With nearly 20 variations of the Instant Pot on the market — Lux, Duo, Duo Plus, Ultra, Viva, Smart WiFi, Max, and all the different sizes — it can be super overwhelming to make an Instant Pot purchase. This is especially true if you’re new to the pressure cooker game, which is why Instapot Life is here to help.
This article covers two of the most popular Instant Pot models, the Instant Pot Duo and the Instant Pot Duo Plus, and ranks them according to cost, versatility, ease of use, safety, and clean-up. By the end of this guide, you’ll be a Duo pro and can confidently purchase your new favorite kitchen appliance at the click of a button.
Product Overview: Instant Pot Duo vs. Instant Pot Duo Plus
Instant Pot Duo Overview
Perhaps the most popular Instant Pot model available, the Instant Pot Duo possesses the functionality of seven individual kitchen appliances and makes mealtimes quick and easy. Available in three sizes, the Instant Pot Duo offers 12 pre-set features, 14 smart program features, and 10 safety features.
Read more: Instant Pot Duo Review 
Instant Pot Duo Plus Overview
First released in 2017, the Instant Pot Duo Plus is essentially a slightly upgraded version of the Instant Pot Duo: It offers everything the Instant Pot Duo offers, and more. The new release increased the functionality from 7-in-1 to 9-in-1, as well as added an additional safety net with the Sterilize feature.
Read more: Instant Pot Duo Plus Review 
Versatility: Instant Pot Duo vs. Duo Plus
Versatility is perhaps the most important aspect to look at when shopping for a new Instant Pot. It’s what makes Instant Pot so lovable, after all! Let’s take a look at the features on the Duo and Duo Plus.
Overall, the Instant Pot Duo and Duo Plus are very similar when it comes to versatility and functionality — you can make almost anything imaginable in either, especially with so many available Instant Pot accessories, but the Duo Plus does pull slightly ahead.
Winner: Instant Pot Duo Plus, for its additional appliance functionalities and extra smart cook setting.
Ease of Use: Instant Pot Duo vs. Duo Plus
Inherently, Instant Pots are a bit more difficult to use than other kitchen appliances simply because they offer so many features. But once you get used to your Instapot — regardless of model — you’ll realize how easy an all-in-one appliance is.
As far as ease of use between the Duo and the Duo Plus, you should note a few key differences, such as:
- The control panel on the Duo Plus is larger and more user-friendly (it looks more like the Instant Pot Smart WiFi display panel)
- The Duo Plus display allows you to more easily access the pre-programmed settings.
- Duo Plus may be a little more intuitively easy to use for cooks new to pressure cookers or multifunctional appliances.
- The Duo Plus allows you to change cooking modes mid-cycle, for example, from high to low pressure.
Other than that, the Instant Pot Duo and Instant Pot Duo Plus are essentially the same when it comes to ease of use: Both come with a detachable three-pronged cord, steam rack, lid holder, soup spoon, rice paddle, measuring cup, and food-grade stainless steel inner pot — everything you need to make a fantastic Instapot meal.
Winner: Instant Pot Duo Plus, for its few extra features and easy-to-read display panel.
Safety: Instant Pot Duo vs. Duo Plus
Both the Instant Pot Duo and Duo Plus offer the same 10 safety mechanisms to eliminate cooking errors, such as explosions or spoiled food. Those mechanisms are: steam release, anti-block shield, safety lid lock, lid position detection, automatic temperature control, burn protection, automatic pressure control, electrical fuse, thermal fuse, and leaky lid protection.
The Instant Pot Duo Plus, however, comes equipped with one extra feature that can add to the appliance’s safety level: Sterilize. The Sterilize feature allows you to pasteurize milk, sterilize utensils, and safely perform certain types of canning.
Winner: Instant Pot Duo Plus, for the Sterilize feature.
Clean-up: Instant Pot Duo vs. Duo Plus
Thankfully, all of Instant Pot’s products are at least partially dishwasher-safe. Both the Instant Pot Duo and the Duo Plus feature a removable stainless steel inner pot, which you can stick right into the dishwasher. You can also put the lid for both models in the dishwasher, as well as the sealing ring and steam rack. Just make sure to keep the cooking base dry, only using a wet cloth or antibacterial wipe to clean it. For more info, check out our article on how to keep your Instant Pot sparking clean.
Winner: It’s a draw. Both are easy to clean!
Cost: Instant Pot Duo vs. Duo Plus
The Instant Pot Duo retails for:
- $79.95 for 3-quart
- $99.95 for 6-quart
- $139.95 for 8-quart
And the Instant Pot Duo Plus retails for:
- $99.95 for 3-quart
- $129.95 for 6-quart
- $159.95 for 8-quart
So essentially, for $20 extra at each size, you get two more cooking functionalities (9-in-1 versus 7-in-1), the Sterilize feature, and the nicer LCD display.
Winner: Instant Pot Duo Plus, because it offers more features for a relatively small price increase.
So, which is better?
Overall, the Instant Pot Duo Plus offers greater functionality for a minimal price increase. If the cake, egg, and sterilize settings are important to you, then the extra money for the Duo Plus is worth spending. However, if you don’t think you’ll need those features, you can stick with the Instant Pot Duo, which still offers incredible versatility and ease of use.
Keep reading: How to BBQ Like a Grill Master With Your Instant Pot