Nespresso vs Keurig has been a popular debate in the coffee world for quite some time now, and that’s because both brands offer barista-style coffee at the touch of a button. Both are often featured in round-ups of the best coffee makers, but which one will be the right choice for you?
Nespresso and Keurig coffee makers use pods or capsules to make everything from espressos to lattes. While Keurig is a big name in the US, the brand isn’t sold widely in the UK, however, Nespresso is available across the globe and can often be found on our best espresso machine list.
We’ll be comparing Nespresso and Keurig for the range of coffee machines each brand offers, how much they cost and how easy the machines are to use. To find out which is the right option for you, just keep reading.
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Nespresso vs Keurig: price
Nespresso and Keurig offer a large range of coffee machines and, as you’d expect, the fancier the machine, the more it costs. If you want to spend as little as possible, Keurig offers a few machines for under $100/ £70.50 / AU$130 and these include the Keurig K-Slim, K-Mini, and the K-Mini Plus.
You can pick up a Nespresso machine for $149 / £105 / AU$193, such as the Nespresso Essenza Mini. However, it’s well worth noting that both Keurig and Nespresso machines are often discounted and you can snap up some fantastic savings year-round on these appliances.
Nespresso vs Keurig: range of coffee machines
Both brands have a coffee machine for just about everyone, providing you like using pods or capsules. Keurig’s range has single-serve coffee machines at its more affordable end and these are designed to be compact. These smaller machines, such as the Keurig K-Mini, are available in a range of colors and can make drinks in any size between six and 12oz.
Coffee fans that want to use ground coffee instead of capsules have the option to do so with the Keurig K-Elite. This machine is compatible with a reusable coffee filter (which you do have to buy separately) where you can add your own grounds and, if iced coffee is your thing, this will be an option with the Keurig K-Elite.
As a whole, there’s a huge range of Keurig coffee makers that cover everything from simple espresso machines to models that have a milk frother or a carafe to keep coffee warm.
Just like Keurig, Nespresso has an impressive range of machines but all of them use capsules rather than ground coffee. There are two ranges of Nespresso machines – the Original line and the Vertuo line. The Original machines can only make drinks up to 5oz but some of them, such as the Gran Lattissima, can froth milk for you and create cappuccinos with very little effort on your behalf. For those that want to froth milk themselves, Nespresso’s Creatista Plus has a built-in steam wand.
The Nespresso Vertuo line lets you create drinks sized between 1.35oz and 18oz - this is larger than Keurig machines allow. The Vertuo machines are really aimed at people that want to make coffee in all sizes, but by pressing just one button. None of the Vertuo machines froth milk, so you’d need to buy Nespresso’s separate milk frother. There aren’t currently any Nespresso machines that let you add your own ground coffee or that have a carafe to keep coffee warm.
Nespresso vs Keurig: Usability
When it comes to usability, both Nespresso and Keurig have designed machines that are super simple to use. The single-serve pod machines from both brands are just as easy to operate because all you need to do is put in your capsule and press a button.
For coffees that need frothed milk, Nespresso’s machines with a steam arm will require more effort (and skill) to get your drink just right than if you use a Keurig. However, if you buy the Nespresso milk frother, this will be taken care of for you.
Nespresso’s Vertuo line operates with a one-touch button system so we think it has the edge over ease of use here.
Both brands have auto-off features so you don’t need to remember to switch your machine off and both will require the same level of cleaning. You’ll have to routinely clean and descale your machine, so for more on that, check out our features on how to clean a Nespresso machine and how to descale a Keurig coffee maker.
Nespresso vs Keurig: range of coffee pods
Keurig creates hundreds of coffee pods that span just about everything from strong coffee to cocoa drinks. You’ll also be able to pick up pods made with brands, such as Starbucks and Dunkin, as Keurig has collaborated with them to create a range of capsules. And since the end of 2020 all Keurig K-Cup pods have been 100% recyclable, so if you do choose this brand, you won’t need to throw your used pods into the waste.
Nespresso pods come in two forms - one type is for the Original machines, the other for the Vertuo models. Because the pods are different shapes for each type of machine, you won’t be able to use both types of pods in one model. There is a recycling scheme in place, though, where you can collect your used pods and take them to a Nespresso Boutique or to a collection point where they will be recycled.
In terms of pod pricing, Keurig sells boxes of its pods in various quantities but a 12 pack of its Breakfast Blend Coffee will set you back $7.99 / £10.99, whereas Nespresso Original pods will cost you around $7.50 / £5 / AU$7.90 for a pack of 10, making Keurig the more affordable option. The coffee pods for the Vertuo line will cost from $13 / £5.90 / AUS$8.50 for a sleeve of 10.
Nespresso vs Keurig: verdict
Nespresso and Keurig excel when it comes to creating tasty coffee with minimal effort. Keurig has the advantage of cheaper machines for those that want one, and the pods themselves will typically be cheaper to buy, too. Not all of Nespresso’s capsules are compatible with every machine the brand makes, but accessories like a milk frother and one-touch operation make these models very attractive.
If you want to use ground coffee as well as pods, a Keurig machine is the choice for you. If you want to make larger quantities of coffee, Nespresso’s Vertuo line will be a better fit for your needs.
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Sophie writes about all things appliance-related and is currently the Home Editor at TechRadar's sister site, Top Ten Reviews. When she's not testing coffee machines and appliances, Sophie is thinking of eating delicious food, and asking people what they're having for dinner.