Dolce Gusto vs Nespresso

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Dolce Gusto and Nespresso are two of the go-to brands when it comes to buying a coffee capsule espresso maker. Both brands offer great options that are high-quality coffee and make it easy to enjoy delicious coffee at home. There are a few key differences when comparing Nespresso Vs Dolce Gusto, including price, style, operation and drink variety. This guide highlights those differences to make it easy for you to find the best coffee machine for your kitchen.

Quick Answer

Nespresso coffee machines are ideal for coffee lovers who want high-quality coffee with lots of options regarding the bean variety, flavour, and intensity. Nespresso coffee machines are more expensive but they are incredibly user-friendly, stylish and offer consistently high-quality coffees.

Dolce Gusto coffee machines are more affordable and are perfect for people who want to be able to make a range of drinks including americano, latte macchiato, cappuccino, hot chocolate, tea, and even cold brews. Dolce Gusto machines are best for people who want lots of variety and don’t want to spend too much on a coffee machine.

Our Favourite Nespresso and Dolce Gusto Coffee Machines

Nespresso DeLonghi Citiz Solo

The Nespresso DeLonghi Citiz Solo is a compact, user-friendly and well-designed coffee machine. It has a 1 litre water tank, a 25 second warm-up time and has a good-sized used capsule bin. It’s easy to put the capsules into the coffee maker and it has two simple controls so you can select either espresso or lungo depending on the drink you are making.

For ease of use, the coffee maker will automatically stop at the pre-set level and the machine will shut down after 9 minutes of inactivity. There is a fold-out cup tray that makes sure you are able to use different sized cups to suit the type of coffee. The Citiz Solo is a low maintenance coffee machine perfect for making delicious coffee in no time at all.

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Infinissima Capsule Machine

The Nescafe Dolce Gusto Infinissima is a stylish, modern and eye-catching coffee maker that looks different from the classic capsule machine we are all familiar with. It has a compact footprint, a 1.2L water tank capacity and it automatically shuts off after 5 minutes. This is a low-cost, manual machine that is versatile, easy to use and is able to make over 40 different drinks using the Dolce Gusto pods.

The main thing to be aware of with this machine is that it does not automatically stop the water when a certain amount has been reached, it needs to be turned off manually. This gives you more control over your coffee but does mean you can’t walk away while the machine makes your coffee.

Key Similarities

Quick And Easy

The pod coffee machines from both Dolce Gusto and Nespresso are simple to use and take very little time to make delicious coffee. Using each machine involves just a couple of steps making them extremely user-friendly.

Water Tanks

The pod machines have integrated water tanks so you can make a few coffees without needing to top up the water each time.

Removable Drip Trays

For ease of cleaning Dolce Gusto and Nespresso machines include drip trays that catch any drips and spills as they happen.

Key Differences

Use Different Pods

The coffee capsules used on the Nespresso and Dolce Gusto coffee pod machines are different. They differ in size, density and materials. This means Nespresso capsules and Dolce Gusto pods are not compatible, they can only be used in their own brand machine.

The Nespresso capsules contain ground coffee and offer a range of options relating to the types of coffee (different intensity, origin, roasting method etc.) that produce different key flavours to suit your preferences.

The contents of Dolce Gusto capsules also vary depending on the variety. Some capsules (like the Americano) contain 100% ground coffee while others (such as the flat white) contain whole milk powder, soluble coffee and sugar. Dolce Gusto capsules of milk are also available for milk based drinks.

Brew Coffees Differently

When you make a coffee with a Nespresso machine you drop the capsule in and press the button of the shot selection you want whereas on a Dolce Gusto machine such as the Infinissima the machine is manual meaning you need to flick the water switch on and it will release water until you manually turn it off (Dolce Gusto offers an app that helps you get drinks exactly right with this manual system).

On a machine like the Dolce Gusto Genio S you can then adjust the intensity, temperature and volume to suit the drink you are making and the machine will automatically stop at the desired amount. Overall, it takes more steps to make a coffee with a Dolce Gusto than it does with a Nespresso machine.

Hot And Cold Drinks

One of the great things about the Dolce Gusto machines is that they can make cold brews too. This can transform your coffee experience and offers a lot more versatility. Nespresso, on the other hand, only brews hot coffee.

Milk Frother

Depending on the model, Nespresso can come with either a built-in steamer (such as one the Nespresso Lattissima) or a Nespresso Aeroccino can be bought separately. This means you can use fresh milk of your choice and a milk frother to make your favourite milky coffee.

Dolce Gusto doesn’t offer a milk frother with their models and if you would like a milky coffee then you would need to use milk capsules (that contains dried milk) or a pre-mixed pod that contains a coffee and dried milk blend.

Ease Of Using The Pods

The Dolce Gusto capsule systems are more time consuming to use as the pod needs to be positioned in a removable tray. Once you have made the drink the used pod will then need to be removed manually. Some of the drinks also use more than one pod (one milk pod and one coffee pod) which can take more time.

The Nespresso system automatically ejects the used coffee pod so you don’t need to worry about manually removing it. The used capsule bin usually has a capacity of around 10 pods.


When it comes to cost the Nespresso coffee machines and the Nespresso capsules are both more expensive. At the time of writing, there are Dolce Gusto coffee makers available for under $100 such as the Infinissima ($55), and the Genio S Plus ($99) whereas the Nespresso machines tend to be available from around $150+ with the Essenza Mini Solo setting you back $169 and the Citiz Solo costing $199.

The Nespresso pods cost around $7 for a 10 pack while the Dolce Gusto pods are available for $8.50 for a 16 pack.

Other Differences

Flavours – Nespresso offers a lot of variety in terms of coffee bean intensity and flavours but Dolce Gusto offers more variety in terms of the types of drinks you can make with their machines. You can make tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cold brews with Dolce Gusto. Dolce Gusto also makes larger volumes of coffee per capsule (up to 200ml) while Nespresso machines go up to 110ml for long coffees.

Bar Pressure – Nescafe Dolce Gusto uses 15 bar pump pressure while the Nespresso coffee makers use 19 bar pump pressure.

Style and design – One of the benefits of choosing Nespresso is that there are lots of styles, sizes and design options to choose from. The designs are high quality, user-friendly and always look great in the kitchen. There are considerably less Dolce Gusto machines available which means you don’t get as much choice but the available models are stylish.

Making Your Selection

Nespresso is the one to go for if you love coffee and want to get as close as possible to cafe quality coffee from a capsule machine. Nespresso coffee tastes great so you know you will enjoy consistently good espresso based drinks with one of the Nespresso machines.

Nespresso machines are also easier to use. They involve fewer steps to make a drink and there is a used capsule drawer so you don’t need to take out the capsule manually after each use. This is perfect for people with busy lifestyles.

The downside is that the machines and Nespresso capsules cost more but if you want a capsule coffee machine that will give you quality coffee every day with minimal effort and maintenance then Nespresso is the one to go for.

If you want to make lots of different drinks with your machine and you enjoy cold brews as well as hot coffee drinks then Dolce Gusto is going to be the better option. They are also ideal if you want to make drinks for the whole family because a Dolce Gusto machine can make hot chocolate and tea as well as coffee, cappuccino or latte drinks. You’ll save money and enjoy a wider variety of drinks but if you are a coffee connoisseur the Dolce Gusto capsules may not live up to your expectations.