“Glass is really lovely for herbal or tisane,” Lisa says, as they allow you to see what’s happening inside and get the full effect of changing colors and blooming leaves or flowers (though one drawback is that glass teapots won’t retain heat as well as other materials).
What about cast iron?
Traditional Japanese teapots and tetsubin are made of cast iron, which has great heat-retention. However, cast iron teapots, like pots and pans, are heavy and require extra maintenance. If you’re looking for cast iron, one with enameling can help make cleaning and caring for it a little easier.
The best glass teapots
This format teapot designed by Norm Architects can hold 50 ounces of hot water. Use it at your next tea party or whenever dehydration strikes.
Take advantage of the French American designer’s signature undulating designs in this elegant teapot created especially for The Qi. The feet and lid are colored, but the body is clear—and without a filter, it’s perfectly suited for whole flowers and other blooming teas (Lisa recommends handwashing it to avoid damage).
For larger loose-leaf teas and tea bags, here’s another glass beauty available in two-toned orange and pink or green.
Brew some black tea in this glass teapot to complement the smokey-hued infuser. The spherical lid is designed to spin around itself, not fall off the table so you’re equipped with a little party trick while you serve tea. This glass number is also dishwasher safe.
For this teapot, borosilicate glass has been intricately shaped into a duck, with its beak acting as the spout. It would fit right at home in Case Study House, or the bookshelf in your studio apartment.
The best stainless steel teapots
Made of 18/8 steel, the Frieling teapot’s functionality and sleekness makes it great for everyday use. It has a long, micro-etched stainless steel filter that keeps out the sediment, making sure your tea is smooth, without any unwanted metallic notes.
Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa’s teapot for an Italian homegoods company takes a traditional teapot silhouette and casts it in stainless steel and thermoplastic resin. It comes with a removable infuser basket and doubles as a tea kettle if you have an induction stovetop.
Swedish design agency Bernadotte & Kylberg was commissioned with creating coffee and teaware for Danish silverware company George Jensen. Taking inspiration from the brand’s jewelry archives, the resulting teapot is a striking sculptural vessel. It also has a double-walled interior to help keep that cup of tea toasty for a little while longer.
Design-heads, look no further than this teapot from the creator of the Egg Chair. We admire its squat shape and elephantine spout, which is lined with a filter to prevent any leaves from dribbling into your teacup. With 1.25 liter capacity, it’s also perfect for serving guests.
The best ceramic teapots (clay, stoneware, and porcelain)
The C-shaped side-table design reinvents itself in this teapot, and we love it. This one boasts a drip-proof spout in case you’re prone to spills. Firebelly is the brainchild of David Segal, who is also the cofounder of DavidsTea, so rest assured he knows a thing or two about tea-making.
Firebelly also makes a smaller version in the same colorways that resembles a modern Japanese kyusu with its perpendicular branch-like handle.
This apple-shaped vessel by Kate Spade is kitschy in all the right ways and would make a nice tea-time centerpiece.
The rectangular profile of this eccentric, detergent-shaped teapot makes it an unobtrusive yet charming addition to the corner of your kitchen when it’s not in use.
This portable cup and brewer set has us wanting to take a quick trip ASAP. The brewer has a filtered spout and comes with its own little carrying case.
For coffee and tea lovers, this hand-glazed pot can also be turned into a pour-over maker.
With its bamboo handles and its matte stoneware, this minimalist teapot combines Japanese and Nordic design. It holds about five cups of water, and you can round out your collection with matching tea accessories, like a sugar bowl.
Everyone’s favorite Japanese ceramics brand makes a teapot with a very large removable infuser basket, ensuring you get the most out of your tea leaves.
We don’t know what we like more about this teapot: the bulbous shape, which reminds us of a roosting robin, or the seafoam colors that add an extra shot of calm. The vitrified porcelain is dishwasher- and microwave-safe, and while there is no filter, Mud does sell removable brass and silver strainers to complete your tea-making set.
If you’re looking for something that’ll get better with age, check out this pleasingly round, unglazed teapot from Taiwan. Like a cast-iron skillet, the red clay will season over time, adding depths of flavor to your tea, so make sure to stick with one kind like oolong.
The best enamel and cast-iron teapots
Going camping? Tea drinkers rejoice—this one’s grill and stovetop-safe, so don’t forget to pack the green tea in your hiking bag.
This is a seductive teapot with an inconspicuous spout and form-fitting lid. It’s suitable for all stovetops, which makes it the rare teapot that doubles as a kettle.
A classic Japanese tetsubin-style teapot with a removable infuser, perfect for loose and powdered teas so you can fire up that afternoon matcha.
The best splurge-worthy teapots
Check out the elongated handle on this tangerine stunner, designed to protect your fingers from high temperatures and steam.
Genie in a bottle, anyone? This curvy teapot is made of high-quality Venetian glass and holds a rose to match any blooming teas you might brew in it.
This modern yet vintage moon-shaped teapot wouldn’t look out of place in an art museum. That’s because the studio behind it, Seikado Metalware, has been perfecting the craft of pewter arts in Kyoto since 1838.
This is not your grandma’s teapot. The Italian porcelain house has been manufacturing porcelain for centuries, and underwent a makeover under the creative direction of Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. Get the entire tea set with matching cups and saucers and your future grandchildren will argue about who gets it for years to come.
This one might actually be on your grandma’s shelf and with good reason. With its iconic hand-painted decorations, this porcelain teacup feels timeless and elegant without feeling too royal.
What else you’ll need to make the perfect cup of tea:
A handsome tea kettle with clean lines that’s nice enough to keep on your stovetop.
An electric kettle for boiling water, fast.