Wooden vs Plastic Play Kitchens – Which One To Get?

When parents are shopping for play kitchens, one of the first choices they have to make is whether to buy a wooden or a plastic play kitchen set.

This article makes it easier for you to decide between the two types of play kitchens.

Read on and you’re sure to make the right decision!

By Lilian.

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Plastic Play Kitchens


Relatively Low Cost

If you compare the cost of wooden and plastic kitchen sets, there’s no doubt that plastic sets are way cheaper than wooden sets.

So, if you’re on a tight budget, a plastic set is the better option!


Plastic kitchen sets are generally lighter than wooden ones.

I mean, nobody wants to call in 5 neighbors to help them lift a play kitchen, right?

Ease of Assembly

Unlike wooden play kitchens, plastic ones generally assemble more easily. Items just fit together without having to use screwdrivers, hammers, etc.


Environmental Concern

Plastic play kitchens are made from ABS material which is non-biodegradable.

This means that some pieces could remain in environmental waste even a thousand years to come, without decomposing.

Risk of Injury when the Pieces Snap

If the little knives, forks, spoons, etc. in the play kitchen break, they’re likely to have sharp edges.

Playing with such pieces poses a risk of injury for your child.

Wooden Play Kitchens


They Last Longer

A friend once told me that the play kitchen they used with her siblings is now being used by her daughter, more than two decades later.

Unless they splinter too much, the wooden play kitchens will last for generations!

Environmentally Friendly

Wooden sets – particularly those made from real wood – are biodegradable.

This means they yield less waste for the environment.

Isn’t it great to keep the environment safe for our future generations?

Can Hold up to Tough Play

You don’t have to keep reminding your little one every minute to play softly with the kitchen set accessories.

Real wood play kitchens are made from sturdy materials, which makes them perfect for rough play!



Just like any other wood furniture, wooden play kitchens are quite expensive.

One thing we cannot deny is that real wood is expensive.

Hardwoods grow at a far slower rate than softwoods, which means they’re scarcer. Do you remember that economic principle that suggests that scarcity contributes to higher prices?

Also, making wooden play kitchens requires high-level craftsmanship, than molding plastic, further adding to the cost.

Hard to Assemble

Unlike plastic play kitchens whose assembly is quite easy, assembling wooden play kitchens involves using traditional handles and hinges for doors.

Wooden sets also have more pieces and very few latch onto each other.

Let me share an interesting fact with you.

Even wooden play kitchens differ in terms of material.

Did you know that? Read on for more details.

Types of Wooden Play Kitchens

There are two types of wooden play kitchen sets – MDF and real wood kitchen sets

MDF Play Kitchen Sets

Most wooden play kitchens you see are not made of actual real wood.

They’re made from Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF).

MDF is a type of wood that’s made by compressing left-over wood scraps together with resins through heating. Therefore, it is not really whole wood.

The resins and laminates added in finished MDF products, such as play kitchens, could have formaldehydes and other chemicals that are unsafe for kids.

So, if you’re looking for wooden play kitchens, it’s better to stick to real wood kitchen sets.

Real Wood Kitchen Sets

These are a rare find! They’re also much more expensive than MDF and plastic play kitchen sets.

However, the real-wood kitchen sets are sturdier and more long-lasting than all other alternatives.

Finally, before you buy that play kitchen, make sure it’s durable.

There’s no need to purchase another set weeks or months later. Right?

How Can I Ensure I Get a Durable Play Kitchen?

Check Consumer Reviews

Like many other products, consumer reviews will give you a reliable opinion of what other people think about the product.

Consider the Recommended Age

Although play kitchens grow with your child, it’s still important to consider the age recommendation for each set.

For instance, you might buy one that’s meant for older, taller kids, meaning your child will not attain a height to use it for more than a year.

Or you could buy one that’s too short for them.

So, either way, consider the age factor before you choose the final set.

Assess its Construction

You can shake the play kitchen set slightly and see how the pieces hold on together.

  • Ensure there’s no wobbling on the legs.
  • Check if the drawers and doors pull all out or off.

Any issues with construction will be mentioned in reviews.

Photo by Sergei Ryzhov


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