How critical are non-toxic tea kettles? Consider this. That morning cup of Earl Gray, although tasty, may affect your kidney, liver, heart, and even tooth enamel health.
If you’re using any of the five kettles below, there’s a good chance you’re polluting your tea and coffee with toxins. The good news, you’ll uncover those five hazards to avoid (and why) in a second.
Then, we’ll go over the three safest tea kettle materials (and what you should know about each).
This way, you can protect your family’s health from hidden danger.
In a hurry? Use Jump to a Section to skip around. Let’s get started!
- 7 Healthiest Tea Kettles: Quick Links
- Stovetop vs. Electric Tea Kettles: Is One Safer?
- Unsafe Kettles to Avoid (& why)
- 3 Safest Kettle Materials & Best Buying Practices
- How We Chose Our Picks
- Best Non-toxic Stovetop Kettles
- Best Internally Plastic-free Electric Kettles
7 Healthiest Tea Kettles: Quick Links
Want to skip ahead to our top kettle picks? Click below to jump straight to that product’s review:
- Best Overall Stovetop Kettle: Quickone Takei | 7.6 Cups
- Best Pour-Over Stovetop Kettle: Fino Pour-Over | 4.2 Cups
- Best Electric Kettle: Fellow Stagg | 3.8 Cups
- Highest Bang-for-Buck: ASCOT | 7.2 Cups
- Most Stylish: Alessi | 4.3 Cups
- Most Classic: Staub Cast Iron | 4 Cups
- Easiest-to-Use Electric: Willow & Everett | 3 Cups
Stovetop vs. Electric Tea Kettles: Is One Safer?
You may be wondering whether stovetop or electric kettles are safer. The short answer is that both can present safety concerns (more on that next). The safety ultimately depends more on the materials the kettle is made of, rather than whether the kettle heats on the stove or via electricity.
Neither option is inherently more toxic than the other, so consumers seeking a non-toxic choice should pay attention to the materials used in the construction of the kettle. Overall, the decision between stovetop and electric tea kettles should consider personal preferences and features beyond toxicity concerns, such as convenience, speed, and design.
Unsafe Tea Kettles to Avoid (& why)
Here’s the deal, your tea kettle won’t kill you, but the wrong kettle can affect your health over time. It can also ruin the flavor of your tea.
Now, I’m not here to fear-monger you. That’s uncool. I’m simply providing facts and help you make a smart (often overlooked) choice for your family’s health.
So, you’ll want to avoid the following tea kettles and components for one reason or another, which we cover below.
Plastic kettles – Safe or not?
Avoid kettles with any plastic that contacts water, especially “sneaky” parts (like plastic spouts, lids, fill gauges, and hinges).
Clear, rigid plastics often contain BPA. And consider this— BPA and phthalates leach into boiling water 55x faster than at room temperature.
And watch for the “BPA-free” trick. BPA’s replacements (BPS and BPF) are no better.
So, by dropping plastic, you may even gain nicer teeth 🙂
Aluminum Tea Kettles
Aluminum does leach into boiling water, but its safety is controversial. Here’s what I mean…
On the one hand, increased aluminum links to dementia. But only from massive doses.
The truth is, most adults consume 1-10 mg of aluminum daily – but absorb only 0.1%. Your kidneys filter the rest (thanks kidneys).
So, unless you have impaired kidney function, you’re safe.
Still, aluminum tea kettles can leach excess metal into your water, spoiling your coffee or tea with metallic tastes.
For this reason, I’d avoid pure aluminum kettles.
Copper Tea Kettles
Copper kettles lined with stainless steel are completely safe. That’s not the issue. However, bare copper is.
Like aluminum, your body filters most excess copper in normal circumstances. But, you may risk getting copper tea kettle poisoning by using old, corroded pots daily. These old kettles can leach immense bits of material.
And too much copper causes stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting, as well as kidney and liver harm.
So don’t eat pennies, or you know, use old copper kettles.
Colored Glaze Tea Kettles
Avoid colored glaze kettles (includes cast iron and ceramic with bright enamel coatings).
Often, companies use lead and cadmium to seal and color the glaze. And the frustrating part is, you can’t tell by sight.
But, deep yellow, orange, and red colors most often contain lead and cadmium.
Now, believe it or not, lead is safe as long as the kettle is properly sealed. But, if the coating isn’t sealed, lead runs rampant.
So, avoid old, worn-out kettles with bright colors. And especially China-made enamels (the reason why is just below).
Exposure to lead (as low as 5 micrograms) can damage the brain and cause high blood pressure, reduced intelligence, and more.
According to the World Health Organization: “In 2017, lead exposure accounted for an estimated 1.06 million deaths and 24.4 million years of healthy life lost worldwide due to long-term effects on health.”
This next one is for electric kettles…
Exposed Heating Elements
The safest electric kettles have hidden heating elements for two reasons:
For one, exposed heating coils contain high percentages of nickel, which leaches into boiling water. If you’re allergic to nickel (10-20% of humans), this causes unpleasant rashing and other symptoms.
And two, limescale. This white, chalky substance builds up on the coil from calcium-rich hard water.
Now, limescale isn’t toxic, but it can ruin the taste of your tea. Ever notice a bitter or salty taste in your tea or coffee? Thanks limescale.
The Issue with Enameled Tea Kettles Made in China
Now and again, outlier factories in China (who aren’t FDA-certified) produce and ship unregulated ceramic dinnerware and other items.
So when you hear, “avoid Chinese-made products”, it’s because of this reason.
Glazed tea kettles made in the USA, on the other hand, must follow FDA standards on leachable lead. Three parts per million are the most American-made tea kettles can leach.
And California’s Proposition 65 is more strict. Their heavy metal limits are 0.226 parts per million.
So, choose enameled tea kettles not made in china… Or, at least, buy from reputable brands with strict testing and quality standards.
On the bright side, let’s now explore the best materials for tea kettles!
3 Safest Tea Kettle Materials & Best Buying Practices
Safe Stainless Steel Tea Kettles (stainless steel varieties that won’t rust)
You might notice “18/8″ stainless steel in product descriptions (304-grade is the same as 18/8).
Here’s why that phrase is important:
The first number is chromium content (18%), and the second number is nickel (8%). Both prevent rust in tea kettles.
But, now and again, you’ll find (sneaky) kettles made from 201-grade steel. 201 is cheaper but it rusts.
So, always verify you see one of the following in the product description: 18/8, 18/10, or 304, 310, 316-grade.
If nickel-leaching concerns you, don’t worry. It’s a tiny amount and your body filters most.
But, if you’re allergic, look for nickel-free “18/0” stainless steel.
Glass Tea Kettles Are Safe, But Only When:
- The glass is not painted, tinted, or decorated. Brightly-colored patterns or fill gauge markings often contain lead.
- The glass isn’t recycled or color-tinted – this contains lead.
- It’s a borosilicate glass kettle, not soda-lime glass. Borosilicate won’t explode like a hand-grenade from temperature change.
- The glass isn’t leaded crystal. Crystal contains up to 24% lead.
Glass is one of the healthiest tea kettle materials, but…
SMASH! Glass breaks from impact.
So, you might want to consider good old stainless or the next option to protect your purchase.
Cast Iron Tea Kettles
Cast iron kettles last forever and heat more evenly than steel and glass, though they do take longer to heat. They’re also the best tea kettles for induction cooktops due to their high magnetism.
However, cast iron is heavy and needs extra care to prevent rusting (the cast iron kettle below is an exception).
The cast iron myth
Some believe that leached excess iron is harmful to health.
But the truth is, it’s usually not. Many people can benefit from extra iron in their diet, especially pre-menopausal women who don’t get enough – as Andrew Weil, M.D. states.
The exception is if you have hemochromatosis. Or, if you already get plenty of iron in your diet from consuming red meats, beans, or dark leafy greens regularly.
How We Chose our 7 Tea Kettles Picks
Below, you’ll discover several stovetop tea kettles not made in China. You’ll also find the best electric kettles with no plastic or exposed heating elements.
Each kettle below is entirely free from plastic that contacts water. This includes sneaky, hidden plastic components.
We put several to the test. And for those we couldn’t, we reviewed countless testimonials, spoke with the brands, and researched their materials.
*Note: “Good” electric kettles not made in China are like the tooth fairy. Each had terrible designs, performances, and reviews.
So, we chose a few China-made options to bring you only the best non-toxic kettle choices. The criteria were simple: No plastic touches water and the kettle performs beautifully.
Best Non-toxic Stovetop Tea Kettles
1. Quickone Takei Loud Whistling Tea Kettle (Japanese)
- Manufactured in: Tsubame, Japan.
- Material: 18/8 stainless steel
- Plastic? Handle grip, knob, & spout cover – no water contact.
- Price (at time of publishing): $36.50
- Brewing capacity: 7.6 cups (60.8 oz)
Quality Japanese craftsmanship meets classic design in this exceptional stovetop tea kettle. And at a great price!
Its lightweight yet robust design is easy to maneuver, great for people with arthritis or weak wrists. Crafted with a rust-proof 18/8 stainless steel interior, hot water never touches plastic.
And I love its classic simplicity. Simply fill the kettle with water, toss it on your stovetop, and wait for the loud, clear whistle. An extra-wide base ensures no heat is wasted for streamlined boiling… After 4 minutes, you’ll be ready to pour 7.6 cups of clean, plastic-free tea or coffee.
- Water touches only 18/8 stainless steel (plastic around the spout doesn’t touch water).
- Boils 60.8 ounces (7.6 cups) in 4 minutes, enough to entertain guests.
- Works on gas, electric, & induction cooktops (including glass-top stoves).
- A loud, clear whistle alerts you from another room to prevent boiling dry. It really works, too, unlike many other “whistling” kettles! Don’t want the whistle? Flip the cap down.
- Extra-wide bottom with heat-catching lip for fast & efficient heating over large burners.
- An easy-access handle folds down out of the way to easily clean or refill the kettle.
- Measures 9” wide (base diameter) x 8.5” tall (at highest handle peak) or roughly 6-6.5” in height for the kettle itself | 1.7 lbs.
- The handle sometimes swivels while moving the kettle. Be mindful.
- The instructions are written in Japanese (though the kettle’s operation is straightforward).
2. Fino Pour-Over Gooseneck (Japanese)
- Manufactured in: Tsubame, Japan.
- Material: 18/8 stainless steel
- Plastic? Handle grip & knob – no water contact.
- Price (at time of publishing): $34.50
- Brewing capacity: 4.2 cups (33.6 oz)
Fino’s pour-over kettle screams quality with pristine Japanese craftsmanship and a well-balanced design. Made from quality 18/8 stainless, no plastic touches water at any point.
But beyond that, two clever features stand out:
The kettle’s handle angles away from the pot, protecting your skin from hot steel. And a narrow, angled spout offers you higher visibility and precise pouring.
Translation = A safe, plastic-free kettle that brews impressive tea and pour-over coffee with fewer spills. And with its simple design, less can go wrong!
- Water only touches rust-proof 18/8 stainless steel (plastic handle and knob).
- Boils 33.6 ounces (4.2 cups) in 3-5 minutes.
- Angled handle to keep your skin a safe distance from the kettle. Boil water, not yourself.
- Steady water flow helps to extract your coffee better and improve taste without extra effort.
- Lid vents to prevent overflowing.
- Compact enough for even the most packed countertops & cupboards.
- Gas, electric, & induction compatible. Glass-top-safe.
- Measures 10.3” long (handle to spout edge) x 5 ⅝” (base diameter) x 5.9” tall (base to knob tip) | 1.07 lbs
- 6-cup versions available in standard and upgraded gooseneck designs.
- There’s no whistle. Instead, I notice a rumbling/ hissing sound when the water starts boiling.
- Paperwork is in Japanese.
- The kettle’s exterior can get pretty hot, so use caution (use that handle!).
- Price fluctuates often.
3. Alessi Whistling Kettle (Italian)
- Manufactured in: Omegna, Italy
- Material: 18/10 stainless steel
- Plastic? Handle grip, knob, & bird – no water contact.
- Price (at time of publishing): $119.95
- Brewing capacity: 4.3 cups (35 oz)
You’ll appreciate the beauty of this Italian-crafted kettle, and so will your guests!
Architect Michael Graves designed the Alessi in 1985, offering a unique whistling bird spout, stylish handles, quality steel, and an extra-wide base.
Just toss this kettle on your gas, electric, or induction stovetop (glass top-safe), and wait for the bird’s whistle. After just a few minutes, you’ll hear it, then have 4.3 cups of clean, untainted water ready to go.
Clean, because this kettle’s interior is entirely 18/10 stainless steel – no plastic. And with a higher nickel content than 18/8 stainless, you’ll be sure never to taste rust!
- Water only touches a highly corrosion-resistant 18/10 stainless steel surface (cool-touch plastic handle & plastic whistle piece – no water contact).
- Boils 35 ounces (4.3 cups) in 4-5 minutes, plenty for guests.
- A removable (& replaceable) bird whistle alerts you when your water’s ready – tackle some chores in the meantime.
- Well-designed, accurate spout for less annoying spills. Enough length for pour-over coffee brewing.
- The extra-wide base catches more heat from your burner for quicker, more energy-efficient boiling.
- Choose blue or ivory handles with a maroon bird, whichever suits your style. The bird & lid are replaceable.
- Measures 8.5” wide (base diameter) x 9” tall (from base to handle peak) | 9.5 oz | Hand-wash
- 60-day full-refund warranty.
- Not dishwasher-safe (likely recommended to maintain polished look)
- Some complain that the whistles can be finicky; some work well, and others do not. It’s best to test the whistle right when you get it.
- I found the whistle to be on the quieter side. Fine for most homes, but keep this in mind if your kitchen is isolated.
4. Staub Cast Iron (French)
- Manufactured in: Alsace, France
- Material: Cast iron with clear glass enamel
- Plastic? None
- Price (at time of publishing): $199.95
- Brewing capacity: 4 cups (32 oz)
Staub’s cast iron kettle is a classic, French-made workhorse that offers versatility. Of course, you can boil water. It’s a kettle, after all.
But with a full-sized lid, you can also use it for cooking! And it does a beautiful job. Cast iron retains heat exceptionally well, so anything inside heats/ cooks evenly.
Best of all, Staub coats this kettle (inside and out) with clear textured enamel. So, you can enjoy raw cast iron’s performance and classic style without the special care it demands.
Now, French-made Staub isn’t cheap, and its classic design isn’t the most practical. But if you value having a beautiful heirloom that isn’t only versatile but high-performing, it’s worth it.
Check out Le Creuset’s colorful enameled steel kettles for a more modern take on Staub’s classic lineup. Also made in France, the quality heavy steel offers similar heating abilities at a lower price and weight.
- Water only touches enameled cast iron (clear, lead-free glass enamel with no plastic parts).
- Textured enamel prevents rust, sticking, & iron leaching. Requires no seasoning.
- Boils 32 ounces (4 cups) in 6-8 minutes.
- Versatility: Removable full-sized lid so kettle can double as a small, even-heating cooking instrument. Use it to simmer soups, beans, stews & more. Also oven-safe to 500℉ & even campfire-safe.
- High thermal mass holds heat like a sponge – enjoy still-hot tea refills.
- Easy-to-carry, foldable handles that drop down to remove the top for fast cleanup.
- Measures 6.5” wide (top diameter) x 4” (base diameter) x 9.2” tall (from base to handle peak) | 5.29 lbs
- No whistle, but you can hear a rumbling sound when the water is boiling.
- Heavy & slow heating.
Best Internally Plastic-free Electric Kettles
5. Fellow Stagg (100% Stainless Steel Interior)
- Manufactured in: China
- Material: 304-grade stainless steel with wood accents
- Plastic? Heating base & top of the lid – no water contact
- Price (at time of publishing): Starts at $163.35
- Brewing capacity: 3.8 cups (30.4 oz)
Water temperature has a massive impact on brew flavor. That’s why Fellow’s stainless steel electric kettle without plastic is a must-have.
With custom to-the-degree heat control and a digital LCD screen, you can set the perfect water temperature with the twist of a dial.
Add up to 30.4 oz of water, choose your desired “Set Temp” (from 104-212°F), and let the 1200-watt heating base take over… As water heats, the LCD screen shows both your Set and Real-Time temperatures, enabling you to track heating progress. Four minutes later, you’re ready to pour.
Fellow Stagg’s gooseneck design with drip-free pointed spout delivers a powerful yet precise stream. Even the handle is optimized for pour-over brewing; it’s designed to encourage a slower pour! And a handy Brew Stopwatch feature lets you time your extraction to the second.
- 100% stainless steel interior with no water contact (plastic lid top only in walnut & maple models).
- Compact, rapid heating base with digital LCD screen to show Set & Real-Time water temperatures.
- 60-minute temperature HOLD function to keep water hot for second helpings.
- To-the-degree temperature control knob for precise coffee extraction.
- Measures 11.5” wide (from spout’s edge to handle) x 7.5” tall (including heating base). The base is a 6” square; the kettle is roughly 5” wide at its base | 2.7 lbs total | Hand-wash
- 1-year warranty.
- EKG Pro version available: Enhanced with fully customizable brew settings (including a Set-and-Forget scheduled brew setting) & WiFi control!
- No alarm sounds when the kettle reaches its target temperature – the screen notifies you.
- The spout pours a bit slowly. It’s excellent for steady pouring (especially if you’re new to pour-over brewing) but may annoy you during other uses.
- Not dishwasher-safe.
6. Willow & Everett (100% Stainless Steel Interior)
- Manufactured in: China
- Material: 304-grade stainless steel
- Plastic? Handle grip & lid knob – no water contact
- Price (at time of publishing): $39.99
- Brewing capacity: 3 cups (24 oz)
Willow & Everett’s electric kettle with no plastic is less adjustable than the Stagg (no turn dial selector). However, its simple design takes any confusion out of manual brewing. Plus, it’s much more affordable!
This kettle’s separate 1000-watt heating base offers five preset temperatures with easy prompts. The prompts are particularly helpful if you’re new to brewing, as optimal water temperatures can vary depending on the tea and brew.
For example, you can select “200℉ – Black Tea/ French Press” if that’s what you’re brewing. For pour-over coffee, choose “205℉ Herbal Tea/ Pour-Over.” Temperature prompts range from 180℉ up to a 212℉ “Boil” function.
Simply fill the kettle, click the button for your brew type, and your water is ready within 1-4 minutes (depending on the setting – full pots boil in 2-4 minutes, roughly).
- Water only touches rust-proof 18/8 stainless steel and a small silicone gasket (stay-cool plastic handle and lid knob).
- No exposed heating element for a safer, cleaner-tasting brew.
- Five preset heat controls for easy manual brewing.
- Boils 26 ounces (3.2 cups) in 2-4 minutes. Lower heat settings, like Green/ White Tea (180℉), take as little as one minute!
- The memory function remembers your last-used setting.
- Audible beep & Auto Shut-off once your water reaches its set temperature, so no worries about boiling dry or burning anything.
- 30-minute “Keep Warm” option: To enable, press your brew mode/ temp, then push Keep Warm before hitting the On button.
- Measures 9” wide (from spout’s edge to handle) with a 6.5” kettle diameter x 7.5” height (base to kettle knob) | 3.27 lbs | Hand-wash.
- 90-day warranty.
- Not dishwasher-safe.
- Temperature settings may be off at different altitudes. For example, suppose you hit the Boil feature (212℉), but water boils at 205℉ where you live. You’ll need to use the “Herbal Tea/ Pour-Over” setting to boil. If not, the kettle can boil dry.
7. ASCOT (100% Stainless Steel Interior)
- Manufactured in: China
- Material: 304-grade stainless steel
- Plastic? Heating base & handle grip
- Price (at time of publishing): $67.99
- Brewing capacity: 7.2 cups (57.5 oz)
For an easy-to-use, push-button non-toxic tea kettle with a large capacity, I choose ASCOT.
This stylish kettle uses a 304-grade stainless steel body and interior, including the inner lid and filter. The stand-alone heating base, a low-profile, 360-degree design, adds to the sleek, elegant style ASCOT offers.
Water never touches plastic or the heating element as it’s hidden. The only plastic parts are the base itself and the handle grip (which keeps it cool). So your water stays fresh!
And its operation is straightforward—
Add up to 1.7L of water, flip the switch, and the high-powered 1500-watt heater delivers freshly-boiled H2O within 5 minutes. Busy morning? The auto shut-off and boil-dry protection let you tackle other chores while the water heats.
ASCOT’s stainless steel kettle is available in five color options. If you prefer a different style, check out their borosilicate glass kettles.
- Water only touches the rust-proof 304-grade stainless steel interior (anti-scald plastic handle).
- 360-degree heating base with no exposed heating element. Cordless design with retractable 28” power cord to cut clutter when filling, serving, & storing.
- The 1500-watt heating base boils up to 57.5 ounces (7.2 cups) within 5 minutes.
- Auto Shut-Off function will cut power to the heater once water reaches its boiling point. Also, Boil-Dry Protection prevents the kettle from switching on when empty.
- Water level indicators inside the kettle.
- Measures 6” wide (8” including the handle) x 11” tall (base to knob/ loop) | 2.9 lbs | Hand-wash.
- Generous 2-year “free-replacement” warranty.
- No “keep-warm” setting.
- No beep when your water finishes boiling. Instead, you’ll notice a mechanical click (auto shut-off switch) & the kettle will silence.
- No custom temperature settings – boil only.
- Not dishwasher-safe.
Safer tea kettles can help bolster your health efforts, sure. But even better, the kettles above improve your entire experience! Once you drop the plastic, you’ll notice enhanced flavor immediately.
But, don’t make a hasty choice… Ask yourself the following:
- How much time do I have in the morning? (Consider faster brew speed)
- Do I want a dishwasher-safe kettle? (Then stovetop is for you)
- What size? How many tea drinkers? (Just you? Or the whole family?)
- What’s my budget?
- Do you trust yourself with stovetop kettles? Maybe you want auto shut-off features.
P.S. Now that you’ve got your non-toxic tea kettle, let’s take a look at the rest of your breakfast—
Is your coffee maker leaching toxins into your brew? Find out, and discover the 13 safest coffee makers here!
What about your waffles? Are they filled with PFAS chemicals from that old waffle iron? Find out in our guide to Teflon-free waffle makers!
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Non-Toxic Kitchenware Checklist
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