Once you find the best espresso machine among the entriest of entry-level machines, you’ve won the lottery. A machine like this will cost you like a pair of shoes, but it will do something that shoes can’t— make good espresso. If you’re really lucky, a good low-end machine will also make fine cappuccinos; lattes— so-so.
It seems like we’re already describing the De’Longhi EC155 and the EC155m— two brothers that have some tiny differences between them, differences which, however, might not be insignificant for you. Are you ready for the De’Longhi EC155 vs EC155m comparison?
- Panarello steam wand
- Cup warmer
- Steel drip tray
- Built-in tamper
- Stainless steel boiler with two thermostats
- Operated by a dial
The classic De’Longhi EC155 espresso machine that beginners love
Convenient Panarello steam wand that makes frothing more automated and suitable for newbies
One of the most affordable entry-level espresso machines
A nice boiler that makes for a fast transition from brewing to steaming
The espresso machine vibrates while it brews the coffee
- ‘Ready’ light indicator
- A slightly improved portafilter
- Panarello steam wand
- Built-in tamper
- Stainless steel boiler and two thermostats
Comes with design improvements that make it look a bit better than the EC155
The improved portafilter makes the disposal of coffee grounds a bit easier
An easy steaming experience for beginners with the Panarello steam wand
The machine self-primes and you don’t have to worry about manually preparing it for brewing in the early mornings
Lacks sufficient cup clearance
Our pick: The De’Longhi EC155m
When De’Longhi made improvements to the EC155, it changed no more than the machine’s design and the tiny piece on the portafilter’s handle that won’t let your filter basket fly out when you turn the portafilter upside down to get the coffee puck out. Because of these changes, however, the new De’Longhi EC155m looks better, more modern, and functions as reliably as the previous EC155. Changes like these are good and we, therefore, stand with the EC155m, its better looks, and its potential future upgrades.
There’s a lot of sentimental value into that— a machine that was the first, baby step for espresso lovers, the one machine that introduced them to the artistry behind coffee-making. You’ll see a lot of people recommending it, and these recommendations are very valuable because they often come from former EC155 users which have switched their beginner machine for prosumer-level machines. That said, they can really point out EC155’s benefits.
This machine by De’Longhi is mostly made of plastic, with a few stainless steel accents like the stainless steel cup warmer, the grill of the removable drip tray, and the upper front of the machine. It is an espresso machine not only because it makes espresso, but because it has a 15-Bar pump to make real espresso.
If the espresso made by the EC155 is creamy, the froth made by its Panarello steam wand is very frothy. You should beware of how much milk you put into your frothing jug because you might get too much froth. The steam wand won’t make you do too much to get froth, however: just put it in the jug and let it froth the milk until the jug is too hot to hold.
This machine is easy to use because it has two dials only and no control buttons. One dial controls the stainless steel double-thermostat boiler when brewing and steaming, while the other one opens and closes the steam wand. Things are even easier with the machine’s self-priming, the visible water level of the tank, and the built-in tamper, which translate into a fast heat-up time, easier water level monitoring, and good shots of espresso.
It’s the EC155 in a new and refined skin!
The De’Longhi EC155m is everything the EC155 is, but it has some improvements that make it a bit more interesting: there’s the grill for the drip tray that has elongated draining holes, the cup warmer that has a linear texture, and there are the two ergonomic dials that control the steam wand and the rest of the features. The little thingy on the portafilter that keeps the filter basket inside the portafilter as you’re emptying the coffee grounds is, furthermore, improved as well. Being metal-lined and not plastic, it is more resistant to the acidity of coffee and the negative effects of water.
In terms of functionality, the EC155m is a 15-Bar espresso machine with a Panarello steam wand. The machine comes with a double, a single, and an E.S.E. filter basket, with the first two baskets used for double and single espresso shots and the E.S.E. basket being perfect for the convenient easy-serve espresso pods.
The De’Longhi EC155m also has a tamper for you to tamp your coffee after putting it into the portafilter. Even though it’s small, you can’t lose the tamper because it’s built-in to the machine.
The water level in the reservoir of the EC155m is visible, so you’ll always know when it’s time to refill it; you don’t want espresso with no water, after all!
Cappuccinos are a delight with the machine’s Panarello steam wand and the stainless steel boiler. The steam wand makes frothing effortless, and this is exactly what it’s designed for. The boiler, on the other hand, has two thermostats that keep the machine always ready for brewing and steaming. On the basic end of things, the De’Longhi EC155m is a very good choice.
Similarities between the De’Longhi EC155 and the EC155m
The two machines are, naturally, way too similar in the way they make the drinks and in how much simplicity they offer for beginners. In fact, they are the same 15-Bar machine with a Panarello steam wand and the simple two-dial control panel. Both of them work with a portafilter compatible with double and single filter baskets and an E.S.E. basket, and the exact tamper model is attached to the right-hand side of each machine. The same water reservoir capacity, concept for water level visibility, stainless steel boiler, and light indicators describe the two machines; in fact, finding the differences between these two machines is like looking for a needle in the haystack.
Differences between the De’Longhi EC155 and the EC155ms
We did, however, find the needle in the haystack and figured out that the design of the De’Longhi EC155 is different from the design of the EC155m.
It was already mentioned that the EC155m features linear accents on the drip tray’s grill and the cup warmer. It was also said that there’s a difference in the looks of the control dials of the machines, with the dials of the EC155m being a bit more hand-friendly. The part of the portafilter that prevents the slipping of the filter basket when you’re disposing of the coffee puck is, furthermore, metal on the EC155m and usually plastic on the EC155.
One more thing that is different between the two machines is the marking for the indicator light that tells you when the machine is ready to brew and steam. This light says ‘OK’ on the De’Longhi EC155 and ‘Ready’ on the EC155m, with the second marking being a bit more intuitive.
As you may notice, the differences between the two machines are mostly cosmetic and for the sake of user-friendliness: one of them makes the coffee-making straightforward and easy and the other one improves the durability of the portafilter a little bit.
Which one should you go with?
Support De’Longhi’s efforts to bring you an even better coffee-making experience by choosing the EC155m! If you trust the EC155 and its good reputation, you might also consider trusting the next and improved version of it. The changes to the machine are small, but they are important for keeping it on the market and making it ‘competition-resistant.’ If nothing on an espresso machine changes for years, it becomes forgotten.