The Best Nespresso Machines You Can Buy In 2022
Buying a Nespresso machine is exciting but it can also be overwhelming. There are two different product lines and then many models to choose from within each. Plus, they are not cheap! Doing your research to figure out which Nespresso machines would be best for your needs is an important first step.
You’ll find a lot of blog articles out there with opinions on which Nespresso machines are best, many written by people who have never even used one of them. I own two of the three models I recommend. A family member owns the third and I am able to use it regularly when I visit. I also spend a lot of time contributing to Nespresso user social media groups, including Reddit and Facebook. This has taught me a lot about which models people have good and bad experiences with.
- Key Difference You Need To Know Between Nespresso Original vs Vertuo Lines
- The Best Nespresso Machine For Espresso And Regular Coffee: VertuoPlus
- The Best Basic Nespresso Espresso Only Machine: Essenza Mini
- The Most Splurge-Worthy Nespresso Espresso Only Model With Built In Milk Prep: Creatista Plus
- The Only Nespresso You Should Avoid Buying: Vertuo Next
Key Difference You Need To Know Between Nespresso Original vs Vertuo Lines
One of the first things you might notice as you are researching which Nespresso machines are best for you is that there are two different types. There is the Original line and the newer range of Vertuo models. The most important factor when deciding between a Nespresso Vertuoline vs Original model is the type of coffee you like drink.
The Nespresso Original line models brew only espresso pods. Espresso is a highly concentrated coffee served in small shots. Espresso is the only type of coffee that can be used to make drinks like lattes, macchiatos, cappuccinos and flat whites. If you want to be able to make these at home, you need to be able to brew espresso. If you like americanos, you’ll also love an Original model. Original espresso machines also make it super easy to get hot water. That makes it easy to achieve the correct espresso to water ratio for an americano.
In contrast, the Vertuoline can make both espresso and regular coffee. There are five different pod sizes that you can use with a Vertuo model. For regular coffee drinkers, there are 8 oz coffee pods. Nespresso recently came out with two new coffees with “boosted” levels of caffeine. There will also likely be new 14 oz XL coffee pods at some point this year. The original XL pods were discontinued at the end of 2021. For espresso, you will find both single and double espresso pods. The double ones are great for larger drinks, and they are a better value than using two single pods. The fifth pod size is a Gran Lungo which is an espresso made with more water.
Pick a Vertuoline Nespresso if your morning drink is a regular coffee or if you enjoy both coffee and espresso-based drinks. If you are only interested in espresso, you’ll have more options and, in my opinion, better espresso with an Original model.
The Best Nespresso Machine For Espresso And Regular Coffee: VertuoPlus
If you want to be able to make both espresso and regular coffee with your Nespresso, you’ll need a model from the Vertuoline. You can pick from the Vertuo Plus, Vertuo or Evoluo. For my Vertuoline model, I chose the VertuoPlus over the other two. I’ve been very happy with it. There is a fourth option, the Vertuo Next, but I think you should avoid it (more on that below).
Here are the 3 key reasons reasons why I think the VertuoPlus machines are the best Nespresso option for people who want both regular coffee and espresso.
Adjustable Water Tank
The VertuoPlus is the only Vertuoline model with a moveable water tank. This makes optimizing kitchen counter space easy. You can move it behind the brewer, to the side or at a 45 degree angle. It is easy to work it around other items you may have on your counter.
The VertuoPlus is the only Vertuoline model with a motorized lid. This makes it easier to open and close the machine. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but it is helpful if you suffer from arthritis in your hands. The lid on the Vertuo and Evoluo has to be manually opened, closed and then locked. The Vertuo and Evoluo therefore require a lit bit of effort and hand strain because you need to turn a lever to lock and unlock the lid.
There are actually two versions of the VertuoPlus. In addition to the standard model, there is the Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe. This is great choice if you want a coffee maker that is a bit faster to use. It also requires less attention to the water levels and used capsule container. Other than the heat up time, they work the same. If these differences don’t matter to you it may not be worth the bit of extra money.
|Water Tank Capacity
|Used Capsule Container Capacity
|13 large capsules
|10 large capsules
|Heat Up Time
The Best Basic Nespresso Espresso Only Machine: Essenza Mini
If you want a no frills Nespresso that can just brew a shot of espresso in seconds, your options are the Essenza Mini, Essenza Plus, CitiZ, Pixie or Inissia. When I say “basic” or “no frills” please don’t take that as a negative of these models. They all use the same Nespresso Original line signature 19 bar pressure system to make an amazing shot of espresso. They are just “basic” in the sense that they don’t have built in milk prep like the Lattissima or Creatista models. You’ll need to get a milk frother. Here is why I think the Essenza Mini is the best among these basic Nespresso machines: (you can also see my detailed review)
Design and Size
The Essenza Mini, CitiZ, Pixie and Inissia are very similar. The Essenza Mini has the smallest size which is good if you are tight on space or want to travel with it. There are some minor differences in water tank capacity and used capsule storage, but otherwise it is very similar to the other three. The biggest difference is in the design, which may not matter to some people.
As you are shopping, don’t worry about the Breville vs De’Longhi labels. I would buy whichever Essenza Mini is cheaper unless you really prefer one design over the other. I like the simple look of the Breville Essenza Mini. Some people may prefer the shape of the De’Longhi version. Both are Nespresso partners and top rated. The guts of the machine are designed by Nespresso and are exactly the same in both.
Best Price (Usually)
Besides price, the other big difference between the Essenza Mini and the other basic models is price. The Essenza Mini tends to be the lowest cost of the group, whereas the CitiZ tends to cost the most. Given that they work the same, my pick is the Essenza Mini.
Essenza Mini vs Essenza Plus
- 2 more drink sizes using espresso pods (5 oz and 6.7 oz Americano)
- larger used capsule holder (stores 5 additional old pods vs the mini)
- 66% larger water tank
- WiFi enabled for easy pod reordering
In short, with the Plus you get a couple more drink options and will need to clean it less often than the Mini. At the time of this post, the Plus was not in stock. Check Nespresso.com to get the latest status.
Should You Get A Nespresso Milk Frother Accessory?
If you want to be able to make milk drinks with your Essenza Mini, you’ll need a milk frother. Nespresso has two models, the Aeroccino 3 and 4. You can likely buy your Essenza Mini in a bundle with the frother to save a bit of money.
The Most Splurge-Worthy Nespresso Espresso Only Model With Built In Milk Prep: Creatista Plus
Are you looking at more premium Original Nespresso with built in milk prep? If so, you’ll be deciding between the Creatista range by Breville or the Lattissima Gran or Pro by De’Longhi. I personally chose the Creatista Plus. I think it the best of the premium Nespresso machines and I’ll explain why. You can also see my detailed product review.
The Creatista Plus is among the most expensive pod brewers on the market. The retail price is around $600 to $650. However, you may be able to find it on sale from time to time on Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond and other stores. While the price tag is high, I believe in the saying “you get what you pay for.” I like it because it has more functionality and beverage options than other models. Plus, I’ve had zero issues with the machine so far (since June of 2021). It is very reliable.
More Drink Options
The range of drinks you can prepare with the Creatista Plus with the push of some buttons is what makes it so special. There are 7 drinks to choose from:
In contrast, the De’Longhi Lattissima Pro, which has a similar price, only has default settings for a cappuccino and latte macchiato. I personally thought it was worth having more options for the same price. Making an americano is super easy with the Creatista too. I brew one espresso pod, eject it, then run two espresso size hot water only cycles.
Design & Features
The Creatista Plus is in my opinion the most beautiful Nespresso out there. My model is the brushed stainless steel finish.
Milk frothing and steaming is built directly into the unit. No external frothers are needed to make milk-based drinks. Just use the milk jug that comes in the box to quickly and easily prep the milk.
The water tank is easy to remove, making it easy to refill at your tap or water filter. The used capsule holder and drip tray are also removable for easy clean up.
There is also a cup tray that you can push in or out. This is helpful if you are making an espresso shot into a shorter glass as it will raise the glass closer to the coffee outlet. If you are using a larger glass, simply push the tray in and rest the glass on the drip tray.
Steam Wand & Latte Art
The steam wand is another huge advantage of the Creatista. The Lattissima models don’t have a wand. They use a built in milk warming system called the Rapid Cappuccino system (RCS). While the RCS system may work well, it gives you less control. The benefit of being able to use a steam wand and a milk jug is that you can move the jug around to adjust your froth and foam. You’ll also only be able to create latte art if you have a steam wand.
Creatista Plus vs Creatista Pro
Breville recently launched a new model called the Creatista Pro. At a suggested retail price of $850, the Pro is a couple hundred dollars more than the Creatista Plus. The Pro has a color digital touch screen, plus some more functionality and drink options. The Pro’s water tank is about 30% larger. It is slightly wider and deeper. For more information, see my full review on how the Creatista Pro compares to the Plus.
The Only Nespresso You Should Avoid Buying: Vertuo Next
If you are looking for a Nespresso machine that can make both coffee and espresso, I would strongly advise you against buying the Vertuo Next. Even if it seems like a great deal, I would warn you against buying it. Many people assume that the Next must be the best Vertuo coffee maker since it is the newest model. They would be very wrong.
While the Vertuo Next has some unique features such as bluetooth and pour over coffee pods, it also has serious flaws. These mostly stem from engineering issues. There have been a couple design changes since the Next launched. However, these changes haven’t improved reliability. Next owners still have more issues than any other Vertuo model. There are rumors that the company may have discontinued the Next as of March 2022 given all of these troubles. These issues include:
- Coffee or water leaks from the machine.
- Coffee that tastes like plastic because of melting internal pieces.
- An array of light-based error alerts including orange and red lights, yellow light, white light and even a blue or purple light.
Register Your Next
If you do end up picking a Next, I strongly advise you to register it ASAP. It comes with a one year warranty. That way Customer Support should be able to help if (or when?) you run into trouble. Many owners report that the company has been replacing the Vertuo Next when it cannot be repaired. Usually Support will try to send you another Next, but that will likely soon give you trouble too. Many people report successfully getting Customer Support to send them a Vertuo, Vertuo Plus or Evoluo instead. You can read my detailed description on how the Next compares to the Vertuo Plus or how it compares to the Vertuo.