Best induction hobs 2019: fast-heating induction cooktops from affordable to portable to luxe

Cook with science, with ultra-fast, brilliantly controllable, easy-to-clean induction hobs in every size and shape and for all budgets

The best induction hobs

Induction hobs are a scary concept, but one that people have got behind. They've revolutionised home cooking in the last 10 years, signalling the death knell of the electric ceramic hob. 

Next on the hit-list is gas, which remains popular but as gas prices rise it'll be struggle increasingly to compare with the energy efficiency of induction. They're so damn easy to clean, too.

But where do you start when there are so many models of induction cooktop to choose from? Easy, you start right here because we’ve done all the homework for you and selected a septet of great induction models that don’t cost an arm and a leg…

What is the best induction hob?

Any one of the seven models below will satisfy your cooking requirements – and then some – but for our hard-earned dosh the Bosch Serie 4 wins the contest by dint of its price, low energy consumption and fine features.

The cheaper Neff N 50 is another highly recommended low-energy model with a great price to match while IKEA's Bejublad will make you cheerful, and is cheap.

But if you just want to sample the joys of induction cooking or need an extra hob or something you can take camping or use in the caravan, then the Lakeland Smart Touch and Tefal Everyday win the day.

Induction hobs: what you need to know

The induction cooktop is becoming commonplace now, yet still feels like the stuff of sci-fi. Unlike ceramic or gas hobs that heat the entire plate, induction hobs heat only the base of the pan and its contents. What’s more, they’re so efficient they can usually boil water quicker than a kettle and are said to be 50% faster than gas. 

So how do they work? That’ll be our old underrated friend magnetism. 

Even when the hob is on it remains cool to the touch, yet as soon as you place a saucepan on it, a whopping amount of heat is generated and before you know it you’ve whipped up a four-course banquet.

You can even put a tea towel between the hob and the pan and it won’t catch fire, not that I’d advise doing that. And because the whole hob is completely smooth, any spillages like boiled milk and slimy pasta water are very easily cleaned with a simple flick of a kitchen wipe.

There is a slight down side to this: the absence of knobs makes cleaning easier but control of temperature settings slightly harder. A knob really is the ultimate temperature changing device, and no touchable strip can measure up.

However there is a small but fairly significant caveat that should be considered before jumping on the induction bandwagon: induction only works with ferrous metals like steel and cast iron and chances are at least some of your current cookware is of the wrong variety. 

It’s easy to check: place a magnet to the base of each pot and pan. If it sticks you’re in luck; if not you’ll need to fork out on some new cooking gear.

The majority of induction hobs are swathed in a beautiful looking slab of ceramic glass. Be mindful that this surface is quite easily scratched by rough-bottomed cast iron cookware so position your Le Creuset casserole dish with care or stick to steel pans with smooth bottoms.

Now here’s the really important bit

Some induction hobs draw up to 7.4kw of power and that means having a separate ring main fitted if your current setup is, like many older kitchens, just a standard 13 amp cooker plug. 

Boy, did I find that out the hard way.

If you also have an electric oven on the same ring, you may in fact need an even higher rated cable. 

Bear this in mind because it’s the single most important consideration when purchasing any electrical cooking appliance. 

I’d advise employing the services of an electrician beforehand just to be sure you won’t be purchasing a product that needs a whole new ring main installed at great cost (upwards of £500).

Right, you’ve read the pros and cons of induction. So what the devil are you waiting for?

The best induction hobs 2019, in order

best induction hob: Bosch Serie 4 PWP631BF1B

1. Bosch Serie 4 PWP631BF1B

Best induction hob, pound for pound, with hassle-free installation

Dimensions: 56 x 50cm
Zones: Four
Electricity loading: 3kW
Reasons to buy
+Low wattage+Keenly priced+Handy bridge function
Reasons to avoid
-Not the prettiest

Aside from the attractive price and excellent set of features, this Germanic induction hob hogs the #1 spot for one reason in particular: it’s one of only a handful of induction models that can be plugged straight into a standard UK plug. 

For those with slightly dated kitchens and only a 13 Amp plug in the vicinity, that’s music to the ears. 

Energy consumption is just 3 kilowatts as opposed to 4.7kw for the other models on this page and that equates to lower electricity bills, too. What’s not to like?

The Bosch comes with four induction zones embedded in a decently alluring slab of black ceramic glass. Rather handily, the two cooking zones on the left can be combined into one long zone for oblong casseroles and other large cookware. 

A bridge function like this won’t be used everyday but it’s always good to know you have the option should the need arise.

The Bosch also has useful functions such as PowerBoost, which provides up to 50% more power in a thrice, automatic pan size recognition sensors in each zone and a touch-sensitive control panel that's a breeze to use.

If you’re in the market for a reasonably-priced, well specified German-branded model that will plug straight into your existing 13 amp socket then stop right here.

Best induction hob: Miele KM6366-1

2. Miele KM6366-1

A hob that’s able to take on anything

Dimensions: 80.6 x 52.6cm
Zones: Six
Electricity loading: 11kW
Reasons to buy
+Six zones+Great touch controls+Nowhere for dirt to hide
Reasons to avoid
-Requires professional installation

• Buy the Miele KM6366-1 from Currys

While most hobs are perfectly fine at what they do, the standard four zone models can be trying if you’ve got a lot of cooking to do. So, instead of endlessly juggling your pans around in a bid to prepare meals in a timely fashion, the logical next step is to head for the Miele KM6366-1 and its beefy six zone capacity.

The actual cooking area is nicely carved up too, with all of the six zones being turned on and off via touch controls at the front. It’s ideally suited to anyone with lots of large pans. We rather like the hob timer too, which means that you’ll get an audible alarm when food is ready. It’s a really practical solution to the endlessly missed pot or pan that boils over when you’ve been distracted for literally two seconds.

Lookout for the TwinBooster feature, which lets you combine the power of two zones and therefore delivers a quicker way of boiling water. The appliance is also sensible when it comes to energy consumption. In fact, the pan detection aspect of the Miele KM6366-1 means it won’t start heating anything up until it knows you’ve put a pan on a zone.

Bear in mind that you’ll need to get this sizeable appliance hard wired into your home too, so there’s that aspect of the Miele KM6366-1 to factor in. However, the payback is a substantial induction hob that’s well suited to anyone with a large family or who has simply grown tired of putting up with the stingy four zone system found on many conventional hobs.

Best induction hob: Lakeland Smart Touch

3. Lakeland Smart Touch

Best portable single-zone induction hob

Dimensions: 31 x 39cm
Zones: One
Electricity loading: 2kW
Reasons to buy
+Portable+Reasonably priced
Reasons to avoid
-Quite large

• Buy the Smart Touch from Lakeland

This portable, single-zone, worktop model from Lakeland is a brilliant accompaniment to have alongside an existing hob, whether it’s gas or induction. It’s also the perfect fix for Rayburn and Arga owners who tend to leave their cookers off to save on the huge electricity, gas and wood bills these behemoths generate. And, of course, if you live in a small studio flat or bedsit, having something like this means you can now rustle up a proper meal for once instead of toast and pre-packed microwaved mush.

The Smart Touch plugs into the nearest available socket, measures 39cm x 31cm (about two-thirds the depth of an average kitchen worktop) and will easily accommodate induction-ready pots and pans with bases up to 27cm in diameter. It comes with six pre-set cooking modes (slow cook, pan fry, stir fry, simmer, boil and keep warm), ten temperature settings from 70˚C to 240˚C and a handy timer function. To change a mode, simply keep tapping the button until the relevant icon lights up. And if using the slow cook, pan fry or stir fry modes, you can adjust the power/temperature using the handy circular touch-sensitive dial.

The Smart Touch boiled 500ml of water faster than the kettle and at more than twice the speed of the gas hob. The touch interface, too, was easy enough to get a handle on without even a sniff of the manual. Granted, it isn’t as small or as portable as the similarly-styled Tefal reviewed below but, at just 4cm in height, it’s a much more elegant option for permanent or temporary placement.

Best induction hob: NEFF N 50 T36FB41X0G

4. NEFF N 50 T36FB41X0G

Best budget induction hob

Dimensions: 49 x 56cm
Zones: Four
Electricity loading: 3kW
Reasons to buy
+Speedy boiler+13amp plug attached+Easy-clean surface
Reasons to avoid
-Poor multi-zone performance-No bridge function

• Buy the Neff N50 from John Lewis & Partners

If you only have a 13-amp plug socket to hand and no special cooker-specific ring mains knocking about, consider installing this keenly-priced, four-zone model from every high-end property developer’s favourite cooking appliance manufacturer.

The Neff’s ceramic top is comprised of two 180mm zones (up to 3kW), a 145mm medium-sized zone (up to 2.2kW) and a small 210mm zone (also up to 3kW). However, with all four hobs running at once, some zones don’t heat as evenly or as quickly because of the unit’s relatively low 3kW power rating. Mind, this is pretty much the norm with most plug-and-play models and the best way round it is to either stir the food a little more to distribute the heat or don’t use so many zones at once. We should also add that it doesn’t come with a bridge function so you can’t link two zones together.

The Neff’s TouchControl interface is very easy to use and includes a boost setting and the obligatory timer. Users rate this hob extremely highly and praise it for its incredible speed at boiling stuff and generally making the task of cooking a hell of a lot more pleasurable. Even cleaning it is almost a joy.

Best induction hob: Bosch PUE611BF1B

5. Bosch PUE611BF1B

Another Bosch that’s fast, efficient and has a solid track record

Dimensions: 60 x 52.5cm
Zones: Four
Electricity loading: 3kW
Reasons to buy
+Fast and efficient+Looks a treat+Easy to clean
Reasons to avoid
-Induction trait that can result in slightly uneven heating

• Buy the Bosch PUE611BF1B from John Lewis & Partners

The Bosch PUE611BF1B induction appliance is one of the hardiest hobs out there having been around for a while now without the threat of being pushed asunder by newer models. The styling certainly still looks very cool, but the hob is also great at getting on with the task in hand, as in heating up your pots and pans very rapidly.

The Bosch PUE611BF1B features TouchSelect controls, which means that selecting the right mode to suit your cooking task is straightforward. Induction hobs are also frequently praised for their speed and energy efficiency and this is where this model really excels.

However, you’ll need to check that it’s warmed food all the way through as induction hobs can struggle to do this effectively. The Bosch PUE611BF1B is no exception. There’s a decent trade-off with this appliance though in that it can be plugged into a regular wall socket, so there’s no faffing around when it comes to installation. That’s a definite bonus.

Bosch invariably packs in some neat tricks too and the PUE611BF1B hob is therefore quite nicely spruced up by a selection of practical controls. Its PowerBoost function is perhaps the area that we like best, simply because it allows you to bring things to the boil that little bit quicker. When mealtimes are stressful then features like this can help to take the sting out of a laboured spagbol or similar.

Elsewhere, the extensive range of settings includes 17 heating options, there’s a child lock and the whole thing boasts nowhere for food spillages to hide as it’s got a super smooth wipe-clean surface. The four heating areas are able to cope with all being on the go at the same time, probably because the 60cm wide cooking surface is sensibly proportioned.

Best induction hob: Tefal Everyday IH201840

6. Tefal Everyday IH201840

Best cheap single-zone induction hob

Dimensions: 27 x 34cm
Zones: One
Electricity loading: 2.1kW
Reasons to buy
+Small footprint+Perfect for caravans and boats+Cheap as chips
Reasons to avoid
-A but chunky looking

• Buy the Tefal Everyday from John Lewis & Partners

This portable from Tefal is smaller than the Lakeland reviewed above but not quite as attractive to look at. However, it is a much more suitable size for caravan and boat use and a damn handy addition to your glamping paraphernalia.

The Tefal is equipped with a tough ceramic surface and measures just 27cm in width, making it suitable for steel-bottomed pots and pans up to 25cm in diameter. Its five pre-set modes – boil water, stir fry, deep fry, stew and heat milk – are a doddle to use and if you need to adjust the temperature, simply tap either the plus or minus icons. It also comes with a manual mode with nine power levels, from 450W to 2,100W.

This writer was frankly blown away by how well it works. At a shade under £50, it’s an absolute no brainer, but don’t take my word for it; just head over to John Lewis or Amazon and read all the glowing reviews.

Best induction hob: AEG IKE64471FB

7. AEG IKE64471FB

Best 'pro' induction hob

Dimensions: 59 x 52cm
Zones: Multiple
Electricity loading: 7.35kW
Reasons to buy
+Great PowerSlide feature+Linked zones+Smart looks
Reasons to avoid
-Quite pricy and power hungry

• Buy the AEG IKE64471FB from John Lewis & Partners

Given the amount of cooking power (7.35Kw) and useful tech it offers, this flagship AEG is outstanding value and well worth considering if you need something more versatile. It’s a great looker, too.

Some professional chefs aren’t fans of induction hobs and much prefer the freedom of a gas flame. One of their biggest gripes is that they can’t sauté (ie shake) the ingredients just above the heat on an induction hob as they can on a gas hob because the induction zone instantly switches off as soon as the pan loses contact.

Well AEG may well have solved that issue to some degree because this high-end model has something called PowerSlide. It’s basically one long rectangular zone on the left hand side that can be programmed to operate at three different temperatures. This allows the user to slide the pan quickly from one zone to the other theoretically emulating the gas sautéeing technique. It’s also a dead handy feature if you simply want to lower or raise the temperature of the ingredients quickly and efficiently.

As if the cooking zones on this model aren’t already big enough to accommodate most large pans, you can also take advantage of AEG’s FlexiBridge system and combine four segments together to create one mega zone for making giant stews or perhaps even a paella. 

AEG’s Direktouch control meanwhile ensures accurate fuss-free temperature adjustments for any individual zone. 

Best induction hob: IKEA Bejublad

8. IKEA Bejublad

Best affordable-yet-stylish induction hob

Dimensions: 59 x 52cm
Zones: Four
Electricity loading: 7.4kW
Reasons to buy
+Keenly priced+Great bridge function+Five year warranty
Reasons to avoid
-White isn't to everyone’s taste

• Buy the Bejublad from Ikea for £400

IKEA doesn’t just do flat-pack furnishings, it also sells induction hobs seemingly named after fictitious fantasy characters. 

If you’re after a clean look to go with your new solid Quartz worktop then this opaque off-white option is an excellent choice. 

Word on the street is that the Bejublad is made by Whirlpool… or maybe Electrolux. Whoeveris is, it’s a damn fine induction hob at a very keen price, and you certainly can’t overlook IKEA’s impressive five-year guarantee.

This four-zone induction model offers a bridge function, which you don’t normally see at this price level. 

Say you’ve got a large oval Le Creuset casserole cocotte on the go. In most instances a cast iron pot of that size will be too large for any one zone and induction hobs are very choosy about pan size. With this unit you can simply turn two smaller zones into one big one so that the cocotte’s dimensions fit within the correct operating dimensions.

The Bejublad features touch and slide control for easy heat regulation and a power boost function for rapidly boiling water, stir frying or searing steaks. The pause function is another dandy feature that suspends the cooking process while you answer the doorbell.

This stylish option is efficient and easy enough to use without having to reach for the manual. A top mid-priced buy.

Best induction hob: Miele KM6115

9. Miele KM6115

Best induction hob for sheer kudos

Dimensions: 57.4 x 50.4cm
Zones: Four
Electricity loading: 7.4kW
Reasons to buy
+Quality build+Easy to use+Five year warranty
Reasons to avoid
-Too basic for some-Not overly cheap

This particular Miele doesn’t have any particular whistles and bells attached – for that you’ll need to fork out in excess of £1,500 – but given Miele’s exceptional reliability record and manufacturing expertise, no domestic appliance roundup would be complete without one.

For your £600-£700 outlay you get four cooking zones – one large, two medium and one small – that automatically detect the size of the pans being used, a wonderful touch-control interface that will absolutely not require a manual to get a handle on and an exquisite black ceramic glass top that’s a doddle to wipe clean.

Ironically, this Miele is probably the most basic induction hob on this page but sometimes you just want a stylish product that’s easy to use without ever having to refer to an instruction manual. 

In that respect this model’s a veritable cracker.