Counter depth refrigerators are all about the aesthetic.
They’re sleek, streamlined, and line up with kitchen cabinets and countertops. They also have a smaller footprint than their squarer, freestanding cousins.
If you’re shopping for a new fridge and have decided to buy a counter depth, you’ve already discovered that the options are endless the variety is somewhat confusing.
We’re here to make your shopping spree easier with an in-depth review of our five favorite counter depth refrigerators. We’ll look at aspects like size, aesthetic design and special cooling and humidity features, and analyze what it’s like to use each one.
Best Counter Depth Refrigerators – Our Review
This sleek model is the prettiest on this list. But its value is not just on the outside: it offers some useful capabilities.
The reason the KitchenAid KRFC300E’s design is so deeply pleasing is because it’s unusually clean. It gleams in simple, square lines with wonderfully minimal handles, and comes in glossy stainless steel, chic black stainless steel with steel accents, or snowy white finishes. At a depth of twenty-seven inches (excluding handles), it will sit flush with most cabinets.
You have extensive control over the atmosphere inside this fridge. The pantry drawer has its own temperature setting, as do the freezer and the rest of the fridge. It’s incredibly convenient to be able to adjust the temperature of every part of the fridge to suit whatever’s being stored there. When you open and close fridge or freezer doors, the internal temperature automatically drops to keep everything cold. You can also adjust the humidity to keep your produce crisp… and to help even further with this important task, there’s a “Produce Preserver” that absorbs ethylene, the gas responsible for ripening fruit and veg.
The KitchenAid offers an interior dispenser for filtered water, where you can top up your glass by pressing a button, and an automatic ice maker that churns out a continuous supply of nicely sized ice cubes. Although these capabilities are handy, they’re not quite as convenient as the and ice dispensing features on the Samsung and Frigidaire below: these are located on the outside of the door, and ice making and serving is automatic.
At twenty cubic feet, this model is small, even compared to the others on this list – it’s the second smallest here. If you have a large family, you may find the cramped space frustrating. It’s a mid-range price, the third most expensive on this list, between the GE and the Frigidaire. However, most people who shop for counter depth fridges looking for a sleek, pleasing visual design, and with this model, you won’t be disappointed… it would spruce up any kitchen. And if you don’t need generous amounts of space and are highly particular about the freshness level of your fruit and veg, this model will make you happy.
| Deeply pleasing aesthetic|
Three separate temperature controls
Ethylene absorption capability
Automatic temperature adjustment
Internal water dispenser
Ice machine is separate and non-automatic
This gem is practical, reliable and convenient without being complicated.
Firstly, it has a ton of options for optimizing the spaces inside. Pantry drawer boxes can be stacked side by side or on top of each other. Shelves in the fridge section can be flipped up to make space for taller items. There’s a large, shallow drawer at the bottom of the fridge section that can conveniently store platters ready for serving. The freezer basket has an adjustable divider, and the drawers glide out ever so smoothly, all the way, so that you can easily check out what’s inside.
Aesthetically, it’s not as sleek and clean looking as the KitchenAid KRFC300E. The handles are bulkier, and the general design is more utilitarian. However, it’s still a handsome appliance with pleasing lines, available in glossy silver or black, brushed stainless steel. It also has small digital display where you can view and adjust the fridge’s settings. Possibly the best thing about this model’s visual design is the fact that it comes with a smudge-proof finish. Cloudy handprints are the fastest way to ruin your fridge’s gorgeous gleam, but unless it has a smudge resistant finish (like this one does), they’re inevitable.
Unlike the KitchenAid counter depth on our list, this fridge boasts an external ice and filtered water dispenser. You have the options for crushed or cubed ice. This setup is wonderfully convenient: you don’t have to gather the ice out of the freezer or keep the fridge door open while you top up on filtered water, like you’d have to with the KitchenAid, or the GE model below. It’s larger than the KitchenAid at 22 cubic feet – the storage capacity of a smaller freestanding fridge – and can sit flush with most kitchen cabinets at a depth of twenty-eight and a half inches.
In terms of freshness, its functions are simple: an air filter keeps your fridge’s atmosphere clean, and the pantry basket seals are controlled by their internal humidity, in order to keep produce fresh. The air is exquisitely circulated, so the whole fridge stays an even temperature.
Altogether, this machine has impressive convenience, functionality and adaptability at a good price (as counter depths go): it’s the 2nd cheapest on this list.
| Interior spaces are highly adjustable|
External ice and water dispenser
Crushed ice option
Smudge resistant finish
Pantry basket seals adapt to internal humidity
Shallow drawer for platters
Circulates air to keep internal temperature even
Digital display for settings
The only budget option on our list, this model is tiny and boasts no bells and whistles. However, it’s reliable, and you still get to enjoy that major counter depth perk: a fridge that sits flush with your cabinets and tidies up the look of your kitchen.
At ten cubic feet, this model is apartment sized: the smallest here. If you’re short of space and also don’t need much fridge room, this is an advantage. The fridge shelves are removable, and the freezer basket is adjustable, so you can optimize whatever space is available.
Predictably, there’s nothing fancy about the Danby DFF100C1BSLDB’s visual design. It’s clean and unobtrusive, though, with “hidden” handles built into the doors. It comes in white, black, or a gleaming brushed stainless steel-style finish with black trimmings… and it’s smudge-resistant, which is always advantageous.
There’s a vegetable crisper for the pantry drawer. Other than that, there’s no extras: no ice maker, no water dispenser, no automatic temperature controls or air freshness filters. However, it costs way less than the other models – it’s by far the least expensive model on this list – and you get a fridge that functions well on a basic level and sleekly lines up with your kitchen cupboards.
Adjustable freezer basket
Pantry drawer has a veg crisper
| Very little room for storing produce|
No fancy air filtering or temperature capabilities
No ice machine
No water dispenser
This fridge comes at a whopping price – it’s the most expensive model on our list – but it’s smart, highly functional and lovely to look at.
Let’s talk about this fridge’s most unique feature: the thing about it that instantly leaps out and grabs your attention. We’re referring to the large, digital “Family Hub”, the screen which is smoothly built into the upper right-hand door. This is the new, improved family message board, and it does a lot. For a start, it can connect to your smartphone and other smart Samsung appliances. You can potentially adjust your lighting, converse with whomever comes to your front door, keep an eye on baby resting in his or her room, and be alerted when your laundry cycle has ended, or an item of food is due to expire. You can stream music, post pics and hand-written notes for the family, order meals and set up a calendar. You can vocally create a list by talking to your fridge while you’re busy in the kitchen. You can even view your fridge’s contents without having to open the door… a feature that’s highly convenient when you’re putting together a shopping itinerary or can’t decide what to snack on.
Aesthetically, it’s a beautiful, cleanly-designed fridge. The aesthetic is not as sleek and minimal as the KitchenAid on this list – the handles are more bulky and obtrusive – but it’s good-looking nevertheless. It comes in glossy black or silver stainless steel, with that awesome fingerprint-resistant finish. It’s the only fridge on this list that features four doors. Some people find this door layout convenient – if you just open one door it lets out less cold air than if you were exposing the whole compartment – while others find it’s a nuisance, as they feel it’s difficult to retrieve items without opening two doors anyway.
How does this gleaming pillar of organizational technology function as a fridge? The Samsung RF22N9781SG boasts a “FlexZone”, which is an incredibly useful addition. It’s a portion of the appliance that, at the touch of a button, can convert from a fridge to a freezer or back again. This ability to optimize your space is wonderfully convenient. The FlexZone also offers an adjustable wine rack with a “beer and white wine” temperature setting. Like the Frigidaire on this list, shelves can flip up to make more space. Circulation is excellent and keeps the interior an even temperature. At twenty-two cubic feet (the same size as the Frigidaire on this list) it’s a functional size, though not roomy. It does have that handy external ice and filtered water dispenser.
This fridge is incredibly smart. Is it worth the hefty price? If you love gadgets and feel that the “Family Hub” could make your life easier or inject some fun into your domestic chores, you may think so. But if you’re looking for high functionality with uncomplicated operation, you’re better off with the Frigidaire Gallery.
| “Family Hub” lets you post notes and pictures, receive notifications, stream music and interact with Samsung smart appliances|
You can view your fridge’s contents without opening the door
Adjustable “FlexZone” can be fridge or freezer
Beer and white wine temperature setting
External ice and filtered water dispenser
Circulates air to keep internal temperature even
Shelves flip up to make more space
| Very expensive|
If it’s not set up right the “smart” capability can pose a security risk
This machine is the largest on our list, and the second most expensive. Let’s see how it compares to the highly priced Samsung and the superbly functional Frigidaire.
Aesthetically, it’s sleek and clean – similar in appearance to the Frigidaire. It’s available in three shiny shades of brushed stainless steel, though it doesn’t have a handprint resistant finish. The depth without handles is nearly twenty nine inches, the deepest here. This is more than the average depth of kitchen cabinets in the USA, so take some measurements and make sure it’s going to work in your kitchen before you decide to purchase this model.
Functionally, the GE Profile PWE23KSKSS is reliable, but not incredible. One of the shelves can slide around to make room for items. The water filter produces an admirably clean drink, but it’s internal, and there’s an ice machine but no dispenser. This is less practical than the Frigidaire and Samsung’s external dispensers. It has three different temperature zones, so you can keep most of your fridge contents at an optimal temperature, and you can adjust the humidity in the pantry drawer.
The best things about this machine are its size and reliable functionality. However, it will only sit flush with deeper cabinets, and generally isn’t as practical as the far cheaper Frigidaire Gallery.
| Large for a counter depth model|
Three separate temperature zones
Pantry drawer humidity is adjustable
| May be too deep to line up with some cabinets|
No external ice and water dispenser
When You’re Shopping For The Best Counter Depth Refrigerator…
Keep these points in mind when you’re browsing around for your ideal counter depth refrigerator.
- Counter depths are much more expensive than free standing fridges. They are less in-demand models… and you’re mostly paying for looks.
- Space in a counter depth is much more cramped than in an average fridge. Unless you’re a small household, you’ll have to be judicious with the placing of your goods, and possibly own a second fridge or shop more often.
- However, contents are easier to access due to the shallow design. You’ll also have more kitchen floor space available, with fewer corners to bump into.
If you pick a model that fits your needs in terms of functionality and aesthetic, and are happy to put up with the drawbacks, you’ll end up highly satisfied with your new refrigerator. Happy shopping!