Best alternative Nespresso Compatible capsules in 2023

Are you a coffee lover who enjoys the convenience of using Nespresso machines, but finds the cost of official Nespresso pods a bit steep? Rest assured, you’re not alone in this pursuit.

A growing number of coffee enthusiasts are on the lookout for alternative Nespresso compatible capsules that provide an array of distinctive flavors, enticing aromas, and delightful textures. These alternatives offer a welcome escape from the limitations of branded capsules, all while ensuring top-notch quality and seamless compatibility.

In this article, we will explore the factors to consider while buying alternative Nespresso capsules, and I will provide you with a list of a variety of the best alternative Nespresso-compatible pods that you can find on the market. So, let’s get started!

Best Nespresso Alternative Coffee Pods at Glance

Illy Espresso Classico
(The Best Tasting Espresso)

  • Prepared with 9 varieties of 100% Arabica Beans
  • Medium, Dark, and Bold Roast available
  • Compatible with Original line
Illy classico

Bestpresso Coffee
(The Most Affordable Option)

  • 12 different blends available from mild to the intense taste
  • Way more affordable than the Original Nespresso capsules
  • Made with 100% Arabica Beans
Bestpresso Coffee

Starbucks for Nespresso
(Alternative option for Vertuo)

  • Variety Pack including Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast, Pike Place Roast, Colombia, Sumatra, and Espresso Roast
  • Both Espresso and Coffee size Capsules
Starbucks for Nespresso vertuo

Hold your coffee cups, folks! Before we embark on an adventure through the land of alternative Nespresso capsules, let’s take a moment to brew up some knowledge on the factors that make a difference when it comes to choosing the best alternative Nespresso Capsules.

Factors to Consider while buying alternative Nespresso Capsules

1- Affordability

Many of us are seeking alternative Nespresso capsule options because the Original ones are excessively expensive. Paying over $1 for a shot of Espresso doesn’t seem like a budget-friendly choice.

However, it’s crucial to note that prices may differ across various brands. To make an informed decision, it’s essential to assess the price per pod rather than solely focusing on the package’s overall cost.

Among the most affordable capsules available, Bestpresso and Lavazza Nespresso Compatible Capsules are the most excellent choices costing less than 50 cents.

2- The type of Machine

Compatibility is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing alternative Nespresso capsules. You may already know that Nespresso offers two lines of machines i-e the Vertuo line and the Original line and the coffee capsules for these lines are not interchangeable.

For the Original line machines, a huge variety of alternative capsules are available also from the most reputable coffee bean brands such as Illy, Peets Coffee, and many more!

The Vertuo line capsules, on the other hand, employ a patented barcode technology exclusively developed by Nespresso. So, the availability of alternative options for Vertuo capsules is limited, with Starbucks being the only authorized manufacturer besides Nespresso itself.

3- Roast and Intensity Level

When selecting alternative Nespresso capsules, the roast and intensity level of the coffee plays a significant role in crafting your ideal cup. Different brands offer a range of roast levels and intensity levels, allowing you to personalize your coffee experience.

Nespresso Intensity level, rated on a scale of 1 to 13, determines the strength and boldness of the coffee. For those seeking a robust and powerful espresso shot, higher-intensity level capsules are the way to go. 

Conversely, if you prefer a smoother and milder flavor profile, capsules with a lower intensity level will better suit your taste.

When purchasing alternative Nespresso capsules, take into account your desired roast and intensity level to ensure that each cup satisfies your expectations. 

4- Lungo vs Espresso

When it comes to buying alternative Nespresso capsules, it’s important to consider your personal preference between lungo and espresso shots. As someone who enjoys coffee, I know that the taste and strength of each shot can vary depending on the type of capsule used.

So, if you prefer a longer shot, it’s recommended to choose capsules that are specifically designed for lungo shots. On the other hand, if you prefer a shorter and stronger shot, you should go for capsules that are specifically designed for espresso or ristretto shots.

It’s important to note that lungo shots generally use more water and have a milder taste, while espresso shots use less water and have a stronger and more concentrated flavor.

Ultimately, the decision between lungo and espresso capsules depends on your personal taste preference.

5- Recyclability

Most alternative Nespresso pods are made of plastic (especially the affordable options), which is not easily recyclable.

If sustainability is important to you (Why it shouldn’t be?), look for brands that offer recyclable options.

It’s worth noting that even if a pod is labeled as recyclable, it’s important to check if it’s actually being recycled in your area or not!

10 Best Alternative Nespresso Capsules

Now that we know what factors to consider, let’s dive into the top alternative Nespresso-compatible pods available in the market:

Nespresso Compatible capsules

1. Illy Espresso Classico (Best Tasting Espresso)

When it comes to the finest espresso, I can say without any doubt that Illy Nespresso capsules.

Among all the Nespresso variations, they effortlessly claim the crown, delivering an exceptional and unrivaled coffee experience.

Illy sources 100% Arabica beans from 9 different locations to make the best blend that delivers the intense and rich Aroma.

Illy Nespresso Capsules are expertly roasted in Italy (The Birthplace of Espresso!) and you can choose among 3 different roast profiles; the Classico, Intenso, and Forte.

It is important to note, however, that some customers have experienced occasional difficulties with puncturing the capsules, which may result in infrequent leakage. Despite this minor drawback, the overall coffee experience offered by Illy Espresso Classico remains exceptional.

When considering the price per pod, it is more or less the same as Original Nespresso Capsules.

Illy Capsules
Key FeaturesIlly Classico
Type of Beans100% Arabica from 9 different locations
SizeBoth Lungo and Espresso Available
RoastMedium, Dark and Bold Roast
MaterialAluminum Capsules


✔️ Prepared with 100% Arabica beans from the 9 best regions of the World.

✔️ Different Roast Options are available and the Decaf option is also there


❌ Not an affordable option

❌ Leaves a little bitter after taste

2. Bestpresso Coffee (Most Affordable Nespresso Alternative Pods)

Bestpresso Coffee presents a compelling option for coffee enthusiasts seeking an affordable alternative to Nespresso pods. Their Nespresso-compatible capsules offer a satisfying coffee experience with an intensity level that ranges from 6 to 12. 

The coffee beans used in these capsules are sourced from esteemed regions in South and Central America, as well as Africa, ensuring a delightful blend of flavors.

With a variety of flavors available, including Intenso, Arabica, Espresso, and Ristretto, Bestpresso Coffee caters to a diverse range of taste preferences.

However, the pods are made of plastic that might not be recyclable in all locations. Also, I must add you’ll not get the premium espresso taste with these pods. However, you can give it a try as it’s very affordable and has good customer ratings (So, you might also like it).

At less than 35 cents per pod, Bestpresso is the cheapest option available, almost three times less than original Nespresso pods.

Bestpresso coffee
Key FeaturesBestPresso
Type of BeansBoth Robusta Blends and 100% Arabica Beans are available
SizeLungo, Espresso, Ristretto
RoastAvialable in 6 to 12 intensity range
MaterialPlastic Capsules with Aluminum Seal


✔️ The most affordable option

✔️ Variety of pods available from low to high intensity and from 100% Arabica to Robusta Blends


❌ Made of plastic which might not be easily recyclable in all locations

❌ Not perfect for strong coffee lovers

3. Peet’s Coffee (Best Seller Nespresso Compatible Capsule)

For those seeking a luxurious and premium coffee experience, Peet’s Coffee offers a range of Nespresso-compatible capsules crafted with high-quality Arabica coffee beans.

These beans undergo a meticulous roasting and grinding process, resulting in a rich and flavorful cup.

Peet’s Coffee capsules come in a variety of delectable flavors, including Nerssimo, Ricchezza, Ristretto, and Crema Scura, providing an array of choices to suit every palate.

While Peet’s Coffee capsules are more expensive than some other alternatives on the market, their premium quality and hand-crafted approach make them a great choice for coffee enthusiasts seeking a refined and satisfying experience.

Peets Coffee
Key FeaturesBestPresso
Type of BeansHigh quality Arabica Beans
SizeRistretto and Espresso
RoastMedium and Dark roast
MaterialAluminum Capsules


✔️ Loved by customers (Bestseller on Amazon)

✔️ Variert of coffee pods available from intensity 8 to 12


❌ The taste is a little weaker (Not perfect for strong coffee lovers)

❌ Cost as much as Nespresso pods (Expensive option)

 4. Starbucks for Nespresso Original Line

Nespresso-compatible capsules are an excellent option for Starbucks coffee fans who want to enjoy the same bold and rich taste at home.

With a range of intensity levels from 6 (the blonde roasts) to 11 (the dark roast), the Starbucks by Nespresso capsules offer a strong taste that coffee lovers will appreciate. 

The price per pod is comparable to other alternative options, making it an affordable choice for those who want high-quality coffee without breaking the bank.

With positive customer reviews, it’s clear that many customers are satisfied with the taste and convenience of these capsules.

Starbucks for Nespresso Original
Key FeaturesBestPresso
Type of Beans100% Arabica Beans
SizeLungo and Espresso
RoastBlonde, Medium and Dark roast
MaterialAluminum Capsules


✔️ Variety of capsules available; from Starbucks Blonde roasts in the 4–6 range to dark roasts in the 10–12 range.

✔️ Made with 100% arabica coffee grown with sustainable practices


❌ The quality of some Varieties like Colombia and Cafe Verona is not up to mark.

5. L’OR Nespresso Compatible Capsules

L’OR Espresso Capsules are best for coffee enthusiasts who crave a wide array of flavors. With a captivating intensity level ranging from 7 to 12, these capsules deliver a diverse and robust coffee experience. 

    L’OR offers an enticing selection of capsules, including the aromatic Colombia Andes, the bold Onyx, the intense Ristretto, and delicate Papua New Guinea.

    L’OR Espresso Capsules showcase a meticulous blend of high-quality Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. These beans are thoughtfully selected and roasted to perfection, ensuring a luxurious and flavorful cup of coffee with each brew.

    While some users perceive the taste as slightly weaker than expected, L’OR Espresso Capsules continue to be a preferred alternative for those seeking versatility at a much more affordable price.

    L'OR Capsules
    Key FeaturesBestPresso
    Type of BeansBoth 100% Arabica Beans and Robusta blends are available
    SizeRistretto and Espresso
    RoastMedium and Dark roast
    MaterialAluminum Capsules


    ✔️ Wide variety of flavors is available

    ✔️ Made with the finest coffee beans from Central and South America


    ❌ Some users find the pods to be too weak

     6. Café Bustelo Nespresso Compatible Pods

    Café Bustelo Coffee is a perfect option for those who love 100% pure Brazilian dark-roasted coffee.

    Customers praise Café Bustelo Coffee for its rich and bold flavor profile. With an intensity level of 11, these capsules deliver a robust and smooth taste that satisfies even the most discerning coffee enthusiasts. 

    While the majority of reviews commend the exceptional flavor, it’s worth noting that the pods are made of plastic which may not be easily recyclable in all locations.

    Additionally, the variety is very limited; there are only dark roasts available and no light or medium roasts.

    In terms of pricing, the Café Bustelo Coffee capsules are affordable compared to Original Nespresso capsules.

    Cafe Bustelo
    Key FeaturesBestPresso
    Type of Beans100% Arabica Beans from Brazil
    RoastDark roast
    MaterialPlastic Capsules


    ✔️ Rich and full-bodied flavors

    ✔️ Made with the finest coffee beans from Brazil


    ❌ Very limited variety of pods (Only dark roast available)

    ❌ Made of Plastic

    7. Lavazza Capsules (The best Affordable Option)

    For those who want premium Italian coffee at a much more affordable price, Lavazza Espresso Capsules are an excellent choice for Nespresso machines.

    This variety pack of 60 capsules includes four unique blends: Armonico, Deciso, Avvolgente, and Leggero.

    Lavazza Espresso Capsules are known for their quality and variety, as they’re made using a blend of high-quality Arabica and Robusta coffee beans that are carefully selected and roasted to perfection. 

    Customers rave about the smooth and creamy flavors, as well as the bold and strong taste of the coffee.

    With an intensity level ranging from 4 to 10, these pods offer a range of flavor options to suit your preferences.

    There Lavazza Capsules are available in both Aluminum and Plastic materials. The Plastic ones are very affordable, but they are not recyclable. The Aluminum ones are a little expensive, but they can be recycled.

    Lavazza Capsules
    Key FeaturesBestPresso
    Type of BeansBlend of Arabica and Robusta
    RoastDark roast
    MaterialBoth Plastic and Aluminum Options are available


    ✔️ Premium Italian coffee with High-quality Arabica and Robusta beans

    ✔️ Variety pack with four different flavor profiles


    ❌ Plastic capsules are not recyclable

    ❌ May be too bitter for smooth coffee lovers

    8. Caffè Borbone Respresso

    These Nespresso-compatible capsules come in packs of 100 and are made from high-quality Italian coffee beans, ensuring a rich and flavorful taste.

    With an intensity level of 9, Caffè Borbone Respresso offers a strong, full-bodied taste that can be enjoyed as a shot of espresso or a latte. Customers have praised the rich and creamy flavor, making it a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the capsules are made of plastic that may not be easily recyclable

    However, for those who enjoy the taste and flavor, the price per pod is very affordable, making Caffè Borbone Respresso a great option for those on a budget.

    Caffè Borbone Respresso
    Key FeaturesCaffè Borbone Respresso
    Type of BeansBlend of Arabica and Robusta
    RoastMedium roast


    ✔️ Rich and full-bodied taste (Perfect for strong coffee lovers)

    ✔️ Available at a much affordable price


    ❌ Plastic capsules are not easily recyclable

    ❌ Not much variety available

    9. Rosso Capsules (Most affordable Aluminum Option)

    If you are on a budget and looking for an aluminum capsule that is also environmentally friendly, Rosso Nespresso compatible capsules would be a great choice.

    Rosso Coffee Capsules cater to coffee enthusiasts who seek delightful and versatile coffee flavors.

    These capsules are carefully crafted from a blend of high-quality Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, resulting in a captivating coffee experience.

    While the majority of reviews celebrate the captivating taste, it’s important to note that some customers complain about the weak or watery taste of coffee.

    Rosso Cafe

    Key FeaturesCaffè Borbone Respresso
    Type of BeansBoth 100% Arabica and blend of Robusta available
    RoastAll Light, Medium, and dark roasts available


    ✔️ Wide range of variety is available from the intensity level 5 to 10

    ✔️ Available at a much more affordable price and made of aluminum material


    ❌ Occasional issues with consistency

    ❌ The taste is somewhat watery and weak

    10. Starbucks for Nespresso Vertuo Line (The only Vertuo Compatible Capsules)

    There isn’t a lot of variety available for the Vertuo line machines outside of Nespresso, and Starbucks is the only partner that can manufacture Vertuo pods.

    So, if you own a Nespresso Vertuo line machine and want to try something other than Nespresso these Compatible capsules will be a perfect alternative.

    Available in packs of 40, these capsules feature a selection of popular Starbucks blends, such as Pike Place Roast, Blonde Espresso, Single-Origin Colombia, Sumatra, and intense Espresso roast.

    With various flavors and intensity levels, Starbucks capsules consistently deliver the same exceptional taste that people expect.

    It’s important to note that while the taste and convenience are highly regarded, they are not cheaper than branded Nespresso capsules.

    Nonetheless, for avid Starbucks fans seeking the distinctive flavors and quality they love, these capsules offer an excellent opportunity to indulge in a Starbucks coffee.

    Starbucks for Nespresso Vertuo
    Key FeaturesCaffè Borbone Respresso
    Type of Beans100% Arabica Beans
    RoastAll Starbucks signature roasts are available


    ✔️ All of Starbucks’ popular coffee blends are available

    ✔️ The only compatible option for the Nespresso Vertuo line


    ❌ The price is much higher – more or less the same as branded Nespresso

    Final Thoughts on Nespresso Compatible Capsules

    All in all, alternative Nespresso-compatible pods can provide a budget-friendly solution.

    With so many options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. However, by considering factors such as price, compatibility, roast intensity, flavor, and recyclability, you can make an informed decision.

    Personally, I have tried several of the alternative Nespresso-compatible pods mentioned in this article and have been impressed with their quality and taste. 

    Illy and Peet’s Coffee are my top picks for their rich and bold flavor, which are comparable to branded Nespresso capsules. Starbucks by Nespresso is another excellent option, especially for those who prefer a milder coffee taste.

    In the end, whether you choose to stick with Nespresso’s own branded capsules or explore alternative options, it’s all about finding the right taste and experience that suits your preferences. So, go ahead, try out a few different brands, and find your perfect cup of coffee!

    Also Check out


    Can you use third-party pods in Nespresso Vertuo?

    No, you cannot use third-party pods in Nespresso Vertuo machines. The Vertuo machines are designed to only work with Nespresso’s unique barcode system. This system ensures that each capsule is brewed at the perfect temperature and volume for the specific blend.
    As for now, Starbucks is the only Nespresso partner which is authorized to manufacture Vertuo-compatible capsules

    Why is there a shortage of Nespresso pods?

    Sometimes Warehouse delays cause a shortage of Nespresso pods, which may be compounded by increased demand for home coffee consumption.

    Where is the cheapest place to buy pods for Nespresso?

    The cheapest place to buy pods for Nespresso is usually directly from Nespresso’s website. They offer a variety of discounts and promotions throughout the year, such as bundle deals and free shipping. 
    Additionally, Amazon is also a perfect place to buy 3rd party compatible and branded Nespresso capsules

    Can you use your own Coffee in Nespresso?

    Yes, you can use your own coffee grounds in Nespresso. For that, you have to buy refillable coffee pods that are easily available for Nespresso original machines.

    Do 3rd party capsules damage your machine?

    Using third-party Nespresso capsules may not necessarily damage your machine, but it’s important to be cautious and only use capsules from well-reputed brands.

    Johny Morrisson is a passionate coffee enthusiast and an avid blogger dedicated to exploring the world of coffee.

    Whether it's repairing or troubleshooting coffee equipment, reviewing cutting-edge brewing machines, or delving into the latest coffee trends, Johny's writing captivates readers and invites them on a flavorful journey.

    When he's not writing, Johny enjoys traveling, seeking inspiration from different cultures and coffee traditions worldwide.