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Standard vs. Counter Refrigerator Depths

by Pam Silvia

If you’re in the market for a new refrigerator (well, first of all, you’ve come to the right place), you might have discovered by now that there are plenty of factors to consider before you make your final selection—lest you live to regret your purchase or have to deal with the hassle of a merchandise return.

In addition to discerning which door configuration works best with your layout, you might consider how you would like your new refrigerator to look in your kitchen. Namely, do you prioritize a seamless transition between your fridge and your cabinetry, or do you require more refrigerator depth to support larger grocery hauls?

At a Glance:

Standard Depth Refrigerators Overview

Standard Depth Refrigerator Brands

Standard Depth Refrigerator Pros

Counter Depth Refrigerators Overview

Counter Depth Refrigerator Brands

Counter Depth Refrigerator Pros

A Look at Standard-Depth Fridges

More widely available than their counter-depth equivalents, standard-depth refrigerators offer a greater selection of colors and styles. Also dubbed as “full-depth refrigerators,” these models range from 30 to 34 inches in depth, boasting more room for additional groceries, making it the clear-cut choice for large families.

And that’s the aesthetic difference: This added depth also means that your fridge will extend past surrounding countertops and cabinetry. A kitchen’s counters are typically between 24 and 25 inches deep, meaning that standard-depth fridges will stick out from the edge of your countertops by 5 to 10 inches.

Our Top Brands for Standard-Depth Fridges

Among our top manufacturers of standard-depth refrigerators, GE, Samsung, LG, Whirlpool, and Frigidaire are rated highly by consumers. Ranging from mass to mass-premium brand classifications, these products are well-designed with the artisanal touches of traditional luxury goods—but sell at an affordable or mid-end price point.

lone standard-depth Whirlpool fridge in clean, empty kitchen

Pictured: Whirlpool® 14.3 Cu. Ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator - Monochromatic Stainless Steel (WRT134TFDM)

Pros of Standard-Depth Fridges

  • Added refrigerator depth equates to more storage space
  • More affordable than counter-depth models
  • More available options (e.g., models, finishes)

Things to Consider for Standard-Depth Fridges

If you choose to reap the benefits of a standard-depth fridge, take the following considerations into account.

Related Article: Aztec’s 5 Favorite 30-Inch Refrigerators [Bonus: Counter-Depth]

In our catalog, standard-depth refrigerators are valued anywhere between $499 and $7,700. Depending on your level of enthusiasm when it comes to design, you might believe the jutting out of standard-depth refrigerators is unsavory and contributes to a clumsy-looking kitchen. In some cases, the protruding edges might disrupt traffic flow if you have to avoid them when navigating your kitchen. Lastly, because of the added refrigerator depth, this appliance may take up more kitchen space, making it the less-conducive option for compact kitchens.

Pro tip: You might be able to make your standard-depth refrigerator look like a built-in model to invoke the clean look of a counter-depth fridge while still providing plenty of space for all your groceries. To accomplish this, invest in cabinetry that is 27 inches in depth so that it conceals the body of your deeper refrigerator.

young man opens standard-depth Haier fridge in compact kitchen

A Look at Counter-Depth Fridges

By design, counter-depth refrigerators are meant to sit as flush as possible with your cabinets and countertops for a cleaner, more customized look. That said, counter-depth models won’t necessarily be exact to the measurements of your countertops since you will need room for the door(s) to swing open.

With a refrigerator depth between 23 to 27 inches, counter-depth fridges are typically wider and taller than standard-depth fridges to compensate for the reduced volume and to be more space-efficient. Counter-depth units usually have French doors or side-by-side doors.

On counter-depth fridges, the doors will protrude enough so that they’ll be easy to open without hitting against the neighboring counter space. Counter-depth refrigerators are smaller than standard-depth fridges, making them better suited for kitchens with narrow walkways.

Our Top Brands for Counter-Depth Fridges

We previously alluded to the premium price point of counter-depth refrigerators. To that end, we consider Bosch, KitchenAid, Samsung, LG, and Frigidaire Gallery to be our top manufacturers of counter-depth models.

Related Article: Aztec’s Guide to Premium Kitchen Brands [LG, Samsung Appliances, and More!]

side-by-side graphic with hand using smartphone on the left and a counter-depth Samsung fridge on the right

Pictured: Samsung 27.7 Cu. Ft. Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel French Door Refrigerator (RF28R7551SR)

Pros of Counter-Depth Fridges

  • Easier access to foods
  • Width may accommodate platters
  • Flush kitchen design (without cost of built-in appliances)
  • Improved traffic flow

Things to Consider for Counter-Depth Fridges

Counter-depth refrigerators can cost between 15 and 20 percent more than their standard-depth counterparts. From our catalog, counter-depth refrigerators cost anywhere from $599 to $8,800. For reference, counter-depth fridges are often considered to be a compromise or midpoint option between standard-depth and built-in refrigerators. If you choose a counter-depth refrigerator over a standard-depth fridge in your kitchen, note that these models require a gap between the unit and abutting counters during installation to give clearance for the door outswing(s). These models are also typically more expensive and may have less overall storage.

Since counter-depth refrigerators are typically wider to increase storage space, the added width can reduce counter space. To circumvent this issue, some manufacturers use thinner, more costly insulation material to provide as much interior space as possible, which partially explains the higher cost of these models.

angled shot of LG counter-depth refrigerator in clean, empty kitchen

Let Us Help You

Browse our Refrigeration catalog, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact our friendly staff at our San Diego location. Whether you call or visit us, Aztec Appliance is here to help you build the kitchen of your dreams. More available than ever, our experts can also be reached via chat!