Best Electric Kettles for Expertly Infused Tea and Perfectly Brewed Coffee in 2021

We found the best conventional and gooseneck electric tea kettles on the market.
Three of the best electric kettles steaming.
Photo by Chelsea Kyle

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The best electric kettles come with serious perks for the committed coffee or tea drinkers: They boil water nearly twice as fast as conventional kettles, they have automatic shut-off controls that are a win for safety (and distractible types), and they don’t emit a lot of heat. An electric kettle is one of those appliances that seems like a complete luxury—until you get one and ask yourself how you ever went without. These days many models also have variable temperature controls that make it easy to fine-tune the water temperature precisely to suit your drink of choice.

But electric kettles come in a huge range of prices, from $15 to over $150, and a dizzying array of sizes and materials. In the past few years we’ve put over 20 models representing a spectrum of designs and price points to the test to find the very best. In 2021, the Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch Kettle Pro, came out as the best general-use kettle, and the Oxo Adjustable Temperature Pour-Over Kettle was our favorite gooseneck variety. But the efficacy of a kettle depends on what you’re using it for; to cover all the bases, we also picked a budget alternative best electric kettle and a luxury option that’s great for pour-over coffee and is as beautiful as it is functional. Read on for the best electric kettles of 2021; for the specifics of how we tested and what to look for in an electric kettle, scroll to the bottom of the page.

Table of contents

Best all-purpose electric kettle
Best budget electric kettle
Best electric gooseneck kettle
Best electric kettle for pour-over coffee
How we tested
Other electric kettles we tested
The takeaway
Why own an electric kettle

Best all-purpose electric kettle: Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch Kettle Pro

This kettle definitely has a lot going for it in the looks department, but the performance stats back it up as a solid kettle for everyday use that outpaces the previous winner, an Oxo. 

But first, let’s talk about the looks. The Zwilling Pro comes in either a matte black or a brushed silver-and-white combo that has a strong “Designed by Apple in California” vibe. Some design choices seem informed by their function, like the wide opening, which makes it easy to reach your hand in for cleaning. The double-wall interior of the kettle remains cool to the touch while in use, and the machine is nice and quiet. 

Like the previous winner of this category, the Zwilling demonstrated precise temperature control, a fast boiling time clocking in at 4 minutes 30 seconds for four cups of water, boil-dry protection, and a keep-warm setting. Both the Zwilling and the Oxo beep gently to alert when your water has reached the desired temperature. However, the Zwilling Pro beat out the Oxo variable temp kettle by a greater preset temperature range, with 6 options between 104℉ and 212°F, compared to the Oxo’s 175℉ to 212°F. Also, this kettle has a feature that we have not seen in any other model: baby bottle–warming and sanitizing settings. With a 6¼ cup capacity, the kettle is actually large enough for a baby bottle to be entirely submerged inside. 

Other design choices, while beautiful, don’t make for the most amazing user experience. The control interface is a touch-activated LED light display that looks nice but will almost certainly confuse anybody who hasn’t used it before.  

If six preset functions aren’t enough for you, and you’d prefer wide-ranging, to-the-degree temperature control in a kettle, you might as well go for a gooseneck model, which are marketed toward coffee and tea enthusiasts. However, for the average hot water user, we feel that the presets offer more than enough versatility for teas, hot cocoas, coffee, and more. The kettle is very space-age in design, and has the glitzy interface that would delight those looking for a tidy, minimalist kitchen.

Best budget electric kettle: Hamilton Beach Glass Electric Kettle

If you’re looking for a nothing-fancy electric kettle that performs well and is easy to use, this Hamilton Beach model is the best. It’s arguably even easier to use than the Oxo because it has clearly labeled temperature buttons for a wide variety of functions like green, white, oolong, black and herbal teas, as well as coffee and hot cocoa. No need to look up optimal brewing temperatures—just press a button and the kettle gives you the water temperature you need, speedily. It is easy to lift and pours well, and the handle is comfortable to grip. Sure, the machine doesn’t have the sleekness of the Zwilling or the Oxo, but it boils water in under five minutes, can maintain temperature for up to 30 minutes, and just feels like a no-fluff classic that you’ll be able to rely on for coffee, tea, and quickly boiled water when cooking. The kettle lights up and casts a blue glow over the boiling water—some might find this tacky, but we found it charming! And it’s less than half the price of the Zwilling, making it a great budget alternative.

Hamilton Beach Glass Electric Kettle

Best electric gooseneck kettle: Oxo Adjustable Temperature Pour-Over Kettle

If you frequent the kind of artisan coffee shops where baristas spend 10 minutes preparing a cup of pour-over, chances are you may have seen this kettle in the wild. And indeed, if you are at all finicky about your coffee or tea—or even just aspire to have a little more control over your cuppa—this well-built, barista-quality gooseneck kettle offers such superior temperature precision and ease of use that even at around $100 it’s a great value.

The Oxo interface is a simple twist dial with a button in the center that makes for a straight-forward user experience. All you do is twist the dial for the desired temperature and press the button to start heating. If you feel like you made a mistake, you just press the center button again to turn it off. When the kettle is finished heating, it will beep gently and hold temperature for 30 minutes before automatically switching off. 

The kettle felt good in our hands and had a stay-cool silicone handle and knob. The long, slender pour spout performed exactly as a gooseneck should: emitting a fine, even stream of water that’s ideal for precision tasks like pouring steady circles into a pour-over or Chemex coffee filter (or just avoiding splashing hot water all over your countertop). Gooseneck kettles tend to be on the smaller side, and this one is no different with its 1 liter capacity.

The Oxo’s big win, though, is in brew time. It managed to heat 4 cups of water in a speedy 4 minutes, whereas others, like an older favorite from Bonavita, can take close to 7 minutes. 

Like any small kettle, cleaning will require brushes and scrubbers for places your hands can’t go, but an occasional tedious cleaning is a small price to pay for dedicated coffee and tea enthusiasts who are looking for precise temperature control.  

Oxo BREW Adjustable Temperature Electric Pour-Over Kettle with Gooseneck Spout

Best electric kettle for pour-over coffee: Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Pour-Over Kettle

She’s a beauty, huh? This kettle elicited audible sighs of admiration when we unboxed it in the test kitchen, and there’s no doubt about it: The Fellow Stagg EKG is a fine piece of industrial design. Of course, all that polish comes with a price: At about $150, this kettle costs even more than our (relatively pricey) top pick. That said, we loved the sleek, matte black finish and the minimalist, turntable-esque design of the square base with its smooth radial knob and bright digital temperature readout. Though it wasn’t the fastest to boil, clocking in at 6 minutes 40 seconds to reach 212°F, Fellow Stagg was in line with other kettles we liked. We were impressed by additional features like the generous manual temperature control (at 135℉ to 212°F, it offered one of the widest in the field), the 1-hour temperature hold setting, and the built-in “brew stopwatch” that allows you to monitor how long your brew has steeped. The kettle performed consistently and accurately during temperature tests and the slender spout yielded a nice, even pour. Our senior commerce editor Emily Johnson has had it in her kitchen for the past few years and reports that it holds up well even with frequent use. 

Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Pour-Over Kettle

How we tested the electric tea kettles

To arrive at a lineup of kettles, we surveyed recent recommendations from other online review sites. We also looked at the highest-rated models on Amazon and polled Epicurious editors for their personal recommendations. We made sure that the final list of contenders represented models from all the major categories—basic, temperature control, and gooseneck. Many of the models on the lower-priced end of the electric kettle spectrum are made from plastic, but given current science, we feel strongly—for both health and environmental reasons—that it’s best to eliminate plastic from the kitchen when reasonably possible (and especially in situations when the plastic will be heated). We made the decision to exclude from our test any kettles whose carafes were made primarily of plastic. (Models with silicone or plastic handles were allowed given that hot water didn’t come in contact with plastic.) We were mindful to include a few budget-level stainless-steel options among the candidates.

For each model, we evaluated the following factors.

How fast can the kettle boil water?

We started by filling each kettle with four cups of cool tap water and clocking the amount of time heating the water to a boil took. At the end of the boiling cycle we measured the temperature of the water with a Thermapen instant-read thermometer to confirm that it really was 212°F.

Does the water taste good?

We noticed that some Amazon reviewers complained of metallic-tasting water or other “off flavors” coming through their kettles during brewing. So, after boiling, we let the water in each kettle cool slightly before drinking it and noted any unusual flavors.

Is the temperature control setting accurate?

When the models offered temperature control, either manual or preset, we tested the kettles at two different settings—175°F and 200°F—and measured the results of each with the Thermapen to gauge accuracy.

How does the kettle pour water? Is the spout precise?

When you’re dealing with boiling liquids, ease of pouring isn’t just an aesthetic issue, it’s a safety one too. When using each kettle, we considered how the carafe felt in our hands (was it balanced? did it have a nice grip?) and also how easily it poured. Did it leak or spill? With the gooseneck kettles especially—because they’re specifically meant to deliver more control when making pour-over, Chemex, and French press coffee—we kept an eye on the precision and the consistency of the water flow.

Is the kettle easy to clean?

Yes, you’re just boiling water. Nonetheless, electric kettles do get dirty over time—thanks mainly to mineral hard water buildup—so regular cleaning is important. With that in mind, we paid attention to how easily we could wipe down the carafes and whether we could easily get our hands inside to scrub hard to reach corners. Some inexpensive kettles have exposed heating elements (basically, a coil of tubing that can be cumbersome to clean), so as a rule we tried to avoid those. For similar reasons, we also preferred cordless electric kettles that could detach from their corded charging base.

Does the build-quality of the electric kettle feel sturdy and safe? Is the design thoughtful?

On a basic level, we considered the construction of the kettles and the ease of use. Did they feel sturdy? Were they well-proportioned or bulky? Did they remain stable on the counter while boiling or did they wobble about? Were the carafes easy to fill? And once filled, did they have a window or a fill-line that made it simple to see how much was inside? Did they offer any appealing extra features, like chimes that sound to signal the end of a cycle or preset temperature settings for common beverages like green tea, black tea, and pour-over coffee?

Other electric kettles we tested

We also tried—and quite liked— the Willow & Everett Gooseneck Kettle with Temperature Presets While it doesn’t offer the same degree of manual temperature control and the build quality is nowhere near as solid as our favorite gooseneck kettle, this model from Willow & Everett was a close competitor in our tests and, with a host of excellent Amazon reviews, seems like it could be an acceptable alternative. We particularly liked that the touch-sensitive temperature preset buttons are labeled with suggestions for use (pour-over coffee, white tea, etc.) and the smooth, easy-pouring flow of the gooseneck.

The Cuisinart PerfecTemp Stainless-Steel Electric Kettle is a great budget pick, but it didn’t come in as the winner because the Hamilton Beach kettle performed just as well and was around $30 cheaper. Still, the Cuisinart PerfectTemp Stainless-Steel Electric is an effective, fast kettle with a variety of preset, one-touch temperature controls, a high-quality finish, and a great pouring mechanism. You wouldn’t go astray buying it.

We also tried the pour-over Bodum electric kettle but found the lack of distinct temperature settings (and the somewhat cheap-feeling materials) to be a deal breaker. Similarly, the Bodum Bistro Electric Water Kettle was eliminated since the interior water vessel was plastic—and we’d prefer heating in glass or metal.

The other model we tried from Fellow, called the Corvo EKG electric kettle, looks identical to the luxury one featured above except without the gooseneck spout. Instead it features the standard pitcher spout, which makes it easier for filling up pots of water but harder for precision pours. It is beautifully designed and would look great on your counter—and has the same manual temperature control and ability to maintain temperature for a long time as the Stagg. It’s a great kettle, but its small size makes it likely to be less appealing to cooks who want an all-purpose kettle for cooking, making coffee, and more.

Like all products made by the iconic Italian company, the Smeg 50’s Retro Electric Kettle is super cute and comes in eight colors. But the body of the kettle is a little bulky (not heavy, but slightly awkward to maneuver) and the pitcher spout wasn’t as easy to control as some of the other non-goosenecks we tried. It’s also expensive, with an $160 pricer tag. The kettle did heat up water in a flash, however (about 4 minutes 30 seconds), so if you’re looking for a very specific aesthetic or you have a kitchen full of Smeg products you’d like to add to, this kettle is a good choice.

The Breville Crystal Clear Electric Kettle boiled 4 cups of water in record time (just under 4 minutes), and the namesake crystal clear body revealed that it reached a seriously roiling boil before the automatic-off feature clicked in. 

In 2021, two previous winners were dethroned, the Oxo’s Cordless Glass Adjustable Temperature Kettle, and the Bonavita Digital Variable Temperature Kettle. Both are wonderful kettles that were slightly outpaced by newer models for reasons mentioned above.

The Bonavita Cosmopolitan, which had a borosilicate glass body and improved controls. However, it was still not as fast as the new Oxo gooseneck kettle.

The Chefman is a good budget kettle with handy preset functions for different types of tea and a multicolor light display. We also thought the built-in tea infuser would delight tea-lovers, but seeing as it’s much slower than the Hamilton Beach model, which is just as affordable and offers the same range of functions, we felt that this one fell short. 

The takeaway

Buy the Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch Kettle Pro if you’re in the market for an all-purpose kettle that can ably handle all sorts of kitchen tasks, from filling teapots and French presses to making hot water chocolate cake—and look good doing it. But if making artfully calibrated coffee or tea is a big part of your daily routine—or you’re just interested in having more control over the process—the Oxo Adjustable Temperature Pour-Over Kettle is the best gooseneck electric kettle for you. That said, if you’re a design aficionado with some money to burn, you could turn to the Fellow Stagg EKG.

Why own an electric kettle?

You may think that an electric kettle is exclusively useful for making coffee or tea. But think about how many times have you watched a big pot of water, waiting for it to boil so you can cook pasta. If you had an electric kettle, you’d have boiling water ready faster—and not just for pasta.

You can use your electric kettle for soup, veggies, and anything else that needs hot water.

Whenever you need hot or boiling water for anything, you can use your electric kettle. Tea and coffee are a given, but think beyond that: Blanching vegetables? Making soup? Cooking corn? Poaching chicken? Boil your water in your electric kettle and then pour it into the pot you need. Electric kettles are constructed to boil water faster than a pot or stovetop kettle.

You can safely boil water without watching it.

Though they say a watched pot never boils, a pot of water on the stove can boil over if you don't watch out! An electric kettle will never do that. Most electric kettles have an auto shut off when the water has reached a full boil. Which means you can fill it with water, turn it on, and leave the room to do something else. No worry, no mess.

“Most mornings, turning on my electric kettle is the first thing I do in a bleary, sleepy state, and come back in a few minutes to fix myself coffee or tea. Not only is it easier, it’s also safer, because sometimes I let myself get back in bed and fall asleep after getting up to boil water, which would be a serious hazard if I were using the stove,” says senior food editor emeritus Anna Stockwell.

Get a big pot boiling in way less time.

When you need a big pot of boiling water, you aren’t going to be able to boil all that water in your electric kettle, but you can still speed things up by using it. Smaller amounts of water boil faster than larger amounts of water. So put as much of that water as you can in your electric kettle and heat the rest in the pot, adding the water from the kettle to the pot once it’s boiled.

This will save you 5 minutes at least, which may not seem like a lot. But if you could get dinner on the table 5 minutes faster every night, wouldn’t you want to?

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