Double sink or single sink in the kitchen? Which is better?

homemaker working at a double sink in her 1950s kitchenIt’s a kitchen design question as old as time: Double sink or single sink, which is better? Some readers recently started commenting back and forth on the question, and it occurred to me that we’d never discussed and debated this topic in a story. (We did discuss the classic toilet paper over or under question, though!) Above: Illustration of American-Standard kitchen cabinets and sinks from a 1953 catalog.

Woman working at a single sink with drainboards in her 1940s kitchenOf course, each design has its pros and cons. [Above: Illustration from 1953 Crane kitchen catalog.]

Double sink pros and cons:

  • Double sinks make it easier to wash on one side, stack to dry on the other.
  • Or procrastinators can wash on one side, pile dirties on the other, and get to finishing up when you can. [I plead guilty, but you could guess that already, couldn’t you?]
  • On the flip side, double sinks typically are smaller, so you sometimes cannot get a big pot or tray completely into one of the bowls. Jamming a large tray into one side of a double sink kinda runs the risk of scratching or dinging it. 
  • In the same vein, they can take up more room. 
kohler delafield double kitchen sink
Our go-to favorite double sink for the kitchen here on Retro Renovation is the Kohler Delafield with metal hudee ring — which you can still buy today. Many readers have put this into their kitchen. Available on Amazon, be sure to order the metal frame too (affiliate link). And while you’re at it, consider going full Dishmaster, I adore mine. (affiliate links)

Single sink pros and con:

  • Single sinks can be sized larger, so they can fit large pots and pans and trays. [My husband is in the single sink camp for this reason.]
  • I guess you could say: They encourage you to clean as you go, because there is no second bowl to pile in the dirties.
  • Overall, they likely take up less room, so there is more counter space for prep.
ceco cast iron single bowl white cast iron sink
This Ceco “Seaside” white cast iron single bowl sink is 24″ wide. There are two models, and I can’t discern what the difference it (ask the company). Apparently, this was previously marketed as the Kohler Mayfield — but now, you get it directly from Ceco. Order the metal hudee frame separately.

Double sink or single sink — which do you prefer?

  1. Shari D. says:

    Definitely in the double sink camp, and always have been. Except for one year, when we lived in our first apartment after getting married, and it had a single sink because it had a dishwasher, a double basin sink was all I had ever had, and all I’ve had since.

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