In our quest for the perfect cup of coffee brewed right in our own kitchen, we know both the quality of the water we use and the temperature of the water are vitally important. So after exhaustive research, we have found the 10 Best Electric Kettles of 2020 under $100.
Why electric kettles you may be asking. Three reasons.
ONE, it takes only one favorite pan to be burned alive on the stovetop while you are half asleep at 5 AM and wait just a bit too long for boiling water to pour into your French Press or your Chemex coffee pot. And as you will find in our upcoming articles on the best ways to make coffee, these are two of the best coffee making methods there are. And an electric kettle solves that problem totally.
TWO, an electric kettle takes less energy to boil water than your stove top burner does and it heats up your kitchen a lot less. Yes, we know that is actually two reasons. But in the winter the second one probably doesn’t matter so we counted it as one. Oh, and most of the electric kettles have automatic shut-offs so no burning is in the futurescope.
And THREE, if you use hot water in your kitchen for more than making coffee, such as making white tea or green tea or black tea or herbal tea, or if you make hot chocolate for kiddos — all of these are best at different temperatures. So without pulling out a thermometer and fiddling around with a few ice cubes to get the water temperate just right, an electric kettle can do that for you. Exactly. Many of the better models today have adjustable temperature controls that let you set the temperature you want the water to be, let you know when it is there, and even hold the water at that temperature for you.
To be brewed for optimum flavor, the water to make coffee should be 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit.
NOT boiling temperature.
At least not boiling temperature at most places.
To be very precise here, but also to spread some really important wisdom, boiling point depends on your elevation.
At sea-level, water boils at 212 F. That’s the temperature we usually default to when we talk about “boiling point.” But as the elevation rises, the temperature at which water boils goes down.
In the High Plains of Texas, for example, boiling point is 206 F. By the time you get to the elevation of Boulder, Colorado water boils at 202 F.
So if you live at an elevation where water boils somewhere between 195 F and 205 F — like the latter two places I mentioned, coffee water is easy. You just boil your water and pour it over the coffee. You “don’t-need-no-stinkin'” thermometer or temperature adjustment on how you boil your water. At least not if all you intend to drink is coffee.
But the closer you get to sea-level, the more you do.
For Tisanes (what most of us call Herbal Teas), the water should be hotter than the optimum temperature for coffee. Most say right at or just barely before the sea-level boiling point is perfect. They say to shoot for 210-212 F to extract the premium level of aromatics and medicinal properties from herbs.
To brew the best Pu-erh Tea, the optimum temperature is on the high side. Most say 205 F is perfect. Most connoisseurs say the perfect water temperature for Black Tea is 190-200 F. For Oolong tea, optimal temperature is 176-190 F.
For Green Teas and White Teas, authorities are more divided — possibly because there are so many varieties of each. As a general rule, Green Teas are best brewed between 150-180 F and White Teas are best brewed from 150-185 F, although most narrow that to 167-176 F for delicate White Teas.
So the variable temperature on an electric kettle is extremely useful. And if you don’t have one, you have to be certain to boil your water and then wait approximately one minute before you pour the water over your coffee in the press or Chemex. The exact time you have to wait, of course, varies with the ambient temperature of the room and your elevation. So unless you want to pull out a thermometer every morning, if you want to brew the absolute best tasting coffee you need an electric kettle with a variable temperature control.
A variable temperature control that works, we need to add. Not all of them do. That is part of what we will cover.
So now that you know why we did the research, here is what we found. You will note we have listed the ten best kettles and also have given you links to several purchasing sources to get you the absolute best prices. We’ve even thrown in a couple of limited-time sales links so you can take advantage of some current discounts on items we’ve listed.
Secura the Original Stainless Steel Electric Kettle
You can usually snag the Secura the Original Stainless Steel Electric Kettle for around $30.
One of the things a lot of consumers really like about this pot is that they say it is exceptionally easy to clean. And another thing many cite is that despite the low price point, only stainless steel touches the water, no plastic.
Just be aware when Secura calls this pot stainless steel, it is stainless steel on the inside. It does not have a stainless steel exterior.
With only a couple of dollars variation in price, you can find this Secura pot in Black, Black Onyx (which appears simply to be a glossy black as opposed to a matte black), Dark Purple, Orange, Red, and White.
It is a double-wall design with a simple, sleek look. And it is also considered cordless, which all of the pots we reviewed here are. All of these pots sit on a corded base to heat, and then you take the “cordless” pot off of the base to pour the hot water.
You can find this Secura the Original Stainless Steel Electric Kettle on Amazon here.
Amazon Basics Stainless Steel Electric Kettle
Amazon Basics offers this kettle in two sizes, a 1-liter and a 1.7-liter. You usually can get either of them for around $20 and $25, respectively.
This is a basic kettle with a stainless steel exterior that has high reviews on Amazon and a relatively low price tag. But we are going to just put the obvious right out there. Amazon’s product on Amazon’s website, and “Amazon’s Choice,” and who publishes the customer ratings? Amazon.
Having stated the obvious, we have to be fair. In researching this article we read at least two dozen independent review of electric kettles other than customer reviews on Amazon. And this basic kettle is considered highly by many reviewers, if only as a bargain option.
Beyond an automatic shut-off and a space to wrap extra cord under the stand, which most of these kettles have, there are no bells or whistles. The Amazon Basics kettle heats water and it heats it relatively quickly.
You can find the Amazon Basics Stainless Steel Electric Kettle on Amazon here.
Amazon Basics Cool-Touch Stainless Steel Kettle with Temperature Control
This model usually runs around $40.
At first glance we thought — what a great price for a variable temperature kettle. But then we read the reviews and first, most notable, virtually no indendepent reviews say good things about this kettle.
And then, more daming still, Amazon customers don’t even seem to like it much.
What’s not to love? Well, first of all, some customers do think it’s a great bargain. At least until they test the water temperature. Then they find out the temperature control is pretty much worthless because the set temp and the tested temp do not match.
So if you want to go cheap, just get the basic one and pull out your thermometer and a cup of ice cubes in the morning if you want to get the temperature for your coffee or tea right.
We put this model on our list of the best solely to illustrate why the better pots come at a higher price. Just because a pot says it has variable temperature settings does not mean those settings are calibrated properly.
If you are a contrarian by nature and want to try the Amazon Basics Cool-Touch SS Kettle with Temp Control for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here. And it’s OK because they ship it free on Prime and it has Free Returns.
Cosori Electric BPA-Free Glass Kettle
This Cosori BPA-Free Glass Kettle typically runs about $40.
It is a fairly basic pot with no temperature control, but several things are unique about it.
We love that it is glass. Clean, modern, and we like that we can immediately see if sediment is building up so we can clean the kettle with vinegar. Glass lets us to that.
Consumer ratings are high on this pot on Amazon. Many customer like the blue light glow when it boils, which we find a bit trend-driven, but whatever. Many like that is has a speed-boil setting. And, just to underscore the approval here, Consumer Reports found this model a good buy. So blue glowing light or not, it has some significant admirers.
However, some consumers were less pleased. We found several comments indicating it has a tendency to leak at the bottom.
In addition to that, it appears there are several models to choose from on Amazon, but we find the ad very confusing when we try to discern the differences. Supposedly the Cosori is U.S.-engineered, manufactured in China, and has customer service based in Southern California. But the ad surely seems like it is (badly) translated from a non-English language to us.
No temperature controls, but consumers are mostly pleased with what they tend to characterize as really good customer service.
You can find the Cosori Electric BPA-Free Glass Kettle on Amazon here.
Krups Cool-Touch Stainless Steel Electric Kettle with Adjustable Temperature (BW710D51)
You can pick up this Krups Cool-Touch Stainless Steel Electric Kettle with Adjustable Temperature for around $50.
We have to start off by saying we have owned several Krups devices over the years, and this German company has never one single time disappointed us in quality.
That said, things change. And although Krups has many devoted followers and even quite a few customers like this kettle a lot, many don’t.
The design on this pot is really interesting with a stay-cool handle and six pre-set temperture one-touch buttons embedded at the top of the handle. At first we thought it was innovative, but then on a closer look, the temperatures are in a very illogical random order that makes absolutely no sense. And the settings like White Tea 185 and Herbal 200 seem to be hit-or-miss arbitrary numbers. It looks to us like this would be a very confusing contraption to use.
This is a really good price for variable temperature control. But we would like it a lot better if it just told us the temperature in a logical numerical order and let us decide where to set it.
We did not personally test this unit so we don’t know how accurate the temperature markings are, but assuming they are accurate, this might be a good unit if you want variable control for a low price and you think it won’t be as confusing to you as it is to us.
You can purchase the Krups Cool-Touch Stainless Steel Electric Kettle with Adjustable Temperature (BW710D51) on Amazon here.
Krups Smart Temp Digital Kettle (BW801852)
For only about $10 more, for about $60 you can find a Krups Smart Temp Digital Kettle that really seems to be an impressive machine.
This unit comes in a futuristic black design with five pre-set one-touch temperatures displayed in digital numbers on the side of the pot — 105, 155, 175, 195, and 212 F. They appear in logical, numerical order. And above them in larger digital numbers the pot displays the temperature of the water at any given moment.
It seems to us the huge advantage of this display is that if you want water at, say 185 F, you can set it on the 195 F pre-set and then press stop when it reaches 185 F. So you end up with quite a bit more control of your water temperature knowing what temperature the water actually is. We really like that feature a lot.
We suspect this may be a relatively new model because it has not shown up in any of the independent review sites we have perused.
Customer reviews on Amazon for this model are quite positive minus the really dufus ones that say things like “it looks weird” or “it develops scale inside the pot” or “I can’t get my hand inside it to clean it.” One wonders if these people are 9-years-old and have never boiled water before. Yes, you have to boil a vinegar-water solution in all kettles once every month or so to de-scale natural sediment in your water. And yes, you will need to use a bottle brush. And, folks, Amazon shows you a picture of it before you click the buttons to buy it.
One wonders if they have drivers’ licenses.
The main thing is, for $60, it looks like the temperature settings on this model are pretty accurate and it is a true cool-touch unit. We can’t attest to either of those without running a kitchen test on it, which we have not done. But in reading through most of the several hundred reviews, we found no one who said the temperature settings were mis-calibrated or that they found it hot to the touch.
All in all, this looks like a great variable temperature kettle at a really good price. And it ships free with Prime and has Free Returns, so we think it definitely is worth trying — particularly if you aren’t obsessed with sticking your hand inside.
KitchenAid 1.25-liter Electric Kettle
Talk about loyal and devoted followers, KitchenAid has them, that is for sure. Premium price usually is attached to the KitchenAid name. But 95% of the time, quality is too.
This KitchenAid 1.25-liter Electric Kettle typically runs around $75, but right now you can get it for $65. (Keep reading and see our link.)
For the most part, customers love this kettle. They say it heats quickly, looks darling on the counter, love that it has no goo-gaws, and appreciate the quality construction and the KitchenAid durability.
Of course one of the advantages of the KitchenAid version, besides legendary longevity, are the colors. In addition to the almost-obligatory Brushed Stainless Steel, you can get it in Matte Black, Onyx Black, and Empire Red.
And right now through July 6, if you branch to it from our website, there is a sale on all countertop appliances on the KitchenAid website that is likely the best deal you can find. It takes the price of this kettle down to about $65. All you do is click on the blue KitchenAid’s JUNESAVE link at the end of this paragraph, and then search for “kettle” in the top right search section and scroll down to the electric kettles. Use code JUNESAVE for 15% off full price countertop appliances.
And remember all of the KitchenAid countertop appliances are on sale right now, so branch around while you are on the KitchenAid site for some great deals. KitchenAid is one of the brands that doesn’t have sales all that often, so now is a good time to shop.
Bodum Bistro Electric Water Kettle
You typcially can pick up the Bodum Bistro for around $30. But we have a sales link for you that gives you a nice discount.
For Americans who may not be familiar with the name, Bodum is a major player in the coffee and tea world internationally. Bodum is a family-owned Danish company that has been in business since 1944 and is now based in Switzerland. By some reports it is the largest distributor of french press and vacuum coffee brewing equipment in Europe.
We readily admit to having had a Bodum French Press in our home for pretty much as long as we can remember. In fact we have two (just alike) in case someone forgot to run the dishwasher last night. Every decade or so the glass breaks and we replace it. Let’s just say Bodum knows a thing or two about coffee. And it’s devotees are both worldwide and ardent.
So it is no surprise that many independent reviews mention one or more models of Bodum electric kettles as being right at the top of the pile.
This particular model comes in two sizes and in Bodum’s three traditional colors: Black, White, and Red. Construction is a cool-to-the-touch plastic outer shell with a BPA-free glass liner that imparts zero taste.
One version is the 17-oz kettle (or 4-cup capacity) that is the hands down winner with most critics for a travel kettle. And the larger one is a 34-oz model (8 cups). Both are highly rated. And both are deeply discounted on the Bodum site right now if you branch from our page.
This is a limited sale and we don’t know the cut-off date. But as of the date of this post several of these are discounted from 33% to 45%. These are basic but fast and well-made units — hard to beat. And particularly hard to beat at these prices.
You can get the 17-oz Bodum Bistro Electric Kettle in Black for $15.99 here. That’s 45% off the normal price. Or you can get the same size in Red for $19.99 here at 33% off the normal price. It’s worth it just to buy one and stash it in your suitcase. But of course, for a single-household, this size is probably all you would ever need in your home. The added bonus is that it travels great.
And if you want the 34-oz Bodum Bistro Electric Kettle, for $2 more, you can get it either in Red or White for $22.99 here on the Bodum website (that’s 33% and 35% off, respectively).
You can buy them on Amazon if you want to, but you will pay almost double the price right now if you do because this is a really good sale.
Bodum Bistro Double-Wall with Temperature Control
Now, THIS IS THE DEAL! Normally the Bodum Bistro Double-Wall Kettle with Temperature Control sells for$80. You can get it on Amazon for that price right now. BUT we have a link to the Bodum site where you can find it for $49.99
We are really excited about this because when we started this article, this unit was full price. As of today, it is on sale at a 41% discount. But we will get to that in a moment. We had already written our review, so that it unexpectedly went on sale before we published our review is a great big cherry on top.
This particular model has a 37-oz capacity and five pre-set temperatures. With their very European sensibilities, Bodum opts for a manual dial on the temperature control rather than digital touch controls. The pre-sets are 140, 158, 176, 194 F, and BOILING. While not endless control, the temperatures are logically arranged in numerical order and should cover almost anything one would want from a water heating element in the kitchen.
Cuisinart Perfect Temp Cordless Water Kettle
This Cuisinart Perfect Temp Cordless Water Kettle runs about $70.
Honestly why they even say “cordless” in the name mystifies us. ALL of these kettles have corded bases and the kettle “cordlessly” detaches from the base. But, we didn’t name it. Cuisinart did.
And as nonsensical as we find that, this seems to be a roundly praised kettle. It has received rave reviews and top choice placements in a number of the independent reviews even though the Amazon reviews seem to be oddly mixed.
Several things are pretty outstanding about this Cuisinart.
You have six one-touch temperature pre-sets. They are arranged in logical order and display pretty accurate labels — 160, 175, 185, 190, 200 F, and BOIL. And in all of the reviews that took the time to check water temperatures, this unit was found to be within one degree of what they measured independently. So the heat calibration is top-notch.
You do miss the lower temperature setting of the Krups Smart Temp Digital model we reviewed above (105 Fand 155 F), but for most people these pre-settings are both logical and useful. And they are reliable.
Reviewers really like the way the unit is weighted, the feel of the handle, and the ease of pouring. Some also mention how much they like the backlight that clearly shows how much water is in the unit. In several models that is a problem.
And, unlike the fairly standard 1-year warranty of most electric kettles, this one has a 3-year warranty.
We typically would conclude a 3-way tie between the
KRUPS SMART TEMP DIGITAL KETTLE ($60)
CUISINART PERFECT TEMP CORDLESS KETTLE ($70)
BODUM BISTRO DOUBLE-WALL KETTLE WITH TEMPERATURE CONTROL (
$80 $49.99 )
But with the incredible sale on the Bodum Bistro with Temp Control, we think the unexpected sale has to be the tie-breaker.