Best Kitchen Islands & Carts

Updated

Kitchen islands carts are important as workstations and as a means of easily serving a meal. Kitchen islands are often built-in and coordinated with the rest of the kitchen. They provide a place to prep foods before they are cooked and a place to set prepared foods on their way to the table. A cart can serve as a temporary island, a mobile workstation, or as the means to transport food from one room or area to another. They can be coordinated with the islands and other kitchen furnishings, or they can be distinctly different.

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Our Picks

Updated
1
Haller Kitchen Cart

Haller Kitchen Cart

Create portable functionality in your kitchen with this compact multi-surface cart. You can use it for a mobile workspace in case you want to chop the onions on your terrace during a sunny morning. It features two shelves and one drawer for keeping all the necessary kitchen wares handy. The 360-degrees casters allow smooth sailing and they can also be locked in place for safety and stability.

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2
Raabe Kitchen Cart

Raabe Kitchen Cart

This solid pine wood/rubberwood cart is a quintessence of style and function. The white-brown finish will blend seamlessly with white or natural wood kitchen furniture but its neutral tones will easily match more colourful decor as well. Its sturdy construction can hold up to 150lbs so you can utilise the bottom shelves to store all your cookbooks. It comes with a metal rack for added convenience and an opportunity to dress it up with a decorative towel.

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3
Domenique Kitchen Cart

Domenique Kitchen Cart

This multifunction cart is a perfect addition to a home where togetherness during meal preparation is cherished. It can serve as a work surface for your kid who is eager to help you with baking. The closed cabinet, drawer, and 3 shelves enhance its mobile storing abilities, giving you easy access to all your kitchen essentials. The solid/manufactured pine wood combined with steel hardware ensure durability during your daily cooking endeavours.

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4
Dionisio Rolling Kitchen Cart

Dionisio Rolling Kitchen Cart

Enhance the look of your cottage/farmhouse kitchen with this portable storage unit sporting a rustic look. Every stand comes with a unique variation of wood knots and grain patterns. If you like to simplify its look to make it more suitable for an entryway table, you can remove the wheels. If used by the front door, the side rack will be ideal to hang your umbrella, scarf or a dog leash, and the spacious storage will accommodate a few pairs of shoes.

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5
Gilchrist Kitchen Island Set

Gilchrist Kitchen Island Set

This elegant island set provides generous storage while serving as an interesting breakfast bar. The combination of solid wood white base and dark manufactured MDF chip membrane board creates a classically warm rustic vibe. This freestanding piece comes with two matching black iron stools that fit neatly underneath the generous overhang of the beveled detailing on the antique counter-top.

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6
Lakeland Prep Table

Lakeland Prep Table

Invest in a timeless quality by acquiring this preparation table. It's manufactured from solid maple/pine wood with natural wood grain colour variation and featuring stainless steel hardware. Its protective oil finish is resistant to water and stains. To keep it pristine, just wipe it with a damp sponge using a gentle cleanser. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasives and you can enjoy its mint condition for many years to come.

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7
Fresnay Kitchen Island with Wooden Top

Fresnay Kitchen Island with Wooden Top

This voluminous island will fit perfectly in a kitchen full of vintage decor. The black rustic iron frame base is combined with 3 distressed wooden shelves in an antique bronze finish. It comes with a bonus, 3 wire baskets providing space for your cookbooks or canned foods in an industrial style. Use it for kitchen storage or as a console for your party appetisers and drinks.

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8
Prep Table Stainless Steel

Prep Table Stainless Steel

This unbreakable 20 Gauge Steel table is ideal for a busy kitchen filled with cooking passion and food experiments. It will please a conscious parent as it's NSF-Certified—everything from the product design to materials has been tested and conformed to 3rd party food equipment safety and sanitation standards. It's designed with personalisation in mind—you can adjust the bottom shelf and remove the casters if necessary.

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9
Tiphaine Kitchen Island with Granite Top

Tiphaine Kitchen Island with Granite Top

If you're looking for a substantial island with roomy counter space and generous storage, this French countryside-inspired piece is your best pick. The 100% granite top paired with birch/poplar distressed base and antique pewter hardware create an authentic look. Indulge in its uniqueness—no item has the same grain colour, finish, or wood knots due to natural factors.

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10
Serita Kitchen Cart Tile

Serita Kitchen Cart Tile

This compact yet spacious rolling cart will surprise you with functionality and versatility. It features 2 drawers, 2 chrome-finished open wire baskets, 2 slatted shelves, wine rack, and a towel rack to satisfy a highly-organised individual. It works great as a food prep trolley, coffee table station, or extra storage to hold appliances, serve-ware and linens. It offers plenty of additional storage while fitting in tight spaces and narrow nooks of small apartments.

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Best Kitchen Islands & Carts

Buying Guide

Kitchen islands and carts may be a mainstay of the home today, but it wasn't always that way. Long ago when Victorian kitchens were dark, dingy rooms relegated to the basement, finding an island in the center of the room was rare.

Walk into any kitchen today, on the other hand, and you be surprised not to see an island. This trend started in the 1950s when homes began to increasingly feature open floor plans. Now, whether it's used simply as an additional countertop, an eating area with stools or chairs, or more space for storage, a kitchen island is a must-have.

Here's how to choose kitchen islands and carts for your home

Size and Shape

Because kitchens are busy, fast-paced environments, the most important thing to keep in mind here is foot traffic. Generally speaking, you'll want between three and four feet of walking space between your island and all other furniture and walls.

If you plan to use the island for seating, factor in the added space a seated person would take up. Concerning adequate countertop space for each seat, you'll want to allow about two feet of width-space per person.

Shapes of kitchen islands and carts vary though you'll find most are rectangular or square. The main decision in shape will concern height. Generally speaking, the height should match that of the rest of your countertops. On the other hand, you might like one side of the island higher or lower than countertop height to accommodate seating on the other side of a workspace.

Portability

Kitchen carts don't have to be connected to the floor and may even have wheels, but that doesn't mean they're all portable. If you'd like to be able to roll your cart into the dining area or elsewhere, however, this can be a useful feature for smaller kitchen carts. Rolling butcher blocks and teacarts, for example, are often used in this capacity.

Functional Features

Keep your needs in mind. What are your top activities in the kitchen besides cooking? Do you need a large area to roll out dough and decorate cakes and cookies? Would your kids be doing their homework there? Will the space be used for eating meals or party buffets?

Certainly, any additional work space is always going to be a plus, but you should also decide whether you'd like to use your island for anything besides countertop space. For example, it's common for an island to house a sink, chopping block, or a range and/or oven.

Storage

One of the main advantages of a kitchen island or cart is the added storage it provides.

  • Open shelving or shelving behind glass doors can make the perfect place to store decorative items. Whether these items are also functional in your kitchen is optional.
  • If you plan to store functional but unattractive items within your island (think toasters, blenders, and other appliances), consider opting for storage with drawers and/or cupboard doors so that you can close away these items and have a cleaner look.

Worktop Material

  • If your budget permits, maintain decor consistency by choosing the same worktop material as the rest of your countertops.

  • Alternatively, some homeowners opt to cover their entire island with butcher's block wood (usually teak, walnut, birch, or hard maple).

  • If you're using a separate island cart or furniture piece, you can either leave the top as-is or have a piece of marble or granite installed on top.

  • No matter what you choose, it's a good idea to seal whatever material you have on your island as it will inevitably be dirtied during food prep.

Cost

Lastly, consider how much you're willing to spend. Keep in mind that built-in kitchen islands will be more expensive than separate pieces, such as tables or carts. The smaller your kitchen island, the less you'll have to spend as well.

If your budget is really tight, think about purchasing a piece of furniture such a sideboard, desk, or dresser and repurposing it as your island. You can even select something second-hand. Just be sure that the back of the piece is as presentable as the front. If the back is unfinished, you might add paint, tiles, or paneling.

1. Is a kitchen island a good idea?

  • Kitchen islands are a good idea for any kitchen and especially those that otherwise have limited counter space. They're also useful as a place for added seating and storage. Socially, they often end up as a common place for friends and family to gather while dinner is being prepped or as a place for having your morning coffee or an evening drink.

2. Should I put a sink in my kitchen island?

  • Putting a sink in your kitchen island can be beneficial for several reasons. First, it can make the sink more accessible if there are many people in the kitchen. Next, if you're doing dishes or consistently using the sink in some other capacity, it's easier to socialize or keep an eye on the kids in the next room at the same time when the sink is in the island. Just remember that plumbing will need to be installed there, which will increase your price point significantly.

3. Are kitchen islands still popular?

  • Yes! In fact, the majority of new kitchen builds and remodels feature islands. Kitchen islands and carts are considerably more popular than their most common counterpart: the kitchen peninsula.

  • Choose an island size that allows for at least two to three feet of foot traffic space between all nearby furniture and walls.
  • If your budget is tight, opt for a table, sideboard, teacart, or rolling butcher block that can double as an island.
  • Keep your needs in mind concerning functionality. Kitchen islands can be used for food prep, seating, added counter space, more storage, and many other things.
  • In terms of storage, choose open shelves for displaying items, or hide appliances behind doors.
  • Match your kitchen island worktop to the rest of your countertops, or choose another food-prep-friendly work surface such as butcher block wood.
  • When your budget permits, have your island built in with optional plumbing for a sink. Otherwise, buy a kitchen cart or separate furniture island to save money.