Nespresso coffee machines compared

Anula Wiwatowska
May 02, 2024
Icon Time To Read6 min read
// That's that me, Nespresso

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Coffee snobs, and casual caffiends alike have all heard of Nespresso coffee. The ubiqutious pod machines are peppered through homes, offices, and hotels across the world, and Australia is no exception.

The coffee empire has machines spanning from slap-and-go minis, through to premium models with automatic milk steaming. Which one is best for you will depend on how much you're willing to spend, and how much you care about your coffee.

On this page we compare what you need to know about Nespresso coffee machines, and how to pick the best one for your home.

Nespresso machines compared

We have tried, tested, and reviewed a bunch of Nespresso machine on the Australian market. Here are how they compare according to our expert analysis.
Machine
Pod type
Milk frothing
Rating
Price
Retailers
Nespresso Vertuo NextNespresso Vertuo Next SoloVertuo nespresso pod
con
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
$299
Nespresso creatista proNespresso Creatista Proclassic nespresso pod
proSteamer
8 milk textures
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
$1399
Nespresso Vertuo PopNespresso Vertuo PopVertuo nespresso pod
con
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.25
$229
nespresso vertuo creatistaNespresso Vertuo CreatistaVertuo nespresso pod
proSteamer
8 milk textures
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
$1099
And here are the ones we haven't reviewed yet to help you compare.
Machine
Pod type
Milk frothing
Customer Rating
Price
Retailers
Nespresso Vertuo LattissimaVertuo nespresso pod
proFrother
2 milk textures
4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6
$749
Nespresso Essenza Miniclassic nespresso pod
con
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7
$219
creatista unoNespresso Creatista Unoclassic nespresso pod
proSteamer
3 milk textures
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8
$699
creatista plusNespresso Creatista Plusclassic nespresso pod
proSteamer
8 milk textures
4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6
$949
Delonghi Lattissima Touch Nespresso SystemNespresso Lattissima Oneclassic nespresso pod
proFrother
2 milk textures
4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4
$519

The best Nespresso machine in our testing

Nespresso creatista pro
Best Nespresso pod machine: Nespresso Creatista Pro
Our Rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Design and Features
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Expert testing
4 out of 5 stars
4
Coffee pods stepping up to the big leagues

This one is for the time-poor coffee snobs. Imagine perfectly steamed milk every time, with the convenience of pod coffee. That is the Nespresso Creatista Pro. We froth it.

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While pretty much every Nespresso coffee machine ended up with the same rating from our tests, there is one reason why the Creatista Pro came out ahead. The classic pod design.

Nespresso has two kinds of pods, either the Vertuo or the classic. Vertuo pods are more intelligent, telling your machine how to brew them to get the best result, but they're also only available directly from Nespresso. By contrast, classic pods are everywhere. You can get hundreds of blends, reuseable ones, compostable ones, Starbucks ones, even matcha ones. The world is your coffee pod.

Along with accepting more forms of pod coffee, the Creatista Pro is just a delight to use. Its inbuilt steaming wand automatically steams milk to perfection for a more cafe-like experience. While it struggles a bit with alternative milks, it is still an improvement on an aerating frother. Throw all of that together with auto cleaning, a sleek but bench-space friendly design, and the Creatista Pro is easily the best Nespresso machine you can get.

What to look for in a pod coffee machine

Pod coffee machines are notoriously lower maintenance than automatic or semi-automatic espresso machines. You don't have to deal with cleaning up ground coffee, they don't need descaling as frequently, and they tend to be configured exactly to the specs that you need. Still though, some are better than others.

When you're looking for a pod coffee machine in particular there are three major aspects to consider;

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Key specs
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Pump pressure
  • Coffee choice

Ease of maintenance

We already touched on it above, but taking care of a coffee machine can blow out if you're not careful. While pod machines don't need as much elbow grease it is worth looking into how often you'll need to descale the machine, and how easy all its parts are to clean. Mostly you'll want to take a good hard look at the milk frothing components. Nothing ruins a cup of coffee like rotting milk stuck in the steamer.

Pump pressure

Measured in BAR or barometric pressure, the pump of a coffee machine ultimately dictates how many atmospheres of pressure are pushed on to the coffee. You read that right, we measure coffee machines based on the standard atmospheric pressure of Earth.

You'll need 7 BARs minimum to extract a good crema atop your espresso, but 15 BARs of pump pressure is ideal for pump powered machines like Nespresso. This makes sure the pressure from the pump is still powerful enough by the time it reaches the coffee grounds themselves.

Coffee choice

You could have the best coffee machine in the world but if you don't like the coffee it makes then what is the point? Consider the varieties of coffee that are compatible with your chosen coffee machine.

Classic pods vs Vertuo pods

Classic Nespresso Pods
classic nespresso pod
Pods from
$0.82
  • pro
    Cheaper average price from Nespresso
  • pro
    Plenty of independent options
  • con
    Standardised brewing across all pods
Vertuo Nespresso Pods
Vertuo nespresso pod
Pods from
$0.86
  • pro
    Unique brewing per blend
  • pro
    Cold brew options
  • con
    More expensive
  • con
    Exclusive to Nespresso

Nespresso has two types of pods, classic and Vertuo. Classic is the pod that you would be familiar with, it has that same trapezoidial shape we all equate to pod machines. Vertuo pods on the other hand are wider and circular, and all around smarter.

Vetrtuo pods have what Nespresso has dubbed "Intelligent Brewing Technology". Each capsule has a barcode which the machine reads in order to determine the brew time, pressure, and water temperature to make the beans sing. These pods also come in seven capsule sizes allowing you to brew anything from an espresso shot, through to a carafe of coffee. All up these do make nicer coffee than the original Nespresso pods, but they are also an ecosystem lock in. Right now Vertuo pods are only available from Nespresso and there doesn't seem to be any sign of that changing soon, meaning you're at the whim of Nespresso's pricing and coffee selection.

Classic pods however are the more basic option that also come with more choice. While all these pods are brewed with the same pressure, temperature, and duration, the classic design is open to other manufacturers therefore there are thousands of coffee choices. Classic pods start at $0.82 from Nespresso, but you can buy reuseable ones and put your own beans in there bringing the price down to as little as $0.40 per coffee.

How to descale your Nespresso machine

Even though pod machines don't need as much maintenance, you do still have to descale them occassionally. Nespresso recommends descaling your machine every three months, or every 300 capsules. 

Every machine has a slightly different method for descaling, so check your exact model on the Nespresso website. These are the basic instructions for Vertuo and classic machines.

To descale your Vertuo Nespresso machine;

  1.  Place the content of the descaling solution in the tank with half a litre of water,
  2. Make sure there is no pod in the machine
  3. Unlock the lever, but keep the head closed
  4. Press and hold the top button until it starts blinking orange
  5. Lock the lever, then unlock it again, and press and hold the button one more time until it starts blinking orange again
  6. Lock the lever one more time (The light should still be blinking quickly)
  7. Place a container about 1L in size under the spout and hit the button one more time.
  8. Once the full 500ml has run through, empty the drip tray and capsule container, refill the tank and press the top button one more time.
  9. Rinse cycle will now start.
  10. Once it has finished, let the machine rest for 10 minutes before using it.

To descale your classic Nespresso machine;

  1. Empty the drip tray and the capsule container
  2. Add descaling liquid into water tank and fill to 0.6L
  3. Place a container of about 1L under the spout
  4. Turn the machine on and press the Espresso and Lungo buttons together for five seconds
  5. When both LEDs blink press the Lungo button to start descaling
  6. Once the tank is empty, refill it again with the used descaling liquid you captured
  7. Repeat steps 3-5 again
  8. When finished, rinse the water tank and fill with clean water
  9. Repeat steps 3-5 one more time
  10. Exit descaling mode by pressing the Espresso and Lungo buttons for 5 seconds

Naturally Nespresso recommends using its own descaling kit which retails for $19.50, as oppossed to storebought options than start as low as $4. Note that Nespresso's warranty may be voided due to "improper or inadequate maintenance" or "failure to follow the product instructions" so if you choose to go with a third party descaling treatment it could affect your warranty.

Who makes Nespresso coffee machines?

Delonghi Essenza model

De'Longhi Essenza Nespresso Machine

Breville Essenza model

Breville Essenza Nespresso Machine

Both De'Longhi and Breville manufacture Nespresso coffee machines, and while the specs are the same the designs are slightly different across some models.

The Essenza and Citiz ranges have the same technical specifications, but De'Longhi's versions look different from what you'll see on Nespresso's website. For the Essenza Mini for example, the design is more rounded off from De'Longhi, with a seperate spout rather than something that looks entirely built in to the device. The Citiz is mostly the same apart from a more protruding spout from De'Longhi.

Breville exclusively manufactures the Creatista range, all with automatic milk steamers whiel De'Longhi deals with the Lattissima range with milk frothers. 

Regardless as to which supplier made the machine, you're going to get the same experience either way. Likely the decision to use both Breville and De'Longhi is simply for supply-chain purposes. It is better to have two options so you're never caught without machines to sell, and why not have them be two of the best at-home coffee options in the country.

Anula Wiwatowska
Written by
Anula Wiwatowska
Anula is the Content and Social Media Editor within the Reviews.org extended universe. Working in the tech space since 2020, she covers phone and internet plans, gadgets, smart devices, and the intersection of technology and culture. Anula was a finalist for Best Feature Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards, and an eight time finalist across categories at the IT Journalism Awards. Her work contributed to WhistleOut's Best Consumer Coverage win in 2023.

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