What’s the best kettle you can buy?
You can’t live without a kettle, but if you don’t buy the best kettle you could be in for an annoying time. In this guide, we’ll help you pick the best model to suit your needs, whether you need one that’s easy to fill and pour, a stunning-looking model for a high-end kitchen or one that has adjustable temperature controls for making different types of drink.
Out of all the models that we’ve tested, two stand out. For style and quality, the Smeg KLF03 is the clear winner. We have listed our top picks below best kettles for hard water.
How we pick the best kettles
We’ve reviewed and recommended models from £30 up to well over £100, to ensure we hit cater to every budget and requirement. All-electric kettles work in the same way, using an element to heat water, and are all comparably efficient in this regard (turning electricity into heat is easy).
However, the speed at which a kettle turns off once the water reaches boiling temperature is important. For that reason, we test all kettles to review the time it takes to boil 1-liter of tap-temperature water. We haven’t reviewed – and don’t recommend – kettles that don’t have an auto shut-off function.
While your choice of kettle may largely come down to style, having a water boiler that functions well is exceptionally important. For every model we test, we examine how easy it is to fill, whether you can easily see how much water you’re putting in, and how well it pours.
We also evaluate other features such as whether it’s possible to set target temperatures for different drinks (water to make coffee shouldn’t be at boiling point, for example).
The 7 best kettles for hard water
1. Smeg KLF03
The Smeg KLF03 kettle is one of the more expensive models around, but it’s also one of the quickest to reach the boiling point and most classily designed. In line with the Italian company’s other appliances, the KLF03 is available in a variety of pastel shades and features a raised Smeg logo on each side.
The 74cm cable is adequate. It can be neatly wound under the base and can exit from almost anywhere – there’s no annoying single exit point.
The handle feels solid and comfortable, and the kettle pours well through a removable limescale filter. The KLF03 is relatively quiet in operation, and the soft-touch lid opens with the press of a button.
A 3kW-rated kettle, the Smeg KLF03 managed to boil 1-liter of water in just 2mins 5secs, making it one of the fastest models we’ve tested. If you want a high-quality kettle that looks great then this is the one to buy.
2. Morphy Richards Accents Traditional Kettle
If you want to kit out your kitchen with matching small appliances, the Morphy Richards Accents range is probably on your radar. As well as the Accents Traditional Kettle on review here, the range also includes a mug tree, knife block and toaster among other items.
As with the other products that make up range, the Accents Traditional Kettle comes in a variety of colours including white, black, cream, red and blue. Finding one to match your decor won’t be difficult.
The kettle’s design is great, with its retro looks garnering attention for all of the right reasons. On the side of the Accents, Traditional Kettle is a water-fill meter, measured in cups, with a line indicating the maximum 1.5-liter level. Unfortunately, condensation inside the kettle can obscure the view, and as a result it can be difficult to work out how much water you’ve put in.
Filling the kettle is easy: you can either pop off the lid and fill through the top – or, if you’re feeling lazy, simply fill through the spout.
To boil 1-liter of water, the kettle drew a maximum of 2.9kW and turned itself off after 2mins 41secs – which is a little slower than some of the other models here. Reaching a peak volume of 72dB, the Morphy Richards Accents Traditional Kettle is comparatively quiet.
Pouring using the well-positioned handle is easy enough, and it’s good to see a replaceable limescale filter inside. A clearer water level would have been welcome, but for the price, the Accents Traditional Kettle is a well-made and stylish addition to any kitchen.
3. Tefal Avanti Classic
Decked out in stainless steel, the Tefal Avanti Classic is available with either a smart copper band (pictured) or a plainer silver band. In either case, the Avanti Classic is an attractive kettle.
Taking a generous 1.7 liters of water, the Avanti Classic has a large fill gauge on both sides of its body, so it’s easy to see how much water you’ve put in. The lid pulls off to fill, which isn’t quite as easy as a pop-up lid. However, the jug design with the side-mounted handle means that your hand will be out of the way when filling – you can top-up a hot kettle without scalding yourself.
Using a peak power output of 2.9kW, the Tefal Avanti Classic boiled our test 1 liter of water in 2mins 18secs, which puts it square in the middle of the pack. Of course, there’s an auto shut-off to stop the kettle once the boiling point has been reached.
Pouring is easy, with the kettle’s weight evenly distributed and the large handle. Inside, there’s a replaceable anti-scale filter, which can be cleaned and descaled, although a replacement filter costs just 60p.
Our only minor complaints are that the cable could be longer (it’s just 70cm) and a pop-up lid would be a neater way to fill it.
4. KitchenAid Artisan 1.5L Kettle
Fortunately, the quality goes deeper than the surface.
On the base is a rugged mechanical switch that lets you choose your water temperature, with 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 95 and 100C options, which makes it perfect for making a variety of drinks. It’s also a quick kettle, taking 2m 24s to reach 100C; after 10 minutes the water temperature was still a usable 86C.
There’s no denying that this is an expensive kettle, but if you want something that looks amazing and is very flexible the KitchenAid Artisan 1.5L Kettle is worth every penny.
5. Smeg KLF04
This model has the same quality looks but adds in variable temperature settings, with options for 50C, 60C, 70C, 80C, 90C, 95C and 100C.
There’s also a keep warm feature, which you can turn on before you boil the kettle. This uses more power by reboiling the kettle every few minutes for up to 20 minutes. Without this turned on, the kettle tended to lose temperature faster than other models that we’ve reviewed.
Boiling performance, at just under three minutes to get 1-litre of water to 100C, was a touch off the pace but not enough to put us off this model.
If you’ve got other Smeg kitchen equipment and want the flexibility of a multi-temperature kettle, this is the best choice.
6. Morphy Richards 108010 Vetro Kettle
If there are two things that you want from a kettle, they’re the ability to boil quickly and keep water warm for a long time. Managing 1-liter of water in just 2m 15s. Once boiled, we measured the water at 78C after 30-minutes, which is excellent.
When in use, the kettle lights up thanks to the integrated blue LEDs, which look fantastic. Comfortable to hold and easy to fill, the Morphy Richards 108010 Vetro Kettle gets all of the basics right and it’s well-priced, too.
7. Smarter iKettle 3.0
If the thought of controlling your kettle through an app – or even through your voice – sounds appealing, it could be the kettle for you. The latter voice skills are the big addition for the iKettle 3.0, which is in its third generation.
The kettle connects to your Wi-Fi and you’re then free to control it via its iOS or Android app, which will let you adjust the temperature to fit your beverage. It also features useful keep-warm functions as well as formula modes that can heat and then allow the water to cool to the perfect temperature for baby formula. Testing at 100ºC, the Smarter iKettle 3.0 took 2mins 52secs to boil 1-liter of water, making it the slowest kettle on a test.
The iKettle 3.0 is a little heavy and there are some minor annoyances, such as there being no external indicator for how much water is inside. Otherwise, the iKettle 3.0 is one of the smartest kettles out there.
That was our pick of the best kettles. If you want to know more about choosing the right model, read on.
Kettle buying guide
Best Kettles – Which form factor should I buy?
Kettles come in two main types: jug style and traditional. Which you opt for will largely be down to preference and which looks best in your kitchen.
In both instances, ergonomics have a vital role to play. We tell you how comfortable each kettle is to hold, and if the handle offers a good grip. We also explain how easy each kettle is to pour.
All of the kettles reviewed here feature a stand on which the kettle sits for power. We explain how easy it is to drop the kettle onto its stand.
The ease with which you can open the lid and fill a kettle shouldn’t be overestimated. This is particularly true when refilling an already-hot kettle; there’s nothing worse than getting your hand caught in the steam. A kettle with a push-button flip-top lid is often a good choice and makes refilling simpler.
Best Kettles – Can I buy a more efficient or faster kettle?
Ignore anything you read about faster-boiling kettles. Converting electricity into heat is extremely easy, so all kettles will have similar efficiency figures. And since the UK plugs house a maximum of a 13-amp fuse, the most energy a kettle can draw is 3kW.
The main differences are with regard to how quickly a kettle takes to boil, which is defined by two factors: power usage and the auto shut-off.
For power usage, kettles that draw more power will boil faster; lower-rated kettles will take longer to get your water to boiling point. However, the total power usage remains the same to heat water to the boiling point. Then, the choice for power usage comes down to how quickly you want your boiling water.
The automatic shut-off has a part to play: the faster the kettle can recognize that it has hit the boiling point, the quicker it will shut off and stop using power. To that end, our reviews list how much power a kettle draws and the time taken to heat 1-liter of water.
There are two main ways to save electricity when using a kettle. First, only boil the amount of water you need. As such, a kettle that has a clear window and water scale makes it easier to fill to the level you need.
Secondly, stopping the kettle boiling sooner saves energy. Some kettles have adjustable temperature sensors for different jobs, although you can manually stop any kettle with a lower degree of accuracy.
For example, if you’re making coffee in a french press, the ideal water temperature is somewhere between 88ºC and 96ºC, depending on the blend and personal taste (remember, coffee boiled is coffee spoiled).
Best Kettles – Do I need a water filter?
Using filtered water, particularly in a hard water area, can help to reduce limescale build-up. Some kettles have integrated water filters, but using filtered water from a jug or filtering tap is just as good.
Most kettles will have an integrated limescale filter. This prevents limescale from being poured into your drink, but it doesn’t prevent the build-up of limescale. This filter, along with the kettle, will need descaling to keep everything in tip-top condition. How often you do this will depend on the type of water in your area.
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