Best kettle 2021 – reviews of the top 10 electric kettles

Choose the best kettle for your kitchen with our roundup of the top 10, featuring top picks from Smeg, Dualit, Bosch, and De'Longhi
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  • The best kettle will keep your cups of tea topped up and your pasta boiling in record time. Short of investing in the best boiling water taps, there’s nothing more effective when it comes to speedy brews, and we’ve reviewed ten of the very best from Swan, Smeg, De’Longhi, Morphy Richards, Bosch, Russell Hobbs, and Dualit.

    While they all do the same job, there are so many different styles of kettles to choose from. It’s the hardest-working appliance in your kitchen, so investing in the best kettle that really takes your fancy is a decision that will pay off in the long-run. You can also pair it with a toaster to complete your morning routine, and display your matching set in your home for years to come.

    You can buy a kettle for as little as £20, but many of the best kettles in our guide cost upwards of £50. For the added cost you’ll get smart features such as multiple temperature settings, and stylish designs to keep your counters looking in top shape.

    How we pick the best kettles

    Our reviewer Ysanne was previously editor at Beautiful Kitchens magazine and has hands-on experience with dozens of kettles. Our small appliances editor Millie has also tried a handful of these kettles in her own home. Both know how to detect common issues like noisy kettles and limescale build-up for hard water kettles, and we have taken care to include a range of kettles that will work for every budget. Some of the kettles in our guide can be bought for well under £30, but the more expensive ones can cost over £100 and feature variable temperature, water filters and other extras.

    What is the best kettle in 2021?

    Our overall best kettle was the De’Longhi Ballerina Kettle, which we rate for its usability and temperature-control functions. The Dualit Architect kettle also wins our approval for its sturdy build and good looks, and the Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Kettle is the quietest kettle we tested. Read on to discover more of our test verdicts.

    Why do I need a kettle?

    dualit kettle

    Kettles are for more than just brewing cups of tea. Investing in a kettle will make dinners so much easier, from boiling paster to blanching tomatoes. Some kettles with in-built water filters, which is great for those with limescale buildup or concerns about their local drinking water. Large capacity kettles are perfect for filling up hot water bottles or par-boiling potatoes for a Sunday roast, and even if you don’t use it so much, a small kettle can pack plenty of style into a compact kitchen.

    Best kettles

    1. De’Longhi Ballerina Kettle

    Best kettle overall

    De'Longhi Ballerina Kettle

    Capacity: 1.7 litres
    Type: Pyramid
    Colours: Green, black, white
    Features: 360° swivel base, anti-limescale filter, water level indicator
    Reasons to buy: The beautiful design and quality construction
    Reasons to avoid: No button to open the lid

    The De’Longhi Ballerina Kettle pairs with our guide to the best toasters perfectly, because its two- and four-slice counterpart also sits in the top spot. Why? Well, for a start it has a stunning design that really catches the eye and looks beautiful on any kitchen counter. We had numerous comments from friends and family when testing, and it’s more that just easy on the eyes, too.

    With a water level indicator and a light-up switch to indicate that it’s on, the De’Longhi Ballerina Kettle is ideal for practical use around the kitchen. The 1.7 litre capacity is also perfectly suited to serving mugs of tea, or filling up a whole teapot.

    Our one gripe is that the lid has to be lifted away. Other options in our guide (such as the Bosch TWK7203GB) have a button to lift up the lid and open up the kettle for easy refills, but the De’Longhi requires both hands.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    2. Bosch TWK7203GB

    Best kettle for tea

    best-kettles-07-Bosch

    Capacity: 1.7 litres
    Type: Jug kettle
    Colours: Black, white
    Features: Keep warm, variable temperature, smart display
    Reasons to buy: Delightful to use, with tons of smart features
    Reasons to avoid: The look isn’t for everyone

    We love a bit of hi-tech style, so it’s no surprise we were impressed by the unique touch-control panel on this kettle. At just 1kg, it’s light, easy to fill and holds an impressive 1.7L when full. The base features a simple power-on graphic that, when gently pressed, allowed us to switch the kettle on and off in the same way as we would our smartphone or tablet. Nice.

    There’s also a funky, futuristic blue-light slider that illuminates to indicate a chosen temperature, from 70˚C to 100˚C. While it wasn’t quite the quickest to boil, it was pretty speedy at just over two-and-a-half minutes. And if you get distracted, like we often do, there’s an ingenious keep-warm function. This maintains the desired water temperature for 30 minutes after the kettle has boiled.

    It also has the obligatory 360˚ base, meaning it’s comfortable to pick up from any angle. There’s a lovely large flip lid and a removable limescale filter, too. Sure, it’s got a slightly bigger footprint that most of the models we tested. But we think its elegant lines and steely good looks mean it’s an absolute keeper, however much worktop space you might have.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Read our full Bosch TWK7203GB Sky Kettle review

    3. Swan Nordic kettle

    Best on-trend kettle

    Best-Kettle-Nordic-swan

    Capacity: 1.7 litres
    Type: Scandi design
    Colours: Green, blue, grey, white
    Features: Matt finish, soft touch, Scandi design, 360˚ rotative cordless base
    Reasons to buy: Great value with a soft-touch finish
    Reasons to avoid: The ‘on’ light is very subtle

    Available in either cool white or slate grey with contrasting wood-effect comfort handle, this highly attractive kettle is a great choice for anyone that loves a bit of Nordic design. The boil-dry protection mode, which prevents it from being accidentally switched on if there’s no water in it means you won’t need to worry about accidentally damaging it either. There’s also a limescale filter, which helps to keep drinks delightfully scum- and impurity-free.

    It holds 1.7 litres, enough to fill around 7-8 cups depending on your ‘portion sizes’, and it boiled a litre of water in just 2 minutes 45. The end of the on lever glows an agreeable bold blue colour while it’s boiling and the handle has a lovely soft feel to it. It has a lovely drip-free pour, too, which we found very pleasing.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    4. The Funky Appliance Company Funky Kettle

    Best matching kettle and toaster

    The Funky Appliance Company Funky Kettle

    Capacity: 1.7 litres
    Type: Upright kettle
    Colours: Stainless steel, rose gold, cream
    Features: Button to open, sturdy metal design, easy-pour spout
    Reasons to buy: It makes a great pair with the matching toaster, which is equally high-quality
    Reasons to avoid: The colour range is lacking

    The Funky Appliance Company’s aptly-named Funky Kettle hit the spot when we were hunting for a great kettle and toaster combo. It’s surprisingly hard to find a matching set where each component delivers great performance, but the Funky Kettle and its matching Funky Toaster were the perfect brunch duo.

    We loved the exterior, which is quirky and reminiscent of the SMEG, even down to the stainless steel design. The lever clicks down easily, illuminating the back panel which shows the water line and shuts off when water has reached a boiling point. While it may not have a place in the best kettle roundup, the toaster could take frozen and fresh bread and toast evenly on each side, every time.

    The spout makes pouring very easy, and refilling is simple thanks to the button on the top of the lid that pops open. Even the handle was ergonomic, but we do wish the colour selection was a bit more fun.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    5. Morphy Richards Verve Kettle

    Best large kettle

    Morphy Richards Verve Kettle

    Image credit: Morphy Richards

    Capacity: 1.7 litres
    Type: Upright large kettle
    Colours: Black, white, cream
    Features: 360 base, sleek look, window panel
    Reasons to buy: Amazing value for a large kettle
    Reasons to avoid: Hard to use for smaller quantities of water

    The Morphy Richards Verve Kettle has a 1.7 litre capacity, meaning it’s great for making many cups of tea in one go. It comes in cream, white or black and has an optional matching toaster, which is also a top buy. The kettle comes with a limescale filter that can filter your drink as it pours. It comes with a sleek and discreet 360 base that will work on any counter. The kettle itself lights up, and you can see your water heating and eventually boiling through the back panel near the handle.

    We found that the Morphy Richards Verve Kettle takes a while to get going, which is mostly because of its large capacity and therefore the tendency to overfill for the amount of tea you need. For example, the first marker on the transparent gauge is for three cups, so when you fill it for just one person it’s hard to know if it’s full enough. This kettle is also easier to pour when it’s more full. It is quiet though, and the look is great.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    6. Dualit Architect Kettle

    Best for style and substance

     

    Capacity: 1.5 litres
    Type: Stylish and sleek
    Colours: Silver, black, grey
    Features: Interchangeable design, easy to read, circular spout, no splashes, quiet boiling
    Reasons to buy: It’s a kitchen classic that will last forever
    Reasons to avoid: You have to pay extra for panel kits

    If you’re the kind of person that likes to switch up your home décor with the seasons, then this model with interchangeable panels is for you. The (already beautiful) steel exterior can be further enhanced with easy-to-fit panels that encase the bottom and lid. The panel kits can be bought separately, and range in price from £12.50 for plain colours and metallics to £24.95 for specially commissioned designs from the likes of Bluebellgrey, Charlene Mullen and Kit Miles, whose floral Biophilia design is our current must-have.

    As we’ve come to expect from Dualit products, the kettle is also beautifully built and ergonomic to use. The lid had a nice soft-open action, meaning it’s easy to refill without the risk of steaming your hand. The water indicator under the handle lit up when we started boiling, and has easy-to-read levels from two cups cup to a maximum of 1.5L. We particularly liked the unique circular pouring spout, which ensured free-flowing water with no splashes.

    It’s not the lightest kettle we tested but feels stable and secure on its base. There’s an integrated cord store and it boils quietly, if not overly speedily, for such an impressive looking machine. An internal filter meant boiled water was crystal clear and scum-free, even though the water from our tap tends to be harder than action hero Jason Statham on a tough day at the office.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    7. Russell Hobbs K65 Anniversary Kettle

    Best classic kettle

    Russell Hobbs K65 Anniversary Kettle - 25860

     

    Capacity: 1.2 litres
    Type: Classic design
    Colours: Copper, silver
    Features: Quick boil, long and streamlined spout, discreet base, auto shutoff
    Reasons to buy: Classic stovetop design will look great in your kitchen
    Reasons to avoid: The spout is very long, so pouring takes adjusting to

    The Russell Hobbs K65 Anniversary Kettle has a flat and discreet base and a classic design that resembles a cooktop kettle. The long streamlined spout is a pleasure to pour, and it automatically shuts off when water is boiled.

    We enjoyed how fast this kettle boiled, and both the silver and copper designs are sleek and sophisticated. Many kettles have a larger capacity than the 1.2 litre design so it may struggle to cater to families or fill up a pot for boiling rice or potatoes.

    Featuring a quiet boil – it apparently makes 75% less noise when boiling than other Russell Hobbs models – this is kettle is a great fit for open-plan spaces where a loud kettle can be a real distraction. In addition this kettle has an auto-shutoff to prevent it boiling dry, although since the water window on the side is clear and lights up, you can clearly see how much water there is when it starts to boil anyway.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    8. Smarter 3rd Generation iKettle

    Best app-controlled kettle

    Smarter iKettle 3rd Generation

    Capacity: 1.8 litres
    Type: Smart kettle
    Colours: White, silver
    Features: App compatibility, keep warm, schedule, smart speaker, water level indication
    Reasons to buy: It’s possible to use this kettle remotely
    Reasons to avoid: No on-board adjustments, so you’ll need to have your phone handy to use it

    The Smarter iKettle is well-named. While it lacks the on-board controls of the Bosch Sky kettle, you can control the temperature using a smartphone app or even a smart speaker. You can also schedule it, and switch it into keep-warm mode. It’s an extravagant appliance, but when you’re working from home and drink a lot of tea, the remote access is a bit of a blessing.

    We enjoyed the button, which you simply press to open the lid and refill. The metal design also felt high quality, but if you don’t get on with smart tech, this one’s not what you need. While pairing was easy enough, the rest of the controls are left to you to figure out.

    Pouring was easy and the handle was ergonomic, so if you like your smart tech, this is a top pick.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Read our full Smarter 3rd Generation iKettle review

    9. Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Kettle

    Best quiet kettle

    Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Kettle

    Capacity: 1.7 litres
    Type: Pyramid kettle
    Colours: Polka dot, heart print
    Features: 360 base, “on” light, washable anti-scale filter, quiet boil
    Reasons to buy: It’s easy to pour and looks lovely in country kitchens
    Reasons to avoid: The plastic paddle looks a little cheap

    The Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Kettle is the quietest one we tested. It heats and boils virtually silently, which means you’re unlikely to be disturbed if it’s used when you’re in a call or early in the morning. It’s also a treat to look at, with a retro-contemporary design that comes in either a multi-coloured polka dot or a love heart pattern. There’s also a matching toaster available, which we really enjoyed testing. The spout of this kettle makes pouring a treat, and the overhead handle is easy to hold and tactile.

    Russell Hobbs claims this kettle has 70% quieter boil technology. You can tell when this kettle is finished boiling by the audible click it makes when switching off. It is on the expensive side for a less smart option, but there are plenty of matching Emma Bridgewater mugs and plates available to make the design even sweeter. With a 1.7 litre capacity, it’s also fairly large, despite its cute and shorter pyramid design.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    10. Smeg KLF04 Variable Temperature Kettle

    Best retro-style kettle

    Capacity: 1.7 litres
    Type: Retro
    Colours: Red, blue, white, and more…
    Features: Variable temperature, limescale filter, cord storage, keep warm
    Reasons to buy: Sturdy and high-quality, with that classic look
    Reasons to avoid: That price

    Don’t let the fun candy colours and retro design of this kettle deceive you – it’s deadly serious about boiling. The sturdy 360˚ swivel base makes it easy to use whether you’re left or right-handed, while anti-slip feet means it stays firmly put on the worktop. An audible beep can be heard when you first switch it on and similarly when the water has reached the chosen temperature.

    As it’s another variable temp kettle, we decided to take it through its paces with three different teas. We tried black, white and green to see if we could taste the difference. While we’re not real connoisseurs, we did definitely feel that the lower temps suited both the white and green teas we tested. It gave them what we can only describe as a softer, more rounded taste than they had when made with fully boiled water.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 star

    How to buy the best kettles for you

    How much should I spend on a kettle?

    How much you spend depends on what features you’re after. Prices tend to rise the more stylish and feature-led the kettle is. If you just want a bog-standard model that boils fairly quickly and quietly, there are kettles available from £15 and above.

    See the best coffee machine for more morning essentials

    Designer looks come at a price, though, and many with more thoughtful, elegant designs can cost upwards of £50.

    What are the main features to look for in a kettle?

    Best-kettles

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Top of our must-have list is that it’s easy is it to hold, fill and pour. If you often refill a kettle as soon as it has boiled, choose one with a flip-top lid you don’t have to take off manually. This is really important to avoid the risk of scalding yourself on steam when you open it.

    We’d definitely suggest a cordless model on 360˚ swivel base, for ease of use. A cord store will keep things tidy on a worktop, and an easy-to-view water indicator is handy.

    While kettles don’t come packed with tech, some have variable boil temperatures. This is great if you’re a tea aficionado who knows their oolong boiling temp from the one that’s right for standard black tea. That’s 80-85˚C and 100˚C, respectively, if you’re curious.

    I live in a hard water area. What’s the best kettle for me?

    Filters that reduce limescale are invaluable if you live in a hard-water area and don’t want to be descaling your kettle on a regular basis.

    Just be aware that models that feature a Brita filter, for instance, generally have a smaller capacity. That’s because of the room taken up by the filter and its holder. The cost for replacing the filters once a month can add up, too. However, it will mean you don’t need an extra water filter jug on the worktop.

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