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What Is a Kitchenette? [2024 Guide]

December 12, 2023
A kitchenette is a smaller version of a kitchen, typically featuring a sink, small refrigerator, and microwave. Read on to find out if a kitchenette is right for you!

Are you looking to save money on an apartment? Or just curious what's involved in living with a smaller kitchen space? In this overview of kitchenette apartments, we’ll walk through what kitchenettes are, what they look like, how big they are, and the pros and cons of these small kitchen options. We know — lots to cover. Let’s get started.

Should You Rent a Kitchenette?

What Is a Kitchenette?

A kitchenette, or mini kitchen, has some but not all major kitchen appliances. In most cases, kitchenettes offer a sink, microwave, a hot plate (or some equivalent), and a small fridge. However, you may find kitchenettes without one or more of those items, including a refrigerator. Finally, kitchenettes tend to be part of other rooms, such as a living room or a single common area (in the case of studio apartments).

As we will see, kitchenette apartments are a great option for those who want to focus on maximizing space over style.

What Is a Kitchenette

What Do Kitchenettes Look Like?

Unlike fully equipped kitchens, what’s in a kitchenette is very basic and condensed. For example, rather than the required appliances to prepare full meals, a small kitchenette will typically only include a few small essentials for meals, such as a cooktop, a mini-fridge, and a small sink. And again, as we mentioned, it is probably part of another room.

How Big Are Kitchenettes?

There is no minimum size for a kitchenette, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one larger than 80 square feet. Much of the space-saving design comes from limiting space for food preparation and storage. However, depending on how you organize your space, you'd be surprised to find how much you can do with what's there.

Kitchenette vs. Kitchen: What’s the Difference?

A kitchen is the dedicated food preparation and storage space in an apartment or home. In order to be a full-fledged kitchen, it must be contained in its own room (or in a large space in an open-concept design), and it must offer major applicances like a refridgerator and stove.

A kitchenette is a smaller version of a kitchen, typically found in a studio apartment or a hotel room. It usually contains only the basic appliances and facilities for food preparation, such as a sink, a small refrigerator, a microwave and a hotplate.

Kitchen vs. Kitchenette What’s the Difference

Kitchenette Rentals: Pros and Cons

Full-feature kitchenettes are often more than enough for minimalists, singles, students, and budgeters. However, looking at both sides, pros and cons, of kitchenette designs is essential.

Pros of Kitchenettes

  • Lower utility costs: A small kitchenette stove will cost renters a fraction of a full-sized stove.
  • Easy to maintain: Even a half kitchen is more difficult to clean and maintain than a kitchenette.
  • Cheaper rent: Units offering kitchenettes will be less expensive than full-sized kitchen competitors.

Cons of Kitchenettes

  • Less area for food preparation: With minimal counter space, meal prep can get tricky.
  • Less storage room: Storage space is also minimal, so you’ll have to get creative.
  • Fewer appliances: Having a kitchenette means forgoing oven-baked goods.

Let’s take a closer look at a kitchenette vs. a kitchen for more insight into their differences.

Kitchenette Rentals Weighing the Pros and Cons

Decorating a Kitchenette

Interested in how you could decorate a small kitchen? Check out these great tips from Simple Home Art Decor ideas:

Looking for a Kitchenette?

Find a kitchenette apartment today with Apartment List by taking our easy online quiz!

And once you've found a new place, you can start checking off your apartment checklist, finding items and trinkets you can use to fill your new kitchenette apartment.

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Dr. Katherine Blake
Dr. Katherine Blake is a content editor with Apartment List, where she helps ensure our renter and rental management content is fresh and informed by the latest data. Read More
Tristian Brown
Tristian Brown is a Senior Content Marketing Associate at Apartment List, where he manages high-quality content that helps modern renters find the perfect home. He brings an immense wealth of knowledge to the team, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and European Management from the University of San Diego and EM Strasbourg Business School. Read More
Emily Kho
Emily is a professionally trained writer who covers a wide range of topics associated with the rental market and real estate industry. With over a decade of professional writing experience, Emily comes from a strong background in the field backed with a Bachelor of Science from the world-renowned William F. Read More

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