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1 May 2021

Is now the time to upgrade your kitchen?

Which? tests reveal the best fitted kitchens, how long you could wait for new kitchen units and why now could be the perfect time to get a new kitchen
Family in a kitchen

If spending more time at home and using spaces for multiple tasks (think schooling, working, hobbies and more) has left you longing for a new kitchen, we've looked at kitchen cabinets from the biggest brands to help you choose a long-lasting kitchen from a company loved by its customers.

Our research found five Best Buy kitchens, from 21 on test. The top-scoring kitchens are sturdy in the face of family life and owners are impressed by their quality cupboards, drawers, doors and worktops.

While those who bought from some other brands were unconvinced by their customer service or whether their kitchen had lasted well.

We also found that getting a kitchen delivered and installed is taking longer than it used to so it's worth planning ahead.

Because buying a kitchen is such a big purchase and can take several months, we assessed fitted kitchens in our lab and asked owners to tell us about how they found the process of buying their kitchen.

Best and worst kitchens - the top scorers, including sturdy kitchens and how they compare for value for money.

Grey gloss kitchen cabinets along two walls of a k

How long will it take to get your kitchen delivered?

New kitchens took a week longer on average to arrive between March 2020 and March 2021 than they did in previous years, according to our survey.*

Customers waited 6.5 weeks on average before the pandemic and have waited 7.5 weeks since.

While only 4% overall said that their kitchen took longer to arrive than planned, this rose to 12% during the last year.

Among the 12%, the majority were told that their delivery was delayed due to the impact of covid19.

Two men fitting white kitchen units

How long will it take to get a kitchen installed?

Besides delivery time, you'll need to factor in time for your kitchen to be fitted (or time to build it yourself).

Customers in our survey waited longer for their kitchen installation to be finished in the last year, than they did before March 2020:

  • Average installation time before March 2020: 3.3 weeks
  • Average installation time March 2020 - March 2021: 4.7 weeks.

Of the 98 people in our survey who had their kitchen fitted between March 2020 and March 2021, 23% said that their installation was delayed.

People told us about delays owing to the lockdown and covid19 restrictions affecting work and supplies.

Ask the kitchen retailer or your chosen fitter for estimated timings upfront. That way you'll have a realistic idea of when you could be relaxing in your new kitchen, or whether to expect a wait.

See the best brands for kitchen installation or use Which? Trusted Traders to find a reliable kitchen fitter near you.

Galley kitchen with teapot on the worktop

Where is best to buy a fitted kitchen?

Some 78% of owners of kitchens from one brand have had no issues at all since it was installed, compared with 54% of owners of another kitchen brand who have stayed problem-free.

The most common problems with kitchens, according to customers in our survey*, are:

  • Soft close mechanism failing
  • Cupboard door hinges coming loose
  • Scratched or damaged worktops

Find out how much a new kitchen costs, including the price of repairing and replacing cupboard doors and drawers.

L-shaped kitchen dark grey units and a breakfast b

Fitted kitchens on test

In March 2021 we surveyed 3,848 Which? members who bought a new fitted kitchen in the last 10 years. Of these, 320 bought it since March 2020, including 302 who had their kitchen delivered and 98 who had their kitchen fitted by the company they bought it from this time.

We also sent kitchens from 10 brands to our lab to look at the quality of the units, shelves, drawers and hinges.

Find out how we test kitchens.