The 5 Best Electric Kettles

By Gina Ippolito on 6 June 2014 (Updated 28 August 2014) 1 comment

Whatever your daily routine, many people find themselves needing to boil water on occasion. Whether you're an avid tea drinker or you like a cup of instant coffee or soup from time to time, having an electric kettle can definitely come in handy. Kettles have several advantages over simply boiling water in a pot on the stove, including ease of pouring and shortened heating time. Electric kettles come in all shapes and sizes, from simple and utilitarian to those that look like works of art. Nowadays they have multiple features and are made in a variety of different materials, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. We here at Wise Bread have take the guesswork out of boiling water by choosing the five best electric kettles on the market today. (See also: Wise Bread Shopping Calendar)

What Is an Electric Kettle?

A kettle is a type of enclosed pot, often made of metal, ceramic, or glass, that is designed specifically to boil water. Electric kettles make it possible to do this job without needing a stovetop. The kettle itself is powered by electricity and has a fully enclosed heating mechanism. Most modern varieties have an automatic shut off which senses when the water is boiling and shuts the power off to ensure the water does not completely boil away and damage the kettle.

Best 5 Electric Kettles

Adagio UtiliTEA Electric Kettle

The stainless steel, cordless Adagio UtiliTEA Electric Kettle is perfect for those who use their kettles primarily for heating up water to drink tea. It has a one-knob, variable temperature control feature that you can set to different types of teas, as opposed to specific temperatures. The settings for more delicate green or white teas boil the water to a lower temperature than the settings for heartier, darker teas.

Reviewers state the UtiliTEA heats water up very quickly, claiming it takes just over a minute if the kettle is half full. The clear, plastic strip along the side allows you to see how much water there is and how fast it is boiling. It has a pop open lid and a plastic handle that stays cool to the touch, making it easy enough to use with one hand.

The two main complaints for this kettle come from the fact that, at 3.75 cups, this is a relatively low capacity option, which may not be ideal if you are looking to make more than a couple of cups of tea at a time. Also, despite the fact that it has a reliable auto shut off, there is no alert when the water is actually ready, meaning you will have to return to it several times throughout the boiling process. Some reviewers also reported a faint plastic smell during the first several uses, attributed to the clear, plastic viewing strip. Despite these minor complaints, this kettle still gets excellent user reviews.

The Adagio UtiliTEA electric kettle is BPA-free and has a removable base.

Current Price: $55.00 on Amazon

Chef's Choice Cordless Electric Glass Kettle

The see-through Chef's Choice Cordless Electric Glass Kettle is appealing due to the fact that you can view exactly how much water is in it at any time, as well as how fast it is boiling. There are very clear markings along the sides that tell you the amount of water in both ounces and liters, ensuring that you get the perfect pour every time.

Reviewers claim that the Chef's Choice is extremely easy to use and maneuver. The easy-to-press button to open the lid makes it possible to use with just one hand. The auto shut off and beep alert takes the guesswork out of knowing when the water is at a full boil, and a bright blue signal light clearly shows when the unit is on or off. It has a concealed heating element and a cool touch bottom that won't burn tables or countertops.

The main complaints about this kettle are that, due to the glass construction, it is both more breakable and much heavier than other models on the market. Reviewers also complain of a faint plastic smell during the first several uses.

The Chef's Choice Cordless Electric Glass Kettle has a 7 cup capacity and comes with a 1-year limited warranty.

Current Price: $63.99 on Amazon

Breville Variable Temperature Kettle

This well constructed, stainless steel Breville Variable Temperature Kettle is a bit on the pricier side compared to some of the others, but it has plenty of bells and whistles to go along with that price. The programmable temperature setting lists both what kind of tea the water is being brewed for as well as the temperature. The options range from green tea (175 degrees) to black tea (212 degrees), and there is even a setting for brewing French press coffee. There is an audible beep alert when the water is ready, and a setting to keep the water at the desired temperature for up to 20 minutes. There is also an automatic shut off, as with many of the other modern kettles on the market.

The 1.8 liter (or more than seven cups) capacity makes this kettle ideal for those who brew a lot of tea at once. The see-through water windows on each side have easy-to-read measurements, although some find it irritating that the measurements are only in millimeters. When full, the kettle reportedly takes five to seven minutes to boil. Many reviewers like the sleek design and find it more attractive than some other kettles. It has a button to open the lid, making it simple to operate with one hand, and an easily wrapped up cord helps cut down on counter clutter.

The Breville Variable Temperature Kettle is best for people who like having a lot of options and a lot of tea to be brewed. Some reviewers were turned off by the extra settings, but the makers include a detailed manual that should help cut down on any confusion. There is also some concern among people that the plastic viewing window is not BPA-free, giving rise to debate about whether or not any harmful chemicals will eventually leech into the water. As most kettles seem to contain at least some plastic, however, it is unclear how warranted these worries actually are.

Current Price: $129.95 on Amazon

Proctor Silex Electric Kettle

This basic, easy to use Proctor Silex Electric Kettle is best suited for those who want an inexpensive, no frills option. It does exactly what a kettle is supposed to, which is boil water, and not much more than that. While it doesn't have the bells and whistles many of the other kettles on this list have, it is reliable, easy to use, and quick to boil.

The Proctor Silex can handle up to one liter, or about four cups, of water at a time. When it is full, it takes three to four minutes to boil. It is made of BPA-free plastic and has water level indicators on both sides. The indicators are not see-through, however, so once it's started, you can't check on the boiling process without opening the lid and looking inside. There is a lighted on/off switch on top of the kettle so you know when it's working, and it has an automatic shut off to prevent the water boiling down completely. There is no sound indicator to let you know it has turned off, so you just have to check periodically to see if the power light has gone off. This kettle has no temperature settings or settings for individual teas. It simply boils water and shuts off when done, meaning people who are picky about the brew temperature of their teas will have to check it carefully or use a thermometer to get an accurate reading. The cord seems to be a bit on the short side, although it is removable for easy pouring. The lid has a security lock on it so that you don't accidentally spill the water and burn yourself.

Some reviewers complain that the first few times they have used this, there has been a plastic smell and a plastic taste to the water, while others don't seem to notice, or point out that it goes away after several uses.

The bottom line for the Proctor Silex Electric Kettle is that it is a great, inexpensive option for people who simply want to boil water quickly. It comes with a 180-degree limited warranty.

Current Price: $8.99 on Amazon

DeLonghi Kmix 54-Ounce Kettle

The well-constructed and durable DeLonghi Kmix Kettle has a die-cast aluminum exterior and a sure grip handle that makes it easy to hold. The 54-ounce, or almost seven cup, capacity makes it ideal for families or those who just like to drink a lot of tea at once.

The DeLonghi is cord-free and has a concealed heating element and detachable base for easy pouring. Reviewers claim that it works fast, taking about two minutes to boil when it is half full. It has only one setting, so the temperature can't be adjusted for different types of drinks. The illuminated on/off switch, automatic shut off, and water level indicator are all fairly standard when it comes to kettles, but what sets the DeLonghi apart is its sleek look and vibrant, stylish colors. Many reviewers claim that they leave the kettle out on the counter at all times because they love the design of it so much, especially when compared with other, more industrial looking options on the market.

The DeLonghi Kmix 54-ounce kettle comes with a 1-year limited warranty and is available in black, white, blue, red, stainless steel, green, yellow, orange, and magenta.

Current Price: $99.95 on Amazon

And those are our recommendations for the best electric kettles. As always, be sure to check out the Wise Bread Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!

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Thrifty Writer

After visiting England for the first time in 2001, I came back to the U.S. and immediately purchased an electric kettle. 13 years later, my plastic Krupps electric kettle (purchased for around $35 from Macy's) marches on...