Hot water dispensers vs kettles in new Which? testNew Best Buys as Which? tests hot water dispensers

14 January 2012

Hot water dispenser

A hot water dispenser boils water instantly

What's the difference between a kettle and a hot water dispenser? The new Which? hot water dispensers review unravels the mystery.

A hot water dispenser promises hot water in seconds. Combined with the potential energy-saving benefits of only boiling the water you need at a time, they may be appealing if you're just looking for a quick cuppa. But is it worth investing in one?

For the first time, Which? has tested a range of the most popular hot water dispensers on the market and created a brand new hot water dispensers review, so you can find out all you need to know about hot water dispensers.

In our review we've tested and rated models including the Breville Hot Cup, the Morphy Richards Meno One Cup and Tefal's Express Boil.

Hot water dispenser or kettle

A hot water dispenser is a kettle-like product that will boil and dispense a single mugful of water at a time. Some hot water dispensers have variable water settings, meaning you can alter the amount of water that's dispensed, but generally you'll get between 150ml (equivalent to a cup or small mug) and 350ml (a large mug) when using one.

We think hot water dispensers are useful for people who only want to boil a small amount of water - but if you want to boil a large amount of water for cooking, need to fill a tea pot or you have a round of hot drinks to make, then a kettle is still the better option. 

Energy efficient boiling?

Our scientists have been busy working out exactly how much energy a hot water dispenser uses in comparison to boiling the same amount of water in a kettle. To heat a 250ml mug of water, for instance, a hot water dispenser uses roughly the same amount of electricity as a kettle, but it can vary according to the kettle. 

We've also calculated whether a hot water dispenser is actually quicker than a kettle, as well as measuring the temperature of the water dispensed to see if it's hot enough. 

To find out the full answers to these and other questions, take a look at our hot water dispenser FAQs.

How we test hot water dispensers

We've tested hot water dispenser models from the big name brands including Breville, Tefal and Argos Cookworks. 

During our tests we look at how easy hot water dispensers are to use, how responsive the cancel button is, what happens if there's insufficient water in the tank and exactly what size of mug is suitable for each hot water dispenser. All so you can get the best cuppa...

More on this...

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