The Instant Pot Duo vs Instant Pot Viva comparison is somewhat similar to comparing the base product of a series and its upgraded version.
If you’re a bit familiar with Instant Pot models, you know that pots like the ones in the Duo series (Instant Pot Duo Plus, Duo Evo Plus, Duo Crisp, and Duo Nova) are built on the base model - in this case, the Instant Pot Duo. They feature similar functions and interfaces, with slight differences to make the design more flexible for a wider range of users.
On the other hand, designs like IP Max or Instant Pot Lux (a 6-in-1 design available in 3, 6 and 8 qt sizes) sit on the same shelf as Viva. These are based on the classic model but are a different type of Instant Pots with upgraded functions and a more interesting selection of smart programs.
As such, in today’s comparison (Viva vs Duo) I will highlight the main differences between the classic Instant Pot model and one of its upgraded versions. I’ll also draw a final conclusion to let you know the type of users that are best fitted for each product.
Viva vs Duo Comparison Table
Instant Pot Duo Review
The Instant Pot Duo is designed for seven common activities while in the kitchen: high pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, steaming, sauteing, yogurt making, and maintaining the food warm. This way, even if the pot is a bit bulky, you can make space on the kitchen countertop and save on energy consumption by simply getting rid of old appliances.
It also has a user-friendly interface with one-touch buttons that provide access to 14 smart pre-programmed cooking options and a Manual mode that lets users input customized options.
While the model is available in three sizes (3-quart, 6-quart, 8-quart), the 6-quart Instant Pot is the most popular design (ideal for a regular family with children). Also, the fact that you can use high pressure for preparing various dishes reduces the cooking time (compared to stovetop cooking) and makes it a lot easier to make time-consuming and complex foods like bean chili, meat stew, poultry, or soup broth. Furthermore, there are lots of easy to make recipes (for both the slow cook and pressure cook functions), specially designed for the Duo Instant Pot, which makes it easy for beginners. In addition, users get free access to the Instant Pot app where millions of users everywhere provide you with cool recipe ideas!
I also enjoy the Keep Warm function that kicks in automatically at the end of each meal. This way, you can leave the pot unsupervised and go about your house chores, and the food will still be ready to eat when everyone comes to the table.
I am not very happy about the steam release system (it’s a manually-activated valve), but it’s important to keep in mind that this is a basic Instant Pot model, without too many bells and whistles.
The pot is easy to clean since the stainless steel inner pot and lid are dishwasher safe. The same is true for the accessories (delivered with the pot). However, you need to keep a close eye on the sealing ring since it tends to absorb strong odors. In time, you’ll have to change it for a new one as no amount of cleaning or washing will manage to get all the smells out of it.
Lastly, it’s important to mention that, like all Instant Pot models, the DUO is equipped with 10 safety mechanisms that keep any accidents away from your kitchen. And, even though you need to be careful with the manual valve, the pot has built-in systems that kick in if it registers high or low pressure, or if there’s not enough liquid in the pot.
- 7-in-1 cooking functions
- Available in three sizes (3-quart, 6-quart, and 8-quart))
- 14 smart programs & reduced cooking time
- Works well as a slow cook & a pressure cook
- 10 safety features
- Durable build & easy to clean
- User-friendly interface
- You can pressure cook healthy meals
- Can replace several kitchen appliances
- Great value for the money
- No cake maker pre-set program
- There is a bit of a learning curve
- The power cord could have been longer
- 7-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and food warmer.
- QUICK ONE-TOUCH COOKING: 13 customizable Smart Programs for pressure cooking ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry, yogurt, desserts and more.
- COOK FAST OR SLOW: Pressure cook delicious one-pot meals up to 70% faster than traditional cooking methods or slow cook your favorite traditional recipes – just like grandma used to make.
- QUICK AND EASY CLEAN UP: Finger-print resistant, stainless-steel sides and dishwasher-safe lid, inner pot, and accessories.
- SAFETY FEATURES: Includes over 10 safety features, plus overheat protection and safe-locking lid
Instant Pot Viva Review
Instant Pot Viva is a 9-in-1 electric pressure cooker (just like Instant Pot Duo Plus), which means you can replace nine smaller appliances with this bigger, more sophisticated, one appliance. Instant Pot Viva has all the features that made the Instant Pot Duo so popular and more, but it’s also a bit more expensive than the classic (in my opinion, it is worth it).
The pot is available in 6-quart and 8-quart sizes (unlike Duo Plus, which is also available in 3-quart size) and features 15 one-touch smart program buttons plus other extremely useful features like the Easy-Seal lid and Instant Pot Sous Vide smart program. The lid seals the Viva Instant Pot automatically during the pressure cook program (when the lid is in the closed position) and it has a quick steam release button so you won’t have to come near the steam release valve with your hands while it’s still hot.
The 15 one-touch buttons make the Instant Pot Viva a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté dish, food warmer (Keep Warm function), and stockpot. The pot also has a cake maker, egg cooker, sterilizer, and sous vide programs. As such, it can make the same dishes as Duo (bean chili, meat stew, soup broth, and other foods that require functions like slow cook, sauté, steam, or pressurize).
Given the features I just mentioned, the Instant Pot Viva can easily be compared with more advanced pots in the series like the Instant Pot Smart WiFi, Instant Pot Ultra, or Instant Pot Max (although it doesn’t support 15 psi for pressure canning). The pot also has a Manual mode, where you can choose your options (from the low-pressure setting to high, time setting, and temperature).
Furthermore, the 6 qt size Viva Instant Pot model can feed up to 5 people, while the 8-quart model is for larger families (from 6 people and up).
Lastly, since the inner pot is made from stainless steel, the 6-quart size can double as an air fryer (to make healthy air fries), with the Air Fryer lid. So, given that you have all the cool features, Instant Pot Viva could be considered the new Instant Pot on the block (that can also be turned into an air fryer).
- The brushed steel exterior is available in several colors
- Can be used as a slow cooker and a pressure cooker
- Available in 6-quart and 8-quart sizes
- 15 pre-set cooking programs for pressure cooking and more
- Sous Vide & Keep Warm function
- Auto-sealing steam release valve
- Easy pressure setting system
- Cake baking
- The pressure cook function can be used for sterilizing (similar to Duo Plus)
- No cooking progress indicator
- More expensive than the Duo classic
Which Model Is Better for Me?
So, in the battle Viva vs Duo (the two Instant Pots of today’s review), which one should you buy? Should you stick with the classic and well-tested Duo or should you invest a bit more in an Instant Pot with fancier features and an automated steam valve?
Here’s my answer:
Choose the Duo if…
- You want to stay below the $100 threshold
- You are happy with the classic model
- You are a beginner in using an electric pressure cooker
- You don’t need a cake baking or Sous Vide function
- You can work with a manual steam valve
Choose the Viva if…
- You like the idea of more pre-set dishes
- You want to try more advanced Instant Pots
- You’re not bothered by the slightly higher price
- You feel safer with a button for the steam valve
In closing, both products have their merits. As such, it is up to you to decide which will earn your trust. My advice is to start with Instant Pot models from the Duo series (like the classic, Duo Plus, or Duo Nova) and decide from there. If you like and get used to the classic (especially the pressure cooking and slow cook functions), it will become easier to use an Instant Pot with more advanced functions (like Instant Pot Viva).