Top of page.

Instant hot tap vs Instant boiling tap vs kettle: what are the differences?

Three images; a Borg & Overström T3, a boiling tap, and a kettle.

Hot tap or boiling tap? The differences between them are obvious, surely, so what’s with all the current hype? and what is wrong with a good old fashioned kettle?

A war between boiling and hot has been bubbling away in the background for some time now, while the more traditional kettle has been placed as a benchmark from which to compare these two ‘new trending designs’ on the block against. Hosting an important work event? The kettle might leave the majority of your colleagues waiting. Simply popping round for a cuppa? The kettle is surely a perfect fit.

Well, as a leading brand in the world of water dispensers, Borg & Overström go above and beyond to research and understand the intricate details of any development that ripples in the pool of water solutions. With a heritage of 20 years in the industry, we aim for excellence, and in order to achieve our standard of excellence we have gathered (and here we will provide) all our knowledge on the difference between an instant hot tap, an instant boiling tap, and the age-old kettle.

By the end of this article, you will be equipped and up-to-date on everything hot and boiling – knowing what water system is best for you – and prepared with the details to investigate your choice further, as we explore:

  • What are the differences between a kettle, an instant hot tap, and an instant boiling tap?
  • The 5 benefits of an instant hot tap and an instant boiling tap vs a kettle?
  • Hot Tap vs. Boiling Tap vs. Kettle – Which is right for me?

What are the differences between a kettle, an instant hot tap, and an instant boiling tap?

So, the tried and tested kettle. Well, a kettle can take up to 5 minutes to boil – reaching boiling point at 100°C – at which point, the water inside will slowly start to cool. Simple, pragmatic, and traditional. The classic kettle is easy to use and does exactly what we have all come to expect.

So what is the difference between these new trending hot and boiling taps?

Well, as the names would suggest, the difference (on the surface) is rather simple – a hot tap provides instant hot water, while a boiling tap provides instant boiling water. One of the enigma’s and biggest misconceptions between the two designs, however, is the actual temperature assigned to water that is ‘hot’ and water that is ‘boiling’.

The misconception that many people run the risk of having is thinking that an instant boiling water tap dispenses water at the temperature of 100°C (boiling point), and with a name like boiling water tap, this is not an absurd assumption. However, during our research, one main feature that stood out above all was the differentiating temperatures of the water when it was actually dispensed – this is a key feature to note moving forward. In reality, the average temperature of water dispensed from an instant boiling water tap is more likely in the range of 92-100°C, essentially ‘near-boiling point’, while the comparable hot water tap can dispense water at a temperature anywhere between 80-98°C.

That being said, if you’re in the market for an instant boiling water tap – make sure you always check the specs – it is entirely possible that an instant hot tap would be able to reach the same dispensing temperature as a boiling instant tap. This is precisely why Borg & Overström’s newest product – the T3 tap system – includes only a hot dispense option and not a boiling option. We found a hot water option can provide all the same versatility as a boiling tap while remaining a safe and environmentally conscious choice.

The 5 benefits of an instant hot tap and an instant boiling tap vs a kettle?

Now that we have explored the technical difference between the new instant hot and instant boiling taps and have established a baseline for what a classic kettle can offer – it is time to explore the similarities between the two newbies and further compare their shared traits against the old-fashioned kettle.

KettleInstant Hot TapInstant Boiling Tap


As you can see from the table (above), both the hot tap and instant boiling tap show the benefits in temperature thanks to their capabilities of dispensing ‘on-demand’.

A major factor when evaluating the benefits of an instant hot/boiling tap is that it will be able to dispense hot-boiling water in a much greater volume and in a much more convenient method than a kettle. For example, let’s say you have a team of over 10 people, then an integrated hot/boiling tap would be most beneficial – in an environment where time and volume is important, a standard hot/boiling tap should be able to deliver high volumes of water for those needed hot and perfect beverages, over, and over, again.

Instantly hot or instantly boiling – this means you’ll never have to wait. No longer do you need to flick that switch on the kettle and proceed to wait for 5 minutes, all just to have that ever-needed cup of tea or coffee.


Another key benefit of an instant hot/boiling tap is often its other capabilities, or rather, the appliances that it is placed on/joined with to ‘upgrade’.

While the kettle is very singular in its aim, a hot/instant boiling tap has the capacity to be (and usually is) joined onto other appliances.

With every brand and business wanting to be lead-innovators and dazzle the marketplace with new and improved designs, it is not uncommon to find an instant hot/boiling tap to be part of a 3-in-1 or even 4-in-1 tap system. These tap systems place a full toolkit at your disposal – with cold, ambient, sparkling, and instant hot/boiling, you will have a tap dispenser that can fulfil all your needs.

Borg & Overströms new instant hot tap system – the T3 – is an example of how a hot tap may function in relation to its other capabilities. You can visit the official T3 product page for a more comprehensive understanding on the potential features that can be included in a multiple dispense tap system.


Depending on your environment, safety might be a key concern when it comes to dispensing boiling hot water.

Thankfully, manufacturers, as Borg & Overström demonstrate, are aware of the safety concerns of their product with modern designs typically being fitted with a child-proof locking system regardless of the brand or company. Depending on the brand, however, there will usually be a specific button to lock or unlock the dispenser. Other designs have features whereby two or more buttons will have to be pressed simultaneously in order to dispense boiling water.

In each case, this allows for maximum protection against accidental scalding while remaining efficient and easy to use.

Energy efficiency

Though this may come as a surprise, Expert Energy have actually estimated that an instant boiling tap can use up to 50% less energy that traditional kettles.

67% of people overfill their kettle with every use which leads to an astronomical 3500 tonnes of waste CO2 everyday. On the other hand, an instant boiling tap will only dispense what is required, meaning over a longer period of time the use of a boiling tap will actually cut down on wasted energy and water – making them a clear environmentally conscious choice.

Cost to buy 

When it comes to upfront costs, the kettle instantly becomes more appealing. For under £20.00 you can safely purchase a kettle that would be able to perform accordingly – a perfect match for a single workstation.

In comparison, the added features and benefits of a hot/boiling tap system does show itself in the expense. The market place is filled with a variety of different tap designs with differentiating features and dispense options.

Commercial hot and boiling water tap systems can reach upwards of £3000, with Billi tap prices ‘largely ranging between £1899 and £5000” and Zip Hydrotaps estimated to cost between £2500 and £5000. For a more detailed guide on what can influence the cost of a hot water tap and to see Borg & Overströms T3 listing prices – read our cost article on “how much does a T3 tap cost?

The ongoing maintenance cost of a premium tap would also be something to consider. With the typical recommendation of changing the filters every three-four years minimum (which would usually cost between £30-£40), this could add another £10 annually to the running costs.

Hot Tap vs. Boiling Tap vs. Kettle – Which is right for me?

Tackling the online market can take quite a toll – such an array of information can be both time consuming and rather daunting to take on at first. Fortunately, Borg & Overström have both the expertise and desire to learn everything when it comes to water solutions – it is our passion – so, we can share our knowledge to help you choose what system is best for you.

Revisiting the 5 benefits to a hot tap or boiling tap vs. a kettle, it is clear that the functionality and convenience are the main benefits you should consider, whereas, the cost of either a hot tap or boiling tap can be expensive.

You might now be wondering “how much does a hot tap cost?”, “what other expenses are there to consider”, “Are there any added features that will influence this cost”. Well our aim is to find the best fit for you and any investment worth taking is worth taking the time to consider , so, here are all the answers surrounding the cost of a hot tap.

For more detail on distributors or if you have any further queries or concerns, please contact our sales team who are always happy to help.

Our drinking water dispensers are available through selected partners