Choosing YOUR Instant Pot – How to Choose the Right Instant Pot for You2018-06-05T18:38:31+00:00

Choosing YOUR Instant Pot

How to Choose the Right Instant Pot for YOU

You're ready to buy an Instant Pot (what was the hold-up?).  But now you need help choosing the right Instant Pot for you.  Well, you're in luck:  our breakdown will help you in choosing YOUR Instant Pot.

Do you need a fancy model?  Or would the one on sale work for you?  Maybe you want a starter model as your first, and then grab something with more control later.  Let's figure it out together!











Instant Pot Models

Here are the different electric pressure cooker all-in-one units that are available from Instant Pot with their current Amazon prices:


Last update on 2018-12-09 at 05:30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

DUO Series

Last update on 2018-12-09 at 11:30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

LUX Series

Last update on 2018-12-09 at 12:00 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Differences Between Instant Pots

So what are the differences?  There is a lot of information here, but don't worry: we will help you choose the right Instant Pot for you.

The main differences include the available sizes, preset functions, connectivity, customization, design, and some of the safety features.

We consider the DUO60 (6Qt) to be the basic model that has made Instant Pot so popular, even though I think the LUX series came first.  We weren't expecting to like the Ultra as much as the DUO60, but they surprised us!  One of the upgrades we love in the Ultra is the lid's release valve mechanism.  Check out both reviews linked in this paragraph.


This is probably one of the easier choices:  what size do you want?  Well, the 6Qt is the standard size, so if you want a 3Qt, 5Qt, or a larger 8Qt, then this can help your choice since not all models are available in these other sizes.

3 Qt – Only available in the DUO-Mini and now LUX-Mini.

5 Qt – Available in the DUO50 and LUX50.

6 Qt – Ultra, Smart, DUO Plus, DUO60, LUX60.

8 Qt – The big ones are currently only in the DUO80 and LUX80.


Here's where things get more complicated.  Let's start off by saying that there are basic functions that will allow you to do anything the presets can do:  sauté, steam, keep warm, slow cook, yogurt, and the manual/pressure cooking setting (arguably the most important setting).  The additional settings are really for convenience.

All models include: keep warm, slow cook, sauté, rice, meat/stew, porridge, soup/broth, steam, pressure cooking/manual setting (all models other than the LUX family have both High- and Low-pressure options).  There are some differences between models with respect to max times and temperature controls.

Preset Differences:

Yogurt – Smart, Ultra, DUO Plus, and the DUO family.

Bean/Chili – Smart, Ultra, DUO Plus, the DUO family, and LUX60 v2 (but not v3).

Poultry – Smart, DUO family (except Mini), and LUX60 v2 (but not v3).

Multigrain – all units except DUO-Mini and LUX-Mini.

Cake – Ultra, DUO Plus, LUX60 v3 (not v2) and LUX80.

Sterilize – Ultra and DUO Plus.

Egg – Ultra, DUO Plus, LUX60 v3 (not v2), LUX-Mini, and LUX80.

Warm – Ultra.

Ultra – this is a fully customizable setting that can even be used as a form of sous vide.  Not surprisingly, it's available on the Ultra.


We haven't had the chance to play with the Smart model yet, but this bad boy lets you control it via Bluetooth.  How cool is that?

Similarities Between Instant Pots

You thought that was a lot of imformation? Well, here's a little more to help choose the right Instant Pot for you. Here are some features that you can expect from all the Instant Pot models….

  • UL/ULC certified safety mechanisms (so they’re not the scary pressure cooker your mom used that have caused high-pressured explosions)
    1. Pressure Regulator – keeps working pressure under the safety limit.
    2. Anti-Blockage Vent – stops food debris from obstructing the pressure-release vent.
    3. Safety Lid Lock – protects from accidental opening while pressurized.
    4. Sensor for Lid Position Detection –  monitoring when the lid is in an incorrect position for pressure-cooking.
    5. Automatic Temperature Control – temperature control for selected program.
    6. High-Temperature Monitoring – prevents burning food.
    7. Automatic Pressure Controller – maintains safe pressure range.
    8. Electrical Current and Temperature Fuse – cuts power if the current or internal temperature exceeds acceptable ranges.
    9. Excess Pressure Protection – releases excess pressure into the internal chamber if becomes too high.
    10. Smart Detection of Leaky Lid – unit is aware of pressure leak while pressurized (e.g. steam release valve is in open).
  • Built-in programs using microprocessor technology (all of the basic functions are included in each Instant Pot model, but you can see the differences above, and in the official Instant Pot comparison spreadsheet below)
  • Inner pots made from 18/8 stainless steel (food grade 304) compliant with FDA standards.
    • Non-stick liners also available, though we do not recommend non-stick coated products.
  • Operate at 10-11.6 psi pressure cooking.
  • Use far less energy than other cooking methods and are 2-3 times faster!
  • Free recipe app and more.
  • Delayed start time.
  • Thermal, pressure, and lid position sensors.
  • Ability to turn notification sounds off (except the Smart-60).

Now That We've Helped Choose the Right Instant Pot For You…

Time to buy!  Yay!

We would really appreciate if you used our links on the site to buy your Instant Pot.  They are affiliate links, which means we get a small fee when you purchase through them – and your cost is not affected!  Whether you choose Amazon or direct from Instant Pot (use discount code “IPDesire”), we've got you covered!

Anything else you need to know is available on Everything Instant Pot.  Stories, videos, recipes, and accessories to make things even easier.  It's all here!

Please share this page on your social media accounts.  Thanks!  You're the best!

This comparison form was last updated in November 2017.  For the most up-to-date information, please visit Instant Pot.

Last update on 2018-12-09 at 13:30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

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