Boiling water seems like a simple task, but there's actually a lot that goes into it. Materials play a big role in determining the best kettles for boiling water, so it's helpful to understand the pros and cons of the most common options before you start shopping:
- Steel kettles: A popular choice, these tend to be lighter, more durable, and rust-resistant. The downside is that they don't conduct heat as well as other metals, like copper.
- Cast iron kettles: Kettles made of cast iron are heavier, delicate to clean, and prone to rust if not properly cared for, however, they retain heat well and are incredibly durable. They do sometimes leach iron or leave a weird taste in the water, though many modern options feature an interior coating to prevent this.
- Borosilicate glass kettles: This material doesn't leach any flavors, so your water will taste pure, and it's usually dishwasher-safe. The transparent nature of glass means you can watch the water as it reaches a boil, which is an added perk. The downside is that glass kettles can break if you're not careful.
- Copper kettles: These are also good at distributing heat, but they're vulnerable to dents and can tarnish easily (although a regular polish will keep them looking like-new).
Other things to consider when buying a tea kettle are the spout (does it whistle or have a cap with heat-safe material?), the handle (is it equipped with grippy padding or a foldable design?), and the overall capacity (my picks range from 0.5 to more than 3 quarts). If you have an induction cooktop, makes sure you choose a kettle that's compatible (I've included one great option below). For electric kettle models, you'll also want to check out things like the number of temperature settings and whether it offers cordless maneuverability.
With these considerations in mind, check out the best kettles for boiling water below.
1. The Best Stainless Steel Kettle
Capacity: 3 quarts
What's great about it: If you're looking for something durable that won't rust, this sleek and stylish OXO tea kettle is a great choice. Made from sturdy stainless steel with a brushed finish, the 3-quart kettle is designed to whistle when the water is ready, and a silicone pad on the spout cap helps protect you from burns. The only drawback is that it's not dishwasher-safe, however, the wide-lid design does make it easy to clean by hand.
2. The Best Glass Kettle
Capacity: 1.06 quarts
What's great about it: This ultra-popular glass tea kettle, which boasts 1,200-plus reviews on Amazon, is not only aesthetically pleasing but practical and efficient, too. The strong material is made from borosilicate glass that's heat-resistant, doesn't shatter easily, and won't affect the flavor of your water. Though it doesn't whistle, the kettle's transparent material makes it easy to gauge the water's progress, and you can also put it in the dishwasher when you're done. Best of all, the quart-sized kettle comes with a removable infuser for looseleaf tea.
3. The Best Cast Iron Kettle
Capacity: 0.69 quart
What's great about it: Built with strong cast iron, this Japanese-style tea kettle has a striking look with bamboo, plum blossoms, and pine leaf carvings on the lid. Inside, the pot itself is coated in enamel to prevent any metallic taste from seeping into the water. It comes with an optional stainless steel infuser and an easy flip-down handle. Reviewers love it, with one fan writing, "It's beautiful and functional." The tradeoffs with this option are that it doesn't whistle, and it also must be carefully washed by hand, remembering not to use soap or a brush. Best of all, it's available in five different sizes.
4. The Best Copper Kettle
Capacity: 3.1 quarts
What's great about it: This beautifully engraved tea kettle, which is made with real, high-quality Turkish copper, conducts heat with amazing consistency. The heavy gauge, 1-millimeter material is super sturdy, with food-safe tin inside to keep the water tasting fresh. The curvy handle folds down for easier storage and features heat-resistant padding to keep your hands safe from burns. Being genuine copper, this kettle will develop a patina over time, so you will need to keep it polished.
5. The Best Kettle For Induction Stovetops
Capacity: 1.67 quarts
What's great about it: If you have an induction stove, this porcelain enamel-coated tea kettle is a great choice. Made with durable steel, it features a smooth, flat bottom that's compatible with induction-style stoves as well as gas and electric models. The handle and spout feature heat-resistant material to help prevent burns. It heats water up quickly, according to reviewers. The only downside is that it's hand-wash only.
6. The Best Fixed-Temp Electric
Capacity: 1.27 quarts
What's great about it: For folks who prefer to simply plug in a cord and press a button, this is one of the best electric kettles out there. With a powerful 1,200-watt heating element, this popular ceramic kettle, which boasts more than 1,800 reviews, heats up exceptionally fast. The 360-degree base is super stable, and has a smooth design that makes it easy to pop in and out. The 1.27-quart kettle has an automatic shutoff and comes in five cute designs.
7. The Best Variable-Temp Electric
Capacity: 1.8 quarts
What's great about it: If you're particular about the temperature of your coffee or tea, this Cuisinart PerfecTemp electric kettle offers six different temperature settings ranging from 160 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. It costs a little more than other options on this list, but it's worth it if you're into teas like oolong, black, or green varieties that tend to taste better at specific temperatures. The kettle features a 1,500-watt heating element that boils water quickly, plus a 360-degree swivel power base. It's made from strong stainless steel that gives it a chic, elegant look.
8. The Best Travel Kettle
Capacity: 0.5 quart
What's great about it: For boiling water on the go, this handy hot water mug ranks among the best travel kettles you can find. It boils water on the spot, with a rechargeable battery and two USB ports to charge other devices, too. It features a detachable, coaster-sized warming plate to keep at your desk, on a countertop, or any other location you like. Just place the mug on top of the plate and select from four different heat settings that range from 135 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. It will keep your coffee or tea hot all day at whatever temperature you desire. On top of all that, you can also use it to brew coffee.
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