12 best kettles
Your humble cup of tea will never taste the same again
Everyone needs a kettle, but there's plenty about even the priciest models that can niggle – from awkwardly-fitting lids to those that rival a jumbo jet for noise as they come to the boil.
Here’s our pick of the best kettles out there, including stovetop and electric models, tested for everything from speed and volume, to good looks, grip and ease of pouring.
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Dualit Domus Kettle: £89, AO
This lovely-looking kettle doesn’t come cheap, but it’s hard to find anything wrong with it.
As well as being a compact size for a 1.5litre kettle and not too noisy, this rapid boil model was the fastest we tested.
A chunky silicone handle and Sure Pour spout makes it easy to lift and pour, and although you can’t fill it up via the spout, a hinged lid that clicks shut is a nice touch.
One of the fill windows on either side of the body of the kettle measures in cups, the other in litres, and it has a minimum fill of one cup / 250ml – just under a mugful – which boils in just over 40 seconds.
Russell Hobbs Inspire Kettle: £28, Amazon
This nifty model has tabs inside that show the fill levels for one, two and three cups – which means you don’t have to keep checking the window as you fill, and can easily boil enough water for a single drink.
Although claiming it can boil a cupful in 45 seconds, we managed it in a speedy 30 seconds.
A ridged plastic exterior means the outside of the kettle doesn’t get as hot as a metal or glass kettle, and the design is simple but sleek. A limescale filter also makes it suitable for hard water areas.
Breville Impressions Kettle: £27, Amazon
Well-priced and available in four colours – cream, white, black and red - this sturdy model is a solid and speedy option. In fact, its rapid-boil element made it the second-fastest of all the kettles we tested.
Although you have to remove the lid by hand - there’s no automatic button - it has a 360-degree fit, unlike some of the other models we tested, and a removable (if slightly stiff) limescale filter.
The fill lines are clear to read, with numbers on both sides of the viewing panel, and its tall, slim design along with cord storage make it ideal for smaller kitchens where space-saving is the order of the day.
Smeg KLF04 Variable Temperature Kettle: £155, John Lewis
Although the price tag is slightly eye-watering, Smeg’s latest model has enough extras to make your investment worthwhile.
As well as the classic retro Smeg style, this variable temperature kettle offers seven heat settings that make it ideal for making speciality teas such as oolong.
Using the keep-warm function effectively helps water remain at temperature for 20 minutes, and its swish, soft-opening lid means no splashing.
Although it’s the heaviest of the kettles we tested, it was also one of the fastest, completing a 1.7l boil in just over three minutes. The only downside is a cheerful / annoying beeping that accompanies some of its functions, but you can turn these off.
Kenwood K-Mix ZJX750: £66, Amazon
We love the stylish design of this kettle, which is part of a co-ordinating range and comes in four colours, including Spicy Red.
It’s a great addition to any modern kitchen, and there’s certainly little to complain about: it has a lid that flips at the touch of a button, a minimum 250ml fill which makes it an economical choice, and a sturdy handle and smooth pour. Although not the cheapest we tested, and it would be handy if the fill windows were on the sides, Kenwood is a trusted brand and this kettle is unlikely to let you down.
Beko WKD6306B Sense Temperature Control Kettle: £24.95, Amazon
Although it has its flaws, this model is a great price for a temperature-controlled kettle with a simmer function.
Choose from four settings – 40, 60, 80 and 100 degrees – to suit your chosen tea, and it will also keep the water at your selected temperature for 30 minutes.
It's not the loveliest kettle we’ve seen, the fill window is hard to read with a relatively large 600ml minimum fill, and the filter is tricky to remove. But it’s easy to open, fill and lift, and boils swiftly, and for a shade under £25, it’s a bargain.
ProCook Closed Black Handle Stovetop Kettle: £35, ProCook
This stovetop kettle has a classic look and sound, with modern features that bring your old-fashioned pot of tea up to date.
A soft-touch handle and spout cover lever mean you can pick the kettle up straight after boiling, and the spout is big enough to make pouring easy.
Although it’s pretty hefty when full, its 2l capacity means you can make a huge tea round in one go.
You’ll be waiting a while for your cuppa – when full, this takes just over nine minutes to come to the boil – but you won’t have to kettle-watch thanks to the loud, clear whistle.
VonShef 1.7l Glass Kettle: £24.99, Amazon
This very modern kettle encourages you to connect with it on social media – but even if you’re not quite that keen, you’ll still enjoy using this stylish, great-value kettle.
The glass body makes it easy to fill it up to the right level, and the 360-degree base and indicators on both sides makes it good for left- or right-handers alike.
Although the glass gets very hot, the blue interior light is a nice touch, and this was also among the speedier models we tested, too.
electriQ 2.5l Instant Hot Water Dispenser: £29.97, Appliances Direct
If waiting 30 seconds for your hot drink is a bit too arduous, an instant hot water dispenser is the kettle’s faster, sleeker cousin.
Fill the generous tank of this device with cold water, flick a switch, and within eight seconds you’ll be rewarded with boiling water straight from the machine.
Although the flow of water is more of a trickle, 1.5l of water is dispensed in a shade over three and a half minutes, making it a close rival to a conventional kettle.
The tank is easy to remove, fill and replace, and includes a drip tray.
Tefal Avanti Classic Kettle: £49.99, Currys
This sturdy model has a classic/retro brushed aluminium design that some might feel is a bit old-fashioned, but we found oddly reassuring.
There’s a fill window on either side on the body of the kettle, so it’s easy to see how much water you using – in this case, as with many of the models we tested, this is a minimum of 700ml, meaning it’s not that economical. A good, large spout means you can fill it from the tap, and a chunky handle makes it easy to grip and pour.
Although it’s a little on the loud side, it has a fairly speedy boil, and at least you know when it’s ready.
Fearne by Swan Quiet Boil Jug Kettle: £39, Amazon
Fearne Cotton’s range of kitchenware is aimed squarely at women, and accordingly, this kettle comes in a range of attractive pastel shades, including Lily and Peacock.
Approved by Quiet Mark, it’s so stealthy you question whether it’s boiling at all – but although it takes its time and has a hefty 1l minimum fill, its whisper-quiet boil makes it ideal for open-plan kitchens. The lid opens smoothly with a press button, and although the fill window is behind the handle, the numbers are clear to read, and it also has a removable filter.
Tower 1.7l Stainless Steel Kettle: £29.99, Amazon
Although attractively priced, this 1.7l kettle has everything you need: a sleek, stainless steel exterior, removable limescale filter, an easy-pour spout and rapid-boil element.
It’s light – so good for weaker grips – and fairly compact, with a cord that winds into the base, making it handy for smaller kitchens, and the flip-top lid makes it easy to fill – although the frosted fill window behind the handle is a little difficult to see. An illuminated power switch and 360-degree base finish off this solid all-rounder.
The verdict: Best kettles
If you’re looking for a great all-rounder that has style as well as substance at under £100, the Dualit Domus Kettle is our best buy.
If you’re looking for a variable-temperature kettle and are happy to splash out, the Smeg KLF04 is a worthwhile investment, while our best bargain is the Russell Hobbs Inspire Kettle, which is speedy, sleek, and a snip at £29.99.
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