6 Best Nespresso Machines, According to Food Network Kitchen
Whether you're looking to brew espresso, drip coffee or a whole carafe, we found the best Nespresso machine for you.
Our Top Nespresso Coffee Maker Picks
- Best Overall: Nespresso Vertuo Plus
- Best for Espresso: Nespresso CitiZ
- Best Budget: Nespresso Essenza Mini
- Best High-End Machine: Nespresso Creatista Plus
- Best Big-Batch Brewer: Nespresso Vertuo Next
- Best Portable: Nespresso Pixie
Picking the right coffeemaker can be a challenge — especially when it comes to a brand with so many options. As with any piece of equipment that takes up precious real estate on your kitchen counter, deciding on which Nespresso model to purchase can feel like a major commitment. With so many options on the market, learning the basics is key to making the right choice. Here's a breakdown, so you can choose which Nespresso is right for you.
How To Choose the Best Nespresso Coffee Machine for You
First, Nespresso coffee machines are divided into two categories: Original and Vertuo. The Original line only makes espresso-based drinks, but their variety expands with the complexity and price of the machine. The Vertuo line can make a wider range of drink sizes, including espressos, double espressos (2.7 ounces) and lungos (espresso with more water), in addition to regular cups of drip-style coffee in both eight-ounce and 12-ounce sizes.
Where you'd like to buy capsules also makes a difference. The Original line is compatible with Nespresso-brand capsules, plus other lines like Williams Sonoma and illy. The Vertuo series machines are only compatible with Nespresso-brand capsules. All capsules are recyclable through Nespresso.
What's the Difference Between the Nespresso Vertuo and Original Machines?
This line of Nespressos not only brews espressos, but American coffee as well. All machines make 1.35-ounce espresso, 2.7-ounce double espresso, a 5-ounce gran lungo, a 7.7-ounce coffee and a 14-ounce alto. These machines can be bought with or without a free-standing milk frother.
The Vertuo machines use capsules embossed with a barcode that tells the machine what to make, and then spins the capsule at very high speed to extract the coffee. This process creates a thick, bubbly crema topping for the espresso or coffee.
The following Original machines make 1.35 oz espressos and 3.70 oz lungos. All machines in the Original series work by piercing the Nespresso capsule, and then pumping hot water under high pressure through it to create a variety of espressos and sizes topped with a cap of foam.
A sub-category of the Original line is the Lattissima series, all of which have some type of milk frothing capacity.
The second sub-category of Original Nespresso machines, the Creatista, have integrated manual frothers. With full control over your cappuccino and latte foam, you can create your own latte art, hence, the name which derives from the word “creative” in Italian. All three models heat up the water in three seconds and the tanks hold 50.72-ounces of water.
How We Picked
To select the best Nespresso machines, we relied on our experience using them both in the test kitchen and in our own homes. We checked review sites to see what recommendations were made by other sources and also read user comments to find out what home baristas have to say.
In addition to considering whether they make consistently great cups of espresso amd coffee, we considered what types of coffee they brewed and how easy they were to use. We also took price into consideration when making our top picks.
This article has been reviewed since its original publish date for accuracy, pricing and availability. We stand by our list of top Nespresso coffee machine picks.
The most basic machine in the Vertuo line, the Vertuo Plus can brew espresso and drip-style coffee drinks. The Vertuo Plus has a 40-ounce water reservoir that can stay behind the machine or swivel next to it, depending on the available counter space. The capsule tray holds up to 10 used capsules. You can buy this machine on its own or bundled with a milk frother (pictured) for more drink options.
Stylish and with a larger capacity, the Citiz is an Original line machine better for bigger groups. The buttons for the espresso and lungo can be programmed to adjust to the size of drink you would prefer. This machine has a 33-ounce water tank, which can make seven to nine espressos and has a capsule tray that holds nine used capsules.
The most basic and least expensive machine uses the same technology as the higher-caliber models and produces the same quality of espresso. This compact machine has a small tank that holds around 20 ounces of water and can make four to six espressos per tank. The capsule tray can hold six used capsules. If you are looking for a machine that doesn’t take up a lot of space, but still makes a good espresso this is the model for you. The exterior is made of plastic, but that’s why it only weighs 5 pounds. With only two buttons, this model is also simple to operate.
Made from 100% stainless steel with no plastic components, this machine makes espresso drinks and has a range of 11 milk temperatures and eight milk texture settings to select from. The stainless steel milk frother wand and inlcuded jug are made for the latte artist or budding at-home barista. The container can hold up to 12 used capsules at a time.
The Vertuo Next machine is the only Nespresso machine designed to brew more than one cup of coffee at a time. This machine is designed for versatility and allows you to make one cup or a carafe of coffee. The machine can pour up to 18 ounces with the right pod.
Slightly heavier than the Essenza Mini at 6.6 pounds, the Pixie is housed in an aluminum casing which gives it a more elegant look. Plus, it comes with a top handle for easy toting. Even though it’s compact, this machine heats the water in 30 seconds. The 24-ounce water tank can produce five to seven espressos or lungos. The used capsule container holds up to 10 capsules.