Which Instant Pot should you buy? Here’s a guide to help you choose

The name “Instant Pot” has become synonymous with multi-functional pressure cookers. You can find a number of Instant Pot recipes online for dinners, desserts, appetizers, and virtually anything else you can think of.

Are you thinking of buying your first Instant Pot? Perhaps you’re in the market for a second, third, or even a forth Instant Pot? Whether you have experience using Instant Pots or not, it can be tough to choose one when there are so many options available. Instant Pot offers multiple different types of multi-functional pressure cookers. Which one is right for you? Here’s a breakdown of each Instant Pot, what it does, how much it cost, and any notable pros and cons.

Instant Pot Lux

instant pot lux review and accessories
Erika Rawes/Digital Trends

The Lux is the baseline Instant Pot model, and it’s a good starter pressure cooker. It has six primary functions: Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté Machine, Steamer, and Warmer. There are 12 built-in programs: Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Cake, Egg, Sauté, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Pressure Cook, Steam, Keep Warm and Slow Cook.

On the plus side, you can cook just about anything in the Lux. On the down side, you have to get creative with some recipes because the pot is a bit more limited than the higher-tier models. It doesn’t have a yogurt function, nor does the Lux have separate high and low pressure settings. The included steaming rack is also very basic, and it doesn’t have handles.

The Lux is affordable though. The mini (3-quart) version has a retail price of $65, and you can buy the 6-quart and 8-quart versions for $80 and $110, respectively. In the 6-quart size, you can even choose between unique colors and floral patterns, although those are priced higher. The Lux comes in a 5-quart version as well.

Buy one now from:

Instant Pot Duo

Instant Pot asparagus
Jenny McGrath/Digital Trends

The Instant Pot Duo is the most popular Instant Pot model, and it’s one of our favorites. It can do a lot without having too many frills, so it’s a good pressure cooker for those who want to try their hand at pressure cooking or those who have experience pressure cooking. The major difference between the Instant Pot Duo and the more basic Instant Pot Lux is that the Duo is a 7-in-1 cooker, instead of a 6-in-1 cooker like the Lux. The Duo is a Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steam, Sauté Machine, Yogurt Maker and Warmer; and it has 14 cooking programs: Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Searing, Steam, Rice, Porridge, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Keep-Warm, Yogurt, Pasteurize, Pressure Cook.

The Duo does have both a high and low pressure setting, while the Lux only has one pressure setting. The Instant Pot Duo also has slight improvements in its design over the Lux, like a place to store the lid on the side of the pot, a steaming rack with handles (on the 6-quart and higher sizes), and an improved lid design (the lid is easier to open and the steam release valve is a bit easier to secure in place).

These extra features and design enhancements are reflected in the price though. The 3-quart Duo retails for $80, the 6-quart retails for $100, and the 8-quart retails for $140.

Buy one now from:

Instant Pot Duo Plus

amazon instant pot deals duo plus 60

The Instant Pot Duo Plus is a step up from the regular Duo, and those who make recipes like yogurts and desserts will probably appreciate the Plus. It adds in a few extra programs and features over the Duo.

It’s a 9-in-1 device — with settings that include Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice/Porridge Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake/Egg Maker, Sauté/Searing Machine, Steamer, Warmer and Sterilizer. It also has 15 built-in programs: Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Cake, Egg, Slow Cook, Sauté/Searing, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Sterilize, Yogurt, Keep Warm, and Pressure Cook.

The Duo Plus has a large blue LCD display with status icons to indicate the cooker’s status, while the Duo has a more basic display. Outside of the display design, the additional cooking programs, and of course, the price, the Duo and Duo Plus are very similar.

The 3-quart Duo Plus sells for around $100; the 6-quart retails for $130; and the 8-quart retails for $160.

Buy one now from:

Instant Pot Viva

which instant pot should you buy viva

Initially made as a QVC-exclusive product, the Instant Pot Viva comes in the 6-quart size. There’s no mini version available; and, although Instant Pot includes an 8-quart Viva on their site,  it’s tough to find an 8-quart Viva for sale. In the 6-quart size however, you can choose between different color options like eggplant, cobalt, or cinnamon.

The Viva is a 9-in-1 device —  Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Sauté Pan, Rice/Porridge Cooker, Steamer, Yogurt Maker, Warmer, Cake Maker and Sterilizer. It has 15 built-in programs: Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Cake, Egg, Slow Cook, Sauté, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Sterilize, Yogurt, Warm, and Pressure Cook.

The Instant Pot Viva is similar to the Duo Plus, except it doesn’t have the blue display screen and status icons. If you care about the way your Instant Pot looks, the Viva is available in different color options. The 6-quart model typically sells for around $130.

Buy one now from:

Instant Pot Nova Plus

which instant pot should you buy nova plus

A product made out of a collaboration between Instant Pot and Costco, the Nova Plus is only available in the 6-quart size. It sells for $115 on the Costco website.

It’s a 9-in-1 cooker with 15 built-in programs: Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Slow Cook, Sauté, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Yogurt, Ferment, Warm, and Pressure Cook. It has a blue LCD display with status icons, and it lets you adjust the settings while cooking is in progress. It is a solid option that’s comparable to the Duo Plus, and it’s slightly better priced.

Buy one now from:

Instant Pot Ultra

instant pot post christmas sales ultra 3 qt 10 in 1 multi  use programmable pressure cooker

The Instant Pot Ultra is a higher-tier pressure cooker with 10 functions and 16 built-in programs: Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Cake, Egg, Slow Cook, Sauté/Searing, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Sterilize, Yogurt, Warm, Pressure Cook, and Ultra.

The Ultra has a large LCD display with progress indicators, a steam release button for easier manual pressure releasing, and it has a dial that toggles between the different programs. For more advanced recipes, you can customize parameters like altitude, temperature, and time so you can be more exact with your cooking. You can also use this machine as a sous vide cooker.

The Ultra comes in a 3-quart size (usually sells for $120), a 6-quart size ($150), and an 8-quart version ($180).

Buy one now from:

Instant Pot Max

amazon instant pot deals 60 max 6

The Instant Pot Max can pretty much do it all, and it’s ideals for chefs or those who do a lot of pressure cooking. The Max can achieve the full temperature cooking spectrum, whether you’re fermenting ingredients, cooking steak sous vide, simmering a sauce, boiling pasta, pressure cooking chicken, or searing your finished product.

The Max controls the amount of air in the pot, releasing as much air as possible for faster and better cooking. You can even use the Max as a pressure canner. The Max has additional safety mechanisms (13 instead of 10 like many of the other Instant Pot models), and the lid on the Max is dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning easier.

The Max comes in 6-quarts, and it retails for $200.

Buy one now from:

Instant Pot Smart Wifi

amazon instant pot deals smart wifi 6 quart electric pressure cooker silver

The IP Smart WiFi replaced the previous Smart Bluetooth version. You can control it with your phone via the Instant Pot app. The app also has pre-programmed recipes and alerts to make cooking even easier. The cooker has an LCD display and status icons too, so you can easily check on your meal. As of right now, you can’t connect the Instant Pot Smart to Alexa or Google Assistant for voice control though.

The Smart WiFi has 13 different built-in programs: Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Cake, Slow Cook, Sauté/Searing, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Yogurt, Keep Warm, and Pressure Cook. The 6-quart version (the only size available) is sleek and stylish, and it retails for $120.

Buy one now from:

Smart Home

Instant Pot has another winner with its Accu Slim sous vide

We all know that Instant Pots are the bomb, but did you know that Instant Pot has a sous vide immersion circulator too? The Accu Slim lets you cook sous vide recipes at home. How does it perform? We tested the device to find out.
Smart Home

The five best teeth-whitening kits you can buy on Amazon

Teeth whitening can have a major impact on a person’s smile and overall appearance. You don't necessarily have to go to the dentist to get your teeth whitened though. Here are the best teeth-whitening kits you can buy.
Gaming

Reach the platinum plateau by learning all there is to know about PS4 trophies

The PlayStation 4 rewards you with trophies for your achievements in various games. Here's what you need to know about PS4 trophies, including how to earn them and the different trophy levels.
Mobile

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is the powerhouse smartphone 2019 has been waiting for

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is the brand's latest phone, and it's a real powerhouse. It comes with a Snapdragon 855 processor, a triple-lens camera, a new in-display fingerprint sensor, and a new design. Here's what you need to know.
Smart Home

Protect yourself: Here are some of the best home security systems

Looking for the best home security systems for your house? These systems offer the best mix of devices, smart features, monitoring services, and fees that you can afford (plus good customer service reports).
Smart Home

Postmates now offers a way to get free delivery on meal orders

Postmates is offering customers the chance to order meals with free delivery. But you'll have to be cool with the idea of waiting a little longer, as the delivery driver will be carrying other meals for different customers.
Deals

Air purifiers get steep price cuts on Amazon just in time for allergy season

Spring kicks off allergy season, and Amazon has cut prices on three highly rated air purifiers to bring relief. Allergens and contaminants in the air can have long-term consequences, says the EPA, so proactive steps can help today and later…
Smart Home

Looking to safeguard your home? These are the best DIY home security systems

Looking for the best DIY Home security systems? These security kits will help you feel safer in no time. Check out our top pick and full list to see which kit will work best for your home.
Deals

Walmart slashes prices on iRobot Roomba and Shark Ion robot vacuums

Walmart slashed prices of top robot vacuums from iRobot, Shark, Eufy, and Ecovacs just in time for spring cleaning season.  With a robot vacuum on the job you can retire that old upright and let a robot vacuum take over floor-cleaning…
Deals

Amazon slices prices in half for AeroGardens smart indoor garden, today only

AeroGardens can grow up to six plants at one time. The plants grow in water, not soil, so you never have the mess of outdoor gardening in your clean home. This method allows the plants to grow five times faster than if they were planted in…
News

LG’s SnowWhite is a Keurig for lovers of homemade ice cream

LG's SnowWhite conceptual countertop appliance, on display at this year's South by Southwest, is like a Keurig machine for ice cream lovers that produces your favorite frozen desserts from nothing but a little pod.
Deals

Amazon shaves $50 off the Coway Mighty air purifier ahead of allergy season

When it's allergy season, a good air purifier is a must-have for sufferers. The Coway Mighty air purifier (now on sale from Amazon) is one of the best, greatly improving the air quality inside your home by removing dust, dander, pollen, and…
Smart Home

Dyson’s newest products strive to keep your home cool, clean, and well-lit

Dyson launched products to keep your home cool, clean, and well-lit. A Dyson intelligent task light cycles with nature and a personal air purifier harnesses unique airflow. Microprocessors in Dyson's vacuum self-adjust 8,000 times a second.
Smart Home

Smart light switches have become more affordable: Here are the best ones

The ability to control the lighting in your home can have a big effect on your living space. To have more control over your lighting, check out the best smart light switches on the market.