The Best Nespresso Machine in 2020
Do you want your morning cuppa cheap, fast, and delicious? We sure do, so Nespresso turned up on our radar, and we couldnt pass up the chance to test the machines and capsules, learn more about their ins and outs, and decide if they are worth the hype. Today we present you with our findings, musings, and ramblings.
Whether you are on a budget, time crunch, or coffee binge, youll learn which Nespresso machine to buy to satisfy your every coffee craving.
Why Choose a Nespresso Coffee Machine?
If you love espresso but have no aspirations to become an at-home barista by braving the steep learning curve of handling an espresso machine, Nespresso is a perfect compromise. Brewing a shot takes no more than three steps. Fill the water tank, insert the capsules, and press the button. Besides, you can top off the water and capsules every once in a while, no need to repeat the steps before every cuppa. It doesn’t get easier than that!
If you love espresso but don’t want to waste time tamping, pulling, and cleaning, DeLonghi or Breville Nespresso devices are the ultimate hassle-free option. Even the cheapest machines heat the water in under a minute, and your coffee is ready is a matter of seconds. There’s no need to set up a timer or wake up early to go through the motions of pulling a shot. Press the button and enjoy your cuppa in a couple of minutes!
If you love espresso but can’t afford to pay a visit to a barista every day and have no spare cash for an automatic espresso machine, Nespresso is the cheapest option. Every capsule is under a dollar, making it four times cheaper than a shot at a local cafe. Even if ground coffee is cheaper when you consider price per pound, a quality espresso coffee maker is a huge investment with price tags ranging from $700 to over $3,000.
If you love espresso, you might find Nespresso a bit weak. While the brewing process is similar (with water passing through the densely packed grounds under high pressure), many coffee lovers claim Nespresso lacks the thick, syrupy texture of a true espresso. Still, the shot you get is strong, concentrated, and packed with flavor and caffeine. You even get a lovely crema!
We recommend you don’t expect cafe-grade espresso from a single-button-press machine. It’s still easy, fast, cheap, and delicious—a definite must-have appliance for every coffee lover’s kitchen.
Cheap vs Expensive
One of the unbeatable benefits of Nespresso is coffee consistency. Whichever machine on this list you choose shot quality will likely be the same, with only minor differences most connoisseurs won’t notice.
So why is there such a huge difference between the cheapest and the most expensive machines?
For one, cheaper models are limited to espresso with ristretto and lungo as additional drink options. The more expensive machine you choose, the more coffee-based drinks you’ll wring out of it. For example, Lattissima can brew a perfect cappuccino, while CitiZ can not. In this case, there’s no need to splurge on a high-end machine if you’re not a fan of milk-based coffee drinks.
For another, build quality makes a world of difference. Cheap plastic covers will never last as long as stainless steel ones. The latter look sleeker and more durable, meaning you save in the long term even if the initial investment is slightly higher.
Build quality is also about the ease of cleaning. Machines that can handle milk come with plenty of removable parts you need to disassemble and clean after each cuppa. Even if there’s an auto-clean cycle, you can never be sure the coffee maker is 100% clean until you take it apart. All this detracts from the ease of use and drives up the price. It’s for you to decide whether a cup of cappuccino is worth the extra money and hassle.
How to Use Nespresso Machine
Using a Nespresso machine is not rocket science. After all, they are marketed to be super intuitive, and it’s the one time ads don’t lie. Setting up the machine takes two minutes flat. Most models are so tiny, you won’t have trouble finding kitchen countertop real estate. Some are even smaller than electric kettles and will fit in the tiniest gaps between other kitchen appliances.
Running the risk of sounding boring, we recommend you start by reading and following the user guide. In most cases, it will take you through the process of rinsing and filling the water tank, adding capsules, and pressing the brew button. Remember to insert a cup under the nozzle before you set the Nespresso machine to brew, and in a couple of minutes, pick up a delicious espresso.
If you opt for one of the Lattissima models, you will have to complete an additional step of filling and inserting the milk carafe if you want to enjoy a cup of cappuccino or latte macchiato. Some Nespresso machines come with extra perks and features, and we’ll address them in their reviews below.
Nespresso Original vs Vertuo
True to its name, the Original line was first to hit the market. It relies on standard capsules that are the same size for all drinks. The Original models can brew a ristretto (0.84 oz), an espresso (1.35 oz), and a lungo (3.72 oz). The brewing process is similar to espresso machines. After piercing the pod, the machine pushes the hot water under high pressure through the grounds, and the resultant drink drips into the awaiting cup for your drinking pleasure. We love the Original line for its simplicity and streamlined experience across all models. However, the somewhat limited choice of drinks can be disappointing.
Of course, simplicity is never good for business, so Nespresso came up with a new and improved lineup of coffee machines. The Vertuo models are more versatile, capable of brewing the same drinks as the Original line with three new options, including a double espresso (2.7 oz) and two coffee drinks (8 oz and 14 oz). Using the same amount of beans for all these options wasn’t feasible, so Nespresso introduced new pods in three sizes, large for coffees, medium for lungos, and small for espressos. The trouble is, Vertuo capsules now come with barcodes that trigger a specific brew cycle in the machine, so there’s almost no way for you to use third-party pods with a Vertuo machine.
Brewing method is another significant difference between the Original and the Vertuo lines. The latter relies on a built-in centrifuge that goes as high as 7,000 rpm to extract the coffee. This process results in a high, dense layer of crema that will make espresso lovers swoon. However, if you’re not a fan of crema or don’t plan on brewing large cups of coffee, the Original line might be better suited to your taste. Otherwise, we wholeheartedly recommend the Vertuo.
Our comparison spans nine models from the Original and Vertup lineups. Keep reading, and you’ll find your perfect Nespresso on our shortlist.
Nespresso Evoluo Review
- Five drink options
- Heat-up in 15 seconds
- Descaling alarm
- Auto shutoff
- Relies on Vertuo pods
- Bulkier than other models
As a part of the Vertuo line, Evoluo comes with the same set of advantages we’ve gone over. The machine relies on Centrifusion technology to extract aroma and flavor from the grounds and create a strong crema. It can also work with different pods to create five drink options, including espresso, double espresso, gran lungo, coffee, and alto. And the best thing is - you don’t have to fiddle with settings! There’s just one button. The clever capsule design includes barcodes that tell the machine what size of coffee you want, so there’s no need for extra instructions.
This model comes with additional perks that might not be as important to you, but that make the long-term use much better. The automatic shutoff after 9 minutes ensures the machine doesn’t waste electricity and is safe. And the descaling alarm will notify you when the device must be cleaned to ensure it stays operational for years to come.
Now for the numbers. The machine is on the larger side, measuring 9.0 by 12.2 by 12.3 in (WxDxH) and weighs 11 pounds. It can handle up to 17 large used capsules and holds 54 ounces of water. Available in five sleek colors, Evoluo rings up to $200, which isn’t the cheapest of Nespresso models, but very affordable when compared to super-automatic espresso machines.
For more details on this model, check out our Nespresso Evoluo review.
Nespresso Citiz Review
- Award-winning design
- 19-bar coffee extraction
- 25-second heat-up
- Removable drip tray
- Espresso and Lungo only
- Build quality issues
If you value style as much as quality coffee, CitiZ will be a treat for your eyes as well as your taste buds. The award-winning design doesn’t take much space on the counter and adds a bright pop into any kitchen style. Though tiny, the Nespresso machine packs a punch: it heats up in only 25 seconds and extracts coffee at 19 bars. You get to enjoy barista-quality coffee in your own kitchen in no time flat. Once you’re happily caffeinated, the machine will automatically shut off after 9 minutes of inactivity, saving you the trouble. On the downside, some buyers claim the build quality leaves much to be desired, as the water pump may fail in a couple of years of intense use.
Unlike Evoluo, CitiZ comes with only two drink options: espresso and lungo. However, the drip tray is removable to accommodate taller glasses. So if you decide to get your hands on a milk frother, you can whip a cappuccino or a latte using the shots brewed by your Nespresso.
When we say CitiZ is tiny, we mean business. It weighs just under 9 pounds and measures 5.2 x 14.6 x 10.9 inches (WxDxH). The water tank capacity is 33 ounces, and you can leave up to nine used capsules in the built-in container. You can choose among three color options (silver, black, and red) if you’re willing to pay $250 for Nespresso CitiZ.
For more details on this model, check out our Nespresso CitiZ review.
Nespresso Inissia Review
- Tiny and lightweight
- A price tag under $100
- Seven color options
- Espresso and lungo only
- Smallish water tank
For non-existent kitchens, Inissia is the best of Nespresso models. It’s even tinier than CitiZ but equally stylish and powerful. Whether you want an espresso or a lungo, the coffee machine will heat up in 25 seconds and push the piping hot water through the beans at an industry-standard pressure of 19 bars, all at one press of a button. You’ll get a perfect shot sooner than you can say, “Should I go to a cafe?”
Inissia is the best price Nespresso machine with a price tag of only $90. Can you imagine buying an automatic espresso machine for under a hundred bucks? Inissia comes very close to achieving this dream. Besides, the machine is super-stylish and portable. Grab a handle, and it can go with you on a road trip! Seven vibrant color options ensure Inissia will fit right in regardless of your kitchen design and color palette.
At 5.3 pounds, the machine’s dimensions are impressive. It’s only 4.7 x 12.6 x 9 inches, and this caps the amount of water the tank can hold at 23.7 oz. On the other hand, the used pod container is large enough to fit 11 capsules. Finally, like all Nespresso machines, Inissia has an auto-shut-off feature that cuts power after 9 minutes of idling.
For more details on this model, check out our Nespresso Inissia review.
Nespresso Lattissima+ Review
- Five drink options
- Adjustable coffee and milk volume
- Water hardness settings
- More expensive than other Nespresso Original models
- Milk system cleaning issues
If you love espresso as much as cappuccino, this is the right Nespresso machine for you. At a single press of a button, you can brew ristretto, espresso, and Lungo, as well as latte macchiato and cappuccino. The built-in milk frother and removable carafe take care of building a delicate microfoam to top off your coffee creations. Besides, you can control coffee and milk proportions to get your favorite drink just right.
Built to last, Lattissima+ can be programmed to deal with soft, medium, and hard water. And you’ll get a notification when descaling time comes. It’s made easy and intuitive with the use of Nespresso compounds, though third-party solutions may work just as well.
Like most early-days Lattissima machines, this one suffers from milk system design flaws. It’s hard to clean thoroughly, causing clogging within a few months of use. If you’re unwilling to waste time on maintenance, buying an espresso maker and milk frother bundle might be a better choice for you. Or you can check out the Lattissima Pro model that’s free of these issues but a bit more expensive. Lattissima Plus costs around $400, though you may find it in discount isles for $350 or less.
For more details on this model, check out our Nespresso Lattissima+ review.
Nespresso Lattissima Touch Review
- Six drink options
- Manual milk frother regulation
- 40-second heat-up for milk-based drinks
- Not as affordable as other models
- Milk system cleaning issues
When we learned about the capabilities of this Delonghi Nespresso machine, we couldn’t believe our eyes. Sure, it has the same variety of drinks as the previous model. But it provides more control for those coffee aficionados who want to play around with milk settings instead of settling for the default option. Finally, there’s an easy way to top up your latte macchiato glass with delicate, cloud-like microfoam without braving the steam wand.
Aside from traditional coffee and espresso, the machine can whip up a cappuccino, latte, latte macchiato, and warm milk. The only thing missing is the option to add a splash of cold milk to your coffee, but you can do it by hand by stopping the cycle before the foam is formed. And we love how this machine only takes 40 seconds to heat and start brewing any milk-based drink. It’s sensationally fast and intuitive, but it comes at a price of around $500, though you can find it on sale for around $350.
Considering the added features and two removable tanks for water (30.4 oz) and milk (11.8 oz), the dimensions and weight of Lattissima Pro are surprisingly manageable at 10 pounds and 6.9x12.6x10.2 in. However, with the milk system comes a slew of customer complaints that claim cleaning issues and extra hassle that detract from the overall outstanding experience. The next generation of this model, Latissima Pro, seems to have resolved these issues, so let’s take a closer look at its capabilities.
For more details on this model, check out our Nespresso Lattissima Touch review.
Nespresso Lattissima Pro Review
- Seven drink options
- Touch-screen controls
- The semi-automatic daily cleaning cycle
- Empty water tank and descaling alert
- One of the most expensive models
Lattissima Pro is the next generation of the Touch model with similar features and design, but better build and additional perks that make a world of difference. For instance, you can use the Pro to get a cup of hot water for the tea lovers of the household. Besides, this model has finally addressed the milk system issues and relies on a daily cleaning cycle to prevent clogging.
The smart device can be programmed for soft, medium, or hard water, and it comes with a descaling alarm you should never ignore. There’s also an empty water tank notification that’s super handy, as the water tank (43.96 oz) is in the back. The usual bells and whistles, such as auto shutoff, fast heat up, and 19 bar thermoblock, are all in place too, making Lattissima Pro the best Nespresso machine for latte and cappuccino.
The prices range between $450 and $600, making Lattissima Pro one of the most expensive models in the Nespresso lineup. If you’re ready to spend that much, buying a full-out espresso machine might be more cost-efficient in the long run, as it runs on ground coffee beans rather than pods.
For more details on this model, check out our Nespresso Lattissima Pro review.
Nespresso Pixie Review
- It takes 25 seconds to heat up
- Folding drip tray for taller glasses
- Tiny with a 24 oz water tank
- Espresso and lungo only
- Aeroccino needed for milk-based drinks
It’s small; it’s powerful; it’s easy to use. What more do you need to know about this Nespresso machine? It can brew a delicious espresso or lungo, and if you supplement it with Aeroccino milk frother, then you can add cappuccino and latte to your drink lineup. The folding drip tray makes the setup ergonomic and clean, taking up as little countertop space as possible.
Pixie owes the glowing reviews to a powerful thermoblock that heats up in 25 seconds and pushes hot water through the pod at a 19 bar pressure, the same as professional espresso machines. However, it is much easier to operate with only two control buttons and smart sensors that notify you when the water in the 24-ounce tank is running low and turn the device off after nine minutes of idling to save energy.
Measuring 12.8x4.4x9.3 inches, it has a minimal counter footprint and is lightweight enough for easy setup and handling. Besides, you don’t have to deal with used pods after every cuppa. The internal container can store up to 11 capsules. Prices range between $170 and $200, making it one of the most affordable models in the Nespresso Original lineup.
For more details on this model, check out our Nespresso Pixie review.
Nespresso Prodigio Review
- Connects to smartphones via Bluetooth
- Ristretto, espresso, and lungo options
- Rotating water tank
- Drip tray and spout issues
As the first of the connected coffee machines on the Nespresso lineup, Prodigio comes with plenty of perks and drawbacks. We like the idea of getting descaling and other maintenance notifications on our smartphones. However, features like brewing schedule and remote brewing seem a bit redundant for a machine that heats up in 25 seconds and pulls a shot within a couple of minutes of pressing the button. Unless you’re on an endless time-crunch, you’re unlikely to use either of these features.
Using the same 19-bar fast-heating thermoblock as most Nespresso models, Prodigio can brew ristretto, espresso, and lungo. And the folding drip tray accommodates tall glasses for latte or cappuccino. However, the tray is somewhat awkward, so you’d better keep an eye on the cup to avoid spilling. On the other hand, a rotating water tank is an ingenious solution that provides easy access for water refills and guarantees you’ll find enough space on your kitchen counter for this machine.
At $200, Prodigio is among the affordable Nespresso models, and paired with a milk frother, it makes for a versatile espresso maker. But if you want even more options, read on to learn why Vertuo is our number one choice.
For more details on this model, check out our Nespresso Prodigio review.
Nespresso Vertuo Review
- Five coffee drink options
- Huge water tank (54 oz)
- Powerful and affordable
- Compatible with Vertuo capsules only
The first of the Vertuo line, this machine was introduced in 2015 and became an instant hit. As you’ve already gathered, it relies on centrifugal force to extract coffee and produce the dense and delicious crema to top off your espresso. Aside from the traditional shot, Vertuo can brew a double espresso, gran lungo (5 oz), and two coffee options (8 oz and 14 oz). Though it does not offer any milk-based options, you can purchase this device in a bundle with a milk frother to treat yourself to lattes and cappuccinos.
The machine is still comparatively small (9.0x12.3x12.2 in), but it boasts a huge water tank that holds up to 54 oz. That’s enough to caffeinate your whole family for a few days or keep the team at the office happy and energized. We’re also big fans of the descaling alarm that helps you keep the machine in tip-top shape to squeeze maximum mileage out of it before you decide to upgrade to a high-end espresso maker.
The Vertuo line comprises plenty of options, but the first model is the cheapest at $200. You can even find it on sale for as little as $140! It’s a laughable sum for a device that produces delicious espresso and is so easy to operate.
For more details on this model, check out our Nespresso Vertuo review.
Summary. What Is the Best Nespresso Machine?
With nine outstanding options to choose from (and others, like the Nespresso Essenza Mini espresso machine that didn’t make it to the final shortlist), we had a hard time coming up with the top recommendation. But Nespresso Vertuo has won over our hearts and taste buds. It stands out from Nespresso Original models thanks to a thicker, syrupy coffee that’s almost indistinguishable from a barista-brewed espresso. Besides, it’s very affordable and super versatile even without a milk frother. With one, the variety of drinks you can brew with one press of a button becomes truly impressive. For us, it was love at first taste, so Vertuo has our undying support and glowing recommendations.
Nespresso vs Keurig Capsules. What’s the Difference?K-cups work for Keurig machines that punch holes and pass the water through the beans, but they are breathable and often non-recyclable. Nespresso capsules are made of aluminum and vacuum-sealed to preserve coffee aroma and flavor. You can ship the capsules back to Nespresso for recycling and composting. While Nespresso capsules let you enjoy an espresso shot (or a drink very close to it), K-cups produce regular coffee that’s weaker and less intense.
Any Reusable Nespresso Pods?There are several options for every budget, but WayCap is our favorite. Unlike Sealpod, WayCap is 100% green with no one-use stickers or filters. Besides, it comes with a dispenser and tamper that help you fill the pod without making a mess out of your kitchen. The one downside of such stainless steel pods is their price tag. WayCap Kit is around $40, and even if you go for a kit with two capsules, it will still cost around $70. With prices as high as this, there’s no way to stock up on reusable pods to fill in advance and keep on hand. And filling the reusable pods before every brewing is more hassle than using a Nespresso should be.
Can I Use Third-party Capsules?There are plenty of companies producing compatible capsules. Though most aren’t anywhere near as strong or flavorful as the original lineup, they are usually a bit cheaper. Using plastic instead of aluminum to build the pods is one way these brands keep the prices down. These plastic capsules are usually non-recyclable, so steer clear if you want to keep your environmental footprint down. Besides, Vertuo pods come with barcodes, so you’re less likely to find third-party capsules to work with this model.
Can I Use the Pod Twice?You can try inserting it into the Nespresso coffee maker again, but we guarantee you won’t like the results. At high temperature and pressure, the grounds infuse water with most of their aroma and flavor. On the second go-around, the pod will have nothing left to give. At best, you’ll get a weak cuppa, at worst, you’ll be left with brown water. If you’re that concerned about the environment or your wallet, try reusable capsules.
How Do I Recycle Nespresso Capsules?The easiest option is returning them to a Nespresso boutique. Otherwise, you can get a complimentary UPS bag with your capsule order. It fits 200 Original capsules or 100 Vertuo pods. Once you fill the bag, mail it to Nespresso free of charge. The service works across the US, except Hawaii, Alaska, and US Territories. New Yorkers can simply add their pods to blue recycle bins. European buyers can drop off their used pods at recycling collection points or request collection service from home.