If you’re a frequent tea or coffee drinker, then you’re no stranger to the common kettle.
Sure, the old kettle has served us all well. But if you’re tired of constantly filling, lifting, moving, and pouring a giant jug of boiling water for every little hot beverage then it’s time to consider purchasing a hot water dispenser.
You may be weighing a hot water dispenser’s strengths and weaknesses over your trusty old stovetop or electric kettle. Well, look no further, because we combed through the myriad options available to create this buying guide and find the best hot water dispenser for your kitchen.
We’ll discuss the merits of dispensers vs. kettles, what you should look for in an instant hot water dispenser, then make a couple of best recommendations based on our research and reviews.
Sound like a good deal? Great, let’s begin.
Our Top 5 Hot Water Dispenser Reviews
What follows is an overview of 5 popular dispensers that we feel strike the best balance between price, functionality, quality, performance, and brand reputation.
1. Breville HotCup Hot Water Dispenser (Silver)
Breville is a respected brand with a strong record for quality manufacturing, tasteful design and use of industry-leading features. We really like this particular unit because of its large, 2.0 L tank capacity, generous 9 adjustable cup size settings, adjustable drip tray/cup holder height, strong build quality, and smart looks.
The unit has a large reservoir opening for easy filling and is an easy unit to clean. Heating times are better than average, with the first cup coming out in just under 50 seconds and subsequent cups coming out even faster.
The Breville HotCup also features a shut-off button to prevent overflows should you happen to accidentally select too much water for your cup size, and an adjustable, removable drip tray.
The HotCup is a premium build hot water dispenser that has proven itself a strong contender since it was first released, a superb hot water dispenser we’re happy to slot in right at the top of our list.
Breville HotCup Key Features:
- One touch button dispenses one cup of boiling water in under 1 minute
- Automatic shut off with manual stop function
- Hinged lid for easy tank refilling which: no need to lift the machine Simply add as much or as little water as you like.
- Large window at the front illuminates when boiling so you know exactly how much water remains in the tank
- Removable and height adjustable drip try
- Choose from 9 different cup sizes for the perfect pour
- Large 2L tank dispenses between 6 and 10 cups before refill required
- Dispensing tap lights up so you can see your cup fill in low light kitchens
- Energy saving and great value for money.
2. Morphy Richards Hot Water Dispenser Redefine
Morphy Richards does not disappoint with this top of the line hot water dispenser, packed with impressive features. In our research, no other dispenser compares to this machine’s features, robust build, performance and versatility.
Sure, it may be a little pricier than others, but in this case, you really get what you pay for. Let’s see what separates this from the competition.
- Auto Dispense saves time and Energy by only heating the water that you need and is much quicker than a kettle.
- No plumbing involved, simply fill the tank, plugin into a mains socket and it’s ready to use.
- More than just a hot drinks maker: Cook pasta, pot of vegetables, teas, coffees, hot chocolate, pot noodle, gravy granules, rice, porridge oats, and much more.
- Precision temperature control with clear easy to use digital display.
- Variable water dispensing volume from a small 300ml cup to a large 1.5l jug.
- Huge 3L tank capacity means less refilling, which is way more than your average kettle and most other machines.
- Built-in replaceable BRITA filter removes contaminants like chlorine, limescale, metals, and lead, for a cleaner taste and freshly boiled water.
- BRITA Filter also has it’s own LCD display showing when you need to replace it.
- Double dispensing capacity with the ability to fill 2 cups at once.
- Removable drip tray with “full” indicator and cup markings for accurate positioning.
This Morphy Richard machine truly is the ultimate hot water dispenser for your home. It’s been on the market for a few years now and continues to gather great reviews and has proven to be a long-lasting, trouble-free appliance.
3. Breville Brita HotCup Hot Water Dispenser
It’s a stainless-steel build instead of the usual plastic that you see a lot of dispensers made of, has inline water filtration and boils water about 8 seconds faster.
However, it has a smaller, 1.8L tank and costs £10 more. We decided that saving 8 seconds per cup didn’t make up for the fact that you’ll need to fill the unit more frequently, and the additional cost is only worth spending if you really need water filtration.
Remember that you’ll need to replace the filter occasionally, which is an additional cost you may overlook. Like the previous unit, it features variable dispense settings and an adjustable drip tray.
It does lack the adjustable height, however. Overall this is still an excellent product and would be a worthy addition to any kitchen.
4. VonShef Hot Water Dispenser Instant Kettle
This VonShef has excellent customer feedback reviews, performs very well and has some impressive features. It has a larger tank size of 2.2L which is slightly greater than the leading Breville HotCup.
We were let down to find that there was no cup size selector. However, this was made up for with the variable temperature control system, and you’re able to stop the flow of water with the off button.
The fact that you’re able to control the temperature – from 40°C to 100°C is very helpful. For example, you might like black tea, without cooling milk. Normally you’d have to add some cold water or allow some time for your tea to cool. Not with the VonShef, simply select a hot yet drinkable temperature for your tea or French press coffee.
Hot Water Dispenser vs Electric Kettle
Ultimately the two products do virtually the same thing. They both boil water. However, you’ll find that hot water dispensers have a few key advantages kettles can’t match.
Typically, people fill their kettle to the max line. Then, when they want to make a cup of tea, or coffee – or whichever hot drink takes their fancy – they’ll boil the whole amount of water to pour out just a small cup full.
The problem here is that you’re wasting a lot of time and energy by boiling almost 2L of water when all you require is 150 – 300ml per cup.
Even if you fill your kettle with enough water for a single cup of hot water, you must repeat that process with every cup, and for chain tea drinkers and coffee addicts, constant refills from the kitchen sink can become quite a chore.
With a hot water dispenser, you need only fill the tank once and then dispense cup after cup of boiling water from the spout until the tank runs empty. This may sound like a small convenience but makes a big difference with daily use.
Once the tank is filled there’s absolutely nothing you need to do other than select your cup size and hit the “start” button. You can walk away and come back to a full cup of hot water.
With a kettle, you’ll need to wait until it’s boiled and then manually lift the unit and pour the water into your cup.
Again, a small convenience, but these small conveniences add up to a much more pleasant experience overall.
And for the elderly or those with mobility issues, declining grip strength, or pain experienced from moving heavy objects, having a hot water dispenser is best.
This is why these machines are often called one cup kettles because they optimally dispense a single cup of piping hot water at the touch of a button.
However, the classic kettle is going to trump the water dispenser when you need a large amount of boiling hot water.
For example, you might need to fill a large pot with hot water to get a head start boiling vegetables, or you might want to pour very hot water into a mop pail.
With that said, the recommended Morphy Richards hot water dispenser allows you to full large 1.5L containers, so you can effectively replace your old kettle with a machine like this.
In these examples, kettles are always going to be useful to have in a kitchen, even if you have a hot water dispenser.
What to Look for in a Hot Water Dispenser
Most units are very similar under the hood. They all have an internal tank reservoir to hold water prior to boiling, an electric heating element, a dispensing mechanism, and a drip tray to catch overflows and spills.
It’s the details that make the difference. Boil Time Some units come to a boil and are ready to dispense faster than others. All things remaining equal, a faster boil time is preferred.
When you consider that some dispensers are around x4 faster than an electric kettle, you just might be able to get that essential coffee when you’re running late in the morning.
Given that almost all units deliver a cup of hot water in under a minute, a negligible amount of time, this isn’t the most important consideration. Unless of course, you’re just incredibly impatient.
Variable Dispense Settings
The best dispensers will let you adjust the amount of water to be boiled to fit your cup size, to avoid overspill and assure the perfect pour every time.
As a complement to this feature, you want to be sure there’s a separate button to stop the pour in case you’ve selected too much water for your cup size.
Most models should have a cut off button that allows for manual intervention should you at any point need to stop the flow of water.
Water Tank Size
The larger the internal tank, the less frequently you’ll need to fill the unit and, given that the utility of these water dispensers hinges on the convenience they bring, larger tank size is fairly important.
If you’re having to refill it frequently then the unit isn’t nearly as convenient as it could be.
You don’t find variable speed on a lot of machines, but it can be quite a nice feature for some users. It allows you to adjust the speed at which the water leaves the unit. This can be good for people using a French press, where a fast dispense speed will scatter and splash the coffee grounds.
Also, if you’re using the hot water for instant soup a fast pour can splash over the edges of the bowl. Any good dispenser should fill a cup in seconds with the optimal pouring pressure.
Dispensers with Water Filtration
Some machines include a water filter inline to filter out contaminants as the water makes its way from the reservoir tank to the boiling chamber. If you’re someone that prefers filtered water this can be a nice feature.
However, some people will fill the reservoir with water already filtered by an in-sink filter or a filter pitcher, which removes the need for a second filter. The Breville BRITA HotCup for example is a hot water dispenser with a Brita filter that’s used to remove impurities, organic materials, and heavy metals.
Many units are built from plastic components, which isn’t itself a problem, but stainless-steel components tend to wear better and last longer.
Popular Hot Water Dispenser Brands
It’s safe to say that, when it comes to hot water dispenser brands, there is no shortage. To remove all the doubt and confusion about which brand is the best, here is a list of the top hot water dispenser brands to choose from.
Breville: Breville is a superior brand founded in 1932 and is well known for their quality small kitchen appliances – distinctively – their toasty makers and juicers. The company’s Hot Water Dispensers such as the Breville Hot Cup are perfect for those seeking stylish upgrades and a quick cuppa.
VonShef: Vonshef is committed to manufacturing innovative and sought-after kitchen appliances. Their distinctive design of hot appliances meets the ever-growing demand of their loyal fans. The most popular Hot water Dispenser from Vonshef is the Vonshef Instant Kettle/catering Urn which boasts impressive reviews and great value.
Morphy Richards: With its headquarters in Swinton, South Yorkshire, UK the Morphy Richards brand was founded in 1936. The brand is known for high-end electronic appliances such as kettles, bread makers and their instant hot water dispensers stands at the top of our list of choices.
Cooks professional: Cooks Professional offer a range of exceptional home appliances since the 1970s. The brand is under the name of Clifford James and has maintained an excellent reputation to date.
5. Andrew James: This is a growing UK brand well worth mentioning. Their hot water dispenser made it in at number 5 on our list, it’s well worth a look. They sell great kitchenware small appliances. In fact, our best halogen oven recommendation is an Andrew James appliance.
Certain brands have better reputations for quality and longevity than others. When you buy a hot water dispenser you want to know it isn’t going to fail on you in a few months or a few years. Pick a brand with a proven track record.
Here is where you get some of the answers to your most burning questions on hot water dispensers.
How do instant hot water dispensers’ function?
Instant hot water dispensers are basically mini water heaters. A water storage tank holds cold water, then pulls a set amount into a heating reservoir, ready for delivery once you need to use it.
How do I clean my hot water dispenser?
Before cleaning, make sure you switch it off and unplug it. Let it cool off before you start cleaning. When cleaning, don’t immerse the base unit of the dispenser in water. Instead, clean it using a damp cloth and polish dry with a dry cloth. Avoid using harsh abrasives or cleaners.
What if my dispenser does not illuminate or dispense the boiling water?
Make sure it is plugged into the socket and switched on. Position it on the power base, making sure the spout is in position. Also, make sure the water hasn’t just boiled. If it did, remove the water, refill and then switch on your appliance.
How often do I clean my appliance?
How often you clean it depends on how often you use it. Before using your hot water dispenser, make sure you discard the water inside or refill. If you have not used it for a lengthy period, it’s advisable you clean it before using it.
Also, if it’s been a long time since the last time you used it, do several boil cycles and dispose of the water each time.
Do I need to descale my hot water dispenser?
Descaling your machine is essential. It ensures the efficiency and safety of the machine. The manufacturer manual should be able to tell you how and when to descale. Most manufacturer manuals advise you to do it regularly.
Why does my water have a bad odour or bad taste?
There could be a number of things causing this to happen. If your machine is brand new, you should run it a few times to wash it through. Like any brand-new appliance, there’s usually that “new” plasticky smell, which could permeate into the water.
If you’ve had your machine for a while, then it may just need a thorough clean and any replace water filters. Tap water or your favourite mineral water will work fine in any of these units but check the taste of your water source to rule out any bad tastes. If the problem persists, contact your manufacturer for more advice.
How much do they cost?
You’ll be looking at spending £30 at the low end, and £100 at the high end. The price point will depend on the brand, build quality, and features. That doesn’t mean a low price of £30 dispenser won’t be any good, to the contrary. As you can see from our top 5 picks, there are dispensers between £30 and £50 that work exceptionally well.
There are always good deals on hot water dispensers online, and you’re generally going to get the best price picking from our top list.
There you have it, a list of the very best hot water dispensers and some buying tips.