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Instant Pot is the leader of pressure cookers and it’s easy to see why. They have models for the advanced home chef, newcomers who’ve never used a pressure cooker in their life, and techies who want WiFi cooking, and so much more. At this point it seems like they made a specific Instant Pot for everyone. That begs the question: which Instant Pot is best?
That’s what we’re going to answer today. We’re ranking EVERY Instant Pot based on their features, usefulness, intended users, and how they will best serve you in the kitchen. If you’re looking for one and have no idea which is best for you (Lux, Duo Nova, Ultra, etc), then you’re in the right place!
Read on and find the pressure cooker of your dreams.
The Short List
Here’s the short list for those of you who can’t wait to get your pressure cooker:
- Classic: Duo
- Best for Beginners: Duo Nova
- Techies Delight: Smart WiFi
- Most Innovative: Duo Evo Plus
- Air Fries and More: Duo Crisp
- Home Chefs: Ultra
- Best for Canning: Max
- Best for Parents: Duo Plus
- Basic: Lux
Instant Pot Duo
- Features: Pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, food warmer, yogurt maker, saute pan, steamer
- Sizes: 3, 6, 8 quarts
- Accessories: stainless steel cooking pot, steam rack, sealing ring, condensation collector
- Tagline: Classic 7-in-1
The Instant Pot Duo can be considered the standard model. What it lacks in the specialization of other models, like the Smart WiFi connecting to your phone or the Duo Evo Plus having tons of features, it makes up for by being affordable and very versatile. It’s also one of the best selling Instant Pots, so that says a lot about how useful it is.
Built with a 3rd generation microprocessor to monitor your food and seven appliances built into one, this delivers consistently delicious food that you and your family will love. It also comes in three different sizes. Whether you’re dining solo, making for a hunger couple, or need enough food for a party, you can find the right Duo size for your needs.
Everything from the stainless steel cooking pot to the pressure cooker itself is easy to clean. This also comes with 14 one-touch smart programs for soup, ribs, poultry, dessert, and more. Push the button, add the ingredients, and have delicious food in no time.
If you’re looking for a standard and easy-to-use Instant Pot without the frills or special features, then Instant Pot Duo is ideal.
Is Instant Pot Duo worth it?
It is if you want an affordable multicooker with a good mix of features and cooking options. While some might find that it doesn’t have enough features for their needs (consider Ultra or Duo Evo Plus), it’s great for home cooks who want a good combination of affordability, versatility, and power.
Instant Pot Duo Pros
- Highly versatile
- Very affordable (under $100)
- Simple to use
Instant Pot Duo Cons
- Lacks special features compared to other models
Instant Pot Duo Nova
- Features: Pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, food warmer, yogurt maker, saute pan, steamer
- Sizes: 3, 6, 8, 10 quarts
- Accessories: stainless steel cooking pot, steam rack, x2 sealing rings, condensation collector
- Tagline: Best for Beginners 7-in-1
If you thought the Duo sounded good but you wanted something newer, safer, and with some extra features, then the Duo Nova is the ideal choice. This is the newest addition to the Instant Pot Family and it’s quickly gaining a huge following. It takes everything great about the Duo and makes it better (Don’t believe us? Check out Instant Pot Duo vs Duo Nova).
This is the only 10qt Instant Pot, plus the Duo Nova has the most size options of any model. It also has Easy Steam Release and EasySeal Lid, both of which are essential safety features that make it better to operate. This models maintains the simplicity of the Duo and is very easy to use.
Duo Nova also comes with 13 one-touch programs and the patented microprocessor to ensure your recipes come out beautifully with minimal involvement. Just add the ingredients, push the button, and come back to delicious meals cooked fast and easy. There’s even an elegant blue LCD display that shows you the cooking process, and it’s even easier to use than Duo.
While it does lack some of the specialized features of top-tier Instant Pots, it makes up for it by being versatile and a significant upgrade to a popular pressure cooker. See what all the years of innovation have brought to the kitchen appliance arena with the Duo Nova.
Is Instant Pot Duo Nova worth it?
This is very similar to Duo in terms of features, but you’re paying for upgraded technology, especially when it comes to safety features like the Easy Steam Release and Easy Seal Lid. Honestly, we would say it’s worth the cost.
Instant Pot Duo Nova Pros
- Extremely versatile
- Only slightly more expensive than the Duo
- Great safety features and an extra sealing ring
Instant Pot Duo Nova Cons
- Home chefs may find it too basic, but everyday users will love it
Instant Pot Smart WiFi
- Features: Pressure cooker, rice cooker, cake maker, slow cooker, food warmer, yogurt maker, saute pan, steamer, works with Alexa
- Sizes: 6 quarts
- Accessories: stainless steel cooking pot, steam rack with handles, soup spoon, rice paddle, sealing ring, condensation collector, measuring cup
- Tagline: Best for the Tech Chef 9-in-1
If you like the idea of issuing voice commands or using an app to control your pressure cooker sounds goods, then you’ll love Smart WiFi. This brings you all the versatility of the Instant Pot line while adding modern day controls and upgrades. The app alone has thousands of pre-programmed recipes that you can access in seconds, and the voice commands allow you to cook anywhere in the house.
Currently Smart WiFi works with Alexa and Google Assistant/Nest. That’s ideal for most users, but Apple Homepod users might feel left out. While you can’t issue voice commands with Apple, the Instant Pot app is available for both Android and Apple devices, so you still get WiFi controls.
For those of you who see WiFi and voice commands as a gimmick or a nice but not necessary feature, you might be wondering “is Instant Pot Smart WiFi worth it?”
Taking the home automation features away, we still have a highly capable pressure cooker that’s similar to the Duo or Duo Nova. It replaces eight appliances, has 13 one-touch smart programs, the patented microprocessor for delicious food every time, and all the versatility you expect from a multicooker. We really love the app with its thousands of recipes. It makes cooking easier and more creative, so that’s a big addition we think everyone will love.
In general, it’s a great addition to your home. If home automation is something you love, then the Smart WiFi has your name written on it. If voice commands and apps are great but you could live without them, then it’s still a good pressure cooker, but one of the other models might be better for you.
Is Instant Pot Smart WiFi worth it?
As we said above, this hallmark of this pressure cooker is the voice and app commands, which are useful. Even stripping those away, this is a versatile pressure cooker. If you love home automation, then this pressure cooker was made for you. If you don’t, then consider Duo Nova or Duo Evo Plus.
Instant Pot Smart WiFi Pros
- Works with Alexa and Google Assistant/Nest
- Connects with the Instant Pot app
- Highly versatile and easy to use
Instant Pot Smart WiFi Cons
- Doesn’t work with Apple Homepod
Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus
- Features: Pressure cooker, rice cooker, cake maker, slow cooker, food warmer, yogurt maker, stock pot/saute pan, steamer, sous vide
- Sizes: 6 & 8 quarts
- Accessories: stainless steel cooking pot with handles, steam rack with handles, x2 sealing rings
- Tagline: Most Innovative 10-in-1
So far many of the Instant Pots have had similar features. If you’re looking for something truly advanced, then Duo Evo Plus is calling out to you. Not only does it effortlessly replace 10 appliances (it’s basically a whole kitchen in a pressure cooker), but it also has the most smart programs for this brand.
You get 48 customizable programs for soups, ribs, chicken, beef, beans, and so much more. You can change the programs as needed to suit your particular tastes, which is something you won’t get with any other Instant Pot. While it takes somewhat more effort than the one-touch buttons, it’s not by much. Simply adjust a few settings and your meal will turn out even better.
Another innovation is the cooking pot. Unlike most other models, this cooking pot comes with handles, which makes it easy to remove when food is done. You don’t have to crowd around the pressure cooker. Bring the cooking pot over to the table or anywhere convenient and make dinner truly special.
If you want the fastest, strongest, most feature-rich pressure cooker, then Duo Evo Plus is the right one for you.
Is Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus worth it?
While it lacks a few features found with other models (like air frying with Duo Crisp or sterilizing found with Ultra and Max) this truly is the most advanced Instant Pot on the market. Not only does it have a tremendous number of features, but the 48 smart programs can’t be beat.
Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus Pros
- 48 customizable smart programs
- Replaces 10 appliances
- Cooking pot comes with handles
Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus Cons
- Lacks sterilizing and air frying
Instant Pot Duo Crisp
- Features: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, food warmer, saute pan, steamer, sous vide, air fryer, roasts, dehydrator, broiler
- Sizes: 8 quarts
- Accessories: stainless steel cooking pot, steam rack with handles, multi-level fryer basket, air fryer lid, broil/dehydrator tray, protective pad
- Tagline: The Instant Pot that Air Fries 11-in-1
Air frying has become a home necessity. Don’t deny it, you want crispy food, but you don’t want to deal with cleaning up oil or those hundreds upon hundreds of extra calories. Air fryers give you a similar texture, but with so little oil you could actually call it healthy.
The Duo Crisp (also known as the Instant Pot Air Fryer Combo) is similar to a Duo with a special lid that adds five cooking methods like air frying, dehydrating, broiling, and more. In fact, the Duo Crisp has some features you won’t see with any other Instant Pot because of this lid.
Not only does it have more features than nearly any other model (the Duo Evo Plus and Ultra stand toe-to-toe with it), but it also comes with more accessories than most other models. This includes the fryer basket, broiling and dehydrating tray, and the protective pad.
Now, if you already own a pressure cooker you might be wondering if you need the Duo Crisp for air frying. You can actually buy the Instant Pot Air Frying Lid separately and attach it to certain models (find out more with our Instant Pot Air Frying Lid review).
So, how is it without the lid? You get plenty of cooking features, all the accessories, nearly a dozen one-touch smart programs, and all the power you expect from these pressure cookers.
Is Instant Pot Duo Crisp worth it?
If you want pressure cooking and air frying from the same appliance, then yes, this is definitely worth it. You also get a lot of features with an intuitive model, so overall, we think this is one of the best Instant Pots, but we also love crispy food.
Instant Pot Duo Crisp Pros
- Air fries, broils, and more
- Replaces 11 appliances
- Lots of power and smart programs
Instant Pot Duo Crisp Cons
- You will have to switch between the two lids for certain cooking features
Instant Pot Ultra
- Features: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, food warmer, saute/searing pan, steamer, yogurt maker, egg cooker, cake maker, sterilizer
- Sizes: 3, 6, 8 quarts
- Accessories: stainless steel cooking pot, steam rack with handles, serving spoon, measuring cup, soup spoon
- Tagline: Best for the Home Chef 10-in-1
Here another premium Instant Pot for those who want the most power and features. The Ultra pressure cooker is packed with 10 appliances. Of course you get a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and the other common ones, but you also get a cake maker, egg cooker, and most uniquely, a sterilizer that parents and home canners will love.
Another unique feature is the dial on the control panel. This allows you to make precise changes to cooking and other features. It comes with a cooking indicator that shows you how far along the meal is, and it also has an altitude adjustment setting. You won’t see this with any other pressure cooker. That’s what makes this ideal for home chefs who demand precision.
You get some great accessories like a steam rack with handles, serving spoon, measuring cup, and more. This also uses the microprocessor renowned for handling your meal and making adjustments as needed for perfect results. You can also select from three different sizes, so you’ll have no problem getting this for yourself, a family, or if you love cooking for parties and events.
Aside from the large number of cooking settings and features, many people choose Ultra because of its precision. If you are someone who wants specific settings and to control the altitude, temperature, and so on, then this is the pressure cooking for you.
Is Instant Pot Ultra worth it?
This is a premium model and is a contender for having the most features. Not only does it replace 10 appliances, but it also has altitude settings. If you feel that other Instant Pots aren’t precise enough, then Ultra is worth it. If you’d rather have the most smart programs, then check out Duo Evo Plus.
Instant Pot Ultra Pros
- Replaces 10 different kitchen appliances
- Has altitude settings for precision
- Offers a sterilizing feature
Instant Pot Ultra Cons
- If you’re not obsessed with precision, then some features might seem tedious
Instant Pot Max
- Features: Pressure cooker, saute pan, rice cooker, sous vide, slow cooker, soup/broth, yogurt maker, canning (with adjustable pressure)
- Sizes: 6 quarts
- Accessories: stainless steel cooking pot, steam rack with handles, serving spoon, rice paddle
- Tagline: Best for Canning 15PSI 9-in-1
The Max pressure cooker is ideal if you love canning. It comes with nine different cooking features like pressure cooking, rice cooking, saute pan, and so on, but what makes it really special is its canning and sustained pressure. This pressure cooker reaches 15PSI, which isn’t just great for canning, but it also makes the pressure cooker feature faster than most other Instant Pots.
Now you might think that 15PSI is too high for your needs, and that could be true if you’re not canning. You can easily adjust the pressure to suit your needs. Not only that, but you can also adjust the temperature with extreme precision. If you want precision in terms of temperature and pressure, then Max is a great pressure cooker for you.
Another unique feature is Nutriboost technology. Max will use a boiling motion while pressure cooking to break food down faster to ensure the nutrition is bioavailable, which makes meals even healthier. You’ll love this when making broths that normally need lots of time until they are ready. You even get the same altitude adjustment as with the Ultra.
If you love canning or want faster pressure cooking, then Max is ideal for you. On top of that, it also has a bunch of other features and cooking options that you’re sure to love.
Is Instant Pot Max worth it?
Do you love canning? If so, then absolutely yes this pressure cooker is worth it. It’s also one of the fastest pressure cookers. However, if sustained pressure doesn’t really matter to you, then you can get similar features (and probably a lower price) with Duo Nova.
Instant Pot Max Pros
- Offers sustained 15PSI cooking for canning
- Adjustable pressure
- Altitude adjustments
Instant Pot Max Cons
- If you’re not into canning, then another Instant Pot might be better
Instant Pot Duo Plus
- Features: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, food warmer, saute pan, steamer, yogurt maker, sous vide, sterilizer
- Sizes: 3, 6, 8 quarts
- Accessories: stainless steel cooking pot, steam rack with handles
- Tagline: Best for Parents 9-in-1
This is designated as the best pressure cooker for parents, but we would also say that it has one of the best mix of features. It has nine different appliances in one along with 15 Smart Programs for soup, cake, rice, oatmeal, porridge, and more. Plus, it has a sterilizer feature that will ensure that bottles are free from germs.
Aside from the sterilizer, which is uncommon among Instant Pots, another unique feature you’ll get with Duo Plus is the anti-spin inner pot. The inner pot is locked so that it won’t spin as you’re mixing ingredients. You also get an intuitive control panel with a cooking progress bar that tells you how far along the meal is.
You can choose from an assortment of sizes to meet your needs, and this is a highly durable pressure cooker that will stand the test of time. You’ll find this useful when cooking for yourself or your children as you can make many different recipes right from the multicooker.
While it’s billed as the best for parents, it’s like an expanded version of the Duo Nova. It has many of the same safety features, like Easy Steam Release and Easy Seal Lid, but it also has more features overall.
Is Instant Pot Duo Plus worth it?
In a lot of ways this is like a stronger Duo Nova. It has a sterilizer and the anti-spin inner pot, plus it has a great mix of features that make it a wonderful buy. If you want a good mid-tier multicooker with a pretty good price and good features, then Duo Plus is great.
Instant Pot Duo Plus Pros
- Has a sterilizer function for bottles
- The anti-spin inner pot locks the pot in place
- Comes with many cooking features and smart programs
Instant Pot Duo Plus Cons
- Not quite as precise as the Ultra
Instant Pot Lux
- Features: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute pan, food warmer, steamer
- Sizes: 3, 6, 8 quarts
- Accessories: stainless steel cooking pot, steam rack, rice paddle, measuring cup, soup spoon
- Tagline: Best Basic 6-in-1
While Instant Pot is a brand built on simplicity, there will always be those who have a hard time with modern appliances. If you find that even the Duo or Duo Nova are overwhelming, then you may want to try Lux. It has a similar control panel, but the buttons are a little bigger and easier to push. Not only that, but it has fewer adjustments, which makes it even easier to use.
Even though this is a simple multicooker, it replaces six appliances and is quite affordable. It also comes with many accessories to help you steam, measure, and ladle out food. Along with this, you also get 12 Smart Programs for common recipes like ribs, rice, beans, poultry, and more. It even comes with more than 10 safety features like overheat protection and safety lock.
This is a pressure cooker for those who struggle with other modern appliances or who just want the most basic model available.
Is Instant Pot Lux worth it?
To be completely honest, not really. It has a good mix of features, but the price isn’t ideal and you usually get a better value with Duo or Duo Nova. Plus, even though is somewhat easier to use than the other models, it’s only by a little. You might want to avoid this one unless you really need the simplest pressure cooker.
Instant Pot Lux Pros
- Very simple control panel
- Replaces six kitchen appliances
- Surprisingly powerful for a “basic” pressure cooker
Instant Pot Lux Cons
- Usually more expensive than Duo or Duo Nova
- Offers the least number of features
Which Instant Pot is Best?
Still having a hard time deciding? That’s OK, each one is unique and has its own set of features. We’ll break them down just a little bit more based on affordability and value so that you can better determine which Instant Pot is right for you.
Instant Pot Buying Guide
We’ll be upfront and say that every Instant Pot is reliable and comes with tons of features, but as we’re sure you noticed, they’re all different on what they offer. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, then consider checking these factors:
- Appliances: Most Insta Pots replace pressure cookers, slow cookers, saute pans, and so on, but there are some that only have specific functions, like sterilizing and air frying. Consider what you really need from the multicooker.
- Smart Programs: This allows the pressure cooker to work automatically for even tastier results. While you can always cook manually, having the most Smart Programs ensures that your food is that much tastier.
- Size: Overall, the most popular pressure cooker sizes are 6qt and 8qt. You’ll see that nearly every pressure cooker here is one or both of these sizes. However, maybe you want something smaller like the 3qt (which you can get with Duo, Duo Nova, Duo Plus, and many others) or a really big 10qt (only available with Duo Nova).
- Extra Features: Some models come with extra features, like pressure adjustment, altitude adjustment, or customizable smart programs. Consider these if you want the best of the best.
- Accessories: Most models have similar accessories, but some come with more than others. If you’ve narrowed it down to two models and still can’t decide, then consider comparing their accessories.
Instant Pot Duo Nova vs the Rest
We did a whole series on Duo Nova vs the other Instant Pots. Check any of these links if you’re curious: