The 5 Most Popular Types of Kitchen Islands

Islands are now a staple of modern kitchens, often a focal point that sets the tone for the entire space. They add style, functionality, and storage capacity to kitchens. 

Today, manufacturers are moving away from one-type-fits-all models and are now creating models to reflect different styles and purposes. With so many options available, it’s essential to compare different island designs before investing in one. 

Which Kitchen Island Type Is Right for Your Home?

Below, we review five popular kitchen island types, highlighting their pros, cons, and best-use cases, serving as your guide when planning your kitchen renovation project.

1. Bi-level Kitchen Island

Bi-level kitchen islands are popular for families with young children, as they offer separate, elevated areas for cooking and eating. This kitchen island type offers great flexibility since it’s accessible from both sides.

  • Key benefit: Often larger than standard models, which creates more counter and storage space
  • Key drawback: Accessibility to a single-level workspace can be limited when dealing with larger dishes or multiple people preparing meals

2. Galley Kitchen Island

Galley kitchen Islands mirror a ship’s galley, incorporating a narrow workspace between two sets of base cabinets. These types of kitchen islands are perfect for small kitchens that require maximum storage and counter space.

  • Key benefit: Compact design means it can fit into small spaces easily, while the two walls create an active workspace that is perfect for meal preparations.
  • Key drawback: Size limits the amount of seating you can add around it.

3. Circular Kitchen Island

Circular kitchen islands are designed to break the monotony of square-shaped kitchens and add a focal point. The circular design allows for a more spacious, circular work area that provides access to suppliers from every angle, making it perfect for multiple chefs.

  • Key benefit: Particularly great for entertaining guests since circular designs can be open on all sides, allowing room for additional chairs or guests to stand around and chat.
  • Key drawback: Storage capacity is limited compared to other designs, making it best suited for larger kitchens with ample storage space.

4. Mobile Kitchen Island

As the name suggests, mobile kitchen islands are versatile models that work well in any kitchen layout. Homeowners who do a lot of cooking have the option of placing it in the desired position to serve as an extra workplace or can tuck it away when it’s not needed.

  • Key benefit: Ideal for entertaining guests and even cooking outdoor meals. 
  • Key drawback: May lack storage capacity compared to larger fixed models.

5. Storage Cabinet Kitchen Island

Storage cabinet kitchen islands are perfect for homeowners looking for an all-in-one solution, as they provide ample storage together with countertop workspace. The storage cabinet design often includes drawers, shelves, and extra pantry space.

  • Key benefit: Ideal for larger kitchens or homes that lack conventional pantry space.
  • Key drawback: Often bulky and can take up a lot of space. Not a great choice for small kitchens.

Get Kitchen Design Help from Our Team

Choosing the right kitchen island type will depend on the overall design of your kitchen, space requirements, ability to punch holes in cabinets and flooring, and individual preferences. Take the time to consider each model before settling on any choice or get in touch with our kitchen design professionals to help you find the best model for your lifestyle. Consultations are free!