How to buy the best travel kettle
By Matt Clear
Don't spend more than you need to on a travel kettle - read our guide to find out which models are best and which you should avoid.
You can pick up a travel kettle for less than £10, but does that mean it'll be rubbish? Our tests have found that the price of a travel kettle doesn't always match with how well it will actually make tea. One of the cheapest travel kettles we've tested is a Best Buy, and one of the lowest-scoring travel kettles is more expensive at around £20.
Nobody wants to spend half their holiday trying to boil water in a saucepan for that much-needed cup of tea. Travel kettles are compact and affordable, but some can be horribly slow or noisy.
To help you find the best travel kettle, we've put the most popular models through our tough kettle tests, measuring how long they take to boil, how easy they are to use, and whether they'll deposit limescale in your tea.
Below we've selected the two best travel kettles from our tests - they're both easy to use, lightweight and quiet, and one is just £14.
Just want to see all our reviews, including compact, travel and multi-temperature kettles? Skip straight to our kettle reviews.
|Best travel kettles|
An excellent travel kettle that's quiet and easy to use, with a comfortable handle. The controls are simple and it turns off quickly after it's boiled - a great energy-saving feature. Unusually for a travel kettle, it has a water gauge so it's easy to see how full it is as well as an effective limescale filter.
Costing just £14, this travel kettle is also pretty easy to use and doesn't boil for longer than is necessary. It's quiet, so you won't disturb your travel partner if you want an early morning cuppa. It also comes with two handy travel cups, a useful water gauge and dual voltage.
This kettle is a little pricier at £20, but it's the quickest Best Buy travel kettle we've tested so won't leave you waiting around for a brew. It too is quiet and really easy to use with a handy water gauge. To top it all off, the limescale filter does a great job of keeping flakes out of your tea.
Choosing the best travel kettle
If you're needing to pack your travel kettle into an already stuffed suitcase, you'll want one that's light and small so it'll fit easily in your luggage. Find out how travel kettles compare with full-sized models and what to look for below.
Weight and capacity
Travel kettles tend to weigh around 0.5kg, while full-sized kettles can weigh as much as 1.6kg. The lighter the better, but the flip side is that it's likely to have a small capacity.
Travel kettles can only boil up to 1 litre of water, and in many cases, only half a litre. There are a couple of full-sized kettles we've tested that are as light as travel kettles (0.5kg) - the Breville VKJ111 and Argos Value 901/6710 - but can take up to 1.6 litres of water. If you think these kettles might be a good option for you, click on the links to see how these kettles compare with the travel kettles we've tested.
Because of the bigger capacity, these kettles are a little larger in size than most travel kettles. Travel kettles tend to be about 17/18cm tall, 10/11cm deep and 15/17cm wide. One of the largest travel kettles we've tested, in both capacity and size, is the Lloytron E886 travel kettle, which as a 0.9 litre capacity, weighs just 0.5kg and measures 20.5x9.5x19cm.
If you'll need to use your kettle abroad, it's worth double-checking that the model you buy has dual voltage - most travel kettles do have this, but compact or lightweight kettles may not.
Speed of boiling
A common gripe with travel kettles is that they can be very slow to boil compared with ordinary kettles. Waiting around for your kettle to boil can be a pain, especially when you've got sightseeing to do, which is why we rate how quick each kettle is to boil. The slowest travel kettle we tested took more than a minute longer to boil than the best.
If you're gasping for a cup of tea or coffee early in the morning or late at night when you're travel buddy is fast asleep, you'll want a quiet kettle. While our main kettle tests have uncovered models that are as loud as an electric drill when boiling, we've found that travel kettles do tend to be quieter. Some are better than others, though - you can compare scores by heading to our kettle reviews and filtering by travel kettles.
Most travel kettles will have dual voltage, making them adaptable to whatever country you travel too (as long as you have the right adapter plug), but some also include cups, spoons, a tea/coffee container, and even a travel bag.
A lot of travel kettles tend to look quite basic and don't have a water gauge, but look out for ones that do - like our Best Buys above - as this can be really useful, allowing you to see how much water you've got to boil and whether you need a refill.
If you plan to use your travel kettle in a caravan or camper van, and will be frequenting a hard water area, it's worth going for a kettle with a limescale filter. Only a few travel kettles have one, and it will be invaluable for keeping bitty scale out of your tea.
To see all our top-rated kettles, head to our round-up of Best Buy kettles.