Kettles can really get the steam and conversation going. We’ve popped the kettle on to work out, well, what makes a good one. Our latest results have found one of the top performers of the last few years.
Have you ever wondered what makes a kettle good or bad, and how we decide on our star ratings? There are a number of factors that affect how we judge a kettle’s performance. These include speed, noise, minimum-fill level, over boiling and the quality of the limescale filter.
The best kettles achieve four or more stars in a range of tests, but you may want to avoid those scoring two stars or less on factors that are important to you.
The fast and furious
Kettles get a rating of two stars or less if it takes more than three minutes 20 seconds to boil a litre of water. On the other end of the scale, the good ones take less than two minutes 26 seconds to boil a litre.
Noise is another big factor in the big boil off. In our previous kettle poll, noise topped the list of annoyance factors. The nosiest kettle we tested measured 95dB – which is as loud as a drill! The ideal noise level will allow you to carry on your kitchen conversation while waiting for your brew. Jonas131415 once told us:
‘Noise is the main problem for me. My sister once owned a kettle that sounded like a booster rocket. At night the sound of a kettle is especially annoying and I avoid making a drink for fear of disturbing others.’
Had it up to here
A good kettle can boil less than 400ml of water so you won’t waste time and energy if you just want one cupful. And if you have to boil at least half a litre of water at a time, the kettle will score two stars or less in this category.
Overboiling is a big factor too – a kettle should switch itself off within 10 seconds to save energy. If the kettle boils for more than 15 seconds once it’s reached boiling point it gets a black mark in our books.
The quality of a limescale filter is also a contender in kettle testing. If the kettle allows flakes of scale into your cup it’ll get two stars or less in this category. Wavechange told us previously that he likes his stainless steel filter, saying:
‘Compared with plastic filters it is coarser but still prevents limescale getting into my coffee.’