You can’t live without a kettle, but if you don’t buy the best kettle you could be in for an annoying time. In this guide, we’ll help you pick the best model to suit your needs, whether you need one that’s easy to fill and pour, a stunning-looking model for a high-end kitchen or one that has adjustable temperature controls for making different types of drink.
Out of all the models that we’ve tested, two stand out. For style and quality, the Smeg KLF03 is the clear winner. If you want to save a bit of money, but still want a great choice of colours, the Morphy Richards Accents Traditional Kettle is also a decent choice.
How we pick the best kettles
We’ve reviewed and recommended models from £30 up to well over £100, to ensure we hit cater to every budget and requirement. All electric kettles work in the same way, using an element to heat water, and are all comparably efficient in this regard (turning electricity into heat is easy).
However, the speed at which a kettle turns off once the water reaches boiling temperature is important. For that reason, we test all kettles to review the time it takes to boil 1-litre of tap-temperature water. We haven’t reviewed – and don’t recommend – kettles that don’t have an auto shut-off function.
While your choice of kettle may largely come down to style, having a water boiler that functions well is exceptionally important. For every model we test, we examine how easy it is to fill, whether you can easily see how much water you’re putting in, and how well it pours.
We also evaluate other features such as whether it’s possible to set target temperatures for different drinks (water to make coffee shouldn’t be at boiling point, for example).
1. Smeg KLF03
Our favourite kettle overall
The Smeg KLF03 kettle is one of the more expensive models around, but it’s also one of the quickest to reach boiling point and most classily designed. In line with the Italian company’s other appliances, the KLF03 is available in a variety of pastel shades and features a raised Smeg logo on each side.
The 74cm cable is adequate. It 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 well through a removable limescale filter. The KLF03 is relatively quiet in operation, and the soft-touch lid opens with the press of a button.
A 3kW-rated kettle, the Smeg KLF03 managed to boil 1-litre of water in just 2mins 5secs, making it one of the fastest models we’ve tested. If you want a high-quality kettle that looks great then this is the one to buy.
2. Morphy Richards Accents Traditional Kettle
Our favourite budget kettle
want to kit out your kitchen with matching small appliances, the Morphy Richards Accents range is probably on your radar. As well as the Accents Traditional Kettle on review here, the range also includes a mug tree, knife block and toaster among other items.
As with the other products that make up range, the Accents Traditional Kettle comes in a variety of colours including white, black, cream, red and blue. Finding one to match your decor won’t be difficult.
The kettle’s design is great, with its retro looks garnering attention for all of the right reasons. On the side of the Accents Traditional Kettle is a water-fill meter, measured in cups, with a line indicating the maximum 1.5-litre level. Unfortunately, condensation inside the kettle can obscure the view, and as a result it can be difficult to work out how much water you’ve put in.
Filling the kettle is easy: you can either pop off the lid and fill through the top – or, if you’re feeling lazy, simply fill through the spout.
To boil 1-litre of water, the kettle drew a maximum of 2.9kW and turned itself off after 2mins 41secs – which is a little slower than some of the other models here. Reaching a peak volume of 72dB, the Morphy Richards Accents Traditional Kettle is comparatively quiet.
Pouring using the well-positioned handle is easy enough, and it’s good to see a replaceable limescale filter inside. A clearer water level would have been welcome, but for the price, the Accents Traditional Kettle is a well-made and stylish addition to any kitchen.
3. Tefal Avanti Classic
A smart and stylish jug kettle
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 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 will be out of the way when filling – 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 2mins 18secs, 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. Inside, there’s a replaceable anti-scale filter, which can be cleaned and descaled, although a replacement filter costs just 60p.
Our only minor complaints are that the cable could be longer (it’s just 70cm) and a pop-up lid would be a neater way to fill it.
4. Smarter iKettle 3.0
Turn your kettle on from your smartphone
If the thought of controlling your kettle through an app – or even through your voice – sounds appealing, the Smarter 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 and you’re then free to control it via its iOS or Android app, which will let you adjust the temperature to fit your beverage. It also features 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. Testing at 100ºC, the Smarter iKettle 3.0 took 2mins 52secs to boil 1-litre of water, making it the slowest kettle on test.
The iKettle 3.0 is a little heavy and there are some minor annoyances, such as there being no external indicator for how much water is inside. Otherwise, the iKettle 3.0 is one of the smartest kettles out there.
5. Sage Smart Kettle BKE820UK
Smart temperature controls for all types of drink
Unlike the truly smart Smarter iKettle 3.0, also in the roundup, the Sage Smart Kettle isn’t actually a Wi-Fi-connected water boiler as its name implies. 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 100ºC temperatures, 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.
Set to 100ºC, the Sage Smart Kettle boiled 1-litre of water in 2mins 28secs, which gives it average performance in this group. Design-wise, the Sage Smart Kettle feels comfortable in the hand. Its large see-through lids pops up smoothly for refilling, and the kettle’s chrome finish will be at home in any kitchen.
6. DeLonghi Avvolta
A striking kettle available in a range of finishes
If you want a kettle that makes a real visual statement then the Avvolta is 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 its on-the-whole plastic construction. The fully detachable lid will also need to be placed aside while you fill up. Rated at 3kW, the DeLonghi Avvolta boiled 1-litre of water in 2mins 15secs, making it one of the quicker kettles on test.
Slightly cheap build quality aside, the distinctive looks and decent price could make this kettle a winner for some.
7. DeLonghi Distinta 1.7L Kettle
A solid performer and an attractive little kettle
Aside from being a little noisy, the DeLongi Distinta 1.7L Kettle is a solid-performing and attractive little kettle. If you favour aesthetics over function then you’re likely to be instantly won over by the compact jug-shaped design and lovely range of colours in which it’s available. These include the matte bronze model on test, as well as copper, black and white colours.
Like some of the other kettles in this roundup, its lid is 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.
A boil time of 2mins 32secs puts this kettle into average territory. The Distinta is a tad pricey for a kettle with basic features, but its killer design and decent performance makes it an appealing top-of-the-range water boiler.
8. DeLonghi Icona Elements
A bit fiddly, but a fast and reliable boiler
If you’re not one for hanging around then this is the kettle for you. The DeLonghi Icona Elements is the fastest kettle 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 area this kettle has received attention; it’s a real looker too. The hammered Cloud White finish of our review model is super-attractive.
The only items we weren’t so keen on were a rather flimsy-feeling plastic handle, and the fact that the lid detaches fully rather than being on a hinge. The latter makes the kettle more fiddlier to fill than other models.
Even so, the jug design makes this kettle easy to pour, with water passing through the removable limescale filter. If you want a rapid water boiler at a decent price, this is the model to buy.
9. Morphy Richards Prism Traditional Kettle
A stunning looking kettle
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. It looks like an authentic cast-iron kettle from a distance. It’s both traditional and futuristic all at once, and would look incredibly sharp on a modern kitchen worktop.
We fell in love with the kettle’s handle, which is positioned on the top and feels comfy in the hand. Given you have to tip the kettle pretty far to pour out the last dregs of water, its 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, taking 2mins 40secs for 1-litre of water. It’s pricey for a basic kettle, but it isn’t the most expensive on the market. And chances are, if you fall in love with the unique design then money will be no object.
That was our pick of the best kettles. If you want to know more about choosing the right model, read on.
Kettle buying guide
Best Kettles – Which form factor should I buy?
Kettles come in two main types: jug style and traditional. Which you opt for will largely be down to preference and which looks best in your kitchen.
In both instances, ergonomics have a vital role to play. We tell you how comfortable each kettle is to hold, and if the handle offers a good grip. We also explain how easy each kettle is to pour.
All of the kettles reviewed here feature a stand on which the kettle sits for 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 shouldn’t be overestimated. This is particularly true when refilling an already-hot kettle; there’s nothing worse than getting your hand caught in the steam. A kettle with a push-button flip-top lid is often a good choice, and makes refilling simpler.
Best Kettles – Can I buy a more efficient or a faster kettle?
Ignore anything you read about faster-boiling kettles. Converting electricity into heat is extremely easy, so all kettles will have similar efficiency figures. And since UK plugs house a maximum of a 13-amp fuse, the most energy a kettle can draw is 3kW.
The main differences are with regards to 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 the amount of water you need. As such, 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 88ºC and 96ºC, depending on the blend and personal taste (remember, coffee boiled is coffee spoiled).
Best Kettles – Do I need a water filter?
Using filtered water, particularly in a hard water area, can help to reduce limescale build-up. Some kettles have integrated water filters, but using filtered water from a jug or filtering tap is just as good.
Most kettles will have an integrated limescale filter. This prevents limescale being poured into your drink, but it doesn’t prevent the build-up of limescale. This filter, along with the kettle, will need descaling to keep everything in tip-top condition. How often you do this will depend on the type of water in your area.
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