Refrigerator Sizes & Dimensions: Guide To Measuring For a New Fridge
When you’re in the market for a new refrigerator, it may be tempting to jump right into browsing those sleek French door fridges, but there’s one thing you’ll want to do first. Before you spend too much time trying to decide between filling that cutout between your cabinets with a daring cherry red refrigerator or a retro off-white icebox, consider what size of refrigerator you need. Answer that question first, and you’ll find that all the other blanks become that much easier to fill in.
Whether you’ve got too much space or not nearly enough, AppliancePartsPros.com is here to help you find a refrigerator that will be the (literal) perfect fit for your home! Let’s get started.
How to Measure the Size Dimensions of a Refrigerator
All refrigerators take height, width, depth and capacity into account when determining size. The “standard” dimensions for the average refrigerator are 30 to 36 in wide, 67 to 70 in tall, and 29 to 35 in deep with standard capacities between 14 and 20 cubic feet. There is no consensus on what the most common fridge size is, it is best to measure your space and determine the best size for your kitchen.
All that said, what we call standard isn’t a precise set of numbers—there are several different types of refrigerator, and each one has its own range of sizes. The differences between the styles are sometimes big enough that larger styles like side-by-side door refrigerators won’t fit your kitchen at all, which is why it’s so important to measure your space before you make any decisions. Grab your tape measure and get calculating! You’ll know pretty quickly whether you’ll be able to squeeze a French door fridge into that prebuilt nook in your kitchen.
If you’re not sure where to start on measuring your space, here are some suggestions:
- Allow some extra space on all sides of the fridge. Your refrigerator needs room to breathe. About 1 inch should be left open on all sides, with around 2 inches between the fridge and the wall behind it. This is necessary to provide adequate airflow for the appliance. If the refrigerator isn’t getting enough air there could be frost build up, stopping the interior from cooling adequately or even damaging the appliance.
- Take note of what will be surrounding your refrigerator. Adjacent cabinets, drawers, walls and other appliances could obstruct certain styles of refrigerator doors. Certain refrigerator styles have options for avoiding some of these difficulties — on some models, you can simply swap which side the doors’ hinges are on to avoid this problem, but it depends on the brand.
- Account for the space right in front of your fridge, as well! If you have a kitchen island, or are working with a galley kitchen, you’ll want to make sure that any doors or drawers on the refrigerator have enough space to open.
- When measuring width, measure at the narrowest points of the space and go by that number. If you aren’t sure whether a particular spot is narrower, measure the base, the top of the counters and the space between the overhead cabinets.
- When measuring height, measure at the front and back of the space. Ideally, those numbers will be the same, but if they aren’t, go by the smaller of the two.
- Refrigerators generally only come in two depths: either flush with the edge of your countertops or about six inches past them. Counter-depth models tend to be pricier than the standard size, but provide a sleeker look that keeps your refrigerator flush with your counters and cabinets. Counter-depth refrigerators are typically 27 to 30 inches deep, and will have a smaller overall capacity than their standard depth counterparts.
- Getting there is half the fun! A large refrigerator may fit in your kitchen’s layout, but will it even make it into the kitchen to begin with? Check the width and height of all doorways and hallways between your kitchen and the nearest entrance to your home to make sure the fridge will make it through.
What are the Size Dimensions of Each Type of Refrigerator?
The Top-Mount Freezer Refrigerator
The top-mount freezer refrigerator is a classic for a reason. Though it generally offers a lower storage capacity than larger models, the top-mount style is the most energy-efficient model (that has to do with the distance between the heat-generating compressor and the freezer). Top-mount freezer refrigerators are the smallest of the normal-sized refrigerators. They also tend to be the most affordably priced!
- Height: 61 ¾ to 66 ¼ inches
- Width: 28 ¾ to 32 ¾ inches
- Depth: 28 ¾ to 34 ½ inches
The Bottom-Mount Refrigerator
The bottom-mount refrigerator puts the fridge right in front of your eyes. No more bending down to get at your veggie crisper! This style often features slide-out drawers and removable baskets in the lower bin that make organizing your freezer a breeze.
- Height: 67 to 70 inches
- Width: 29 ½ to 32 ¾ inches
- Depth: 33 ⅜ inches
The French Door Refrigerator
The french door refrigerator features two doors on the top and a bottom-mounted freezer drawer. Dual doors have a smaller clearance, meaning the french door style can fit in spots where the space directly in front of the fridge is tight. They also limit the loss of cold air, keeping the interior cooler without needing to spend more energy to maintain internal temperature. The French door style’s smart organization and sleek look will cost you, though, because they tend to be significantly more expensive than traditional models.
- Height: 68 ½ to 70 ⅛ inches
- Width: 29 ½ to 36 inches
- Depth: 29 ⅜ to 34 ⅝ inches
The Side-by-Side Refrigerator
The side by side refrigerator is a stylish option for those seeking a lot of storage space. As the name implies, these models feature two compartments, a freezer and a fresh food compartment, right next to each other. These refrigerators tend to be wider than other models, offering ample space inside, but come with a premium price tag.
- Height: 65 ⅞ to 71 ¼ inches
- Width: 32 ¾ to 39 ¾ inches
- Depth: 29 ¾ to 31 ⅛ inches
The Narrow or Slim Refrigerator
The narrow/slim refrigerator goes by a ton of names — apartment-sized and skinny, to name a couple more — but they all bring the same thing to the table: a refrigerator that’s about 24 inches, or 2 feet, wide, making them ideal for extremely tight spaces. All the other styles we’ve covered can come in narrow sizing, meaning you can find the interior set-up you want with a bit of searching. Worth noting is that their 9 to 13 cubic foot capacity means they only hold about half as much as a full-sized model, and despite their smaller size, they tend to be pricey!
- Height: 66 to 80 inches
- Width: 23 ½ to 24 inches
- Depth: 24 to 27 inches
Hopefully having these numbers will make deciding on a style a bit easier for you, but remember to always take measurements and double check them against the exact model you’re interested in buying.
Other Things to Consider When Choosing a Fridge Size
Knowing the size range of each refrigerator versus the space available in your home should be enough to narrow down your list of potential fridges, but there are a few other things about size and storage space to consider that may help you find the perfect option for you:
- Consider your family’s food storage needs. A good rule of thumb is to start with 4 to 6 cubic feet (cu. ft.) per adult person in your home, then toss in a bit more space to account for those extra large grocery trips. For a family of four, that’s around 20 cubic feet — which is the upper size limit of the most energy efficient refrigerator models, by the way!
- Fridge capacity is measured in cubic feet, and that number should appear somewhere on the refrigerator’s signage or display model. Usually on a label or EnergyGuide sticker. Failing that, if you’re up for some math, you can calculate the capacity by first multiplying the length, width, and height of the refrigerator’s available interior, and then dividing that number by 1,728 (that’s the total number of inches in a cubic foot). Take the drawers and shelves out before measuring to get a more accurate number.
- Weigh whether or not you want that front door water dispenser. While certainly convenient for getting a quick drink, the housing for these features eats into overall usable storage space in your refrigerator. Axing the icemaker can help if you’re trying to maximize how much food you can fit in the old ice box while using as little kitchen space as possible. Also note that water filters will be necessary every 6 months to keep your water and ice dispensed fresh.
- Energy efficiency could save you some money! The most energy efficient refrigerators are typically between 16 and 20 cubic feet in capacity. That’s a smaller model, and most top-mounted freezers will fit within this range. On top of being a bit kinder on your electric bill, ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators often come with rebates you can redeem for money back.
We hope you consider your knowledge of refrigerator sizes well stocked after reading our guide! Once you’ve found the perfect refrigerator for you, consider coming back our way to check out more of our guides. Whether you’re just looking for refrigerator parts or seeking a specialized do-it-yourself guide, check out AppliancePartsPros.com. We’re always here to help!