Kettles have one simple function: boil water. However, the best tea kettle options do the job quickly and efficiently, and have additional features for precision, safety, and convenience. While you can boil water in a pot on the stove or even in the microwave, a kettle simplifies the task and—if using an electric model—makes it more energy efficient.
Between making a mug of tea, cocoa, pour-over coffee, oatmeal, or instant soup, a kettle is a handy piece of equipment to have in the kitchen. Read on to learn more about choosing a tea kettle and why these models are considered among the best.
- BEST OVERALL: Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Electric Kettle
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Electric Kettle
- MOST STYLISH: Le Creuset Enamel On Steel Whistling Tea Kettle
- BEST LED DESIGN: Mueller Premium 1500W Electric Kettle with SpeedBoil
- BEST WITH FILTER: Hiware 1000ml Glass Teapot with Removable Infuser
- BEST COMPACT: Mr Coffee Claredale Whistling Tea Kettle
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Tea Kettle
When shopping for a tea kettle, key factors and features to keep in mind are style, design, material, finish, and safety, among other characteristics.
Electric vs. Stovetop
Tea kettles come in one of two styles, electric and stovetop, which refer to how heat is generated.
- Electric kettles, which plug into a wall outlet, generally boil water faster and are more energy efficient than their stovetop counterparts. They offer more safety features, and most models don’t have to be monitored because they have an automatic shutoff. Some models are also precise enough to heat water to a specified temperature. Electric kettles can be made from plastic, glass, stainless steel, or a combination of materials.
- Stovetop kettles are heated by an element on the kitchen’s range. They typically whistle when the water boils. While they can be made from a variety of materials, most models are constructed from glass or stainless steel.
Size and Shape
Kettle sizes are typically measured by capacity in either metric liters or imperial quarts, which are almost equivalent units of measurement. Standard kettles usually have capacities of between 1 and 2 liters or quarts. Smaller kettles are also available, which are convenient for those with limited kitchen space or who rarely need more than a cup or two of boiled water at a time.
Kettles generally come in one of two shapes: jug and dome. Jug kettles are tall and narrow, and they typically have larger capacities, while dome kettles are wide and short, with a classic aesthetic.
Material and Finish
Tea kettles most commonly contain glass, stainless steel, or plastic, which offer different aesthetics.
- Glass kettles often have clear volume markings to show how much water is inside. Glass kettles are generally electric, though some are compatible with gas and electric stovetops. Clear glass offers an interesting visual of tea inside the kettle.
- Stainless steel kettles are durable and affordable. They are, however, susceptible to rusting over time. Stainless steel kettles, whether electric or stovetop, can be used on any type of cooktop, including induction. Most stainless steel kettles are polished for a sleek appearance.
- Enameled kettles, usually stainless steel with an enamel coating, are generally designed for stovetop use. These kettles come in a variety of shades and can add a splash of color to the kitchen.
- Plastic kettles are increasingly unpopular because of the health concerns surrounding the potential carcinogens in certain types of plastics. They cannot be used on a stovetop.
Handle and Pour Spout
Look for a kettle with a handle that not only stays cool to the touch, but is easy to grip while pouring. Some models have non-slip ergonomic handles that are especially comfortable to hold.
Kettle spouts are designed so that they won’t drip or spill while pouring. Some models feature long gooseneck spouts for slow, precise pouring, a plus when brewing pour-over coffee. Many models have spouts with integrated filters to ensure that mineral deposits from the water can’t make their way into the beverage.
Stovetop and electric kettles come with safety features to protect your hands, prevent dropping, or overboiling:
- Many electric kettles have an auto shut-off feature, ensuring they power off when the water has come to a boil.
- Some electric kettles have boil-dry protection, only operating if water is detected in the reservoir.
- Most stovetop models are built to whistle once the water has begun to boil, acting as an alert to take the kettle off the heating element.
- Both types of kettles may include heat-resistant and non-slip handles.
For some shoppers, a quality tea kettle with basic functions is preferable. If you’re looking for a more advanced kettle, extra features are available:
- Temperature control settings allow water to be heated to the exact temperature needed.
- Keep-warm functions maintain the water’s temperature for a set amount of time.
- Filter baskets let users brew tea directly in the kettle.
- A visible water gauge shows exactly how much water is in the kettle.
- LED lights offer extra visual appeal to electric kettles and indicate that the water is heating.
Our Top Picks
Now that you know more about kettles, it’s time to start shopping. With the key factors and considerations in mind, these top picks reflect some of the best tea kettle models available.
The Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp electric kettle might suit tea connoisseurs and coffee aficionados who want their water heated to a precise temperature. It offers a variety of presets to boil water or set the temperature to 160, 175, 185, 190, or 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Each setting is labeled with the type of beverage that it’s best-suited for. The Cuisinart kettle has a 1,500-watt power capacity, allowing it to boil water quickly, with consistent 4-minute boil times. It also keeps water at a specific temperature for a half-hour.
Boil-dry protection powers off the Cuisinart kettle if the reservoir doesn’t contain enough water. Made from stainless steel with a clear viewing window, this kettle includes a washable scale filter, a cool-touch, non-slip handle, and a 36-inch cord.
This no-frills, well-priced electric kettle from AmazonBasics is made from stainless steel, has a 1-liter capacity, and boils water quickly. It has a 1,500-watt power capacity and a viewing window with volume markings to show how much water is inside.
Boil-dry protection is a reassuring safety feature, automatically shutting off when it’s out of water. The kettle is BPA-free and includes a removable, washable filter.
Renowned for enameled cookware, Le Creuset enters the kettle market with a classic model. It’s a stovetop unit that can be used on any heat source, including induction. The 1.7-quart kettle is made from enamel-coated steel, with a base of carbon steel for fast and efficient heating. When the water comes to a rolling boil, the kettle alerts users with a whistling noise.
This Le Creuset kettle boasts a heat-resistant ergonomic handle and a cool-touch knob. It’s available in multiple bright and neutral shades to complement kitchen decor.
This electric kettle from Mueller holds up to 1.8 liters of water and is constructive with borosilicate glass. This durable material is designed to prevent shattering due to abrupt temperature changes. Interior LED lights indicate that the water is heating while providing a neat visual effect.
When the water boils, the Mueller device automatically shuts off within 30 seconds. A boil-dry safety feature ensures the kettle can’t heat without water inside. It has a heat-resistant, anti-slip handle for an easy grip.
Those who like to brew and serve tea in the same container may appreciate this multifunctional Hiware kettle-teapot combo. It boasts a mesh tea infuser that can boil water and steep tea in the same vessel. Made from borosilicate glass, it’s safe to use on a gas or electric stovetop.
The 1000ml Hiware Glass Teapot contains an ergonomic handle and a spout designed to avoid dripping. It’s safe for the oven, microwave, and dishwasher.
The Mr Coffee Claredale Whistling Tea Kettle is a solid choice for households with several hot beverage drinkers but limited kitchen storage. While it has a large capacity of 2.2 quarts (or just over 2 liters), it’s compact in size. This stovetop model works on any type of cooktop and whistles to let you know when the water is boiling.
Mr Coffee’s Claredale Whistling Tea Kettle has a brushed stainless steel finish and a classic dome-style shape. Its large stay-cool handle offers a secure grip. The flip-up spout cover also has a stay-cool trigger for safety and ease of use.
FAQs About Your Tea Kettle
For more information about tea kettles, keep reading to find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Q. What should I look for in a tea kettle?
First, decide whether you want a stovetop or an electric kettle. Consider whether you prefer a glass or stainless steel model (most popular), which capacity would best suit you, and if you’re looking for a particular color or aesthetic. If you’re interested in advanced features, keep an eye out for models with temperature control, built-in filters, keep warm functions, and water gauges.
Q. What is the healthiest tea kettle material?
Tea kettles made from glass are best for health because they limit the risk of releasing any metal or other toxins into the water as it boils.
Q. What is the best tea kettle for a gas stove?
Stainless steel kettles offer optimal heat resistance, making them the best choice for a gas stove.
Q. Why do kettles rust?
If water is left in its reservoir, a metal kettle is susceptible to rusting. Try to boil just the amount needed at a time, and empty any remaining water to avoid oxidation.
Q. Is it OK to leave water in a kettle?
It’s best not to leave water in a kettle for more than a couple of hours to avoid buildup of limescale, a hard chalky deposit consisting mainly of calcium carbonate, which can be difficult to remove.