Cuisine Technology
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The 11 Best Smart Kettles for 2020

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Before we begin: if you’re looking for our top pick, it’s the Bonavita Variable Temperature Electric Kettle. We love this kettle for its fantastic combination of features (including both preset and custom temperature options) at a very reasonable price.

When you start to get serious about your tea or coffee, you quickly realize that the brewing temperature matters a lot. Just pouring boiling water over your tea or into your French press may work for some things, but it’s definitely not always ideal. And a standard electric kettle doesn’t offer much control; it just brings your water up to boiling and then shuts off. If you want any other temperature, you need to either guess or pull out a thermometer to try to get an accurate measurement.

That’s why we love smart kettles! They let you set your desired temperature (either by choosing a convenient preset or by selecting your own custom temperature). And once your water reaches this temperature, they have the option of holding it there, so you can make several brews in a row. No more settling for a water temperature that’s “close enough”—you can now have control over making your tea or coffee as good as it can possibly be.


The Best Smart Kettles at a Glance

Best for: All-around great kettle at a reasonable price
Best for: Relaxed, slow drinkers who want several brews in a row
Best for: Integrating bluetooth technology to control your kettle with your phone
Best for: Stress-free kettle for families with young children
Best for: Casual coffee or tea drinkers who want a live temperature display
Best for: College students in a dorm or anyone with a small kitchen
Best for: An all-around good-quality kettle
Best for: Quality construction and simple controls
Best for: Ultra-budget option
Best for: Tea or coffee aficionados willing to splurge for a stunning design
Best for: Straightforward glass kettle with easy controls


The Top 11 Smart Kettles


#1. Bonavita Variable Temperature Electric Kettle

Best for: All-around great kettle at a reasonable price

This is an incredibly popular kettle among serious tea and coffee lovers, but we believe it deserves a place in the typical home kitchen as well! Because even if you’re not a serious tea or coffee hobbyist, you’ll still enjoy the features that make it such a popular choice among the experts.

The Bonavita combines several of the features that we love about various other kettles on our top picks list, and does so at a very reasonable price. It allows you to choose your exact temperature (to 1° F), but also has several preset modes for the most common temperatures. It also holds the water at your chosen temperature for up to an hour (though we wish you didn’t need to press the “hold” button every time you lift the kettle). 

The elegant gooseneck spout isn’t just for show; it also means that you can pour your water with absolute precision and control. The handle, too, is both elegant and functional, making it easy and comfortable to lift and pour the kettle.

Even if you’re not already particular enough about your drinks to want precise temperature control, chances are good that you’ll get there eventually. And when you do, you’ll be glad that you have a kettle that will still serve you perfectly, instead of one that you’ll outgrow and need to replace.

Specs and Features

  • Capacity: 1 liter
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Keep warm function: Yes
  • Custom temperature settings: Yes
  • Auto shut-off: Yes
Pros
  • Offers completely customizable temperature option but also includes convenient presets
  • Gooseneck spout lets you pour easily and precisely
  • Display shows current temperature, so you can keep an eye on your kettle’s temp at any given time
Cons
  • Preset temperatures aren’t as intuitive as on some other devices
  • The hold temperature function resets every time you lift the kettle, so you need to restart it each time

#2. OXO BREW Adjustable Temperature Kettle

Best for: Relaxed, slow drinkers who want several brews in a row

If you love relaxed mornings with several fresh cups of coffee or intimate afternoon tea sessions, you’ll love this kettle. The OXO is unusual on our list in that its default is to hold the temperature you select rather than shut off. Once it reaches the temperature you’ve set, it automatically holds the water at that temperature for up to 30 minutes. All of our other recommended kettles require you to press a “keep warm” (or similar) button.

Another unique feature is that lifting this kettle off the base to pour out water and then returning it doesn’t cancel the keep warm cycle. In other words, you can pour some of the water, return the kettle to the base, and have it automatically keep holding the water at your temperature of choice. Other options reset when you lift the kettle to pour, forcing you to push the “keep warm” button every time.

This unusual pair of features makes the OXO kettle an ideal choice for anyone who tends to have relaxed, drawn-out tea sessions. You’ll only need to deal with your water temperature every 30 minutes, not every single time you pick up the kettle.

We also love the design and construction of the kettle. Since it’s made of glass, it doesn’t give your water a metallic flavor, even if you hold hot water in it for prolonged periods. And the lid mechanism is a true pleasure to use! Instead of being a struggle to open like some others, it’s smooth and feels almost spring-assisted.

The same features that make this kettle so ideal for serious tea and coffee drinkers can make it the wrong choice for more casual users, though. If you don’t tend to pour several brews in a row, the automatic temperature hold may feel more like a flaw than a feature. The same goes for the fact that it doesn’t reset the kettle when you pick it up and return it to the base. And this kettle doesn’t have preset temperatures, so you’ll need to choose your own.

We’ve actually heard reports of people believing that these traits were design flaws, when in fact they just weren’t the target audience. If you’re a casual kettle user who just wants something simple and straightforward, we recommend the Cuisinart CPK-17 Electric Kettle instead. But if you truly cherish a perfect cup of tea or coffee, and see the value in the features this kettle offers, you can’t go wrong with the OXO.

Specs and Features

  • Capacity: 1.75 liters
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Keep warm function: Yes
  • Custom temperature settings: Yes
  • Auto shut-off: No
Pros
  • Made of glass, so it doesn’t give your water a metallic taste
  • Automatically holds your water at your set temperature for 30 minutes
  • Keeps holding your water at the selected temperature even after you lift the kettle off the base and then return it; doesn’t require you to tell it to hold the temperature every time
Cons
  • Doesn’t have preset temperatures, which may be an issue for casual tea or coffee drinkers
  • Minimum temperature is 170° F, which may occasionally be too high if you just want warm water

#3. COSORI Electric Gooseneck Bluetooth Kettle

Best for: Integrating bluetooth technology to control your kettle with your phone

If you’re a tech-savvy cook who wants all the latest smart appliances, you’ll love the COSORI Electric Gooseneck Bluetooth Kettle. This device offers Bluetooth connectivity to let you control it from your phone, so you don’t even need to get up from the table to start the water for your evening cup of tea. In case your phone’s battery dies, though, you’re also able to control this device with the buttons on its base.

We appreciate that this one has several different options for preset temperatures (green tea, oolong, coffee, and boil/black) while also allowing you to choose your own temperature. You can also set the kettle to hold the selected temperature once it reaches it, which is ideal if you like to drink several cups of coffee or tea in a row. Just keep in mind that with the relatively small capacity of this kettle, they’ll need to be small cups.

We also love the delay start option, which lets you schedule your kettle to heat up at a later time. If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, the idea of nice, hot water waiting for you to make your coffee or tea may be just the extra burst of motivation you need.

Specs and Features

  • Capacity: 0.8L
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Keep warm function: Yes
  • Custom temperature settings: Yes
  • Auto shut-off: Yes
Pros
  • Completely customizable temperatures
  • Delay start option lets you schedule the kettle to start at a later time
  • Baby formula mode
  • Preset options on the base for when you don’t have your phone
  • Classy yet distinctive design
Cons
  • Pricier than the average smart kettle
  • Small capacity; look elsewhere if you like to drink lots of tea or coffee at one time

#4. Miroco Electric Kettle

Best for: Stress-free kettle for families with young children

More than any other kettle on our list, the Miroco Electric Kettle has a deceptively simple look that would almost let you believe it’s just a traditional kettle. But hidden behind that external simplicity is a level of sophistication that makes it ideal for many home users, especially those with children.

What makes the Miroco really stand out is its thorough insulation. The kettle remains cool to the touch even when the water inside is boiling. This is, of course, invaluable if you tend to be accident-prone—or you have children! This kettle helps keep those wandering little hands safe from burns, because an accidental touch should be harmless.

And if your kid is still a baby instead of a toddler prone to exploring, the kettle takes that into account too. Not only does it allow you to heat water to a gentle 100° F to mix with powdered baby formula, it also lets you turn off the beeping noise. No more accidentally waking up little ones while trying to make a relaxing cup of tea during nap time!

In addition to being the perfect option for households with children, the Miroco has all the standard features you’d expect from a smart device. It lets you choose from six pre-programmed settings, or select your own temperature. And it can hold the temperature you choose for up to an hour. 

Specs and Features

  • Capacity: 1.7L
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Keep warm function: Yes
  • Custom temperature settings: Yes
  • Auto shut-off: Yes
Pros
  • Insulated and cool to the touch (good for households with children!)
  • Option to turn beeps off (don’t wake the baby!)
  • Wide lids makes for easier filling and cleaning
  • Reports of good customer service
Cons
  • Water level indicator is on the inside and not as easily visible
  • Very few control buttons; you need to press a button several times to choose your desired temperature
  • Simple plastic exterior is not very aesthetically pleasing

#5. KRUPS BW801852 Smart Temp Digital Kettle

Best for: Casual coffee or tea drinkers who want a live temperature display

If the Miroco is an example of making a smart kettle look not-so-smart, the KRUPS shows how you can instantly make a classic design look contemporary and modern. While its overall shape and style are similar to a traditional kettle, the bold digital display on the side makes it immediately obvious that this is something new and different. And we enjoy the live temperature in the digital display, which lets you know exactly how hot your water is at any given moment!

The KRUPS kettle is another insulated option that remains cool and safe to touch even when the water inside is boiling. This makes it great for households with children, as it can reduce the risk of burns from accidental touching. 

Unfortunately, this kettle has one huge flaw that keeps it from being perfect: it doesn’t let you set your own custom temperature. The five presets are good enough for most uses, but if you’re a true tea or coffee aficionado, chances are you’ll want more precision than that. (If you’re a more casual drinker, you may be fine with the presets, which is why this kettle still makes it onto our list.)

Specs and Features

  • Capacity: 1.7L
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Keep warm function: Yes
  • Custom temperature settings: No
  • Auto shut-off: Yes
Pros
  • Real-time temperature display
  • Distinctive, modern look
  • Exterior stays cool and safe to touch
  • Five preset temperatures that should cover most uses
Cons
  • No ability to set your own temperature
  • Temperature selection could be improved; you need to press one button several times to cycle through the options

#6. ICOOKPOT Electric Kettle

Best for: College students in a dorm or anyone with a small kitchen

Who says a smart kettle is just for coffee or tea? Definitely not ICOOKPOT! And they don’t just cautiously suggest that you could use their kettle for other things; they wildly flaunt a vast array of ideas. In fact, this kettle is so multi-functional that it’s almost hard to even call it just a “kettle”!

Want to make oatmeal? Use this kettle. How about soup, or eggs, or even pasta? Yep, it works for those too. ICOOKPOT even suggests that you can use it as a mini hotpot for skewered food. 

Basically, this kettle is a college student’s dream come true: a genuine all-in-one device that lets you prepare a mind-boggling number of meals while taking up very little space. And while the price is a little higher than a typical college student might prefer, this machine’s versatility more than makes up for it. In addition to the kettle itself, you’ll also receive a compatible egg holder, tea strainer, and yogurt container. 

Several of us at Cuisine Technology struggle with the idea of making seafood soup one minute and then turning around and making a delicate tea in the same kettle. You might not have this same hangup, but if you do, consider buying two of these clever kettles: one for tea, water, coffee, and another for your soups, hot pots, and savory dishes.

Specs and Features

  • Capacity: 2L
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Keep warm function: Yes
  • Custom temperature settings: No
  • Auto shut-off: No
Pros
  • Comes with detachable tea infuser, steamer egg holder, and yoghurt box
  • Offers a mind-bogglingly wide range of functions
  • Completely removable lid and large opening for easy access
Cons
  • Requires constant cleaning if used for cooking food
  • No custom temperature settings
  • Although the kettle is multi-purpose, you may not want to boil tea/coffee water in the same kettle that you use to cook food

#7. Willow & Everett Gooseneck Electric Kettle

Best for: An all-around good-quality kettle

Over time, it’s normal for some residue or mineralization to build up in your kettle if you’re using tap water. And with most kettles, that can be tricky to clean. The clever Willow & Everett Gooseneck Electric Kettle makes life easier with its completely removable lid. Instead of just tilting a hinged lid upward as you do in most kettles, you just take this one completely off. (This makes the kettle easier to fill, too!)

We also love the elegant design of this stainless steel kettle. And the straightforward preset buttons on the base make it easy to use! Just fill with water, choose your temperature, and you’re good to go. Of course, as with all the other kettles on our list, you have the option of using the “keep warm” setting to keep your water hot for subsequent brews.

The biggest drawback is that you’re limited to the 5 preset temperatures, with no option to set your own temperature in between. This may not bother you if you’re not deeply into the world of brewing tea or coffee, in which case the classy design and simple operation of this kettle may make it the perfect choice for you.

Specs and Features

  • Capacity: 1 liter
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Keep warm function: Yes
  • Custom temperature settings: No
  • Auto shut-off: Yes
Pros
  • Straightforward preset temperature buttons
  • Completely removable lid for easier access to clean
Cons
  • Smaller capacity at just 1 liter
  • Needs maintenance to avoid rust or staining inside
  • No water level indicator

#8. Cuisinart CPK-17 Electric Kettle

Best for: Quality construction and simple controls

If all of these smart kettles are a bit too smart-looking for you, bring it back to the classics with the Cuisinart CPK-17 Electric Kettle. It looks like your typical electric kettle, except for the various buttons on the handle.

This kettle is a great pick for anyone who wants an adjustable temperature without being overwhelmed by options or features. If you just want a solid classic with a little extra versatility by a recognized brand, this is the kettle for you. Plus, unlike several other options on our list, it includes a water level indicator so you can easily see just how much water is left.

As you may have guessed, this simplicity means that the kettle only works with its preset temperatures; you can’t choose your own. But if you tend to brew your coffee and teas at standard temperatures, and value simplicity over precision, this may suit you just fine. The straightforward controls make it easy to use, so this is the ideal choice for anyone who doesn’t want to overcomplicate their kitchen.

Specs and Features

  • Capacity: 1.7L
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Keep warm function: Yes
  • Custom temperature settings: No
  • Auto shut-off: Yes
Pros
  • Water level indicator
  • 6 preset temperatures easy to select
  • Memory function remember your settings for up to two minutes off the base
  • Removable/washable filter
Cons
  • No custom temperature settings
  • Lid design makes it not as easy to clean

#9. Epica 6-Temperature Variable Electric Kettle

Best for: Ultra-budget option

If you’re on a strict budget but dedicated to brewing your drinks at a better temperature than just “boiling,” this kettle may be a great fit for you. We don’t love it overall; its build quality isn’t the best, and you may find that it rusts or even breaks more easily than you’d hope. But quality typically comes at a price, and the Epica brings these kettles within reach of tighter budgets.

One thing that we absolutely love about this kettle is that while it has six preset buttons (like many others), those presets aren’t predetermined. That is, you can program the kettle to set your own favorite temperatures as the presets! This is a fantastic feature, and one that we wish more higher-end kettles would include. 

The 2-hour “keep warm” feature is also well above average, and makes this the ideal choice for long, relaxed tea or coffee sessions.

In short: if you can spring for a higher-quality kettle, we’d recommend doing so. But if your budget is limited, this ultra-affordable device gives you some great features that many higher-end options don’t include.

Specs and Features

  • Capacity: 1.7L
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Keep warm function: Yes
  • Custom temperature settings: Yes
  • Auto shut-off: Yes
Pros
  • Very affordable
  • 6 customizable temperature settings and 2-hour keep warm function
  • Reports of heating water quickly
Cons
  • Build quality is not the best
  • Exterior gets very hot, and can easily burn you if you’re not cautious

#10. Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Pour-over Kettle

Best for: Tea or coffee aficionados willing to splurge for a stunning design

Sometimes, beauty is worth paying for. And that’s what you’re getting with the Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Pour-over Kettle. This is, by far, our favorite on the list in terms of the sheer elegance of the design. It’s truly a statement piece that manages to be striking while still fitting in with a wide range of kitchen styles.

Of course, this level of elegance does come at a price. But if your budget allows, we love this kettle and think that you will too! 

Enough about its appearance, though. After all, there’s no use having a beautiful kettle if it doesn’t work! And luckily, this one performs just as delightfully as you would hope. Unlike many other options, which just give a few presets, this one allows you to have full and precise temperature control. This makes this kettle the ideal choice for anyone who really loves their tea or coffee. No more settling for a temperature that’s “close enough”—you can now brew your drinks to the exact degree of your choice. 

As much as we love this kettle, we honestly don’t recommend it for casual tea or coffee drinkers. It doesn’t have preset temperatures, which may be irritating if you just want a generic “coffee” temperature without needing to choose specifics. But if brewing your hot drinks is an experience rather than a chore, and you appreciate the difference that precision temperature makes, look no further.

Specs and Features

  • Capacity: 0.9L
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Keep warm function: Yes
  • Custom temperature settings: Yes
  • Auto shut-off: Yes
Pros
  • Full and precise control of water temperature
  • Easy-to-use knob for setting temperature
  • Timer on the base
  • Elegant and striking design
Cons
  • This level of elegance and precision comes at a cost
  • Handle design might feel a bit awkward and has a metal part that might cause burns if you’re not careful
  • No preset temperature options

#11. HadinEEon Variable Temperature Electric Kettle

Best for: Straightforward glass kettle with easy controls

If you have a particularly perceptive palate, you may find that standard metal kettles give your hot water a hint of an unwelcome metallic tang. And if you already recognize what I mean and are nodding in agreement, then you’ll love the flavor-neutral option of a glass kettle instead.

While we have another glass kettle (the OXO BREW Adjustable Temperature Kettle) on our list, the HadinEEon is both more affordable and more straightforward for the casual tea or coffee drinker. Instead of requiring you to choose your exact temperature down to the degree, this one lets you choose from six presets that cover the most common teas and coffee. And as an extra bonus, this kettle has the longest keep-warm function of any of the devices on our list, at a whopping four hours. 

We wish that the HadinEEon kettle had the option of choosing your own temperature for more precise brews. We’re also not in love with some of the design choices; the lid isn’t ideal or easy to open, and the keep warm function needs some improvement. (It can be tricky to figure out, and lifting the kettle resets it, meaning you need to tell it to keep warm again every time you pour more water.)

Specs and Features

  • Capacity: 2L
  • Wi-Fi: No
  • Keep warm function: Yes
  • Custom temperature settings: 
  • Auto shut-off: Yes
Pros
  • Keep warm function for up to 4 hours
  • Large capacity
Cons
  • Lid design is not very practical and opening it is a two-hand operation
  • Keep warm function is not very intuitive
  • Temperature isn’t as precise as we would have liked

What Is a Smart Kettle? And Why You Need One

As soon as you start getting into the world of tea or coffee, you realize that “boiling” isn’t actually the ideal water temperature for most drinks. Depending on the type of tea as well as the individual tea itself, ideal brewing temperature can range anywhere from 150° F to 212° F/boiling. Similarly, coffee temperatures can range anywhere from 180° F to 212° F/boiling.

Infographic showing the optimal brewing temperatures for tea and coffee.

If you’re a casual coffee drinker who just needs to get some caffeine in the morning, these subtleties may be unnecessary details in your life. A typical (non-smart) kettle that just heats water to boiling may be perfectly adequate for you! If that honestly describes you, we don’t recommend spending the extra money for a smart kettle, since you probably won’t use its features enough to justify it.

But if you want the best brew you can possibly make, you’ll need more precise temperature control than a traditional kettle offers. And that’s why we love these kettles! Using either preset temperatures or custom settings (more on that below), you heat your water to your desired temperature instead of just to boiling. This helps you ensure you’re treating your coffee or tea with the respect it deserves, and making the best possible drink to enjoy.

Unlike traditional kettles, which just turn off when they reach the boiling point, smart kettles typically have the option of letting you hold the water at your chosen temperature once it gets there. This lets you complete several brews in a row at your chosen temperature without needing to restart the kettle from scratch.


The Different Types of Smart Kettle

Basically all smart kettles have two important things in common:

  • They let you select a temperature (not just boiling!). Having more precise control over the temperature lets you brew your drinks to perfection by selecting a temperature that’s appropriate for the tea or coffee of your choice.
  • They have at least an option to hold the water at the chosen temperature. And a few hold the temperature automatically without you needing to select this option. This means you can brew several cups, mugs, or pots of tea or coffee in a row without needing to bring the water back up to the right temperature.

But there are quite a few differences between the different brands and models as well. Here we’ll cover some of the most important to help you decide exactly which one is the best option for you.

Preset Temperatures vs. Custom Temperature vs. Combination

All smart kettles have the option of choosing your water temperature; that’s one of their defining features. But how they go about doing this can vary. There are three basic types of kettle in this regard:

Preset Temperatures

Kettles with preset temperatures have a way to choose the temperature you want from a predetermined list, usually of about 5 to 6 choices. These choices typically cover the most common brewing temperatures, letting you pick the one that best fits the tea or coffee you’re making. These are generally the simplest kettles, as they tend to have a few straightforward buttons. 

Who are they for? Preset temperature kettles are a great pick if you want more versatility than a traditional kettle without extra complexity or hassle.

Custom Temperature

Custom temperature kettles let you select your own temperature without limiting you to presets. While a preset kettle might have options for 175, 185, and 195 degrees, a custom temperature kettle will let you pick 184, 185, 186, 187, and so on. This gives you incredible control, and is a must-have if you’re really serious about your brews. (Some of my nicest teas have very specific brewing temperatures that aren’t covered by preset buttons, for example.) 

Some of these kettles use buttons to let you change the temperature up and down, while others use wheels or knobs. I prefer knobs or wheels, but that’s a personal decision with no right or wrong answer.

Who are they for? Choose a kettle with custom temperatures if you’re serious about your tea or coffee and want ultimate control. You’ll need to take a moment longer to pick your temperature, but it’s worth it for the perfect result.

Combination

Not sure whether you want a preset temperature kettle or a custom temperature kettle? Then a combination may be the perfect choice for you! 

Most commonly, combination smart kettles have the usual five to six presets as well as a way to set your own temperature. This gives you the best of both worlds. You can use a preset if you’re feeling lazy or just want to brew a quick cup of coffee. But if you’re working with a rare or delicate tea, you can take the extra time to choose the precise temperature that you want.

A few kettles find other ways to combine the two features. For example, the Epica 6-Temperature Variable Electric Kettle has six preset buttons. However, those presets aren’t predetermined. Instead, you program them to the temperatures that you most commonly use. This is a fantastic way to combine the convenience of presets with the specificity of custom temperatures, and we hope that more kettles will follow this path in the future!

Glass vs. Metal vs. Plastic Pot

Another decision you’ll need to make is what material you want your kettle to be made out of. You basically have three choices here:

Glass

If you’re serious about the nuances of your drink’s flavor, we recommend choosing a glass kettle. Glass doesn’t impart any flavor to your water, so the flavor stays neutral even if you keep the water heated for a while. Finally, with a glass kettle, you can keep a close eye on your water itself. You can see when it’s bubbling or boiling, and easily tell what the water level is in your kettle.

We have two options for glass kettles on our list: the OXO BREW Adjustable Temperature Kettle (one of our very favorites!) and the HadinEEon Variable Temperature Electric Kettle

We prefer the OXO because it has custom temperatures, which you’ll probably want if you’re enough of a connoisseur to care about the subtleties of how your water tastes. The HadinEEon, though, is significantly more affordable and also boasts an astonishing 4-hour temperature hold time.

Metal

By far, the majority of smart kettles are made of metal. This makes sense because it’s far more durable than glass, so it’s less likely to crack or break if you happen to give it a hard bump on your counter. Metal kettles also tend to be lighter than glass ones, which may be an advantage if you struggle to lift the weight of a filled kettle.

It’s possible for metal kettles to give your water a slight metallic taste. This is especially true if you’re using the hold temperature or stay warm function, since the same hot water may be in contact with the metal for a long time. If you’re very sensitive to tastes, we recommend going with a glass option instead.

Plastic

We recommend avoiding plastic if possible. It can impart odd flavors into your water, or even potentially hold onto various odors. It’s also not clear whether (or how much) the plastic being in prolonged and repeated contact with hot water can cause BPA to contaminate your water. 

Regardless, we recommend steering clear. And fortunately, most of these kettles are either glass or metal, so this won’t be too hard! None of the options on our list are plastic.

Gooseneck Spout vs. Traditional Spout

More than any of the other options, the gooseneck vs. traditional spout choice is completely a matter of personal preference.

A gooseneck spout is long and slender, typically starting near the bottom of the pot and delicately working its way upward. The opening is narrow, allowing for precise control when you pour. This is ideal if you tend to use small cups or pour into small openings. Since the spout is so narrow, though, the water flow is slower than what a traditional spout offers.

A traditional spout, on the other hand, is exactly what you’re used to seeing on an electric kettle. A somewhat V-shaped short spout near the top of the kettle, this one lets you pour out larger quantities of water at a time. If you tend to want to quickly fill a large mug, you may prefer this type of spout.

I personally prefer goosenecks. The long, slender style of this kind of spout reminds me of a beautiful watering can, and the pour is more precise and controlled. But again, this is purely a matter of personal preference; there’s no right or wrong answer here.


The Benefits of Using a Smart Kettle

Precise temperature control

As we’ve pretty thoroughly discussed, different types of tea or coffee need different temperatures to bring out their best qualities. A kettle with temperature settings lets you brew your various drinks to perfection instead of settling for “good enough.”

Convenience

Sure, it’s possible to get your ideal brewing temperature without a smart kettle. You could use a traditional electric kettle and try to stop it at the right moment as it’s heating, using a thermometer to confirm that you got close enough. Or you could heat water to boiling and then let it cool for a few minutes, again either guessing at the temperature or using a thermometer to check. But these kettles eliminate all that extra hassle.

Prolonged sipping sessions

Many people like to have more than one cup of coffee or pot of tea in a row. This is particularly true with certain drinking styles, such as those involving tiny Chinese Yixing teapots. A smart kettle will have the option to hold your water at your preferred temperature so you can easily make several brews in a row, even with some time in between.


3 Things To Look For In A Good Smart Kettle

1. Glass or stainless steel interior

It’s okay if the outside is plastic, but the parts in contact with the water should be either glass or stainless steel. We prefer glass for its neutral flavor, but stainless steel kettles are typically more durable and lighter, so you may prefer it.

2. A temperature hold or stay warm time that works for you

Every smart kettle will at least have the option of holding your water at your chosen temperature for a while. This can range from 30 minutes up to 4 hours. Depending on how you drink your coffee or tea, 30 minutes may be plenty—or you may prefer a kettle with a longer hold time.

3. Temperature controls that fit your brewing style

If you’re not super particular about your temperatures, you may find that the convenience of a kettle with preset buttons works for you. If you want to-the-degree control, though, opt for one with custom temperature options. (Some kettles have both, so you can get convenience and control! Our top pick, the Bonavita Variable Temperature Electric Kettle, is a great example of this.)


Can I Boil Milk in a Smart Kettle?

In general: no. Most smart kettles (and electric kettles in general) are designed for use only with water. If you want a milky tea or coffee, you can brew with water and then add milk to taste. Otherwise, you’ll need to heat your milk in a different way (like on the stovetop or in the microwave).

There are, however, a few exceptions. For example, the ICOOKPOT Electric Kettle seems determined to prove that you can cook just about anything in it, and specifically mentions that it works for heating milk.

If your particular kettle doesn’t say anything specifically one way or the other, play it safe and only use it for water. Unless specified otherwise, you can assume that your smart kettle isn’t designed for use with milk.


How to Make Tea With a Smart Kettle

Since most of these kettles are designed to work only with water, you shouldn’t plan to brew your tea directly in the kettle itself. Instead, here’s the general process for making tea with a smart kettle:

  1. Determine the correct brewing temperature and steeping time for your tea of choice.
  2. Add water to your smart kettle. Set it to the temperature you chose, either using one of the kettle’s preset options or by setting a custom temperature.
  3. Wait for the water to reach the desired temperature
  4. Meanwhile, preheat your brewing vessel (your mug or pot) by filling it with hot water. We typically just use hot tap water for this.
  5. When your kettle is ready, pour out your preheating water. Next, put your tea in the preheated cup or pot.
  6. Pour the perfectly heated water over your tea in your preheated vessel. Steep for the appropriate length of time. 
  7. Once it’s ready, it’s time to stop the brewing process. Either remove the tea from your mug or cup, or pour the tea from the pot.
  8. For multiple infusions, repeat the process. Your smart kettle will have an option to hold the water at the desired temperature, so you should be able to start brewing your next round without waiting for the water to heat up again. Just keep in mind that second, third, or fourth infusions can take different amounts of time, so don’t assume the brew time you chose for the first infusion will be ideal for subsequent infusions too!

Conclusion 

Thanks to smart kettles, it’s now easy to brew the perfect cup of tea or coffee at home. Instead of guessing at the correct temperature or just brewing everything at a full boil, you can choose the right temperature for each brew. 

And while the choices may feel overwhelming, we’ve narrowed the many options down to a handful of standouts. They all have different features, so it’s hard to say which is the overall best—but our absolute top pick is the Bonavita Variable Temperature Electric Kettle, which includes convenient presets but also lets you pick your own custom temperature.