Nespresso Vertuo Vs Original (Machine & Capsules Compared)

There was once a time where you had to spend an arm and a leg in order to have cafe-quality coffee at home.

The original Nespresso machines were a fantastic solution, but now that the Nespresso Vertuo machines are on the market it can be hard 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, I’ve laid out all things “Nespresso Vertuo vs. Original" in this guide below.

Nespresso VertuoLine vs Original (Key Differences)

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.  

The Winner: The Nespresso Original Line, because it has more variety and versatility, collaborating with other brands. 

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.

The Winner: The Vertuo, because there are more drink options.

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.  

The Winner: The Nespresso Original, because it uses the same extraction method as the highest-quality machines. 

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, and the Vertuo uses Nespresso Vertuoline capsules. 

Both of these Nespresso brand capsules are filled with ground coffee, but they are a bit different.

The VertuoLine machines use the barcode system on their capsules. I press one button, and it does all the adjusting of settings for me, offering a good coffee every time. 

On the Original line machines, the capsule brewing systems don't use this barcode technology.

I personally prefer customization over convenience, so I prefer the Original here. 

Once the Nespresso branded pods are placed into the coffee maker, it’s up to me to adjust all settings.

The Winner: It's easier and faster to make coffee with a VertuoLine machine, but the Original line lets you customize the beverage (intensity, thicker foam, etc.).

5. Temperatures, Crema & Frothing  

The Original line reaches very hot temperatures, just as a traditional espresso machine can.

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.

Milk frothing devices are sold separately at an additional 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).  

The Winner: The Original makes more traditional beverages with hotter temperatures and built in milk frothers on the coffee makers.

6. Price Comparison

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.

I could 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. 

The Winner: The Original Line, because I can use non-Nespresso capsules, which are oftentimes 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.
  • The original is much better, seeing as there are so many more pod options available, including decaf options. However, both are good options. 

8. Quality

Both the Vertuo and Original lines have some solid options within them. 

Generally speaking, though, the Original line has a much more ‘professional’ feel to it. 

The components tend to last longer, and the build quality of the bodies are more robust and nice to look at. 

With the Original line collaborating with high-quality brands like KitchenAid, it comes as no surprise. 

The Winner: The Original line, because it features more high-quality components, build quality, and more features (usually). 

9. Milk Frothing

This is where things are really different. 

Nespresso sells the Aeroccino wands, which can steam milk but do not create true microfilm like some of the Original models do. 

For example, the Creatista and Gran Lattissima both include real steam wands that can steam hot and cold milk the way a pro-level espresso machine can. 

The Winner: By far, the Original line wins here. The Vertuo line doesn’t even come with steam wands. 

10. Taste

Overall, the taste doesn’t vary too much between the two when just drinking regular, ol’ coffee. 

However, I’m an espresso lover and nothing compares to the Original line in that regard. 

The Original line is head-and-shoulders above the Vertuo line when it comes to espresso. 

Not to mention, I can try a wider variety of pod brands and flavors in the Original models. 

The Winner: The Original line, because it’s much more authentic in making espresso, and lets me try non-Nespresso pods with a greater variety of flavors. 

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

Vertuoline Coffee Pods Vs Original Nespresso Coffee Pods

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.  

Which Nespresso Machine Is Best For You?

It all comes down to convenience and budget here. 

For the espresso lover, there’s simply no better option than a machine from the Original line. 

For the person who’s always on the go and doesn’t want to have to mess with the settings on a coffee machine, the Vertuo line is ideal. 

The Original line is overall more high-quality and has a ‘premium’ feel to everything about it. 

It also allows for more variety in the kinds of coffees brewed. 


Both the Original and Vertuo Nespresso lines are popular in today’s world, but they cater to very different coffee personalities.

The Vertuo is quick and easy, while the Original takes time to brew an expertly-crafted cup every time.

If not for the budget, I highly recommend the Original line!



Kayla Stavridis

Head of Marketing

Kayla Stavridis
Kayla Stavridis is a coffee enthusiast and Head of Marketing for Barista HQ. She blends her professional insights and experience with a deep passion for all things coffee. Kayla offers a unique, hands-on perspective on coffee culture and trends. 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.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... Cold Brew

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