Standard Depth Vs Counter Depth Refrigerator: Which One Is Right For You?

The moment you decide you’re going to buy a new refrigerator, you are immediately faced with two options: standard depth or counter depth refrigerators. Choosing the best option can be complicated and confusing. For example, do you know what counter depth means? How small is too small and how big is too big? Which features should you look for when buying your new refrigerator? Let’s find out!

Standard Depth Refrigerator

Standard Depth Refrigerator
Standard Depth Refrigerator


Standard depth refrigerator is a type of refrigerator that is commonly used since 1911. Since the first refrigerators were produced, the standard depth refrigerator has undergone numerous changes and modifications in an attempt to improve overall quality and efficiency in an effort to keep up with our ever-changing demands and needs.

Outstanding features

10 cu. ft. capacity

Your fridge’s total capacity is important as it determines how much food you can store inside your refrigerator at a time. For example, if you have a big family or you like to entertain a lot, then it’s best to go for the biggest fridge available which has around 22 cu. ft. capacity and up.

On the other hand, if you live alone or with just one other person, then it’s better to look for smaller models that have at least 10 cu ft. capacity as they will save you space and energy costs without compromising your storage needs.

External fill water dispenser

Standard depth refrigerators with external fill water dispensers offer the added convenience and better looks to your kitchen. This is a good feature especially when you have limited space and need a refrigerator that fits well in your kitchen.


A full-width freezer drawer provides easy access to frozen foods. It features a divider that can be adjusted to create sections that make it easy to organize frozen foods in different ways, such as arranging favorite items within easy reach or grouping food items together by family members.

Adjustable Glass Shelves

Adjustable glass shelves provide you the flexibility to organize your food items according to the amount of space required. You can easily adjust these shelves up or down depending upon your need. You can even remove them if you are not using them.

This will give you additional space to store larger items like cakes, pies, and other large containers. These shelves are made from tough materials so they can bear the weight of heavy food items. There is also a spill-proof glass shelf in some models which reduces the mess caused by spills and allows easy cleanup

Adjustable Door Bins

The adjustable door bins are very flexible as they can be adjusted according to your requirement up or down so that you can store larger containers in it with ease.

The door bins are available in varying sizes depending upon the model of the refrigerator so that you can store different food items according to their need for convenient access

Clear Dairy Door Bin

The Clear Dairy Door Bin is a place where you can store your dairy products. The Clear Dairy Door Bin is usually placed on the door for easy access. The bin is made with clear plastic so you can see what’s inside without having to open it.

2 Humidity-Controlled Crispers with Glass Lids

The Humidity Controlled Crispers with Glass Lids serve as a storage space for your produce and fruits. The crisper has a glass lid that allows you to see what’s inside without opening it. The humidity controlled crisper will keep your fruits and vegetables fresh longer.


They take up more floor space

First, they take up more floor space than counter-depth or even built-in refrigerators. In a time when every square foot in the kitchen is at a premium, this is a serious drawback. Standard refrigerators typically stick out about 3 inches further than counter-depth models and about 6 inches further than built-in models.

They don’t maximize interior capacity

Standard-depth fridges come in all shapes and sizes, from compact models that fit into small spaces to huge side-by-side fridges with lots of storage space. But even the largest standard-depth fridges still need some space for their doors and hinges, so the usable interior capacity is less than the overall capacity. This isn’t an issue with counter-depth refrigerators, which usually have usable capacities that are very close to their overall capacities.

The doors are hard to open

When you’re choosing a fridge for your kitchen, you should think about how it will look when it’s filled to the brim with food. Some standard-depth fridge models have full-width doors that are very difficult to open—and this can be a major annoyance if your fridge is in the middle of a crowded kitchen. Fridges designed for kitchens with lots of storage space have doors that can slide a bit, which makes opening and closing them easier.

Counter Depth Refrigerator

Counter depth refrigerator

A counter depth refrigerator is a fridge that has cabinets and panels that extend to its depth. The appearance of counter depth refrigerators is quite similar to standard built-in refrigerators.


The first counter depth refrigerators were introduced in 1995 by the Sub-Zero company. These appliances were designed for the ultimate kitchen customization and their purpose was to create an integrated kitchen design.

Outstanding features

Sleek Design

The counter depth refrigerator is designed to seamlessly match the dimensions of your kitchen and blend in with the other cabinets and appliances. This makes your kitchen look wider, less cluttered and more spacious.

Flexible Storage

Counter depth refrigerators have adjustable shelves and separate compartments for storing fruit, vegetables and cheese. You can also adjust the freezers to store different sized items. These features help increase storage space by ensuring that your food stays fresh longer.

Versatile and User-friendly Displays

These refrigerators come equipped with reversible doors so you don’t have to worry about adjusting them to fit in your kitchen or finding a place for them to open up properly. The digital controls ensure that you get easy access to all the functions so you can adjust the temperature accordingly.

High Efficiency

Counter depth refrigerators are equipped with the most advanced cooling technology. They are ideal for people who want to save energy and money. They keep your food fresh and healthy without increasing the electricity consumption. These refrigerators work on the principle of airtight seal and they are provided with a door-in-door feature which allows you to access bottles and drinks without opening the entire refrigerator.

Noise Optimization

Most of the best counter depth refrigerators are very silent in their operation, thanks to their innovative designs that help reduce noise to almost zero decibels. This is highly beneficial if you live in a small apartment or studio where constant noise may be irritating for your neighbors.

Modern Technology

The counter depth refrigerators have built-in touch screen control panels that give you access to all the features of this appliance. They can be easily connected with other smart devices in your home through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or NFC connectivity options.


Counter-depth refrigerators are a great way to give your kitchen a clean look, but they do come with some drawbacks. Here are the disadvantages you should be aware of before buying a counter-depth fridge:

Less Capacity

A typical French door refrigerator has around 30 cubic feet of storage space, while a counter-depth model is typically around half that size. This might not be an issue if you’re living in a small apartment or cooking for one or two people, but it can be a hassle if you have a large family or enjoy making big batches of food.

Lack of Flexibility

The sleek look of french door refrigerators is achieved by building the cabinet around the fridge. This means that you can’t move the fridge around without tearing out the surrounding cabinet and starting from scratch. For example, if you wanted to move your counter-depth fridge from one side of the kitchen to another, you’d have to rip out both cabinets and rebuild them for your new fridge’s dimensions. This isn’t really an issue with standard refrigerators since they don’t require special surrounds.

Risk of Damage

In addition to taking up less space in your kitchen, counter-depth refrigerators sit flush against your cabinets and walls—which means there’s not much room for error when opening the doors. It’s easy to bump into a counter-depth fridge accidentally

Key Differences Between Standard Depth And Counter Depth Refrigerator


Standard depth refrigerators have more usable space than their counter depth counterparts. This is because they stick out from the wall by several inches (around five to seven inches), giving them more cubic feet to work with. In fact, most standard depth fridges offer a minimum of 25 cubic feet of storage space.

Counter depth refrigerators are typically shorter in height than standard fridges and have less cubic feet to work with, averaging around 20-25 cubic feet. Some people prefer this since it limits the amount of food they have on hand at any time. Others use a counter depth refrigerator as a secondary fridge to store overflow from their main fridge or as an extra fridge in the garage for beverages or other items not constantly used.


Counter depth refrigerators are not typically as wide as a standard depth refrigerator. For example, many standard depth refrigerators are 36 inches in width whereas counter-depth refrigerators may only be 30 to 33 inches in width. The narrower width creates a reduction in total storage space by 17-20 percent.

Look and feel

Counter-depth refrigerators have a more seamless integration with your kitchen cabinetry because they don’t stick past the cabinets.

A counter-depth refrigerator is also the perfect solution for smaller kitchens where space is limited. However, counter-depth refrigerators can temporarily protrude into your walking space if you open the door completely.


A standard depth refrigerator typically costs less than a counter-depth model. This is due to several factors including the manufacturing process, size and variety of different models available on the market.

Which one is right for you?

All fridges are not created equal. Sure, they all keep your food cold, but that’s about where the similarities end. Standard depth refrigerators are more common and generally cheaper than counter depth refrigerators. That’s because counter depth models require more complex construction to make up for the lack of space. Counter depth refrigerators also tend to be more expensive to repair, as the repair parts are also more complex.

If you’re looking for a refrigerator that fits into a recessed spot in your kitchen, counter depth is great. But if you’re looking for a bargain or like having lots of fridge space, go with standard depth.


Standard depth vs counter depth refrigerator: Which one is right for you? If you’re a first-time refrigerator buyer, the choice between a standard depth and a counter depth model is a complicated one. Your decision should be based on your individual needs, preferences and lifestyle. The only way to decide what’s right for your family is to evaluate how different models will meet those needs, wants and desires.

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