What to Look for When Buying Your Next Kettle
October 11, 2017

Here in the UK we love a good cuppa, so it’s no surprise to see a kettle in almost every kitchen. There are some that look sleek and some that are stylishly retro – but how do you actually compare the practical stuff to find the best kettle for you? To pick a model to match your needs, have a read of our handy kettle buying guide.

russell hobbs red kettlerussell hobbs red kettle

Speed of boiling

If you’re after a kettle that heats up super-fast and keeps your foot-tapping, thumb-twiddling time to a minimum, check the kettle’s power output. Wattage is the most obvious indicator of speed – this generally varies from 1.7kW to 3kW – and there’s as much as a two-minute gap separating the two ends of the spectrum. Valuable time when you’re running late for work!
 
Top pick: The Russell Hobbs Dorchester Red Kettle is a highly popular 3kW model which also has an easy-clean removable limescale filter and 'perfect pour' spout.
russell hobbs buckingham quiet boil cordless kettle optrussell hobbs buckingham quiet boil cordless kettle opt

Noise level

Powerful kettles are quicker to boil but they’re often noisier too. If you really can’t stand the sound of a boiling kettle then check the decibel rating or look out for models approved by the ‘Quiet Mark’ as a certified seal of approval on the quietest kettles.
 
Top pick: If you don’t want to compromise on size or speed, the Russell Hobbs Buckingham Quiet Boil comes with a 1.7L tank and 3kW element that makes it a great all-round choice. Making up to 75% less noise than other models, it’s one of the quietest electric kettles around.
Breville VKJ142 hot cup water dispenserBreville VKJ142 hot cup water dispenser

Energy efficiency

If you’re conscious about your electricity bill, look for a kettle with a low minimum fill level. This allows you to fill the kettle with only the water you need without burning it out. Boiling just enough water for your cuppa will use a lot less energy.
 
To keep your kettle as energy-efficient as possible, make sure you descale it regularly too. It if’s full of limescale, it’ll use more energy to boil the same amount of water. 
russell hobbs brita purity kettlerussell hobbs brita purity kettle

Limescale maintenance

Kettles will never be entirely limescale-free but there are steps you can take to combat the dreaded white flakes. While most modern models now have easy-clean removable filters, you can go further to prevent build-up by picking up a stainless steel kettle descaler that simply pops into your appliance, or by investing in a kettle with a more sophisticated filtration system.
 
Another cheap way to descale is to fill the kettle with water so it’s just above the element, pour in a couple of teaspoons citric acid powder and bring it to the boil. This will make the limescale fizz off. Repeat if there’s still some limescale left.
 
Top pick: The Russell Hobbs Brita Purity Kettle really is a match made in heaven between two of the most trusted and recognisable names in kitchenware. It lets you filter and boil your water simultaneously for a quick, better-tasting cuppa without the impurities. The snazzy steel and glass finish isn’t bad either!
swan sk26130bln pramid kettle blueswan sk26130bln pramid kettle blue

Boiling capacity

It may sound obvious, but make sure you pick a kettle with a size to suit your lifestyle and countertop space. The boiling capacity of most kettles is between 1.5 and 1.7 litres of water which is usually enough for six or seven cups, but if you live alone and you’re only making one drink at a time, there are better alternatives in a more practical size.
 
Top picks: If you’re a solo brewer or you’re short on space, the Russell Hobbs Chester Compact will be right at home in your kitchen. For something a bit bigger you’ll find the 2L Swan Retro Pyramid Kettle a notably eye-catching choice, whichever colour option you go for.