What is the Best Tea Kettle to Buy?
If you're a tea drinker, you need to have a good tea kettle. It's important to get the water at the right temperature for your tea, whether it's boiling hot for a good black tea, English breakfast tea or a little cooler for a green tea or herbal tea. Of course, there are other ways of heating water, but they can be time-consuming or they might not get the water hot enough. Tea kettles come in a range of types, so finding the best tea kettle can sometimes be a little confusing. What material should it be made from? Should you get a traditional stovetop kettle or try out an electric kettle?
Before you make a decision about what type of kettle to buy, you should explore your options and the pros and cons of each type of kettle. Our guide will take you through some of your options and help you to understand which might be the best tea kettle for your needs.
What Are the Different Types of Kettles?
You have multiple options to choose from if you're looking for the right type of kettle. The two main types to consider are stovetop kettles and electric kettles. Electric kettles have been popular in other countries for a long time and are steadily growing in popularity in the US too. However, many people still prefer a stovetop kettle. Within these two broad categories, there are also different materials and designs to consider. Each option can provide certain benefits, so it's definitely worth exploring what's available and choosing something that works for you.
Stovetop Tea Kettle
Most people are familiar with a stovetop kettle. You place it on your stovetop and turn on the heat, then wait for the water to boil. It's faster than using a pan to boil water, has a useful handle, and usually whistles to let you know when the water is boiled.
A lot of people like stovetop kettles for their classic look. Even within the slightly more traditional style, they still come in a range of sizes and designs so you can find the best tea kettle for you. There are plenty of affordable options too, making it easy to find a stovetop tea kettle that fits into your budget.
Generally, a stovetop tea kettle has a wide base to help it heat quickly, a spout with a cover, a lid, and a handle, as well as a whistling element, to let you know when it's done. Apart from that, it can have many variations in shape, size, material, and design.
For a high-quality stovetop kettle, you have plenty of options. You might want to try a brand like KitchenAid, known for their mixers but also manufacturers of other quality small kitchen appliances. Their colorful stovetop kettles look good, pour well, and have a considerable capacity too.
Electric Tea Kettle
Your other main option is an electric tea kettle. In some countries, such as the UK and Ireland, every household has one of these. They're now gaining ground in the US for a number of reasons, including their speed. Electric kettles can boil water faster than a stovetop kettle, which is very convenient for anyone who is a regular tea drinker. They can boil water in just a few minutes and some fancy options even allow you to adjust the temperature that you want to heat the water to. This is very useful if you're a serious tea drinker and want to make sure you get the right temperature for black, green, or white tea.
Electric kettles have a heating element inside them, which helps to heat the water faster. They stand on a base that you plug into a power socket and they usually have a handy guide so you know how much water you're putting in. They might have a lid that you remove or one that flips up when you push a button. Some electric tea kettles will make a noise when they're ready, while others might just turn off. Even smart kettles are now available, so you can control them from your phone.
There are all kinds of electric tea kettles available. If you just want a simple, budget electric kettle, you can get something from Amazon Basics. Looking for something that allows you to set the right temperature? Try a HadinEEon variable temperature electric kettle, with six settings for different teas and a keep-warm function too. And what about a smart kettle? Hook up the iKettle or AppKettle to your phone to remotely put the kettle on and control the temperature too.
Whistling Tea Kettle
As the name suggests, a whistling tea kettles whistles when it's ready. As the water boils, the steam will be forced out of the small hole in the spout, making the air vibrate. Whistling kettles are definitely useful to have, as they let you know when your water is boiled. It's pretty hard to ignore the whistling sound, so you won't forget that you're boiling the kettle. This gives them an advantage over some electric tea kettles, which don't make a sound when they're done.
One thing to consider when choosing a whistling tea kettle is what the whistle sounds like. You may not want a whistle that's overly shrill or annoying. Of course, you might wonder how you're supposed to know what a kettle sounds like until you've bought it. One thing you can do is check out reviews of kettles to see what people say. You can even find videos of some kettles so you can hear them before buying.
If you want a whistling tea kettle, why not go for a really traditional vibe with a modern twist? The Susteas stovetop kettle has something of a steampunk feel and is made from surgical stainless steel.
Stainless Steel Kettle
Stainless steel is a common material used for kettles, especially if you're looking for an affordable option. You'll find both stovetop and electric kettles made from stainless steel, some of which might be plain and others might be painted in various colors. Stainless steel is very durable and safe too. If you're looking for an affordable electric tea kettle, stainless steel is likely to be a better option than plastic. Stainless steel is certainly not the only option that you have in terms of material, but it is one that you will see a lot.
The Pykal whistling tea kettle is a good stainless steel option. It's made from five layers of stainless steel, aluminum, and iron, and also has a handle that you can touch just seconds after your water has boiled without worrying.
Cast Iron Tea Kettle
Cast iron is an iron alloy, which is often used for various cooking implements. You might have a cast iron skillet or cast iron pot that you use in the kitchen. Kettles can be made of cast iron too, although you might be more likely to find cast iron teapots, which shouldn't be put on your stovetop. You can also find enamel cast iron, with the enamel helping to protect the metal, prevent rusting, and make it easier to clean. Whereas many plain cast iron kettles are meant to be decorative only, enamel kettles can be used on your stovetop.
A cast-iron kettle from Toptier is a good option if you're looking for a kettle that can be used on ceramic, electric, induction, or gas stovetops. It's enamel-lined with a 32oz capacity. Larger options are available too, such as cast iron tea kettles from Old Dutch. Make sure you check what types of stove are suitable for your cast iron kettle before you purchase.
Ceramic Tea Kettle
Ceramic is any material made by firing a nonmetallic mineral, such as clay, which makes it hard, heat-resistant, and corrosion-resistant. Some ceramic tea kettles are available and they tend to be electric. If you're considering a ceramic tea kettle, you should look for one that is plastic -ree or BPA-free to ensure it's safe to use. Like cast iron, you may be more likely to find ceramic teapots than tea kettles.
Some options for ceramic tea kettles include the BELLA electric ceramic tea kettle and Bialetti ceramic electric tea kettle. You can choose a kettle that's entirely ceramic, apart from the electric base, which will have metal parts.
Glass Tea Kettle
Glass might seem like an unusual material if you're looking for the best tea kettle, but you can find a range of glass tea kettles to suit your needs. As with some other materials, glass tea kettles are most likely to be electric tea kettles, rather than stovetop tea kettles. They will be made partly of glass, for the jug, and partly of metal. However, glass stovetop kettles are available too. You just need to make sure you choose a tea kettle that is suitable for placing on the stove, and not a teapot, which might be made of glass that is not suited to having heat directly applied to it.
If you want a glass tea kettle, you can choose between stovetop or electric, although you might find that there are more electric options than stovetop glass tea kettles. There's the Cosori electric tea kettle, which is made from safe borosilicate glass and is resistant to scratches and scuffs. When you want an option that's stovetop-safe, something like the glass teapot/kettle from Hiware might work for you. You can use it safely on gas or electric stovetops.
Copper Tea Kettle
Copper is a popular choice for tea kettles, including both electric and stovetop kettles. One of the best things about a copper tea kettle is that it gives a great traditional look. If you want to make your kitchen look timeless, a copper kettle is a fantastic choice. Copper kettles have a thin lining of stainless steel, tin, or nickel, which makes them safe to use. Copper on its own wouldn't be safe and creates a risk for copper poisoning, but modern copper tea kettles are fine to use because they're lined with a different metal.
Copper looks great and comes in a range of shades, from super shiny to a slightly duller look. Copper conducts heat well, making copper tea kettles efficient, but they can require regular maintenance if you want to keep them looking good.
When you want a copper kettle with a larger capacity, the Zanzer 3 Quart Kettle is a good option. It works on all types of stove too, whereas some might not work with induction stovetops. The CopperBull Heavy Gauge is another possibility, offering a sturdy copper tea kettle.
Japanese Tea Kettle
Japanese tea kettles have a distinctive style. Many of them can be used as both kettles and teapots, as they are often made of cast iron. Some Japanese tea kettles/pots also come with some beautiful accessories and sets so that you can have the full tea experience. Some of them include removable infusers, so when your water is ready, you can drop in some loose leaf tea and start brewing. Japanese tea kettles tend to be wide and short, with a short spout and a long handle.
If you're looking for a Japanese tea kettle or teapot, be sure to choose one that's safe to put on your stovetop. Some are only suitable to be used as teapots, while others might just be decorative. When you want the best tea kettle, it should say if it's suitable to use on your stovetop or even over a fire or small flame.
Toptier offers a range of Japanese-style tea kettles in cast iron. They're stove-top safe, although they recommend not having too much heat on them. Other options to consider are the Hwagui Cast Iron Teapot Tea Kettle and the Sotya Tetsubin Tea Kettle. Remember that not all cast iron teapots are suitable for your stovetop, and most that are should only be heated with a low to medium heat.
A gooseneck kettle has a very long spout. If you're a serious tea drinker or you're serious about coffee too, it could be a good choice for you. The longer spout gives you better control of the rate of flow when you're pouring your water. The slow pour of the water is intended to enhance the preparation and taste of your tea or coffee. It can also make pouring your water a little neater, with less chance of dripping or splashing water while you pour.
Gooseneck kettles are most often preferred for people who like to make pour-over coffee, but they can be excellent for making tea too. A slower pour can be good for loose leaf tea and to get your tea leaves infusing the water.
When you want something super stylish, the Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Pour-Over Kettle might be for you - if you have a bigger budget. For something more affordable, the OXO Good Grips Pour-Over Kettle is a stovetop option that you might prefer.
What Is the Healthiest Type of Tea Kettle?
Health is a factor that you should consider when looking for the best tea kettle. Different materials might pose certain risks when using them to boil water. Some metals and other materials could release toxins into your water, although the damage that they might do isn't necessarily clear. For example, stainless steel can leach nickel and chromium into the liquid when you boil water. However, it's important to keep in mind that this occurs in very small amounts. Another thing to remember is that many of the foods we eat naturally contain traces of heavy metals and also that we have some of these metals in our bodies in tiny amounts.
You might see warnings against ceramic kettles as the FDA has found that some ceramics contain lead and cadmium. Some people say that glass is the safest material to choose from for a kettle or teapot if you're looking for the healthiest option. It doesn't release any toxins and it can be safe to use in an electric or stovetop kettle, as long as it's the right glass. However, if you buy a glass tea kettle make sure it's suitable for heating water and not just using it as a teapot. Borosilicate glass is high-quality and durable, making it ideal for kettles.
What Features to Look for in a Kettle
There are plenty of things that you might look for if you're looking for the best tea kettle. As well as considering whether it's electric or stovetop and what it's made from, you can think about the various bells and whistles available and the shape and style of the tea kettle too. Here are some of the things that you should be considering.
Electric or Stovetop
The first thing that you will want to consider is whether to get a stovetop or electric kettle. Stovetop tea kettles are traditionally the most popular option, but there's a reason electric kettles are popular in many countries that love tea and even plenty that love coffee too. Both options have their pros and cons though, so it's worth considering what each option can offer you.
A lot of people like stovetop tea kettles just for the look. They're familiar with them too and know how to use them. They don't take up a power socket, which can be a bonus if you have limited space to plug in appliances. They also don't take up counter space, and you can either keep them on the stovetop or put them away. Another bonus of a stovetop tea kettle is that they usually whistle when they're done, so you know when your water is boiled and it's time for tea.
Electric tea kettles also have lots of benefits, as well as some drawbacks. They're usually faster than using a stovetop tea kettle, and they're very safe too. You can choose electric tea kettles with various features, from being able to adjust the temperature to smart kettles. They might not whistle, but you can buy an electric tea kettle that makes a sound or lights up so you know when it's done. However, an electric tea kettle does take up counter space and needs to be plugged in. This can be a little annoying if you have a small kitchen, especially if you're not planning to use your kettle a lot.
When you've decided between a stovetop or electric tea kettle, you'll probably want to think about how big it should be. Consider how many cups (or mugs) of tea you're realistically going to need to make at once. It's also a good idea to think about how else you might use your kettle. It can be faster to use a kettle to boil water for other purposes, such as making pasta. If you want to use a tea kettle for other tasks, you might need a larger capacity. Most tea kettles will tell you their overall maximum capacity, as well as how many cups you can get out of it.
There are a few different design features that you'll want to think about. The spout and the handle are two things to consider, and you might also want to think about the lid and the general shape. A tea kettle's design is partly about aesthetics but it's also important for function. The design of the spout, for example, affects how the water pours from the tea kettle. The handle makes a difference in how easy it is to hold and pour and how comfortable it feels. The lid should prevent leaking or steam from coming out.
Of course, you'll also be interested in the design for what the tea kettle looks like. Maybe you're looking for a particular look to match your kitchen or your design taste. You'll find all kinds of styles available, from Japanese-inspired tea kettles to modern designs. If you like the look of a stovetop tea kettle but want the efficiency of an electric tea kettle, you can even find one that matches your desires.
As you can see from the different types of tea kettle available, you need to consider material if you want to choose the best tea kettle. The material you choose affects a few different things, including how durable the kettle is, how quickly it can heat water, and possibly even how safe and healthy the kettle is too.
For some people, noise is an important factor to consider when choosing the best tea kettle. You might not want it to be particularly loud, especially if you want to boil your water while you're in the same room. On the other hand, you might prefer a kettle that makes a bit more noise so you can hear it and know when it's done, whether that means a whistling tea kettle or an electric tea kettle that you can hear clicking off.
Some electric tea kettles can be pretty noisy when they're working. If you're not so keen on a noisy appliance in your kitchen, you might want to search for a quieter model that can't be heard from the next room.
How hot your tea kettle gets on the outside is also something that you should think about. Stovetop tea kettles typically can get pretty hot to the touch, although they often have handles that are designed to stay cool even as the rest of it heats. Electric tea kettles heat from the inside, so you won't have exactly the same problem. However, some electric tea kettles are better at preventing external heat than others, and there are some that will still be hot to the touch after operation. Glass or plastic tea kettles are likely to be better options if you want to avoid this problem.
The durability of a tea kettle relates to its material and design. Some materials are more durable than others. For example, plastic electric tea kettles are not likely to last as long as metal tea kettles. If you're thinking about an electric tea kettle, you also have to consider the electrical components. Price is definitely going to come into play here, as generally, a cheaper electric tea kettle isn't going to last as long. The electrical components could give out long before any other parts.
Weight might not be a factor that everyone wants to consider. If you're looking for the best tea kettle for your home, it's likely going to sit on the counter or stovetop most of the time. However, it is something you might want to think about if you have trouble lifting up heavy objects or if you're looking for a tea kettle to travel with. You can get travel-sized tea kettles, some of which are designed for camping and some of which are electric tea kettles that are perfect for hotels.
A few little extra touches can make your tea kettle better too. For example, some electric tea kettles have a cord coming straight out of them, which isn't so convenient. Fortunately, plenty of models are cordless. You plug their base in and can lift the jug up off the base whenever you need to. Another thing to consider about cords is they can get in the way. Some tea kettles have cord storage in the base so you can avoid having the cord sticking out and getting in the way. It's also useful if you want to pack up your tea kettle and store it. A water gauge is super helpful too, telling you how much water you've put in, as well as the minimum and maximum you should fill it by.
Electric Kettle Features
Electric tea kettles can often have a few more features compared to traditional stovetop tea kettles. This makes it easier to control them and get your hot water exactly how you want it. Some of the features that you might find are adjustable temperatures, lights and sounds to indicate when the water is hot, and smart features if you want a really high-tech tea kettle. Smart tea kettles are great for anyone who loves technology, especially if you already have other smart devices and appliances at home. They can allow you to start your tea kettle remotely so you have hot water ready when you get home or go to the kitchen. You might also be able to adjust the temperature using the app or get a notification when the kettle has finished.
However, there is something to be said for a tea kettle that doesn't have too many features. Sometimes it's better to stick with something simple that you know will get the job done. Not only will this make your tea kettle more affordable but it can also mean that your tea kettle gets all of the most important things right. It might not have smart features or adjustable temperature, but it can still pour smoothly, without leaking, heat up water efficiently, and keep it warm for you too.
How Hot Should Water Be for Tea?
One of the features that you might look for on an electric tea kettle is the ability to adjust the temperature. This can be very useful because different types of tea benefit from different temperature water. If your water is too hot, it could kill the tea and end up with problems such as a bitter taste. If your water isn't warm enough, it won't encourage infusion and you won't benefit from the full flavor.
Once you have the best tea kettle for making your tea, make sure you have everything else you need too. Start with the perfect teas from Red Rose, including black tea, herbal and decaf, specialty teas, and fun sweet flavors too. We've been providing fine teas to our customers for more than 130 years and we have a huge range of products to suit every kind of tea drinker. From single-serve cups perfect for your Keurig to tea bags, our teas can be made the way that you want to. Whether you're looking for traditional teas or contemporary flavors, we'll help you to find the tea that's right for you.