If you’re reading this, chances are you’re thinking about buying a counter depth refrigerator to free up some extra space in your kitchen floor plan. Counter depth refrigerators sacrifice up to 6″ of fridge depth, so that the body doesn’t stick out past your cabinets. You get the professionally designed look of a built-in refrigerator at a fraction of the cost.
The drawback is that counter depth fridges carry an upcharge over their comparable standard-depth models. When it comes down to it, appliance shoppers need to clear one hurdle before they drop money on the space-saving upgrade:
Is this counter depth refrigerator worth it? Am I really going to pay more money for less storage space?
In the end, your decision will come down to aesthetics, budget and storage needs. I can’t decide for you, but I can offer an honest assessment of the pros and cons of counter depth refrigerators so that you can figure out which features are most important to you.
When Counter Depth Refrigerators Are Worth It
- Want to build an island across from your refrigerator and need extra clearance for the aisle between them? This is a great way to save 6″ of floor space. Counter depth french door refrigerators amplify the benefits, because the half-width doors are much shallower when open.
- More fridge space can actually be a drawback in small households. People are naturally compelled to fill their fridge with food, regardless of whether they can eat it before it spoils. 4-5 person households will be perfectly content with the larger counter depth options available, which can climb above 24 cubic feet of storage.
- The more valuable your property, and the longer you plan to stay put there, the easier it becomes to justify paying the extra money as an investment into the design of your kitchen. You rarely ever see the counter depth design in rental units, but they’re all the rage in newly-built homes because they increase the value of the property.
Still not sure whether you can fit everything into a counter depth fridge? Find a large baking tray, lasagna pan, crock pot or any other large item you like to store inside your fridge. Bring it with you when you shop and put it inside a counter depth model — this will help you visualize whether or not the counter depth fridge offers you enough space.
When Counter Depth Refrigerators Aren’t Worth It
- If you care less about aesthetics, and more about maximizing your internal storage, then you should absolutely buy a standard depth refrigerator. They’re roomier and cheaper. Big families, passionate home chefs and other food-hungry households: go large and don’t look back.
- Budget conscious shoppers, keep in mind you’re paying more money for less space, and sometimes the trade off just isn’t worth it. Any feature you might want (say, a through-the-door dispenser) will be available at a lower price point in a standard fridge.
Ready to free up your floor plan and make a design statement in your kitchen? Take a look at our 6 best counter depth refrigerators under $4000, where we review our best-selling products in the category at a number of different price points.