Breville vs Delonghi

This is my comparison between Breville and Delonghi’s ranges of espresso machines.

I own the Breville Barista Pro and have owned the Delonghi ECAM 4200 in the past, so I have experience with both of these manufacturers.

I also spent a whole day researching these manufacturers’ products, and their users’ experiences with them to put together this comparison.

Breville vs Delonghi – Which is Better (Quick Answer)?

Overall, I think Breville makes better espresso machines than Delonghi. 

The best overall machine of these two machines is the Breville Barista Pro.

If you are on the fence about espresso and want an entry-level machine, your only option is Delonghi. Their best entry-level machine is the Delonghi ECP3630.

Delonghi machines are easier to use than Breville ones. If you want a machine that is as little effort to use as possible, then your best bet is the Delonghi Dinamica Plus.

Breville machines steam and froth milk better than Delonghi machines. The best of these machines for milk-based drinks is the  Breville Barista Pro.

To reiterate, I think Breville machines are, in general, better than Delonghi machines. 

The best Breville espresso machine is the Breville Barista Pro.

Overview of Manufacturers

The table below shows the key facts and features of Breville and Delonghi and their range of espresso machines:

Price range $400 – $3000$150 – $2,500
Types of machines they makeAutomatic machine with no grinder
Automatic machine with grinder
Semi-automatic machine with no grinder
Automatic machine with no grinder
Automatic machine with grinder
Superautomatic (bean to cup) machine
Type of portafilter basket they use (if applicable)Pressurised & non pressurisedPressurised (in most cases)
Type of steam wand they usePinholePanarello
Type of grinder they useStainless steel conical burrStainless steel conical burr
Warranty length1 year (in most cases)2 years
Do they pick up returns?YesNo

Below is a table showing which manufacturer makes the better machines according to certain categories.

Please note that these are generalisations based on their range as a whole and are not true of every machine that these two companies make:

Point of ComparisonWinner
Which makes better coffee?Breville
Which makes better steamed milk?Breville
Which has a better grinder?Breville
Which has a higher build quality?Breville
Which is more compact?Delonghi
Which is more affordable?Delonghi
Which is easier to use?Delonghi
Which has a wider range of drink options?Delonghi
Which has better customer support?Breville

I am now going to compare the best Breville machine against the best Delonghi machine in four price brackets. These are:

  • Entry-level
  • Affordable
  • Mid-range
  • Top of the line

Entry Level – Delonghi is the Only Option

Delonghi is the only of these two manufacturers to make an entry-level espresso machine.

Delonghi makes three entry-level espresso machines.

Their best machine of these three is the Delonghi ECP3630.

The ECP3630 is the only entry-level espresso machine with a steam wand with dedicated settings for steaming and frothing milk.

This allows you to make “proper” cappuccinos and latte macchiatos, drinks that contain both steamed and frothed milk. 

Other entry-level machines can only make frothed milk, limiting your milk-based coffee options to cappuccino only.

Affordable: Breville Bambino vs Delonghi Dedica Arte

I’d recommend the Breville Bambino over the Delonghi Dedica Arte. 

The Dedica Arte only uses a pressurised portafilter. 

While this allows you to brew reliably with pre-ground coffee, it does put a relatively low ceiling on how good an espresso you can make.

The Bambino gives you the option to use a pressurised or non-pressurised portafilter.

It, therefore, has the best of both worlds in having a very high ceiling for espresso quality and allowing you to use it with pre-ground coffee.

Quality of CoffeeBreville Bambino
Quality of Steam WandBreville Bambino
Ease of UseDelonghi Dedica Arte
Design and Build QualityBreville Bambino
Value for MoneyDraw

Quality of Coffee

The Breville Bambino makes a better coffee than the Delonghi Dedica Arte because it uses a non-pressurised portafilter. This raises the “quality ceiling” of the Bambino’s espresso compared to the Dedica Arte’s.

The two machines are very similar in how they make espresso, both using a 15-bar pump to achieve ideal brewing pressure.

The big difference between these two machines, as far as espresso quality is concerned, is that the Dedica Arte only uses a pressurised portafilter, whereas the Bambino comes with both pressurised and non-pressurised portafilter baskets.

Pressurised portafilter on the right, non-pressurised portafilter on the left

Ideally, you only want to use pressurised portafilters when working with pre-ground coffee. 

Pressurised portafilters allow you to brew with unevenly ground coffee from a cheap grinder (most pre-ground coffee is ground in this way), but put a ceiling on how well your espresso extracts when brewing.

Non-pressurised portafilters allow you a better extraction when you brew, but often clog up or channels when making espresso with pre-ground coffee.

I love that the Bambino gives you both types of portafilter baskets, so you can work in optimal ways with both pre-ground and whole bean coffee. 

The Dedica Arte only comes with pressurised portafilters meaning that while you can make a decent espresso with pre-ground coffee, you cannot make excellent espresso with whole bean coffee.

Quality of Coffee Winner: Breville Bambino

Quality of Steam Wand

The Bambino has a higher-powered steam wand than the Dedica Arte. This means that you can steam milk faster and in larger quantities with the Bambino compared to the Dedica Arte.

Both machines have steam wands that allow you to create finer foam for a latte and larger-bubbled foam for a cappuccino.

The Dedica Arte’s wand has specific settings for these two textures, whereas the Bambino requires you to manoeuvre your steam wand in certain positions in the milk to achieve various textures.

The Dedica Arte’s steam wand is, therefore, better suited for beginners than the Bambino’s.

I still think the Bambino has a better steam wand overall because it is far more powerful than the Barista Arte’s.

You benefit in three ways from the Bambino’s additional power. These are:

  • The steam wand comes to temperature much faster
  • You can steam milk much faster
  • You can steam larger quantities of milk before the milk wand overheats.

Quality of Steam Wand Winner: Breville Bambino

Ease of Use

The Dedica Arte is easier to use than the Bambino because of its more automated steam wand.

Both machines take the same amount of effort and experience to make a good espresso if you use the pressurised portafilter with the Bambino.

The Dedica Arte is easier to steam milk with than the Bambino, however. 

Not only does the Dedica Arte have inbuilt settings for different textures, its gentler steam wand means that you are less likely to scorch your milk. This is one of the biggest problems that beginners have when trying to steam milk.

Ease of Use Winner: Delonghi Dedica Arte

Design and Build Quality

The Bambino has a higher build quality than the Dedica Arte. The Bambino can heat up and brew multiple coffees much faster than the Dedica Arte as a result.

The table below shows the build specs for these two machines:

SpecificationBreville BambinoDelonghi Dedica Arte
Dimensions (width x depth x height)6.3″ x 13.7″ x 12″5.9” x 13” x 12”
Predominant External Material Chrome plated plasticPlastic
Pump Pressure15 bar15 bar
Heating SystemThermojet system with PID temperature controlDual boiler system
Portafilter TypePressurised & non pressurisedPressurised
Warranty1 year2 years

Both machines have the similar external build quality, with their exterior being largely made out of thick plastic.

The Bambino is slightly larger than the Dedica Arte, but I don’t think this difference is enough to make one more viable for a small or crowded kitchen than the other.

The Bambino has a more powerful heating system and steam wand. 

This means that it heats up quicker than the Dedica Arte and is faster at making multiple coffees and steaming several portions of milk. 

The Bambino is therefore a much better option for families of coffee drinkers.

Design and Build Quality Winner: Breville Bambino

Value For Money

The Breville Bambino is more expensive than the Delonghi Dedica Arte, however, I think that this difference in price is just about justified.

Value for Money Winner: Draw

Overall Winner: Breville Bambino

Mid Range Espresso Machine: Breville Barista Pro vs Delonghi La Specialista Prestigo

I’d recommend the Breville Barista Pro over the Delonghi La Specialista Prestigo.

The Prestigo attempts to automate the tamping process. While this does reduce some of the work in making your espresso, it does mean that sometimes shots come out under-extracted due to a lack of precision in puck prep. 

I prefer the manual tamping that the Barista Pro offers as it allows you to make a better-tasting espresso compared to the Prestigo. This is why I consider the Barista Pro to be the best Breville espresso machine.

Quality of DrinksBreville Barista Pro
Quality of Steam WandBreville Barista Pro
Ease of UseDelonghi La Specialista Prestigio
Design and Build QualityDelonghi La Specialista Prestigio
Value For MoneyBreville Barista Pro

Quality of Coffee

The Breville Barista Pro makes a better espresso than the Delonghi La Specialista Prestigio. 

The Barista Pro gives you more grind settings than the Presitigio and allows you to manually tamp your puck. 

The Prestigio has an automated tamper. While this does the job and makes espresso making a bit easier, you do lose a little bit of control in your brewing process.

The Prestigio, therefore, has a slightly lower espresso-quality-ceiling than the Barista Pro.

Quality of Coffee Winner: Breville Barista Pro

Quality of Steam Wand

The Barista Pro’s steam wand heats up slightly faster than the Prestigio’s.

The two machines use very similar pin-holed steam wands. 

The only difference is that the Barista Pro’s steam wand heats up a bit faster and is a bit quieter than the Prestigio’s.

The Barista Pro’s steam wand is therefore marginally better than the Prestigio’s, in my books at least.

Quality of Steam Wand Winner: Breville Barista Pro

Ease of Use

The Prestigio is easier to use than the Breville Barista Pro due to its automated tamping system.

While the Prestigio’s automated tamper only shaves a couple of seconds off how long it takes to make espresso, it dramatically reduces the amount of cleaning up you have to do after brewing.

Let’s face it, cleaning up is the worst thing about making espresso. Anything that reduces this is greatly appreciated.

Ease of Use Winner: Delonghi La Specialista Prestigio

Design and Build Quality

The Barista Pro has a couple of technical issues that lower its overall build quality compared to the Prestigio.

Although the Barista Pro can heat up impressively quickly, it does have two quite bad technical problems.

These are that its grinder jams on its finer settings and that it regularly fails to complete a rinse cycle.

The Prestigio does not seem to have as severe technical problems, and on top of that, it has a three-year warranty compared to the Barista Pro’s one-year warranty.

Design and Build Quality Winner: Delonghi La Specialista Prestigio

Value For Money

Both these machines cost about the same. Since the Barista Pro is a slightly better machine, it offers superior value for money over the Prestigio

Value For Money Winner: Breville Barista Pro

Overall Winner: Breville Barista Pro

Top of the Line Espresso Machine: Breville Oracle Touch vs Delonghi Dinamica Plus

I’d recommend the Breville Oracle Touch over the Delonghi Dinamica Plus.

The Oracle Touch allows you to brew with a larger amount of coffee than the Dinamica Plus. This significantly improves the quality of espresso made by the Oracle touch compared to the Dinamica Plus.

Quality of CoffeeBreville Oracle Touch
Quality of Steam WandBreville Oracle Touch
Ease of UseDelonghi Dinamica Plus
Design and Build QualityBreville Oracle Touch
Value For MoneyDelonghi Dinamica Plus

Quality of Coffee

The Breville Oracle brews a better espresso than the Delonghi Dinamica Plus because of its capacity to brew with a large amount of ground coffee.

The two machines brew in a fundamentally different way.

The Dinamica Plus doses the coffee for you inside the machine. 

While this reduces the amount of effort you have to put in to make a coffee (and to clean up afterwards), limited space means that the machine cannot brew enough coffee to make an espresso larger than one ounce.

The Breville Oracle has an automatic tamping system, but still ultimately uses an external portafilter to hold your ground coffee. 

This means that it can hold sufficient coffee grounds for a well-bodied double espresso, something that the Dinamica Plus cannot do.

Quality of Coffee Winner: Breville Oracle Touch

Quality of Steam Wand

The Breville Oracle Touch’s steam wand is more powerful than the Delonghi Dinamica Plus’s. This allows you to steam more milk faster with the Oracle Touch vs the Dinamica Plus.

The two machines have automated milk steaming. 

This means that they steam a certain amount of milk to a certain temperature and texture based on the type of drink that you select from the machine’s menu.

Users of these two machines claim that the Dinamica struggles when it has to make several portions of steamed milk in quick succession. The Oracle Touch does not seem to have this problem, so its steam wand just edges it for me.

Quality of Steam Wand: Breville Oracle Touch

Ease of Use

The Dinamica Plus is easier to use than the Oracle Touch because it prepares the espresso puck inside the machine. This gives you much less cleanup to do after you make your espresso.

The Dinamica Plus is a true super-automatic espresso machine in that all the espresso-making (including milk steaming) is done inside the machine. All you need to do is press a couple of buttons.

The Oracle Touch is a unique hybrid between automatic and superautomatic. 

While it tamps your puck and steams your milk based on the type of drink you select, you still need to detach and reattach your loaded portafilter to the brew head.

The Oracle Touch also still steams milk with a jug and steam wand, rather than a fully attached device.

The Oracle Touch will therefore need more cleaning up after you make a coffee than the Dinamica Plus. 

In particular, you will need to wipe down the Oracle Touch’s drip tray and steam wand after use. You do not need to worry about this with the Dinamica Plus.

Ease of Use Winner: Delonghi Dinamica Plus

Design and Build Quality

The Dinamica Plus is more prone to technical issues than the Oracle Touch.

Since the two machines have vastly different brewing mechanisms, it’s not that easy to compare their design and build quality.

The Dinamica Plus has far more moving parts and therefore more points of potential technical failure. It will therefore likely need more maintenance than the Oracle Touch.

I always prefer machines that are simple and reliable, and in this regard, the Oracle Touch beats out the Dinamica Plus.

Design and Build Quality Winner: Breville Oracle Touch

Value for Money

The Dinamica Plus is significantly cheaper than the Oracle Touch. While the two machines are very different, I don’t quite think that the Oracle Touch justifies its extra price over the Dinamica Plus.

Value for Money Winner: Delonghi Dinamica Plus

Overall Winner: Breville Oracle Touch

Final Thoughts

I would recommend Breville espresso machines over Delonghi Espresso machines.

The only exception to this is if you want a super affordable entry-level espresso machine. Breville does not make such machines, so I’d recommend the Delonghi ECP3630.

The best machine that either of these manufacturers makes is the Breville Barista Pro:

You can find out more about this machine by reading my Breville Barista Pro review.

Related Articles