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Electric kettles make boiling water quick and easy, without the need for a stovetop (and no annoying whistle sound). Noodles, perfectly steeped tea, or coffee made pour-over style or in a French press can be yours to enjoy in minutes.
These days, electric kettles come with updated features for safety and convenience, like expanded water capacity, automatic shutoff, and the ability to detach from the electric base while pouring. We sent our top picks to our home tester to determine which ones on the market perform best. She looked for attributes like speed to reach the boiling point, how the kettle poured, and how long the water stayed hot. She also made note of each kettle's durability, cost value, design (yes, aesthetics matter!), and other useful features.
Here are our picks for the best electric kettles on the market, tested at home.
Best Overall: Cuisinart PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle
What We Love: Has six temperature settings, heats to a boil in under 2 minutes
What We Don't Love: The outside of the kettle stays hot, can be difficult to clean
The Cuisinart PerfecTemp Programmable Kettle covers all the bases when it comes to heating water. It can hold almost 2 liters of water, and you can see how much water is in the kettle, thanks to an illuminated blue plastic window along the side of the kettle. The kettle body itself is stainless steel.
This kettle is perfect for the tea or coffee aficionado: It has 6 temperature settings for the type of drink you’re preparing. The “delicate” setting (160 degrees), green (175), white (185), Oolong (190), French press (200), and black tea (boiling). Beginning with room temperature water, it hits the boiling point in only 2 minutes and will beep to indicate it has reached the chosen setting and then turn itself off. It also has a keep warm mode that initiates automatically and will keep the water at the selected temp for 30 minutes.
The Cuisinart PerfectTemp Programmable Kettle has a wide pour spout, which let our home tester pour a normal amount of water out quickly, allowing it to flow out seamlessly without splattering. This was unlike her current model, which is significantly less expensive. "You can tip it significantly with no rush of hot water. The top stayed firmly shut," she notes. Her only concern was that the body of the kettle got very hot and remained so for almost an hour after use.
It has a couple of bonus features, like a removable scale filter that’s easy to rinse out, so when mineral deposits build up, they don’t go into your cup. It also features dry-boil protection, so if there’s not enough water in the kettle when the unit starts heating, it'll turn itself off. This kettle retails for nearly $100, so that price point may be out of reach for some—while our tester gave this kettle high marks for design and usability, she's not a big tea drinker: "I likely wouldn't spend that much only to boil water," she says.
"I really liked this. I personally don't need much beyond a function that brings water to a boil (e.g., 165 degrees)—I'm not enough of a tea aficionado to care that much. It pours really nicely. But I do like the stay-warm feature (great if you need a second cup)." — Rebecca Treon, Product Tester
Capacity: 1.7 liters | Dimensions (LxWxH): 8.8 x 6.1 x 9.75 inches | Temperature Control: Yes | Wattage: 1500 W
Best Gooseneck: Cosori Electric Gooseneck Kettle
What We Love: "Hold temp" setting helps keep temperature consistent, sleek design
What We Don’t Love: Small capacity, no window to check the water level
Unlike most electric kettles, which have about a 1.5-liter capacity, the Cosori Electric Gooseneck Kettle can only hold about 3 cups (a teapot holds about 4), making it smaller than average. There’s also no window to measure the water level, so you have to either gauge it by sight or measure it first.
This kettle has a visually appealing design that resembles a teapot, with an elongated spout that gives you better control over pouring (especially for properly wetting coffee grounds for French press or pour-over styles of coffee); the water comes out in a thin, elegant stream. However, if you're not paying attention, "as you pull the kettle back upright, it's very easy to overshoot the mug and pour hot water all over the counter," observed our tester.
Like many modern kettles, it has safety features like dry boil prevention: It’ll turn itself off if there’s not enough water in it. It’s made of stainless steel (so no icky plastic here) and has five preset temperature options: 170 degrees for white tea, 180 for green tea, 195 for Oolong, 205 for coffee, and 212 for boiling. It also has a "hold temp" button, which kept our home tester's water hot after an hour (at around 185 degrees). "I like this setting, which beeps to let you know it's turning on to keep the temperature consistent," she says.
You can also set the kettle sound so it's completely silent, and it has a one-year warranty.
"It doesn't hold much water, but I do like the hold setting, which beeps to let you know it's turning on to keep the temperature consistent." — Rebecca Treon, Product Tester
Capacity: 0.8 liters | Dimensions (LxWxH): 12.2 x 9.9 x 7.9 inches | Temperature Control: Yes | Wattage: 1200 W
Best Glass: Cosori Glass Electric Kettle
What We Love: Lid opens completely, making it easy to clean; straightforward to use
What We Don’t Love: Has only one setting
This electric kettle is straightforward and simple. It proves the old adage, "a watched pot never boils," wrong, because you can literally watch the water get hot, start to move around, and reach a rolling boil. It’s made of clear, food-grade, heat-proof, and durable glass and is equipped with a blue LED light that gives your hot water a glow-up. "You would also definitely see any buildup and it being glass would make it easy to clean but also more breakable," says our tester.
In her testing, it took about 4 to 5 minutes for the water to reach a full boil and turn itself off. It only has the one button to press down, so it was easy to figure out which one is the boil setting. Plus, the entire top springs open so it’s easy to reach into and clean. The carafe part separates from the base for easy cordless pouring. "There was no splashing at all. The outside of the carafe gets pretty hot, but there were no other obvious safety concerns," she adds.
There aren’t several temperature settings—this kettle is for straightforward boiled water. It has a filter in the spout to trap mineral deposits that may form, and it has safety features such as dry boil, which turns itself off if there isn’t enough water. It has no stay-warm feature, however. It’s basic, but it’s affordable and does what it needs to do.
"I thought this was a fine, straightforward kettle that does the job if you need something basic. No bells and whistles, but affordable and efficient." — Rebecca Treon, Product Tester
Capacity: 1.7 liters | Dimensions (LxWxH): 9 x 7.3 x 11.7 inches | Temperature Control: No | Wattage: 1500 W
Related: The Best Tea Kettles
Best Large-Capacity: Secura SWK-1701DB The Original Stainless Steel Double Wall Electric Water Kettle
What We Love: Double-wall design keeps exterior cool, sleek design, large lid
What We Don’t Love: No window to check water level
This super simple electric kettle is designed for those who need to boil water (and a lot of it). It has a large capacity (1.7 liters, compared with the 1 liter of the average kettle). The kettle has a sleek look and uses a double wall design to keep the outside cool to the touch, while the water stays hot long after boiling is done (after an hour, our tester reports that the water stayed hot at 135 degrees).
There is a filter in the spout, but it is not made of fine mesh, so larger mineral deposits could get through. The heating process is simple—there is only one button used to operate the kettle; just put in the desired amount of water and depress the On button. The button itself will light up to indicate the water is heating, and the Secura has both an automatic shutoff feature (so it’ll turn itself off as soon as the water hits the boiling point) and a dry-boil feature (so the kettle won’t boil water if the level is too low), both of which are important safety features.
Along with the stay-cool outer surface, all these features make this one of the safest kettles our home cook tested, which is instant bonus points if you have little ones with wandering hands and need all the security you can get. The only downside to this appliance is that there’s no outside window to check the water level inside the kettle, "but, you can look inside, and I like that there is no plastic used on it," she adds. There are also markers on the inside of the kettle that show 0.5 liters, 1 liter, and 1.7 liters.
This kettle comes in a range of colors, including black, red, orange, dark blue, and white. Its extra-large lid makes it easy to clean out using a cloth or a sponge.
"The pouring is smooth, there's no splashing, and the lid stays closed tight. This is definitely the safest of the six kettles I tested." — Rebecca Treon, Product Tester
Capacity: 1.7 liters | Dimensions (LxWxH): 9.5 x 6.5 x 10.75 inches | Temperature Control: No | Wattage: 1500 W
Best Portable: Bodum Bistro Electric Water Kettle
What We Love: Very simple to use, has a mesh filter to capture mineral deposits
What We Don’t Love: Rotating lid makes filling and cleaning awkward, pricey for being made entirely of plastic
This electric kettle couldn’t be simpler. There’s a button on top to unlatch the lid and a button to initiate the water heating process. It’s basically a BPA-free plastic cylinder with a spout and a handle, so if you are plastic-averse or prefer stainless steel, that’s something to be aware of. If you aren’t, it’s worth noting that this kettle comes in a variety of colors that will match any kitchen color scheme.
There’s a blue light on the kettle handle that will turn on when the water is being heated, and once the water hits the boiling point, the kettle turns itself off and so does the light. There’s a capacity window on the side of the kettle to see how much water is in the kettle: It displays the water amount in liters, ounces, and with a teacup icon with a number next to it. A regular teapot holds 4 cups, and this kettle will make two pots, but our tester found the various measurements helpful.
The spout is wide to prevent splatters, and it has a fine mesh filter in it to catch any mineral deposits. The lid doesn’t pop open at a hinge on the end near the handle, but instead, it unlocks with the button then rotates in the center. Our home tester says that this made filling and cleaning it a bit awkward: It would need to be cleaned with a brush rather than reaching her hand into the kettle with a sponge or cloth.
With the kettle filled at full water capacity (1 liter), it took about 5 minutes and 22 seconds to reach the boiling point. After the boiling test, the water was still at 140 degrees after an hour.
"The spout on the kettle is wide and a good shape to prevent splashing. It was smooth pouring, and the lid stayed latched in place." — Rebecca Treon, Product Tester
Capacity: 34 ounces | Dimensions (LxWxH): 7.8 x 5.9 x 8.7 inches | Temperature Control: No | Wattage: 1100 W
Related: The Best Tea Infusers
Best Adjustable Temperature: OXO Adjustable Temperature Pour-Over Kettle
What We Love: Cord storage in the base, fully adjustable temperature, stainless steel
What We Don’t Love: No window to check water level, vents in the top release hot steam, boils water quickly
This electric kettle is shaped like a teapot, which is perfect for pour-over coffee or any drink where the act of pouring a narrow stream of water is important. It’s stainless and has a stay-cool silicone-covered handle. One disadvantage is that there is no way to check the water level either outside or inside. Inside, there is only one label that says "Max" to let you know not to fill past that point. However, its capacity is 1 liter, so if you have that in mind, you should be able to guesstimate.
The lid stays firmly in place, but it is completely removable. It has a plastic knob with a silicone flap around it to prevent you from burning your hand when taking the lid off. However, there are three small holes in the lid to vent the steam, which can burn skin if you're not careful.
The base is where the excitement is. First, it has a reel on the bottom to wrap the electrical cord around when not in use. Our tester found this handy for storage so she didn't have cords hanging all over the place (one of her pet peeves). When the kettle is removed, the base reveals a chart that she found very useful: It shows what temperature is needed for certain beverages: For example, Oolong tea needs to be 195 degrees Fahrenheit, while coffee is 200 degrees. There is one knob in the center of the control panel, which lights up when the kettle is set on the base. If you depress and hold the knob, it will give you the option of choosing Fahrenheit or Celsius. Turn the knob to the right or the left to control the temperature. Press the button on the knob and the water will heat.
There’s a digital display that will show you the temperature as the heating progresses, and it will also tell you the temperature once it turns itself off. For example, after 15 minutes, the digital display read 198 degrees, letting our tester know that the water was still hot. After a half hour, the kettle beeped and turned itself off completely.
Capacity: 1 liter | Dimensions (LxWxH): 8.1 x 7.3 x 11 inches | Temperature Control: Yes | Wattage: 1500 W
Related: The Best French Press Coffee Makers
You can't go wrong with the Cuisinart PerfectTemp Programmable Kettle (view at Amazon), which includes the best safety and design features you can find from our top-rated electric kettles. For perfect pour-overs, choose the Cosori Electric Gooseneck Kettle (view at Amazon).
What to Look for in an Electric Kettle
Most electric kettles hold between 1.5 to 1.7 liters of water, and the average teapot holds about 1 liter. Assuming you want to fill the teapot without overfilling the kettle, that’s the size you’ll be aiming for. Anything smaller and you may be filling the kettle more than once.
One of the advantages of an electric kettle is that it heats water faster than the stovetop, but it is also safer and doesn’t require a stove. Most kettles will take about 5 minutes for water to go from cold to boiling. Boiling the water on the stovetop takes only slightly longer, but with some kettles on the market boiling water in just a couple of minutes, you really can enjoy a cup of noodles or packaged oatmeal almost instantly.
These days, electric kettles have more features than a simple On (boil) and Off button. Most kettles have an automatic shutoff feature, so when the water reaches a boiling point, it will click off by itself. Another important safety feature is a dry-boil feature that turns the kettle off when there is too little water in it. It will also cool itself quickly so that if cold water is added, it won’t damage the heating element or the kettle itself.
Some electric kettles have several temperature settings for different kinds of tea, such as oolong, green, white, and black teas, giving tea connoisseurs the option of being precise with their brews. Others have a keep-warm feature that will keep the water the same temperature for 30 minutes after the first cup is poured. While the safety features are arguably the most important ones to look for, the other features make using an electric kettle easy and enjoyable. Ultimately, it’s up to the buyer to think through how they’ll use the kettle and which bells and whistles are the most important to them.
How do I clean an electric kettle?
Cleaning your kettle is way easier than you think: It can be done with items you likely already have in your kitchen. Also known as descaling, this should be done every few months if you use it frequently.
Start by mixing a 1:1 ratio of water with vinegar. Fill your kettle about halfway full with the mixture and set it to a boil. When it reaches the boiling point, turn it off if it doesn’t already do so automatically. (If you’re using lemon juice, the ratio is 1:1 juice to water. If you’re using citric acid it’s 2 tablespoons per half-full kettle.) Let the solution sit in the kettle for at least 20 minutes and then dump it out. Next, with the kettle unplugged, clean out the kettle’s water filter if it has one. Clean the water filter following the manufacturer’s instructions. Most of them are metal, and you can soak them in a hot water and vinegar solution for a few minutes and then scrub it clean with a bottle brush. Rinse it under fresh water.
Use a sponge or a bottle brush to clean the inside of the kettle. This may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t ever fully submerge the kettle because it will destroy the internal heating elements. You can use some extra vinegar on the brush to get to the hard-to-clean build-up near the spout.
Next, use your sponge and some dish soap to clean off any stuck-on splatters on the outside of the kettle. You can use a baking soda paste on tough-to-remove spots without scratching the surface. Refill halfway and bring the water to a boil again—this can be repeated a few times if needed to thoroughly clean the kettle of mineral deposits. Finally, rinse the inside and outside of the kettle well with fresh running water and dry with a microfiber cloth for a streak-free finish.
Is it OK to leave water in an electric kettle?
The short answer is no. It may increase the speed of limescale accumulation and may damage or wear out the kettle at a faster than normal rate—meaning basically a shortened lifespan and poorer performance. It may also affect the taste. Instead, you can use the remaining hot water to rinse your sink drain or let it cool and use it to water your plants.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Lindsey Danis is a former professional cook and a food writer for retail and trade publications. Based in the Hudson Valley, when she's not sipping tea in the kitchen, you can find her hiking, kayaking, or traveling.
Rebecca Treon is a freelance writer specializing in food, travel, and lifestyle. She tested all of our top tea kettles and updated this piece with her findings. After testing our Best Overall pick, she may need to replace her own cheap tea kettle, with its small and narrow pouring spout, for a kettle with a wider one.
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