Nespresso Pods Vs Dolce Gusto - What’s the Difference? | Updated 2023

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In the year of 2023, the market for coffee capsules in the UK (and in many other countries) is still dominated by two undisputed powerhouses - Nespresso and Dolce Gusto. Both of which have thousands of loyal customers, who collectively purchase millions of coffee pods across the country each day.

But what exactly is the main difference between Nespresso capsules and Dolce Gusto coffee capsules? Is there any major distinction between the two, or are they basically identical products with different physical forms?

Nespresso vs Nescafe Dolce Gusto

Which of the two is the more popular product is likely to have no consequence to the manufacturer, given how Nespresso coffee capsules and Dolce Gusto coffee pods are both produced by Nestlé. Nevertheless, each has its own unique pros and cons to take into account, before deciding which machine to buy.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Dolce Gusto


  • The most obvious advantage of Dolce Gusto coffee machines is that they usually cost less than the equivalent Nespresso Machines. The capsules themselves are also less expensive.
  • Dolce Gusto pods and machines are designed for those who enjoy long coffees, sometimes with up to seven different sizes to choose from.
  • You can also get a wider range of hot chocolate capsules and other types of pods that are compatible with Dolce Gusto machines that let you drink something different for a change.


  • Specialty coffee and gourmet coffee rarely makes it into Dolce Gusto pods, which are more commercial in nature.
  • Dolce Gusto is nowhere near as capable as Nespresso when it comes to making intensely aromatic and flavorful espresso coffee. An espresso brewed in a Dolce Gusto tends to be much weaker in mouthfeel than that brewed in a Nespresso machine.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Nespresso


  • The aroma, flavor and all-round quality of the coffee produced by a Nespresso machine is significantly higher than that of Dolce Gusto - particularly when used with high-end gourmet coffee pods, like those offered by Hayman.
  • Nespresso coffee capsules are among the only coffee pods on the market that are fully recyclable. Dolce Gusto pods cannot currently be recycled.
  • The Nespresso brand is aimed primarily at connoisseurs and those who enjoy simple, short coffees in their purest form.
  • That said, there are also Nespresso machines available that can make an endless range of long and milky coffees of impeccable quality.


  • Nespresso machines and coffee capsules typically cost more than Dolce Gusto's, but there is a noticeable difference in quality.
  • Dolce Gusto capsules are more readily available in physical stores and supermarkets, whereas gourmet Nespresso capsules usually need to be ordered online or purchased directly from Nespresso's physical stores.

And the Winner is…?

To label one of the two ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than its counterpart would be to miss the mark entirely. These are two very different types of coffee machines, compatible with different types of coffee capsules and marketed at different audiences.

If looking for a simple and affordable machine that makes a wide variety of drinks to a decent quality standard, Dolce Gusto is great. But if you’re looking for something that makes quality coffee and opens the door to a whole world of gourmet coffee artisan producers, Nespresso pods are really your only option.

Hayman’s online coffee store brings you the best coffee in the world, available in Nespresso®* compatible capsules, coffee pods compatible with Keurig K Cup coffee makers (incl. Keurig 2.0 models)**, whole bean coffee, ground coffee, and green coffee beans (i.e. for home roasting with your own coffee roaster). Our specialty coffee menu includes the legendary Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, best Kona coffee Hawaii, and Geisha coffee (aka Gesha coffee) – click here to order today, we offer free worldwide shipping!


* Nespresso® is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., unrelated to Hayman®. Our espresso pods are not created or sold by Nespresso®.

** Keurig and K-Cup are registered trademarks of Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. unrelated to Hayman®. Our pods are not created or sold by Keurig®.