Instant Pot Smart vs. Duo vs. Duo Plus vs. Lux vs. Ultra | What’s the Difference?

By now, you’ve probably read all about how useful an Instant Pot can be, and now you're ready to buy one. But which one?

Instead of scouring the web and trying to compare all of your options, we've done all the hard work for you!

Use the handy comparison table below -- or read about the pros and cons of each Instant Pot.

Handy Instant Pot Comparison Table

To make things easy, we organized all the features of these instant pots in the table below. To be perfectly honest, there aren't too many huge differences in our opinion and you're likely to be happy with whichever one you pick.

If your screen is too small to view the full table, you can swipe left to right to scroll through it.


Smart

Duo

Duo Plus

Lux

Ultra

Write & Share Recipe Scripts

Yes

No

No

No

No

Cooks at any temperature

Yes

No

No

No

No

Sterilizes

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yogurt Function

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Dual Pressure

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Steams

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Smart Programs

14

14

15

10

16

Preset Temperatures

12

12

13

7

21

Control Type

Button a smartphone or tablet

Button

Button

Button

Button and Dial

Pressure Cooking Time

Up to 2 Hours

Up to 4 Hours

Up to 4 Hours

Up to 4 Hours

Up to 6 Hours

Some other great features they all have in common are stainless steel inner pots/exteriors and their  10 unique safety features which protects against excess pressure, burning, leaking, and much more.​

If for whatever reason you don't like the Instant Pot line, we've covered other competitors such as Cuisinart CPC-600 and Power Pressure Cooker XL.

Instant Pot 7-in-1 Smart 60: Pros and Cons

As one of the most high tech Instant Pot, the Smart 60 has definitely made a name for itself. If you love technology, this might be the best Instant Pot for you. It takes the place of 7 kitchen appliances, and is a big help during the busy week.

Advantages

  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 14 Smart Programs
  • Embedded Microprocessor

Instant Pot Smart Bluetooth 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer

What sets this Instant Pot apart from all the rest, is its Bluetooth capability. You can connect the Instant Pot to your smartphone via Bluetooth and then program and control the cooker directly from your phone. You can program it using easy to understand graphics, which are displayed on the large blue LCD screen. This gives you a wide range of customization options.

Using the free Instant Pot app, you are also able to turn complicated recipes into scripts and then send it to the cooker. So instead of worrying about letting it steam for 10 minutes, then switching it to another program, and then another, you can put it all in the script, send it to the cooker, and the cooker will do it automatically. Using the app, you can set a delay start timer as well. So if you want the cooker to turn on automatically, you can easily achieve this.

With 14 built in smart programs and 12 pre set temperatures, cooking full, homemade family meals is easily possible. With the press of a button, you can get dinner started, and depending on how you are cooking it, in just a few minutes you have a hot meal, ready to eat.

The embedded microprocessor is a small device that helps the Instant Pot provide consistent results. While the Instant Pot is running, the microprocessor works to monitor the pressure and temperature, so your food is not under or overcooked. It also keeps time and adjusts the heat intensity and duration as it is needed.

Lastly, the Instant Pot Smart 60 is more economical than your average slow cooker. Using this cooker, you can save up to 70% in time and energy, which translates into saving money as well. Over time, the savings add up, and before you know it, it has paid for itself.

Disadvantages

The main disadvantage of this cooker, is that you have to be relatively close to control it via Bluetooth. It's not like you can control it from your phone at work. However, this is still really helpful, since you can just program it and forget about it.

What's Included?

When you buy the Instant Pot Smart 60, you also receive some pretty cool bonus accessories:

  • Steam rack with handles
  • Serving spoon
  • Soup spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Mini red mitts
  • Recipe book

Duo Plus 9-in-1: Pros and Cons

Although it does not have Bluetooth connectivity, the Duo Plus has a wide array of advantages and practical uses.

Advantages

  • Large LCD Screen
  • Replaces 9 different appliances
  • Easy to use and clean

Instant Pot DUO Plus 60, 6 Qt 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer

The large, easy to read LCD screen makes it easy to see what you are doing in any light. The large display also makes it so you do not have to strain your eyes to read or program it, making it great for even more people.

This Instant Pot can pretty much do it all. But, to me, what is most impressive and what sets it apart is its cake and sterilize preset programs. Of course, it’s a great pressure cooker, slow cooker, and even steamer, but using the sterilize option, it can also sterilize bottles and pacifiers for busy parents. So, not only does it make healthy food, it also helps keep your family healthy.

It is also like a mini oven, and the perfect size for cakes. If you love to bake, or even just love cake, you have to try this vegan pear and cranberry cake.

None of the Instant Pots are hard to use, but with a whopping 15 smart programs, you have more options than before. Now, you can do 15 different things by just pressing one button. The smart programs take virtually all of the guess work out of cooking and helps you get those delicious home-cooked meals you want. To make things even easier, you can even set a delay start timer as with all the instant pots.

Every part of this Instant Pot that touches food is made from stainless steel. That includes the inner pot, the steam rack, and the lid, all of which are also easy to clean and dishwasher safe. The exterior is also made from stainless steel and is fingerprint resistant, making it super easy to clean as well. With kids, little fingerprints are on everything, so one less thing to wipe fingerprints off of is always a blessing. Plus, if you ever drip food on it, you can easily wipe it off.

Disadvantages

After improving on previous models, and passing stringent safety tests, there are practically no disadvantages of this Instant Pot. People seem to love everything this cooker has to offer.

What's Included?

Again, this instant pot comes with some pretty neat accessories:

  • Steam rack with handles
  • Serving spoon
  • Soup spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Recipe book

Duo 60 7-in-1: Pros and Cons

Replacing 7 kitchen appliances is no easy task, but the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 does it miraculously. It seamlessly does the job of 7 appliances, making your life easier and less cluttered.

Advantages

  • Versaility
  • Delayed start
  • Dual pressure settings
  • Manufactured in various sizes

Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer

The versatility offered by the Instant Pot is almost unparalleled. There are thousands of dishes that you can make in this cooker, the possibilities are endless. With several preset programs, you also never have to worry about your dinner being undercooked, it consistently provides great results, which is why it is so popular.

If you are one of the millions of people who overwork themselves and then have little time to make healthy meals, the Instant Pot would be a great addition to your life. The 24 hour delay start option makes it easy to get the meal in the cooker, set the timer to turn on while you are at work, and then when you get home and you're ready to eat, you're food is ready too. This is a great option, especially for families who are trying to eat healthy, or save money by not eating out.

The dual pressure settings allow you to cook with high or low pressure. High pressure gets the job done faster, up to 6 times faster than conventional cooking. But slow cooking is a great way to cook delicate foods or stews. It gives you flexibility with your cooking methods and still allows you to just have one appliance to store rather than 2, or even 7.

The Duo 60 7-in-1 comes in various sizes, so whether you are a family of 2 or 10, it can make cooking easier. It is available as a mini, in a 3 quart option, this is good for individuals or smaller families. It is also available in 6 quart and 8 quart sizes.

Disadvantages

After reviewing the previous Instant Pots, the display screen of the Duo would be the only disadvantage. It is not a blue LCD screen, however, it is not hard to read or anything. This just comes down to a matter of personal preference.

What's Included?

When you buy the Instant Pot Duo 60 7-in-1, you also receive:

  • Steam rack
  • Rice paddle
  • Soup spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Recipe book
  • Condensation collector

Instant Pot Lux V3 6-in-1: Pros and Cons

Another addition to the Instant Pot family, this Instant Pot is very similar to the Duo, but has a few different functions.

Advantages

  • Makes cake!
  • Delay start timer
  • Easy to use

Instant Pot LUX60V3 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer

Unlike some other models, the Lux V3 can make cakes, similar to the Duo Plus - perfect for someone with kids.

With 10 patented safety technologies and rigorous testing, you can pressure cook with peace of mind.
If you have kids, this is likely a big concern. There is little to no chance it will overheat and catch on fire while you are at work, or build up too much pressure and explode. Instant Pot has decked out their products with some of the best and most comprehensive safety features out there. 

Although please be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions!​

On top of the preset programs and dual pressure options, you also have the delay start option. Which allows you to set the Instant Pot to turn on by itself. So, if you have errands to run, or soccer practice to rush to, when you get back, dinner will be hot and ready.

Lastly, because of the preset programs, and simple button control, this cooker is extremely easy to use. You can make dishes that would normally take a lot of skill to perfect, by just pressing a button. It’s a great way to impress houseguests and bring the life to any potluck. And regardless of the size of the gathering, the Lux V3 has got your back. It is available in 6 quart and 8 quart options.

Disadvantages

The main, and really the only, disadvantage of this Instant Pot is that it does not make yogurt. However, if you are not a big yogurt eater and do not plan on making it, this is hardly a drawback. But, if you love yogurt and really want to make it yourself, the Duo is a better option for you. If you're interested in vegan yogurt, you can check out how to make soy yogurt at Glue and Glitter.

What's Included?

When you buy the Instant Pot Lux V3 6-in-1, you also receive:

  • Steam rack without handles
  • Rice paddle
  • Soup spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Recipe book

Instant Pot Ultra 10-in1: Pros and Cons

Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Cake Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and Sterilizer

Definitely one of the most versatile Instant Pots, the Ultra has a lot to offer and improves on some of the earlier models with several new features. The most obvious of these changes is in the name. The Instant Pot Ultra goes one step beyond all the others and replaces 10 common kitchen appliances.

Advantages

  • Altitude Adjustment
  • Cooking indicator
  • Steam release button
  • Central dial

The first new thing about the Ultra is the altitude adjustment option. Because the pressure changes as the altitude changes, if you live in a mountain city or a city below sea level, it can affect the performance of your pressure cooker. However, with the new altitude adjustment option, you are able to pressure cook at any altitude. The new altitude adjustment is what makes this Instant Pot perfect for anyone in the mountains, or otherwise "abnormal" altitudes.

The cooking indicator is another new feature unique to the Ultra. It makes it really easy to see where your dish is in the cooking process. It is displayed on the large, easy to read LCD screen, and it tells you what stage the cooker is in, whether it be preheating, cooking, or Keep Warm. With some of the other Instant Pots, you did not know when it was done preheating and actually cooking, but with the Ultra you can know with just a glance.

The other Instant Pots have 10 safety features, they help keep the Instant Pot functioning and prevent any accidents, and they do a great job. But, the Ultra has one leg up on them because it has an added safety feature, a steam release reset button. The steam release reset button helps ensure that the steam is safely released after your food is done cooking.

This last feature is what makes the Ultra one of the most versatile and customizable, the easy to use central dial. The dial, located in the center of the Instant Pot, lets you easily pick the precise setting you wish to cook on. Its simple turn and press operated dial that is easy enough for anyone to use.

Disadvantages

When comparing the Ultra to the other Instant Pots, it is very hard to find any negatives. The only thing that could possibly make this Instant Pot better is if it had Bluetooth capability like the Smart one. However, considering everything it does have, adding Bluetooth might just be too much.

What's Included?

When you buy the Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1, you also receive:

  • Steam rack with handles
  • Serving spoon
  • Recipe booklet
  • Soup spoon
  • Measuring Cup

Which One Should I Pick?

When deciding this, consider your needs. If you only need a small cooker, the 3 quart Duo would be your best option. If you are a cake and soy yogurt fiend, you would probably get the most from the Duo Plus. And if you love technology and use Bluetooth frequently, the Instant Pot Smart is sure to please.

As a final consideration,  if you live at a place with high or low altitudes, then going with the Ultra is probably the best option.

Whichever one you choose, you will have a kitchen appliance that does the job of at least 6 appliances, what's not to love about that?

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