Nespresso vs Keurig: The Ultimate Guide

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Nespresso vs Keurig: According to the National Coffee Association 2020, 40% of coffee lovers owned a single-serve brewing machine [1].

Coffee shop players like Starbucks, Dunkin’, and Donuts have brought their coffee capsules to compete with Keurig, Nespresso, and other private labels.

But when it comes to single-serve coffee makers: Nespresso and Keurig got the most fans, some even too loyal.

What makes them the major players? Well, the cup of rich coffee hits the spot at the first sip.

But what set these two brands apart are the highlighting differences?

Nespresso vs Keurig coffee makers

Nespresso Overview

Sister company of the famous Swiss brand Nestle: Nespresso is loved for its coffee pods and the single-serve home espresso machine. The brand’s coffee brewing journey started in 1986 through the unique extraction system that delivers a perfect balance of flavor and aroma with a press.

Today, the brand upgraded its technology, design, and taste according to modern needs and trends. Nespresso’s sleek and modern coffee brewers add a touch of European elegance to the kitchen.

 Though Nespresso owns a 10.99% share in the North American market, the Swiss company’s European performance is quite strong.

It accounted for 41. 93% share in the European market in 2021 [2]. And the latest report suggests impressive growth in the American market too. Hence it is still positioned as one of the industry’s leaders.

Nespresso offers its pod-based coffee makers in two lines:

  • Original line: Only prepares espresso
  • Vertuo line: This machine prepares espresso and coffee.
  • Specialty Line: Prepare the espresso and specialty drinks, like cappuccino, latte, cold coffee, and even frappe.

Like all, coffee brewers may have pros and cons, but they have maintained their brand value since their inception.

Though Nespresso coffee makers and capsules are comparatively expensive, they provide benefits.


  • Sleek and compact machine.
  • Easy to use and de-scale.
  • Rich, luxurious coffee.
  • Brews specialty drinks
  • Recyclable aluminum pods.


  • Expensive than Keurig.
performance differences between Keurig and Nespresso
Nespresso vs Keurig which coffee maker performs better?

Keurig Overview

Keurig, one of the renowned single-serve coffee and pod brands, has swayed much of America’s caffeine lovers since it started the journey in the early-2000s. As per the reports of, Keurig was the second most popular coffee brewer after drip coffee makers.

Reports state 30% of American coffee lovers indicate Keurig is their coffee machine brand. In the North American market, Keurig grabs a share of 60% [3]. (as stated in the bean poet report of 2022).

With competitors emerging: Keurig has been gaming up its flavors, functionality, and smart-home programs in the brewing units.

Today Keurig has 80+ different models, each with a distinctive feature. In addition, the brand has partnerships with brands like Starbucks, Folgers, and Celestial Seasonings to provide an infinite range of infusion options.

For starters, Nespresso is a well-built luxurious appliance and is a bit pricey, while Keurig is cheaper and offers more coffee variety.

Of course, a cursory comparison will not help you select a brand for brewing. So let’s dig deep and get a solid idea of which one to buy.


  • Easy to use.
  • 80+ models.
  • Hundreds of pods option.
  • Reasonable price.


  • Coffee is weak in taste.
  • Disposable plastic K-Cups are harmful to the environment.

Nespresso vs. Keurig: Summary

Since Keurig entered the market, the debate between Nespresso and Keurig is on. They may appear functionally similar to the other high-end coffee makers for nerds. But the comparison below will tell the difference.

Brew espresso and lungo shots as well as coffee and specialty coffee.Brew only drip coffee.
High-end Swiss-made pods and brewing machines engineered by renowned brands Breville, De’Longhi, Krups and Magimix.Brewing system made in China while pods are made in the USA.
Luxurious coffee with thick crema.Coffee has thinner crema.
25 high-quality proprietary coffee blends.Hundreds of coffee flavors plus well-known coffee brands are available as K-Cups.
Expensive machine and pods.Coffee machines and pods come on budget.
Per cup of coffee costs $1.Per cup cost $0.50-$0.70.
Produces no plastic waste.Produces plastic K-Cup waste
More compact and sleek machines.Larger machine footprint.
Cost of coffee machines Keurig vs Nespresso
Which coffee machine is cheaper Nespresso or Keurig?

Types of Nespresso machines

Nespresso offers a wide range of single-serve coffee machines to choose from. Here are the main types of Nespresso machines currently available:

Original Line:

  • Essenza: The most compact Original line espresso maker to fit the smallest countertop.
  • Inissia: The elementary, user-friendly version of the automatic espresso maker range.
  • Pixie: Small but powerful model with a sleek design.
  • CitiZ: Versatile mid-range model with programmable cup sizes.


  • Vertuo: Standard model that brews regular coffee and espresso.
  • VertuoPlus: Enhanced version with motorized head, larger water tank.
  • Vertuo Next: Enhanced version with revolutionized brewing system.

Specialty Lines:

  • Lattissima: Integrated milk frothing system to make cappuccinos and lattes.
  • Creatista: All-in-one espresso machine with steam wand to texture milk.
  • Atelier: All-in-one coffee machine to make hot and cold coffee, including frappe with dairy and non-dairy milk.

The Original line makes just espresso and lungos, while the Vertuo line can also brew regular coffee. The specialty lines feature built-in milk frother for making milk-based drinks like cappuccinos. Higher-end models have more customization options and advanced technology.

But for those that don’t feature a built-in frother, you can add to them the stand-alone frother. It works amazingly and comes with most Vertuo and original models as a combo.

Find out the best espresso machines.

Types of Keurig machines

Keurig has 80+ models in its bag of coffee machine, which comes predominantly in 5 types:

  • K-Classic: Indulge in the classic flavor of the beverage brewed in this edition of Keurig brewer.
  • K-Express: This edition satisfies your urge by delivering a rich and intense brew.
  • K-Slim: Design to fit perfectly on the smallest space of a home, RV, or vacation rental.
  • K-Cafe: Designed to fulfill all kinds of coffee urges-from hot and iced to specialty.
  • K-Supreme: This coffee maker prepares a customized cup- if you want a rich, hot brew or a refreshing iced coffee.
  • K-Duo: This is the only Keurig coffee maker that works with K-Cup and coffee grounds.
Per serving cost - Keurig vs Nespresso
Per serving cost – Keurig vs Nespresso

Which tastes better? Nespresso vs Keurig

Winner: Nespresso

Though Keurig is one of the preferred single-serve brewers, when it comes to coffee quality Nespresso wins the race to the Keurig K-Cafe espresso maker.

At the touch of a button: Nespresso offers a rich, aromatic, and homogeneous cup of coffee with thick crema. But, the K-Cafe delivers decent but comparatively pale espresso.

Keurig’s K-Cafe uses the same K-Cups as the regular ol’ coffee makers, which is not well-optimized.

In general, Keurig machines brew a weak, bitter version of drip coffee, but Nespresso brews rich and bitter coffee that tastes dark-roasted. However, neither brews great coffee as standard drip coffee makers, pour-over, or espresso machines that use fresh grounds.

Which is more versatile: Keurig or Nespresso?

Winner: Keurig

For its part: the Keurig models offer varied drinks, such as tea, coffee, espresso, and hot cocoa.

The luxurious Nespresso machine brews only hot coffee, and you can make specialties in the specialty line.

Is Nespresso cheaper than Keurig?

1. Purchase Expense

Winner: Keurig

Keurig is cheaper!

If you want to spend your money freely, choose Nespresso. Nespresso being a luxurious single-serve machine costs slightly higher. The price ranges from $150-$300. But if you are on a tight budget, choose Keurig. Keurig models cost $75-$250.

2. Cost per Servings

Winner: Keurig

Today, if you buy one coffee daily: you will pay at least $5. So, you spend $1,825 in a year. Now let’s compare it to the single serving from Keurig or Nespresso.


Keurig brewers come at a much more affordable price. Here is the approximate expense list per K-Cup servings:

  • K-Cup Green Mountain: $0.65-$0.77 per pod
  • Each K-Cup’s Coffee Shop brand collection (Dunkin, Starbucks, Donuts, and others): $0.40-$0.60 per pod.
  • K-cup Coffee Lover’s Collection: $0.51 per pod
  • McCafe Classic: $0.60 per pod
  • K-Cup Entertainer’s collection: $0.65 per pod
  • K-Cup Bold Roast: $0.70 per pod.
  • K-Cup Variety Pack: $0.77 per pod


Keurig has discontinued the coffee maker that was compatible with other than the proprietary K-Cup pod. If they are still available, they are scrounged from a basement storage shelf on sale. Now, every Keurig uses K-Cups, with the exceptional K-Duo, which lets you brew using ground coffee in a traditional filter basket.


Nespresso machines take either OriginalLine or VertuoLine capsules. Below is the expense per Nespresso capsule:

  • OriginalLine: $0.80-$0.85 per capsule
  • VertuoLine: $0.98-$1.30 per capsule.

Note- Original Line coffee makers brew only espresso, whereas Vertuo Line models make both espresso and coffee. However, you can make a delicious Americano with your Original Line brewer by topping the espresso off with hot water and getting oh-so-close to a cup of coffee. The Specialty lines take the Original Line capsule for brewing.

To make this info easier to digest, here is a table:

Capsule or PodCost, 1 ServingCost, 365 ServingsSavings Over Coffee Shop
Coffee Shop$4.90-$5.00$1,825$0
Nespresso Original$0.80-$0.85$300$1,525
Nespresso Vertuo$0.98-$1.30$400$1,425
Keurig K-Cup$0.40-$0.77$200$1,625


Prices estimated above are subject to change. “Cost, 365 Servings” is calculated using the common mid-point “Cost, 1 Serving” price range.

Look at the annual savings! Even if you choose the most models of either brand, the annual savings is 4x-6x more than the price of the coffee maker. If you buy the appliance with proper maintenance, it lasts for 5-10 years. Now calculate your years of savings!

Of course, all savings are compared to an average of $5.00 coffee or espresso at your local coffee shop. The table may not be accurate, but these are the take-home messages:

  • Either brand’s pods save a bundle over a daily coffee at the local coffee shop.
  • K-Cups saves around $100 per year compared to Nespresso Original Line Americanos.
  • K-Cups save around $200 per year compared to Nespresso Vertuo Line coffees.

You must note that you can drive down the cost per serving by using one of the available reusable pods offered by each company:

  • Nespresso: Reusable aluminum capsule compatible with OriginalLine, Vertuoline, and specialty brewers.
  • Keurig: Reusable K-Cup pod. Check your model to get the compatible pod.

These methods not only give you the initial investment of the reusable pod, but you can also buy the whole bean or ground coffee you like.

The cost per serving depends on two factors:

  • Cost per unit weight of the coffee you enjoy
  • Quantity of used coffee.
Ease of cleaning Nespresso vs Keurig
Ease of cleaning Nespresso vs Keurig

Which works better? Keurig vs Nespresso

Winner: Nespresso

The performance of a coffee maker depends on three factors:

  • Coffee quality it delivers.
  • Features.
  • Ease of use.

While Nespresso and Keurig work similarly, i.e., insert the capsule, start the machine, select the size, and the rest it will do, they differ in performance.

Keurig and Nespresso use pressure to speed brewing, but they get along differently.

Keurig machines use low pressure to lightly pressurize each K-cup and extract flavors, while Nespresso uses two technologies. The Vertuo line uses centripetal force to hit the capsule to attract flavors. The Original and Specialty line uses a 19-bar pressure pump.

This pressure intensity affects the output. That’s why Keurig coffees are tasty but not intense, while Nespresso shots are aromatic, rich, intense, and bold.

Nespresso lags behind Keurig in features and functionality.

Keurig machines have numerous flashy functions that they boast. Most machines have:

  • Touch control panel with LCD.
  • Programmable mode and Auto-On.
  • Temperature control.
  • Brew strength setting.
  • Cup size selection.

Nespresso machines feature only:

  • Cup size setting.
  • Brew-type setting (espresso, double espresso, Americano, and Lungo).
  • De-scaling button.

Nespresso and Keurig are designed to add convenience, which they always provide, but the question is who is more convenient. Because of fewer features, Nespresso makes coffee brewing a bit easier.

Who looks great: Nespresso or Keurig coffee machine?

Winner: Nespresso

Being a Swiss company, Nespresso has a European-style design that adds a European touch to the kitchen. It is sleek, luxurious, and at the same time compact with smaller footprints.

Hence whether it is a small countertop, an RV, or a vacation rental, it comfortably fits anywhere. Keurig has large footprints.

Which is easier to clean: Keurig or Nespresso?

Winner: Nespresso

Neither Keurig nor Nespresso machines are hard to clean. And regardless of the brand you select, follow the steps below to maintain it:

  • Wipe the exterior with a non-abrasive cloth.
  • Remove and wash the detachable components in the sink.
  • De-scale every 3-6 months with a de-scaling solution or water and vinegar mixture. It cleans up calcium deposits.

But ultimately it is Nespresso that gets the edge for two reasons:

  • Nespresso machines feature a de-scaling mode for optimal internal cleaning.
  • Keurig’s pod assembly with entry-and-exit needles clogs easily and is a little fussier.

Which is more reliable: Nespresso vs Keurig

Winner: Nespresso

In the context of durability and reliability: Nespresso wins the contest. Check out the table:

Brand (Coffee Maker)Country of ManufacturerLength of Warranty
KeurigChina1 year

Nespresso’s durability and reliability ensure you get what you pay for.

Both are of plastic: Keurig’s brewers have lighter housing, while Nespresso machines are of high-end sturdy plastic with metallic-plated exteriors.

Moreover, my supplementary research continuously turns up Nespresso, whose users praised the longevity of their coffee machines. And if an issue arises, you can always utilize their 2-year warranty.

My research on Keurig saw users tend to report issues more frequently.

Who is more Environment-friendly? Keurig vs Nespresso coffee machine

Winner: Nespresso

Coffee pods affect the environment adversely. According to an article by The Atlantic, “best estimates say the Keurig pods buried in 2014 would circle the Earth…more than 12 times [4].

Well, the new-age pod coffee machine has launched a less-waste initiative.

To recycle 75% of sold capsules: Nespresso has set up capsule recycling stations around Canada and also for US-based customers [5]. The company encourages customers to collect their used capsules in the provided recycling bag and return them to a Nespresso boutique for collection. You can return the aluminum pods to any of the following:

  • Collection points in Nespresso boutiques
  • TerraCycle collection points in retail partner locations around the US
  • Via UPS through Nespresso’s mail-back program in the continental 48 states.

Even K-Cup coffee comes in #5 plastic recyclable pods. However, there is little evidence that K-Cup used plastic pods are ever recycled.

So, here Nespresso wins. Even then, there is evidence of many pods tossed in the garbage, and most people avoid recycling and prefer new Keurig instead.

FAQs: Nespresso coffee makers vs Keurig

Can Nespresso make iced coffee?

YEAH! Nespresso can make iced coffee.
Summer is fast approaching, and everyone hunts ways to stay cool. Your countertop Nespresso machine will come to your rescue. You may be wondering how.
Prepare iced coffee. With your favorite Nespresso capsule, extract the coffee into a cup filled with ice. Add cold water, milk, cream, or the ice cream of your choice. It is cold enough to lower the temperature.

Are Nespresso pods the same size as K-Cups?

No, Nespresso pods are not the same size as K-cups.
K-cups and Nespresso capsules are different in shape and size. Nespresso cups are shaped like a small dome, while K-cups are large and square.
K-cups are designed for Keurig coffee machines; however, Nespresso machines do not work with cups other than their proprietary capsules. Both are recyclable for a more environmentally friendly approach.

Can you make espresso in a Keurig?

The Keurig machine comes in a wide range, but there aren’t enough espresso machines. The KeurigRivo is the only type of Keurig machine that makes espresso.
It applies the intense pressure that K-cups require to brew a rich espresso. The machine is a bit expensive, but it produces a worthy espresso.

Are Nespresso pods and K-Cups interchangeable?

The answer is no. Nespresso and Keurig are two different brands with totally different mechanisms. Hence, K-cups won’t fit in Nespresso’s cramped space, and vice versa.
Nespresso is only compatible with capsules made by Nespresso, but you can sometimes use K-cups on other machines.

Is a Nespresso better than a Keurig?

Yes, Nespresso is better than Keurig. We have tested both Nespresso and Keurig with 7 parameters and in most of the tests, Nespresso is a winner.
Remember, both Nespresso and Keurig have their strengths and cater to different preferences. Nespresso machines tend to be known for producing espresso-based beverages with a higher-quality flavor profile, while Keurig machines offer a wider variety of drink options, including regular coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

Is Keurig K cup the same as Nespresso?

No, Keurig K-cups and Nespresso capsules are not the same. They are specific to each brand and are designed to be compatible only with their respective machines. Keurig K-cups are used with Keurig machines, while Nespresso capsules are used with Nespresso machines.

Can Nespresso be used in Keurig?

No, Nespresso capsules cannot be used in Keurig machines. Nespresso and Keurig have different capsule designs and brewing mechanisms, so they are not interchangeable.

How is Nespresso different from coffee?

Nespresso refers to a brand of single-serve coffee machines that brew coffee from specially designed capsules containing pre-portioned ground coffee. Nespresso machines use a high-pressure brewing system to extract the flavors from the coffee, resulting in a concentrated and flavorful cup. Regular coffee, on the other hand, can be brewed using various methods like drip brewing, French press, or pour-over, and doesn’t rely on pre-packaged capsules.

Is Nespresso considered luxury coffee?

Nespresso is often associated with premium quality and is positioned as a higher-end coffee brand. While Nespresso does offer a range of high-quality coffee options, whether it is considered a luxury coffee brand is subjective and depends on individual tastes and perceptions.

Why is Nespresso considered special?

Nespresso is considered special for several reasons. Some of the factors that contribute to its appeal include the convenience of the single-serve capsule system, consistent quality control, wide selection of coffee flavors and intensities, and the use of high-pressure brewing technology that helps extract rich flavors and crema.

Are Nespresso pods expensive?

Nespresso pods can be relatively more expensive compared to other brewing methods like using traditional coffee grounds. The cost of Nespresso pods varies depending on the specific blend, intensity, and quantity purchased. However, it’s important to consider the convenience, quality, and overall experience that Nespresso provides when evaluating the cost.

Does Nespresso taste better than coffee?

Taste preferences vary among individuals, so whether Nespresso tastes better than regular coffee is subjective. Nespresso machines are designed to extract the maximum flavors from the coffee, resulting in a strong and concentrated cup. Some people enjoy the intense flavors and crema produced by Nespresso machines, while others prefer the subtleties of brewed coffee from different brewing methods. It ultimately depends on personal preference.

Final Thoughts: Nespresso vs. Keurig

When it is about single-serve coffee machine: Nespresso and Keurig shines bright. Both cater to different types of consumers, each with their ranges and preferences. But, I find Nespresso is the superior brand despite its minuscule share in the United States market.

But for most consumers, the choice comes down to cost vs. performance:

  • Nespresso produces high-end products.
  • Keurig’s machines and pods are less expensive.

However, it is a macro-level analysis, and each brand has varied types of brewers with more functionality at varied prices.



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