The confusion between a pressure cooker and an instant pot arises because of the different ways they are used. In fact, they are similar only in that both are designed to bring boiling water to a boil. Instant pots can be used directly from your stove while a pressure cooker is usually placed on a stove top before being brought to a low boil and is usually designed to take pressure from other sources of heat. While you may use the pressure cooker frequently, there are some differences that will help you know when you need to use one and what to look for.
If your main purpose is to boil water to make a variety of dishes then it is probably a good idea to go with an instant pot. You can use them as a substitute for pots, pans, and pressure cookers in order to get the job done quickly. When you do this, you are going to find that the pressure cooker does not become a primary heating element in your home. This means that you will have less work to do when you are ready to cook. You will also find that you do not have to constantly turn the valve or release the pressure so that you can increase the temperature.
If your primary use of a pressure cooker is to cook only a single type of food, then you should choose a pressure cooker that comes equipped with a built in timer. Many of these units have timers that will go off after a certain time to allow you to set the exact temperature. You will also be able to use your electric thermometer to check if the internal temperature is at the right level. This can save you a lot of time.
If you are looking for a simple way to cook foods, such as a meal, then an instant pot may be more suitable for you. These units are great for cooking in a large quantity and they come with large capacity. The main problem is that many of these units will not give you the same level of control that you would get from a pressure cooker. If you are using it as a substitute for a full-time appliance, then you may want to stick with using a pressure cooker.
This quick answer is a bit of a mixed bag. You will need to consider what type of pressure cooker you need, where you live, how often you are going to be using it, and what you want it for. If you just want to boil water for drinks or food preparation then an instant pot is probably not going to be suitable. On the other hand, if you are using the unit to prepare multiple dishes, like soups or pot roasts, then you might find that you need something that will cook more than just water and soup. Instant pots are usually designed with multi-purpose functions.
It will be important for you to consider what you intend to use the pressure cooker for and what you plan to cook. You can cook with either a stove top or electric pressure cooker. If you are only planning to use it for the purpose of steaming water then you might want to select a stove-top model. If you are going to use it frequently to cook food that is extremely high in moisture then you may want to think about purchasing a full-time appliance.