We’ve covered a lot of rice cookers but in this post we’re going small, identifying the best small rice cookers available today. These small rice cookers don’t take up a lot of space but still perform well.
These cookers are perfect for dorm rooms, small apartments, travel or for those who simply only need a small amount of rice at a time.
Best Small Rice Cooker
Small rice cookers pick up where the mini’s leave off. Starting at 3-cup capacity and topping off at less than 5-cups uncooked capacity. There’s a lot to choose from, especially at the 3-cup uncooked, 6-cup cooked size. See our top picks below.
Zojirushi 3-Cup (NHS-06)
Zojirushi is world-famous for making great great rice cookers so it’s no surprise that the NHS is first on our list at this size. What’s good for us all? Their most affordable rice cooker to date.
This particular model is a smaller rice cooker at just over 7 inches tall with a diameter of only 9 inches, with a different design than most Zojirushi. It has a 3 cup, good for feeding a couple of people at once.
The materials are all high quality, as they feature a stainless steel steaming tray, a non -stick cooking pan, measuring cup,serving spatula, and a transparent glass lid, and handles that remain cool so as not to burn you.
This cooker isn’t as fancy as higher end models as it only features a one button operation (on/off). It automatically shuts down and switches to keep warm (up to 5 hours) once your rice has finished cooking, which is certainly convenient.
It offers a steamer as well that is perfect for steaming vegetables or cooking protein so you can have a complete meal all at once.
This basic cooker should get the job done and is perfect for those on a budget, or for those who don’t have a lot of room to devote to kitchen appliances.
Three Strong Small Rice Cooker Alternatives
OSTER 3-Cup Rice Cooker (CKSTRCMS65)
We’ve taken an in-depth look at many different Oster rice cookers and they are all affordable, but this particular model may be the most affordable yet.
It is a 3 cup rice cooker (6 cups cooked) so it offers the most capacity of all the cookers we’ve discussed so far, and more importantly, despite its simple heating technology, it does a good job of cooking your rice thanks to its aluminum bowl that distributes heat evenly throughout the bowl.
You can steam food as well with the provided steaming basket, and both your rice and steamed food are visible for easy monitoring thanks to the tempered glass.
It has a standard keep warm settings and, bottom line, you won’t find a cheaper cooker than this Oster rice cooker.
Cuisinart 4-Cup Rice Cooker (CRC-400)
Not sure you’re going to see any rice cooker with this design. It’s certainly unique in form, and it’s the only rice cooker from Cuisinart on the list.
The exterior is made with stainless steel, and it comes with a steaming basket and nonstick aluminum bowl. The control panel only has one button to toggle between cooking and keep warm.
It has a 4 cup capacity (uncooked), which should be enough for 2-3 people at once.
One tip: Be sure to stay under the manufacturer’s stated capacity limit as some users have reported that it boils over if you try to fill it up too high.
Performance: It does a good job of cooking rice, and cooking it pretty fast as well in about 20 minutes. It can make brown rice as well but be sure to adjust your water levels accordingly as it doesn’t have a one touch setting on the control panel.
In other words, there’s no built-in cooking logic that is usually found in higher end rice cookers. But, even without that higher-end logic, the Cuisiart gets high points for not just it’s looks, but for it’s cooking capabilities, too.
Hamilton Beach 4-Cup Rice Cooker (37518)
We’ve covered the Hamilton Beach cooker in great detail here, but in summary, this is a durable an cooker with a 4 cup (uncooked) capacity that should be enough to feed a small family.
It too offers the ability to steam food in its provided steam basked, and has the ability to cook different types of rice at the touch of a button as well.
Suitable for cooking a whole meal, the integrated basket can steam poultry, seafood and vegetables while rice cooks beneath it.
The stand-out feature? Pre-programmed cook settings. They separate this Hamilton Beach unit from most other rice cookers at this price point.
Best Mini Rice Cooker
We definite Mini is any rice cooker made for less than 3 cups of uncooked, or 6 cups of cooked, rice. There’s two great picks in this category, on by Aroma and another by Dash.
Aroma Housewares Mi Mini Rice Cooker – 1.5-Cup
This is a small yet pretty powerful rice cooker from another heavyweight in the rice cooker market, Aroma.
It has a sleek all white color exterior, a removable non stick cooking pot, and is small enough to fit on the smallest kitchen countertops. Inf fact, it’s small enough to travel with as well since it has a lightweight handle that’s perfect for carrying.
It has a capacity of 3 (cooked) cups, which is perfect for a quick meal for 1-2 people. Even better, it has the ability to cook a wide variety of food, be it standard sushi white rice, brown rice, or soup with a touch of a button.
All things considered, Aroma Houseware’s Mi mini rice cooker wins for best mini rice cooker.
Runner Up: Mini Rice Cooker
Dash Mini Rice Cooker Steamer – 2-Cup
This mini rice cooker and steamer by Dash is a great 2-cup rice cooker. Getting high marks for reliably making great tasting rice, this cooker is simple to use for also cooking vegetables, soups and desserts.
A keep warm function maintains heat once cooking has completed. The Dash also features a non-stick coating, removable pot and cool-to-touch handles on each side.
In the box you’ll also find a spatula and measuring cup, too. A great mini rice maker at a great price.
Picking the right small or mini rice cooker
All of the options above are great choices. We recommend looking at each cooker that interests you and looking through all their features. Each cooker a lot more to offer than what we’ve covered here.