Consumer research for older and disabled people

Text Size:

Current Size: 100%

Choosing a kettle

KettleTypes of kettle

Jug kettles are tall with a handle on the side. They have flip-up lids and large spouts, making them easier to fill. You can boil as little as a cupful at a time, unlike traditional kettles.

Traditional kettles are short and round with a handle on top. They tend to have bigger handles and more evenly-balanced weight than jug kettles.

Checklist

Filling the kettle

  • Can you remove the kettle from its base or unplug it without force or fiddly movements?
  • Does the size and angle of the spout allow easy filling?
  • Is the lid easy to reach? If you sometimes have swollen joints, think about whether you'll need extra space.
  • Is the lid easy to grip, and to open and close without too much force?
  • Can you fill the kettle using only one hand?
  • Will the shape and height of the kettle fit well with your sink?

Pouring

  • Does the shape and size of the handle provide a good grip?
  • Does the kettle feel well-balanced?
  • Is there space for you to grip the handle without accidentally touching the hot parts? Metal kettles get hotter than plastic ones.

On/off switch

  • Are labels and markings large and do they contrast well with their background?
  • Is the switch easy to press? A large switch that sticks out is best.
  • Is the switch easy to move without too much force?

Indicators

  • Is the on-to-boil light bright and visible?
  • Is there an audible click when the kettle stops boiling?
  • Does the water level indicator contrast with its background? Some have brightly-coloured floats.

Safety

  • Does the outside of the kettle stay cool while it's boiling?
  • Does the lid stay sealed and securely in place when pouring?
  • Does steam escape from anywhere apart from the spout?

More to consider

If you have impaired grip or strength…

  • Kettles vary a lot in weight – look for something light.
  • Look for a handle that’s easy to use. Handles on the side are easier for pouring, but handles on top make the whole kettle easier to lift.

If you have a visual impairment…

  • Check you can tell whether the lid is on. A kettle full of water can look as if the lid is in place if the lid is dark.
  • You should be able to tell when the switch is on through a click or a light or by touch.

If something goes wrong...

  • Know your rights to ask for a refund, repair or replacement if your iron's broken or not as described when you buy it.