There are plenty of benefits to owning one of the
best small rice cookers — like actually being able to fit it in your cabinet or pantry when you're done — but high-quality small units are surprisingly hard to come by. Luckily, as per usual, the internet has you covered.
Rice roughly doubles in volume once it's done cooking, so 3 cups of uncooked rice will usually yield somewhere around 6 cups of rice. While that may seem like a significant amount on paper, it's actually just enough to feed a handful of people. Since some units can make up to
32 cups of cooked rice at a time, those that yield somewhere between 2 and 12 cups are considered smaller rice cookers.
Next, there's functionality to consider: There are tons of
inexpensive rice cookers that only cook rice, but for a few extra dollars, you can find gadgets that cook rice as well as other things like a small roast or a vegetables, too — that way, you're allotting precious counter space to a multipurpose appliance instead.
Scroll on for the best small
rice cookers on Amazon — they start at just under $25. We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
The Overall Best Small Rice Cooker
A best seller with over 6,000 reviews, the
Aroma Housewares rice cooker is one of the best small options on the market. First of all, it's quite versatile; thanks to its additional upper compartment, it can steam meat and vegetables while simultaneously cooking rice. Second, it's convenient; the nonstick aluminum is lightweight, compact, and easy to clean, while the lid is made from tempered glass so you can keep an eye on your food. Third, it's easy to use; this unit has a one-touch operation and automatically keeps your food warm when it's done cooking. The pot, lid, and steamer can all go into the dishwasher, too. Capacity: 3 cups uncooked, 6 cups cooked Color options: Black, red, white One reviewer wrote: "Took about 30 minutes to steam both the rice and slices of chicken I placed in the upper level. Chicken came out really tender and the rice was soft and sticky. Probably the best rice I’ve had in a long time."
The Most Affordable Rice Cooker
For less than $30, it doesn't get much better than the
Elite Cuisine rice cooker. This appliance does one thing — cook delicious, fluffy rice — but it does it well. It's simple to use with a single button, and it'll keep your food warm once it's finished cooking, too. The aluminum pot is removable for easy cleaning (though the manufacturer doesn't specify that it's dishwasher safe). Finally, you get a free measuring cup and spatula with each order. Capacity: 3 cups uncooked, 6 cups cooked Color options: White One reviewer wrote: "You can't ask for a better (introductory-level) rice cooker at a rock-bottom price! [...] If you are on a budget or want great value this is the product for you! I'm buying another one!"
The Most Compact Option — & The Most Colorful
If you're especially limited on storage or countertop space, the
Dash mini rice cooker is likely the best choice. It's extremely lightweight and compact (one reviewer photographed it next to a honey bottle for scale), but it still prepares up to 2 cups of cooked rice at a time, good for an individual or a couple. It has an easy-to-use design, while the interior pot is nonstick, removable, and dishwasher safe. Finally, it's available in five adorable colors, and each one comes with a matching paddle, measuring cup, and recipe guide. Capacity: 1 cup uncooked, 2 cups cooked Color options: Aqua, black, pink, red, white One reviewer wrote: "Perfect for dorm rooms. I'm a college student and I got this to feed myself rice for one person. It's super small and manageable, and the pink color is adorable!"
The Most Versatile Rice Cooker
With a capacity of 3 quarts (or 12 cups), this one's on the larger side of these small appliances — but for those who appreciate versatility, it's worth the extra room. The
Instant Pot Lux Mini can make up to 12 cups of cooked rice at a time, but it can also pressure cook a small roast, sauté vegetables, slow cook a stew, steam some chicken, and warm your dinner. The interior pot uses food-grade stainless steel that's dishwasher safe, and the exterior has a sleek finish and an easy-touch control pad that sets and displays the temperature and timer. It also comes with multiple accessories including a steam rack, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup, and recipe book. Capacity: 6 cups uncooked, 12 cups cooked Color options: Steel One reviewer wrote: "Bought it for my daughter in law who just wants to have a nice rice cooker — she is very happy that I bought her the instant pot instead!"