Polished stainless steel. Large opening that makes filling and pouring a breeze. Affordable.
Interior lining may peel, leave debris floating in the water. Indicator of water level hard to see. Questionable if interior is BPA-free.
Heats water about 50% faster than typical pot due to unique design of the kettle's bottom. Loud, clear whistle when boiling. Elegant polished finish. Ergonomic silicone handle stays safe to touch. Dishwasher safe. Extremely durable construction.
Not recommended for electric stoves; built to conduct heat from a burner with a flame.
Beautiful, mirrored finish. This kettle's wide bottom helps it come to a rapid boil. The handle can be folded to the side, so it's easy to fill. Quality Japanese construction. Pours very well, without dripping.
There's no whistle to alert you when the pot is boiling. The handle can get warm, but not too hot to touch.
Heats up in a flash because of special 3D bottom design. Shiny exterior of stainless steel makes it easy to clean. Ergonomic handle comfortable for hands. Completely BPA- and Teflon-free. Nonslip silicone handle is comfortable on hands when preparing beverage.
Not suitable for an induction stove or cooktop. May sputter water on occasion before you open the spout to pour liquid into cup.
Sturdy, well made in USA. No seams, all in one piece makes it easy to clean. Has good grip that stays cool on hands and rotating handle. Good-size opening for filling and cleaning.
May spurt water, and sometimes handle gets too warm. Inside material of kettle could be questionable.
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Whether you prefer green, Earl Grey, herbal, or oolong, there's nothing quite like a hot cup of tea. But, boiling water to brew tea can feel like a chore. Tea time is so much easier with a quality stainless steel tea kettle.
That might still leave you wondering what makes a decent stainless steel tea kettle from a subpar one, and how to pick one that will best suit your needs. With so many options on the market, it can leave you frustrated – and even more in need of a cup of tea!
We have done extensive research to bring you our top five stainless steel tea kettles, along with a thorough guide to tell you all you need to know about these handy appliances. So, read on and check out our favorite models if you’re ready to buy one.
Stovetop tea kettles
Stovetop tea kettles are the more traditional variety of tea kettle. This kind of tea kettle is essentially a container with a lid and spout that you place on the stovetop to boil water in. Stovetop stainless steel tea kettles tend to be more affordable than electric models and often have larger capacities. Because they're low-tech, little can go wrong with them, and they can last for decades if you treat them right. On the downside, they generally boil more slowly, and you need to have a stovetop or other heat source to place it on.
Electric tea kettles
With electric tea kettles you only need a power outlet, so they're ideal for spots such as break rooms or college dorms, where you might want a cup of tea, but don't have a full kitchen. They tend to boil water more quickly than stovetop models and they switch off once they've reached the desired temperature, so there's no risk of them boiling dry. Although they're more convenient than stovetop tea kettles, they do have some downsides. For instance, they usually cost more and there's more chance of them no longer working after a few years (as an electric appliance can, especially with heavy use). They are also available in cordless versions.
Electric tea kettles with a 360° base let you place the kettle back on the base at any angle, rather than needing to line it up exactly.
It's important that your kettle holds enough water to fit your needs. You'll generally find the capacity of a tea kettle listed either in quarts, cups, or both. It's worth noting that a "cup" in measurement terms is eight ounces (or 0.25 quarts), whereas an average mug is around 12 to 16 ounces. So, if a kettle claims to boil six cups worth of water, it may be more like three to four large mugs.
The spout of your stainless steel tea kettle affects how it pours. Longer, thinner spouts generally give you more control over your pour, whereas shorter, wider spouts can gush out and even spill if you tip the kettle at too great an angle. That said, tea kettles with wide spouts let you fill them with water through the spout, which is quicker and easier than lifting the lid each time. You'll need to decide which matters more to you when picking out your tea kettle.
How quickly a stainless tea kettle boils water will vary depending on factors such as the temperature of the water when it goes into the kettle and the amount of water you're boiling at one time, so it's impossible to give exact specs that apply to all models. But, of course, some kettles boil more quickly than others.
When using a stovetop tea kettle, the speed of boiling relies more on your stove than the kettle itself, but electric tea kettles boil more quickly when they're more powerful. The power of an electric kettle generally ranges between 1.7kW and 3kW, with those around the 3kW mark labelled as "rapid boil" kettles that can reach a boil in about one minute.
Your kettle might be made from stainless steel, but the handle shouldn't be bare stainless steel, or you'll burn yourself on it when you lift it to pour your boiled water. Most stainless steel tea kettles have plastic handles, but a few simply feature a rubberized grip over the top of the stainless steel. While this does keep the handle cool to the touch, there's a chance that the rubber could degrade over the years, leaving you with a bare metal handle – and we've already explained why that isn't ideal. Some kettle handles have an ergonomic grip, so that they're easier to hold and to pour.
Ideally, your stainless steel tea kettle should feature a hinged lid for easier opening. Those that you must lift off and replace are more fiddly, which is a disadvantage if you need to fill your kettle through the lid, rather than the spout. Even better are lids that pop open at the press of a button. You can also find some kettles with lids that stay cool to the touch, which is useful if you need to boil water more than once in quick succession.
Because stainless steel is an excellent conductor of heat, your tea kettle will be extremely hot to the touch after boiling. Be careful not to scald yourself.
How much should you expect to pay for a stainless steel tea kettle? This all depends on the type of kettle and the features. Stainless steel stovetop tea kettles start at around $15 to $20 for smaller or more basic models. Mid-range offerings cost roughly $30 to $50, and high-end options cost up to $150. Stainless steel electric tea kettles start at around $20 to $30 for basic models with few features other than the ability to boil water. Mid-range electric options cost between $40 and $70, including some models with temperature control. A high-end electric tea kettle could cost as much as $100 to $200. Nicer models that offer different settings depending on the type of tea (for example, delicate herbal teas require less heat than robust black varieties) will cost more, but this is a nice feature to have, especially if you prefer mildly-hot tea.
If you're opting for a stovetop model, a stainless steel tea kettle will work on all stove types, including induction.
While researching our top picks, we found several other stainless steel tea kettles that were extremely close to making the cut. We love the look of the wood-effect handle on the Riwendell Stainless Steel Whistling Tea Kettle, and its three-quart capacity is extremely generous. Available in eight different shades, the Creative Home Alexa 3.0 Whistling Tea Kettle is a great choice for anyone looking to add a pop of color to their kitchen. Now onto some electric options; the VAVA Stainless Steel Tea Kettle offers variable temperature settings plus a keep warm function, and is very affordable, considering all these high-end features. If you're looking for something similar but from a well-known and trusted brand, consider The Temp Select Electric Kettle from Breville. This model comes with a temperature select function, along with a range of other features that identify it as one of the best tea kettles on the market.
Q. What are the benefits of choosing a stainless steel tea kettle over other materials?
A. Stainless steel is an excellent choice for a tea kettle. They're generally considered superior to plastic tea kettles, as they're BPA-free and don't impart a plastic taste into the water, which some people can detect when using a plastic kettle. Stainless steel tea kettles are lighter and more affordable than cast iron models and don't leave a metallic taste in the water like copper kettles.
Q. What's the difference between hidden and exposed elements in an electric tea kettle?
A. Electric stainless steel kettles can either have exposed or hidden elements, but what does this mean? Usually, the coil-like heating element is exposed at the bottom of a kettle. The trouble with this is that it gets covered in limescale over time, which can be hard to remove, because of the element's awkward shape. Newer, more high-end kettles tend to have hidden elements, where the element is located below the "floor" of the kettle chamber. This results in less limescale build-up, which is easier to clean off the flat bottom.
Q. How do I deal with limescale in my stainless steel tea kettle?
A. All tea kettles eventually suffer from a buildup of limescale, due to the minerals found in water. One option is to manually descale your kettle using wire wool and some elbow grease. Alternatively, you can find a range of products specifically designed for removing limescale from tea kettles, such as descaler tablets.
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