Illy vs Nespresso

When it comes to choosing the perfect espresso machine for your home or office, it can be difficult to decide between two of the most popular brands on the market: Nespresso and Illy. Both companies offer quality espresso machines, but they have some distinct differences. To help you decide which one is right for you, we’ve put together a comparison of Nespresso vs Illy.

Comparison of Nespresso and Illy 

BackgroundNespresso is a Swiss brand of coffee machines and coffee capsules owned by Nestlé.Illy is an Italian coffee roasting company that also produces coffee machines and has been around since 1933.
CostNespresso machines and pods can be more expensive than Illy, especially in the long run.Illy machines and pods are generally more affordable than Nespresso in the long run.
Variety of productsNespresso offers a wide variety of coffee capsules, with options for different strengths and flavors.Illy offers fewer options for coffee capsules, but their focus is on high-quality espresso and coffee.
Brewing processesNespresso uses a high-pressure extraction method to brew coffee, which is quick and convenient but may not produce the same depth of flavor as Illy’s method.Illy uses an exclusive Iperespresso brewing system that uses pre-packaged coffee capsules and high pressure to create a thick and creamy crema, resulting in a high-quality espresso.

1. Background

Nespresso machine:

Nespresso is part of the Nestlé family, and it offers a wide range of espresso machines. Its machines are designed to be easy to use, with automatic settings and a capsule-based system that makes it simple to brew the perfect cup of espresso. They use a 19-bar pressure system to ensure that you get a consistent cup of espresso each time.

Illy machine:

Illy is an Italian-based coffee company that has been around since 1933. Illy’s espresso machines are a bit more complex than Nespresso’s, as they use a 15-bar pressure system and require manual settings for each cup of espresso. However, their machines are of a higher quality and offer a better-tasting cup of espresso.

2. Cost 

Nespresso machine:

Nespresso machines are generally priced between $99 and $599, with most models falling within the $199 to $299 range. The most expensive models tend to have more features, like a milk frother or an automated brewing system.

Illy machine:

Illy machines are generally more expensive than Nespresso machines, with prices ranging from $149 to $999. The most expensive models include features like a milk frother, a built-in grinder, and a touchscreen interface. The most affordable models tend to be manual espresso makers

3. Varieties of Products 

Nespresso machine: 

Nespresso machines come in a variety of models and styles, each with its own unique features. The variety of models includes commercial machines, capsule-based machines, and also multi beverage designs.

Pod Machines: 

These are the most popular type of Nespresso machines and are designed to make coffee from pre-packaged Nespresso pods. These machines require minimal effort and are perfect for those who want to quickly make coffee without having to measure out coffee grounds and fuss with filters. 

Espresso Machines: 

These machines are designed for more advanced coffee makers who want to make café-quality espresso drinks. These machines allow you to adjust the settings to create the perfect shot of espresso. They usually come with a milk frother for making cappuccinos and lattes. 

Capsule Machines: 

These machines are similar to pod machines but use larger capsules that can be filled with coffee grounds or pre-ground coffee. They are great for those who want to experiment with different types of coffee or create their own unique blends. 

Multi-Beverage Machines: 

These machines are the most advanced type of Nespresso machines and come with several features that allow you to make a variety of drinks. They can make espresso, cappuccino, latte, and other specialty drinks with the push of a button. 

Illy machine:

Illy specialize in producing high-quality coffee and has a range of coffee machines designed to help you enjoy their products at home or in the office. Some of the most popular machines are following.

Illy Coffee Machines:

  1. Illy Y3.3 Iperespresso Machine – This compact and stylish coffee machine uses Illy’s Iperespresso capsule system to make a rich and creamy espresso with a velvety crema. It has two programmable buttons for preparing either a regular or a long espresso.
  2. Illy X9 Iperespresso Machine – This sleek and elegant machine is designed for the coffee connoisseur who wants a high-quality espresso at home. It uses Illy’s Iperespresso capsule system to make a rich, aromatic espresso with a smooth crema.
  3. Illy X1 Anniversary Iperespresso Machine – This retro-style coffee machine pays homage to the original Illy espresso machine from 1935. It uses Illy’s Iperespresso capsule system to make a full-bodied espresso with a thick and creamy crema.

4. Brewing Process

Illy Machine:

Iperespresso is a capsule-based brewing method exclusive to Illy coffee machines.

After being inserted into the machine, the coffee capsules are punctured and hot water is pushed through them under high pressure.

The finished coffee is poured into a cup, which develops a crema layer.

You can usually customize your coffee’s strength and the water’s temperature in an Illy machine.

Nespresso Machine:

Nespresso coffee makers, like other models, rely on capsules of pre-ground coffee.

The machine pierces the capsule, and hot water is pushed through it under high pressure, collecting in a cup below.

There are a variety of brewing settings available on most Nespresso machines.

Cappuccinos and lattes can be prepared with the milk frother attachment that most Nespresso machines provide.

Both Illy and Nespresso use pre-packaged coffee capsules and high pressure to make coffee, but Illy’s Iperespresso system uses a unique brewing process that produces a thicker and creamier crema. Nespresso machines typically have more brewing options and a milk frother attachment for making espresso-based drinks. Ultimately, the choice between Illy and Nespresso will come down to personal preference and desired features.

5. Compatibility

Illy machines: 

Illy coffee machines employ the Iperespresso capsule system, which is made to work only with Illy coffee capsules.

This means that Illy machines don’t work with other kinds of coffee pods or capsules, which limits the coffee choices. However, the Iperespresso system is made to provide high-quality coffee with a rich and creamy crema, which many coffee enthusiasts prefer.

Nespresso machines:

Nespresso machines use Nespresso’s own coffee pods, which come in a wide range of flavors and strengths. However, some Nespresso machines can also use coffee pods or capsules made by other companies, giving you more options for your coffee.

Nespresso machines also work with reusable Nespresso pods, which let you use your own coffee grounds and make coffee just the way you like it.

Illy and Nespresso coffee machines can work with each other in different ways. Illy machines are made to only function with Illy’s own coffee pods. Nespresso machines, on the other hand, are more flexible and can use both Nespresso pods and pods made by other companies, as well as reusable pods.

6. Coffee Taste

Illy Coffee Products:

  1. Illy Espresso – Illy’s signature blend is made from nine different Arabica coffee beans from around the world. It has a rich and full-bodied flavor with notes of chocolate and caramel.
  2. Illy Decaffeinated Espresso – Illy’s decaf espresso is made using the same blend of Arabica beans as their regular espresso but with 97% of the caffeine removed. It has a smooth and creamy texture with a rich flavor.
  3. Illy Dark Roast Espresso – Illy’s dark roast espresso is made from a blend of 100% Arabica beans. It has a bold and intense flavor with notes of cocoa and toasted bread.
  4. Illy Medium Roast Espresso – Illy’s medium roast espresso is made from a blend of 100% Arabica beans. It has a smooth and balanced flavor with notes of caramel and hazelnut.
  5. Illy Lungo – Illy’s lungo is made from a blend of Arabica beans that are roasted longer than their regular espresso. It has a rich and full-bodied flavor with a velvety crema.
  6. Illy Filter Coffee – Illy’s filter coffee is made from a blend of Arabica beans that are medium-roasted to produce a smooth and balanced flavor. It is perfect for drip coffee makers or French press.
  7. Illy Ground Coffee – Illy’s ground coffee is available in a range of flavors and blends, including medium roast, dark roast, decaf, and single origin. It is perfect for brewing with a drip coffee maker or French press.

Pros and Cons of Nespresso

Quick and convenient: Nespresso machines are designed to make coffee quickly and easily, which is perfect for busy mornings.Limited customization: Nespresso machines offer limited customization options in terms of grind size, water temperature, and other brewing variables.
Consistent quality: The use of pre-packaged coffee pods ensures that the coffee produced is consistent in terms of taste and strength.Cost: Nespresso machines and pods can be more expensive than other coffee brewing methods in the long run, especially if used frequently.
Easy to clean: Nespresso machines are generally easy to clean, as the pods are disposable and there is no need to grind coffee beans or clean filters.Environmental impact: The use of disposable coffee pods generates a significant amount of waste, which can be harmful to the environment.

Pros and Cons of Illy

Sustainable practices: Illy is committed to sustainable practices and works directly with farmers to ensure fair wages and environmental responsibility.Limited Availability: Illy is not widely available in supermarkets and retail stores, so it may be difficult to find in some areas.
Consistent quality: Illy is known for its consistent quality across all its products, ensuring that customers can always expect a high-quality cup of coffee.Expensive: Illy coffee is more costly than many other brands of coffee so that it may be out of the budget for some people.
Strong brand reputation: Illy has a strong reputation for quality and is a well-respected brand in the coffee industry.Intense Flavor: Illy coffee is known for its intense flavor, which can be overwhelming for some people.

How do Illy espresso machines work?

Illy espresso machines work by forcing hot water under pressure through a puck of finely ground coffee beans. The pressure and temperature of the water is carefully regulated to ensure the perfect espresso shot. Depending on the machine, the user may need to adjust the grind size, tamp pressure, and water temperature to get the desired result. Follow the steps for clear instructions.

1. Fill the water tank on the back of the machine with fresh, filtered water. 

2. Insert a portafilter into the group head on the front of the machine. 

3. Measure the desired amount of freshly ground espresso beans into the portafilter and tamp it down firmly. 

4. Place a cup or espresso shot glass beneath the portafilter. 

5. Flip the switch on the Illy espresso machine to begin the brewing process. 

6. Watch as the hot water is pumped through the portafilter, extracting a full-bodied espresso. 

7. Once the desired amount of espresso has been brewed, turn the switch off and remove the portafilter. 

8. Discard the used espresso grounds and rinse off the portafilter. 

9. Enjoy your freshly brewed cup of Illy espresso.

How do Nespresso machines work?

Nespresso machines use a special type of capsule that contains pre-measured portions of coffee, tea, or other ingredients that can be used to make a delicious hot beverage. The capsules are placed in the machine and the machine pierces the capsule and forces hot water through it, extracting the flavor and creating a delicious beverage. Follow simple steps to get your cup of joe.

1. Place a Nespresso capsule into the capsule holder on the machine. 

2. Close the holder so the capsule is securely in place. 

3. Select the desired size of your beverage from the machine’s menu. 

4. Push the start button to begin the brewing process. 

5. Hot water is extracted from the machine’s water tank and forced through the capsule, extracting the coffee. 

6. The brewed coffee is then expelled into a cup or mug. 

7. Push the stop button to end the brewing process. 

8. Remove the capsule from the holder and discard it.

Should I get an Illy or a Nespresso espresso machine?

It really depends on your preference, as both Illy and Nespresso offer amazing espresso machines. If you want a classic-style machine that makes a robust cup of espresso, Illy is a great choice. Their traditional machines are designed to produce a strong and flavorful espresso. They also offer many different models to fit any budget and lifestyle. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a modern, sleek espresso machine that’s easy to use, then Nespresso is the way to go. Their machines use capsules filled with pre-measured amounts of ground coffee, so you don’t have to worry about grinding or measuring your beans. Plus, their machines come in many different colors, styles, and sizes to fit any kitchen. It’s really up to you to decide which machine is best for you. Both Illy and Nespresso offer great espresso machines that will produce a delicious cup of espresso. So, take your time and find the one that best fits your needs and budget.


In conclusion, both illy and Nespresso are excellent coffee-making systems with their own merits. Illy is a bit more affordable, and its capsules come in a variety of flavors, so if you’re looking for variety, it’s a great choice. Nespresso’s capsules are smaller, making them a better choice for single-serve cups of espresso. They also offer more options for customizing your cup of coffee, such as temperature and quantity. Ultimately, the choice between illy and Nespresso boils down to your individual coffee preferences and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy Illy espresso pods?

Illy espresso pods can be purchased from many different retailers, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, and many other stores. You can also purchase them directly from the Illy website.

Where can I buy Nespresso pods?

Nespresso pods can be purchased from a variety of retailers, both online and in-store. Some of the most popular places to purchase Nespresso pods include Nespresso stores, grocery stores, online retailers, and specialty coffee shops. Nespresso stores offer a wide variety of Nespresso pods and can provide helpful advice on which type of pod is best for you. Grocery stores also often carry Nespresso pods, and online retailers such as Amazon and eBay have a wide selection of Nespresso pods for sale. For a detailed guide, you can check out our website at this link.

Is Nespresso as good as real espresso?

It depends on what you consider “real espresso.” Nespresso machines use a proprietary capsule system to extract a pre-measured amount of coffee, and their machines have been designed to produce a consistent espresso shot. Some coffee connoisseurs may not consider this to be a “real” espresso, but many people consider Nespresso machines to make a quality espresso shot.

Is there a difference between the amount of coffee in Illy and Nespresso’s capsules?

Yes, there is a difference between the amount of coffee in Illy and Nespresso’s capsules. Illy capsules contain 7 grams of coffee per capsule, while Nespresso capsules contain 5 grams of coffee per capsule.

Will Illy pods work in Nespresso?

Aluminum illy capsules are compatible with all Nespresso Original coffee makers after July 25, 2016, except for the U, Umilk, Expert, Expert&Milk, Prodigio, and Prodigio&Milk models.

What is special about Illy coffee?

Illy coffee is known for its distinctively smooth taste and its unique blend of nine different Arabica beans that are hand-selected and expertly blended to create its signature flavor. It is also Rainforest Alliance-certified, meaning that it is grown in an environmentally- and socially-responsible manner. Additionally, Illy coffee is prepared and packaged using airtight, pressurized tins that help to lock in the flavor and aroma of the coffee.

Are Illy machines worth it?

Illy machines can be worth it depending on several factors. First, it is important to consider what type of coffee drinker you are and how often you drink coffee. If you are an avid coffee drinker and enjoy the convenience of freshly brewed espresso drinks, an Illy machine may be worth the investment. Illy machines are known for their high-quality espresso drinks and many of them come with a built-in frothing wand. If you are looking for an espresso machine that is easy to use, with a sleek design, and that can provide consistently good espresso drinks, then an Illy machine may be worth the investment.

Is Illy 100% Arabica?

Yes, Illy is 100% Arabica.

Can I use reusable capsules in the Illy machine?

Yes, some Illy machines are compatible with reusable capsules, but please refer to your manual for specific instructions.Can I use Starbucks capsules in the Illy machine?
Yes, Starbucks capsules are compatible with Illy machines.

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