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Refrigerators are a large, bulky appliance that grace the kitchen floors of most homes around the world. While nothing can quite get rid of that entire amount of bulk, things can be done to reduce it, and one of the more elegant solutions is the design of the counter depth refrigerator.
So let’s go over what that is, what might make them so good, and some of my favorite picks, shall we?
Here are the best counter depth refrigerators you can buy:
- Best Overall - Haier 4 Door Counter Depth Refrigerator
- Runner Up - Thor Kitchen Refrigerator with Automatic Ice Maker
- Best High End Refrigerator - GE French Door Counter Depth Refrigerator
- Best Refrigerator with Water Filtration - Frigidaire Stainless Steel Counter Depth Refrigerator
- Best Refrigerator Shelving - Smeta 36 inch Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator
- Best Budget Refrigerator - Haier 15 cu. ft. French Doo Refrigerator
- Best Space Saving Refrigerator - Summit Counter Depth Refrigerator with Bottom Freezer
For the complete product list, please continue reading...
9 Best Counter Depth Refrigerators (2020 Reviews)
1. Best Overall - Haier 4 Door Counter Depth Refrigerator
Of the refrigerators on this list, this one has my absolute favorite design.
While it has the standard “freezer on the bottom” design, it executes on this with a four door design, the upper refrigerator section being a bit larger, and the freezer portion a bit smaller; about a 60/40 split in usable space.
This gives you a lot more convenience in putting items, especially bulky items, in the freezer, while still keeping things compartmentalized to separate transparent drawers, to easily see what’s going on in each compartment.
With the doors, you get a solid 26.5” depth, making it well flush with all common countertops as a counter depth fridge should be. The sleek stainless steel design complements most standard kitchen designs, working with either other stainless appliances in the area, or with other neutral toned colors (greys and middle of the spectrum blues, for instance).
It’s a little on the small side, is the only real issue. You get 16 cubic feet of interior storage space, which is a good amount, but significantly smaller than the larger counter depth refrigerators. If you aren’t careful, it could become cramped and crowded quite quickly, when you’d have a bit more room to store bulky leftovers and supplies in a larger fridge.
As a result, this one is likely best used for people who live alone or have a smaller, nuclear family; what is perfect for my own purpose might not fit for people with more space needs.
Unique and convenient 4 door design
Slim profile in addition to trim depth
Well compartmentalized; easy to make good use of its available space.
A bit on the smaller compared to some other refrigerators.
2. Runner Up - Thor Kitchen Refrigerator with Automatic Ice Maker
If you want a fridge on the larger side, this one has you covered, without being so big as to be unwieldy. It has some nice French doors, with comfortable but practical stainless steel handles on both the doors and lower drawers.
The overall construction is solid, and should stand up to the test of time quite well, with its simplistic but exceptionally sturdy all stainless steel design.
The interior is spacious, with 3 shelves (two fully adjustable) and 4 drawers, two normal crisper drawers, and two humidity controlled drawers to keep your fresh vegetables and herbs fresher for longer without getting that sometimes characteristic refrigerator sogginess.
The bottom freezer is well organized, but I think the weakest part. It’s a bit small and difficult to properly pack. This is definitely a freezer made for someone who either barely uses their freezer at all, or is expected to invest in a stand alone deep freezer or some such for storage.
All of that comes in at a price that is a bit steep, but within the expected range for a freezer of this size. I’d never say it’s a great deal, but you’re not getting gouged either; this is a great freezer for a fair enough price.
Great interior capacity
Very sturdily built
Handles are comfortable and practical
Built in ice maker
Freezer compartments are pretty small
A bit on the large side depth-wise for a counter depth refrigerator; about the maximum acceptable depth.
3. Best High End Refrigerator - GE French Door Counter Depth Refrigerator
I’ll be up front and say my main issue with this one is the price. You’re looking at around twice the cost of the Thor model, for only a bit more capacity, and I thought that option was already pushing the limits.
Still, the performance of this one can’t be denied. Much like the others it’s energy efficient, which is a bit more impressive for such a large fridge; 22.2 cubic feet of usable space inside.
Most of that is in the fridge portion, with the bottom freezer being about the same size as the Thor fridge above. It’s a bit better organized though…so long as you yourself are organized. Personally, I am not, and this freezer’s design really punishes not having a whole ton of rhyme or reason to how you want to store things, with a fairly small, rectangular space.
It does come with a built in icemaker, which is always a plus, with option for two, if you’re a heavy ice user.
Really this would probably be my favorite one if it wasn’t so off-putting in its sheer cost.
Great interior space
Built in icemaker
Dark color for dark kitchen decoration
Trim despite its size
Freezer design makes it feel cramped unless meticulously organized
4. Best Refrigerator with Water Filtration - Frigidaire Stainless Steel Counter Depth Refrigerator
This is a bit more of a friendly looking fridge. Aside from the decidedly smiley face looking front, given how the handles are placed, this option also has a bit less of the harsh steel look that several of the others have, giving it a little bit more versatility in decoration (it fits in quite well with other bright colors, including and especially white).
The interior is pretty large, with 22.5 cubic feet of usable space, and the handles are comfortable on both the fridge and freezer portions. This model comes with not just an ice maker but a water filtration system, which is excellent for places with less than savory water, and even if you have some nice tasting well water, it’s nice to have cold water on tap anyway.
The shelves are spacious, with very widely spaced door shelves, which is always nice to see; I like to store larger bottles there sometimes, and it just doesn’t work out with more cramped fridges.
The freezer is pretty standard (read: not very good and hard to store anything significant in, in my opinion), but given the price (about the same as our winner), it’s hard to complain too much about that.
Inviting and friendly aesthetic fits well in most kitchens
Built in ice maker and water filtration and dispensing unit
Great interior space
Freezer is fairly meh, as are most bottom freezers
5. Best Refrigerator Shelving - Smeta 36 inch Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator
This is another pretty good one on the larger side of the scale. I really like how the interior is laid out on this one; it really makes perfect use of the available space to give you a lot of room to work with. I especially like how the shelves are separated in the middle for individual adjustment. In most fridges you can remove the top of middle shelves and shuffle them around to fit some larger things, which is cool.
But in this one you could remove say, half of a shelf to fit a tall thing and keep the other side better organized still. It’s a great design feature.
Less well designed is the bottom freezer, which is okay by bottom freezer standards, but has the ice maker set right on top of it, so you have to uncomfortably bend down to scoop your ice. It’s a bit bizarre.
That makes this one a mixed bag for the price, so you’ll need to decide what you’re willing to put up with for something that is an exceptional fridge, but not very good freezer.
Good interior space
Great interior design with adjustable shelving on both sides
Built in ice maker
Okay price for the size
Very strange and awkward to use ice maker design
6. Best Budget Refrigerator - Haier 15 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator
This is a pretty solid option, though a far cry from our winner, even though they share a company.
The loss of a single cubic foot of space doesn’t sound like much, but it really makes this one feel a lot more cramped. Especially so because the freezer is a standard two drawer bottom freezer instead of the openable doors and four compartments of our winner.
But the performance and relative low price (about $100 less than our winner) takes the sting out of that a bit. It has digital temperature controls right on the front that can be adjusted to 1 degree increments, for perfect control over your refrigerator’s temperature; perfect for stocking up on fresh food that might thrive better in slightly colder or warmer storage.
Overall I’m not sure if the great performance outmatches the meh design, but it’s an interesting option to look at nonetheless.
Relative low price
Fairly lightweight and easy to maneuver
Trim, even for a counter depth refrigerator.
Accurate digital temperature controls.
Fairly cramped interior
7. Best Space Saving Refrigerator - Summit Counter Depth Refrigerator with Bottom Freezer
This one I only really recommend if you have severe space constraints, or as a secondary fridge. It is incredibly slender, with roughly equal space in both the fridge and freezer sections. You only get 12.5 cubic feet of space here, but it uses it as well as it can, so you can fit a surprising amount here. The freezer especially is much better than most bottom freezers, with a similar (but smaller) design to our winner, the 16 cubic foot Haier.
It’s great as a juice fridge or something…or it would be if it weren’t so expensive. When not on sale this option costs about as much as the Thor refrigerator above, which is kind of ridiculous. As a result I can really only recommend buying this when it’s discounted in some way.
Still, if you can find it on a sale, Summit FFBF192SS is quite good for what it does. The performance is top notch in a way most similarly small refrigerators typically fall flat at, and it looks quite nice with most kitchen aesthetics. Just don’t break the bank for it.
Incredibly slim design
Accurate digital temperature controls
Great bottom freezer design
Very low capacity and cramped interior
Exceptionally high price for the size
8. Best Refrigerator with Wine Rack - Bosch Counter Depth Bottom Freezer Refrigerator
By most appearances, Bosch B11CB50SSS is a pretty standard, if very small refrigerator, and for the most part that’s correct.
It has good performance, though not as good as the Summit unit above, which it shares a price and size with. The interior uses its space much better in the fridge section, but I’m not a fan of the three drawers the freezer uses.
It’s very trim and great for people with severe space concerns, but it ultimately doesn’t have a ton of special features, save for its most interesting one: a wine rack.
The value of this completely depends on your love for wine; not collection, but consumption. It’s a pretty sturdy and well built wine rack, and the interior is humidity controlled enough to make this a great short term storage for wine bottles you intend to drink within about a month of getting them. As an alternative to getting a dedicated wine fridge, this is a very interesting option, even if nothing much else makes it stand out.
Great use of space
Included wine rack
High price comparative to size and performance
9. Best Refrigerator for Emergencies - Smeta 110v and Propane Gas Counter Depth Refrigerator
In most respects this is an unremarkable, save that it may be remarkably SMALL refrigerator. It is the only option with the more common upper freezer design on this list, and it has bottom mounted controls which are a bit…awkward.
The price is fine, though a bit much for the size without taking into account other factors. It has a very utilitarian design inside which maximizes space for small things, but may struggle fitting larger jugs or similarly bulky things you might want to store.
But the main benefit of this one is it is also compatible with propane gas as a fuel source, as well as electricity. This makes it a great option for places with emergency situations where you might not want to run it off a generator, such as during long power outages after a hurricane.
It’s also great for cabins and the like where you may only stay a weekend and perhaps don’t want to sue electricity at all, but may want some cold drinks or food while you’re there. It’s versatile, is the main point.
This pushes the fridge from being meh, to being an interesting novelty that might be just what you need for certain circumstances, which lets it just barely squeak onto the list.
Both electric and propane compatible for off grid use
Great use of the limited space
Good price considering the versatile usage
Very small freezer, and overall space in general
While I like all of these to varying degrees, my favorite is still the Haier (the 16 cubic foot version). In terms of overall performance, most of these units are identical. That means that while that may be my FAVORITE, it’s hard to out and out call it the objective BEST fridge on the list, as that’s very much based on preference.
There’s a lot to like here, though in general I think the first 5 on the list are the cream of the crop, each of the other 4 has a lot to offer to varying niches, from disaster preparedness to limited space usage that might make them more desirable options for people who simply have different priorities and preferences to myself.
What Is a Counter Depth Refrigerator?
Counter depth refrigerators are fairly self explanatory once you realize it’s completely literal: the fridge is designed to be as deep as the average countertop, about 24 to 25 inches from front to back, not counting the space taken up by the doors, which still need some space to open.
This makes them take up a lot less kitchen real estate than regular refrigerators, which tend to protrude up to about 4 inches beyond your counter, which may not sound like much at first, but really contributes to a lot of kitchens being a bit cramped and awkward, especially in smaller homes.
What Do I Look for in a Counter Depth Refrigerator?
This is pretty simple once you know you want a counter depth option over a normal fridge. The criteria for buying a counter depth refrigerator are pretty much identical to buying a normal fridge, except the depth should be no more than 24 to 25 inches, and it shouldn’t have its depth from back to front of the door be more than about 28 inches max.
As with all fridges, look to the construction first. Good options will be made of stainless steel, either painted or burnished. Steel is just a good solid option for constructing appliances that are made to last.
The interior should be spacious, though what that means might vary to you. I’d say about 15 cubic feet is the minimum to be a good sized fridge, and most options hover in the roughly 20 cubic foot range.
On top of the raw amount of space, look at its overall USABLE space. How are the shelves arranged? Can they be adjusted? Questions like this should be asked as you look to the interior of the fridge. The more modular the interior, the more widely usable the fridge can be.
From there, look to little extras and quality of life options. Ice makers, digital temperature controls, your preferred type of freezer (top or bottom, different variants on door or drawer styles for each), humidity controls, and so on.
Once you’ve chosen what you like of all of those disparate features, determine how much you’re willing to pay. On average you’re looking at a bare minimum of $1300, and often $1500 or more. You could expect to pay over $2500 for an especially large or high quality model with a bunch of extra features.
Because a lot of these features are shared so universally among refrigerators, and many boil down to complete personal preference, the following list is not really graded on how GOOD the fridges are in order, but how much I, personally, prefer them. I think every single one of these is good and fits the basic criteria above, with something special to set it apart.