The best kettles can do much more than make a cup of tea. It should be quick to boil, maintain a safe external temperature and not use up too much energy, all without waking the house up. A good kettle should also keep the water insulated and shouldn’t be too heavy to move around, even when full.
Not every kettle comes with the basic features you would expect — such as water gauge, a hidden element or a limescale filter — so it’s always worth checking out the specs. There are some unusual features you can look out for as well, such as a keep warm setting. By using this, the water will maintain its temperature for a specific amount of time. Not sure which model to buy? Here are the best kettles.
What are the best kettles?
After extensive testing, we found the best kettle to be the Bosch Sky Kettle. It ticked almost every box, it was the fastest to boil, the most energy efficient and intuitive to use. It comes with a useful keep warm feature and the exterior won’t scald you straight after boiling. It’s got a great look as well with a touch screen-controlled base.
If you want the best kettle and you're on a budget, look no further than the Swan Nordic Kettle. It stood out for its attractive design, giving a minimalist appeal with a wood-effect handle. Despite appearances, it had the softest and most comfortable handle of all the kettles we tested.
You might prefer your kettle to have a more traditional design. If so, then the KitchenAid Variable Temperature Kettle is worth considering. Its pyramid shape and built-in temperature gauge gives it a unique finish which will stand out on your breakfast counter. It had one of the coolest exteriors after boiling and was quiet as well as being energy-efficient.
The best kettles you can buy today
As our best kettle overall, the Bosch Sky Kettle leaves very little to complain about. It was the fastest to boil one litre of water, taking two minutes and four seconds on average, and the most energy efficient too, needing just 0.106 kWh to boil the same amount. The casing didn’t grow overly hot, reaching 52.7°C on the body immediately after boiling, and it didn’t leak or spit at full capacity.
Its only downfall was the noise — up to 79.4 dB, which was the loudest we saw among the kettles we tested. However, the design is intuitive and easy on the eye, with a variable temperature selection from 70-100°C. The temperature can be selected via a touchscreen gauge on the base and there’s a handy keep warm setting too. We also like that the gauge on the base illuminates as it heats, so you get an idea of how long it’s got to go. It’s ultimately a reliable kettle, which delivers in almost every respect.
Read our full Bosch Sky Kettle review.
If appearance means a lot to you, we definitely recommend the KitchenAid Variable Temperature Kettle. With its traditional pyramid shape and built-in temperature gauge, it was easily the prettiest of kettles we tested, featuring a painted aluminium exterior (there are either colours to choose from) and a cushioned handle. It’s got some weight to it (1271g when empty) — which is perhaps too much for some. It offers variable temperatures from 50-100°C and makes an audible noise when it starts and finishes.
In terms of performance, it was average for speed, but the exterior was very cool compared to others, reaching just 45.4°C. It was also quite quiet, reaching 73.3dB as it heated. It kept the water well-insulated despite lacking a keep warm setting. The cord length is long as well, reaching 82cm — ideal if your plug is difficult to reach. However, be wary that the base is bulky and it will take up a fair amount of countertop space. It takes a fair amount of energy to power too, needing 0.1165 kWh on average to boil a litre of water.
The Tefal Smart n Light Kettle certainly appears smart and sophisticated, thanks to the illuminated display on the body. It shows both the live temperature and the selection of options available from 40-100°C. There’s a keep warm setting that lasts for up to 30 minutes. It scored generally well across the board for performance, but it got top marks for external body temperature, reaching just 40.4°C — the lowest we recorded from our kettle tests. It was fairly fast as well, taking two minutes and 10 seconds on average to boil a litre of water.
However, there were a few areas on which it fell down in design. First, there’s no water gauge, so you have to check the maximum capacity from within. Some might prefer this, but it does make measuring the water difficult. We also noticed that a lot of steam is released from around the lid when it reaches 100°C, which doesn’t look great. Otherwise, it’s a great kettle which is easy to use and comes with a good range of temperatures and features. A good option if you’re worried about children or pets accidentally touching it too.
This kettle from Kenwood has a more cute, compact design, yet still has a sizeable 1.6 litre capacity. The body features a wrap-around panel which is available in a range of bright, eye-catching colours including orange and blue, and the stainless steel finish on the top and removable lid gives it a quality finish too. Although, be aware that there’s no water gauge, so you will have to check the level from the inside as you fill it.
This was the best kettle without variable temperature options. It was speedy to boil one litre, taking two minutes and six seconds and the panel didn’t grow overly hot, reaching just over 60°C. It’s worth flagging that the stainless steel section of the body grows much hotter however, reaching 82.5°C on the same test, so this could be a scalding hazard. It didn’t leak or spit when full however, and it scored highly for ease of use, despite lacking a water gauge. It’s a cute and stylish kettle — ideal if you don’t want one which dominates your counter.
The Breville Curve Kettle stands out for its intuitive and easy to use design. The limescale filter is simple to remove, the lid is easy to fit, and it's easy to fill this kettle through the spout, even on full flow. The handle is rounded, making it comfortable to grip and the water gauge can be read as you fill it up too. The quality of the design could be questioned by some however, as the main body is plastic with no steel interior. The handle also feels quite hollow too. Having said that, it’s lightweight and comes at a great price too.
Looking at performance, it was average for speed and noise, taking two minutes and 13 seconds to boil a litre of water, and reaching a noise level of 74.8dB. The plastic body admittedly grows quite hot — we took a reading of 70.5°C immediately after this test, but this was not as hot as some of the stainless steel models we tested. To surmise, it’s a decent everyday kettle, not the best in terms of quality, but great if you want a user-friendly design without breaking the bank.
While the main body for the DeLonghi Brilliante Kettle is plastic, it does not feel like a ‘cheap’ design. The casing feels quite thick and is engraved with a diagonal pattern, giving it a modern and interesting appearance. The lid is also well-secured, and feels of decent quality when you remove and refit it. Our main qualm with the design is the filter, which needs to be pressed down to remove — replacing this proved to be tricky. The small ball on the lid might be awkward for some to grip too.
When we put this kettle to the test, we found it was pretty fast to boil, taking two minutes and seven seconds to boil one litre. The external casing temperature scored an average mark with a reading of 66.4°C on the body — not as hot as some others, but warm enough so that you could still scald yourself. It was a little noisy in the process though, reaching 78dB — only the Bosch Sky Kettle was noisier. It didn’t spit or boil when full though and we were pleased to see a plastic kettle which delivers on quality, and for a good price too.
The Smeg Temperature Control Kettle is the best if you want to make a statement in your kitchen. It’s as premium as designs come with a kettle, featuring a soft-open flip top lid and audible tones when it starts and finishes — if you don’t like the tones, you can even switch this off! It offers variable temperatures from 50-100°C which can be selected from the base. A keep warm setting is available too, which lasts for 20 minutes.
As the kettle heats, the temperatures on the base light up to show the progress, and we found it very quiet while boiling, measuring just 73dB. In fact, we noted that it sounds a little like rainfall as it boils, with a high-pitched tone. However, its main let-down was the casing reaching 89.8°C when boiling one litre; this makes it quite hazardous for young children or pets. It’s also a heavy kettle, which is almost expected given all of the features, but this was the heaviest of all we tested. Despite that, there’s nothing else like it, and it’s the one to buy if aesthetics and features mean more to you than anything.
If you’re a fan of Emma Bridgewater, then you will love this polka dot-inspired kettle. It offers a traditional pyramid design which feels of good quality thanks to the painted stainless steel body. It comes with a looped handle on top, unlike any of the others we’ve tested. However, we found this design to be a bit hit and miss, mainly because the handle can get in the way when you’re trying to remove the lid or refit the filter. It’s also naturally a little more bulky than a jug kettle because of its traditional shape, so you will need more countertop space for it.
We were amazed by how quiet this model was, emitting just 64dB when boiling, which is way lower than anything else we tested. We also loved that it comes with a 235ml minimum capacity, which means you won’t waste anything if you’re boiling water for one cup of tea. However the exterior gets very hot, reaching 87.6°C after boiling one litre, so you need to be cautious around it. This is also the case if you remove the lid while it’s still hot, as the steam rises past the handle. This sweet design isn’t the most practical, but it’s great if you don’t want to wake the house up in the mornings. If you’re a fan of the design, but not so much the polka dots, it’s also available with a pink hearts theme.
If you’re on the market for a kettle, but don’t want to break the bank, then we recommend the Swan Nordic Kettle. Despite its reasonable price tag, it’s very easy on the eye and feels solidly built, too. The wood-effect handle is soft to grip and the most comfortable of all we tested, plus the rubberised paint exterior feels soft and sleek. The lid slots securely into place and the water gauge is easy to read, although the minimum capacity is tricky to measure as the handle gets in the way. The minimum capacity of 850ml is higher than we would like, so it’s not ideal if you often boil water for one. Our only other note on the design is that the filter is quite small to access, so larger hands may struggle.
Looking at the performance, this kettle was fairly average in terms of speed, noise and energy efficiency. However, it lost marks on the temperature of the casing, which reached 85.6°C after boiling. It didn’t leak or spit when boiling at full capacity, although we noticed a tiny amount of condensation on the base, and it’s easy to control whether you pour it quickly or slowly. So, it’s not the strongest performer, but the design is comfortable to use as well as attractive and it’s great value considering the price.
The Morphy Richards Hive Kettle features a minimalist, yet attractive design. The body is fully plastic, which doesn’t give it a premium finish, but the honeycomb pattern makes it easy on the eye. The handle is quite chunky and would better suit those with larger hands. It is by far the lightest kettle we’ve tested, weighing just 699g — almost half the weight of our heaviest kettle, the Smeg Temperature Control Kettle. It would be a great kettle for those who struggle to lift heavy objects. However, we did notice that the lid can be tricky to grip as you have to wrap your fingers around it in a claw shape.
The water level is easy to see from the gauge as you fill it, although the increment markings could be more clear. We found this kettle was very easy to control as you pour it too. It sadly didn’t excel on our performance tests, needing two minutes and 16 seconds to boil a litre of water, which is relatively slow, and reaching 70°C on the body, which is a bit hotter than we would like to see. It used up a fair amount of energy as well at 0.116 kWh. It didn’t leak or spit when full and it comes at a reasonable price. It’s the one to get if you need a lightweight design and don’t mind waiting a few extra seconds for your cup of tea.
The Dualit Architect Kettle features an iconic design which some will buy for that reason alone. With its stainless steel body, horizontal spout, large flip-top lid and interchangeable panels, it can suit pretty much any kitchen. The panels are one of the reasons for its popularity — there are several colourways you can buy and change yourself with just a screwdriver, so you can switch over whenever you feel like it. It’s very easy to use as well, with a filter which is quick to fit, and a responsive, large lid which is easy to fill through. However, you can’t fill through the spout, so bear that in mind if you’re lazy. It’s also quite a high maintenance kettle, as the body shows fingerprints easily.
The performance didn’t quite reflect the design. It was slow to boil, taking two minutes and 35 seconds for one litre of water, and the external casing grew dangerously hot in the process, reaching 91.3°C. It also needed 0.125kWh of energy on average to boil the same amount, which was the highest power consumption we saw. However, it didn’t spit or leak at full capacity and kept the water well-insulated despite lacking a keep warm setting — the temperature was still 72.3°C after a whole hour. While it might not be the strongest performer, or the most practical design, something about the Dualit Architect Kettle makes it stand out from the crowd. It definitely delivers on aesthetics.
The Sage Compact Kettle is ideal if you don’t want a big kettle, but you still want a premium design. The body features glass walls surrounded by stainless steel and a plastic handle. It takes up very little countertop space, and offers a very long 94cm cord, which is great if plug outlets are few and far between. The lid opens softly at the press of a button, which looks great, and the glass walls means it puts on quite a show when boiling. However, as with all glass kettles, you can see the limescale building up within quickly, so you will need to keep on top of maintenance.
While it has a built-in filter, it was difficult to clean, and considering the sizable holes, it will likely struggle to catch any limescale. On test, it took its time to boil one litre of water, needing two minutes and 39 seconds on average, which was the longest time we saw. It grew very hot in the process too, reaching 83.5°C on the glass and 84.7°C on the stainless steel. Considering this, the design is more aesthetically pleasing than practical, however if you want a small, pretty kettle, and don’t mind the maintenance, then it’s worth it.
The iKettle Original from Smarter stands out for its smart capabilities. It connects to the Smarter app, through which you can control and monitor the kettle. This includes the live capacity as well as temperature readings. There’s no water gauge on this kettle, which seems remiss, but the app tries to replace it. Personally, we think a gauge would be more useful as you can’t see the measurements while you fill the kettle from the sink. The app also offers a keep warm setting, which lasts for 40 minutes, as well as Home mode, so you can prepare the kettle to boil for when you arrive home, and Formula mode, which will boil and cool the water to the best temperature for making formula. You can also set the temperature within one degree from 20-100°C, which gives you great control.
When put to the test, the iKettle didn’t perform as well as we hoped. It was slow to boil, needing two minutes and 18 seconds to boil a litre, and the external casing was a dangerous 92.1°C. It was one of the lowest scorers for energy efficiency too, needing 0.1195 kWh to boil the same amount. We noticed whenever it reached its boiling point, a lot of steam escaped around the lid as well, which was not sealed well. There’s also no minimum capacity listed for this kettle as well — there’s no mark inside the kettle, in the instructions or listed online, so it’s anyone’s guess. It comes with quite a few negative points, but the smart capabilities did impress and it’s the best for temperature control as well.
How we tested the best kettles
To determine which is the best kettle, we put the models through a selection of tests to assess the overall performance and design. We considered the time to boil, external casing temperature, noise and energy efficiency. We repeatedly boiled at different measurements too, including one litre and the maximum capacity, to see how each coped in different circumstances. We monitored each to see whether it leaked or spitted when reaching its boiling point and we left each kettle for an hour before measuring the water temperature, to assess insulation.
Any features, such as keep warm or smart connectivity, were also tested, and for variable temperature kettles, we considered how intuitive the design was and how easy the temperature was to adjust. We checked each design as well, considering how easy the filter was to remove and refit, how responsive the lid was and the overall weight of the kettle. We also assessed how easy it was to fill each through the spout and whether it was accurate to pour without dribbling. Handle comfort was compared as well, and we also checked each manual to see if it offered useful information, such as how to descale and contact details for the manufacturer.
|Time to boil 1 litre||External casing temperature||Noise|
|Bosch Sky Kettle||02:04||52.7||79.4|
|KitchenAid Variable Temperature Kettle||02:14||45.4||73.3|
|Tefal Smart n Light Kettle||02:10||40.4||76.3|
|Kenwood Mesmerine ZJM811 Jug Kettle||02:06||60.6/82.5||77.2|
|Breville Curve Kettle||02:13||70.5||74.8|
|DeLonghi Brilliante Kettle||02:07||66.4||78|
|Smeg Temperature Control Kettle||02:11||89.8||73|
|Russell Hobbs and Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Kettle||02:14||87.6||64|
|Swan Nordic Kettle||02:11||85.6||75.4|
|Morphy Richards Hive Kettle||02:16||70||77.5|
|Dualit Architect Kettle||02:35||91.3||76|
|Sage Compact Kettle||02:39||83.5/84.7||74.5|
How to choose the best kettle for you
First, consider what you want from your kettle and how much you’re willing to spend. Do you want a variety of temperatures to suit different teas? If so, you will need a variable temperature kettle. If you just want boiling water on demand, then there’s no need to pay the extra for variable temperature, as it will just take up more countertop space — and likely cost more.
Next, consider the importance of aesthetics to you. Do you want the kettle to be a focal point of your kitchen, or would you rather get one that just gets the job done? There’s a lot of high-quality designs available, some of which feature in our list, but it does tend to add to the price.
Now we get into the nitty gritty of performance. Think about how important speed of boiling is as well as noise. Do you need it to be fast in the mornings, or is it more important that it’s quiet so it doesn’t wake up the house? Safety is also definitely worth considering — if you have young children running around, or pets on your countertop, don’t buy one which can scald and cause burns.
All of these factors should be taken into consideration before choosing a kettle. The best kettle for you will ultimately deliver what you need, so it varies for everyone.