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The timeless whistle of a kettle has long been synonymous with tea itself. Today’s tea kettles do more than whistle, though. Some are electric and can be programmed to reach specific temperatures; others have handy features like gooseneck spouts, trigger-action lids, and more. Even materials vary, from steel to stoneware to glass. Below, we touch on all of these categories and more, rounding up our favorite kettles and breaking down what we like and dislike about each one.
To help you make a more informed buying decision, our expert food writers researched and tested kettles; they spent weeks using and rating each one on usability, durability, design, capacity, and boiling speed.
Whether you're heating water for a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or tea, here are the best tea kettles to buy.
Best Overall: OXO Brew Classic Tea Kettle
Classic design with modern features
Rotating handle stays in place
Large opening for easy filling and cleaning
A little pricey
Stainless steel lid gets hot
If you're looking for a versatile kettle that will help you prepare the perfect cup of tea, the Oxo Brew Classic Tea Kettle reigns supreme. Made from a high-grade stainless steel that customers say doesn't rust or stain, this kettle is easy to use and designed to last a lifetime.
According to our product tester, one feature that really sets the kettle apart is its rotating handle, which she said makes filling and cleaning a breeze. She added that the handle is "comfortable to hold and pour, even when the kettle is full." There’s also a large lid opening, so you can get your hand inside to clean parts that are usually hard to reach.
There's a silicone grip on the handle, a silicone knob on the lid, and silicone tab on the spout cap, all to keep you away from the hot metal surface. When you flip the cap down, you’ll hear a loud whistle when the water is ready, so there’s no need to set a timer. This kettle has a unique shape that suits both retro and modern kitchens, and the brushed stainless steel fits any décor. Even though our reviewer said the item is "fairly expensive," she wholeheartedly recommends it because of its quality materials and stylish design.
Capacity: 2.7 liters | Dimensions: 9.75 x 8 x 9.75 inches | Weight: 2.6 pounds | Material: Stainless steel
"If you’re looking for a reliable, fast-boiling tea kettle or want a pretty product for your kitchen, you get both with the OXO Brew Classic Tea Kettle." — Kimberly Holland, Product Tester
Best Budget: Mr. Coffee Claredale Whistling Tea Kettle
Ergonomic handle with spout trigger
Very quiet whistle
This classic stainless steel tea kettle is affordably priced and comes with a modern upgrade thanks to its ergonomic, Bakelite handle. Not only does the handle offer an eye-catching silhouette, but customers say it's extremely comfortable and easy to grip.
The Claredale holds up to 2.2 quarts of water, which is close to average capacity if not slightly on the larger side. Even with its reasonable size, the item only weighs about one pound, and users give it glowing praise for its lightness. Reviews are positive overall as well, with hundreds of customers awarding it five stars.
Another key feature is the spout cover, which flips up easily with the touch of the trigger button. The kettle also emits that signature whistle when the water is ready, whether it be for tea, hot chocolate, or more. Keep in mind, however, that hand-washing is recommended as opposed to the dishwasher.
Capacity: 2.2 quarts | Dimensions: 8.5 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches | Weight: 1.2 pounds | Material: Stainless steel
"When in the market for a stovetop tea kettle, find one that both appeals visually but is also made of a durable material like stainless steel. If you are interested in electric tea kettles, my pick is always for one with variable temperatures especially when brewing green and white teas—just know there will be some limescale that looks like brown rust develop over time in the bottom of your electric kettle, which you can clean with a vinegar and water solution." — Annelies Zijderveld, Author of Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea
Best Enamel: Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle
Works on all stovetops
Easy to clean
Lid is somewhat hard to get off
Heavier than most kettles
Looking for an investment piece? Le Creuset has you covered. The company known for its cast-iron Dutch ovens also manufactures a line of stunning tea kettles (among other kitchen goods). This stainless steel tea kettle covered in porcelain enamel is an excellent choice for a registry gift or if you're looking to upgrade your current kettle. It holds nearly 2 quarts and comes in nine gorgeous colors, including Oyster, Deep Teal, Cerise, and more.
Along with being stylish, the kettle is highly functional. Upon testing the item, our reviewer praised its features and performance. "Possibly our favorite thing about this kettle is that the knobs and whistle are heat-resistant," she wrote. "We hate having to scramble to find an oven mitt to open a kettle and pour hot water into our mug, but with this kettle, there’s no need." She also said that the whistler is easy to flip back when pouring and, like many customers, added that the overall design is extremely sturdy.
Capacity: 1.8 quarts | Dimensions: 8.25 x 9.75 x 8.25 inches | Weight: 3 pounds | Material: Enamel on steel
"Considering how sturdy, beautiful, and easy to use this kettle is, we think it’s a worthwhile splurge." — Rebekah Joan, Product Tester
Best High-End: All-Clad Stainless Steel Tea Kettle
Extremely sturdy and well-designed
Smooth, precise pouring
Thumb latch gets hot
Handle is fixed in place
Exterior prone to fingerprint smudges
All-Clad has long been a go-to name for high-quality cookware. The brand's items are simple in design but built to stick around for years to come. The same is true of All-Clad's Stainless Steel Tea Kettle. It is expensive, especially for a stovetop kettle, but the pros justify the price. Our tester gave it high marks in several areas, including its overall attractiveness and durability, as well as how little time it took to boil water (just seven minutes for a full kettle and four minutes for a half kettle) and how smooth it was to pour. The only caveat our tester had was that the handle is fixed, which makes it slightly more difficult to clean.
Some customers say the handle can get hot to the touch, but our reviewer had no issues there. He did say the spout cap can get hot, however. The kettle has a 2-quart capacity, which is more than enough whether you're making coffee or tea. A kettle like this will never go out of style, and thanks to All-Clad's craftsmanship it will remain a long-term fixture in your home.
Capacity: 2 quarts | Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.9 x 8.2 inches | Weight: 4 pounds | Material: Stainless steel
"Despite its high price tag, the All-Clad Stainless Steel Kettle is absolutely a worthwhile purchase. It brings water to a boil in minutes, the spout is slightly tapered for precision, and it’s all backed by a lifetime warranty."
Best Electric: KitchenAid 1.25L Electric Kettle
Easy to use
Several plastic parts
Built to last, with a design that will look good on the counter or table, this electric tea kettle holds 1.25 liters of water and heats it in under five minutes. It has a removable base and the on/off switch has an LED light for easy visibility.
The body of this kettle is stainless steel and comes in red, black, pistachio, or brushed stainless steel to match your décor or add a pop of color. The handle is smooth aluminum that’s easy to hold and it makes pouring easy. There’s a removable lime scale filter in the pouring spout for folks with hard water. The lid is removable for easy cleaning and the opening is wide enough to get your hand in to scrub it well.
While this is expensive for a device that will only be used to heat water, it’s great for someone who drinks a lot of tea and who appreciates the aesthetics of a well-made design.
Capacity: 1.25 liters | Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.9 x 7 inches | Weight: 2.5 pounds | Material: Stainless steel
Runner-Up, Best Electric: Zeppoli Electric Kettle
Heats up quickly
Push button to open
No heating element necessary
Short power cord
Lid opens forcefully
One of the best reasons to use an electric tea kettle is that it can’t boil dry. The downside is that it’s an extra gadget with only one function that will clutter your kitchen. But, if you drink a lot of tea or make pour-over coffee, an electric kettle makes a lot of sense.
This 1.7-liter unit has a modest price tag and offers cord-free serving, auto-shutoff after 30 seconds, and has a wide opening for easy cleaning. What's more, we tested the kettle firsthand and our reviewer said your water will be boiling in five to six minutes when it's full and just two to three minutes when you add water to the minimum line. This is much faster than the old-fashion route. The handle is slip-free, too, so you don't have to worry about spilling and is heat resistant so no need for a potholder. Our tester added that the kettle is "a bit on the flimsy side" but overall a "worthwhile purchase."
Capacity: 1.7 liters | Dimensions: 9.5 x 10 x 7.5 inches | Weight: 1.14 pounds | Material: Glass, plastic, and stainless Steel
"The Zeppoli Electric Kettle is an inexpensive addition to your home, dorm, or workplace, especially since it doesn’t require a stove or hot plate." — Rebekah Joan, Product Tester
Best Gooseneck: Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Pour-Over Kettle
Temperature hold function
Can program by single degrees
No indication for reaching desired temperature
With their sloping and narrow spouts, gooseneck kettles offer added control when pouring. This makes them an especially useful option for those who own non-electric coffee makers, like a French press of Chemex. The best product in the category is, far and away, the Fellow Stagg EKG Pour-Over Kettle. Every detail feels high-end, from the item's sleek silhouette to its many convenient features. With the simple use of a dial, you can set the kettle to boil to a specific temperature anywhere from 135 to 212 degrees. The item has a fairly small capacity at just under 1 liter, but this helps it brew quicker. It's also electric, so the kettle won't clutter your stovetop.
Our reviewer offered effusive praise after testing the kettle, saying, "The precise pour spout, exact temperature selection capabilities, and unequaled design make it worth it for specialty coffee lovers." However, she added that the cost may be prohibitive for the more causal tea or coffee drinker.
The Fellow Stagg EKG is one of the more expensive gooseneck kettles out there, so customers on a different budget may want to turn to another brand. Fortunately, there are many affordable and reliable gooseneck kettles on the market. Otherwise, the Stagg EKG is an unbeatable pick. It's available in a number of stylish designs, and it is easy to find at a variety of sites online.
Capacity: 0.9 liters | Dimensions: 11.5 x 6.75 x 8 inches | Weight: 2.75 pounds | Material: Stainless steel
"This is hands down the most precise pour spout I’ve ever used. It was incredible how well I was able to control the water flow rate and direction of the water with this pour spout." — Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester
Best Stainless Steel: T-fal Stainless Steel Whistling Coffee and Tea Kettle
Large three-quart capacity
Attractive, contemporary design
Easy to clean
Durable stainless steel
Heavy bottom makes pouring more difficult
Hard to press trigger when holding kettle
Not compatible with induction cooktops
This kettle offers something for everybody, from its large 3-quart capacity to its convenient trigger-action spout. The item is dishwasher-safe but also extremely easy to clean by hand. After testing the product, our reviewer wrote that "the average adult’s hand can definitely fit inside without issue" and that the kettle's "straight design helped get every inch of the interior clean."
The large capacity and ease of cleaning make it a great option for families and frequent users. And while its stainless steel design may not be the most stylish, the material is durable enough to withstand years of heavy use.
There are a few drawbacks, however. First, the item cannot be used on an induction cooktop. Second, its size can be a possible hindrance. Our reviewer noted that the kettle is on the heavier side, making it more difficult to pour. She also wrote that the kettle "will naturally catch your eye if it’s sitting out" because of its size. Luckily, if you want to store the item away, its handle sits low enough to fit inside most cupboards.
Capacity: 3 quarts | Dimensions: 10.14 x 10.14 x 9 inches | Weight: 2.45 pounds | Material: Stainless steel
"Given its extra-large size, the T-fal kettle is a highly functional, affordable option, especially for families, offices, or groups that use their tea kettle a lot." — Kimberly Holland, Product Tester
Best Compact: Circulon Morning Bird Tea Kettle
Works on induction cooktops
Hard to pour all the water out
Handle occasionally gets hot
If you don’t need a large tea kettle, opt for this 2-quart kettle from Circulon instead. Available in capri turquoise, kiwi green, or stainless steel, this kettle has a compact build but holds enough water for most households. The kettle has a textured handle that has a one-touch lever to open the spout for easy pouring over loose tea or bagged. And the stainless steel lid fits snugly to prevent steam from escaping and burning your hand.
This kettle keeps style in mind with its rounded body design. It also features an audible whistle when the water begins to boil, so you'll know when the temperature is best for brewing. It is a bit on the heavier side thanks to the enameled exterior, but it’s not too heavy to lift even when filled to the brim.
Circulon offers a lifetime limited warranty, so you can rest assured that you’re covered if anything goes wrong.
Capacity: 2 quarts | Dimensions: 7.75 x 7.75 x 7.75 inches | Weight: 1.6 pounds | Material: Stainless steel
Best Glass: Medelco Café Brew 12-Cup Glass Stovetop Whistling Kettle
Top-rack dishwasher safe
Not compatible with induction cooktops
Must remove lid to pour
If you’re truly looking for a budget kettle (and don’t mind looking like you swiped one from a diner) this is the choice for you. This glass kettle adds a retro feel to your kitchen. We say embrace the kitsch factor, and save a little cash at the same time.
The 12-cup glass kettle is made from thermal-shock-resistant borosilicate glass and can be used on both gas and electric stovetops. And lest you think it won’t have all the features you’ve come to expect from a tea kettle, it does still have the characteristic whistle that signals when your water is boiling.
This kettle holds a full 12 cups, and doesn’t require a spout to be opened in order to pour. And because the kettle is glass, you can see just how much water is inside. No more worrying about your kettle boiling dry or not having enough to fill your teapot. While this might not be everyone’s first choice, it’s a solid pick for those on a budget.
Capacity: 1.5 quarts | Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 7.5 inches | Weight: 1.2 pounds | Material: Glass
Stylish and functional, the OXO Stainless Steel Kettle is an all-around reliable option worth consideration for all customers. It has a convenient rotating handle, a precise spout, and is built to last for years. Those looking for a slightly more affordable kettle should turn to our top budget pick, the Mr. Coffee Claredale (view at Amazon).
How We Tested
The majority of tea kettles featured in this article were sent to our expert food writers for home testing. Our reviewers spent weeks evaluating them in their kitchens to see how they performed with everyday use. After testing, our writers submitted feedback about what they liked and disliked, and they evaluated each one on the following features, among others: usability, durability, design, size, and boiling speed.
What to Look for in a Tea Kettle
Electric vs. Stovetop
One of the first decisions to make when buying a tea kettle is choosing between electric and non-electric models. Electric kettles are more convenient because they heat up faster, and some even have preset temperatures to suit specific types of tea. However, they are more expensive on average and will take up counter space. In contrast, stovetop kettles are cheaper, easier to find, and available in far more design options. So, which style do you prefer? Are you a frequent tea drinker who wants hot water fast or do you gravitate toward a more traditional aesthetic and don't mind waiting an extra minute or two?
Many tea kettles come in a similar size. An average stovetop kettle holds close to 2 liters of water, while electric kettles average slightly less than that, often around 1.7 liters. Luckily, it's quite easy to find outliers on either side, small or large, depending on your preference. If you usually make a single cup of tea or fill a small French press, you might not want a large kettle taking up space on your stovetop or in your cabinet. If you often entertain large crowds, however, it’s nice to be able to serve everyone without waiting for a second batch of water to boil. The kettles on our list come in a range of sizes—all you need to do is pick which one is right for you.
Tea kettles are made from a variety of materials, including glass, stainless steel, and coated metal. There are a few ways to go about deciding on the right option for you. Customers worried about durability should avoid glass and lean toward stainless steel or enamel. If kitchen aesthetic is most important, go with the material you think looks the best. Material also affects a kettle's weight, so if you want one that's easy to lift, then glass or lighter stainless steel are the way to go. Keep in mind that your options are limited if you have an induction cooktop (instead of a gas or electric stove), so make sure your chosen kettle is compatible.
Some kettles pour smoother than others, and it all boils down to the spout. While it's not always easy to tell how a spout will perform simply by looking at a kettle, it's promising when a spout is longer, tapered, or comes to a point at the end instead of staying perfectly rounded. Gooseneck kettles fulfill all three criteria and, subsequently, offer the most precise and measured pouring. That said, many standard tea kettles, including ones listed above, have quality spouts that will avoid drips, spills, and messes.
Even though you’re only boiling water in your kettle, you’ll occasionally want to remove built-up scale residue. Kettles with a large opening may let you fit your whole hand into the pot for cleaning, while a smaller opening might require a brush. Glass kettles make it easy to assess cleanliness, while metal kettles are a little harder to examine. It's also worth checking if a kettle is dishwasher safe or hand wash only before purchasing.
How do you clean a tea kettle?
The most popular method to clean a tea kettle goes as follows: fill the kettle halfway with equal parts water and white vinegar, heat the kettle until the water-and-vinegar mixture is boiling, pour out the mixture, and once the kettle is cool, scrub the inside with a non-abrasive cloth or brush. Finally, rinse the kettle or boil water in it until all traces of vinegar are gone. This process, which is suitable for both electric and stovetop kettles, removes any potential limescale buildup. It’s important to thoroughly clean inside a kettle at least once every three months; otherwise, limescale will begin altering the taste of your tea or coffee, and it may prevent electric kettles from working properly. Other household products like baking soda and lemon juice are effective descaling agents, too, and many brands sell descaling solutions in liquid or powder form worth checking out as well.
The same combination of water and vinegar can be used to clean the outside of a tea kettle, especially for tough stains, although water and dish soap works, too. All you have to do is wet a microfiber cloth with either solution, gently scrub the kettle’s exterior, and dry thoroughly. Regularly performing this task eliminates scale buildup, prevents rust stains, and keeps your kettle looking good in the kitchen. Those who own an electric kettle should avoid getting too much solution on the base of their machine and certainly avoid immersing the item in water; this may damage the electric components and render the kettle nonfunctional.
Stovetop kettle owners trying to get rid of pesky burn marks may need to try a couple different cleaning tactics depending on the toughness of the burns. First, soak the kettle in hot water and dish soap for 30 minutes to two hours (once again, do not soak an electric kettle). Second, lightly cover the kettle’s exterior with baking soda. Third, using a sponge or brush, scrub the exterior with a combination of water and dish soap until clean. Finally, rinse and dry the kettle.
Before cleaning any kind of tea kettle, it’s worth consulting an instruction manual to know what products and methods a brand recommends.
What water temperature is best for brewing tea?
The ideal water temperature varies widely depending on the type of tea you are making. Gentler teas taste best when brewed at lower temperatures, while bolder teas require hotter temperatures. White tea, for example, is best brewed with water that is 160 degrees. Green tea ranges from 150 to 180 degrees. Oolong is best around 190 degrees. Moving into the stronger teas, black tea ranges from 180 to 212 degrees. Finally, herbal teas sit around the 212-degree mark. Many electric kettles can be pre-programmed to reach a specific temperature, and some even come with designated buttons for different tea varieties.
Can you heat milk in a tea kettle?
Users should avoid heating milk in an electric kettle (no matter how strong the hot chocolate craving may be). Milk can damage an electric kettle’s heating elements and may not initiate the automatic shut-off feature, which means a mess might happen. Although it is not preferred, stovetop kettles can be used to heat milk; users should just make sure to warm the milk slowly and clean thoroughly afterward. Heating milk in a pot or in the microwave are better options than using a kettle.
Can you brew tea inside a kettle?
Unless otherwise specified, it’s not a good idea to brew tea inside a kettle. Tea kettles are solely designed to heat water. Placing tea bags or loose-leaf tea inside a kettle may leave stains and lingering smells and potentially damage the kettle itself. On top of that, it would likely lead to a pretty unpleasant cup of tea anyway. A teapot is a superior alternative that will produce a much better flavor.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
This piece was written by Derek Rose, the coffee and tea expert for The Spruce Eats. He researches a variety of products, from measuring scoops to commercial espresso machines, and interviews field experts for their insight. He has used the Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle and found it to be an eye-catching yet functional piece that suits any kitchen. He also tested the All-Clad Stainless Steel Kettle firsthand and fully recommends it to customers interested in a high-end kettle that will stick around for decades.