Top 10 Best Stable Diffusion Models You Need to Try

Stable Diffusion is taking the world by storm, allowing anyone to generate images using AI technology in various styles. You can generate a photorealistic.
Top 10 Best Stable Diffusion Models You Need to Try

Stable Diffusion is taking the world by storm, allowing anyone to generate images using AI technology in various styles. You can generate a photorealistic image of a person, or a highly detailed digital illustration of a landscape, all at the click of a few buttons. By utilizing a carefully crafted prompt and a specific trained model, you can create high-quality images that can be used in a variety of projects.

With so many options, finding the perfect model for your idea can be hard. AI enthusiasts aren't afraid to mix and match different models, train new models on specific datasets, and even create their own custom models.With this growing community, creativity is taking off when it comes to using Stable Diffusion in projects. Alongside Stable Diffusion, AI website builder, chatbots, and image recognition tools are also gaining traction, offering a wide array of innovative solutions to fuel the AI-driven revolution.

To help get you started, here are 10 of the best stable diffusion models to try out!

Table of Contents

  1. What is a Stable Diffusion Model?
  2. What’s the Difference Between CKPT and SafeTensor?
  3. Top 10 Stable Diffusion Models
  4. Realistic Vision
  5. DreamShaper
  6. AbyssOrangeMix3 (AOM3)
  7. Anything V3
  8. MeinaMix
  9. Deliberate
  10. Elldreths Retro Mix
  11. Protogen
  12. OpenJourney
  13. Modelshoot

What is a Stable Diffusion Model?

To explain it simply, Stable Diffusion models allow you to take control over the style of your image generations. Using a model that was trained specifically on real-life images will produce realistic results, such as a photorealistic portrait. On the other hand, using a model trained on watercolor illustrations will give you an image that looks like it was painted in the same style.

Users are creating, mixing, and coming up with new models every day. With training becoming easier and faster, it doesn't take long for a model to pick up the intricate details and nuances of a style. This opens up the possibility to train models for very specific styles and purposes.

In this article, we're looking at "checkpoints" which are ".ckpt" files used to store the weights of a model. You can use these checkpoints to generate images in a certain style without having to input complicated prompts.

What’s the Difference Between CKPT and SafeTensor?

Model data files are used to save the information learned by a machine learning model. There are two types of model data files: .ckpt and .safetensor. These files contain the same information, but .safetensor files are considered to be safer because they do not use the pickle module.

The pickle module in .ckpt files can be exploited by malicious actors to execute arbitrary code, which can harm your computer or compromise your data. It's important to be cautious when using .ckpt files and to only use them from trusted sources. As a general rule, never unpickle data that may have come from an untrusted source or that may have been tampered with.

In summary, while both types of model data files use the same data sets to generate images, .safetensor files are a safer option due to the vulnerabilities associated with the pickle module in .ckpt files.

Top 10 Stable Diffusion Models

We've compiled the 10 best Stable Diffusion models you can use to generate stunning images in a variety of styles. Whether you're looking to get photorealistic results or going for the illustration look, these models will help you get the job done.

To give each model a fair chance, we've tested them all with the same inputs: a portrait, a landscape, and an illustration. All other settings are according to the current AUTOMATIC1111 web UI defaults. This way, we can compare each model's results for various input types.

Ready to see what's out there? Here are our top 10 models!

1. Realistic Vision

realistic vision

Realism is one of the hardest subjects when it comes to AI image generation. Because our eyes are trained to recognize the smallest details and imperfections, it's difficult for a machine to generate a photo-realistic image. However, Realistic Vision has been able to generate stunning results with its trained model.

The model was able to produce a realistic portrait of a woman that fits our prompt almost perfectly, the only struggle area being the "white background." On the other hand, the landscape is stunning and captures the natural beauty of the scene with great accuracy. Finally, the illustration shows off Realistic Vision's ability to pick up on details and nuances of digital art.

We recommend this model to anyone looking to produce photorealistic images with AI. Keep in mind that with the use of prompt engineering, a higher step count, and other techniques, you can get even better results. We recommend reading the Civitai page to learn more about the recommended settings for this fantastic model.

2. DreamShaper


DreamShaper steps more into the illustration style with its beautiful digital art feel. This model shone particularly well on the portrait prompt, creating a stunning piece of art that captures the feeling and stylistic elements of the subject.

On the landscape, DreamShaper was able to create an interesting and complex image with vibrant colors and fascinating details. The illustration shows off vibrant colors and a variety of shapes that bring the image to life.

This model is recommended for anyone looking to create illustrations with their AI models. Also, you can use various settings to make sure the results look more like digital art pieces. We recommend trying out different step counts and prompt engineering techniques with this model to get the best results.

3. AbyssOrangeMix3 (AOM3)


AbyssOrangeMix3 is a wonderful model for illustrations. The model is quite stylized, as seen in our examples. Even with minimal prompting, the model came up with interesting images with intricate details, like the hat on the portrait, or the ice cubes and lime slice in our illustration.

This model is another take on the "anime" style, as it focuses on vibrant colors and interesting shapes. On the landscape input, AOM3 was able to produce an interesting composition with minimal prompting, which is quite impressive.

We recommend this model to anyone looking for something less realistic illustration style with a heavy stylization that leans toward a Japanese style. With minor tweaks and a fitting VAE, you'll be able to bring all of your ideas to life.

4. Anything V3

anything v3

Anything is a model trained for "anime" style images, meaning that most generations will fall into a heavily stylized illustration style. Fans of the Japanese genre can rejoice, as the Anything model is carefully engineered to produce these types of images.

This is particularly visible with our portrait prompt, as the model generated a youthful heroine with intricate details. Regardless of its cartoonish look, Anything was able to produce a stunning landscape with soft colors. Finally, the illustration showed off Anything's ability to generate complex shapes and elements in its output.

If anime-inspired images are what you're looking for, Anything is the model for you. We recommend playing around with VAE to get the most out of this fantastic Stable Diffusion model.

5. MeinaMix


MeinaMix is one of the most popular models available for good reason. This model is able to generate wonderful illustrations with a distinct painting-like quality. Much like the Anything model, MeinaMix is focused on an animesque style when it comes to people, but it's more than capable of generating complex illustrations, too.

MeinaMix is a model that's made of different models. Its creator took the best parts of several other models and essentially put them all together to create a new, better model. This means that you get the best of all worlds for your outputs.

This is a great model to use if you're looking for digital art output. One thing to note is that MeinaMix heavily focuses on a Japanese style when it comes to humans, so don't expect to generate photorealistic people with this one.

6. Deliberate


"This model provides you the ability to create anything you want," says the creator of this incredible Stable Diffusion model.

Unlike the other models on our list, Deliberate requires you to provide a more thorough prompt in order for it to deliver optimum performance. For this reason, we entered more detailed prompts when testing the example data so that its potential is fully realized.

Deliberate uses a style that's best described as a blend of digital art and realism, which is especially seen in our portrait prompt. The image came out looking like a wonderful work of art, with vibrant colors and intricate details.

The landscape generated by Deliberate also looks amazing, showing off a range of shapes and textures that bring the image to life. All in all, Deliberate is a great choice if you're looking for an AI model that can create complex illustrations with realistic elements.

7. Elldreths Retro Mix

elldreths retro mix

As the name suggests, Elldreths Retro Mix is a model inspired by vintage artwork. It uses a combination of colors, shapes, and textures to create the perfect retro vibe for your illustrations.

Our illustration prompt was a great example of this, as the image generated had an aged feel that would be hard to replicate without AI models such as this one. The colors pop, but they look like something out of an old comic book. This AI model is perfect for creating vintage-style illustrations, and it should definitely be high on your list if this is the type of artwork you're looking to create.

Overall, Elldreths Retro Mix is a fantastic Stable Diffusion model that can bring your retro ideas without the hassle of manually editing them. It's easy to use and produces beautiful results that capture a unique style. If you're looking for vintage-style art, this model is definitely one to consider.

8. Protogen


Protogen is another photorealistic model that's capable of producing stunning AI images taking advantage of everything that Stable Diffusion has to offer. Unlike most other models on our list, this one is focused more on creating believable people than landscapes or abstract illustrations.

We tested Protogen by entering a portrait prompt and were amazed by the results. The output was a photo-like image that was incredibly detailed and lifelike.

What makes Protogen so fascinating is its utilization of Granular Adaptive Learning, a machine-learning strategy that focuses on fine-tuning the lesson rather than making sweeping adjustments to the model. This approach enables the model to be modified in order to accommodate specific features or patterns within data, without relying heavily on general trends.

9. OpenJourney


OpenJourney is a model inspired by Midjourney, a Discord-based AI that was used to generate artwork. This model is focused on creating art pieces and landscapes, both of which are stunningly beautiful. It's important to note that the model performs better when more prompts are given, but we decided to stay with our default simple prompts.

The results were impressive nonetheless, as OpenJourney was able to generate images that look like they could have been made by a real artist. In conclusion, OpenJourney is an AI model that stands out for its ability to turn simple prompts into stunningly beautiful pieces of digital art.

With its unique style, OpenJourney is an excellent choice for those looking to create something special with their AI illustrations.

10. Modelshoot


Modelshoot impressed us with incredibly realistic images created from simple prompts. The model's ability to replicate photo-realistic images is impressive, and it can be used for a variety of purposes such as creating beautiful portraits or background images.

The results are amazing, and this AI model is perfect for anyone looking to create stunning visuals that look like they've been shot by a real photographer. This style especially came through in the landscape. It seems like we sent out a photograph rather than a prompt, as the generated image was incredibly detailed and accurate in its representation of something you'd see in real life.

All in all, Modelshoot is an AI model that can create stunning photo-realistic images with ease. It's perfect for creating professional-looking visuals without having to do any real photography.

How to Install a Stable Diffusion Model

Installing your chosen Stable Diffusion model is relatively simple and can be done in a few simple steps.

  1. Download the model from its source repository. Depending on which platform you’re using, this step may vary slightly.
  2. Once downloaded, navigate to your Stable Diffusion folder, and place the .ckpt or .safetensors file in the "models" > "Stable-diffusion" folder.

That's it! Your model should now be ready to use. Simply launch it and enjoy the amazing results!


Stable Diffusion is a powerful tool for creating AI-generated images. With its wide variety of models, you can create anything from abstract art to photo-realistic landscapes with ease. Whether you're looking for vintage-style art or something more contemporary, Stable Diffusion has something for everyone.

We hope this article has given you an idea of what's possible with the platform and that it helps you find the perfect model for your project. Happy exploring!

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