British Standard fitted kitchens review (2023)

In this British Standard fitted kitchens review, we take a closer look at the company to find out if its traditionally crafted cupboards are the best fit for your new kitchen.

By Architectural Digest UK Reviews Team

A British Standard Fitted Kitchen in royal blue colour with white wall cupboards.

Affiliate Disclaimer: All products and services featured are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Jump to: Fast facts | Key features | Upsides and downsides | How do Howdens fitted kitchens work? | Competitor comparison | Cost | Installation | Maintenance | Expert opinions | Customer reviews | Our recommendation | Methodology

British Standard fitted kitchens are made by UK-based company British Standard Cupboards, which is a sister company of the popular kitchen provider Plain English. The main difference between the two is that British Standard’s units are considered to be more “ready to fit” than bespoke Plain English cupboards, offering customers a lower price point.

The company manufactures a range of wall and floor cupboards, shelves, drawers, and accessories for kitchen renovations. However, if your project requires new appliances, flooring, or tiles, you will need to source these from another supplier.

While British Standard isn’t the least expensive fitted kitchen supplier, it says its products are built with quality materials using traditional methods of manufacturing. It does not provide a specified guarantee on its cupboards, instead claiming they are built to last a lifetime.

British Standard has a showroom in London as well as its main depot in Suffolk, where its cupboards are manufactured, along with a roving showroom. It also operates “pop-up” showrooms across the UK and at trade shows.

Fast facts about British Standard fitted kitchens

British Standard kitchens are made using quality methods and traditional materials. The brand has a five-step process that includes measuring, designing, ordering, and delivery to ensure that customers get the best fitted kitchens. For your kitchen, you can get worktops, floor, wall, or tall cupboards. Most of its products are made using European Birch ply and other materials to maintain quality.

Key features

Upsides and downsides of British Standard fitted kitchens

Before choosing a fitted kitchen for your home, it’s advisable to examine the pros and cons first. If the benefits outweigh the downsides, you can go ahead and make a purchase. If you are considering the British Standard fitted kitchens, here are the pros and cons you should know:

UpsidesDownsides

Brand recognition: British Standard was established by the same owners of Plain English Design, one of the most highly-regarded bespoke kitchen companies globally. Therefore, you are guaranteed that your fitted kitchen will be high quality.

Price is costly to some: Although British Standard kitchens have a clear price tag, they can be slightly costly for some customers.

Range of designs: You don’t have to get your fitted kitchen in one style. You can customise and work with the company’s design team to create a unique kitchen for your home.

No in-house fitters: Once your kitchen is ready, British Standard doesn’t provide a fitting service; therefore, you have to source your own fitters or use the company’s list of recommendations.

Cost transparency: You can see the prices for all products on the British Standard website. If you need more information, you can contact the customer support team.

No warranty: Because British Standard doesn’t provide a fitting service, its kitchens do not come with a specified warranty. Instead, the company says the quality of the materials used means its products will last a long time.

How do British Standard fitted kitchens work?

A British Standard fitted kitchen with cream-coloured cupboards and green tiles on the walls.
British Standard fitted kitchens are made with high-quality birch plywood. (Image credit: British Standard Cupboards)

British Standard kitchens are of high quality. They are made using European resin-faced birch plywood and traditionally crafted to create the best designs for your kitchen. To get these fitted kitchens, you first need to measure the general room dimensions. You can take these measurements to your design service consultation with the British Standard experts. 

The designers will offer free consultation, and once you settle on a design, you can make your order online. When the order is ready, they will deliver it to your house. These kitchens come fitted with cupboards, storage areas, and worktops that you can use for your daily kitchen activities. They are well equipped for any type of kitchen or household; you just need to provide your specific needs at your consultation.

British Standard uses solid Poplar wood in its cupboard carcasses, while the central panels of the doors are made with MDF. All of its units arrive primed and undercoated in an off-white colour ready to be painted to match your new kitchen’s colour scheme. The company recommends painting your cupboards after they are fitted to avoid damage to the finish during installation.

British Standard fitted kitchens versus competitors

British Standard kitchens compete with several brands in the market, such as Howdens and Wren. Howdens kitchens allow customers to visualise their dream kitchens on the website by choosing the colours, layouts, style, and design. They also have a range of  kitchen fittings just like British Standard; you can get fitted kitchens, kitchen doors, cabinets, and surfaces. 

Both brands are well known for supplying fitted kitchens; however, Howdens has an advantage because they hold a Royal Warrant to supply goods and services to Royal Households. The other difference is that the Howdens kitchens are not so transparent about their prices, which is confusing for consumers. Additionally, they have a trade-only approach; therefore, you need to have a builder to buy their products. With British Standard, anyone can make an order.

British Standard kitchens also compete with Wren kitchens. However, Wren is much cheaper if you are looking for a fitted kitchen at a lower cost. With 88 different kitchen design combinations, Wren is a favourite for customers. Just like with British Standard, Wren also provides exact quotes on their products if you contact the customer service team. 

Wren Kitchens also allow customers to book a free consultation appointment to talk to the team about installing a fitted kitchen. The same applies to British Standard kitchens.

How much do British Standard fitted kitchens cost?

According to Plain English, average British Standard kitchens cost £8,000. This cost is a bit pricey for some customers; however, it’s worth it if you are looking for quality, traditionally crafted products.

British Standard ensures that all its prices are transparent. For instance, if you want to buy floor cupboards, you can browse the different prices on the website and order what you need. Their cost is based on different factors such as the design, size, and type of fitted kitchen you order. When buying these fitted kitchens, you also need to budget for additional costs such as installation.

Here’s how British Standard kitchens compare to other brands.

BrandAverage cost

British Standard

£8,000+

Howdens

£5,000 to £15,000+

Wren

£576 to £5,306+

Installing British Standard fitted kitchens

A British Standard fitted kitchen with green cupboards in a traditional country-style kitchen with cream plaster walls.
While you can install a British Standard fitted kitchen on your own if you have the right skills, it is recommended to hire a professional. (Image credit: British Standard Cupboards)

To install your British Standard kitchen, you can either hire a builder or fitter, or do it yourself if you have some traditional carpentry skills. To help you with the process, British Standard provides a guide and step-by-step explanation of how to do it. However, it would be advisable to involve a professional who can handle the installation of the entire kitchen. British Standard can provide the contact details of a professional to install your fitted kitchen.

Maintaining British Standard fitted kitchens

Since British Standard kitchens are made of quality materials, they are durable if you maintain them correctly. To keep them clean, dust them regularly and wipe them down with a soft cloth. You should also avoid letting your kitchen surfaces sit in water because this can damage the paint. 

Additionally, you should not use aggressive cleaners or chemicals that can damage the paint. Use water and pH-neutral cleaners to avoid damaging the surfaces. If your surfaces are wooden worktops, it’s advisable to apply oil every year to keep them shining and well maintained.

What the experts say

“It is worth not completely writing off more made-to-measure, seemingly ‘expensive’ brands. For instance, British Standard (the sister company of Plain English—pretty much the last word in luxury kitchens—was launched to address the gap in the market for more affordable yet luxury, hand-made kitchens. Prices vary, but some can cost around £6,000, which is excellent value for solid wood drawers etc. … so it is worth getting in touch to see what you can get if your budget stretches.”The Frugality

“The more affordable offshoot of Plain English. Costs are kept down with off-the-shelf, rather than bespoke styles.”Elle Decoration

“Two decades after successfully establishing Plain English as one of the most respected kitchen companies in the world, Katie Fontana and Tony Niblock launched British Standard to satisfy the growing demand for affordable cupboards that could work in any room. Expect the timeless, pared-back style of Plain English reimagined in a new kitchen range that includes wall and floor cupboards, generously proportioned, solid wood drawers and open shelves.”Sheer Luxe

Customer reviews

“I received a floor cupboard from British Standard Cupboards today and have begun installing it. I found the cupboard to be of high quality from a design and construction point of view. I just wanted to thank British Standard Cupboards for the great customer service they provided us.”Review Centre

“Our kitchen has just been installed, I absolutely love it so glad we spent a little bit more on what is a much more traditional, quality product.”—Kate via Google

“Amazing service and a very good quality product. The birch ply carcasses and solid wood frames offer longevity together with an iconic aesthetic. There’s no better product at this price bracket. All the staff were very friendly and super helpful, highly recommended.”—Adrian via Google

Our recommendation

British Standard kitchens provide some of the highest-quality fitted kitchens on the market. They are designed by a renowned brand and are guaranteed to last. Although the company does not currently offer a fitting service, they can recommend some professional fitters to assist you.

British Standard kitchens are more costly than other brands because they are traditionally crafted and designed with the best materials. However, since they don’t have a specific warranty, you need to maintain them well.

How we chose the top fitted kitchen companies

Each of the fitted kitchen companies we’ve reviewed has been scored using our Reviews Standards matrix across multiple categories. The categories include how many showroom kitchens styles are offered, length of guarantees, payment options, reputation on Trustpilot, and any additional benefits offered, such as virtual appointments, complementary services, how many showrooms nationwide, and customer support available.