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Nespresso has dominated the capsule espresso maker market for many years. Competitors like Illy and Lavazza have had a hard time competing with the range of coffee varieties and the advanced brewing technology of Nespresso’s machines.
In 2014, Nespresso branched out beyond espresso into the capsule coffee market with their VertuoLine machines. The Vertuo and VertuoPlus have quickly risen to become incredibly popular choices for both espresso and coffee. It seemed about time that I do a head-to-head comparison, so here it is — Nespresso Vertuo vs VertuoPlus: Which one is better?
The Nespresso VertuoLine vs OriginalLine
Unlike the Nespresso OriginalLine, the VertuoLine is able to make coffee as well as espresso. This extra versatility makes it a much stronger contender against Keurig machines for the average coffee drinker.
I won’t include a deep dive on the difference between the Vertuo line and the original line machines, but there are a couple of points that you should be aware of.
First, VertuoLine machines use a barcode reading system that prevents third-party companies from producing pods for those machines. The result is that there are fewer types of coffee available since only one company is producing the capsules. You also won’t find capsules below about $0.70 each, whereas some of the cheapest OrignalLine pods can be as low as $0.30 – 0.40 each.
Second, the VertuoLine machines produce more crema — that thick layer of foam on top of the espresso — but the OriginalLine machines make a more authentic espresso flavor. If you want both authentic flavor and rich crema, you may need to look into other affordable espresso machines.
You’ll probably notice that Breville or DeLonghi’s names are attached to all of these machines. Nespresso chose to partner with these companies — both of whom are known for their high-quality traditional espresso machines — rather than entirely producing the machines themselves. Don’t worry too much about which version (Breville vs Delonghi) to buy, although you may find that the slight design differences impact your preference.
Brew Size Options: Vertuo and VertuoPlus
Both the Vertuo and VertuoPlus have five capsule sizes. Each VertuoLine capsule is designed to brew a specific coffee cup size, so you’ll need to buy different capsules for each size of drink you want. The machine automatically determines which capsule you are using, so there is no need to worry about manually setting the machine.
- Espresso — 1.35 ounces
- Double Espresso — 2.7 ounces
- Gran Lungo — 5 ounces
- Mug — 7.8 ounces
- Alto — 14 ounces
The smallest two sizes are shots of espresso whereas the three largest sizes are intended to be more like a cup of coffee. The largest capsule size, an 18-ounce carafe, is not compatible with either the VertuoPlus or Vertuo.
Machine Size: Vertuo and VertuoPlus
(W x D x H) (inches)
|8.3 x 11.9 x 11.9||9.1 x 14.1 x 12.8 (tank on side)|
5.6 x 16.7 x 12.8 (tank on back)
The VertuoPlus is bigger, but that extra space is largely to allow for the adjustable water tank. The Vertuo’s water tank has a single position, which is fine if it easily fits into the available counter space.
One of the biggest differences between the Vertuo and VertuoPlus is the VertuoPlus’s adjustable water tank. The VertuoPlus’s water tank is able to rotate to sit on either side or the back of the machine. When it’s on the back, the VertuoPlus is considerably narrower than the Vertuo, but it is much deeper.
Whether you want the versatility of the VertuoPlus or the smaller overall size of the Vertuo will depend heavily on your kitchen setup.
Vertuo vs VertuoPlus: Water Tank and capsule capacity
Both the Vertuo and VertuoPlus have a 40-ounce water tank capacity, but the VertuoPlus deluxe introduces a larger water reservoir with a 60-ounce capacity. This additional water reservoir capacity lets you brew as many as 14 extra espresso shots between refills.
Both of these models have a coffee capsule compartment that the capsules automatically get dropped into after use. The Vertuo holds 13 mug-sized capsules, and the VertuoPlus holds 10 mug-sized capsules.
Color and Design of Vertuo and VertuoPlus
The Vertuo comes in 5 colors: titanium, chrome, red, black, and matte black. The VertuoPlus comes in 4 colors: 2 gray variants, cherry red, and white.
The VertuoPlus Deluxe version has the largest number of finishes at 8, although they don’t offer a huge amount of variety: 2 titanium, 2 matte blacks, 2 blacks, and 2 silvers.
The Vertuo definitely has a bulkier look to it compared to the sleek features of the VertuoPlus. However, the adjustable water reservoir of the VertuoPlus stands out more, potentially diverting from the otherwise streamlined look of the device.
Vertuo vs VertuoPlus: Other Features
The Vertuo heats up in 15 seconds which is slightly faster than the 20 seconds of the VertuoPlus. The Vertuo also has a slightly longer cable: 33.5 inches instead of 29.1 inches.
The Vertuo operates at a slightly higher power than the VertuoPlus, 1350 watts instead of 1300 watts, which likely contributes to the faster heat-up time. If efficiency is important to you, this gives the VertuoPlus a very slight edge.
Both machines are programmable, with an automatic shut-off after 9 minutes. They also both feature an easy-open capsule chamber with a motorized head that automatically dumps the old capsule into the used capsule chamber.
Which Offers the Better Value: Vertuo or VertuoPlus?
Unless you desperately need any of the minor advantages of the Vertuo (size, heat-up time, etc.), it’s hard to justify the higher price. As of the writing of this article, the current price of the VertuoPlus is significantly cheaper even though it is a newer model.
There is one caveat worth mentioning, though. The Vertuo seems to have better build quality. In most cases, you shouldn’t have a problem with either machine, but there have been cases of the VertuoPlus leaking from the water tank or experiencing a few other technical issues. Nespresso’s 1-year warranty generally helps as these issues typically happen soon after purchase.
As with all of the VertuoLine coffee machines, the Vertuo and VertuoPlus come with a complimentary starter pack of capsules. You can also purchase any of these machines as a package with an Aeroccino milk frother.
Nespresso VertuoPlus vs Deluxe
I’ve been mentioning the differences between the VertuoPlus and VertuoPlus Deluxe throughout this article, but let me get them all in one place.
- The VertuoPlus has a 40-ounce water tank whereas the VertuoPlus Deluxe’s larger water tank holds 60 ounces.
- The VertuoPlus Deluxe has chrome accents.
Other Nespresso VertuoLine Models
- VERSATILE AUTOMATIC COFFEE MAKER: Brew different single-serve coffee cup sizes at the touch of a button depending on your Coffee needs - Espresso (1.35 ounce), Double Espresso (2.7 ounce), Gran Lungo (5 ounce), Coffee (7.7 ounce) and Alto (14 ounce), Pour over ice to create your favorite iced Coffee drinks. Designed for use with Nespresso Vertuo capsules.
- Smart coffee maker: Brew the perfect single-serve Coffee or Espresso drink time after time, thanks to Nespresso's Centrifusion (TM) technology using barcodes to deliver the best in-cup results including the perfect crema for large coffee cup sizes. Simply insert the capsule and enjoy freshly brewed coffee or authentic Espresso.
- SINGLE SERVE COFFEE MACHINE: Create barista-grade brewed single-serve Coffee or Espresso at the touch of a single button. The one-touch button mechanism delivers the best in-cup result for whatever style Coffee or Espresso drink you choose. Designed for use with Nespresso Vertuo capsules only.
- FEATURES: Extra-large 54 ounce water tank and a very large 17 count used capsule container. This machine also has a fast heat-up time of only 15 seconds meaning you will never have to wait too long for your favorite Coffee or Espresso drink to be ready. There is an energy-saving automatic shutoff after 9 minutes of inactivity.
- COMPLIMENTARY GIFT: Each machine includes a welcome kit with a range of Vertuo capsules with unique aroma profiles. Removable drip tray
- Evoluo — The Evoluo was the second Nespresso VertuoLine coffee maker and the oldest that is still available. It’s bulkier than either the Vertuo or VertuoPlus, and the extra space is used for a 54-ounce water tank and a used capsule container that holds 17 mug-sized capsules.
- IMPOSSIBLY GOOD QUALITY: The only Nespresso Vertuo machine that brews 6 sizes: Coffee (5 ounce, 8 ounce, and 14 ounce), Espresso (single and double). New pour-over style caraffe (18 ounce) coffee exclusively for Vertuo Next
- QUALITY ENABLED BY TECHNOLOGY: This Nespresso Vertuo machine delivers the optimal in-cup results for each blend using capsule-specific brewing with barcode reading resulting in a silky crema atop the coffee; A signature of a truly great cup of coffee
- QUALITY MADE SIMPLE: This Nespresso machine delivers a consistent and delicious cup of coffee at a touch of a button. After brewing, the capsule is automatically ejected and stored – ready to be recycled– and the machine will turn off to save energy
- QUALITY DESIGN: Nespresso's newest innovation, Vertuo Next is the most compact, sustainable and smart Vertuo single-serve coffee maker yet. It’s made of 54% recycled materials, is only 5.5 inches wide. It also comes with a removable water tank
- QUALITY ROOTED IN SUSTAINABILITY: The aluminium sealed capsule protect the freshness of our coffee, but its also recyclable. Nespresso's recycling program makes returning and recycling your capsules easy with at-home and in-store options nationwide
- COMPLIMENTARY GIFT: Each Vertuo coffee machine includes a welcome kit, which includes a set of 12 Nespresso Vertuo coffee capsules, offering an introduction to the various size and flavor options
- Vertuo Next — The Vertuo Next is the latest in the VertuoLine. It is even narrower than the VertuoPlus, but it sacrifices the adjustable water tank, opting instead to place a rigid tank behind the machine. The Vertuo Next is the first machine to include support for the 18-ounce carafe brew size.
Nespresso Vertuo vs VertuoPlus: Which Is Better?
I think most people will find themselves gravitating toward the more affordable price and sleeker design of the VertuoPlus. That being said, the compact and rugged nature of the Vertuo may be enough to draw some people in. If you brew several cups of coffee a day, the larger water tank of the VertuPlus Deluxe also makes that model a top contender.
I hope that gives you the information you need to make your decision. Honestly, though, you can’t go wrong with any of the VertuoLine machines. They all brew some of the best Nespresso pods and produce delicious coffee and espresso with a rich crema.
If the convenience of capsules is important to you and you aren’t happy with Keurig’s espresso-like drinks, you’ll almost certainly find yourself buying a Nespresso.