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Top five best kettles for 2018

By Alice Williams

We reveal the best kettles in five different categories, including the best cheap kettle and our top-scoring energy saver.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

We've tested hundreds of kettles, so that you know which ones will make a great addition to your kitchen - and the models to avoid. But in case you don't have time to whittle down the choice for yourself, we've rounded up some of our favourite top-scoring Best Buys to help you find a brilliant kettle in a hurry.

Each of the kettles recommended in the table below has aced our rigorous lab tests, which include in-depth assessments of boiling speed, noise, usability and energy use. We've included our top picks from five different categories, so whether you're looking for an ultra-quiet kettle, an energy saver, or a super-speedy model, there's something for you.

We've also revealed three of the worst kettles we've tested, so you know the ones to steer clear of.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access to all our reviews.

Best fast boil kettle

Typical price £45.00
Which? score 78%
Reviewed Sep 2017
Speed:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Noise:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Limescale filter quality:
2 out of 52 out of 5
Capacity (litres):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive
Minimum fill volume (ml):
Member exclusive

If you're always gasping for a tea, this model will deliver the goods in a speedy 2 minutes 18 seconds. With its low minimum fill, tea for one is even quicker - you'll be waiting just 44 seconds.

Best cheap kettle

Lowest price (in stock) £17.98
Which? score 79%
Reviewed Dec 2013
Speed:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Noise:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Limescale filter quality:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Capacity (litres):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive
Minimum fill volume (ml):
Member exclusive

You can pick up this bargain Best Buy kettle for under £20, but there’s nothing budget about its performance. It’s energy efficient, quick to boil and easy to use, and beats kettles more than five times its price.

Best glass kettle

Lowest price (in stock) £34.00
Which? score 80%
Reviewed Jan 2017
Speed:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Noise:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Limescale filter quality:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Capacity (litres):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive
Minimum fill volume (ml):
Member exclusive

We haven’t always been impressed with glass kettles, but this model scored well in our tests. It’s very quick, boiling a litre of water in less than two-and-a-half minutes, and energy efficient too. At 80%, it’s the highest scoring Best Buy glass kettle.

Best quiet kettle

Lowest price (in stock) £41.00
Which? score 81%
Reviewed Sep 2017
Speed:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Noise:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Limescale filter quality:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Capacity (litres):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive
Minimum fill volume (ml):
Member exclusive

Few kettles score a full 5 for noise, and this kettle is no exception, but it is one of the quietest we've tested in the last few years. Its also a great all-rounder, being fast, energy efficient, easy to use and effective at keeping limescale out of your cup of tea. At 81% it's a high scoring Best Buy.

Best one cup kettle

Lowest price (in stock) £21.99
Which? score 79%
Reviewed Jan 2018
Speed:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Noise:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Minimum fill:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Capacity (litres):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive
Minimum fill volume (ml):
Member exclusive

If you’re looking for an energy efficient kettle, this one fits the bill. You can boil just one cup’s worth of water, and it’s ready in a super speedy 48 seconds. It’s also easy to use and has an effective limescale filter, all for a bargain price.

Table last updated: 31 May 2018

Three kettles to avoid

You wouldn't think a kettle could go that wrong, but we've uncovered some shockers in our tests. Poor kettles are slow to boil, waste energy, make a racket or are a real hassle to use. These are the models to steer clear of:

Not worth the price tag

Typical price £180.00
Which? score 31%
Reviewed Oct 2015
Speed:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Noise:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Minimum fill:
1 out of 51 out of 5
Capacity (litres):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive
Minimum fill volume (ml):
Member exclusive

If you aren’t put off by the price tag, the sleek and modern design of this kettle might catch your eye. Its digital controls may seem impressive, but they make it hard to use. It also boils for longer than necessary, wasting energy, and has a poor limescale filter that fails to prevent bitty limescale from escaping into your tea. It’s our worst Don’t Buy to date.

Style over substance

Lowest price (in stock) £129.97
Which? score 38%
Reviewed Apr 2018
Speed:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Noise:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Minimum fill:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Capacity (litres):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive
Minimum fill volume (ml):
Member exclusive

This kettle has style in spades, but falls short of the mark when it comes to the essentials. It takes ages to turn itself off after boiling, wasting electricity. It also has a terrible limescale filter and is really heavy, making it awkward to use. It’s definitely best avoided.

Cheap and disappointing

Typical price £13.00
Which? score 45%
Reviewed Jan 2018
Speed:
2 out of 52 out of 5
Noise:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Minimum fill:
1 out of 51 out of 5
Capacity (litres):
Member exclusive
Weight (kg):
Member exclusive
Minimum fill volume (ml):
Member exclusive

You have to boil a whole litre of water in this kettle, making it one of the most wasteful on test. It also keeps you waiting for your tea, and lets limescale escape. It may be cheap, but you can buy a Best Buy for a similar price.

Not quite what you need? Get the full list of the best kettles that we recommend.

Buying the best kettle for you

Here are four key things to consider when choosing a kettle: 

1. Price

The cheapest kettles we test are around the £10 mark, with the most expensive setting you back nearly £200. More expensive kettles tend to be made of metal or glass, and have extras such as multiple temperature settings. When it comes to getting the basics right though, we’ve found cheap kettles that outclass pricier rivals in our tests. If you’re looking for a kettle that goes the extra mile, lighting up as it boils or ringing when it’s finished, then it may be worth splashing out. But for a good basic kettle, you could find a bargain at a lower price. See our kettle reviews to find the best value options.

2. Looks

If you have an open-plan kitchen, you may be concerned with how your kettle is going to look on your worktop. Luckily, most of the products available have aesthetics in mind, and you can get a good-looking kettle to suit your personal taste. We’ve found Best Buys in every possible colour and finish, including some stylish budget buys, so check our kettle reviews to find the perfect match for you. 

3. Performance

Our independent testing is designed to put every kettle on a level playing field, no matter what the price, and see if it will do its job well when you get it home. We research the features that you care most about in your kettle and reflect this in our tests, so you can be sure that you buy a kettle that won’t let you down. Our scores are broken down into ease of use, speed, energy use, noise and the quality of the limescale filter, so you can always find a good all-rounder amongst our Best Buys. Find out more about how we test kettles.

4. Reliability

Kettles are one of the most breakdown-prone small appliances, according to our 2017 reliability survey. If you’re sick of traipsing to the shops every few years for a replacement, check our guide to the most reliable kettle brands to find out which kettle brands are more likely to last the distance.

For more advice on choosing, head to our kettles buying guide.

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