Advantages & Disadvantages of Counter Depth Refrigerators


When deciding on a new refrigerator, there are many aspects and features to consider. These include refrigerator type, such as top-freezer, bottom-freezer or side-by-side and whether the refrigerator has an ice-maker and external ice and water dispenser. Another important aspect of a refrigerator you should consider is how far the refrigerator projects into the kitchen space. Some manufacturers produce specialized, counter-depth refrigerators, which are designed to be flush with adjacent kitchen counters.

Saving Space

  • A standard refrigerator will typically stick out several inches past the counters and cabinets it is next to. For a kitchen with limited space, these few inches can mean the difference between sitting comfortably at a kitchen table and constantly bumping the back of your chair against the refrigerator door. The space you save with a counter-depth refrigerator can also create room for added counters, cabinets or other pieces of furniture. For a refrigerator next to a kitchen wall, having a counter-depth profile will create more wall space for artwork, calendars and other items. For people passing through the kitchen, a counter-depth refrigerator allows for more walking room, which can help keep kitchens free from traffic jams.

Aesthetic Value

  • In addition to helping save space in the kitchen, a counter-depth refrigerator can help increase a kitchen's style and aesthetic value. Because the doors of a counter-depth refrigerator align perfectly with the doors of surrounding kitchen counters, kitchens with counter-depth refrigerators tend to appear more uniform and streamlined. In comparison, when a refrigerator sticks out past its surrounding counters, it can appear clunky and detract from the aesthetic value of the overall space. However, for a refrigerator that is not adjacent to counters, such as one that has its own nook or spot against a kitchen wall, a counter-depth refrigerator will not produce the same unifying effect, and a standard refrigerator could be equally stylish.


  • The main disadvantage of counter-depth refrigerators is their smaller internal capacities: A standard refrigerator will typically provide more cubic-footage of space -- and be able to hold more food -- than a counter-depth refrigerator. This lower food capacity is due to the counter-depth refrigerator's space-saving design. When manufacturers decrease the depth of a refrigerator, they are also decreasing that refrigerator's volume. Some manufacturers, however, get around the issue of lower capacity in counter-depth refrigerators by making the refrigerators taller or wider.


  • According to, while counter-depth refrigerators tend to provide less food capacity than standard, deeper refrigerators, counter-depth refrigerators still tend to cost more. So while investing in a counter-depth refrigerator will save you space in the kitchen, it will not save you money.

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