9 Best Nespresso Machines for Every Type of Coffee Drinker

Before you get brewing, you’ll have to decide what type of machine best suits your needs. Some models, like those in the popular VertuoLine, make both coffee and espresso. Some have built-in milk frothers for creating the perfect latte or cappuccino. Others create more crema for a well-rounded espresso. Although almost all Nespresso models are simple to use and less expensive than other espresso machines, it’s important to consider the features that fit your needs before making the investment. Here’s what to keep in mind:

✔️ Original vs VertuoLine: To understand the differences between all the Nespresso models, you must first understand the difference between how the VertuoLine and the original series of machines operate.

  • Original machines, including the Creatista Series, the Essenza, the CitiZ and the Lattissima Series, produce espresso by forcing water through the top of a pod using 19 bars of pressure (much like a traditional espresso machine), eventually rupturing the foil at the bottom of the pod and allowing the espresso to flow out. Because the original machines operate more like real espresso machines, they can make espresso only, not coffee, and you should expect a more traditional level of crema. Original machines are also louder than VertuoLine machines because of this process.
  • VertuoLine machines, first introduced in 2014 to appeal to the North American market, use a different technology that Nespresso likes to call “centrifusion”: Water flows in through the top of the dome-shaped capsule, mixes with espresso through centrifugal force, and then flows out through 20 punctures on the side of the capsule. As a result of this centrifusion process, the VertuoLine machines produce espresso with a thick layer of crema, and they also have the ability to make regular coffee.

✔️ Original capsules vs. Vertuo capsules: This is important to consider because you can’t swap pods between machine types. However, all pod types can be recycled through the Nespresso capsule recycling program. Here’s the difference:

  • Original pods come in only one size. They are generally easier to find, less expensive and available in more varieties, although this may change. If you’re strictly an espresso fan and prefer a traditional level of crema, the original line will likely suit your needs.
  • Vertuo pods have custom barcodes that the machines read in order to automatically produce the right drink every time, making them very easy to use. Vertuo pods also come in different sizes, so your larger drinks won’t be diluted. If you’re looking to make a wide variety of coffee drinks and want a machine that’s very easy to use (and can make coffee!), a VertuoLine model is your best bet.

✔️ Milk frothers: Some Nespresso models, including the Creatista series and the Gran Lattissima, come with integrated steam wands for frothing milk. These are very convenient for those looking to make macchiatos, lattes, cappuccinos and other drinks with milk. However, these milk frothers can sometimes be difficult to clean and maintain. Nespresso also sells the Aeroccino, a separate milk frother that’s often bundled with their machines. If you want a café experience, you should consider choosing a model with an integrated frother. The Aeroccino doesn’t produce a “true” microfoam, but it performed great in our milk frother testing and prepares milk quickly and easily for your coffee and espresso. ✔️ Size: If you’re looking for a machine as small, powerful and refined as a shot of espresso itself, there are a lot of compact options, including the Essenza Mini and CitiZ, to choose from. These machines forgo extra features and big water reservoirs to stay small and lightweight. But if you want to make many drinks in a row or a larger cup of coffee for yourself, you’ll need to consider the larger, taller models. Make sure the machine you choose will fit under your countertops and suit the kind of vessel you’ll be drinking your coffee from.✔️ Manufacturer: Don’t be thrown off by the labels “by Breville” or “by De’Longhi” on different Nespresso models: Both companies have the rights to manufacture these machines, and neither necessarily makes a better one. The differences you’ll notice between manufacturers have more to do with design — for example, many of the Breville machines match the company’s usual stainless and brushed-stainless aesthetic.