Counter-depth Refrigerator vs Standard [Better One?] 2022

 In this era of technology and advancement, a refrigerator is an essential appliance for your kitchen. 

But when it comes to selecting an appropriate refrigerator, some people face various difficulties as there are different kinds of fridges available in the market. You can choose the color, size, and other features of your refrigerator, but in addition to this, you can choose style i.e., counter depth fridge vs standard refrigerator. Usually, the choice of fridge depends upon personal needs and demands, but a few other things influence your choice of the refrigerator for your kitchen.

Recently, there has been an immense increase in the popularity of counter depth refrigerators due to various reasons. These refrigerators are specifically designed to offer more space and fit perfectly with the other cabinets of your kitchen. Their design is quite similar to the traditional fridge, but usually, they are taller than the previous one. They do not take much space in your kitchen and fit as surrounding cabinets and counter-tops.

In order to fit your counter top, their depth ranges from 23-27 inches. You can measure your counter top space before buying a counter depth refrigerator for you. Normally, these fridges are considered to be shallower than the standard refrigerators.

What is the difference between counter depth and standard depth refrigerators?

counter depth vs full depth refrigerator

These two refrigerators have different styles in cabinet depth vs counter depth conflict. Counter-depth fridges tend to be wider and shallower than the traditional ones, while on the other hand, standard depth refrigerators are taller. If you are more inclined towards the outlook of your space, then you have to compromise on the storage capacity by selecting a counter depth fridge for you. Further, you can also add some matching sheets to the other cabinets so that your counter depth fridge seems to be the part of cabinetry of the kitchen or the space.

But if you aim to get more and more space at less price, you have to ignore the untidy look of your space. You will get more space in standard-depth refrigerators but on the price of reserving more space for refrigerator in the kitchen or wherever you are placing it.

What is a Standard depth refrigerator?

counter depth refrigerator

Almost everybody is familiar with the idea of standard refrigerators as they are the most widely used design of fridges across the world. You can probably find at least one typical standard fridge in every kitchen. It is opined that standard refrigerators are considered to be wider than the counter depth fridges as their width ranges from 35-36 inches if doors and handles of the fridge are included. But without doors and handles, the depth is still around 31-34 inches. It means that you can get some extra space for storing your food and vegetables, but it also requires some extra inches in your kitchen.

As mentioned earlier, standard refrigerators are the most commonly used fridges so you can find a great variety of them in the market. There are hundreds of models that can be differentiated based on color, height, size, style, and other advanced features.

Also check, Standard Depth Refrigerator Sticking Out 

Counter-depth and standard depth refrigerator comparison

counter depth vs standrad depth refrigerator comparison

It is more likely that the fridge you grew up with was a traditional standard depth refrigerator. These refrigerators have more depth so they can be easily visible in the kitchen, so usually, they end up giving an untidy look to your kitchen. They also take more floor space it means that you have less space left to place other useful appliances in the kitchen. These fridges should be your top choice if you want to utilize more storing and preserving capacity.

As the depth is very significant in the refrigerator, counter depth vs standard depth discussion leads to counter-depth fridges having less depth than the standard ones so that you can easily fit them with your other cabinets in the kitchen and give a blended and neat look to your kitchen. These counter depth fridges gave your space a built-in finish, but they are actually not built-in but fitted perfectly. You will only need 2-3 inches extra when you open the door. Otherwise, the body of the refrigerator can be easily installed in the space left for the fridge in the kitchen or wherever you want to place it.

Counter-depth refrigerator vs Full-depth

When you see the refrigerator from the front, you cannot tell whether it is a counter-depth refrigerator or a standard-depth fridge. You will need to see the appliance from the sides. The other way is to check the price tag as counter depth refrigerators are costlier than the standard depth fridges. With the increasing popularity, the prices of these refrigerators also increased.

On the other side, standard refrigerators are more economical. You can efficiently install a counter depth refrigerator in your kitchen as they are designed to the standard size of the countertop of the kitchen. There is no need for extra space or any other cutouts for fitting. But you should be clear that you have enough space to open the door of the fridge. In counter depth vs standard depth conflict, all these should be considered.

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If you are planning to buy a refrigerator for a new house or apartment, then it is recommended that you should consider buying a counter depth fridge as they instantly give a modern look to your space. But you have loose few inches of inner space of the fridge. It means that you are losing some space for storing and preserving your perishable items that will deteriorate outside the refrigerator. But in return, you will get a fine and professional look at your space.

In contrast to this, standard depth refrigerators tend to provide more storage to you by occupying more space in your house. You can store and preserve your vegetables, fruits, meat, drinks, and other edibles in the fridge for a longer time. For shallow depth fridges, only a few inches are required to easily open the door that is not quite visible to the naked eye.


The capacity of the refrigerator greatly depends upon the manufacturer. Some brands give value to your money by providing reasonable storage in a counter depth fridge. In contrast, some brands focus on the design and outlook of the appliance by compromising the storage capacity of the refrigerator. The same principle goes for the manufacturers of standard depth refrigerators. It is evident from the counter vs standard depth refrigerators debate that the depth of standard refrigerators are more than the counter depth fridges, so customer will automatically get more space in them.

Some brands of electronic appliances work on the features, colors, and designs while others tend to focus on the purpose of the refrigerator that is to provide appropriate space for preserving food items in a cooler environment. It can be observed that some houses have an extra non counter fridge in their basement in order to accommodate the issue of less storage capacity of their counter depth refrigerators.

Pros of counter depth refrigerators

  • Aesthetically more pleasing
  • Neat and tidy look
  • Wider than the traditional fridge
  • Allow wide and big trays
  • Give more floor space
  • Cons of counter depth refrigerators
  • Most expensive
  • Less storage capacity
  • Shallower than the standard depth refrigerator

Pros of standard depth refrigerator

  • Affordable and economical
  • Great variety in colors and designs
  • Larger storage capacity
  • Ideal of large families
  • Cons of standard depth refrigerator
  • Occupy more floor space
  • Untidy look to the kitchen
  • Juts out from the cabinets

Why are counter depth refrigerators more expensive?

counter depth vs standard fridge

It is noted that the price of a counter depth refrigerator is 15-20 percent more than the standard depth fridge with similar characteristics and features. For instance, you will get a counter depth fridge for $1899 and a standard depth fridge with the same features as of counter depth refrigerator for $1599. The increasing popularity of these refrigerators is responsible for their increased price. Moreover, there is less space for the refrigerator in modern houses and apartments, so here come the counter depth refrigerators to solve the issue of space by giving a stylish, professional finish to your house or apartment.

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Should A Fridge Be Flush With The Counter?

The direct answer is yes. For the purpose of air circulation, a fridge should be placed 2 inches far from the wall. While on the sides, you will have to leave 1-inch space from each side for a cabinet depth refrigerator and 1/8 inch for a counter depth standard depth refrigerator. Some integrated refrigerators flush out with the counter. You have to leave enough space at the back of the refrigerator so that there should be proper air circulation; otherwise, the efficiency and performance of your refrigerator will effect. There should be enough space to open the fridge door at 90 degrees.

Which one is better?

counter depth or full depth refrigerator

These two refrigerators serve best their purpose: to preserve and store edibles in a cooler environment for a longer time. But the choice of opting for counter depth or standard depth refrigerators depends on personal preferences and needs. These two appliances look the same from the outside without any major or visible change. If you have a big family or live with lots of friends, it is suggested to go for a standard depth fridge as it will give you more storage capacity. You can easily store your leftovers, beverages, and other food items in your refrigerator.

But suppose you have a small family or less space in the kitchen for a refrigerator. In that case, the recommendation goes for a counter depth refrigerator because in this way, you can save space in the kitchen and also save your food from deterioration.

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The conclusion of the debate of counter depth vs standard depth refrigerator is that it depends on your needs and demands. However, these two refrigerators are built on the same principle: to provide a cooler environment for your edibles that can easily deteriorate in the outside temperature. The only difference between these appliances is their width and storage capacity. But you have to be sure that there are always certain limitations to every device we buy; we have to accept them and choose wisely according to our needs regardless of the popularity or the cost.

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