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Home » The Difference Between A Kitchen And Kitchenette (Full Comparison)

The Difference Between A Kitchen And Kitchenette (Full Comparison)

  • Zak 
kitchen and kitchenette, what is a kitchenette

In this article, I’m going to breakdown the difference between a kitchen and a kitchenette. But, to avoid wasting your time, I’m only going to focus on a kitchenette since everyone knows what a kitchen is.

But, to be helpful, here’s a super quick explanation of what a kitchen is:

It is a designated room or space primarily designed with functionality and creativity in mind. It has many amenities that allow a homeowner or occupant to prepare all sorts of meals and beverages for many people, with ample storage space for appliances, cutlery, dishes, cookware, and cleaning products.

Now, let’s talk about kitchenettes.

What Is A Kitchenette?

A kitchenette is a smaller kitchen, often referred to as a compact kitchen or combination kitchen. What differentiates a kitchenette from a kitchen isn’t just the size of the space but also the size of the appliances and furniture.

The sole purpose of a kitchenette is to provide the basic functionality of a kitchen in a compact space. To do this, they have smaller and fewer cabinets, shelf space, countertops, and appliances.

Every kitchenette has a mini fridge, toaster, mini stove, and a small sink area.

This is everything one needs to prepare, cook, and clean food. It’s not an ideal space to make food for an entire family or for a Michelin star.

At most, a kitchenette may have one or two cabinets for storage, but they are usually very narrow and compact.

What Are The Best Places For A Kitchenette?

kitchenette, what is a kitchenette

In no particular order, here’s a list of the best spaces for a kitchenette rather than a normal kitchen:

  • Hotel rooms
  • Rental apartments
  • RV’s
  • Food trucks
  • Office buildings
  • Tiny houses
  • Dorm rooms
  • Granny pods or guesthouses
  • Studio apartments

In all these places, you can make substitutions for different types of appliances in place of others, depending on the needs of the user.

For instance, in a work environment like an office building, you wouldn’t need a toaster or stove. Most employees want a place to store and heat their food, plus appliances to prepare their favorite beverages.

So, you could exclude a toaster or stove and include a bigger fridge, blender, coffee machine, and kettle.

A kitchenette should be furnished by considering the type of person who will stay within the location, the duration of their stay, and their catering needs.

The Pros And Cons Of A Kitchenette

1. Space-saving1. Limited Appliances
2. Affordable2. Limited Or Lack Of Storage Space
3. Low Maintenance3. Little Room To Work And Prepare Food For Many People

Kitchen vs Kitchenette

Space and storage

Straight off the bat, you’ll find that the average kitchen is larger than almost all kitchenette’s. A kitchen has enough room for multiple people to work in it while being able to store a large amount of food, spices, appliances, cutlery, and cleaning essentials.

But, at the same time, a kitchen requires it’s own room in a home, which can be a problem when you don’t have much to work with.

A kitchenette only has room for the bare necessities of cooking and cleaning, but it can be installed in any space, even an RV.

Utilities and surfaces 

In most kitchens, you can find zones that make cooking and cleaning easier and more technical. 

In a kitchenette, you have to compromise on most of these items to make space for food preparation and space for appliances.


Every kitchen has the basic appliances plus the use of extractor fans, ovens, dishwashers, islands, and countertops. This makes a kitchen an ideal location for all your culinary needs and wants. It’s easier to prepare food for a family or for large crowds of people.

A kitchenette is usually devoid of most appliances other than a mini stove, toaster, kettle, and mini fridge.

Cost and maintenance

A kitchen usually requires a lot of upkeep and maintenance to preserve the integrity of the appliances and the space itself.

Regular cleaning is extensive and demanding since there’s so much that can be prepared in a kitchen. It’s more expensive to furnish, given that bigger appliances cost more money.

Conversely, a kitchenette is relatively cheap to furnish and easy to maintain. It’s an ideal setup for a student or someone living on their own who doesn’t have a demanding nutrition plan.

Design Tips For A Kitchenette

  • When utilizing the available space, consider the proximity to electrical outlets, water supply, and ventilation before furnishing and installing a kitchenette.
  • Make use of tall and vertical storage spaces.
  • Install LEDs under the cabinet to light up the work space or create a warm ambience.
  • Install floating shelves, organizers, and other storage accessories for cookware and utensils.
  • Use light colors to make the kitchenette appear brighter and more spacious.
  • Choose a location that has a backsplash so that you can cook and clean without concern for damage to your property.
  • Place the kitchenette near a window. This will add more natural light to the space and improve ventilation.

That brings us to the end of this article on kitchen vs. kitchenette. I hope that the exposition of pros and cons helps you furnish your space appropriately. Consider your needs, budget, and the space you have before investing in a kitchen or kitchenette.

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