Instant Pot Duo vs Duo Nova: Check out the 4 differences in a side by side comparison of the two models

If you’re trying to decide between the Instant Pot Duo vs Duo Nova here is a side by side comparison of the key differences between the two electric pressure cooker models.

Instant Pots are electric pressure cookers designed to be convenient, safe, and dependable. In August 2019 the company released a new Instant Pot series, the Duo Nova. Each Instant Pot model has variations that can make it difficult to choose between them. To help you decide, here’s a quick rundown of the key difference between the company’s classic and best for beginners models in a side by side review of the Instant Pot Nova Duo vs Duo.

The 4 differences between the Instant Pot Duo vs Duo Nova include:

  • Each model has a different display style
  • The Duo Nova auto-seals and the Duo is a manual seal
  • 2 sealing rings are included with the Duo Nova
  • a 10-quart option is available in the Duo Nova
Close up of a Duo to compare the differences between the Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo

And one more note: this post contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission if you buy through my link. You won’t pay any more if you use this link.

You can also compare the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus vs Duo Nova separately.

A quick overview of the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

If you heard about the chatter and wondering what an Instant Pot is, let’s start with a quick introduction.

Instant Pots are smart multi-use electric pressure cookers designed to be dependable, convenient, and most importantly safe kitchen appliances. You prepare your meals faster while using less energy. Not only are you saving counter space, but you’re also spending less money on electricity too.

And in the summer, you don’t have to worry about adding more heat to your already hot kitchen.

Typically Instant Pot releases one or two new models each year. In 2019 the company added several new models including the Duo Nova.

If you are shopping for your first or thinking about adding another one to your kitchen, a side-by-side comparison of the Instant Pot Duo vs Duo Nova will help you figure out which one is better for you

What is an Instant Pot Duo?

The Instant Pot Duo is one of the electric pressure cooker models made by Instant Brands. It’s considered their “classic” model and is one of their earlier versions. It has 2 pressure cooking levels, hence the “duo” name.

6 Quart Instant Pot Duo
6 quart

It replaces 7 kitchen appliances while also increasing the speed at which you can cook your meals.

The Duo is available in three quart options and has most of the popular preset smart programs.

What is an Instant Pot Duo Nova?

The Instant Pot Duo Nova is a newer model from Instant Brands, as it was released in August 2019. It’s called their “best for beginners model”. It also combines 7 kitchen appliances while speeding up your cooking time.

6 Quart Instant Pot Duo Nova
6 quart

Similar to the Duo, this model has 2 pressure cooking levels. The Duo Nova is available in 4 size options.

One of the largest differences between these two models is the Duo Nova is available in a 10 quart option, which is great if you need to cook for a large number of people.

What are the differences between the Instant Pot Duo and Duo Nova?

Overall these Instant Pot models are very similar from the smart programs to the price.

The smart programs in the Duo Nova vs Duo side by side are pretty much the same. And as you’ll notice with the other mini 3 quart models, it has a few fewer smart programs compared to the larger models.

From a price perspective, the cost of each model is generally similar when you look at each quart-size side by side. Be sure to keep an eye out for deals and flash sales to save money on your purchase.

To help you decide between these models, here’s a closer look at the differences between the duo nova and duo.

Each model has a different display style

These two models have different front panel displays. The Instant Pot Duo Nova has a backlit display similar to the Duo Plus. The Duo has the classic LCD also used on the Lux.

The Duo Nova seals automtically and Duo needs to be sealed manually

The new Duo Nova has an auto sealing lid as an added safety feature that’s available on the Ultra. Have you ever forgotten to flip the sealing knob to the closed position when starting to cook? The auto sealing lid is a great feature because it makes it harder to forget to seal in the pressure when you start cooking.

The Duo has a manual sealing knob. While the auto sealing knob is great for starting to cook, it’s easier to do a controlled manual release with a Duo as you can tap to release pressure in smaller bursts. The auto sealing lid has a button to release pressure.

With both lids, a controlled manual pressure release takes some practice to get right without covering your ceiling in steam.

The included accessories changed with the Duo Nova

If you’ve purchased previous Instant Pot models, you’re probably used to receiving one sealing ring, a steam rack, a measuring cup, and a few stirring spoons.

The Duo Nova comes with two sealing rings, a steam rack, and a measuring cup.

If you’re new to Instant Pots, extra sealing rings are a must-have accessory and newer models are starting to come with two sealing rings instead of one.

The Duo Nova is available in 4 size options

The biggest difference between the Instant Pot Duo and Duo Nova (literally) is the Duo Nova is the first Instant Pot model to be offered in a 10 quart option. If you frequently cook for larger groups of people or regularly batch cook for meal prep, take a closer look at at the 10 quart model.

10 Quart Instant Pot Duo Nova
10 quart

If you decide to buy the largest Instant Pot model, check with the company for additional inner liners and sealing rings. These particular accessories are not currently available on Amazon or even listed on Instant Pot’s online store. They’ll likely be available in the future as the 10 quart grows in popularity. In the meantime, contact Instant Pot directly for questions.

Side by Side comparison of the Instant Pot Duo vs Duo Nova

To help you go deeper in your research into the Duo Nova and Duo, here is a side-by-side comparison of the two models. This comparison includes the appliances combined in each model, smart programs, and size options.

The kitchen appliances combined each model

Each Instant Pot model combines multiple kitchen appliances into one, saving you counter and storage space. You also save money by using one appliance for multiple cooking methods.

When looking at the Duo vs Duo Nova, both Instant Pot models combine the same seven kitchen appliances. Both Instant Pot can take the place of a:

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Slow Cooker
  • Rice Cooker
  • Steamer
  • Saute/Searing Pan
  • Yogurt Maker
  • Warmer

Here is a view of the appliance side-by-side for the Instant Pot Duo Nova and Duo.


Instant Pot DuoInstant Pot Duo Nova
Number of Appliances Combined77
Pressure CookerYesYes
Slow CookerYesYes
Rice CookerYesYes
SteamerYesYes
Sauté/SearingYesYes
Yogurt MakerYesYes
WarmerYesYes

Smart programs and functions compared side by side

Instant Pots include smart programs to help you cook your meals at the push of a button. Each smart program controls heat intensity, temperature, pressure, and cooking duration. The company designed each program based on extensive testing to help you create amazing results.

It’s also important to note when you’re comparing the smart programs included in each Instant Pot series that not all quart sizes will 100% of the same functions. The mini 3 quart has a smaller front panel and typically has a program or two fewer than its larger 6- and 8-quart siblings.


Instant Pot DuoInstant Pot Duo Nova
Number of Smart Programs1414
Soup/BrothYesYes
Meat/StewYesYes
Bean/ChiliYesYes
SautéYesYes
RiceYesYes
MultigrainYes*Yes*
PoultryYes*Yes*
PorridgeYesYes
YogurtYesYes
Pressure Cook YesYes
SteamYesYes
Pasteurize**YesYes
Keep WarmYesYes
Slow CookYesYes

* The Multigrain and Poultry smart programs are not currently available in either of these 3-quart Instant Pot models.

** The Pasteurizing program is part of the Yogurt Smart Program. When you choose “More”, it will pasteurize milk. Be sure to check the temperature of the heated milk to ensure it reaches the proper temperature.

If you’re looking for the Cake Setting or egg program, neither of these models have that feature at any quart size. Don’t worry as you can still make hard-boiled eggs using the steam button and cakes using the pressure cook button. All you need to do is adjust the time based on the recipe you’re following.

The sizes available for Instant Pot Duo and Duo Nova

The primary Instant Pot sizes are: 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart. Most of the company’s core pressure cooker series are available in each of the three options.

If you need something larger than a 8 quart pressure cooker, the good news is the Duo Nova also has a 4th size option. The Duo Nova is also available in as a 10 quart pressure cooker!

That is literally the biggest difference between these two Instant Pot models. In addition to the 3 regular sizes, the Duo Nova is the only Instant Pot model available as a 10 quart.


Instant Pot DuoInstant Pot Duo Nova
3 QuartsYesYes
6 QuartsYesYes
8 QuartsYesYes
10 QuartsYes

If you’re looking for a larger Instant Pot, the Duo Nova 10 quart might be an option for your kitchen.

10 Quart Instant Pot Duo Nova
10 quart

What other questions do you have about the differences between the Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo?

When you’re shopping for a new Instant Pot you need to decide which features and size make the most sense for your needs.

If you’re looking for an additional Instant Pot because you already have a Duo, there are a few interesting features in the Duo Nova that make an interesting upgrade. If you spend time in the Facebook groups you’ll notice many people have found room in their kitchen for more than an electric pressure cooker.

What features and functions are you considering when comparing an Instant Pot Duo vs Duo Nova?

Don’t forget the accessories! Regardless of which Instant Pot you buy, don’t forget the accessories. These Instant Pot Duo Nova accessories will also work for the Duo.

Compare the Duo Nova with other Instant Pot Models

And to help you in your Instant Pot research here is the Duo Nova compared to the Duo Plus, Lux, and Ultra models.

Instant Pot Duo vs Duo Nova: What's the difference? What's the same? Instant Pot Duo Nova vs Duo: 2 Instant Pot Models compared side-by-side

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