Best Nespresso Compatible pods in 2023 (Tasty Alternatives!)

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

Coffee lovers are increasingly seeking out alternative Nespresso compatible pods that offer a wider range of flavors, aromas, and textures than those found in Nespresso’s own capsules.

Best Nespresso Compatible Capsules
(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 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 Blonde Espresso Roast, Pike Place Roast, Colombia, Sumatra, and Espresso Roast
  • Both Espresso and Coffee size Capsules
Starbucks for Nespresso vertuo

Why Trust Us

I have had the pleasure of tasting many 3rd party Nespresso capsule alternativs over the years. In this article, I share my insights on the top features, flavor profiles, and notes of the best Nespresso compatible pods, so you can find your perfect match.

*As an Amazon Associate, we earn a little commission when you purchase products through our links, without any additional cost to you. That helps to support our website and I greatly appreciate your support!

These alternatives provide a welcome escape from the limitations of Branded Nespresso pods, while still delivering top-notch quality and seamless compatibility at an affordable rate.

Nespresso Compatible capsules

1. Illy Espresso Classico
(Best Tasting Nespresso Compatible Pods)

When it comes to the finest espresso, I can say without any doubt that the Illy Espresso capsule is the best. Among all the capsules compatible with Nespresso Original machines, they effortlessly claim the crown, delivering an exceptional and unrivaled coffee experience.

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

Illy sources 100% Arabica beans from 9 different locations to make the best blend that delivers an 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.


✔️ 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

❌ May cause leakages sometimes

2. Bestpresso Coffee
(Cheapest Nespresso Compatible Pods)

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

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

The coffee beans used in these capsules are sourced from reputable regions in South and Central America, as well as Africa, ensuring a delectable 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. You can give it a try, though, 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.


✔️ 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)

Peet’s Coffee offers a range of capsules that are compatible with Nespresso machines, crafted with high-quality coffee beans for those who seek a luxurious and premium coffee experience. These beans undergo a meticulous roasting and grinding process, resulting in a rich and flavorful cup.

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

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 Espresso 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.


✔️ 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

This is 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 every coffee lover will appreciate. 

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

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.


✔️ Variety of capsules available; from 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 Capsules
Key FeaturesBestPresso
Type of BeansBoth 100% Arabica Beans and Robusta blends are available
SizeRistretto and Espresso
RoastMedium and Dark roast
MaterialAluminum Capsules

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


✔️ 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
(Best Nespresso Compatible Pods For Latte)

Café Bustelo Coffee is a perfect option for those who love strong taste of coffee with notes of Cuban Sugar. These pods are perfect for making specialty coffee drinks such as Cappuccino or Latte with your Nespresso machine.

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

You’ll surely love the rich and bold flavor profiles of Café Bustelo Coffee. With an intensity level of 11, these capsules deliver a robust and smooth taste that satisfies even the most discerning coffee enthusiasts. 

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 very affordable compared to Original Nespresso 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)

Lavazza Espresso Capsules offer a great way to enjoy premium Italian coffee at a more affordable price. This variety pack of 60 capsules includes four unique blends: Armonico, Deciso, Avvolgente, and Leggero.

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

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. 

You’ll love the smooth and creamy flavors, as well as the bold and strong taste of this coffee.

With an intensity level ranging from 4 to 10, these pods offer a range of coffee 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.


✔️ 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 capsules are made from high-quality coffee beans roasted in Italy. They come in packs of 100, ensuring that you’ll always have a delicious cup of coffee on hand.

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

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.

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.


✔️ 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 Cafe
Key FeaturesCaffè Borbone Respresso
Type of BeansAll Light, Medium, and dark roasts of coffee are available
RoastAll Light, Medium, and dark roast coffee are available

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.

Rosso offers a wide range of flavors from very strong to mild, However, it’s important to note that some customers complain about the weak or watery taste of coffee.


✔️ 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
(only Vertuo Compatible Capsules)

If you own a Vertuo line machine and want to try something different, these Starbucks capsules will be perfect options as they are only option that is compatible with the Nespresso Vertuo machine.

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

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 of coffee and intensity levels, these 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.


✔️ 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

Factors to Consider while Buying Nespresso Compatible Pods

Let’s take a moment to brew up some knowledge on the factors that make a difference when it comes to choosing the best Nespresso Pods Alternatives.

1- Affordability

Many of us are seeking alternative Nespresso capsule options because the Branded 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 overall cost of the package.

Bestpresso and Lavazza are two of the most affordable Nespresso-compatible capsules available, with prices starting at just under 50 cents each.

Both brands offer a wide variety of flavors and blends to choose from, so you’re sure to find something to your liking.

Another way to enjoy Nespresso in an affordable way is by using reusable pods. Check out the Best Nespresso reusable Pods

2- The type of Machine

Compatibility is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing Nespresso Compatible 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 Nespresso 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!

Vertuo line capsules use a unique barcode technology that is exclusively developed by Nespresso. This limits the availability of alternative options, as only Starbucks is authorized to manufacture Vertuo capsules besides Nespresso itself.

3- Roast and Intensity Level

The roast and intensity of your coffee can have a big impact on the taste of your cup. Different coffee brands offer a range of roast levels and intensity levels, so you can find the perfect cup for your taste buds.

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 coffee capsules, consider your preferred roast and intensity level to ensure that each cup exceeds your expectations.

4- Lungo vs Espresso

When looking for Nespresso capsule alternatives, it’s important to consider your personal preference for lungo or espresso shots. As a coffee enthusiast, I know that the flavor 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.

The difference between lungo and espresso shots is all in the water. Lungo shots use more water, resulting in a milder flavor. Espresso shots use less water, resulting in a stronger and more concentrated flavor.

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!

Read a guide on recycling Nespresso pods

Final Thoughts

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.

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.

Looking for a way to store Nespresso Pods? Check out the Best Nespresso Pod Holders

Also Check out


Can you use third-party pods in the Nespresso Vertuo Coffee maker?

No, you cannot use third-party pods in Nespresso Vertuo coffee 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 that 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 line 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.