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Plenty of bean-to-cup and ground coffee makers can produce a quality cup of coffee, but don’t underestimate the power of pod-based Nespressos. Whether you love making an espresso drink or a classic cold brew from the comfort of your home, Nespresso machines will give you the best of both worlds—and so much more. We’re talking lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos galore.
And don’t just take our word for it. Nicole Papantoniou, the Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliances & Culinary Innovation Lab, is among Nespresso’s legion of devotees. And with years of experience professionally testing kitchen appliances, she definitely knows a thing or two about the best coffee gadgets. “I really like Nespresso products and their coffee and espresso,” says Papantoniou. “The one main difference between a Nespresso machine versus a different type of espresso machine is the crema—it is creamier with the Nespresso machines, whereas espressos usually have a thinner type of crema.”
Now that we have your attention, keep scrolling to shop 10 best Nespresso machines worth adding to your countertop, below. Not every model is the same, so we’ve broken down their key differences so you can find exactly which one is right for you.
How we picked these products
To find the best Nespresso machine, we turned to our friends at the Good Housekeeping Institute, who have identified the best and highest-rated brands. Their team of on-staff experts—which includes all types: engineers! data analysts! registered dietitians!—rigorously put everyday products to the test (and then more and more tests) in their New York City-based labs to determine which ones you can trust.
Brewing more than 60 cups of espresso, these Kitchen Tech Experts analyzed over 20 machines on a variety of important factors, including their user-friendliness, smoothness of crema, taste (no bitter or acidic brews here!), noise level during operation, consistency of temperature and volume, cleanability, and brewing time. After reviewing their findings and discussing their road tests in-depth with Papantoniou, we’ve determined that these are the best Nespresso machines you can buy in 2023.
VertuoPlus Deluxe Coffee and Espresso Machine
You don’t have to go all the way to Italy, or even Starbucks, for a smooth cup of espresso. Just traipse on over to your kitchen counter and prepare yourself a cup with just a touch of the Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe’s button.
Offering a variety of size and drink options, it can produce a frothy crema and up to 14 ounces of everything from single or double espresso to lungo. In fact, one of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s testers “didn’t even need to add milk, although that’s how she normally drinks her coffee.” This machine is only compatible with Nespresso’s premium VertuoLine pods, but with nearly 30 flavors to choose from, you’re sure to find something you like—just ask Papantoniou.
“This is my favorite Nespresso machine, and the reason I like it so much is because of the capsules,” she says. “These capsules have a barcode located underneath the rim of the capsule, and that barcode tells the machine exactly how to use it, and that technology was unique to Nespresso for a long time. The other thing about these capsules is that they’re designed to make espresso or coffee or a travel size capsule, and so you’re guaranteed to get a consistent cup each time.” Plus, she notes “the control panel is also really easy to use, you just lift it to open, and also helps deliver that consistent cup every single time,” adding “I also love having the frother available to make lattes when I want them.”
The VertuoPlus Deluxe is a tad loud, but we think a bit of noise is a worthy trade for its consistent temperature and volume, 19-bar pressure system, and sleek, modern design (which is made from 54 percent recycled plastic and is equipped with a removable 60-ounce tank). And when you’re done sipping your rich, balanced beverage, you can send any used pods back to Nespresso to be recycled.
Vertuo Pop+ Deluxe Coffee and Espresso Machine
Looking to add a pop of color to your kitchen? Go for Nespresso’s Vertuo Pop+. This new model packs the same power as the rest of the brand’s Vertuo makers, but is now available in eight fun hues to choose from.
This stylish coffee machine is also made for small spaces. It’s compact and features a 37-ounce side water tank that’s removable. Plus, it’s made from 35 percent recycled plastic for a smaller carbon footprint.
Not only can the Vertuo Pop+ brew cups in a range of different sizes (5, 8, and 12 ounces, plus single and double espressos), but “[it] can also brew cold brew, which makes it unique,” says Papantoniou.
Unlike the Vertuo original, where you simply press the lever up and down to open and close the head of the coffee maker, this version isn’t automatic. Instead, “you have to turn the lever at the top to release the head,” explains Papantoniou, insert your coffee capsule, and lock it in before brewing. However, the Vertuo Pop+ still mirrors other models in the Vertuo series by making precise, full-bodied brews. It does so by using Centrifusion technology to read each coffee pod’s code and make a specific type of coffee.
Brewing on a budget? The small-but-mighty Nespresso Essenza Mini by Breville packs a powerful punch with a whopping 19 bars of pressure, a 20-ounce water tank, and a removable drip base to accommodate larger cups.
“This is one of their smallest units, it takes up minimal space,” says Papantoniou. “It makes a really good cup of espresso using traditional pods, giving the option of making an espresso or a lungo.”
This machine can be a little loud and drips for a little longer than is ideal, but the Essenza Mini makes up for any shortcomings by producing what the Good Housekeeping Institute’s panelists call a “smooth, more full” brew that is “not bitter or acidic” and a frothy crema.
But it doesn’t just make a darn fine cup of coffee. The Essenza Mini also offers a carbon footprint that’s about as small as its actual footprint thanks to features like an eco-mode that reduces its energy consumption after three minutes and an automatic shut-off function to conserve energy after nine minutes of inactivity, and of course, pods that are compatible with Nespresso’s flagship pod recycling service.
Creatista Pro Espresso Machine
The Nespresso Creatista Pro Espresso Machine by Breville offers the effortlessness and attentiveness of having a personal Starbucks barista at your disposal 24/7. Boasting a dual ThermoJet heating system, all it takes is three seconds for this coffee maker to heat up and extract your espresso, and you can have two drinks piping hot and ready for your enjoyment in just 75 seconds flat.
“This is one of their higher-end machines that allows you to make all different types of drinks, including the lattes and cappuccinos, and it has a built-in frother,” Papantoniou says. “It has a bit more of a learning curve because you’re learning how to use the frother yourself, but it also has a digital control panel, which offers a more elevated experience. It’s also just really nice and sleek-looking.”
Offering a full menu of drink options (except regular coffee), including espresso, lungo, ristretto, cappuccino, café latte, Americano, flat white, and latte macchiato, the Nespresso Creatista Pro’s LCD color touchscreen couldn’t be easier to use, and every drink you prepare is fully customizable. With just the swipe of a finger, you can whip up some silky micro foam and adjust everything from temperature to volume—you can even save your combination preferences as favorites so you don’t have to toggle through the settings each time you use them. What’s more, this model is compatible with Nespresso OriginalLine pods, as well as other premium single-serve capsules.
Instant Pod Coffee and Espresso Maker
Say it ain’t Nespresso! Sure the Instant Pod Coffee and Espresso Maker doesn’t have the coveted Nespresso branding, but it still has plenty to bring to the coffee table—not the least of which being its versatility.
“This is a single-serve coffee maker that can use Nespresso pods to make espresso. It uses the traditional Nespresso capsules, and the benefit of this machine is that if somebody in your family likes K-cups, you can also use those,” Papantoniou says. “It’s one of the few makers on the market that I know of that offers that versatility.”
Like most traditional Nespresso models, the Instant Pod Coffee and Espresso Maker offers 19 bars of pressure, a user-friendly one-touch design, and an automatic shut-off function (which activates after 30 minutes of idleness). And with six cup size options, you’re guaranteed a perfect cup, whether you’re in the mood for just a quick shot as a midday pick-me-up or like to bring a travel mug full of sweet, sweet java with you on your daily commute.
Some may find this machine to be a bit bulky, but it’s fair to note that some of that heft can be attributed to the Instant Pod Coffee and Espresso Maker’s myriad of convenient features, like removable drip tray, receptacle for storing used capsules, and large (68 ounces!) removable water reservoir.
Nespresso Gran Lattissima Coffee and Espresso Machine by De’Longhi
You may think the easiest way to get a café-quality coffee is by, well, going to a café, but the Nespresso Gran Lattissima Coffee and Espresso Machine by De’Longhi’s 19 bars of pressure and speedy heat-up system will have you saying “We have coffee at home”—and liking it.
This intuitively-designed machine prioritizes user experience with a customizable descaling alert (thereby mitigating the havoc hard water can wreak on your coffee and your coffee maker) and a detachable pitcher that’s as easy to clean as it is to store in your fridge. And like the Essenza Mini, the Gran Lattissima features a programmable automatic energy-saving function that powers itself down after a period of inactivity. But the highlights don’t stop there.
“This is one of the Nespresso machines that has a built-in frother that froths for you. It controls the frothing experience, which is great for a newbie or beginner, and you can put it in the fridge if you’ve made any extra. Plus the control panel is really easy to use, you just press a button to get your drink,” says Papantoniou, adding that “this machine takes the regular Nespresso pods.”
It’s good to note that the Good Housekeeping Institute’s testers did find the frother to be tough to clean and that the machine as a whole was rather noisy and inconsistent between drinks. However, the Gran Lattissima certainly offers plenty of options—including espresso, cappuccino, flat white, and even hot milk and foam.
Nespresso CitiZ Original Espresso Machine by De’Longhi
You know what they say about coffee makers with big tanks—they have big footprints. Unless, of course, you’re talking about the Nespresso CitiZ Original Espresso Machine by De’Longhi, which boasts a surprisingly large (34-ounces) water tank and imparts a large amount of flavor despite its unassuming, compact size.
“We haven’t tested this one yet, it’s on our docket,” says Papantoniou, who appreciates that the CitiZ Original is “about the same size as the Essenza Mini, so it’s designed to fit in smaller spaces.”
With two programmable buttons and an automatic flow-stop function, the CitiZ Original’s offerings are limited to only two kinds of coffee—espresso and lungo. But thanks to the foldable (and, if needed, removable) drip tray, you do get the versatility of pouring your drink into vessels of varying sizes. This is also yet another Nespresso that features an automatic energy saving function, though you can adjust the settings so it powers down the machine after anywhere from nine to 30 minutes of idleness.
Its options may be as modest as its stature, but that doesn’t mean this maker is lacking in terms of its capabilities: Not only does the CitiZ Original come with a removable capsule container to store Nespresso’s recyclable OriginalLine pods, but its 19-bar pressure system is also equipped with a thermoblock that heats the machine up to just the right temperature in a mere 25 seconds.
Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Machine
Communication is key in any relationship, and yes, that should include your relationship with your coffee maker. As Nespresso’s latest model in their VertuoLine, the Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville bridges the gap between man and machine with Bluetooth connectivity and a nifty app that will warn you when its water level is low, when it needs descaling, and when it’s time for software updates.
Made from 54 percent recycled plastics—the most of any Nespresso machine—this gadget’s slim design is both user- and eco-friendly with features like a 1-liter removable water tank and an energy-saving automatic shut-off function. (Though you will have to pick up a milk frother on your own, because even geniuses can’t do everything.)
Using centrifusion technology, the Vertuo Next’s system takes just 30 seconds to heat up and brew both coffee and espresso in a variety of sizes, such as 5-18 ounces and single and double espresso. For optimal versatility and convenience, you can also adjust the four preset sizes to suit your own routines, and the removable drip tray even offers three adaptable positions to accommodate tall glasses and travel mugs. And like other Nespresso models, this machine’s one-touch brewing system uses barcode-scanning technology to recognize exactly which VertuoLine capsule you’ve inserted. It then determines the proper cup size, brewing time pressure, and temperature to ensure you get the perfect cup every time—no guesswork or frustration here!
According to Papantoniou, “This works the same way as the VertuoPlus, but this machine is made using some recyclable materials, and it’s a little less of an electronic experience—this one works by turning the lever on the top of the unit to open it and then pushing the lever and turning it by yourself to close it.”
Nespresso Creatista Plus Espresso Machine by Breville
We can’t be the only ones trying to suppress the urge to recreate every photo mentioned in Bo Burnham’s “White Woman’s Instagram” song. While we’re still working on the tiny pumpkins and fuzzy comfy socks, the Nespresso Creatista Plus Espresso Machine by Breville can help you get ahead of the game with its automatic built-in milk frother and included stainless milk jug to show off your best latte foam art skills. To get even more bang for your buck, this machine also features an automatic cleaning process, a 1.5-liter removable water tank, and an auto-purge steam wand.
“It’s just like the Creatista Pro, but the control panel is a little bit different,” explains Papantoniou. “It’s a little more manual, versus an all-electronic control panel that the Pro has.” That means the Creatista Plus isn’t compatible with Vertuo pods and it isn’t capable of brewing regular coffee, but while this may be overwhelming for some—especially if you’re upgrading from a standard drip coffee maker—the Creatista Plus’s TFT LCD display can still lead you every step of the way by walking you through each of the preparation and maintenance settings.
Whether you prefer a flat white, cappuccinos, or latte, this machine can brew just about everything, from single-serve coffee and espresso, with three size options: ristretto (0.5 oz.), espresso (1.35 oz.), and lungo (5 oz.). You can even adjust other factors like the coffee volume and milk temperature, so you truly get a cup that is just how you like it.
Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker
You can kiss stale hotel coffee and gritty gas station sludge goodbye with the WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Maker. It’s even great for camping or power outages with its battery-free, manually operated design.
Calling the Nanopresso “great for travel,” (it even comes with a case) Papantoniou says, “this is one that’s portable and you use it with traditional Nespresso pods. You basically put hot water and your coffee grounds in it and brew your espresso with the press of a button, twist the piston, flip the maker, and keep pressing the button to brew your espresso.”
Though you’ll need to purchase WACACO’s Nanopresso pod adapter separately if you want to use your favorite Nespresso capsules, this lightweight, compact gadget is capable of brewing cup after perfect cup of espresso with a nice and dense crema layer every time. All you need for your next shot is finely ground coffee, hot water, and a bit of energy.
And when you’re caffeinated to your satisfaction, cleanup is as simple as disassembling the Nanopresso’s portafilter—just make sure you wash it by hand, as the manufacturer strongly recommends against putting this coffee maker on a “gas or electric hot plate, in an oven, a microwave, or a dishwasher.”
How do Nespresso machines work?
Nespresso machines typically have a reservoir you fill with water. From there, you choose your desired cup size from the machine menu, add a coffee capsule, and press a button to enable the machine to brew.
These machines come in two different styles—Original and Vertuo—each of which work slightly differently.
Nespresso original coffee makers use a heating feature to get water to peak brewing temperature. Next, water is pushed up into the machine through a pump. The maker then punctures the coffee capsule in the machine, mixing the water and ground coffee together and dispensing it into your cup.
Nespresso Vertuo coffee machines scan the barcode on each coffee capsule placed into the machine and adjust the water temperature to make a specific drink. Next, the maker allows a bit of water from the reservoir to get into the capsule, which is then spun at 7,000 rpm to blend the coffee and water (the brand formally calls this “centrifugation”). As a result, the crema also turns out thicker with Vertuo machines than it does with Original models.
This streamlined technology is one of the main reasons why Papantoniou prefers using Nespresso makers. “I really love Nespresso machines for their convenience, and they also make a really consistent cup, so it’s easy to make a quick cup of coffee in the morning that you know you’re going to like,” she says.
What’s the difference between the Nespresso Vertuo and original machines?
According to Papantoniou, the main difference between Nespresso’s Vertuo line and original machines is the type of capsules they use.
“Vertuo machines can make different types of coffee, like iced coffee, and you only have to use one capsule,” says Papantoniou. Vertuo capsules have a barcode around the capsule that the “unit reads to brew the capsule exactly as it’s intended,” she adds. “You pop it in the machine, you press a button, and you got a perfect cup.”
Other types of Nespresso makers use “capsules that are designed to be a single shot of espresso or lungo,” she notes. “You’ll have to use multiple capsules if you’re making something like a double.”
Is it worth getting a Nespresso machine?
Because espresso requires a different brewing process than other types of coffee beverages, espresso makers typically can only make, well, espresso. Shelling out that extra dough for such a pricey machine may not be worth it if you like to keep your options open or are low on counter space. This is why a Nespresso may be an appealing alternative.
But don’t assume you’re sacrificing quality for practicality. “A good coffee maker should last you for years,” Papantoniou explains, adding that a Nespresso machine “should definitely last you several years—I’ve been working at the Good Housekeeping Institute for [over] three years now, and the one I’ve been using has been here for at least five years.”
Do Nespresso machines actually brew espresso?
Long story short, Nespresso machines don’t quite make espresso. While these makers may not be able to replicate the experience of sipping a freshly-pulled shot from a barista in a cozy Venetian café, they come pretty darn close. Purists (and/or Italians) may say Nespresso isn’t as good as “real” espresso, but like a good cup of coffee, it’s much more nuanced.
In fact, there’s no universal interpretation of what makes the perfect cup of espresso. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), “Espresso is a 25–35ml (.85–1.2 ounce [×2 for double]) beverage prepared from 7–9 grams (14–18 grams for a double) of coffee through which clean water of 195°–205°F (90.5°–96.1°C) has been forced at 9–10 atmospheres of pressure, and where the grind of the coffee is such that the brew time is 20–30 seconds. While brewing, the flow of espresso will appear to have the viscosity of warm honey and the resulting beverage will exhibit a thick, dark golden crema. Espresso should be prepared specifically for and immediately served to its intended consumer.” And in that regard, the output of Nespresso machines comes pretty close, with one of the main differences being that the Espresso and Lungo lines of pods have five and seven grams of pre-ground coffee, respectively. The model you have determines which type of pods you’ll be able to use and factors into the extraction time, which falls just shy of the SCAA’s recommendation at a range of 17 to 25 seconds.
What’s more, these multifaceted machines can make a bunch of your favorite brews right in the comfort of your own home, even if you prefer espresso-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos while other members of your household just want a simple shot of espresso. It’s this quality, versatility, and reliability that makes Nespresso machines so popular, both on our countertops and those of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Tech Experts.
Are all Nespresso machines the same?
If you’re wondering which Nespresso is best for you, you’ve come to the right place. All Nespresso models are pretty much the same in terms of quality, but the task of finding the right one can be daunting considering there are over 25 kinds split between two different coffee systems: You’ve got the OriginalLine, which is more basic, and the more versatile VertuoLine. (That’s right, the rumors are false—Nespresso’s VertuoLine has not been discontinued.)
“There are a lot of types of Nespresso machines, and they’re all at different price points,” Papantoniou explains. What may be expensive (or even overpriced) to some may not be if the machine has all the features you need. But one thing that you don’t need to worry about is whether De’Longhi or Breville Nespresso machines are better.
Aside from their names and features, Papantoniou reveals that there’s no major differences between these third-party manufacturers: “They’re essentially the same machine, they’re just licensed out to Breville and De’Longhi. You’ll see different designs, but their output is the same.”
What to look for in Nespresso machines
Brewing Options: Nespresso’s OriginalLine is fine if you just want a shot or two of espresso, but if you like to switch things up with a good latte or cappuccino, depending on your mood, you could benefit from a machine that can offer you a variety of flavorful brews. Papantoniou suggests that shoppers think about the type of coffee they like to drink most often. “If they’re looking for espresso, the traditional machines are great,” she says. “If they’re looking to make a lot of drinks and they’re looking for something more versatile, I would recommend the Vertuo machines. And if they’re looking for drinks that involve frothed milk, like lattes and cappuccinos, I would look for a machine that comes with a built-in frother, instead of buying a separate frother.”
The fancier add-ons of Nespresso’s VertuoLine machines—such as the ability to make iced coffee—are worth the extra cost if you know you’ll actually use them. But bear in mind that the prices of these models tend to go up relative to the number of bonus features they offer. Before you start swooning from sticker shock, however, remember that you’ll still be saving plenty of cash—not to mention, a few precious moments of extra sleep—by making your morning brew home than if you were to drive through your local chain.
Quantity: Not only do different Nespresso makers have the capacity to make just the right amount of java for a tiny espresso cup or your favorite mug, but some can even fill an entire travel mug too. While this may be too much if you live in a smaller household or don’t have a lot of counter space, there are also more compact options available.
Size: Quantity and brewing options also go hand-in-hand with size. Whether you need multiple cups to get your engine running or your Nespresso machine will be utilized by more than just one person, a model with a larger water reservoir may be preferable so you don’t have to keep refilling the water reservoir after each use. Just keep in mind that this contributes to the overall footprint of the maker, as do bonus accessories like built-in frothers.
How to clean a Nespresso machine
Every few weeks, Papantoniou advises wiping down the unit, water reservoir, and drip tray with a cloth and soap and water. Rinse all parts thoroughly, especially the water tank, to “make sure they’re completely suds free.” She also suggests descaling the machine, per the manufacturer’s guidelines, noting that “the unit will tell you when it’s time” to complete that process.
Why trust Delish
Nashia Baker is a commerce editor at Hearst covering the latest and greatest products across the home and lifestyle categories. Throughout her career, she has interviewed chefs and food experts to learn about top trends in the culinary world.
Kaitlin Mahar is an experienced California-based freelance writer covering the food, shopping, and lifestyle beats.
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