Five of the worst kettles

Don't get burnt buying the wrong kettle – see which ones performed worst in CHOICE tests.

How to avoid a bad cuppa

Aussies love a good cup of tea but often there's more to a kettle than just boiling water. There are many innovations and sophisticated models on the market with features such as temperature control, constant boil, noise reduction and pretty finishes like stainless steel or vividly coloured plastics.

But if a kettle drips and dribbles, leaks water, makes a deafening noise as it boils, or is just plain awkward to use, all the bells and whistles in the world won't make your tea break the relaxing ritual it should be.

With price tags ranging from $25 to $259, don't be fooled into thinking all kettles are the same.

Five of the worst value kettles

CHOICE tested 38 kettles – here are the ones to avoid.

Morphy Richards a:spect 100012 costs $129 and scored 62%

  • Noisy.
  • Indicator light might be difficult to see in a bright room.
  • The lid is fiddly to replace and must be positioned correctly or it won't lock into place.
  • The spout is extremely wide and as a result when you are tilting towards the end the flow of water becomes very wide and may spill outside the confines of the cup.
  • The kettle is a little bottom heavy has to be tilted a fair way towards the end which could be uncomfortable on the wrist.
  • The filter is not removable.
  • Water level visibility is poor and the quantity markings are confusing.

Smeg 50's Style variable temperature KLF04 costs $259 and scored 68%

  • Noisy.
  • Only OK for handle comfort. The handle could have more grip and the kettle is a little bottom heavy.
  • The kettle has to be tilted a fair way towards the end which could be uncomfortable on the wrist.
  • The preset temperatures are inaccurate – it exceeds the preset temperatures of 50°C, 60°C, 70°C, 80°C, 90°C and 95°C by 8°C, 5°C, 8°C, 5°C, 5°C, 1°C respectively.
  • Water level visibility is poor.

DeLonghi KBA2001.W costs $179 and scored 68%

  • Poor handle comfort and balance.
  • The kettle has to be tilted a fair way towards the end which could be uncomfortable on the wrist.
  • Only OK to pour, as the kettle feels heavy.
  • Indicator light might be difficult to see in a bright room.

KitchenAid 5KEK1222AOB costs $179 and scored 69%

  • Noisy.
  • Very poor for water level indication (no external water level indicator).
  • Removable metal lid gets hot.

Raco Deco 53644-C costs $100 and scored 70%

  • The lid is difficult to remove.
  • Noisy.

Others to avoid

Breville The Smart Kettle BKE825 costs $150 and has received 38 negative user reviews

Many members have commented about this kettle's long-term reliability after 1-2 years, so we have withdrawn our recommendation.

KitchenAid 5KEK1722ACU0 

Models with serial numbers beginning with YA342XXXXX through to YA724XXXXX, sold from November 2013 to February 2018, have been recalled due to the risk of the handle becoming loose and detached; we have removed our recommendation due to this. Please see the recall notice for information on how to obtain a replacement.

What to look for when buying a kettle

Many of our tests reveal that you don't have to shell out a lot of money for a product that performs well, and kettles are no different. CHOICE's content producer Kim Gilmour says even the cheapest model will do the job but others will have different features such as variable temperature control (handy for making specialty teas, which require lower brewing temperatures).

“Some are noisier than others, or can be bulky or difficult to pour," adds Kim. "Personal preference also plays a part: you may prefer a glass or metal finish rather than a plastic look, or one with a removable lid rather than a hinge. Some are also sold with matching toasters.”

Ongoing reliability is something we can't test in the lab, which is why we run a reliability survey which asks thousands of members about the electric kettles they own, what they think of them and how they've held up over time. Nearly 10,000 members participated in our 2016 reliability survey. You can see a kettle’s brand reliability and satisfaction score in our kettles review.

Also, check out our kettles buying guide – it's free to read, even if you're not a member.

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See our expert product reviews.

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