The best tea kettles make the process of boiling water simple and reliable.
Boiling water for tea can be as simple as a cooking pot and a cup or involve several steps including a tea kettle, tea pot and warmer.
Our top pick is the Cuisinart CPK-17 cordless electric kettle because it offers accurate temperature controls and can be used anywhere with an electrical outlet.
In this guide we will explore options for both stovetop and electric tea kettles in our tea kettle reviews and model comparison chart to help you choose the best tea kettle for you and your kitchen.
5 Top Rated Tea Kettles
Brand & Model
Tea Kettle Reviews
Willow & Everett Whistling Kettle
Willow & Everett's kettle weighs less than three pounds when empty.
It holds a bit less than three quarts of water when full, netting you about 11 one-cup teacups full of tea.
The whistle is clear enough to be audible from the next room without being shrill or irritating.
The kettle itself is made out of thick layers of metal and holds heat in for a surprisingly long time after boiling.
If you pour a cup of tea and come back fifteen minutes later, you can heat the remaining water to a boil in a minute or two. The spout lever opens easily with gentle pressure from your index finger.
The base of this kettle is a bit larger than other competing models, enabling it to soak the full heat from your burner.
It's designed to work with induction cooktops as well as conventional ranges. The spout is long enough to pour easily without dripping, and a tight seal around the spout means you’ll have less chance of accidental leaks once you've closed the lever.
While this kettle has a silicone handle, it's too hot for bare skin for a couple minutes after it whistles. You'll want to either wait a bit (you shouldn’t lose too much temperature in your water) or use a pot holder.
It shouldn’t leak during "normal" operation, but if you overfill it, it's prone to spout water from just about everywhere as the water heats up.
Willow & Everett have thoughtfully provided a tea infuser for use with this kettle. It's stylish and practical, making it a great option for most homes that need a conventional kettle.
Cuisinart CPK-17 Cordless Electric Kettle
The Cuisinart CPK-17 electric kettle has a capacity of about 7 cups, or 1.75 quarts.
It's still a bit smaller than the other traditional kettles we’re reviewing, but 7 cups is still a generous amount of water for tea.
Cuisinart has packed this bad boy full of everything you might want in a tea kettle.
It has a built-in water filter, the ability to hold just about any water temperature you'd want for tea or coffee, a 30-minute temperate hold, and a window that lets you view the water level from the outside.
It shuts itself off when it's done and remembers the temperature setting when you remove it from the base.
This comes at the cost of appearance. This Cuisinart is made from burnished steel with buttons everywhere. It's not entirely unattractive, but it looks very much like a modern tool. You won't be purchasing one of these to beautify your kitchen.
The outside of this unit gets a bit hot when it's in use. It won't burn you, but you'll want to handle it by the handles and avoid touching the outer wall for long periods of time.
While it has a wide range of programmable temperatures, it tends to overshoot them by about 5 degrees. It's still a lot closer to optimal temperature than a traditional kettle unless you use a thermometer and a whole lot of patience. 5 degrees probably isn’t noticeable for the average tea drinker.
For serious tea or coffee enthusiasts, this style of electric kettle is a clear winner over any other option.
While the Cuisinart CPK-17 offers a robust array of features in a convenient package, if you want a decorative kettle, you may want to consider a different style.
KitchenAid 2 Quart Kettle
KitchenAid offers a colorful selection of 2 quart kettles that add a bit of old-fashioned character to any kitchen.
They weigh about 3 pounds when empty and constructed from steel sandwiched between porcelain enamel layers on both the inside and the outside.
The thumb flip on the spout is uniquely satisfying and effective. Unlike some other kettles, it snaps open and stays that way until you're done pouring.
The biggest issue with this kettle is the whistle. When it works, it works. It's a bit quiet and ambiguous compared to some other kettles on the market, but the sound is shrill enough that you'll investigate the source soon enough.
The issue is consistency. With too little water, you don't seem to get enough steam to make noise. Luckily, the kettle is pretty small, so you'll be using it more than half full most of the time.
You'll need to be a bit careful when heating this kettle as the spout contains pieces of plastic which may be prone to melting with extreme temperatures.
The silicone on the handle stays quite cool, but the metal around it can still get quite hot. You may still find yourself having to using a potholder.
If you want a functional traditional kettle that is available in bright colors, the KitchenAid 2 quart kettle may be a solid choice.
If you're hard of hearing or tend to forget things cooking on the stove, you might want to consider something with a more reliable whistle.
All-Clad Stainless Kettle
All-Clad's 2 quart kettle is made of pure metal and very stylish yet traditional.
There aren't any silicone handles or spout bits here, just 18/10 stainless and a variety of other metals chosen to distribute and retain heat.
It's compatible with induction ranges for rapid boiling. The base is flat and large enough to absorb all of the heat from your burners.
The whistle is reliable and firm, although it may lack in volume somewhat. You'll have to stay within a room or two to hear it which is pretty average.
Being all metal, when it's done boiling, you'll absolutely need to use a potholder to prevent scorching your hands.
If the All-Clad stainless steel kettle is within your budget, it's a strong pick. This traditional kettle is solid metal and may last you for years when taken care of.
However, it's perfectly reasonable to decide that this kettle is not within your budget and pick one that's a bit more financially feasible.
BELLA 1.2L Electric Kettle
This BELLA electric kettle is a 1.2 liter kettle (about 5 cups). This is half the capacity of the Willow & Everett and 2/3s of the capacity of 2-quart kettles.
However, this pretty tea kettle offers is dramatically different than a traditional stove-top kettle, but it's still reminiscent of something your grandmother might have owned.
Lead-free ceramic keeps heat in incredibly well long after it has been heated and helps heating water quicker than plastic models.
Downsides include the lack of loud notifications when the kettle is done boiling and some slight drips when pouring if you aren’t careful. The kettle practically boils as you watch it. The only signs it's done, however, are a very faint click as a lever depresses and a light turning off. It's easy to miss.
Excellent heat retention and automatic shutoff mean this isn't too important. If you remove the kettle from the base while heating, it'll resume operation as soon as you return it.
Finally, this kettle is quite heavy. It's less than 5 pounds when empty, which is more than any of the traditional kettles above. When full, it's closer to 8 pounds. It should still be quite comfortable to pour from, but it's worth noting that it's somewhat heavier than you might be used to.
If you want a modern electric kettle with an elegant appearance, consider the BELLA 1.2L kettle.
Types Of Kettles
For most of us, the whistling tea kettle that lets us know when the water is boiling was a household staple. Depending on your kitchen size, a stove top kettle might not be the best use of stove top space.
If you don't mind brewing your tea in a cup or a tea pot, you can simply bring the water to a boil in a cooking pan on the stove and pour this over your tea leaves or tea bag.
Difference between a stove top and electric kettle:
You can also invest in a tea pot. What's the difference?
- Tea kettles are usally made of metal or glass and can go on the stove top to boil water.
- Tea pots are ceramic or china and are strictly for steeping and pouring.
Stove Top Kettles
Stove top tea kettles come in a variety of materials and styles.
A copper tea kettle looks wonderful on the stove top but may pick up scratches and dents if roughly handled.
To maintain that wonderful copper glow, be prepared to occasionally polish your copper kettle.
Kirsten Hudson with Organic Authority offers several options to brighten copper. One easy way to return a warm shine to your copper tea kettle is to coat it in ketchup or tomato paste.
The mild acid in the tomato will remove any oxidation that's dulling the metal and return the finish to its original brightness.
Stainless steel is a common metal for tea kettles and will look sharp for years with very little maintenance.
Choosing a brushed finish will reduce the risk of water spots, and stainless steel is easy to clean inside and out.
Aluminum tea kettles eat evenly but tend to be made of very thin metal, so they are easily scratched and dinged.
Cast iron tea kettles are more durable but will rust if not wiped out carefully after each use.
An enamel tea kettle provides a classic look with a consistent finish. Enamel finishes are extremely durable and easy to clean.
These types of kettles are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns depending on the brand and model, to help you match it to your kitchen.
The Whistling Tea Kettle
Whichever tea kettle you choose, consider a kettle with a whistling lid.
Boiling your tea kettle dry is dangerous and will damage the finish of some metals.
Science writer and editor Ryan Grenoble offers an interesting write-up on the science of whistling tea kettles. Per researchers at Cambridge University, the two-hole cap on a tea kettle serves as a funnel for the steam building up in the pot.
Once the steam passes through the first hole or spout, the built-up pressure forces the narrowed jet of steam through the second hole, or whistle.
There is inherent pressure instability created by these two holes, which is why the whistle tends to waver before it starts a steady shriek.
An electric tea kettle is a useful kitchen tool for tea fans because it heats the water quickly and turns itself off as soon as the water boils.
The Cuisinart cordless electric kettle model number CPK17 also allow you to boil the water and then keep it warm for up to thirty minutes for multiple cups.
Depending on your tea preferences, several electric tea kettles feature temperature sensors that let you know when the water has reached the right temperature for white tea, for example, or timers that will notify you when the brewing time is up.
You can also brew tea in a coffeemaker; simply wash the filter basket and pot carefully, place the tea inside the pot and run hot water through the empty filter basket.
If you've used your coffee maker for a long time, you may need to run hot water through it once or twice to remove the coffee taste from the plastic components.
A relaxing cup of tea offers a wonderful opportunity to sit back and shake off the worries of the day. If you're hoping to make tea a daily habit, you can invest in a basic stainless steel or electric tea kettle from many major retailers online.
To brew tea, a small ceramic tea pot can be a charming addition to your home, and many gourmet coffee and tea shops offer a wide variety of styles and colors.
Create your own ritual to enjoy a relaxing cup of tea!
Did you enjoy this guide? Let us know in the comments and tell us about your favorite tea kettle.