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Home & garden.

Updated: 1 Jun 2022

Best variable temperature kettles for 2022

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

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.

Just want to see the best and worst kettles? Head to our Best kettles for 2022. 

Best Buy variable temperature kettles

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  • 81%
    • best buy

    There's no escaping the fact that this is a really pricey kettle, but it's one of the best we've ever tested. It boils really quickly and quietly, doesn't use lots of energy and you can heat water to a range of different temperatures. The limescale filter is very good too.

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  • 78%
    • best buy

    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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  • This kettle has been around for some time now and only just falls short of our Best Buy standard. It reaches the boil nice and quickly, doesn't use excessive amounts of water, and it's easy to select your chosen temperature setting. Well worth considering.

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Not found what you wanted? See our independent kettle reviews for all our top picks.

Don't Buy variable temperature kettles

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 are two poor multi-temperature kettles we recommend steering clear of.

  • 45%
    • don't buy

    Don't be tempted in by this kettle's fancy looks and extra features - it failed to impress in almost every aspect of our performance and ease of use tests. Not only is it extremely slow to boil, it's also very tricky to pour and lacks any sort of limescale filter. A definite Don't Buy.

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  • 31%
    • don't buy

    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 on kettle features, see Kettle features explained

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.

What is the best temperature for brewing 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°C lower. The only exception is traditional black tea, which can be brewed in temperatures between 80-100°C.

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°C, 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°C, 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°C, 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°C, 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°C, 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°C, 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 brewing 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°C 
  • Filter coffee 50-60°C 
  • Espresso 90-96°C

How we find the best variable temperature kettles

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 our round up of the best kettles for 2022