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Russell Hobbs Attentiv Kettle review: A clear winner

Our Rating :
£69.99 from
Price when reviewed : £70

Thoughtfully designed and fully featured, the Russell Hobbs Attentiv is simply one of the best kettles available for under £100


  • Reasonably priced
  • Includes tea-infuser basket
  • Range of clever functions
  • Precise variable temperature settings


  • Insulation could be better
  • Limescale will be more noticeable on glass

Many modern kettles throw in the odd extra feature or function to help themselves stand out from more basic models, but few actually succeed in making themselves that much more useful in the kitchen. Offering a wide breadth of variable temperature settings (ranging from a baby-safe 40°C to boiling) as well as a handy keep-warm function, a tea-steeping timer and more, the Russell Hobbs Attentiv proves itself to be one of the best kettles you can buy – genuinely multi-functional, with above-average performance.

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Russell Hobbs Attentiv Kettle review: What do you get for the money?

The Russell Hobbs Attentiv has a well-put-together clear-glass and stainless steel exterior, and offers a 1.7l capacity and a 3,000W power supply internally. The body of the kettle measures 24 x 18 x 26cm (WDH) and it weighs 1.6kg. The Attentiv sits on a rectangular 360° swivel base, on which you’ll find its touchscreen control buttons, LED temperature indicator and temperature control dial. The control dial allows you to set your water to heat to temperatures between 40°C and 100°C, in five-degree increments, while the other control buttons activate its keep-warm function and steep timer. The Attentiv also has a memory function – meaning it will retain the last-used setting, even if it’s unplugged – and a removable tea infuser, the latter allowing you to use the kettle as a teapot. And, at the time of writing, all this will set you back around £70.

Few kettles will be able to match the Attentiv’s marriage of mid-range price and premium functionality, but there are several solid models that come in cheaper. For example, the Kenwood Dusk (£50) is similarly capacious with a handsome all-black design, while the Kenwood Abbey (£30) was our fastest boiler in testing. If you’d like to stick with Russell Hobbs as a brand, its Illuminating Glass Kettle (£40) serves as a more stripped-back version of the Attentiv and is close to half the price. The most budget-friendly model that we recommend is the John Lewis Anyday; it’s light, compact and gets the job done well for just £20.

However, if you have more cash to splash then there are a handful of more expensive variable temperature models out there worth considering. For fans of smart home tech or the Amazon ecosystem, Swan’s Alexa Smart Kettle (£99) is a no-brainer, allowing you to start a cup of tea with a simple “Alexa, boil the kettle” instruction – provided you have a compatible Alexa device to hook it up to. The Zwilling Enfinigy Pro (£129) offers similar functionality to the Attentiv, but boasts a sleeker, more modern look and a better-insulated stainless steel interior, which will also prove more resistant to limescale. The KitchenAid Artisan (£195) features a highly robust body, a classic, colourful design and, moreso than other kettles we’ve tested, a sturdy and luxurious feel in use. Finally, the Bosch Styline (£65) might also be worth a look, since this kettle shares a lot of similarities with the Attentiv, trading a few key strengths and weaknesses with the model from Russell Hobbs.

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Russell Hobbs Attentiv Kettle review: What’s good about it?

Our group kettle test established that 3,000W kettles all boil at roughly the same speed, but the Russell Hobbs Attentiv still deserves praise for keeping pace with its rivals and being a speedy and efficient boiler. In our boil speed test, the Attentiv reached its maximum temperature in just 2mins 20secs, with a boil rate of 0.54°C/s. This isn’t far behind the speediest performer, the Kenwood Abbey, at 2mins 15secs and a boil rate of 0.57°C/s. The kettle also performed well in our heat-retention test, with a water temperature of 92.9°C five minutes after coming to a boil.

Performance aside, the Attentiv’s main strength is its impressive functionality. The most obvious example of this is its precise temperature selector, starting at 40°C and going up to boiling in 5°C increments – that’s more options than any other kettle we’ve tested. This makes the Attentiv perfect for everything from preparing baby formula, to brewing delicate greens teas and matcha, or simply avoiding burning your coffee grounds. In addition, its ‘keep warm’ setting will keep water heated to your desired temperature for up to 30 minutes, while the ‘sleep timer’, meant for timing tea-brewing, will prove useful for timing anything you’re doing in the kitchen. All these functions are simply and slickly controlled using the touchscreen buttons and temperature dial on the kettle’s base stand.

Alongside performance and functionality, some fine design details help the Attentiv earn top marks from me. I like the temperature gauge on the kettle’s base, which goes up in real-time as you set the kettle to heat or boil, plus I’m also a fan of the audible set of beeps the kettle makes when it’s finished. The included tea infuser is also a nice touch, allowing you to use the Attentiv as a teapot of sorts.

Russell Hobbs Attentiv Kettle review: What could be better?

I have no strong complaints about the Russell Hobbs Attentiv, although I do have a few small quibbles. Registering an exterior temperature of 70.6°C in our tests, the Attentiv was one of the poorer performers in terms of insulation, getting a good sight hotter in use than is ideal.

I also worry about how the Attentiv’s glass body will hold up in terms of limescale and general grubbiness, as a glass kettle will stain more easily – and more visibly – than a plastic or stainless steel one. However, if you’re unbothered by small aesthetic concerns such as this, or don’t mind giving your kettle a regular clean and descale, then this likely won’t be a disqualifying factor for you.

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Russell Hobbs Attentiv Kettle review: Should I buy it?

While you may find prettier kettles, simpler kettles or cheaper kettles, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a kettle anywhere that’s as useful as the Russell Hobbs Attentiv. Although its glass body might lead to some cleaning headaches, its reasonable, mid-range price, variable temperature settings, handy keep-warm function, slick touchscreen controls, and generally clever design offer up more than enough to earn this kettle a strong recommendation. The Russell Hobbs Attentiv is simply one of the best kettles currently available.

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