Electric kettles provide a swift and easy way to heat water without a stove, and many have the extra advantage of allowing you to set a precise temperature—key for getting the best flavor from coffee and tea. Out of all the models we’ve tested since 2013, the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp Kettle is our favorite thanks to a winning combination of speed, accuracy, and simple controls.

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Cuisinart PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle (CPK-17)

The best all-purpose electric kettle

This 1.7-liter kettle heats water quickly and accurately to the various temperatures needed for optimum flavor from teas and coffee.


The Cuisinart CPK-17 won us over with its consistent performance and easy-to-use interface. In our tests, we found very little variation in the amount of time it took to bring a liter of water to a boil. We were also impressed with its accuracy in holding water at a set temperature. It has six preset temperature choices, each with a dedicated button, plus a “keep warm” function that holds water at the set temperature for 30 minutes. The three-year warranty is also quite a bit more generous than the coverage for similarly priced electric kettles we looked at.



OXO Brew Adjustable Temperature Pour-Over Kettle

The best gooseneck kettle

We recommend this precise-aim gooseneck kettle for anyone preparing pour-over coffee, or for tea lovers who will geek out over its spot-on temperature accuracy.


The willowy spout on the OXO Brew Pour-Over Kettle gives you the control necessary for executing the perfect pour-over, plus this kettle comes with all sorts of features that aid in creating an ideal cup of coffee or tea. The controls are totally intuitive and allow you to adjust the water temperature in 1-degree increments from 140 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (or 40 to 100 degrees Celsius). The OXO also reliably hits those settings, beeps when it’s ready, and will hold the temperature for up to 30 minutes before automatically shutting off. And as a nice bonus, it comes with a built-in timer that allows you to regulate each stage of your pour-over.


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Hamilton Beach 40880 Stainless Steel 1.7 Liter Electric Kettle

An inexpensive water-boiling kettle

This no-frills kettle lacks the bells and whistles of the variable-temperature models we recommend, but it gets the job done on the cheap.


We recommend the inexpensive Hamilton Beach 40880 Stainless Steel 1.7 Liter Electric Kettle for anyone who doesn’t want to break the bank but still wants a decent kettle for boiling water. This stainless steel model is very straightforward, with a simple on/off switch at the base of the handle. It heated water just as quickly as the Cuisinart CPK-17 in our tests, and it shuts off automatically as soon as it reaches a boil (a good safety feature, but you’ll need to stay close, since there’s no beep to alert you when it’s done). The large, heatsafe handle stays cool, and the spout doesn’t dribble when pouring.



Cuisinart PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle (CPK-17)

The best all-purpose electric kettle

This 1.7-liter kettle heats water quickly and accurately to the various temperatures needed for optimum flavor from teas and coffee.



OXO Brew Adjustable Temperature Pour-Over Kettle

The best gooseneck kettle

We recommend this precise-aim gooseneck kettle for anyone preparing pour-over coffee, or for tea lovers who will geek out over its spot-on temperature accuracy.


Hamilton Beach 40880 Stainless Steel 1.7 Liter Electric Kettle

An inexpensive water-boiling kettle

This no-frills kettle lacks the bells and whistles of the variable-temperature models we recommend, but it gets the job done on the cheap.


In researching this guide over the years, we’ve talked to a number of experts about what they look for in a kettle. That includes Tony Gebely of Tea Epicure; Michelle Rabin, founder of T Ching; Peter F. Goggi, president of the Tea Association of the U.S.A.; and famed tea expert Bruce Richardson. We also looked at highly rated models on Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond as well as reviews from Cook’s Illustrated (subscription required), Good Housekeeping, and Wired.


Sarah Zorn is a cookbook author and recipe developer and tester. She spent hours testing electric kettles in her home kitchen for our 2019 update and has also worked on Wirecutter’s guide to waffle makers. Staff writer Michael Sullivan, who conducted testing for several previous updates, has covered everything from toaster ovens to drinking glasses for Wirecutter. This guide also builds on work by Wirecutter staffers Winnie Yang and Tim Barribeau.


Getting a variable-temperature electric kettle is the key to immediately improving your hot-drink game, whether you’re a tea collector or a coffee nerd.


In preparing tea, most people just put a kettle on to boil and then pour the resulting hot water over the tea bag, regardless of type or temperature. But different varieties of tea are meant to be brewed at specific temperatures. While exact temperatures are up for debate and come down to personal preference, the general rule is that more delicate leaves require cooler water. So green tea, for example, should steep at a temperature markedly lower than the rolling boil that black tea requires.


The ideal temperature for brewing a clean, balanced cup of coffee, whether with a pour-over dripper or French press, is also below boiling—the Specialty Coffee Association recommends somewhere around 200 °F. Speaking of coffee, it’s worth considering purchasing an electric gooseneck kettle, specifically designed for pour-overs. The thin, angled spout aids in assuring a slow, controlled pour.


Many electric kettles come with a wide range of temperature settings to accommodate different types of beverages. Illustration: Sarah MacReading

If you’re not a coffee or tea aficionado, you may just want a no-frills basic model that only boils water; we have a pick for that, too. In either case, an electric kettle also works for people who hate the alarming sound of whistling kettles and want a fast, more automatic path to their morning cup of caffeine. It’s also useful for those who don’t have easy access to a stove, like students living in a dorm.


A great electric kettle should hit temperatures quickly and accurately, and it should preferably come with a few special features that make it pleasant and easy to use. Over our years of research and testing since first writing this guide in 2013, we’ve settled on the following criteria:


Simple controls: Bringing water to a boil shouldn’t be rocket science. We looked for kettles with intuitive controls that were simple to start at the push of a button. Not all models we tested came with multiple temperature settings, but for those that did, we looked for clearly marked and easily adjustable settings. We’ve also found it especially helpful when guides to the ideal temperature for various beverages are printed on the machine instead of hidden in the manual.


Accurate: Reasonable accuracy is important for kettles with multiple temperature settings because there’s no point in aiming for 200 °F and hitting 212 °F instead. That said, we realize that not everyone is a coffee or tea aficionado, so we also looked at kettles that do not have variable temperature settings and simply boil water.


Fast: You don’t want to wait forever for your water to heat, and we discovered quite a range during tests, with kettles taking anywhere from under 3 minutes to a sleepy 7 minutes and counting to boil a liter of water. Ideally we looked for models that came to a boil in 5 minutes or less.


Pours cleanly: Basic kettles should be able to pour into a mug without splashing or dribbling. With gooseneck kettles, which are primarily meant for making pour-over coffee, we looked for models that gave us total control over the speed and direction of the stream.


Minimal plastic: We only tested kettles made primarily from stainless steel, glass, or ceramic. Some people, including our experts, complain about plastic kettles imparting a funny taste or smell to the water. Plus, plastic kettles are more prone to warping over time, so we decided not to include them. All of the models we did test, however, contained some minor plastic elements, such as parts of the lid, a filter, or the water-level window. All of the manufacturers of our picks assured us that the plastic components in their kettles were made from heat-resistant plastics.


Safety features: Kettles should have handles and lids that stay cool to the touch and keep your hands well away from any scalding surfaces. An automatic shut-off is another important safety feature—most kettles these days come with one, but it’s important that the feature works properly.


Easy to clean: All kettles will need to be descaled from time to time, as lime deposits build up inside. To make that process easier, we looked for kettles with wide openings that are easy to reach into for cleaning. A scale filter in the spout also helps keep bits of the deposits (which are harmless) out of your cup.


Solid warranties: Our research has shown that electric kettles have a high failure rate across the board. Boiling water is hard on appliances, especially those with finicky moving parts or complex settings. Even high-quality kettles have a somewhat short lifespan, so it’s best to find a model with a good warranty. A year is standard; two or more is excellent.


Nice extras: Waiting is especially a pain when a kettle doesn’t have audible cues to let you know that it’s reached temperature. That said, it’s preferable when a kettle is otherwise quiet—neither rattling while heating, shrieking during boiling, or setting off prolonged beeps as warning that you’ve let it sit too long. Other extra credit additions include timers, real-time temperature indicators, and toggles that let you switch from Fahrenheit to Celsius.


We tested the automatic shutoff features for each kettle and took note of any excessive or annoying beeps. Photo: Michael Hession

We started our testing by timing how long it took each kettle to bring a liter of water to a boil. With the variable-temperature kettles, we also measured how accurate their internal thermometer was for various non-boiling temperatures, using a Thermapen Mk4, our upgrade pick for instant-read thermometer. We performed both tests multiple times on each kettle.

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Some models we tested had a warming feature that could hold set temperatures, so we checked their accuracy after letting them sit on hold for a period of time. We tested automatic shutoff features and took note of any excessive or annoying beeps while using each kettle. We tasted the water from each model after boiling to see if it had any off flavors caused by plastic components. Finally, we made pour-over coffee with each of the gooseneck kettles to see how slowly and precisely they distributed water.