15 Best Kitchen Islands (Review) In 2021
- 1. Hodedah Kitchen Island with Spice Rack
- 2. Casual Home Kitchen Island
- 3. Home Styles Liberty Off-White Kitchen Island
- 4. Linon Granite Top Kitchen Island
- 5. Home Styles Americana Black and Distressed Oak Kitchen Island
- 6. HOMCOM Rolling Oak Wood Drop-Leaf Kitchen Island
- 7. Dorel Living Kitchen Island
- 8. Monarch White Kitchen Island by Home Styles
- 9. Nova Microdermabrasion Rolling Wood Kitchen Island
- 10. Giantex Kitchen Island Cart
- 11. Americana Antique White Kitchen Island by Home Styles
- 12. Home Aesthetics Wood Rolling Kitchen Island
- 13. Aspen Rustic Cherry Kitchen Island by Home Styles
- 14. LAZZO Kitchen Island on Wheels
- 15. ChooChoo Kitchen Island on Wheels
The Best Kitchen Island
The best kitchen island is a fantastic way to add some functionality to your kitchen, whether you need some extra counter space or your kitchen utensil hoarding habit has gotten a little too out of hand. Just so we’re clear, these kitchen islands are not like the fixed islands you’ve seen in a thousand Hollywood movies. Instead, they are compact but convenient carts that you can place wherever you need.
Any decent island in the kitchen may still not stand up to an island in the sun, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t plenty to love. Growing in their popularity they even started replacing dining tables. They also offer a wealth of storage options while also giving you something handy for your favorite kitchen tools, whether it’s your finest kitchen knives for your butcher block prep space, or your favorite ramekins for when you make those delicious chocolate lava cakes. Whatever your reasons for investing in a kitchen island, you’re guaranteed quality with a range of styles, both modern and traditional, suitable for any home. Because who needs the lapping waves and gentle sea breeze when you’ve got something that will enhance your kitchen experiences like this?
Range of color options
Space for small appliances, pots, pans, etc.
Drawer for utensils
Wheels to facilitate movement
High-quality compressed wood construction
With a range of color options and plenty of space for small appliances as well as pots and pans, it’s easy to see why the Hodedah Kitchen Island with Spice Rack, Towel Rack & Drawer is our best choice of islands for a kitchen. It offers a variety of useful features, including handy wheels that make it easy to move around, and the high-quality compressed wood ensures exceptional durability. Despite this, you might struggle with the assembly, especially if you’re by yourself, and while the spice and towel racks are useful, they don’t feel too secure.
Spice rack and towel holder
Locking caster to fix position
Space for microwave on top
Sturdy and durable
Assembly is a little frustrating
Spice and towel racks don’t fit securely
Range of size options
Solid wood top
Two spacious lower shelves
Drawer with stainless steel handle
The Casual Home Kitchen Island comes in a variety of sizes that makes it an attractive choice for a range of households. Whether you’re working in a small, medium, or large kitchen, you will find a size that suits you. It comes with a solid wood top with spacious tiers that maximize storage, wasting zero space, and giving you an open-plan design that’s convenient and stylish. The contrasting frame and tabletop give it a modern feel, meaning it ticks most boxes, but we wish the drawer wasn’t so shallow.
Stainless steel towel rack
Contrasting frame and tabletop
Sustainably sourced materials
Drawer is a little too shallow
White finish comes off too easily
Hardwood and engineered wood combination
0.8mm thick stainless steel top
Two adjustable shelves
Brushed nickel hardware
Two locking casters
The Liberty Off-White Kitchen Cart with Stainless Steel Top by Home Styles includes hardwood and engineered wood combination to balance quality with affordability, and its stainless steel top is perfect for hot pans without damaging the surface. There is elegant brushed nickel hardware, while wheels make it easy to move, while the locking casters keep it stable and in place. We found, however, that the wood could split a little too easily, and you may find it difficult to secure some bolts, which raises questions over the sturdiness.
Easy to clean and maintain
Three storage drawers
Towel bar and spice rack
Wood can split too easily
Difficult to lock some bolts
Classic granite top
Slide-out wire storage basket
4 bottle wine storage rack
Heavy-duty locking rubber casters
For durability and quality, there are few better options than the Linon Kitchen Island Granite Top. Here, you get everything you could want from a kitchen island, including a slide-out wire basket for extra storage and four wine bottle grooves for when you want a treat with dinner. There is a 300 pound total weight limit, ensuring peace of mind, and it’s also microwave-friendly, meaning it won’t scratch. However, the granite top doesn’t feel too secure, so find a solution to keep it in place, especially when you’re getting into the cooking zone.
Spacious pull out drawer
Chrome finished hardware
300 pound total weight limit
Granite top is not as secure as we’d like it to be
Wood feels a little cheap
Solid hardwood and engineered wood combination
Two cabinet doors
If you’re looking for a premium pick when considering kitchen island ideas, the Americana Oak Kitchen Island by Home Styles is exactly what you need. It comes with a combination of solid hardwood and engineered wood, which denotes durability, while the antique brass finished hardware adds a unique and elegant touch. The drawer slides open with ease, and with multiple drawers and cabinets, there’s plenty of storage space that you can additionally arrange using a kitchen drawer organizer. We’d not advise assembling it yourself though, as it’s likely to cause you at least a little frustration if you go it all alone.
Antique brass finished hardware
Easy-glide storage drawer
Convenient side shelves for smaller items
Not suitable for assembling by yourself
Front doors do not close as easily as we’d like
Range of storage options
Expandable leaf countertop
Convenient caster wheels
Spice and towel rack
Oak wood butcher block countertop
The HOMCOM Rolling Oak Wood Drop-Leaf Kitchen Island Cart is one of our favorite kitchen island ideas for a few reasons. For one, it comes with an expandable leaftop counter which drops down to give you more space when not using it. It also comes with plenty of storage options, and the convenient caster wheels mean it’s easy to move. Arguably, the oak wood butcher block countertop is the best feature, though, especially for anyone passionate about cooking. Again, though, it takes a long time to assemble.
Two wheels lock in place
155 pound weight capacity
Spacious drawers and cabinets
Long assembly time
Some drill holes do not line up properly
Drawer and cupboard provide ample storage options
One-year limited warranty
30 pound countertop weight limit
Compact and convenient, the Dorel Living Kitchen Island is perfect for small spaces while still giving you useful storage solutions and space to prep some of your favorite meals. There is an adjustable inside shelf which provides excellent flexibility if you want to switch things up. The built-in towel bar and spice rack add useful little features, as do the caster wheels, but while these can lock, you might still find the unit shifting slightly if you apply too much pressure, and there’s a chance that it won’t feel as stable as other options.
Caster wheels for easy mobility
Adjustable inside shelf
Built-in towel bar and spice rack
Attractive silver handles
May need additional tools to guarantee sturdy assembly
Unit may still move when wheels are locked
Hardwood and engineered wood combination
Extendable 15.5 inch breakfast bar
Two storage drawers
Four adjustable shelves
For a graceful and efficient option, the Monarch White Kitchen Island by Home Styles covers exactly what you need. The extendable 15.5-inch breakfast bar gives you options when it comes to having a relaxing Sunday morning, while the storage cabinet, complete with four adjustable shelves offers excellent flexibility. We also love the elegant pillars on each corner, adding to the traditional feel, but one issue with this is that there are no wheels, so good luck trying to move it, especially considering how heavy it is.
Elegant pillars on corners
Attractive from both sides
Too heavy to move by yourself
Sturdy and durable
Useful three-tier design
Wheels for simple portability
Removable metal baskets
The Nova Microdermabrasion Rolling Wood Kitchen Island Storage Trolley is an exceptional best value pick when looking at the best kitchen islands ideas. Here, you get something that is both sturdy and durable, but also highly affordable, allowing you to maximize your kitchen space like never before. It has a useful three-tier design that increases storage potential with a 6-bottle wine rack and stainless steel accessories, including a towel rack that contrasts perfectly with the wooden frame. This frame feels a little rough in certain places though, so you might do well to sand it down to make sure nobody gets a splinter while admiring it.
Adds more storage options for smaller spaces
360-degree casters with locking safety latch
Stainless steel towel rack and handles
Six-bottle wine rack
May take a while to put together
Wood is slightly rough in certain places
Three storage drawers
360-degree swivel casters
Versatile application options
Easy to assemble
With three storage drawers, versatile applications, and handy swivel casters, this Giantex Kitchen Island Cart is suitable for small spaces or as an additional table to hold essentials. It boasts a modern and elegant style that helps it blend in perfectly to the contemporary home, and unlike other models, it’s actually easy to assemble. We hope we haven’t jinxed you by saying that, though. It’s also easy to clean and maintain, but there are some doubts over the stability of the table top, and the trays don’t slide out very easily.
Environmentally friendly paint
Easy to clean and maintain
Modern and elegant style
Stable lockable casters
Trays do not slide out easily
Table top does not feel secure
Hardwood and engineered wood combination
Rustic design elements
Raised panel doors
Easy-access storage cabinet
Open storage shelf options
The Americana Antique White Kitchen Island by Home Styles brings the rustic feel to your kitchen and home overall, giving you something that’s full of character and always appealing. It comes with an easy-access storage cabinet, while the raised panel doors add interesting but effective details that enable it to stand out against more modern and ‘stylish’ alternatives. There are also matching oak finished knobs, but like other antique styles, there aren’t any wheels, which means it is difficult to move when the time comes.
Matching oak finished knobs
Single adjustable shelf
Easy to assemble
Not suitable for modern decors
Varnished rubberwood top
Two convenient drawers
Towel rack on the side
Four heavy-duty casters
The high-quality materials of the Home Aesthetics Wood Rolling Kitchen Island Cart Trolley on Wheels are something that ensures it stands out from the competition, but it doesn’t finish there. You also get two convenient drawers as well as a towel rack on the side that doubles as a steering handle when moving the unit around. The 110-pound maximum weight capacity gives you confidence, while the spacious lower tiers can provide versatile storage possibilities. However, we encountered some minor quality control issues, which never ideal, and some of the coating might crack during assembly.
Two lockable wheels
110 pound maximum weight capacity
Two spacious lower tiers
Easy to move
Coating may crack during assembly
Some minor quality control issues
Mahogany wood and veneers
Recessed door panels
Bold molding detail
Four storage drawers
Storage cabinet with one adjustable shelf
The Aspen Rustic Cherry Kitchen Island by Home Styles is a stunning option perfect for larger households that are still short on space. The mahogany and wood veneers add character and grace, which is further accented with the bold molding detail that brings the classic appeal you might look for. As far as other island features go, a unique sliding mechanism increases counter space to help keep you organized during food prep, and the entire unit feels sturdy and durable, so you know you can trust it. You’ll find that it also takes a while to assemble, though, and the lack of wheels could be an issue.
Unique sliding mechanism to increase counter space
Elegant and functional design
Feels sturdy and durable
Takes a while to assemble
No wheels minimize mobility options
Large storage space
Windowed cabinet doors
Three-position adjustable shelf
Thick and sturdy pine countertop
360-degree swivel wheel
The LAZZO Kitchen Island on Wheels provides vast extra storage space that will simplify your kitchen organization needs and take away the stress that has followed you around the home for far too long. Its windowed cabinet doors mean you don’t need to hide your favorite pots and pans away from your guests, while the thick pine counter is durable and can withstand up to 300 pounds. You can also use it as a side table, giving it some superb versatility, but this is only useful if you can assemble it, which like other islands can be a little tricky.
Holds up to 300 pounds
Stylish design with multiple uses
Also useful as a side table
Assembly will take a while
Instructions may be missing from box
Large storage capacity
Stable and durable
Easy to move and keep lock in place
Available in two colors and boasting a useful design that ensures a range of storage possibilities, the ChooChoo Kitchen Cart on Wheels combines a traditional style with an open style to ensure you can access everything you need with no hassle. It includes two drawers and one cabinet, while the four shelves are ideal for anything you need to use regularly, such as your favorite spices or wooden mixing spoons. Despite this, it doesn’t feel too high quality, and there seems to be an unnecessary amount of hardware involved in the assembly process.
Built-in noise reduction on drawers
Does not feel as good quality as other options
A lot of hardware involved in assembly
Features To Consider With Kitchen Islands
The size of your kitchen island will directly determine how convenient is will be for you. While it's tempting to buy the largest kitchen island just because you can, a kitchen island that's too large won't improve your cooking experience. In fact, it's likely to make everything more stressful, as you'll feel you don't have any space to move.
You should still make sure it's large enough to fit everything you need, otherwise it's back to the drawing board. It's also worth considering why you need a kitchen island, as this will help you decide which size is right for you. For storage, you may not need a massive product, whereas anything you plan on using for food prep will need to be a little bigger.
Most kitchen islands will be rectangular, and this enables you to move it around easily, without it taking up too much floor space, especially if it is in the middle of the kitchen. However, a smaller kitchen may require a square-shaped kitchen island that will serve as an additional countertop.
You should also think about the shape of your kitchen. If it is an irregular shape, there's the risk that the kitchen island won't fit comfortably inside, which will make it hassle than it's worth. Arguably, the best kitchen shape and style is one that is open plan, as this should allow you to move the island around freely with no issues. or obstructions. If you are struggling to determine the perfect shape when considering kitchen island ideas, you'll need about two feet of space on each side to allow people to move freely.
When looking at potential kitchen island ideas, the material might only seem important when considering how the rest of your kitchen looks. However, there is much more to it than this. The material will also determine what you can use with your kitchen island.
For example, a wooden butcher block is ideal for chopping meat, fruit, vegetables, and salad. Likewise, a metal countertop is better for hot pans, as it won't burn. With granite and marble, you get the best of both worlds, offering durability and heat resistance to protect it from scorching pans. Kitchen islands come with a variety of material choices, so this will at least give you plenty of options when it comes to selecting the ideal option to suit your kitchen.
When choosing between kitchen islands, you will typically have the choice of classic and traditional model or one that is more modern, with clean lines and a minimalist and open approach. Like anything you bring into your home, your choice depends on what you prefer and your current setup.
It's almost certain that you will want to match an elegant kitchen island with a traditional design, but you don't have to. You can try to match your choice with your set of dining chairs and table, or your kitchen bench. However, if you go for contrast rather than symmetry, there's a risk that the island will look out of place, meaning you'll need to reconsider your kitchen island ideas.
One thing to remember is that besides the design, all kitchen islands come with similar functionality. This means you can use them for storage, and you can also reach through the cabinets to the other side, which is useful if you need to put it against the wall for a while when preparing food. However, minimalist styles may be more accessible.
If you're buying a home kitchen island to increase the storage potential, then you'll need plenty of shelves, drawers, and cabinets to make sure you can fit everything inside. These storage options give you exceptional organization options, which means you'll never spend too long looking for the perfect mixing bowl again, and this will improve your overall kitchen storage experience.
Don't forget that you can also use the counter as a makeshift shelf when not using it, even if this looks a little cluttered. If you are concerned about knocking utensils, pans, and mixing bowls off the top of the counter, you can look at getting little drawers or racks where you can store anything that doesn't fit elsewhere.
Kitchen islands are not just useful for preparing food or storing items that are spilling out of cabinets. You should also think about useful features that can separate one island option from another. If you're looking for a new kitchen island, you want to make it better and more efficient than what you have already, so think about what might make islands stand out to you.
One of the most useful features is the caster wheels, which you can use to move the island around your kitchen with greater ease. You can also lock these wheels to stabilize the island while you are using it to prepare meals. Another useful feature is a towel rack to wipe wet hands, and this will double as a useful push or pull handle so you have more control over your island when wheeling it around the room.
Kitchen Island FAQ
Q: What is a kitchen island used for?
A kitchen island is a versatile product that can serve a range of purposes. Primary uses for the best kitchen island include purchasing one to give yourself extra countertop space in the kitchen, or to store your pots, pans, utensils, and spices, among others.
If you have a smaller kitchen or an always-cluttered countertop, then a kitchen island could be a fantastic addition to your home. Similarly, anyone with plenty of floor space in their kitchen may want to look at the best options so they can have a dedicated area for foot prep and use it as a butcher block.
Overall, the kitchen island is used for organization. It keeps different utensils all in one simple place, while also ensuring there is no cross-contamination between certain foods while preparing a meal.
Q: What is the best top for a kitchen island?
Arguably, the best top for a kitchen island is one that matches with your current countertops. However, if you want to add some appealing contrast to modernize your kitchen, you can choose something entirely different from the existing setup.
When choosing the best top for a kitchen island, most will agree that granite is number one. This elegant material is mostly entirely resistant to heat, meaning hot pans won't damage it. Granite is also strong, so it won't scratch as easily as wood or veneer will when you get a little overzealous while chopping. Despite this, genuine granite can be pricey, so you'll expect to pay more for your kitchen island with a granite top. As a slightly cheaper alternative, marble offers many of the same qualities that could be something to look out for.
Alternative options include wood, which is a classic design and should blend in easily with the rest of your kitchen. However, it is not as durable as it is not resistant to heat or moisture, and it will scratch easily from knives or heavy pots and pans.
If aesthetics are more important to you than the best material, you can always consider something that looks like marble or granite, as this will add character to your kitchen without being too expensive.
Q: What should I put on my kitchen island?
The beauty of the best kitchen island for you is that you can put anything you need on it. This includes pots and pans, cutlery, and kitchen knives, as well as a cutting board, spices, and ornaments.
Such versatility is part of the reason that so many people have invested in kitchen islands, and this also makes it easy to find the best style for you. Depending on what you need from your kitchen island, you can decide what you should put it into best suit you. Maybe you need a specific spot to keep the overflow of pots and pans all in one place. Likewise, you could use your kitchen island as a dedicated baking station, and this will ensure you have everything you need all in one place, so you can feel more organized (and less stressed) when you come to bake up something delicious.
Q: Can a small kitchen have an island?
If you have a small kitchen, you might think a new kitchen island is counterproductive. After all, why would you want to lessen the space even more? Well, this is part of the reason why a kitchen island could be useful, especially if you invest in one with wheels that allow you to move it around to create more space whenever you need it.
Kitchen islands are popular in small kitchens as they provide extra storage and counter space for chopping and dishing up food. They will prevent your regular counter from being too cluttered, which causes plenty of stress, and can also make you mess up your timings. If you're experienced in the kitchen, you know that this is one of the worst things to happen (other than forgetting to switch on your oven). So, with a kitchen island, you can minimize the risk of making a mistake while also minimizing cleanup time, as everything will be in a designated spot.
It is important to remember, however, that your kitchen island should still be compact enough to fit easily in the kitchen and allow you to move it around without blocking essential places. Anything up to a meter long will suffice, giving you an ample countertop without getting in the way.
Q: Should your kitchen island match your cabinets?
No, your kitchen island does not need to match your cabinets, but if you're someone who enjoys symmetry around your home, then this might be the best choice for you. However, you will need to be careful when selecting a matching color, as pictures can often deceive you, while you think you've ordered a kitchen island that matches your cabinets, it might be slightly too light or too dark, which can throw the whole thing off. If this is the case, you may be able to treat the wood to brighten or darken it, though.
Conversely, consider contrasting with your cabinets. This will make the kitchen island stand out, drawing attention to it, which gives you kitchen a model appeal. However, you will also need to select the contrasting color properly, as there's a risk that it will be too bold, which could throw off your entire aesthetic.
The same goes for the design of your kitchen island. Something with exquisite, traditional detail won't look right with clean, straight lines and vice versa. Consider your kitchen style and then select a kitchen island that you think will work best, or get someone else's opinion if you can't decide which looks right.
Q: Should the kitchen island be the same height as the counter?
It is more convenient for your kitchen island to be the same height as your cabinets, if for no other reason than it will blend in more effectively. However, like many other things in life, there is no hard-and-fast rule regarding the perfect height of your kitchen island.
You should choose a height that works best for you, so think about how tall you are, and what you will use your kitchen island for. If you are only using it for extra storage, the height may not be of too much importance, but if you are going to use it as a butcher block or with a cutting board, you need the kitchen island to be a comfortable height so you don't need to lean down too much when chopping and prepping food. If the island is lower, it will be easier to transfer trays and items, too.
For larger kitchen islands, especially those you plan on sitting around, you'll need to pick something that is high enough to sit people comfortably. However, standard kitchen chairs may not be suitable for this, so you may need to invest in bar stools.
What Is a Kitchen Island? and Why You Need One - a Designers Guide - Singer Kitchens
Does My Island Have To Match My Cabinets and Countertops? - Kitchen Magic
Guidlines for Kitchen Island Functionality - Remodeling