Last Updated 17-06-2019

10 Best Dolce Gusto Machines 2019

Nescafé Dolce Gusto machines are one of the most popular pod ranges on the market. Their fans rate the affordability and availability of the capsules, as well as the great price of the machines. Nescafé is also one of the leading coffee brands worldwide, so the resulting taste is bound to be good.

They are also famed for their rounded style, with some of the latest models looking nothing like coffee machines. If you have your heart set on a Dolce Gusto machine but are wondering which is ideal for your needs and lifestyle, we have picked the ten best available and reviewed them to help you out:

The Best Dolce Gusto Machines

1.
De’Longhi Jovia – Currently 70% OFF

The cheapest model offered in the Dolce Gusto range, but this doesn’t mean it is any less effective at its role.

The price isn’t the only reason why the Jovia is one of the most popular pod coffee machines. Its unique design and simple to use interface means making a cup of coffee has never been more relaxed, stylish or quicker.

It is manual automation, so can’t be left to its own devices. But on a positive note, this can mean less fuss. There are no settings to adjust; just stop the flow with the manual lever when you have enough water. This could mean easier control for some and harder for others, so all boils down to your preference.

The stop safety device makes using the machine a lot safer. No water will run unless a pod is inserted, so there is a reduced chance of water getting everywhere or all over you. The grounds all stay in the little capsule after use too, so there is an easier cleanup, and the drip tray is removable for easy cleaning.

It can only be used with the official Dolce Gusto capsules, but they’re so widely available and there is so much choice that this shouldn’t be problematic. The water temperature is also good for a coffee, and should suit those who have found that the coffee isn’t warm enough with pod machines in the past.

Available in red, black and white, there is a design for every kitchen if this is important to you. For great tasting coffee in under 30 seconds, you can’t get much better for the price.

Reasons to Buy

  • Thermoblock heating for warmer beverage
  • Needle included for cleaning nozzle

Reasons to Avoid

  • Manual operation

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 0.8L
  • Power: 1500W
  • Control: Manual

2.
Krups Lumio – Best Automatic

A compact machine with a modern, simple design, the Lumio lets you craft a coffee just how you want it thanks to the automatic button control.

It is easy to use; simply pop in the pod, choose the volume of water via the roller (or use the recommended amount on the pod), and switch the lever to hot or cold depending on the drink type. Press the button, and the water stops at the chosen level, so in effect, you don’t have to keep a beady eye on everything.

Heating up in just seconds, it is ready to go almost straight away. Perfect for those rushed mornings and much quicker than waiting for a kettle to boil. There is also a quick recovery time in between cups for when you need to make several cups for guests.

You can adjust the size of the cups you use, too, whether you want a ristretto or a long drink. However, the extra platform included to sit smaller cups on (so they’re closer to the pourer) seemed to make the cup feel a bit less secure, yet using it without meant the coffee splashed onto the worktop – you’d have to keep an eye on proceedings after all.

We did, however, love the fact it automatically switches off after one minute of not being in use, which is economical and also saves you if you’re a bit forgetful when it comes to turning your gadgets off before you leave the house.

The Lumio takes things right back to basics, turning its back on the fancy designs and extra features which overcrowd the market and just giving you a simple brew maker. It looks minimalistic on your worktop and doesn’t take up much space for those short on it.

Reasons to Buy

  • Generous water tank capacity
  • Modern design

Reasons to Avoid

  • Difficult to remove the water tank at times

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 1L
  • Power: 1500W
  • Control: Automatic

3.
Krups Oblo

Not a fan of the famous round design of the Dolce Gusto machines and prefer something a bit more ‘oblong’?
The name of this machine is seemingly inspired by its shape, which is unusual for this manufacturer. It is slimline, so perfect for anyone limited on space or who wants to place it up against a wall rather than it being centralised on the worktop.

The water tank isn’t very big because of the space saving/slim aspect but is enough to make around two big glasses of coffee without refilling, and about eight espressos. Thanks to the technology of the pods, each cup is crafted perfectly too – for example, espresso needs higher pressure to release the taste, and the Oblo can handle the adjustments well.

Like with most other models in the range, it comes in black, white and red, so perfect no matter whether you want something subtle or something that pops.

The manual control is great for anyone who likes their coffee a bit personalised in terms of length or strength, although we found it can take a bit of guessing work to get just right depending on the pod you are using. The water tank was also a bit fiddly to replace when refilled with water, which was regularly with so much use. As well, as the cup/glass sits almost inside the machine, extra wide mugs don’t fit comfortably.

But it is still a great price and takes a lot of hassle out of conventional coffee preparation.

Reasons to Buy

  • Slimline design Hard to refill the water tank
  • Quick to pour the coffee

Reasons to Avoid

  • Hard to refill the water tank
  • No auto switch-off

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 0.8L
  • Power: 1000W
  • Control: Manual

4.
Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Movenza

Short on space? Ideally, a coffee machine which folds away when not being used would probably be perfect. Thankfully, the Movenza has you covered.

When open, it is a fully functioning coffee machine which is similar to the typical rounded design which Dolce Gusto has made famous. When closed, it almost looks like a work of art sitting on your kitchen bench.

The contrast of the stainless steel against the upper sleek black also makes it look very modern, and will comfortably fit into the style of any kitchen.

Because of the compactibility, it is fully touch controlled, with no levers in sight. Select whether you want hot or cold water and the volume of water, and the automatic machine will do the rest for you once you press ‘go’.

When done, it all closes automatically, to save you a job. The water tank is integrated so doesn’t stick out or stand out, and a water detection function will let you know when levels are too low rather than you having to open it all up and judge for yourself.

It barely needs any cleaning, with just a wipe down and a clean of the capsule holder every few weeks. There seemed to be a lot less splashing of coffee when it was pouring compared to a lot of other models, so the chances of it getting dirt in between cleans is low.

Its reactions were sometimes a bit hit and miss – sometimes a simple light press of the desired setting was sufficient, and at other times we had to press harder, but most touch-operated appliances will face this problem every once in a while, so it doesn’t take away from its overall effectiveness.

We preferred it to the similar (but not quite as adventurous) looking Dolce Gusto Drop, which is why it made our list instead.

Reasons to Buy

  • Touch control Sleek
  • Space saving design

Reasons to Avoid

  • No visible water level indicator, only the light
  • Quite loud when setting itself up

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 1L
  • Power: 1500W
  • Control: Automatic

5.
De’Longhi Melody 3

This particular Dolce Gusto machine takes their common curved design to a whole other level to create a real style statement.

The thermoblock technology creates your coffee at a perfect temperature, without the need for any preheating or warming the cup beforehand. A lever lets you choose whether you want cold water instead, so no matter your preferred drink, hardly any effort is needed to craft it.

Simply put the pod into the holder, choose the water, and as it is a manual model you just need to stop it pouring when it is ready. The water tank is a generous 1.3L, which is larger than a lot of other capsule coffee machines in its price range, so it won’t need filling too regularly. When the time comes, it is easy to slot out and replace even when full.

It is also easy to clean. Thankfully, it doesn’t require much due to the simple operation, but it can just be wiped down when the time comes. There is a small needle included which will help you unblock the nozzle if required.

All used coffee grounds are kept in the old pod too, so there is no mess, and it won’t clog up your sink. Descaling only needs to be done every 3-4 months too, although if you live in a hard water area, it may need to be slightly more regular.

The Melody 3 seems to be slightly quieter than a lot of other pod machines we have tested, including the rest of the Dolce Gusto models. Plus, it appeared to be compatible with most of the third-party pods we tried, but you may need to do a bit of testing and adjustment. The Dolce Gusto range is quite extensive and readily available though, so you shouldn’t get stuck for choice.

Reasons to Buy

  • Larger than average water tank
  • Feels solidly built for the price

Reasons to Avoid

  • Takes a little while to switch to the green button
  • Drips after a drink is made

6.
Krups Mini Me

Part of the Play & Select range for easier control and alteration, the Mini Me can craft a cup of coffee in three easy steps.

Put the pod in, select the volume of water you will want to pour in and leave it to run. Once the pour button is pressed, you don’t need to make any other adjustments or watch over it. Either follow the instructions on the pod for the recommended water quantity or adjust to taste if you prefer a stronger/creamier taste.

The pods feature a number scale, from 1-7, and the illuminated level indicator on the Play & Select machines clearly show you how much water will be poured before you set it to work.

The temperature of the coffee produced wasn’t as warm as with some of the other models we tested, but a quick warming of the cup with boiling water before it is placed on the machine easily solved this.

Also, watch out for vibrations when in use – most of the times it was okay, but with coffees which needed more pressure (such as espresso), it did shake causing the cup to move. This also means it can be noisy, but nothing too drastic when comparing against other models of coffee machine.

On a more positive note, keeping it clean is easy as all the parts separate with no difficulty, and can be wiped with warm water to remove any stains or build-up. It does need regular descaling, especially if you live in a hard water area, but thankfully this doesn’t need to be a hard task.

Reasons to Buy

  • Easy to take apart and refit
  • Good design for anyone low on space

Reasons to Avoid

  • Colour contrast design

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 0.8L
  • Power: 1500W
  • Control: Automatic

7.
De’Longhi Genio 2

With the ability to heat up and dispense quickly, the Genio 2 takes all the effort out of preparing coffee.

One of the Play & Select range of machines, it is easy to choose your water contents to match your tastes by using a mini-joystick, so the correct setting is illuminated – control of the flow-stop interface, to be precise. Once the pod is in and secured, it is ready to go and can be left to pour the chosen water level without you having to stop it.

There are seven water levels to choose from, including an XL setting for large mugs and tall drinks. Thanks to the relatively open design of the drip tray area, most wider cups will also fit.

As with most of the other Dolce Gusto models, there are about 30 different pods to choose from, so you have a wide variety of options, from coffee blends to hot chocolates and teas.

The water tank is removable for easy refilling, and it slotted back in almost immediately every time we tried it which can’t be said for every other model we reviewed. The instructions were also pretty clear to follow, and the whole machine only took around 10 minutes to set up, with heating taking seconds. The coffee wasn’t as hot as you’d get out of a kettle, but preheating the cup with boiling water can always solve this.

Reasons to Buy

  • Automatic model
  • Capsule bin for storing old used pods

Reasons to Avoid

  • There are cheaper versions available which do the same job

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 1L
  • Power: 1500W
  • Control: Automatic

8.
De’Longhi Eclipse Touch – Best for High Tech Kitchens

Have a penchant for buying appliances which are designed to look nothing like they really should? The Eclipse Touch is a bit out of this world, shaped almost like a large doughnut which splits and separates when it is ready to pour your coffee.

Like the Movenza, to keep its design sleek and smooth, there are no levers or buttons to operate anything. It is all done via the digital touchscreen, so you select the amount of water to pass through the pod and whether you want hot or cold water by tapping the appropriate part of the screen.

The water tank is relatively easy to remove and refill at the kitchen tap, and slots back into place with no effort. It isn’t on show like with a lot of other more basic models, so great if you want a coffee machine that doesn’t look like a coffee machine.

When it is ready to go, it automatically opens up, so you don’t have to do anything to prepare it all. As the drip tray is completely independent and not surrounded by any bodywork, it will accommodate most sizes of cups. There is also an XL water level setting for large mugs and tall cups.

Instructions-wise, they’re pretty basic. It isn’t your standard coffee machine, especially if you’re making the move from one of the more basic pod machines, so could take a bit of getting used to. Once it was all set up, however, the touchscreen controls meant everything was easy to select, and we loved how you could see the exact settings which had been chosen.

The coffee also wasn’t as hot as we would have liked, but this is a bit of a running theme with a lot of pod machines, so we recommend just running through some hot water to preheat the cup.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great unique design
  • Easy to use and control interface
  • Silver and black design will fit any kitchen

Reasons to Avoid

  • Shape means it can take up a lot of space in smaller kitchens
  • Vibrates slightly when making drinks, so some glasses move slightly

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 1L
  • Power: 1600W
  • Control: Automatic

9.
Krups Piccolo – Best for Individuals

As suggested with the name, this is the smallest in the Dolce Gusto range so great for anyone living on their own, or for anyone who is the only coffee/hot drinks consumer in their household. It is stylish and compact and performs really well for its size.

The drip tray is adjustable, so will accommodate four different sizes of cup to suit long iced coffee or smaller espresso. You can use the recommended water capacity levels as featured on the pods or customise to suit your tastes simply by letting it flow a bit longer.

As it is manual, it can be hard to judge just how much water is in the cup, but after a bit of experimentation, you can usually easily stop it at the precise point.

To set it up, all you need to do it run a few rounds of water through it to clean out the internal system. The on/off button switches from red to green when it is heated up, and thanks to thermoblock technology, this only takes moments.

Because the tank is small, it can be fiddly to refill at the tap, and we found tipping it at an awkward angle was the best option but somewhat more difficult than it should be, so we tried refilling it with a small jug which was easier.

The Piccolo would make a great first coffee machine thanks to the simplicity and is ideal for anyone living on their own or somebody off to university. The water tank will produce a maximum of two standard cups of coffee at any one time, so if you feel this could get annoying and time-consuming, a model with a tank which is closer to 1 L in size probably won’t set you back that much more money – especially as it is a manual model.

Reasons to Buy

  • Compact size
  • Clean, simple design

Reasons to Avoid

  • Its smallness could become annoying

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 0.6L
  • Power: 1500W
  • Control: Manual

10.
Nescafé Dolce Gusto by De’Longhi Colors

What makes this machine particularly stand out is the fact that, as suggested in its name, you can choose from three different interchangeable colour panels to customise. Whether it be red, green, blue or the standard white cover, it can be the perfect addition to an already colourful kitchen, or used as a real stand-out appliance.

The Colors model also features a new-style pod holder, which is easier than ever to remove and replace and can be popped into the dishwasher for cleaning rather than by hand.

Instructions are relatively easy to follow as they come in a sequence of pictures, and there thankfully isn’t that much setting up to do once it has been through its initial cleaning process. However, the diagrams are also open to a bit of interpretation so it wasn’t as smooth as it should have been.

Although the interchangeable colours idea is a unique one, it does feel a bit unnecessary. We agreed that we certainly wouldn’t change it all that often, mainly because who can really be bothered? It isn’t the easiest task either, as it can be hard to clip back into place securely.

Most water tanks can also be hard to remove and refit on pod machines, but with the Colors model, the water tank is fixed. You have to refill it using a jug and pour the water into the little opening, rather than take the tank to the tap. While this can save a lot of hassle with having to refit a full tank and make sure it is secure, it did result in a few spillages.

If the capsule holder isn’t removed almost immediately after the drink is finished pouring it can drip a lot, so this has to be done before you sit down with your cuppa really.

All in all, we like the colourful aspect, but feel this has meant a lot of the functionality has been neglected.

Reasons to Buy

  • New pod holder design
  • Less ‘bulky’ than a lot of other models

Reasons to Avoid

  • A case of design over function?

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 0.8L
  • Power: 1500W
  • Control: Automatic

Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine Buying Guide

Which Dolce Gusto machine is the best for me?

There isn’t a lot of difference between the models featured. In fact, there are only two big decisions to make really:

  • Automatic or manual?
  • The design

Automatic machines pour the water without you having to monitor the pouring and stop it when it is at the required level, whereas manual devices need you to stop the lever when there is enough water in the cup.

The former is excellent for those who want a pod machine because it is convenient and can make your coffee with little input from you. Just set it to brew in the mornings, and your cup is ready when you are. The latter could be a better choice for anyone who doesn’t like standard measurements with their hot drinks, perhaps preferring a stronger or weaker coffee or wanting to experiment.

The design doesn’t vary a large amount – most are rounded with the water tank at the back and the controls at the top. But there are a few on the list, such as the Movenza and Eclipse, which really do offer something different if you want your coffee machine to stand out and look almost futuristic.

How to use a Dolce Gusto machine

Simply pop the pod in, switch the lever to hot or cold, and either choose the water amount which will be poured (automatics and touch) or turn off the lever when done (manuals).

All machines will need to be placed through at least one cleaning cycle before being fully used for the first time.

Price

This is also something which doesn’t vary much with Dolce Gusto machines. You’ll struggle to find a device retailing for above £200, and the price doesn’t even make much of a difference regarding the efficiency and any extras. We found that models on the cheaper end of the scale seem to work just as well as those twice the price.

What can make an impact on the total continuing cost is the price of the pods. Nescafé are usually praised for their wide availability of their pods, which unlike Nespresso pods, are widely available in supermarkets and other online retailers as well as through their own store. This gives you plenty of choices to shop around.

Pressure

All Dolce Gusto machines operate at a maximum 15 bar pressure. This is seen as an ideal to emulate real coffee shop drinks.

The pressure can’t be adjusted by the user, but depending on the pod you use, it will automatically choose which is best. An espresso requires the highest level of pressure, and a cappuccino a minimal amount for added crema, for example.

FAQs

Do I need a milk frother with the Dolce Gusto machines?

Not necessarily. It all depends on the particular drink you choose to make.

If you want a milk-based drink such as a cafe au lait, there will be milk powder in each pod. However, something like a Grande will require the addition of milk, but this doesn’t have to be frothy, so a milk frother is unnecessary.

Which pods are available?

The Nescafé Dolce Gusto truly is a machine which can be described as a hot drinks maker as well as a coffee maker.

There are over 40 pod varieties available, from Flat White to Cafe Au Lait and Americano, as well as decaffeinated coffees, Marrakesh style tea and Chococino. This makes them great for the whole family – you don’t just have to be a coffee lover.

There are different categories too. Short/medium/large cup size, mild/intense/very intense flavour or hot or cold versions.

Can I use Tassimo or other pods in a Dolce Gusto machine?

The capsules of the three big brands – Dolce Gusto, Tassimo and Nespresso – generally can’t be switched because they’re different sizes. If you use a pod which is the wrong size or doesn’t comfortably fit, it may result in it not being pierced or becoming lodged and jammed in the compartment.

Some third-party brands may fit into these machines, but it is risky and would be a case of trial and error.

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