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Single Bowl versus Double Bowl Sinks: Which is Best?

Everyone has their own way of organizing when it comes to washing dishes, and it’s usually based off of the style of sink they have. If you feel too cramped or like you need more open space in your sink, then you might need to start thinking about the number of bowls in your sink (and I’m not talking about your dishes). If you’re not familiar with the difference between a single bowl and a double bowl sink, then read to on to learn about each style and figure out which one suits your kitchen-organizing method.

Single Bowl Basics

A single bowl sink only has one area for dishes, hence the word single. This is the standard sink layout that you’ve probably seen hundreds of times, where there is just one large basin and no separations or divisions. This type of sink can vary in size pretty significantly, ranging from compact to extra-large with a width of 30 inches or more.

Many single bowl sinks today tend to skew to the larger size, giving you more space to work with while you’re doing dishes. Some models also come in extra deep styles, to allow you to place large pots inside without having them take up all the space.

Double Bowl Declassified

As you might have guessed based on the name, a double bowl sink has two basins instead of one. Most sinks come in the 50/50 style, where the basins are the same size and sit side-by-side. Sometimes these models have a lower dividing wall in the center to make it easier to move dishes between each basin.

You can also find double bowl sinks in a 60/40 style, where one of the basins is bigger than the other to give you more options for how you use them. If you find that you usually need one smaller area to contain messier projects or to keep delicate dishes separate from metal pans, this type of sink could work for you.

Organization is Key

Choosing between a single and or double bowl sink usually comes down to how you like to organize your dishes. If you like to keep all the dirty dishes on one side and transfer them to the other as you scrub off food debris, then a double bowl sink would probably work best for you. Double bowl sinks also allow you close the drain on one side to fill it with water if you like to submerge your dishes while you wash them and then place them into the open basin as you go.

If you need to have more overall space in your sink, you’re going to want to choose a single bowl model. These sinks are made to maximize the inner sink area so that you can put more dishes inside without everything piling up on top of each other. Single bowl sinks are also useful if you need to do any messy food prep in the sink, since you get more room to work and don’t have the limitations in size that come with a double bowl sink.

Installation Consideration

Beyond your organizational preference, you also need to think about the layout of your kitchen before you make your final choice. Double bowl sinks come with two drains, which might not be ideal depending on your kitchen’s plumbing. This can also become complicated if you have a garbage disposal, since it can only connect to one sink and needs to have a clear path from both drains. Along the same lines, a single bowl sink might have the drain placed further towards the back, which can also be tricky in some situations.

You also need to make sure that there is enough space for each style of sink to fit in your cabinet and on your countertop. A 60/40 double bowl sink might have an oblong shape that could interfere with the placement of your faucet. Alternately, a single bowl sink with a deep basin could be too big to fit with your existing plumbing. If you’re not sure about whether or not a particular type of sink is going to work with your current kitchen, you should definitely talk to a professional first. Making changes to your plumbing or counters to match a sink can get very expensive very fast.

And the Winner Is…

In the end, there really isn’t one type of sink that’s better than the other. I prefer double bowl sinks because I love being able to break up washing dishes into stages without having to put wet dishes on the counter or anything like that. But your dishwashing style is probably different, and that’s the point. Now that you know more about each type of sink, you can choose the one that reflects you and your own methods.