Who needs a Kettle Tipper?

Some inventions are as ridiculous as they are useless:

Shoe UmbrellasDVD RewinderWellie Sandals
Useless shoe umbrellasUseless dvd rewinderuseless wellie sandals

First, I thought the kettle tipper belongs in the category above, but it seems more useful at a closer look.

In quite a few reviews (for example, the Breville IQ or Sunpentown kettle), I have remarked on the weight of kettles. A filled 1.7l one can weigh up to 8lbs or 3.5kg (like Cuisinart).

For the elderly, disabled, children or people with grip problems, this is a lot to lift.
You not only have to get the kettle off the kitchen counter, but you also have to manage a controlled pouring without spills and scolding yourself or others around you.

The solution is the kettle tipper.

There are many versions, but the principle is always the same:
The tipper holds the kettle and does the hot water pouring for you, so you don’t have to lift a finger (you still have to tilt it, though).

So, instead of reviewing variable temperature kettles, I’m going to look at those little helpers.
Are they any good and worth buying?

Which Style of Tipper is Right for You?

Surprisingly, there is quite a variety of tippers available.
You will find the repurposed coat hanger style to highly engineered solutions that look like spaceship launchers.

There are two main types:
The universal tipper for an existing kettle and the integrated solution.

Universal Kettle Tipper

wire-frame kettle tipper

You have already an electric kettle and just need the tipper. Most variable temperature kettles will be compatible with such a helper.

The most basic constructions are wireframe ones.

They cost around $15 – $30.

Before you start to heat the water,

  • Move the kettle into the tipper,
  • Fasten with the strip.
  • Boil the water, and you are ready to pour.

The second type is usually a plastic contraption with a base and a tilting mechanism.
It might be more convenient to use, but looks slightly more intruding on the kitchen counter.

Plastic black kettle tipper

They can cost between $40 – $80 (as much as a programmable kettle).

Most tippers come with non-slip feet for stability and safety.

A big plus for the universal tipper is that you can use it for big water jugs or bottles as well.

The Integrated Solution

Here you buy the kettle and the cradle as a unit.

A good example is the Italian Uccello kettle tipper.

Uccello black & white kettle tipper

A significant advantage is that everything fits perfectly and is very convenient to use.

It can turn into a disadvantage in case you want or need to change the kettle. Unless you buy the same kettle, a different one might or might not fit the tipper.
Uccello offers the kettle and the cradle separately.

The price for the unit is usually between $65 – $80 (you can check availability and price here).

Here is a video with an English lady in a white lab coat showing you the cuddly Uccello. She makes coffee and has baked scones for you – although without the jam and cream.

One Problem Remains

The tipper helps you with the pouring but not with the filling of the kettle.

First, you have to fill it with water and hoist it into the tipper. But, if you cannot lift a full kettle, you might not be able to get it from the sink into the tipper.

Filling the Uccello tipping kettle with water

There is an easy solution to the problem.

Place the empty kettle into the tipper (ideally beside a sink). Now you can use a light container, like a cup or a small jug, to fill to the desired capacity.

It will take a little longer but is a doable workaround.
The scone lady from the above video is back to show you how to do it.

Well, there is another minor issue

The pictures above show the tipper with a cup placed underneath on the table.
But, would you pour boiling water from a height?
Of course not.

So, to prevent spills, burns, splashes and a mess, lift the cup or mug to the spout of the kettle when you tip it – exactly like you would do if you poured it with your hand.
The lady in the picture below must have heard me…

Elderly lady lifting a cup to the kettle tipper

And now, a bit of “Tipper” History 

Imagine kettles in the past before we had plastic, light glass or stainless steel.
They were heavy metal objects made from brass, copper or silver, often adorned with ornaments and decorations.

Those kettles can weigh between 3.5lbs/1.5kg to 6lbs/2.25kg without the water.
Therefore, practical copper and silversmiths had the idea to include a tipper over 150 years ago.

Because those kettles were expansive, the lady of the house wanted to avoid any dents and damages by dropping the precious object.

Later, ingenious smiths added a small warmer to the tipping stand to keep the water hot – an early version of the “keep-warm” function in our modern kettles.

Here are some beautiful antique examples:

Dunkirk silver tipping kettlebrass antique tipping kettleSilver tipping kettle with bone handle


The question at the beginning was:
Are tippers a useless gimmick like a shoe umbrella or something worth having?

For the right group of people (disabled, elderly, households with children, thin-armed people), this bit of assistive “technology” will make heating water a lot easier and safer.

It also adds independence to your daily life – another thing you can do without help.

Although some constructs might look makeshift, they still do the job and provide support where and when it’s needed.

Keep in mind that you can also use most universal tippers for water jugs/bottles or anything else heavy to pour.

Verdict: Not useless at all.

The Kettle Whisperer

Don’t mind the cartoon. If you want a tipper, get one.
The cartoon is courtesy from a website worth having a look at and to support: https://disabilityarts.online

  • Gary

    Where can I purchase a kettle tipper in the US? I have a client that is not permitted to purchase from international locations. Everything I'm finding is sold from the UK. Help!

    • Martin

      Hi, One place to get the kettle tippers is https://fairdales.com/products/kettle and, of course, Amazon.

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