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13 best kettles for boiling the perfect cuppa

Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or a green tea guru, these appliances are worth the investment

<p>We looked for speedy boiling, noise levels and how easy it was to tweak their settings</p>

We looked for speedy boiling, noise levels and how easy it was to tweak their settings

Who would have thought the world of kettles would become so confusing? These days, kettles aren’t just devices that heat water to boiling point – they’re gadgets that can be tweaked to heat water to the ideal temperature for everything from coffee to green tea, while removing limescale and softening water with built-in filters.

This is all well and good, but working out which features are actually worth investing in is no mean feat. So, we decided it’s high time to stick the kettle on (many, many times) and offer a tried-and-tested guide to the best kettles out there.

First, a few tips for kettle care. Limescale build-up is impossible to avoid, especially in hard water areas. But removing it won’t just improve your cuppa – it could cut your energy bills, too.

“Descale your kettle using a product such as Oust which is specifically designed for kettles,” says Sophie Herrmann, spokesperson for the brand. “Doing so will remove limescale debris from the internal coils of the kettle and result in shorter boil times. If you live in a hard water area, descale every three months, and every six months in soft water areas.”

Keen to take a more natural approach? “Fill the kettle halfway with a solution which is 50 per cent water and 50 per cent vinegar. Bring it to a boil, then let it sit for 20 minutes before pouring away,” suggests Dean Davies, professional cleaning expert at Fantastic Services. And you can even use lemon to spruce up the exterior of chrome kettles. Whatever way you choose to clean your kettle, keeping it in pristine condition is essential for a decent brew.

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How we tested

We drank a lot of tea. And we mean a lot. And coffee. Oh, and herbal tea, too. In a nutshell, we didn’t just take a look at each kettle’s ability to produce the perfect cuppa, but the speed at which they boiled, their noise levels, the ease with which settings could be tweaked, and how easy they were to lift, pour and refill. These are the one’s that even Polly would approve of.

The best kettles for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Bosch styline TWK8631GB kettle with temperature selector, white/stainless steel: £75, Ao.com
  • Best for big households – Swan 1.8l retro dome kettle: £44.99, Swan-brand.co.uk
  • Best for sustainability – Philips eco conscious edition5000 series kettle: £49.99, Philips.co.uk
  • Best for traditionalists – Tower Housewares bottega stainless steel kettle: £59.99, Towerhousewares.co.uk
  • Best for clear control – Russell Hobbs inspire kettle: £42.99, Russellhobbs.com
  • Best for an ultra-modern look – The Funky Appliance Company chrome funky kettle: £79.99, Funkyappliance.co
  • Best for vintage styling – Cuisinart traditional kettle: £90, Cuisinart.co.uk
  • Best for tea connoisseurs – Gastroback design tea aroma plus: £114.90, Gastroback.co.uk
  • Best for sleek styling – Morphy Richards signature kettle: £74.99, Morphyrichards.com
  • Best quiet kettle – Russell Hobbs quiet boil kettle: £39.99, Russellhobbs.com
  • Best for speedy boiling – Kenwood elegancy earl grey kettle: £39.99, Kenwoodworld.com
  • Best for ultra modern kitchens – DeLonghi ballerina kettle: £49.99, Delonghi.com
  • Best small kettle – Smeg mini kettle: £99, Ao.com

Bosch styline TWK8631GB kettle with temperature selector, white/stainless steel

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

  • Capacity: 1.5l

Bosch might be known for its washing machines and fridges but this brilliant kettle suggests this might not be the case for long. Its 1.5l capacity was more than adequate (it’s equivalent to six cups), and 3,000W of power made for seriously quick boiling times. It’s a temperature control kettle, but not one which needed a degree in computing to use, and we loved the “keep warm function” which kept the water hot for 30 minutes. As keen tea drinkers prone to flicking on the kettle without checking whether there’s enough water inside, we appreciated the boil dry protection, too – if there’s no water in the kettle, it simply won’t turn on.

Swan 1.8l retro dome kettle

Best: For big households

Rating: 10/10

  • Capacity: 1.8l

Weirdly, although this kettle has a huge capacity – 1.8l, which is the biggest of the bunch by far – it didn’t feel like a space sapper, perhaps because its glorious design meant this was an appliance which we were happy to display. It looks spectacular, but its high gloss finish made it easy to clean, and although the handle is positioned at the top (typically a pet hate, due to the burn risk) there was more than enough space to prevent steam-related singes. We also loved the great range of colours and the brightness of the light on the on/off switch, which minimised the risk of turning it on accidentally.

Philips eco conscious edition5000 series kettle

Best: For sustainability

Rating: 9/10

  • Capacity: 1.7l

If you drink as much tea as we do, you’ll be well aware that constant kettle boils aren’t great for the environment. This is precisely why we’re huge fans of brands which minimise the environmental impact of our addiction, and this kettle ticks that box, thanks to the materials – it’s made entirely of bio-based plastics, which doesn’t just mean a greener approach to its production, but a smaller landfill footprint, too. The downside? There are none.

We were smitten with its colour scheme – neutral tones with surprisingly realistic wooden accents – and we appreciated the large tactile handle, which meant lifting it was a breeze, even when the kettle was full. The water level gauge was refreshingly clear, too – all too often gauges with numbers printed on the transparent part make the capacity hard to read, but this wasn’t a problem with this kettle, which had the numbers listed to one side.

Tower Housewares bottega stainless steel kettle

Best: For traditionalists

Rating: 9/10

  • Capacity: 1.7l

Tower has done a brilliant job of blending tech and tradition with this kettle, which has a generous 1.7l capacity. Yes, this kettle looks like its rightful home is a stove top, but behind its vintage exterior is plenty of tech, including a whopping 3,000W of power for fast, quiet boils and an easily removable limescale filter (most are so tricky to remove we simply don’t bother).

We were reassured by the lid’s tight seal, too – we’ve come across too many kettles with hinged lids that pop open unexpectedly, but there was zero risk of this happening with this one. Partial to a spot of colour coordination? Pair it with the renaissance toaster, which has the same black-and-chrome styling.

Russell Hobbs inspire kettle

Best: For clear control

Rating: 9/10

  • Capacity: 1.7l

We loved the ridged design of this space-aged kettle. All too often, the kettles with the largest capacities are the ones with the least appealing designs, so this one was a breath of fresh air. Every single component, from the base to the switch, has a wonderfully sturdy feel, and we were impressed with the quick boiling times – it took 45 seconds to boil two cuppas, a process aided by the presence of bright red water level tags (inside the kettle) which meant we could fill it with the precise amount needed, and not a drop more. We were sceptical about the claims relating to the splash-minimising spout, but we stand corrected – the kettle’s perfectly-formed pourer kept the water flow exactly where we needed it.

The Funky Appliance Company chrome funky kettle

Best: For an ultra-modern look

Rating: 9/10

  • Capacity: 1.7l

This kettle bears an uncanny resemblance to a UFO – in a good way. With its shapely, streamlined profile and glossy finish (which is much lower maintenance than we feared) it’s a kettle which commands attention, but which is more than up to the task in hand. A wide, clear water capacity window makes it easy to check water levels and keeps things refreshingly simple by listing only the number of cups you’ll get, rather than measurements. Afterall, how many of us really know how many millilitres are in the average mug? The handle was a joy to hold – something we can’t remember saying about a handle before, admittedly, but it’s well-deserved praise in this case, thanks to its smooth feel and generous proportions.

Cuisinart traditional kettle

Best: For vintage styling

Rating: 8/10

  • Capacity: 1.7l

This is the supercar of kettles – it roared to life straight away, and we were impressed with the fast boiling time. It’s another kettle with a handle placed over the lid, rather than on the side, but its high arch removes the risk of accidental burns. The water capacity window was one of the largest we’ve come across – a rarity in a world where these windows appear to be getting smaller, in general. Other highlights include the spout, which still minimised splashes despite its larger size, and the shorter cable – most people keep their kettles close to the power point, and unnecessary, excess lengths of cable are our biggest bugbear.

Gastroback design tea aroma plus

Best: For tea connoisseurs

Rating: 8/10

  • Capacity: 1.5l

If you’re a diehard tea fan, this kettle might just be your dream machine. In a nutshell, it’s a temperature control kettle designed specifically for brewing tea. It has eight pre-set programmes for varieties which include sencha, white, jasmine, green and black tea. We also loved the row of lights which go out, one after the other, to indicate the progress towards the pre-set optimal brewing time, as well as the ease of use.

Morphy Richards signature kettle

Best: For sleek styling

Rating: 8/10

  • Capacity: 1.5l

The first thought which came to mind when we unboxed this kettle was that we’d been sent a cafetiere instead. Luckily we hadn’t, and the kettle – and its quirky design – soon won us over. It’s not the largest model, but that’s precisely why we love it – it’s perfect for one or two-person households, and there’s even a handy one-cup marker to ensure you don’t boil more water than you need if you’re planning on a solo caffeine fix. The limescale filter is another one which is incredibly easy to remove, and we appreciated the fast, quiet boils, too.

Russell Hobbs quiet boil kettle

Best: Quiet kettle

Rating: 8/10

  • Capacity: 1.7l

There’s not a huge amount to be said about this kettle – it does what it says on the tin, and doesn’t disappoint when it comes to noise levels as, even when full, it’s amazingly quiet. The blurb states that it’s 75 per cent quieter than the average model, and we’re inclined to agree. Put it this way: when used alongside our current kettle, which is long overdue a replacement and produces a sound similar to an aircraft taking off, we could barely hear it. Despite its larger capacity, it somehow seems to take up less space, thanks in part to a compact design. From the clear capacity window with its cute cup symbols to its smooth, flat lid, it’s all about simplicity with this one – which, let’s face it, is no bad thing.

Kenwood elegancy earl grey kettle

Best: For speedy boiling

Rating: 8/10

  • Capacity: 1.7l

This kettle, which has a classic, elegant look, won us over with its fast boiling times – flick the switch and the process starts straight away. We were able to boil enough water for two cups of tea in just under 30 seconds. However, we’d love to have seen a slightly more rugged base. Not because we’re fans of adding weight for no reason, but because this one felt slightly flimsy, and we’d prefer certain parts – especially the base, which is subject to most wear and tear – to feel a little tougher. That said, bonus points are awarded for the wide, splash-banishing spout and the bright light on the on/off switch.

DeLonghi ballerina kettle

Best: For ultra-modern kitchens

Rating: 8/10

  • Capacity: 1.7l

We’re assuming the name of this kettle stems from the fact it bears a slight resemblance to a ballerina’s tutu, although we could be totally wrong. Does that mean this kettle makes a better cuppa? No. But it does make it one of the most stylish kettles we’ve come across – one which looks like its natural home is a post-modern Palm Springs crash-pad. It also brews a perfectly good cup of tea, and has a reassuringly solid feel which hints at a superior lifespan.

Smeg mini kettle

Best: Small kettle

Rating: 7/10

  • Capacity: 800ml

This small, cute kettle (and yes, we did just say that about a kitchen appliance) costs more than most full-size ones. Although, if you’re a fan of vintage gadgets, it’s highly likely this will be your dream model. We’re big fans of its glossy finish and streamlined shape, as well as the speed with which it brought water to a boil given its lower wattage of 1,400.

In summary? Yes, it’s expensive but Smeg is the gold standard when it comes to retro kitchen gadgets, and this powerful kettle is a reminder that there’s substance – as well as style – to its designs.

The verdict: Kettles

Bosch’s styline temperature selector kettle proved that temperature control kettles don’t need to be over-complicated – there was nothing we didn’t love about this kettle, and it was refreshingly easy to use. Swan’s 1.8l retro dome kettle is a simply unbeatable option for anyone who wants to add a splash of retro styling without breaking the bank, while Tower Housewares’ bottega stainless steel kettle bags the third spot for its reassuring sturdiness, speedy boiling and vintage look.

Voucher codes

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Cuppa joe? Why not check out our best filter coffee machines review

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