What to Look for in an Electric Tea Kettle
Arguably the biggest advantage of picking up an electric tea kettle over a traditional one is the option of temperature control. While not every electric tea kettle on our list has this feature, the more premium ones do, and if you’re very serious about your tea drinking, you’ll want to make sure your kettle can set and keep a specific temperature. That’s because different teas are recommended to be brewed at different temperatures, and having total control over this aspect of the brewing process is a game changer.
Any time you’re dealing with boiling or near-boiling hot water, safety is important if you want to avoid getting burned, so it’s necessary to have a kettle that isn’t going to spill or drip hot water all over the place while you’re pouring. The best electric tea kettles have spouts that are optimized to reduce or eliminate any spillage, allowing you to precisely pour your dangerously hot water into your mug where it belongs.
If you’re a tea drinker, you’re probably making tea every day — or at least most days. So with that being the case, you’ll likely want to have a kettle that looks good on your countertop rather than one you’ll want to hide away in a cupboard and have to drag out every morning. The below guide has some true stunners that fit this criterium nicely, doubling as decor while also making a nice cup of tea.
How We Tested
After researching online the top-reviewed electric tea kettles from the most acclaimed brands, we called in the best examples for our team to test in their respective kitchens over the course of a few weeks. Once getting the products in hand, we evaluated several aspects of the kettles, including their performance in heating water for brewing tea, their ease of use, their design and any other features that stood out to us, ultimately determining which kettle was best for every use case.
The Best Electric Tea Kettles of 2022
Breville IQ Kettle
You might have run into appliances that are too “smart” for their own good (or yours) — but it turns out that despite a virtual control panel on the Breville IQ Kettle, it’s dead simple to use. It’s pretty much like using any other kettle, but you only need to press two buttons: the temperature select button and “start.” You can easily just get boiling water quickly, but you can also have a lot more control when you want it without having to involve a thermometer.
The Breville IQ Kettle feels all-around like a premium product. Straight out of the box I noticed how reassuringly solid the buttons and lid felt to operate. Press start and it serves up water quickly and quietly — none of the mad, rattly boiling and clouds of steam I’ve experienced from very basic kettles. Breville is particularly proud of their “Soft Top” lid that’s meant to minimize splashing and steam. It pours beautifully. Finally, a keep warm button will maintain your selected temperature for 20 minutes.
All in all, I’ve used this mostly for basic herbal tea and the likes of instant noodles and oatmeal. It’s convenient, a pleasure to use and looks nice in my kitchen. If you just want convenient boiled water, there are cheaper kettles that get the job done, but if you’re serious about brewing tea at home (or just want a premium kettle), this is a worthy upgrade. — Zen Love, Associate Editor
OXO Adjustable Temperature Kettle
The first thing I noticed about this kettle is that it is HUGE — 1.75L capacity, to be exact. The second thing I noticed is that it is gorgeous. Even the heating base seems well-designed with just a single button and an integrated dial for controls alongside a bright LED display that shows the temperature — no timer or anything, but it doesn’t really need it. It has to be hand-washed, but that’s not out of the ordinary.
It’s also pretty speedy — it probably takes about 5 minutes (maybe less) to boil the maximum capacity of water up to 212 degrees F. It has a large range of temperatures from 104-212 degrees F, and any temp in that range can be selected via the dial. The base also has a handy hideaway cable, which makes it easier to store and keeps it looking nice when you have it out. The price is rather high, but after getting my hands on this thing, I understand why. Definitely top-quality stuff here. It also doesn’t give off a ton of heat or steam, which is very nice. — Sean Tirman, Commerce Writer
KitchenAid KEK1222PT Electric Kettle
I absolutely love the look of this kettle. The plastic base is nothing special but the colored enamel stainless steel kettle is beautiful. I have it in the color Pistachio and it almost reminds me of the look of a Smeg but for a lot less. The KitchenAid kettle heats insanely fast. The company says it takes 2-3 minutes, but I found that I could hear it boiling around a minute and 30 seconds. It’s also really simple to fill and operate. You just have to flip the lever at the base of the kettle and it starts.
The one thing that I was kind of confused about initially is that it doesn’t really signal to you when it’s done. It just turns off around 5 minutes in, so it’s not like a stovetop tea kettle that will remind you with a whistle. You can obviously hear it boiling if you’re nearby, but if you’re like me and get easily distracted in the mornings, it’s easy to forget about. But overall, it’s a really cute, compact kettle that works very effectively.
Fellow Stagg EKG Pro Electric Kettle
You’re probably already familiar with Fellow’s Stagg EKG Electric Kettle — it’s been a must-have accessory for design fanatics and influencers alike since debuting back in 2017. For 2022, Fellow released a new and improved “Pro” version that adds minor design tweaks, more customization options and over-the-air WiFi updates. But how well does it brew a cup of tea?
Pretty well, in fact. The Pro version of the Stagg EKG, like its “amateur” predecessor, does a lot of things very, very well. Its gooseneck spout pours water exactly where you want it to every time, and it’s pretty much impossible to accidentally spill any water while pouring. You can set your own temperature, anywhere from 104-212 degrees F, and if you’re not sure what temperature your water should be, you can use the Guide Mode that includes a number of preset temperatures. Most of these are geared toward coffee drinkers, but two of them — White/Green Tea and Black/Herbal Tea — are for tea fans. Plus, once you set your temperature, the kettle will hold it for up to an hour. It also goes without saying that this version of Fellow’s fashionable accessory still looks damn good on a countertop.
If there’s one thing preventing the Fellow Stagg EKG Pro from taking our top spot as the best electric tea kettle, it’s the fact that it’s obviously geared more toward coffee drinkers. The gooseneck spout, which works just fine for tea, is tailor-made for the circular pours associated with pour-over coffee, and the bulk of the features are coffee-oriented, too. That’s not surprising, given that Fellow’s other flagship product is a coffee grinder, but it’s worth noting. Also worth noting is the Fellow Pro’s WiFi connectivity. Access to updates is one of the most touted features of the new kettle, but I for the life of me could not get them to work, regardless of how many times I deleted and redownloaded the app that’s required to access them. Judging from the reviews in the App Store, I’m not the only one who had this problem, so here’s hoping Fellow works out these bugs soon.
Zwilling Enfinigy Glass Kettle
Zwilling Enfinigy Glass Kettle warms fast, providing enough hot water to fill 12 mugs fast, courtesy of its 1500-watt electric charge. The removable tea insert helps brew a pot as the water heats, too, with a built-in timer that can alert you once your chosen steeping period (1-10 minutes) ends. It’s also easy to pick up, albeit a little heavy if the kettle is completely full and actively brewing tea.
This kettle is powerful and precise, and it can hold a temperature for quite a while (30 minutes). There’s also a speedy pre-boil function, which lets you heat your water almost instantly and let it cool to your desired temp. You are given plenty of control over the device using the touchpad on the front. It takes a little to get used to — sometimes it doesn’t respond immediately — but there you can set timers, choose your temperature (6 presets or your custom input) and activate the pre-boil.
The built-in tea chamber and customizable timers help you brew the perfect cup with precision. But the glass chamber, which lets you see your tea evolve as it steeps, captures a lot of condensation as it cools, and even when at room temperature. Then, because it’s clear, it gets a little unsightly. Sure, it’s a reminder to not let water sit in there unused, but it’s not the best-looking countertop kettle.
Hay Sowden Kettle
The Sowden Kettle is for those who appreciate simplicity. It does one thing — boils water — and it does it while looking good. Designed by George Sowden, the kettle has clean curves and lines, along with tasteful colors. It’s a functional design that you don’t want to ferret away in a cupboard after using. It can heat up to 1.5 liters of water relatively quickly (about 3 minutes for a pint and 5 minutes for a quart) by simply pushing a lever beneath the handle.
As the kettle comes to a boil, it is louder than some other models, but its greatest feature is a double-walled design that keeps the outer walls cool to the touch (and hot water hotter, longer). The kettle shuts off automatically once the water is boiling, and features a spout that’s easy to deliver slow-to-medium pours — if you’re looking to dump out water quickly (perhaps to refill), then the spout isn’t the fastest option.
Perhaps my only worry with the simple design is that the lid’s latching mechanism has plastic latches that fit into the body’s metal interior walls. In the short term, this isn’t an issue, but not knowing how the plastic will react after years of use, I wonder about whether these small parts will remain intact in a decade.