Nespresso vs Keurig: We Compare For Price, Features & Value

By Paul Carabis | Reviews

Nov 01

Nespresso and Keurig are both big names in the industry. They focus on manufacturing single-serve brewing machines that produce premium coffees. Nespresso uses plastic and specially-perforated foil capsules for their units, but they only brew espresso, coffee, and cappuccino. Keurig, meanwhile, uses coffee pods or K-Cups to brew beverages, from coffee and espresso to tea and hot chocolate.

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Nespresso Inissia

Why we love it:

  1. Brews perfect espresso blend
  2. Can work with other off-brand solutions to brew non-coffee drinks
  3. Quality performance outshines price


These are just some of their differences and similarities that are worth noting. If you are a fan of freshly brewed coffee, then you will want to know more about these two big names. This article has all the information that you need to help you find out which brand matches your taste and other personal preferences.

Nespresso vs Keurig

Brewing System
User Experience
Price Level
Our Rate
Keurig Keurig makes hot chocolate, tea, + hot drinks & uses pressurized brewing process; has more beverage options; more affordable & uses pod brewing system Very Good Affordable4.4 / 5
Nespresso Higher-end brand; brews cappuccino, coffee and espresso; capsule-based brewing systemSuperior Quality Expensive4.6 / 5

Nespresso Inissia

Brewing System

Keurig and Nespresso focus on making single-serve coffee machines that only produce one cup per cycle. The biggest difference is that Keurig can also make hot chocolate, tea, and other hot drinks. Nespresso, on the other hand, only brews coffee, cappuccino, and espresso. Keurig is unable to brew espresso, something that will make espresso lovers turn their eyes to other brands. Off-brand solutions can be used on Nespresso models to brew non-coffee drinks, but this may result in void warranties.

The brewing times will vary based on the model and the beverage being created. It usually takes less than four minutes to brew a cup, from start to finish. The machines combine distilled water with the coffee and then heated at a certain temperature to achieve the best flavor.

Keurig uses pressurized brewing, while the newer Nespresso units apply centrifugal force. Some models from the two brands are capable of brewing better cups than the others. It is important to read product reviews before buying a brewing system model.


Coffee Brands

Keurig has over 200 beverage options, including some created by the most popular tea and coffee brands today. These include Green Mountain, Folgers, Starbucks, Celestial Seasonings, Twinings, Tully’s, and Caribou. Nespresso, meanwhile has a wide range of coffees worldwide, like the Colombian Rosabaya, Brazilian Dulsao, Ethiopian Bukeela, and Indian Indriya.

Nespresso’s Lungo coffee is also included in the options, as well as vanilla-enhanced coffee grounds, spiced coffees, caramel-infused brews, and seasonal limited edition grounds. Examples of these seasonal coffee products include the Maragogype Special Reserve and the Hawaiian Kona Special Reserve.

The major difference between the two is that the Nespresso does not deal with tea companies, while Keurig offers more than just tea. The former’s manufacturer did have something to offer for tea lovers to address the problem. Both brands use proprietary technology for the pods and have taken legal actions to prevent competitors from stealing their ideas.


Nespresso designed its capsule-based coffee brewing system in the 1970s. It was only until the 1990s that the company started attracting the European markets. The capsule is made from aluminum but uses food-grade lacquer for its interior to protect the ingredients. The foil is a bit perforated in various patterns, according to the requirements of a particular coffee. The patterns adjust the temperatures and brewing times when necessary.

Keurig’s K-Cups are made of plastic with a foil cover. This coffee pod has three or four grams, which is only enough to fill a cup. The pod system keeps your coffee fresh for a long time because the grounds and other ingredients are not exposed to humidity and air.

Ease of Cleaning

Regular cleaning is a must for all coffee makers. This will help preserve the purity of the flavors during the brewing process. The more expensive Nespresso models have an automated cleaning system, while most rely on the practice of running water and a cleaner once or twice through the unit. The same process applies to Keurig models, as well. The cleaning must be done every two to three weeks.


Keurig machines are more affordable than Nespresso as the latter decided to position itself as a high-end brand. Nearly all models offer single-servings, which are best suited for offices and homes that do not need to make coffee in large volumes. The pods or capsules will cost you a dollar or two, but you can save more when you use Keurig’s reusable filter or Nespresso’s reusable capsules. It would also help lower down the cost when you buy the pods or capsules in bulk.

The two companies have taken legal actions to keep their competitors from releasing off-brand and compatible capsules or pods. Preventing them from doing so will keep customers purchasing brand-specific coffees. However, Nespresso’s patents have already expired in 2012, but its parent company Nestle is working on creating new ones for its protection. Keurig, meanwhile, has been fighting off several companies that create generic pods. Both continue to explore their legal options to protect their respective brands.


Most Nespresso and Keurig models are expected to last for up to five years, depending on how diligent you are. Both brands offer a limited one-year warranty, but some manufacturers may extend it up to two years on certain models. The capsules and pods are kept fresh for up to 18 months, as long as the container has not been altered or opened. It is crucial to note, however, that the coloring and flavor of some coffee grounds may fade sooner because of the high amounts of volatile ingredients.


The capsules and K-cups cannot be recycled. The foil and plastic construction of the latter make segregating the components extremely difficult, while the capsules have combined lacquer and aluminum. They both end up in the landfill once used. However, Nespresso does have a recycling plan in some parts of Europe, as well as an idea to accept used capsules placed in pre-paid boxes. Keurig offers reusable filters, while Nespresso has reusable capsules.

Keurig vs Nespresso: Final Verdict!

Keurig is the better option when you want to try a wide variety of hot beverages as it can also make non-coffee drinks. If you are a solid espresso lover, however, you may want to check out Nespresso as it focuses on producing authentic espresso. It is difficult to tell which is the best brand between the two as it all boils down to customer preferences. Both of them have their own sets of weaknesses and strengths that you have to carefully study. It will be best to check both brands to see which will perfectly match your brewing needs.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Paul Carabis, coffee lover (ok, maybe coffee addict). I started this website as a way to document the best coffee machines, products and information for personal use and it took off from there! Now I help thousands of readers per month and I trust that I've helped you too!