Nespresso coffee is great. It’s the most popular pod coffee system out there. And while Nespresso machines can be expensive, there are actually a number of alternative machines you can buy and still enjoy Nespresso coffee pods!
What Are Nespresso Machine Alternatives?
There are so many of these machines, but since you are looking for a cheap alternative, I have picked the machines on this list to meet this criteria:
– Under $100*: If you’re going to buy a cheaper version of Nespresso, it only makes sense that it costs less than $100. If it costs more, you might as well just buy a Nespresso machine.
– Compatible with Nespresso Original pods: These machines will work with Nespresso’s own espresso pods and compatible 3rd party pods. You can also use refillable pods.
– Highly Rated: High customer ratings that ensure you are getting a great machine for the price and functionality.
* Prices are correct as of the time of writing
Best Nespresso Original Compatible Machines
Mixpresso Nespresso Compatible Machine
Mixpresso has been a leading brand in providing Nespresso compatible pods ever since they were available as an option. And now, they make espresso machines that work with Nespresso pods.
You can expect the Mixpresso coffee machine to work just a Nespresso would: you can make a serving of espresso, lungo or make milk based coffee drinks, but you’ll have to buy a separate milk frother.
Being half the price of a Nespresso machine, you have to wonder, where’s the catch?
There’s one downside to this model: the coffee serving buttons are not programmable. So you are stuck with the pre programmed serving sizes: 1.3 oz for espresso or 3 oz for lungo.
While that is not ideal, Mixpresso is still great value for the price you pay.
ChefWave Espresso Machine
Another great pick for an espresso machine that can use Nespresso pods. ChefWave espresso machine is compact and easy to use.
The machine features 2 serving sizes: Espresso 1.3 oz and Lungo 3.7 oz, and this one is reprogrammable. So if you want to change the volumes, you can do so.
It is available in Red or Black and comes bundled with a pod holder accessory and a set of espresso glasses, which makes it fantastic value for the price.
beanglass Espresso Machine
This model is somewhat of a newcomer, but so far, it’s been highly rated by customers.
Like other Nespresso Original machines, you get the main two serving sizes for espresso and lungo.
The beanglass Espresso machine has a nice design with a foldable tray to hold shorter cups closer to the spout. The used pod container holds up to 11 used pods, which is double the capacity of Nespresso’s own machines of the same size.
Overall, this machine packs value for the price. Just don’t forget, if you’re a milk coffee person, add a milk frother to your purchase.
L’or Barista Coffee Machine
I wanted to give this Nespresso-compatible machine an honorable mention. It is actually one of the best Nespresso alternatives you can buy, but it’s not under $100, which is why I left it out of the list.
I do however encourage you to read my comparison of L’or vs Nespresso and see if it is worth its price (hint: It is!)
Which One To Choose
When it comes to these Nespresso Original alternatives, they all offer the same basic functions of a pod espresso machine:
- Espresso and Lungo coffee serving
- Removable water reservoir
- Compact design
And because they all can use Nespresso Original pods, you will get the same quality of coffee depending on the pod you choose to use.
So how do you pick?
- If budget is your highest priority, Mixpresso is the cheapest model. But keep in mind that it’s not programmable.
- If you’re looking for the best value for money, ChefWave is the winner. You get an espresso machine, pod holder, and set of espresso cups, which makes for a great bundle.
- As for beanglass espresso machine, I find it to have the best design. It is slim, so it doesn’t take any countertop space. The spacious used capsule container means that you don’t need to clean it up very often.
How To Ensure the Right Pods for Your Alternative Nespresso Machine
A Nespresso Original-compatible espresso machine uses these small espresso pods. They are available from so many brands: Nespresso, Starbucks, Lavazza (my personal favorite), L’or, illy and many more.
If you’re unsure of pod compatibility, just look for the words “Nespresso Original Compatible” on the package.
Nespresso Vertuo pods (the larger rounded pods) will not work in these machines.