Shallow vs. Deep Kitchen Sinks: Which One Is Right for Me?

Lauren Murphy
Written by Lauren Murphy
Updated August 18, 2022
A white porcelain deep sink in a kitchen with wooden countetops
Photo: mtreasure / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Highlights

  • Shallow kitchen sinks are best for individuals or small families.

  • Deep kitchen sinks are best for larger families.

  • Deep kitchen sinks cost more than shallow ones.

  • Shallow kitchen sinks are easier to install.

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Whether you’re a busy parent trying to get dinner on the table or a baker whose kitchen smells like chocolate chip cookies on the weekends, your kitchen sink is where the cleanup happens. When it’s time to upgrade your kitchen fixtures, compare the pros and cons of shallow and deep kitchen sinks to decide which one is right for you and your dishwashing routine.  

Comparison of shallow versus  deep kitchen sinks, with deep sinks being ideal for large families

Shallow Kitchen Sink Pros & Cons

A woman’s hand turning off water in a shallow kitchen sink
Photo: Catherine Falls Commercial / Moment / Getty Images

Shallow kitchen sinks are ideal for people who only hand-wash a few dishes here and there and want to maximize their under-sink storage space. If you’re under 5 feet, 5 inches tall, and you’re the primary sink user, a shallow sink with a depth of 8 inches will be comfortable for you. If the person doing most of the dishes is taller than 5 feet, 5 inches but shorter than 6 foot, 4 inches, using a shallow sink will be uncomfortable. 

Because shallow sinks are relatively easy to install and require fewer materials to produce than deep sinks, they are less expensive. Sink installation costs an average of $400.

Pros

  • Allow for more under-sink storage space

  • Easy to install

  • Less expensive than deep sinks

Cons

  • Uncomfortable for people between 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 6 feet, 4 inches tall

  • Little room for dishes

Deep Kitchen Sink Pros & Cons

A bright kitchen with a deep sink
Photo: FluxFactory / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Deep kitchen sinks have a depth of more than 10 inches. If you’re regularly cooking for a crowd or you’re a baker who needs to wash big, bulky bakeware and cookie sheets, then a deep kitchen sink is right for you. 

You’ll have plenty of room to work with, and you can even hide dirty dishes from view by setting them in the bottom of your deep sink when you’re putting off dish duty until after dinner.

While you gain space with a deep sink, you sacrifice under-sink storage space. Deep sinks are not ideal for relatively short people (under 5 feet, 5 inches tall) who may strain their back when doing dishes.

Pros

  • Plenty of room for washing dishes

  • Ideal for large families

  • Easy to hide dirty dishes

Cons

  • Poor ergonomics for shorter people

  • Takes up under-sink cabinet space

Shallow vs. Deep Kitchen Sink

A tidy kitchen countertop with a shallow sink
Photo: Tatiana Dyuvbanova / EyeEm / EyeEm / Getty Images

Deciding on a shallow or deep kitchen sink is a personal choice that depends on your preferences, design style, and the height of the primary sink user in your home. Both kitchen sink styles have advantages and disadvantages.

Appearance

Deep kitchen sinks have ample room for washing dishes and can easily hide dirty dishes when you’re avoiding dish duty, making them a favorite among home cooks. Shallow sinks are useful and just as functional as deep sinks, but they lack the extra room to hide dishes. 

On the downside, deep kitchen sinks take more time and energy to clean because they’re larger than shallow sinks. If cleaning your sink isn’t part of your weekly routine and you prefer a spotless kitchen, opt for a shallow sink that’s easier to wipe down.

Most visually appealing: Deep kitchen sink

Price

Because they’re larger, deep sinks require more kitchen sink materials to produce and are more expensive than shallow sinks. Depending on the material, deep kitchen sinks cost between $500 and $2,000, while shallow kitchen sinks cost $200 to $500 on average.

Deep sinks are also more complicated to install, mainly because they’re bulky and awkward to work with. If you hire a local pro to install the sink for you, you’ll have to budget for labor.

Least expensive: Shallow kitchen sink

Ease of Installation & DIY-ability

Shallow sinks are smaller and lighter than deep sinks, especially if you go with an oversized farmhouse sink. Don’t DIY a deep sink installation unless you’re a confident DIY with experience installing sinks. Shallow sinks, however, are more DIY-friendly.

Easiest to install: Shallow kitchen sink

Ease of Repair

Deep kitchen sinks are handy for home cooks and bakers who need to wash bulky items, like pots and muffin pans, on a regular basis. But the deeper the sink, the less under-sink cabinet space there is. Because that’s where plumbers need to reach to make repairs, deeper sinks make their job more difficult. Shallow sinks leave them plenty of room to work.

Easiest to repair: Shallow kitchen sink

Resale Value

A kitchen can make or break a home sale. Upgrading yours before putting your home on the market could increase its resale value, especially if you install high-end fixtures and appliances. Because deep sinks are more expensive than shallow sinks, a deep sink has a better chance of adding value to your home. 

Highest ROI: Deep kitchen sink

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.