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Best rice cookers: 9 great gadgets for perfect fluffy rice

Tired of rice that’s soggy, crunchy or never quite right? Feast your eyes on our roundup of the best rice cookers for perfect rice every time.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Aug 10, 2023


Rice can be temperamental to say the least. When you want to be able to give your attention to the main part of your meal, you need something that makes sure your rice doesn’t boil over, run out of water or end up soggy or underdone.

Mumsnetters have a wealth of wisdom when it comes to the best way to prepare rice, with recommendations for rinsing, water ratios and the ever-controversial question of whether to cover the pan or not. However, most agree that a rice cooker is the best shortcut to perfectly cooked and reliably delicious rice - the kind you’d be served in a restaurant.

There are loads of different styles, brands and models on the market and deciding which rice cooker is best for you and your family can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve scoured the Mumsnet forums for rice cooker recommendations from families that have actually used them.

After nailing perfect rice, you might want to stock up on additional appliances for your kitchen. Luckily, Mumsnetters really know their stuff when it comes to quality products and we have guides to the best kettles, the best toasters, the best microwaves, the best food steamers, the best soup makers and the best blenders, all featuring tried and tested recommendations.

Best rice cookers at a glance

1. Best overall rice cooker: Zojirushi Rice Cooker

Zojirushi Rice Cooker

Price on writing: £230 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Capacity: 0.5 litres | Size: 36 x 27 x 23cm

What we like

  • Settings for white, sushi, long grain, brown and congee rice

  • Makes enough rice for up to 5 people

  • Keeps rice warm until ready to serve

What we don't like

  • Smaller capacity if you are using Thai or basmati rice

  • Pricey

What Mumsnet users say

"Another zojirushi owner here. Was expensive but used every day for about 10 years now. Makes family meals much easier and perfect rice every time." - DiDonk

Our verdict

We love this fail-safe rice cooker from Japanese brand Zojirushi because it’s easy to use and makes soft, fluffy rice every time, without the crispy bottom many cheaper rice cookers can leave you with. It can make enough rice for up to 5 people at once, and has settings for white, sushi, long grain, brown and congee rice.

It’s pricey but it’s a great investment if you eat rice several times a week. Mumsnetters love its simplicity - just add rice and water, let it do its thing and it’ll keep the rice warm until you’re ready to serve.

Read next: The best microwaves, as tested by families

2. Best budget rice cooker: Sistema Microwave Rice Cooker

Sistema microwave rice cooker

Price on writing: £11 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Capacity: 2.6 litres | Size: 21 x 19 x 16cm

What we like

  • Super simple to use

  • Rice stays warm until it's opened

  • Affordable buy

What we don't like

  • Small capacity

  • No exciting extras

  • No digital display

What Mumsnet users say

"The microwave one is excellent and about £8 from Sistema" - Soupnsalads

Our verdict

This microwave rice cooker by Sistema is a total bargain. Just add the correct amounts of rice and water, stick it in the microwave and ta-da: perfect rice. The clever design means rice stays warm and moist inside the container until it’s opened, and the cool-touch handles will stop you from burning your fingers on the steam. It can also be used for polenta and couscous; just make sure you read the manual to ensure you get the quantities just right.

Read next: The best toasters to buy, according to Mumsnet users

3. Best rice cooker for families: Tefal 8-in-1 Multicooker

Tefal Multicook rice cooker

Price on writing: £75 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Capacity: 5 litres | Size: 29x26x30cm

What we like

  • Extremely versatile

  • Handy keep-warm feature

  • Particularly good at cooking perfect pilau rice

What we don't like

  • Lacks a congee rice function

  • Takes a bit of practice to get things right

What Mumsnet users say

"We have the Tefal 8-in-1 rice cooker and love it, it has a timer and keep warm function so I can put on earlier in the day and not have to think about it anymore. It makes very good rice, which is something I certainly wouldn't manage in the hob while juggling 3 DC and cooking dinner" - Duckchick

"Another vote for the Tefal 8-in-1 cooker. Makes amazing pilau rice. Of course you can do the same in a pan on the hob but with a rice cooker, you throw everything in, switch it on and that’s it, leaving you to focus on making the curry or whatever" - FamilyOfAliens

Our verdict

If you’re after something more versatile than a rice cooker, look no further than the all-singing, all-dancing Tefal 8-in-1 Multicooker. Not only will it make perfect rice as well as any other rice cooker, you can also rely on it to make porridge, slow-cooked chilli, steamed veggies and puddings.

Like other slow cookers, there’s a delay-start function, so you can time your rice to be ready when you get in. It’s got a handle for easy moving around the kitchen or to the dining table, plus all the accessories are dishwasher safe.

Read next: The best kettles to buy for brilliant brews

4. Best multifunction rice cooker: Yum Asia Sakura Rice Cooker

Yum Asia rice cooker

Price on writing: £140 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Capacity: 1.5 litre | Size: 39 x 29 x 24cm

What we like

  • Excellent for sticky/sushi rice

  • Can keep rice warm for 24 hours

  • 8-portion capacity

What we don't like

  • The large buttons and bright display aren't to everyone's taste

What Mumsnet users say

"We eat a lot of sushi/sticky rice. I now have the Yumasia Sakura. It makes fantastic rice and I find the ‘keep warm’ function useful too" - boatyardblues

Our verdict

Mumsnetters say this Sakura rice cooker from Yum Asia is up to any rice-based challenge. Not only will it perfectly cook any type of rice you happen to put in it, the multifunctional cooker can also handle soups, cakes and even yoghurt making.

It’ll keep rice warm for up to a whopping 24 hours, and makes enough for eight hungry people. Its state-of-the-art control panel is easy to navigate and it has an extra-tough ceramic inner bowl. The cooker uses fuzzy logic technology to ensure rice is cooked to be just as good as the rice you’d eat in any Asian restaurant.

Read next: The best food steamers to buy

5. Best one-person rice cooker: Lakeland Mini Electric Rice Cooker

Lakeland rice cooker

Price on writing: £45 | Buy now from Lakeland

Key specs

Capacity: 500ml | Size: 16.5 x 14.5 x 19cm

What we like

  • Compact design

  • Very simple to use

  • Delay-start timer

What we don't like

  • Small capacity, so not ideal for large families

What Mumsnet users say

"Rice cookers are great, Lakeland does a fantastic small one, perfect for one hungry person" - homemadecommunistrussia

Our verdict

For a fuss-free automated rice cooker that doesn’t take up too much worktop space, check out this dinky model from Lakeland. Its simple controls and ability to whip up fluffy, effortless rice make it a hit with Mumsnetters. It’s perfect for a family of two, and it’ll even make you breakfast with its porridge function.

This hard-working little machine’s got a delay-start timer and will keep its contents warm for up to 12 hours, taking the pressure and precision out of rice cooking.

Read next: The best soup makers to buy, as tested by families

6. Best microwave rice cooker: Joseph Joseph Microwave Rice Cooker

Joseph Joseph rice cooker

Price on writing: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Capacity: 2 litres | Size: 22 x 13 x 18cm

What we like

  • Sleek, compact design

  • Fitted with a colander for rinsing rice

  • Very easy to use

What we don't like

  • Basic with no extra features

  • Quantities need to be exactly right

What Mumsnet users say

"I have an amazing Joseph Joseph one that goes in the microwave. Not bulky like an electric rice cooker, but makes great rice" - Peony99

"Another vote for the Joseph Joseph one, great rice every time and it's good for porridge too" - ContadoraExplorer

Our verdict

Almost too beautiful for something you put in the microwave, we love the look of this Joseph Joseph rice cooker as much as the rice it cooks. The rice paddle cleverly slots into the lid to lock it, plus it provides handles for lifting it out of the microwave with ease.

Reviewers advise reading the instructions to make sure you get the quantities right - microwave rice cookers aren’t as sensitive as electric ones. It comes complete with a colander for rinsing uncooked rice, and you can even use it for steaming vegetables and cooking pasta.

7. Best quick rice cooker: Instant Pot 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot rice cooker

Price on writing: £90 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Capacity: 6 litres | Size: 31 x 34 x 31cm

What we like

  • Cooks rice in four minutes

  • Also works as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yoghurt maker and hob

  • Dishwasher-safe inner pot

What we don't like

  • Lots of settings that you may not use if you are only looking for a rice cooker

What Mumsnet users say

"I love mine, took a bit of getting used too but now I cook most meals in it. I use the slow cooker function for Currys, Bolognese etc. Rice cooker function most days. Make yogurt in it overnight which is so easy with uht milk. Bake cheesecake in it. I love that it cooks risotto in 8 minutes without all the stirring and adding stock. Cooks a whole chicken in 30mins which came in handy last Sunday for unexpected guests." - gaggiagirl

Our verdict

A cult favourite among Mumsnetters, the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker cooks all sorts of dishes up to 70% faster than traditional methods, with rice taking just four minutes. Their motto is “set it and forget it”, and you can cook up to five dishes at once within the magical gizmo.

Reviewers say rice isn’t the Instant Pot’s strongest or simplest suit, but if you’re looking for a pressure cooker that’ll produce great rice in a flash, this is the one for you.

8. Easiest-to-use rice cooker: Reishunger Rice Cooker and Steamer

Reishunger rice cooker

Price on writing: £50 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Capacity: 1.2 litres | Size: 27 x 27 x 26cm

What we like

  • Simple one-button design

  • Makes rice for up to six people

  • Keeps rice warm for up to eight hours

What we don't like

  • Not suitable for whole family meals

What Mumsnet users say

"It has made a huge difference. Perfect rice every time" - willowstar

Our verdict

Reishunger has created this super-simple, one-button rice cooker that makes rice for one to six people. It’ll keep warm for up to eight hours, and takes about 15 minutes to cook a portion of white rice.

It’s super easy to clean thanks to the honeycomb textured interior and great quality non-stick coating. The rice cooker comes with a handy steamer insert so you can cook your veggies at the same time, and it’s suitable for any type of rice.

9. Best pressure cooker for rice: Crock Pot Express Programmable Multi Cooker

CrockPot rice cooker

Price on writing: £99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Capacity: 5.6 litres | Size: 34 x 30 x 34

What we like

  • Huge 5.6-litre capacity

  • Excellent for risottos

  • Keep warm feature

What we don't like

  • Pricey

  • You may want to consider a rice cooker with a smaller capacity if you don't have a big family

  • Short power cord

What Mumsnet users say

"I've got the Crock Pot Express. I love it. As others have said, the risottos are amazing and so easy" - AngelsWithWings

Our verdict

For a pressure cooker that’ll take care of almost everything, the CrockPot Express is a godsend. With pressure cooking, slow cooking, steam and saute functions, it really earns its place on your kitchen worktop, reducing time and effort for a whole host of recipes.

Reviewers say the power cord isn’t very long, so it’s worth making sure you have space near a power source before buying, but other than that, it’s a brilliant all-rounder.

How do rice cookers work?

The basic function of a rice cooker is to keep moisture in and heat rice evenly, so the rice absorbs just the right amount of water, ensuring that it doesn’t get crispy or burned on the bottom of the pan. Electric rice cookers use ‘fuzzy logic’ technology, an advanced microprocessor that adjusts weight, water volume and temperature throughout the cooking process to give consistent results every time, while microwave rice cookers rely on exact amounts of rice and water being added.

Are rice cookers good for all types of rice?

Yes! The amount of cooking time and water will vary, but rice cookers can generally deal with any kind of rice, including basmati, pilau, Jasmine and sushi rice.

Are rice cookers worth it?

If you eat rice regularly, a rice cooker will take all the stress out of what can be quite a high-maintenance side dish. It’ll mean your rice is taken care of and kept warm until you’re ready to eat it, plus it won’t take up space on the hob while you’re preparing other things.

What is the best rice cooker to buy?

Zojirushi is the best rice cooker to buy. We love its high-quality Japanese design and the  delicious rice it whips up.

How we chose our recommendations

When compiling our list of recommendations, our team of experienced, trusted parenting journalists spend hours researching every product category, using a variety of sources to analyse and evaluate which products perform best. Many of the recommendations for rice cookers came from Mumsnetters themselves who’ve spent hours of their time putting the products through their paces at mealtimes.

We searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which rice cookers Mumsnetters really rated and then researched expert review sites and retailers, such as Argos, Amazon and Currys, to allow us to accurately hone our list of tried-and-tested products.

During our research, we vetted each rice cooker, considering quality, ease of use and, of course, the ability to make great rice, to ensure they performed well across the board.

About the author

Poppy O'Neill is a Content Editor at Mumsnet and a mother of two. She's been researching and reviewing baby and child products for 2 years, with a particular focus on baby essentials, toys and books for toddlers, outdoor play equipment, as well as kitchen gadgets designed to make family mealtimes easier. From potties to paddling pools and bunk beds to bedtime stories, she loves to deep-dive into research and find the best products out there.

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Prices and availability checked and updated by MNHQ on 8th May, 2023