Kitchen Vs Kitchenette – Meaning, Key Features, & Difference

Blog, Interior Design, Kitchen

The words “kitchen” and “kitchenette” are often seen while hunting for a new apartment or searching for a vacation rental. To many, they are both the same, but in the world of interior design, there are many differences between a kitchen and a kitchenette.

The first and most obvious difference between these two is that a kitchenette is smaller than a kitchen. Aside from their sizes, they can also vary in terms of functionality. However, regardless of their size and functionality, both the kitchen and the kitchenette can still be a food-prep powerhouse in your home.

In this article, I will explain what a kitchen and a kitchenette are. I will also go further to differentiate properly between the two, sighting the pros and cons of each. So, without taking too much of your time, let’s take a deeper dive into the topic.

What is considered a kitchen?

A kitchen is an area in the home, designed for cooking, it is usually equipped with all necessary electrical requirements for cooking, refrigeration, and freezing. The kitchen is a very important room in a home; some might even say it is the most used room in the home. 

The kitchen can act as a place of gathering for family members to chitchat about the day and for kids to do their schoolwork. Most importantly, the kitchen is used for food preparation.

What are the defining features of a kitchen?

Some of the most predominant defining features of a kitchen include but are not limited to the following;

What are the pros & cons of a kitchen?


  • Enough storage space to keep utensils and dishes away
  • Ample space to be used for other things, from family gatherings to dining space
  • Task lighting above the countertop can be useful for families with kids (for doing schoolwork)


  • Takes up more space
  • Cost more (when compared to a kitchenette)
  • Needs more work to keep it clean and tidy because of the size and amount of appliances
  • More maintenance is needed

What is considered a kitchenette?


A kitchenette is also a type of kitchen but is smaller in size and slightly less functional than a full-sized kitchen. The suffix “ette” means “a smaller version”, so a kitchenette is also a kitchen, just smaller. 

A kitchenette can also carry the same appliances as a kitchen, but homeowners have to choose between forfeiting some appliances for others. Other homeowners choose to purchase other smaller appliances to be able to operate as a full kitchen.

What are the defining features of a kitchenette?

Some of the most predominant defining features of a kitchenette include but are not limited to the following;

  • Compact layout
  • Small or multifunctional appliances
  • Small-sized cabinets
  • Medium or small-sized counter space
  • Limited spacing
  • Lighting

What are the pros & cons of a kitchenette?


  • They can fit in small spaces
  • You will likely pay less for a kitchenette (compared to a full-sized kitchen)
  • Easy to clean up
  • Decorating and renovating a kitchenette will be cheaper


  • Limited storage space
  • Limited appliances
  • Cooking capability may be limited

Kitchen Vs Kitchenette – What is the difference?

Many homeowners tend to ask what separates a kitchen from a kitchenette, the most obvious answer however is the size. Standard kitchen size in square feet is 80 sq ft and above, while standard kitchenette size is less than 80 sq ft.

Apart from the sizes, the appliance availability is another distinctive difference. Kitchens tend to be fully equipped with modern appliances needed in a kitchen. A kitchenette, on the other hand, does not have this luxury because of its limited space.

Functionality is the last key difference between these two. A kitchen will offer more room for cooking, storage, and so much more. With a kitchenette, you are a bit restricted in terms of functionality. Storage space is limited and certain high-end dishes tend to be difficult to prepare due to limited space.


How big are kitchenettes?

The sizes vary based on the available space, but on average, most are about five to eight feet long.

What appliances are in a kitchenette?

Common appliances found in a kitchenette include a mini fridge, a coffee maker, a toaster oven, a slow cooker or crock-pot, an electric kettle, an electric skillet, etc.

Can you cook in a kitchenette?

Having a kitchenette does not hinder your plan of cooking a delicious meal. However, you may need to simplify the cooking process a bit.

In Conclusion: Kitchen vs kitchenette – Which is better?

Both the kitchen and the kitchenette can benefit you in their own respective way. There are a number of factors to take into account, but in the end, it will have to boil down to your personal preference. 

In general, the kitchen is the preferred choice because of the size and the amount of usage you can get out of it. That said, the kitchenette is still an effective choice for most homeowners. Even with the limited space, fewer cabinets, less counter space, and fewer appliances, the kitchenette can still be quite the food-prep-powerhouse.

I hope you found this article insightful, you might also find this Gas vs Electric fireplace article to be be interesting.

Thanks for reading.

About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


Sign up to receive the latest news and updates from our company.

More questions? Get in touch