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Electric Kettle Buying Guide

Published by: Maria Kelley • Updated: February 2, 2024 • Checked By: Chef Matty Riedel

Imagine the convenience of quickly boiling water for your favourite hot drinks without the hassle of using a stovetop kettle. Electric kettles provide that convenience and more, but how do you choose the perfect one for your needs? Let’s dive into the key factors to consider when purchasing an electric kettle with my electric kettle buying guide, from type and capacity to material and energy efficiency.

Key Considerations When Buying An Electric Kettle

Variety of electric kettles

Selecting the best electric kettle is not merely about aesthetics or brand name; it’s about finding a balance between various aspects like:

  • Type
  • Capacity
  • Speed
  • Temperature settings
  • Durability
  • Safety features

A grasp of these aspects will empower you to make an informed decision, ultimately leading you to a kettle that will serve you well for years.

Every household has unique needs when it comes to boiling water. Some may require a large capacity for frequent use, while others might prioritize speed or temperature settings. Hence, carefully evaluating each aspect to determine the features most relevant to your needs is highly advisable.

You’ll discover many options as you explore the world of electric kettles, from traditional jug kettles to sleek gooseneck kettles. A closer examination of these key considerations will assist you in finding the perfect kettle for your home.

1. Kettle Type

Kettles come in various materials and designs, including cordless and swivel base options. The most common kettle types are jug and dome-shaped kettles, each with pros and cons. Jug kettles are taller, with side handles and larger water capacity, while dome-shaped kettles resemble traditional stovetop models with top handles and slightly smaller capacity. For instance, the Swan Nordic jug kettle has a stylish design but has a handle that obstructs the water level gauge. Compared to other kettles, it still stands out due to its unique design.

In addition to the typical jug and dome-shaped kettles, there are also electric gooseneck kettles, perfect for precise pouring when making pour-over coffee. Moreover, some kettles are made from materials like stainless steel, glass, or plastic, each with advantages and disadvantages. For example, the Russell Hobbs Quiet Boil Kettle offers a minimalistic stainless steel design, making it an excellent alternative to a loud whistling kettle and arguably the best stainless steel kettle in its category.

2. Capacity

Choosing a kettle with the right capacity is vital since it directly correlates with its efficiency and utility. Most kettles have a capacity of 1.5 to 1.7 litres, accommodating six to seven cups of tea. However, if you only need to boil water for a single cup, consider the kettle’s minimum capacity to avoid wasting energy.

Some kettles have smaller capacities, like the Sage the Compact Kettle Pure with a 1-litre capacity, suitable for smaller households or those with limited kitchen space. Conversely, larger households may require kettles with a higher capacity, like the De’Longhi Brilliante kettle, which holds 1.6 litres and allows for easy pouring when full.

3. Speed Of Boiling

The convenience of using an electric kettle is significantly affected by its boiling speed. Faster boiling times can save you precious minutes, especially during busy mornings. My tests found that the Russell Hobbs Inspire is not only one of the quickest kettles, boiling water in just over two minutes, it’s also the quickest.

Consider the boiling speed of different electric kettles and how this feature fits into your daily routine. It’s wise to check the manufacturer’s claims and customer reviews to see if the kettle’s performance matches your expectations.

4. Temperature Settings

For those who enjoy a variety of beverages, variable temperature settings can be a valuable feature. For example, tea lovers prefer green tea at a lower temperature than black tea. These settings are also useful for parents preparing drinks that are not dangerously hot for children or those using warm water for cooking.

When searching for a kettle with variable temperature settings, ensure the options include the temperatures you require for your preferred beverages.

5. Material

Comparison of kettle materials

The durability and aesthetics of an electric kettle can be significantly influenced by its material. Common materials include:

  • Plastic: Lightweight and budget-friendly, but not as durable as stainless steel or glass.

  • Stainless steel: Known for its durability, sleek design, and excellent heat retention.

  • Glass: Offers a modern and stylish look but may be more fragile than plastic or stainless steel kettles.

Glass kettles offer an elegant and transparent design, allowing you to monitor the water level easily. However, some customers have reported durability issues with glass kettles. When choosing a kettle material, consider its pros and cons and how they align with your preferences and priorities.

6. Energy Efficiency

Considering energy efficiency when purchasing an electric kettle is crucial since it can lead to cost savings in the long run. Kettles with a higher energy efficiency rating consume less power and heat water more quickly, reducing energy costs and environmental impact.

When evaluating electric kettles for energy efficiency, consider the kettle’s power consumption and design features like insulation that help retain heat. Choosing an energy-efficient kettle will save money on your energy bills and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

7. Hard Water Solutions: Kettles with Removable Limescale Filter

Kettle with removable limescale filter

For those living in hard water areas, finding a kettle with a removable limescale filter can significantly affect the kettle’s performance and longevity. Limescale filters help reduce the buildup of minerals in the kettle, prolonging its life and ensuring that your hot drinks taste their best.

Some well-known brands that offer kettles with removable limescale filters include:

  • Sage
  • Philips
  • Cuisinart
  • Tefal
  • Breville

When selecting a kettle for hard water areas, ensure it has a robust and finely meshed filter inside the spout to filter out limescale and mineral deposits effectively.

8. Safety Features

Boil dry protection feature

When selecting an electric kettle, safety features are of paramount importance. Two crucial safety features are boil-dry protection and auto shut-off. Boil dry protection automatically shuts off the kettle when no water is detected, preventing potential damage to the kettle or even a fire hazard. Auto shut-off deactivates the kettle once it reaches the predetermined temperature or when the water has completed boiling.

9. Design & Ease Of Use

A seamless experience is significantly influenced by the kettle’s design and user-friendly features. Features such as a cordless or detachable cord, a keep-warm option, and an auto shut-off can make using an electric kettle much more convenient and enjoyable.

When evaluating electric kettles for design and ease of use, consider factors like:

  • The Kettle’s weight
  • Handle design
  • Spout shape
  • Water level indicator

A well-designed and user-friendly kettle will look great on your kitchen counter and make preparing your favourite hot drinks easier.

10. Maintenance & Cleaning

Regular maintenance and cleaning are essential to maintain optimal kettle performance. Over time, mineral deposits and limescale can build up inside the kettle, affecting its efficiency and the taste of your hot drinks. Cleaning your kettle with vinegar or citric acid regularly can help remove these deposits and prevent new ones from forming, ensuring that your kettle can heat water quickly and effectively.

As a general guideline, it is recommended to descale your electric kettle every three to six months for optimal performance. For those living in hard water areas, more frequent descaling may be necessary to keep your kettle working at its best.

11. Noise Level

When choosing an electric kettle, noise level is another factor to bear in mind, as it can influence your environment., especially if you have a small living space or are sensitive to noise. Some kettles, like the Russell Hobbs Emma Bridgewater Kettle, are equipped with quiet boil technology, making them virtually silent during operation.

When comparing electric kettles, try to find models with lower noise levels or look for customer reviews mentioning the kettle’s noise level. A quiet kettle will make your kitchen more peaceful and prevent disturbance to other members of your household.

12. Brand & Warranty

Brand reputation and warranty

When deciding on an electric kettle, the reputation of the brand and its warranty are vitally important. A reputable brand with a good warranty can provide peace of mind and ensure that you get a quality product. Many customers have expressed satisfaction with brands like Oxo, Hamilton Beach, and Bonavita, while others have reported durability issues or dissatisfaction with customer support from brands like Cuisinart.

Before purchasing an electric kettle, research the brand’s reputation and the warranty offered on the product. A good warranty can save you from potential headaches and additional costs in case of any issues with the kettle.

13. Price

Electric kettles come in a wide range of prices, from budget-friendly options to premium models. When determining the best electric kettle for your budget, compare the price range of available options and consider the features they offer. While a more expensive kettle may offer additional features or better materials, a budget kettle may still provide satisfactory performance.

Remember that investing in a quality electric kettle can save you money in the long run by ensuring its longevity and maintaining optimal performance. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on a kettle that meets all your requirements and has a good reputation for durability and performance.

Maintenance and Longevity: Keeping Your Kettle at Its Best

Considering all the factors discussed in this guide, you can locate the ideal electric kettle that matches your needs and preferences. Remember that regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for keeping your kettle performing at its best and ensuring its longevity.

With the right kettle, you can enjoy hot water for drinks and more easily and conveniently for years to come.

Regular Cleaning For Optimal Performance

Regular cleaning is mandatory to maintain the performance of your electric kettle and ensure the best taste of your hot beverages. Emptying the kettle after each use and descaling it every one to two months can help prevent mineral deposits and limescale buildup that can impact the kettle’s efficiency.

By keeping your kettle clean and well-maintained, you can enjoy hot drinks and more easily and conveniently.

Descaling Tips For A Sparkling Kettle

You can use several household items to describe your electric kettle, such as white vinegar, lemon juice, and cream of tartar. Regular descaling of your kettle can help remove mineral deposits and limescale buildup, impacting its efficiency and the taste of your hot beverages.

You can enjoy hot beverages more easily and conveniently with a sparkling clean stovetop kettle.

Electric Kettle Buying Guide: Summing Up

In conclusion, finding the perfect electric kettle involves considering factors such as type, capacity, speed, temperature settings, material, energy efficiency, etc. You can ensure optimal performance and longevity by evaluating these aspects and maintaining your kettle through regular cleaning and descaling. Choose a kettle that suits your needs and preferences, and enjoy the convenience and warmth of hot drinks at your fingertips.


Russell Hobbs Insipre

  • Rapid boil that saves up to 66% energy
  • Pull-off-lid and detachable spout for easy cleaning
  • User-friendly washable filter

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between A Jug Kettle And A Dome-Shaped Kettle?

Jug kettles are taller with side handles and larger water capacity, while dome-shaped kettles have a more traditional shape with top handles and slightly smaller capacity.

How Often Should I Descale My Electric Kettle?

Descaling your electric kettle every one to two months is recommended to ensure optimal performance.

What Are Some Essential Sfety Features To Look For In An Electric Kettle?

When shopping for an electric kettle, it is important to ensure it has boil-dry protection and auto shut-off features to ensure safety.

How Can I Clean My Electric Kettle Using Household Items?

You can easily clean your electric kettle using household items such as white vinegar, lemon juice, or cream of tartar to descale it and remove any mineral deposits and limescale buildup.

What Are Some Reputable Brands That Offer Electric Kettles With Removable Limescale Filters?

Sage is a reputable brand offering electric kettles with removable limescale filters.

Maria Kelley