10 best toy kitchens for 2021
19 March 2021
Whether your child is a budding chef or enjoys tea parties with their teddies, they’ll get hours of fun out of a play kitchen. Here’s our pick of the best.
Children love pretend play and a toy kitchen can offer so much fun and variety. From creating meals for their make-believe café to copying Mum or Dad when it comes to cooking dinner, it’s a toy that can help with social development and to expand a child’s imagination.
They’re not the smallest or cheapest of toys, but there’s a variety of sizes available including small portable kitchens and large modern designs that will compliment any home. A good kitchen can keep your child entertained for hours and most should last throughout the early years, so can be well worth the investment.
Play kitchens tend to be plastic or wooden and, while some are bright and colourful with light-up hobs and realistic cooking sounds, others are more simple and neutral in design. It’s worth checking what extras you get as some kitchens come with a whole host of accessories, such as pots and pans, to keep your child busy.
Whatever your budget, here are the best toy kitchens to give your child hours of fun.
1. Best overall toy kitchen: Tidlo Wooden Country Play Kitchen
“We have the Tidlo Country Kitchen and love it. It has a sink oven cupboard and wooden washing up liquid and utensils.”
A stylish design and made from responsibly sourced materials, this country-style wooden kitchen comes with a Belfast sink and can be bought in either pink or blue.
Tidlo have also provided plenty to keep your child happy with an oven, hob, cupboard, shelves and lifelike dials that click when they’re turned. It also comes with utensils, salt and pepper shakers, and a clock with moveable hands.
Designed with a taller work-surface than other play kitchens, your child can get years of play out of it and it’s big enough for them to play with a sibling or a friend too.
This is a product that combines both style and fun to make a great all-round toy kitchen that we think both parents and children will love.
- A beautiful country-style design
- Taller work surface that will last years
2. Best budget toy kitchen: IKEA Duktig Play Kitchen
“My six-year-old and three-year-old got the kitchen last year for Christmas. It's their most played with toy and it's so sturdy (my three-year-old is a bit of a brute!). My kids are both tall for their age, but it's a great height for them both. I'd definitely recommend it!"
A popular choice among parents for its excellent value, the IKEA Duktig Play Kitchen comes with an oven, cupboard, hobs, sink and tap, and a microwave.
With a neutral Scandi design, it will blend into your home nicely while still keeping your child happy – they’ll especially love the hob rings that light up in red. There’s also a rail to hang utensils off and two shelves for storage.
As the legs can be adjusted to three positions, this kitchen can grow with your child and it’s a simple, compact design that won’t take up too much space in your home.
You’ll need to buy accessories separately, but IKEA sells plenty of fun extras such as pots, pans and pretend food. A great all-rounder for those on a tighter budget.
- Adjustable height that can grow with your child
- Hobs light up red
- Doesn’t come with accessories
Price: £60Buy now from IKEA
3. Best large play kitchen: Smoby Grey Tefal Large Play Kitchen
If you’re looking for a large kitchen that comes with plenty of accessories, this Smoby Tefal has plenty to offer. With a grey plastic design, it mimics a real-life kitchen, with a range of fun extras including a Magic Bubble function on the hob which boils water and pasta that changes colour in the water.
It comes with all the usual features you’d expect plus a fridge, table, espresso machine and recipe book, as well as 40 accessories, including pots and pans, sauce bottles, salt and pepper shakers, cups, and food items – more than enough to keep your child busy.
The kitchen is large enough for two children to play with and the worktop can be adjusted to suit children as old as eight.
- Comes with 40 accessories
- Includes a feature that boils water
- Larger design that may not fit smaller spaces
4. Best play kitchen for small spaces: John Lewis & Partners Wooden Mini Kitchen
If space is an issue or you don’t want your child’s toy kitchen on display all the time, then you may want a smaller option like this John Lewis & Partners Wooden Mini Kitchen.
Made from light grey and blue wood, it’s a stylish design featuring a small oven and two wooden hob rings as well as a clock with moveable hands. It also comes with two pots, utensils and a tea towel to aid your child’s culinary adventures.
Small enough to move around, it can be played with on a table-top and stored away at the end of the day – and all at a really good price too.
- Mini kitchen for smaller spaces
- Stylish, colourful design
- Children may outgrow it quicker than larger kitchens
5. Best outdoor toy kitchen: TP Deluxe Wooden Mud Kitchen
“The TP Mud kitchens are really sturdy and they do them in different sizes and prices.”
Kids love messy play and with this outdoor kitchen from TP, they can create all sorts of meals using dirt and sand. It features an oven, a splash tub, a hob, and a refillable water butt and tap for mixing those messy creations. It also comes with stainless steel pots and a whisk.
Made from FSC-certified wood designed to cope with all types of weather, it’s more than big enough for two siblings or friends to play side-by-side, with an extendable worktop to make even more room.
Children will love the blackboard for writing the day’s specials on, which is great for encouraging reading and writing skills.
- Sturdy outdoor kitchen for messy play
- Can be used with water and sand
- At the higher end of the price range
6. Best toy kitchen set: Little Tikes Tasty Bake ‘n’ Share Kitchen
This play kitchen from Little Tikes is designed to grow with your child and offers a range of great features that they will love.
A bright, colourful plastic kitchen, it will certainly stand out in your home but, with extra features such as a coffee maker, pretend play recipe cards and even a built-in smart phone holder so kids can video themselves in the kitchen, it will no doubt be a big hit.
This kitchen starts out wider with more worktop space for younger children and then transforms to a slimmer, higher worktop as they get older. With more than 40 food items and kitchen accessories, you’ll get plenty of playtime for your money.
- Comes with more than 40 accessories
- Can be adjusted as your child grows
- Wide design may not be suitable for smaller spaces
7. Best wooden toy kitchen: KidKraft Red Vintage Wooden Kitchen
“I got my DC the KidKraft Red Retro Kitchen for Christmas. It was secondhand but in perfect condition and was only £50. I can't say it's at all flimsy to be honest. My DS is three, my DD is seven and they play with it every day. I was worried it would be a very large dust gatherer, but that hasn't been the case at all.”
“We bought our eldest daughter a KidKraft wooden kitchen and loads of Melissa and Doug wooden food playsets for her third birthday. It has all lasted and still gets played with now by her and her younger sisters."
This retro play kitchen by KidKraft is both fun to look at and play with. A bright red design with silver features, it stands out for all the right reasons.
Children will enjoy the oven knobs that click and turn and, with an oven, cabinet, freezer, fridge and microwave, there’s five doors for kids to open and close and plenty of space to store their culinary masterpieces.
There’s also a cordless phone and a sink for doing the washing up, but you’ll need to pay extra for accessories like play food and utensils.
Made from sturdy MDF wood, this kitchen is plenty big enough for sharing with friends or siblings.
- Fun retro design
- Lots of storage space
- Doesn’t come with any accessories
8. Best play kitchen with sounds and lights: Theo Klein Miele Wooden Kitchen
Little chefs will feel like they’re cooking up a storm in a real kitchen with this offering from Theo Klein. It comes with all the usual features, such as a realistic-looking oven, microwave and sink, but children will especially love the gas hobs which light up red and make exciting cooking sounds.
Made from wood, this kitchen set comes with cookware – two pans, a whisk and spatulas – and provides plenty of shelf space to store any accessories. It’s quite compact too so shouldn’t take up too much space in your home.
- Realistic features
- Fun gas stove light and sound
- Doesn’t come with many accessories
9. Best classic play kitchen: Teamson Kids Burlywood Wooden Play Kitchen
This country-style play kitchen will appeal to parents looking for a more traditional design to both compliment their home and keep their child entertained.
Made with high-quality MDF, this is a sturdy unit with touches of colour that will appeal to all children aged three and up. It comes with all the usual features plus a toy clock, turning dials that click, a cordless phone, a spatula and plastic shakers.
With shelves, a cupboard and two drawers, there’s plenty of space for children to explore during their play and to store all the accessories when they’re not being used.
It’s not too big either so it won’t take up much space in your home, but you’ll likely want to buy some extra accessories, such as pots and pans.
- Traditional design that will compliment a home
- Sturdy wooden kitchen
- Doesn’t come with many accessories
10. Best play kitchen for toddlers: Chad Valley Modern Wooden Kitchen
This modern wooden kitchen from Chad Valley has everything a real kitchen does! It comes complete with a sink, hot and cold taps, a washing machine, oven, microwave and fridge freezer.
Kids will love playing with the clicking knobs and writing their shopping list on the chalkboard. The white and silver design will complement any modern home – and it even has a granite effect worktop. At 84cm in height, it’s not as tall as some of the other kitchens on our list, so is a particularly good option for toddlers.
At £75, it’s not a bad price either, although it doesn’t come with any accessories so you will need to factor that into the purchase.
- Great modern design
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Doesn’t come with any accessories
Are play kitchens worth it?
Pretend play is great for a child’s development and toys like play kitchens can help to expand their imagination and encourage role play, while also aiding their learning.
From pretending to be chefs and waitresses to copying Mum or Dad in the kitchen, they can imitate everyday tasks like chopping food, cooking and cleaning up. Accessories like chalkboards can also encourage reading and writing.
As it’s a toy that children can share with others, a play kitchen can help to enhance their social skills and communication skills, which makes them more than worth the investment.
Most designs are built to last throughout the preschool years and beyond so a good toy kitchen can keep entertaining your child as they grow. They’re also really handy for keeping your child busy while you get on with making their dinner, which is a good reason as any to buy one.
What is the best age for a play kitchen?
Most play kitchens are suitable for ages three and above, but both younger and older children can enjoy playing with them. Children as young as 18 months can start by playing with the pots and pans, moving things around the kitchen and pretending to cut food.
By age two or three, most children will start to enjoy imaginative play and will pretend to cook dinner and put on tea parties for family members. A play kitchen can be a great way to encourage this type of play and will grow with your child so that, even at age six, they can enjoy playing cafes, writing lists and creating menus.
If you want a kitchen that will last, make sure it’s not too small. Look for one that can be adjusted as your child gets bigger.
How to choose the best toy kitchen
Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, including mini tabletop designs and large lifelike kitchens with corner units. Think about how big you want it to be – if space is an issue, some kitchens can be folded away at the end of the day.
Also, think about how long you want it to last. A smaller toy kitchen may not last long or be suitable for more than one child to play with at a time, but some toy kitchens can be altered as they grow. A larger design will be a safer bet if you’re hoping to get a few years play out of it.
When it comes to picking a big toy like this, think about where it will go – will it be in your child’s bedroom or in the kitchen? Do you want a neutral play kitchen that will compliment your home or do you want something bright and colourful that your kids will love?
You’ll also be able to choose between wood or plastic. There’s a range of kitchens you can pick to suit your home – country-style, bright retro designs, modern units and colourful plastic kitchens. If you want one that can be used by multiple siblings, be sure to look at how sturdy it is. Wood may be a better option here.
Simple designs may only come with an oven, hob and sink, with the option to add accessories like pots, pans and utensils. Others may have a washing machine, microwave, illuminating hob rings and cooking sounds, and some even boil water.
They can also come with a variety of accessories such as food, cutlery and plates, with some designs even including a clock, a chalkboard or a phone. Check what your kitchen comes with before you buy – even if you choose a simple design, you can easily add more accessories over time.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find many kitchens under £50 and they can cost up to around £200. But while that’s nothing short of expensive for a toy, a good play kitchen can last even after your child starts school, so it could be worth the investment – especially if you plan to pass it on to other siblings.
What’s the best toy kitchen?
The Tidlo Wooden Country Play Kitchen manages to combine both style and fun. A beautifully designed wooden kitchen, it offers fun extras such as lifelike clicking hob dials, a toy clock and fun wooden salt and pepper shakers. It also has a taller work surface allowing for years of play, making it the best toy kitchen to buy right now.
How we chose our recommendations
Most of our recommendations for toy kitchens came from Mumsnet users themselves. We searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which play kitchens Mumsnetters and their children really loved. We also researched various review sites to find out which play kitchens performed well across the board.
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