If you’re thinking about buying an Instant Pot, you might be surprised at how many models are available to choose from.
While many of these multi-cookers are similar in terms of wattage (between 700 and 1200 depending on the capacity) and performance, the amount of features, program settings, and price do vary between models.
And depending on whether you’re a novice cook or seasoned chef, you’ll need the right features so your recipes turn out just right.
Luckily, we’re here to help you sort out the differences and find the right one to suit your needs and cooking style.
We’ve rounded up some of the top Instant Pot models and provided you with all the features and stats you need to make an informed purchase.
And all of the models we chose are available in 3, 6, and 8-quart capacities, except for the Smart WiFi model, which is available in 6 quarts only.
We’ve found that 6 quarts is the best choice for most households – there’s plenty of room for bigger meals, but they’re small enough to fit easily on countertops or in a cabinet.
Keep reading to find out which ones made it to the top of our list!
The 5 Best Instant Pots for 2020
|· Includes yogurt making setting|
· Detachable cord
· Large handle on lid
|· Includes Ultra setting|
· Large handle on lid
· Ability to fine-tune temperature and pressure settings
|· Works like 6 appliances|
· Has Warmer and Delay feature
|· Includes cake, egg, and sterilize settings|
· Detachable cord
· Large handle on lid
|· Alexa and WiFi-enabled|
· Adjustable warmer settings
Instant Pot Duo
About Instant Pot Duo
This version of the Instant Pot is like having 7 appliances in 1, functioning as a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, warmer, and sauté/searing pan.
It contains 14 different program settings for everything from rice and beans to meats and stews. There’s even a yogurt setting and adjustable pressure settings, so more delicate foods like fish or lentils don’t turn out overcooked and mushy.
If you’re looking for an Instant Pot that gives you enough versatility to make a wide variety of dishes, this one is great choice.
At about $80, it only costs about $20 more than the basic Lux version, but with more features that make it user-friendly. These include an upgraded lid with a large handle for easy opening and closing and a detachable cord for easier storage in small spaces.
The only downsides are that this model doesn’t have settings for sterilization or making eggs and cakes.
- Includes yogurt setting
- Adjustable pressure settings
- Upgraded lid
- Detachable cord
- No settings for eggs, cakes, or sterilization
Instant Pot Ultra
About Instant Pot Ultra
If you’re looking for an Instant Pot that’s packed with features so you can customize your recipes, the Ultra functions as 10 different appliances in one.
It includes all of the same options as the Duo, plus a Cake, Egg, Sterilize, and Ultra setting. You can also cook for up to 6 hours in this version, which is 2 hours more than the other options.
The Ultra setting gives you the ultimate control when it comes to choosing pressure and temperature settings. You can fine-tune the adjustments for precise results every time, including altitude settings for cooking at altitudes above 2000 feet.
This version is the only model that comes with a knob to quickly select your programs, and it has an added steam release reset button as an extra safety feature.
You can find the Ultra for about $110, which is reasonable considering the amount of flexibility and control it offers.
The Instant Pot Ultra would be ideal for someone looking for a multicooker that lets you customize settings for precise control over recipes.
And because this model has a sterilization setting, you can use it to sterilize baby bottles, utensils, and even for canning.
If you live at a high altitude, you won’t have to worry about dealing with conversions for cooking time, either, since all you have to do is change the altitude setting and the Instant Pot adjusts itself accordingly.
If you’re an advanced cook, this is the Instant Pot you need.
- Allows you to fine-tune adjustments
- Includes Ultra setting
- Altitude adjustment
- Extra safety feature
- No poultry setting
Instant Pot Lux
About Instant Pot Lux
The Instant Pot Lux is the most basic model on offer, and it’s also the least expensive. It functions as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, slow cooker, warmer, and sauté/searing pan.
While you can’t adjust the pressure to the “low” setting, you can adjust the time to make sure your food doesn’t overcook.
You can cook for up to 4 hours and keep food warm for up to 10 hours in this version, which is more than enough time for most dishes.
As the base model for the Instant Pot, the Lux still gives you plenty of options for cooking your favorite dishes.
And while this version doesn’t come with adjustable temperature settings for the pressure or warmer, you can still save a lot of time cooking meats, soups, stews, and more. In addition to the preset options, you can manually select pressure cooking time, too.
This version is ideal if you’re interested in trying out the Instant Pot, but you don’t want to spend more money on extra features that you might not use. It’s also great for beginner cooks.
- Low price
- Functions as 6 appliances
- 12 cooking programs
- No yogurt, sterilize, or poultry settings
- Pressure settings aren’t adjustable
Instant Pot Duo Plus
About Instant Pot Duo Plus
The Instant Pot Duo Plus is similar to the Duo, but with the added Egg, Cake, and Sterilize settings.
Its ability to sterilize makes it ideal for new parents or just about anyone else, since you can use it for bottles, toys, utensils, and more.
This version of the Instant Pot functions as 9 appliances in one, and it comes with 15 pre-programmed settings.
It also has the large handle on top, as well as slots on the side handles to hold the lid open.
You can find this model for about $70, which is worth the extra features you’ll get with the Plus version.
The Duo Plus comes with all the settings and functions you’ll need for cooking all types of recipes, and the added features give this version a lot of versatility for the price.
The display on this version is bigger and brighter than the regular Duo, so you won’t have to strain to see your settings.
It also gives you the ability to alter the cooking time and settings while the machine is in use, unlike the Duo, which requires you to cancel the cooking process to adjust settings.
You can also silence the alarm, which is an upgrade from the more basic models.
Overall, this is a decent Instant Pot that’s packed with settings for making cakes, eggs, meats, soups, stews, porridge, yogurt, and more.
- Includes Sterilize, Cake, and Egg settings
- Bigger, brighter display
- Ability to silence alarm
- No poultry setting
Instant Pot Smart WiFi
About Instant Pot Smart WiFi
The Instant Pot Smart WiFi includes 13 pre-programmed settings, but its main draw is its ability to connect with the Instant Pot app on your smartphone.
You can use the app to set and control your Instant Pot from your phone, or use voice commands with Alexa. You’ll also get access to over 1000 recipes through the app and receive notifications on your phone about the status of the cooking process.
This version of the Instant Pot is similar to the Duo and Duo Plus, but it lacks the Sterilize setting.
This model only comes in one size – 6 quarts – and it’s on the more expensive side, at about $150.
The Instant Pot Smart WiFi is a decent model if you’re into a more tech-forward device, but it doesn’t offer a lot more in terms of settings or features.
While you do get a somewhat decent array of cooking programs and adjustable warmer settings, we wouldn’t really recommend it to most people.
Unless you’re specifically in the market for an Instant Pot with a 6-quart capacity and WiFi connectivity, you can get more functionality and cooking options for a lower price with other models.
- WiFi and Alexa-enabled
- 13 cooking programs
- Adjustable warmer settings
- No Sterilize setting
Best Instant Pot for 2020
The best Instant Pot combines functionality, cooking options, and ease of use, so we’ve chosen the Instant Pot Duo as the best overall option. It comes with a nice balance of features for an affordable price, and that’s always a win.
If you’re looking for a more premium option that gives you the maximum amount of control over your recipes, the Instant Pot Ultra is a great choice.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a basic, affordable option that still provides a lot of functionality, the Instant Pot Lux is the best choice.
No matter which one you choose, any of the Instant Pots in this guide can provide you with delicious results in less time than traditional cooking methods.
Writer and Product Researcher
Spending the last 10 years researching and writing about various home, garden and electronics topics, Shelley is more than qualified to write for Meccano Home. Her work has been featured on eBay, Pottery Barn, SFGate, TheKnot, Williams-Sonoma and various other blogs and websites.