Counter-Depth Refrigerator vs Standard
If you’re shopping for a new fridge, you will most likely be choosing between a counter-depth refrigerator or a standard-depth refrigerator. The good news is that both can make a visual statement in your kitchen and come in a lot of the same styles.
Your decision may come down to how much depth a unit has and if it can align with the current cabinetry in your kitchen.
This article will help you better understand counter-depth refrigerator vs standard-depth and get you closer to purchasing your next kitchen appliance.
What Is a Standard-Depth Refrigerator?
A standard-depth refrigerator is also referred to as a full-depth refrigerator. The dimensions of this type of model are usually closer to 35-36” (89-91cm) deep when you include doors and handles.
While extra depth might sound appealing, you need to understand if and how it will impact the flow when moving around your kitchen.
Enjoy these Benefits of Standard-Depth Refrigerators:
- They usually cost less than counter-depth models. You can always choose to pay more for the additional features you want, but standard-depth may be the better option for those with a tight budget.
- They feature more capacity. If the size of your kitchen can accommodate, you can enjoy ample storage space
What Is a Counter-Depth refrigerator?
If you prefer a lower profile in your kitchen than a counter-depth refrigerator might be the better design option for you. The market offers two types of counter-depth styles: freestanding and built-in. Freestanding is approximately 28" (71cm) deep, whereas built-in is approximately 24-25" (61-63.5cm) deep, but you should note that it’s often taller due to its shallower depth.
How do freestanding refrigerators and built-in refrigerators differ? One notable difference is that built-in models can often be customized to match the look of surrounding cabinets with a panel-ready design. Another option is to go for a different design in the hope of maximizing the visual impact.
For built-in refrigerators, consider the following:
- They are available in a flush design to seamlessly fit with kitchen cabinetry.
- They can often be more expensive, even costing as much as three times more.
- They can help preserve the valuable walking space in front of a unit.
- They may require custom cabinetry and installation by a professional
*Maytag does not offer any built-in refrigerators
Many feel that counter-depth refrigerator offers a more modern look for most kitchens. Most full-size/standard refrigerators feature a depth of over 30” (72cm). When you count doors and door handles, they can reach 35-36” (89-91cm). This means that traditional refrigerators may stick out roughly half a foot (or even more) from the edge of the counters.
Learn more about the Maytag counter-depth fridge.
*Please note that the remainder of this guide will only refer to freestanding refrigerators.
Enjoy These Benefits of a Counter-Depth Refrigerator
One benefit of a counter-depth refrigerator is that they line up closely with the end of your cabinets. This helps you achieve a more seamless look and can contribute to the designs of most modern kitchens.
Counter-depth refrigerators offer several benefits:
- A built-in “look” with countertops and cabinets creating a cohesive aesthetic.
- Offers more space than a standard-depth fridge so you can open the doors without them coming into contact with another object.
- Allows for more room for people to move around the kitchen.
- Shallower depth can mean easy access to contents inside the fridge.
The design of counter-depth refrigerators deliver a modern design that can work for kitchens that are spacious or limited in space.
Available Styles for Counter-Depth and Standard-Depth Fridge
The good news is that both counter-depth and standard-depth fridges are usually available in the same configuration styles:
French door style refrigerators are designed with two doors above a freezer drawer. The doors open outward and opening and closing them generally requires less clearance than a single door. Because of this, French door refrigerators are a strong option for most smaller kitchens.
Side-by-side refrigerator units have two doors that cover the full height of the unit. One side is a dedicated refrigerator and the other side is a dedicated freezer.
A more traditional style, the Top-freezer refrigerator is configured with a freezer on top and a refrigerator below. The refrigerator and freezer doors can open either to the right or left depending on your model.
Bottom-freezer fridges have a refrigerator on top and a freezer drawer or door below. It’s similar in this way to a French door style but the difference is that there is only one refrigerator door. The refrigerator door can open to either the right or left, depending on your model.
If you purchase a single door, you will want to confirm that the necessary clearance for the door swing is available.
Tips to Measure for a Counter-Depth or a Standard-Depth Fridge
You should always carefully and thoroughly measure your cabinet cutout and specific counter depth to confirm that your fridge will properly fit. It’s also best to measure the path to your kitchen to make sure you won’t have any issues with getting the fridge through your front door and into your kitchen.
If you’re replacing a counter-depth refrigerator, make sure to confirm the dimensions of the space.
Always note the “door open” dimensions. This gives you the depth of the unit when the door is open, usually at 90 degrees, to ensure there is enough clearance for the doors to fully open.
Knowing the difference between counter-depth and standard-depth refrigerators is the first step toward choosing the right fridge for you.
Use our Maytag® refrigerator finder to find the right refrigerator for you.