The typical components of an electric kettle include a heating element, a thermostat, and an electric cord. First created as a means to boil water without the need for a stove-top, electric kettles are commonly constructed with a durable plastic or steel exterior.
Modern electric kettles are designed to deactivate automatically once water has begun to boil. Bimetallic strip thermostats are commonly used in order to operate the shut-off mechanism. Jug style kettles exist that feature a more upright design better suited to heating smaller amounts of water. The heating element of most electric kettles is typically powered by two to three kilowatts at 220 volts.