Comparison between Nespresso and Dolce Gusto coffee machines

Nespresso and Dolce Gusto are two of the most widespread brands of capsule coffee makers worldwide. Although they are different, many people tend to compare them. Both brands belong to the same corporate group (Nestlé) but are aimed at opposite audiences.

Nespresso coffee makers mainly aim at those who enjoy espresso, ristretto, or lungo coffees and do not mind paying more for both the coffee maker and the capsules. Dolce Gusto coffee machines are aimed at people who are less demanding in terms of coffee quality in exchange for spending less, both for the coffee machine and the capsules.

Note: To simplify the comparison, I will focus on the UK market, which can be extrapolated internationally.

Aesthetic differences between Dolce Gusto and Nespresso coffee machines

The first factor we consider when buying any appliance is its design, and capsule coffee makers are no exception. Since its origin in 1986, Nespresso has tended towards rectangular designs, starting with the C-100 model. Dolce Gusto was born in 2006 with its XP2000 model and opted for rounded shapes.

Dolce Gusto XP2000 vs Nespresso C100
Dolce Gusto XP2000 vs Nespresso C100

As a continuation of those first two coffee makers, all Dolce Gusto coffee makers have retained the curved lines, while the Nespresso has been much more angular. This means Dolce Gusto has a more youthful look, and Nespresso has a more serious and formal look.

For this reason, Dolce Gusto looks great in the kitchens of young, dynamic families. Nespresso, on the other hand, is ideal for professional apartments, offices, and more refined homes.

Read about my experience with these coffee makers:

Price differences between Dolce Gusto and Nespresso coffee machines

If you go to the Dolce Gusto and Nespresso online stores, you will find that the cheapest Nespresso coffee maker is the Inissia, for about £110. The cheapest Dolce Gusto is the Piccolo XS for about $50. This means that between the cheapest coffee makers of both brands, there is a difference of more than double.

Nespresso divides its coffee makers into three price ranges:

  • Up to £150- Inissia, Essenza Mini, and Pixie.
  • From £150 to £280 – Essenza Plus, Citiz, Citiz&Milk and Lattisima One.
  • From £280 to £730 – Latissima Pro, Gran Latissima, Atelier, Creatista Plus and Creatista Pro.

Dolce Gusto divides its coffee machines into two large groups:

  • From £50 to £110- Piccolo XS, Infinissima, Mini Me, Genio S.
  • For £130- Infinissima Touch, Genio S Touch, Genio S Plus.

There is a big difference in price between the two brands. Although in this study, I am not considering possible offers that may be given.

Price differences between Dolce Gusto and Nespresso capsules

As with the coffee machines, there is also a big price difference between the coffee capsules of both brands.

Nespresso capsules range from £0.45 to £0.60 for the OriginalLine version and £0.47 to £0.70 for the VertuoLine version. There are some exceptions within the VertuoLine, with capsules going up to £1.20 with the “carafe” capsules.

Dolce Gusto capsules cost between £0.23 and £0.31, depending on whether you buy the 16-capsule, 30-capsule packs, or a bundle. These prices double when buying coffee and milk capsules such as cappuccino or latte, as they require two capsules to prepare a single beverage.

Nespresso capsules cost more than twice as much as Dolce Gusto capsules, so if the price is an important factor for you, you should consider this when deciding which coffee machine to buy.

Differences in taste between Dolce Gusto and Nespresso

Suppose I limit myself to evaluating the taste of the beverages produced by both machines and do not consider the price of the capsules. In that case, Nespresso capsules are much better than Dolce Gusto.

Also, if you buy a Nespresso with Aeroccino, you can get latte drinks at the same level as the coffee shops.

In short, if we only consider taste, the answer is Nespresso. With the huge variety of espresso coffee they have, you will not cease to be surprised with each new capsule. This summer, I fell in love with the coconut capsules, and the pumpkin-flavored ones have achieved the same effect this fall.

➡️ Note: If you have a Dolce Gusto and want to try Nespresso capsules, you can now thanks to the Nespresso to Dolce Gusto capsule adapters.

Differences in usage, cleaning, and maintenance between Dolce Gusto and Nespresso

Just as Nespresso beats Dolce Gusto in terms of taste, Dolce Gusto beats Nespresso in terms of use, cleaning, and maintenance. Dolce Gusto coffee makers are easier to use because the capsule tells you, with its printed symbols, exactly how much volume of water should pass through it.

It always happens to me that I buy Nespresso capsules, and I throw away the boxes in which they are packed. When preparing the coffee, I do not remember if they are espresso or lungo, and I have to go back to the Nespresso website to find out; with Dolce Gusto, this will never happen to you.

On the other hand, the coffee extraction system of Nespresso coffee makers tends to become more clogged if not cleaned and maintained on an ongoing basis. In addition, drips are more common in Nespresso machines due to the wear and tear of the O-rings in the coffee brewing unit.

Dolce Gusto coffee makers hardly require you to wipe them with a damp cloth from time to time, while with Nespresso coffee makers, you will be emptying the capsule container and drip tray every so often.

Are Dolce Gusto or Nespresso coffee makers better?

If money and maintenance are not an issue, buy a Nespresso coffee machine. However, buy a Dolce Gusto if you want a cheap coffee maker that makes a lot of coffee without worrying too much about the expense or maintenance.

I have both brands of coffee makers, and although I enjoy the Nespresso more, I still use the Dolce Gusto. If you want a cappuccino in less than 1 minute, the Dolce Gusto will not let you down, and since I am a latte drinker but do not always have time to prepare this type of coffee with the Nespresso, I end up using the Dolce Gusto.

Which Dolce Gusto coffee maker is better?

As this question is not easy to answer, I have prepared a complete article where I compare all the models currently on sale: Differences between Dolce Gusto coffee makers.

Which Nespresso coffee machine is better?

Like the previous question, there is so much to compare between all Nespresso coffee makers that I have prepared an article explaining them all: Differences between Nespresso coffee makers.

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