The 7 Best Rice Cookers of 2020

Shop for the best rice cookers available on the market today

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Instant Pot Lux 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker at Amazon

“You can also use it for pressure cooking, slow cooking, and cooking eggs."

Best High-End: Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker at Amazon

“For those who eat a lot of rice and a wide variety of different kinds.”

Best Budget: Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker at Amazon

“Includes a basket for rinsing the rice or for steaming foods in the cooker.”

Best Smart Cooker: Panasonic "Fuzzy Logic" Rice Cooker at Amazon

“Adjusts the power depending on how much rice is being cooked.”

Best Stovetop: Presto Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker at Walmart

“Can be used on any type of stove, and the helper handle makes it easy to hold.”

Best Large Capacity: Aroma Rice Cooker at Amazon

“Makes up to 20 cups of rice at one time and comes with a modest price tag.”

Best Microwavable: Sistema Rice Cooker and Steamer at Amazon

“Steamer plus pressure chamber design produces fluffy rice every time.”

  • 01 of 07

    Best Overall: Instant Pot Lux 6-In-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker

    Instant Pot IP-LUX60 V3 Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker, 6Qt, 1000W (updated model)
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.
    Excellent
    What We Like
    • Pre-programmed settings cook food perfectly

    • 10 safety features

    • Can prepare virtually any dish

    What We Don't Like
    • Escaping steam (upon removing the lid) can be dangerous

    If you don’t make rice on a daily basis, it might make sense to get an appliance that can cook more than just rice. While the Instant Pot can cook rice for sure, you can also use it for pressure cooking, slow cooking, and more. The updated model for 2017 now includes settings for cooking eggs, which has been a popular function among users. It also has a new button for cakes, like cheesecakes or moist-cooked carrot cake or banana bread. After testing a range of dishes, from lentil curry to porridge, our reviewer concluded the pre-programmed settings could be trusted to cook your meal correctly.

    The Instant Pot can also pressure cook for up to 240 minutes and you can set it to silent mode, so the beeps won’t disturb you. There is a cooking delay for up to 24 hours, and it has both an automatic keep-warm and a manual keep-warm setting for up to 10 hours. This does not have a low-pressure setting.

    The inner cooking pot is stainless steel, so it’s dishwasher safe and there’s no need to worry about using metal utensils.

    "If you live in an apartment or have a cramped kitchen, it may be worth it to invest in an Instant Pot and say goodbye to other space-consuming gadgets."Caroline Goldstein, Product Tester

  • 02 of 07

    Best High-End: Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker

    Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH Induction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer, 1 L, Stainless Dark Gray
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.
    Excellent
    What We Like
    • Cooks rice perfectly

    • User-friendly

    • Can cook several types of rice

    What We Don't Like
    • Space consuming

    • Not dishwasher safe

    For those who eat a lot of rice and a wide variety of kinds that require a range of cooking methods, this cooker might actually do a better job than you could on the stove. It uses induction cooking that heats the bottom, sides, and lid of the pan, and it can make precise adjustments to the cooking temperature to make perfect rice every time.

    The cooker has settings for white rice (regular, softer, or harder), jasmine white rice, mixed rice, sushi rice, porridge, sweet rice, brown rice, GABA brown rice, and quick-cooking. Our tester was able to turn out an "absolutely perfect" ½ cup each of white and brown rice, with no gumminess or clumping, after following manual instructions.

    There are two keep-warm settings, one for holding rice for a short time when dinner might be delayed, and another for keeping the rice warm for longer than eight hours. The extended keep-warm uses a slightly lower temperature to keep the rice from drying out and can hold the rice for up to 24 hours.

    The cooker lets you choose a standard beep to let you know the rice is ready, or choose a melody if you have too many beeping devices to keep track of. You can also set it to silent mode if you don’t need the notification.

    The cooking pot has a nonstick coating for easy cleaning, and the cooker includes a measuring cup and rice paddle. The cord is retractable for storage. This unit will cook up to 1 liter of rice (about 5 cups); there is a larger model that can handle up to 1.8 liters. If you need the appliance to do even more, there’s a similar model with a higher price that has pressure cooking ability.

    This high-end cooker comes with a high-end price that might only be worth it for people who are very passionate about their rice.

    "The cooker’s increased capacity could be a plus for some." Caroline Goldstein, Product Tester

  • 03 of 07

    Best Budget: Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker

    Very Good
    What We Like
    • Easy to use

    • Accessories are dishwasher safe

    • Inexpensive

    What We Don't Like
    • Doesn’t always cook rice perfectly

    This wallet-friendly rice cooker includes a basket for rinsing the rice or for steaming foods in the cooker and has a removable nonstick cooking pot for easy cleaning. It holds up to 8 cups of cooked rice to feed a crowd.

    Operation is easy, with just one button to turn the machine on to start the cooking. When the rice is done, it automatically switches to a keep-warm setting, so the rice will be waiting for you, even if dinner is delayed. Our reviewer did have a caveat, however: the cooker yielded unevenly cooked batches of ¾ cup of white rice and the same amount of brown rice when she tested it. Still, these batches turned out "better than the rice I made on the stovetop and was infinitely simpler and faster to prepare."

    Besides making rice, you can cook whole grains or use the steamer basket for vegetables or fish. For easy cleaning, both the cooking bowl and steaming basket are dishwasher safe, while the lid is removable for hand washing. A carrying handle makes it easy to move or store. A measuring cup and rice paddle are included.

    "You’d be hard-pressed to find a rice cooker that’s easier to use." Caroline Goldstein, Product Tester

  • 04 of 07

    Best Smart Cooker: Panasonic SR-DF101 5-Cup "Fuzzy Logic" Rice Cooker

    Panasonic SR-DF101 5-Cup (Uncooked) "Fuzzy Logic" Rice Cooker
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.
    What We Like
    • Detachable power cord

    • Keep-warm and auto-shutoff functions

    • Nonstick interior

    What We Don't Like
    • No bell when rice is done

    • No timer

    If you’re looking for a solid rice cooker that will fit most kitchens, this is the one to choose. It is a smart rice cooker with a micro-computer that adjusts the power depending on how much rice is being cooked. This means the rice is cooked perfectly every time, whether you’re cooking rice for one person or for your whole family.

    While the cooker is a smart model, the controls are very simple to use, with icons on the buttons for selecting white rice, brown rice, porridge or soup, or the quick-cooking or steaming setting. It has an auto-shutoff, and can keep rice warm for up to 12 hours after it has been cooked. It comes with a steaming basket, rice paddle, and a measuring cup. The power cord is detachable for safety and storage, and the interior bowl has a nonstick coating for easy cleaning.

    If five cups of uncooked rice (which yields about 10 cups of cooked rice) isn’t enough, there is a larger model that can handle up to 10 cups of uncooked rice.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Best Stovetop: Presto 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

    presto-pressure-cooker
    Courtesy of Walmart.
    What We Like
    • Can be used on any stovetop

    • Easy to clean

    • Built-in helper handle

    What We Don't Like
    • Requires assembly outside of the box

    Sure, you can cook rice in a standard pot, but a pressure cooker does it easier and faster since pressure cookers work up to 10 times faster than normal cooking methods. Even better for your wallet and your storage space, a stovetop pressure cooker is a multi-use item that you can use every day. If you don’t pressurize the pot, you can use it just like a standard saucepot, so it can be used every day.

    This has a six-quart capacity and is made from stainless steel that’s rustproof, nonreactive, and stain-resistant. It can be used on any type of stove, including induction, and it has a helper handle to make it easy to move. During pressure cooking, the pressure regulator maintains the proper cooking pressure automatically, and the cover locks securely while under pressure with a sealing ring that keeps the steam inside the cooker. An over-pressure plug releases pressure if it builds too high, for safety. The pot is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

  • 06 of 07

    Best Large Capacity: Aroma 20-Cup Digital Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker & Steamer

    Aroma Housewares 20 Cup Cooked (10 cup uncooked) Digital Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker, Food Steamer, SS Exterior (ARC-150SB)
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.
    What We Like
    • Inside pot is nonstick and dishwasher safe

    • Includes countdown and delay timers

    What We Don't Like
    • Steam tray is made of plastic

    If your goal is to cook a lot of rice without a lot of fuss, this 10-cup cooker will make up to 20 cups of cooked rice at one time and it comes with a modest price tag. It has presets for white rice, brown rice, slow cooking, and steaming, and has a delay timer and a keep-warm setting. It includes a measuring cup, rice paddle, and steaming basket. The cooking pot has a nonstick surface and can be washed in the dishwasher.

  • 07 of 07

    Best Microwavable: Sistema Microwave Cookware Rice Steamer

    What We Like
    • Easy to use and clean

    • Inexpensive

    • Can be used to steam vegetables

    What We Don't Like
    • No sealing lid

    • No handles

    For an easy way to cook rice that doesn’t involve yet another countertop appliance, this microwave cooker is ready to produce perfect rice in your microwave.

    The cooker has an 11-cup capacity, so you can make rice for a crowd, and the steamer plus pressure chamber design produces fluffy rice every time. Locking clips hold the lid in place during cooking, while steam vents release steam without spatter. Side tabs stay cooler and make it easy to remove the cooker from the microwave when cooking is done.

Final Verdict

Our top choice is the Instant Pot Lux 6-In-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, thanks to how well its pre-programmed cook settings performed. Plus, it does the job of six different appliances, potentially opening up room on your countertop. But if you'd like a budget-friendly option with a smaller footprint, the straightforward Hamilton Beach 8-Cup Rice Cooker is the way to go.

Why Trust the Spruce Eats?

Donna Currie is a cookbook author who writes roundups and reviews products for The Spruce Eats. She has tested more than 90 kitchen products for the brand.

What to Look for in a Rice Cooker

Capacity: A rice cooker’s capacity is usually measured in the number of cups of uncooked rice it can hold. Be sure to note, though, that depending on the type of rice, you might end up with twice that amount of cooked rice—so choose an option that’s the right size for you and your family.

Presets: Many rice cookers come with presets for different types of rice, as well as ones that include adjustments for making your rice softer or firmer than usual. Basic cookers, on the other hand, might just have an on/off toggle with no additional settings. Which do you prefer?

Extra features: Besides being able to cook different types of rice, some units venture beyond grains and can be used as slow cookers or steamers for vegetables or fish. If you don’t cook rice regularly, those extra features might make a rice cooker more useful more often.