We all love the idea of a kitchen island; after all no-one believes they have enough counter-top or storage space in their kitchens.
But how do we choose one of the best kitchen islands for our home? Kitchen islands are like mini-extensions of your kitchen and offer a chance to get the most from the floor space in the middle or against walls.
So for this guide, we have researched the many products available at Amazon, from the solid and stationary, to the moveable, to those ideal for small spaces to help you choose.
Where to Start? Best Kitchen Islands by Category
With so many choices, we have selected our top three in the categories of “stationary” (should not be moved), “cart” (moveable) and “small spaces” for those with smaller kitchens.
Please Note: Stationary islands tend to be larger and heavier than the other categories so are best suited for those who have larger kitchens and more available floor space. Be careful to measure your available space first and ensure you have at least 36” free between your island and your walls or counter-tops.
Our choices of best kitchen islands in these categories are as follows:
Best Stationary Kitchen Island
Our vote goes to the Home Styles Kitchen Island and Stools, with white and distressed oak finish with its matching stools.
With four color combination choices as well as two matching bar stools, this beautiful piece of furniture makes use of every spare inch of space with 2 drawers, 2 full cupboards with moveable shelves, as well as shelves at each end of the unit.
The antiqued nickel handles and knobs add a special and elegant touch and the drawers’ easy-glide mechanisms makes opening and closing them easy.
Best Moveable Cart
We especially like the HOMCOM Pine Wood Stainless Steel Portable Multi-Storage Rolling Kitchen Island for this category.
It makes optimum use of the space for storage with cupboards, shelves, towel holder, spice racks and even a knife rack, whilst remaining at the lower end of the price spectrum for this category.
Its simple white design makes it suitable for most kitchen décor.
Best Kitchen Island for Small Spaces
When trying to make the most of tiny kitchens or small apartments, we found that the Winsome Wood Drop-Leaf Kitchen Cart won for us.
It is a very strong unit, made from solid beech wood and has both cupboards and shelves for extra storage.
But it was the double drop leaf extensions that appealed the most and made the extra price worth spending.
If those do not suit your design fancy, let’s take a look at the following options to see which ones from each category is more appealing for you.
Stationary, Moveable and Small Kitchen Islands
Top 5 Stationary Kitchen Islands
Home Styles Kitchen Island and Stools
This distressed style sustainable hardwood Kitchen Island comes in different color combinations of white with oak colored top, black with oak colored top, fully black or fully white, with two matching high-back bar stools.
In terms of dimensions, it measures 49” wide, 26” deep, and 36” high, and weighs 75 lbs, so it’s very much a stationary island. It also features a clever drop down table extension which gives you more space to use as a breakfast bar.
There’s also antiqued nickel handles and knobs, 2 full cupboards with adjustable shelves and open shelves on each side, as well as two drawers for extra storage.
The stools have a 360˚ swivel feature and are 41” high.
- Great extra storage space
- Table extension especially useful for temporary space
- Two bar stools are an added bonus
- In the higher price range
- Larger piece of furniture only for larger kitchens
Buyers found it to be an attractive and solid piece of furniture and loved the storage space it gives. They generally found it easy to assemble; some mentioned a problem with alignment of some holes and doors but these were easily fixed. Stools can be difficult to assemble, though, so keep that in mind.
This is an attractive piece with great storage. It does require care in assembly, but is well worth the effort.
Crosley Furniture Alexandria Kitchen Island
This kitchen island is available in black, cherry or white. Alongside a choice of tops in natural wood, stainless steel, black granite or grey granite. If you like the traditional farmhouse style, then this Crosley kitchen island my be for you.
This piece measures 54” wide, 18” deep, and 32” high, and weighs in at just over 100lbs. However, all that girth equates to it being a sturdy structure at an excellent price point. It also comes with the option of casters, and three different style feet and is composed of solid hardwood with a wood veneer.
Its width allows for two cupboards, each with two doors, and adjustable internal shelving. It features two drawers and hanging rails and one small spice rack shelf at either end. All hardware is brushed nickel.
- A solid piece of furniture which will last for a long time
- Many design options to choose from
- Very reasonable price
- Veneered finish might not appeal some
Most buyer impressions for this item are excellent. Customers found the instructions clear and easy to use. All parts and hardware were presented, and generally, a lot of very happy customers who love the design and the functionality.
Any problems seem to be from the fact that it is front facing only. And as natural, a few had problems with the assembly.
This appears to be one of the best kitchen islands for its price. It is sturdy, offers many color and style combinations and has easy to follow assembly instructions.
Slater 2-drawer 2-door Kitchen Island
If calming, soothing color appeals to your and your kitchen, you’ll be happy with this one. This solid wood unit is given a buttermilk color base with a brown top, in a very traditional style.
This is a square shaped island, measuring 42” wide, 42” deep, and 36” high, and weighing a heavy 250 lbs because it is all solid wood, no veneer. (Please note it is 66” wide if the extension panels are up.)
Its square shape allows it to have features on either side. For instances, it has 2 cupboards on one side with 2 doors and shelves and pigeon holes and wine glass racks on the other side. It also features two sets of drawers on each side and racks and shelving on each end.
Furthermore, the top extends on both sides for additional counter-top space or drops down when not needed.
- Two-sided access gives a great deal more space
- The extension panels allow it to become a dining table or breakfast bar
- Offers a huge amount of storage space
- Takes up a great deal of space
- Only comes in one color and style
Buyer impressions are very positive indeed, with many customers using the units for other purposes like a dining table or in their artist studios. They loved the design and all the additional shelves and drawers.
The weight made it difficult for some people to get the item into their homes, so must be considered before purchasing.
This is an attractive but classical piece of furniture that is substantial and requires some space. The access from both sides is a huge bonus but one you do have to pay for.
Catskill Craftsmen Deep Storage Island with Rectangle Top
This Catskill Craftsmen Kitchen island is made from sustainable forest American hardwood. This is the same kind of wood that you’d find being used to warm homes. Because of this, it is very environmentally friendly. Also, you have the option to stain it to match any darker wood furniture in your kitchen.
The island measures 40” wide, 24” deep, 35” high, and weighs 140 lbs. It’s made from solid wood and has shelves on each end. There are 2 door cupboards with adjustable shelves inside, plus you get a single wide drawer.
The top of the kitchen island is a solid wood butcher block. This means that it can be used as a built-in chopping board. It comes with heavy duty casters.
- Good value for money
- Sustainable forests wood waste makes it an environmentally friendly product
- Very sturdy piece of furniture
- Built-in butcher block provides for a cutting board
- No color or counter-top options are available
Customers who bought this kitchen island loved it. Most buyer reviews will describe how solid it is, and how durable and practical it is. Many also liked the fact that the wood can be stained to better match their own kitchen décor. The ease of assembly is also another great point that buyers found satisfying.
On the flip side, as always, the only complaints we could find were a couple of issues with assembly instructions being missing from the delivery in some cases.
This is a basic model kitchen island, which is flexible in location and color. It is ideal for those with smaller spaced kitchens, but who still want the best kitchen island which is stationary.
Linon Sheridan Kitchen Island in White
The Linon Sheridan is made from white pinewood with a rubber wood counter-top. This is a stationary kitchen island, and it’s looks and mid price range makes it very attractive to buyers.
This is one of the least deep stationary islands in this guide. It measures just about 46” wide, 18” deep, and 36” high. It’s also one of the lightest at just 55lbs.
- Smaller and lightweight model makes it easy to move around
- Accessible from both sides
- Extra table leaf gives additional counter space
- Not the sturdiest of islands
Generally, buyer reviews reveal that customers tend to be happy with this product, finding it very easy to assemble. In particular, they loved the extension for their kids to have as their special breakfast spot.
However, a few users did not like the fact that the extension leaf sticks out a little from the side when put back into the unit. A minor inconvenience, but one to take note of.
The Linon Sheridan kitchen island is a different style from many others. With its open shelving in the middle and one sided pull out extension leaf, it offers some variety for those looking for something a little different. But being so very lightweight so easy to move around is certainly a big pro for those who’re always moving things around in the home.
Top 5 Moveable Cart Kitchen Islands
Crosley Furniture Rolling Kitchen Island with Natural Wood Top
You’ll get many options with this Crosley kitchen island, as it is available in black, cherry, mahogany or white. Alongside those options, are a choice of tops from natural wood, stainless steel, black granite or grey granite. All these options will truly make this traditional style kitchen island great for you if you have a particular taste, as it is a kitchen island that can be matched to any kitchen décor.
The Crosley moveable island measures at a depth of 18”, and width of 52” and a height of 36”. It also weighs 106 lbs, but for a moveable kitchen island, don’t expect it to be one to roll out for an afternoon tea.
It is made from solid hardwood with veneer, and all hardware is brushed nickel. The kitchen island also features double cupboards with 4 doors, adjustable shelves and 2 drawers. There are small shelves and towel rails at each end.
There is an option for solid feet, but the caster option is what makes it moveable. Two of the casters lock firmly so the island will not move when in place.
- Many design options to choose from
- Medium price range
- Option to make it stationary
- Veneered finish might not appeal to some
Customers loved the sturdiness of this island and felt that it was very easy to assemble. One particular benefit that customers loved was that the end shelf and towel rails can be removed. This simply feature makes it so that it can be connected to other pieces of furniture in the kitchen.
On the flip side, some customers were not happy that they had to treat the surface if they purchased the natural wood top. A minor negative, depending on what you particular needs are.
The available style and color combinations make this an attractive addition to the kitchen and it is priced reasonably as well to boot!
Home Styles 4528-95 Dolly Madison Kitchen Cart
This black finish Home Styles kitchen island with a natural wood top is made from sustainable forest hardwood. That means you get an environmentally friend product with your purchase. And with a tough clear coat finish and neutral style, this is a great choice that will suit most kitchens.
The Home Style Kitchen Island Cart measures in at 48” wide, 18” deep, and 36” high. It also weighs 117 lbs, so it’s not really considered light in weight. However, there are 2 cupboards each, with one door, and adjustable internal shelves as well as a towel rail at each end. All hardware is brushed nickel.
It features heavy duty lockable casters to hold in place when in use or for ease of movement when moving it to another location.
- An attractive sleek and generic design that will suit most kitchens
- Solid sustainable hardwood, no veneer
- Tough clear finish for extra durability and protection
- Still quite heavy for a moveable cart
- No extra shelving at the end
Customers that took the time to review this item loved the sturdiness of this island, especially the elongated handle design. The surface too is similar to a butcher block, which some liked, and the assembly seems especially easy.
This Home Styles unit is certainly an elegant kitchen island, and thus different from many of the more traditional farmhouse style pieces. This is also a cross over between stationary and moveable, so if you were looking for an in-between option, great buy for you!
Burleson Home Furnishings Kitchen Island
This Burleson Home Furnishings kitchen island is a stunning piece of furniture. It’s made from solid wood with an antiqued distressed finish in various shades of blue and grey.
One of the largest islands here, it’s dymension are 60” wide, 30” deep, and 38” high, and weighing 150lbs. It features 2 sliding doors that open to cupboards, with fixed shelves as well as compartments on each end. There’s also attractive mesh, pantry-style doors, and all hardware is hand wrought iron. There is a towel rail at one end as well, and it has three drawer spaces for you to utilize.
Along one long side, the counter-top extends out a little to make it ideal as a breakfast or even dining table.
The casters for this island are shipped with the piece but are optional for installation, so it can be stationary or moveable.
- A large piece with a great deal of storage as well as surface space
- Extremely attractive and unique piece of furniture
- Naturally stained wood
- The only assembly is whether to add the casters or not
- Only suitable for very large kitchens
- Sliding doors mean there are areas inside the cupboard which are difficult to reach
- It is the most expensive island we reviewed
The design of this kitchen island is what the users love. They use it as a feature piece in their kitchens or even as a drinks bar in their living rooms. Many especially liked the fact that it came ready assembled.
This is beyond the standard kitchen island due to its size and design. It will really stand out wherever you place it and can quite easily be the center point of the room. There is, of course, a higher price to pay for such a design.
HOMCOM Rolling Kitchen Island
This HOMCOM Rolling Kitchen Island is a white body and stainless steel top unit made from solid MDF. It also has a clear and simple design, which is ideal for those who aren’t into the ornate or extravagant, but need something that is beautiful yet useful.
The dimensions of this unite are reasonable, measuring at 51” wide, 18” deep, and 36” high, and weighing just over 100lbs, this is a mid price range model.
Within enough room for all your kitchen utensils, it has two cupboards with single doors, and a shelf in the middle as well as 3 drawers. There is also a towel rail and moving handle on one end, a spice rack for all your spices, and a knife rack on the other end.
It uses 4 multidirectional and wheels to allow it to be wheeled easily. Plus all hardware is brushed chrome.
- White, with clean lines means this can suit any kitchen décor
- It has a knife rack which is especially useful
- It is low-to-middle of the price range
- No choice with color or counter-top
- MDF, not solid wood
- Wheels are not lockable
Buyer impressions are excellent, and the vast majority of customers are extremely happy with this island, both due to function and ease of assembly. They felt it was excellent value for money.
This seems to be one of the best kitchen islands we reviewed. It is excellent value for money, easy to assemble and fits into most kitchens’ décor.
Boraam 98520 Sonoma Wire-Brush Kitchen Cart
The Boraam Kitchen Cart is made from solid distressed finished wood, with a stainless steel counter-top. This is very much a moveable kitchen island, and unlike the heavier options, is designed to be wheeled in and out as needed.
At 60lbs it is one of the lighter movable models we reviewed but still measures 44” wide, 21” deep, 36” high. It has an open shelf below two easy glide drawers, and four lockable casters. All the hardware is made of brushed nickel.
- Low price
- Easy to assemble
- Attractive rustic finish
- Only shelves, no cupboard storage
Buyers that took the time to write reviews expressed being very happy with this island, and found it the perfect size for a smaller kitchen. It was easy to assemble although some instructions were a little confusing. Overall they found it good quality for a low price.
A smaller and lighter piece, this is a typical moveable kitchen island and offers great value for money, as long as you look after the stainless steel top carefully.
Best Kitchen Islands for Small Spaces
Linon Kitchen Island Granite Top
The Linon Kitchen Island is one of the lowest price islands you can find designed for small spaces. This solid wood beech colored island has a solid granite top, and offers enough storage and drawer space for tight spaces.
The kitchen island measures in at just 23” wide, 16” deep, and 34” high, and weighs just 46lbs. It also features a slide out wire basket, as well as one fixed shelf.
You’ll get a storage rack for up to 4 wine bottles as well as a single drawer and all the hardware is chrome finished.
The casters are heavy duty and lockable and the island can carry up to 100lbs in weight so is very substantial.
- Perfect design and size for a smaller kitchen
- Solid granite counter-top for extra durability
- Very strong
- Wine rack so makes a good moveable bar or drinks station
- No cupboard for storage
- Heavy for its size due to granite top
According to most buyers, it’s a supe useful piece of furniture for the kitchen, being easy to wheel around, while remaining very stable whilst using. The granite top adds a look and feel of quality for a lower price, and it is very easy to assemble.
On the flip side, some users found that, once the packing boxes were opened, the preservative in the wood had a strong smell so it needed to be left outside for 24 hours before the smell disappeared.
Excellent value for money, this island is perfect for small kitchens and apartments. It wheels easily and has some storage which is useful.
Boraam 50651 Aya Bamboo Kitchen Cart with Stainless Steel Top
This neat Boraam kitchen cart is certainly made for small spaces and moving about. It’s made from bamboo and has It has a stainless steel top, it very a light kitchen island, perfect for your working and storage space.
One of the lighter kitchen islands, it’s only 23 lbs and measures at 23” wide, 16” deep, and 34” high. The light weight is thanks to the fact that it’s made from bamboo. There’s a bottom shelf, middle shelf and pull-out wire basket, as well as a small drawer. It has brushed nickel hardware and lockable casters for ease of movement.
- Low price
- Bamboo wood is more water resistant than hardwood
- Very light and easy to move around
- Not as sturdy and stable as other moveable islands
Buyers found this little cart to be excellent value for money, and really easy to assemble. They found it relatively strong, considering it is made of bamboo, some saying that it’s a very useful addition to their kitchen.
The only reasonable negative review we could find are a few buyers wishing the central shelf was lower, to give more space between the shelf and the pull-out wire shelf.
All in all, a great price for a handy little piece of furniture. This model offers a light kitchen island which can be wheeled easily and then tucked away in a corner when not needed.
Winsome Wood 94543 Marissa Kitchen Cart
The Winsome Wood Marissa kitchen cart is beautiful small island made of solid and composite wood. It’s stained to a deep walnut color with the top, made of the solid beech wood, in a lighter shade.
This is a heavier and larger piece than the lower priced kitchen islands at 54 lbs, and measures in at 36” wide, 19” deep, 35” high.
There is a single door cupboard with a removable shelf, and 3 removable shelves on the side for additional storage. It also has a wide drawer along the length of the island and a paper towel holder on one side. Two of the four casters are lockable.
- Slightly larger than others so has more storage space
- Has one closed cupboard
- A solid and substantial piece of furniture
- Additional cutting board is needed
- A higher price than other moveable kitchen islands
This is a new product so there are not thousands of reviews at the time of this writing. But those that are written all provide excellent feedback, with buyers being very happy with this product.
World Pride Portable Rolling Drop Leaf Kitchen Island
The World Price Kitchen island is another beautiful choice for those who want something that can fit into the tight spaces in their little kitchens.
The solid pine kitchen island has ceramic tiles on top. It’s also one of the lightest of all the islands you can find, weighing in at only 16 lbs, and measuring only 32” wide, 15” deep, and 36” high.
It has two foldable sides which add another 20” of countertop space. It has a single drawer, two pull-out wire baskets and a single shelf.
It also features 6 casters (the two extra being for the extensions) and the hardware is stainless steel.
- Low price
- Extra countertop space due to extensions
- Extra baskets
- Care needs to be taken when placing heavy objects on ceramic tile top
Buyer speak of this World Pride kitchen cart as being a very handy addition to the kitchen, or even to the barbecue area. This is because it offers a lot of countertop space for its size. The price was considered excellent as well.
On the flip side, other customers observed that the wheels were not very strong and should not be used for heavy items.
Its low price and cute design make this island perfect for a tiny kitchen, as it expands to almost double its width when needed.
Winsome Wood Drop-Leaf Kitchen Cart
This solid beech wood moveable island by Winsome is at the top of the moveable kitchen island category, both for its higher price range and for its extra features.
As this is a solid wood island, it weighs more than the others of similar dimensions. It is 63 lbs in weight, and measures 45” wide, 20” deep, and 33” high.
It has 2 drop leaf extensions, so it expands to extend the countertop by approximately another 20” and a 2 door cupboard with an open shelf, as well as a single drawer. All the hardware is brushed nickel and 2 of the four casters are lockable.
- With the exception of the drawer bottoms, this is solid wood so sturdy
- Two drop leaf extensions give considerably more counter-top space.
- It has a cupboard so extra storage space
- On the higher side of the price range
- No shelf in the cupboard
Buyers are thrilled with this product, both for its design and its function. They found it easy to assemble and that it really is very strong. Although not specified by the manufacturer, many use the counter-top directly as a butcher’s block because it is solid wood.
This is a solid kitchen island with extra storage space as well as countertop space. Although higher priced than some of its smaller cousins, it really does seem to fill all the requirements and is one of the best kitchen islands we reviewed.
Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Kitchen Island
Choosing a kitchen island can be a bit seem like a fairly easy task. That is until you realize all the various types that exist.
It’s a good idea, then, to pay attention to a few key areas, and make selections based on what’s good for you.
So when you are choosing which the best kitchen island is for you, consider the following:
Size & Weight
Think about the size of your kitchen. Measure the available space and the 36” you will need to move around the kitchen island easily.
Kitchens islands come in all sizes so make sure you choose the one that physically fits the best.
Use & Application
Do you want your island for preparing food, storage or serving; or perhaps all three?
Do you need your island to be moveable or stationary?
Answering these questions will help you determine which one is best for you, as you read through the descriptions and buyer reviews.
Kitchen Island Material
Study your current kitchen design and decide which type and color of material would look best. Be careful trying to match exact colors of wood as photos on-line are not exact in color so you might be better off choosing a contrasting color or material. They come in wood and metal with different color tops in wood, granite and stainless steel.
Also, if you are planning to use it for preparing food, you will need a durable or treated, heat-resistant surface.
Some come with shelves, table extensions, drawers, storable cutting boards, wire baskets, knife slots etc. etc. As you will probably have to pay more for these features, consider if you will use them.
If moveable, check if the casters are lockable or you run the risk of the island shooting across the floor.
Style & Decor
Look at your kitchen’s style. Do you want to add an ultra-modern and minimalistic kitchen island with stainless steel or are you more traditional and want a rustic classic look with natural wood.
Price & Quality
Once you have looked at all the features and styles you need, you can start looking at the different prices on the market.
Hardwoods tend to be more expensive than softwoods so, for example. Beech is more expensive than pine, but hardwoods are stronger and denser to last longer and tend not to get scratched easily.