Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Plus (Which is Best?)

I'm a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Looking for Amazon Early Black Friday Deals? We've got the best ones here!

Which is better, Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Plus? Instant Pot themselves have dubbed Duo Nova as the best for beginners, but the Duo Plus is the best pressure cooker for parents. They both have lots of appliances and features, but the Duo Plus has one unique feature that sets it apart. Which pressure cooker is best? It depends on what you need, but let’s compare Duo Plus vs Duo Nova and see who wins.

Instant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Duo Plus
Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Instant Pot Duo Plus

Appliances Showdown

The hallmark of an Instant Pot pressure cooker is cramming as many appliances as possible into a single unit. It’s great because it ensures you have a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, and more all in one appliance. Let’s be honest, would you rather store and use 7+ appliances, or just have one unit that does it all?

Instant Pot is a heavy hitter in the electric pressure cooker world, but which one is best here? Let’s compare Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Plus to see which has more appliances.

ApplianceInstant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Duo Plus
Pressure CookerYesYes
SteamerYesYes
Rice CookerYesYes
Slow CookerYesYes
WarmerYesYes
Yogurt MakerYesYes
Saute/SearingYesYes
Egg CookerNoYes
SterilizerNoYes

While the egg cooker function might be nice for some, the major difference here is the Duo Plus sterilizer. This is what makes the Instant Pot Duo Plus better for parents or anyone else who needs to sterilize jars, bottles, and other containers.

However, if you don’t need a sterilizer, then both are nearly identical and the Duo Nova is the more affordable of the two. The egg cooker is nice, but you can easily cook eggs with the manual controls.

The win goes to the Duo Plus if you need the sterilizer, but Duo Nova is the smarter purchase if you don’t need a sterilizer.

Instant Pot Duo Plus

Instant Pot Duo Plus vs Duo Nova: Smart Programs

Instant Pots aren’t just known for their many appliances. They’re also known for their Smart Programs. Every Instant Pot model has a built-in microprocessor that watches over your food and ensures it’s cooked to perfection. That means changing the time and temp as needed so that nothing is overcooked or undercooked.

So, which model has the most Smart Programs? Let’s take a look.

Smart ProgramInstant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Duo Plus
Soup/BrothYesYes
Bean/ChiliYesYes
Meat/StewYesYes
RiceYesYes
MultigrainYesYes
SauteYesYes
PoultryYesYes
YogurtYesYes
PorridgeYesYes
SteamYesYes
Pressure CookYesYes
Keep WarmYesYes
Slow CookYesYes
SterilizeNoYes
CakeNoYes
EggsNoYes
Total1316

The winner once again here is Duo Plus. While both share nearly all the same Smart Programs, Duo Plus sneaks ahead with three extra programs: Sterilize, Cake, and Egg. Once again, you can make pressure cooker cake and egg recipes with the Duo Nova, but you won’t have a Smart Program to help.

However, Duo Nova does have about a dozen programs and that should cover most of your cooking needs. While it can’t replicate sterilizing (which we covered in the section above), it can be used for nearly any recipe you can think of.

Also, be aware that we’re talking about the Duo Nova 6qt,  Duo Nova 8qt, and Duo Nova 10qt along with the Duo Plus 6qt and Duo Plus 8qt models. Both the Duo Nova 3qt and Duo Plus 3qt have somewhat fewer programs.

Smart Programs are wonderful, but remember that you can cook manually as well. That means that any food, recipes, or anything you’re thinking of that aren’t on the list can still be cooked. You just won’t have the microprocessor backing you up, but it can still be done.

Instant Pot Duo Nova

Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo Plus: Sizes

Here’s where the Duo Nova really shines. While the Duo Plus has won in the other categories (appliances and smart programs), Duo Nova swings back hard with having the largest pressure cooker size.

Both of these models come in 3 quart, 6 quart and 8 quart sizes. However, Duo Nova is the first (and currently only) Instant Pot model to have a 10 quart size. If you have a very large family or host events at home, then you’ll need a large pressure cooker for family cooking.

Now, it’s important to mention that the most common sizes are 6 quart (for small-to-mid sized families) and 8 quart (for larger families). The 3 quart size is good for individuals or couples. If you need any of these sizes, then either model will suffice.

If you have many people to cook for or simply love making large batches of food, then the Duo Nova wins here. If the 10 quart size isn’t a priority for you, then these two are even as they both offer the most common pressure cooker sizes.

What’s the Difference Between the Duo Nova and Duo Plus?

We’ve gone over many aspects, so now we’ll be bringing up all the major differences. When we did a comparison of Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo, there were only some small differences. We also did one of Duo Nova vs Duo Evo Plus and that has some big changes.

So, where do we stand with Duo Plus vs Duo Nova? Well, Duo Nova was made for beginners and hits all the right checkboxes. It has lots of appliances, Smart Programs, sizes, and is ideal for most pressure cooker recipes. However, while it’s a solid all-arounder, the Duo Plus outshines it in many ways.

The Duo Plus functions as a sterilizer and has several more Smart Programs. It’s ideal for parents and anyone else who needs to sterilizer containers.

The both also have the advanced features of the EasySeal lid and Easy Steam Release. EasySeal seals the lid for you so that you never have to worry about steam escaping while cooking. Easy Steam Release allows you to release steam with a button, so no more burned hands.

A lot of it comes down to features, especially with the sterilizer. If you need to sterilize containers, then the Duo Plus is right for you. If you want the most appliances and features, then Duo Plus wins here as well. However, if you want an solid and affordable all-arounder that can do just about anything, then the Duo Nova might be better for you.

Instant Pot Duo NovaInstant Pot Duo Plus
Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Instant Pot Duo Plus

Final Thoughts

Both the Duo Nova and Duo Plus are fantastic pressure cookers. While the Duo Plus is the better pressure cooker here if you want the most features and appliances, you might find the Duo Nova more attractive since it has a better price and has nearly all the same features.

If you need a sterilizer, then the Duo Plus is your only option. If you need a 10 quart pressure cooker, then the Duo Nova is your only option. Outside of this it becomes more nuanced and you have to consider features and pricing.

So, which one do you choose? Let us know which is your favorite.