Nespresso Vs. Keurig (9 Key Differences)

Last Updated on September 13, 2021 by John Moretti

Capsule coffee machines have become very popular because you can use them to make café-quality coffee when in a hurry. Nespresso and Keurig are the most recognizable names in the coffee pod market. But what are the differences between Nespresso and Keurig?

  • Keurig is cheaper than Nespresso.
  • Nespresso’s performance is better compared to Keurig.
  • Keurig coffee pod quality is fantastic, but Nespresso narrowly edges out Keurig.
  • Keurig stands out for coffee variety because it allows you to try various types of coffee, unlike Nespresso.
  • Nespresso machines are easier to clean, but they triumph over Keurig narrowly.
  • Nespresso machines have better quality and are more reliable compared to Keurig coffee machines.
  • Nespresso machines are also more durable compared to Keurig machines.

1. Cost to Buy

  • Winner: Keurig

Keurig is the cheaper machine. Going for a Keurig machine will allow you to have an initial entry price that’s lower than Nespresso’s.

One of the first things you need to look at when it comes to the battle between Nespresso and Keurig is the price you need to pay to acquire either of these models.

Both Nespresso and Keurig have machines that can be pretty expensive, but you need to look at which model between the two has the more cost-effective price and high quality.

With Nespresso, the initial price you need to pay for the machine should be around $150 to $300, depending on the machine you buy and the capabilities and size of the device. 

On the other hand, most Keurig machines are on the affordable side of the spectrum. There are Keurig machines that cost as low as $75, but some can go for as high as $250.

2. Machine Performance

  • Winner: Nespresso

Even though Keurig caters to casual coffee drinkers, nothing beats a machine that can make great espresso. As such, the quality of Nespresso machines is on a different playing field than what Keurig offers.

Even though Keurig is the cheaper machine of the two, you still need to compare the Nespresso and Keurig brands to know which has the better machine, especially when you consider how they perform. The price doesn’t matter if there is a huge gap between the two in terms of machine performance.

Nespresso machines differ between OriginalLine and VertuoLine. OriginalLine machines are only capable of brewing espresso, while the VertuoLine machines, which are usually more expensive, can make both espresso and regular coffee.

On the other hand, Keurig machines only make regular coffee; therefore, you cannot brew real espresso using these machines because they use a drip style. Keurig machines can try to mimic espresso but not in the same way that Nespresso machines brew espresso. However, Keurig machines are user-friendly and better for casual coffee drinkers.

3. Cost Per Coffee Serving

  • Winner: Keurig

It isn’t easy to compete against the long-term savings that Keurig can offer. But going for the more expensive Nespresso is still better than the $3-4 you would pay at your coffee shop.

After buying the machines from either Nespresso or Keurig, you still need to consider that you would have to purchase the pods that come from either of these companies and their different partner brands.

Nespresso coffee pods tend to cost quite a lot. VertuoLine machines will only accept Nespresso-brand coffee pods, while OriginalLine machines can accept pods from other brands as long as they are compatible with the devices.

VertuoLine pods can cost between $0.90 to $1.25 per serving, while OriginalLine pods retail at somewhere between $0.70 to $0.85. But the pods of both lines can be purchased in bulk.

On the other hand, Keurig K-cups tend to be on the more affordable side. Most Keurig K-cups can cost you around $0.35 to $0.65, and that means that even the most expensive K-cups can be more affordable than what Nespresso has to offer.

4. Coffee Pod Quality

  • Winner: Nespresso

Coffee is not just caffeine. Coffee is also an experience that you need to savor. Nespresso delivers high-quality coffee that comes from different sources. The coffee grounds that you get from Nespresso produce amazing shots of espresso.

On the other hand, Keurig offers plenty of different types of coffee that come from all sorts of various sources. While some Keurig pods don’t have high-quality coffee, there are still some K-cups that have given me a good coffee experience. And because Keurig has plenty of partner brands, it is tough to make sure that all of those brands deliver high-quality coffee.

5. Coffee Variety

  • Winner: Keurig

I concede to the fact that Keurig just has too many varieties for any person to try, and that means that the possibilities are endless. You can try different types of coffee every day for one year before you run out of choices.

Coffee experience is one thing, but coffee variety is an entirely different topic.

Nespresso VertuoLine machines can only use Nespresso pods, and that already limits the coffee variety. Meanwhile, OriginalLine machines may use pods from different brands, but there aren’t too many brands that have partnered with Nespresso.

On the other hand, there are hundreds of different Keurig K-cup varieties coming from different brands worldwide. Some of these brands come from popular names, while some may come from unknown companies that still produce good coffee. Whatever the case may be, I can be sure that there are many Keurig varieties for me to try.

6. Cleaning

  • Winner: Nespresso

Although the standard cleaning process is similar for any kind of coffee machine, Nespresso wins by a hair because of the de-scaling mode.

Neither Nespresso nor Keurig machines clean themselves. Of course, the devices that are easier to clean tend to win a point, in my opinion, because cleaning can be time-consuming.

Regardless of what your machine may be, the point here is that you need to do three things:

  • Wipe down the machine’s exterior to clean any dirt. Use a cloth to do this.
  • Remove any of the components that can be detached, and make sure you clean them in the sink.
  • De-scale the machine from time to time and maybe once every four months using a de-scaling solution. The point of de-scaling is to remove any mineral that may have built up in the machine.

Nespresso machines usually come with a de-scaling mode that will allow the device to de-scale itself, although you still need to de-scale them from time to time.

On the other hand, Keurig machines tend to clog more quickly due to the exit needles that the devices have.

7. Machine Quality and Reliability

  • Winner: Nespresso

As stated above, Nespresso machines are superior in terms of quality and reliability, but Keurig machines are actually really fun and very intuitive to use. Keurig wins in terms of user-friendliness.

The quality and reliability of the machines are determined by more than just how they perform. It is also how they can deliver the best kind of coffee you deserve.

Nespresso machines are made to be reliable and are of high quality in terms of their overall construction. On top of that, they come with different features that will allow you to have a reliable, efficient, and effective machine no matter what you may want to do with your coffee. In that regard, Nespresso machines come with neat features that include:

  • Milk frother
  • Size selector
  • Smaller design

On top of that, Nespresso machines tend to have a more desirable look, in my opinion. In addition, I also consider Nespresso machines to be superior when it comes to delivering high-quality coffee and espresso shots.

On the other hand, Keurig machines are also reliable as they come with different features and capabilities that some can only dream of. As previously mentioned, it is easier to use a Keurig machine, and doing so is pretty fun to do, especially when it comes to the LCD screen and temperature control that Keurig machines have.

Then again, one of the things you need to consider about Keurig machines is that they are made for casual coffee drinkers and are supposed to be more affordable.

8. Durability

  • Winner: Nespresso

I don’t need to explain it any further. It’s not even close. It’s a landslide for Nespresso in this category.

When it comes to a coffee machine that you use daily, you need something durable enough to last for a very long time. After all, we are looking at these machines as investments and not just simple trinkets. 

In that regard, Nespresso machines are made and manufactured in Switzerland. These are Swiss-made machines that are designed and manufactured using European standards.

You will also feel how Nespresso machines tend to be heavier, sturdier, and denser than most other coffee machines out there. The fact that Nespresso machines feel so high-quality and durable explains why these machines are usually more expensive.

On top of that, Nespresso machines come with a two-year warranty that would ensure that you will be able to have your device replaced or fixed in case it gets damaged or is faulty within a reasonable time period.

Meanwhile, Keurig machines are made in China. While China-made machines are not poor in quality, they are still made using lower standards that involve cost-effective means to ensure that more machines are produced within a reasonable time to keep up with the public’s demand.

In line with that, Keurig machines only have a one-year warranty. And, as I have observed, more people complain about their Keurig machines after a year, but they can’t do anything about the situation because the warranty period has already lapsed.

9. Environmental Impact

  • Winner: Nespresso

Even though single-use coffee pods are never good for the environment, the amazing part about Nespresso is that they are actually finding a way to solve this problem. While Keurig still has to catch up with it.

The coffee pod industry has seen its fair share of criticism due in large part to how the pods themselves have been filling up trash bins. As such, we need to look at the environmental impact of both Nespresso and Keurig when assessing which one is better.

Nespresso coffee pods come in different materials, but most of them are made to be recyclable.

There are plenty of different Nespresso pod recycling stations around the country, as Nespresso aims to make sure that about 75% of the pods they sell are recycled. That means that the target is to see only about 25% of these pods in landfills. There are even companies that make Nespresso pods that are completely biodegradable.

On the other hand, Keurig has already been at the short end of the criticism for many years. For example, it was estimated that all of the Keurig cups buried in 2014 could encircle the entire planet more than ten times. That’s because Keurig started with cups that are not recyclable and would be immediately thrown out after use.

Then again, Keurig has since started making recyclable K-cups, but this has only started recently. Keurig has yet to solve this problem truly.


From what you can see in my discussion between Nespresso and Keurig, Nespresso won six of the different categories that I used to determine which between the two brands is better. Meanwhile, Keurig only won three categories, which involved the brand’s cost-effective machine and coffee pods and the different varieties you can get from Keurig.

That said, Nespresso wins this battle in my books as this brand seemingly knows how to deliver high-quality machines and coffee while minimizing your environmental impact. But that doesn’t mean that Keurig isn’t a brand that you should shy away from.

Even though the flaws of Keurig are evident, those are simply the costs that Keurig was willing to pay to deliver fast, affordable, and delicious coffee to the masses. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford Nespresso as price still is an issue.

So, if you don’t have the budget for Nespresso, Keurig is a great choice. Just make sure that you know that you are getting what you paid for.