We Tested 10 Stovetop Kettles–These Were Our Favorites

Our top picks are the Fellow Clyde Kettle and the Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle.

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An image of all of the kettles we tested on a marble countertop

Serious Eats / Eric King

Straight to the Point

Our favorite overall stovetop kettle is the Fellow Clyde Kettle; it was easy to use and a pleasure to pour from. If you're looking for a kettle that can bring water to a boil quickly, we recommend the Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle. And, if you're on a budget, the OXO Brew Classic Tea Kettle is our pick for a more affordable option.

In a world of fast-as-lightning electric kettles, why spring for a stovetop version? Maybe you already have too many appliances taking up precious counter space. Maybe you’re so committed to your kitchen aesthetic that anything with a cord is just unsightly. Maybe there’s just something nice about doing things the old-fashioned way.

Whatever the reason, this review will help you find the best stovetop kettle for your kitchen. We put 10 models through five rounds of testing to determine which ones boil the fastest, pour the best, and are the easiest to use and clean.

The Winners, at a Glance

The Best Overall Stovetop Kettle: Fellow Clyde Kettle

There was a lot to like about this stovetop kettle: the silicone handle prevents it from getting too hot; the ergonomic design means you can pour with just the slightest tilt of your wrist; and the small spout gives the ultimate control over how much water comes out. Read on for more on its ingenious bells and whistles (literally). 

The Fastest-Boiling Stovetop Kettle: Le Creuset Whistling Kettle

Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle

The Le Creuset Classic won out in both of our boil speed tests. It put up a good fight to be in the top overall spot, but we found that there were a few details that set it back a hair. 

The Best Budget Stovetop Kettle: OXO Brew Classic Tea Kettle

This kettle outperformed all of the other sub-$50 versions on our list—and even some above that price point.

The Tests

The OXO kettle pouring water into a small mug

Serious Eats / Eric King

  • Boil Speed Test: We timed how long it took for each kettle to boil 1.5 quarts of water on medium-high heat on the same gas stove burner. To ensure fairness, we checked that each batch had a starting temperature of 65°F. 
  • Pouring at Full Capacity: We boiled another 1.5 quarts of water in each kettle over medium-high heat using the same-size gas burners. Once each kettle reached a boil, we poured eight ounces into a cup and determined how easy the kettle was to hold and pour from, whether or not the handle or spout lid became hot to touch, and how the water flowed out when the kettle was at capacity. 
  • Pouring at Half Capacity: We repeated the above test, this time filling each kettle with .75 quarts of water, and observed if this changed how far we had to tilt the kettle, how hot the kettle was to touch, and if it poured with precision and control.
  • Taste Test: After three rounds of boiling and discarding water, we boiled another batch in each kettle and tasted them, one by one, to see if there were any off-flavors present. We tasted no difference in the water. 
  • Cleanup: Once all those tests were complete, we hand-washed every kettle using dish soap and a sponge in the sink. Some proved easier to clean than others, while others had already begun to show stains and discoloration.

What We Learned

What Makes A Kettle Boil Fast

kettles with cups of water in front of them

Serious Eats / Eric King

All of the kettles we tested were made of some kind of steel. Some were coated in enamel or porcelain enamel. The two that tied for first in the full-capacity boil speed test, the Le Creuset and Chantal Vintage, were both made of carbon steel and had very wide bases (the wider the base, the more the water’s in contact with the heat, and the faster boiling happens). While the Chantal model was also made of carbon steel, it lagged behind in the speed tests, placing 7th in the 1.5-quart boil. This could be explained by its more spherical shape and smaller base. 

Silicone-Coated Handles Kept Hands Safe

The Fellow Clyde Kettle on a kitchen oven burner
The silicone-coated handle on the Fellow Clyde kept our hands safe when pouring.

Serious Eats / Eric King

Kettles with silicone covering most of the handle were the easiest to pick up straight off the stove and hold for a long time. The Fellow Clyde’s handle is completely covered in silicone and only got a little bit warm, never too hot. The OXO also excelled at this; the handle remained almost cool to the touch during the .75-quart boil speed test. KitchenAid and Susteas both had silicone on their handles, but they both left large portions of metal exposed, which meant it was easy to burn yourself if you don’t have small hands or weren’t extra careful. 

Handle height also meant the difference between a hot handle and one that was cool to touch. The Le Creuset and Chantal Vintage, both of which feature a black plastic handle attached to the kettle by stainless steel arms, benefited from having handles four to five inches away from the opening. 

The Cuisinart and the Mr. Coffee models feature plastic handles that are closer to the opening, about three to three-and-a-half inches, and were hot to the touch. 

High Handles, Wide Openings and Kettle Shape Affected Cleaning

a closeup look at the bottom of a Mr. Coffee kettle
This kettle began to show some markings after just a little use. Not a huge deal, but also not ideal.

Serious Eats / Eric King

The design of the handle, the diameter of the kettle opening, and the kettle’s shape all impacted how smooth cleanup was. 

When hand-washing and drying each kettle, we found that kettles with higher handles or with handles attached at only one end were easier to clean.

Kettle opening size also dictated ease of cleaning. Openings with a diameter between three-and-a-half to four inches were too small to comfortably fit your hand inside. Instead, we preferred kettles with openings of more than four-and-one-quarter-inch wide, like those on the Fellow and Le Creuset.

The shape of each kettle made a difference here, too. Chantal Anniversary and Fellow both had rounded bottoms, which allow you to clean the inside in one smooth motion. And since there are no corners, you don’t have to worry about scale or other debris accumulating in hard- to-scrub places. 

The Criteria: What To Look for in a Stovetop Kettle

An image of the Fellow Clyde Kettle with captions referencing what makes it a great kettle

Serious Eats / Eric King / Amanda Suarez

While boil speed may seem like the be all and end all in kettle testing, we actually found most kettles boiled water in almost the same amount of time; there was less than a one-minute and 50-second difference between the winners and losers. 

The biggest differences lied in how easy each kettle was to use: Did the handle get too hot to pick up and hold for a while? Was the spout cover easy to retract, or was it stubborn and/or piping hot? Did the lid easily pop off, or did it require some elbow grease and cause you to smack your hand on the bottom of the handle? Was the handle ergonomic, enabling you to tilt and pour with control and ease, or did you have to do a lot of arm and wrist twisting, sometimes literally bending over, to empty the kettle? These were the questions we considered when making our final determination. 

The Best Overall Stovetop Kettle: Fellow Clyde Kettle

What we liked: The Fellow Clyde’s design, which is different than most kettles on the market, made it stand out. The handle is only attached at one end and juts out at a right angle, a feature that made it comfortable to tilt at any angle. The handle is also completely covered in a heat-proof silicone coating, making it the only kettle that was super comfortable to hold even right after boiling. 

Another key feature we liked: there’s no spout cover, so there’s no need to fiddle with blazing hot switches or worry about steam shooting out at you. The inside of the spout stays closed until you pour and, no matter how far you tilt it, water comes out in a steady, even stream that’s easy to aim. Plus…it still whistles! Two reeds hidden inside the kettle’s spout sing in harmony under pressure, producing a surprisingly soothing sound very different than the scream of traditional kettles.   

A close up shot of the reeds in the Fellow Clyde kettle
The small reeds in the pour spout made a pleasant whistle and let us know when our water was boiled.

Serious Eats / Eric King

What we didn’t like: Let’s just get this out of the way: this is not the fastest kettle of the bunch. It came in eighth in both speed tests. However, its boil time was only a minute longer than the fastest kettle (see that winner below). There are two other potential drawbacks to this model: it is not compatible with induction-style stoves and, at $105, it is the second-most expensive model on our list. 

Key Specs

  • Materials: Stainless steel, silicone
  • Stated Capacity: 1.8 quarts
  • Max Capacity: 1.95 quarts to actual max fill line
  • Weight (when empty): 1 lbs 13.4 ounces
  • Weight (when at capacity): 5 lbs 12 ounces
  • Diameter of the kettle's opening: 4 3/8 inches
  • Compatible cooktops: Gas, electric
the fellow clyde kettle on a marble surface

Serious Eats / Eric King

The Fastest-Boiling Stovetop Kettle: Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle

Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle

What we liked: This model was the speed racer of the group. While it tied for first place when boiling 1.5 quarts of water, when boiling .75 quarts, it shot ahead of the competition, winning by almost 30 seconds. The traditional handle is attached at both ends but folds down in one direction (unlike other models which either were stuck in place or were so loose that the kettle swung away or toward you when pouring). This feature made it easier to open the lid, fill it up and especially to clean the inside. The 3/4 -inch spout produced a steady stream that didn’t come out too fast or splash into the cup. We found it was also easy to aim and pour a precise amount of water.

What we didn’t like: The handle became hot during the longer boil, but not so much that we couldn’t handle it. At times, lifting off the lid required some elbow grease. And most importantly, because of the traditional handle, you have to really angle your wrist and arm to pour, especially for smaller quantities. It’s also the most expensive kettle in our lineup at $110.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Lightweight carbon steel, porcelain enamel
  • Stated Capacity: 1.7 quarts
  • Max Capacity: 1.7 quarts
  • Weight (when empty): 3 lbs
  • Weight (when at capacity): 6 lbs 10.1 ounces
  • Diameter of the kettle's opening: 4.25 inches
  • Compatible cooktops: Gas, electric, induction
The Le Creuset kettle on a marble backdrop

Serious Eats / Eric King

The Best Budget Stovetop Kettle: OXO Brew Classic Tea Kettle

What we liked: The OXO Brew Classic was the second-fastest model in the 1.5-quart boil speed test — and it’s the fourth-most affordable at $42. With a large heat-resistant silicone grip covering on the handle, it never became too hot to handle. The spout cover also sported a silicone pad, which made it safe and easy to open. When it comes to the OXO’s pour, the spout produces a very full-bodied stream that fills a mug quickly. The slanted spout also helps to achieve precise aim. 

What we didn’t like: When tilted too far, the water can rush out too quickly, splashing into (and then out of) the cup. The handle sways either way for easy filling and cleaning, but there’s also nothing that stops it from swaying slightly when you’re tilting and pouring from it.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Stainless steel
  • Stated Capacity: 1.7 quarts
  • Max Capacity: 1.3 quarts (to bottom of spout)
  • Weight (when empty): 1 lb 15 ounces
  • Weight (when at capacity): 5 lbs 3.7 ounces
  • Diameter of the kettle's opening: 4 inches
  • Compatible cooktops: Gas, electric
the oxo brew classic kettle on a marble surface

Serious Eats / Eric King

The Competition

  • Chantal Anniversary Enamel on Steel Whistling Tea Kettle: This was the only model that matched the Fellow Clyde in ease of pouring thanks to its ergonomic curved handle design. We could get every last drop of water out with just a small tilt, and we also liked that the water didn’t stream out too fast or splash. It was also easy to clean because of its wide opening and round shape. The whistle trigger was the kettle's fatal flaw: it got very hot and our fingers kept sliding off it.
  • Susteas Stove Top Whistling Tea Kettle: This kettle came in dead last (by nearly a minute) in the 1.5-quart boil speed test. The silicone section of the handle is slightly too small, especially for a bigger hand, so we scalded our hand several times on the exposed metal. The high spout made it difficult to empty and, like the Cuisinart, the Susteas, had a trigger opening that was hard to press up and down. The kettle also makes a weird shaking noise, which we also noticed with the cheaper Mr. Coffee model.
  • Cuisinart Aura 2-Quart Tea Kettle: If you want an even cheaper option than OXO without sacrificing too much, the Cuisinart Aura is your best bet. The shining star of this kettle is the trigger on the handle that you can use to open the spout with one hand. And it came in a competitive sixth place in the boil speed test, finishing around 40 seconds later than the two winners. But there were some downsides to this kettle: The handle got hot during the 1.5-quart boil speed test and cleanup was not a breeze thanks to narrow opening.
  • Mr. Coffee Flintshire Stainless Steel Whistling Tea Kettle: This kettle was the cheapest and the lightest of the bunch (it weighed a mere 4 lbs, 9.7 ounces when full). Speed-wise, it came in second to last in the 1.5-quart boil speed test, but jumped up to fifth place when heating the .75 quarts. It glugged a bit when pouring at half capacity, but the water did come out in a nice spiral. However, there were stains and discoloration after just 4 boils, both of which we couldn't scrub away.
  • Chantal Vintage Tea Kettle: This was the only kettle that dripped (a lot) when pouring, which is a cardinal sin when it comes to spout design. Despite that, the handle stayed just cool enough to handle during all boil tests. Unlike the Chantal Anniversary, the spout can be opened with a plastic switch (not metal) that's easier to lift without hurting your hand—although we were still burned one time by the escaping steam. You also have to tilt the kettle quite a bit to pour all the water out.
  • All-Clad Stainless Steel Tea Kettle: Perhaps in an attempt to match the other shiny, stainless steel All-Clad cookware, this model didn’t have a speck of silicone or plastic on the handle. However, the handle surprisingly didn’t become too hot to pick up. We can’t say the same for the whistle trigger, though, which you could really only handle with a towel. It was big and bulky when it came to pouring; you have to tilt the kettle quite a bit to pour, especially at a lower capacity, otherwise it just dribbles out. And it's already showing signs of staining and discoloration on the bottom.
  • KitchenAid 2-Quart Kettle: Everything feels cramped on this model. The handle is too close to the lid, so when you pry the lid off you end up smacking your hand. You can’t take the lid off when the whistle is open because of the kettle’s spout lever. The inside and opening of the kettle are both on the small side, which makes it difficult to get your hand in and clean inside. Perhaps the worst part of the design, though, is that the handle is covered on top and bottom with two silicone pads. And while they don't get hot, the metal that is exposed on either side does.

FAQs

The lineup of kettles on a marble countertop

Serious Eats / Eric King

Should I buy a whistling, gooseneck, or electric kettle?

If you're making pourover coffee, a Gooseneck kettle is your best bet. It has have a long, thin spout that’s angled in a slight S-shape that's ultra precise. The wide openings of most whistling or stovetop kettles are not suited for this, but if you’re making tea or oatmeal, they’re perfect. If your main concern is speed, look to electric kettles, which beat out stovetop models. You can also find electric gooseneck kettles, for the best of both worlds. 

Should I be cleaning my kettle?


Yes! Even though the only thing coming in and out of your kettle is water, the calcium carbonate present in the water can build up over time and leave white residue behind.

What's the best way to clean my kettle?

Use a non-abrasive sponge to scrub it with hot, soapy water, then it with a clean towel. Most manufacturers warn against drying a kettle by heating it on the stove while empty, as that can cause damage. To remove rust and mineral deposits from the inside of a kettle, OXO recommends boiling water for 30 minutes with two tablespoons of baking soda and three tablespoons of lemon juice, then rinsing thoroughly. You can also use a descaler or citric acid powder (dissolve two tablespoons of the latter in one-quart of water and pour it through the kettle).