What Does Counter Depth Refrigerator Mean? Why Counter-Depth Refrigerators?

Find out what does counter depth refrigerator means and why it's perfect for your kitchen. Our guide has everything you need to know!

You are planning to have a Counter Depth Refrigerator to upgrade your kitchen or are just curious about this trending fridge. So What Does Counter Depth Refrigerator Mean? And how is it different from any standard fridge?

Simply put, a counter-depth refrigerator is designed to align with your kitchen counters and cabinets. As the name implies, these refrigerators have less depth – ranging from 24-30 inches to match the kitchen counter depth. You will find a standard fridge with a 10-12 inches higher depth.

What Does Counter Depth Refrigerator Mean? Why Counter-Depth Refrigerators?

What Does Counter Depth Refrigerator Mean?

Unlike standard refrigerators that protrude beyond the countertop, counter-depth fridges are shallower and sit flush with your cabinets. This creates a sleek and streamlined look that many homeowners find appealing. Additionally, counter-depth refrigerators can make smaller kitchens feel more spacious because they don’t stick out as far from the wall.

While counter-depth refrigerators have their aesthetic benefits, it’s important to note that they typically offer less storage space than standard-depth models. However, many manufacturers have found ways to maximize space inside these shallower units without sacrificing usability or convenience.

Common Types of Counter-Depth Refrigerators

Counter-depth refrigerators are designed to match the depth of your kitchen cabinets, making them a versatile choice for any kitchen. They come in various styles to suit your taste and kitchen decor. Here are some of the most popular types you can choose from.

  • French Door: This style comes with two doors that open outward to unveil the large space. It allows easy door clearance even in smaller spaces. This style is most suitable for smaller kitchen spaces.
  • Side-by-side: This model has two doors as well. But the door opens fully extended to the height. One side is for the refrigerator, and the other side is for the freezer.
  • Top-freezer: This model resembles a traditional fridge with a fridge below and a freezer on top. Depending on the model, you can open the door from the right or left.
  • Bottom-freezer: As the name implies, this model has a freezer drawer below and a large and long fridge on the top. You can open it from the left or right.

The Advantages of Choosing Counter-Depth Refrigerators

Counter-depth refrigerators are becoming more and more popular among homeowners for several reasons. What’s so cool about counter-depth fridges? Let’s check out some of the sweet benefits they bring to the table!

  • Seaming Look: One of the main reasons why people choose this fridge is the seaming look it offers. Due to the flat size and shallow design, it smoothly blends with the current cabinet countertops. That ensures a more uniform look.
  • Easy Access: Since the fridge is shallow in depth, unlike the standard refrigerator, you can easily arrange and access the items. A deeper fridge can create a bottleneck in finding the items easily. 
  • Unique Storage Capacity: The counter-depth refrigerator comes in a wide shape. It allows you to put wider items, such as wider cold-cut trees. You cannot do it with a standard fridge at all.
  • Modern Features: You will find a counter-depth refrigerator with an ice maker, water dispenser, adjustable shelves, and many others. That means you will stay ahead of others in terms of modern technology.
  • Energy Efficiency: Here’s another thing – counter-depth fridges are total energy savers! Since they’re usually smaller than regular fridges, they don’t need as much juice to keep things chilled. That means less energy usage and lower bills for you.

Some Disadvantages of Counter-Depth Refrigerators

Now, let’s talk about the not-so-great stuff. There are a few cons you might run into when using counter-depth fridges.

  • Requires More Space: A counter depth refrigerator has 30 to 36 inches width whereas a standard one has around 24+ inches. That means you must sacrifice that extra 6-12 inches or wider space for the fridge.
  • Less Storage: A counter-depth fridge does not offer such high storage capacity compared to any standard or deep fridge. A standard fridge offers 20-25 cubic feet, whereas a counter depth offers only 15-25 cubic feet, depending on the model.
  • Smaller Drawers: The drawer is wider but shorter. A smaller but wider drawer is not comfortable to handle. This can be a problem for some people.
  • Require More Clearance: Some counter-depth models come with double-door facilities, but some come with single doors. That single door is wider and requires more space to be cleared. It can consume more kitchen space, making it unsuitable for a smaller kitchen.
  • Can be Expensive: And lastly, counter-depth refrigerators are expensive compared to the traditional fridge. You may have to spend double to get a good counter-depth fridge.

Why Counter-Depth Refrigerators Are Expensive?

If you’ve ever shopped for a refrigerator, you may have noticed that counter-depth models are more expensive than traditional ones. But why is this the case? There are several reasons why these refrigerators come with a higher price tag. The design with modern technology plays the main role in increasing the price.

Counter-depth refrigerators are designed to fit seamlessly into your kitchen cabinets, giving your kitchen a sleek and streamlined look. This means they need to be built with high-quality materials and precise measurements to fit perfectly. The added cost of these specialized components contributes to the overall expense of the appliance.

Another reason why counter-depth refrigerators can be more expensive because they often come equipped with advanced features such as smart technology, energy-efficient settings, and dual cooling systems. These extra features add value to the fridge and increase its price point.

Counter-Depth Refrigerators vs Standard Refrigerators – Key Differences

The main difference between counter-depth and standard fridges is their depth. A Counter depth fridge has around 24-30 inches depth, whereas a standard fridge will have 30+ inches depth. Along with the depth, height, and width will also differ. A Counter depth fridge offers a few inches more height and a few inches more width to cover up the lost spaces due to the less depth. Here is a chart to precisely understand the differences.

FeaturesCounter-Depth RefrigeratorsStandard Refrigerators
Depth24-30 inches30+ inches
AppearanceFlush with countertops and cabinetsProtrude over-the-counter tops
Storage CapacityLess storageStandard storage capacity
AestheticSleek and blend with the kitchenCannot blend due to higher depth
SpaceSpace savingRequire more space
InstallationRequire professional helpEasy to install

Should You Pick Counter-Depth Refrigerators for Your Kitchen?

Well, if you want to elevate your kitchen’s modern design and aesthetic beauty, a counter-depth refrigerator will be a good pick. But that will cost you more, remember that. On the other hand, if you are okay with the performance and design of a regular fridge and want to save money, this is not a good option for you – this is as simple as that.

Should You Pick Counter-Depth Refrigerators for Your Kitchen?

This show-stopper fridge is not for some faint of heart, it is for those who want a uniform and integrated look in their kitchen.

Wrapping Up

Understanding the concept of the counter-depth refrigerator can help you decide on the perfect refrigerator for your kitchen. The sleek design will blend with the modern look of your kitchen. However, you must sacrifice the storage capacity due to the shallower depth.

Consider the cabinet’s depth, kitchen style, layout preferences, and any other requirements before randomly picking a fridge. Also, it is worth considering the extra cost you need to bear with the counter-depth one—best of luck.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Depth of the Fridge Is Considered Counter-Depth?
24-30 inches depth is considered counter depth. However, the counter depth fridge is not all about the depth. The design is what makes a counter-depth refrigerator. You will find a standard fridge with such depth. But that will not be a counter-depth refrigerator.
How to Measure the Cabinets for Counter-Depth Refrigerators?
– Measure the depth of your kitchen cabinet with tape—measure from the wall, not the backsplash.
– Measure the width of the cabinet and subtract one or half an inch from each side. 
– Measure the height from the floor to the bottom of the cabinet.
– Now know the counter depth refrigerator dimensions, and you have the counter depth measurement to be installed.