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Every household needs a refrigerator, but you don't need to compromise space or style in the process of chilling your food. You can instead purchase a counter-depth model. These types of fridges are typically taller, wider, and more compact than a standard model, but don't necessarily skimp out on storage space. When shopping, you'll notice that many still have an average of 20 cubic feet of space, as well as adjustable shelves to enhance your experience.
At the same time as providing storage space, these not-so deep fridges slide in seamlessly next to your countertops, too. Any small or specially-made kitchen is bound to benefit from their functionality and style.
Below, the best counter-depth refrigerators.
Best Overall: LG Electronics LFCC22426S 22.8 cu. ft. Counter-Depth 3-Door French Door Refrigerator
Smart home compatible
Specialty freezer handle
Plenty of shelving
Slow ice maker
No ice and water dispenser
If you’re in the market for a stylish, mid-range refrigerator, this LG Electronics model is a great pick. It has smart features that'll allow you to pair it with your Google Assistant, and will hold many more groceries than you'd expect. With nearly 23 cubic feet of space—7.3 of which is dedicated to the freezer—it can easily hold a week's worth of food in an organized fashion.
For your produce, there are two humidity-controlled drawers, as well as the four glass, adjustable shelves and a gallon of door storage. This model doesn't come with a dispenser and can have a fairly slow ice maker. However, it makes up for any flaws with a budget-friendly price tag and quiet operation. Digital controls let you tailor the temperature of the fridge, so your food doesn't unexpectedly freeze before you can cook or eat it.
Ultimately, this appliance takes the stress out of storing and accessing your food, right down to its smart pull handle engineering. If you dread having to open your freezer because it's heavy and jam-packed, lift the handle attached to the bottom freezer and it'll slide out with ease. This counter-depth refrigerator makes it that easy.
Best Budget: Danby DFF101B1BSLDB 10.1 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
Reversible door hinges
Great for small living
No ice maker
If you're looking for a counter-depth fridge for your tiny living space, the Danby DFF101B1BSLDB has you covered. This fridge comes in stainless steel, black, and white, and has a familiar, top-freezer design that holds the basics. You'll enjoy its dainty price tag, as well as its ample storage options. The fridge features three shelves, which are removable, as well as a gallon of door storage. You can adjust the door bins to fit your exact needs—say, if you bought a particularly large jug of orange juice, or a tall bottle of wine. There are also two produce crispers.
The freezer is much more minimal, and features one wire shelf, in addition to door storage. However, this space is maximized, since there is no ice maker. Most notably, this Danby unit has reversible door hinges, which makes it easy to install in any kitchen. A frost-free design eliminates any hands-on maintenance, too, which can be more common in budget-friendly appliances.
Best High-End: GE Profile PYE22KYNFS 22.1 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator with Autofill, Counter Depth
Dispenser with AutoFill technology
Quality interior lighting
Can install a second ice maker
Can be noisy
A roomy, counter-depth fridge does not come at a low price. However, the GE Profile PYE22KYNFS combines a spacious interior with a long list of amenities, to make the higher price tag more than worth it. The model features a dispenser with AutoFill technology that'll fill your glass with water and know exactly when it should stop. This hands-free feature also dispenses filtered ice, and pairs nicely with the sleek, stainless steel finish.
When it comes to the interior, this fridge has 22.1 cubic feet of overall space—with 15.07 cubic feet dedicated to refrigeration, and 7.16 dedicated to a freezer. There are five, adjustable shelves in the refrigerator portion, as well as a gallon of door storage for all of your food storage needs. Notably, the door also has a drop-down tray which you can pull down as needed. Any household who likes entertaining can make use of an optional second ice maker, by purchasing the separate kit and installing the ice maker in the freezer.
What really makes this piece high-end, though, is its thoughtful technology. A TwinChill system ensures each portion of the unit remains at an optimal level for your food, while the LED lighting puts your groceries on display. Ultimately, this purchase will be a functional and feature-packed highlight of your space.
Best Panel Ready: KitchenAid KRFC302EPA 21.9 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator
Can match your cabinetry
Interior water dispenser
Automatic ice maker
Takes a lot of planning to install
If you’ve watched one too many home decor shows, and have fallen in love with the idea of a "hidden" fridge and freezer combo, a panel ready fridge may be for you. Panel ready options blend easily with your cabinets and almost conceal the appliance. Their finish is able to be tailored to your preferences and home's style.
KitchenAid has designed an attainable line of panel ready fridges, including this model that has a convenient, interior water dispenser. This amenity uses an ice and water filter that's NSF-certified to provide your home with clean, fresh drinks. In addition, smart controls give you access to a door alarm, max cool option, and a holiday or Sabbath mode.
The built-in technology continues with an ExtendFresh system, which senses the temperature in your fridge and freezer, and adjusts accordingly. All of the shelves are adjustable and made to contain spills. You can move around your shelves to quickly clean up and play around with compartments. Now, this piece is certainly an investment, but will look and feel high-end in your kitchen.
Best Smart: Cafe CYE22TP4MW2 22.2 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator with Hot Water Dispenser
Hot water dispenser
Has an Energy Star rating
Ice maker can be messy
Whether you already have smart appliances in your home, or are looking to make this modern leap, the Cafe CYE22TP4MW2 should be on your radar. When it comes to fridges with WiFi capabilities, this is the best choice, as it pairs high-tech amenities with thoughtful and stylish design. The smart fridge works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, features French doors, and has a good amount of space for a counter-depth unit.
In addition to these amenities, the exterior can also be customized to your space, as the model has three options for finishes and hardware: white with gold, black with stainless steel, or all stainless steel. On the inside, you can also remove and adjust the shelves to fit your groceries and day-to-day needs. An Energy Star rating helps to counteract the expensive, upfront cost of this appliance, while digital controls let you manage your fridge with ease.
Not to mention, the model also includes a hot water dispenser, which you can use to easily prep drinks, side dishes, or a pot of pasta water. Now, you can also dispense cold water if you'd like, and both cubed and crushed ice. Just be warned: the ice maker can be a little messy, and you'll need to find an effective position to hold your glass so ice doesn't fall on your kitchen floor.
Best French Door: Samsung RF18HFENBSR-2 17.5 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator
Comes in three finishes
Specialty freezer handle
No ice or water dispenser
Can't customize interior much
French door fridges, like panel ready ones, can give your kitchen a high-end feel. The Samsung RF18HFENBSR-2, in particular, has a variety of finishes to choose from including stainless steel, platinum, black, and white. It's 33 inches wide, and will look sleek next to your cabinets—which it sits flush with.
Some notable features of this fridge include a filtered ice maker, and an exclusive cooling system that helps keep your food fresher, for longer amounts of time. The model also comes with a specialty handle attached to the freezer portion, so you don't have to tug hard to access your stash of ice cream, chicken, or frozen fruit.
Two humidity-controlled crispers on each side of the interior, as well as tempered glass shelves make organization and cleaning messes very simple. Every home will benefit from a built-in door alarm that lets you know if you've accidentally left your fridge or freezer doors open. In addition, the LED lighting stays bright to let you see everything you've tucked away in this stylish, space-saving fridge.
Best Quad Door: Whirlpool WRQA59CNKZ 36 in. 19.4 cu. ft. 4-Door French Door Refrigerator
Factory-installed ice maker
The French Door design is taken to the next level with this model from Whirpool. It features four doors that open up to 19.4 cubic feet of space to store your fresh and frozen goods. The special design is one that'll stand out in your kitchen, but also prove to be functional, as you don't have to pull out a bottom freezer drawer. Instead, you can open your freezer compartments with ease, and organize your goods within three shelves and three baskets.
When it comes to this model's amenities, you'll enjoy both the factory-installed ice maker and the divider in the ice bin that allows you to store chilled packs in one place. A Fast Cool option lets you to set the fridge to the coldest it can get for up to two hours, and a Fast Freeze option does the same so that goods are brought to an optimal temperature quickly and efficiently. Additionally, this unit's able to be set on vacation and Sabbath modes, for special occasions when it's expected to be used differently or less frequently.
These modes help save energy and power, and add to the overall functionality. Essentially, the whole model can be customized and says, "It's your fridge, so why not arrange and use it your way?"
For a counter-depth refrigerator that's stylish, smart, and spacious, look no further than the LG Electronics LFCC22426S (view at AJ Madison), which is our top pick. This model works with Google Assistant, and has more than enough storage to suit your needs, including two humidity-controlled crisper drawers. Want to spend less on a new appliance for your home? The Danby DFF101B1BSLDB (view at Amazon) has a familiar, top-freezer design, and isn't equipped with smart features. However, it has reversible door hinges that make it versatile and reliable.
What to Look for in a Counter-Depth Fridge
There are a few different types of counter-depth fridges, and which is best for you will depend on your budget, lifestyle and preferences. The first is top-freezer, which has a familiar design and is a common choice for apartments and smaller homes. This type of fridge can have a smaller interior, and typically doesn't feature an ice maker or dispenser, but does run at an affordable price. A French door fridge is much more expensive, and has a bottom freezer which you pull out by the handle. It's a great pick for households who want to prioritize style and freezer space. Lastly, a multi-door fridge—which is a new and modern option on the market—has a very flexible design. The extra compartment is used as extra fridge or freezer storage, and can sometimes be converted to fit your day-to-day needs.
The term "capacity" refers to both the refrigerator and freezer portions of your appliance. Counter-depth fridges usually have less spacious interiors than standard-depth fridges, since they're not as deep and meant to flush with your cabinets and countertops. On average, they have 20 cubic feet—which is enough for a family of three or four. If you live in a small home or RV, you may want to pick a 10-cubic-foot model instead, while larger households can find counter-depth models with up to 23 cubic feet of space.
Ice and water dispenser
An ice and water dispenser is a welcomed amenity in many households, but is not a necessary one. In many models, a dispenser can raise the price tag, and cut into the capacity of your appliance. Now, on the bright side, a dispenser allows you to easily prep drinks and meals, which is convenient if you have children, are active, or frequently entertain. More expensive models may have dispenser with multiple settings or customized ones, as well, including crushed and cubed ice, and hot water.
Easy-open freezer handle
If the freezer compartment is located on the bottom of your refrigerator, it can be difficult to access your food. Due to the weight of the materials and your food, you can have a hard time pulling out the drawer, especially when bent over. An easy-open freezer handle just needs to be lifted a bit, before it slides the freezer out on its own. It's most useful for households who are purchasing a high-capacity model, or want their fridge to be more accessible and easy to use.
When you leave your refrigerator or freezer door open for too long, a door alarm will let you know via an app on your phone or a loud noise. This is convenient when your model starts to get older, as the seals on your fridge's door can start to have wear and tear. It's also a convenient feature for anyone with children, as they may leave the door open or not close it tightly, letting the cold air out.
Are counter-depth refrigerators more expensive?
In most cases, a counter-depth refrigerator is more expensive than any other type of refrigerator. This is because it doesn't have a standard, top-freezer design, and usually comes with other features like a dispenser, ice maker, or flexible compartment. These features, in addition to French doors, can help to maximize the fridge's storage space and your overall experience. However, they can boost the price of the model a significant amount.
Are all counter-depth refrigerators the same depth?
Most counter-depth refrigerators are 24 inches deep, excluding the doors and handles which can vary from one model to the next. Most cabinets are also 24 inches deep, but there are a few measurements you need to consider before buying. You'll want to look at the measurement of the appliance when the doors and handles are attached, and when given space for cords and connections. Additionally, if your kitchen has a backsplash, take it into consideration, as the tile can alter the depth of your cabinets. To read more on this, check out our guide on counter-depth refrigerator dimensions.
Does a fridge need space around it?
When installing a refrigerator, you do need to leave space or "clearance" around it. If you slide it into a spot that's too fitted, your appliance won't be able to breathe and may even cause harm to your home. Ideally, you should give the fridge at least a half-inch of space on either side, two inches behind it, and one inch on top. During the installation process, be sure to check your manual for the exact clearance measurements your model requires.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written 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. After living with both French door and top freezer refrigerators, she knows the importance of a piece that's functional, stylish, and convenient.