The 5 Best Rice Cookers, Editor-Tested 2023

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Any seasoned home chef knows that the secret to cooking a perfect batch of warm, fluffy rice isn’t meticulously standing over the stove with a watchful eye, or adding some secret, obscure ingredient—it’s simply using a rice cooker. Can you use a pot or microwave to cook your favorite grains? Sure. But using a rice cooker eliminates any chance of user error, which can result in burnt or soggy grains. If you’re looking to save time and hassle, consider investing in these best rice cookers.



The best rice cookers, at a glance

What is the purpose of a rice cooker?

Think of rice cookers as little sous chefs—they cook your grains and take the guesswork out of cooking so that you can focus all of your attention on other tasks. “With a rice cooker, you can just push a button and walk away while the rice cooks. You don’t have to watch a pot on the stove anymore,” says Namiko Chen, a Japanese recipe developer and founder of the blog, Just One Cookbook. Oftentimes, cooking rice requires the right water-to-rice ratio, a steady stream of steam, and constant stirring, so that your rice doesn’t get stuck to the bottom. Rice cookers streamline all of these steps in just one cooking session, which is why they’re a beloved kitchen staple.

How do rice cookers work

In a rice cooker, rice is cooked via a boil and steam method. Rice cookers are equipped with a metal plate. Once the machine is plugged in, the plate transfers heat to a removable pot, allowing the rice to boil. The heat from the pot generates steam, which rises to the bowl. The result of this process is fluffy and delicious grains.

What to look for in a rice cooker

According to Chen, there are three main things to look for before purchasing your rice cooker:

Size

First, look at how much rice your cooker can cook. If you’re cooking for yourself and one other person, look for rice cookers that can make between 1-3 cups of rice. “For a typical household size, I recommend a 5.5-cup rice cooker,” says Chen. “If you make rice for big crowds, then go for a 10-cup rice cooker.”

A timer

While not necessary, “a timer helps you plan ahead so you can prep your rice and cook it later, like for breakfast the next morning or for dinner after you’re away for an entire day,” says Chen. A set-it-and-forget-it function makes cooking prep easy and often includes an automatic shut-off function so you don’t have to worry about your machine being left on.

Menu options

Not all rice cookers have a menu, but for those that do, you can select which type of grain—white rice, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and more—you’re planning to cook. For example, Zojirushi rice cookers are built with menus, so that you can choose between white rice, quinoa, and other preset options.

There are a plethora of rice cooker options on the market, but according to our staffers, these are the very best ones your money can buy.

Best overall:

Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer

Zojirushi, Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer — $199.00

Tester: Kayla Hui, commerce writer (author)

My family and I are big on rice. Whenever I would visit my cousin’s home for dinner, she would always have her Zojirushi rice cooker on hand. After eating fluffy grain after grain, I decided I would get my own Zojirushi, too. I decided on the Micom—which looks like a tiny space ship—and having tested the device for four months now, all I can say is “wow.”

The Micom, which holds up to 5.5 cups of rice, is the Dyson of rice cookers. It has a menu with eight preset cooking options: white sushi, quick, mixed, long grain white, steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, brown, and steam. So far, I’ve used the machine to cook quinoa, jasmine rice, and pandan sticky rice (short grain), and each batch comes out flawlessly all thanks to its smart technology, which properly balances water and steam for a delicious meal every time.

The cutest feature of this rice cooker is the little tune that plays at the end of each cooking cycle to indicate when the rice is done. Made of clear-coated stainless steel, the rice cooker body feels solid and is equipped with a handle that makes serving guests easier. Cleaning is a breeze, too. When using soap and water, leftover rice comes off the removable pot sans struggle.

One caveat is that the rice takes between 45 and 50 minutes to cook fully, but it does come with a scheduling function, so you can have the rice ready to go whenever you want it. I love that this rice cooker comes with a measuring cup and rice paddle. No matter if I’m cooking for myself, family, or friends, I always have my Zojirushi on deck.

  • Easy to use  
  • Plays a cute little tune when it’s done cooking  
  • Good for small or larger parties  
  • Easy to clean and wash  
  • Has handle for transporting  
  • Comes with measuring cup and rice spatula  
  • LED display  
  • Has a holder for rice paddle  
  • Comes with steaming tray
  • Expensive  
  • Long cook time

Best budget:

Oster Diamondforce 6-Cup Electric Rice Cooker

Oster, Diamondforce 6-Cup Electric Rice Cooker — $20.00

Tester: Kayla Hui, commerce writer (author)

I bought the Oster Diamondforce rice cooker when I was in graduate school in 2018, and five years later, this rice cooker is still going strong. For only $20, the Diamondforce is a budget-friendly option that gets the job done. It’s equipped with a cooking plate, a tempered glass lid, and a removable 6-cup nonstick pot that boils and steams up to three cups of uncooked grains, which comfortably feeds a party of up to six people.

What’s neat about this rice cooker is that it comes with a steaming tray, so I can reheat bread, dumplings, and just about any other smaller food. One thing to note about the Diamondforce is that it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles like other rice cookers do. This one has just one button you push once you’ve loaded your rice. Afterward, the button will pop up and make a clicking noise to alert the rice has finished, which takes roughly 20 minutes to cook.

Unfortunately, this rice cooker doesn’t feature smart technology, so I have to ensure that the device is loaded with the proper water-to-rice ratio. The rice is fluffy and tastes good, but if I load too much or too little water, the end result can be soggy or dried. Still, this rice cooker has made cooking and meal prep easy for me and my roommates during my grad school days—it’s that easy to use. So, if you’re looking for a no-frills and affordable rice cooker, then this one’s for you.

  • Affordable  
  • Good size for parties of up to six people  
  • Easy to wash and clean  
  • Easy to store  
  • Tempered glass lid that’s durable  
  • Cooks rice within 20 minutes  
  • Comes with steaming tray
  • You have to measure the water  
  • No menu options

Best mini:

Dash Mini Rice Cooker Steamer

Dash, Mini Rice Cooker Steamer — $22.00

Tester: Kara Jillian Brown, beauty writer

“The Dash Rice Cooker is the perfect rice cooker for one. I love that I can use it to make 1/4 cup of rice without it drying out or feeling silly. It’s super easy to use—just add your rice and water and press the one and only switch that turns the cooker from ‘warm’ to ‘cook’ mode. It comes with a little spatula and a measuring cup. The only downside is that it’s not dishwasher-safe. I broke that rule and put it in the dishwasher, and the handle broke off the lid, so please, if you get this rice cooker, do as I say, not as I do.”

If too much water is added, the rice can turn into mushy baby food, and rice water bubbles out, spilling on the counter, says Brown. All in all, the rice tastes good and cooks pretty quickly.

  • Affordable  
  • Simple to use  
  • Small  
  • Easy to store  
  • Great for one to two people  
  • Cute
  • Not dishwasher safe  
  • Not big enough to make a lot of rice  
  • Sometimes makes a mess on the counter

Best multi-use:

Instant Pot Pro Multi-Use Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot, Pro Multi-Use Pressure Cooker — $119.00

Tester: Jenny Heimlich, senior health and fitness editor

This multi-use pressure cooker isn’t a rice cooker per se, but it can effectively steam up a pot of rice.

“I make rice about once a week, but as a city person who’s always had limited kitchen space, I stuck to the stovetop method for years. (And burned plenty of pots of rice along the way.) This Christmas, my brother and sister-in-law got me an Instant Pot Pro, and the feature I’ve ended up using the most is its rice cooker setting. I can choose between a custom setting or a preset for white or brown rice.

As a jasmine lover, I use the white rice preset which takes under 20 minutes—a few minutes to preheat, three to cook, then 10 for the slow release. I don’t have to think about it or check anything during that time; the machine does it all for me, and I end up with perfectly-cooked rice every time. It never burns or ends up too goopy. I use one cup of water to one cup of rice, which leaves it on the slightly drier side. One thing I love is that it never sticks to the pot after I cook it.”

  • Simple to use without having to pay attention  
  • Cleans easily  
  • Multipurpose and cooks more than just rice
  • Relatively large, and a tad heavy to move around  
  • You need open space above the machine for the steam to come out

Best for bigger crowds:

Cosori 10-Cup Rice Cooker

Cosori, 10-Cup Rice Cooker — $100.00

Tester: Kayla Hui, commerce writer (author)

For entertaining, Cosori’s rice cooker never fails. It can cook a whopping 10 cups of rice, making it ideal for dinner parties and food events. Additionally, the machine is equipped with 18 functions—it can slow cook, steam, and keep white rice, oatmeal, brown rice, and grains warm. One unique feature of the Cosori is that you can choose from three texture options: soft, regular, and hard rice (goodbye, uncooked rice), which you can choose on the LED display.

The rice comes out delicious every time. It’s fluffy and steamed to perfection using a seven-step process that involves a preheating process, water absorption, heating, boiling, steaming, cool down, and a keep warm phase. I’ve only used this machine for jasmine rice and found that it takes roughly 50 minutes to cook, so I would recommend preparing your rice first before your protein or vegetables.

A rice cooker wouldn’t be complete without its accessories, and this one comes with a rice paddle, measuring cup, recipe book, and a steam basket. All of the accessories, with the exception of the recipe book, are dishwasher safe, making cleaning easy. Trust me when I say, Cosori’s rice cooker won’t allow your guests to leave hungry.

  • Holds up to 10 cups  
  • Comes with measuring cup and rice paddle  
  • Dishwasher safe accessories  
  • Has three texture settings  
  • Can cook rice, oatmeal, brown rice, and other grains  
  • Easy to clean  
  • Comes with steaming tray
  • Expensive  
  • Long cook time

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.



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