In the last few decades, refrigerators have become a lot larger which is great for all of us with big families. However, people who live alone and have small kitchens surely do not appreciate this trend.
For all of them, I have decided to test some counter depth refrigerators or, as some call them, cabinet-depth models.
My cousin, who is still single, is redoing her kitchen, and I have “used” her experience to learn as much as I can and find the best counter-depth refrigerators currently selling on the market.
The kitchen is the heart and soul of every home so make yours as beautiful as you can. The counter-depth refrigerator can make your kitchen appear just the way you want it to. Here is what the two of us have discovered…
What Are Counter-Depth Refrigerators?
Most refrigerators nowadays are more than 35 inches deep, while a standard countertop is 25 inches deep.
You can see for yourself that, if you buy such a refrigerator, it is sure to stick out at least ten inches and possibly create a problem, especially in small or narrow kitchens.
The good news is that there are refrigerators that are less obstructive and save space in kitchens with limited floorplan – those are the counter-depth refrigerators. They do not fit like a glove, unlike the built-in refrigerators, but they are the next best thing and far less expensive option.
Why Buy the Counter-Depth Refrigerator?
- First of all, as I have already mentioned, a counter-depth refrigerator is ideal for people who have limited space in their kitchen. If you own a galley kitchen or a modern looking kitchen with an island design, you certainly want to save up some room and be able to move around your kitchen without bumping into something all the time.
- Secondly, a counter-depth refrigerator looks much better as it does not protrude from the kitchen cabinets. Therefore, instead of jutting out about ten inches, your refrigerator will be in the same line with the cabinets and provide a better, more linear look for your kitchen.
Knowing how we women like our kitchens to be in top condition, the two reasons I have listed are more than enough to consider buying a counter depth refrigerator.
In addition, the cabinet depth models cost thousands of dollars less than the custom built-in refrigerators, especially if you buy them around holidays when discounts are great.
In any case, the prices of the counter depth refrigerators have been in constant decline over the last decade or so.
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How to Choose the Best Counter-Depth Refrigerator?
There are few important things you need to consider when choosing the refrigerator for your kitchen, so when searching for the best counter-depth refrigerator have the following things in mind:
1. Type of the counter-depth refrigerator
There are three main types of counter-depth refrigerators, and those are:
- Regular Counter Depth Refrigerators – these are regular shallow refrigerators that are sold in most stores for a much lower price than professional or integrated ones. As with any regular fridge, you can choose the design and opt for a one with a French door, bottom freezer, or a bit more expensive but also the most popular option – side by side refrigerator.
- Professional Counter Depth Refrigerators – as the name suggests these refrigerators are designed to be used in a professional environment and are therefore of both higher quality and price. They are also taller than regular counter-depth refrigerators (approx. 84 inches) and have compressors on the top. Although they feature a commercial look and stand out in every kitchen, there is really no need to spend that much money on a home fridge.
- Integrated Counter Depth Refrigerators – these refrigerators are built to appear indistinguishable from the cabinet itself and are usually 25 inches deep. While the door of the professional and regular counter depth refrigerators protrude from the kitchen cabinets a bit, an integrated fridge forms a perfect line with it. Unfortunately, that will set you back for quite a few (thousands) dollars!
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2. Size and Depth
I do not want to repeat myself, so I will only briefly retell what has already been said about the size and depth of counter depth refrigerators.
The capacity of these refrigerators is usually from 13 to around 25 cu. ft.
They must be less than 30 inches deep, while their width can vary from 18 to 36 inches.
Ideally, the depth should be exactly the same as the depth of your kitchen cabinets, but it seldom is – more often than not the door protrudes a bit.
3. Brand, Warranty, and Price
There is an array of brands that offer counter-depth refrigerators which is good as you can choose the one you like in your price range.
Be careful not to make a mistake though but rather look into ratings and reviews before making a final decision. Price and quality are not always in accordance.
The warranty the manufacturer offers can, therefore, be a good indicator of the quality of the unit and how long it will last without needing any costly interventions.
4. Design and Layout
I recommend buying a counter depth refrigerator in stainless steel. You already know how highly I appreciate this material due to it being easy to clean and maintain.
It also looks modern and sleek. If you add panels to the door, they will be even thicker, so that should not be an option at all.
The layout and storage inside the fridge must be well organized so that you can use up all the space and not feel the difference in depth. Freezer space is also important, especially if you do not own a separate freezer.
A good-looking counter depth refrigerator can become a signature piece of your kitchen.
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The Five Best Counter Depth Refrigerators Currently on the Market: My Choice and Reviews 2020
Fisher & Paykel RF135BDLX425 counter depth refrigerator is a bottom freezer model with a capacity of 13.5 cu ft. It is almost 29 inches deep (including the handle), which means that the door will protrude by approximately three inches when you place it in between standard kitchen cabinets. It is 25 inches wide and 67 inches high which makes it rather compact and ideal for small kitchens.
It looks rather sleek, as the true stainless steel gives it a modern and elegant appearance.
Although a bit on a smaller side, the inside is well organized. The ActiveSmart Foodcare technology incorporated into this refrigerator allows for your food to stay fresh longer. It is not a refrigerator suitable for a large family, but if you live alone, or in a pair, it can satisfy all your needs for sure.
Both my cousin and I were impressed by the interior layout and appearance. The spill safe glass shelves are distributed well, and there are many different levels you can move them to according to your current needs; they also glide in and out without any problem. The temperature is very stable, and there is almost no noise.
- Stable temperature
- Excellent interior
- Extremely quiet
- Brilliant LED lights
- Slender handles
- No ice maker option
- Costly considering the low capacity
- Handles and hinges are not reversible so make sure you buy the appropriate model
Frigidaire FGHF2367TF is a counter depth refrigerator with a French door design. Its total capacity is 21.9 cu. ft.; it is 28-1/2″ deep and 69-7/8″ high. The layout is very practical so that you can store everything an average family needs. The door bins are especially useful as they can hold even a gallon of milk which lives more free space in the fridge.
The Full-Width Cool-Zone™ can hold an entire birthday cake!
It is all in stainless steel so no fingerprints for you to wipe all the time! The look is modern and will make every kitchen more sophisticated. The temperature inside is even, so no need to decide where to store the temperature-sensitive food – anywhere will do!
My cousin especially liked the door-alarm as she frequently forgets to close the fridge doors. I liked the multi-level LED lighting as I often visit the fridge at night (do not tell my hubby though!) PureSource® ice maker and water filter are a great addition for hot summer days when we all crave for a cold glass of drink.
The filter will remove all the impurities and make sure you stay healthy too. The good news is that the fridge comes with an additional filter which means that you will not have to invest in one for quite a time. The only downside is that the water does not come out cold from the water filter, so you do need to put ice in it. The ice maker is rather slow too.
- SpillSafe® shelves prevent leakage or spills
- Automatic defrost for easy cleanup
- Easy to access drawers
- Quiet operation
- The ice maker is slow
- The water this fridge puts out is warm
It is 28.7 inches deep, so the door will protrude; it is 35.9 inches wide and 69.9 inches high. The stainless steel is not only sleek but also fingerprints-resistant which means less cleaning for all us busy housewives!
The door shelves are very deep and allow for storage of rather large items, the rest of the interior layout is also very functional with XL humidity-controlled crispers and retractable shelves.
This counter-depth refrigerator also features an automatic ice-maker that will help get you through the hottest summer. Another interesting feature is the LED touch display which allows for easy temperature setting and monitoring.
As this fridge is frost-free, there is no need to regularly defrost it which is another great plus from my point of view. DC inverter compressor saves energy while the quick freeze option allows you to make ice-cream for your guests much quicker!
The warranty period is 16 months, which is not bad considering the low price.
- Fingerprints-resistant stainless steel exterior
- It protrudes about 3 inches
- The warranty could be longer
This GE Profile, PWE23KSKSS counter-depth French door refrigerator, has a capacity of 23.1 cu. ft. which is quite enough for an average family.
The outside is stainless steel but unfortunately not fingerprint-proof, so if you have small kids with sticky fingers, you might have a big problem with cleaning this fridge. Besides that, although the face of the door is stainless, sides are not – they are made of some other material, and I cannot really vouch for the quality and durability of it.
On the plus side, the unit has an impressive water filtration filter that will help keep you and your family and guests safe from any impurities in your water or ice. Ice maker functions great too.
TwinChill technology allows for separate settings for the fridge and freezer section. The layout is great, and I especially liked the full-width drawer with electronic temperature control as it allows you to set the perfect temperature for any food you wish to store in it and thus keep it fresh for longer.
The LED lighting is also well distributed so that my night trips can remain as successful as always. It is a bit deeper than previous models I have reviewed (31 1/4 inches), and it is 69 7/8 inches high and 35 3/4 inches wide.
- Good quality for a reasonable price
- Impressive water filter and ice maker
- Well distributed LED lighting
- The exterior is neither fingerprint-proof nor entirely stainless steel
- It protrudes more than other models
Samsung RF23J9011SR is a beautiful piece of kitchen equipment. Both my cousin and I were impressed by the look of this unit as soon as we unboxed it. It will become a signature piece in any kitchen, that is sure.
However, we have immediately noticed a serious fault too – the exterior is not fingerprint-proof although advertised as such!
The capacity of this fridge is 22.5 cu. ft., it is 28 7/8 inches deep, 70 3/4 inches high, and 35 3/4 inches wide – enough for any family to stock up on groceries for a week or so.
It features a well-designed external filtered ice and water dispenser that can produce about 160 ice cubes per day. The best thing about it are the two separate compressors and the triple cooling system which allows you to set different temperatures in all three separate zones of the fridge.
The layout is very functional, although some door shelves seem a bit odd and hard to figure out. I only wish that the drawers would pull out a bit further as that would make them more functional as well. The biggest complaint I have is the ice maker – namely, when it produces crushed ice, it literally throws small pieces of ice out and makes a mess in the kitchen.
- Excellent 3-zone design
- Two good-sized pull out drawers
- Impressive design and appearance
- Only one-year manufacturer warranty
- Ice comes out slowly
- It makes a gurgling sound
- The doors are not fingerprint-proof
And the winner is…
Frigidaire FGHF2367TF Counter Depth Refrigerator because it balances the quality and price well. The only fault we could notice is the water filter and ice maker function, which does not interfere with the principal use of the counter depth refrigerator.
My cousin ended up buying the Fisher & Paykel RF135BDLX4 Counter Depth Refrigerator as it best fits her needs.
What is your choice? 🙂
Last update on 2020-09-29 at 13:03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API