The function of an electric kettle is straightforward: to boil water. But it’s a crowded market, and the right model for one person might not be right for another. If you’re a pour-over-coffee diehard, a gooseneck is nonnegotiable (more on that below). If you prefer French press, the type of spout doesn’t matter so much. If tea is your beverage of choice, you already know that the brew temperature for a green tea differs significantly from that of a black tea, and you probably want a kettle that can dial in on that range. (I naïvely disregarded this until I got a temperature-controlled one of my own.) And while coffee and tea are the two main reasons people keep an electric kettle on their counters, maybe you just love instant noodles and want a quick and reliable boil when you’re hungry for dinner.
No matter your situation, there’s a right kettle out there for you — and I talked to a slew of experts to figure out the best of the bunch.
Best overall | Best less-expensive overall | Best simple gooseneck | Best large temperature-controlled | Best large simple | Best small simple | Best large for tea | Best less-expensive large for tea | Most stylish large | Best foldable
What we’re looking for
Type of pour spout: Some kettles have a classic, beak-shaped pour spout that dispenses water fairly quickly. Others have a gooseneck: a long, skinny spout shaped like a backward S, snaking its way from the bottom of the kettle out and toward the top. A gooseneck pours pretty slowly, giving you a better handle over speed and the surface area you’re covering with water. This might not matter so much when filling up a mug for tea, but it is imperative for something like pour-over, where the stream of water over the coffee grounds needs to be ultraprecise. I’ll also say that, even if it’s not strictly necessary for everything, the chance of splashes and spills with a gooseneck is next to nothing.
Temperature settings: Like the type of pour spout, temperature settings are something you’ll care about depending on what you’ll use your kettle for — and, frankly, how nitty-gritty you want to get about it. Some kettles heat to the exact degree you set (technically ideal for coffee and tea preparations), some have predetermined temperatures (usually tied to tea types), and some don’t have any temperature control at all. Also, some hold the temperature you want while you go about your business, while others will cool down before automatically re-boiling again, and others still need to be manually reheated if they’re left to cool.
Volume: Finally, you’ll want to consider how much water your electric kettle will hold. Are you only making one cup of coffee every morning? Do you often offer tea to multiple guests at once? Goosenecks are generally on the smaller side, but you’ll find the exact capacity of each kettle on this list.
Best overall electric kettle
Gooseneck | Precise temperature control and hold | 0.9 liters
The Fellow Stagg EKG is, without question, the gold standard of electric kettles. It’s been a Strategist favorite since it came out several years ago and has held that regard since — through multiple updates to our best gifts for tea lovers and coffee lovers roundups and yet again when I set out to consult the experts for this piece. With the exception of two people, everybody told me the Stagg EKG is the best of the best (one simply didn’t mention it, and the other said he appreciates a lot about it but prefers the way other kettles feel in his hand).
The Stagg EKG is more expensive than most on this list — but not so much more expensive that the price lessened its ranking. There’s just too much praise surrounding it. “It heats quickly and allows you to adjust the temperature setting in one-degree increments,” explains Jerad Morrison, co-founder and co-CEO of Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco. “It will even regulate and hold at your temp preference, which is super-useful and convenient.” Marco Suarez, one of the owners of Methodical Coffee in Greenville, South Carolina, mentions that it turns itself off as a safety feature after it’s been left sitting for longer than an hour. “I’ve had mine for maybe five years, and it’s still in great shape,” he says.
Many called out its precise pouring ability thanks to the gooseneck spout (granted, a feature found in multiple models on this list), and everyone noted that it’s the most attractive of the bunch. “For an object you’re going to have sitting on your countertop day in and day out, there is no one else that really touches Fellow in terms of looks,” says Suarez. “The design is amazing,” agrees Kyle Ramage, co-owner of Black & White Coffee Roasters in Raleigh, North Carolina. “It’s sturdy and eloquent.” Finally, tea writer Sara Shacket, who owns the copper version (one of nine sophisticated styles), loves that it “makes for a nice presentation” if she’s serving tea to a group.
If you love the look of the Stagg EKG but don’t want to spend so much, my boyfriend bought this strikingly similar-looking electric kettle for us last winter before I started working at Strategist (and before I had ever heard of Fellow). It comes only in matte black, but it has exact temperature control and hold as well as a streamlined pour, and it has held up with frequent use.
Best (less expensive) overall electric kettle
Gooseneck | Precise temperature control and hold | 1 liter
If you don’t particularly care about design, several experts mentioned the Bonavita electric kettle as being just as operationally and technically impressive as the Stagg EKG. “It does all the same things; it’s just less form-focused,” says Ramage. “But it’s also less expensive.” Indeed, you’ll save $59 if you go this route without giving up the temperature precision and hold. Ken Nye, owner of Ninth Street Espresso, likes that “the controls are simple and intuitive” and even thinks the Bonavita has a slight edge over the Stagg EKG beyond the lower price: “The larger capacity and faster flow rate are both helpful when using the kettle for things other than pour-over coffee,” he says.
Best simple gooseneck electric kettle
Gooseneck | No temperature control or hold | 0.8 liters
Hario was the original creator of this type of spout, and though more advanced gooseneck kettles have since come out, it still commands a lot of respect, cited by several of our pros as a solid choice. Suyog Mody, co-founder of Brooklyn’s Driftaway Coffee, has had his for about eight years. And if you’re looking to get a temperature that will work for coffee, you don’t have to overthink it: “Just boil the water, wait a minute, and then pour it,” he instructs. James McCarthy, Mody’s colleague and coffee educator at Driftaway, is also a fan: “I like the feel of it. It’s easy to handle.” While none of the professionals I talked to called out the look of the Hario in particular, I think it’s quite attractive. Former Strategist writer Leah Muncy, who’s an avid tea drinker, owns one and agrees wholeheartedly. “I mean, just look at that little wavy handle!” she says. “Sometimes I just stare at it.”
Best large temperature-controlled electric kettle
Standard pour spout | Precise temperature control and hold | 1.8 liters
McCarthy called out the Oxo gooseneck as his personal favorite (and price-wise, it’s just about the same as the Bonavita). But Oxo also makes this larger version with a standard pour spout, equipped with the same base as the gooseneck. It allows for temperature adjustments down to the degree and holds that temperature for up to 30 minutes. Of course, the glass body allows you to see how much water is inside, and the overall design is quite sleek (harder to find, in my opinion, when it comes to the larger models). Finally, the silicone on the bottom of the kettle itself allows you to set it down on any surface without worrying about damage.
Best large simple electric kettle
Standard pour spout | No temperature control or hold | 1.7 liters
If you’re not fussy about the idea of temperature control and want something with a larger body and wider pour spout than the Hario, this Cosori kettle was a favorite among Strategist readers in a previous version of this story. It has the Amazon rating to back that up — 4.7 stars with more than 11,000 reviews — with buyers seeming particularly pleased with the materials it’s made from (impressive, given the affordable price). With glass walls and a stainless-steel filter, it produces “clean hot water that has virtually no contact with any plastic parts,” says one buyer. Beyond that, it boasts an automatic shut-off with a light indicator that lets you know when your water is done boiling (a plus if you happen to be sitting across the room) and an opening wide enough to allow for easy cleaning.
Best small simple electric kettle
Standard pour spout | No temperature control or hold | 1.25 liters
Recipe developer and content creator Sohla El-Waylly says this electric kettle looks enough like a stovetop model that one morning her mom (whom she gifted one to) was so sleepy, she literally put it on a burner and ruined it. Luckily, El-Waylly has never done the same with her own in the six years she’s owned it — but she does appreciate its “old-timey retro vibes,” along with its “no bells and whistles” functionality. While that means you can’t see the water level and there’s no temperature control, it perfectly suits El-Waylly’s main needs: making tea (she’s not fussy about exacting degrees) and using a bit of boiling water for cooking, whether deglazing a pan, finishing off undercooked rice, or giving a head start to water for potatoes or pasta.
Best large electric kettle for tea
Standard pour spout | Precise temperature control and hold | 1.5 liters
This recommendation comes courtesy of a Strategist story written a couple of years ago by contributor David Schwartz — a recommendation that, when I checked in with him all this time later, still holds up. He’s been a regular tea drinker his whole life, but the ritual changed for the better when he received this (undeniably high-end) electric kettle as a gift. It’ll cost you a pretty penny, but it very well might be worth the investment. “It brews tea at custom temperatures depending on leaf type and flavor strength,” Schwartz writes, “but what differentiates this from less expensive alternatives is something that almost all run-of-the-mill coffee makers do: It brews automatically at any time of day without you having to do anything but pour in the tea. The Breville’s pièce de résistance is a metal-mesh basket that robotically dunks loose leaves in boiled water for the exact steeping time and then removes them, resting above the water’s surface to prevent too-bitter brews or totally weak souse.”
Best less expensive large electric kettle for tea
Standard pour spout | Standardized temperature control and hold | 1.7 liters
If the Breville isn’t worth the investment to you, Shacket recommends this Cuisinart model with preset temperatures for different types of teas. It has a full-boil button for black tea (which is also the correct setting for herbal and rooibos teas), a 190-degree button for oolong, a 185 button for white, a 175 button for green, and a 160 button for delicate teas — not to mention a French press setting. There’s also a keep-warm setting, unlike with some of the bigger models that automatically shut off and cool down once they’re done boiling.
Most stylish large electric kettle
Standard pour spout | No temperature control or hold | 1.9 liters
Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo had coveted the out-of-her-price-range Fellow Stagg kettle for a long time — but then she saw this equally stylish one and decided to buy it. “I just thought it was so nice looking,” she says, and much more in line with her and her partner’s style than the previous big one she owned when she lived with roommates. She also calls the Chantal “blissfully uncomplicated” to use. You simply fill it up and press down on a single button. The cord wraps into the base for neat storage, it holds a lot of water, and the handle has a comfortable grip.
Best foldable electric kettle
Standard pour spout | No temperature control or hold | 0.6 liters
This foldable electric kettle was brought to our attention by Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard, who takes this clever contraption with him when he’s on the road (along with his portable AeroPress). “When you’re on tour, the first thing you want every morning is a really good cup of coffee,” he says. “I’d rather make it myself than be on the hunt for it. And this kettle is great, because it compresses down and doesn’t take up a lot of room in your bag.” It works with a simple on-off button, which, when on, will automatically reheat your water as soon as it drops below 75 degrees. You can also adjust the voltage at the bottom, which makes it usable all over the world if you have the correct plug adapter.
• Liza Corsillo, Strategist senior writer
• Sohla El-Waylly, recipe developer and content creator
• Ben Gibbard, Death Cab for Cutie front man
• James McCarthy, coffee educator at Driftaway Coffee
• Suyog Mody, founder of Driftaway Coffee
• Jerad Morrison, co-founder and co-CEO of Sightglass Coffee
• Leah Muncy, former Strategist writer
• Ken Nye, owner of Ninth Street Espresso
• Kyle Ramage, co-owner of Black & White Coffee Roasters
• David Schwartz, Strategist contributor
• Sara Shacket, tea consultant
• Marco Suarez, co-owner of Methodical Coffee
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