7 differences between the Instant Pot Duo vs Lux (2020)

The Instant Pot Duo and Lux are two models of this brand of electric pressure cooker. The key differences between the Instant Pot Duo vs Lux include: number of pressure settings, smart programs included, lid design, detachable power cords, prices, and color options.

Each Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker is designed to be safe, dependable, and convenient. There are multiple different models and sizes available. While each Instant Pot model has mostly the same features, there are slight variations which might make you choose one version over the other. Let’s take a look at the Instant Pot Duo vs Lux, two models available of six series that have been created.

2 Instant Pots side by side for the Instant Pot Duo vs Lux Comparison

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7 differences between the Instant Pot Duo and Lux

When you’re comparing Instant Pot models, having a simple side by side comparison helps you understand the difference between then. And, potentially which model is a better choice for you and your cooking needs. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but you may want a particular feature that’s available in certain models.

As there are a lot of options for you to choose from, here’s a quick summary of the 6 differences between the Instant Pot Duo and Lux.

The Duo and Lux combine different appliances

With each Instant Pot, you save counter space and money because it combines the features of multiple common appliances into one electric kitchen appliance. You can use one electric device to cook using different methods. And each Instant Pot model includes a different combination of features, with some overlap of course.

When it comes to the Lux and Duo, the Lux is considered to also be a cake maker because it includes that smart program. The Duo includes the features so it can be a yogurt maker.

Before you get stuck trying to decide between the two, you can still make cakes in the Instant Pot without the special cake button. And when it comes to yogurt, if you buy an Instant Pot without that feature, look for a cold start yogurt recipe.

The yogurt and bean/chili buttons are on the Duo while the Lux has the Cake and Egg buttons

Smart programs help you cook different dishes at the press of a button by being preprogramed to control the heat intensity, temperature, pressure, and duration.

In Version 3 of the Lux, the cake smart program was added to this Instant Pot’s buttons. The Lux also has the egg smart program.

And one quick note, the 3 quart models don’t always have all the programs that its larger 6- and 8-quart siblings have. The Cake smart program isn’t generally included on the 3 quart models if you’re thinking about buying a Mini.

On the Duo, you have access to the yogurt smart program. If yogurt is something you’re really want to make with your electric pressure cooker, you may want to take a closer look at buying the Duo. Or if you’re really interested in the Lux, search for cold start yogurt recipes as you’re not out of luck with making yogurt if you buy an Instant Pot that doesn’t have the smart program.

Also on the Duo are the Bean/Chili and Poultry buttons. The Bean/Chili buttons are great if you’re thinking about making these kinds of dishes. The Poultry button is only available on the Duo and Duo Nova models.

The Duo has a lid handle and built in lid rest

The Lux lid has a space to insert your hand so that you can twist and lift the top. Honestly it can feel a little ackward to grab and open without getting a little bit of extra cooking heat.

with the lid design of the Duo, the top handle allows you to easily grab and lift to the side easily. Just like you would with any stove-top lid you’re used to.

The other benefit of the Duo’s lid is you can set the lid into the handles on the base. It’s great to save a bit of counter space while the lid cools. Make sure you’re careful to not knock the whole thing over.

The Lux one pressure setting. The Duo has two options.

The Lux is designed with only a high-pressure cooking setting. As the name suggests with the Duo, this model includes both high and low-pressure options.

If you’ve spent time already looking through pressure cooking recipes both online and in books, it’s unlikely you’ve seen one that calls for low pressure.

In theory you’re not missing out if you don’t have two levels of cooking, but having the flexibility of both could set you up for a recipe you haven’t seen yet.

The 3 and 6 Quart Duos have detachable power cords

With the Duo, the power cords come as detachable on the 3 and 6 quart models. The 8 quart is still an attached cord. In the original Lux, it’s attached for all models.

While this may seem like a minor difference, detaching the cord can make it easier to store. Just make sure to fully insert it when you’re ready to cook.

You may have seen many posts in various Facebook groups asking about Instant Pots that stopped working. The first thing to check is that the power cord is properly seated.

The Lux is usually a little less expensive

Because the Lux has only a single pressure setting (high), it’s usually a less expensive model compared to the Duo. Make sure to keep an eye out for deals in terms of flash sales and around the holidays. Even the most expensive Instant Pots can become much more affordable.

Between the two, generally, it’s not a huge price difference. If you start looking at more advanced models such as a Ultra or Max, you’ll expect to pay much more with those models.

Each models comes in a few different colors

Stainless Steel and Black is the base color style for all Instant Pots, but the company has released a few color and themes options over the years.

The Lux has a few themed options inspired by the Pioneer Woman over at Walmart. And you can also find red and black ones on Amazon.

Also over at Amazon you can find (light) red, teal, and white options if you want to match your kitchen. These are listed separately from the rest of the Duos.

If you’re a Star Wars fan, check out Williams Sonoma. You can get a Chewbacca themed 8 quart Instant Pot Duo because a Wookie is a huge animal.

Instant Pot Duo vs Lux Side By Side

Now that you’ve seen a quick summary of the Lux and Duo differences, here’s each of those features side by side to give you a closer look. Check out the different appliances combined in each model, the smart programs included, and the other technical specs.

The appliances combined by each the Duo and Lux Instant Pots

Each Instant Pot combines multiple appliances into one appliance. This helps you save counter and storage space, along with money. Depending on the Instant Pot you buy, the appliances combined vary.

And also to note, Instant Pot sometimes updates and reconfigures model features when they release new models. For example, they updated the smart programs when the v3 was released.

Let’s take a look at the appliances combined in the Instant Pot Duo vs Lux:

Instant Pot DuoInstant Pot Lux
Number of Appliances Combined76*
Pressure CookerYesYes
Slow CookerYesYes
Rice CookerYesYes
SteamYesYes
Sauté/SearingYesYes
Yogurt MakerYes
Cake MakerYes**
WarmerYesYes
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* If you’re counting, you may notice that the Lux has 7 combined appliances in the actual list. The company still refers to this as the 6-in-1 model, which is likely based on the original configuration of the Lux.

** The cake setting is not available in the smaller 3 quart Lux model.

Instant Pot Duo and Lux have different programmed smart programs

Instant Pot created smart programs to help the home chef be able to cook with the press of a button. The smart programs are based on extensive testing, control heat intensity, temperature, pressure, and duration.

Each Instant Pot series have differences in which smart programs are included. You should also note that the 3 quart models don’t always have all the programs that its larger 6- and 8-quart siblings have.

And don’t forget to note, the Lux has been updated a few times, with the most recent being Version 3. So if you have an older model Lux, some of the programs might be different.

Instant Pot DuoInstant Pot Lux (V3)
Number of Smart Programs1412
Soup/BrothYesYes
Meat/StewYesYes
Bean/ChiliYes
PoultryYes*
Cake
Yes*
Egg
Yes
SautéYesYes
RiceYesYes
MultigrainYes*Yes*
PorridgeYesYes
YogurtYes
Pressure Cook YesYes
SteamYesYes
Keep WarmYesYes
Slow CookYesYes
PasteurizeYes**
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* These programs may not be available in the 3-quart versions of this Instant Pot.

** 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.

The Lux was updated to include the Cake Setting and it’s only available on the 6 quart and 8 quart models.

Which sizes are the Instant Pot Duo vs Lux available in?

Good news. Both the Instant Pot Duo and Instant Pot Lux are available in all 3 sizes (3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart) that Instant Pot manufactures.

They were both previously available in a 5 quart size, which is no longer made.

Instant Pot DuoInstant Pot Lux
3 quartYesYes
6 quartYesYes
8 quartYesYes

So what are the other differences between the Instant Pot Duo vs Lux?

Aside from the smart programs included in each model, there are additional differences between the Instant Pot Duo vs Lux. These include the top handle, electric cord, pressure levels, and keep warm times.

The Instant Pot Duo has 2 pressure cooking levels while the Lux can cook on high pressure only. Most recipes use high pressure for cooking.

One feature I’ve heard people love is the lid holder (and it’s one that most people find by accident). The handles on the Duo have a slot in them so that you can insert the lid. This is great if you’re short on counter space to put down a steamy lid. Trying to put a hot lid down after opening can be awkward (from my own experience).

Instant Pot DuoInstant Pot Lux
Pressure Cooking
High Pressure (10.2 – 11.6 psi)
Low Pressure (5.8 – 7.2 psi)

High Pressure Only (10.2-11.6 psi)
Lid Handle vs No HandleHandleNo Handle
Lid HolderYesNo
Electric Plug3 prong plug2 prong plug
Detachable Electric CordYesNo
Keep Warm LengthAutomatic Keep
Warm: up to 10 hours.
Manual Keep Warm
up to 99 hours and
50 minutes
Automatic Keep
Warm: up to 10 hours.
Manual Keep Warm
up to 10 hours
 Check Current PriceCheck Current Price

And of course, there is a bit of a price difference between the two models. Check Amazon for the pricing of the Instant Pot Duo vs Instant Pot Lux. The Instant Pot Duo is usually about $20 more than the other model.

Both of these Instant Pot models were previously available in a 5 quarts size that’s since been discontinued. You may still be able to find limited quantities on Amazon, and parts are available directly on the Instant Pot website. The 6 quart Instant Pots are the most popular size available.

Which features do you prefer in the Instant Pot Duo vs Lux?

When you buy an Instant Pot, you need to decide which features are most important to you. Personally, I prefer the ability to have 2 different pressure levels and the removable cord that is available in the Instant Pot Duo.

What about you? What features are important to you as you decide with one to buy?

Instant Pot Duo vs Lux Comparison

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