The 7 Best Kitchen Islands to Buy in 2018

These centerpieces will complete your dining and cooking space

Family enjoying breakfast in morning kitchen
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A kitchen island is the key to a functional, smartly laid-out kitchen. If you don’t have a built-in island, have no fear: You can easily add one that provides storage, seating and more without undergoing an exhaustive kitchen renovation. The main benefit of a purchased kitchen island is that it doesn’t have to be permanent, so you can change it as your style evolves — but at the same time, it can withstand more heavy-duty cooking and prep than a standard kitchen cart can.

It’s easy to find a kitchen island that matches your decor and works seamlessly with your established kitchen style. From solid wood to stainless steel to farmhouse chic, there are kitchen islands for all tastes and budgets.

Read on for the best kitchen islands you can buy now.

  • 01 of 07

    Best Overall: Southern Enterprises Denning Industrial Kitchen Island

    Southern Enterprises Denning Industrial Kitchen Island in Burnt Oak
    Courtesy of Bed, Bath, and Beyond

    If you’re looking for a simple (but substantial) kitchen island at a great price, the Southern Enterprises Denning Industrial Kitchen Island is our choice for best overall piece. It’s under $500, with a subtle industrial style that looks modern and fresh. It’s made from medium-density fiberboard , a material created with recycled wood and resin, and measures 22" x 45" x 34." In addition to the standard countertop, it also offers a towel rack and three draws for extra storage. The medium wood and black color combo make it an especially good choice for darker kitchens without becoming overpowering or feeling too heavy.

    Though there’s some assembly required, the simple design means that construction isn’t frustrating or complicated. Best of all, the island comes with a one-year warranty. If you're looking for a simple but stylish piece for your kitchen, the Southern Enterprises Kitchen Island is the way to go.

  • 02 of 07

    Best Antique Look: Home Styles Americana Kitchen Island

    When selecting a kitchen island, it is important to consider the design of your kitchen and find a piece that fits as naturally into the style as possible. An antique-style island, like the Home Styles Americana Kitchen Island, is a great choice for a large, farmhouse-inspired kitchen. It’s a piece that will catch your guests’ eyes and provide a place to hide those pots and pans. Made from solid hardwood and veneer, it measures 42” x 24” x 36”, so it’s perfect for a large, open space. It’s topped with a distressed oak board to give you more cutting and prep space, and features a large storage cabinet and an easy-glide drawer. For a little more money, you can add expert assembly (though reviewers say it’s fairly easy to put together yourself).

    Besides the white finish, this island also comes in natural and black so you can match it to your own cabinets.

  • 03 of 07

    Best Expandable: Bassett Farmhouse Basics Kitchen Island

    There are many reasons people seek out a kitchen island, and counter space is definitely high on the list. An island with a drop leaf is a great choice if you find yourself struggling to find prep space during Sunday supper, but would like to save space whenever it’s not in use. The Bassett Farmhouse Basics Kitchen Island is made from solid wood with a 3/4-inch granite inlay countertop to aid in kitchen prep. It measures 57.5” x 23” x 36.2,” with a drop leaf to add extra counter space or an additional seating area.

    The Shaker-style Bassett island features endless storage, with dividers for cutting boards, shelves for pans and three drawers for your various knick knacks. It comes in oak, black or white and weighs 249 pounds, so it’s a sturdy and durable piece. If you’re looking for a higher-end island with extra counter space, the Basset Kitchen Island is a purchase you won’t regret.

  • 04 of 07

    Best Modern: West Elm Rustic Kitchen Island

    Rustic Kitchen Island
    Courtesy of West Elm

    A modern loft-style kitchen needs a contemporary kitchen island, like this one from West Elm. This acacia wood and stainless steel island looks like it’s straight out of a chic New York cafe. It measures 46" x 30" x 38," and works just as well for seating guests as it does for slicing and dicing veggies. It’s ideal for kitchens that are more in need of counter than storage space, as it doesn’t have any concealed cabinets built into it. Instead, it features a single shelf, perfect for stacking chic cookbooks or displaying fancy cookware.

    If you’re looking for a kitchen island that’s style-forward, this is a great choice. Pair it with an industrial bar stool or two to complete the look.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Best with Seating: Beachcrest Home Rabin 3 Piece Kitchen Island Set

    Rabin 3 Piece Kitchen Island Set with Granite Top
    Courtesy of Wayfair

    The beauty of a kitchen island lies in its versatility. One day it’s the perfect prep area for a sous chef, the next it’s hosting sleepy Sunday breakfasts. The Beachcrest Home Rabin 3-Piece Island Set is a piece that works overtime, suiting nearly every need. It’s 36.25" x 48" x 37" and packs a big punch with every inch. It comes with two stools and a table area for seating, four adjustable shelves, a storage drawer and cabinet and a metal foot rest. It’s made of solid hardwood and has a granite inlay for safe chopping.

    Reviewers note that the piece takes upwards of two hours and a lot of muscle to put together, but that the end result is well worth it. The Beachcrest Home Rabin Kitchen Island makes a statement in any kitchen, and will easily turn into your most used piece of furniture.

  • 06 of 07

    Best Butcher Block: Powell Color Story Black Butcher Block Kitchen Island

    Home chefs know the value of a great butcher block, and a kitchen island dedicated to this particular tool is a great way add prep space without taking up your counter. The Powell Color Story Black Butcher Block Island runs 30” x 30” x 36.2” and comes with two drawers for extra storage. But the real draw of this piece is its solid wood block top — the perfect canvas for any of your cooking needs. It also includes a matching spoon, spatula and tongs, as well as some hooks for easy access.

    Amazon reviewers say assembly is incredibly easy, and rave about the kitchen island’s beauty and versatility. If you want a piece that tells every guest “I love to cook,” this is it.

  • 07 of 07

    Best for Small Kitchens: Beachcrest Home Lakeland Kitchen Island

    Lakeland Kitchen Island
    Courtesy of Wayfair

    Just because you don’t have a lot of space to spare doesn’t mean you can’t add a practical and beautiful island to your kitchen. The Beachcrest Home Lakeland Kitchen Island is a sleek, beach-y kitchen island that won’t overpower small spaces, but provides the level of utility you’re looking for (it includes two shelves and one slim drawer). Meanwhile, the clean lines of its design give it a modern, updated feel and the white finish looks great in kitchens with any color scheme.

    Owners say the Lakeland Kitchen Island is easy to assemble and looks much more expensive than its sub-$200 price tag lets on. It’s also easy to paint, as many reviewers note, so it’s a good choice if you want to customize an island to your kitchen’s exact color palette.