Nespresso Vertuo Vs Original (Machine & Capsules Compared)

The original Nespresso machines were a great alternative to expensive espresso machines, but now Nespresso Vertuo machines are on the market you might be struggling to choose between them. 

The Nespresso Original and the Nespresso Vertuo machines are both top models with the Nespresso brand, but there are some key differences. 

To help make it easy for you to choose, we’ve covered all things “Nespresso Vertuo vs. Original" in our guide below to make sure you pick the machine that best suits your coffee needs! 

1. Machine Design & Varieties  

With the Original line, you get 8 base models and 12 different products. Starting at the compact “Pixie” all the way up to the bean-to-cup, robust “Lattissima,".

There is more variation with the Nespresso Original machine line because many are made by other companies (DeLonghi, Kitchenaid, etc.).  

The Nespresso VertuoLine machines are all made by Nespresso, solely. Perhaps due to this or the fact that it’s a much newer line, it only consists of 3 models: Vertuo, VertuoPlus, and the Evoluo. 

This line is likely to get some other models in the future; however, the current 3 Nespresso Vertuo machine options are all quite similar in appearance and function.  

2. Types of Drinks Possible  

Aside from looks, this may be the biggest difference between the two lines.

Vertuo machines, and the Vertuo Nespresso capsules produce drinks in 5 sizes:

  • An espresso
  • 2.7oz double espresso
  • 5oz gran Lungo
  • 8oz coffee
  • 14oz Alto XL

Original espresso machines produce 3 different sizes:

  • 0.7oz ristretto
  • 1.4oz espresso
  • 3.7oz Lungo

Espresso lovers who enjoy all espresso based drinks will do well with the Original line. The Vertuo is the perfect coffee machine for coffee lovers who want the choice of short or large coffees.

3. Extraction Method  

The extraction method of the VertuoLine machines uses "centrifusion technology," where they spin the capsules at ultra-high speeds to create a thick crema to top off your coffee.

Nespresso Originals use a more traditional method to extract with high temperatures and water pressure.

The Nespresso Original method is the same type used with a pro-level espresso maker, making it ideal for those who appreciate an authentic espresso taste and richness over anything else.  

4. Brew Time & Control  

All Nespresso coffee makers use coffee capsules or espresso pods. The Original line can be used with Nespresso Original coffee capsules or other coffee capsules, whereas the Vertuo uses Nespresso Vertuoline capsules. 

Both of these Nespresso brand capsules are filled with ground coffee, but they work slightly differently. 

The VertuoLine machines use the barcode system on their capsules. This lets you just press one button, and it does all the adjusting of settings for you, offering an excellent coffee beverage every time. 

On the Original line machines, the capsule brewing systems don't use this barcode technology. Once you've put the Nespresso branded pods into the coffee makers you'll need to configure the settings yourself. 

It's easier and faster to make coffee with a VertuoLine machine, but the Original line lets you customise the beverage, so it's better for a coffee drinker who wants more control (with more richness, thicker foam, etc.).

5. Temperatures, Crema & Frothing  

The Original line reaches very hot temperatures, just as a traditional espresso machine could. With the Vertuo, temperatures aren't quite as high due to the thick crema layered over drinks, along with the fact that the machines use cold milk for frothing.

The VertuoLine models don't come with built-in milk frothing equipment. You can purchase milk frothing devices separately but this adds to the price. Not all Original models some with milk frothers, but the Creatista and Lattissima, both come with built-in frothers (though they are also a bit more expensive).  

When it comes to Nespresso Vertuoline vs Original Nespresso machine - the Original lets you make more traditional beverages with hotter temperatures and built in milk frothers on the coffee makers. 

6. Price & Running Costs

The Original line models are more affordable to buy and run than the VertuoLine.

There's more choice and availability on the Original line espresso machine models and you could even buy a few of their most affordable models (the Pixie, Essenza, or Citiz from the Original line) with an Aeroccino milk frother, and it would still come out more affordable than most VertuoLine models. 

It's more expensive to run a Nespresso VertuoLine vs Original line because with the Original, you can use non-Nespresso capsules, which oftentimes are much more affordable.   

7. Best For Specific Types Of Coffee 

  • Espresso
    Both produce espresso, but the better tasting, more authentic espresso will be from the Original line. 
  • Americano
    For an Americano, a Vertuo is simpler, but an Original is more authentic. To make an Americano, you need espresso and hot water. With a Vertuo, you could make one with an espresso capsule. With an Original, you could make the espresso and add your own hot water afterward. The Original machines tend to produce slightly more authentic espresso, so while it takes an extra step or two, it’s worth it.
  • Cappuccino
    This is pretty much the same answer as the “espresso” point. Both can make good cappuccinos, but the Original machines tend to offer the more traditional methods, consistency, and flavor. 

Which Is Better: Nespresso Vertuo Or Original Coffee Makers?

We've gone through some of the main differences above, but which is actually better for making coffee beverages? Unfortunately, there's no clear answer to this and the coffee community has a split opinion.

However, here's who we think would benefit the most from each: 

The Nespresso Original Line is best for: 

  • People with a tighter budget 
  • People who prefer authentic tasting coffee and enjoy short, hotter coffee beverages like an espresso or double espresso
  • People who want more control over the brewing and enjoy using attachments like milk frothers to make espresso based drinks

The Nespresso Vertuo Line is best for: 

  • Those who want a compact coffee maker 
  • People who want quick and easy coffee and lots of choices
  • People who enjoy larger coffee options, not just espressos and shorts
nespresso machine comparison

Using Coffee Pods or Capsules  

Currently, there are around 23 varieties of flavors under the bar code system that the Vertuo line. The Original line does not utilize this technology.

However, you can still use the pods so long as you adjust the settings yourself. Just remember that you, unfortunately, cannot use Original Nespresso pods in a VertuoLine machine.  

The Original line capsules cost around $0.70 to $0.85 per capsule, while VertuoLine capsules are around $0.90 to $1.25 per capsule.

 However, there are many third-party capsules that you can use with the Original line that are as little as $0.35 per capsule!  

However, one thing to note when it comes to Vertuo vs Original capsules it that Original Nespresso-compatible capsules only come in one size, so if you make a larger drink, it’s going to be a bit weaker. 

In contrast, Vertuo pods come in 5 sizes: Alto, Mug, Gran Lungo, Double Espresso, and Espresso.  

Overview of the Nespresso VertuoLine  

The VertuoLine is definitely a model geared more toward the North American market, where bigger coffees are much more popular than smaller ones like espresso.[1

The brewing process with these is quite a bit different from the traditional models, which use a pressure-based system. 

On the VertuoLine, they have a spinning system called “centrifusion," where hot water is pushed into the capsule and spun rapidly to infuse the water with coffee. This creates a thicker, more luxurious crema and is also quieter! 

If you place a lot of value on convenience, you’ll love the VertuoLine machines, which have a system where each pod comes with a barcode. 

nespresso virtuo coffee machine

When inserted into the device, the pod’s barcode is registered to ensure it's brewed to just the right size, heat level, and strength. Of course, with five different brew sizes, you have quite a few choices, too.  

You may be wondering, “Why did Nespresso add a barcode scanning system to their VertuoLine machines?" Well, you have two reasons. One, this makes it so much easier to use the machine by taking out the guesswork. 

You can just place the capsule inside the machine, press a button, and it applies all the right settings to give you a “perfect” drink.

Not only that, but as Nespresso’s barcode scanner only works with Nespresso capsules, it makes it more exclusive to just that brand.   

What We Like 
  • 5 cup sizes 
  • Customizable footprint/adjustable water tank 
  • Heats up fast 
  • Very easy to use 
  • Free pod recycling program 
What We Don’t 
  • Only compatible with Vertuo coffee pods  
  • A bit bulky 

Overview of the Nespresso Original Line  

If you love a good espresso, frothy cappuccino or luxurious latte, you’ll want to look into the Nespresso Original. 

This line also uses capsules, which are quick and easy to use. The Original only offers three brew options, however: a 0.7oz ristretto, 1.4oz espresso, and 3.7oz lungo. 

Not only that, but it doesn’t use the barcode system that the VertuoLine does. This means that your world is suddenly opened up to many more beverage options, as you no longer have to go with just official Nespresso capsules.  

The Nespresso Original brewing process is the “old-fashioned method” that simply applies pressure and hot water through a pump inside the machine. This makes it similar to pressurized drip coffee.

nespresso original

This creates a very rich, flavorful coffee beverage that is perhaps of better quality due to the higher temperatures and more efficient extraction. 

Moreover, they feature a built-in frother which means you can customize that froth how you like it.  

If you’re the type of person who would love to have a top-of-the-line espresso machine but don’t have the budget or space for it, this is a great alternative.

The Original machines also tend to be more affordable, which is one of the reasons why they’re so popular.   

What We Like 
  • Very convenient 
  • More authentic, flavorful drinks 
  • More variety 
  • Affordable 
  • Easy to use/little guesswork 
What We Don’t 
  • Not ideal if you like drinking large coffees 
  • You’ll still have to adjust settings depending on the type of drink you want 

Common Questions About Nespresso Machines

How long should a Nespresso Vertuo last?  

Anywhere between 5 and 10 years, depending on how well you maintain it.  

How long should a Nespresso Original last?  

These are also estimated to last between 5 and 10 years.  

Why is my Nespresso VertuoLine so loud?  

First off, you should know that the size of the machine does affect how loud it is. Larger machines will be a bit louder, but most of the time, if you feel your VertuoLine is "loud," it is due to other factors. The most common reason for this is scale.

Make sure you're regularly descaling the machine and ensure it has enough water when you use it.  

What is the main difference between the Vertuo & VertuoPlus?

The VertuoPlus has an adjustable water tank that can rotate to sit on either side of the machine, or in the back.

This can make it easier to sit on the countertop or table if your space is more compact.  

Where can I buy these machines at cheap prices?  

Your best bet for scoring these machines at low prices is by either going to the Nespresso website or heading to Amazon.  


We hope that by now you know what is the difference between Nespresso Vertuo and Original machines. But also know that no matter which one you choose, we're sure you'll enjoy it.

Nespresso machines are only expanding due to their convenience and great flavor. Thanks for tuning in, and we'll see you again soon! 



Kayla Stavridis

Kayla Stavridis

Kayla Stavridis is the Head of Marketing here at Barista HQ. While keeping up-to-date on the latest trends in coffee, you can find her sipping a cold brew with just a touch of milk on the beach in the afternoon and a Corona with lime in the evening. She is passionate about keeping you informed about what’s new in coffee.

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