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Easy-to-use kettles

By Zoe Galloway

We reveal the best kettles that are easy to use, which could be very useful if you have reduced dexterity, strength or sight.

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A kettle is one appliance you’re likely to use more than once a day, especially if you’re a tea lover. There are a number of factors that can affect how easy a kettle is to use, such as the grip of the handle, how comfortable it is to hold, and how easy it is to open the lid and use the controls.

The best and worst kettles

Our lab-test reviews of kettles have uncovered many models that are awkward to hold, especially when filling and pouring, have lids that are tricky to open and controls that take force to press. 

At the other end of the scale, we've found kettles that feel light and balanced, require little force to open and close the lid, and have controls that are easy to see and operate. 

Having scoured our kettle reviews, we've picked the top three kettles that are easy to use. The table below also includes what makes each kettle right for your requirements so you can pick the best one for you.

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Top three easy-to-use kettles
 Kettle Our verdict Speed Weight Score

 

Pros: Fast, can boil one cup, great limescale filter, easy to fill, carry and pour.

Cons: Awkward to clean some parts inside the kettle. 

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0.9kg 86%

 

Pros: Very quiet, boils quickly, can boil small amounts of water, good limescale filter, easy to fill, carry and pour. 

Cons: Awkward to clean some parts inside the kettle, removing the limescale filter in order to clean is a bit fiddly.

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0.8kg 85%

 

Pros: Very cheap, quiet, boils quickly, good limescale filter, large and clear water windows.

Cons: A bit tricky to open the lid and clean the inside of the kettle. 

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0.7kg 81%
Table notes: Prices and availability are correct as of March 2016.

If you want to take a look at how these kettles compare to others we've tested, visit our kettle reviews.

All kettles we've selected as the easiest to use are jug kettles, which mean they have a handle at the side, as opposed to traditional or dome kettles that have a handle at the top.

Dome kettles tend to be more evenly balanced, but the handles on jug kettles are generally comfier to use, making pouring easier.

Choosing a kettle that’s easy to use

Before buying one of the recommended kettles above, it’s important to think about what you specifically need to look for to suit you. Here’s what to consider:

How heavy is the kettle?

The lighter the kettle is before you've filled it, the easier it will be to use - all the ones we've selected in the table above weigh 0.9kg or less when empty. Also check whether the kettle feels balanced when you lift it.

What is the handle like?

The handle should be comfortable to hold and grip, making it feel stable and supported when you lift it.

There should be enough room between the handle and the kettle that you won’t touch hot surfaces - if you sometimes get swollen hands and joints, look for the biggest possible gap.

Can you open the lid easily?

Some lids open or come off by pulling them, whereas others open with the push of a button. Ideally, try both out to see which you prefer. 

Whichever one you go for, make sure you can press the button easily or grip and pull the lid with minimum force.

It should also be easy to ensure the lid is fully secure on the kettle - a click to indicate this is helpful.

Is it easy to fill and pour from?

Ideally, you want to be able to use one hand to fill and pour water from the kettle, and this will be easier if the kettle feels well balanced. If you find pouring difficult with any kettle, you might want to consider getting a kettle-tipper aid.

It’s worth looking for a kettle with a low minimum fill level, as boiling less water at a time will make it lighter and more energy efficient. Boiling two cups' worth five times a day as opposed to one can add £18.47 to your yearly energy bills.

Can you easily see and operate the controls?

Make sure the controls are easy to press and only require a light touch.

If you have difficulty with your sight, check that you can see the controls and markings easily. Look for ones that are large and contrast well with the background. In addition, choose a kettle that illuminates when it's boiling.

It's also worth looking for useful features such as boil-dry protection, which stops the kettle from boiling when there is no water in it, or auto-switch off, which will turn the kettle off automatically when boiled. All the kettles in our selection have these features.

Read our guide, Kettle features explained to find out more about kettle features.

Easy-to-use kettles - our research

Having looked specifically at our ease-of-use score, we defined which areas are most important for people with mild impairments or who have difficulty with their hands, sight or hearing.

Focusing on those with higher marks for the most important areas - manoeuvring, handling and carrying, comfort of the handle, using the controls and ease of filling, pouring and opening the lid - we narrowed the selection down. All those selected have four or five stars for ease of use overall and a score of over 80% in total.

Gadgets to help people stay independent

Products which help people to stay independent in old age or when they have a disability are known as assistive technology. 

Some gadgets are very simple but, if your relative has complex needs, it may still be worth getting advice from a professional.  

We asked assistive technology and telecare experts to select and review the pros and cons of a range of gadgets and devices. You can see their top picks on our pages on memory aids (gadgets for people with memory loss, Alzheimer's or dementia), telecare and GPS tracking devices and home security.

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