For making quick hot drinks or even boiling water for cleaning, a kettle is very convenient appliance to use. Buying a kettle should not be a difficult process. With this buying guide, we will highlight basic features to look out for as you are shopping for one.
Stove top kettles are heated over a stove or alternative fire source. They are usually very durable. If access to electric energy is a problem, this is the kettle you need. One downside of using stove top kettles is they only stop boiling when they are taken of the stove. So most of them are equipped with a loud whistle.
Electric kettle are usually made up of two separate components: the water container and the base. The base is wired with the cord that connects to a power source. Unlike stove top kettles which have an all-metal body, electric kettles are either metal, plastic or even glass. Typically, electric kettles automatically stop boiling once the water is hot.
Some kettles have a water level gauge on the side. This adds to the convenience of measuring the amount of water to be boiled.
Stove kettles usually give a loud whistle when the water boils. On electric kettles, check what type of signal the appliance gives when it's done boiling.
Especially for electric kettles, check if the model has extra energy efficiency features like quick boil. Quick boils are optimized for single servings so energy is not wasted on heating too much water. Other features like auto shut off and temperature settings help save energy.
In electric kettles the elements are what heats the water. Older models have the elements exposed in the kettle container. This makes it likely for the element to develop a hard white substance called limescale. Limescale is not harmful but it develops because the element makes contact with water. Modern kettles have the elements buried in the base.
A swivel base on an electric kettle means that you can place the kettle on a base in a direction. This adds to the convenience of using the base.
On some models you can set the temperature you want the kettle to boil to. This is useful when you require specific temperatures for making tea or coffee, for instance.
Check if a kettle has a well-balanced handle which is convenient to hold especially when it is filled with water. Also check how the water spout is conveniently placed. The spout should help you avoid spilling water especially when pouring water out.
Electric kettles cost more but they are more feature packed. You will probably end up using your kettle for a very long time so consider not only your budget but also what you will use it for, the safety features you require, the extra features you find meaningful, etc.