Instant hot water dispensers are incredibly useful gadgets which are growing in popularity. We review 5 of the best hot water dispensers on the UK market today.
One of the most convenient kitchen gadgets you can own nowadays is an instant hot water dispenser. As the name kind of gives away, these devices give you instant access to hot water, which can be helpful in many ways. You can use it to brew tea quickly, make instant coffee, warm baby bottles, melt wax and for many other things in and around the kitchen.
The best part is that they’re very economical, not too expensive and not too difficult to operate. If you’re looking for one of these handy gadgets, you’ll find five of the best hot water dispensers available on the UK market reviewed below. We’ve also included a little guide for those who aren’t too sure what to look for when buying such a device. Enjoy!
About Instant Hot Water Dispensers
Instant hot water dispensers aren’t the only devices that give instant access to hot water.
A good alternative is the instant water heater. These devices are much larger and much, let’s say, less handy than dispensers.
They’re connected to your pipes under the sink and usually require you to install a new spout on the sink to get access to hot water. However, they’re very economical and use about 1/2kWh of power per day.
They’re also much faster than dispensers, which need a little bit of time to warm up first (they’re not “instant” instant), with water temperature exceeding 180 degrees Fahrenheit, which is significantly more than what a normal water boiler can produce.
Instant boilers feature a tank, usually metal, with rubber tanks also being found in lower-end models, and an electrical coil that is attached to the pipe, quickly and efficiently heating up cold water that goes through the pipe.
However, to install one of these babies, you’ll need to bring outside help, if you’re not a very good plumber yourself. On top of that, to install one of these things, you need to prep a hole for the additional spout or eliminate the one you already have. These boilers are usually installed as part of kitchen renovations and the like. So, they’re efficient, but they are more of a hassle to install.
On the other side are the counter-top dispensers. They’re not as fast, but they’re much more convenient if you don’t want to mess with the plumbing and all the extra cost you may incur when installing a boiler. They too come in two types, with both of types having certain advantages and disadvantages, but they’re largely indistinguishable from one another within a type, mostly due to them all being up to standard. The two types we’re talking about are kettle-style and coffeemaker-style dispensers.
Kettle-style dispensers are even smaller than their counterparts, and, thus, more portable. They’re actually electric kettles, with an electric coil installed into the bottom that heats up the water. They can be cordless or corded, making the former ideal for travel and corded for office and home use.
They do, however, have reduced capacity, and they’re good for maybe six to ten cups of water at best. Kettle-style dispensers are usually made of stainless steel or glass, with glass ones being more expensive, but also featuring better heat retention. They’re also heavier and more prone to damage.
The other option are the coffeemaker-style devices. They’re not portable, of course, and they’re designed to be used in office and home kitchen environments. However, they feature better capacity than kettles, and can heat up sixteen ounces of water much faster than a kettle or a microwave.
Though their capacity is technically infinite, they can do only one cup at a time, and you can’t use tall mugs with them unless the model is specifically designed to fit tall mugs. However, the speed at which the device heats up water largely outweighs the problem of having to prepare one mug at a time. They also require a little bit of maintenance in the form of drying to prevent forming of mildew.
Well, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get on to our reviews of 5 of the best instant hot water dispensers on the market, shall we?
5 of the best hot water dispensers
The VKJ142 Hot Cup is their first generation dispenser, and, as it turns out, it’s quite an impressive machine. It’s got few but select features which, together with its low price, make it a go-to device for many kitchens in the UK. The dispenser will cost you around £30.
One of the best things about the Breville is that it actually features a tank with a decent capacity, so you don’t have to keep refilling it after boiling only one mug. This makes it very desirable, as you can keep more hot water at the ready if you’ve got more people requiring some at the same time.
The tank holds a maximum of 1.5 l, which isn’t had at all and translates to roughly five mugs. Another great feature of the tank is that it gives off a noticeable blue glow once you start boiling the water. This not only looks cool, but is also a great way to indicate if the device is on.
You’ve also got a drip tray to help keep your counter dry and tidy, and you’ve got cord storage, which is a feature most convenient to have on a model like this. The drip tray is, of course, detachable, so you can clean and dry it without much hustle.
As for the power, VKJ142 features a hidden 3kW heating element, giving it enough power to heat up that 1.5 l of water in a matter of seconds. The device features a minimalist interface, with only one button present that opens the tank and initiates boiling. This way you don’t have to mess with a thousand dials, because, well, it’s only water you’re boiling and not preparing espresso, so you really don’t need dials and buttons and an LED screen.
When it comes to problematic areas, Breville VKJ142 can be a bit loud when it’s actually in operation. This might not be ideal for some people, but the sound of the device working is far from ear-shattering. Also, because of the minimalist interface, you can’t change cup size, so you’re stuck with only 250 ml at a time, and you can’t fill a tall mug in one go, and two “gos” will overflow it.
In essence, this is a no-frill kind of device. It requires minimal maintenance, is fast and has a good-sized tank, all at an affordable price of about £30. It might be a little too loud for some people, and the inability to change cup sizes might be annoying, but, if you don’t have a problem with any of this, we warmly recommend it.
This slightly more expensive model is superior to Breville in size and capacity and is the perfect choice for those who really like their tea.
It’s also one of the most impressive devices according to the Good Housekeeping Institute where the device was tested, scoring 86/100 on their scale, so you can be sure this is a hot water dispenser worth having in your kitchen.
Just like the Breville, the VonShef also features a tank which holds the water being heated. Again, this is very convenient as you don’t have to bother pouring the water mug by mug to have it heated up.
With a capacity of 2.5 litres, it outclasses the Breville, and makes it a nifty device for a larger family that consumes hot beverages daily. Having two and a half litres in your device allows you to fill 10 regular mugs.
The device can heat up those two and a half litres to a temperature of 95 degrees Celsius within mere seconds, making it a superb device to have. It also comes with a one litre jug so you can measure how much water you pour into the tank. Like the Breville, it features a drip tray that collects any drops that miss your mug and keeps your counter dry. The drip tray is also removable so you can dry it.
As far as power goes, the VonShef actually has less power than the Breville. Its heating element can produce only about 2.6kW of power, making the VonShef, when you take into account the size of the tank, slower to heat up than the Breville.
However, the VonShef is much taller, and you can use tall mugs with it easily, which is something you can’t do with the Breville. The device features a minimalist design with only an on/off button and an LED light being present.
When it comes to the downsides, we’ve already mentioned that it heats up slower than the smaller but slightly more powerful Breville. You can use tall mugs in conjunction with the device, but only because it’s tall, as there’s no way to alter the amount of water that comes out of the dispenser at any one time. It also tends to spit, which kind of defeats the purpose of the drip tray (or reinforces it, depending on how you look at it).
Overall, this is a solid device for those not willing to refill the dispenser all the time. The VonShef’s got a large tank, and this is, in our minds, its main selling point (not that it lags behind in any other field of operation). It won’t be as fast as some smaller devices, but its fast enough. It’s also a bit more expensive, carrying a price tag of about £40.
This is one of the most expensive devices we have on our list, but one with perhaps the best value for the money. It’s got a lot of things going for it, and we’d certainly recommend it to somebody willing to spend a few pounds more for an instant hot water dispenser. The 130001 has some interesting features that will surely make you very interested in it, so let’s see what it’s got to offer.
Starting, as usual, with the tank capacity, this device sits between the previous two dispensers. It’s got a 1.8-litre tank, making it a little bigger than the Breville, but not as big as the VonShef. This makes it quite convenient as you don’t have to refill the tank all the time, but a little slower to heat up than the small and powerful Breville.
The tank lights up when you’re heating the water to indicate that the device is working, which is, as we’ve already said, a very stylish way to handle that problem.
The device also has a drip tray that keeps boiling water off your counter. It’s also removable, so you can dry it and prevent mildew from forming. It’s also got a separate stop button that allows you to control the amount of water dispensed.
Power-wise, the dispenser rocks a 3kW heating element. This allows it to heat up the 1.8 l tank in only 45 seconds. Even so, it’s a little slower than the Breville, due to the larger tank.
One of the best things about this device, and one that is certainly its biggest selling point, is that it features a water volume control. There is a slider on the back side of the dispenser which allows you to control how much water is dispensed at any one time.
Along with the device’s tall design, this makes it perfect for those who like to use tall mugs. This also puts it in front of the VonShef and the Breville in terms of utility, which explains the slightly heftier price tag.
Of course, we can’t be only saying words of praise for the dispenser. Due to some poor design choices, the device has a dark-coloured tank, so it might be a little hard to see how much water is actually in the tank.
All in all, if you’re willing to spend around £70 to spend on a hot water dispenser, then Morphy Richards is the device for you. It’s compatible with tall mugs too, which is all the more reason to buy it. We definitely recommend it.
If the VonShef’s 2.5-litre tank isn’t enough, then you’ve got to get a hold of this Andrew James device, as its tank holds more than enough for your family and your next door neighbour’s too. However, a larger tank also means a larger and heavier device, a heftier price tag and more time to heat up.
So, what of the tank? Well, you’re looking at a capacity of four litres here, more than what any of the devices on our list can handle. With so much water you won’t have to worry about refilling the tank for quite a while. And if you’re worried about heat retention, you can relax – stainless steel holds heat pretty well, and even if the water cools down, you can bring it up to temperature in seconds.
But that’s not all this device offers. You’ve noticed the word “Purify” in the device’s name. That’s because this Andrew James features water purifying filters, so your water is not only hot and ready, but also almost impeccably clean, and free from lead, mercury and other dangerous chemicals and substances that come with tap water. You’ll get two filters with the device, each lasting about 150 l.
The device is also designed with three volume settings. This way, you can set up how much water you want dispensed, and you can have the device produce 100, 200 or 300 ml of hot water at one time. This also allows you to use it with tall mugs and even smaller coffee/tea mugs, giving the Andrew James excellent versatility.
In addition, you can set the device to different temperatures, and you can have it not heat water up at all, heat it to 55, 65, 75, 85, or 100 degrees.
The device also features a removable drip tray and touch interface.
On the downsides, the device produces a lot of noise when working. It also splashes a little bit when dispensing the water, and the tray should be little higher. On top of that, it’s a little bit more expensive, costing just over £70, a little more than the Morphy Richards. Also, the device is slower to reach the 95-degree mark due to the fact it’s got such a large tank.
In the end though, this is a device of incredible versatility and utility. It’s got a very large tank, perfect for a family. It has plenty of features you can play around with and plenty of features that let you personalize your mug. Recommended.
The VKJ318 is a slightly larger model than the VKJ142, sporting a little larger tank, but overall many similar features at a slightly higher price. It does also boast a few other features the VKJ142 doesn’t though.
Starting with the device’s tank, you’re looking at a 2 l tank instead of the 1.5 l one boasted by the VKJ142. This allows for two more regular cups to be dispensed, so you’re looking at some 8 cups here.
Breville likes to display class along with efficiency and utility, so they made their tank glow blue when the dispenser is working. Combined with the stylish black finish, the VKJ318 looks like it should be a part of every contemporary kitchen. Along with the light-up tank, the device has got a removable drip tray which reduces mess to a minimum and makes cleaning more convenient.
As far as power is concerned, the VKJ318 has the same unit as the VKJ142, meaning a 3kW heating unit. This makes the VKJ318 just a little slower due to its larger capacity, but it’s fast enough not to annoy you.
Along with that, it’s also got a dial that allows you to control how much water you want dispensed at any one time, making it very useful when you want to maybe drink from a tall mug or an espresso cup.
The device has a lever with nine different sizes to choose from. It also has a manual stop button that allows you to control the flow of water according to your liking, independently from the cup size you’ve chosen.
So, what of the negative sides? Well, the VKJ318 has a little bit of a problem with its cup size selector. It tends to get confused sometimes, and it can start dispensing more or less than the amount of water you’ve actually selected.
That’s why it’s maybe best you stand by and keep your finger on the stop button just in case. The dispenser also spits a little, but it’s nothing that the drip tray and a kitchen cloth can’t handle.
All in all, this is a splendid little dispenser. It’s slightly larger and more expensive than the VKJ142, but you can expect about the same level of operational integrity from it. It’s also a bit more versatile, thanks to its volume selector, so we can definitely recommend it.
And, that’s it. We’ve reviewed 5 of the best hot water dispensers that will make your morning coffee or tea for you, and they’ll do it in a flash. We included smaller and bigger models, so you can choose according to your needs. Our own personal favorite is the most expensive device included here, the Andrew James Purify, but whichever device you choose, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed. Adios!
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