Unquestionably, the appliance with the largest footprint in your kitchen space is the refrigerator and it may even be that your fridge sticks out a few inches too many. When it comes time to replace it, you may be looking at what the latest options are in refrigeration seeing descriptions like under-counter, counter depth or built-in.
The counter depth refrigerator is often the best bet when replacing an existing fridge within a kitchen's current design. So, in this article, we'll look at the 5 best counter depth refrigerators and find one to streamline the look in your kitchen.
Most people are confused about the terminology of refrigerators. Many of us mix up built-in versus counter depth refrigerators. Here is an example of how to distinguish them:
- Built-in refrigerators are flush with cabinetry and may be installed with custom cabinet panels for completely seamless integration. Price points will give you a clue on whether it's built-in or counter depth. Built-in refrigerators usually appeal to the luxury market with prices over $5,000. Brands such as Sub Zero, Miele or Thermador dominate this space.
- A counter depth refrigerator -which you can get without breaking the bank- follows the contours of your cabinets and countertops and presents a well-designed, streamlined look.
How to Avoid Common Mistakes
Before you select the best refrigerator brand for your kithcen we highly suggest that you go over the following check list to narrow down your wishlist:
- Start by measuring your space and being aware of your dimensions (although this sounds straightforward, the problems begin here).
- Remember, kitchen cabinet depths are not standard. They can be anywhere from 24" to 26 1/2" deep. When measuring, factor in the base cabinet, the backsplash thickness, and countertop bullnose, etc.
- The best counter depth refrigerators do not come in a standard depth as the name might imply. The main body (or as we call it the box) is typically 24" to 25" deep but in your overall dimensions factor in the door thickness and handle depth. Some models may also require a small air gap behind the unit.
- Measure the height and add the hinge height as well.
- Remember counter depth fridges are not built-in and you cannot make them flush to cabinets as the hinges will not have space to turn. Also, you cannot install a custom panel on a counter depth fridge.
Our 5 Best Counter Depth Refrigerators
FGSC2335TF Affordable price point, smudge-proof stainless, LED Lights, 36-inch 22.2 cu.ft.
Why we like it:
An excellent price point for a counter depth refrigerator. A side by side fridge is ideal for families that want to have an organized freezer.
- Smudge-Proof Stainless Steel - Resists fingerprints for easy maintenance.
- Fairly spacious with 22.2 cu. ft. capacity
- LED Lighting
- Adjustable Shelves
Dual Compressors | Luxurious design | Great appliance package discounts | Ice Maker with filtered water | Best in class humidity and air circulation for food preservation
Why we like it:
Bosch makes high-quality appliances. Bosch counter depth refrigerator is no exception, and it is listed with a pretty high price tag at $2,784. However, this unit usually has a $200 exclusive savings rebate in our store at Designer Appliances. On top of it, during promotional periods you will get an additional 10%-15% discount on a Bosch package that includes this refrigerator. All in all, a great Bosch refrigerator in counter depth style, on or around $2,000 is an excellent deal.
- Ice Maker w Filtered Water, LED Lights
- Humidity controlled crisper drawers help keep food fresher longer
- Dual compressor system provides even temperatures and minimizes odor transfer
- VitaFreshPro adds extra controls to balance temperature and humidity
- SuperCool generates greater cold reserves so that freshly stored food can be rapidly chilled
- SuperFreezing protects frozen food from defrosting when loading the freezer with new items
French door refrigerator design is extremely popular in modern kitchens. Many people prefer this style as it does not require bending down to reach high frequency items.
The new Bosch dual-compressor refrigerators share the same internals. However, Bosch offers different design sytles to match your kitchen. Black stainless steel finish, 4-door versions with recessed handles, and professional handle versions (to match all-Thermador kitchens) are available in the lineup.
Overall super reliable and excellent factory service support, handsfree autofill water dispenser is a hit, 36-inch 22.2 cu. ft.
Why we like it:
GE Profile refrigerator comes from a reliable brand with great factory service. This particular fridge has been performing reliably for our customers for many years. Typical complaints we get revolve around occasional rusting which indicates that the cleaning crew in the household used harsh chemicals unbeknown to the homeowner. Occasional computer board issues that are covered under the warranty and modular replacement take care of the problem in a jiffy. Door alignment issues sometimes creep up as it is not intuitive for DIY self-installers that doors are adjustable. We recommend a GE refrigerator without reservations.
- Hands-free autofill dispenser - lets you walk away while your container automatically fills with filtered water
- Full width, electronic temperature-controlled deli and vegetable drawers
- Option to incorporate a second ice maker in the freezer
- TwinChill evaporators separate climates in the fresh food and freezer sections help keep foods fresh
- LED lighting
Showcase door for most frequented items, Flex Zone converts to freezer or fridge, 36-inch 22 cu. ft.
Why we like it:
This Samsung refrigerator will stand out in your kitchen. You can be assured that you will get many compliments for choosing this fridge. Their Flex Zone compartment is a hit, and it converts one of the quadrants into a freezer or a fridge on demand. Thanks to Samsung's advanced technology your food will stay fresh longer in this model.
- 36" 22 cu. ft. 4 Door Refrigerator - Flex Zone (converts portion of the freezer to the fridge when needed)
- Food Showcase with Metal Cooling Displays on the go items front and center (door in door)
- Premium cooling system features 3 evaporators for ultimate freshness
- Ice Master produces up to 5 lbs. of ice per day and stores up to 2.9 lbs. of ice
- High Efficiency LED Lighting
- The premium stainless steel exterior has a special coating that makes your fridge look shiny clean every day
64-inch width, 38 cu. ft., Great style with built-in like trim kit, spacious to handle all of your refrigeration needs.
Frigidaire recently discontinued these models. However, they have failed to release the new column refrigerators to the market. We expect to see the new versions hit the showroom floors in July 2020. Also, we learned that the new version of the product will be about 2-inches taller than the previous version.
Why we like it:
Best price point in the market for a high-end, pro-style extra large 64" refrigerator and freezer columns. A smudge-proof stainless steel door is easy to clean and presents well. This set comes fully loaded with modern amenities such as an internal ice maker, LED lights, adjustable shelves. Use the innovative trim for the built-in look.
- 32" 19 cu. ft. All Refrigerator, Counter Depth for Seamless Finish
- 32" 19 cu. ft. All Freezer with Ice Maker
- PureAir Filtration keeps products tasting fresh
- 32" W x 26-1/2" D x 71-3/8" H Each Unit (25 1/4" cabinet depth)
More information: See our article on Frigidaire Professional Series.
Credible Runners Up - Counter Depth Refrigerators
- The Samsung counter depth RF23j9011SR fridge in Stainless Steel (or RF23j9011SG in Black Stainless) has the unique 4-door style. You can even use half of the freezer space as a "Flex Zone". The truly innovative "Flex Zone" will allow you to swich the freezer to a refrigerator or use it as a "fresco" compartment i.e. something in between a freezer or a fridge.
- The Samsung RF18HFENBSR refrigerator is 33-inches wide and counter depth in design, which makes it ideal for urban apartments. Yet the 18 cu. ft. interior space is adequate for most families. The filtered water ice maker is a great bonus.
- The KitchenAid KRFC300ESS gets high marks in the industry reviews and has already accumulated some close to 2000 customer reviews. One slight downside is that this fridge might be noisy in an open kitchen setting.
- The GE Profile PWE23KSKSS counter depth French door refrigerator comes in multiple colors - Stainless Steel, Slate, and Black Slate. Its 36-inch width and 69-inch height makes it a good fit for most standard kitchens. If you are wondering about the above $2,000 price point here is the reason. This model comes with dual evaporators and holds the interior temperature very well. Meaning that your food will last longer in this fridge compared to a less capable one.
- We notice many review sites make reference to LG's LFXC24726S counter depth refrigerators. This models has been discontinued as or 2020 and replaced by LG LRFXC2406S. It is too early for us to report on this product at this time.
Bosch, Frigidaire Gallery, Frigidaire Professional, GE Profile and Samsung have all created world-class counter depth refrigerators for 2020. Which one you choose will depend on your own unique situation—your kitchen setup, food storage needs, budget, and desired features. But any of the five listed above will reward you with flexible food refrigeration, world-class features, stylish design, and reliability you can count on for years to come.
See what other Designer Appliances readers are saying.