Is a counter-depth refrigerator right for you and your family? Learn everything you need to know about counter-depth fridges, including how to measure your kitchen for one.

A counter-depth refrigerator is designed to not only offer capacity comparable to a traditional standard-depth refrigerator, but also to sit virtually flush with your kitchen counters. With a counter-depth fridge, you can create a seamless built-in look with your cabinets and offer a space-saving solution for your family’s kitchen.

A counter-depth refrigerator fits flush with countertops in a modern kitchen.

What does counter-depth mean?

 “Counter-depth” is the distance between your back wall or backsplash and the front of your countertops, which is typically 24–25 inches. A counter-depth refrigerator has approximately the same depth as kitchen countertops so that the front of the fridge aligns with the edge of the countertops.

 

To put it in perspective, most standard-depth refrigerators are more than 30 inches deep, often measuring 35–36 inches. That means in many kitchens, the refrigerator can stick out half a foot or more from the edge of the counters.

 

With all the foot traffic a busy kitchen sees, optimizing aisle space is essential. Here’s why you might want to consider going counter-depth to better care for your family.

 

A counter-depth refrigerator offers comparable capacity to traditional refrigerators.

The benefits of a counter-depth refrigerator

  • You have more room to open the refrigerator doors without bumping into islands or other kitchen items.

  • Because you have more aisle space, it’s easier to move around the kitchen, even with multiple cooks — or kids or pets under foot.

  • You don’t have to sacrifice space for style. Since most counter-depth refrigerators are a little wider/taller, they offer the same amount of usable space as a standard-depth refrigerator. 

  • Because counter-depth models line up with the edge of your countertops, they provide a sleek, seamless style ideal for modern kitchens.

  • Like standard-depth, counter-depth refrigerators come in all types: French door, side-by-side, top-freezer and bottom-freezer.

How to measure for a counter-depth refrigerator

Are you ready to take advantage of the benefits of a counter-depth fridge? First, you’ll need to measure your kitchen space carefully to find a model with the best fit. Follow the tips below to get accurate measurements for your new counter-depth fridge.

Measuring depth

Start at the wall (not the backsplash) and measure to the edge of your countertop. Your counter-depth measurement should be about 24-25 inches. Ensure an inch of space between the back of the fridge and the wall for proper fridge ventilation. 

While shopping, review all of the depth measurements provided for counter-depth models, including depth with doors and drawers open. If you have a kitchen island, make sure that the refrigerator doors and drawers can open without hitting any obstacles.

 

Measuring width

Start by measuring the width of your cabinet cutout at its narrowest point. Then, subtract an inch from your width measurement to allow for a half-inch of space on each side of the fridge for proper ventilation.

If one side of your refrigerator will be next to a wall, leave 2½ inches between the wall and the hinge side of the door so it can swing open.

If you currently have a standard-depth fridge, you can expect your new counter-depth fridge to be a bit wider. Counter-depth refrigerators are typically wider than traditional fridges in order to compensate for their narrower depth.

Measuring height

Start by measuring from the floor to the bottom of any cabinets that will be above the fridge. Then, subtract a half-inch from your measurement to ensure proper ventilation for the fridge.

Counter-depth fridges are often a little taller than standard-depth models in order to provide a similar capacity. For more information on refrigerator sizes and dimensions, check out our refrigerator sizes guide.

Once you have your width, height and depth measurements, you’re ready to find a counter-depth refrigerator with the right fit for your kitchen and the right features for your family.

A Whirlpool® side-by-side counter-depth refrigerator in a modern kitchen.

Choosing counter-depth

Go counter-depth and get the sleek look you want, with plenty of room for storage, while minimizing disruptions in your workflow.

Ready to find your new Whirlpool® refrigerator? Check out our top picks below, see all Whirlpool® counter-depth refrigerators, or learn about other refrigerator types, styles and features.

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