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When you’re an espresso aficionado, it’s tough to start your day without a shot or two. But stopping by your favorite coffee shop every day can become a pricey habit. Luckily, there are Nespresso machines: espresso machines that consistently produce coffee-shop-quality drinks at home.
Best of all, Nespresso machines don’t only make espresso. Many can make a wide variety of coffee beverages. But there are so many different models available — over 60, in fact — that it can be tough to figure out which one is right for you.
At BestReviews, we’re here to help. We do the research, buy the products, ask the experts, and interview real-life customers, all so you don’t have to. What’s more, we never accept free products or perks from manufacturers, so you can trust that our reviews are honest and unbiased.
If you’re ready to buy a Nespresso machine, take a look at the matrix above for our top five recommendations. For all the info on how to pick the right Nespresso machine for you, read on.
Nespresso machines are easy to operate. You don’t need to be an expert barista to make an excellent cup of espresso or coffee — you simply insert a capsule and push a few buttons to make a delicious dose of caffeine.
With a Nespresso machine, you’ll get perfect crema (the tawny liquid of the initial espresso extraction) every time, which any espresso lover will appreciate.
A Nespresso machine can make other coffee drinks as well, including classic coffee, cappuccinos, and lattes.
Nespresso’s Original Line offers the widest range of machines. While they specialize in espresso, some models also feature integrated steam nozzles and milk frothers to make lattes and cappuccinos as well.
The Original Line machines use a high-pressure, 19-bar extraction system to release the full aroma and flavor of each capsule. The high pressure also helps ensure proper water distribution through the ground coffee for consistently delicious cups.
Original Line Nespresso machines allow for a wide range of espresso varieties and intensities, so espresso lovers are sure to find their perfect type.
Nespresso’s VertuoLine includes machines that make authentic espresso and a variety of coffees at the touch of a button.
They utilize a trademarked Gentle Centrifusion extraction to produce smooth, rich coffee that smells as good as it tastes, as well as silky crema.
The VertuoLine works with two sizes of capsules to make both espresso and coffee.
The Original Line is only compatible with one capsule size, while the VertuoLine allows for two different capsule sizes for greater versatility.
When you’re buying a Nespresso machine, your coffee preferences are the biggest factor in which line or model will work best in your kitchen.
Original Line: Machines in the original line are only equipped to make espresso drinks, so if you enjoy regular coffee, models from this line aren’t your best bet. Some Original Line models also feature steam nozzles and milk frothers, which allow you to prepare lattes and cappuccinos.
VertuoLine: Machines in the VertuoLine are equipped to make both espresso and traditional coffee, so models from this line are the best bet for households that prefer variety in their coffee beverages. Like the Original Line, some VertuoLine machines also have a milk frother.
Keep in mind that the espresso-only machines in the Original Line tend to produce slightly better tasting espresso than the multi-purpose machines in the VertuoLine. If espresso is your favorite coffee beverage, an Original Line model is the best choice.
Before you can make a cup of espresso or coffee in a Nespresso machine, it has to warm up to the right temperature.
While all models warm up relatively quickly, some machines warm up a little faster than others. Some pre-heat in as little as 15 seconds, while others require as many as 40 seconds.
If you’re often in a rush in the morning, choose a Nespresso machine with the quickest pre-heat time.
Some Nespresso machines are designed specifically to have a small footprint, so they can fit in smaller kitchens. Other machines that are equipped with extra features like a milk frother tend to be larger, which means you’ll need more space on your countertop. It’s also important to take the height of the machine into account if you want to place your Nespresso beneath cabinets.
In addition to the size, consider the shape of the machine. Many Nespresso models have a rounded design, which means you can’t place them flush against the wall. Others have a flat back that allows you to place the machine against a wall to free up additional counter space.
Check the product specifications to ensure the Nespresso model you’re considering will fit in your kitchen.
All Nespresso machines are equipped with a reservoir that you fill with water, so the machine is ready to make a cup of espresso whenever you want one.
Smaller machines have reservoirs that hold as little as 20 ounces, while larger machines have reservoirs that hold up to 54 ounces.
If you are single or have a small household, a small water reservoir should suit you fine. But if you have a large household or entertain guests frequently, look for a machine that holds more water to avoid constantly refilling it.
Automatic Shut-Off: Many Nespresso machines have an automatic shut-off that turns the machine off if it hasn’t been used for a certain period of time. This is a great safety feature if you have a habit of forgetting to turn off appliances before running out the door in the morning.
Milk Frother: If you enjoy cappuccinos, you’ll definitely want a Nespresso machine that’s equipped with a milk frother. There are models in both the Original Line and VertuoLine that feature frothers.
Cup Storage and Heat-Up: Some Nespresso machines offer storage space for cups, as well as a heat-up feature for the cups.
Some Nespresso machines come with fresh milk reservoirs, so you don’t need to measure out the milk for each cup.
Before brewing coffee in a Nespresso machine, run water through the coffee spout without a capsule in the machine. This flushes the brew unit and raises the machine’s temperature, so you’re guaranteed a perfect brew.
To keep your Nespresso machine clean, make a habit of frequently emptying the used capsule container and drip tray. Wash all the machine’s removable parts by hand.
Over time, deposits of calcium and lime will build up inside a Nespresso machine. To remove these deposits, purchase a descaling kit. Descale the machine approximately every three months.
For the best tasting coffee and espresso, fill the Nespresso’s water tank with fresh, cold water daily.
Nespresso machines vary in price based on the line and model, but you can typically expect to pay between $149 and $599. Models in the Original Line cost between $149 and $599. Models in the VertuoLine cost between $199 and $249.
For a compact, high-quality Nespresso machine that’s ideal for small kitchens, you’ll pay between $149 and $199.
In most cases, you’ll pay between $249 and $299 for a regular size, high-quality Nespresso machine.
For a specialty, professional-quality Nespresso machine, you’ll pay between $399 and $599.
Q. What beverages can I make in a Nespresso machine?
A. The types of beverage you can make in a Nespresso machine depend on the line and model. All machines make espresso, while some also make lattes and cappuccinos. Only machines in the VertuoLine make traditional coffee.
Q. Can I use any coffee capsules in a Nespresso machine?
A. Nespresso makes its own exclusive line of capsules for their machines, which are available in a variety of intensities and flavors. Capsules or pods made by other brands should not be used because they may damage the machinery and void your warranty.
Q. What are the benefits of the 19-bar pressure pump in a Nespresso machine?
A. The trademark pump in Nespresso machines provides enough power to break the film on the capsules and release the hundreds of different aromas found in the espresso. The shape of the capsules also means pressurized water pours evenly through the grounds during extraction, while the pump allows for precise temperature and flow time to ensure the perfect brew.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.