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Home & garden.

22 October 2021

Best variable temperature kettles

Keen on a kettle with multiple temperature settings for drinks such as coffee, green tea and herbal tea? We reveal the best options.
Jade Harding
Making-tea

Variable temperature kettles are designed to heat your water to different temperatures for drinks that need less-than-boiling water, such as herbal teas or coffee. We reveal our top picks below, so you can enjoy a perfectly brewed cuppa every time. 

Whether you prefer a cup of green, white or black tea, or a mug of coffee, our recommended kettles will heat quickly and be energy efficient and easy to use, as well as giving you the option to heat to lower temperatures than boiling point.

Our selection includes a great cheap variable temperature kettle that's worth a look and our best model overall. We’ve also highlighted one pricey model to avoid.

If you're not already a Which? member, sign up to unlock the recommendations in the table below and get instant access to hundreds of other product reviews.

Just want to see the best and worst kettles? Head to our independent kettle reviews

Last updated: September 2021

Top three variable temperature kettles

  • 78%
    £79.99

    The stylish Bosch Sky TWK7203GB kettle allows you to set different temperatures for specialist teas, and has double wall insulation to keep the water hot and careless hands cool. It'll cost you more than most, though. Find out if this Bosch kettle is worth the high price in our full review.

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  • 78%
    £119.00

    This sleek kettle boils very quickly, is easy to use and you can boil just one cup of water at a time if you need to. You can choose from five different temperature settings ranging from 50°C to 90°C and it also comes in red, silver and cream if you're not keen on black.

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  • 73%
    £94.00

    This stylish kettle has five temperature settings to choose from, and comes in several metallic colour options. It also has a handy keep-warm function, so the water stays at the desired temperature until you’re ready to brew. We found it quick, efficient and generally easy to use, although the handle isn’t that comfortable.

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Not found what you wanted? Jump straight to our independent kettle reviews for all our top picks.

Don't Buy this variable temperature kettle

Pick the wrong kettle and you'll end up with unnecessary hassle at break time, wasted energy and a long wait for your brew. Here's one poor multi-temperature kettle we recommend steering clear of.

  • 31%
    £224.00

    This kettle looks great, but sadly it's less than impressive when you come to use it. The digital controls and water gauge make it laborious to operate, it overboils, and the minimum fill level is very high. In fact, we were so underwhelmed with its performance that we've made it a Don't Buy.

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How to buy the best variable temperature kettle

These are the key features to consider when choosing a multi-temperature kettle.

Range of temperature settings

Not all variable temperature kettles will have every temperature setting you need, so check the options before you buy. If you want a wide variety of beverages then five options should be plenty. Some kettles will also hold the desired temperature for a while, which can be useful if you have a busy lifestyle. 

Location of temperature controls

Some multi-temperature kettles have the controls built into the handle of the kettle, while others have them on the base. This can affect how heavy the kettle is and how easy it is to select your settings. 

Temperature indicator

These are either digital or consist of a retro-looking dial on the front of the kettle. The dial can be easier to read from afar, but a digital one may be more accurate.

Tea-making function

Some kettles go the extra mile and actually brew the tea for you, using a special cage for your tea leaves that sits inside the kettle. 

We've reviewed the Sage Tea Maker and Prestige 2in1 Tea & Water kettles - read the full reviews to get our verdict.

For more general advice, see Kettle features explained

How to make the perfect cup of tea 

Woman pouring water into a teacup

Tea – it’s the most quintessential of English drinks, but how do you make the perfect cup? It’s all in the temperature. Not all hot drinks should be brewed with boiling water.

In fact, most blends shouldn't be made with water that has just been boiled and taste better brewed a good 20-35 degrees lower. The only exception is traditional black tea, which can be brewed in temperatures between 80-100 degrees.

Water temperature is a critical factor in bringing out the best qualities of tea. If the water temperature is too hot, the tea will be too bitter; if the water temperature is too cool, the full flavour contained in the leaves will not be extracted.

Over- or under- brewing can also affect the taste. Plus, if you’re using loose tea, you may need to adjust times for different quantities. 

Black tea/English breakfast tea
Water: 80-100 degrees, brew for: 2-5 minutes

A teabag in a cup of tea

The traditional English breakfast tea that many of us drink today is a black tea blend of Assam, Ceylon and Kenya. It’s naturally caffeinated and is full of antioxidants called flavonoids. It can be served with milk and sugar, depending on preference.

Green tea
Water: 65-75 degrees, brew for: 1-2 minutes

Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves - the same leaves used for most other teas, but blended at a different oxidisation process for a lighter brew. Don’t steep too long as it will become bitter. It is best served without milk.

Rooibos tea
Water: 100 degrees, brew for: 4-6 minutes

Rooibos tea
Rooibos, pronounced roy-boss, is a nutty and naturally sweet tea. Also called African red bush, it is naturally caffeine-free and comes from South Africa. Some people like to add milk to this tea, as well as sugar, honey, lemon or cinnamon, but it can also be served on its own.

White tea
Water: 75-85 degrees, brew for: 4-6 minutes

White tea is the more delicate of the blends and is the least processed of all the teas, producing a light, refreshing brew. No need to add milk or sugar, enjoy on its own.  

White, green, blue and black teas are all from the same plant – they are all just harvested at a different time in the oxidisation processes.

Chamomile tea
Water: 90-100 degrees, brew for: 5 minutes

The chamomile flower is used all over the world in a variety of remedies, but is also a very popular tea. It’s caffeine-free and can be served with a little honey, if you like it sweeter.

Peppermint tea
Water: 90-100 degrees, brew for: 5 minutes

Peppermint tea

Naturally caffeine-free, this popular tea can be served as it is, although some people like to add, honey, lemon or a slice of orange.

What's the best temperature for coffee?

This depends on the type of coffee you are making. Instant coffee tends to be hotter, while espresso or filter coffee should be brewed at lower temperatures.

As a rough guide:

  • Instant coffee 80-85 degrees
  • Filter coffee 50-60 degrees
  • Espresso 90-96 degrees

Do you need a variable temperature kettle?

While some teas or coffees are best brewed at a lower temperature, it's considered better to boil the water first and let it cool. So you could be better off with a standard kettle, although it's harder to guess when it's cooled to the right temperature.

If you're not too fussed about hitting exact temperatures, and are happy to let your water cool after boiling, you'll have a much wider range of kettles to choose from.

See our kettle reviews to compare the best options for your budget.

Why Which? kettle reviews are better 

We test kettles more thoroughly than anyone else. Plus, we put all models through the same stringent assessments, so you can easily compare models on an equal footing.

We check how quickly each kettle boils water. We give top marks to kettles that are fast to heat up and won’t make a racket boiling. We also assess how easy each kettle is to use, and whether it wastes energy by overboiling or having a high minimum fill level.

Need more advice? See How to buy the best electric kettle