Kitchenette vs. Kitchen: What’s the Difference?

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girl sitting on counter in kitchenette eating pizza next to a fridge and sink

The kitchen can be a gathering area, a midnight snack getaway, and a build-your-own-pizza-night space. But just how much kitchen space do you actually need? Although kitchens vary in size, they can also vary in terms of functionality. You’ve probably seen apartments advertised as having a kitchenette, a compact kitchen, or a full kitchen, but might be unclear on what the difference is. We’re here to give you the rundown, so that you can decide which type of apartment kitchen is the right fit for you.

What is a kitchenette?

Kitchenette with white furniture and a yellow fridge

A kitchenette is essentially a smaller version of a kitchen. It may feature smaller appliances, limited appliances, or just the basics, like a refrigerator and a microwave. The main differences in a kitchenette versus a full kitchen are the appliances included, and the size of those appliances.

What appliances are included in a kitchenette?

A kitchenette will include the basic appliances needed, but will vary depending on what each apartment building decides to include. A kitchenette at one apartment may feature a large refrigerator and a hot pad in place of a stove, and another might only offer a mini fridge and a sink. You’ll want to see pictures or visit the apartment before deciding if it will work for you. Many renters who have kitchenette as opposed to a full kitchen will purchase other smaller appliances to be able to operate as a full kitchen.

Some additional appliances you could purchase for your kitchenette include the following:

  • Toaster oven
  • Slow cooker or crock-pot
  • Electric kettle
  • Electric skillet

What is the size of a kitchenette?

The hard part about generalizing kitchenettes is that they can come in all shapes and sizes. The most common type of apartment that will feature a kitchenette is a studio apartment. Studio apartments are generally around 400-600 square feet in size. Having a kitchenette in your studio apartment will give you more living space and will make for easier organization. Often the kitchenette will only take up one wall of your living space, so you have the space for other storage, and more room to design your apartment layout. Kitchenettes are not only limited to studio apartments though, any type of unit could feature a compact kitchen area, so be sure to review the apartment listing in detail to make sure it fits your needs.

What are the benefits of renting an apartment with a kitchenette?

The main benefit of renting a space with a kitchenette is affordability. Apartments for rent with a kitchenette will generally cost less than those with a full kitchen. If you do not plan to cook often, and you want to make the most of your budget, a kitchenette could be the right choice for you. Kitchenettes are also easier to clean, require less maintenance, and the cost of your utilities could be lower due to the smaller size of the appliances.

What are the drawbacks of renting an apartment with a kitchenette?

The biggest perk of a full kitchen is its size. With ample space, kitchens allow you to have friends over for dinner parties and enjoy a drink or two with them while you cook. A full kitchen includes most if not all of the full size appliances you need, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing any additional appliances. If you have a kitchenette, you may not be able to host dinner parties as easily, or be able to cook multiple dishes at once. You also may need to invest in more storage or shelving to accommodate the extra appliances if the apartment does not already have adequate storage.

Bottom line

If you are looking to save money and space, a kitchenette could be the perfect choice for your next apartment rental. Be sure to tour the available apartment in person to get a better idea for what the size of the space is, and what potential additional appliances you may need to purchase to make your kitchenette fully functional. Be sure to budget accordingly and factor those costs into your decision.

With so many apartments out there, you’re going to find one that’s right for you. Keep in mind your needs as a renter, and choose a place that features the type of cooking area you want.  

This article was updated on 3/2/22.

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The post Kitchenette vs. Kitchen: What’s the Difference? appeared first on The Zumper Blog.

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