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How to buy the best Nespresso machine

By Yvette Fletcher

Want to buy a Nespresso machine but not sure how to choose? Our guide explains what to look out for.

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Nespresso machines all use the same Nespresso coffee capsules, but that doesn't necessarily mean they all make coffee to the same standard.

And it's not just the quality of the coffee you need to think about. Some Nespresso models come with built-in milk frothers or milk frothing accessories to make cappuccinos, while others just brew a super-fast espresso to ensure you're not left hanging around for your caffeine fix.

Before you buy a Nespresso machine, read on to find out how to pick between the different models and get the right one for you.

You can also use our Nespresso coffee machine reviews to find the best model for you.

How much do I need to spend?

Nespresso machines vary wildly in price - some can be bought for as little as £70 (even less if on special offer), while the priciest exceed £400.

The more expensive Nespresso models tend to cost more because they come with extra features such as a larger water tank and capsule bin capacity, more drink size options, memory programming of your favourite coffee, and milk frothing accessories. Some are also finished in premium materials such as die-cast aluminium for a luxury look. 

If you're happy with a straightforward model that just makes espresso, you won't need to spend more than £130. Bear in mind - as with all capsule coffee machines - you'll also have to consider the ongoing cost of buying Nespresso capsules, which are more expensive per cup than using ground coffee. 

Our graphic below will give you an idea of how much capsule coffee machines cost to run in comparison with other types. These costs are based on having two espressos a day over the period of five years. It also includes the price of our cheapest Best Buy coffee machine for each type. 

Are cheap Nespresso machines any good?

All Nespresso machines use the same range of capsules and basic capsule coffee system, so in theory there should be little difference in the coffee quality between machines. But we've found that some  extract flavour from the capsules better than others. 

Use our coffee machine reviews to find the Nespresso models that came out on top in our expert taste test - and the ones to avoid.

Premium Nespresso models are larger, more luxurious, and include milk-frothing accessories - meaning that making frothy cappuccinos is a breeze. Cheaper models such as the Nespresso Inissia have a smaller water tank and used capsule container, so will need to be refilled and emptied more often.

The compact size of cheaper Nespresso models is ideal if you have limited space in your kitchen. The mid-priced Nespresso Pixie is very popular and takes up little space on the worktop.

Best Nespresso machines for cappuccino fans

Cheaper Nespresso models tend to only make espresso. If you’re a fan of milky drinks, you may want to consider paying extra for a machine that has a milk frother. Nespresso machines use real milk to make cappuccinos, unlike cheaper rivals Tassimo and Dolce Gusto, who use milk capsules.

You can buy most Nespresso machines in the range either as a standalone product or bundled with a Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother. This usually adds £40 to the price, and you can also buy the Aeroccino separately for £50.

Nespresso's Aeroccino milk frother comes bundled with some machines but can also be purchased separately for £50.

Nespresso's premium Latissima models have a built-in milk frother which creates cappuccinos at the touch of a button, while the super-premium Nespresso Maestria and Gran Maestria models have a miniature steam wand for manual milk frothing.

Find out how effective each of these models is at making cappuccino by heading to our coffee machine reviews.

Choosing the best Nespresso machine for you

To get the best Nespresso machine for you, think about what kind of coffee you want to make at home. If you just like a swift espresso shot in the mornings, save yourself some cash and look for a model that doesn't have a milk-frothing feature. 

If you want to make longer drinks, choose a model with a 'Lungo' option, or which lets you control the volume of water per cup.

And if you're into frothy, milky coffees, choose between the models with milk-frothing accessories, depending on whether you want more or less input into the frothing process.

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