There are two different types of Nespresso coffee machine and they both take different pods. The original pods are better than the Vertuo because they cost less and you can buy compatible pods elsewhere if you want.
In this article, we will dig into the detail and explain exactly what makes each pod different from the other and how to choose the one that is the best fit for your needs.
Is Nespresso Vertuo better than Original?
We have become accustomed over time to expect a newer product to be better than an older one.
Each time a new iPhone comes out it’s better than the previous one and TV’s from 10 years ago are unrecognisable from the latest models so it’s natural to think that the same thing applies to coffee machines as well.
With some coffee machines it can be true that the latest model is more effective at making a better cup of coffee but a lot of the time it isn’t and some coffee machines that have been around for many years make a better cup of coffee than the newest model just released.
Having owned a number of Nespresso machines over the years and drunk many (many many) cups of coffee from both original and Vertuo pods it is my opinion that Vertuo pods are not better than original pods.
They may be the latest pods that Nespresso have released but they don’t deliver a better cup of coffee.
They are not any worse than original but they are not any better in terms of the quality of coffee that gets delivered into your cup.
So how do you decide on one over the other?
What’s the difference between Vertuo and Original?
There is an argument to suggest that Vertuo capsules offer an added level of convenience compared to original pods but that’s not really the case.
The Vertuo pods all have a barcode on them, are different sizes and have different amounts of coffee in so the machine knows how much water to push through them to deliver the coffee you want.
This is the amount of water the machine will use for each capsule type:
Espresso – 40ml
Double Espresso – 80ml
Gran Lungo – 150ml
Mug – 230ml
Alto – 414ml
You put the pod in, the machine reads the barcode and delivers the coffee.
None of the Vertuo machines has a milk carafe built-in so for milk-based drinks such as Cappuccino or Latte you’ll need to pair the machine with a milk frother.
Nespresso do one called the “Aerochino” but it works out to be expensive compared to others you can get.
This article explains more about milk frothers:
The original pods are all the same size and all have the same amount of coffee in them and you can choose how much water you want to be pushed through them to match your taste.
A lot of the entry-level Nespresso machines have two buttons on them and they have a default amount of water delivered through the pod when you press the button, 40ml or 110ml.
If you use an espresso pod you should press the button that delivers 40ml and if you use a Lungo pod you should use the button that delivers 110ml.
If you want more or less water you can easily program it to exactly what you want in literally 10 seconds.
Therefore, there is no real benefit to Vertuo over Original in terms of coffee quality and Vertuo pods tend to work out more expensive as well.
With machines that take the original pods you can also get integrated milk carafes so you can get a cappuccino or latte with just one press of a button.
The most important difference between the two different types of pods is that with the original pods you don’t have to buy the pods from Nespresso but with the Vertuo pods you have no choice but to get them from Nespresso.
Once you buy a Nespresso Vertuo machine you are locked into buying the pods from Nespresso for as long as you own the machine.
Personally, I don’t like it when any company has a monopoly on anything and removes the opportunity for there to be a competitive marketplace and that allows them to set their own prices because there is nothing else to compare it to.
At least with the original pods, you can shop around and find cheaper pods that will fit into your Nespresso machine and then it’s up to you to decide whether the low price equals a low-quality cup of coffee.
The thing about coffee is that it is a very personal thing and you may like a very different kind of coffee to the kind I like and a cheaper compatible coffee pod that will fit into your Nespresso machine may taste better to you than a Nespresso original pod you buy from Nespresso.
The main point is that with original pods from Nespresso you get the choice whether to buy them from Nespresso or not and with the Vertuo pods you don’t.
One thing that Nespresso is brilliant at is marketing. They paid George Clooney millions over the years to be the face of Nespresso and called him their brand “Ambassador”.
One thing is for sure, he wouldn’t have done anything at all for them let alone be an ambassador if they hadn’t paid him a fortune to do so.
If you have never been to one of Nespresso’s boutique stores then try and visit one if you get the chance.
The way the place is kitted out you are romanced into believing that you are buying fine wine instead of a coffee pod with ground coffee in it.
They even call their pods “grand cru” which is the term used to describe the best wine.
If you are ever in London then go into the branch on Piccadilly Circus and you’ll be wowed by how a company can make coffee pods look so incredible.
But it all comes at a cost and that cost gets passed on to the people that buy the pods.
The most annoying thing about it all is that someone has to pay for all the money they pay him and for how incredible their shops are and that person is you the customer.
All of the costs that any business incurs has to be more than made up by the price they sell their products for and Nespresso is no exception.
That’s why it is perfectly possible to buy cheaper compatible Nespresso pods that taste really good and are cheaper than buying them from Nespresso but only if your machine takes the original pods not the Vertuo ones.
This article explains in detail how to choose alternative pods to the Nespresso ones:
So if you want to have more choice when it comes to the coffee you drink and you don’t already own a Nespresso machine and you are trying to work out which way to go then we would recommend a machine that takes original pods and not Vertuo pods.
These are a few of the best Nespresso machines:
This is not the cheapest machine that Nespresso do but it will deliver coffee pretty close to coffee shop quality and is particularly good if you like milk-based drinks such as flat white, cappuccino or latte.
First off, it looks amazing and would grace any kitchen work surface. This is not something you want to hide away in the corner, its a stunning looking machine.
Milk frothers are good but there is a reason that coffee shops heat and froth milk in a jug themselves with a steam wand and that’s because you get the creamiest frothiest milk that way and this one has a milk steam wand built in.
One dial controls everything and you can select from 8 different drinks and you can choose from 11 different milk temperatures so however warm or hot you like your coffee you’ll find something to suit.
There is a sensor on the steam wand so you don’t even have to check, it will just stop when the desired temperature is reached. Everything from coffee delivery to milk heating and frothing is done automatically.
This machine takes Nespresso original pods.
This is Nespresso’s cheapest coffee machine but represents tremendous value for money as it delivers the same quality of coffee as all the other more expensive machines but it just doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles.
There are two buttons. One delivers a short drink such as an espresso that you can add milk to if you want a cappuccino or latte and the other delivers a longer drink if you like Americano.
It doesn’t come with a milk frother so you’ll need to add one separately if you like milk-based drinks.
Great value for money, this machine takes Nespresso original pods.
The pods that this machine takes have barcodes on so the machine can read exactly how much water to deliver through the pod for the perfect coffee.
If multiple people in your home take their coffee in a different way no need to think about anything, just pop in the pod you like and the machine will do the rest.
It doesn’t get any easier than this to make a good cup of coffee just pop the pod in and press the button on top.
For milk drinks, you will need to add a separate milk frother.
This machine takes Nespresso Vertuo pods.
All of our Nespresso machines recommendations can be found here:
And this article goes into detail on all Nespresso machines:
Can you use original Nespresso pods in a Vertuo machine?
The Vertuo pods are a completely different size to the original ones and therefore they are not interchangeable.
Vertuo pods will not fit in Nespresso machines that take original pods and original pods will not fit in Nespresso machines that take Vertuo pods.
Which Nespresso machines take original pods?
Nespresso makes it a little confusing to understand which machines take which type of pods or capsules because of the way they name the machines and pods.
The Vertuo coffee pods are called “Vertuo” and the Vertuo coffee machines are all called “Vertuo” as well.
But they don’t apply the same rules to the machines that take the original pods.
The original coffee pods are called “original” but the coffee machines that take the original pods are not called original and have all sorts of different names that do not include the word original in them.
Why Nespresso decided to do it that way is unclear but our view is that the machines that take the original pods have been around for a lot longer than the ones that take the Vertuo pods.
The machines that take original pods have been around for several decades and when they first came out Nespresso probably never thought there would be another type of pod.
They just gave the machines names like “Essenza” and “Pixie” and “Creatista” and they all took the original pods as that was all there was at the time so there was no need to explain the difference because there wasn’t any, they all took the same pods.
Then, in 2017 the Vertuo range of coffee machines came out and those machines took a completely different type of pod to the original ones so they decided to call the pods that went into the Vertuo range of coffee machines “Vertuo”.
The easiest way to know which Nespresso machines take original pods is to see if the word “Vertuo” is in the name. If it doesn’t then it takes original pods.
So which one is better, Vertuo or Original?
Once all of the comparisons have been done it is fairly clear cut that for most people Nespresso original pods are better than Vertuo pods.
If you have a number of people in your home that all like different drink types and you want ultra-convenience then a Virtuo machine may be a good choice because just put in your pod and the machine does the rest.
But with original pods you still only have to press one button but just remember which one to press (hardly a problem).
And the biggest benefit of all is that with original pods you get to choose cheaper capsules from other manufacturers if you don’t want to buy the expensive Nespresso ones but with Vertuo you cant do that.
Overall, original Nespresso pods are better Vertuo pods.
Another thing that can be confusing is that you may also see Nespresso machines with the Delonghi brand name on them.
Delonghi is the market leader in coffee machines and makes some great machines in their own right and they make a few Nespresso machines as well.
They still take Nespresso pods but they have the Delonghi name on them because Delonghi made the machine.
This article explains more:
There are other types of pod machines to consider as well so this article may be of some help:
Here is a short video explaining the difference between Vertuo and Original machines and pods: