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15 Best Stable Diffusion Models You Should Try Out [2024]

With over 7000 models for Stable Diffusion published on various platforms and websites, choosing the right model for your needs is not easy. 

Moreover, many of these Stable Diffusion models are trained on specific styles or mediums rather than being general-use models. 

But now, some Stable Diffusion checkpoints are loved and used widely by users and are considered the best. 

In this article, I’ll share the best Stable Diffusion models you should try out to generate beautiful images. 

These checkpoint models are of a wide variety and can help you generate realistic images, anime or illustration pictures, etc. 

So, let’s get into it. 

Overview of Best Stable Diffusion Checkpoint Models

When it comes to checkpoint models, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Different types of images and styles require different checkpoint models. With extensive testing, I’ve compiled this list of the best checkpoint models for Stable Diffusion to cater to various image styles and categories.

  1. Best Overall Model: SDXL
  2. Best Realistic Model: Realistic Vision
  3. Best Fantasy Model: DreamShaper
  4. Best Anime Model: Anything v5
  5. Best SDXL Model: Juggernaut XL

Best Stable Diffusion Models

Here’s our collection of the best Stable Diffusion models. This list is based on personal tests and the quality of the output these models produce. 

1. SDXL 

The first and my favorite Stable Diffusion model is SDXL which is the official Stable Diffusion XL model released by Stability AI. 

This model is trained on 1024×1024 images thereby producing images of extreme detail and quality. 

The model is pretty good at realism but can also generate a wide variety of styles. In fact, I shared all the various Stable Diffusion styles that can be generated with this model. 

The SDXL model comes in two parts: the base model and the refiner model. For this, you might have to load the two models in Automatic1111 separately or use ComfyUI instead. 

Overall, SDXL can be your go-to model as it’s an all-rounder that can generate pretty much everything. 

However, it’s important to note that the model cannot generate legible text and isn’t well-trained for NSFW image generation. 

Still, it’s among my favorite SDXL models for generating extremely high-quality and detailed images. 

Key Features: 

  • Supports a wide range of styles
  • Perfect for realistic images
  • Cannot generate legible text
  • Works only with SDXL LoRA

2. Realistic Vision

Realistic Vision is the best Stable Diffusion model for generating realistic humans. It’s so good at generating faces and eyes that it’s often hard to tell if the image is AI-generated. 

The model is updated quite regularly and so many improvements have been made since its launch. 

Apart from humans, you can also use this model to generate animals, objects, and landscapes. However, don’t expect this model to generate any fantasy environments or images as it’s trained on real-life objects and images. 

Another thing I love about this model is that it nails the clothes every single time. The clothes it generates are highly detailed and very realistic. 

If you want to generate humans in Stable Diffusion, this is one of the best models out there. There’s also an inpainting version available which is just as good as the main checkpoint model. 

Key Features: 

  • Perfect for generating realistic humans 
  • Can generate objects, animals, and landscapes
  • Supports NSFW
  • Inpainting version available

3. DreamShaper

If you wish to dream with Stable Diffusion, then you should use the DreamShaper checkpoint model as it turns your dreams into reality!

This model can generate both realistic and anime/illustration-style images perfectly. There have been several updates to the model which has made this model quite popular as it’s been improved a lot. 

You can generate humans, animals, objects, landscapes, etc of all kinds using this model. Whether you want to achieve photorealism or want to do something a bit more fantastical, you can do so with DreamShaper. 

I’ve found myself using this model a lot for generating sci-fi images as it does them so well. This model understands sci-fi environments perfectly, it’s no joke! 

DreamShaper also has an inpainting version available which is also very good if you want to turn your boring images into something fun. 

Key Features: 

  • Perfect for photorealism and anime styles
  • Can generate humans, animals, objects, and landscapes
  • Supports NSFW
  • Inpainting version available
  • Good for sci-fi and cyberpunk styles

4. ChilloutMix

If you want to deviate away from photorealistic humans and want to generate humans that are realistic but too perfect, then ChilloutMix is the model you should try. 

This model is perfect at generating human anatomy making it great for generating humans. However, the humans it generates are a bit too perfect and have a shine on the skin. 

While it may not be realistic, it still looks good and the popularity of this model proves that a lot of people like it. 

This model perfectly generates humans but you can also use it to generate animals and objects. These are some good examples of sci-fi mecha objects and humans generated with this model. 

It’s also important to note that the model is heavily biased towards Asian faces, so it may not be perfect if you want to generate characters with other ethnicities. 

Key Features:

  • Generates perfect human anatomy
  • Can generate photorealistic images
  • Biased towards Asian faces
  • Works well with many LoRA models
  • Supports NSFW

5. Anything V5

If you want to generate anime images in Stable Diffusion, then Anything V5 is one of the best models out there for it. 

This model can generate beautiful characters and landscapes in the style of an anime or illustration which just looks gorgeous. 

The model is heavily biased towards generating female characters but you can also generate male characters using it. 

While I’m not huge into anime, I can safely say that Anything V5 covers a lot of anime art styles that are popular. 

The model also supports NSFW allowing you to create interesting versions of your anime waifu. 

Key Features: 

  • Perfect for anime styles
  • Can generate characters and landscapes
  • Biased towards generating female characters
  • Supports NSFW

6. epiCRealism

epiCRealism is another great Stable Diffusion model for generating realistic images but it has a more cinematic look to it due to better lighting and shadows. 

The model can also lean towards fantasy-like outputs but you’d have to use prompts properly to get that. 

I prefer this model especially when I want a more cinematic look to the images I’m generating. On top of that, it also generates really beautiful eyes. 

According to some comments, the model seems a bit resistant to LoRA models but that wasn’t the case when I tried the model. 

Overall, if you want to generate realistic images with better lighting and shadows, you should try this model. 

Key Features: 

  • Good for realistic images
  • Has a cinematic look and feel
  • Inpainting version available
  • Supports NSFW

7. ReV Animated

ReV Animated is another great model for generating images with fantasy, semi-realistic, and anime styles. 

One of the reasons behind the popularity of this model is its wide range allowing you to generate pretty much everything. 

If you look at the showcase of this model, you’ll find animated style, 3D style, illustration style, and many other styles. 

When I first started using Stable Diffusion, ReV Animated was the model I used frequently to explore various styles and ideas because it was able to do them successfully. 

So, if you’re someone who wants to explore what’s possible in Stable Diffusion, a model like ReV Animated is perfect for you. 

Key Features: 

  • Generates various styles 
  • Inpainting version available
  • Supports NSFW

8. CyberRealistic

CyberRealistic is a versatile realistic model that generates beautiful images of humans. This model’s specialty lies in effectively working with LoRA and textual inversion models. 

If you are looking for a model to combine other LoRA models with, then you’ll have success with the CyberRealistic model. 

The model can also generate animals and landscapes but I wouldn’t recommend it because the outputs aren’t that accurate. 

It’s also important to note that when using this model, you should use simple and short prompts to get better outputs. Overcomplicating the prompt could affect the anatomy and cause bad results. 

Key Features: 

  • Perfect for realistic images
  • Requires short and simple prompts
  • Works well with LoRA & Textual Inversion models
  • Inpainting version available
  • Supports NSFW

9. DreamShaper XL

If you’re a fan of using SDXL models, you should try DreamShaper XL. This is an SDXL version of the DreamShaper model listed above. 

Unlike the official SDXL model, DreamShaper XL doesn’t require the use of a refiner model. You can generate better humans, animals, objects, landscapes, and dragons with this model. 

I found this model perfect for generating highly detailed images that can be upscaled to extreme quality and look gorgeous. 

The model also works well with SDXL LoRA models allowing you to explore different styles using it. 

Key Features: 

  • Extremely detailed output
  • Can generate humans, animals, objects, and landscapes
  • Works well with SDXL LoRAs
  • Supports NSFW

10. AbsoluteReality

The AbsoluteReality model comes from the same author who made the DreamShaper model. The main difference between DreamShaper and this model is that AbsoluteReality aims more at achieving realism whereas DreamShaper is more art-oriented. 

Apart from this, AbsoluteReality is a model that works best with short and simple prompts. So, if you’re a beginner at prompting, you might enjoy using this model as you won’t have to write complex prompts. 

The model generates beautiful faces and also works with face model LoRAs allowing you to create beautiful portraits

It also seems to get body anatomy right most of the time and also generates beautiful detailed eyes. Overall, I like this model a lot because it’s very good at generating realistic humans. 

Key Features: 

  • Good at generating realistic humans
  • Works well with simple prompts
  • Inpainting version available
  • Supports NSFW

11. ToonYou

Want to create art with a cartoony style? ToonYou is the best Stable Diffusion model for creating stylistic and cartoonish images. 

The model generates humans, animals, objects, landscapes, and more perfectly. The cartoon style generated by this model is very cute as well. 

Again, the author of this model also recommends keeping the prompts short and simple to avoid bad outputs. 

One of the shortcomings of this model based on my tests was that although it generates a variety of cartoonish styles, the style of the face remains the same in all of them limiting you from generating varied face styles. 

Nevertheless, ToonYou is one of the best cartoon models for Stable Diffusion out there. 

Key Features: 

  • Perfect for cartoon-style images 
  • Can generate humans, animals, characters, landscapes, and objects
  • Supports NSFW

12. Juggernaut XL 

Juggernaut XL is an awe-inspiring model based on SDXL and is trained specifically for photography-style images. 

The model was also trained on some cinematic images which gives the output images a more natural and cinematic look. 

If you want to generate images that look like real photos, you’ll enjoy using this model a lot.

The details are very good and it can generate pretty much anything from humans to objects. Another great thing about this model is that it can generate full body shots as well unlike many models that are only trained on upper body shots. 

Key Features: 

  • Perfect for still photos and shots
  • Can generate humans, animals, objects, and landscapes
  • Works with SDXL LoRA models
  • Supports NSFW

13. GhostMix

GhostMix is a Stable Diffusion model for generating stunning artwork in various styles. You can generate characters, objects, landscapes, and more with this model. 

You can generate art in the style of paintings, illustrations, anime, and more. Moreover, the model combines well with art style LoRAs allowing you to explore even more art styles with GhostMix.

If you look at the showcase images of this model, you’ll be wowed by the variety of art styles this model can generate. 

Overall, if you’re looking for a model that can generate various art styles, you should use GhostMix. 

Key Features: 

  • Can generate a wide range of art styles
  • Perfect for characters, objects, and landscapes
  • Supports NSFW

14. epiCPhotoGasm

This model is trained to achieve photorealism without having to write excessive prompts. The example images of this model don’t have any negative prompts at all. 

That’s how good this model is at generating images. The model is specifically good at generating humans and animals but you can also use it for generating objects and landscapes. 

The output images of this model also have very good shadows and lighting giving a cinematic and professional look to them.

Key Features: 

  • Requires minimal prompting
  • Good at generating humans and animals 
  • Achieves photorealism with a cinematic look 
  • Supports NSFW
  • Inpainting version available

15. majicMIX realistic

The last model on our list is majicMIX realistic which is another realistic model for Stable Diffusion. 

This model is heavily tuned towards generating Asian faces but you can also generate humans with other ethnicities using negative prompts. 

In my tests, I found this model quite similar to Chillout Mix as they both have a similar style. 

Key Features: 

  • Can generate photorealistic humans 
  • Heavily trained on Asian faces
  • Inpainting version available
  • Support NSFW

Where To Find Stable Diffusion Models?

If you’re wondering where to find and discover more Stable Diffusion models, then you should check out Civitai

Civitai is currently the largest and by far the best platform to find Stable Diffusion models. You can find checkpoint models, LoRAs, textual inversion models, and everything in between. 

The best part about this platform is that you can also view what other members have generated using the models uploaded there. 

Think of it as a social media platform for Stable Diffusion users where you can discover models, appreciate other people’s work, and communicate with them through comments. 

However, I would also like to point out that while you’ll find thousands of models on Civitai, it’s always better to stick with 3-5 models only. 

If you’re a beginner, I would recommend you to try and test all the models listed in this article and then pick your favorite 3-5. 

Pick 1-2 models for each style or use case and that’ll be more than enough. You can always try new models being released but it’s good to have a few go-to models that you can rely on. 

Conclusion 

So, that concludes our list of the best Stable Diffusion checkpoint models. In this list, we’ve covered both Stable Diffusion 1.5 and SDXL models. 

If you’re only looking for SDXL models, check out our comparison guide here where I tested and reviewed some of the best models based on Stable Diffusion XL. 

As always, feel free to share your favorite Stable Diffusion models in the comments below.

Stable Diffusion Prompt Organizer

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