How much does your electric kettle get used? As a nation, we still run on tea. It seems that in lockdown our national tea consumption doubled, meaning we were making an extra 111,972,000 cups of tea a day – almost three cups per person. When you factor in all the times we boil the kettle for cooking or cleaning, they work pretty hard during an average day.

A kettle is something we look at several times a day and which takes a central position in the kitchen, so it’s well worth spending a little time choosing the right one for you with our handy guide.

Buying a new electric kettle? Here’s what to think about

Speed

An electric kettle is faster than stovetop versions (and faster than just shoving a cup in the microwave, as well!) but they do vary by manufacturer. If you’re the sort of person who stands over the kettle in the morning holding an empty coffee cup and looking desperate, then choose a ‘quick boil’ model which will get you to your brew in record time. Do be aware that these tend to be a little less energy efficient though, so only boil the amount of water that you actually need.

Appearance

Modern electric kettles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but we can roughly classify them into ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’. Traditional kettles are designed to look like stove top versions, and tend to have a rounded shape. The modern ones are more jug-shaped and can sport almost any colour or finish. What you choose is entirely a matter of personal preference, but should fit in with the style of your kitchen. Very high gloss or metallic finishes look lovely but do show fingerprints, while bright block colours can draw the eye if they don’t quite match the decor.

Temperature

If you’re a tea connoisseur, you might like to look for a kettle that has variable temperature options. These tend to be towards the top of the price range, but if you’re particular about your tea type (green or fresh teas prefer to be brewed at lower temperatures) then it’s worth the investment.

Ease

As a nation, we use our kettles a lot. So it’s important to make sure that your new purchase is easy to use. Cordless kettles (which sit on a base unit to boil) tend to be more practical than the plug-in kind. Big kettles will be heavy when full of water, so may be difficult to move. Unless you have to make big rounds of tea each time, it might be easier to have a smaller kettle and just boil it twice!

Jug electric kettle in slate grey, Cuisinart

Jug style electric kettle in slate grey, Cuisinart
Jug kettle in slate grey, Cuisinart

This contemporary electric kettle, in a slate grey, matte finish with polished details, will fit happily into most decors. It has a full stainless steel interior and integrated lime scale filter, which improve the quality and taste of your drinks. With 3kW of power, it boils quickly and the swivel base is ideal for left and right handed use. £50, available from Cuisinart.

Pink pearlescent finish kettle. Wilko

Pink pearlescent electric kettle, Wilko
Pink pearlescent kettle, Wilko

Make a statement in your kitchen with this unusual 1.7L kettle. The cord storage feature keeps your worktop tidy and the removable easy-clean filter helps to prevent calcium build up. £25, available from Wilko. 

Hay Sowden kettle, Nest

Hay Sowden electric kettle in a gorgeous pastel colour. Available from Nest
Hay Sowden kettle, Nest

Bring a touch of designer style to your kitchen with this Hay Sowden electric kettle by George Sowden. Available in a choice of colours, it will add a splash of chunky charm to your worktops. £99, available from Nest.

Main image (c) Pixabay

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