15 best kettles for the perfect brew

·14-min read
We compared capacities, boiling times, features and looks (iStock/The Independent)
We compared capacities, boiling times, features and looks (iStock/The Independent)

It’s the one appliance in our kitchen we couldn’t do without – a kettle is the first thing that most of us sleepily switch on in the morning, whether we’re tea or coffee drinkers.

So of course, when you invest in a new kettle you have to get the right one for you, whether that means a stylish model that matches your toaster, one with all the mod cons for your inner tech geek, or even one that filters your water before you boil it.

We’ve tested the best on the market, with prices ranging from £25 to nearly £200. We considered how heavy they are, how quickly they boil and their noise output – because no one wants to miss their favourite TV show while they make a cuppa.

We also tested their capacity, style and ease of use, and we’ve factored in limescale – every kettle will get it and you should clean your model every four to eight weeks. Add-ons such as limescale filters will prevent any from escaping into your builder’s.

But the last and most important part of our testing, of course, was just how good a cup of coffee or tea tasted after we poured the water into our favourite mug.

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The best kettles to buy in 2021 are:

  • Best for fresh-tasting tea – Russell Hobbs purity glass Brita kettle: £59.99, Russellhobbs.com

  • Best for a wedding gift – Kenwood mesmerine 1.6l Kettle: £129.99, Currys.co.uk

  • Best for gadget lovers – KitchenAid artisan kettle: £169, Kitchenaid.co.uk

  • Best for style – Cuisinart traditional kettle: £65, Cuisinart.co.uk

  • Best for quiet tea making – Tower bottega rose gold kettle: £59.99, Towerhousewares.co.uk

  • Best for bigger budgets – Smeg KLF03 kettle in matte black: £179.95, Johnlewis.com

  • Best for students – Wilko pink pearlescent finish kettle: £25, Wilko.com

  • Best for high-tech kitchens – Bosch styline kettle with temperature selector: £59, Ao.com

  • Best for a fuss-free cuppa – Morphy Richards illumination jug kettle: £39.99, Morphyrichards.co.uk

  • Best for quirky design – Lakeland blue glow mirrored kettle: £49.99, Lakeland.co.uk

  • Best for practicality –Breville curve kettle: £34.99, Currys.co.uk

  • Best for coffee enthusiasts – The Felicita square temperature control electric kettle: £125, Darkartscoffee.co.uk

  • Best for a classic kitchen –Rangemaster classic 1.7L 3KW quiet boil kettle: £99.99, Rangemaster.co.uk

  • Best for a modern look – De’Longhi scolpito kettle :£105, Amazon.co.uk

Russell Hobbs purity glass brita kettle

Best for: Fresh-tasting tea

Filtered water can make all the difference, especially if you live in a hard water area, so we loved the idea of this Brita kettle. A little fussy to set up and fill, it’s worth it for a fresh-tasting cuppa. Designed with a black lid, which ejects easily, silver detail and a sturdy handle, the body of the kettle is clear, allowing you to see your water boil. The filter is said to help reduce limescale, while also preventing any metals or chlorine from getting into your water – it also provides a handy guide at the top indicating when it’s time to change your filter.

Quick to boil, we loved the blue lights that indicated it was doing its job. We were really impressed with the quality of the water and it made us one of the best cups of tea we’ve had in ages. Because of how the water is purified we think this kettle would build up less limescale, plus you would see it form as soon as it did start to appear. However, the capacity of the kettle, which is an average weight, is the lowest we tested at only 4 cups. The kettle also comes in plastic at a lower price – but we think for a glass model it’s very affordable.

Buy now £59.99, Russellhobbs.com

Kenwood mesmerine 1.6l kettle

Best for: A wedding gift

The most aesthetically pleasing kettle we tried, the mesmerine has a quilt-like design and comes in six colours, including bright red and blue. One of the fastest models to boil (in under a minute), it was also one of the loudest. Other downsides were its weight, at 1.2kg before you added the water, while its minimum and maximum levels were hard to see. The kettle, which also has a matching toaster, can house an average 1.6l of water, while like most it also had a removable limescale filter. It’s an average price for an attractive-looking kettle – it could be perfect for a gift, especially for newlyweds.

Buy now £129.99, Currys.co.uk

KitchenAid artisan kettle

Best for: Gadget lovers

This stylish kettle, available in nine colours, was one of the most expensive we tested – but it has some clever details. The lever on its 360-degree base, which also has cord storage, allows you to adjust the temperature when you heat the water – taking it from 50C to 100C. We tested the lower setting for herbal tea and loved how we could drink it straight away without burning our tongue.

Easy to use, with a 1.5l capacity, we loved the ding sound it made when the boiling was done, while the temperature gauge informed us of the inside temperature, even when the kettle was off its base. Easy to fill up, the only downside is its weight when the kettle is full – we found it hard to pour. If you have a bigger budget and love nifty gadgets, this is a good option.

Buy now £169.00, Kitchenaid.co.uk

Cuisinart traditional kettle

Best for: Style

If you’re going for style in the kitchen, this oval-shaped kettle, which comes in three colours, is perfect and has a matching toaster. With its silver finishing, our pink version looked super stylish on our worktop, and it wasn’t overly heavy, even when it was full. The design also encompasses a dual-sided window, which was really useful for seeing the water level.

The black arched handle above the kettle is positioned perfectly, giving it good stability when filling up (to 1.7l) and pouring the water. The light on the switch indicates when it is boiling, and it gets there in average time. It’s another well-priced kettle.

Buy now £65.00, Cuisinart.co.uk

Tower bottega rose gold kettle

Best for: Quiet tea making

This traditional-looking kettle in black has attractive rose gold finishing, while it also has a handy temperature gauge on the front. It was also one of the least noisy kettles we tried – it comes with a Quietmark accreditation.

With a 1.7l capacity, you can get up to seven cuppas from just one boil. The handle, which sits above, made it sturdy when filling the kettle up, but the lid was fussy and hard to get off. It is another heavy kettle, but it made up for it with its quick boiling time and reasonable price tag.

Buy now £59.99, Towerhousewares.co.uk

Smeg KLF03 kettle in matte black

Best for: Bigger budgets

This super suave, matte-finished kettle also comes in two other shades – white and champagne. Boasting Smeg’s Fifties-style design, we loved the kettle’s rounded lines and stainless steel finishing – including the well-known Smeg lettering on the front. The matte design was easily scratched, however, and at nearly £180 for the kettle we’d expect more.

Able to hold seven cups of water, it was easy to fill with its slow-release ejector button, but we did find it relatively heavy, with and without the water. Like most of the kettles we tried, it sat on a 360-degree silver swivel base, with tiny non-slip feet. It made a decent cup of tea, but at that price we had very high expectations. If you’re shelling out for the kettle for style reasons, then you may as well match it with the toaster (£179.95, Smeguk.com).

Buy now £179.95, Johnlewis.com

Wilko pink pearlescent finish kettle

Best for: Students

If you or your teenager is off to university, or you’re just looking for something cheap to brighten up a dull kitchen, then this pink pearlescent kettle is a good choice. Despite being pretty basic, it still has a 1.7l capacity and a clear water indicator just under the handle. It took a while to start boiling and when it did it was pretty noisy. The stainless steel lends it a medium weight, while its lid could be opened by a button on the handle – however, it regularly caused spillages.

It made a tasty cuppa and is perfect if you’re not after anything too high tech. We think it would last a couple of years if it was cleaned regularly.

Buy now £25.00, Wilko.com

Bosch styline kettle with temperature selector

Best for: High-tech kitchens

This very futuristic-looking kettle in white and silver sits on a high-tech base, allowing you to select the temperature of your boil and to keep the water warm for up to 30 minutes. The keep-warm function also means the kettle will boil again automatically if goes below a certain temperature – something we could get used to.

A little bigger than some of the other kettles we tested, it makes up for it with its lightweight nature, which made pouring the water and filling it up very easy. With a prominent cup display, it’s easy to fill to the desired level and therefore to save energy if it’s just two of you enjoying a cuppa. There’s also boil-dry protection and a filter on the spout that helps protect your coffee or tea against limescale.

Buy now £59.00, Ao.com

Morphy Richards illumination jug kettle

Best for: A fuss-free cuppa

Neat and stylish, this light kettle can house up to 1.7l of water, but what most impressed us was its quality and price. The easy-to-remove lid made it quick to fill up, but its best feature was the blue light which illuminated as soon as you pressed the button. With its rapid boiling, it was ready in no time, while its removable limescale filter meant we had tasty water for every cup of tea or coffee we poured. At just under £40, this modern kettle is great value and the perfect addition to your worktop – and there’s also a matching toaster (£59.99, Morphyrichards.co.uk).

Buy now £39.99, Morphyrichards.co.uk

Lakeland blue glow mirrored kettle

Best for: Quirky design

We found this well-designed kettle to be very quiet, to the point where we doubted if we’d actually switched it on. We love the mirrored body, which turns blue from the LED light inside, and goes see-through when boiling. Easy to fill with its flip top, it was considerably light to hold, even when pouring from its full 1.7l capacity.

One drawback was its boil time, which was much longer than for any of the other kettles we used: it’s not one for impatient tea drinkers. The larger-than-normal spout also made it harder to pour and we had to be careful with smaller cups – but it made a pleasant cup of coffee. It also comes at an average price for a well-designed and quiet kettle.

Buy now £49.99, Lakeland.co.uk

Breville curve kettle

Best for: Practicality

Even when full this plastic kettle was one of the lightest we tested, and it could still hold a 1.7l – seven cups. The curved cream design is striking, while the silver accents make it an attractive option and it’s also available in five other colours. It’s very practical for the time poor, with a lid that comes off easily and a measurement indicator just below its sturdy handle.

We were impressed with how quickly it boiled – it took less than two minutes to make a cup of tea. It did seem to gather limescale quickly, but a filter at the spout made sure our drinks were free of it. It’s a stylish and practical option for a very good price.

Buy now £34.99, Currys.co.uk

The Felicita square temperature control electric kettle

Best for: Coffee enthusiasts

One for coffee drinkers, this smaller kettle with a gooseneck gives better control when pouring. The base allows you to control the temperature and, in turn, get the best flavour from your coffee. We loved the aesthetics of the design, with its sleek handle which made it easy to pick up and pour.

Quick to boil and relatively quiet, we paired it with some Dark Arts coffee for a velvety black mug. The only downsides were its fiddly lid – which we found hard to take off – and the fact the maximum measurements were a bit unclear, as the first time around we filled it too high. Quite steep in price, it would still be a worthy investment if you’re on a quest to find the perfect cup of Joe.

Buy now £125.00, Darkartscoffee.co.uk

The Funky Appliance Company funky kettle

Best for: A fun appliance

This rose gold kettle with silver trimmings, bold silver handle and funky lettering down the side will definitely make a statement in your kitchen. The stainless steel makes it another heavy option, but its lid, operated by a push-down button on the top, makes it very accessible. With a capacity of up to seven cups, we love how the water level window, behind the handle, lights up in blue while the water is boiling.

It reaches its boiling point quickly, is not too loud and has a sturdy base. A spout was on the larger side, so we had to be careful when pouring, but it resulted in a great cup of English tea. It’s the perfect model for those who appreciate bold and quirky styles, but who still want an efficient kettle.

Buy now £79.99, Funkyappliance.co

Rangemaster classic 1.7l 3KW quiet boil kettle – available 1 June

Best for: A classic kitchen

This stovetop-style kettle would fit in well in a classic kitchen and would suit a large family with its 1.7l capacity. Its best feature is its quiet boiling, which sounded like a distant hum.

Like most stainless steel kettles it is pretty hefty, which made it harder to fill with water, while its larger spout also meant we had to be careful we didn’t spill the water. When it boiled the kettle was slightly wobbly on its 360-degree swivel base, but the carry handle gave us stability when pouring.

We enjoyed a fruity tea, with the kettle’s filter at the spout providing us with a great-tasting cuppa. It’s an investment at £100, but the classic design and low-level noise won us over.

Available 1 June

Buy now £99.99, Rangemaster.co.uk

De’Longhi scolpito kettle

Best for: A modern look

If you are looking to wow guests then this is the kettle to do it with. With a sculpted-looking design at the bottom, this model has a smooth stainless steel finish at the top and a capacity of 1.5l. Its 360-degree swivel base was one of the sturdiest we’d tried, down to its non-slip feet. It was also incredibly quick to boil.

Available in five different colours including bronze, it was of average weight and its detachable lid made it easy to fill. Its well-positioned spout, meanwhile, is great for pouring. if you’re looking for quality and design then it’s worth splashing out a bit more for this model.

Buy now £105.00, Amazon.co.uk

The verdict: Kettles

Russell Hobbs purity glass brita kettle impressed us when we sipped on a fresh-tasting herbal tea. We loved how easy it was to use while the extra details, including the blue lights, really gave it an edge. If you can stretch your budget a little further then the Kenwood mesmerine kettle is a great option – the style won us over and it was one of the quickest to reach boiling point for less than £100.

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