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Nespresso machines range from small and simple to pricey and feature-packed. But before you decide on a machine you need to think about what type of coffee you want, as this affects your choices.
Some Nespresso machines come with built-in milk frothers or separate milk-frothing accessories to make cappuccinos, while others just brew a super-fast short espresso. The newer Nespresso Vertuo machines use a different capsule system altogether.
Find out how the range compares to help you choose the right Nespresso machine for you.
Do you want to make a quick choice? Here's how to do it:
There are options to suit every taste and budget in the Nespresso range. More expensive Nespresso machines tend to come with extra features such as a larger capacity, more drink size options, memory programming of your favourite coffee, and milk frothing. Some are also finished in premium materials such as die-cast aluminium for a luxury look.
Here's an overview of the range by price point:
These models stick to the basics, offering one or two drink size options (usually espresso or lungo) and no milk frothing. They're likely to be quite compact with a relatively small capsule bin and water tank. If you just want a quick espresso, they should be more than enough.
If you pay a bit more, you'll get an automatic milk frother for making cappuccinos, lattes and more, and more in the way of capacity and choice. Extras may include more drink options, the ability to store your preferences, or even Bluetooth capability so you can control the machine from your phone or tablet.
Top-end Nespresso models make a real style statement in your kitchen and offer more control over your coffee.
In 2017, Nespresso launched an entirely new capsule system, Vertuo. This system uses centrifugal force – spinning the capsules at high speed – to extract your brew. It's designed to make a wider range of coffees, particularly longer drinks, for those who aren't pure espresso fans.
There are three pod sizes to choose from, and a widening range of different machines available, starting from roughly £99 up to around £219. You can't use original Nespresso capsules in these machines, only Vertuo pods will fit.
Here's an overview of some of the coffee machines included in the official Nespresso range. You can click on the model name to see our full test review.
£90/£140 (with Aeroccino frother), Original pods
This ultra-compact coffee maker is the cheapest official Nespresso machine. Good if you're looking for something small.
£140/£190 (with Aeroccino frother), Original pods
The Pixie has a slightly bigger water tank and capsule bin than the Essenza Mini, hence the jump in price.
£160/£180/£210 (with Aeroccino frother), Original pods
The CitiZ is a slim coffee machine with a fold-down grid for different-sized cups.
£220, Original pods
This model has an integrated milk frother for hands-free milky brews.
£250/£300 (with Aeroccino frother), Original pods
Slim profile designed to sit back against the wall, leaving your kitchen worktop free. Has three different temperature settings and makes four coffee types: ristretto, espresso, lungo and Americano. Connects to Nespresso App.
£279, Original pods
Built-in automatic milk frother for a one-touch brew.
£329, Original pods
This model has a steam pipe, giving you more control over the level of froth in your lattes and cappuccinos.
£649, Original pods
A high-spec version of the automatic milk frothing Lattissima models, with touchscreen controls.
£129, Vertuo pods
Worth considering if you want a large, black coffee to get you through the day. The Vertuo capsule coffee machine lets you pick between four coffee sizes and makes four drinks: espresso, gran lungo, mug and alto, with tailored different-sized pods. The tank on the VertuoPlus, which is bigger than the typical Nespresso machine, holds 1.8 litres of water and it's movable, plus the capsule lever automatically closes.
£149/£179/£199, Vertuo pods
The Next is a more compact version of the VertuoPlus, but it's bigger than some of the original Nespresso machines, so that's worth bearing in mind if you're thinking of trading up. The water tank isn't moveable on this version, and you'll have to close the lid manually.
Prices and models taken from Nespresso website, March 2021.
We asked Nespresso owners to tell us how happy they are with their machine and if they had any problems with it. We've taken this data, and test data from our years of lab tests, and analysed the numbers to bring you our verdict on how good Nespresso machines are at making coffee, and how long they're likely to last when you get them home.
In the table below you can find out:
Average test score
Range of test scores
Number of Best Buys
Number of Don't Buys
Brand reliability rating
Value for money rating
Should I buy a Nespresso coffee machine?
You don't need to spend a fortune to get a decent Nespresso machine, but some extract flavour from the capsules better than others. We've found some good value models that make it into our Best Buy list, but others were less impressive. Check our list of the to get the lowdown on the good ones.
What you might miss if you opt for a cheaper model are the fancy extras – milk-frothing accessories and personalisation or smart control. However, one bonus of the cheaper models is they are usually very compact, and will easily squeeze onto the most crowded of kitchen worktops.
As with all capsule coffee machines, it's worth considering the ongoing cost of buying Nespresso pods, which are more expensive per cup than using ground coffee, and differ if you opt for a Vertuo or Original machine.
The graphic below shows how much capsule coffee machines cost to run in comparison with other models.
Ground-coffee machine is the cheapest cost of £544, followed by the bean-to-cup at £760, and coffee capsules are next at £1166. The most expensive is buying a takeaway coffee twice a day.
This is based on two espressos per day over five years, plus upfront cost of the cheapest relevant Best Buy coffee machines.
There is a healthy market in third-party compatible pods for Nespresso Original pod machines. Compatible pods don't work with all machines, but most of the basic range should be fine.
Nespresso introduced a new subscription service in 2017, probably as a fightback against the increased popularity of compatible capsules. The idea is that you sign up to monthly capsule payments, and in return you get a specific Nespresso machine for £1. Currently there are two plans available. One for those with a machine already, and one for those without.
There are five annual coffee plans to choose from – they start at £17 a month and rise to £50 a month. There are also five plans with a coffee machine included for just £1. These start at £20 with the Vertuo Next included. £25 a month gets you the Pixie or Vertuo Plus. One of the priciest packages will see you spending £55 a month in exchange for the Creatistia Plus, which retails for around £440.
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 around £40 to the price, and you can also buy the Aeroccino separately for £50.
We test every model with the Aeroccino frother, and give it a separate score if you just want to buy it for espresso, and if you plan to make cappuccinos. That way you can choose the machine that is best suited to your needs.
Prices updated: March 2021. Prices may change.