Ah, the kitchen: An eternal source of joy and stress alike. Promising an endless stream of dirty dishes, overfilled cupboards, and passive-aggressive notes on the fridge, it's also the space we come together to unwind, cook, and eat. So, why not make it the haven it could (and should) be? Sure, you've got a tiny space (as do I), but that doesn't mean you can't make do. Back in my dorm days, we shared a communal kitchen — believe me, it could have been feral! — and yet, we still banded together to keep it in order (mostly to a few small kitchen organizers, admittedly). Now though, I live in a small apartment with my boyfriend and we're now open to other cheap but chic investments.
As such, we've hopped on the small kitchen carts bandwagon, helping us to free up space with handy storage and manage our minimal kitchen surface space. Yep, our fixed island is more like a playpen than a kitchen unit. However, with these portable pieces, there's somewhere to make, enjoy, and keep the foodstuffs, without the permanence and price tag that comes with installing a new marble top. Plus, who's landlord is letting that slide? Certainly not ours.
Saving you the effort, I've rounded up the best of the best kitchen carts you need to buy. For style and practicality purposes, that is. Indeed, if it summoned major critique and anything less than four stars, you better believe it ain't on my list. Nope, no way! I've opted for modish numbers in neutral or pastel hues, homing in on useful features like drawers, cupboards, and wheels. Just follow my lead.
The best small kitchen carts to buy
Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
The prices below were correct at the time of publishing.
Small kitchen carts on wheels
A design perfect for smaller kitchens, these small kitchen carts are all on wheels and they are nice and tiny so as not to overwhelm a smaller kitchen. Not only that, but you can label each tier and use it to store more food or even for your extra cookware.
Size (in.): H5.1 x W31.7 x D18.7
Made from: Steel
Colors: White, Black
This one's for everyone with that awkward gap of space in between their countertops. This should fit perfectly. Otherwise, it's nice and slim so as not to disturb order in your small kitchen. It even has a handle to help you pull the cart to where you need it. It's great for holding pantry staples or your most-used kitchen utensils in pots.
Pretty in pink
Size (in.): H31 x W17 x D13.35
Made from: Metal
Colors: Dusty Pink, Charcoal, Mint Green, White
Price: From $31.84
Contemporary and cute, you can't go wrong with this multifunctional kitchen cart. There are three layers for supplies of all sizes and it comes in a choice of four fun colors — awesome if you're working with a no-frills space that needs a dose of personality. You can use this one outdoors too since it comes with an anti-rust coating. Perfect if you have a small balcony or patio.
Cheap yet cheerful
Size (in.): H32.625 x W11.75 x L19.875
Made from: Steel
Colors: White, Black, Pale Green
This sleek metal kitchen cart is giving complete industrial vibes. It's totally on-trend in terms of looks but ultimately puts functionality at the forefront. With a large bottom space suitable for storing just about anything and a table top great for keeping a few items on display, there's nothing we don't love about this kitchen trolley.
Island kitchen carts
If there's one benefit of being short on space, it's the savvy thinking you pick up on your way. No granite island in your rental? No bother. A wheeled kitchen cart provides all the kitchen space you need, and it can be moved around while you cook — or as you move home (renting, right?). These will give you extra countertop space and storage space. Double win!
Space for wine
Size (in.): H33.8 x W22.88 x D15.75
Made from: Solid wood and MDF
Price: From $149.99
With a fresh spectrum of hues to pick from, this design is ideal for adding a little extra storage to your pantry. Constructed with a slick, granite top, it's kitted out with a wine rack, metal basket, and a shelf for any remaining clutter. Add to this a chrome-handled drawer, and you have a handy setup. Naturally, the wheeled bottom proves helpful, particularly if you're partial to quick kitchen makeovers or toing and froing between different sides of your kitchen. Oh, and reviewers were thoroughly pleased, praising its adorable looks and the sturdy capping.
Size (in.): H36 x W25 x D19.75
Made from: Rubber, wood, and steel
Price: From $139.99
Serving industrial looks in abundance, this practical design combines two shelves and a buttery prep surface to work from, great for budding chefs short on diner space. Plus, it features hardwearing caster wheels, sure to see you through plenty of kitchen cookouts (and nightmares). Oh, and did I mention that this folds away when not in use? The dream. With a handle on the side to store your tongs and tea towels, it's as versatile as it is classic. Plus, shoppers adored it, especially as it provides an easy alternative to built-in islands. Chopping vegetables? This is how you do it.
Size (in.): H34.4 x W17.7 x D28.7
Made from: Solid and manufactured wood
Price: From $215.28
Pretty in pink, light gray, or white, this adorable piece features four caster wheels, two of which can be locked, and a three-tiered spice rack and towel bar. Elsewhere, the top drawer and sliding bin compartment provide everything you need for the ultimate domestic culinary setup. Complementing any modern home, the elegant construction is also well-sized to fit the smallest out there. According to reviewers, it's a great way to free up space and make the best of your kitchen. One thing to bear in mind is the assembly — it could take a few hours to put together — but the reward more than compensates.
Small kitchen islands with seating and storage
Kitchens can often be the priciest room to kit out in the house — particularly if you're after permanent fixtures. Fortunately, there's a way around this via smaller kitchen islands, which deliver on seating and storage all the same. Think portable, pragmatic, and packed with panache.
Size (inches): H33 x W29.75 x D32
Made from: Solid wood
Price: From $132.68
Unless you're averse to efficient living, this subtle piece of design should be right up your street, complete with two stools and a wheeled wooden trolley whose top can be flipped to suit your needs. Flipped down, it's the perfect spot to enjoy your breakfast or make headway with your meal prep. Flipped up, it's the ultimate grazing table, ideal for drinks and nibbles on a fine Sunday afternoon. As for the construction, it's sturdy, primed with a clean finish that's as simple as it is slick. The verdict? Shoppers found its setup a piece of cake, and it fits just right in a smaller space.
Size (inches): H33.07 x W47.24 x D23.62
Made from: Steel and faux-marble
Price: From $193.99
When it comes to statement design, this multi-functional piece is an easy pick. Featuring a waterproof, wipe-clean surface, plenty of storage space, and non-slip feet, it might not feature wheels, but it compensates in the size department. Indeed, if your humble abode is a long-stay rental, it's a wise investment. Granted, it's a little larger than other options, but the addition of two chairs and a tabletop/food prep surface means you can scale back on the other furnishings. Plus, all things considered, it's still relatively small. As far as reviewers were concerned, it's a must-have piece that frees up plenty of storage room in a small home. One buyer even doubled up!
Size (inches): H32.68 x W32.09 x D30
Made from: Pine wood
Price: From $109.99
With a caster bottom, this three-piece kitchen island trolley is ideal for budding romanticists looking to dine with their partner from morning to night. Complete with a drop-leaf tabletop that folds and extends, it comfortably accommodates two people, and offers some added storage room by way of its two top drawers. Down below, plenty can be stored on the base, meanwhile, the towel rail comes in handy for hangable utensils and cloths. In terms of looks, the cool Scandi aesthetic would be hard-pressed clashing with any décor, offering easy, tranquil vibes. Oh, and reviewers couldn't get enough of it: easy to use, cute, and brilliant for small apartments.
Small kitchen carts with(hidden) storage
In terms of homes, bigger doesn't always mean better. Certainly, a considered approach to storage goes a long way, which is why small kitchen carts with added cubbies and sliding barn-style doors are hot stuff. Luckily, I've found some winners.
Size (inches): H35 x W41.3 x D18.9
Made from: Rubberwood and MDF
Price: From $159.99
With a drawer, a cabinet, and three open shelving units, this classic design is a must in any small but mighty kitchen. Thanks to its thick wood top, it provides an easy way to prepare meals and serve drinks, while the towel rack keeps your trusty drying cloth on hand when you need it. Personally, I'm very into the white colorway — a breeze to match with my bright and airy diner at home — but I could totally get down with the black version. And yes, shoppers had a lot of space in their hearts for this piece, touting its credentials as a sturdy coffee station with ample room for microwave and kitchen equipment.
Size (inches): H36.6 x W52.2 x D20.5
Made from: Rubber, wood, and faux wood
Price: From $239.99
Honestly, could this get any cuter? Available in a minty, pastel hue or a cool black, this design features two sliding barn doors with a sizeable shelf inside — plus, two chrome-handled drawers and a double-bar towel rack. On top, you'll find one impressively sizeable worktop upon which you can place your chopping boards, fruit and bread baskets, or cups and saucers. As regards the quality of materials, this scored high with reviewers, but be warned, this takes a bit of time to put together — it's all worth it, though.
Size (inches): H35.1 x W29.6 x D17.3
Made from: Manufactured wood and metal
Price: From $149.99
Form meets function in this understated beauty, offering six cubby holes for items like wine bottles along its left, a sizeable cubby in the center, and three shelves on its right side. Atop, you'll find a sleek surface perfect for placing your cooking essentials, accompanied by ingredients, oils, and the rest below. For me, the black and pine colorway is giving timeless, while the espresso or white and natural hues are no less graceful. In short, this has more storage than one could ever need. Plus, you'll be hard-pressed finding anything but glowing reviews. Here, its skills as the ultimate kitchen aid have earned it critical acclaim.
What can I put on a kitchen cart?
Good question! The answer is more or less the same as if you asked "what can I put on a kitchen island." In essence, everything from your chopping board, spices, herbs, and cooking ingredients that require dry storage. One thing to bear in mind, though, is how carefully you use this added bit of storage. Indeed, interiors expert, Suzanne Roynon of Interiors Therapy, suggests, "Undertaking a major purge of the kitchen cupboards to clear any surplus appliances, crockery, and utensils prior to investing in a kitchen cart or flexible island." In many ways, this is the best way to start. "Once you know everything in the kitchen serves a purpose, and you aren’t inadvertently using it to store clutter, choosing the ideal size and type of cart or island becomes more straightforward to assess.”
Can you buy a stand alone kitchen island?
Absolutely! Gone are the days of investing thousands into a brand-spanking-new kitchen island. Now, you can opt for something far more portable and maneuverable, which doesn't also require owning your own home or paying off the landlord. Yes, as the examples above highlight, wheeled options with plenty of storage and light material construction are perhaps the way forward. Speaking with interiors buff, Suzanne Roynon, founder of Interiors Therapy, this becomes all the more clear. "The glorious thing about a portable cart is that it gives a kitchen a new dimension: a home for appliances rather than storing them on valuable countertops or a contained space for fresh fruit and vegetables which don’t require refrigeration," she says. Another thing to look out — if you're using it as a butcher's block? "Lockable wheels to prevent it from rolling away."
What can you store in a kitchen trolley?
Kitchen trolleys honestly have no limits. They may be called a kitchen trolley, but we think they are great to use all around the house — especially if you rent, have an open plan living room, live in a studio, or even a camper van.
From fruit bowls to toiletries, makeup, glassware, and more, they are great for storing anything that you want to keep organized but within reach.
When thinking about what to keep in yours, consider where you'll keep it and then what you use the most in that space day to day. Cutlery, crockery, and cooking utensils are most conveniently kept in a kitchen trolley. But if you're keeping your cart in your living space it might be where you keep a cocktail shaker, plus the remote and a couple of cool magazines to ease up space on your coffee table. The choice is yours.
How we chose these kitchen carts
I've spent quite some time scouring the web for only the finest trolleys and carts to suit a modest budget. Just this minute, I haven't been able to test out each and every design featured in the list but rest assured that selections were made based purely on the shoppers' kind (or harsh) words.
Where to buy a kitchen cart
Still not found the perfect fit? No stress. We've listed our top pick of retailers below for the ultimate in space-saving kitchen carts or trolleys.