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The Best Play Kitchens in 2021 – My Experience

A kitchen playset is a perfect toy for your son or daughter or any of the little ones in your life. Take it from me — both of my girls have had one. My granddaughter has one, and my grandson is getting one. They absolutely love to pretend to cook with the play food and accessories. My six-year-old daughter and two-year-old granddaughter will literally spend hours preparing food for their baby dolls and favorite stuffed animals.

I remember the kitchen set my sister and I had. It was a basic wooden toy that was more for looks than anything else. I mean, we had fun with it, but it sure wasn’t designed the way they are now. They’re now designed to look like a real, functional kitchen. Many now come with lights and sound effects for the stovetop, have plenty of storage space for all of the accessories, and much more. You can find them typically made of wood or hard plastic, and they are sturdy enough to handle all ages of kids playing with them.

There are a variety of toy kitchens to choose from these days. That’s why I’m here. I’m hoping with my experience and the reviews from others, we can narrow down the right kitchen and accessories for your children. Whether you’re shopping at IKEA or ordering online from an Amazon link, my goal is to find the design your kids will love.

Feel free to carry on reading or jump straight to our number #1 Amazon pick here. If you need to save some time, you can also go straight to the bottom for a quick reference of the top picks. Your choice.

What Should I Look for in a Play Kitchen?

There are a few criteria you’ll want to consider before you make your play kitchen purchase. I’ve made mention of them below for quick reference.

Criteria #1: Does it comes with accessories?

A play kitchen requires accessories. Your little chef will want cookware and food. However, most kitchens opt not to include play food, so you’ll need to consider that when making your purchase.

Criteria #2: What features does the toy kitchen have?

These play kitchens come with cool and unique designs. You can find smartphones, window gardens, chalkboards, clocks, even dog bowls. These types of features can really catch a child’s attention and provide a learning opportunity.

Criteria #3: What are the dimensions?

You’ll want to know the dimensions of the toy kitchen. Not only do you need to know if it’ll fit in its designated area, but you’ll also want to know the counter height. Counter height is important since you’ll want your kids to be able to reach all of the features and get full use out of their kids’ kitchen.

Criteria #4: What do the reviews say?

Read the product reviews. Many of these products can be found on Amazon. Follow the links below and read the reviews for yourself. Don’t just take my word for it. Parents will leave rave reviews about products their kids really love, and just the same, leave negative comments for products that are hard to assemble or don’t live up to the hype. If you have any questions, you can usually reach the manufacturer by telephone or email.

Here’s How I’ve Determined the Best Play Kitchen

I’ve determined the best play kitchens by both my own daughter’s and granddaughter’s experiences with their play kitchens, along with the experiences of other parents. Because I practice what I preach, I read product reviews and compared the good with the bad. I also took into consideration the price compared to the number of features (or lack thereof).

Our Top Picks for the Best Play Kitchen of 2021

#1: Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef’s Pretend Play Toy Kitchen (Best Value)

Age recommendation: 3 months and up
Dimensions: 43.25 x 15.5 x 39 inches

Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef’s Pretend Play Toy Kitchen
Get the Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef’s Pretend Play Toy Kitchen at Amazon

This kitchen set is super cute and tons of fun for kids of all ages. Your children will love to make drinks using the working pretend ice maker with the pretend ice in the fridge. Junior chefs from all over will be making their grocery lists and checking them twice before heading to the grocery store for all the ingredients needed to make the perfect meal creations.

Wooden Kitchen

The easy to assemble wooden kitchen includes an oven, stove, microwave, and sink. It also has a working “ice” dispenser in the refrigerator and freezer. There are dials to turn, and the doors functionally open and close. It even has storage space. Your child will love to pretend to play with this kitchen set.

Includes Kitchen Accessories

Your junior chef will be excited to find an accessory set with these play kitchens. This set includes two “ice” cubes, a grocery checklist, and movable hooks.

Includes Pretend Food

This kitchen set also comes with pretend food. The pretend food comes in a sturdy wooden crate that includes all five of the food groups. Your kids will love to pretend to cook with the watermelon, milk, cheese, fish, eggs, and more.

Reviews

Parents and grandparents alike have bought this play kitchen. They say it’s a perfect toy for your son or daughter or even your granddaughter or grandson. The quality is great, and these products don’t disappoint.

YouTube video

#2: Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen & Grill (Best Premium)

Age recommendation: 24 months to 8 years old
Dimensions: 35.51 x 15.51 x 44.76 inches

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Get the Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen & Grill at Walmart

This walk-in kitchen and grill is a great choice for your chef if you have a lot of room to spare or if it’s going to be located outside. It’s a bit larger than the other kitchens on this list but will be just as fun for your children.

Eat-In Station

This kids’ kitchen features an eat-in station and BBQ grill with sounds and lights for social playtime. Your kid will love pretending to grill up some good eats for his or her friends and serving them at the bar area. Just keep in mind that the grill will require two AA batteries that aren’t included with the product.

Pull-Out Bins

Your child will be able to organize and store their play food, pots, and pans in the cabinets, pull-out bins, and fridge.

103-Piece Accessory Set

This play kitchen set comes with 103 pieces of food, cookware, and much more. Your child is sure to have hours of fun playing in this toy kitchen.

Reviews

Parents say this is a great kitchen for chefs of all ages. The biggest drawback was the assembly. It takes a while to put together, including adding all the stickers. Parents said it takes about two hours to complete, so keep that in mind before buying.

YouTube video

#3: KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen (Best Storage)

Age recommendation: 36 months to 7 years old
Dimensions: 43 x 17.7 x 41 inches

KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen
Get the KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen at Amazon

The KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen is not only functional, but it also offers shelving and plenty of space to store all the necessary cookware and play food needed to create the perfect pretend meal. A great addition to any playroom with its lifelike feel, your children will be able to pretend to cook right along with their parents.

Functional

Just like the Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef’s Pretend Play Toy Kitchen, this play kitchen is made of wood. The see-through doors on the refrigerator, freezer, oven, cabinet, and microwave all functionally open and close. There’s even a chalkboard surface on the freezer door for added fun. The sink and oven knobs click and turn for realistic cooking.

Removable Kitchen Sink

The sinks on these play kitchens are removable for easy cleanup. This is a great feature just in case your child decides to use it for real food, which undoubtedly will happen from time to time.

Shelving

This kitchen set comes with shelving for pots, pans, and accessories. Your child will love decorating and organizing their very own kitchen.

Granite Style Countertops

The speckled granite-style countertops look just like the real thing. Your little one can pretend they are cooking with Mom or Dad.

Reviews

Customer reviews say this is a great little kitchen that their children and grandchildren absolutely love to play with. Their word of advice is to take your time putting it together. Assembly can be a bit difficult, but remember not to rush through it and you’ll be just fine.

YouTube video

#4: KidKraft Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen with Lights & Sounds (Best for Corners)

Age Recommendation: 36 months to 3 years old
Dimensions: 42.5 x 32.5 x 36.75 inches

KidKraft Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen with Lights & Sounds
Get the KidKraft Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen with Lights & Sounds at Amazon

KidKraft has made this list a second time. That’s because these kitchen playsets are great for those parents wanting to put the kitchen in a corner to save space. Kids will love to play with this kitchen for its realistic lights and sound effects as well as its awesome washing machine.

Corner Design

These kitchen sets have an innovative design made specifically for corners, making them a perfect addition to any bedroom or playroom.

Realistic LED Lights and Sound Effects

The burners on the oven have realistic lights and sounds for the ultimate pretend cooking experience.

Shelving and Hanging Pegs

With the shelving and hanging pegs, your kids will be able to organize their toy kitchens to their little heart’s content.

Functional Doors

Similar to the Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef’s Pretend Play Toy Kitchen and the KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen, the doors to the oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and washing machine all open and close.

Removable Kitchen Sink

Just like the KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen, the sink is removable for easy cleanup. You know. Just in case.

Washing Machine

This kitchen also comes with a washing machine. Your kids will be able to use their imagination not only while cooking but also while doing the laundry. That’ll really give them the feel of being Mom and Dad!

Reviews

Parents say the KidKraft Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen with Lights & Sounds is what they’ve been looking for. Not only is it a space-saver by fitting neatly in a corner, but it’s also sturdy enough for their kids to play with and enjoy. My granddaughter has this kitchen and absolutely loves it. She has a great imagination and uses it to wash her baby doll’s clothes while fixing them a pretend meal. It’s so cute. My son-in-law said the assembly is pretty easy as well.

YouTube video

#5: Little Tikes Cook n Play Outdoor BBQ (Best Low Cost)

Age recommendation: 24 months to 10 years old
Dimensions: 29.25 x 12.13 x 35.25 inches

Little Tikes Cook n Play Outdoor BBQ
Get the Little Tikes Cook n Play Outdoor BBQ at Amazon

Your chef will love grilling outdoors (or indoors) with their very own BBQ set. Parents will love the great price. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Working Doors

Similar to the other kitchen sets on this list, the oven and fridge doors functionally open and close. The knobs click to make fun sounds.

Extended Counter Space

The extended counter space on these play kitchens allows for plenty of area for pretend prep play. The molded-in kitchen sink provides for plenty of imaginative playtimes.

Dual-Level Grill

Just like a real grill, the Little Tikes Cook ‘n Play Outdoor BBQ features a dual-level grill. Your chefs are going to love pretending to entertain at their very own outdoor cookout.

Reviews

This kitchen set is great for kids of all ages. It’s a great toy made of high-quality products with easy assembly. My son is buying this for his two-year-old son as a gift because he loves to mimic his daddy on the grill. What better way to let him use his imagination? It’s a great deal for the price.

YouTube video

#6: Step2 Fun with Friends Kitchen (Best Coffee Station)

Age recommendation: 24 months to 10 years old
Dimensions: 12.5 x 35.75 x 40.88 inches

Step2 Fun with Friends Kitchen
Get the Step2 Fun with Friends Kitchen at Amazon

This product features a coffee station. Your little ones are going to love to pretend to make a morning cup of joe with Mom or Dad.

Realistic LED Lights and Sound Effects

Comparable to the KidKraft Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen with Lights & Sounds, this play kitchen set also comes with working lights and sounds. It’ll require two AA batteries that aren’t included, so keep that in mind when making your purchase. Your kids are going to love coming up with their pretend meals with this play kitchen.

Coffee Station

The Step2 Fun with Friends Kitchen even comes with a coffee pot station. Because, you know, it’s hard work being a kid. It includes a travel mug for pretend coffee on the go.

Functional Appliances

The playset comes with a stovetop and an oven with a clickable knob, microwave, and refrigerator.

Molded-In Sink

All good chefs know the importance of a clean kitchen. Your little one will be able to pretend to wash the dishes and clean up with the molded-in sink and swivel faucet.

Hanging Storage

There is plenty of hanging storage so your child can keep their pots and pans and other culinary equipment close at hand.

24-Piece Accessory Set

Similar to the Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef’s Pretend Play Toy Kitchen, this one also comes with an accessory set . . . just one that includes a whole lot more. With this play kitchen, your junior chef will find dishes, utensils, cookware, and more.

Reviews

Consumers say this is a great little kitchen for their children and grandchildren because of its functions and accessories. It’s whole family fun and definitely worth the buy. Parents also say the assembly on this one is pretty easy.

YouTube video

#7: Teamson Kids Little Chef Chelsea Modern Play Kitchen (Best Modern Look)

Age recommendation: 3 years and up
Dimensions: 27.75 x 12 x 31.75 inches

Teamson Kids Little Chef Chelsea Modern Play Kitchen
Get the Teamson Kids Little Chef Chelsea Modern Play Kitchen at Amazon

This modern play kitchen features a refrigerator with a freezer on the bottom along with a stop top with dual ovens. It’s truly any young chef’s dream kitchen.

Fridge With Ice Maker

This play kitchen’s refrigerator has three doors: two for the fridge section and a freezer door. Similar to the Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef’s Pretend Play Toy Kitchen, this kitchen set has an ice maker that mimics the real thing.

Double Oven

The kitchen also has two oven doors, one of which is a see-through door underneath a two-burner stovetop. It has two knobs that turn and click, sounding just like a real stove.

Removable Sink

Comparable to the KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen and the KidKraft Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen with Lights & Sounds, this kitchen set has a removable sink. However, this sink has brass fixtures, giving it a more polished look.

Separate Pieces

The Teamson Kids Little Chef Chelsea Modern Play Kitchen comes in two pieces, so you can arrange the toys in a fashion that best fits your children’s playing habits. You can arrange each part however you see fit.

Reviews

Parents say this is a gorgeous kitchen set for their small kids. These kitchen toys are a wonderful addition to any bedroom or playroom.

YouTube video

Verdict: Your Best Play Kitchen 

As promised, here are the top picks for quick reference:

If you want the best kitchen set for the money, pick the Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef’s Pretend Play Toy Kitchen.

If you’re looking for the best premium kitchen set, choose the Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen & Grill.

If you want the best kitchen set for shelving, choose the KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen.

If you want the best corner kitchen set, pick the KidKraft Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen with Lights & Sounds.

If you’re looking to keep the cost down, choose the Little Tikes Cook n Play Outdoor BBQ.

If you’re looking for the best kitchen set with a coffee station, pick the Step2 Fun with Friends Kitchen.

If you’re looking for a kitchen playset with a modern look, pick the Teamson Kids Little Chef Chelsea Modern Play Kitchen.

These kitchen sets could be just what your children or any other little ones in your life are looking for. Most of these toys come with accessories, items, and more, and are so much fun. Your kids are bound to have a blast exploring their new kitchens, organizing, preparing play food and meals, and then, of course, cleaning up when they’re done. You can’t go wrong with one of these kitchen sets.

Remember if you have any problems with these toys, you can reach out to the company via their online links, where you can find contact information such as customer care email and telephone numbers.

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