Keurig vs Nespresso – The Best Single Serve Coffee Machine

Keurig vs Nespresso – The Best Single Serve Coffee Machine
We put these Keurig and Nespresso single serve coffee machines through a series of tests to find out which coffee machine gives you the best bang for your buck. Keurig’s overall price point and practicality made it our choice for the best single serve coffee machine.

In our fast-paced world, the convenience of a single serve coffee maker is exactly what we all need in our lives. The days of drip coffee seem to be coming to an end as we’re moving towards a more efficient way to get our morning coffee.

Most single serve coffee machines follow the same simple process. You begin with a pod lined with filter paper that contains ground coffee and is sealed with foil. You place the pod inside the machine and close the lid which pierces the foil and water is pumped through a narrow needle to increase the pressure. The hot water is pumped through the pod, which drips back down through a bigger hole in the center. The filter catches the coffee grounds and the coffee drips into the cup below. You then open the machine and dispose of the pod, although some pods offer more than one use which we will get into later.

Preview
Our Pick
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 To 10 Oz. Brew Sizes, Black
Nespresso by De'Longhi ENV135S Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine by De'Longhi, Silver
Title
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
Nespresso Coffee and Espresso Machine
Prime
Price
$79.00
$129.35
Our Pick
Preview
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Brewer, 6 To 10 Oz. Brew Sizes, Black
Title
Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
Prime
Price
$79.00
Details
Preview
Nespresso by De'Longhi ENV135S Vertuo Evoluo Coffee and Espresso Machine by De'Longhi, Silver
Title
Nespresso Coffee and Espresso Machine
Prime
Price
$129.35
Details

Why We Chose Keurig and Nespresso

Keurig and Nespresso are among the top-rated brands competing for your counter space. Their various models are often in the top 10 of any websites comparisons and their machines are sold in almost every home goods store throughout the nation. Unlike most coffee machines, Nespresso even has its own “boutiques” as well as pop-up shops in various department stores like Bloomingdales.

The Keurig brand is the current front runner in the market for single cup coffee machines, but there is something about the aesthetically pleasing and gourmet appeal of Nespresso that peaked our interest to do our own testing. Does functionality and cost beat the glamour? We’ll find out.

Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
  • BREWS MULTIPLE K-CUP POD SIZES: (6, 8, 10 oz.) - the most popular K-Cup pod brew sizes. Use the 6oz brew size to achieve the strongest brew.
  • LARGE 48 oz. WATER RESERVOIR: Allows you to brew 6+ cups before having to refill, saving you time and simplifying your morning routine. The water reservoir is removable, making it easy to refill whenever you need to.
  • DESCALING: An important part of cleaning your Keurig brewer. This process helps to remove calcium deposits, or scale, that can build up inside a coffee maker over time.
Sale
Nespresso Coffee and Espresso Machine
  • VERSATILE AUTOMATIC COFFEE MAKER: Brew different single-serve Coffee cup sizes at the touch of a button depending on your Coffee needs - Espresso (1.35 oz.), Double Espresso (2.7 oz.), Gran Lungo (5 oz.), Coffee (7.7 oz.) and Alto (14 oz.). Pour over ice to create your favorite iced Coffee drinks. Designed for use with Nespresso Vertuo capsules.
  • SMART COFFEE MAKER: Brew the perfect single-serve Coffee or Espresso drink time after time, thanks to Nespresso's Centrifusion (TM) technology using barcodes to deliver the best in-cup results including the perfect crema for large Coffee cup sizes. Simply insert the capsule and enjoy freshly brewed Coffee or authentic Espresso.
  • SINGLE SERVE COFFEE MACHINE: Create barista-grade brewed single-serve Coffee or Espresso at the touch of a single button. The one-touch button mechanism delivers the best in-cup result for whatever style Coffee or Espresso drink you choose. Designed for use with Nespresso Vertuo capsules only.

Pricing

The Keurig machine is less than half the price of the Nespresso machine. The Keurig K40 is about $70 and the Nespresso ENV135S is closer to $150. Not only is the overall cost of the machine important, but the price per cup is something to strongly take into account.

Keurig partners with over 60 different brands resulting in a huge variety of options for k-cups in terms of prices and flavors. You can even purchase the Starbucks brand of k-cups to make your own pumpkin spice latte this fall from the comfort of your home. Nespresso on the other hand only uses specific Nespresso pods, limiting your choices.The price for k-cups varies drastically by brand, pack size, and where you purchase them, but generally you’re looking at anywhere between 30 cents to one dollar per cup depending on what exactly you’re looking for.

Nespresso offers 5 different pods that vary in ounce size and flavor. Nespresso options include: espresso (1.35oz), double espresso (2.7oz), Gran Lungo (5oz), Coffee (7.77oz), and Alto XL (14oz). These pods on the Nespresso website range from 85 cents to $1.20. They include your standard types of coffee and flavors: vanilla, caramel, Columbian, etc.

You can purchase combination packs of 30 and 50 on amazon ranging from $33 to $42.50

Both brands offer options to purchase refillable and reusable coffee pods, so you theoretically could buy your favorite ground coffee, as well as this accessory, and have the best of both worlds. Keurig’s lower cost and greater variety gives it the edge here.

Winner: Keurig

Bestseller No. 1
The Original Donut Shop Keurig Single-Serve K-Cup Pods, Regular Medium Roast Coffee, 72 Count
  • NOTE: This is a medium roast Extra Bold coffee, Extra Bold (contains more coffee than regular K Cup pods). Extra Bold does not pertain to the roast profile of the coffee. while using please pre puncture the bottom of the K Cup by lightly pressing down on it when placing it in the pod holder
  • Not too harsh, not too bitter just right
  • Extra bold (contains more coffee than regular K Cup pods)
Bestseller No. 2
96 Count Variety (10 Amazing Blends), Single-serve Cups for Keurig K-cup Brewers - Premium Roasted Coffee (Variety, 96 Compatible with 2.0)
  • COMPATIBLE WITH ALL KEURIG 1.0 AND 2.0
  • 96 cups in 10 Unique Blends of Premium Roasted Coffee
  • Carefully Selected Excellent Highest Quality Beans blended for richness, and flavor - KOSHER CERTIFIED
Bestseller No. 3
McCafe Premium Roast Keurig K Cup Coffee Pods, 84 Count (Pack of 1)
  • One box of McCafe Premium Roast Medium Coffee K-Cup Pods
  • McCafe Premium Roast Medium Coffee K-Cup Pods let you enjoy the McCafe experience at home or at work
  • Medium roast coffee delivers a smooth, balanced flavor

How We Tested

The price differences between the two brands is relatively significant; you will definitely be spending more money per cup of coffee if you go the Nespresso route. But what does that say about quality? We did some testing to find out.

Nespresso Keurig
Price of machine $148.99 (amazon) $69.99 (amazon)
Ounces 7.7 8
Time to Make Cup 1 minute 35 seconds 2 minutes 27 seconds (includes heat up process)
Temperature 141.8°F 163.4°F
Pod Used Vanizio Donut Shop
Price per cup $1.10 $0.60

Time and Noise Level

Beginning with the Keurig, you hit the power button and it takes approximately one minute and thirty seconds to heat up. Once this is done the various cup sizes light up blue, meaning your machine is ready for you to insert a pod. You lift up the handle and place your pod inside and close the lid. The various cup sizes of 6, 8, and 10 ounces will begin flashing blue and you can select your size. This will begin your brewing process. The 8 ounce or medium size took approximately 57 seconds to brew. After this you can immediately brew your next cup by lifting up the hatch and removing your used pod and placing in another one, (or for a cup not as strong cup you could reuse your last pod).

The sound level was overall relatively quiet, the initial uptake of the water was the loudest part, which only lasts about 8-10 seconds. The machine was very easy to use and self-explanatory, and received a very hot cup of coffee in under a minute.

The Nespresso machine eliminates the initial heat up process, as well as choosing a size. The size is predetermined with the various pod flavors and options. To begin you turn the lock handle to the right and the lid will pop up. Insert the pod, close the lid, and turn the lock handle to the left. The button on top of the lid will light up once it is locked and this will begin the brewing process. The Vanizio pod we chose to use took about one minute and thirty-five seconds to brew for 7.7 ounces. Once you’re done you unlock the hatch and open the lid and the pod falls back into the right side where it remains until the right-side container is full or the user chooses to empty it. A cleaning component is added to the Nespresso machine due to the dumping of the pods into the container. The hole in the pod causes small coffee grounds to fall out, as well as any remaining liquid, and this will require additional cleaning occasionally.

The sound level is comparable to the Keurig in that it isn’t very loud except for the initial startup process.

In regard to time, both coffee machines will give you a cup of coffee quickly, but the Nespresso machine is slightly faster because there is no initial heating process before size selection as there is for the Keurig.

Time and Noise Winner: Nespresso

Design

Nespresso coffee machine.

Both single serve coffee machines offer a modern aesthetic, however the Nespresso clearly takes it to a whole new level. It looks more than just modern, as it looks elegant and elevates the appeal of your kitchen. The Keurig, while not ugly by any means, does not scream luxury as it has a very simplistic design.

Design Winner: Nespresso

Functionality

The functionality and overall ease of use is relatively the same for the two machines, but we would say the Keurig is slightly more user-friendly. The locking mechanism and the fact that there isn’t a power button on the Nespresso machine may be confusing for some people.

One of the major differences between the two coffee machines is the Keurig’s ability to produce more than just coffee. If you just want a hot cup of water for tea, hot chocolate, or soup, that is an option. You simply don’t place a pod inside and select your size, and you’ll receive a hot cup of water. If you try to do this with the Nespresso machine, you will hear the water be taken up and then nothing will happen. This versatility factor is a huge plus for the Keurig in our book.

Another notable difference is the Nespresso machines ability to produce foam. There is a slight layer of froth with every cup, whereas the Keurig cannot produce foam. That being said if you’re someone who doesn’t like foam, you would not want the Nespresso machine. On the other hand, if you do, you could go with the Nespresso or purchase a frother machine as an add-on to your Keurig.

Functionality Winner: Keurig

The Best Single Serve Coffee Machine

Keurig coffee machine

While we thoroughly enjoyed both coffee machines, the Keurig’s superior price point, better variety of k-cups (pods), and its versatility to make more than just coffee make it our pick for the best single serve coffee machine.

Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
  • BREWS MULTIPLE K-CUP POD SIZES: (6, 8, 10 oz.) - the most popular K-Cup pod brew sizes. Use the 6oz brew size to achieve the strongest brew.
  • LARGE 48 oz. WATER RESERVOIR: Allows you to brew 6+ cups before having to refill, saving you time and simplifying your morning routine. The water reservoir is removable, making it easy to refill whenever you need to.
  • DESCALING: An important part of cleaning your Keurig brewer. This process helps to remove calcium deposits, or scale, that can build up inside a coffee maker over time.

Maintaining Your Single Serve Coffee Machine

Coffee beans and cup of coffee.

With all the use you’ll be getting out of your new coffee maker, you may find that over time an accumulation of hard water deposits will appear or your machine is running a little slow. But rest assured that cleaning your machine is as easy as using it.

How to clean your single serve coffee maker

  1. Start by unplugging your machine and taking off all the removable pieces. These pieces can be washed with warm water and soap and left to air dry.
  2. Use a damp paper towel or cloth to clean the outside of your machine to remove dust, dirt, and coffee grounds.
  3. Dry off the machine and removable pieces, reassemble the machine, and plug it back in.
  4. Fill the water tank with one half cold water and one half white vinegar. Turn the machine on and run a cycle without inserting a pod. Discard the solution and repeat until the water tank is empty.
  5. Wash out the water tank once more and fill it with only cold water. Run through a cycle without a pod and repeat until there is no smell or sign of vinegar.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to speed up your morning routine by purchasing a single serve coffee maker, either machine will get the job done in just minutes. While the elegant design and the froth from the Nespresso were nice touches, we valued the low cost and versatility of the Keurig even more. Either way you can’t go wrong with the luxurious Nespresso machine or the versatile Keurig machine.

Keurig K-Classic Coffee Maker
  • BREWS MULTIPLE K-CUP POD SIZES: (6, 8, 10 oz.) - the most popular K-Cup pod brew sizes. Use the 6oz brew size to achieve the strongest brew.
  • LARGE 48 oz. WATER RESERVOIR: Allows you to brew 6+ cups before having to refill, saving you time and simplifying your morning routine. The water reservoir is removable, making it easy to refill whenever you need to.
  • DESCALING: An important part of cleaning your Keurig brewer. This process helps to remove calcium deposits, or scale, that can build up inside a coffee maker over time.