Top 7 Instant Pots: Understanding the Many Different Models and Choosing the Right One for You

Instant Pots have revolutionized home cooking by combining the functions of multiple kitchen appliances into a single, versatile device. I’ll admit I was late to the Instant Pot party and by the time I jumped in I was overwhelmed by all the different models. I’m writing this article to help you figure out what’s the difference between the most popular Instant Pots so you can figure out which one is best for. I’ll also tell you which model is my favorite.

1. Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1


The Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 is one of the most popular models, and for good reason. It offers seven functions: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, and warmer. This model is available in various sizes (3, 6, and 8 quarts), making it suitable for different household sizes.

Key Features

  • Seven Functions: Versatile cooking options.
  • Stainless Steel Inner Pot: Durable and easy to clean.
  • 14 One-Touch Programs: For quick and easy meal preparation.


  • User-Friendly: Intuitive controls and clear display.
  • Versatile: Suitable for a wide range of recipes.
  • Affordable: Offers great value for its features.


  • Basic Features: Lacks some advanced options found in higher-end models.
  • No Sous Vide Function: Not ideal for those interested in this cooking method.

    2. Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1


    The Duo Plus 9-in-1 builds on the Duo models by adding more functions, including egg cooking, cake making, and sterilizing. This makes it a great option for more adventurous cooks.

    Key Features

    • Nine Functions: Adds egg cooker, cake maker, and sterilizer.
    • Upgraded Display: Larger and more intuitive interface.
    • Sous Vide Function: For precise temperature control.


    • More Functions: Greater versatility in cooking.
    • User-Friendly Display: Easy to navigate.
    • Precise Cooking: Ideal for sous vide enthusiasts.


    • Higher Price: More expensive than the basic Duo models.
    • Complexity: Extra functions might be overwhelming for beginners.

    3. Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1


    The Pro 10 in 1 Instant Pot model takes versatility to the next level with ten functions and customizable cooking programs. It is designed for home cooks who want maximum control over their cooking.

    Key Features

    • 10 Functions: Includes all Duo Plus functions plus a cake maker and custom program.
    • Ultra Button: Allows for custom programming of pressure and temperature.
    • Altitude Adjustment: Automatically adjusts cooking parameters based on altitude.


    • Highly Customizable: Great for precise cooking.
    • Advanced Features: Suitable for experienced cooks.
    • Large Display: Easy to read and use.


    • Complex: Might be too advanced for casual users.
    • Price: Higher cost due to additional features.

    4. Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer


    The Duo Crisp + Air Fryer model combines the functions of a pressure cooker and an air fryer, offering even more cooking possibilities. This is perfect for those who want to enjoy fried foods with less oil.

    Key Features

    • Pressure Cooker + Air Fryer: Combines both functionalities.
    • Two Lids: One for pressure cooking and one for air frying.
    • 11 Functions: Includes baking, roasting, and broiling.


    • Versatile Cooking: Pressure cook and air fry in one device.
    • Healthier Frying: Less oil required compared to traditional frying.
    • Large Capacity: Available in 6 and 8 quarts.


    • Bulkier: Takes up more counter space.
    • Price: Higher due to dual functionality.
    • Learning Curve: Requires understanding of both pressure cooking and air frying.

    5. Instant Pot Duo Mini


    The Instant Pot Duo Mini is a smaller version of the popular Duo model, offering the same functions in a more compact size. It’s perfect for small households, dorm rooms, or as a second Instant Pot.

    Key Features

    • Compact Size: 3-quart capacity.
    • Seven Functions: Same as the full-sized Duo.
    • Portable: Easy to store and transport.


    • Space-Saving: Ideal for small kitchens.
    • Affordable: Lower price than larger models.
    • Versatile: Same functions as larger Duo.


    • Limited Capacity: Not suitable for large families or batch cooking.
    • Fewer Accessories: Limited availability of accessories compared to larger models.

    6. Instant Pot Viva 9-in-1


    The Instant Pot Viva 9-in-1 offers nine functions and several enhanced features at an affordable price. It’s a great option for those looking for more functionality without breaking the bank.

    Key Features

    • Nine Functions: Includes cake maker and sterilizer.
    • Enhanced Safety Features: Multiple safety mechanisms.
    • Variety of Programs: 15 one-touch programs.


    • Affordable: Great value for the features.
    • Versatile: Wide range of cooking options.
    • User-Friendly: Easy to use and clean.


    • Intermediate Model: Lacks some of the advanced features of higher-end models.
    • Build Quality: Not as durable as more expensive models.

    7. Instant Pot Rio

    Instant Pot Rio Model Overview

    The Instant Pot Rio is an upgraded version of the popular Duo series, designed to offer enhanced functionality and modern aesthetics while maintaining the convenience and efficiency that Instant Pot is known for.

    Key Features

    • 7-in-1 Functionality: The Rio can perform as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan, and warmer.
    • 13 Smart Programs: It includes customizable settings for pressure cooking, slow cooking, meat/stew, poultry, beans/chili, rice, multigrain, soup/broth, steam, sauté, yogurt, cake, and keep warm.
    • Anti-Spin Design: Features an anti-spin, stainless steel inner pot with a tri-ply bottom, making it easier to sauté and stir.
    • Easy-Release Switch: Simplifies and speeds up steam release, enhancing safety.
    • Energy Efficient: Cooks up to 70% faster with up to 60% energy savings compared to conventional methods.
    • Capacity: 6-quart capacity, ideal for family meals and batch cooking.
    • Safety Features: Includes overheat protection, an easy-seal lid, and multiple other safety mechanisms.
    • Dishwasher Safe: Both the lid and inner pot are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.


    • Modern Design: Sleeker and more modern than earlier models.
    • Versatile Cooking Options: Wide range of functions and smart programs.
    • Improved Safety and Usability: Enhanced safety features and a user-friendly interface.
    • Energy Efficient: Saves time and energy during cooking.


    • Instruction Clarity: Some users have reported that the instructions could be more detailed.
    • Lid Sealing Issues: Occasionally, users find the lid tricky to seal properly.

    Overall, the Instant Pot Rio offers a great balance of advanced features and user-friendly design, making it a strong contender for both new users and Instant Pot veterans.

    How to Choose the Right Instant Pot for You

    When selecting the right Instant Pot model, consider the following factors:

    Cooking Needs

    Evaluate what types of cooking you’ll be doing most frequently. If you need basic pressure cooking, the Duo models are excellent. For more specialized cooking, consider models with additional functions like the Duo Plus, Ultra, or Pro.

    Kitchen Space

    Consider the available space in your kitchen. Larger models like the Duo Crisp + Air Fryer and Max take up more counter space, while the Duo Mini is perfect for smaller kitchens.


    Instant Pots range from affordable to premium prices. Determine your budget and choose a model that offers the best features for your needs without overspending.

    Tech Savviness

    If you enjoy using smart devices, the Smart WiFi model offers remote control and monitoring. For those who prefer simplicity, models without WiFi may be more suitable.

    Family Size


    a size that matches your household’s needs. Smaller families might opt for 3 or 6-quart models, while larger families or those who batch cook might prefer 8 or 10-quart options.

    Advanced Features

    Consider if you need advanced features like sous vide, air frying, or higher pressure. Models like the Duo Plus, Ultra, and Max cater to these needs.

    Safety Features

    If safety is a priority, look for models with enhanced safety features, such as the Duo Nova or Viva, which offer additional safety mechanisms and user-friendly designs.

    My Favorite Instant Pot

    I personally own the Instant Pot Pro 10-1. I chose this model because it provides all the features I wanted AND it was a very reasonable price compared to some of the other models that did things I don’t need. I’m really happy with my decision and I’ve been very satisfied with the Instant Pot Pro.

    Is an Instant Pot in YOUR future?

    The right Instant Pot model can transform your cooking experience, offering convenience, versatility, and efficiency. By understanding the features and capabilities of each model, you can select the one that best fits your lifestyle and culinary needs. Whether you opt for the basic Duo, the advanced Pro (my fav), or the innovative Duo Crisp + Air Fryer, Instant Pots are designed to make home cooking easier and more enjoyable. I’d love to know which model is YOUR favorite and why?

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