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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1. The Best For Discerning Pour-Over Coffee & Tea Drinkers
This aesthetically pleasing electric gooseneck kettle has an elongated spout for a slower, even pour with more control and no spilling, so it's easy to make a delicious cup of coffee every time. Five convenient temperature presets labeled for specific types of tea and coffee take any guesswork out of the perfect brew, and tea lovers will especially love the hour-long keep warm function for effortless refills. This pick is the only one on the list that will hold a temperature for an extended period.
This 3.4-cup kettle is made of stainless steel and boils a full kettle in three to five minutes. Three soft beeps are heard when the kettle reaches the selected temperature, and yes, the beep can be disabled if you'd prefer. The counterbalanced, cool-touch handle makes holding and pouring more comfortable.
This leakproof pick also has automatic shutoff and boil-dry protection, plus a non-slip base. With an impressive 4.8-star rating and more than 1,000 reviews, this pick comes in a modern matte black or goes-with-everything silver.
A helpful review: "wonderful addition to my Chemex coffee maker. Gets the water to the perfect temperature quickly and has a setting to keep it there while I keep pouring it into the filter. [...] It looks really nice and amazingly works very nicely as well. My wife loves it because she can get the right temperature for her teas as well. Better than guessing time on the microwave. If you are a coffee geek like myself it also gives you so much satisfaction to pour the water over your perfectly roasted, freshly ground coffee beans for a good drip coffee (I typically prefer espresso though)."
2. The Best Value: A No-Frills Budget Pick With A Cult Following
If you're shopping on a budget, this stainless steel electric kettle is an affordable pick and cult favorite with a 4.7-star rating and more than 9,000 reviews. This kettle holds 4.2 cups and reviewers report it works quickly, boiling water in one to five minutes (depending on how full it is), though there's no beep when it's done. You'll hear the water come to a boil and the click of the kettle shutting off. One note: You'll want to pour right away since there's no keep warm button.
Measurement markings in a plastic window on the side are convenient for monitoring water levels, and a removable filter is a cinch to clean. A long, 30-inch cord on the base allows for flexible placement in the kitchen, and the cord wraps underneath the base for compact storage. This kettle also has safety features like automatic shutoff with boil-dry protection, so your water will never boil over, and the handle remains cool.
A helpful review: “Pleasantly surprised with how well this works! I was nervous about buying an electric kettle for such a low price when other products seemed to be in a higher price range. I tried this just because it was Amazons choice and it didn’t [disappoint.] It’s quick & quiet although pretty basic with only one button. Once it’s done, it auto shuts off so that the water stops boiling. I would highly recommend this product for anyone looking for an electric kettle!”
3. The Best For Travel: A Collapsible Silicone Kettle
Small electric kettles are also loved for their portability, and this collapsible electric kettle boils water fairly quickly and fits in your suitcase. With a 3.4-cup capacity, this food-grade silicone kettle is just 4 inches tall when collapsed, making it ideal for traveling, camping, or at an office or home.
The kettle has a stainless steel heating element and a plastic lid with safety features like boil-dry protection, automatic shut-off (it won't beep), a handle that remains cool, and lid lock. Reviewers commented that this highly rated kettle is easy to use and clean, and they appreciate that it boils water in about two to four minutes. There's no temperature hold on this kettle, but reviewers commented that it will start to come to a boil again if left plugged in and the water cools down.
A helpful review: “[...]When I travel West and find myself in a different time zone, I sometimes wake up too early for breakfast in the hotel room. It is really good to boil water to make some coffee and some instant oatmeal. It does collapse down, taking very little room in my suitcase. Makes hot water and shuts itself off when the water is ready. It is perfect for what I need.”
4. The Best For Loud Kitchens: A Glass Kettle That Lights Up So You Never Miss The Beep
After just one to three minutes, this glass electric kettle is illuminated with a soft blue light, signaling you're about to have boiled water. While other noisy appliances may be working in the kitchen, this visual cue is one that's hard to miss. With more than 3,000 reviews, shoppers note this light-up feature sets this highly rated kettle apart.
The 4.2-cup glass carafe has stainless steel accents and a plastic lid with a built-in mesh filter. A wide mouth allows for easier cleaning, and a cord that wraps under the base makes storage compact. Measurement markings are highly visible on the carafe, and this pick also has automatic shut-off and boil-dry protection, though there's no handy keep warm function.
A helpful review: “Every morning when I flip the switch to start boiling water for my morning tea, I wonder how I lived without this wonderful gadget for so long. It is literally my most favorite purchase of the year. Something so inexpensive but it really does give me joy! I love the pretty blue light up base & the clear glass. It’s also super fast. I haven’t experienced any issues with a hot handle but I always make sure to hold the kettle further down so as not to let any steam reach me. The kettle does not hold a ton of water, so holding it there should not be awkward.”