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Refrigerators have grown much bigger in recent years. That's great if you need to store food for a big family, but not so much 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.
There’s a less obtrusive option: counter-depth refrigerators, also known as cabinet-depth models. They don’t quite sit flush with kitchen counters like built-in refrigerators do, but they get close, and cost thousands less. Most counter-depth models stick out a few inches past the countertop, but sometimes just by the thickness of the door.
During testing we outfit each refrigerator with thermocouples 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.
CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of counter-depth models from the various types of refrigerators we test. There are models in a variety of widths from many brands, including Bosch, Fisher & Paykel, GE, Haier, Kenmore, KitchenAid, and LG. For other highly rated counter-depth refrigerators, see our comprehensive refrigerator ratings. The dimensions of each model are listed under the Features & Specs tab in the ratings charts. And check our refrigerator buying guide as you shop.