Can Nespresso Capsules Be Used in Dolce Gusto?

Many of us often start our day with a fresh cup of coffee, leading us to buy some of the well-known coffee machines in the market today. Two of the most popular machines – the Nespresso and the Dolce Gusto are huge brands in the coffee industry. Seeing as that they come from the same parent company, Nestlé, many users may assume that the coffee pods and capsules are interchangeable. 

Unfortunately, Nespresso capsules are not meant to be used in the Dolce Gusto machine and vice versa. This is as the Nespresso capsules are generally smaller, while the Dolce Gusto capsule has a larger rim that almost mimics a bowl. 

But if they are from the same parent company, why are Nespresso capsules so different from Dolce Gusto? Can you also use alternative coffee capsules available in the market that claim to be compatible with the Nespresso machine? Let’s find out. 

Nespresso capsules: How are they different from Dolce Gusto?  

To know how Nespresso capsules are different from the Dolce Gusto capsule, we should first look at the construction of the coffee capsule. The Nespresso capsules are often smaller than the latter, featuring a classier outlook with black coffee that packs a punch. They usually adhere to a regulated sizing and feature a foil top. 

Nespresso capsules, unlike the Dolce Gusto, may occasionally be made of aluminum instead of plastic. This makes it easier to recycle Nespresso capsules, effectively reducing waste that goes to the landfill. Most exclusive Nespresso shops also provide recyclable bags for you to store your used Nespresso capsules, and you can return the aluminum capsules in these bags after you’ve enjoyed your coffee. 

Many people may also be confused with the term coffee pods, coffee capsules, or coffee pads. While coffee capsules are often used in the Nespresso and Dolce Gusto machines respectively, coffee pads and coffee pods are usually flat and are made of a cloth-like material. It is akin to a teabag filled with coffee grounds and will fit neither the Nespresso machine nor the Dolce Gusto.  

These are the main differences between the Nespresso coffee capsules to the Dolce Gusto capsules that you’ll often see in the market. 

Which is better: Nespresso or Dolce Gusto? 

Since the coffee capsules for the Nespresso and Dolce Gusto are different, many coffee drinkers may wonder which is the better choice. While some Nespresso users swear by their Nespresso machines, the more accurate answer is that it depends on your coffee-making needs.  

The Nespresso machine is often known to be more exclusive and dishes out only black coffee from Nespresso compatible coffee capsules. The results are smooth, black coffee that reinvigorates the senses after every cup, making it a favorite for many coffee enthusiasts worldwide. 

However, this limits the types of coffee you can make with the Nespresso to only black coffee, and you may have to prepare the milk separately if you wish to make drinks like a latte or cappuccino. Nespresso coffee capsules also don’t come flavored, so you’ll have to add syrups or sugar if you’d like to tweak your cup of coffee to your liking. 

On the flip side, the Dolce Gusto machine features a funkier outlook, with curvaceous designs all around for a more fun atmosphere. The coffee capsules used by the Dolce Gusto machine is unfortunately made of plastic and features a plastic top, so environmentally conscious coffee drinkers may frown upon this idea.  

Subsequently, there are also more flavors to coffees prepared by the Dolce Gusto machine. You can often find drinks like macchiato or latte being made from a single Dolce Gusto machine – a feature in which this machine wins over the Nespresso if you’re a casual coffee drinker. Some alternative brands may also release limited edition drinks that are available exclusively to the Dolce Gusto machine. 

Can I use alternative brand capsules for Nespresso? 

Considering the selection of coffee pods in the market, many people may wonder if they could use alternative brand capsules for the Nespresso machine. While the quality may differ from brand to brand, the simple answer is that yes, you can use alternative brand capsules, but they must be Nespresso compatible.  

An easy way to know if the alternative brand capsule is suitable for the Nespresso machine is by looking for the design that says Nespresso compatible on the box. Brands like Starbucks, L’OR, and Lavazza are popular among coffee drinkers, and you can often find Nespresso compatible coffee capsules from them in the market.  

A new product in the industry includes a reusable Nespresso coffee capsule, so you can use your preferred coffee grounds to make your perfect cup of coffee daily. This is an environmentally friendly alternative but could be expensive to purchase off the bat. However, do note that these are often not official products, and may not always work as intended. 

Finally, some Dolce Gusto users have also discovered a coffee capsule adapter for their machine. As these adapters are not officially licensed accessories, they may occasionally malfunction and cause errors in the Dolce Gusto machines.  

While they could fit in the Dolce Gusto as intended, these adapters may not be used for the Nespresso machine. This is due to the exclusive coffee capsule reading system that is featured in the Nespresso machine, making it difficult for Nespresso machine owners to find flavor alternatives for their cup of coffee aside from Nespresso compatible pods. 


In conclusion, the Nespresso capsules that you may have at home will, unfortunately, be unsuitable for the Dolce Gusto machines. As such, you need to make note of the type of coffee capsules you’re buying at the market considering how they are not interchangeable.  

Similarly, you may want to watch out if you happen to purchase alternative coffee capsules to fit in your Nespresso or Dolce Gusto machines. Since these alternative coffee capsules are from other brands, it may be difficult for you to find the right fit for the machine if you buy the wrong type. 

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

Recent Posts