Best Kettles 2018: The 9 best for the perfect cuppa

Look in any house in the UK, and you can bet that the kettle will be the one electrical appliance that everyone owns.

A staple of the kitchen, the electric kettle is essential for everything from making that perfect cup of tea to getting hot water quickly for cooking veg.

All electric kettles work in the same way, using an element to heat water, and are just as efficient as each other (turning electricity into heat is easy). The main choice comes down to style, boiling speed and the ease of use.

In this guide, we’ve put together our list of the best water boilers, so you can find the perfect one to match your needs and style. We’ve tested each kettle for usability and the boiling speed of 1-litre of water. Our list of the top products is next, but you can use the link below to jump to our buying guide if you’d like to know a bit more before you make your final choice.

Read our kettle buying guide

The best kettles

1. Smeg KLF03

Price when reviewed: £119.95

The Smeg KLF03 kettle is one of the more expensive around, but it’s also one of the fastest-boiling and most classily designed. In line with the design of the Italian company’s other appliances, the KLF03 comes in a variety of pastel shades and has a raised Smeg logo applied to each side.

The 74cm cable is adequate, but can be neatly wound under the base and can exit from almost anywhere – there’s no annoying single exit point.

The handle feels solid and comfortable, and the kettle pours nicely through a removable limescale filter. The KLF03 is relatively quiet, and the soft-touch lid opens with the press of a single central button. If you want a high-quality kettle that looks great this is the one to buy.

Key features:

  • 1.7 litres
  • 3kW
  • Water level indicator
  • Removable limescale filter
  • Auto shut-off
  • Power light
  • 2m5s boiling time for 1 litre when tested

2. DeLonghi Avvolta

Price when reviewed: £79.99

If you want a kettle that makes a real visual statement, the Avvolta is probably it, especially in this striking two-tone red finish (more sedate black, and silver options are available, too).

Boiling time is very good, and it pours nicely through the limescale filter, which is removable. Unfortunately, the Avvolta looks more classy than it feels, due to the amount of plastic in its construction. The fully detaching lid also needs putting aside while you fill up. That said, the distinctive looks and decent price could make this a winner for some.

Key features:

  • 1.7 litres
  • 3kW
  • Water level indicator
  • Removable limescale filter
  • Auto shut-off
  • Power light
  • 2m15s boiling time for 1 litre when tested

3.  Breville Impressions Gloss White Jug Kettle VKJ738

Review price: £34.99

Breville Impressions Gloss White Jug Kettle VKJ738 3

White plastic kettles can look cheap and tacky, but not the Breville Impressions Gloss White Jug Kettle. With its ribbed white design, and light-up switch and water level indicator, it’s a chic and contemporary gadget that you’ll enjoy putting on display.

The kettle boils water reasonably fast, and does a fine job of keeping it warm long after boiling has finished. It measured 84 degrees C 10 minutes after we made a brew, and a respectable 71 degrees C after half an hour.

We did feel like the lid design let this kettle down. It’s a small lid that removes completely, which is annoying when you just want to fill up for a quick cuppa – especially given the spout is a little too small to fill up from. However, that LED water level indicator is a godsend for serial over-fillers.

Read our full Breville Impressions Gloss White Jug Kettle VKJ738 review

Key features:

  • 1.7 litres
  • 3kW
  • Water level indicator
  • Removable limescale filter
  • Auto shut-off
  • Power light
  • 2m39s boiling time for 1 litre when tested

4. DeLonghi Icona Elements

Review price: £79.99

If you don’t like hanging around, this is the kettle for you. It’s the fastest we’ve ever reviewed.

In addition to the 2min-flat boiling time for a litre of water, the 79cm cable is impressively lengthy. Thankfully, functionality isn’t the only thing that’s received attention, as this is a real looker. The hammered Cloud White finish on our review model was just lovely.

The only things we weren’t so keen on were a rather flimsy-feeling plastic handle, and the fact that the lid fully detaches, rather than hinges.

Key features:

  • 1.7 litres
  • 3kW
  • Water level indicator
  • Removable limescale filter
  • Auto shut-off
  • Power light
  • 2m0s boiling time for 1 litre when tested

5. Tefal Avanti Classic

Review price: £69.99

Decked out in stainless steel, the Tefal Avanti Classic is available with either a smart copper band (pictured) or a plainer silver band. In either case, the Avanti Classic is an attractive and straightforward kettle.

Taking a generous 1.7 litres of water, the Avanti Classic has a large fill gauge on both sides of its body, so it’s easy to see how much water you’ve put in. The lid pulls off to fill, which isn’t quite as easy as a pop-up lid. However, the jug design with the side-mounted handle means that your hand is out of the way when filling, so you can top-up a hot kettle without scalding yourself.

Using a peak power output of 2.9kW, the Tefal Avanti Classic boiled our test 1 litre of water in 2m18s, which puts it square in the middle of the pack. Of course, there’s an auto shut-off to stop the kettle once boiling point has been reached.

Pouring is easy, with the kettle’s weight evenly distributed and the large handle making it easy to pick up the Avanti Classic. Inside, there’s a replaceable anti-scale filter. This can be cleaned and descaled, although if you want to buy a new one, they cost just 60p each.

Our only real minor complaints about this model are that the cable could be longer (it’s just 70cm) and a pop-up lid would be a neater way of filling it.

Key features:

  • 1.7 litres
  • 2.8kW
  • Removable limescale filter
  • Auto shut-off
  • 2m18s boiling time for 1 litre when tested

6. Morphy Richards Prism Traditional Kettle

Review price: £79.99 | Buy now at Currys.co.uk from £39

Morphy Richards Prism Traditional Kettle 2

At first glance, it’s obvious that the Morphy Richards Prism Traditional Kettle isn’t for everyone. This striking-looking kettle has an oriental-inspired, ergonomic design with a black matte finish and glossy triangle pattern, making it look like an authentic cast-iron kettle from a distance. It’s both traditional and futuristic all at once, and would look incredibly sharp on the right modern kitchen worktop.

We fell in love with the kettle’s handle, which is positioned on the top and feels very comfy in the hand. Given you have to tip the kettle pretty far to pour out the last dregs of water, the large, sturdy handle is a blessing. You have to pop off the lid manually, but this isn’t a surprise given the kettle’s traditional design and handle position.

Its boil time is decent, and it keeps water hot for an above average length of time after switching off. It’s pricey for a basic kettle, but it’s not the most expensive on the market. And chance are, if you fall in love with the unique design, money will be no object.

Read our full Morphy Richards Prism Traditional Kettle review.

Key features:

  • 1.5 litres
  • 3kW
  • Water level indicator
  • Removable limescale filter
  • Concealed element
  • Auto shut-off
  • 2m40s boiling time for 1 litre when tested

7. DeLonghi Distinta 1.7L Kettle

Review price: £89.99 | Buy now at JohnLewis.com from £79.99

DeLonghi Distinta 1.7L Kettle 2

Aside from being a bit of a noisy one, the DeLongi Distinta 1.7L Kettle is a solid-performing and attractive little kettle. If you favour aesthetics over function when it comes to your kettles, you’ll probably be instantly won over by the compact jug-shaped design and lovely range of colours it’s available in, which includes the matte bronze model we tested, copper, black and white.

Like some of the other kettles in this round-up, its lid is a little small and you have to remove it manually rather than push a button to pop it up. The spout is big enough for filling, though, so it’s a minor caveat we’re happy to overlook. Plus, the lid is an attractive feature.

The Distinta is a tad pricey for a kettle with basic features, but its killer design and good performances makes it an appealing top of the range water boiler.

Read our full DeLonghi Distinta 1.7L Kettle review.

Key features:

  • 1.7 litres
  • 3kW
  • Water level indicator
  • Removable limescale filter
  • Concealed element
  • Auto shut-off
  • Power light
  • 2m32s boiling time for 1 litre when tested

8. Sage Smart Kettle BKE820UK

Review price: £99.99 | Buy now at JohnLewis.com from £89.99

Sage Smart Kettle BKE820UK 3

Unlike the truly smart Smarter iKettle 3.0, also in the round-up, the Sage Smart Kettle isn’t actually a Wi-Fi connected water boiler like its name suggests. It does, however, have some seriously clever functions for tea connoisseurs who aren’t that bothered about phone connectivity.

The kettle sits on a base that houses an impressive seven buttons – five to let you select 80, 85, 90, 95 or 100 degrees C, one for switching the kettle on, and another to activate the ‘Keep Warm’ feature. The temperature settings produce brilliantly accurate results, which is great news for both coffee and tea lovers alike. Nobody likes a cup of burnt beans or a scalding hot mint tea.

Design-wise, the Sage Smart Kettle feels lovely in the hand. Its large see-through lids pops up smoothly for refilling, and the whole kettle’s chrome finish will sit at home in any kitchen.

Read our full Sage Smart Kettle BKE820UK review.

Key features:

  • 1.7 litres
  • 3kW
  • Two water level indicators
  • Keep-warm function (20 mins)
  • Variable temperature 80-100 degrees
  • Auto shut-off
  • 2m28s boiling time for 1 litre when tested

9. Smarter iKettle 3.0

Review price: £99.99 | Buy now at Amazon for £99.99

Smarter iKettle 3.0

If the thought of controlling your kettle through an app – or even through your voice – sounds appealing, the iKettle 3.0 could be the kettle for you. The latter voice skills are the big addition for the iKettle 3.0, which is in its third generation.

The kettle connects to your Wi-Fi connection and you’re then free to control it with its iOS or Android app, which will let you adjust the temperature to fit your beverage. There are also really useful keep warm functions as well as formula modes that can heat and then allow the water to cool to the perfect temperature for baby formula.

The iKettle 3.0 works best if you have a digital assistant managing your home as there’s nothing quite like saying “Alexa, turn on the kettle” to get it boiling. The kettle itself is a little heavy and there are some minor annoyances, such as there being no external indicator for how much water is inside, but otherwise the iKettle 3.0 is one of the smartest kettles out there.

Read our full Smarter iKettle 3.0 review.

Key features:

  • 1.8 litres
  • 3kW
  • iOS and Android app controlled
  • Keep-warm function up to 30 mins
  • Variable temperature 20-100 degrees C
  • Auto shut-off
  • Power light
  • Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT controls
  • 2m52s boiling time for 1 litre when tested

Do you have a kettle suggestion that we didn’t mention in the list above. Let us know in the comments below.

Kettle buying guide

Form factor and ergonomics

Kettles come in two main types: jug style and traditional. The choice is largely down to preference and which type looks best in your kitchen.

With each type of kettle, ergonomics has a vital role to play. We tell you how comfortable each kettle is to hold, and if the handle gives you a good grip. And, we explain how easy each kettle is to pour.

All of the kettles that we’ve reviewed have a stand that you drop the kettle onto to provide power. We explain how easy it is to drop the kettle onto its stand.

The ease with which you can open the lid and fill a kettle should not be overestimated. This is particularly true when refilling an already-hot kettle so that you don’t get your hand caught in steam coming out. A kettle with a push-button flip-top lid is often a good choice, making refilling simpler.

Efficiency and boil speed

Converting electricity into heat is extremely easy, so all kettles have very similar efficiency figures. The main differences come from how quickly a kettle takes to boil, which is defined by two factors: power usage and the auto shut-off.

For power usage, kettles that draw more power will boil faster; lower-rated kettles will take longer to get your water to boiling point. However, the total power usage remains the same to heat water to boiling point. Really, then, the choice for power usage comes down to how quickly you want your boiling water.

The automatic shut-off has a part to play: the faster the kettle can recognise that it has hit the boiling point, the quicker it will shut off and stop using power. To that end, our reviews list how much power a kettle draws and the time taken to heat 1-litre of water.

There are two main ways to save electricity when using a kettle. First, only boil that amount that you need: a kettle that has a clear window and water scale makes it easier to fill to the level you need.

Secondly, stopping the kettle boiling sooner saves energy. Some kettles have adjustable temperature sensors for different jobs, although you can manually stop any kettle with a lower degree of accuracy.

For example, if you’re making coffee in a french press, the ideal water temperature is somewhere between 88C and 96C, depending on the blend and personal taste (remember, coffee boiled is coffee spoiled).

Filtered water

Using filtered water, particularly in a hard water area can help cut down on limescale build up. Some kettles of integrated water filters, which makes the job easier, but using filtered water from a jug or filtering tap is just as good.