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The best tea kettle

Tea Equipment

Though sometimes used interchangeably, a teapot is distinct from a tea kettle. While the kettle boils water, the more decorative pot simply holds the brewing tea.

Which tea kettle is best?

A hot cup of tea is welcome any time of day, but the best way to make it is with a proper tea kettle.

Though relatively simple, there is a range of options available, from modern electric appliances to more traditional, aesthetically pleasing units. Our best pick, the Le Creuset Zen Tea Kettle, blends the two styles, but there are still plenty more considerations to keep in mind. Our guide has all you need to know about invaluable tea kettles.

Types of tea kettles

Stovetop tea kettles

One of the most popular types is the stovetop tea kettle. These are relatively traditional-looking and familiar in operation. However, the type of material used indicates its effectiveness and best uses.

  • Stainless steel: The most popular type of stovetop tea kettle, stainless steel, is durable, inexpensive, easy to use and easy to clean. However, it does take some time for the water to heat up. Stainless steel offers variety, too, with models available in colorful styles.
  • Anodized aluminum: For a higher price, you can opt for a lightweight and durable tea kettle made from anodized aluminum, commonly used in cookware. It resists scratch and stains and transfers heat quickly. 
  • Glass: These more delicate tea kettles add aesthetic value, allowing users to view the water boiling through the glass material. The operation needs to be careful, though, as glass should heat up slowly and avoid a direct flame.
  • Copper: These increasingly popular options offer a trendy, rustic aesthetic and quick results, with copper heating fast and uniformly. However, it tends to come with a high price tag and should be handled with care as it will dent or scratch more easily.

Electric tea kettle

Convenient and modern, electric tea kettles use an internal heater to boil water swiftly and evenly. These connect to a wall outlet, using power to heat the kettle, though some options are ‘cordless’ to an extent, allowing users to remove the pot from the base to pour.  Electric tea kettles are typically made of stainless steel or plastic. However, the latter is cheaper and less durable. Some glass options may also be available with stainless steel or plastic frame.

What to look for in a quality tea kettle

Temperature control

Electric tea kettles may allow you to toggle the temperature to your exact desire. These models typically have a digital interface that you can program, which is particularly useful if you brew a variety of tea or coffee or if people in the house have different temperature preferences.

Capacity

Tea kettles vary in capacity, with smaller options holding only a few cups and larger models storing eight cups or more. Consider countertop space available as well as the number of people in a household when mulling capacity. As stovetop tea kettles tend to take longer to heat up, you may want to opt for a larger model if you’re forgoing an electric model.

Ready signal

Most stovetop tea kettles feature a signature whistle alerting you to sufficiently boiled water. Depending on the design, though, that sound may vary. Some models do not include the whistle at all. With electric tea kettles, they may produce a simulated whistle or a simple beep to alert you.

How much you can expect to spend on a tea kettle

Stovetop tea kettles range in price from around $20-$40 depending on size and material. Electric kettles, meanwhile, typically cost between $25-$50.

Tea kettle FAQ

How should I clean my tea kettle?

A. The best and most straightforward way to clean your tea kettle is by running a boil a couple of times with water and some white vinegar. While it may not seem like the tea ever gets particularly dirty, repeated use will extract minor minerals and salt from the water accumulated over time. Without proper cleaning, these deposits can ruin both the appliance as well as the tea.

How do I brew the best cup of tea?

A. Boil cold water, preferably purified or filtered, for the best-tasting tea. Avoid re-boiling or over-boiling water to prevent the tea from tasting flat. Whether it is bagged or loose, the type of tea will influence the ideal temperature and the length of time it should be steeped.

What’s the best tea kettle to buy?

Top tea kettle

Le Creuset Zen Tea Kettle

Le Creuset Zen Tea Kettle

What you need to know: A luxury tea kettle from an iconic brand, this colorful and durable model is aesthetically pleasing and functionally impressive.

What you’ll love: This expertly crafted, large-size stovetop tea kettle includes a heat-resistant handle and heats fast and evenly.

What you should consider: High-quality comes with a high price.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top tea kettle for the money

AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Tea Kettle

AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Tea Kettle

What you need to know: A practical and straightforward electric kettle that’s ideal for frequent tea drinkers and busy households on a budget.

What you’ll love: This is a solid value for mid-range capacity and fast results, along with a cordless design. It’s easy to use, with a water window indicating capacity. 

What you should consider: The unit may drip when pouring or opening the lid.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

OXO Brew Clarity Electric Tea Kettle

OXO Brew Clarity Electric Tea Kettle

What you need to know: Quality, modern tea kettle that allows for a precise boil quickly and pleasingly

What you’ll love: Stainless steel and borosilicate glass tea kettle allows for durability and a stylish aesthetic. Boils quickly and maintains heat for up to 30 minutes. It was built to prevent drips.

What you should consider: Expensive. Somewhat bulky.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s

 

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Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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