Best kettles 2019

They're an essential kitchen gadget, but which kettles are worth buying? We put them to the test to bring you our top five models, from budget buys to high-tech models.

All products were chosen independently by our editorial team. This review contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Please read our affiliates FAQ page to find out more and read about how we write BBC Good Food reviews.
 

 

Bosch cordless kettle

Bosch cordless kettle

Best high-tech kettle
Pros: Sleek, fast, good value
Cons: Larger than average base, slightly noisy

This Bosch cordless kettle oozes class. It’s attractive, stylish and offers great features. The kettle sits on a black base with touchscreen-like controls. From here, you can turn it on and off, or set the temperature to between 70C and 100C.  This means that if you’re an aficionado of different teas, such as green tea or oolong, you’ll be able to select the best temperature for your brew. 

There’s also a “keep warm” button to maintain the water at the correct temperature for 30 minutes – you can press this while it’s heating up or when it’s just finished. The kettle will reheat every few minutes before switching itself off again. All  the icons are self-explanatory and easy to use.

The kettle itself is sleek and sturdy, with a stainless steel body, while the top, handle and spout match the black base. The chunky handle is set well away from the water-level indicator, making it easy to read. This is a flip-up kettle, and it opens widely, making it particularly easy to fill.

As the kettle gets to work, you can watch it progress towards its target with a funky blue light moving through the temperatures until it reaches your chosen one. The kettle announces that it is finished with a beep as it switches off. 

The size of the base means the footprint is bigger than for most kettles. However, it is deep rather than wide, so it shouldn’t be a deal breaker if you have a small kitchen.

This was also the quickest of all the kettles we tested, boiling a litre of water in 2 minutes 6 seconds. However, it is on the noisy side and we had to turn up the volume on a radio chat show.

 

Specifications:
Product code: TWK7203GB
Choice of temperature: Yes
Temperature indicator: Yes
Keep warm function: Yes
Water level indicator: Yes
Removable limescale filter: Yes
Lid type: flip up
Capacity: 1.7l
Height 23cm 
Width 23.5cm 
Depth 14.2cm
Finished beep: Yes

Dualit kettle on white backrground

Dualit Domus kettle

Most user-friendly kettle
Pros:
Stylish, great quality
Cons: Expensive 

In this category, we wanted a kettle that just gets the job done without any fuss or bells and whistles (not that modern kettles have whistles…).  We were looking for one that fills easily, pours well, doesn’t drown out conversation, and boils rapidly, too. A kettle without too many complicated buttons or the need for more than a cursory glance  at the instructions – but one that doesn’t sacrifice good looks for functionality.

The shiny, stainless steel Dualit Domus kettle doesn’t come cheap but it is brilliantly designed. There are two “water windows” – one showing the number of cups and the other, the volume in litres. Both of these are marked in contrasting white and very easy to read. Unusually, these windows are also not behind the handle, making reading it even easier.

The Dualit is smaller than most of the kettles we tested, with a maximum capacity of only 1.5 litres. However, that’s still enough for around six cups of tea, so unless you have a particularly big household, or host tea parties, this shouldn’t be a problem. The base is smaller than average as well, giving it a compact feel.

The lid is a pull-up one but, unusually, it is hinged, so dropping it back into place is effortless and it clicks in easily, while the silicone handle is easy to grip.

The on switch is satisfyingly chunky and a white light at the bottom of the kettle clearly shows it’s on. The kettle also states that it is BPA-free (a chemical used in many household products) which will be important to many.

It’s a heavily branded kettle, with the Dualit logo twice on the body, once on the lid and three times on the base. It boils fairly quickly – we tested it several times and got an average time of 2 minutes 26 seconds for a litre. It also pours very easily – the spout is designed to ensure no drips.

 

Specifications: 
Product code: 72310
Choice of temperature: No
Temperature indicator: No
Keep warm function: No
Water level indicator: Two
Removable limescale filter: Yes
Lid type: hinged pull-up
Capacity: 1.5l
Dimensions: H23cm x W16cm x D24cm
Weight: 1.025k
Finished beep: No

Tower kettle on white background

Tower Bottega 1.7l kettle

Best traditional kettle
Pros:
Quiet, distinctive
Cons: Water level is quite hard to see

We loved the unusual look of this Tower kettle. Taller than a pyramid kettle, rounder than a jug style, it is nothing if not distinctive. It has a cottage-style appearance and would look great in a kitchen of this style.

There's a nice added feature of an old-style thermometer which shows the temperature rising as the kettle heats up, which may help while away the seconds if you’re hanging about in the kitchen waiting for it to boil. It means you can switch if off when it reaches a lower temperature if you want to, though you can’t set it to do this automatically.

We tested the black and rose-gold kettle, which is also available in white and rose gold. We liked the pull-off lid which has a ring-shaped top, so you can hook your finger into it and pull it off pretty effortlessly. The on switch is a rose-gold knob, with the stalk leading to it and the end lighting up so you can see it’s working.  

The contoured handle is easy to hold as well as being stylish. The kettle was one of the quietest we tested and we had no problem listening to the news as it heated up. It was reasonably quick too, boiling our litre of water in an average of 2 minutes 16 seconds. The only downside we found was the water-level indicator, as the markings are difficult to read.

 

Specifications: 
Product code: T10200
Choice of temperature: No
Temperature indicator: Yes
Keep warm function: No
Water level indicator: Yes
Removable limescale filter: Yes
Lid type: Pull off
Capacity: 1.7l
Dimensions: H28cm x  W24cm x D19cm
Weight: 1.115k 
Finished beep: No

Copper effect kettle on white background

Home Bargains Open Kitchen 1.8l pyramid copper-effect kettle

Best budget buy
Pros: Stylish and inexpensive
Cons: Noisy. Filter is hard to remove

For the money, this Home Bargains kettle is well-designed and stylish – it’s pretty sizeable, too. With a capacity of 1.8 litres, it’s the biggest of all the kettles we tested, which means it could be a good buy if you make tea for the masses. However, despite its volume, it doesn’t take up any more space on the worktop than its slightly smaller rivals, as the base it sits on is on a par with the others.

In some ways, the shape, colour and design make this look a little like an old fashioned copper kettle that you’d boil on the top of your stove. However, it is pleasingly modern electric kettle with all the features you would expect. We liked the rather cutely shaped on switch (it looks a bit like a heart) which lights up when you flick it on.

It was also one of the lightest kettles we tested. Another design plus is the black marking on the water-level indicator, which are very easy to read.

Although it’s one of the cheapest we tested, this kettle is no slouch – it  boiled a litre of water in a decent 2 minutes and 25 seconds. The copper effect is stylish and it looks pretty good. The shape of its spout gives it a slightly jaunty air – and, perhaps more importantly, it pours easily, too.


Buy from Home Bargains (£22.99)

Specifications:
Choice of temperature: No
Temperature indicator: No
Keep warm function: No
Water level indicator: Yes
Removable limescale filter: Yes
Lid type: Pull off
Capacity: 1.8l
Dimensions: H30cm x W21cm xD21cm
Weight: 0.9k
Finished beep: No

Swan Nordic jug kettle on white background

Swan Nordic jug kettle

Most stylish

Pros: Very attractive, reasonably fast
Cons: Limescale filter awkward to remove

If you want a kettle that is striking and different, this Scandinavian-style Swan kettle could be the answer. It’s an elegant, streamlined kettle that could be a real talking point in your kitchen.

Although it’s simple, it’s very thoughtfully designed, even down to the cord matching the white body of the kettle (which is also available in grey). The wood-effect handle is actually made of rubber – but you wouldn’t know until you touch it. There’s a striking, contrasting trim along the top and bottom of the kettle, and it isn’t over-branded.

There's a lift-off lid, which pulls off and fits back in easily. The “on” knob is a small stalk with a little blue light at the end so you can check it’s heating up. The kettle is fairly efficient, taking 2 minutes and 24 seconds boil time for a litre of water. This kettle is also among the lightest of the ones we tested.

Another advantage is the small footprint of the base, so despite its 1.7 litre capacity, it doesn’t take up much space on the worktop. However, the water level is tricky to see as it’s behind the handle, and we found the small limescale filter very fiddly to remove.

 

Specifications:

Choice of temperature: No
Temperature indicator: No
Keep warm function: No
Water level indicator: Yes
Removable limescale filter: Yes
Lid type: Pull off
Capacity: 1.7l
Dimensions: H 25.5cm x W 16.0cm x D 22.0cm
Weight:  936g
Finished beep: No

How to buy a kettle

No kitchen is complete without a kettle to make the tea and coffee that we drink in vast quantities.  We also use kettles for food prep, sterilising and more.

Selection of kettles laid out on a table for testing

Which kettle to buy

Classic or multifunction
If you just want a kettle that boils water, you’re spoilt for choice. If you’re a lover of fine teas, some of which brew better at lower temperatures, you might want one which enables you to select the temperature. This option can also suit parents making hot drinks for children. Some kettles also have a “keep warm” function, which is useful if you don’t all want your tea at the same time.

Style

Classic, old-fashioned, Shaker, trendy, futuristic – there’s a kettle for you whatever type of kitchen you have. While most modern kettles are jug style, taking up less space on the worktop, there are plenty of pyramid kettles on the market if you prefer one of those. All the kettles we tested sat on a base, which plugged into the mains, and all had auto-switch off.
 

Lid
Flick up or pull off? If you like to operate your kettle with one hand, you might prefer one where you just press a button to lift the lid. Some people would rather have one where the lid comes off completely.

Speed
If you want a quick break from work, you might appreciate a kettle that is a minute or so quicker.

Noise
Some people want their kettle to be as unobtrusive as possible, and certainly not loud enough to drown out the radio or music. But if you like to flick on the kettle, then go off into a different room while it boils, you might like one that’s a bit louder, so you can hear when it clicks off.

Price 
You might be surprised at how cheap – or expensive – a kettle can be. Our samples ranged from £22.99 to £149.

Close up of kettles for testing

What we looked for in a kettle

Good looks. Kettles live on worktops, so which one you buy might come down to the one you like the look of, and will fit in well with the style of your kitchen. 

Quality. Well-fitting lids, quality on switches and filters – we were looking for a kettle that felt like it would last.

Speed. While speed might not be the deciding factor when choosing a kettle, for most of us the quicker, the better. We poured a litre of water into each of the kettles – enough for four mugs – and got the stopwatch out.

Ease of use.There’s no point having a beautiful kettle if it’s awkward to use. We looked for kettles that were simple to fill and pour, with a good grip and easy-to-read water levels.

Value. We awarded extra points for those kettles that were great value for money.  

This review was last updated in March 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

Find more top kitchen kit by visiting our review section. Any while you're there, how about telling us what  model of kettle you use?

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
blackbird17's picture
blackbird17
10th Oct, 2016
I've just given up on electric kettles and gone back to a stovetop. It's surprisingly fast and I love to hear it's cheerful whistle. Plus I have some worksurface back !
hungrybaker
12th Nov, 2015
I'm surprised an ordinary 'variable temperature' kettle isn't mentioned - I have The Smart Kettle by Sage by Heston Blumenthal (about £90) (needs work to keep it looking pristine) and a just as good but more affordable Bosch Styline kettle (about £50). I can really tell the difference between boiled water and the ideal 80 degree water for loose leaf green or delicate teas e.g. jasmine or chrysanthemum. One thing about travel kettles - some don't come with a filter, so I'd suggest checking that if you live in a hard water area (I believe it was 'Which?' who said the Sage kettle's filter didn't perform as well as some; as I'm in a soft water area I haven't had a problem).
Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.