Dutch Quirk #80: Put a sink in their bedrooms

HomeUltimate List of Dutch QuirksDutch Quirk #80: Put a sink in their bedrooms

Did you ever think that it would be useful to have a sink in your bedroom? No? Well, the Dutchies sure did!

In Dutch households, having a sink in the bedroom holds a long history, and nowadays it is considered handier than ever!

What is it?

A few hundred years ago, when some of today’s older houses were built in the Netherlands, it was very common to have a sink in the bedroom. Obviously, only with freezing cold water in it. 

READ MORE: 14 things you’ll find in Dutch houses that make internationals go: “Wait, what?”

The main reason for this was to use every square meter of the house, especially when it was common for an entire bloodline to be living together.

While now it might look strange, you may rightfully ask the question: 

Why do they do it?

When four generations were living under the same roof, it was practical to have a sink in each room of the house. 

Back in the old days, it was a luxury to have an entire room dedicated to bathing oneself, so the Dutch thought it practical to put a sink in each bedroom at one’s own discretion. 🛀

Keeping a bar soap and a toothbrush also sped up the process of getting ready in the morning in many households. 

Why is it quirky? 

Well, it’s now more practical than ever. As today, the equivalent of half of a Dutch village squeezes in to live together in a student house. 

READ MORE: Dutch Quirk #36: Charge people for public toilets

The Dutchies are always good at finding solutions, especially when it comes to comfort, so this is probably the main reason that you don’t really see sinks in bedrooms in other European countries.

Landlords are also more than happy to charge some extra euros at the end of the month for this luxurious possibility!

Should you join in? 

It won’t hurt to have an extra sink in your bedroom, even if you only use it for a glass of water when you wake up in the middle of the night on the verge of drying out. 

Others use it as a pot for their plants or a cosy bed for their cats. 

But, in most households, the main reason that these sinks are still there is because it’s more complicated (and expensive!) to remove them than just to call it a Dutch quirk. 

What do you think of this Dutch quirk? Have you experienced it? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Mihály Droppa
Mihály Droppa
Mihály fell in love with (and in) Amsterdam, so he quit his NGO job in Budapest and moved to Amsterdam to become a journalist. His apartment is full of plants and books, two dogs, and a random mouse in the kitchen. You might find him in Vondelpark, where he spends most of his life throwing tennis balls for his vizslas and listening to podcasts. His nickname is Mex — ask him why!


  1. I remember growing up in the Netherlands, and always wondered about the “sink in the bedroom”. We lived in a post-war row house, which did not have this, but I did have friends who lived in apartments. All the bedrooms in these apartments seemed to have these sinks. I always thought it was a cool thing to have.

  2. Our house is only 44yrs old and we had a sink in our main bedroom even though we had 2 bathrooms. Found it super weird and when we renovated we took it out and added a full ensuite in the extra storage space next to our room. Have not thought about it for 6 years.


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