De’Longhi is an old Italian manufacturer that has an excellent reputation for making high-quality espresso machines that are easy to use and make great coffee. So it might surprise you to learn that they’ve only been making in the espresso-making game for 30 years.
After years of producing reliable bargain offerings, they have recently moved towards mid to high-end espresso machines. At first glance, this may seem disappointing for those looking for a bargain. But a bargain is what DeLonghi espresso machines deliver with quality and performance that far outstrip their price point.
Their range is extensive so we’ve collated and compared the top options. Armed with this information, you can easily choose the best DeLonghi espresso machine for you.
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Today, the company is still run by the De’Longhi family. And, whilst they didn’t start making espresso machines until 1993, they are now firmly placed at the heart of the brand. This has worked out well for them as they’re one of the biggest espresso machine producers in the world.
Although their first espresso machine was only released 30 years ago, DeLonghi has honed in on a century’s worth of experience to maintain their very high build standards. As a testament to their high quality, all Delonghi coffee machines come with a 2-year warranty as standard.
They don’t just make automatic espresso machines either. In their extensive line-up of different types of coffee makers, you’ll also find manual espresso machine options, drip coffee, cold brew, and combo machines in their extensive line-up.
A coffee machine producing Goliath.
Set Your Budget
When looking to buy a new DeLonghi espresso machine, the first thing to do is set an upper limit on what you’re willing to spend and stick to it. Like, actually stick to it. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be guilty of pushing that little bit over what you said you’d spend. So be strict and put those extra dollars towards some top-quality espresso beans instead.
There are plenty of budget-friendly Delonghi espresso machines alongside the pricier ones so you’ll definitely find one you like. But you may have to compromise on some of the automated features if you’re looking for a budget option.
What Style of Coffee do you Like?
By being clear about your preferred style of coffee, you can ensure you don’t pay for features that you’re never going to use.
Sure, it might be cool to froth your milk at the touch of a button but if you never drink milk-based espresso drinks (like cappuccino, cortado, or macchiato) then having an automatic milk system is a waste. Or, if you only ever drink lattes then something designed to make 10 different milk-based drinks is overkill.
Just keep in mind that your coffee preferences will likely change over time. Plus, you will probably also have friends or family over at some point. So a bit of flexibility is nice but let’s not go crazy here.
Instead, get the right DeLonghi espresso machine that makes the coffee you actually enjoy, not all the coffees you think you might enjoy occasionally in a hypothetical future.
How Much Work do you Want to do?
Most people fall into one of two camps:
Either you find espresso brewing a fun and relaxing process – something to spend hours perfecting until you’ve properly dialed in your shiny new DeLonghi espresso machine. Or you find it an unnecessary hassle standing between you and your desperately needed caffeine each day.
If you are one of the people that wants to be involved in the process, then one of the DeLonghi manual espresso machines will be great. They will probably save you some money too. For example, the Dedica or Maestra series are both great for manual espresso brewers. Plus, there is also a myriad of budget options such as the Stilosa.
For those who prioritize ease, DeLonghi automatic espresso machines have you covered. You simply need to push a button to get coffee shop quality coffee with basically no effort. The Dedica, Magnifica, and Eletta series of DeLonghi machines are designed to make coffee brewing as easy as possible.
Cleaning and Maintenance
As with the coffee brewing process, the effort needed for cleaning can vary quite wildly between espresso machines.
If you’re happy to brew the coffee yourself, you have to accept that the cleaning will also be done by you. Though this can be pretty quick and simple on most manual machines.
For those who prefer to push buttons, most of the top Delonghi espresso machines have automated cleaning programs that mean minimal effort from you. But it’s never no effort:
Every few months, your machine will need a deep descaling. It’s also good practice to remove the brew group (the bit where your espresso is extracted) every couple of weeks to make sure it stays clean.
DeLonghi Dinamica Plus – Best Overall
- 16 one-touch drink options including iced coffee
- App connectivity
- Touchscreen display
- Excellent milk foaming
- Thermal milk carafe can be stored in fridge
- Dual boilers
- More user profiles would be nice
- Coffee pot function isn’t the best
The Dinamica Plus just pips the Dinamica as the best-performing DeLonghi espresso machine. This is mainly due to the touchscreen display, app connectivity, and user profiles.
Whilst this may not seem like much for $300 more, it does make it so much easier to perfect your coffee. It also means multiple people in the house can have their favorite coffee recipes saved with no fighting.
All the same great features of the Dinamica are still here: iced coffee brewing, great milk frothing, and a quiet, high-quality grinder. But when it comes to looks, the Dinamica Plus’ touchscreen wins it for us. The differences may be minor but are still noteworthy considering it’ll be sitting on your counter.
As far as negatives go, we don’t think the coffee pot function is all that great. It’s fine, just not great. We’d also like more than 3 user profiles as Jura coffee machines lead the way in this regard.
But app connectivity is a major plus – you can easily adjust your coffee from your phone. Will everyone use this? Probably not but we love it nonetheless.
For us, this extra tech propels the Dinamica Plus to the top spot of the best DeLonghi espresso machine. But if you aren’t a fan or you don’t see the value in it then the Dinamica is the machine for you.
De’Longhi Dinamica with LatteCrema
- Makes iced coffee
- Good range of customization options
- Very quiet
- Superb milk frothing
- Easy to clean
- Dual boilers
- Lots of plastic parts
The Delonghi Dinamica falls just short of the Dinamica Plus for us, but this isn’t a knock on what is otherwise a great espresso machine. It’s simple to use, has great features, and produces excellent espresso and milk foam. That’s a lot of box-ticking.
There is also the fact you can get iced coffee at the touch of a button. This is a very rare feature on super-automatic espresso machines, though I expect it will soon be commonplace. Having that option on a machine under $1500 is amazing. Perfect for summer coffee, or espresso martinis.
The main downside is the amount of plastic used in construction. This is clearly a deliberate choice by DeLonghi to keep the costs down. Whilst we’d prefer stainless steel, we are willing to forgive as they’ve focused on what matters:
The brew group, stainless steel conical burr grinder, and simple user interface are all well-designed. And, when the coffee is this good, we’re happy.
It’s also in line with many other mid-range automatic espresso machines in terms of plastic usage. Using stainless steel usually means compromising on price or functionality in order to maintain the same price.
Overall, this is a superb espresso machine that doesn’t cost the world and gives you a fantastic range of great coffees.
Other Dinamica Models
DeLonghi model numbers can be confusing but there are essentially 3 versions of the Dinamica. You can choose to have manual milk frothing, the LatteCrema system, or the Dinamica Plus.
To help you understand the difference, we’ve compared the key features of each Dinamica machine below so you can pick the model for you:
|Dinamica||Dinamica with LatteCrema||Dinamica Plus|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||9.3 x 17.3 x 14.2 inches||9.3 x 17.3 x 14.2 inches||9.3 x 17.3 x 14.2 inches|
|Bean Hopper Capacity||10.5oz||10.5oz||10.5oz|
|Automatic Milk Frothing||Manual only||Yes||Yes|
|Advanced Customization||None||In menu||3 user profiles and app|
DeLonghi Eletta Explore – Best for Iced Coffee
- Iced coffee functions
- Hot or cold milk frothing
- 4 user profiles
- Easy to clean
- Looks great
- No app connectivity
- Customizing your coffee can be overwhelming
The Eletta series is DeLonghi’s top-of-the-range offering. We previously wrote a DeLonghi Eletta review for an older model, but unfortunately, some of the same issues we experienced have persisted into the new generation. Primarily they didn’t have the same level of features as the competition.
However, the DeLonghi Eletta Explore is an entirely different animal.
With this model, DeLonghi has gone hard on cold coffee brewing including a myriad of cold milk options. The texture is pretty good but make sure you follow the instructions on how many ice cubes (or our favorite iced coffee/ iced latte hack – whiskey rocks) you need otherwise your drink will be disappointing. Overall, it feels a bit gimmicky to us but if you’re a cold coffee fanatic, you’ll love it.
The espresso, on the other hand, is good. And, unlike many espresso machines, you don’t need to put everything onto the strongest settings to get good quality coffee.
The Eletta Explore talks you through all your customization options. Which is helpful because there are a lot of them. We just wish you could use the app to customize all your drinks. There are, however, 4 user profiles to save your drinks to. So it’s good for a family of coffee lovers.
Ultimately it’s just a little short of the Dinamica Plus for us in terms of quality and usability. But if iced coffee is your favorite thing, then the Eletta Explore is miles ahead of other DeLonghi espresso machines. It will absolutely be worth the extra $150 or so.
The Eletta Series
There are a lot of older Eletta models still for sale, often for the same price as the new versions. So we recommend you show caution and always check the model numbers before buying a new DeLonghi espresso machine.
Currently, the Eletta 44660 is the newest version of the standard model. There is also the Eletta Evo and the Eletta Explore.
If you’re a cold coffee drinker, the Eletta Explore is an amazing choice. But, for everyone else, you can save a bit of money and buy the Dinamica Plus as neither the Evo nor the Eletta 44660 are quite as good as their rivals.
The Eletta Evo is the same price as the Jura E8 and Breville Oracle Touch – two of the best super automatic espresso machines you can buy. If you’re looking at the $2,000-3,000 mark then I’d suggest checking out Jura vs Breville to see which of those two is the best option for you.
To see what you can get for your money, compare the models in the DeLonghi Eletta series:
|Eletta||Eletta Explore||Eletta Cappuccino Evo|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||18.4 x 10.2 x 14.2 inches||17.5 x 10.3 x 13.1 inches||18.4 x 10.2 x 14.2 inches|
|Bean Hopper Capacity||14oz||10.6oz||14oz|
|Iced Coffee Options||No||Yes||No|
|Cold Milk Options||No||Yes||No|
DeLonghi Magnifica Evo with LatteCrema – Best Value for Money
- Good espresso quality
- Excellent milk system
- Simple to use
- Iced coffee option
- Easy to clean
- Limited customization
The Magnifica Evo with LatteCrema is our pick for the best value DeLonghi espresso machine.
If you think you’ve seen this machine elsewhere, it’s because it looks suspiciously similar to the excellent Philips LatteGo range. But then, if you’re going to copy designs, copy good ones.
From the Magnifica Evo with LatteCrema, you can expect beautiful simplicity with its selection of drinks along the top of the machine waiting for you. Adjustments to strength are more easily adjusted than in previous Magnifica models too.
Where this machine really excels is the milk system:
You can add only the amount of milk you need, with a nice, easy-to-understand scale up the side. With other high-quality espresso machines, it’s easy to waste milk so only needing to add the perfect amount is great. Plus, the temperature and foam are good too.
This is a basic machine. There are no user profiles and no advanced setting adjustments although it does have the iced coffee function. But it’s ideal for people who want to push a button and get a good coffee without breaking the bank. That’s what makes it one of our favorite De’Longhi espresso machines.
It’s compact, it looks great, it’s easy to use and clean and you’ll get enjoyable coffees from it. All for a good price. What’s not to love?
DeLonghi Magnifica Evo
- Pulls good quality espresso shots
- Easy to use and clean
- Looks great
- Iced coffee function
- Lack of functionality
- There are better options for just a little more money
Despite being a very affordable automatic espresso machine, the Magnifica Evo suffers a little by association with the above version which has a milk frother. That said, it’s still a good coffee maker which you’ll get good coffee from. It has easy-to-use buttons, is easy to clean, looks nice, and is pretty small.
The only real issue is that for most people, it’s absolutely worth the extra money to get the upgraded version including the LatteCrema system. Or, if you only drink black coffee, we’d recommend splurging a little more to get the Dinamica. With this machine, you’ll get far more customization options without spending too much more.
The Magnifica Evo is in no man’s land compared to the other automatic espresso machines. However, if it’s at the top of your budget and you’re after a nice-looking espresso machine that makes black coffees with minimal fuss then this will not let you down.
It’s also pretty common to find it discounted to $650 rather than the retail of around $800 which is a great deal.
Other DeLonghi Magnifica Models
There are still some of the old DeLonghi Magnifica models for sale, though they are no longer being made. For example, the old Delonghi Magnifica S is still a great bargain machine – my in-laws have been using theirs for years. Or, if you can get hold of it, the Magnifica ESAM 3300 is also a great machine.
Just be aware that these are often around the same price as the new generation of Magnifica machines which have better looks and features. This is why we don’t recommend them as some of the best De’Longhi espresso machines.
If in doubt, the Magnifica super automatic espresso machines that have the model numbers stating “ECAM” are the newer ones. The “ESAM” models are from the old range.
You can compare the current collection of Delonghi Magnifica espresso makers in the table below:
|Magnifica XS||Magnifica S||Magnifica Evo||Magnifica Evo with Latte Crema|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||17 x 9.4 x 13.8 inches||16.9 x 9.4 x 13.4 inches||17.3 x 9.4 x 14.1 inches||17.3 x 9.4 x 14.1 inches|
|Bean Hopper Capacity||8.8oz||8.8oz||8.8oz||8.8oz|
|One-Touch Coffee Recipes||2||2||5||7|
|Automatic Milk Frothing||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Iced Coffee Options||No||No||Yes||Yes|
Strictly speaking, a manual machine requires you to build the pressure yourself. But a semi-automatic takes over this part for you whilst still leaving the rest of the brewing process in your hands.
Still confused? Check out our guide to all the Different Types of Coffee Makers.
DeLonghi La Specialista Maestro – Best for Espresso Nerds
- Looks fantastic
- Gives you control and a safety net
- Excellent milk foam
- 8 grind settings
- Dual boilers
- Digital dosing and temperature control
- Easy to clean
- Can’t brew coffee and steam milk simultaneously
- Bit messy whilst using
In our opinion, this is the best-looking machine in DeLonghi’s line-up by a mile.
The beautiful La Specialista Maestro feels like a 50s Cadillac with big dials and bold lines. But it’s more than just a pretty face. It’s also home to a quality grinder, intelligent dosing, easy tamping, and extraction which all combine to make superb espresso.
Being a semi-automatic espresso machine, you do have to take control over getting the tamping pressure, dosing, and water volume right. But the La Specialista Maestro is there to catch you if you fall – so no terrible espresso shots will be pulled on its watch.
For serious espresso drinkers, this might be just a bit too much babysitting. But if you’re a casual espresso lover looking to get more involved and hone your craft, this is perfect.
The LatteCrema system is so good that there’s no need to use the manual milk wand, but it’s also very good if you do.
The downside is that despite having dual boilers it won’t steam milk and brew espresso at the same time which is frustrating. It also tends to splash a little while brewing so you’ll need to regularly wipe down to keep your machine looking nice.
Overall, this is a machine that delivers on both looks and quality. So if you want to be more hands-on than one of DeLonghi’s fully automatic machines offers without going fully manual, then this is a perfect choice.
Other DeLonghi La Specialista Models
We feel that the Maestro is the only model that fits into our ‘Best DeLonghi’ list. While the other La Specialista models are also good coffee machines, they require a bit more dialing in which can be frustrating. They also don’t look quite as cool.
However, if you’re on a tighter budget and are happy to forgo some convenience to save some money, then the DeLonghi La Specialista Prestigio espresso machine may be for you. Alternatively, the La Specialista Arte is a further stripped-back option.
So it all depends on how much help you want from your DeLonghi La Specialista machine. To make things a little easier, we’ve compared the 3 models head-to-head:
|La Specialista Arte||La Specialista Prestigio||La Specialista Maestro|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||11.2 x 14.4 x 15.9 inches||15 x 14.5 x 17.5 inches||16.5 x 14.5 x 18.3 inches|
|Bean Hopper Capacity||8.8oz||8.8oz||8.8oz|
|Milk Frothing||Manual||Manual or Automatic||Manual or Automatic|
|Advanced Drink Customization||No||No||Yes|
DeLonghi Stilosa – Best Budget Machine
- Single or double portafilters
- Easy-to-use milk wand
- Nice looking
- Very compact
- Superb build quality
- Excellent value for money
- Milk wand can’t produce professional microfoam
- Only for casual espresso drinkers
Not everyone can, or needs to, spend a lot of money to get an enjoyable espresso machine. The DeLonghi Stilosa manual espresso machine is great for casual coffee drinkers who just want a cappuccino or latte at home. In fact, my parents have one and they love the coffee from it.
Double-walled filter baskets give you great crema and, as it’s semi-automatic, you can time your extraction nicely.
The milk wand is also really easy to use. Whilst you won’t get pro-level microfoam from it, it’s still pretty nice for most beginners.
As an added bonus, the simper user interface makes it extremely easy to use too.
Yes, there are other DeLonghi manual espresso machines available on a budget, but we feel this is the best. You won’t get perfect extraction and nuance from your preferred espresso beans and you will struggle to do latte art. But it’s under $150.
Paired with a decent coffee grinder, you’ll get many delicious coffees from the Stilosa for years to come.
Psst… Are you looking for a bargain espresso machine? Check out our top picks for under $100 – you’ll spot the DeLonghi Stilosa on there too:
DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe
- Great value for money
- Easy to use
- Produces good espresso and milk
- Looks sleek
- Only suitable for beginners or casual users
Small kitchen? No problem. The DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe is a small compact espresso machine that can deliver a good espresso and nicely foamed milk at a reasonable price. It comes in a variety of colors that all look pretty good, and it has a really clean look that will suit most kitchens.
This espresso machine is very simple to use. However, we found the temperature customization to be a bit pointless as only the highest setting is actually useful. But you can customize your shot length nicely to make espresso, ristretto, or lungo. And, when paired with a good grinder, you can easily dial in your perfect coffee.
But this is still really an entry-level espresso maker. It’s aimed at those who want to start learning about making espresso or those who never want to graduate from the basics. So, if that’s you then this is a good machine to enjoy making espresso with.
To complete your coffee setup, we’d recommend buying a decent tamper and a good grinder (check out our JavaPresse review for a good budget option). Then, you can enjoy easy-to-pull espressos and easy-to-foam milk with the 2 different milk settings. All with a tiny footprint and a good price point.
DeLonghi Dedica Series
The Dedica Arte is slightly more expensive and has a different milk system: the “latte art”. This is better for making, you guessed it, latte art. However, we prefer the cappuccino/microfoam steam wand on the Dedica Deluxe as it’s better suited for beginners which is who these machines are aimed at.
The milk system is literally the only difference between the models. So, if you already have some milk frothing skills or you’re happy to learn them, grab the Dedica Arte. Or, if you want simplicity, then the Dedica Deluxe is for you.
De’Longhi All-in-One – Best for Families
- Makes both espresso and drip coffee
- Dual boilers
- Works with E.S.E. pods
- Reusable drip filter
- Good milk frother
- Offers good value for money
- No milk pitcher
Usually, making coffee for more than 2 people can be a bit of a hassle. Either you have to splash out on an expensive super-automatic espresso machine or you’re looking at a drip coffee maker to batch brew. But if you like wildly different styles of coffee, then it gets more complex.
Cue DeLonghi riding on their white horse. They’ve provided the solution in the shape of their All-in-One offering which combines an espresso machine with a drip coffee maker. So, everyone should be kept happy and caffeinated.
Let’s get one thing straight: this isn’t aimed at espresso aficionados. Instead, combination coffee espresso machines are for those who like a latte or cappuccino in the morning but also need the volume of a pot of coffee throughout the day. Or maybe even the much-needed caffeine hit of a red-eye coffee.
With a reusable filter and delay timer for the drip alongside the ability to use E.S.E. pods on the espresso side, convenience is everything here.
The milk frother can do microfoam or froth depending on your preference too.
The only annoyance is the lack of a milk pitcher and the cheap plastic tamper. But both are easily solved by picking up a milk jug and quality tamper for under $50 combined.
Overall, this is a great value option for anyone who would like a semi-automatic espresso machine for the occasional espresso drink but still needs the volume of a drip machine.
But it’s always good to know what else is out there. There are some other companies that also offer brilliant options at various price points. It all depends on what you look for in a new home espresso machine.
Jura is a swiss super-automatic espresso machine company that makes exclusively high-end machines.
All Jura coffee makers are beautiful, absolutely packed with features, and produce outstanding coffee and milk. Plus, everything is designed to be as easy as possible to use.
The catch is that Jura makes very expensive super-automatic espresso machines.
If you’re looking at the top-end DeLonghi’s then Jura could well have a more feature-packed machine for the same price. So take a look at the best Jura coffee machines – you may just fall in love.
Breville has taken a slightly different path:
They produce much more semi-automatic and automatic machines rather than super automatics. They also make more espresso makers for serious coffee lovers.
If you’re looking at seriously getting into the weeds on espresso making then Breville may be a better company for you to look at. Although they don’t offer a true manual espresso machine.
The best Breville espresso maker depends on what you’re looking for. But they have some really great machines at all price points from the Bambino to the Oracle Touch.
Whilst their super-automatic machines are considerably more expensive than DeLonghi’s, they do pack a lot more customization in there.
Another Italian coffee giant, Gaggia is the closest challenger to DeLonghi in terms of offering super automatics at a really competitive price.
Gaggia tends to focus a little more seriously on perfecting espresso than DeLonghi and offers some more features too. They also use more stainless steel in their construction rather than plastic parts.
But this comes at a cost.
Their machines tend to be a little more expensive. So it comes down to whether you think the best Gaggia espresso machines are worth the extra over DeLonghi.
Saeco and Philips are the same company. Philips tends to be the brand on the lower-end machines with Saeco offering a small range of premium super automatics.
You can see some of the great ideas from Philips on DeLonghi machines. For example, the LatteCrema milk systems are near identical to the one on the Philips LatteGo range. This is because it’s a great system, and DeLonghi knows its competition and what people want.
The Saeco machines are generally better looking than DeLonghi’s but also more expensive. Although they do pack a lot of features for that extra money.
For us, the Dinamica Plus is the best De’Longhi espresso machine currently on the market. You get fantastic features for a really good price.
But, depending on what you’re looking for, the La Specialista Maestro, Stilosa, or Eletta Explore may be better options. So take a look around and take the time to weigh up your options. These are investment machines that will last you years so make sure you get the right fit for you.
You Might Also Like
If you’re limited on space, don’t give up on your dreams of making great espresso at home. Instead, read our DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe Review
Want the ease of a single-serve machine but the flexibility to use any coffee beans? Then read this expert DeLonghi Magnifica Evo Review