The Very Best Tea Kettles, According to Our Very Particular Testing

We tested tea kettles across several categories (including stovetop, electric, and gooseneck models) and found favorites at a variety of price points.

a blue tea kettle on a marble surface with a mug of tea beside it
Serious Eats / Jennifer Causey

If your daily routine includes tea or pourover coffee, you need a solid kettle that will withstand daily use and perform well. But the options for kettles abound in terms of different types, designs, and abilities (we should know—we’ve tested more than 30 across all of our reviews).

To that end, we’ve created a guide to finding the right kettle for you. Below you’ll find winners from our testings of stovetop, electric, and gooseneck kettles, information to illuminate your search on the best tea kettle for you, and answers to kettle questions you didn’t even know you had.

The Winners, at a Glance

Things to Consider

What Kind of Kettle Should I Buy?

a group of electric tea kettles on a marble surface
Serious Eats / Jennifer Causey

There are three main kettle categories: stovetop, electric, and gooseneck. Traditional stovetop kettles have the benefits of simplicity and familiarity on their side. You pour water into the kettle, place it on a stovetop burner, and heat until the kettle whistles its signal that your water is boiling. But if you’re looking for more features, your best bet is on an electric or gooseneck kettle

a group of stovetop kettles on a marble surface
Serious Eats / Jennifer Causey

Electric kettles sit on your counter (freeing up your stovetop), automatically—and quietly—shut-off once they heat water to boiling, and generally heat water a smidge faster than stovetop kettles. Plus, electric kettles can come with additional useful functions. Some allow you to select a specific temperature for your water (more on that below) or offer a “keep warm” button.

Gooseneck kettles are a necessity if you’re making pourover coffee. This type of kettle is characterized by its thin, narrow, angled spout that allows you to pour from the kettle with control—essential for that concentric circle, pourover motion that leads to a more consistent coffee extraction. You can find both stovetop and electric gooseneck kettles, though our preference runs towards electric for speed and temperature accuracy.

Variable Vs. Non-Variable Kettles

a closeup look at the control panel of a variable temperature kettle
Serious Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

When it comes to electric kettles, the options break down further into two categories: variable and non-variable. A variable temperature electric kettle (like our favorite electric and gooseneck models from Fellow) can be dialed to a specific degree, or in some models, to a preset temperature range. A non-variable temperature kettle won’t offer that control, and instead have a simple on/off switch. Plus, these kettles will automatically turn off once they reach boiling. 

You will invest more in a variable temperature kettle than a non-variable kettle, but depending on the type of tea you drink and your coffee habits, it’s worth it. Robust black tea can withstand truly boiling water, but other varieties of tea benefit from steeping with a lower water temperature. Most green and white teas do best steeped in lower temperature water around 160–170℉, and water for steeping oolong tea is generally heated to 185–205℉. The ideal coffee brewing temperature is around 200℉. For manual coffee brewing methods such as French press and pourover, you may want the control a variable temperature kettle gives you so you can reach 200℉ and stay there, avoiding the bitterness that can come with over-extraction using hotter water. (Though, if you have a non-variable temperature kettle that comes to a boil and begins to pour after the bubbles settle—about 30 seconds—you should be in the right ballpark for coffee brewing.)

Stovetop Kettles

When shopping for stovetop kettles, rest assured that boil speed is relatively consistent. In our stovetop kettle testing, there was a less than 2-minute difference between the fastest-heating kettle and slowest-heating kettles. We also discovered that a silicone covering on a handle goes a long way toward keeping it from being too hot to the touch.

What we liked: This kettle did not win our speed test (it came eighth in a field of 10), but it only took a minute longer to bring water to a boil than the fastest kettle. The design is not only attractive and unique, it’s also comfortable to use and easy to tilt and pour at any angle and it sports a silicone-coated handle. And setting it apart further is the lack of a spout cover, meaning you don’t need to worry flipping something hot or a blast of steam shooting at you. We particularly liked the reeds in its spout, which whistled pleasantly when the kettle came to a boil. 

What we didn’t like: This kettle is not induction cooktop compatible. If you have an induction cooktop, we recommend the Le Creuset model below.

Price at time of publish: $105. 

Key Specs

  • Materials: Stainless steel; silicone
  • Stated capacity: 1.8 quarts
  • Weight (when empty): 1 lbs 13.4 ounces
  • Good to know: Not induction compatible
the fellow clyde kettle on a marble surface
Serious Eats / Eric King

What we liked: This kettle is the fastest stovetop model of the bunch, if speed is a concern for you. Its traditional handle attaches at both ends, but folds to one side for easy cleaning. It’s slightly less comfortable to use than the Fellow Clyde model, requiring you to angle your wrist and arm to pour, but unlike a few other models in the lineup it isn’t loose enough to swing away from you as you pour. Bonus: If you have an induction cooktop, this is the stovetop kettle for you. 

What we didn’t like: The handle became hot after a prolonged time on the stovetop. The lid could also be hard to remove at times.

Price at time of publish: $115.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Lightweight carbon steel, porcelain enamel
  • Stated capacity: 1.7 quarts
  • Weight (when empty): 3 pounds
  • Good to know: Induction compatible; comes in a variety of colors
The Le Creuset kettle on a marble backdrop
Serious Eats / Eric King

What we liked: Our budget option won’t break the bank, and it has the benefit of placing second in our 1.5-quart speed boil test. The silicone grip on the handle keeps things cool.

What we didn’t like: Just beware a slight sway while tilting the kettle to pour. When tilted too far, water tended to rush out.

Price at time of publish: $50. 

Key Specs

  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Stated capacity: 1.7 quarts
  • Weight (when empty): 1 lb 15 ounces
  • Good to know: Not induction compatible
The OXO kettle pouring water into a small mug
Serious Eats / Eric King

Electric Kettles

A good electric kettle should heat quickly, stay cool to the touch, be easy to pour from, and pour water at a steady, smooth rate instead of glugging out. We tested both variable and non-variable kettles. Know that you’ll pay more for a good variable kettle than a solid non-variable kettle.

What we liked: Compact and simple, the Fellow Corvo EKG Electric Kettle heats water fast, and the temperature settings are accurate. The single knob is easy to use and allows you to set the temperature at any degree between 135–212℉ and the LED screen shows the set temperature and current temperature. Plus, the kettle can hold its temperature for up to an hour. 

What we didn’t like: This model is best for those who are okay with a smaller capacity kettle, as it holds only .9 liters (just under 4 cups), as opposed to the more commonly found 1.7 liter (about 7 cups) kettles. Of course, it’s pricey.

Price at time of publish: $141.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Stainless steel; plastic
  • Stated capacity: 0.9 liters
  • Good to know: Variable temperature range of 135°F-212°F
A hand turning the temperature control knob on the Fellow Corvo kettle
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

What we liked: No frills, but it’s fast. If you’re looking for a simple device, look no further. This kettle has a single control switch, heats water quickly, dings when the water comes to a boil, and has a wide opening that makes it easy to clean. 

What we didn’t like: It lacks variable temperature settings or a keep warm function, but that also keeps its price low.

Price at time of publish: $90.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Glass; stainless steel; plastic
  • Stated capacity: 1.7 liters
  • Good to know: Has dual-sided “water windows” with measurement markings
A closeup look at the Breville tea kettle pouring water into a light blue mug
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

What we liked: This model delivers a great non-variable electric kettle at a lower price point. It doesn’t heat as quickly as our winning non-variable electric kettle, but it does take just under a minute longer. Like the Breville model, it features a single control switch and is easy to clean.

What we didn’t like: As we said in our original review, “The Cosori was one of a few models that was slightly off-tasting after multiple rounds of boiling and discarding water.” However, we also noted this went away with more use.

Price at time of publish: $34.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Glass; stainless steel; plastic
  • Stated capacity: 1.7 liters
  • Good to know: Has a blue light inside the kettle that illuminates when the kettle’s on
Cosori tea kettle on a marble kitchen countertop
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Gooseneck Kettles

Pourover coffee fans, this one’s for you. Gooseneck kettles control the flow rate of water due to their design, with the spout attached at the bottom of the kettle. You can find electric and stovetop gooseneck kettles, though we prefer electric models from a speed perspective.

What we liked: As with the Fellow model in our electric kettle lineup, the Fellow Stagg EKG is remarkably accurate at meeting temperature settings. Additionally, this model features a counterweight handle, making it comfortable to pour from regardless of how full the kettle is. And of course, it’s attractive to look at. You can find this model in 13 different colorways, with classic options including matte black or white, stainless steel, and polished copper, as well as a variety of options featuring wooden handles and a colored body. 

What we didn’t like: Ouch, this is one expensive kettle!

Price at time of publish: $165.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Stainless steel; plastic
  • Stated capacity: 0.9 liters
  • Good to know: Holds temperature for 1 hour; variable temperature range of 135-212°F
image of the fellow electric gooseneck kettle on a countertop
Serious Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

What we liked: If you don’t need a temperature control function, the Hario kettle will suit your needs. The spout is easy to pour from and control, and this model is particularly easy to clean, thanks to its stainless steel body. And, if you like the simplicity of this design but prefer a stovetop kettle, the non-electric version is a solid choice, albeit one that takes much longer to heat. 

What we didn’t like: This feature-free kettle also has a shorter cord.

Price at time of publish: $79.

Key Specs

hario electric gooseneck kettle on a countertop
Serious Eats / Ashley Rodriguez

FAQs

How do you clean an electric kettle?

In most cases, you can expect to wipe the kettle clean with a damp cloth, and periodically use a descaler to remove mineral deposits. 

How do you descale a tea kettle? 

You can use a coffee descaler, but risk mess if you boil the descaling liquid and cause it to foam over. A simple less-mess alternative: Dissolve two tablespoons of citric acid in one quart of water, and pour it into your kettle. Heat your stovetop kettle, or turn on your electric kettle. After it heats, pour out the descaling liquid, and be sure to thoroughly rinse with water.

Why do tea kettles whistle? Do all tea kettles whistle?

Stovetop kettles whistle thanks to the design of their spouts. Most stovetop kettles have two plates placed near each other in the spout, with a hole in the center of each plate to allow steam to go through it. As steam pushes in through a kettle’s spout, the steam makes its way through the hole in the first plate and creates a jet. The jet is unstable and creates vibrations as it pushes through the second hole resulting in the whistling sound you hear. Not all stovetop kettles whistle. (Though, we love that our favorite stovetop kettle still whistles despite not having a spout cover. Two reeds hidden inside the spout create a whistle letting you know the water is ready.)

To know when an electric kettle is done, you can listen for a loud “click” to know your water is heated, or see if the model you purchase has a feature such as a bell ding or LED light to alert you.

What’s the best tea kettle?

It depends on your needs. If you prefer the traditional look and feel of a stovetop kettle, our top pick is the Fellow Clyde Stovetop Tea Kettle. If you’re looking for an electric kettle that’s got all the bells (though, as previously clarified, no whistles) we like the Fellow Corvo EKG Electric Kettle, but for a simple and easy-to-use option, we turn to the Breville Soft Top Pure Tea Kettle. If you’re in need of a gooseneck kettle, the Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Pour-Over Kettle is a great variable kettle choice.