How to buy the best Nespresso machine
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.
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.
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.
- (£77) – the entry-level model. Small, compact and affordable.
- (£100) – slightly larger capacity than Essenza models.
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.
- (£119) & (£140) – bundling these models with a milk frother pushes the price up but means you can make lattes.
- (£185) – built-in milk automatic frother for one-touch milky coffees.
- – this machine uses a different type of coffee pod, and makes longer coffees with a super-frothy top
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.
- (£200) – slimline profile, multiple temperature settings and an extra drink size: Americano.
- (£250) – has an automatic steam pipe with different froth levels for ultimate frothing
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.
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.
Prices taken from Nespresso website, May 2019.
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.
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.
|Preview: Nespresso coffee machines rated|
|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?|
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:
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 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 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.
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 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
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 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 to see all the models which have a milk frother.