Nespresso Pods: Can They Be Used in a Keurig?

Picture of Nespresso Pods and Keurig Coffee Machine

Nespresso pods first burst onto the coffee scene back in 1986, offering coffee lovers four coffee varieties that could be brewed and sipped on in the convenience of home. These coffee pods, which have evolved over the last few decades, are now available in a variety of flavors and sizes.

For those allured by the taste and experience of Nespresso pods, they may be tempted to pop a pod into their Keurig. This is not the best idea, however. Keurig machines are made for K-cups, a pod with a specific size and shape designed to nestle into the Keurig. Nespresso pods are vastly different from K-cups on several levels. Using the wrong type of pod in a Keurig could cause damage to the appliance and potentially jeopardize your Keurig’s warranty.

Nespresso Pods vs. K-Cups

The number of differences between Nespresso cups and K-cups is quite vast. From shape, size, material, composition, flavor profile, and superiority, each brings something to the table.


Depending on what type of Nespresso pod you choose, the shape of these pods can vary. Nespresso OriginalLine, the traditional pods, are shaped similar to K-cups. They have tapered sides and the bottom of the pod also has slightly angled sides with a small flat spot in the middle.

The newer Nespresso Virtuoline looks strikingly different from the traditional pods. These newer pods, which became available in the U.S. in 2014, have a dome shape. 

K-cups are shaped more like a cylinder with a flat bottom. Although the pod is slightly wider at the top and narrower at the bottom, they look different from the angled bottoms of the Nespresso OriginalLine.


Nespresso pods can be purchased in various sizes. While the Nespresso OriginalLine only comes in one size, which produces a brew that is roughly 

1.35 oz (40 ml), the Nespresso Virtuoline can be enjoyed in five sizes. These sizes are:

  • Espresso (40 ml)
  • Double Espresso (80 ml)
  • Gran Lungo (150 ml)
  • Coffee (237 ml)
  • Alto (414 ml)

Comparatively, K-cups used in a Keurig can be purchased in one size. The pod is approximately 1 ¾ inches tall. The top of the K-cup, which is wider than the bottom, measures roughly 2 inches across, whereas the bottom is closer to 1 ½ inches in diameter.

Depending on how strong you like your coffee, this pod can be used to brew either a 6 oz, 8 oz, or even a 10 oz cup of coffee. Using one pod to brew a larger cup of coffee would result in a weaker-tasting brew almost comparable to hot coffee-flavored water.

Materials & Composition

The coffee in Nespresso pods is encased in a lightweight aluminum shell and sealed with an aluminum membrane. While the traditional pods had a filter inside them, the newer Nespresso Virtuoline does not contain a filter. Another important feature of these pods is the fact that they are eco-friendly and easily recyclable.

The coffee in K-cups is encapsulated in a pod made of polypropylene #5 plastic and sealed with aluminum foil. Unlike the Nespresso OriginalLine, K-cups have a filter at the bottom of the pod. This is to minimize the amount of coffee grounds in your freshly brewed cup of coffee.

Additionally, K-cups can be recycled in areas that take the specific type of plastic the pods are made from. Not every recycling center, however, accommodates #5 plastic.

Flavor Profiles & Superiority

Nespresso offers coffee lovers 24 different varieties to choose from. K-cups, on the other hand, can be purchased in 200 Keurig-approved varieties. There are, however, hundreds of other pods that claim to be Keurig compatible.

Despite the limited varieties that can be experienced with Nespresso pods, they are regarded by many as being superior in quality and taste. They are rich in flavor, intense, and regarded as more pleasant than a regular cup of drip-style coffee. Select Nespresso pods can also be purchased, allowing you to brew and enjoy a robust espresso shot in the comfort of your own home.

Keurig Compatibility

After looking at the different sizes and shapes, it’s safe to say that Nespresso pods would not fit into your Keurig machine and vice versa. Forcing the wrong type of pod into your Keurig could not only result in damage to your machine, but it would void your Keurig’s one-year limited warranty.

If you are looking to explore the world of Nespresso pods, the safest and smartest way would be to invest in the proper appliance. That way you will be guaranteed the best experience and most delicious brew.

Nespresso Machines

There are two basic types of Nespresso machines, the Vertuo and the Original. Both are eco-friendly, requiring minimal water and energy to brew. In turn, this reduces the amount of waste, minimizing its carbon footprint.

The Vertuo machine, which can accommodate five different cup sizes up to 18 oz, is ideal for coffee and espresso lovers alike. The Original, on the other hand, produces smaller brew sizes up to 5 oz. It also features a steam pipe for frothing milk. This appliance is perfect for espresso lovers and cappuccino enthusiasts. 


Dome-shaped Nespresso pods are incompatible with Keurig machines. If the shape alone was not a tell-tale sign, the various sizes should be. The Keurig is designed specifically for K-cups and attempting to use anything else could damage the machine. This would jeopardize your Keurig warranty and leave you with a broken appliance.

Nespresso pods and K-cups, although they both hold coffee, are strikingly different from one another. Aside from size and shape, they are made from different materials and have different components inside. While K-cups can be purchased in hundreds of varieties, Nespresso pods are considered of greater quality.

If you want to explore the world of Nespresso pods and the 24 different varieties that it comes in, it’s best to do this with the proper appliance. Not only will your Keurig thank you, but so will your tastebuds.