Our recommendations are made independently through Research & Testing. We may receive commissions from purchases made via our links.

How We Test Electric Kettles v1.0

We perform a series of tests to assess the kettles we purchase based on their Performance, Design, and Usability.

By , , and ·Updated

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), boiling water requires a full rolling boil (212°F/100°C) for one minute and cooling before use. And, a good electric kettle should be able to boil water in a reasonably short period of time without any hassle, which is the premise of our evaluation.

In the front, from left to right is a grey power meter, a blue noise meter, a dark-screen digital timer, a measuring cup filled with water, and an orange two-probe ThermoPro digital thermometer. Behind them are two rows of electric kettles, 6 on each row.

This is where we come in with our series of tests. The goal is to assess the kettles we purchase based on their Performance (40%), Design (25%), and Usability (35%) which we’ll elaborate further down the line.

All scores (segmental and total) are shown on an easy-to-understand scale of 0 to 10. To give you a rough idea, a good kettle with an overall rating of 8/10 should:

  • Boil reasonably fast
  • Be energy efficient
  • Not be too noisy
  • Have good heat retention
  • Be easy to lift, carry, and pour
  • Be user-friendly and easy-to-clean

Performance (40%)

Our tests are practical, simple, and focus on what matters to the user. Therefore, we test for boiling speed, energy consumption, noise level, and (not to be overlooked) heat retention.

Theoretically, water boils at 212°F/100°C. However, this boiling point changes according to altitude or the amount of impurities in the water.

Kettle designers combat this by incorporating two ingenious features:

  • A two-layer bimetallic disk (a metal with two different thermal expansions) that ‘flips’ at a specific temperature and turns off the kettle.
  • A thermostat that is separated from the water. Instead,  steam is directed to the thermostat via a channel, usually in the handle, to increase the ambient temperature to 212°F/100°C.

Evidently, in actual testing, we found all kettles to boil between over 99°C to 100°C without fail. Thus, we don’t use temperature accuracy as a scoring criterion.

Our performance tests focus on the following: Boiling Time (45%), Energy Consumption (30%), Noise Level (15%), and  Keep Warm (10%). Out of these four, Boiling Time and Energy Consumption are  more intricate and produce some interesting detail.

We video the entire testing process for quality control and also comment on any mishaps along the way. All kettles are cleaned before testing to make sure no impurities affect the results. Since it’s impossible to impartially judge water quality without a lab test, we simply point out bad tastes or odors in the ease of use section below.

Boiling Time (45%)

1.5 liter of water boiling inside the Cosori Original Electric Glass Kettle (GK172-CO). The digital timer displays 7 minutes and 1 seconds.

Rapid boiling is often the most appreciated factor to a good electric kettle.

Our preparation includes 1.5 liters of room-temperature (80°F/26.7°C) tap water, a customized power outlet, and a digital timer. Read our Boiling Time test article to find out the details!

Based on water heat capacity and kettles’ power output, we have 5 min as our benchmark for a score of 10/10. In addition to our collected data, any time more than 11 min scores a zero.

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

0

5 minutes

6 minutes

7 minutes

8 minutes

9 minutes

10 minutes

11 minutes

> 11 minutes

Energy Consumption(30%)

The power meter reads the energy consumption of the Ovente Electric Kettle (KP72W) to be 146 Wh.

Energy consumption is, in our opinion, the second most important aspect of a kettle’s performance because people may boil water multiple times a day.

This test is performed simultaneously with the Boiling Time test with a power meter connected to our customized power outlet . You can see our circuit analysis in the Energy Consumption test.

Using basic formulas, we set 140 Wh as our benchmark for a 10/10 score. Looking at our results, it seemed reasonable to deduct 1 point for each 5 Wh increase in energy consumption.

10

9

8

7

6

5

0

140 Wh

145 Wh

150 Wh

155 Wh

160 Wh

165 Wh

> 165 Wh

Noise Level (15%)

The Elite Gourmet Electric Glass Kettle (EKT-602) is boiling 1.5 liters of water. The noise meter displays the maximum sound pressure level to be 68.3 dB. The power meter reads 114 V, 8.438 A, 960 W, 101 Wh, 50 Hz, and 1.0 PF.

Nobody really likes a noisy kettle! Although there are ways to minimize the noise, it is nonetheless a key point.

Performing a Noise Level test is easy enough. All it requires is a noise meter to capture the peak sound pressure level as we perform our Boiling Time test.

From the CDC’s recommendation and our collated results, 80 dB was a suitable benchmark for an 8/10. We then devised the rest of our tabulation from there.

10

9

8

7

6

5

0

60 dB

70 dB

80 dB

90 dB

100 dB

105 dB

> 105 dB

Keep Warm (10%)

There are 9 electric kettles on a white table. A person in a grey shirt holding two probes inside the stainless steel electric kettle in the middle. On the left of the kettle is a Thermo Pro two-probe digital thermometer displaying 209°F for both probes. On the right of the kettle is a digital timer displaying 5 minutes on the countdown. In the background is a shelf of ice-makers.

Our Keep Warm test is to see how well the kettle maintains the hot water temperature 5 minutes after boiling. One reason is energy efficiency, but the other is that most people won’t get to the water as soon as the kettle switches off.

For this test, we simply need to count down and then use a two-probe digital thermometer to check the water temperature.

The kettle only needs to retain the water temperature at 208°F / 98°C to get a 10/10 and each 2°F / 1°C drop will result in a one-point drop.

10

9

8

7

6

5

0

208°F / 98°C

206°F / 97°C

204°F / 96°C

202°F / 95°C

200°F / 94°C

198°F / 93°C

< 198°F / 93°C

Design (25%)

We evaluate the design of electric kettles based on their structural features—what they have and what they don’t have. For this purpose, we break down the kettle into four main parts: Carafe (50%), Handle (10%), Lid (20%), and Base (20%).

Carafe (50%)

The carafe of the Cosori Original Electric Glass Kettle (GK172-CO) sitting on top of its power base.

For the kettle’s carafe, we care about the material and the diameter of its opening.Other noteworthy features are an LED ring, water-level markings, limescale filter, and a tea infuser.

(+1)

(+2)

(-1)

(-2)

BPA-free plastic

Glass

Ceramic

Stainless steel

Other

Cool-touch

Large opening (8 cm)

Small opening

LED ring

Highly visible

Water levels markings

Limescale filter

Filter removable

Tea infuser available

Handle (10%)

A hand holding the Chefman Electric Kettle with Temperature Control (RJ11-17-CTI-RL) by its handle.

For the handle, we mostly examine if it has a anti-slip feature or if it feels sturdy and comfortable to carry.

(+1)

(+2)

(-1)

(-2)

BPA-free plastic

cool-touch

Other

Ceramic

Stainless steel

Ergonomic contour

anti-slip

Awkward to hold

secure

Comfortable on the wrist

Lid (20%)

The mesh filter attached to the hinged lid of the Cosori Original Electric Glass Kettle (GK172-CO).

For the lid, we pay attention to the material, opening mechanism, how tightly it closes, and if it’s easy to pour in water.

(+1)

(+2)

(-1)

(-2)

BPA-free plastic

Stainless steel

Ceramic

Cool-touch

Hinged / 

Removable

Flip / Pinch-button

Push-button

Slow lid lift

Close tightlỵ

No silicone band

Doesn’t close tightly

Good opening angle

Unobstructed opening

Obstructed opening

Difficult to pour water in

Base (20%)

On the right is the carafe of the Amazon Basics Electric Glass and Steel Kettle (F-625C). On the left is its power base with its power cord extended from below.

For the kettle’s base, we check the material, rotation, sturdiness, cord storage, anti-slip pads, and how well it fits the carafe.

(+1)

(+2)

(-1)

(-2)

BPA-free plastic

Sturdy

Swivel 360°

Cord Storage available

Anti-slip pads available

Fit the kettle well enough

Fit the kettle firmly

Slightly wobbly

Dangerously wobbly

Usability (35%)

Usability means how we assess the kettle’s User Control (30%), how well its design features work or Ease of Use (50%), and how easy the Cleaning (20%) is.

User Control (30%)

The clear plastic power switch of the Cosori Original Electric Glass Kettle GK172-CO.

For User Control, we primarily pay attention to the design of the controls including the indicator light visibility. Other key features are automatic shut-off and boil-dry protection.

(+1)

(+2)

(-1)

Control: One touch

Awkward placements

Indicator Light

Highly visible

Dim

Presets

Temperature Control

Keep Warm

Automatic Shutoff

Highly visible display

Boil-Dry Protection

Ease of Use (50%)

A person in a dark green shirt pouring water from the Amazon Basics Electric Glass and Steel Kettle F-625C into a glass.

Ease of use is all about hands-on experience. We spend time with our electric kettles to see if they’re easy to control, lift, open, fill, pour, fit the base, and wrap the cord.

(+1)

(+2)

Easy to open

Easy to control

Easy to fill

Easy to lift

Easy to pour

Kettle fits base

Easy to wrap the cord

Cleaning (20%)

A person in a blue shirt holding the Elite Gourmet Electric Glass Kettle EKT-602 by its handle on one hand and the other hand wiping the carafe interior with a piece of tissue.

The shape and design of the kettle will determine how easy it is to clean. We check if the kettle has any difficult-to-clean nooks and crannies and whether the opening is unobstructed and the filter removable.

(+1)

(+2)

(-1)

(-2)

Easy to clean

Difficult nooks and crannies

Unobstructed opening

Wide opening

Narrow opening

Obstructed opening

Fixed filter

Removable filter

Hinged lid

Removable lid

Test Developers

Headshot of Alan Nguyen
Alan NguyenReviewer

Alan Nguyen is a writer and product reviewer at HealthyKitchen101. His major in English language teaching taught him to present concise information. In addition to his cooking hobby, he values the practical aspects of household appliances.

Headshot of Lap Vo
Lap VoTest Lead

Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.

Headshot of Nguyen Ntk
Nguyen NtkVisual Specialist

Nguyen Ntk is a graphic designer, photographer, and videographer whose philosophy centers around respecting and celebrating the beauty of reality. Through his lenses, Nguyen strives to capture the true essence of objects and events, showcasing and highlighting authentic features without distortion or exaggeration.

Related Tests

You have 3/3 full reviews left

To access unlimited full product reviews, product prices and other exclusive site features Become a Member