Best kettles 2021– our top 10 electric kettles for tea, coffee and cooking

The best kettles of 2021, with options for hard water, quiet heating, tea and coffee
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  • For tea drinkers and home chefs who love a quick fix, a great kettle will be the hardest working appliance in your kitchen. With many working from home, it’s more important than ever to invest in the best kettle for you – whether that’s a super quiet kettle that won’t disturb your meetings, or a variable temperature kettle for an extensive tea collection.

    We’ve reviewed the very best electric kettles you can buy from brands like Bosch, KitchenAid, Smeg, Morphy Richards, Russell Hobbs and more to bring you our list of the top options on the market.

    The perfect companions: Best toasters – the top models for a crisp, delicious slice every time

    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. She knows how to detect common issues like noisy kettles and limescale build-up for hard water kettles, and has included 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 Bosch TWK7203GB Sky 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. 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

    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

    Buy now: Bosch TWK7203GB at Very

    2. 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

    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

    Buy now: Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Kettle at Amazon

    3. 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

    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

    Buy now: Dualit Architect Kettle at Amazon

    4. Salter Colour-changing glass kettle

    Best value kettle

    Best-kettles-Salter

    Capacity: 1.7 litres
    Type: Colour-changing
    Colours: Clear and silver
    Features: Anti-scale, 360° swivel base, see-through design

    The key USP of this kettle, apart from its stylish steel and glass exterior is the bold LED display that run all the way around the base of the glass jug and switch from blue to red when the kettle heating up and back to blue once it has finished boiling. It’s a clear indicator of whether the kettle is boiling or not, which could be useful for those who are hard of hearing or don’t notice once it is finished.

    It has a 360-degree base with a handy cord tidy, so it’s easy to use whether you’re right- or left-handed and sits neatly on the worktop. Pretty quiet, it takes around 3-and-a-half minutes to boil a litre of water and it’s big enough to boil water for eight cups. Protecting the glass exterior is a limescale filter so you should be able to enjoy plenty of clear-water boiling – during the testing period, we didn’t notice any scale build up.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Buy now: Salter Colour-changing glass kettle at Amazon

    5. 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

    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

    Buy now: Swan Nordic kettle at Amazon

    6. Breville VKJ972

    Best kettle for hard water

    Capacity: 1 litre
    Type: Filtered
    Colours: Silver
    Features: Filter cartridge, illuminates when boiling, stable, easy to pour

    If you’re concerned about the quality of your tap water then this is the kettle for you. It comes with a Brita filter cartridge, which is quick and easy to fit into the reservoir that sits at the top of the kettle. As with all filters, it needs flushing, though but once that’s done, we simply filled up the top sections and the water flowed through the filter into the second chamber.

    Pressing an electronic indicator at the top of the lid will activate a count down to show when the filter needs replacing. Although the kettle’s capacity is smaller than the other full-size models we tried, it boiled our 1 litre (that’s four cups) of test water pretty quickly and quietly. The water indicator sits on the side so it was really clear to see. The feature we liked best, though, was that the kettle body and handle is illuminated a vivid blue colour when boiled.

    Its plastic casing means it is relatively light, even with the filter in place and filled with water, and the chunky handle means it’s easy to pour. The 360˚ base with cord holder is stable, too, so there’s no chance of it tipping – this also means it’s easy to use whether you’re left or right-handed. A good tip is to refill the kettle as soon as you’ve boiled it. This will ensure that you’re not waiting for the water to filter through every time you fancy a quick cuppa.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

    Buy now: Breville VKJ972 at Hughes

    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

    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

    Buy now: Russell Hobbs K65 Anniversary Kettle at Amazon

    8. Cuisinart CTK17U

    Cuisinart kettle

    Best traditional-style kettle

     

    Capacity: 1.7 litres
    Type: Dome kettle
    Colours: Brushed stainless steel
    Features: Integrated cord, large window, easy pour, auto stop

    It features an easy-to clean filter, which is great if you’re in a hard-water area and suffer from limescale deposits. Nobody wants scummy tea, after all. It is one of the fastest boilers we tested taking just over 2 minutes to take a litre of cold water to 100 degrees C, which is probably due to its wide base and 3KW concealed heating element.

    The stylish steel exterior, with clear viewing windows on both sides, looks good on the worktop and although the shape was more traditional kettle, the finish meant it would be equally at home in a modern kitchen. The handle was comfortable to hold, which made for an easy, drip-free pour. As with many of the cordless kettles, the 360-degree base meant it was suitable for left- or right-handed users.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Buy now: Cuisinart CTK17U at Go Electrical

    9. 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

    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 stars

    Buy now: Smeg KLF04 Variable Temperature Kettle at Curry’s

    10. 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

    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: 3.5 out of 5 stars

    Buy now: Morphy Richards Verve Kettle at Amazon

    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.

    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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