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Induction hob buying guide

By Jane Darling

An induction hob is quicker and cheaper to run than other hobs but more expensive to buy. Is an induction hob right for you? Read on...

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How an induction hob works

Induction hobs are an increasingly popular choice: no surprise as they are quick and efficient hobs for cooking.

The induction hob cooking method uses electromagnetism to create a magnetic field between the pan, which needs to have a high iron content, and a coil beneath the glass top. Electricity is passed through a copper coil magnet within the induction hob, creating electromagnetic energy. The energy passes through the cooktop directly to the iron-based pan, producing – or inducing – a current which in turn releases heat.

Induction hobs are a quick and efficient way of heating food

Induction hobs are quicker and cheaper to run than other hobs – though often more expensive to buy – because the heat is transferred directly to the pan rather than the whole cooking surface. This means you can touch the cooking surface without burning yourself – but do remember that heat will transfer from warm contents in the pan onto the hob surface, therefore warming it up. 

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Pacemakers and induction hobs

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) recommends – based on academic findings – that people with a pacemaker should get no closer than 60cm from an induction hob.

The electromagnetic field that’s generated when an induction hob is being used may, according to the BHF, interfere with pacemaker settings. Academic evidence suggests a hob wouldn’t cause a catastrophic change to the pacemaker, but there are many types of pacemakers and not all are affected in the same way.

If you're having a pacemaker fitted, you should ask your doctor what advice the pacemaker manufacturer gives regarding how it will interact with the appliances you use in everyday life. If you already have a pacemaker and would like to know how it will interact with a particular induction hob, we'd recommend checking the hob's instruction manual, as manufacturers usually give advice about this issue.  

Induction hob pros and cons


  • Energy efficient
  • Modern and stylish
  • Quick to heat up and cook
  • Safe to touch
  • Lots of extra features like flexible cooking zones, timers and child safety locks


  • Expensive
  • You may need to invest in new pans
  • Can be louder than other hobs
  • May not be suitable if you have a heart pacemaker

Induction hob pans

You'll need to use 'ferrous pans' – in other words, pans that contain iron - on an induction hob.

As a general rule of thumb, if a magnet sticks to your pots and pans, they will work on an induction hob.

Pans compatible with induction hobs are widely available in kitchenware stores. If your current pans won't work on an induction hob, bear in mind the extra expense of buying a new set.

Getting an induction hob installed

You’ll need to get an electrician to install your induction hob for you. Speak to the store you're buying the product from to see if an installation service is available as part of its delivery package. If you're getting your induction hob as part of a new fitted kitchen, check if it will be installed as part of the fitting service.

If you want to find a reliable electrician who is local to you, go to Which? Trusted Traders for recommendations.

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