Hot Water Dispensers provide a solid alternative to electric kettles. They offer customers the luxury of having instant boiling water at the press of a button while saving a few pennies on electricity too. To help you buy the right one for your kitchen; here’s our pick of the best hot water dispensers of 2018, we’ve also included some buying advice around some of the features you need to look out for.
See also: Best Kitchen (and Boiling Water) Taps 2018.
How much electricity do Hot Water Dispensers use?
Let’s start with the elephant in the room. Hot Water Dispensers do not use more electricity than electric Kettles. NPower suggests that Hot Water Dispensers can boil 1 litre of water for 1p, compared to a kettle boiling 1.5l for 2.5p.
Obviously, you’re going to need to boil a lot of water to make your money back on your investment. But that’s not the point of Hot Water Dispensers. Convenience is. And instant hot water beats boiling a kettle every time.
Do Hot Water Dispensers actually boil water?
Yes. However, Which? suggests that the water cools down en route to your mug. The website says the water temperature is 96°C as it leaves the dispenser. This temperature gets cooled further, to 91°C, as the hot water his a cool mug.
Note that these temperatures will be similar to electric kettles.
Best Hot Water Dispensers: Features to look for
Water tank size: Early Hot Water Dispensers were often only big enough to brew one cup of water per fill. Thankfully the technology has now advanced. You can now buy hot water dispensers big enough to rival an electric kettle. Note that the bigger your capacity, the more expensive a unit is likely to be.
Another feature to look out for here is the amount of water that can be boiled/dispensed each time. Some units will only let you pour one cup at a time, while other let you free pour.
Water filter: While boiling water will automatically kill any harmful organisms or bacteria, it will not remove other chemicals. These chemicals, often added by your local water provider, can affect the taste of your hot drink. Buying a hot water dispenser with a water filter ensure that you only drink the purest (and tastiest) water.
Temperature control: If you just want hot water for teas and coffees, this isn’t really important. However, if you using hot water for other things, such as baking or cooking, then temperature control becomes invaluable. Cheaper hot water dispensers tend not to have this feature.
Heating time: Convenience is the main reason customers opt Hot Water Dispensers over kettles. For this reason, we suggest you pay extra attention to the advertised boiling times of each unit.
Drip tray: Is the drip tray removable? This is not a feature that may not spring to mind, but it’s definitely worth double checking. A hot water dispenser with a non-removable drip tray is inconvenient and will limit its usage to small mugs only. We advise looking for a device with a removable or foldable drip tray.
Safety: Hot water dispensers don’t come with safety buttons like Boiling Water taps do. Afterall, these devices are semi-portable and are not connected to an endless source of water. So if safety is a concern of yours, you simply need to treat your unit the same way you would a kettle. So keep the reservoir empty and the unit itself out of reach from young children.
See also: Best Halogen Oven.
The 5 BEST Hot Water Dispensers
1. Breville BRITA HotCup Hot Water Dispenser
- Size: 1.8 litre
- Filter: BRITA Filter with MAXTRA Technology
- Time to boil: 60 seconds
- Drip tray: Removable
We really like the Breville BRITA HotCup Hot Water Dispenser. It’s a fast-boiling hot-water dispenser that comes with a built-in BRITA filter. This means you’re guaranteed the purest of water with no chemical taste. It’s 1.8 l capacity is bigger than the majority of electric kettles too, providing you with a convenient way to make hot drinks for 1-9 people (within 60 seconds).
It’s a good looking device too, that illuminates with a blue light when the water is boiling. Operation is easy. Simply fill the device with tap water as you would a normal kettle. The Breville HotCup Hot Water Dispenser will then draw the water through the BRITA filter and into the heating unit. Within seconds you’re ready to dispense boiling hot water at the press of a button.
Next all that’s left to do is press the device’s auto-pour button and you the unit will dispense a cup’s worth of boiling water as soon as its ready (you can select from nine different cup sizes). Alternatively, you can press the manual pour and use as much boiling water as you need.
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2. Andrew James Electric Hot Water Dispenser & Purifier
- Size: 4 litre
- Filter: Strix Filter
- Time to boil: 5 seconds
- Drip tray: Removable
The Andrew James Electric Hot Water Dispenser & Purifier is one of our favourites. It’s compact size 33 x 20 x 19 and stainless steel finish make is suitable for any kitchen. While it’s huge 4-litre capacity and built-in water filter makes it practical too. Using the device is child’s play (not literally thanks to its child lock safety feature.
On the dispenser’s LED screen you’ll find four buttons (Saftey / Temperature / Volume / OK) that help you pour hot water quickly, with minimal effort. And it really is quick. The 2600w heating system creates boiling water in five seconds.
You can dispense water at five different pre-programmed temperatures (55˚C / 65˚C / 75˚C / 85˚C / 100˚C). There are also three pre-set volumes of water (100ml / 200ml / 300ml), alternatively, you can just free-pour by pressing “OK” to start/stop. Perfect for when you want to fill a teapot or a cooking pan for pasta.
The machine comes with two Strix universal water filters, which have a lifespan of approximately 150L of water. FYI a 12-pack of Aqua Optima Universal Water Filters costs £15.
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3. Breville HotCup Hot Water Dispenser
- Size: 1.7 litre
- Filter: Permanent limescale filter
- Time to boil: 60 seconds
- Drip tray: Removable
The 1.7l Breville HotCup Hot Water Dispenser is a popular choice thanks to its ease-of-use and competitive price. However, it’s also one of the more basic models on the market. Which isn’t a bad thing if you only want to make 1-2 quick hot drinks with it. However, this is not a device you can replace your kettle with if you plan on doing more than that.
Heating the Breville HotCup takes 60 seconds and when the water is boiling you’re limited to pouring one cup at a time. Each serving measures at 250ml (you can halt pouring early by pressing the button again) which is slightly smaller than an average sized mug, which is about 350ml. If you want to use this to make a quick mug of tea/coffee, you’ll have to press the button three times (once to get 250ml, once again to start pouring another 250ml, and once more to stop pouring).
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4. Morphy Richards Hot Water Dispenser (For Kitchen Redefine 131004)
- Size: 3 litre
- Filter: BRITA filter
- Time to boil: 30 seconds (for one cup)
- Drip tray: Removable
The Morphy Richards Hot Water Dispenser has two main trump cards. Its precise digital display and its large 3l water tank with built-in BRITA filter.
While most Hot Water Dispensers come with filters, the Morphy Richards filter is unique as it comes with an indicator that tells you how much longer your current filter will remain effective for. The water tank is fully removable too, making it easy to carry to the tap to fill with water.
The digital display makes this machine really easy to use. On the right-hand side, there’s a dedicated button that lets you select water temperature (85˚C / 95˚C / 100˚C). On the left-hand side of the device, there’s large dial that lets you choose the exact amount of water you want to boil. After a bit of trial and error (finding out your cup/mug sizes) this is a feature you’ll love.
The machine also comes with an Auto feature that will automatically pour your hot water, when ready. This means you can place your cap, mug or pan under the nozzle, press a button and get started on another task. When the machine is ready (which doesn’t take long) it will automatically pour the amount of hot water you selected with the dial. This feature works up to 600mls, perfect for a small pan or a teapot.
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5. Addis Thermo Pot
- Size: 5 litre
- Filter: N/A
- Time to boil: 30 minutes (for 5-litres)
- Drip tray: N/A
The Addis Thermo Pot is a semi-professional hot water dispenser, with a large 5-litre water capacity, which is roughly 38 cups or 19 mugs.
What separates this machine apart is its ability to keep water heated to 98° C all day. The Addis uses thermal casing and continuous-gentle heating to efficiently keep water at a close-to-boiling temperature. The downside is that it takes around 30-minutes to bring the full 5-litre capacity to a near-boiling point (there’s an ‘Auto switch off function’ to prevent the device from boiling dry).
Addis Thermo Pot comes with a digital display that lets you select one of five different temperatures (98°C, 85°C, 60°C, 50°C, 40°C).
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Read next: Best Coffee Machine 2018.