These fridges cost a lot less than built-ins and sit almost flush with kitchen cabinets
By Daniel Wroclawski
Refrigerators have grown much larger in recent years. That’s great if you need to store food for a big family but not so great for your floor plan, especially in smaller kitchens.
“The deepest refrigerator we’ve tested is 37 inches deep,” says Larry Ciufo, CR’s lead refrigerator test engineer. “That means it sticks out 12 inches past a standard 25-inch-deep countertop.” Kitchen cabinets typically measure 24 inches deep, plus a 1-inch overhang for the countertop.
But there are refrigerators that are less obtrusive: counter-depth models. They don’t sit flush with kitchen counters as built-in refrigerators do, but they cost thousands less and get pretty close—much closer than standard-depth fridges. With a depth of less than 30 inches (and some all the way down to just 24), most counter-depth models stick out a mere few inches past the countertop, but sometimes just by the thickness of the door.
During testing, we outfit each refrigerator with temperature sensors in a climate-controlled chamber and monitor it for a month, collecting more than 5.4 million temperature readings that identify warm and cold spots, to determine which models will keep food fresh longer. We also factor in survey data from tens of thousands of CR members to judge brand reliability and satisfaction. All that data—and then some—inform CR’s refrigerator ratings charts and each model’s Overall Score.
For advice on shopping for a refrigerator, check out our refrigerator buying guide. CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of counter-depth models from the various types of refrigerators we test. You’ll find models in a variety of sizes from brands like GE, Bosch, Haier, and LG. For other highly rated counter-depth refrigerators, see our comprehensive refrigerator ratings. There, you can filter for the depth you need (use the slider listed under “More Filters”), as well as additional features, such as height, length, brand, price, and more.
Best Counter-Depth Bottom-Freezers
Best Counter-Depth French-Doors
Best Counter-Depth Side-by-Sides
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