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Non-Toxic Tea Kettle Not Made in China

Have you been looking for a non-toxic tea kettle not made in China?  Personally, I feel sad that such a great country has become an epitome of bad quality.  The background level of pollution in China and general lenient attitude towards quality standards are discouraging.  Hence, it helps to buy products from countries that have more effective environmental and consumer protection laws. 

However, in this post I am going to show you that even China-made cookware can be safe enough for you.  What matters is the materials for the cookware.  Keep reading and you will learn how to find the best tea kettle for you.

Non-Toxic Tea Kettle Not Made in China. A picture of a glass tea cup with tea in it.

What materials should not be in a non-toxic tea kettle

A non-toxic tea kettle should not be aluminum or have enamel coating.

Why your best tea kettle is not an aluminum tea kettle

Aluminum cookware may leach aluminum salts.  Unlike lead or mercury, aluminum’s negative effects on our health are controversial.  While it is not an established carcinogen, it is linked to Alzheimer’s and may contribute to the depletion from the body of phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and iron (source).

Unlike lead, which has no safe levels, our bodies can take some aluminum without suffering harmful effects.  The generally accepted level of aluminum we can ingest is 3-5 mg a day.  Independent tests show that food prepared in aluminum cookware can increase this daily intake substantially.  

The good news is that our organs don’t absorb most of the aluminum we ingest as it gets excreted.  However, we should take into consideration that aluminum is bioaccumulative, meaning that it accumulates in the body over time.  Thus, I don’t recommend aluminum tea kettles.  I personally make tea several times a day, and I want to make sure that I use a non-toxic tea kettle for boiling water.

Why your tea boiler should not have enamel coating

The main reason for not recommending kettles with enamel is heavy metals that can leach into water from the coating. 

Lead is a common contaminant in cookware or dishware that can be found in enamel, too.  It is a heavy metal that accumulates in the body over time.  You do not want your best tea kettle to leach lead.  There is an array of potential health problems standing behind lead – anything from fatigue and joint paint to cancer.

We can’t know for sure whether the cookware in question contains lead until we test it.  Fortunately, there are people who do this for us.  One of them is Tamara Rubin.  She conducted XMF tests on several household items, starting with an enameled camping cup and ending with an enameled oven by a famous kitchenware brand.  All the enamelware items showed the presence of lead or cadmium in them.   

Thus, I do not recommend enamelware for your non-toxic tea kettle, especially if it is made in China.

If you are still considering an enameled tea boiler, make sure that the tea kettle is not made in China and does not have the California Prop 65 warning label attached to it.

Regulations to help you buy lead-free cookware

Are there any regulations to help you buy the best tea kettle free of lead?  Yes!  There are two regulations to look for – FDA regulations and California Proposition 65.  In the table below you will find the FDA and California Proposition 65 lead compliance limits side by side per type of cookware/dishware.  The measurements are in micrograms per milliliter (mcg/ml) after the item was soaked in a 4% acetic acid solution.

A table with data

Source

Let’s put these numbers into perspective.  A better understanding of what they are will help you buy your non-toxic tea kettle.

Reading the table for FDA and California Proposition 65 lead compliance limits

First, as I have mentioned above, there are no safe levels for lead because it accumulates in the body over time.  However, when lead goes into our digestive system, there is a chance not all of it will be absorbed.  By the way, diets rich in fiber and lean protein reduce the absorption of lead.

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, created by California Proposition 65, sets forth 2 types of limits for lead per day.  The maximum limit for lead as a carcinogen is 15 micrograms.  And the maximum amount of lead as a chemical causing reproductive toxicity is 0.5 micrograms.

So, if your tea boiler (large hollowware) follows the FDA limits, you can’t drink more than 15 milliliters of water out of it before you start increasing your risk of cancer.  Fifteen milliliters is a little over three teaspoons – not very much.  Considering that not all lead is absorbed, let’s say 6 teaspoons – still not much.  And the safety limit for pregnant women would be much less than a teaspoon.

As you can see from the table above, the California Proposition 65 limits are either 5 or 10 times more stringent.  In our case with large hollowware, it is 10 times better than the standard.  So, 30 teaspoons of water from a tea kettle would be okay to drink without increasing the risk of cancer.

Safe materials for your best tea kettle

Safer choices for a tea boiler include plain (undecorated) stainless steel and plain (undecorated) clear glass.  We use cookware from these kinds of materials at home.  Not only are they free of toxins, but they are inexpensive as well.  And here is very good news – if your tea kettle is made of stainless steel or plain glass, it doesn’t really matter whether it is a product of China.  In other words, your non-toxic tea kettle can come from China if it’s made of stainless steel or glass.

Stainless steel for cookware

Definitely, stainless steel looks beautiful.  And it is the workhorse of professional chefs.  The reason stainless steel is the number one choice of professional chefs is that it heats uniformly and reacts well to changes in temperature.  Cast iron, in contrast, holds heat for a long time, making it tricky for some applications.  But if you turn down the heat on a stainless-steel pan, it will react accordingly, just like downshifting a sports car.

Tamara Rubin tested several stainless-steel items with an XRF instrument and detected no lead, cadmium or arsenic in them.  However, there are some downsides of stainless steel.  It leaches chromium, nickel, and iron into food during cooking.  While iron and chromium are essential nutrients for which stainless steel may be useful, we don’t need nickel for our health.  Yet, I did a lot of research into that, and concluded that stainless steel cookware is one of the safest cookware available to us regardless of its manufacturing location.  I talk more about this in my guide to safe cookware.  Normally stainless-steel cookware is of two types: 18/10 or 18/8.  The first number is the percentage of chromium and the second is nickel.

The good news is that boiling water for tea does not create conditions that stimulate nickel leaching.  For example, boiling water does not stay in the pan as long as a sauce might because you pour the water immediately into a tea cup.  Also, water is not acidic like tomato sauce.  Hence, the odds of significant nickel leaching into the water in your kettle are very small.

Glass for your best tea kettle

Clear non-crystal glass doesn’t leach lead or cadmium.  Tamara Rubin tested glass kitchenware and found vintage glassware positive for lead.  However, her testing of modern glassware with no decorations or color detected no lead, cadmium, arsenic or mercury.   

The glass for your non-toxic tea kettle should be absolutely clear — not even a hint of tint (especially the clear light green or blue tint that is often typical of recycled glass items.)  Additionally, it shouldn’t be a recycled glass item if you want to avoid lead.  According to Tamara Rubin, despite its environmentally virtuous appeal, recycled glass is often positive for at least trace amounts of lead, regardless of the tint or color or lack thereof.  You can read more about glass products you can use in the kitchen in my Lead Free Glassware Brands post.

A few words about Xtrema tea kettles

Xtrema is a very popular brand.  Almost every single blogger writing about healthy living promotes their products.  Despite the fact that they manufacture their cookware products in China and from ceramic, Xtrema has been able to persuade the public that their products are safe.  On the plus side, they publish test reports that show compliance with the California Proposition 65 regulations.  However, Tamara Rubin tested Xtrema and didn’t find them heavy metal-free.  You can read more about that in my Safe Cookware guide.

When Xtrema started selling their products, I bought what I thought would become my best tea kettle.  I found that it took a long time to boil water.  So, I tried to increase the temperature form low to low medium.  When I did that, the bottom started chipping away and pieces would crack off with a noticeable “pop” and fly around the kitchen.  As you can imagine, it was not very safe to use.  But if you read an enthusiastic review from my fellow bloggers and become excited about it, please let me know and I can ship you my Xtrema tea kettle that I do not wish to use.

Conclusion: non-toxic tea kettle

In this post I have shown you that even China-made tea kettles can be safe enough for you.  Such materials as stainless steel and clear glass provide assurances for safety as they don’t test positive for heavy metals and contaminants regardless of the country of origin.  To find your best tea kettle and other non-toxic products I approve of, please visit the IRLFY shop.

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51 thoughts on “Non-Toxic Tea Kettle Not Made in China”

  1. I bought the Xtrema teapot based on a previous blog where you had endorsed it – I was surprised when it arrived that it was made in China. I didn’t send it back, but today’s blog is giving me pause. You said you used the Xtrema so I’m assuming it passed the test for you even given where it is made. Thanks

    1. Yes, it passed my test. I still use it but I am not loving its design and the fact that it takes a long time to heat water. I am not saying that all products made in China are toxic by default. Many companies have all the necessary controls in check. By the way, Dr.Mercola endorses and sells Xtrema under his brand.

  2. I was reading Naomi Klein’s “This Changes Everything” and realized that the fact that China has lax environmental laws and deadly levels of pollution (which drift across the ocean to California) is in good part because of the pressure we put, from the consumer side, here in the US which is the destination of much of their manufacturing, on inexpensive products. So our best bet, for their air which is ours, and their and our health (magically one and the same on this little planet of ours) is to think long and hard on acquiring a few safe, forever items. Thank you for this review!

      1. “comes with a surgical stainless steel basket that enables you to brew your own tea. It’s made from stainless steel 18/10 grade (the best) which is used in surgical instruments.”– 18/10 is higher in nickel(heard best to limit even if not allergic), especially when using w/acidic foodstuff. 18/8 has less nickel

  3. Thank you!! I’m so excited as I just ordered this kettle last week through Bed Bath and Beyond with my 20% coupon. I found this kettle after I reached out to you regarding tea kettles and based upon all of your wonderful information I am a far more educated shopper! I’m thrilled that my find is your chosen preference! Thank you!!! I so appreciate all of your work.

  4. I have the medelco kettle & like it a lot. I too didn’t like the plastic lid since it would heat up while in use. I just use the kettle without the plastic lid and it works great (of course without the lid it doesn’t whistle though).

  5. I have been looking at this kettle for months. Searching for one without plastic or made in China limits your choices. What color did you choose?

  6. I bought the Staub kettle after reading this post. The kettle is beautiful and very well made. Unfortunately, it won’t work for my stove and I have to return it. The bottom of the kettle is very small. Its diameter is way smaller than the diameter of the smallest burner on my ceramic top stove. That’s something to consider for those who have electric stoves. I do wish I could keep the kettle though 🙁

    1. Thank you, Elena! Good find! Were you able to confirm that the tea pots are 100% glass and ask what type of glass that is. I normally do not trust Amazon product descriptions and try always to double check with the manufacturer directly. Thanks! ~Irina

  7. Yes, I checked the manufacturer’s web site before ordering. It is borosilicate glass. This company also manufactures glass used in chemistry labs, where glass has to be especially non-reactive. On their web site they also state specifically that their glass is lead and cadmium free. Here is a description of their production process:

    http://www.simax.com/en/section/13-production.html

  8. You are welcome. I received my teapot yesterday, and it is all glass. So far it works very well. This particular model comes with a infuser (also all glass), which is handy if you want to brew tea right in the pot 🙂

  9. I just learned about these tea kettles made in Germany. They seem to be high quality. I just ordered the Staub one but am wondering if I should switch to these as they are much more affordable. Ive never had a glass one. A disadvantage I could forsee is the water not staying hot for very long in the kettle compared to the Staub.
    http://www.natural-lifestyle.com/Natural_Kitchen/Glass_Drinking_Bottles/Glass_Water_Kettles/Opus_Glass_Teapot/Miko_Glass_Teapot/Glass_Coffee_Press/Muffin_Pans/NatureMill/Cellophane_Bags/Stainless_Rice_Cooker/Aeternum_Gasket/Perfect_Plus_Pressure_Cookers/Kettle_Hold/German_Glass_Products/german_glass_products.html

    1. Hi Amy, these kettles look pretty good! And yes, they are affordable. I wonder if you have to use low heat with them. While it borosilicate glass, it is glass after all. I would love to hear from people who use glass kettles. Thank you for sharing, Amy! ~Irina

      1. I have a borosilicate glass kettle. Since it is glass and I don’t want it to break I start mine off on low heat and slowly turn it up to medium and then high. I haven’t tried turning it straight onto medium or high just to be on the safe side…I’ve seen videos where kettles turned straight to high have exploded. Also if you have an electric or glass top stove you will want to get a heat diffuser.

  10. I’ve been using the Simax glass tea kettle I mentioned above for a couple of months now. While I can’t say I am in love with a glass kettle, it does work pretty well. I do use it on high heat, and it works just fine. The two things you have to be careful about is not letting it boil dry and pouring cold water into a hot kettle.

  11. Thanks for this post! I do my best to never buy new Chinese products. If I absolutely have to buy something and I cannot find a non-Chinese equivalent, I buy used things. I don’t want to support their economy in any way. After seeing some documentaries on how they treat animals, and what horrors are happening for those who do not agree with the government, I’ve decided to stop supporting this country with my wallet. Obviously, I’m also concerned about the absolute lack of safety and quality of Chinese stuff.

    But back to the subject of kettles – luckily, alternatives still exist. I have a “German” borosilicate glass kettle at home (someone gave the link to those already), I’ve had it for a couple of years and can really recommend it. It’s not really German but more Hungarian actually – that’s where the glass is made – but regardless, it’s a great thing to have for my gas stove. Unlike steel kettles, it’s really easy to clean. It does have some drawbacks though – you can’t add cold water while the kettle is still hot, and it is fairly fragile. The glass is really thin, so you have to be extra careful while handling it. I was really afraid that such thin glass will explode with the first boiling but surprisingly, it works quite well 🙂

    Here in Poland we also have some steel kettles still made locally but those are a pain to clean.

    Now I’m looking for a non-Chinese electric kettle for the office. Just wanted to share with you that some Philips models are made in Poland, and it looks like some Mia kettles are still made in Germany. Ritter also boasts that they still manufacture their products in Germany. Maybe I’ll manage to find some more, but I’m already quite happy that at least there is something to choose from 🙂

      1. Hello Anna & Irina,

        We’re either of you able to find a safe electric glass tea kettle?
        I have been searching for one with variable temperature setting to ensure the healthiest tea possible for my family.
        I found one that from breville advertised something about being made with SCHOTT German glass. I’m not familiar with this & now hearing the glass could possible be unsafe for our health. https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/breville-reg-the-crystal-clear-trade-1-7-liter-electric-water-boiler/1044110550?keyword=variable-temperature-glass-tea-kettle-electric
        This was the other one I was considering, it mentioned it was made with borosilicate glass.
        https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/oxo-on-cordless-1-75-liter-adjustable-temperature-electric-kettle/1060765611?keyword=variable-temperature-glass-tea-kettle-electric
        Do you have any information or thoughts before I make a choice?

  12. Hi! I’d love to know more about why you voted against a Le Creuset kettle, other than its country of origin. Is its lining toxic? Thank you ever so!!

    1. I have a Le Creuset kettle. Unfortunately, it is not made of the same high quality as their other pots and pans. The interior of the kettle (which touches the water) is a sand papery black, rough textured. Sure doesn’t feel like ceramic. I stopped using it after black “sludge” was found at the bottom of every cup of tea, glass of warm water. You take a papertowel to clean out the bottom of the inside of the kettle and this “black stuff” just smears off. Whatever the black stuff is (paint? tin? iron?) we were drinking it everytime we boiled water in that kettle. No matter how many times I cleaned the interior with white vinegar, eventually even with baking soda and vinegar…the black stuff always returned. So this mysterious black stuff would leech into our water if boiled in that kettle. I would not recommend it. That can’t be healthy. Now, if Le Creuset decided to make a kettle with a genuine ceramic glaze on the INTERIOR of the kettle, like the rest of their pots and pans made in France, then yes, that I would buy. What Le Creuset has now for tea kettles..sure, they look cute. But I would not feel confident in their safety. Whatever the kettle is made of LEECHES into the water, which you then drink.

  13. Thank you Irina for all your hard work. I have been researching non toxic everthing that goes into our bodies forever and it’s very hard to get the information and believe it. Your website is one of the best I have read with the facts and figures. I’m impressed with Christopher Fox and how much more he pressed to find the answers. Even though the main part of the product is non toxic the parts are. I gave up my search for awhile for a teapot until I just found your site which I am so happy for and sharing with my family. I will purchase the Staub teapot with confidence. Please keep up the good work. It’s just as important to know how non toxic products are made and where besides just calling it non toxic I want to know why they are calling it non toxic. I don’t agree with Dr. Mercola about Xtrema it’s made in mainland China where the water is extremely polluted and yes they don’t share all info about ingredients just a copy of their testing. I plan on writing to Dr. Mercola about it because I follow him to. Thanks again. Tell Christopher to keep up the good work as I also press for more answers.

  14. Thank you for your research! It’s nice to see others concerned about the same issues.

    I found two copper options not made in China.

    made in England -Simplex:
    https://www.simplex-kettles.com

    made in the USA – Pioneer:
    https://www.jacobbromwell.com/pioneer-tea-kettle

    While they are hand crafted pieces that look beautiful, I’m not sure about the health quality of tin-lined copper. They are also both very expensive.

    I also came across a stainless steel one made in Italy- Lucido, but I don’t know about the overall health of it’s construction:
    http://www.davidmellordesign.com/lucido-whistling-kettle-zani-serafino

    I find it interesting that you forwent the Alessi for the Staub on price alone since they are only $10 different in price.

    Primarily I was looking for a very large kettle, the Staub is disappointingly small. Has anyone found something healthy that also holds several quarts?

    1. Hi, Kathryn: I am wary of tin-lined copper as the lining can wear off and copper will leach into food/liquid. I would go for the Italian stainless steel kettle. You might want to ask them what type of stainless steel they use but I think it should be fine. You bring up a good point about the price. ~Irina

      1. Wait, what? There is different types of stainless steel? 🙁 Ok, that’s it… I think I’m done, it is just too much. How will we ever know if what you buy is safe. Eish! So what type of stainless steel should one look out for then? Sorry for all the questions Irina…

        1. Look for stainless steel marked 18/10. But better yet, go cast iron, and if the traditional cast iron (such as Lodge) is too heavy for you (you you get a workout!,) look for SOLIDtechnics (Australian — they recently had a Kickstarter campaign, not sure if it is still active/live, but you may want to check it out.) You get what you pay for, so be ready to spend some serious money if you want the best quality… and if you can afford it, of course.

          1. Thanks JB, I will definitely look into it… Going to start off with a stainless steel French Press for now, this is definitely going to be a long and slow process of replacing everything, but hey, Rome was not built in a day. 🙂

          2. Solidteknics is super expensive but I think Tamara Rubin did a test on one of their pans and was very impressed with the results – I’m saving up for a Noni pan! 😊

  15. Hi, I am looking to purchase one of the glass tea kettles you recommended, German-made, and it has two options for the lids: a glass one and a stainless lid. The stainless one would probably be most durable, but I am concerned about the chemicals from the lid leaking since the tea pot does heat up significantly. Which lid would you recommend?

  16. After exhausting myself trying to find a whistling kettle not made in China, I finally found this one, made in Italy. I like it very much. My only complaint is that the handle edges are a bit sharp and you feel them when picking up the kettle. However, I am counting on them wearing smooth with regular use. I love the Staub so much, but the lack of a whistle is a deal breaker.

    http://www.espressopros.com/frabosk-kettles-73761.html?gclid=CJy09O3UuNACFUtWDQodLtEMAw

  17. Does anyone know of a good electric tea kettle- not made in China, no lead and 100% stainless steel (or other safe material)? Thanks!

  18. Does anyone else know anything that is not Made in USA? Plenty of things! Tea kettle not made in China? Tea itself is from China, a lot of great tea in fact. Quite a stupid page really. I am surprise I even bother to leave comment here.

    1. We prefer nothing made in China since its dangerous.

      Did you know that cat food with Chinese ingredients killed 1500 beloved cats in the USA about 10 years ago?

      I make sure that nothing from China is in my cat’s food. Now I use Farmina but another good one is FROMM. NO INGREDIENTS FROM
      CHINA!

  19. Jake Lenson, if there is anything stupid about this page, it’s your comment. Green tea comes from China, yes, and you can pick up great quality tea, or very cheap tea. (Some green tea is more expensive than gold; a pot of fresh, first harvest top quality green tea – Long Jin, for example, – is auctioned for sometimes thousands of dollars!,) and then, you have tea of such low quality that for a couple of dollars you can buy a pound or two. Likewise, tea kettles, teapots and whatnot made in China, are mostly bad quality. However, you also can spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars in a tea pot. Traditionally, tea in China is brewed on clay teapots, made by artisans using YIXING clay (place name.) These teapots are safe, and beautiful, collectible art pieces. Some are also very cheap and affordable, but none are to be used on an open flame on a stove top. A candle or oil flame is however used in the tea ceremony to keep water warm, before being poured over the tea. The same does not apply to stainless steel, and even cast iron Made in China. You call this page a stupid page because you miss the whole point and purpose of the exchange of information here: Visitors to this page are concerned with finding a teapot/kettle that is not toxic, on one hand, and, on the other hand, something that can be used to heat water, etc. Your posting is inane, truly the only stupid thing posted on this page.

  20. Are Stellar Tea Kettles made in England. I found one at a store today and it has a UK address on it for the company, but there was no tag that indicated where it was manufactured. It is a solid stainless steel kettle.

  21. OMGosh! I’m getting brain freeze (not from cold) trying to decipher & retain all this info & make a decision based on my broken immune sytem. Help! I have hemachromatosis & told to stay away from iron & have allergy to nickel (& everything else in between) and can’t bear the thought of plastic or aluminum AND am living on the very low income level, wishing I could get healthier to continue living long enough to finish raising my two adopted small grandchildren. Can you please tell me if there is a safe, affordable WHISTLING tea kettle before I burn up another saucepan (from exhaustion & multitasking), forgetting I turned it on?
    Thanks, Annie.S.

  22. I have been reading labels for over 10 years. Besides the fact that I don’t trust China to not kill me with their products I do not purchase made in Asia to protest their treatment of dogs, cats and actually all animals. Horrific treatment there.

    I do not understand why a US company has not jumped to produce US made coffee and tea products. I’m sure they’d rake in the cash.

    Just bought a lovely saucepan made in Italy to boil water. Waiting for that US made teapot. 🙂

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