Last updated on November 18th, 2021
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A hot water dispenser could be your next great appliance if you ever stand near the kettle just willing it to boil more quickly for your tea, coffee or other beverage of choice. These water heaters work like a kettle but they unusually only heat a cup of water at a time or, in the customisable models, the amount that you’ve selected. And most do this in less than a minute.
Our review looks at a wide range of hot water dispensers designed to heat and dispense water from the spout in the unit; we don’t look at the type that you put under your kitchen sink that directs the water through your faucet.
Our Buyer’s Guide covers all the safety features we came across so you can decide which ones are the most important for your circumstances.
Best Premium Pick
Best Budget Pick
5 Best Hot Water Dispensers reviews
1. Breville VKT111 HotCup Hot Water Dispenser, 2L
The Breville VKT111 HotCup Hot Water Dispenser, 2L is a stylish water heater with a silver body and black details. This unit holds a maximum of 2L of water within a tank that has a large transparent window so you can see how much water remains to make your drinks with. In addition, the window conveniently lights up with a white light when the water is boiling so you can see it’s ready from across the kitchen or even in another room through the doorway.
There’s good and bad news about the customisation ability with the Breville VKT111. Starting on the plus side, you select from a choice of nine cup sizes by turning a dial on the top of the model; the unit heats up only that volume of water before dispensing it at the touch of a button. On the downside, there’s no choice of temperature, so your water is always as close to boiling as the unit makes it.
As an assist to the different sizes of cups you choose from, the removable, easily cleaned, the drip tray is height adjustable. Put it all the way down for your morning jumbo-size coffee and up to the top for your afternoon cup of tea. Don’t worry about being able to see into the depths of any cup/mug/bowl you use as the sprout of this dispenser has an LED light that shines down into the top of your vessel.
Although this water dispenser has an in-built permanent limescale filter, the manufacturers recommend that, if you live in a hard water area, you should also manually regularly descale the water tank.
- High shine silver finish hot water heater with black details.
- Has a 2.0L capacity.
- Choose from 9 cup sizes for boiling and dispensing.
- Boils and dispenses one cup of water (250ml) at a time in under a minute.
- Hinged lid has a one-touch operation to open it easily.
- Semi-transparent window on the front of the unit (with markings) lets you know how much water is in the tank.
- Tank window lights up when the water has reached boiling point.
- Light in the spout illuminates your cup.
- Removable height-adjustable drip tray for easy cleaning.
- Internal particle/limescale filter.
- Manual stop button lets you stop the process at any time.
- Needs regular descaling when used with hard water.
- Doesn’t have a separate base.
- No adjustable temperature control.
The Breville VKT111 HotCup Hot Water Dispenser, 2L is our choice for the Best Hot Water Dispenser. It has most of the features, and some extras, of top-line models at a mid-range price. It’s only missing the adjustable water temperature option. But most people use their water heater for boiling water anyway, and this has you covered for that. This is a very well-reviewed, mid-size heater that’s easy and convenient to use.
Do you have an induction hob? Ever thought of swapping your electric kettle for an induction kettle? – See my recommended induction kettles here
2. Morphy Richards Hot Water Dispenser 131004, 3L
Best Premium Pick
The Morphy Richards Hot Water Dispenser 131004, 3L, is a premium water heater that addresses many of the issues that reviewers have identified as hassles with other models. Its narrow cube-like structure sets it apart from the other models in our review to start with.
This 3L heater has a sleek black finish with all its controls on the front surface. The dial on the left side (as you face the machine) has a Start/Stop button at the centre; around it is your selection of cup sizes. This water heater only boils enough water to fill the size cup you select, saving both time and electricity. The automatic selection amount when dispensing water is up to 600ml; streaming anything above this up to 1.5L of water is by turning the dial and pushing a button.
On the right of the front surface is a digital readout panel. From this, you can tell where your unit is in the process, how much water it’s heating up, to what temperature and whether it’ll dispense an amount automatically or wait for you to do it manually. You select the water temperature by using the small button underneath the LCD display.
And speaking of dispensing, the water comes out of the Morphy Richards 131004 in two streams. One of the selections on the dial is for multiple cups, so you can place two cups side by side and fill them at the same time. This water heater is built for all-around efficiency.
The built-in filter is a BRITA filter, so your water is free from most limescale and all the other particles this well-reviewed brand of filters removes.
We do have to mention one downside of this unit. Quite a few online reviewers complain that the water coming out of it had a strange, even metallic taste. The common understanding was that this is because of some coating used on the inside of the tank. Most of the complaints were put right by flushing the tank several times with a mixture of lemon juice and water. Please check out online about how to fix this problem if it happens to you.
- Narrow cube-like hot water dispenser that holds 3L of water at one time.
- LCD digital readout lets you know what’s going on.
- Temperature selection is by a push button under the LCD display.
- Only boils the amount of water you select.
- Automatically dispenses water up to 600ml in volume.
- Choose variable amount over 600ml from the volume dial.
- Select volume of water to boil from 150ml to 1.5L.
- BRITA filter keeps out limescale, metals and other unwanted minerals.
- Window at side of the front of the unit lets you see how much water is in the water tank.
- Removable drip tray.
- One year guarantee plus an additional year if you register online
- Some units produced unpleasant-tasting water.
The Morphy Richards Hot Water Dispenser 131004, 3L, is our choice for Premium Hot Water Heater. Customise the amount of water you want to be boiled and dispensed (from 150ml to 1.5L) and the exact temperature you want it heated to. You can have the water dispensed automatically or have the unit wait for you to do it manually. This is a truly customisable hot water heater that looks as high-tech as it functions.
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3. Breville HotCup Hot Water Dispenser, 1.5 Litre
Best Budget Pick
The Breville HotCup Hot Water Dispenser, 1.5L, is a basic hot water unit without the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive models. With a 1.5L capacity, it’s smaller than most and a convenient option for those who usually only heat up one or two cups of water at a time.
This is a smart-looking unit with a glossy black body and polished stainless steel surround. The water tank is entirely see-through, with a minimum and maximum graduated measure on the side so you don’t overfill it. The tank contains a blue light that comes on when the water is boiling, handy if you’re just hanging out nearby waiting for your tea or coffee.
This model has a minimal appearance as there are just two buttons on it. One is to open the hinged lid and the other is to turn it on. There’s nothing to customise – the water is heated to only one temperature (close to boiling) and then dispensed in a set volume. Online reviewers have remarked that this amount of water is too much for a cup and not enough for a mug. In the first instance, it’s a good thing that the drip tray is removable and easily cleaned; in the second; you have to boil water again, and waste some of it (or drink less!).
The permanent limescale filter is a welcome addition, especially if you live in a hard water area. But it only won’t hurt for you to have a regular de-scaling routine anyway.
- Hot water heater and dispenser with a 1.5L capacity.
- Glossy black unit with polished stainless steel trim.
- See-through water tank with measurements lets you know how much water is left to use.
- Tank illuminates blue in boil mode as a visual indicator.
- Push button lid opens wide just like that of a kettle and makes it easy to fill the tank.
- Removable drip tray and limescale filter make cleaning a snap.
- Boils one cup of water in under 50 seconds and tank in 60 seconds.
- No cup size selector.
- Doesn’t have ‘stop dispensing’ button.
We’ve made the Breville HotCup Hot Water Dispenser, 1.5L our Best Budget Pick. It’s a basic unit that boils water and then streams out a set volume. The blue glow that lights up the water tank when the water’s reached its boiling point is a nice, and useful, touch. The small size of this water heater makes it a good choice for singles or couples who don’t want a large appliance for high volumes of hot water crowding their counter space.
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4. Addis 516521 Thermo Pot Instant Thermal Hot Water Boiler Dispenser, 3.5L
The Addis 516521 Thermo Pot Instant Thermal Hot Water Boiler Dispenser is another premium water heater. At 3.5L it’s the largest in our review and yet it also comes in an even larger 5L capacity.
This hot water dispenser looks like a giant, polished stainless steel thermos and is thermally insulated to keep your heated water hot for longer. Thankfully, it has a carry handle at the top to transport the unit as 3.5L of water does weigh 3.5kg.
The transparent window into the water tank is right at the front of the unit and is marked with the usual maximum and minimum volumes along with marks each 0.5L. We like how the bottom mark says “empty” rather than minimum – making it clear that the tank needs refilling which you do via the lid at the top. Everything is built into one unit so the water tank isn’t detachable. You need to bring the water to the heater.
This model is open to customisation of your heated water needs. You have a choice of five temperatures, pre-set in the range 40°C to 98°C. Notice that this Addis brand is honest about not being able to actually reach 100°C, boiling point. Three dispensing options are available: automatic dispensing of up to 600ml; cup dispensing of an unspecified set volume, and manual dispensing where you just hold down a button to start the water streaming and release it when you have enough.
The LCD control panel on the top of the unit lets you know what’s going on and lets you select the temperature, reboil, unlock the lid and start the cleaning function. Yes, this is the only model in our review that has a self-cleaning feature. But it needs it as there doesn’t appear to be a built-in filter.
- Hot water boiler and dispenser that holds 3.5L of water.
- Polished stainless steel unit with black trim and lid.
- Carry handle for easy transportation.
- Transparent water level window with markings.
- Temperature range is from 40°C to 98°C with five choices.
- Switches off automatically when reaches the requested temperature.
- Protection function so doesn’t boil dry.
- Automatically reheats if water drops below the requested temperature.
- Three dispensing options – auto (600ml), cup and manual.
- Digital temp readout on the lid, along with buttons for the re-boil, clean and unlock features.
- Lacks an inbuilt filter.
While the Addis 516521 Thermo Pot Instant Thermal Hot Water Boiler Dispenser doesn’t have as many features as our Best Premium Pick, the Morphy Richards Hot Water Dispenser 131004, 3L, it does offer the largest size water tanks and a choice of five water temperatures. We like the safety feature so that it doesn’t boil dry and the clear digital readout on the screen at the top. This is a worthwhile selection if you’re looking for a large hot water dispenser.
5. Cooks Professional Electric Instant Hot Water Dispenser, 2.5L
The Cooks Professional Electric Instant Hot Water Dispenser, 2.5L, is both a mid-size and mid-price basic water heater. It’s unique in this review because of its style – it has a glossy black body with rose gold trimming, a combination that is not often seen but that will fit into a classical décor kitchen.
The water tank of this unit is fully transparent with clear markings for the maximum and minimum water volumes and marks for each 0.5L amount. The water tank comes off completely for filling it at the sink and has a carry handle at the top for easy portability.
This is not really a customisable water heater. There’s one temperature to which the water is heated – boiling. And there’s no choice of cup size. The unit seems to put out a pre-measured amount of water directly after it’s finished boiling so be sure that you always place your cup/mug/pot underneath the spout before you press the start button. The button below the on/off button on the top of the unit is to manually stop the water flow.
- Black and rose gold coloured water heater and dispenser has a 2.5L capacity.
- Water tank with a carry handle is easy to take off.
- Fully transparent tank with measurements clearly marked.
- On-Off button is on the top of the unit.
- Manual button is the only way to stop the water flow.
- Removable drip tray is easily cleaned.
- Has a one-year warranty.
- No cup size selection.
- No temperature selection.
- Sometimes runs cold water out first.
The Cooks Professional Electric Instant Hot Water Dispenser 2.5L is a well-reviewed water heater in the mid-size range. This fills 8 to 10 average size cups. You don’t have a choice of cup size or temperature, but if you’re just looking for a good-size water dispenser to boil water, this is one to consider.
We found quite some variation in hot water dispensers when doing the research for this review. In particular, safety features varied between the different brands of dispensers. In this Buyer’s Guide, we’ve put together a list of all the safety features that the ideal hot water dispenser should have. Look out for as many of these as you can.
This feature shuts off the heater after the water has boiled; it also kicks in if the water level in the heater falls below the minimum volume. In this way, the heater won’t boil dry and become a fire hazard.
The first kind of manual stop button lets you stop the stream of water going into your cup at any time. This is useful if you notice that it’s going to overflow.
The second type is really an “emergency stop” button. Not many models offer this feature but it’s useful if you want to stop the entire heating water process. The alternative to this, of course, is to unplug the unit at the wall, but it’s safer to have a dedicated feature for this.
Removable electric cord
This is true of any appliance. Having removable cords on the appliances on your counter avoids them becoming tangled, and you accidentally knock your toaster or whatever off the countertop. In addition, removing the power cord means that children can’t turn on the water heater and be around hot water unsupervised.
Not all of the heater dispensers in our review are separate from their stand. When the whole unit is one piece you have to take the entire thing to the sink to fill it up, and that includes the power cord if it’s not removable. Or you could bring a jug of water to it, but that’s not exactly the convenience that you’re looking for.
For larger size hot water dispensers (3L+) a carry handle is both convenient and a safety feature. A regular jug-type handle may not have the correct centre of gravity and your arms might not have the right strength to carry a full dispenser using such a handle.
Easy to read tank measurements and window
Some of the hot water heaters in this review are completely transparent so you can easily see how much water is left in them; others have windows of various sizes that you need to peer through to see what the level of the water is. All of them do have a measurement scale of some kind down the side, from maximum to minimum marks, often gradated in cup volumes.
It’s important to keep the level of water between the max and minimum marks; too much water may cause it to spurt out during the heating process while too little water runs the risk of the unit boiling dry if it doesn’t have an auto shut-off function.
The hot water dispensers in our review run several gamuts, namely size, features and price. From the smallest budget model (Breville HotCup Hot Water Dispenser) to the largest premium pick, (Morphy Richards Hot Water Dispenser 131004, 3L), there’s a wide range of safety, convenience and customisation features that suit most people’s tea, coffee and other beverage lifestyle needs.
Our Best Pick is the Breville VKT111 HotCup Hot Water Dispenser, 2L. This mid-range model is partly customisable and has lighting conveniences to help you use the unit easily.
Our Best Premium Model is the Morphy Richards Hot Water Dispenser 131004, 3L. This is for those who need their water at just the right temperature for their premium tea leaves or artisanal coffee.
Our Best Budget Pick is the Breville HotCup Hot Water Dispenser, 1.5L. This is a basic heater dispenser that just boils water and gives you a pre-set amount. But it’s simple to use and is just the right size for small households.
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Last update on 2021-11-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API