October 12,2021

Best kettle 2021: Our favourite rapid-boil, quiet and smart kettles

by David Stewart

No matter your hot drink of choice, few things are more homely than the reassuring crackle of a boiling kettle. There are many models and styles out there but the best kettle will tick all the right boxes at a price that suits you. This variety is a great thing and means you're bound to find something you like but it also means you'll have to wade through a lot of mediocre kettles before you find the perfect one.

If you’re not sure whether to go with style over substance or need something specific, we can help you find it. Whether it's the quietest, fastest boiling, most stylish or cheapest kettle, we've put a number of them to the test. Here you’ll find a selection of the best and most reliable kettles available to buy in the UK.

Not sure what features to look out for? Check out our buying guide below for everything you need to know about buying a new kettle. Already know what you're looking for? Keep scrolling to find our pick of the best kettles for every budget.

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Best kettle: At a glance

Best cheap kettle | Morphy Richards Verve

Best value kettle | Russell Hobbs Quiet Boil

Best variable temperature kettle | KitchenAid Artisan

Best quiet kettle | Russell Hobbs Luna

Bes stovetop kettle | Le Creuset Kone

How to choose the best kettle for you

How much do I need to spend?

You don’t need to break the bank to get your hands on a decent kettle. There are plenty of options costing less than £50 that will get you a reliable, fast-boiling and reasonably quiet kettle, which should last for three years or more. If water-filtration or stunning design is a must, however, expect to pay a premium.

What types of kettles are there?

Electric kettles: These are by far the most common type of kettle. As well as being the most energy-efficient, they’re the quickest and easiest way to get water to boiling point. They’re also the safest, with most having an automatic shut-off setting so it stops heating the water when it reaches the right temperature. The downside is that limescale can build up and reduce efficiency.

Variable temperature kettles: These are a variation of electric kettles that get the water to the optimum temperature for the specific drink you want, with different buttons for different temperatures. Why does this matter? Using boiling water for coffee actually burns it – the ideal temperature is between 91-96˚C. Delicate green and white teas are also destroyed by using boiling water – instead, they require water at 70˚C. Black and oolong teas taste best with water around 85˚C. And chamomile requires water at 90˚C. The list goes on.

Stovetop kettle: This is the most basic kind of kettle, which you simply put on the stove and heat up. When the water is boiling, it will whistle to let you know. They can be (although are not always) the cheapest kind of kettle, as well as having an aesthetic, retro appeal. They are less susceptible to damage caused by mineral deposits than electric kettles and require neither a mains plug nor space on your work surface.

Are rapid boiling kettles actually faster than normal ones?

Don’t be fooled by kettles advertised as “rapid boiling” – the fastest boiling kettle here is only 11 seconds quicker than the slowest. Also, be aware that the manufacturer’s boiling time claims are often based on how long it takes room temperature water to boil. In our tests, we used water straight from the cold tap, which averaged between 9˚C and 11˚C.

What other features are worth looking out for?

Kettles aren't the most high-tech of kitchen items, but it’s worth looking out for safety features such as an auto shut-off function – should you accidentally put too little water in the kettle, this will stop it boiling dry.

One very basic thing to look out for is how a kettle is filled: a button-operated flip-top lid is worth having as it means you don't need to put your hand anywhere near the spout (or any steam coming out of it) when you're refilling it.

And, personally, we'd avoid buying any cheap kettle that has a mains cable connected directly to the jug itself as the slot-in stand design of most modern kettles is far safer.

Finally, think about noise. The difference between our quietest and loudest kettles, which measured in at 71 and 76 decibels, is considerable, although everyone’s tolerance to noise is different.

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The best kettles to buy

1. Russell Hobbs Quiet Boil Kettle: Best value kettle

Price: £34 | Buy now from Amazon

If you're after the perfect balance between price, performance and good looks this 1.7l quiet boil kettle is a superb choice. It may not have any high-tech functions like a keep-warm button, temperature control or an app but it does make a good cup of tea. In fact, it goes a little further than that. Alongside being quieter than your average kettle, it can also boil 235ml of water in around 45 seconds, which is ideal if you just want a quick cuppa for yourself. We love the fact you can pick up a matching four-slice toaster and coffee maker for the kitchen too.

Key specs – Power: 3,000W; Maximum fill: 1.7l; Minimum fill: N/A; Warranty: 2 years; Illuminated gauge: No (Illuminated ring light)

2. Morphy Richards Verve Electric Kettle: The best lightweight budget kettle

Price: £32 | Buy now from Amazon

This kettle not only looks the part but has plenty of desirable features too. At 27cm tall it’s relatively compact and when empty only weighs 1kg. It’s plastic inside and out, can hold up to 1.7kg of water and has a removable and washable limescale filter. The lid pops off easily for quick filling and the cord storage enables you to keep your worktop clean. There’s also a large, clear viewing window that lights up when switched on, so you can see exactly how much water is in there.

Most importantly, it’s incredibly quiet when it boils and heats one cup in just 46 seconds, making it one of the quickest options on this list. This means that you can enjoy a sneaky cuppa any time of the day, without disturbing anyone in the house. The Verve range also includes a four-slice toaster and filter coffee machine , both of which are as stylish as the kettle.

Key specs – Power: 3,000W; Maximum fill: 1.7l; Minimum fill: N/A; Warranty: Not stated; Illuminated gauge: Yes

3. Russell Hobbs Luna: A quick and quiet kettle

Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon

If you want your hot water in a hurry, this is a great purchase – a litre boils in under 2mins 30secs and one cup in a mere 45 seconds. Moreover, you don’t have to kill all conversation in the kitchen while the kettle boils as it’s very quiet. It's available in various colours, but our favourite is the stainless steel with a copper trim version, which looks uncannily like the significantly more expensive Dualit below.

You can boil just one cup of water at a time and it’s easy to open the lid, fill up and pour, as well as see how much water there is left inside. And the good news for hard water areas is that it has a great limescale filter. In fact, it pretty much ticked all our boxes, with the one exception that it’s not the easiest to keep clean but even that’s not a deal-breaker.

Key specs – Power: 3,000W; Maximum fill: 1.7l; Minimum fill: 235ml; Warranty: 2 years; Illuminated gauge: Yes

4. KitchenAid Artisan 5KEK1522BOB: Best variable temperature kettle

Price: £149 | Buy now from Currys

This striking kettle from KitchenAid is one of the best variable temperature kettles we’ve tested. It features a generous temperature scale of 50˚C to 100˚C and has a temperature dial mounted on the body, allowing you to quickly see the temperature of the water inside. There are also internal and external lights, so you can easily see both the temperature dial and the amount of water inside the kettle.

In testing, we measured the internal temperature of the water across each temperature setting and, for the most part, it gave us accurate results. Occasionally we saw readings one or two degrees above or below where it should have been, but these were infrequent. The Artisan boils one cup of water in around 56 seconds, which isn’t the fastest time we’ve recorded but is still very quick. What’s more, it’s incredibly quiet compared to other kettles we’ve tested, which is great news if you’re trying to brew a cuppa first thing in the morning.

The Artisan is truly a joy to use and well worth splashing out on if you need a variable temperature kettle.

Key specs – Power: 3000W; Maximum fill: 1.5l; Minimum fill: 0.5l; Warranty: 3 years; Illuminated gauge: Yes

Buy now from Currys

5. Dualit Polished Chrome Classic Kettle with Copper Trim: The premium option

Price: £130 | Buy now from Amazon

This polished chrome and copper kettle is a stylish and sturdy addition to any kitchen. Water gauges on either side of the kettle show the water level in cups and litres, while its protruding spout offers drip-free pouring. A silicon grip handle and reassuringly solid on/off toggle finish off what is a beautifully designed piece of kitchenware, although it did take the longest to boil a litre of water. With a quiet boil and leak-free lid, this is the kettle to go for if money is no object.

Key specs – Power: 3,000W, Maximum fill: 1.7l; Minimum fill: 250ml, Warranty: 1 year; Illuminated gauge: No

6. Le Creuset Kone Kettle, 1.6l: Best stovetop kettle

Price: £60 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re choosing a stovetop kettle, you’ll want to invest in good looks as much as good features, so what better than the iconic enamelled steel Kone? Available in six distinctive colours, including the brand’s classic “Volcanic” shade, the design’s been tweaked since its launch to include a spout whistle that flips up for pouring (the previous whistle had to be removed), so it won’t get lost. It’s suitable for all hob types including induction, and has a heat-resistant plastic handle for an extra layer of safety (although you should still lift it off the hob wearing an oven mitt). The downsides are that it has to be hand-washed and it’s a little on the pricey side, but for modern country kitchen cool, it ticks every box.

Key specs – Power: N/A; Maximum fill: 1.6l; Minimum fill: N/A; Warranty: 5 years; Illuminated gauge: N/A

7. Smarter iKettle 3rd Generation Smart Jug Kettle: The best app-controlled kettle

Price: £92 | Buy now from Amazon

It can take a few attempts to set up this kettle and integrate it into the rest of your smart home (it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant) but once you do, it will quickly earn its place in your kitchen. For example, you can come home to a boiling kettle for an instant cuppa after a long day, or heat on a dedicated baby formula mode while you’re elsewhere in the house doing a midnight feed. There’s even a wake-up mode if you’re the sort of person who can’t get going in the morning without a mug of tea.

Sensors let the app show how much water is in the kettle and the temperature can be varied to as low as 20°C. Plus, if you’re worried about sketchy Wi-Fi, a manual boil lets it work like a standard kettle. There’s no viewing window, so you may boil more water than you need, but we love the convenience of telling Alexa to get the kettle on, instead of persuading your other half.

Key specs – Power: 3,000W; Capacity: 1.8l; Minimum fill: 250ml; Warranty: 2 years; Illuminated gauge: Yes

8. De'Longhi Argento Flora: The best-looking kettle

Price: £45 | Buy now from Argos

Tired of chrome and boring black? You need the Argento Flora range in your life. Inspired by the colours of flowers and plants, the collection of small appliances brings an alfresco feel into your kitchen, complemented by sweeping lines and inimitable Italian style. Available in “Jasmine Beige”, “Peony Rose”, “Peppermint Green” or “Agave Blue”, its kettle is no exception, featuring a gentled rounded shape and elegant chromed details. It also features twin neon power-on lights, a removable washable filter and three safety functions, shutting off once water has begun to boil or when it’s lifted from its base, and a thermal cutout. However, it’s not the most eco-friendly in terms of a minimum boil, requiring 500ml of water.

Key specs – Power: 3,000W; Maximum fill: 1.7l; Minimum fill: 500ml; Warranty: 1 year; Illuminated gauge: Yes

Buy now from Argos

  • David Stewart
  • October 12,2021

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