Much in the way I still prefer books to e-readers, I have long been a traditionalist when it comes to tea. But as much as I love the look of a stovetop tea kettle, the ease and convenience of an electric kettle won me over as quickly as it boils water.
Waiting for water to boil can feel agonizing, especially when it’s standing between you and your caffeine fix. Whether you want to enjoy a nice cup of tea, or coffee out of a pour-over dripper or French press, an electric kettle can get you sipping on your precious coffee or tea quicker.
But the top electric tea kettles can do more than just heat water quickly. Some have digital temperature controls, automatic keep-warm functionality, and even water temperature recommendations. We’ve tested some of the finest products on the market, the first batch by former editor Jessica Teich, and the more recent models by managing editor Meghan Kavanaugh.
This kettle may not look like anything special, but it does its job exceptionally well, and at a very fair price for what it offers: six preset heat settings between 160°F and 212°F to help you steep green tea or black tea to their specific preferences; and easily discernible, intuitive buttons. Simply select your desired temperature and press start, and in a snappy 5 minutes, a series of beeps will let you know that your water is boiling.
The machine automatically flips to a handy keep warm mode that resumes its cycle regardless of how many times you remove the kettle from the base, and the boil dry protection means it won’t boil if you turn it on without filling it up first. This product is easy to use and speedily effective, earning it our top spot—plus, it comes with a three-year warranty.
It's likely that you have at least one Hamilton Beach appliance in your house, and if Amazon reviews are anything to go by, this kettle is wildly popular—and it's easy to see why. It’s reasonably priced and was one of our fastest boilers, heating one liter of water in just over 4-and-a-half minutes.
It performs like a simplified version of our top pick; where the winning Cuisinart kettle has multiple temperature settings, this Hamilton Beach has just an on/off switch, and the kettle switches off instead of beeping when the water is done.
If you’re low on counter space, this product is among the most compact and unobtrusive on our list. It performs like a much more expensive kettle, so it earns our value pick.
OXO Brew Adjustable Temperature Electric Pour-Over Kettle
This OXO is the perfect combination of style and substance. It had the fastest boil time of any product we tested—clocking in at 4 minutes, 12 seconds—and its stainless steel exterior and small footprint make it quite sleek and attractive. We also appreciate that the lid has a silicone grip so as not to burn your hand if you need to remove it.
When it came to making pour-over coffee, we were able to control the speed smoothly. You can slow the speed to almost a drip, or speed up without fear of spillage. Its medium weight and straight handle make it a tad heavy if you’re pouring for a long period of time, but the handle does offer a bit of a cushion to help.
The built-in timer also helps when pouring, and the Keep Warm feature makes sure that your water is still hot when you go back for seconds, up to 30 minutes after boiling.
I’m Meghan Kavanaugh, the managing editor of core content here at Reviewed, and an avid tea drinker. I’ve tested the best tea infusers and reviewed a tea subscription box—anything to help non-coffee drinkers like myself.
After I grew frustrated with how long it took my standard kettle to boil water on the stovetop, I made it my personal mission to find an electric water kettle that both performed well and looked nice enough to leave out on the counter.
The original testing for this guide was conducted by former Reviewed editor Jessica Teich. I built upon her original notes and scoring with new models, and retested our previous winners to confirm that they were still our top choices.
While watching water boil isn't one of the most exciting things we've done, we wanted to be able to give our readers solid recommendations by answering the following questions:
Pre-boil—How easy was it to assemble and fill the electric kettle? How helpful was the manual? How easy was it to use the controls?
Boil—How easy was it to pour out the boiling water? Did the boiling water stay in the kettle, or did it spill out at any point in the boiling process? Was there a boil notification light or sound?
Post-boil—How easy was it to clean and store? Does it look nice, like it's worthy of gracing your kitchen counter on a day-to-day basis? Overall, how easy was it to use?
Using tap water that consistently measured a chilly 55°F, we also measured how long it took for each kettle to reach 212°F to boil 1 liter, or about 4.2 cups, of water. The whole point of these electric kettles is that they're supposed to be faster and more convenient than traditional stovetop kettles, so the kettles that boiled the fastest and were the easiest to use topped our list. If you start with warmer tap water, or set your temperature to lower than 212°F, your boiling time will vary.
We put gooseneck kettles through an additional pour-over coffee test with the help of our in-house coffee pro Valerie Li Stack, who has also reviewed espresso machines and coffee makers.
We paid particular attention to how much control the user had over the pouring speed and water distribution, and we paid attention to how the heavy kettles felt after holding them above the dropper for minutes on end since making pour-over coffee can take some time.
How Long Do Electric Kettles Take to Boil Water?
While this depends on the temperature and amount of water you put into the kettle to start, many electric kettles can reach a boiling point in about 5 minutes—some may take longer and some may take less.
In our tests, we started with 1 liter of cold tap water measuring 55°F. The OXO Brew Adjustable Temperature Electric Pour-Over Kettle, our best gooseneck, clocked in with the fastest time of 4 minutes, 12 seconds. The Fellow Corvo was the slowest at 7 minutes, 42 seconds.
Why You Should Use a Gooseneck Kettle for Pour-Over Coffee
When making pour-over coffee, precision pouring is key. You need to have control over the rate at which the water pours onto the grounds to guarantee consistency. Pouring slowly helps water and gravity work together to extract the best, balanced flavor from your beans.
A typical kettle spout will unleash a flood of water that’s too difficult to control, where a gooseneck allows the user to pour precisely the amount and speed they desire. It takes a few extra minutes to do, but it can make for a better cup of coffee.
Other Electric Kettles We Tested
Breville 1.8-Liter Electric Kettle
This is one of the most expensive kettles of the lot, but it’s easy to see why—it pulled ahead of the pack in every one of our tests. Technically, it edged out the top-rated Cuisinart by one-one thousandth of a point, but that wasn’t enough to make up for the price difference between them. It has the most ergonomic raise-lid button, and instead of springing open, the lid has a slow, controlled raise.
The kettle is intuitive to use, with five clearly marked brew and programmable temperature settings, plus a 20-minute keep-warm feature. It was also one of the fastest boilers (taking just over 5 minutes to reach a boil) and we like the way it beeps to alert you that your water is ready, rather than quietly shutting off like most of the kettles we tested.
If you're serious about tea, this is a great pick. However, the Cuisinart earned our top spot because it’s substantially cheaper while still having all the same bells and whistles.
This Smeg Mini Kettle is about as simple as a product can be—no temperature settings, no sound alerts, no LCD screen—but it outperformed other more high-tech options on this list. It was a delight to use and looks adorable on a kitchen counter.
In terms of boil times, it’s the second-fastest kettle we’ve tested, coming in just 7 seconds behind the OXO Brew Adjustable Temperature Electric Pour-Over Kettle with a time of 4 minutes and 19 seconds.
Aside from surface-level aesthetics, the physical design of the kettle is also noteworthy. It has quite a large spout that we assumed would cause splashing, but the Smeg poured as neatly into a tiny teacup as it did a wide-mouthed mug. It’s also lightweight and takes up minimal countertop space.
While there’s only one simple on/off switch that turns off once water has boiled and there is no Keep Warm functionality, its speed and design are impressive enough to make up for it if you’re looking for a simple, display-worthy machine.
If you want a glass kettle that offers quick results, this may be your best pick. This OXO kettle placed high in our boil test, bringing a liter of water to a rapid boil in just a hair over 5 minutes.
There is just one temperature setting (on/boil), though if you want more control, there is an adjustable temperature model available. This kettle is over 1 ft. tall, making it one of the tallest we tested, so be sure you have enough cabinet space to stow this one.
The Cosori was one of our favorites to test. Not only does it work well, clocking in at about 5-and-a-half minutes to boil, it looks beautiful while doing it. A blue light illuminates the base of the kettle as it starts to bubble and boil. Sitting on my desk, it almost felt like a mini light show.
The rest is pretty basic. There is no temperature dial on this model, it’s either on or off, but the glass allows you to make a judgment call if you want to turn it off sooner. I tended to turn it off once I started seeing bigger bubbles so that I could pour and sip almost immediately, without having to wait for it to cool off. Or, if you do want to wait for a boil, just wait for the kettle to turn off on its own.
If you wanted to buy an electric kettle on aesthetics alone, you can’t go wrong with the matte black Fellow Stagg. Full disclosure: I bought one in white last year. The matte, gooseneck design looks beautiful on my kitchen counter—and it actually works very well. Considering I first noticed it on a Kardashian Instagram post, I was pleasantly surprised.
I’ve used mine twice daily for about a year now and it looks and works the same as the day I opened the box. In our official testing, however, it did lose a few points for boiling speed, taking 7-and-a-half minutes to bring 55°F water to 212°F, the longest boil time of any kettle we tested. It also doesn’t sound any beep or alarm when your desired temperature is achieved, but it holds it at that temperature for a full hour should you forget.
Its weighted, ergonomic handle makes for easy pouring (wrap your thumb around the notch), which is especially helpful with a gooseneck kettle, since the water pours out slower by design. The knob is easy to control as you set your desired temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius, and it doubles as a timer.
Bonus: The tiny LCD screen can also be used to play Wormy, a game similar to Snake on an old cell phone. Does this make it work better? No, but it’s fun.
This curvy, teapot-reminiscent kettle is one of the most attractive and space-efficient of the lot, but does it stack up in usability? It boils water extremely quickly, but there is only one setting and the light that indicates that the kettle is preheating or on is difficult to see.
There is no boil notification beyond the kettle switching off and it lacks an easy-press button to pop the lid, meaning it takes more effort to remove. Unfortunately, the steam from pouring hot water makes the lid hot and slippery, which can make removing it precarious.
The Miroco is a standard electric kettle with a BPA-free plastic exterior and stainless steel interior. It’s slender and sleek with a base that’s just as large as the kettle itself, so it doesn’t add any bulk to the overall footprint. It has a simple on/off switch—automatically shutting off when water boils—and another button to make lifting the lid easier.
The Miroco impressed us with one of the fastest boiling times, just 5 minutes, but the spout was a bit less precise than other kettles we tested. Pour too fast and it’s more like the waterfalls out of the spout, so it can be more difficult to pour into smaller vessels, but it’s something that can be avoided by simply easing up when pouring.
Aside from the fact that one has a gooseneck for pour-over coffee, the Fellow Stagg and Corvo are pretty identical. The Corvo is just as simple to use as the Stagg, and it features the same easy-pour ergonomic handle and LCD screen for temperature control and the Wormy game.
Unfortunately, the Fellow Corvo clocked in with our slowest boiling time, taking a whopping 7 minutes, 42 seconds to reach 212°F. That’s still faster than it would take a kettle to boil on most stovetops, but the competition was tight here. If you’re looking for a beautiful kettle for your countertop, rest assured this is still a solid option.
AmazonBasics 1.7 Liter Stainless Steel Portable Electric Hot Water Kettle
This kettle is cheap—and you can tell. You need to futz with the cord a bit to help feed it out through the side, and the base is borderline flimsy. It’s so lightweight that it doesn’t sit quite flat on its own, which means it is bound to pop up and out of place every time you lift the kettle to pour. It’s nothing too off-putting, but it’s bound to get annoying if you’re using the kettle every day.
But as far as boiling water, the kettle performs well. It has a window on the side to see water level and a simple on/off switch with an auto-shut off feature. It also was among some of the fastest to do so, only taking 5 minutes, 23 seconds.
This model is an Amazon best-seller, and has curbside appeal for its fun color options. Unfortunately, it's also slow to heat, and simply shuts off when the water reaches a boil. Additionally, there is a screen at the opening that sticks out at an awkward angle, making the kettle tough to fill in the sink. While we don't hate this model, it's nothing special.
There’s plenty to like about the manual GE Cool Touch Kettle. First, it lives up to its name, with its double-walled design keeping the exterior from getting too hot to handle. Its stainless steel finish resists fingerprints, and its large 1.7-liter capacity is pretty manageable in the tall, slender design. It’s easy to see the maximum and minimum fill lines inside, and it turns itself off once it reaches a boil.
However, we found a few design elements to be cumbersome. Push the lid’s center button and it pops up so you can use it as a sort of handle, though its small size is awkward to grab and lift, making the lid a bit precarious to remove. The spout is also much wider than it needs to be, which makes for quick pouring, but also requires extra attention when pouring into small vessels like teacups.
This is a great kettle, but to be frank, it's also the ugliest one we tested, thanks to its cheap-looking plastic construction. The kettle is huge despite only holding 1.7 liters of water. There is only a max-fill line but no tick marks to help you measure volume, so we had to use another vessel to measure water.
However, it’s among the fastest to boil water (just under 5 minutes) and stays cool to the touch throughout the process. If you prioritize speed or if you want to make sure your kids won’t burn their hands on the kettle, this is a good pick—just be sure you have abundant cabinet space to stow it in since you definitely won’t want to display this one.
This kettle's clear glass makes it great for those who want to see exactly what’s going on, and the ring of blue light on its base makes watching water boil oddly entertaining. While it does come with a tea infuser, the downside is that there is just one setting (on/boil), and the kettle simply switches off without warning when it reaches a boil.
That means this may not be the best pick for tea-lovers who need specific temperatures for various leaves. Additionally, the Chefman was one of the slowest to boil, taking more than 7 minutes, and we didn’t like its bulky appearance. This bare-bones kettle is low on our list.
While we like the look of this Brewista—and its handle and spout design make it easy to pour—its overall performance doesn’t quite earn it counter space in our kitchen. First, the controls are tricky to figure out, even when reading the manual. We accidentally turned off the machine several times while trying to set the temperature.
As for that temperature, the Brewista allows you to set it down to the degree, in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Doing so, however, is more cumbersome than it needs to be—you must continually tap the plus or minus button, which doesn’t always respond as quickly as you’d like. A knob might be more effective here.
There is a “Fast Boil” button, but it does not actually boil your water faster. It merely allows you to set the kettle to 212°F without fiddling with the temperature settings. Both the “regular” and “fast” boils clocked in at 6-and-a-half minutes.
Once the water is boiled, the Brewista has a 60-minute Keep Warm function. But be forewarned: the kettle will make a clicking noise every few minutes during that time, and it’s loud enough to make you want to hurry up and pour your cup to get it to stop.
Bonavita Variable Temperature Digital Electric Kettle
This is one of the most attractive kettles we tested, but upon picking it up, we were surprised at how light it was. The stainless lid feels chintzy and scrapes in a nails-on-a-chalkboard way when placed and removed. The kettle only holds 1 liter of water and only has one measurement marking for max fill.
Sure, it offers the ability to set an exact temperature and you can watch the temperature climb in real time, but despite it being the smallest kettle we tested, it took ages to boil. It also lacked a clear notification when it did so; it finally, confusingly turned off after 6-and-a-half minutes. And while you may think the narrow gooseneck spout would make it easier to pour, the design actually makes the stream harder to control: This was the only time we missed our teacup in testing.
In this case, beauty does not outweigh functionality. Skip this kettle—you won’t regret it.
Meghan Kavanaugh is Reviewed's managing editor of core content. A career journalist and editor with more than 10 years of experience, she cut her teeth in community journalism before moving to lifestyle publications and then digital media. In her spare time, you can find her crafting and cooking, to varying degrees of success.
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