nespresso’s Centrifusion method is worth the hype.TechRadar
Rather than using pressure, this system spins the water and capsule together at around 7000 RPMs (1). The result is a coffee that’s rich with crema, even on the non-espresso coffee options.
The original line has the option of third-party or Nespresso capsules, but with the new line’s introduction came new Vertuo capsules, which are not compatible. They come in three different sizes to allow for the new drink options, but as yet, you can only get these from Nespresso.
De’Longhi vs Breville
Once you’ve decided your winner of the Nespresso Vertuo vs Original Line, you also have to select the manufacturer. In the US, this is usually a choice between Breville and De’Longhi, but you may also see brands such as Krups and Magimix. Thankfully, this task is a little easier, as the difference mainly comes down to looks the occasional extra feature.
You may also find that both brands make not every model, so that you won’t have a choice in some cases. Both brands are powered by Nespresso technology, so whatever you choose, you won’t be missing out on that classic Nespresso taste.
It’s easy to be distracted by great design and special features, but you also need to think practically. Namely, how many coffees a day is this machine likely to be making. One of the best things about pod-based machines is how quick and easy to use they are. But if you have to refill the water tank or empty the used capsules every time you want to make a coffee, it suddenly becomes a lot less convenient.
Of course, how you like to drink your coffee will play a big part in your decision making. The compact machines are perfect for a quick shot of espresso, but if your preferred cup of coffee is a flat white, you’ll have to consider whether this is the right coffee maker for you. Likewise, if you’re in a house or office where everyone takes their coffee differently, you’ll need to look for something that offers more flexible drink options.
The Best Nespresso Machines in 2022
|Nespresso Essenza Mini by De’Longhi||
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|Nespresso Lattissima Pro by De’Longhi||
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|Nespresso VertuoPlus by De’Longhi||
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|Nespresso Inissia by De’Longhi||
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|Nespresso Creatista Plus by Breville||
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|Nespresso VertuoNext by Breville||
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|Nespresso CitiZ by De’Longhi||
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|Nespresso Lattissima One by Delonghi||
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|Nespresso Pixie by De’Longhi||
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- 20.3 oz
- 5-6 capsules
- 44 oz
- 15 capsules
- 40 oz
- 10 capsules
- 24 oz
- 11 capsules
- 50 oz
- 12 capsules
- 37 oz
- 8 capsules
- 34 oz
- 10 capsules
- 6.1 x 12.8 x 10.1 inches
- 33.8 oz
- 8 capsules
- 4.4 x 9.3 x 12.8 inches
- 24 oz
- 10 capsules
Now that we armed you with a bit of information about how the Nespresso options differ, it’s time to see how the various machines stack up. Here are the seven best Nespresso machine models available this year.
The Essenza Mini could be the poster child for the saying, “good things come in small packages.” The machine is the smallest in the range, and as the name suggests, a mini version of the Essenza model. Keeping with Nespresso’s reputation for consistency includes the brewing functions that you’d find on its bigger brothers.
It makes the same quality coffee as machines that cost hundreds more, without any extra frills.New York Times
Getting that first coffee of the morning couldn’t be easier, with one-touch brewing for espresso or lungo. It’s fuss-free, single-serve coffee at its best. Warmup time is less than 30 seconds, and the machine delivers 19 bars of pressure for a great espresso.
Of course, the smaller size means there’s a relatively modest water reservoir and used capsule container, but that’s to be expected for something just 4.3 inches wide. If you’re really squeezed for space, the Breville model is an inch narrower, but we love the retro design of the De’Longhi option.
When you can get your hands on a Nespresso machine for under $150, you’re probably wondering what kinds of extras this high price tag will get you. If you like your coffee short and black, the answer is probably not much. But if your taste runs to milk-based coffees, the Lattissima Pro is a whole different ball game for Nespresso machines.
While other Nespresso machines can add milk to your coffee with the attachment of the Aeroccino, the Nespresso Lattissima Pro is unique in offering one-touch lattes and cappuccinos. This comes courtesy of the machine’s Rapid Cappuccino System (2), which can complete the process from start to finish in around 40 seconds. You also have the option to manually adjust the foam, from light and airy to dense and creamy. We love that the spout is cleaned automatically and that you can store the carafe in the fridge between uses. You can also use the milk’s connection to dispense hot water (hello, Americano!) with an included attachment.
Another unusual feature for a pod-based machine is the touchscreen display, where you can make adjustments to the preprogrammed drinks or descale the machine. It’s the combination of exclusive features and ease of use (plus a sturdy aluminum body) that provides the price’s value.
Not long after introducing the first Vertuo machine, Nespresso revealed the next model in the line-up: the VertuoPlus. It’s a showcase of all the features of the VertuoLine, with a few improvements from the first model.
Inside you’ll find VertuoLine’s Centrifusion system, though this model is significantly quieter than the original (3). When it comes to ease of use, you couldn’t ask for anything simple. In fact, there’s just a single button. The brew settings are all determined by the barcode on the capsule, so you just need to press GO once you insert it.
Of all the VertuoLine machines (including newer versions), the VertuoPlus is the only one to feature a repositionable water tank. It swivels from side to side for easy refilling and to allow it to fit into different spaces. It’s also the first Vertuo machine to feature a motorized head for one-touch opening and easy closing.
With all of Nespresso’s original line machines making use of the same technology, opting for one of the cheaper models isn’t going to be detrimental to the quality of your brew. What you’re paying for with the more expensive models is additional features or a larger water reservoir.
If you’re not looking for milk frothing or a water tank fit for family brewing, you’re getting a great deal with this machine. Despite the small size (just 4.7 x 12.6 x 9 inches), it will give you 19 bars of pressure for a full-bodied, crema-topped coffee.
The design is simple, with just two buttons – one for espresso and one for lungo. No frills doesn’t have to mean no fun, however. The Nespresso Inissia comes in six bright color options as well as the classic black.
We might have said that paying more for a Nespresso machine would only get you some extra features, but in this case, the added bells and whistles are worth a second look. If you like café style coffee, the Creatista Plus is the closest you’re ever going to get with a pod machine.
You can tell immediately that this is not like other Nespresso options. Instead of the usual plastic, it has a very classy stainless-steel finish. You’ll also notice a proper steam wand – it’s the only Nespresso machine to include one. This allows you to make milk-based drinks with a microfoam worthy of any coffee shop – and even try your hand at a bit of latte art.
Getting coffee is still as simple as choosing from the menu, with an incredible heat up time of just 3 seconds. Programmed drinks include ristretto, espresso, lungo, caffe latte, cappuccino, latte macchiato, but you can really go to town on the milk options. The Creatista Plus offers 11 settings for milk temperature and eight settings for milk texture, and three different cup sizes.
Like the VertuoPlus, the Vertuo Next has incorporated a few improvements and updated tech on the model that preceded it. But this machine gets a place on our list for the efforts on the eco-friendly front that Nespresso has made. The machine’s body is from 54% recycled plastic, and they reduced the automatic switch-off time from 9 minutes to just 2 minutes.
For the Vertuo Next, the sliding water tank has been done away with, but the machine is 4 inches slimmer, so you shouldn’t have trouble fitting it into small spaces. Other changes include Bluetooth connectivity so that your software will always be up to date.
For brewing, you’ll get the same barcode reader and Centrifusion system the Vertuos are known for. Warm-up time is just 25 seconds, so you’ll have one of the five options for espresso or coffee in hand without much of a wait.
With the CitiZ, Nespresso nailed the balance between simplicity, functionality, and design. It’s easy to see why it’s remained a part of the line-up for so long. The eye-catching design was inspired by the city skyline and incorporated plastic and stainless-steel elements. It also picked up a Red Dot design award when it launched in 2009 (4).
As you would expect from any Nespresso, operating the CitiZ is very straightforward. The interface has just two buttons, one for espresso and one for lungo, both programmable. You can move the drip tray to accommodate the different cup sizes or remove it to fit a tall glass if you’re making something long and milky.
What sets it apart from other Nespresso machines of this size is the relatively large water reservoir – a small capacity is often the compromise for a compact machine. The CitiZ can be paired with the Aeroccino milk frother, making it just as versatile as a larger machine.
The Lattissima One is an ideal pick for those who like cafe-style drinks, but don’t want to mess around with all the extra features of the Lattissima Pro. This stripped down version will save you on cost and counterspace, while still brewing you a latte or cappuccino at the touch of a button.
The removable milk jug is designed to hold enough milk for one drink at a time. You’ll see measurements on the front with the suggested amount for the different drinks. Once you hit the button for milk drinks, the Lattissima One will heat and froth the milk, then brew an espresso shot into the cup to finish. The machine will use all of the milk in the jug, so you can experiment with different amounts to suit your taste.
On days you just want a black coffee, there are buttons for espresso shot and lungo sizes – it’s missing the ristretto and hot water features you’ll find on the Pro. These sizes are programmed to get the best out of Nespresso brand capsules, but you can adjust the preset volume anywhere from 25ml to 150ml.
This compact machine will be ready to brew in just 25 seconds, and has an energy saving shutoff after 2 minutes.
The Nespresso Pixie was the brand’s original compact single serve machine, and has been part of the lineup since 2011. It’s no longer the smallest Nespresso machine (the Essenza Mini is both shorter and slimmer) but the Pixie still has plenty to offer.
It’s these extra inches that give you a little more time between refilling and emptying. The Pixie features a larger, 24 oz reservoir, and can hold up to 10 used capsules.
The difference in design is instantly evident. Rather than the ABS plastic that you find on many Nespresso machines, the Pixie is clad with stylish aluminum sides. It does add to the weight, but this metal casing makes it more durable and resistant to scratches.
As with all the best Nespresso machines, the Pixie has a rapid 25-second heat up time and 19 bars of pressure. The simple to use one-touch operation gets you either an espresso shot or a Lungo from your chosen Nespresso capsule.
There’s no option to heat milk, but if you want to make drinks such as caffe lattes, you’ll often find this machine bundled with the Aeroccino.
Nespresso’s extensive range of machines in both the original and VertuoLine means there is something for everyone here. But if you’re new to the brand and feeling a little overwhelmed by choice, the CitiZ is a great place to start. It’s compact, stylish, and has enough features to make a great all-around addition to your kitchen.
Nespresso machine parts are not dishwasher safe. However, some milk carafes may be. Nespresso advises against putting any removable parts in the dishwasher, as the heat can warp the plastic (5). Instead, they should be hand washed. The Aeroccino and the Rapid Cappuccino System can be placed in the dishwasher.
You cannot use K-Cups in a Nespresso machine. When it comes to Nespresso vs Keurig machines, not only are the size and shape of the capsules incompatible, but the way the machine extracts coffee from them is different. Keurig machines make drip coffee so the capsule contains both the ground coffee and the filter.
You can make iced coffee with a Nespresso machine, though it will not make cold coffee. You can prepare the drink by adding hot espresso to a glass of ice and adding cold milk and sweetener to taste (6).
No, none of the Nespresso machines work with ground coffee. If you want to use your own beans with a Nespresso machine, you will need to buy a reusable Nespresso capsule. These capsules are available for both original line and Vertuo machines, but you’ll need to check the compatibility for your particular model.
You should clean your Nespresso machine daily by wiping down the exterior, emptying the drip tray, rinsing the water reservoir, and emptying the used capsule container. This will prevent the build-up of coffee residue and stop mold from forming. If your Nespresso machine has a milk frother, you should clean this after every use. A full clean and descale is required every 3 months or after every 300 brew cycles – whichever comes soonest. This will remove limescale and extend the life of your machine.
- Miller, M. (2014, April 26). Nespresso VertuoLine: Bar codes, lasers, and Centrifusion provide an amazing cup of coffee. Retrieved from https://www.zdnet.com/article/nespresso-vertuoline-bar-codes-lasers-and-centrifusion-provide-an-amazing-cup-of-coffee/
- Lattissima Pro. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2021, from https://www.delonghi.com/Global/InstructionManuals/EN/5713222701%20UM_LATTISSIMA_PREMIUM_Z1A_PROD.pdf
- Johnston, R. (2018, January 24). Nespresso Vertuo Plus: The Australian Review. Retrieved from https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2018/01/nespresso-vertuo-plus-australian-review/
- The Design. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nespresso.com/pro/no/en/pages/coffee-machine-design
- Services FAQ (list). (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2021, from https://www.nespresso.com/pro/us/en/service-faq
- How to make iced coffee at home. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2021, from https://www.nespresso.com/au/en/news/how-to-make-iced-coffee-at-home