Waiting for water to boil can feel agonizing, especially when it’s standing between you and your caffeine fix. Whether you want to enjoy a nice cup of tea, or coffee out of a pour-over dripper or French press, an electric kettle can get you sipping quicker.
But the best electric kettles can do more than just heat water quickly. Some have digital temperature controls, automatic keep-warm functionality, and even temperature recommendations based on the type of tea you’re drinking. We’ve tested 16 some of the best electric kettles on the market, some first by former editor Jessica Teich, and some more recently by managing editor Meghan Kavanaugh.
Tea lovers have been all but ignored by big coffee fans. As they wax on and on about their favorite coffee maker and that brand new Keurig design, tea drinkers are out here wondering when someone’s going to clamor over the humble device that can deliver boiling water at a moment’s notice. Well, let us present: the clamor.
If you think about it, electric kettles should really be a must-have appliance for anyone who frequently needs boiling water — whether for tea, pasta, cof
fee, or even eggs (yes, eggs!). When pit against traditional stovetop kettles, electric kettles reign supreme. They’re quieter, provide faster results, and will keep your water warm for much longer than a stovetop pot. There’s also the fact that the aesthetics tend to be so much more appealing—unique and down-right attractive, even—than your grandma’s kettle.
Whether or not you’re someone who considers yourself a tea connoisseur or someone who knows a watched pot never boils, there’s really an electric kettle to fit your needs. Before you can start using one, though, you’ll need to pick up a good model. We’ve got a dozen to choose from.
Owning the best kettle possible is an essential for tea-loving Brits, but they come in handy even in countries that don’t worship leaf-and-boiling-water-based beverages. Kettles used to be simple things that boiled water, so you could make tea or, I dunno, Bovril or something. Now, thanks to all of us getting richer, at least statistically speaking, they’ve joined the premium kitchen tech consumer revolution. Though of course you can also still get cheaper ones. All told, there are a LOT of kettles available.
Many long hours were spent researching this buying guide, boiling water whilst clutching a decibel meter and stopwatch, testing the pleasingness of the pouring spout, and as far as possible, living with each kettle for a while.
Table of Contents
OUR TOP PICKS
AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Electric Kettle, 1.7-Liter
This kettle hits the sweet spot in the categories of value, size, functionality, and appearance,” writes one reviewer. Several others note the convenience of the shutoff feature: “It has saved me the problem of worrying about whether I remembered to turn the stove off in the mornings when I leave for work.” Even more are fans of the kettle’s small footprint. “It takes up only a small space on the counter and heats the water up very fast. The 2-foot cord wraps in a coil and is hidden in the bottom so you pull out only the length you need — no long cords on the countertop anymore. It is lightweight and pours easily with no spilling or dripping. It also looks very handsome and appears to be more expensive than it is.”
Featuring a clean, modern design, the AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Kettle complements function and form, perfect for everyday use or entertaining with guests. This 1.7 liter, 1500 watt cordless kettle allows you to boil water in a fraction of the time, making it quick and easy to prepare hot beverages such as herbal tea, French press coffee, cocoa, and more. Enjoy convenience at its best with this reliable electric kettle.
[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Boils fast at 2-4 min depending on water level
Stainless steel body
Great build quality
Uses Strix British Thermostat not some generic parts[/i2pros][i2cons]Boiling is roaring loud
hard to clean inside[/i2cons][/i2pc]
Mueller Premium Electric Kettle with SpeedBoil Tech and Auto Shut-off, 1.8 Liters
Mueller Premium 1500W Electric Kettle with SpeedBoil Tech, 1.8 Liter Cordless with LED Light, Borosilicate Glass, Auto Shut-Off and Boil-Dry Protection.Water does not lose its vibrancy since the longer it boils, the more it loses its flavor. You know when the water is boiled, since it will automatically shut of, and you can use it immediately.
Nearly 300 of the 14,500-plus five-star reviewers praise this electric kettle’s auto shutoff mechanism, which stops the kettle once the water hits boiling temperature. “I never need to worry about it heating a dry kettle or over boiling, and it’s literally a ‘one-button’ operation,” explains one reviewer who appreciates the auto shutoff feature, adding that the kettle boils much faster than her previous stove-top kettle. Another customer, who agrees that this kettle is fast and uses it in lieu of a stove-top model, appreciates that it is “reliable and eliminates listening for the whistle of the old stove-top kettle to catch it before it boiled itself dry!” Many other customers describe the kettle as “reliable” and “durable” — hundreds note that they’ve had it for years — including one who trusts it to purify their water because the auto shut off indicates when the water is boiling “to kill any bacteria that was in my water. I could cool [it] down and put in the fridge and drink later.”
[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Heats up very quickly – definitely faster than equivalent amount of water in stove top tea kettle.
LOVE the Auto shut off feature.
Nice compact size not too large
Easy to fill
Push button lid –easy on/off for cleaning.
Very attractive on our counter[/i2pros][i2cons]no specific temperature control[/i2cons][/i2pc]
This glass electric kettle is slightly smaller than the one above, but it’s also roughly half the price, and reviewers are similarly impressed with it. “Not only does it look great on the counter, it brings water to a boil FAST,” one says. Another writes, “It hits a roiling boil for a minute or two it shuts off to prevent problems. The blue light turns off so you know it will not boil over.” This blue light is something a quarter of reviewers mention as both an aesthetic quality and a good indicator. This kettle also beeps when you put it on the docking pad, which is a bit divisive, but one appreciates it because, “it lets me know that I’ve put it on there properly and when it’s done boiling it beeps too which is great.” Some reviewers also refer to this as a cordless kettle — meaning the cord isn’t attached to the actual kettle just the base — which is a selling point for many. Perhaps the most convincing review comes from someone who would rebuy this model if anything happened to their current one: “If it gave up the ghost tomorrow I’d still give it 5 stars because two years of service from a pot this reasonably priced is commendable.”
Save yourself from the health-associated risks of ingesting harmful chemicals that come from a kettle’s loose BPA particles. This fast-heating cordless boiler is BPA-free, and its heating element is concealed. You’ll be sure that what you’ll get is a clean drinking water that’s safe for you and your kids
[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]sturdy construction
boils full kettle fairly quickly
rotates on base, even when boiling- good for lefties
cord can wrap inside base (once or twice) for cord storage
auto shut off includes shutting off blue light, easy to see when off
[/i2pros][i2cons]Had to clean once as recommended in instructions, takes a day.
Cord a little short, this is to be expected for such a high amperage product.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
With a body made of high-quality, scratch-resistant borosilicate glass, this minimalist electric kettle has earned many raves for its looks. One reviewer explains, “My Manhattan kitchen is open and visible to the living room. Thus, aesthetics as well as durability and ease of use are important. To me, glass presented the most most attractive appearance. I searched online for weeks, reading reviews and looking at scores of kettles, finally settling on the Cosori.” Many users cite their fondness for the LED indicator. As one notes, “We love the clean glass look and the blue light around the rim as it heats up.” Another reviewer thinks it’s good enough to gift: “I drink a lot of tea, and this is way better than heating water up on the stove or waiting for water to boil in the microwave. Not to mention it’s much, much faster. I liked this so much I purchased a couple for gifts and paired it with some nice teas for my friends.”
Bpa free food-grade 304 stainless steel for both the inner lid and inner pot, 100% BPA free and will not contaminate liquids. Auto shut-off mechanism activates within 30 seconds after the water is fully boiling. Hard water is water that contains calcium or magnesium mineral ions often in the form of carbonate. These ions do not pose any health threat, but they can engage in reactions that leave insoluble mineral deposits. Hard water mineral deposits, or scaling, is the precipitation of minerals which form Lime scale. How to descale? 1. Fill the kettle with 1 cup of vinegar or lemon juice and 2 Cups of water. 2. Boiling the liquids and leave it for 2 hours, then use cloth to clean and wipe. 3. Rinse the kettle with clean water, and dry with a soft, clean cloth. 4. Repeat as needed. Note: its normal if your kettle exposes spot or rust on the stainless steel bottom after the first use, If the water quality in your area is so hard. Rated power: 1500W. Capacity: 1. 8 qt/ 1. 7 L.
[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Boils water
Boiled water is hot
Great for tea and coffee
It looks really cool with the blue light on the bottom
Turns off after stuff gets hot enough and you’re forgetful like I am.
[/i2pros][i2cons]I mean, it’s glass, so you probably don’t want to drop it on the floor.
Has not yet lowered my mortgage rate.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
“Super fast” is a phrase used by dozens of reviewers to describe this kettle from Hamilton Beach. “Fan-fricken-tastic! I love this electric kettle. It’s super fast, and super hot,” writes one satisfied customer, adding, “A bit noisy, but super quick.” Many also comment on the relatively small capacity, which is appreciated by those heating up water for one person at a time. “I really needed a small water boiler mostly for making tea and hot chocolate,” writes one college student. “So something small, not to take too much space, and preferably fast was needed. Since I live in dorms and I am not all the time in the room, I couldn’t go with something super cheap and neglect the safety aspect, but at the same time my budget is a bit limited since I am still a student. This water boiler was the perfect solution for me since it took into consideration all my concerns. I very much trust the brand, the price is affordable, and it is small and fast!”
Making your morning tea or instant oatmeal just got easier with the quick and convenient Hamilton Beach 1 Liter Stainless Steel Electric Kettle. Heat water faster than a microwave and safer than a stovetop kettle, all with the push of a button. The powerful rapid-boil system provides fast heating so within minutes you’ll have boiling water ready for everything from hot chocolate to instant soup. And with its 1-liter capacity, there’s enough hot water for the whole family.
Hamilton Beach products are thoughtfully designed to make your life easier. We use consumer insights, in-depth research and rigorous testing to deliver the best solution to your everyday needs.
[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” ][i2pros]Mostly metal where it matters (there is a plastic rim around the lid though)
Plastic filter that comes with kettle is REMOVABLE
Very sturdy – lid opens easily and well, and the base actually feels heavier than our old 1.7L one
Very good bang for your buck[/i2pros][i2cons]Since the lid is mostly metal it gets really hot, making refills right after boiling a bit difficult,[/i2cons][/i2pc]
How to choose a kettle
There are two main types of kettle: jug and dome. Jug kettles are taller and tend to have a sharp spout for splash-free pouring. They also have their handle on the side and will generally hold a larger volume of water.
Dome-shaped kettles are more traditional, looking like the classic stovetop models. Electric dome kettles often have lift-off lids, which can be a bit more fiddly than flip-top models, and usually have a smaller water capacity than jug kettles. Their handles are often on the top.
A power element of 3kW is generally the fastest, and all of our top-scoring kettles have this wattage. If waiting for your kettle to boil isn’t a major issue for you, a lower wattage will work just as well. It’s worth bearing in mind though that these models can take much longer and use more energy to make your cuppa.
Kettles with a higher wattage tend be noisier. Look for models approved by Quiet Mark, who test the noise level in decibels – anything considered “good” by Quiet Mark should be quiet enough.
Typically, kettles can hold between 1.5 and 1.7 litres of water. An average cup of tea is 250ml, so you should be able to boil enough for 6-7 cups at a time. If you’re just putting on the kettle for one cup of tea, it’s worth checking the minimum capacity your kettle can boil. Most models have a minimum level clearly marked.
Kettle features to consider
Water level indicator
Most kettles have this clearly visible on the exterior but some are more awkwardly placed, such as behind the handle. Kettles with large viewing windows are best if you want to know exactly how much water is in the kettle at any time.
Variable temperature kettles can heat the water to different temperatures to provide the best results when brewing different types of tea and coffee. It’s a handy feature if you like to drink more delicate herbal and green teas, which should be brewed below boiling.
Some kettles have additional smart features, such as allowing you to set the kettle to boil from your phone using an app or check the water temperature. Other smart features include pre-programmed temperature buttons for different hot drinks and a “keep warm” setting to retain the water temperature for a certain amount of time.
For every millilitre of water you add to your kettle, an extra gram is added to its overall weight, meaning they can get quite heavy. If lifting may be an issue, look for a model that weighs no more than a kilogram when empty.
It’s also worth checking the position and shape of the handle, which may affect the balance when pouring and filling. Some handles have a soft, rubberised area.
Most kettles have removable, washable anti-scale water filters that sit at the base of the spout. These collect pieces of limescale from the water to prevent them from being poured into your drink, and they stop scum forming on the surface.
Boil dry protection
With this feature, the kettle automatically switches off if there isn’t enough water inside. This reduces the risk of it burning dry and causing damage. It is equally important to check the water gauge to make sure your kettle hasn’t been overfilled, which could boil over and be a safety hazard.
You’ll find the majority of kettles on the market have a pirouette connector centre, which simply means you can place the kettle on the base to face in the direction most convenient for you. All of the kettles in our top 10 have this feature. Some bases also have an additional cable storage feature underneath for tucking away any excess cord.
The external casing of some kettles can get extremely hot. Often, those with a brushed stainless steel exterior reach hotter temperatures than other materials – not ideal if you have young children in the kitchen. Kettles with an auto shut-off feature will automatically stop when water begins to boil or if the kettle is lifted from its base.
Keep an eye out for “quick boil”, “one cup” or eco-friendly kettles. These can produce a cup’s worth of boiling water in less than a minute and use up to 50% less energy. Kettles with auto shut-off features also help to prevent too much electricity being wasted and the kettle boiling dry.
How we test kettles
Kettle testing at the Good Housekeeping Institute is thirsty work – the 80 kettles we’ve put to the test over the years have made enough hot water to brew us 1,888 cups of tea. Our tests involve more than just sipping hot drinks all day, though.
We check the accuracy of filling each kettle from a tap and the pouring precision into a hot water bottle, checking for splashing and spillages. Next, we monitor how long it takes to boil each kettle at different capacities. We also check the temperature of the external casing when water is freshly boiled – some kettles get extremely hot and extra care needs to be taken when picking up to pour.
We look at how easy the kettle is to use based on how clear the water level gauge is to see, if the filter is easy to remove for cleaning and refit, and how comfortable the kettle is to hold. The overall design is also taken into account, as well as how clear and concise the instructions are.
Q. What’s the correct temperature at which to brew tea?
A. This depends on the type of tea you’re making, as some are more delicate than others. Herbal tea and black tea are robust and are best brewed using water at a full boil. Green tea and white tea require lower water temperatures for brewing — ideally 150°F to 180°F for green tea and 160°F for white tea.
Q. How do I keep my electric kettle clean?
A. You don’t need to wash the inside of an electric kettle since you only ever put water in it, plus it sanitizes itself when it boils. You may, however, want to remove limescale buildup on occasion. You can do this by filling the kettle with a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar and leaving it to soak overnight before wiping the interior to remove it (the limescale will come off easily after being soaked), and rinsing thoroughly to remove the vinegar flavor. You can also buy commercial descaling products.