In many households, the whistle of a teakettle is no longer part of every quiet afternoon at home. While boiling water in the microwave will work, a teakettle is both a handy tool and a stylish kitchen accessory. Cooks who prepare tea along with meals or snacks will enjoy being able to use the microwave for other things while heating water. Those who own electric teakettles will appreciate being able to heat large volumes of water quickly and safely. If you are considering investing in a tea kettle, here are some popular choices.

1. Cordless electric tea kettles

On the Capresso H2O Plus, the heating element is in the base, which means the carafe can be lifted and carried across the room without unplugging the appliance. Once you have used this type of kettle, the convenience will start to feel like a necessity. At around $60, the Capresso H2O is a high-end kettle, but style-conscious cooks will appreciate its glass design. The auto shut off feature means you never have to worry about this kettle boiling dry. With a one-quart capacity, it can heat enough water for a pot of tea in five minutes.

For a lower-cost model that has the same features, try the Bodum Ibis electric teakettle which retails for approximately $40. The West Bend 53783 has similar features and a larger capacity (1.75 quarts), and is priced at a budget-friendly $27.35 on Amazon.com.

2. Detachable cord electric tea kettles

The Proctor Silex K2070H 1-Quart Automatic Electric Kettle has an internal heating element, but the cord can be detached from the kettle. At $15.88, the Proctor Silex offers an auto shut off and rapid heating, just like the more expensive cordless kettles. The only drawback to this model is that it has a submerged heating element, which means you need to boil at least 1.5 cups of water at a time.

3. Corded electric teakettles

The West Bend 6400 1-Quart Electric teakettle is one of very few electric teakettles that have a whistle. The auto shut off will only trigger when the kettle has actually boiled dry, which means you want to unplug it and use your water immediately when you hear the whistle. This model does work well to heat water and costs a modest $19.99.

4. Traditional tea kettles

A stove top kettle will take about twice as long as an electric one to heat water, but it will get the job done. Some popular models include the Revere 3.5 quart copper bottomed teakettle, the Kitchen Aid 2 quart porcelain teakettle, and the Animal Kettle novelty teakettles which include a strawberry, a duck, a giraffe, and other whimsical designs. Stove top tea kettles are priced similarly to the electric versions but are made in a wider variety of colors, shapes, and styles. For tea aficionados with the patience to wait for their water, a stove top teakettle can add a touch of homey charm to any kitchen.