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Nespresso vs. Keurig: Which Is Best For You in 2024?

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Any beverage produced by Nespresso machines generally tastes better than anything made with Keurig machines. However, these machines cost more, and the pods aren’t as easy to recycle. Keep reading to learn which brand offers better machines.

I’ve owned Keurig and Nespresso machines and often ask myself, “which is better?” That inspired me to write this guide.

I’ll pit Nespresso and Keurig against each other in various categories (e.g., cost). You’ll then see who’s superior in each category.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Key Takeaways

  • Keurig machines cost $50–75 less than Nespresso machines (on average).
  • Nespresso is better for anyone who primarily drinks espresso-based beverages.
  • K-Cups pods cost up to $1.40 less per serving than Nespresso pods.
  • Current generation Keurig models make tea, hot chocolate, and black coffee, but not espresso.
  • It’s much easier to recycle K-Cups than Nespresso pods.

Which Is Better, Nespresso or Keurig?

Nespresso is better regarding taste and access to espresso. But Keurig has more pod flavors available, costs less (with pods and machine), and has easier to recycle pods.

But a lot of Americans may not feel the same way.

Keurig has much more popularity than Nespresso. 61% of single-serve machine owners in the United States used Keurig [1]. Meanwhile, 4% have Nespresso devices. All this information came from 2015, though.

And it doesn’t tell us about how popular Nespresso machines are in the rest of the world. Nor could I find any information that supports my question.

Let’s dive deeper into seeing which machine and brewing method is better.

Key Differences Between Nespresso & Keurig

Keurig wins:

  • More affordable machine and cost per serving.
  • Also able to make tea and hot chocolate.
  • Better ergonomics on some models.
  • Easier to recycle pods.

If you’re someone who’s eco-conscious, who’s on a budget, and doesn’t strictly drink coffee, opt for a Keurig machine. However, you’ll need to make sure K-Cups are available in your country. Because they’re not abundant in many parts of the world.

Nespresso wins:

  • More control over milk texture and temperature with milk frothers.
  • Able to make espresso.
  • Doesn’t taste watery and bitter.
  • Able to brew carafes of coffee with Vertuo models.
  • Machines aren’t as bulky.

Nespresso doesn’t have the best taste, but it’s better than Keurig. Making it better for anyone with a bit of extra money who wants a machine that’ll fit in compact spaces (e.g., office). And who wants a somewhat tasty beverage.


You could save money on Nespresso machines and pods by opting for second-hand machines and reusable Vertuo lids or Original pods.

This may not be enough information to help you determine which is best. I’ll do a lot more talking in a second.

Nespresso vs. Keurig

Here’s an overview of various factors to consider when pitting these brands against one-another:

Price Per Serving$0.80–$2.00$0.47–$0.60
Machine Cost$150–$300$75–$250
# of Models *28+87+
Milk Frother / Steam WandBoth on few modelsFrother on few models
Brewing MethodEspresso and black coffeeEspresso and black coffee
TasteCreamier and richerWatery and bitter
Typically Manufactured In **SwitzerlandChina

* These numbers may change at any time.

** This varies by model.

The following sections will provide more details on each area in the table above.

Let’s dive in.

1. Price per Serving

Are Nespresso or Keurig pods cheaper: Tie

Nespresso pods from each of the following lines will have these costs:

  • Original Line pods: $0.80–$2.00 each
  • Vertuo Line pods: $0.98–$1.65 each

You could use third-party brands to get cheaper Nespresso-compatible Original line pods, since this line of machines doesn’t use barcode scanning technology. For instance, I found Lavazza Maestro Intenso pods that cost $0.44 per capsule [2].

K-Cups cost $0.47–$0.60 per pod. Or you could make your own K-Cups using the reusable cup and 1–2 tablespoons of coffee grounds. This will cost $0.05–$0.20 per serving and allows you to have more variety with your coffee.

Keurig used to have other types of pods like Rivo, K-Carafe, K-Vue, and K-Mug, but these don’t exist anymore due to Keurig discontinuing their compatible machines. Capsules from these machines cost up to $2.25 per serving and would have brought Keurig down in my ranking.

With those numbers in mind, let’s see how much you’d pay a year for Keurig versus Nespresso:

Price Per ServingPrice Per Year
Coffee Shop$1.50–$5.00$547–$1,825
Nespresso Original$0.80–$2.00$292–$730
Nespresso Vertuo$0.98–$1.65$357–$602
Nespresso-compatible Pod$0.44$160
Keurig K-Cup$0.47–$0.60$171–$219
DIY Keurig$0.05–$0.20$18–$73
Reusable Nespresso Pods$0.05–$0.20$18–$73
Vertuo Lid “Refill”$0.17–$0.37$62–$135

The prices for coffee shop beverages don’t include anything specific. For instance, the price isn’t for a specific drink. As I couldn’t find coffee shop drinks that would correlate to K-Cup and Nespresso cup sizes.

Coffee shops also require you to pay for gas or electricity for your car. Then there’s car depreciation, which adds more costs to visiting a coffee shop.

The “price per year” equals drinking 1 cup of coffee daily. It doesn’t account for anyone who drinks more than 1 cup.

Opting for espresso from Nespresso machines will save you 60% per year compared to buying similar drinks at a coffee shop. More than 90% if you opt for third-party Nespresso-compatible pods.

If you want espresso, there’s no comparing the price per serving for Nespresso and Keurig. Nespresso is your only option since they produce espresso, and Keurig doesn’t.

If you want black coffee, Nespresso Vertuo pods cost 174% more than K-Cups annually. 724% if comparing them to adding your own coffee grounds to reusable K-Cups.

We’re not done.

I said both machines are a tie for price per capsule. That’s because I haven’t bought out Nespresso’s secret weapons. The reusable pods for Original line machines and additional foil lids for Vertuo machines.

I’ve seen many reviews stating the reusable pods have questionable reliability compared to reusable K-Cups. But they’re not expensive—in the long run. Otherwise, they’d have the same price as reusable K-Cups.

Some foil lid refills I’ve seen cost around $0.12 per lid. What you’d do is remove the punctured lid of your Vertuo pod, empty the grounds, and add new grounds. Then you’ll pay around $0.17–$0.37 per serving.

You’ll also need to consider the machine’s price.

Summary: A serving with a Keurig pod costs less than each Nespresso serving.

2. Machine Price

Are Keurig or Nespresso machines cheaper: Keurig

Nespresso machine prices range from $150–$300. Meanwhile, most Keurig models range from $75 to $250.

And if you want more variety with your Nespresso machines—for example, a latte—you’ll need to spend more than $80 on a separate milk frother or $300 on a Lattissima model.

Summary: Keurig machines, on average, cost less than Nespresso devices.

3. Range of Machines & Device Quality


  • For home: Nespresso
  • For business: Keurig

Nespresso has 2 lines of machines:

  • Original: Brews only espresso.
  • Vertuo: Brews black coffee and espresso.

The Original line uses smaller pods and offers around 24 flavors to brew Americanos. If it’s a model like the Lattissima One, it’ll include a milk frother. A device that allows you to froth milk to brew cappuccinos, lattes, and such.

Vertuo has 25 types of pods that’ll allow you to make black coffee or an Americano. Few machines have milk frothers. But if you’re entertaining guests, you’ll love this line of machines since many of them support brewing into carafes.

All Nespresso Original line machines will brew at 19 bars of pressure. An optimal number of bars for brewing espresso through pods. The Vertuo machines use Centrifusion technology, which allows it to brew black coffee and espresso without relying on bars of pressure.

Centrifusion technology is a brewing system that spins the capsule up to 7,000 rotations per minute to extract the coffee and create a rich, smooth crema. Or smooth black coffee.

Almost all Keurig machines, however, use 1 bar of pressure [3]. Meaning, they can’t brew espresso. As espresso requires at least 9 bars of pressure, otherwise, it’ll come out too bitter or sour.

I said “almost.” The Keurig Rivo uses 15 bars of pressure and is one of Keurig’s few devices that can brew espresso [4]. However, it’s much more expensive than even the highest-end Nespresso makers. And it’s discontinued.

Keurig has an enormous variety of machine models (87+), but almost all of them only brew black coffee. And most of the machines feel the same.

If you’re a business owner, then Keurig wins since they actually have commercial models available. Nespresso doesn’t.

They also do have more variety with pods, but not brewing methods. Making Nespresso the winner in this category.

Let’s check out a feature some of their machines have.

Summary: Keurig has more models available, but they don’t produce more than 1 type of coffee, unlike Nespresso machines.

4. Milk Frother & Steam Wand

Winner: Nespresso

Keurig has 2 models with a milk frother: Rivo and K-Café. Neither have steam wands, unlike the Nespresso Creatista from the Original and Vertuo lines.

Steam wands produce better-tasting milk because they allow you more control over your froth’s temperature and consistency.

Automatic milk frothers don’t offer such a luxury. Thus, it comes out as a lower quality. But they’re amazing for people who don’t care about the highest-quality micro- and macrofoam. However, both Nespresso lines have Lattissima models, which include built-in milk frothers.

The Lattissima models don’t offer as many buttons as the K-Café, but it produces espresso. With the K-Café, you’re mixing black coffee with milk.

The Creatista models blow any Keurig with milk frothers out of the water, since they allow you to control your milk steam’s temperature and texture levels.

Using a milk frother will require you to clean the machine, though. That’s where the next section comes into play.

Summary: Nespresso’s machines have milk frothers and steam wands. They also allow for more customizability than Keurig’s.

5. Machine Usability & Ease of Cleaning

Winner: Tied

Both machines are simple to use and clean. However, a couple Keurig models (e.g., K-Duo Plus) have actual handles on their water tanks. Making them more accessible for folks with wrist problems to grip.

Some of these models also have adjustable water tanks, which makes them easier to fit in narrow counter spaces. Or, if you have ample space, make it so you can see how much water is in the tank.

That makes it a bit easier to maintain.

Making Keurig the winner in ergonomics, on a couple of models.

In general, many Keurig machines are much heavier than Nespresso machines. Making them more of a pain to fit on your countertop or to move around.

There’s no definite winner as to which model’s easier to clean. Some models both companies offer have removable water tanks. Few will have descaling alerts, and others will have automatic frothing cleaning abilities (e.g., Nespresso Lattissima).

If this factor pushes you toward either brand, consider your needs before buying.

Here’s a factor that actually makes a difference.

Summary: Nespresso and Keurig machines are easy to use and clean. There’s no overall features or design choices that put either brand ahead.

6. Coffee Pods

image 4
Nespresso vs. Keurig: Which Is Best For You in [currentyear]? 2

Who has more variety:

  • For coffee: Keurig
  • For espresso: Nespresso

In addition to black coffee, you’ll also find Keurig pods like:

  • Hot chocolate
  • Tea
  • Decaffeinated coffee
  • Espresso (Rivo only)
  • Sweet coffee drinks

Nespresso Original capsules only provide solo espresso shots. Vertuo pods offer double espresso, black coffee, sweet (flavored) coffee drinks, and doppio (double espresso shot).

Keurig has much more variety regarding beverage types, since you could also get hot chocolate and tea. And they’ve done collaborations with many brands (e.g., Tim Hortons) to provide more of a variety.

Despite having more variety, let’s talk about how they taste.

Summary: Keurig allows you to make more beverage types, but not espresso. Nespresso is better if you’re after espresso drinks.

7. Drink Taste & Quality

Winner: Nespresso

Based on my experience, a lot of Keurig coffee that I’ve had was watery and bitter. Many other folks also agree with me. While Nespresso isn’t “authentic” espresso, it has a creamier, richer taste than anything made from K-Cups.

The black coffee from Nespresso Vertuo machines also has a stronger, creamier flavor than anything made with Nespresso. So long as you’re using official Vertuo pods.

Regarding tea and hot chocolate from Keurig, I’d instead get tea bags or hot chocolate packets. They’re cheaper and have more complex flavors.

While Nespresso outdoes its competitor in taste, it doesn’t do so in recyclability.

Summary: Taste is subjective, but in general, many people agree that anything made from Nespresso tastes better than Keurig.

9. Environmental Impact & Recyclability

Winner: Keurig

Ever since 2020, Keurig has made all their K-Cups recyclable [5]. Nespresso’s pods are also recyclable, but K-Cups have EASY-PEEL lids, which makes them easier to tear open and empty the grounds.

From there, you’d chuck the K-Cups in your recycling bin and let the government do the rest of the work. So long as your community recycles polypropylene (#5 plastic).

Nespresso’s pods are also recyclable, but they require you to drop them off at a collection point. Are you outside a major city in your state? You’re not finding a recycling point.

And if you don’t want to make your way to a recycling collection center, you’ll need to recycle them through their mail-back program or a TerraCycle collection point. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to take time out of your day to do all this.

And yeah, I said state. Almost all countries don’t have Nespresso recycling points. Making it even more inconvenient for folks outside the United States [6].

Did you read this entire guide without knowing what a Nespresso machine is? No worries.

Summary: You can throw K-Cups in recycling bins after emptying them. But not Nespresso pods.

What Is a Nespresso Machine

A Nespresso machine is a type of machine that brews espresso and coffee from coffee capsules. These pods are pre-apportioned single-use containers of ground coffee beans, sometimes with added flavorings.

The machine uses 19 bars of pressure to extract the coffee from the capsule, producing a concentrated, flavorful cup of coffee or espresso.

There are 2 main types of Nespresso machines: Original and Vertuo. Nespresso designed Original machines to brew espresso. While Vertuo machines brew espresso and larger cups of coffee.

And here’s a refresher for Keurig machines.

What Is a Keurig Machine?

A Keurig machine is a single-serve coffee maker that uses K-Cups, pre-packaged coffee pods, to brew coffee. K-Cups are small, plastic cups that contain coffee grounds and a filter.

When you insert a K-Cup into a Keurig machine, the machine pierces the cup and injects less than 1 bar of pressure of hot water through it [7]. Brewing a single cup of coffee. 

Wait. There’s another challenger in the capsule machine space that I didn’t cover.

Keurig vs. TASSIMO vs. Nespresso

A new challenger has entered the ring. Let’s compare it to Keurig and Nespresso:

Type of CoffeeEspresso and regular coffeeDrip coffeeEspresso, black coffee, tea, and hot chocolate
Flavor ProfileRich, creamyWeaker, less complexVariety of flavors
Cost Per Serving$0.80–$2.00$0.47–$0.60$0.31–$1.50
Machine Cost$150–$300$75–$250$108–$228

Before I continue, what is TASSIMO?

TASSIMO is a single-serve beverage system from France that brews a variety of hot drinks, including coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and various other coffee drinks. It uses non-reusable plastic pods, called T-Discs.

Their machines cost more, on average, than Nespresso and Keurig machines. Their pods also cost more per serving, if you don’t opt for reusable T-Discs. Regarding variety, they have more options than Nespresso, but not Keurig.

TASSIMO machines are also difficult to find outside of Europe. Making them inaccessible to most countries.

Summary: TASSIMO machines cost more and have more pods available than Nespresso. But they aren’t as affordable as Keurig. Nor do they have as many options.


If you want to make espresso, or care about decent-tasting coffee, opt for Nespresso machines. They don’t cost that much more. However, if you want more variety, and care about recyclable pods, use Keurig.

Don’t want either coffee maker? Check out other single-serve coffee machines that we recommend.

Photo of author


Tim Lee is, as you might have guessed the founder of He is a former barista and a professional web publisher. He has now combined his knowledge and expertise in both subjects to create
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