Best Nespresso Machine – Reviews and Top Picks
Swiss-made capsule-based brewers have a worldwide reputation for quality. Both in their coffee and their craftsmanship. Yes, we’re talking about Nespresso. But, there are so many Nespresso models, it can be hard to know which has the exact blend of features to meet your needs. This is where we can help.
Read on for our 7 best Nespresso machines. Make sure to read our buyers’ guide below and learn how which model is perfect for you.
The award-winning Nespresso CitiZ perfectly balances design, performance, and affordability. It’s a home espresso maker guaranteed to please. CitiZ features a powerful 19 bar pump for premium espresso and plenty of capacity for the average household. It’s the lowest-cost model that can be bundled with an Aeroccino frother.
The 7 Best Nespresso machines
Whether you’re looking for a tiny single-serve brewer for your office desk or a fully automatic one-touch cappuccino machine, there’s a Nespresso machine to meet your needs. Here are our 7 best Nespresso machines for this year.
||Nespresso Essenza Mini||
||Breville-Nespresso Creatista Plus||
||Breville-Nespresso Vertuo Plus with Aeroccino||
||De Longhi Nespresso Inissia||
||De Longhi-Nespresso Vertuo Plus||
||De Longhi-Nespresso Original Lattissima||
With its perfect balance of design, functionality, and affordability, the Nespresso CitiZ is our top pick for the best Nespresso machine this year. It’s a sleek little brewer, suited as well to the kitchen counter as the office desk. It was even awarded the Red Dot Award for product design (6).
However, unlike Nespresso’s other compact coffee makers, this one offers a relatively large water reservoir and the used capsule container. The average household will be more than satisfied with its capacity. Plus, when the water tank does need refilling, it is easily removable.
It heats in just 25 seconds and has a 19-bar pump, generating more than enough pressure for a rich, crema topped espresso. There are two programmed drinks available, an espresso and a lungo. Additionally, there’s the option of automatic flow stop, so you can add as much or as little hot water as you wish. The foldable drip tray can accommodate a variety of mug sizes. Moreover, this is the lowest-price model that you can bundle with the Aeroccino milk frother, providing access to lattes and cappuccinos as well.
After brewing, this machine will automatically power off after 9 minutes of inactivity. This great energy-saving feature will benefit both your power bills and the environment.
As compared with the previous Nespresso machine model, the latest Essenza Mini is even smaller. Now, at just over 3 inches wide, this tiny coffee machine will fit nicely in even the tightest of kitchens, dorm rooms, or office cubicles. It weighs in at only 5 pounds, making it easily transportable. And despite its lightweight, it feels sturdy and durable. So don’t be afraid to pack it up for an RV or business trip.
Fortunately, the Essenza Mini’s small size in no way indicates a lack of quality or functionality. It still features the 19-bar pump at the heart of all Nespresso espresso machines. Thus, a guaranteed rich and creamy espresso takes only 30 secs. Just choose espresso or lungo at the press of a button. Still, if the pre-programmed options don’t satisfy, you can manually adjust the volume of water. Three minutes after use, the Essenza Mini automatically enters a low-energy mode, and after 9 minutes, it will shut off to save energy.
The only downside to the Nespresso Essenza Mini espresso machine is its relatively small water reservoir, though this contributes to its small footprint. If you’re looking for a compact machine with a bit more capacity, take a look at the Nespresso Pixie.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Creatista Plus is the incredible aesthetics. Nespresso refers to it as premium design. Its shiny chrome accents and sleek shape recall the original manual espresso coffee makers. You’ll definitely want to display this on your countertop.
The Nespresso Creatista is more than just a pretty face. It also delivers the best latte or cappuccino you can get from a pod-based system.
By partnering with Breville for this design, Nespresso was able to pair their unmatched capsule espressos with Breville’s legendary steam wand technology. And, thanks to the thermojet heater, this machine is ready to brew in 10 seconds. Again, the 19 bar pump guarantees amazing espresso. Finally, you can use the intuitive LCD to select one of 8 pre-programmed drinks or customize your own.
But it’s the automatic steam wand that makes this machine stand out. Thanks to its steam wand, Creatista Plus offers eight milk texture levels and eleven milk temperatures for a perfect airy cappuccino or creamy flat white. After brewing, the milk frother is automatically sterilized with hot steam.
The only con is that the Nespresso Creatista is the most expensive Nespresso machine model. However, its durable materials and timeless design, as well as the inclusion of a steam wand and self-cleaning function, add considerable value.
The Vertuo machine line uses a brand-new extraction technology called Centrifusion, which spins the coffee pod at 7,000 rpm. This thoroughly blends the ground coffee with hot water to achieve optimum extraction, whether you’re brewing a large coffee or a cup of espresso.
The sleek and stylish Nespresso VertuoPlus coffee and espresso maker preheats in under 30 seconds. It offers five cup sizes, up to a 14-ounce large coffee. It’s also equipped with an intelligent extraction system, which reads the capsule’s barcode and automatically sets the best brewing parameters. While this requires that you use Nespresso’s pricey proprietary capsules, the extraction system guarantees great espresso drinks with no user input.
This model is bundled with Nespresso’s Aeroccino milk frother, one of the simplest ways to prepare frothed milk. The press of a single button produces warm or cold foamed milk. Plus, it automatically turns off after use.
The Nespresso Inissia espresso machine by De’Longhi’s compact design makes it a nice fit to a small kitchen. It’s an entry-level model with an approachable low price, but its 19 bar pump still delivers the premium espresso for which Nespresso machines are renowned.
It’s incredibly simple and efficient to operate. After powering on, it’s ready to brew in 30 seconds. Thus, your cup of coffee will be ready in less than 2 minutes. You can opt for an espresso or a lungo, both available at the press of a button. Moreover, the driptray folds to accommodate a larger mug. When you’re done brewing, it turns off automatically after 9 minutes.
Though the water tank of the Nespresso Inissia is a relatively small 24 ounces, it’s enough for 8 or 10 drinks. The used grounds’ container holds eleven Nespresso pods. So, daily maintenance won’t be required for a small household of average coffee drinkers.
Like the rest of the VertuoLine Nespresso machines, it uses Nespresso’s Centrifusion technology, which ensures proper extraction and a rich crema. This is true whether you opt for a single shot of espresso or a 14-ounce alto drink. It also features their patented intelligent brewing system. This system scans a barcode on the Nespresso capsule and automatically adjusts to the perfect brewing parameters for each pod.
A few little design features on this model make a big impact when it comes to user-friendliness. The head is motorized, so it opens and closes at the press of a button. Cleverly, the water tank is built on a swivel, so it can sit either beside or behind the machine depending on the layout of your kitchen. It has a fast heat-up time of only 25 seconds and shuts off automatically after 9 minutes.
The Lattissima Touch espresso machine by De’Longhi can do it all. And, it can do it at the press of a button. Made in Italy, the birthplace of espresso, it offers six one-touch drinks, each extracted with a high-pressure 19 bar pump. The milk frothing is done automatically with the built-in milk carafe and produces rich, long-lasting foam. The carafe holds 12 ounces of milk, making it easy to use and convenient for brewing several drinks. When you’re done, it can be removed for storage in the fridge.
This Nespresso machine is easy-to-clean. It is nearly as simple as operating it. The milk system has a built-in rinse function for quick sterilization after use. Lastly, when it comes to descaling, the Touch will alert you when it is needed. Plus, a descaling pump is included to ease the process.
If you want to look at something that offers more features, the Nespresso Lattissima Pro could be a great choice.
How to choose the right Nespresso machine
There are many Nespresso machines out there and with so many choices, including partnerships with Breville and De’Longhi, choosing a Nespresso espresso maker can feel overwhelming. This guide is here to help you find the perfect one for your lifestyle.
Nespresso versus Keurig
More than 25% of American households (1) now possess a pod coffee machine (like some of our favorites here). Yet, when it comes to the best single serve coffee makers, two companies dominate the marketplace, Nespresso and Keurig (2).
Nespresso holds considerable market share throughout Europe and Asia. They also often partner with other brands like Breville and De Longhi to build their machines. To counteract the bad publicity inherent in single-serve coffee brewing, they have also prioritized sustainability.
Nespresso capsules, even other Nespresso compatible capsule brands, are fully recyclable, their coffee is Rainforest Alliance certified, and they have several initiatives to give back to the coffee growing regions they source from (3).
Coffee production helps to pacify regions. That’s basically because you have families who can produce on small lands, and they have a stable income.
In contrast, Keurig machines are both lower quality and lower priced. Also, they brew drip coffee, rather than espresso. If that sounds more up your alley, we’ve reviewed the best Keurig coffee makers. Keurig’s K-Cups are available from a much larger number of brands, offering greater variety and reduced prices. Unfortunately, they are not yet fully recyclable, which negatively affects the environment.
Nespresso Original or Vertuo
To make inroads into the North American market, where consumers prefer full-sized coffees to shots of espresso, Nespresso released the Vertuo Line. This line uses bigger Nespresso capsules to create larger coffee drinks without diluting the flavor (4). At its core is Nespresso’s innovative Centrifusion breakthrough. The Centrifusion spins the coffee pod at 7,000 rpm, blending the ground coffee and water to achieve optimum extraction.
Machines in the Vertuo Line are less expensive than the original models. On the other hand, Vertuo capsules are more expensive.
Their price is due to use of barcode reading technology to scan the capsule upon insertion. Scanning allows the machine to automatically adjust to the optimal brewing parameters. The result is an incredibly user-friendly experience, but it does limit you to the proprietary Vertuo capsules.
Here’s our in-depth comparison: Nespresso Original Line vs Vertuo Line.
How much capacity do you need?
The capacity of a coffee or espresso maker is determined by the size of its water reservoir and the size of its used grounds bin. Nespresso machines all feature a used capsule container. Spent Nespresso capsules are automatically ejected into it after brewing. Thus, this great feature saves you from scalding when removing a hot capsule.
Surely, you should look for a machine with the capacity to match your household. If you buy something too small, it will be frustrating to constantly refill the water reservoir and empty the capsules bin. Differently, buying a machine that is too large means spending unnecessary money and occupying extra counter space.
What are your favorite drinks?
A standard Nespresso espresso machine offers two drinks, an espresso shot, and a 5-ounce lungo. One of Nespresso’s smartest decisions was to offer different capsule sizes for each drink. This is distinct from Keurig, where every drink starts with the same capsule, and the larger options are just more dilute. FYI, Nespresso doesn’t make standard espresso, but it can make regular coffee.
If you are partial to milky drinks, look for a coffee and espresso machine that can be bundled with the Aeroccino milk frother. Alternatively, find ones with a built-in option, like a steam wand or a milk carafe. Note that the carafe is easier to use because it allows for 1-touch drinks. Steam wands are known for creating more finely textured microfoam, a necessity for latte art (5).
The term ‘microfoam’ describes a quality of frothed milk in which the bubbles are so small and so numerous that they can’t be seen, but they can be felt on the palate—namely as a texture that is something like liquid velvet.
The Aeroccino is an automatic milk frother designed as an add-on for Nespresso machines without a frothing system. It’s incredibly easy to use, as it froths either cold or hot milk at the press of a button.
Nespresso machines offer convenience, high-end manufacturing, and high quality coffee. Choosing the best Nespresso coffee maker is about finding the features you need at a price point you can afford.
For 2020, our overall favorite is the beautifully designed Nespresso CitiZ. This award-winning brewer offers perfectly extracted espresso at the touch of a button and plenty of capacity for the average household. The best thing is you do not need to go to the coffee shop to grab your favorite cup of coffee. Getting a Nespresso lets you make great coffee at home every time at a remarkably affordable price.
Yes, you can run a Nespresso pod twice. Just place the used Nespresso capsule back in the machine and brew it again. Inevitably, the second cup will be a bit weaker than the first.
No, you cannot use a K-Cup in a Nespresso machine. They use different scanning technology and have different shapes and sizes.
Similar to other espresso machines, Nespresso machines should be descaled once every 3 to 6 months, depending on how hard the water is in your area.
- Ferdman, R.A. (2016, February 3). America’s Favorite Coffee Trend May Be Coming to an End. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/03/down-go-coffee-pods/
- Contreras, M. (2018, May 31). Why Specialty Coffee Needs to Befriend the Capsule Consumer. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2018/05/why-specialty-coffee-needs-to-befriend-the-capsule-consumer/
- Gunther, M. (2015, May 27). The good, the bad, and the ugly: sustainability at Nespresso. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/may/27/nespresso-sustainability-transparency-recycling-coffee-pods-values-aluminum
- Grant, T. (2020, March 30). Why Are Specialty Coffee Capsules Growing in Popularity? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/03/why-are-specialty-coffee-capsules-growing-in-popularity/
- Meister. (2013, December 9). All About Milk Foam and Coffee. Retrieved From https://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/12/milk-foam-what-is-microfoam-why-does-milk-foam-what-is-a-cappuccino-coffee.html
- Nespresso PIXIE machine wins Red Dot Award for Product Design. (2011, March 1). Retrieved From https://www.nestle-nespresso.com/media/mediareleases/pixie-machine-wins-red-dot-award