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Best Nespresso Machine (2021 Reviews)

It’s no coincidence that Nespresso is one of the key players in the market for single-serve machines. They have a reputation for producing high quality, consistent coffee at the touch of a button. And with an ever-expanding range, there’s a machine to suit every need and budget.

If you’re not sure where to start choosing a machine, our guide has a few things to keep in mind, plus our top picks for the best Nespresso machine.

Top pick:
“Nespresso

Nespresso CitiZ by De’Longhi

Compact design is great for small kitchens
The removable 34-oz water reservoir
19 bars of pressure

How to choose the right Nespresso machine

If you’ve started looking for a machine already, you’re probably a little confused about what all the names mean. As well as model names, there are also co-branded machines and now a new line of machines

We’re here to help you sort one from the other and help you discover the right Nespresso maker 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 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 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.

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. 

Selecting the right Nespresso coffee maker

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. 

Capacity

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. 

Want milk?

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 2021

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Best for Small Spaces Nespresso Essenza Mini by De’Longhi
  • Original or Vertuo: Original
  • Reservoir size: 20.3 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 5-6
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Best High End Nespresso Lattissima Pro by De’Longhi
  • Original or Vertuo: Original
  • Reservoir size: 44 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 15
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Best Vertuo Nespresso VertuoPlus by De’Longhi
  • Original or Vertuo: Vertuo
  • Reservoir size: 40 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 10
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Budget Pick Nespresso Inissia by De’Longhi
  • Original or Vertuo: Original
  • Reservoir size: 24 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 11
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Best for Versatility Nespresso Creatista Plus by Breville
  • Original or Vertuo: Original
  • Reservoir size: 50 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 12
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Best for Sustainability Nespresso VertuoNext by Breville
  • Original or Vertuo: Vertuo
  • Reservoir size: 37 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 8
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Best Overall Nespresso CitiZ by De’Longhi
  • Original or Vertuo: Original
  • Reservoir size: 34 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 10
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Nespresso Essenza Mini by De’Longhi
Best for Small Spaces
  • Original or Vertuo: Original
  • Reservoir size: 20.3 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 5-6
Nespresso Lattissima Pro by De’Longhi
Best High End
  • Original or Vertuo: Original
  • Reservoir size: 44 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 15
Nespresso VertuoPlus by De’Longhi
Best Vertuo
  • Original or Vertuo: Vertuo
  • Reservoir size: 40 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 10
Nespresso Inissia by De’Longhi
Budget Pick
  • Original or Vertuo: Original
  • Reservoir size: 24 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 11
Nespresso Creatista Plus by Breville
Best for Versatility
  • Original or Vertuo: Original
  • Reservoir size: 50 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 12
Nespresso VertuoNext by Breville
Best for Sustainability
  • Original or Vertuo: Vertuo
  • Reservoir size: 37 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 8
Nespresso CitiZ by De’Longhi
Best Overall
  • Original or Vertuo: Original
  • Reservoir size: 34 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 10

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 seven great Nespresso machines available in 2021.

1. Nespresso Essenza Mini by De’Longhi – Best for Small Spaces

“Nespresso

Specifications

  • Original or Vertuo: Original

  • Reservoir size: 20.3 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 5-6 

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.

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.

2. Nespresso Lattissima Pro by De’Longhi – Best High End

“Nespresso

Specifications

  • Original or Vertuo: Original

  • Reservoir size: 44 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 15

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 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.

3. Nespresso VertuoPlus by De’Longhi – Best Vertuo

“Nespresso

Specifications

  • Original or Vertuo: Vertuo

  • Reservoir size: 40 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 10

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. 

You have the option to stop the brew mid-flow or add a little extra water if the preset is not entirely to your liking.

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.

4. Nespresso Inissia by De’Longhi – Budget Pick

“Nespresso

Specifications

  • Original or Vertuo: Original

  • Reservoir size: 24 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 11

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.

5. Nespresso Creatista Plus by Breville – Best for Versatility

“Nespresso

Specifications

  • Original or Vertuo: Original

  • Reservoir size: 50 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 12

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.

6. Nespresso Vertuo Next by Breville – Best for Sustainability

“Nespresso

Specifications

  • Original or Vertuo: Vertuo

  • Reservoir size: 37 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 8

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.

Single-serve coffee makers aren’t the most ecologically sound, so any improvements that can be made are welcome.

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.

7. Nespresso CitiZ by De’Longhi – Best Overall

“Nespresso

Specifications

  • Original or Vertuo: Original

  • Reservoir size: 34 oz
  • Used capsule capacity: 10

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 Verdict

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

FAQs

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).

References
  1. 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/
  2. Lattissima Pro. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2021, from https://www.delonghi.com/Global/InstructionManuals/EN/5713222701%20UM_LATTISSIMA_PREMIUM_Z1A_PROD.pdf
  3. 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/
  4. The Design. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nespresso.com/pro/no/en/pages/coffee-machine-design
  5. Services FAQ (list). (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2021, from https://www.nespresso.com/pro/us/en/service-faq
  6. 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
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