Looking for a kettle that will get you your morning cuppa as quickly and with as little fuss as possible? Whether you’re looking for the best cheap kettle or a bells and whistles smart kettle, we’ve brought the best of the best together to help you make your choice.
Picking the right water boiler for you may seem like an easy task, but there are some things to think about when you’re trying to make the best pick for your home.
Colour, finish and style are the first things to check. Will the new kettle match or clash with the other appliances in your kitchen? Several manufacturers offer kettles as part of a range including other small appliances such as toasters or microwave ovens making it easy to adopt a consistent look along the counter. A sleek, modern style may look out of place in a country kitchen; a coloured kettle may look odd alongside metal-finish appliances; a bright red kettle may stick out like a sore thumb – literally – but then that may be the bright jolt you’re looking for!
Most new kettles have a capacity in the 1.5 to 1.7 litre range (which is more than enough for a large pot of tea) but you may be able to settle for something smaller if you’re living alone or don’t have a lot of spare counter space. Look for a kettle with a measuring window, though: There’s no point in boiling a full kettle to make a single cup of tea or instant coffee.
Typical power ratings run between 2.5 and 3.0 kW. We expect the higher power to bring water to the boil more quickly but this will also depend on the configuration and positioning of the coil. If you’re an impatient type, you may be drawn to kettles with a rapid boil feature, but the improvement in boil time is not always significant.
Another feature you might want to check – especially if you live in a hard-water area – is a built-in water filter. The filter will delay or prevent lime build-up inside the kettle, especially on the heating element, maintaining efficiency and prolonging the life of the appliance. The trade-off here, though, is the cost of replacement filters which means it’s only worth considering for more expensive kettles.
Last but not least, you’ll want to consider your budget. We know that durability and customer satisfaction do not always correspond to the price paid. In general, feature heavy kettles cost more than basic models but there are many available that meet most buyers’ everyday requirements priced below 30 pounds.
The Best Kettles of 2017
Russell Hobbs 20070 Cambridge Kettle – Best Budget Choice (steel)
A no-frills pick with limited features, power rated at 3,000 watts, with a 1.7l capacity. A single cup of water boils from cold in less than a minute but there is no external water-level indicator; cups of water are measured by a plastic gauge inside the kettle. There is an easy-pour spout but the lid, which is not hinged, must be removed for refilling. There is no ‘power on’ light and the power lead is fairly short so the kettle will need to be sited near an electrical outlet. Despite the basic specifications, it does the job and will fit well in a kitchen with other brushed stainless steel appliances.
Andrew James Lumiglo Kettle – Best Budget Choice (plastic)
Our ‘budget’ pick in plastic-bodied kettles is part of a range including a toaster and coffee-maker. Power-rated at 3,000 watts, with a 1.7l capacity, it has a flip-lid that opens 90 degrees for easy filling. Fill-level is measured by a graduated window behind the handle and blue lights around the base glow when the kettle is turned on. We like the stylish look but the black plastic body will be a negative for some consumers who are wary of boiling water in plastic.
Morphy Richards Brita Electric Kettle – Best filter kettle
This kettle incorporates a true water filter that will prevent limescale in hard-water areas: A Brita filter sits in a basket beneath the lid, which has push-button, flip-opening. The basket capacity is two cups of water, which drips down through the filter into the kettle below; the filtering will need to be repeated for more cups. The filter-basket takes up room within the kettle, reducing the rated capacity to 1.5l but it has a standard 3,000 watts power-rating. We like the large, easy-to-read window on the side but buyers will weigh the ongoing expense of filters (which are expected to need changing monthly under normal conditions).
Russell Hobbs Buckingham 20460 – Best quiet boil kettle
It’s not packed with a load of special features but this kettle from Russell Hobbs does the basics very well, boiling quickly and quietly. It’s not silent, but it can bring a full 1.7l litre to the boil without interrupting your conversation even in a small kitchen.
It looks the part with the brushed stainless-steel finish perfectly complementing similar appliances and it is also pleasingly affordable and only just a bit more expensive than a budget option.
Bosch TWK3A033GB- Village Kettle – Best mid-range kettle
Spending a little more may allow a step-up in quality. We like the ‘coffee-pot’ look of the Bosch kettle and the two water-level windows, on each side. The capacity is 1.7l. There is a twist-lock lid and an in-spout filter to catch any lime flakes when pouring. It lacks ‘bells and whistles’ but boils quickly and pours well. This is another plastic bodied kettle but we find it strong and rely on the manufacturer’s reputation for reliability and durability.
Appkettle Smart Kettle Android 2400W – Best smart kettle
We couldn’t complete our review of best kettles without including the Appkettle. This a high-end kettle that incorporates a lot of technology to provide a range of features that owners may find useful: water can be heated to any temperature; volume-sensing allows just-in-time scheduling so that a given volume of water will be heated to the prescribed temperature at the moment you need it; and a keep-warm feature. Most fun of all, internet connectivity allows you to control the kettle from your phone via a downloadable app. The Appkettle is power-rated at 2,400 watts with a 1.7l capacity and has a brushed stainless steel body with a glass water-window in the side. We think the design looks a little pudgy and could be more modernistic but what a way to impress your friends: you can put the kettle on without leaving the sofa.