Minimum capacity: 235ml
Maximum capacity: 1.7 litres
Water gauge: Yes
Lid type: Lift out
Exterior material: Painted stainless steel
Cord length: 68cm
Size: 29.7 x 23.3 x 23.3 cm
Variable temperature: No
It’s not difficult to spot the Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Kettle — after all, it’s covered in polka dots! This cheery kettle will add a fun splash of colour to any counter. (If polka dots aren’t to your taste, the same design is also available in a heart pattern as well as three plain colours.)
Apart from the polka dots, this kettle’s design is unusual in that the handle is located above the lid, which takes its toll on functionality, as you will read in our Russell Hobbs Polka Dot Kettle review. When put to the test, we found it was fairly average in terms of speed and energy consumption, but it stood out for being the quietest to boil, which is why it’s one of the best kettles.
Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Kettle review: Price and availability
The Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Kettle is available to buy from Amazon (opens in new tab) for £59, while the Pink Hearts design is the same price from Amazon (opens in new tab). The three plain colours include red, black and cream, and all three are available to buy from Amazon (opens in new tab), starting from £39.99. It is not available to buy in the U.S.
Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Kettle review: Design
The Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Kettle comes with a minimum capacity of 235ml and a maximum of 1.7 litres. This is a great range, whether you want to boil a single cup of tea or enough water to fill a hot water bottle. There is a water gauge on the side you can refer to as you fill it up, with increments measured out in cups of tea, which is helpful. However, it is quite tricky to see the level through the gauge because of its clouded finish. This kettle is quite old-fashioned in that the heating element is exposed inside. This shouldn’t affect performance, but it’s potentially more vulnerable to limescale build-up over time.
The lid is removable, although it is awkward to reach because the looped handle gets in the way. The looped handle also causes issues in that, if you remove the lid after the kettle has been freshly boiled, the steam rises over the handle, potentially scalding your hand. Likewise, if you pour out freshly boiled water quickly, the steam can rise over the handle, too. The exterior is made up of painted stainless steel, which gives it a premium feel.
Because of its pyramid shape, the base of the kettle takes up a fair amount of room, measuring 29.7 x 23.3 x 23.3cm. Its weight is fairly average compared to other kettles, weighing 1,008g when empty and 2,662g when full. The handle is smooth and very easy to pick up from above — it’s easy to move the kettle around because of this. When switched on, there’s no audible noise, but a small light appears at the base of the kettle. The base is painted cream to match the kettle, which is a nice touch, although there’s only 68cm of cord length, which is shorter than usual.
Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Kettle review: Performance
When put to the test, we found the Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Kettle was average in terms of speed, needing two minutes and 14 seconds to boil one litre of water. The temperature of the body rose to 87.6°C during this, which is a serious scalding hazard. For this reason, we wouldn’t recommend it if you’ve got curious children or pets running around.
However, we were very impressed by the noise levels — it only emitted 64 dBa while boiling, which is the quietest reading we’ve seen from a kettle. So, it won’t wake up the house if you need to make a cuppa first thing. Energy use was slightly worse than the average at 0.1155 kWh, but it’s not the worst we’ve seen.
When boiling at full capacity, there was no spitting or leaking and it needed three minutes and 26 seconds to reach temperature, which is middle-of-the-board in terms of speed. The exterior was just as hot, reaching 89.6°C, although somehow it was even quieter, emitting just 60.5 dBa. We measured the freshly-boiled water an hour later to see how far it had fallen, and it measured 66.4°C, which was average compared to the other kettles we tested. When pouring, it’s easy to pour small, controlled amounts, but it does dribble back down itself if you recede slowly.
Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Kettle review: Ease of use and manual
The limescale filter is easy to remove, but it’s a pain to re-fit. This is because you need to angle it against the base and it’s not clear where it should sit. Although, once it’s in place, it holds. As mentioned earlier, it’s not easy to remove and replace the lid, because the handle gets in the way, but the lid has a small loop you can hook a few fingers through. When filling up from the tap, you can fill through the spout on full flow, which is very convenient. This is good because the handle gets in the way when you fill it through the lid.
The manual scored full marks as it contains all of the relevant safety advice as well as diagrams and step-by-step directions. It also recommends regular descaling which is good. The brand’s contact details are also provided for servicing.
Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Kettle review: Verdict
The Russell Hobbs Polka Dot Kettle is a pretty and fun kettle to have on display. It’s certainly iconic, and any Emma Bridgewater fan is going to love it. The design is by no means perfect; the handle placement isn’t convenient and the exterior gets far too hot. However, it stands out for being a quiet operator, which makes it ideal for early morning risers.
Compared to the Smeg Variable Temperature Kettle, the two scored very similarly in terms of speed to boil and external temperature. However, while Smeg used less energy, the Russell Hobbs kettle was quieter. Plus, the Russell Hobbs kettle is less than half the price. Ultimately, if you like the look of the Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Kettle, and noise means more than anything to you, it’s worth your investment.