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8 October 2020

How to buy the best Nespresso machine

Do you want a Nespresso machine but aren't sure how to choose? We explain how to find the perfect model for you
Rebecca Marcus

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 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.

Want to know which coffee machines we recommend? Check our guide to the best Nespresso coffee machines.

Choosing the best Nespresso machine

Do you want to make a quick choice? Here's how to do it:

If you just like a swift shot of espresso 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 coffees – choose a model with a 'Lungo' option, or one which lets you control the volume of water per cup. It's worth considering the Nespresso Vertuo range, which is designed for larger cups.

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

See our Nespresso coffee machine reviews.

Nespresso machines: what to spend

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:

Reasonably priced Nespresso machines (£100 or less)

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.

Mid-priced Nespresso machines (£100-£200)

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. 

Premium Nespresso machines (£200 and above)

Top-end Nespresso models make a real style statement in your kitchen and offer more control over your coffee. 

See all of our expert Nespresso machine reviews to filter the latest models by price and find the right fit for you.

Nespresso Vertuo or Original?

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 handful of different machines available, starting from roughly £180. You can't use original Nespresso capsules in these machines, only Vertuo pods will fit. 

Get our verdict on the new coffee system and compare all three Vertuo machines side by side with our Nespresso Vertuo coffee machine reviews.

All Nespresso coffee machines compared

Here's an overview of the official Nespresso range. You can click on the model name to see our full review of that machine.

Essenza Mini

£89.99/£139.99 (with Aeroccino frother), Original pods

This ultra-compact coffee maker is the cheapest official Nespresso machine. Good if you're looking for something small.


£139.99/£189.99 (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.


£159.99/£209.99 (with Aeroccino frother), Original pods

The CitiZ is a slim coffee machine with a fold-down grid for different-sized cups.

Lattissima One

£219.99, Original pods

This model has an integrated milk frother for hands-free milky brews.


£249.99/£299.99 (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.

Lattissima Touch

£279, Original pods

Built-in automatic milk frother for a one-touch brew.

Creatista Uno

£279, Original pods

This model has a steam pipe, giving you more control over the level of froth in your lattes and cappuccinos.

Lattissima Pro

£429, 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.


£129 / £179 (with Aeroccino frother), Vertuo pods

The tank on the VertuoPlus, which is bigger than the typical Nespresso machine, holds 1.8 litres of water. Unlike the standard Vertuo, the VertuoPlus has a movable water tank and automatically closing capsule lever.

Prices taken from Nespresso website, May 2019.

Some brands, such as Dualit, Morphy Richards and even Asda make Nespresso-compatible machines, which work with Nespresso and compatible pods. Get our verdict on these models in our Nespresso machine reviews.

Are Nespresso machines any good?

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.

Just want to know how good a particular Nespresso model is? Head to our Nespresso coffee machine reviews

In the table below you can find out:

  • How well Nespresso machines do in our coffee machine tests.
  • How reliable Nespresso machines are, based on feedback from owners.
  • If Nespresso owners consider them value for money.
  • How satisfied Nespresso owners are with their coffee machine and how likely they are to recommend Nespresso to a friend.
  • Our overall verdict on Nespresso brands including Nespresso DeLonghi, Krups and Magimix machines.

Only logged-in Which? members can unlock all the information in the table below. If you're not already a member, you can join Which? to get instant access.

Preview: Nespresso coffee machines rated
Nespresso coffee machines overview table
Number tested 30
Average test score
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Range of test scores
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Number of Best Buys
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Number of Don't Buys
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Brand reliability rating
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Value for money rating
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Customer score
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Should I buy a Nespresso coffee machine?
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Nespresso capsule costs

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.

Our graphic below shows much capsule coffee machines cost to run in comparison with other models:

See our full coffee machine buying guide for advice on other coffee machine types and how to choose the right one for you.

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.

For more info, and our top-rated compatible capsules, see our guide to the best-tasting Nespresso pods.

Nespresso subscriptions – are they worth it?

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. 

There are six annual plans to choose from – they start at £18 a month and rise to £45 a month. The cheapest gets you the Nespresso Essenza Mini coffee machine, which retails for around £90. Meanwhile, £25 a month gets you the Nespresso Essenza Mini plus Aeroccino milk frother. One of the priciest packages will see you spending £45 a month in exchange for the Lattissima One, which retails for around £220.

If you know you'll be getting through plenty of pods, it could be a good way to get a Nespresso machine for a lot less. See our story on the Nespresso subscription service for more details.

Are cheap Nespresso machines any good?

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 best coffee machines 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.

Best Nespresso machines for cappuccino fans

Nespresso machines use store-bought milk to make cappuccinos, unlike cheaper rivals Tassimo and Dolce Gusto, which use milk pods. You can find out more about the differences in our guide to Nespresso, Tassimo and Dolce Gusto machines compared.

Types of milk frothing

  • Aeroccino frother accessory – this comes bundled with standard range models such as the Essenza, Pixie and Expert.
  • Automatic steam wand – featured on Creatistia models. The Nespresso Creatista Plus has a fully automated steam wand that can froth milk to eight different textures, ideal if you're fanatical about your froth being perfect whether you're having a flat white or a cappuccino.
  • Built-in auto frother – Nespresso's premium Latissima models have a built-in milk frother which creates cappuccinos at the touch of a button.

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. You can filter our coffee machine reviews to see all the models which have a milk frother.

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