Nespresso machines are some of the best-known pod machines around but with so many options on offer, it’s hard to know if they’re right for you - and which one you should buy.
As the brand behind some of the best coffee makers around, Nespresso machines give you the opportunity to create barista-style coffee with minimal effort. Whether you want to make lattes, cappuccinos, or just a smooth shot of espresso, there’s an espresso machine that can do the job for you - and at just the touch of a button.
Nespresso has created coffee makers that sit under either the Vertuo or Original lines. Vertuo Nespresso machines use Vertuo pods are ideal if you want plenty of choices of different sized drinks and a variety of coffees. Original Nespresso machines are compatible with the original-sized coffee pods and are more limited because you can’t make large cups of coffee with them. Original Nespresso models are a good choice for those that love espresso or cappuccinos.
All of these machines use coffee pods but not all of them use the same pods, and while they all make coffee, each model offers something different in terms of the drinks you can make with it.
Deciding on which Nespresso machine is for you will depend on what you’re looking for. Consider how many coffees you need to make each day and the types of drinks you like to enjoy. For many people, keeping a budget in mind will also help but also take note of how big each Nespresso machine is and how much space it will take up in your home.
Some Nespresso machines come with a built-in milk frother, whereas others require you to buy a separate frother altogether, so be sure to consider any extra accessories you might need that might add to your overall spend.
The good news is that Nespresso machines are designed to be really easy to use and they look great too, however, they do require you to buy pods which can be expensive and have an environmental impact too. Nespresso has started making machines made from recyclable materials and has also introduced a scheme to recycle the coffee pods.
We’ve included options for budget picks and the hardcore coffee aficionado so to find out which Nespresso machine is best for you, just keep reading.
Which budget Nespresso machine should I choose?
The Nespresso VertuoPlus is a good choice if you want the quality of a Nespresso machine without an enormous price tag. Often available with some of the best Nespresso machine sales, the VertuoPlus is easy to operate and lets you create coffee drinks in a variety of sizes - ideal if you love a big mug of coffee.
This machine from Nespresso isn’t actually the cheapest model the brand makes, but for what you get, it’s good value. The VertuoPlus is compatible with a huge array of pods but it doesn’t have an in-built milk frother - you’ll need to buy this separately if you want to enjoy lattes and cappuccinos.
The Nespresso VertuoPlus uses a high-speed spinning motion to extract the coffee from the pod and gives you a delicious tasting drink with a nice crema on the top. Bear in mind that the pods are fairly difficult to recycle though, as sometimes a small amount of coffee is left inside them.
Which Nespresso machine is the most compact?
All of Nespresso’s machines are designed to be super easy to use, but the Vertuo Next machine is up there with its simple and compact design. This machine is the smallest in the Vertuo range so it won’t take up too much space on your countertop and it’s capable of creating coffee in six different cup sizes.
There’s a choice of colors and finishes but the real seller here is that you simply need to add a pod of your choice and press a button to make a coffee. While that might sound basic, the Nespresso Vertuo Next is far from it because it automatically adjusts to the exact pressure, temperature, and brewing time to create a great espresso.
You can make a big variety of drink sizes with the Nespresso Vertuo Next and these include everything from an espresso right up to an 18oz carafe. The Vertuo Next is build using 54% recycled plastic - the first from the brand to feature this.
Which Nespresso machine should I choose for lattes?
If just making espresso isn’t enough for you and you need more choice, the Nespresso Creatista Pro is the one for you. This machine is one of the most expensive models Nespresso makes but for the money, you’re getting a sophisticated machine that will have you looking like a barista in no time.
The Creatista Pro comes with a steam arm so that you can froth your own milk and it’s fitted with ‘advanced milk texturing technology’ so that you can create latte art. The steam wand automatically purges after you’ve used it to make sure milk doesn’t dry up inside it.
You’ll get a steel jug with this machine and it also offers the functionality to produce hot water for a tea if you fancy one of those instead. Digital controls make it easier to prepare coffee and quick heat-up times make the whole process smoother.
Which Nespresso machine should I choose for espresso?
If frothing your own milk sounds too strenuous, we hear you. The Nespresso Gran Lattissima does all the work for you and can create everything from espressos to frothy cappuccinos - all you have to do is press a button.
The capsule container holds 14 used pods and a high bar pressure means this machine will create smooth coffee. There is a removable milk tank attached to Nespresso Gran Lattissima and you simply select which drink you’d like and the machine does the rest.
Another handy feature on the Nespresso Gran Lattissima is the rinsing system that cleans the machine in between uses to help maintain great performance and hygiene.
Which Nespresso machine should I choose for on the go?
Nespresso creates a range of accessories to accompany its machines but the Nespresso Barista Recipe Maker is great if you want to make a variety of coffee drinks without any effort.
You’ll be able to make everything lattes to mochas in this machine, and all you have to do is place your ingredients inside it and select the drink you want to create from the touch screen buttons.
The Nespresso Barista won’t create the espresso itself but you can use any method or machine you like to do this for you, so having an accompanying Nespresso model isn’t a necessity.
The Nespresso Barista isn’t cheap though, and since it can’t make the espresso itself, it’s worth considering whether you’ll get your money’s worth with this machine.
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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.