Best Rice Cookers

Updated January 2022
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

Category cover

Buying guide for Best rice cookers

Stovetop rice may not be the hardest thing to make, but when you’re in a pinch or cooking for many, a rice cooker will save much needed time and free up one of your stove burners. Rice cookers can also prepare other foods like beans and oatmeal, and other grains including quinoa and risotto.

But before you decide on a rice cooker, you’ll want to consider its capacity, presence of a timer, preset functions and settings, and ability to cook other foods. Some rice cookers are a function of pressure cookers, which contain multiple other functions to saute, steam, and warm food.

Rice cookers range in price, from models perfect for the budget chef to feature-packed models for cooks with a heftier budget. Soon you can make your own perfect rice, too.

Why buy a rice cooker?

If you're still on the fence about whether or not you need a rice cooker, let's examine some of the reasons why you might buy one.

  • If you cook rice frequently, a rice cooker will save you a lot of time and effort over the years.

  • Rice cookers tend to give you much better and more consistent results than most people get when cooking rice in a pot on the stove.

  • You can use some rice cookers to prepare other dishes.

  • Using a rice cooker will free up space on your stove to cook other dishes.

  • You can set a rice cooker and leave it to do its work – no need for constant checking or stirring.

  • Many rice cookers have timers, so you can set yours in the morning and come home to a pot of fluffy rice, ready to eat.

Content Image
Expert Tip
A good rice cooker should also be able to make other grains just the way you like them.

Considerations for selecting a rice cooker


Rice cooker capacity is often described by cup. This can be confusing because some companies go by "cooked cup" whereas others go by "uncooked cup." However, you may also be able to find capacity listed in gallons, which might make things a little clearer.

Think about what sort of capacity you need – for instance, if you have a large family, or like to batch cook and store leftovers, you'll require a much larger capacity than if you only want to cook one or two portions of rice at a time.

Intelligent cooking

High-end rice cookers aren't just glorified electric steamers; they have microchips inside that check the temperature and other conditions inside the cooking pot. They adjust accordingly to give you perfect rice every time.

Most rice cookers use either "neuro-fuzzy logic" or "induction heating" to achieve this. Induction heating is slightly superior, as the chip can even adjust for measuring errors and still give excellent results.

However, rice cookers equipped with neuro-fuzzy logic are still far more effective than your average rice cooker.

"Rice cookers with intelligent cooking capabilities are worth it if you have cash, but a basic rice cooker is good enough for most home cooks."

Cooking pot material

Rice cookers tend to have cooking pots made from either stainless steel or non-stick coated aluminum. If you're no stranger to pots and pans, you probably have a preference already, but both materials have pros and cons.

For the sake of durability, you should use stainless steel. It's harder to clean if rice gets burned onto the bottom – but this shouldn't happen if you use your rice cooker correctly.

Non-stick is easier to clean, but it's not as long-lasting and some people question whether or not it contains harmful toxins.


Many rice cookers come with a timer, so you can put the rice and water in, then delay the start of the cooking cycle for up to 23 hours (depending on the model).

This is perfect if you have limited time to cook, as it makes dinner come together much more easily, especially if you get in late from work.

It also makes breakfast a breeze, as the majority of rice cookers can be used to make porridge, too.

Texture settings

Everyone has personal preferences when it comes to rice. Also, some dishes or types of rice call for different textures.

For instance, rice to go with Thai food should be soft and sticky, whereas an Indian curry might go better with a slightly firm Basmati.

Higher-end rice cookers offer a range of texture settings, so you make rice to suit all kinds of dishes.


  • There is a difference when it comes to water measurements for cooking brown rice and white rice. White rice requires about 1½  cups of water for every cup of rice, whereas brown rice requires 1¾ to 2 cups of water for every cup of rice.

  • Check the instruction manual to see how high you can fill the cooking pot of your rice cooker, or check for a max fill line. Rice expands a lot when it cooks, so overfilling your rice cooker could result in a mess.

  • After your rice cooker finishes cooking the rice, let it sit covered for about ten minutes, then fluff it with a fork for the best results.

  • For those with a sensitive palate, avoid a bland taste by adding a little salt when putting rice in your rice cooker.

  • Many rice cookers have a "porridge" function. This was designed to cook traditional Asian rice porridge, which is eaten for breakfast in many countries but can be used for regular porridge, too.

  • A rice cooker with a timer is a great option for busy working people or anyone who'd like to come home to a pot full of freshly cooked rice.

Content Image
Did you know?
Many rice cookers have steamer inserts, so you can steam vegetables at the same time as cooking your rice.

Rice cooker prices

You can buy a perfectly reasonable, basic rice cooker for not much more than the price of a family-sized, take-out meal, or you can pay hundreds of dollars for a deluxe model with all sorts of bells and whistles.

Here's what you can expect to spend on a rice cooker and what you'll get for your money.

Basic rice cooker

A basic rice cooker with just a few features, such as a timer and white vs. brown rice settings, should cost between $25 and $60, depending on the brand and capacity.

Mid-range rice cooker

A mid-range rice cooker with more features, one that comes from a well-known brand, or a multi-cooker that can also cook rice, will cost roughly $80 to $120.

High-end rice cooker

A top-of-the-line rice cooker with induction heating or neuro-fuzzy logic, plus all the texture settings and other features you could hope for, should cost about $200 to $400.

Content Image
Think about how often you'll use a rice cooker. If it will be an everyday gadget for you, it's worth spending out on a higher-end model.


Q. What if I don’t eat my cooked rice right away?

A. Life's unpredictable, and sometimes you might plan your dinner timing perfectly but still end up with your rice cooked 30 minutes before your main entree is ready. Or something might come up to push back dinner time. But don't worry, your meal needn't be ruined – most rice cookers have a "keep warm" function that keeps your cooked rice warm without burning or overcooking it.

Q. Should I buy a rice cooker with a glass or metal lid?

A. While it isn’t a main deciding factor, a glass lid can be useful for keeping an eye on how your rice is cooking. If you’re stuck between two models you like equally, you should use the one with a glass lid.

Q. Can I cook anything other than rice in my rice cooker?

A. This depends on the make and model of rice cooker you choose. Often, the more basic rice cookers are better at cooking non-rice foods than ones with neuro-fuzzy logic or induction cooking, as these are specially designed to "know" how to cook perfect rice. Non-rice foods that you might be able to make in your rice cooker include other grains, steamed vegetables, soups, stews, and risotto.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
See more
Our Top Picks