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No home can go without a refrigerator, but not all are designed to fit a traditional model. Some kitchens—since they are part of a smaller apartment, or are more uniquely designed—have tight spaces in between their cabinets that are meant for major appliances. Others can fit a model that's well over 24 inches wide, but serve a family that needs extra storage in their garage or RV.
All of those kitchens have one thing in common: they need to take advantage of narrow fridges, which can be taller, more compact, or come with a specialty use, such as a wine fridge. Although they can be a bit smaller in capacity, they're still energy-efficient, and come with features like an ice maker or reversible hinges.
Here are the best narrow refrigerators on the market.
Best Overall: GE GLE12HSPSS 11.9 cu. ft. Built-In Bottom Freezer Refrigerator
Special storage for wine bottles
Sits flush with your countertops
Lots of thoughtful shelving
Ice maker is not included
Most people think bottom-freezers are only available in larger refrigerators. But, you can also get them in narrow ones and reap benefits like not needing to bend down to look at the stuff in your fridge. This makes this style a particularly smart buy for taller households, although they do often cost more than their top-freezer counterparts.
This model from GE provides that built-in look, while also working as a counter-depth appliance that'll flush with your existing cabinetry. You have the option of adding an ice maker, and can store wine bottles in the included bottle rack. Are you not an avid wine drinker? Don't fret. This section of the fridge can be folded up whenever it's not in use, maximizing the interior space, and a storage drawer between the fridge and freezer can hold seltzer, water, or other drinks you enjoy.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: LG Electronics LTNC11131V 11.1 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
Tempered glass shelving
Can be noisy
You don’t have to sacrifice quality when purchasing a narrow refrigerator. The LG LTNC11131V is another top-rated model with all the features that you could want in a fridge. And, like you may have guessed, this appliance is nice and narrow at only 24 inches wide.
Now, even though this model is narrow, it can easily store an impressive amount of food. It boasts sophisticated features such as a big, humidity-controlled crisper drawer, which maintains the optimal level of humidity for fruits and vegetables. A air flow system maintains the humidity level throughout the rest of the model, and keeps the rest of your food fresh. Notably, LED lights help you see everything on the tempered glass shelving, and can even cut down on your energy usage after many years of use. When it comes to the exterior, contoured platinum doors and curved handles give this refrigerator a sleek look.
This appliance is a bit louder than other models on the market. However, with a spacious and organized interior, it becomes a worthy and affordable investment for your home.
Best Budget: Magic Chef HMDR1000ST 10.1 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
No ice maker or dispenser
Not as spacious as other models
If you’re sticking to a budget, this Magic Chef top freezer refrigerator will ensure you stay within your limits, but aren't sacrificing organizational excellence in the process. It's a little under 24 inches wide, so it can fit in the tiniest of spaces, but also still has around 10 cubic feet of space for your food. The freezer is 2.7 cubic feet of this space, and has storage on the door so that you don't lose track of the smaller items in the back. Whether you're putting this piece in your basement or RV, you'll find that its straightforward and gets the job done.
Now, the lower price point of this piece does mean that exciting frills like an ice maker or dispenser isn't included in your purchase. However, you will be treated to an automatic defroster and reversible door—both of which are very convenient features. You have flexibility with this appliance to set it up wherever you need to, and not worry about whether your items will be accessible or maintain their ideal temperature. It also wastes no time in getting cool, so you can plug it in and then return soon after to put your groceries inside.
All in all, this piece is just one step down from a full-size appliance, and comes across as more compact. It comes in a white, platinum steel, and a black finish which will look stylish in any home.
Best Compact: Frigidaire FFET1022UV 10.1 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
Reversible door hinges
Comes in multiple finishes
Good for small living
No deli drawer or butter keeper
Not as spacious as other models
Even narrow fridges can be more compact to fit a small footprint in an apartment, RV, dorm room, or even a basement. If you're living small, or simply looking for a reliable fridge with a tiny build, then you should shop for the Frigidaire FFET1022UV. This model features 10.1 cubic feet of space, which is less than some other models on the market. However, it'll be enough to store a small family's groceries for the week, or meals for when you're on the road. The refrigerator portion takes up 7.4 cubic feet of this space, while the top freezer takes up 2.7 cubic feet.
When it comes to organizing your goods, make use of a standard combo of crispers, door bins, and shelves between both portions. There is no butter keeper or deli drawer, unfortunately, but reversible hinges do give this piece more flexibility and allow you to customize it to your space, lifestyle, and needs. Plus, you're able to purchase this unit in a white, black, or brushed steel finish, and slide it into a corner of your home thanks to its compact dimensions.
All in all, this Frigidaire top freezer refrigerator doesn't leave anything on the table, and will be a stylish and practical addition to your home.
Best Garage Fridge: Danby Designer DAR110A1WDD 11.0 cu. ft. Freezerless Refrigerator in White
Plenty of storage options
No ice or water dispenser
When it comes to garages and other small spaces, the Danby DAR110A1WDD measures 24 x 26 x 58 inches and is a perfect fit. It's able to squeeze into your home, while still providing plenty of versatile and functional storage space. The model features one, half-depth shelf and four, full-depth glass shelves for plenty of snacks, drinks, and leftover containers.
This Danby fridge is also an eco-friendly option, as it’s Energy Star-certified for its ultra-efficient power usage and use of R600a refrigerant. The reversible door can be mounted on either side, and ensures that this piece can quickly become part of your home. The built-in light allows for stellar visibility, and the adjustable thermostat lets you choose your preferred temperature. Given that this piece is relatively roomy and well-designed, it's the ideal garage fridge.
Best Wine Fridge: Kalamera KRC-18SZB 18 Bottle Single Zone Freestanding Wine Refrigerator
Adjustable wooden shelves
Can be installed under a counter
One cooling zone
Needs a thorough clean before use
Every wine lover or avid hostess needs a wine fridge to keep their beverages at the perfect temperature. If you're working with a tiny space that doesn't yield the room for a full-size model, this Kalamera freestanding wine fridge is the perfect option. It holds up to 18 wine bottles of standard size and shape (Think, a 750mL bottle that doesn't bulge at the sides.), and has adjustable wooden racks that are both convenient and stylish. In order to fit in the full 18 bottles, you'll want to have the middle bottle on each shelf facing the opposite way. This also distributes the weight of the beverages on the six beechwood shelves.
This piece may not be for a connoisseur, since it has only one cooling zone that can sometimes fluctuate a degree or two. However, it will be an amenity in any home with little room and a big love for wine. This cooler is a mere 12 inches tall, so it can be installed under a counter where a trash compacter used to be, or in a freestanding spot in your home. Once you turn it on, you can set the temperature anywhere between 40 and 66 degrees using the one-touch thermostat inside.
Whether you're working with a small space or shopping for a wine fridge to have amenity-access in your home, this Kalamera model won't break the bank or your ears. It's quiet and affordable. Be sure to scrub it well on the inside before, as the instruction manual suggests.
Best with Ice Maker: Whirlpool WRT518SZFM 18 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
Compatible with an ice maker
Reversible door hinges
Slightly wider than other models
Not actually fingerprint-resistant
One of the downsides of narrow refrigerators is they don’t typically come with ice makers, so you have to use old-fashion ice cube trays. If you prefer an automatic ice maker, you should look into the Whirlpool WRT518SZFM which is compatible with an ice maker kit that's sold by the brand for less than $100. You will need to install the ice maker yourself, but then you'll be treated to round-the-clock cubes to drop in your water glass.
As for the build of this fridge, it's 28 inches wide, and the interior features a set of adjustable shelves and door bins. The freezer has a half-width wire shelf to help you keep items organized. A full-width crisper drawer can store a variety of fruits or vegetables in their optimal environment. You can adjust the temperature with the up-front electronic controls, and there are incandescent lights that illuminate the interior, too.
Notably, you can reverse the door hinges on this appliance, which is ideal for a small living space. Overall, you'll likely be pleased with the performance of this budget-friendly fridge, and the added bonus that you can install your very own ice maker should you choose.
For a narrow refrigerator that's well-designed, reliable, and can slide into a small footprint of your home, shop for the GE GLE12HSPSS (view at Home Depot). This appliance has both a built-in and counter-depth design, as well as specialty storage for wine bottles. Another good pick is the LG LTNC11131V (view at AJ Madison), which has an air flow system to control the entire unit's humidity, LED lights, and a sleek exterior.
What to Look for in a Narrow Refrigerator
Narrow refrigerators can have a bottom freezer, top freezer, or no freezer at all. When you're shopping, think about how you're planning to use your model and where it's being installed, to find the right type for you. A top-freezer model has a classic design that fits well in a variety of homes, comes with useful door storage, and can cost less. In contrast, a bottom-freezer model can look high-end and is typically easier to organize, but will come with a higher price tag.
The amount of shelving, drawers, and door bins in your narrow refrigerator impacts how much you can store. For that reason, it's important to consider what your organization options are, and if they're able to be adjusted if your needs change. The average narrow fridge will feature two or three shelves and a produce drawer in the fresh food portion. There are high-end models on the market that also give you specialty storage for wine bottles and cans, which will eliminate the need for an extra appliance.
A reversible door gives you the flexibility to install your narrow refrigerator wherever you see fit. Unlike a model that opens to the left or right, a model with this feature has airtight seals on both outer edges of its door to give it extra flexibility and functionality. If you're looking to install your new appliance in a garage, or a tight spot in your kitchen where other appliances are close by, this feature will prove to be handy, as it also features recessed handles. Just note: the seals may become worn over time.
Bottle and can storage
Bottle and can storage in your narrow refrigerator gives you a convenient spot for your drinks. It not only eliminates the need for an extra appliance, but also ensures that your seltzer, soda, or wine isn't shaken and moved around much. Especially in narrow refrigerators, where space is quite limited, you can expect this feature to keep things neat and accessible. It's particularly suitable for wine lovers or entertainers.
If a narrow refrigerator has a garage-ready design, it can withstand the uneven temperatures of a semi-outdoor space. Whether the garage becomes very hot or very cold, the appliance will operate properly and maintain the internal temperature you set. Any household that wants to use their new fridge as extra storage will find this feature to be convenient and a must-have, as it lets you install a narrow fridge just about anywhere.
What is the narrowest refrigerator?
The most narrow refrigerator is 24 inches wide, and typically has around 10 cubic feet of space on the inside. This is enough room for one or two people's weekly groceries, making it a common pick for RVs and apartments. When measuring a spot for your new appliance, you'll want to make sure you have at least 26 to 28 inches of room, as all fridges need clearance so they can operate and be accessed with ease.
Does a refrigerator need space around it?
Every type of refrigerator needs space around it. How much space you should allow for is detailed in the installation section of your model's manual. In most cases, there should be at least a half-inch of clearance on either side, and two inches of clearance behind the appliance. There should be at least an inch of clearance above the refrigerator, too. To install your appliance correctly, it's always best to have a professional help you.
How do you organize a narrow refrigerator?
Space is limited in narrow refrigerators, so you'll want to be extra thoughtful when organizing yours. First, read up on what you don't need to store in the fridge, including coffee, onions, garlic, bread, or tomatoes. Then, make sure to use containers that aren't too big or small, and can even be stacked in the fridge. Items like juices and condiments should be stored in the door bins, and milk or meats can be placed on the bottom shelves. For more, check out our guide on how to organize the fridge.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was edited and updated by Marisa Casciano, who is the large appliance expert for The Spruce. Throughout her career, she's researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, cooktops, and more in the home and lifestyle space. She's lived in multiple apartments, and understands the need to conserve space with a narrow refrigerator, as well as the desire to experience modern amenities.