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Should you buy a tea kettle or teapot? 

Whether you’re new to brewing tea at home or you’re looking to up your game , you might be wondering about the difference between a teapot and a tea kettle, and which you need. While making tea is quite simple, having the right equipment makes it even easier. 

Tea kettles boil water you can use to brew tea, while teapots are used to brew tea, so you may find you need both. 

Tea kettle

A tea kettle is used to boil water to make tea. You can find classic stovetop versions, as well as electric ones that boil water significantly faster. You don’t brew tea inside a kettle — you pour the water over loose or bagged tea in a mug, infuser or teapot. 

Tea kettles can cost anywhere from $15-$150, depending on type of kettle, materials and brand. 

Tea kettle pros

  • Quickly and efficient: Water boils significantly quicker in a kettle than in an open pan. 
  • Electric or stovetop: Electric kettles are highly convenient but you can stick with stovetop models if you don’t want another electrical appliance. 
  • Temperature control: You can find electric kettles with temperature settings, which is great for brewing delicate teas that need a lower water temperature. 

Tea kettle cons

  • No brewing: You can’t make tea inside a tea kettle — you can only boil water you then use to make tea. 
  • Teapot or infuser may be needed: While you can simply pour boiling water over a tea bag in a mug, you’ll need an infuser or a teapot to make loose tea. 

Best tea kettles

Poliviar Tea Kettle

Poliviar Tea Kettle

This simple yet durable kettle works on all types of stoves. It has a whistle to let you know when water is boiling. Sold by Amazon

Le Creuset Enamel On Steel Whistling Tea Kettle

Le Creuset Enamel On Steel Whistling Tea Kettle

While it’s not ideal for those on a budget, this kettle comes from a big name cookware brand and looks amazing. Sold by Amazon

Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfectTemp Cordless Electric Kettle

Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle

With its variable temperature controls, it’s the ideal choice for anyone who regularly brews things that need water of differing temperatures. Sold by Amazon


A teapot is a vessel in which you brew tea. While there are some cast-iron teapots you can both heat water and tea in, the majority are only suitable for brewing, not for boiling water. 

Some have built-in infusers for loose-leaf teas, while others don’t, so you must use a tea strainer to separate out the leaves as you pour tea into your cup. Most teapots cost $15-$50, but those from designer homeware brands can reach over $100. 

Teapot pros

  • Great for a group: When you’re making tea for a few people, a teapot is the ideal choice. It also lets people serve themselves at the table.
  • Some are versatile: When traditional versions don’t go on the stovetop to boil water for tea, you can find some that do. 
  • Perfect for loose tea: Since most teapots on the market today have built-in infusers, it’s easy to brew loose-leaf tea. 

Teapot cons

  • Boiling water needed: Many teapots aren’t stovetop safe, and even with those that are, it’s often easier to boil water separately. As such, you may still need a kettle. 
  • Not great for just one: When you’re making tea for one, it’s easier just to brew it in a mug. 

Best teapots

Suyika Japanese Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot

Suyika Japanese Tetsubin Cast Iron Teapot

This gorgeous cast-iron teapot is suitable for boiling water as well as brewing tea. You can choose from three sizes according to your needs: 22, 30 or 61 ounces. Sold by Amazon

Coastline Imports Gracie China Vintage Rose Porcelain Teapot

Coastline Imports Gracie China Vintage Rose Porcelain Teapot

A traditional choice with a delicate floral design, this teapot has a 5-cup capacity that’s great for serving groups. Sold by Amazon

Toptier Leaf Teapot

Toptier Leaf Teapot

Thanks to its large capacity, this is a great size for up to five people. It has a contemporary leaf design and comes in a range of colors, including aqua and blush pink. Sold by Amazon

Should you get a tea kettle or a teapot?

Tea kettles and teapots each have their own function. Anyone who’s serious about tea will likely want both a teapot and a kettle. That said, if you only have the budget for one, choose a teapot that’s suitable for use on the stove so you can boil water and brew tea in it. 


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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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