Types 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.
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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.