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Nespresso VertuoLine vs. Nespresso Pixie

Jan. 9, 2017
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Nespresso machines are obvious options for espresso lovers searching for a personal brewer. After all, the word “espresso” is right there in the brand name. But deciding which model to purchase might not be as clear.

We’re taking a closer look at two of the brand’s popular single-serve coffee makers — the Nespresso VertuoLine and the Nespresso Pixie — to help you determine which one will serve you better.

The coffee makers: At a glance

 Nespresso VertuoLineNespresso Pixie
ColorsBlack, matte black, chromeSteel, carmine, electric titan
Brew sizes1.35-ounce espresso or 8-ounce coffee1.35-ounce espresso or 3.72-ounce lungo
Heating time15-20 seconds25 seconds
Water capacity40 ounces24 ounces
Compatible withNespresso VertuoLine capsulesNespresso OriginalLine capsules
Dimensions (W x D x H)8.32 inches x 11.91 inches x 11.93 inches4.37 inches x 12.83 inches x 9.25 inches
Buy on Amazon

On the surface


Nespresso Pixie

The VertuoLine and the Pixie share the signature Nespresso style: a sleek design, curved edges and minimal controls for easy use. Both coffee makers have indicator lights on top that signal when the water is heating up and when they’re ready to brew.

The VertuoLine is flanked by a water container and a used capsule container, which give it a slightly bulkier appearance. The Pixie’s containers are strategically placed within and behind the machine to keep it streamlined.

The compact Pixie measures 4.37 by 12.83 by 9.25 inches. The VertuoLine takes up more counter space, measuring 8.32 by 11.91 by 11.93 inches. But its large size allows for a bigger water reservoir. The VertuoLine’s tank holds 40 ounces at capacity compared with the Pixie’s 24 ounces.

Both coffee makers are available in colors that should complement most kitchens.

» MORE: The Best Coffee Makers


The VertuoLine and the Pixie take less than 30 seconds each to heat up. While both dispense espresso or hot water with the press of a button, the VertuoLine can also make an 8-ounce cup of regular coffee. The Pixie doesn’t have a standard coffee option, but it can brew a 3.72-ounce lungo drink, which is like a large, mild espresso, according to the Nespresso Magazine.

It’s worth noting that the two machines are specifically designed for use with Nespresso brand capsules, and the company does not sell reusable capsules for grounds. This means users won’t have much flexibility with their coffee choices.


Nespresso VertuoLine

The Pixie’s features are simple and few. It has a separate brew button for each beverage size and a backlight that illuminates when the water tank is empty. The VertuoLine, on the other hand, is more sophisticated. It’s equipped with a bar-code reader that scans each capsule you put in and makes your drink accordingly. It also uses Nespresso’s Centrifusion technology to spin the capsule while it brews, which helps maximize the coffee’s flavor and aroma. All you need to do is press the brew button.

The VertuoLine has a removable drip tray, and the Pixie a folding tray, to accommodate large cups and travel mugs. Both coffee makers have an energy-saving automatic shut-off feature.

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Despite its larger size and more advanced technology, the VertuoLine is the less expensive of the two. It retails for $199 and the Pixie for $229; however, both are often sold at a discount at several third-party retailers. For example, we spotted the VertuoLine in chrome on Amazon for $134.71 and the Pixie in electric titan for $133.12.

These Nespresso machines are somewhat pricey compared with other single-serve coffee makers on the market, and the capsules are another cost to consider. At the time of this writing, a 30-count coffee variety pack for the VertuoLine is $43.10 on Amazon. A 50-pack of assorted capsules for the Pixie costs $36.99 on Amazon.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s Coffee Maker Buying Guide

Get your fix

The VertuoLine and Pixie both make brewing espresso at home fast and convenient. So which Nespresso should you choose? The VertuoLine takes ease of use a step further than the Pixie, thanks to its high-tech features. Plus it gives users the option to make a large, plain cup of joe, and it costs $30 less.

Those with limited counter space may want to save a few valuable inches and opt for the Pixie instead. This compact machine makes it easy to grab a quick caffeine fix on your way out the door.

Both machines restrict you to using Nespresso capsules, which means your beverage options are few. If you’d rather have the option to use grounds or make other drinks, like tea and hot cocoa, check out some of the more versatile options, such as the Keurig K55 and the Ninja Coffee Bar.

Lauren Schwahn is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @lauren_schwahn.