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10 of the best toy kitchens

Wooden, plastic, large, small, streamlined or bursting with features: we've found the best play kitchens for toddlers and preschoolers to cook up a pretend-play storm

best toy kitchens

Play kitchens are a brilliant pretend-play toy choice: they open up a whole world of imaginative, creative fun as your child can play chef or Mummy or Daddy making supper – chopping, mixing and cooking pretend food to serve with a flourish to toys, imaginary friends and roped-in-to-the-fun grown-ups.

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Toy kitchens are usually either plastic or wooden, with wooden ones very much the most popular – and most sustainable – choice of the moment. They come in all sorts of sizes, from room-dominating big ones to more compact ones that’ll fit in a corner or even little ones you can place on a table top. Some come plain and simple; other have stacks of utensil or play food accessories and maybe even special features, like light-up hob rings or sizzling cooking sounds. Be sure to check what extras you get, if any, when you buy.

To help you choose the best toy kitchen for your child, we’ve assembled, tested and rated loads of them to find the top buys in a range of looks, sizes and prices…

Here’s our pick of some of the best play kitchens for aged 3 plus…

1. Smoby Chef Corner Restaurant, £149.99

Age: 3+

What it is: A large (101cm x 138cm x 44cm) play kitchen/cafe with a fridge, oven, espresso machine, hotplate (with sound effects), till, sink with real-water function and over 70 accessories (some shown above), including food, utensils and money. Requires 1 x CR2032 battery (included) and some self-assembly.

Why we love it: It’s height-adjustable (by 8cm) and there’s just so much to play with (which is why it made our Top Xmas Toys list for 2020). We particularly like the cleverness of the accessories – from carrots you can chop and pizza toppings you can switch about to pasta that changes colour in warm water to show that it’s ‘cooked’. Our child tester was also thrilled by the water that squirts out of the sinks – and the till that pops out receipts.

Available from: Argos and John Lewis

2. TP Deluxe Wooden Mud Kitchen, £149.99


Age: 3+

What it is: A large (90cm x 40cm x 96cm) wooden mud kitchen that’s made for outside use. It has an oven with opening door, a big removable splash tub, a blackboard, hob, refillable water butt and tap. The wood cover over the splash tub opens up to make an extra ‘cooking’ surface. Comes with stainless steel pots and pans.

Why we love it: Our child testers really liked the water tap – and the large shelf underneath the splashtub for stowing mudpie creations. We like its sturdiness and how well it wipes down, post play – and that the FSC-certified wood is pre-treated for all-weather use. A slightly different version of this kitchen won Gold in our 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards. Do note that it takes around 1 hour to assemble (holes are predrilled).

Available from: John Lewis and TP Toys

3. John Lewis Wooden Mini, £28

Age: 3+

What it is: A 46cm x 30cm x 23cm wooden mini kitchen with an opening oven, hob, clock with moveable hand and 3 shelf hooks. Comes, as shown above, with 2 pots and pans, utensils and an oven glove.

Why we love it: It’s really solid and brightly coloured – and perfect for table-top play in houses with no room for big play kitchens. We like the gas-style hob burners: they’re nice and chunky and good for little hands to try balancing pots on. And the price is good too: a great, long-lasting budget buy.

Available at:  John Lewis

4. Hape Cook n Serve, £109.99

Age: 3+

What is it: A compact kitchen (94cm x 30cm x 97cm) with oven, hob, cabinet, rotating knobs and sink. Features a pull-out counter for serving/preparing food, and chalkboards on the back of the oven and shelf. Requires some self-assembly.

Why we love it: It’s a great choice if you want a standalone play kitchen but don’t have much space at home: you can pull out the little counter for café play and then push it back in – with all your play food and pots and pans inside – for nice, tidy storage. The chalkboards are a sweet touch but our child testers weren’t that interested in them (chalking up menu items is not really a 3-year-old thing).

Available from: Hape and Amazon

5. Ikea Duktig Play Kitchen, £60

Age: 3+

What is it: A compact (72cm x 40cm x 109cm) minimalist-look birchwood kitchen with height-adjustable legs, oven, sink, light-up hob and microwave. Requires 4 x AA batteries and some self-assembly.

Why we love it: It’s all about the hob lights: our child testers loved pressing the buttons to turn them on and watching the rings glow red just like an electric stove (though without the heat, obviously!). We also like the whole unit’s 3-position adjustable legs: good to see a less expensive kitchen with some longevity built in.

Available from: Ikea

6. Little Tikes Super Chef Kitchen, £89.99

Age: 3 +

What is it: A 101cmx 71cm  x 35cm plastic kitchen with sink, oven, hob, fridge with (pretend) water/ice dispenser, microwave and cupboard. Features clicking knobs, cooking sounds, and feet to add height. Comes with 14 accessories, including coffee pot, plates, knives and forks. Requires 2 xAAA batteries and some self-assembly.

Why we love it: It’s really sturdy and solid and easy to assemble (although some of the pre-drilled holes may need a little enlarging). Our child testers were wowed by all the different features but one parent did point out that there’s not actually that much of a worktop area. It’s great that it comes with plates and cutlery, and the cooking noises are fab (there’s a boiling sound and a frying sound).

Available from: Very and Amazon

7. Country Play Kitchen, £129.99

Age: 3+

What is it: A 92cm x 77cm x 36cm wooden kitchen, with oven, hob, clock, shelves, cupboard and sink. Features clicking knobs and comes with accessories, including 3 utensils, a bowl, salt and pepper and washing-up liquid. Available in Blue and Pink. Requires some self-assembly.

Why we love it: It’s very stylish. The clock with the moveable hands was very popular with our child testers and we’re rather taken by the classy Belfast-style sink. It’s also worth noting that the work surface stands a little taller (at 58cm) than other play kitchens (often 55cm or less), so it may suit an older preschooler better.

Available from: BigjigsUber Kids and Amazon

8. Kid’s Concept Mini Kitchen, £56

Age: 3+

What is it: A 26cm x 32cm x 27cm foldable, mini wooden kitchen that comes, as shown above, with 7 wooden accessories including saucepan, frying pan and salt and pepper sets. Comes with a carry handle.

Why we love it: This beautifully painted and finished mini kitchen is super-portable – it really does fold right up with all the accessories inside. We really like the chunky salt and pepper pots, too. One to take on camping trips, perhaps?

Available from: Kidly and The Hut

9. Flexa Rose Kitchen Set, £155

Age: 3+

What is it: A 75cm x 60cm x 35cm birchwood kitchen with 4 hotplates, turnable knobs, oven, sink, and kitchen cupboard with a cotton curtain. Accessories available separately. Requires some self-assembly.

Why we love it: We like the soft rounded corners and the sweet Scandi design. It hasn’t got any flash features but that didn’t bother our very busy pretend-cooking child testers one bit. Pricey but solid and supercool.

Available from: Scandiborn and Nubie

10. Miele Kitchen Wave Spicy Set, £69.99

Age: 3+

What it is: A 95cm x 83cm x 39cm 2-sided solid-plastic kitchen with an oven, hood, storage trays, microwave, coffee maker and ice cube dispenser. Features lights and cooking sounds and comes with lots of accessories (many of them shown above) including pan, pot, utensils, plates, knives, forks, cup, saucers, and a hamburger set with cutting board. Requires 2 x AAA batteries (not included) and some self-assembly.

Why we love it: You get a lot for your money with this big play kitchen – sounds, lights, accessories and masses of features. Our child testers were thrilled by the coffee machine and the sink tap that pumps out real water. We like the little hamburger you can stack with lettuce and tomato.

Available at: Littlewoods and Amazon

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