Nespresso vs Keurig: The ULTIMATE Comparison Guide in 2022

Coffee is a staple in most homes and offices, but buying the right coffee machine can be confusing. 

One of the most popular ways to make coffee at home today is with a Nespresso vs Keurig machine. The two main types of these machines are pod-based and capsule-based. Pod-based machines work by using small pods filled with ground coffee that you place in the machine for brewing, while capsule-based machines use capsules filled with pre-ground coffee grounds instead of pods. Both have their pros and cons!

So which one should you choose? Let’s take a look at some key factors when deciding between Nespresso vs Keurig machines to help you decide which machine is right for you!

Nespresso vs Keurig woman drinking coffee

Single-Serve Coffee

Single-serve coffee machines are popular because of their efficiency and user-friendliness.

The main reason single-serve coffee machines have taken over kitchens is they are just plain convenient. You don’t have to measure or grind anything, you just pop a pod or a capsule in and press a button.

Pod-based machines work by piercing either end of the coffee pod, heating water, and running the hot water through the pod. Single-serve coffee makers that use capsules instead puncture holes into both ends of the capsule to extract the coffee using hot water.

Keurig and Nespresso both specialize in single-serve machines and it can be difficult to decide which machine best fits your needs. So lets take a look at each of these giants in the single-serve coffee world.

Nespresso Overview

Nespresso is a Switzerland-based unit of the Nestlé Group. They are wildly popular across Europe and are quickly staking their claim in the American Market. Their main selling point has always been that their machines brew high-quality espresso that tastes better than the alternatives.

The espresso machine uses a capsule system and works by piercing both ends of the capsule to let water in. The machine then punctures a hole into the middle of the capsule, which mixes air into the coffee while it brews. This produces a thick and delicious crema on top.

Nespresso machines are extremely easy to use and require no cleanup. They have their own line of capsules that you can buy, and they are recyclable. Simply send them back to Nespresso and they will do the recycling for you.

Keurig Overview

Keurig is a Massachusetts-based company founded in 1992. They are known for their pod-based machines and have one of the largest market shares of any single-serve coffee maker company. Their main selling point has always been ease of use and simplicity, but they also tout a fast brew time and a huge selection of drinks.

Keurig machines brew with K-Cups, which are small pods filled with your choice of coffee, tea, cocoa, or other hot beverages. The machine brews the coffee by puncturing a hole into the top and bottom of the K-Cup and then pushing hot water through the contents inside.

Like Nespresso, Keurig manufactures its own brand of K-cups and partner with brands like Green Mountain Coffee, Starbucks, Lipton, and Twinings. In addition to their partner brands, there are also a number of other coffee brands that offer K-cup compatible coffee pods so if you’re looking for variety, Keurig may be your best bet.

Nespresso vs Keurig: The Main Factors to Consider

There are many similarities between these two machines, but there are also some important differences that help determine which machine is right for you! Here we will explore the main factors to consider when deciding between Nespresso vs Keurig.

The Pods

While both of these single-serve coffee machines use a pod or capsule-based technology, each works in a different way.

Keurig machines use coffee pods called K-cups that brew using hot water and a filter. The machine has two needles that puncture a hole into both ends of the K-cup and then push hot water through the coffee pod. The water flows out the bottom, and after a few minutes, you have fresh coffee ready to drink.

Keurig’s pods are recyclable, but require the user to separate the plastic pieces before recycling.

Nespresso machines use coffee capsules or “pods” that brew with punctured holes and air pressure in the machine itself. Once you insert the capsule into the machine and close the lid, the machine punctures several small holes into the capsule. The air pressure in the machine forces hot water through the capsule and into your cup below. This forceful air pressure is what produces the rich crema on top of your coffee.

Nespresso capsules are also recyclable. Simply send them back to Nespresso and they will do the recycling for you.

The Price

Keurig is the cheapest machine on this list and starts at around $99 retail price. Their machines come in a variety of styles including single-serve, multi-serve, and even office machines.

Nespresso’s models start at around twice that amount, but they also offer more stylish designs with unique features like the ability to brew espresso, automatic size adjustment, backlight indicators to make your morning routine less jarring, and in some cases, milk frothers.

Keurig is typically best for those looking for something simple and inexpensive, while Nespresso is typically better for those looking to make at-home espresso, lattes, and cappuccinos.

The Brew

As we mentioned before, a Keurig can brew a cup of coffee in about a minute and offers a wide variety of beverage options. This also means that the quality of the different coffees you can use in a Keurig can vary greatly.

Nespresso, on the other hand, brews a cup of coffee in about 25-30 seconds and is only compatible with its own coffee capsules. This means every cup of Nespresso coffee will be consistently high quality.

While you can find plenty of K-cups compatible with Keurigs that are independently owned coffeeshops or smaller brands, many of them aren’t as high quality as the coffee you’d get from Nespresso.

The Impact

Both of these companies create single-serve coffee in recyclable pods. While the technology behind these coffee machines is slightly different, their overall impact on the environment is similar.

That said, Nespresso has the edge when it comes to environmental impact. Nespresso features both a AAA Sustainable Quality program as well as its very own recycling program.

While K-cups are recyclable you have to remove the aluminum top, discard the coffee grounds and paper filters, and then clean out the plastic cup before recycling it. In short, recycling K-cups is kind of a pain and the majority of people are unlikely to do it.

Other Factors to Consider

Cost Per Serving

Keurig wins this one, hands down. If you just want your morning dose of caffeine and aren’t picky about coffee quality or having an espresso option, Keurig is less expensive per cup.

Ease Of Cleaning

When it comes to ease of cleaning, Nespresso is the clear winner. Keurig’s K-cups are difficult to clean and the base of the machine can get clogged with calcium deposits. Nespresso machines, on the other hand, offer a self-cleaning cycle that takes just 10 minutes and is more thorough than many dishwasher cycles

Our Favorite Nespresso Machines

Nespresso Lattissima

The Lattissima from Nespresso is an all-in-one luxury machine that will automatically brew and eject your espresso capsule in less than 60 seconds. It features an easy setup with 6 pre-programed buttons to get you started with ease. You can have a creamy latte, macchiato, cappuccino, warm milk, espresso, or Coffee at the touch of a button.

The Lattissima comes with an automatic milk frother that can create creamy foam in less than a minute to perfectly compliment your espresso shot, cappuccino or latte, for an unmatched taste experience. Moreover, the detachable water tank holds up to 34 oz of water so you do not have to refill it every time you want to have a cup of espresso.

Finally, this machine features a sliding drip tray to accommodate different cup or glass sizes and a removable milk container with an included rinsing function.

Nespresso Vertuo

Like the Lattissima, the Vertuo will brew a variety of coffee beverages. It requires a little more work, but at a fraction of the price, it just may be worth it.

Nespresso Vertuo’s patented Centrifusion technology makes sure that each drink has the perfect balance of aromatic oils, delivering high quality at the push of a button. It brews a traditional cup of coffee, an espresso shot, and it can even create frothy milk for lattes using the Aeroccino milk frother.

The machine takes only about 1 minute to heat up. It also features an adjustable drip tray that allows you to fit larger cups or travel mugs underneath and can brew both hot and cold drinks.

The Vertuo is designed for convenience. You can have hot or cold milk froth for your coffee recipes with one touch using the Aeroccino3 Milk Frother, and it has a built-in handle to make carrying and pouring much easier.

Click here to read our in-depth review of the different kinds of Nespresso coffee makers.

Our Favorite Keurig Coffee Makers

Keurig K-Supreme

The Keurig K-Supreme is one of our favorites in the Keurig line of single-serve coffee makers. It features multistream technology which offers more flavor extraction in every brew.

You can choose a 6, 8, 10, or 12 oz cup size with this machine. It also has a 66 oz water reservoir that is removable for easy refilling with no spills or leaks, and it accommodates a travel mug up to 7 inches tall.

Finally, It has simple button controls to select your brew size as well as strength and has a maintenance alert that reminds you to descale every 250 brews.

Keurig K-Elite

The Keurig K-Elite is the upgraded version of the K-Classic. It features a more compact design along with the same features in the K-Classic with a few added perks.

The K-Elite is capable of brewing 8, 10, or 12 oz cups using your favorite k-cups. It also comes with a 75 oz water reservoir that is removable for easy refilling.

The K-Elite has a strong brew button as well as an iced coffee setting and a hot water on-demand button.

This brewer features quiet brew technology that minimizes noise when the coffee maker is in use and the removable drip tray accommodates travel mugs up to 7.5 inches.

The K-Elite also allows you to adjust the brew temperature and features an auto-off function that will power down the machine when not in use, conserving energy.

Click here for a detailed review of the K-elite.


Is Nespresso compatible with Keurig?

No, each machine requires a different type of coffee pod. Nespresso uses capsules while Keurig uses K-cups

Does Nespresso have more caffeine than Keurig?

The amount of caffeine in your morning brew depends on the type of coffee, not how it is brewed. Both Keurig and Nespresso offer coffees with a variety of caffeine levels.

The Verdict

Nespresso is the clear winner in our book. Yes, you pay more upfront, but with its high-quality coffee and espresso, as well as the ability to make at-home specialty coffee drinks, we think choosing Nespresso might even save you money in the long run.