Everything You Need to Know about Kitchenettes

Rob Whiting
Boom Team

If you love cooking at home, one of the things that you probably look for when apartment hunting is whether the unit has a kitchen. While most listings would feature a kitchen, smaller apartments such as micros or studios might have a kitchenette instead.

But what exactly is a kitchenette, and how is it different from a kitchen? More importantly, how do you choose which better suits you?

Let’s find out!

Kitchen vs. Kitchenette

In a nutshell, the main difference that separates a kitchen from a kitchenette is the size of the area. Typically, a kitchenette has less floor space than a kitchen, which means that the functionality is also limited. What’s more, the available space dictates what kind of appliances can be found in either a kitchen or a kitchenette. A kitchen will obviously have more appliances compared to a kitchenette.

Here are the main differences between a kitchen and a kitchenette at a glance:

Differences between kitchen and kitchenette

While kitchens and kitchenettes are different in terms of the size and availability of appliances, each is better suited for its respective use.

Utilizing a Kitchen

You will typically find kitchens in larger apartments that can accommodate the space in its own room, such as a 2-bedroom, a classic six, or a duplex. Luxury apartments such as penthouses also have kitchens. Aside from having the available floor space, these apartments are usually occupied by people who eat in to save money, such as families.

A kitchen is perfect for those who love to make food in large quantities or those who love being able to customize their cooking space.

Utilizing a Kitchenette

As mentioned above, kitchenettes are more common in apartments that have limited space. You can also find them in college dormitories, off-campus housing, and offices. The main advantage of a kitchenette in these situations is that they offer the same basic function as a kitchen without needing the required amount of space.

A kitchenette is perfect for people living in small housing options, as well as those who don’t eat in often. Kitchenettes are great for making quick meals or snacks as they often have microwaves or oven toasters.

Pros and Cons of a Kitchen

At a first glance, having a kitchen in your apartment might be the only way to go. After all, who wouldn’t want to have a full-service kitchen at home? However, having a kitchen might not always be a good thing. Here are some pros and cons of a kitchen.


Space for Appliances

Any kitchen should be equipped with the basic appliances: stove, fridge, microwave, and oven. If you want to buy other appliances such as a coffee maker or an indoor grill, you’ll have space for them! Of course, the more appliances you have in your kitchen, the more cooking methods will be available for you.

Easier to Move Around

With a proper kitchen, you can move around easily without worrying about bumping into countertops or appliances. You’ll also have space to prepare ingredients, store kitchenware and cutlery, and place a decoration or two.

Great for Hosting

If you love hosting meals for friends and family, a kitchen is the better bet. There’s nothing better than having loved ones over to chat as you prepare a great meal.


Cleanup is a Pain

After any great meal comes time to pay the price: clean up. Kitchens are usually more difficult to clean because there are so many surfaces to wipe down. You also have to make sure that your appliances are kept clean.

Maintenance is Time-Consuming and Expensive

While cooking with so many appliances is fun, the downside is making sure that everything is in working order. It’s no fun to fix a leaky dishwasher or call a repairman to check a broken fridge. What’s more, specialized appliances can be pricey to fix when they break down.

Pros and Cons of a Kitchenette

If you’ve never had a kitchenette before, you might find it hard to imagine being able to make good food in such a small space. However, there are times when a kitchenette can win out over a kitchen. Here are the pros and cons of a kitchenette.



Since kitchenettes are smaller, you’ll need to choose the right appliances. You need appliances that are both functional and economical so that you can use the space properly. What’s more, you won’t be tempted to splurge on a fancy kitchen appliance that will most likely end up gathering dust anyway.

Easy to Clean

Since most cooking in a kitchenette is done either in a microwave or oven toaster, there isn’t much clean-up afterward! Even without a dishwasher, you can simply rinse out your plates and cutlery in the sink, wipe down the surfaces, and you’re done!


Limited Cooking Options

You’ll be limited to what you can make in the available appliances you have in your kitchenette. You can typically steam and heat in a microwave, as well as toast and bake in a toaster oven. However, you can forget about frying, grilling, or roasting.

No Storage Space

Limited space for appliances means that you also have limited space for other kitchenware. You won’t have any space for leftovers as well. Keeping fresh or frozen food might also be a problem since having a refrigerator isn’t always an option in a kitchenette.

The Bottomline

Ultimately, choosing between a kitchen or a kitchenette is up to your needs and preferences. However, you still need to take space into account. The type of apartment you rent will most likely dictate whether you’ll get a kitchen or a kitchenette.

Ready to take the next step to better credit?