Top kettle brands for 2018
By Alison Potter
Shopping for a new kettle? Spend your money wisely on a top kettle brand that makes kettles that are loved by owners.
In 2017, we surveyed more than 4,000 Which? members to find out what they think of their brand of kettle, how long they'd had it for and whether any faults had developed. We then analysed the data to find out which kettle brands you can trust and those that are more prone to let you down.
While kettles aren't the most expensive kitchen appliance, you certainly don't want to be shelling out for a new one every year or have to deal with a leaky kettle. Nor do you want to contend with a broken lid when trying to make your morning cup of tea or coffee. Here, we compare and report on 16 kettle brands, rating major brands including DeLonghi, Dualit, Russell Hobbs and Morphy Richards, and budget brands such as Asda, Morrisons and Lidl.
If you just want the best kettle for your budget, head to our in-depth kettle reviews to find out which models we recommend.
Kettle brands rated
Our kettle research will give you an unrivalled insight into how good each kettle brand really is, including which brands make consistently excellent kettles, and which are more hit and miss.
For each brand, you can find out:
- Average test score - how well kettles from this brand do in our tests.
- How reliable it is - we ask kettle owners if, when, and how their kettle malfunctioned, and calculate how reliable each brand is overall.
- How owners rate it - how likely owners are to recommend the brand and their overall satisfaction.
- Our overall verdict - we analyse the results and tell you which brands are worth buying and which should be avoided.
You can see a preview of the best and worst scores below:
Only logged-in Which? members can see which brands came out on top in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
|Preview: kettle brands rated|
|Brand||Average test score||Reliability rating||How owners rate this brand||Overview of our verdict|
|74%||79%||Great value option: This brand is rated very well by owners, with nearly four out of five speaking highly of this budget brand's kettles. Not only does it have one of the highest average test scores for kettles and a number of Best Buys, but it's one of the cheapest kettle brands and it comes joint second in terms of reliability, making it an incredibly good value brand to invest in.|
|75%||76%||Most reliable: Although kettles from this brand are pricey compared with others, they're often excellent and more than three out of four owners would recommend this brand to friends and family. It's rated top for reliability, with just 5% experiencing a minor fault and 8% a major or catastrophic problem. The brand has a number of Best Buy kettles to its name, including our best on test.|
|75%||73%||This brand comes joint second in terms of reliability, with the majority of the issues experienced being minor problems with leakage. As well as a pretty high owner approval rating, the brand has an excellent average test score and several of its kettles boast Best Buy status. It also has a large number of energy-saving kettles.|
|n/a||72%||These kettles only stick around for a few weeks in stores so we've yet to test any because they're so quickly replaced with something new. They are cheap though and they're pretty reliable, according to our survey data. Owners love them and five out of seven would recommend them to someone they know, but you'll need to be quick to get your hands on one.|
|61%||67%||We've only tested three of this brand's kettles, and they're a bit of a mixed bag in terms of test score, with one Best Buy, a Don't Buy and a middle-of-the-road kettle. It's a reliable brand, although only two out of three would recommend this brand to those they know. As well as traditional kettles, this brand also has a hybrid kettle and tea-maker with a tea infusion basket built into the lid.|
|n/a||66%||We don't currently have reviews for any kettles from this brand, but they're fairly low-priced. They're pretty well-liked by owners and two out of three are happy with their purchase. This brand's kettles are average for reliability, but there were the same amount of minor faults reported as there were catastrophic ones, with leaking problems and a faulty switch being the most common experienced by owners.|
|64%||63%||This brand sells a wide range of low-cost kettles, some for as little as £5. We've tested 15 but so far have found only one Best Buy kettle. Five out of eight kettle owners from this brand would recommend them to others and the brand is fairly high in terms of reliability, with 72% still in good working order after six years of use.|
|73%||60%||Generally, this brand's kettles are very high-scoring and we've yet to find one that isn't impressive. They last well and have a respectable reliability score, although only 67% last for six years without breaking down or developing a fault. Three out of five owners would recommend one of these kettles and our tests have discovered two reasonably priced Best Buys, one of which is an energy-saving kettle.|
|63%||60%||As you would expect from a budget retailer, this brand's kettles are on the lower end of the price spectrum. In our survey, it came fifth for reliability, and while this is very respectable, it's a shame they don't perform better in our tests.|
|69%||60%||We've tested more of this brand of kettles than any other and have found multiple Best Buys to choose from. They're moderately priced and three out of five owners are pleased with their purchase. It's a very middling brand for reliability though, with just 68% lasting to the six-year mark and 16% experiencing a fault within the first year of ownership.|
|58%||59%||The design-conscious will be familiar with this brand's sophisticated kettles, but they tend to be on the pricey side. They're well-built though and only a few reported faults with their kettle. Although we've tested 14 kettles, we've yet to find a Best Buy, and owners don't seem that happy with them either - less than three out of five would endorse this brand as one to buy.|
|75%||59%||This brand makes kettles that range widely in both price and design. It has a number of top-rated Best Buy kettles, and has a very high average test score, too. Reliability-wise, it doesn't fare so well, unfortunately, and it's below average in terms of owner ratings, with less than three out of five owners willing to recommend the brand to others.|
|75%||57%||In terms of our testing, this brand looks like one to keep an eye out for as it has plenty of Best Buys. But it falls behind in the reliability stakes, with only 61% of its kettles lasting to six years and it has a fairly poor customer score - just four out of seven owners are happy with this brand and would tell others to buy one, too.|
|74%||57%||This brand is joint in terms of having the most Best Buy kettles. They are well-designed and eye-catching, and few have problems with them when it comes to reliability. But it also has one of the lowest owner approval ratings, with just four out of seven saying they would buy this brand of kettle again or encourage a friend to buy one.|
|67%||56%||This brand's kettles are relatively cheap and pretty high-scoring, but none are Best Buys. They're the second most common kettle brand to develop a fault, with 28% suffering major or catastrophic faults, and 18% having minor problems. Clearly there's some work to be done in terms of customer service, too, as a paltry five out of nine owners would recommend them to friends and family.|
|57%||46%||One to avoid: Not only is this brand by far the worst for reliability, but it also disappoints in terms of average test score and customer approval rating, with less than half of owners declaring they would recommend this brand of kettle to a loved one. It also hasn't notched up a single Best Buy, despite testing 11 of their kettles. They are fairly cheap, but that's the only notable thing you can say about the brand.|
Reliability scores and owner ratings are based on a May 2017 survey of 4,040 Which? members who own kettles. The average test score is based on results of all models tested between October 2008 and May 2017, and this table is correct as of June 2017. There's no average test score for two brands as we've not currently tested any kettles made by them.
Can't see the brands you're interested in? We couldn't report on some brands, as we didn't get enough responses from their owners, but for reviews of KitchenAid, Tefal, Next and Lakeland, head to our independent kettle reviews.
Choosing the best brand of kettle
Kettles are by far the least reliable small appliance in our annual survey with an unimpressive overall reliability score of 75%. An average of 12% of kettles develop a problem in the first year, with a further 9% having problems in the second. After which the reported problems peter out to just 1% or 2% a year.
The best brand for reliability had a respectable 89% of its kettles in good working order after six years. But by contrast, the worst only had 45% of its kettles reach the six-year mark, with 39% of faults proving catastrophic. The least reliable brand is also bottom of the charts in the owner ratings and very few said they would purchase a kettle from this brand again.
Although there are some expensive and notable brands making great kettles, some cheaper brands really stand out. One in particular is the second most reliable brand and boasts a high number of Best Buys under £20. Not only that, but it comes top in terms of owner satisfaction, with four out of five happy to recommend its kettles to a friend.
Now you know which brands to look out for, head to our list of the best kettles to find the right one for you.
Kettle reliability: expectations vs reality
Well over a third of survey respondents expect their kettle to last for five years in good working order, and an optimistic one out of five think it should last for ten years without developing a fault or problem.
Our survey doesn't go back as far as a decade, but in any case, only 72% make it to six years. By comparison, 82% of toasters and 81% of coffee machines are still functioning well after our six-year cut-off.
Most common kettle problems
As part of our survey, we asked Which? members to share the issues they've experienced with their kettles over the past six years. And for most kettle owners we spoke to, leaking is the most common issue they've had. This could be steam escaping, water spilling from the spout or unwanted dripping making a mess of your work surface. This was a particularly frequent problem with one brand of kettle, and a third of all problems reported were down to water leakage.
Of those that reported a fault, the issues that topped the list in this year's survey were:
- 26% - leaking problems
- 17% - faulty lid
- 17% - limescale issues
While for most kettles, a breakdown will mean you need to get a replacement, there are things you can do to help prevent issues. Our survey shows that the majority that fail do so within the first year or two, so it's worth keeping your receipt safe as you'll be covered by the warranty if you opt for a kettle brand that offers one.
For some kettles you'll be able to buy a replacement limescale filter for around £5 if this is the part that breaks. Premium brand Dualit sells a kettle that has a replaceable element and is easier to repair, which could be an option if you're keen on a repair-friendly kettle. See our Dualit Classic kettle review to get our verdict on this kettle.
Tips for preventing or fixing kettle problems
If you live in an area with hard water and have problems with limescale in your kettle, it can shorten its shelf life. Luckily, limescale can be removed and you can also prevent it developing in the first place. You can clean your kettle with vinegar, citric acid - such as lime juice - or baking soda. Alternatively, you can buy kettle descaling fluid from a shop. It doesn't prevent limescale from reappearing again, but it will get rid of it.
To prevent limescale from forming, try to only boil the amount of water you need. A longer-term solution could to install a water softener to remove the calcium and magnesium from your water, but this can be quite a pricey option.