Nespresso vs Standard Drip Coffee: Is Nespresso Better? Is it Worth it?

Nespresso and standard drip coffee are two easy and common ways people brew their daily coffee. Nespresso is a newer invention, but has still been around for decades. Drip coffee has been popular since the early 70s, after replacing the common use of percolators.

If you’re considering moving from a drip coffee maker to a Nespresso, or trying to decide which one you want to use to brew your coffee, there is a lot to consider before taking the next step.

Coffee makers and Nespresso machines vary in a lot of ways, but both can brew a delicious cup of coffee. Coffee makers work by using fresh beans, a paper filter, and hot water to brew multiple cups of coffee. Nespressos on the other hand use pre-packed pods of coffee to brew smaller amounts.

Which brew method is right for you depends on a lot of factors. If you like the idea of brewing from a pod, the convenience alone is probably worth buying a Nespresso, especially if you have no plans to brew large pots of coffee.

If you don’t like the idea of brewing coffee from a pod, or just prefer the process of getting your machine ready to go for that sweet first morning brew, a drip coffee maker is a better choice.

We will be dissecting what sets the two brew methods apart, and what features are the most useful and compelling in this article. This should alleviate some of the stress around figuring out which method is right for you. Finally, you can see my comparison of the best Nespresso machines to see which one might be right for you. Some of them will make regular drip coffee right along side their espresso shots.

The Differences Between Nespresso and Standard Drip Coffee

Before we get into the specifics of each individual brew methods, let’s take a look at what sets them apart in the first place.

The most obvious difference is in the coffee itself. With Nespresso, you never see or have to deal with the grounds. They are in the pod at all times, and you just need to insert the pod and get the machine running in order to have a cup of fresh coffee in a short amount of time.

With standard drip coffee, you will need to have fresh beans and filters on hands, although some have built-in filters. You have a lot more control though, as you have the freedom to add as much water and coffee desired in each batch. The standard coffee maker can also brew around 12 cups of coffee at a time, which is significantly more than the Nespresso.

Along with the way the coffee beans are used, another big difference between Nespresso and drip coffee is the outcome. Nespresso coffee tends to have a more espresso-like taste, whereas standard drip coffee has its own simple taste that is usually a bit more mild.

Coffee makers typically brew around 12 cups, but Nespressos make more personal-sized brews. Still, there are some varieties that brew full cups of coffee.

Now that we’ve covered the biggest differences between the two brew methods, we can take a look at each individual one.

Let’s begin with the Nespresso.

Is Nespresso Better Than Standard Drip Coffee?

Whether the Nespresso is better than the standard drip coffee brew method or not is a complex question, as many factors play into it.

Drip coffee provides a lot of convenience, and can make larger quantities, but it just doesn’t compare to the taste of a Nespresso drink. The Nespresso is better than the drip coffee method when it comes down to the quality and taste of the final product.

At first I was hesitant to declare Nespresso the winner, as I tend to go for the classic method of making coffee when given the option. However, I can’t deny the bold, rich taste of coffee brewed from a Nespresso. While it’s true that a coffee maker can brew a similar product, the room for error is higher and I appreciate the simplicity and convenience of Nespresso.

The biggest reason I find Nespresso to be better than drip coffee is convenience and consistency. I am a lazy coffee maker, but I still have high standards for what I drink. Knowing that all I need to do every morning is insert a pod and press a button lifts a huge weight off of my daily routine.

Despite keeping all the coffee hidden away in the pods, there is still a lot of room for variety with Nespresso machines. Plenty of flavors are available, and I love the sweet ones every once in a while for an afternoon pick-me-up.

Is Standard Drip Coffee Better Than Nespresso?

Though it was a difficult decision, I have to say no on this one. Standard drip coffee simply can’t beat out Nespresso, for a few reasons. That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of perks to using a coffee maker instead of Nespresso, or that one machine will fit everyone’s unique needs.

Drip coffee makers offer a lot of control and functionality. Most can brew around 12 cups at a time, which makes breakfast gatherings or early mornings easy to prepare for.

Many still have a problem with drip coffee, finding it to be too watery, or sometimes just taste off. This can happen for a variety of reasons though, ranging from the quality of the beans to the cleanliness of the machine itself. Others swear by drip coffee, and prefer it over any other brew method. It really comes down to personal taste.

While drip coffee makers offer a lot of flexibility, like the ability to choose between a one-cup brew and a 12-cup brew, or control over the water to coffee bean ratio, these same positive features can also be a drawback.

For me, I struggle to make my coffee taste the same every day when I use my coffee maker. I am inconsistent, and I don’t keep track of the exact amount of beans I use versus how much water I use per brew.

Nothing is more embarrassing than when I have guests over and miscalculate my coffee to water ratio, brewing a huge batch of extra-weak coffee. I’ve had it go the other way, with trying to brew a small amount for myself and a friend and using too much coffee for the amount of water, resulting in a brew that was too bitter to enjoy.

The Nespresso cuts out the room for error, brewing a consistent and bold cup of coffee with each use. This is why standard drip coffee is not better than Nespresso, even though it has a lot of good aspects itself.

Nespresso or Standard Drip Coffee?

This depends on personal preference, but I would advise most coffee-lovers who are looking for a convenient way to get fresh and delicious coffee to go for a Nespresso machine.

Nespressos are more comparable to Keurigs, but the two methods are often compared to drip coffee because they both are convenient and popular ways to brew a cup of coffee.

If you’re looking for a machine that can brew coffee for a big group of people on a regular basis, it might not be wise to invest in a Nespresso as you can’t brew as much coffee as you can with a coffee maker.

For someone who is looking for more personal use, or does not plan to make big batches of coffee at one time, a Nespresso would probably be the better, more convenient option. You’ll never need to buy coffee grounds or filters again, which is a big convenience for a lot of people.

Both methods can brew delicious coffee. If you’re going to brew a batch of coffee from a coffee maker, it’s essential to figure out the proper ratio of coffee grounds and water if you want it to taste right. You’ll also need filters to put the grounds in, and it can be a hassle to have everything ready and realize you don’t have a coffee filter.

Choosing a standard coffee maker over a Nespresso may be the right decision. If you like to stick to the classic methods, choosing a standard drip instead of Nespresso would make sense. If you’re willing to take a few minutes each day in preparation of your brew, it may also be a good choice for you.

Personally, I find Nespresso to be the right option for my lifestyle. I love my coffee maker, but I know I don’t get the most out of it with the way I use it, and slowly have started using my other personal-cup methods more often than big pots of coffee.

The convenience of Nespresso is what made me choose it over standard drip coffee. I like knowing that no matter how rushed I am in the morning, my pod will brew a cup just as delicious as the previous day.

I also prefer the taste of espresso over drip coffee, so Nespresso was an obvious choice because it brews more like espresso.

If you’re looking to jump from drip to Nespresso, or trying to decide which is right for you, take this article into consideration. Needs vary by lifestyle, so you may find there are functions you favor more than others. Just make sure you choose what will work best for your life.

Nespresso Vs Drip Coffee: Which Home Coffee Maker is Right For You?

Nespresso vs Drip Coffee Which Home Coffee Maker is for You

Moving to a Nespresso machine from a drip-style coffee maker is a huge jump!

Because of that, it’s important to know what differences you can expect when making the upgrade.

There are some big feature differences as well as different kinds of beverages that you’ll be able to make.

Each kind of device also offers different pros and cons that you’ll need to weigh out and it’s improtant to understand up front that the vast majority of Nespresso machines make a coffee more similar to espresso than to coffee.

Nespresso pods make one-touch espresso typically does in 1.5-3 oz increments.

Only the Nespresso Vertuo has options to make larger coffee-like or Keurig sized cups of more traditional drip coffee.

You can see our comparison of Keurig to Vertuoline Nespresso machines here for more on that topic.

Luckily, we’re here to help out by providing some solid information on both drip-style coffee makers as well as the most commonly sold Nespresso machines.

Then we’ll follow that up by comparing these machines in regard to cost, versatility and convenience.

Buckle up and enjoy!

Drip-Style Coffee: Simple and to the Caffeinated Point


Many of us who enjoy coffee are familiar with drip-style coffee makers.

These machines are often the starting point for those who are new to the delights of coffee.

Kitchenaid Drip Coffee Maker

They can be very low cost, but typically require you to measure out your own grounds and water.

The less expensive options also need to be started manually, but those of a little higher cost can be programmed to start at a certain time just like an alarm clock.

Furthermore, there are a range of different carafe sizes, from about 5 cups to 12 cups.

There can really be some big differences that set different drip-style coffee makers apart.

In addition, many are able to keep your brew hot for as long as you need, though that can vary from model to model.

Generally speaking, they are simple devices that are excellent for beginners or those who don’t feel the need to get too fancy.


  • Offer you more control over the strength and quality of the brew.
  • Allow for up to 12-cup options.
  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Tend to be less expensive, and use less expensive coffee grounds.
  • Can be programmed so that you can wake up to a hot brew.
  • Keep your brew warm in between servings.


  • Cleaning can sometimes be more difficult.
  • Coffee and grounds can mold if you forget about them for too long.
  • Some users don’t find the resulting taste to be ideal.


While this is generally the simpler, less costly option, it’s also not going to be able to brew espressos, lattes or other more complicated drinks by itself.

You’ll also need to remember to empty out any remaining coffee or grounds after use, as they can begin to mold quite quickly.

Some also find that the flavor is more watered down than they prefer.

However, the cost of purchasing these devices often greatly outweighs the downfalls.

You’ll also have the ability to adjust the brew by adding or decreasing the amount of grounds and/or water.

This will make it easier for you to get the perfect taste as a result.

Nespresso Coffee: Your Own Personal Barista

Breville Nespresso VeruoPlus


There are a lot of upsides to owning a Nespresso machine.

These include the ability to make not only coffee but espressos and other drinks that can be a little more complicated.

So, if you want to have a higher level of versatility with your coffee, one of these machines is a great way to go.

In addition, they make other kinds of coffee beverages much easier to make.

With just the touch of a few buttons, you’ll have a delicious drink in a matter of minutes.

Another great aspect is that, as long as the machine is working correctly, you’ll be able to rely on it producing uniform results.

A Nespresso machine is also a great machine to use when you’re looking to save money rather than visiting the coffee shop on a daily basis.

While the capsules they use aren’t the least expensive, they do tend to be quite a bit cheaper than specialty coffees from a shop.


  • It’s extremely easy to use.
  • Can allow you to make large amounts of high quality coffee or espresso drinks quickly.
  • You can expect the quality to remain the same for each use.
  • Machines typically have a great look.
  • Pods tend to be less expensive than buying coffee from a shop.
  • Nespresso machines are fantastic for espressos.


  • Capsules are often more expensive than standard coffee grounds.
  • The machines can be quite expensive.
  • You will only be able to use specific kinds of capsules.


It’s important to keep in mind that Nespresso machines can be rather expensive, depending on the model you’re interested in.

You will also be somewhat limited by the need to use Nespresso capsules to make your drinks.

That said, many find these capsules to be delicious and they can make the process a lot easier.

So if you don’t mind using capsules, then these devices are a great option.

Furthermore, they are incredibly useful for when you need to make several drinks at once.

Without a Nespresso, making espressos or lattes can take quite a while.

You can see the following pages to compare the bestselling nespresso machines for sale today:

A Head-to-Head Comparison of Nespresso & Standard Coffee Machines

Drip V Nespresso


This is going to be one of the biggest factors to consider, because there is frequently a very large gap between the prices of drip-style coffee makers and Nespresso machines.

Drip-style coffee makers can really range in price, depending on how many extra features you want.

You can find something that will simply make coffee for as low as $12 in some cases, but most often these devices are around $20-$40 although some fancy SCAA certified coffee makers can be a couple hundred or more!

Keep in mind that within that lower price range, they aren’t likely to be programmable. You’ll need to measure and add water and grounds yourself and press a button to start the process.

If you’re looking for something with more features, the prices for normal drip coffee makers can go all the way up to around $100 but most models are far below that.

The low cost makes these coffee makers a fantastic choice for those who have a strict budget.

Meanwhile, Nespresso machines are far more automated, so it makes sense that they’ll come at a higher cost.

On the lowest levels, you might find an entry level Nespresso machine for around the price of a high end drip coffee maker.

Nespresso machines on the premium end can be a lot more expensive than that too!

One thing that is important to keep in mind is that you won’t have to sacrifice on beverage quality if you choose one of the lower-cost options.

You just may not get as many of the extra features as the more expensive models.

If you don’t mind a used option, you may be able to find these machines at a big discount off retail pricing as well.

It’s up to you to decide what is most important to you in your coffee maker.


There’s really no question about which option between Nespresso machines and drip-style machines as to which is more versatile.

While you can use the coffee from a drip-style machine to make other kinds of coffee beverages, the machine itself isn’t typically able to make espressos, lattes, cappuccinos or similar drinks.

That can make the process take longer if you do want to make those kinds of beverages.

Meanwhile, Nespresso machines are fantastic for those more complicated drinks that require frothed milk, crema and more.

Because of that, the cost of these machines is really backed up by the overall ability.

With such versatility and a number of drinks to choose from, you’re unlikely to get bored with a Nespresso machine!

Therefore, if you just want coffee and aren’t extremely picky, a drip-style coffee maker can get the job done but a Nespresso machine is great if you want more options and higher quality.


If you’re looking for something that can make coffee brewing a lot easier, the Nespresso is going to be the way to go.

Generally speaking, all you have to do with this device is add in the capsule flavor you want. After that, just choose the strength and size of your drink and you’re ready to go!

That said, drip-style coffee makers aren’t exactly hard to use if you’re just looking for a standard cup of coffee.

So really, it’s largely about what kind of coffee beverages you want to be able to make.

If you have any interest at all in espressos, lattes or cappuccinos then a Nespresso machine is well worth a look.

Otherwise, you may find that a solid programmable drip-style coffee maker will be able to handle your needs perfectly.

So Which Home Coffee Maker Is Better? Nespresso or Drip?

There is no overall option that is going to be better for everyone.

It’s really going to depend on the type of coffee drinks you want to make, what kind of budget you have to work with and the kind of convenience you’re looking for.

If you just want basic coffee, brewed in a simple and reliable way then it’s worth taking a look into the drip-style coffee makers on the market.

On a side note, a coffee percolator can also work well to fit this need.

However, if you want more versatility, or to be able to make lattes and espressos with ease then there are several Nespresso models worth checking out!

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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