If you’ve ever visited Amazon recently looking for an espresso machine, then you probably seen the two best sellers: DeLonghi Stilosa and DeLonghi ECP3420 models.
These are budget manual espresso machines for under $200, which is the perfect entry level price for anyone buying an espresso machine for the first time. But the question is, what’s the difference between DeLonghi Stilosa vs DeLonghi ECP3420.
There are two sections in this post:
1- The main differences between DeLonghi Stilosa vs ECP3420 (and it’s variations).
2- The many similarities between them.
Here’s the quick rundown:
- Both DeLonghi Stilosa and ECP3420 are manual espresso machines. So you operate them the same way.
- DeLonghi Stilosa is the cheaper purchase. It’s a great bang for your buck and I totally recommend it for its price.
- DeLonghi ECP3420 has more color options, it’s more expensive without giving you more value in return.
- I recommend the DeLonghi Stilosa. Or the DeLonghi Dedica as an alternative to the DeLonghi ECP3420. Dedica is a semi-automatic espresso machine for the same price as the ECP3420.
DeLonghi Stilosa vs ECP3420 – Top Differences
Design and Dimensions
|DeLonghi Stilosa||DeLonghi ECP3420|
|8.07″D x 13.5″W x 11.22″H|
7.25″D x 9.6″W x 11.9″H
DeLonghi Stilosa is available in one design with black plastic housing and some stainless steel paneling on the front. No other variations.
DeLonghi ECP3120 vs ECP3420 vs ECP 3630
The DeLonghi ECP3420 is available in three variation, each has its own model name:
DeLonghi ECP3120: full plastic housing in black
DeLonghi ECP3420: Plastic housing in black with stainless steel top and back panel.
DeLonghi ECP3630: Full stainless steel housing
The differences is only in the color and housing of the espresso machine, everything else is the same.
DeLonghi Stilosa Accessories
- Filter for Single Espresso
- Filter for Double Espresso
- Measuring Spoon
DeLonghi ECP3420 Accessories
- Filter for Single Espresso
- Filter for Double Espresso
- Filter for ESE pods
- Measuring Spoon
So the ECP3420 model includes an additional filter for ESE pods. While the Stilosa is compatible with ESE pods, you’ll have to purchase the basket filter separately.
None of these machines includes a frothing pitcher, so I recommend you add that to your purchase.
Similarities Between DeLonghi Stilosa and ECP3420
Since there are barely any differences between the DeLonghi Stilosa and ECP3420, here’s a list of how they are similar:
Type of Espresso Machine
Both DeLonghi Stilosa and ECP3420 machines are entry-level manual espresso machines by DeLonghi. Practically priced under $200, and that’s about the max you should pay for any of these, anything more is not worth it.
What does a manual espresso machine mean?
It means that you will manually start and stop the flow of your espresso shot. There are no preset on these models, so you don’t just press a button and a pre measured amount of espresso extracts. You’ll turn a knob to start the extraction, then close it to stop.
This type of espresso machines leave a lot of room for error, but overtime, you start to learn how to make properly measured espresso for your recipes.
Like espresso extraction, steaming is manual, too. But that goes for most DeLonghi manual or semi-automatic machines. The quality of the steam wand is the same on both models, and it’s not of best quality.
For a beginner, or for anyone who enjoys their milk to be frothy, they’ll enjoy the results of the Panarello style steam wand. It jets enough air into the milk to create high foam for a cappuccino or latte. But if you want to create micro-foam style milk texture for latte art, this wand isn’t the best. But overall, it does its job of heating and frothing milk perfectly.
Both Stilosa and ECP3420 have the same stainless steel boiler.
DeLonghi’s standard portafilter which is 51mm. The single-shot basket will hold 7g of ground coffee, the double shot basket will hold 12g of coffee.
Which One Should You Buy?
These models have more in common than differences. Looking at the specs and functionality, both are exactly the same, and can make the same espresso and milk froth quality.
If you’re looking for the most budget friendly pick, go for the DeLonghi Stilosa. It is sold for the range of $100 to $150 depending on seasonality (prices may vary), which is the perfect price for a manual espresso machine.
As for the DeLonghi ECP3420, it’s price range is between $150 to $170, which I believe to be totally overpriced for what it is. At that price range, or a bit more, please consider the DeLonghi Dedica instead, which is better looking, newer design and has automatic or manual flow stop.
You can read my personal review and experience of the Dedica Deluxe to help you with your decision.
These espresso machines will come with some standard accessories, but they’re not of the best quality. The tamper is plastic and is combined with the coffee scoop, and none of them includes a milk jug.
And as you might know, for espresso, you need to use really fine coffee grinds. You have the option of buying pre ground coffee, which is easier and quicker, or if you prefer to grind your own beans, you’ll need a conical burr grinder that can grind fine enough for espresso. A blade grinder won’t cut it, as they don’t grind fine enough and produce inconsistent coffee grounds.
Stainless steel tamper
Using a stainless steel tamper adds a nice weight to the grounds without you having to put a lot of pressure on it. Unlike a plastic tamper which will require more force from you. You can buy any tamper you like as long as it’s a size 51mm.
Milk frothing pitcher
This is a necessary accessory for anyone who wants to froth milk for cappuccinos or lattes. These pitchers are available in many sizes, but I’d advice you to go with a small or medium size, because the steam wand on both DeLonghi models is not tall, so steaming a large pitcher is harder.
Conical Burr Grinder
This is an optional purchase for anyone looking to use freshly ground beans. Grinders are available in a wide range of prices and specs, but since you are using a small budget machine, you don’t need a high-end grinder. All you need is: a conical burr grinder that can grind fine espresso ground. And there are many grinders available for under $100.
DeLonghi Stilosa Pods: How to Use Them
If you prefer using pods to ground coffee, which is easier, cleaner and overall more convenient, you can use ESE Pods with your DeLonghi Stilosa or even the ECP3420.
ESE Pods (Easy Serving Espresso) pods are pre-measured espresso pods that you can use with a portafilter. But do make sure that you use the correct filter basket when brewing ESE pods. You can read all about DeLonghi’s best ESE pods here.
Features of DeLonghi Stilosa Espresso Machine
- De’Longhi Stilosa Manual Espresso Machine, Latte & Cappuccino Maker, 15 Bar Pump Pressure + Milk Frother Steam Wand, Black / Stainless, EC260BK, 13.5 x 8.07 x 11.22 inches
- 15 bar pump for optimal pressure to extract a single or double espresso
- Manual start/stop for espresso extraction
- Manual steam wand to texture milk for lattes and cappuccinos
- Stainless steel boiler is engineered to last long and work for years
- The two-level cup holder accommodates taller cups
- Compatible with ESE Pods (basket for pods sold separately)
- Plastic housing
The DeLonghi Stilosa manual espresso machine is an excellent choice for anyone who is looking to make quality espresso at home.
This reliable and well-crafted machine has a 15 bar pump that ensures optimal pressure for a single or double espresso. the extraction process is manual, and so is the use of steam wand to texture milk for lattes and cappuccinos.
It also comes with a stainless steel boiler designed to last for years and a two-level cup holder that makes it easy to accommodate taller cups. Plus, it’s compatible with ESE Pods for added convenience. The exterior of the machine is made out of plastic, but its sturdiness ensures it will hold up to daily use.
Features of DeLonghi ECP3420 Espresso Machine
The DeLonghi ECP3420 is all the same as the Stilosa model. This machine packs some good features, such as a-bar pressure pump, manual steam wand, stainless steel boiler and compatibility with ESE pods.
The exterior of this model is also available in different housing choices – stainless steel and plastic or fully stainless steel – it easy to the model that best fits your style and needs.
Thanks to its 15 bar pressure pump, this can ensure optimal extraction of a single or double shot of espresso with every use. A manual steam wand makes it easy to texture milk for lattes and cappuccinos with ease.
Moreover, the stainless steel boiler ensures durability, so you won’t have to worry about replacing your coffee maker anytime soon. The ESE pod compatibility makes it easier than ever to make delicious espressos at home without any hassle of measuring ground coffee.