Counter Depth Refrigerators: The Buyer’s Guide

SMETA 36 Inch Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator Bottom Freezer, Fingerprint Resistant, 20.66 cu ft Capacity, Stainless Steel

Counter-depth refrigerators are gaining widespread popularity for reasons such as the elegance and style that they add to modern kitchens. These refrigerators are almost easy choices whenever kitchen renovations are being planned.

And if you are still wondering why they are called counter-depth refrigerators, the reason is pretty simple. They are so-called because unlike, the regular refrigerators, counter-depth refrigerators don’t protrude out of the kitchen cabinets.

In essence, you can rely on a good counter-depth refrigerator to give your kitchen that streamlined and neat look any day. More so, you can kiss the days of having to deal with jutting edges and sides goodbye. Sounds like more safety in the kitchen too, don’t you think?

As amazing as having a good counter-depth refrigerator is, finding the perfect one for you is not as easy as one may think.

If you stay a little longer with this buying guide, you can rest assured that you’ll be better equipped to make an informed choice as soon as you are done reading.

Counter-Depth Refrigerators vs Standard Depth Refrigerators

Knowing the difference between a counter-depth refrigerator and a standard refrigerator is important because you’ll be able to decide on why you need a counter-depth refrigerator in the first place.

Also, being able to figure out how these two refrigerators differ will help you make an informed decision whenever you want to make a purchase.

With standard depth refrigerators, you are likely going to have some exposed sides. Counter-depth refrigerators, on the other hand, don’t usually have exposed sides. What you’ll most likely see are the doors sticking out a little.

The other aspect that these two refrigerators differ is that the counter-depth is often shallower than the standard depth.

Check out the video below to learn more.


Types of Counter-Depth Refrigerators

There are 3 types of counter-depth refrigerators in the market and each one differs from the other. But generally, they offer a cleaner and more linear look in your kitchen. They are the regular, integrated, and professional counter-depth refrigerators.

Regular Counter-Depth Refrigerators

Of the 3 types of counter-depth refrigerators, the regular ones are the least expensive.

They usually have French door, side by side, or bottom freezer configurations.

See also  Garage Refrigerators: How to Buy the Best

A side-by-side configuration will appeal to you if you are in the market for more freezer storage, organization, ample storage, and adequate proportionality.

The French door configuration is like the side by side, except that it has a pull-out freezer at the bottom. You may want to go for this if you run a bakery or a restaurant and will require ample space for platters and trays.

There’s another style called the Double drawer French door refrigerator. It is like the French door style with an extra drawer as a refrigerator or freezer.

The bottom freezer style is simply refrigerator at the top, freezer at the bottom. It offers a large capacity and makes access to vegetables and fruits easy.

Thor Kitchen Automatic Ice-maker, 36inch Refrigerator with Counter Depth French Door



Integrated Counter-Depth Refrigerators

The integrated type is the standard when it comes to that neat and streamlined look. As the name implies, the refrigerator blends so perfectly that it becomes difficult to distinguish it from the kitchen cabinet.

If this appeals more to you, we thought we should let you know that you’ll be needing a minimum of 25 inches depth-wise to get a good one in place.

The integrated refrigerators may work with stainless but they look better when custom panels are used.

Professional Counter-Depth Refrigerators

Refrigerators of this type are known for their unique restaurant-setting style. A pro has its compressors at the top and usually measures 84 inches in height.

It is great in stainless. However, you may also decide to match it with customized panels.

Check out these other related articles…

Top 3 Reasons to Buy a Counter-Depth Refrigerator

Here are 3 reasons why a counter-depth refrigerator may be the best for you:

1. Space Management.

One of the perks of having a counter-depth refrigerator is that you are able to manage your kitchen space as best as you can.

It is a popular opinion that standard refrigerators usually take more kitchen space than counter-depth refrigerators. So, if you are a stickler for space management, here’s a good way to make your kitchen dreams come true – buy a counter-depth refrigerator.

Having one means you don’t have to give up your plans to own a Zen-style kitchen because you don’t have so much space. You can check for a good refrigerator based on size and you’ll be surprised that there are quite a number of refrigerators that can fit into your small space perfectly.

See also  12V Refrigerators: A Buyer's Guide

2. Storage Capacity.

Counter-depth refrigerators are relatively bigger than regular refrigerators. One of the perks of this feature is that you get to get significant storage space for your food and drinks.

If you are running a diner or opening a restaurant soon, this will make a perfect fit for your kitchen. Plus you get to enjoy the benefits of having ample storage space.

You may also want to consider this refrigerator if you have a large family or you run a place that is home to quite a number of people.

Daewoo RFS-26ABW French Door Bottom Mount Refrigerator, 26 Cu Ft, White, includes delivery and hookup



3. Design and Style.

Those who have counter-depth refrigerators in their kitchen space often talk about the aesthetic value that these refrigerators add to their space.

We particularly like the hard-to-ignore neat look that kitchens with these refrigerators have. There’s hardly anyone who doesn’t like this special feature.

So, if you want that nice and elegant kitchen style, look no further than a good counter-depth refrigerator.

How To Choose The Best Counter-Depth Refrigerators

Buying the best counter refrigerator doesn’t have to be a boring, time-consuming chore if you know what to look out for. So, here are some of the important points to note before you buy a counter-depth refrigerator:


As with any choice in a refrigerator, one of the important factors to consider before you make a choice is its capacity. And your choice based on capacity will depend on your needs and how much you hope the refrigerator will be able to hold.

Note that capacity doesn’t necessarily translate to size. So, that the refrigerator has several compartments and drawers doesn’t mean it has enough space for your groceries. A side by side refrigerator, for instance, boasts large refrigerator space, but its shelves are narrow and also tall. This means your milk gallons, platters of cakes and pizzas won’t be able to fit in well.

This is why you need to check the shelves and make a choice based on what you want – narrow or wide shelves.

If you don’t have so much space but are looking for smart choices with respect to the capacity of the fridge, then a medium-sized fridge with sufficient capacity may be perfect for you.


Counter-depth refrigerators are usually quite expensive. Apart from the initial cost of buying a counter-depth fridge, users also need to factor in the energy costs associated with running it.

Thankfully, manufacturers have identified the energy consumption issues and a number of energy-efficient counter-depths are now available. But they cost a bit more.

Counter-depth refrigerators are really cool (no pun intended) and almost everyone wants one  However, it is advisable to work with a realistic budget when you are looking for a fridge for yourself. Then you can make a choice based on what you can afford.

See also  Under-counter Refrigerators -- How To Buy The Best For You

Whatever you do, ensure that your choice is energy-efficient. More so, there are some states that offer rebates if you upgrade to more efficient and effective appliances. You may want to consider those too.

Frigidaire FGSC2335TF Gallery Series 36 Inch Freestanding Counter Depth Side by Side Refrigerator with 22.2 cu. ft. Capacity, in Stainless Steel



Integrated counter-depth refrigerators usually cost between $5,000 and $12,000. Also, depending on how much storage you need, you may need to factor in the possibility of buying more than 1 unit.

Professional counter-depth refrigerators prices fall between $6,000 and $16,000 while regular counter-depth refrigerators prices, which are the cheapest, fall between $1,000 and $3,800.

Style and Design

If you have a large space, picking a large refrigerator shouldn’t be an issue. This means you can freestyle on the kind of design you want.

However, when it comes to the finish of the refrigerator, not everyone likes the stainless design sitting so obvious in their space. This is one reason some people look out for panel-ready designs. With a panel-ready design, you can fit in customized panels to blend with the rest of the kitchen cabinets.

Again, some counter-depth refrigerators don’t come panel-ready and they may be a bit tricky if you don’t like the metallic look. So, you must look out for what catches your fancy while searching for the perfect one. The goal, as always, is to have a neat, streamlined, and elegant look.

Check out these other articles…

Ease of Use

Have you ever had an appliance that was so difficult to use? If you haven’t, you definitely don’t want to try it with a counter-depth refrigerator; especially because they don’t cost a dime a dozen.

The best counter-depth fridge should have ample storage space for your needs. It should also fit in nicely into your kitchen, and have its shelves and drawers at eye-level.

When it comes to easy accessibility, consider your young and elderly family members before you get a fridge. You also want to be sure that your kids(the ones that are old enough), for instance, can reach for the things they need when they need them and that the elderly ones don’t need to strain their backs to get something from one of the bottom drawers.

So, it will be useful to look out for features like handles and reversible doors.

Samsung RF23HCEDBSG 23 cu. ft. Black Stainless Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator RF23HCEDBSG/AA

Get Instant Help — Ask An Experienced Verified Appliance Technician

Need expert help? Click here to use the chat box on this page to speak with a verified appliance technician right away. No need for expensive in-home service calls. No appointments. No waiting.