You are looking to find an alternative to buying Nespresso pods on a regular basis, but you still want to use your Nespresso Machine?
I’m assuming the reasons why you would be interested in this are the following:
- You want to reduce your waste and your negative impact on the environment.
Thus, you’re wondering whether your Nespresso machine supports reusable capsules made of stainless steel and what would the best options for that be.
- You want to have a cheaper cup of coffee than the one made with Nespresso capsules.
- You want to use your favorite ground beans in the capsule, and those aren’t used by Nespresso in their pods.
- All of the above.
Well if so, this article will help you out.
I should mention from the start that I haven’t pointed out all of the reusable pods compatible with Nespresso machines on the market because not all of them were worth mentioning.
That’s according to my experience and research.
However, I made sure that my reviews include the good ones, saving you tons of time for research.
Among the lines, you’ll find some stainless steel solutions. I also took some time to introduce you to other hacks, like reusing the Nespresso Original Line and Vertuoline capsules.
I made sure to describe ways to use refillable pods with ease.
Because I know it’s not all about the capsule, I also mention the best type of coffee that goes with them.
So let’s get started!
|Capsule name:||Type:||Compatibility:||Price Bracket:|
|1. SealPod||stainless steel
|2. Recaps||stainless steel
|3. Capmesso||BPA-free plastic
|4. Alchemy||stainless steel
+ aluminum foil
|5. i Cafilas||stainless steel||Original Line||$|
|6. MyCap||BPA-free plastic
|7. Capmesso Steel||stainless steel||VertuoLine||$$$|
What you should know before the purchase of a Nespresso refillable capsule
It’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into by purchasing a new type of product.
I wouldn’t call these inconveniences but things that you should probably be aware of.
So here is what you need to know about reusable Nespresso capsules:
- They are more time consuming.
The Nespresso machines are a great solution when you want to have a quick cup of coffee.
If you decide to refill capsules instead of throwing a Nespresso pod into your maker, you will have to spend a little more time preparing your coffee and there is no way around that.
To be honest, I was using a refillable one at my office and I loved the ritual of preparing a cup, as for me it was a great way to have a break from work.
So in my case, it worked pretty well.
- There is a learning curve.
It takes a bit of experimenting to get the perfect results.
You have to try a few times until you manage to get the best cup.
After just a few attempts you will figure out the right amount of coffee, the right type of coffee, and how much tamping is needed to achieve the desired outcome.
I share some tips on these key points in my article and they may help you become a pro faster.
If you’re willing to put in a little effort, you will be able to lower the cost you pay per cup of coffee, and also reduce the waste, which will have a positive impact on the environment.
In case you’re only driven by living a more sustainable lifestyle, and you’re ready to pay the price of the convenience of Nespresso capsules, you can keep using them and start recycling.
There is a Nespresso recycling incentive, which recycles the pods.
You can find out more about it here.
Some people use both the original and the reusable pods.
A friend of mine was using her refillable capsule on a regular basis, but when she was in a hurry (or in case she had someone over), she was utilizing the original Nespresso ones.
The used Nespresso pods she kept in the recycling Nespresso bags. When she filled them up, she had them collected.
The only downside was that she wasn’t filling up the recycling bag that fast, so the capsules were getting a bit moldy by the time she had them collected.
Anyway, moldy capsules are still recyclable, so that’s not an issue at all.
Related post: How Long do Coffee Pods Last?
What Are the Best Nespresso Replenishable Capsules?
When it comes to the Nespresso Original Line, there are few available alternatives that will let you avoid using a new Nespresso capsule for each coffee you make:
- Using a pod made from stainless steel.
- Using a pod made from plastic that’s preferably BPA-free.
- Reusing your original Nespresso capsules, by filling them with some ground coffee of your preference.
We will go over all the above-mentioned options in detail.
My criteria for choosing the best products was that they work perfectly fine with Nespresso machines.
At the same time – making sure that the reusable pods are not too complicated to use and also make a satisfying cup of coffee.
I also included clear instructions on how to use each model I am reviewing to save you some more time for research.
That being said, here are the best Nespresso refillable capsules:
In the picture above, you can see the SEALPOD “Starter pack” (I call it that way, as it only includes 1 pod – perfect for those who want to try it out).
- The stainless steel refillable pod itself.
- A rubber ring.
- A fresh cover on which you can safely place the base of the capsule on the kitchen counter without it wiggling left to right. Furthermore, if you want to fill your capsule with coffee grounds and seal it for later use, the fresh cover will keep the grounds fresh for longer.
- A spoon, which also serves as a tamper.
- 100 foil seals.
- No plastic.
One of the best things about this pod is that it’s made out of stainless steel – much better than the plastic versions.
Even though when it comes to Nespresso most plastic reusable pods are advertised as “BPA-free”, I feel much safer with the stainless steel version.
This is so due to the fact that plastic in general, especially when heated by the water passing through the pod, doesn’t appear nearly as safe for your health as stainless steel.
Related post: Coffee Makers Without Plastic – Top Picks Reviewed
- Better for the environment.
You can reuse your stainless steel pod infinitely, so your coffee waste impact will be drastically reduced, compared to when using original Nespresso capsules.
- Infinite reuses = saving money.
You will save a lot by buying the Sealpod.
To have a better idea of how much you could save I made an approximate calculation for you:
If you drink 1 cup of coffee per day with the Sealpod capsule, instead of using the original Nespresso pods you will save around $15.50 each month. Not bad at all…
- Tasty coffee.
The lids and the way they stick ensure that pressure builds up during brewing, which results in satisfying coffee foam.
This effect is also enhanced by the rubber ring that goes around the steel rim.
To be honest, compared to other Nespresso reusable capsules that use stainless steel screwable lids instead of foil ones, this pod is much better when it comes to foam and rich coffee flavor.
I guess the screwed type of closure doesn’t enable the accumulation of enough pressure to produce satisfying foam. That may also be the reason why many times the coffee turns out a bit more watery due to improper extraction.
- The foil lids aren’t the best choice in regards to the environment, but they are recyclable.
- If you have a Nespresso VertuoLine machine you won’t be able to use these refillable pods.
- You will have to buy lids.
You get 100 with the first pack, which means that if you make 1 coffee a day in 3 months you will have to buy a new set of lids.
By clicking on this link to Amazon you can see the prices of the foil lids.
There are 100, 200 and 400 lid packs.
You will save some money with the 400 option but, in my opinion, go for it only after you’ve tried the SEALPOD and liked it!
By the way, you can also use the lids to reuse your original Nespresso pod, but I will explain this a bit later in this post.
When calculating your rough savings I took into consideration the price per lid, so yes… even though you will have to restock on those, you will still save around $15 per month.
In case you didn’t have to use them you would’ve saved around $2.5 – $3 in a month on top, so… it’s not that big of a deal price-wise.
- The pod is a bit smaller and can hold a smaller amount of coffee than the original capsule.
There isn’t a great difference in the capacity, but a more picky coffee consumer would surely notice it.
I was using this pod at my office for my second cup of coffee and I was really enjoying it.
- You should fill up the capsule with ground beans of choice, but mind that for the best foam you should use finely ground coffee, and NOT extra fine.
I would recommend that you fill it with a full spoon of coffee and then gently tamp it down.
After that, you will have enough space left for another half a spoon of coffee.
Pour it in the capsule and press the coffee down again. The tamping you can simply do with the back of the spoon.
- Remove the coffee bits that sit on the edges of the capsule.
This way you will make sure the lid sticks well.
- Place the lid.
- Make sure the black rubber ring is in its place nicely, without any twisting. This way you will make sure that there would be enough pressure and you will avoid a possible leak.
- Place it in your Nespresso machine.
And done!To clean it : Take the steel capsule out of the Nespresso container.
Remove the foil, remove the coffee and rinse the capsule with water.
The second reusable pod for a Nespresso machine that I want to point out is the RECAPS.
The pack on the picture above includes:
- 3 stainless steel capsules.
- 3 spare rubber rings in case you have yours lost.
- A mini tamper.
- A spoon that you can use to pour in the coffee.
- A brush to remove the coffee bits from the rim of the capsule.
- 120 lids.
- Made of steel
As one of the best products here on the list, this set of Nespresso reusable capsules also consists of stainless steel units, the same as our first entry.
The heated water won’t pass through plastic, which I always consider an advantage.
You can reuse them as many times as you’d like, which is good for the environment.
- Your coffee will taste good.
With the right coffee grind size, this capsule can create a pretty nice foam, because of the proper lid and the rubber ring, enabling pressure to build up.
- In this pack you have some extra rubber rings, which you can use in case your original green one gets damaged or if you lose it.
- The tamper included in the pack is easy to use.
You have more control over the pressure when tamping, and it also looks quite cool.
- You will save money.
In comparison, it’s much cheaper than buying original Nespresso capsules repeatedly.
In case you have 1 coffee a day, you will save even more per month than with the Sealpod (roughly $15.8).
- As mentioned on the Amazon listing, these capsules aren’t compatible with the following Nespresso coffee maker models: Nespresso VertuoLine, Dolce Gusto, Nespresso Essenza C100, Nespresso Krups Citiz XN 7006, Citiz C110, Nespresso C40 Inissia, Nespresso Le Cube D185, and C185, Krups CitiZ XN740B, Breville CitiZ BEC620RED, Breville Classic Machine, Nespresso D150, and Nes C190 and Delonghi Nespresso Latissima + 520B.
- The foil lids and the rubber ring – not the best option for the environment (but are necessary for a better-tasting cup of Joe).
- You will have to restock on the lids.
Here you can check how much they cost.
- It can fit a bit less coffee than the original Nespresso capsules.
It’s just like using the previously reviewed product:
- Fill in the capsule with finely ground coffee beans.
You should be able to fill it in with 1 spoon – tamp down and add another half a spoon. It will be a bit in excess over the top of the capsule.
So tamp down again, but lightly.
There should be some distance (around 2 mm or 0.07 in) between the coffee and the lid.
Don’t pack on the coffee way up to the top, as this will result in a watery coffee.
Tamping too hard will make the ground beans stick together hard and water won’t pass through them.
- Brush the steel rim from the remaining coffee bits.
- Place the lid.
- Place it in your Nespresso Machine.
This means low-quality coffee extraction and again – a dull unsatisfying flavor.
Done.To clean – just remove the lid, rinse the capsule and it will be ready for another use.
As seen in the picture with this Capmesso pack you get:
- 20 Nespresso reusable pods made of BPA-free food-grade non-toxic material. Each pod can be used from 10 to 20 times.
- 20 foil lids that are also recyclable.
- 1 spoon that also serves as a tamper.
- Fits a good amount of coffee – more than the SEALPOD and RECAPS.
This results in a richer coffee flavor and a coffee shot with a more satisfying taste.
- All of the materials used in the capsules, including the lids, are recyclable.
- BPA-free capsule.
- Pressure builds up successfully with the Capmesso capsule method and the coffee has a pretty good amount of foam when done.
This also ensures proper extraction.
- Significantly cheaper than the original Nespresso capsules.
Each refillable pod can be used 10 + times, which means that with those 20 capsules, you will be able to have at least 200 cups of coffee.
- Each capsule is reusable, but with a limitation.
On average 10 uses per capsule.
So you will have to buy new capsules every once in a while.
- The lids – before you run out of pods, you would run out of lids.
So you will have to get some more: here you can see how much they cost.
- The pods, even if recyclable, are made of plastic.
In case you’re not driven by the savings, but by the best environment-friendly option, this one is not for you.
However, you will definitely lower the amount of waste you generate through your coffee consumption compared to using a new Nespresso original capsule each time.
- Get your finely ground coffee beans – pour them in the pod with the spoon to fill it up and tamp down.
- Remove the grounds from the rim.
- Stick the lid on top.
- Put the capsule in the Nespresso machine.
Voila!How to clean:
Remove the lid, rinse the capsule, and pop up the bottom back to the way it used to be before the brewing.
In case you can’t seem to do that – well, this is a sign your capsule has served its duty and it’s time for a new one.
The Alchemy Reusable Nespresso Capsules work on the same principle as the SEALPOD and RECAPS.
With the Alchemy pack you get:
- 3 refillable stainless steel pods;
- 1 tiny tamper;
- 1 spoon;
- 150 foil lids;
- A brush;
- Stainless steel capsules.
You can use them for your Nespresso cup infinitely, which is good for the environment.
You won’t need to worry about the potentially negative impact they have on your health when drinking your Nespresso cup, as with these reusable capsules, there’s no hot water in contact with plastic.
- You will save money
The potentially infinite use of 1 capsule is much cheaper than having to use a new Nespresso original pod each time you want to have a morning cup of your favorite refreshing beverage.
- Makes a good cup of coffee.
This type of capsule results in a pretty good, flavorful coffee with satisfying foam.
Of course, as I pointed out a couple of times – the grind size is important, as well as the characteristics of the beans you use.
In my opinion, if you nail the grind, you can produce one of the best Nespresso cups with the Alchemy refillable capsules.
- The lids – again, you will have to restock on these.
- It’s only compatible with most Original Line Nespresso machines, but not with VertuoLine Nespresso single-serve coffee makers.
- Some users report that the foil lids are a bit hard to remove.
- Other users have had a bad experience with the rubber rings that are situated right under the rim. Such complaints aren’t widely spread, so I guess that might be a bad batch.
- Fits less coffee than an original Nespresso capsule.
- Fill in your capsule with finely ground beans (not extra fine) and tamp down.
- Remove the coffee bits off the rim.
- Place the lid.
- Put the pod in your Nespresso machine.
By purchasing the i Cafilas Capsule you’ll get:
- 1 refillable stainless steel capsule with steel lid;
- Rubber O-ring that goes around the rim;
- 1 coffee spoon that can also serve you as a tamper;
- 1 cleaning brush.
- Made of stainless steel and can be virtually reused an unlimited number of times.
- Unlike the other stainless steel Nespresso reusable capsules that I’ve listed, this one doesn’t require the use of aluminum foil lids – it comes with a stainless steel one.
This means that the only thing you need to be occasionally buying to make yourself a cup is a bag of coffee
- It’s the best solution for those in search of the most eco-friendly alternative.
- You will lower the cost per cup of coffee compared to a cup made with the original capsules. This means that you’ll save a lot in the long run.
- The capsule can hold less coffee compared to the originals.
The lid also takes some of the capacity, which results in a weaker, slightly watery cup.
According to my research, this is a common issue with the pods with such lids which is a deal-breaker for many consumers.
A friend of mine uses this product, but she failed to achieve the mouthfeel she’s aiming for, so she now uses aluminum lids on her i Cafilas capsule instead.
Nevertheless, many people are completely satisfied with the results this capsule provides – so it really depends on your taste and requirements.
By using a fine espresso grind and a stronger coffee blend, you could improve the taste.
Tamping down the grounds when placing them will also help.
- Fill the capsule with finely ground coffee beans.
Use the scoop to tamp down – but not too hard!
If you press too tightly the grounds will stick together which may choke the machine.
- Clean the rim from coffee bits.
- Put the steel lid on top and press it down.
- Place the capsule in your Nespresso machine
What about the Best Options for a Vertuoline machine?
Here’s what to know about using refillable pods in a Vertuoline Nespresso machine:
If you currently have a Nespresso Vertuoline coffee machine then there aren’t many trustworthy refillable pods that you can pick from.
This is because Vertuo machines run exclusively on their branded original VertuoLine capsules, which have a barcode around the rim.
The machine reads the barcode and understands what type of pod you’ve put in, creating the optimal brewing conditions.
This sophisticated technology is patented by Nespresso, so it’s hard for other companies to come up with an efficient refillable alternative.
It should be noted that there are some products advertised as reusable and compatible with a VertuoLine, but the reviews on those are quite bad.
One lady even reported her whole machine outright broke after using one of these products.
However, there is still hope, as a few companies have managed to go around the complications that the Nespresso patented technology creates.
The best options for a refillable capsule that’s compatible with Nespresso Vertuoline machines are:
The MyCap pack contains:
- 50 Aluminum foil lids.
- 1 Reusable Cap.
- 20 Paper Filters.
- 1 Holder on which you can place your Nespresso capsule.
- 1 Coffee Scoop.
- 1 Cleaning Brush.
Basically you will reuse your Vertuoline capsule.
- Remove the foil on top with some sort of crafting knife and rinse the used pod.
- Fill in the clean Vertuoline capsule with coffee (finely ground beans of your choice) and lightly tap it with the spoon.
- Brush away the coffee remains from the rim of your Vertuoline capsule.
After that, you have 2 options:
1) Use the MyCap Aluminum foil:
- Stick it on top of the capsule (the capsule should be dry so that the foil can stick well).
Make sure that the barcode on the opposite side of the rim isn’t fully covered so that the machine can read it.
- It is ready!
You can leave the prepared capsule on the side and whenever you want to have a coffee – you would have a quick solution.
This means that if you want to always have a quick cup of coffee without having to bother with all this preparation, take some time when you’re available to prepare as many pods as you’d like.
2) Use the round cap:
- Fill the pod up to the lower rim.
- Place the paper filter on top and it will pretty much cover the capsule.
- Place the reusable cap on top of the filter. You should press it down lightly.
- Place the pod in your machine and make sure that the MyCap disc is well-centered (the teeth that you can see on the inside of your Nespresso machine, which are supposed to pass through the tapered circles of the cap sometimes aren’t aligned with it, so make sure you align them).
- Then you should close the machine and that’s it!
After you use the capsule that you’ve prepared yourself, you can clean it and refill it again.
The capsules are reusable until they bend and their original shape is visibly compromised.
Those two methods have saved and will keep saving a lot of money for Vertuoline machine owners.
The disc and paper filter method is the most environmentally friendly option.
If you run out of filters, you can purchase them on Amazon.
Here you can see how much they cost.
You can postpone the purchase of the filters, by using them more than once. Just rinse the filter with water after use.
If you have the time you can even purchase some coffee filters for drip machines and cut them to size to reduce the final cost even more!
When it comes to foil lids for Nespresso VertuoLine pods there are few options available:
1) MyCap – Check out the price on Amazon
2) Recaps – Check out the price on Amazon
3) Geesta – Check out the price on Amazon
If you go for this product you will get:
- Stainless steel capsule with a steel lid.
- Cleaning brush.
- Not only the capsule, but also its lid are made of stainless steel – you won’t have to buy aluminum ones.
- It’s great for the environment and your wallet.
You won’t throw away a pod after each use. At the same time, you will save money by substituting the rather expensive single-use capsules with a reusable version.
- There are two types of those capsules – ones that make 2.5 oz of coffee and ones that can produce an 8 oz cup.
Vertuoline Nespresso machines read the barcode situated around the pod’s rim and accordingly adjust their flow rate, the volume of water that passes through the grounds, the water temperature, etc.
Capmesso’s team has managed to figure out a way to create steel capsules with barcodes that send the correct message – to either brew an 8 oz. or a 2 oz. cup.
So it’s up to you to decide which one suits your taste better.
There are some consumers that have the one that makes 8 oz. of coffee but manually stop the water flow earlier so that they have a more concentrated cup.
- The pod can fit less coffee grounds, which results in a weaker cup of Joe.
If you aren’t willing to settle for such an outcome you can try to make improvements – use the back of the spoon to tamp down the coffee while pouring it in.
This way you will fit in more grounds.
And use finely ground coffee! (If you need help with that you can check out my coffee recommendations that you can find by scrolling down).
With all being said, it’s safe to say that a cup of coffee made with the CAPMESSO Vertuo pod will be a bit more watery compared to a cup made with the original.
- Some consumers say that when using this product the noise the machine makes is louder compared to using an original Nespresso capsule.
Can You Reuse The Nespresso Original Line Capsules?
In case you don’t want to invest in a reusable capsule, you can refill your used ones.
You can reuse 1 Nespresso Original Line capsule approximately 3 to 4 times.
As long as their original overall shape isn’t compromised, you can still reuse them.
Just cut the foil lid on top to remove it and rinse the capsule.
Dry it out with a paper towel, fill it with finely ground beans that you like, and tamp it down.
You can seal the capsule with a piece of Aluminum foil that you should tighten up on the sides of the rim.
It’s a bit tricky to achieve satisfying results by crafting the aluminum foil lids with a standard foil that almost every household has.
So in case you can’t seem to get the hang of it, you can go for one of the foil lids that I mentioned above as:
1) Recaps – Check the price on Amazon
2) Capmesso – Check the price on Amazon
3) Sealpod – Check the price on Amazon
By reusing your original Nespresso capsules, you will save money by reducing the cost per pod.
What type of Coffee should you use?
Here’s the type of coffee that you should use with your Nespresso refillable capsules:
You will get the best results for refillable Nespresso capsules if you use espresso fine grind, but not extra fine because the latter it will choke the coffee machine.
A medium grind is too coarse – for the small amount of time the water passes through the grounds during the brewing, the coffee extraction won’t be sufficient and you will end up with watery coffee.
If you have a grinder at home, that’s great, as the best coffee is always freshly ground.
If you’re not into grinding and want a quick solution, you can pick a coffee brand that you like and buy some pre-ground espresso coffee.
I can recommend the following 3 pre-ground Espresso coffee options that are proven to work well with refillable capsules:
1) Lavazza Qualita Oro – Check the price on Amazon
2) Lavazza Crema E Gusto – Check the price on Amazon
3) Bustelo Supreme Espresso Style – Check the price on Amazon
I hope I managed to help you out with your final decision.
As you can see there are some alternatives to the most common ways of using Nespresso Original and Vertuo pods.
If you are willing to invest in a refillable capsule and you put in some effort to figure out the best way to use it for your Nespresso, it will pay off financially.
By taking advantage of some of the tips that I gave you, you will also have a positive environmental impact.
Overall, I’m pretty sure that after a while you will end up enjoying the refilling rituals, as I do now.
Just follow the methods I described, and you’ll be just fine.