Whether you’re looking for a better-tasting brew, a wider variety of drink options, or are looking for an easier way to make your daily cup of joe, there are plenty of alternatives to Nespresso machines that can help you create easy and delicious coffee drinks. While they’re all capable of making espresso-based beverages using convenient pods, they differ in their milk frothing methods and the extras they provide — like pre-programmed options and a variety of brew styles to choose from. Scroll on for five options that are all highly rated by Amazon reviewers.
What To Consider When Choosing An Espresso Pod Machine
Nespresso alternative machines use coffee pods for easy, pre-portioned prep ideal for rushed mornings. However, some machines are compatible with pods and ground coffee to give you more versatility in the types of beverages you brew — which can be especially useful for households with multiple coffee drinkers. These machines are available in both compact and full-size options and have a variety of special features, such as customizable cup sizes and separate hot water dispensers. As with most things, the more features it has, the more of an investment it will likely be.
Additionally, if you’d like delicious lattes and cappuccinos, you’ll need a way to make steamed or frothed milk. Some machines use milk pods for maximum convenience, or you can opt for manual frothers that give you more control or automatic frothers that deliver it straight to the cup for you (like you’ll find on most Nespresso machines).
With these factors in mind, scroll on for the best alternatives to Nespresso machines and take your coffee bar to the next level.
1. The Overall Best Capsule Machine For Coffee & Specialty Drinks
Boasting over 19,000 reviews and earning an overall 4.7-star rating, the Keurig K-Cafe is loved for creating a variety of delicious coffee-shop-style drinks with easy-to-use K-cups. It makes concentrated shots, and the metal frothing pot on the side steams and froths hot or cold milk for your creations. Plus, it can make regular coffee, tea, and hot chocolate in cup sizes ranging from 6 to 12 ounces. There’s also a strong brew button for those who like a bolder cup of coffee. What’s more, you can use any K-cup pod in the machine (including reusable pods), so the opportunities for different flavors and roasts are endless.
A rave review: “We have tried a number of coffee makers over the years and this one is by far the most superior one with the most options for types of coffee. For us, the nespresso machine was a bit limiting in types of coffee. […] This Keurig is sooo easy and allows my husband to make regular coffee and me to make espresso within minutes of each other. We have also been VERY impressed with the frother. The cold frothed milk is awesome and I use it for my kids often.”
Coffee: K-cups | Dimensions: 12.5 x 15.3 x 11.7 inches (height x width x depth)
2. This One-Stop Espresso Machine With Milk & Coffee Pods
If you love the idea of making specialty brews at home but don’t want to deal with coffee grounds or milk frothers, the Dolce Gusto Genio 2 provides everything you need in neat little pods. The pressure-based system is designed to extract rich flavors and aromas from your espresso, and the brand uses milk pods to produce hot or over-ice lattes, cappuccinos, and more. Plus, each pod has an indicator on the top that shows you the optimal brew strength to set on the machine. The compact design makes it easy to store, and the unit includes a convenient used capsule bin to keep on the side. When you’re ready to recycle your pods, you can request a box from the company, and they’ll send you a pre-paid box to send back. One detail worth noting: While the brand offers 15 coffee roast and flavor options, reviewers indicate that they are only available online.
A rave review: “This machine is easy to use and creates a wonderful drink. We’ve had espresso, cappuccino, coffee, and macchiato… all have been great.”
Coffee: Nescafé Dolce Gusto capsules | Dimensions: 11.7 x 6.5 x 10.8 inches (height x width x depth)
3. This Machine That Works With K-Cups, Nespresso Cups & Coffee Grounds
This versatile three-in-one espresso machine lets you use your favorite K-cups, Nespresso pods, or ground coffee to create your perfect brew. It has a two-sided design for both large and smaller cups and will brew varying amounts of espresso (1.35, 2.7, or 5 ounces) or coffee (8, 10, or 14 ounces). When you’re brewing with K-cups or ground coffee, you can select the bold button if you like a stronger brew. Plus, the large 56-ounce reservoir can make a bunch of drinks before it needs to be refilled. This one doesn’t have a milk frother included in the design, but the best-selling Zulay Kitchen milk frother is an easy add-on — and it’s just $15.
A rave review: “I love my coffee! But unfortunately my counter space was just getting cluttered with so many different types of coffee machines! I knew I had to do some thing and when I saw this three and one machine I jumped right on it. I can make my Keurig coffee, my Nespresso, and regular drip coffee all in one machine”
Coffee: Nespresso pods, K-Cups, ground coffee | Dimensions: 13.8 x 10 x 11 inches (height x width x depth)
4. This Versatile Brewing Machine With A Hot Water Dispenser
For a machine that can brew a wide range of styles and sizes, consider the Ninja DualBrew. Not only can it make delicious coffee and espresso drinks from K-Cups and grounds, but it can brew from 6 ounces all the way up to a 12-cup carafe. A hot/cold milk frother on the side is great for all of your lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos, while a separate hot water dispenser comes in handy when making tea, hot chocolate, and even oatmeal. Plus, it boasts a surprisingly small footprint despite all of its capabilities.
A rave review: “Traded my Nespresso Vertuo for this and I do not regret it! I love that it can switch between k cups and grounds and also has its own hot water spout for teas or hot chocolate.”
Coffee: K-Cups, ground coffee | Dimensions: 15.54 x 11.39 x 9.13 inches (height x width x depth)
5. This Inexpensive Espresso Machine That’s Known For Its Rich Flavor
Lavazza fans love the rich and flavorful taste of the brand’s capsules, with one reviewer writing, “Absolutely the best tasting espresso I’ve ever had!” This mini single-serve espresso machine is compatible with both Blue and Expert series Lavazza capsules and keeps the process simple with just two buttons to brew either single or double shots of espresso. It has removable cup support to accommodate a variety of mug and thermos sizes, a 23-ounce water tank, and a drawer for used capsules. Just keep in mind this machine doesn’t come with a milk frother, so you’ll want to grab a separate frother for making lattes and specialty drinks.
A rave review: “I really love this little espresso machine. It is simple to use, easy to clean, and delivers a lovely espresso or lungo every time with a very nice crema. I chose this machine because I don’t like the bitterness of Nespresso, and I do enjoy Lavazza coffees. It takes up a small footprint on my counter and is a perfect size for one or two people.”
Coffee: Lavazza Blue and Expert capsules | Dimensions: 13 x 5.3 x 10.2 inches (height x width x depth)
Also Consider: This Espresso Machine With A Convenient Built-In Milk Frother
While the Mr. Coffee espresso machine only uses ground coffee, it bridges the gap between customization and convenience with its pre-programmed drink settings and an automatic hot milk frother that dispenses straight into your cup. Simply turn the dial to indicate your desired steam or froth level, and the machine will do the rest. Plus, the milk reservoir can be removed to place in the fridge for safekeeping until your next brew. You can also choose between making one large beverage or two small ones at the same time, and the auto-clean button on both the machine and milk frother makes for super-easy cleaning.
A rave review: “I love the fact that this is a “one-stop” machine, meaning you select the style and size of coffee cup you desire and the machine does the rest. The other machines I looked at all had several manual steps involved…(first, grind the coffee, then make the froth, etc.). Not this machine…I am producing better than Starbucks-quality specialty coffees with the push of a button. […] I highly recommend this machine…It is fantastic!”
Coffee: Ground espresso | Dimensions: 14.3 x 13 x 10.6 inches (height x width x depth)