It’s hard to beat the convenience of a kettle, and having an electric one means you can get a jump start on coffee, oatmeal, or even ramen, without turning on your stovetop. The best small electric kettle is compact enough to fit into any kitchen and work quickly, but there are some important thing to consider before you buy.
- Capacity: Most electric kettles have a capacity of at least 6 to 7 cups, while small electric kettles — sometimes called travel kettles — hold more like 2 to 4 cups of water. Finding the right size for you will depend on your available counter space, as well as how much you tend to drink in one sitting.
- Temperature: Any kettle's job is to boil water fast, and electric kettles boil water twice as fast as stovetop kettles. Each of the best electric kettles below boils water in about one to five minutes. Some electric kettles may even have thermostats with temperature presets for bringing water to the exact temperature needed, which may be essential if you’re particular about your pour-over coffee or loose-leaf tea.
- Materials: There are pros and cons to every material and choosing one generally comes down to personal preference. Stainless steel is durable and imparts no flavor to boiled water, but with this opaque material it’s harder to tell exactly how much water you’ve added to the kettle. A glass carafe allows for easy monitoring of water levels, but it’s also susceptible to breaking. Small electric kettles may also be made of food-grade silicone, which is durable and flexible, so it’s especially great for travel, but may be limited to that purpose. More affordable kettles may have some plastic parts, like lids or windows, though it’s best to avoid kettles with more plastic due to concerns about heated-up plastic releasing chemicals.
- Bonus Features: Some kettles will have safety features like automatic shutoff and boil-dry protection, so you don't have to babysit your kettle, or convenient features like measurement markings or a keep-warm function.
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