- Like the faucet, the kitchen sink is heavily used and underappreciated. You want one that’s highly functional, durable, and roomy, not to mention attractive and compatible with your kitchen’s decor.
- Washing big items (pots, pans, a dog) for a long time in a farmhouse/apron sink may be easier on your back since you don’t have to learn forward over a countertop strip.
- Look for a sink with at 18-gauge or lower stainless steel. The lower the number, the thicker and higher quality it is.
- Our top pick is the spacious Kraus Standart PRO 30-Inch 16-Gauge Undermount Single Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink. It fits tall pots in a tough satin-finished, stainless steel basin buffered by soundproof padding.
When fantasizing about your dream kitchen, it’s fun to think about cool appliances, gadgets, and everything but the kitchen sink … until you need to actually choose and buy one. Setting you back at least a couple hundred dollars (but often much more), a kitchen sink is a major investment — monetarily, functionally, and aesthetically.
This unsung workhorse of the home’s culinary center is used for a multitude of purposes, including washing hands, stashing (hopefully then stacking, soaking, rinsing, and even hand-washing) dirty dishes, holding and scrubbing pots and pans, cleaning vegetables and fruits, draining noodles, catching raw juices from thawing meat and fish, and much more.
Before jumping into the variety of sinks on the market, these are the specs to consider when selecting a sink for your kitchen:
- Size: Obviously the sink needs to fit into its intended counter and cabinet space, but you also want one that is large enough to fulfill your needs. Pay attention not only to width and length, but also to height for containing tall pots, piles of dishes, and splashing water.
- Number of basins/bowls: Single-basin (aka single-bowl) models are the simplest designs and offer the most "open" space for holding large pans and plates. Double-basin models have two smaller side-by-side bowls — both equal in size, or one large and one small — and are great for organizing and separating items and using for different purposes. I have a 70/30 two-bowl sink; the smaller (i.e., 30) basin drains over the garbage disposal and is used for cleaning ingredients while the larger (i.e., 70) tub holds dishes waiting to be washed. The downside to two-bowl models is that each basin may be too small to hold many (or large) items conveniently. There are even triple-bowl sinks, most often used in industrial or very large home kitchens.
- Construction material: Stainless steel is popular due to its durability, longevity, and cost-effectiveness. Downsides are that stainless steel can scratch and stain easily. Look for a sink with at 18-gauge or lower stainless steel; the lower the number, the thicker and higher quality it is. Stone sinks (e.g., granite, granite composite, and marble) may be more durable and sound-proof, but are costlier. Other materials — like fireclay, porcelain, acrylic, enameled cast iron, enameled steel, copper, and fiberglass — all have their pros, cons, and different price points.
- Mounting: A top-mount (aka drop-in) sink is inserted into a hole cut into the top of the counter. The sink’s edge extends around the hole to form a rim that is caulked to the counter and supports the sink’s weight. Although easy to install and great for DIYers, a drop-in sink creates more work later because the rim needs to be cleaned and creates a lip that blocks sweeping water and crumbs straight from the counter right into the sink. An undermount sink is fitted into the counter’s hole from below and attached to the counter with special clips. Although you can easily sweep water and crumbs straight from the countertop into the sink, you need to clean the seam where sink and counter meet. The elegant and less common integrated sink is constructed of the counter’s solid surface material and fused in place by the manufacturer. Integrated sinks are seamless — the counter flows right into the sink — but pricey and difficult to repair or remove and replace. Sometimes you need to replace the entire counter in which the sink sits.
- Style: Most kitchen sinks sit in a hole in a counter atop a cabinet space. The farmhouse/apron sink style is large and looks "built into" a cabinet designed for this type of sink; this sink’s front wall forms in front of the counter. Therefore, washing big items (pots, pans, a dog) for a long time in a farmhouse/apron sink may be easier on your back since you don’t have to learn forward over a countertop strip. On the other hand, water can drip onto the floor more easily without that countertop buffer.
- Brand: Several big names dominate the kitchen-sink market due to their high quality and fine reputation. These manufacturers (a few are included in our picks below) are worth investigating since a kitchen sink is a big-ticket item you want to stand up to your household’s wear and tear for years.
We studied websites specializing in and reviewing kitchen accessories’ construction and use. Feedback from owners of the models below helped confirm as well as refute reviewers’ reports.
Here are the best kitchen sinks you can buy:
- The best kitchen sink overall: Kraus Standart PRO 30-Inch 16-Gauge Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
- The best top-mount kitchen sink: Ruvati 33-Inch by 22-Inch Tirana Drop-in Stainless Steel Sink
- The best granite composite kitchen sink: Blanco Performa Cascade Super Single Bowl
- The best double-bowl/basin kitchen sink: Zuhne Genoa 32 Undermount Double Bowl 16-Gauge Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink
- The best farmhouse/apron kitchen sink: Kraus Standart PRO 33-Inch 16-Gauge Single Bowl Stainless Steel Farmhouse Kitchen Sink
The best kitchen sink overall
The Home Depot
Beautiful, spacious, and durable, the Kraus Standart PRO 30-Inch 16-Gauge Undermount Single Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink helps you get the job done in the kitchen — quietly.
Kraus is a well-known brand in the kitchen sink industry, and the Kraus Standart PRO 30-Inch 16-Gauge Undermount Single Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink upholds its reputation. Constructed of industrial-grade, T304 16-gauge stainless steel with a commercial-grade satin finish, it resists corrosion and denting. With ample outer dimensions (30 inches wide by 18 inches front to back by 10 inches deep), this single-basin model accommodates large pots and pans as well as piles of dishes. While users may not love washing the dishes, many loved the roominess and depth that makes doing dishes and working over the sink more convenient.
The gorgeous Kraus Standart PRO 30-Inch 16-Gauge Undermount Single Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink easily matches most kitchens’ decor and comes with a grid, a three-piece basket strainer set, and a black kitchen towel marked "Kraus." The grid covers and helps protect the sink’s floor from scratching, although some (but certainly not all) Amazon users found this sink easy to scratch. A few also noted appearances of rust spots.
Speaking of the floor, it slopes gently toward a drain hole that’s positioned closer to the back of the sink in order to provide more usable space. Kitchen Faucet Guides noted that the sink has "superior drainage [so] water won’t stagnate inside the KHU100-30." The drainage received mixed reviews from Amazon customers, some disapproving ("you have to spend a little extra time [effort and water] to wash food particles down the drain") and some approving ("I saw several reviewers complain that it doesn’t drain well, but that has not been my experience. With a quick rinse around the edges everything flows right down the drain leaving little standing water." What people do like with this sink overall, and especially with its round corners, is that the Kraus Standart PRO 30-Inch 16-Gauge Undermount Single Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink is pretty easy to clean.
Another asset is the NoiseDefend technology, which consists of extra-thick pads that cover more than 80% of the sink for added sound and temperature insulation. Healthy Kitchen 101 named this model its top pick and praised the sink’s superior soundproofing, which means that you won’t hear much noise when running the water or garbage disposal. The undermount comes ready for installation in a 33-inch-minimum sink cabinet, including mounting hardware, a cutout template, and instructions. Some Amazon users described installation as "easy," but many had theirs professionally installed.
The Kraus Standart PRO 30-Inch 16-Gauge Undermount Single Bowl Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink was named "Best Overall/Top Pick" by Best Kitchen Faucets Hub, "Best Undermount Sink" by Best Kitchen Buy, "Editor’s Choice" by Helpful Habitat, and one of Kitchen Folks’ top 10 choices. Of 630 Amazon reviewers, 82% awarded this sink 5 out of 5 stars.
Pros: Large, accommodates large pots and pans, sturdy, easy to clean, good price
Cons: Satin finish scratches, water and food particles don’t always drain well without rinsing
The best top-mount kitchen sink
The Home Depot
For owners who want a top-mount model, the Ruvati 33-Inch by 22-Inch Tirana Drop-in Stainless Steel Sink offers capacity, quality, sound insulation, and aesthetic beauty.
The single-bowl Ruvati 33-Inch by 22-Inch Tirana Drop-in Stainless Steel Sink is lovely and large. Its T304 16-gauge stainless-steel single bowl with a satin finish is 10 inches deep, 31 inches (interior)/33 inches (exterior) wide, and 18 inches (interior)/22 inches (exterior) front to back. Many Amazon reviewers praised its spaciousness, sturdiness, and beautiful appearance. One went so far as to say, "It makes the manual dish washing experience a breeze."
Included are a basket strainer for the drain and a grid you put on the sink’s floor to protect it from being scratched. A few Amazon users worried that the grid itself would scratch the floor. Like most stainless-steel sinks, the Ruvati 33-Inch by 22-Inch Tirana Drop-in Stainless Steel Sink does scratch a bit. The floor itself slopes slightly for the water to drain, although it could slope even more, conceded Amazon reviewers who "use the sprayer to assist the drainage of food particles, but that issue is partly due to the zero [sharp] corners — a worthwhile trade-off for more space." Another wrote, "The sharp corners and flat bottom do lead to slower drainage. We have to spend a little more time spraying water to get the food debris down the drain but it is worth it."
The Ruvati 33-Inch by 22-Inch Tirana Drop-in Stainless Steel Sink is insulated with thick sound-guard padding and undercoating, which effectively dampens noise from things like faucet water hitting the bottom or the garbage disposal). This top-mount model comes with a cutout template, mounting clips, and an installation guide. It has four pre-drilled holes for faucet and soap dispenser installation. Don’t worry if you don’t use all four holes; three holes have steel plugs. Drop-in models are good for DIYers and so is this one, although many reviewers suggest professional installation for most kitchen sinks.
The Ruvati 33-Inch by 22-Inch Tirana Drop-in Stainless Steel Sink was named "Best Drop-in Kitchen Sink" by Best Kitchen Buy, "Top Overmount Sink" by Helpful Habitat, and "Best Stainless Steel Sink" by Healthy Kitchen 101. Of more than 200 Amazon reviewers, 79% gave it 5 out of 5 stars.
Pros: Roominess, easy installation, good price for high quality
Cons: Heavy, can scratch easily, square corners difficult to clean
The best granite composite kitchen sink
The Home Depot
Enjoy the luxury of granite with the Blanco Performa Cascade Super Single Bowl and the convenience of this model’s interior ledge.
Internationally recognized German manufacturer Blanco produces high-quality sinks, and the Blanco Performa Cascade Super Single Bowl is no exception. Many of this brand’s models earned accolades; we decided to focus on the Blanco Performa Cascade Super Single Bowl because, in addition to positive reviews, it has a less-common feature: a low divider that separates the large basin (33 inches wide by 19 inches front to back) into two sections.
A ledge that’s half as tall as the bowl’s depth acts as a border between a lower main part (18 inches wide by 17.5 inches front to back by 10 inches deep) and a raised part (12 inches wide by 17.5 inches front to back by 7.75 inches deep). You can perch the included mesh colander atop when washing fruits and veggies. The Blanco Performa Cascade combines the benefits of single- and double-basin sinks. On one hand, you can fill the lower side with water and use it independent of the raised section as if you had a double-bowl sink. On the other hand, if you need more room for large pans or wide serving plates just keep filling it until the water overflows the divider and — voilà — you’ve converted the sink to a broader single bowl. One Amazon reviewer noted, "It’s nice to have the full size for washing large items and the little shelf for thawing items or placing soap holder."
The sink’s single drain is in the large section’s upper right corner just next to the ledge; this positioning provides ample uninterrupted floor space in the large section as well as easy emptying of liquids dripping from the small ledge, which is convenient for drying veggies and thawing meat. The Blanco Performa Cascade drains well.
Made of the brand’s "Silgranit," a composite that’s 80% solid granite, this sink is very durable and stands up to years of use. It’s easy to clean and is scratch- and dirt-resistant. A Great Sink, which named it "Budget Choice" among best granite sinks, likes that it can "handle citric things like lemon, vinegar … for cooking or cleaning purpose" as well as tea-, coffee-, and red-wine stains. The Blanco Performa Cascade withstands heat up 536°F, and Best Kitchen Faucets Hub pointed out the sink’s versatility in that you can slice citric fruit over it and also put a hot pan on the sink floor without worrying.
This elegant sink is available in eight rich colors: anthracite, biscotti, biscuit, café brown, cinder, truffle, metallic gray, and white. A cutout template and clips are included for undermount installation into a 36-inch-minimum sink cabinet. Among more than 75 Amazon reviewers — most who had the Blanco Performa Cascade professionally installed — this model earned 4.3 out of 5 stars.
Pros: Beautiful appearance, durability, a ledge that makes the sink a hybrid of single- and double-bowl models
Cons: Drain not included, pricey but expected for granite sinks, can chip and stain
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