We all have our favorite coffees.
Some favor pour-over coffees as a way of extracting the most delicate flavors while others prefer to make an aromatic brew using a French press.
Others still use moka pots, percolators or electric drip coffee makers.
For those who favor the rich intensity of an espresso, however, there is a problem.
This is not an easy drink to produce at home without expensive equipment – and that’s where the Nespresso comes in.
Here are our best Nespresso machine reviews to help pick the right one for you.
The Best Nespresso Machines Reviews of 2020
1. Best Basic: Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine
Specs and Features
The Nespresso Inissia is a Nespresso machine produced by De’Longhi. It measures 4.7” x 12.6” x 9” and weighs 5.29lbs. It is constructed mainly of plastic.
This model features a 24oz tank, making it capable of holding enough water to make up to 9 espressos. It has a folding drip tray that allows you to use larger sized cups.
The Inissia is capable of pouring two sizes of drink, espresso or lungo. You can choose between the two with a simple-to-use one-touch operating system.
These buttons are programmable, too, so you can set exactly how much coffee you want each one to serve.
This machine brews at 19 bar of pressure, allowing it to produce “barista quality” espressos.
It has a very fast warm-up time of only 25 seconds, after which it is ready to pour your first drink.
It also includes an energy-saving feature which turns it off after nine minutes to conserve electricity.
This machine is supplied with a variety pack of 16 pods for you to try.
Possibly the first thing you will notice when you remove this machine from the box is that it looks good.
This is something you will want in your kitchen or living room for other people to see – it is a stylish and classy piece of equipment.
After that, you will probably notice how small and light it is. This machine is ideal for people who don’t have huge amounts of space to spare.
As you would expect with any Nespresso coffee maker, it produces fantastic-tasting espresso with a good crema on top, just like you get in a coffee shop.
One of the things we really like about this machine is how quickly it can produce a cup of espresso.
From being switched up, it is warmed up and ready to serve your drink in only about 25 seconds.
Another benefit related to this is the energy-saving feature.
With other brands of coffee maker, since the warm-up time is longer, it would quickly become annoying to have a machine that switches off after only nine minutes.
However, with this model, since warm-up time is so short, the fact that it switches off so quickly is no problem since you hardly need to wait at all when you switch it back on.
This means this machine will be able to save you a few cents on your electricity bill.
On the downside, this machine is a little noisy when it brews. We’re not saying it’s going to wake the kids up when you make a coffee, but it certainly isn’t silent.
Sometimes inserting the pod correctly can be a little bit tricky too, and after pouring a drink, sometimes it continues to drip.
Overall, Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine is a great choice for someone who wants coffee shop espresso at home with a minimum of fuss.
What I Like
- Perfect size for smaller houses
- Looks stylish and classy
- Excellent value machine
- Programmable espresso and lungo sizes
- Extremely simple to use – always produces great espresso
What I Didn’t Like
- A little noisy
- Can be tricky to insert the pod correctly
2. Best Overall: Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine
Specs and Features
This is a VertuoLine Nespresso machine by Breville. Its dimensions are 11.9” x 8.3” x 11.9”, it weighs 9.8lbs and is made mostly of plastic. The color is chrome.
As part of the VertuoLine range of machines, this coffee maker is capable of producing drinks of different sizes, not just espresso and lungo.
The sizes are “espresso”, “double espresso”, “gran lungo”, “coffee” and “alto”.
Unlike with the original Nespresso machines, VertuoLine brewers use a patented technology called “Centrifusion” which extracts the coffee by spinning the pod at high speed rather than brewing under pressure.
Since the coffee is not brewed under pressure, it cannot be called a true espresso, but it is a very close approximation.
This machine accepts Nespresso Grand Cru pods, and it adjusts the settings automatically to serve the perfect coffee by scanning the pod before you brew.
Heating time is around 25 seconds, and the machine switches off after nine minutes to save energy. There is an alert when the machine needs descaling.
This model is supplied with a 12-pack of taster pods and also comes with an Aeroccino for heating and frothing milk.
This would be a great choice for someone who wants more than just espresso.
The VertuoLine machines were designed for the North American market since people in the US and Canada tend to drink a wider range of coffees, and if that sound like you, this could be a good pick.
If you’re a big espresso fan, you don’t need to worry about the quality of the espresso not being up to standard.
This machine still manages to serve a very decent shot using its innovative technique. The espresso comes out with a delicious crema, just like in a real coffee shop.
This machine is extremely simple to use.
With the Grand Cru pods, you don’t even need to select anything since the machine reads the type of coffee it is supposed to be making and adjusts the parameters accordingly.
As with most Nespresso machines, the appearance of this machine is very eye-catching.
It is a little larger than some other models, but it looks like a high quality, well-built coffee maker – which indeed it is.
The Aeroccino frother is also a great addition and is able to create smooth or frothy milk, as you require.
Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine would be the ideal pick for someone who wants more than just espresso and who also wants a milk frother to give them more options.
What I Like
- Can make espressos or “regular” coffees
- Both espressos and regular coffee are delicious
- Very simple to operate
- Easy to clean
- Eye-catching design
What I Didn’t Like
- If you want to be fussy, the espresso is not “true” espresso – but still tastes great
- Some of the coffees it makes might be too cold for those used to very hot beverages
3. Best Upgrade Pick: De’Longhi America EN750MB Nespresso Lattissima Pro Machine
Specs and Features
This machine is marketed as a “professional grade” espresso-based drinks maker. It measures 10.8” x 7.6” x 13”, weighs 12.6lbs, and features a metal finish.
This machine takes the simplicity of pod-based brewing systems a lot further by offering you a whole range of other coffee shop-style drinks.
With this brewing system, you can produce ristrettos, espressos, lungos, cappuccinos, lattes or simply hot milk, all with the touch of a single button.
The machine accepts Nespresso pods from the original range.
Operating the brewer is made simple with a sensor touch display, and the “thermoblock” system ensures hot water is ready almost instantly.
Once the water is heated, there is no wait time between drinks.
A couple of other particularly handy features include a large reservoir, and a low-water detector to let you know when you need to fill it up.
This machine costs quite a bit more than any of the other models we’re reviewing, but it does so much more too.
While the original Nespresso machines only make espresso and the VertuoLine models make a range of different sized drinks, this machine is capable of producing many authentic coffee shop-style espresso-based drinks at the touch of a button.
Usually, to make a cappuccino or a latte, you would have to pull the espresso shot, froth the milk separately and then combine the two.
With this machine, all you have to do is hit the button corresponding to the drink you want, and the machine does the rest.
This means that with this model, you have the best of both worlds.
You have all the convenience of a pod-based machine with the freedom to make authentic coffee shop beverages as with a regular espresso machine.
The heating time is super-fast, and once it’s ready, you can make as many drinks as you need with no further delay.
This is a great feature if you have a large family or if you have guests for a dinner party.
We also thought the hot milk and hot water functions were welcome.
These are not deal-breakers, but they are the kind of touches you would expect from a high-quality and well-made piece of equipment.
If we are going to try to fault this machine, it might be that the hot milk it produces is not hot enough.
In fact, this is subjective, since the milk is hot – but we think it might not be hot enough for everyone.
Of course, the other issue is the price – this might be above budget for some.
De’Longhi America EN750MB Nespresso is a wonderful machine or someone who wants to be able to make a range of coffee shop-style drinks – and who doesn’t mind paying extra money for a top-end machine.
What I Like
- Makes a range of “professional grade” coffee shop drinks
- Super-easy operation – just hit the button and wait for your drink
- Very short heating time – and then no further wait time between drinks
- Hot water and hot milk functions
- “Water tank empty” reminder
What I Didn’t Like
- High price tag – may be more than some people might be willing to pay
- Hot milk might not be hot enough for some
4. Best Vertuoline: Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker
Specs and Features
This is a machine in the VertuoLine range and is made by De’Longhi. It measures 16.2” x 12.8” x 5.6”, weighs 9.72lbs and is available in either grey or red.
As this is a VertuoLine machine, it uses the VertuoLine range of pods rather than the original Nespresso pods.
An automatic sensor detects the kind of coffee you are making and changes the settings accordingly. It features a 40oz reservoir.
This machine is able to brew different sizes of coffee – not just espresso – which is exactly why the VertuoLine range was created.
It uses Nespresso’s “Centrifusion” method to brew espresso-sized drinks, as well as larger sizes, all with a delicious crema like true espresso.
It can brew three cup sizes, espresso, 8oz and 14oz “Alto”.
It features super-fast warming time and one-touch brewing, making brewing coffee as simple and as painless as possible.
This model is supplied with a 12-pod gift pack to start you off.
The original Nespresso machines could not really compete with Keurig coffee makers since they both made different drinks.
If you wanted a regular coffee, you bought a Keurig and if you wanted an Espresso, your choice was a Nespresso machine.
However, the VertuoLine machines change the rules of the game. With this machine, you can make either type of drink.
The espresso option is far superior to espresso-style K-Cups (which are not espressos at all) and if anything, the Nespresso regular coffees are better than K-Cup coffees too.
We love how simple it is to use this machine – there is only one button you need to press – and the fact the machine reads the pods to make the drink exactly the right way is very handy.
It’s also quite a pretty cool use of technology for people who appreciate that kind of thing.
The machine is small enough to fit into most kitchens or living rooms, and it looks great too. We love the red version, but it will depend on the color scheme in your home.
Again, as with the other VertuoLine machine we reviewed, espresso purists will complain that the espresso is not true espresso since it is not extracted under pressure.
Also, if you invest in a VertuoLine machine, you will only be able to use coffee pods made for this brewing system.
Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker is a good choice for someone looking for an alternative to K-Cups that makes good espresso as well as regular coffee.
What I Like
- Looks very stylish
- Can make great espressos as well as regular coffees
- So simple to use, one-touch brewing system
- Reads the pod so it knows how to brew the coffee you have inserted
- Fast heat up time and energy saving feature
What I Didn’t Like
- VertuoLine machines limit your choices of coffee
- Espressos are not true espresso – but not many would spot the difference
5. Best Mini: Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine
Specs and Features
At 8.1oz x 12.8” x 4.3”, the Essenza Nespresso machine by De’Longhi is one of the smallest models currently available.
It weighs a mere 5.1lbs, features a 20.3oz removable reservoir and is available in three different colors.
This machine produces coffee by passing water through the pods at a pressure of 19 bar, producing a rich espresso with delicious crema, just like in a coffee shop.
Operation is simple, with two programmable one-touch brewing buttons. The Essenza can serve espressos or lungos.
Heating time is only about 30 seconds, and the unit switches off completely after nine minutes to save energy.
However, after only three minutes it switches to low power mode, helping reduce energy consumption even more.
It comes with a starter pack of 14 Nespresso pods.
We have to say, this is one of our favorite Nespresso machines to look at – it’s so small and cute.
The tiny size is practical, too, since you can install this machine almost anywhere, even if you are very short on space.
It performs as well as any other Nespresso machine, reliably producing excellent espressos or lungos, and it features the one-touch programmable buttons common to many Nespresso brewers, making it customizable to a certain extent.
Another thing that stands out is the low power mode.
Before fully switching off, it reverts to low power consumption after only three minutes – until you need to wake it up again or it switches itself off completely.
One problem you might find with the machine is that, due to the tiny size, the water reservoir is similarly small, and if you use it a lot, you might find yourself refilling it quite often.
Another point to bear in mind is that if you want more than just espressos (or lungos), this might not be the right choice.
If you are looking for small and cute Nespresso maker, Essenza Mini Espresso Machine is right for you. Mini size and with all the common features other machines have.
What I Like
- Tiny footprint, easy to fit into most spaces
- Stylish and cute design
- Available in three colors
- Makes excellent coffee with minimal wait time
- Excellent value for money
What I Didn’t Like
- Small reservoir means you might need to refill often
- Only makes espresso – that’s all it’s supposed to do!
6. Best Entry Level: Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine
Specs and Features
The Pixie is a well-known Nespresso machine. It measures 4.4” x 12.8” x 9.3”, making it a little larger than the Essenza.
It weighs in at 6.6lbs, making it slightly heavier too. At 24oz, the reservoir is larger than that of the Essenza, although only marginally.
This machine brews coffees at 19 bars, producing the well-known delicious crema on top.
Similar to other Nespresso machines, it has a 30-second warm-up period and switches back off after nine minutes of inactivity.
It serves espressos or lungos at the touch of a button and includes an indicator that tells you when you need to refill the reservoir.
This model is supplied with a pack of 16 sampler pods.
If you are looking to join the world of Nespresso, this could be a great place to start.
It is small and sells for a very reasonable price, providing the ideal opportunity to begin sampling the Nespresso range without breaking the bank.
These machines do all the basics, like making the usual great cup of espresso with minimal effort, and also features the quick heat-up time and power saving capabilities.
The biggest advantage of owning a machine such as this is that you can always have a great espresso at any time, but without all the trouble – not to mention expense – of using a traditional espresso machine.
These machines are very small too – only slightly larger than the tiny Essenza – so are a good choice for someone with limited space.
We think they look the part, too, and are sure to draw a few comments from guests at your house.
Perhaps one thing that some people might not enjoy is the amount of noise it makes.
It’s not excessively loud and it doesn’t last very long, but while it is brewing, it is far from silent.
People who like their coffee piping hot might not like it either – but it’s espresso, it’s supposed to be like that.
Nespresso Pixie Espresso Machine is the ideal model for someone who is toying with the idea of buying their first Nespresso machine and doesn’t want to buy a top-of-the-range-model.
What I Like
- Inexpensive and simple, ideal as an entry-level option
- Fast brewing time
- Reservoir refill indicator
- Able to pour espressos or larger lungos
- Uses 19 bar of pressure to produce coffee shop-style espressos
What I Didn’t Like
- May be a little noisy for some
- Espressos not piping hot – may take some getting used to for some
Things to look for before buying a Nespresso Machine
Although many Nespresso machines include similar features, here are some of the things to pay attention to:
1. Original or VertuoLine?
Perhaps the most important factor to take into account when buying a Nespresso machine is whether you want to choose an original or a VertuoLine. Original machines use pressure to brew true espressos but are unable to make anything else.
VertuoLine machines use “centrifusion” technology to brew coffee by spinning the pod at a speed of 7000 revolutions per minute. They make a greater selection of drinks, but the espressos they make are not true espressos since they are not brewed under pressure.
If you only want espresso, an original machine is a good choice. If you want greater variety, a VertuoLine might be a smarter pick.
2. Size of reservoir
Some Nespresso machines have larger reservoirs than others. This will mean you need to refill them less often, but they can also take up more space.
3. Heat up time and power saving features
Most Nespresso machines can be ready to pour a coffee very quickly, and you should take note of how long you need to wait. Many also include power-saving features and turn off automatically when not in use.
4. Drink sizes
How many sizes of drink can the machine make? Most original Nespresso machines only make two, espresso and lungo, while VertuoLine models offer more variety.
5. Extra features or capabilities
Some machines include extra capabilities like built-in frothers and so on. You should pay attention to these features if you want more than just espresso.
Q&A: What is a Nespresso machine?
While everyone has heard of single-serve pod-based brewing machines like Keurig and the like, in North America at least, Nespresso is less popular.
So, what is Nespresso and how does it differ from the machines you are more likely to find in homes in the US?
The Nespresso brewing technique was invented in Switzerland the 1970s (1), meaning it has actually been around a lot longer than Keurig coffee makers – the first Keurig machines were produced in the early 2000s.
Both Nespresso machines and Keurig brewers are single-serve coffee makers that use pods, but there is one major difference.
While Keurig machines and their competitors make “regular” coffee the way Americans are used to drinking it, Nespresso machines are designed to produce espresso, traditionally more popular in Europe than North America.
More recently, Nespresso has launched a product range called VertuoLine for the North American market. It can make a wider variety of drink types and is supposed to compete more directly with popular brands like Keurig.
Nespresso machines are produced by a number of other companies, including Krups, Breville and De’Longhi, as well as Nespresso itself. Many of them are quite similar in features, performance and price.
Q&A: Advantages of the Nespresso machine
In many ways, the Nespresso can be seen as the Keurig of the espresso world, and these machines have much in common.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of pod-based brewing systems is convenience. Think about brewing a coffee the traditional way and all the steps involved.
You need to grind the beans correctly for the type of coffee you are making (unless you buy pre-ground coffee), you need to set up the equipment, you need to heat the water, you need to judge the dosage correctly, you have to estimate the steeping time – and you have to clear up after.
With a pod-based brewing system, all you do is pop in a pod and hit “brew” – and in about a minute, the perfect cup of your favorite drink is waiting for you. Some coffee makers allow you to make adjustments to the size or strength of your drink, but that’s about it (2).
Nothing could be simpler.
And then there is another point to note. When you are brewing coffee yourself, there are many different steps that you have to get just right. We mentioned grinding, dosing and steeping, but there are others.
If you make a mistake at any of these steps, you can end up with bad-tasting coffee. With a pod-based machine, this is impossible; you know that the coffee the machine produces will be perfect, all you need to do is to choose the flavor you desire.
Speaking of flavors, that’s another advantage that pod-based systems have over regular brewing methods.
While technically, if you brew using a traditional method, you have more freedom to create any drink you can imagine, in reality, it doesn’t always work like that.
We might dream of making caramel macchiatos or vanilla lattes at home, but let’s be honest, how often do we really bother?
Even if we buy the caramel or vanilla flavorings to make them, after a few servings we generally just fall back to the simplicity of making a regular brew.
With pods, you have a whole range of flavors available when you are buying – and once you have them at home, making a “fancy” coffee is no more difficult than selecting the pod of that flavor or style. Much easier, right?
So, what’s the difference between Nespresso and Keurig? Well, we’ve already answered that. Keurig makes regular coffee while Nespresso makes espresso. If you are an espresso fan, buy a Nespresso; if you prefer regular, buy a Keurig. Simple.
But having said that, the new VertuoLine coffee makers can give you the best of both worlds.
And what’s the difference between a Nespresso and a regular espresso machine? Convenience.
If you enjoy grinding, measuring and pulling espressos like a professional barista, you might consider a traditional espresso machine for your home. If, on the other hand, all you want is great tasting espresso every time with a minimum of fuss, you might think about investing in a Nespresso.
Q&A: Disadvantages of the Nespresso machine
What about the negatives? Yes, there are some disadvantages too, and they are shared with Keurig-style machines.
First, convenience comes at a price, and that price is twofold: variation and creativity. If you choose a pod-based brewing system, you are then “locked in” to using pods whenever you want a coffee. If the coffee you want to buy isn’t available in pods that work with your machine, you can’t use it.
Next is the price. Similar to Keurig, Nespresso pods are more expensive than buying regular coffee and making espresso yourself.
Parallel to what happened when Keurig’s patent expired, other companies are now making Nespresso-compatible pods for slightly cheaper than the genuine pods – but they still work out costlier than buying beans or ground coffee.
Another point to note is that Nespresso pods are not available in regular stores or supermarkets. You need to order online from Nespresso or Amazon or buy them from special Nespresso stores – which you will not necessarily find everywhere.
Finally, there is the environmental impact. While Nespresso pods are made of aluminum and, unlike K-Cups, are therefore recyclable, many of them are still thrown out, adding to global pollution. This might be something for the more ecologically-minded to take into account (3).
Q&A: Things to consider before buying the Nespresso Machine
Do you enjoy the freedom of brewing your own coffee or do you just want the maximum convenience available? If you want convenience, a pod-based system could be the right choice for you
Do you only want to brew espresso? If so, a Nespresso could be suitable. If you want more variety, a VertuoLine could be better. If you don’t want espresso at all, perhaps a Keurig or similar would be a better choice.
Are you bothered by the fact that pod-based brewing is far more wasteful and polluting than regular coffee brewing methods?
Nespresso machines are not as bad for the environment as Keurig coffee makers since the pods are recyclable and Nespresso offers its own recycling service.
We hope you have enjoyed our best Nespresso machine reviews and we hope you have found it useful and informative. We liked all these machines. If you can afford it, the De'Longhi America EN750MB Nespresso Lattissima Pro Machine has loads of great features.
If you’re looking for a small and cute espresso machine, the Nespresso Essenza Mini Espresso Machine by De’Longhi really caught our eye.
However, with its combination of performance, ease of use and very reasonable price, the Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine was our top pick and winner of this roundup, and we would recommend it to anyone looking to buy a Nespresso machine.