Counter Depth Refrigerators

It seems like the hubs has been hounding me about getting one of these for years, and I shout “No!” and storm off, but he hasn’t given up. I am mostly opposed to giving up the space, but also the general idea of form over function.

We are having some annoying, but not urgent problems with our current 8 year old Kennmore with French doors, so the pressure is building. There’s a lot I like about the fridge, and it has many features I would look for again. Rather than have him buy one while I’m gone one day, I’ve decided to at least research them.

I know this may not be the best place for this, and I’ve done some research about specific models on Houzz, but I wonder if any you food focused folk could share your experience living with a counter depth refrigerator.

P.S. I really rather not have another fridge in the garage, as it is just two of us, at least for now, and I really think we don’t make great use of what we have. And managing a second one might make it even less likely to happen. Same goes for a second freezer, although I might consider that.

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We have two fridges. A largish one in the utility room, which stocks drinks, vegetables, fruit, sauces which need a fridge. And a smaller, under the counter, one in the main kitchen. That tends to keep milk, butter & spreads, sandwich meats and the like. Until we created the utility room a few years back, that was the only fridge we had and it had to cope with everything (which meant we didnt keep as many drink bottles cold as we do now). So, we had a small fridge for around 40 years of our 48 together with no problem - and I could easily go back to just having that one if we ever moved house. Standard dimensions, in height & depth for going under the counter and a standard 600mm width.

I suspect Americans would find our European fridges tiny in comparision with their usual ones (and I know from earlier threads Americans tend to fridge much more than Europeans do), so my experience may not be much help.

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Yes; knowing that the rest of the world is fine with smaller refrigerators helps me keep going. :relaxed:

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We have a counter depth one at our vacation place, it has French doors & a bottom freezer. Its ok, but sometimes is a major challenge as it has less capacity… Love the bottom freezer, it has the best ice maker! My biggest piece of advice, is DO NOT GET ICE & WATER THRU THE DOOR!!! Nothing but problems that seem to defy every service person…


Yes; one of the things I like about the current one. Actually we did get water through the door, but it’s been more trouble than it’s worth, and we haven’t used it in years. Not even tempted this time, and I read somewhere that it might allow a little more usable room.

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@shrinkrap, can’t tell you how much I love counter depth fridges. We’ve been living with them for about 33 years now. AFAIC, regular depth fridges are a sure set up for me to shove food in the back and forget about it. Besides, I’m short, and the greater depth can make it hard to reach things. Our first counter depth was a side by side, which I strenuously would avoid. Ice and water through the door is a hard no, and always has been. Never had one or wanted one.

All said, I do have a dedicated freezer in the garage, as well as a smallish regular fridge with a freezer on top. For us, both essential for the way we shop, and to store make ahead food in the fridge for entertaining, holidays or the rather rare houseguest visits.

Feel free to ask me any questions if you’d like more information.


I had a counter depth fridge (French doors with bottom freezer drawer) in my old apartment and it was great for two people. Plenty of room and no chance of things getting lost in the back. The only issue for me was not being able to fit a sheet pan inside, but I found work arounds. Limited freezer space was also annoying at times, but not a dealbreaker. Mine had water in the door but not ice, which I think is key - the ice maker in the door takes up way too much space.

We frequently hosted DH’s daughters when we lived there and with four people, it became a bit more of a tetrising act to hold everything, but still doable. I shopped more frequently and cut back on large format beverages and condiments to conserve space.

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Need to also mention @shrinkrap, that we have a wine cooler in another part of the kitchen, which we find most useful for keeping seltzer’s, sodas, juices, and things like Perfect bars cold. The way kitchen is set up, it’s a very short walk around/separate access to the wine fridge if someone is rummaging around in the regular fridge. 1st wine cooler went out a couple three months ago, and we went without for awhile before replacing. Very convenient to have, yet not strictly necessary of course.

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I was wondering about some sort of beverage cooler. Husband doesn’t drink wine but he likes to chill a lot of other bulky beverages.

You can also get wine cooler sorts of refrigeration that are set up to be beverage coolers - different shelving to rack bottled waters, sodas and juices. Something you may want to consider if you have room anywhere. There’s one at my oral surgeon’s office, so patients can avail themselves of something to drink. Also, after surgery they give you your choice of a pint of Haagen Dasz! I got vanilla on Tuesday, unopened still! Want to make the famous plum cake, using bing cherries in place of plums. Our few plums this year are frozen, and will be mixed with raspberries for jam.

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I like ALL of that!

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What I’m getting out of all this is that counter-depth refrigerators are great–as long as you also have a dedicated freezer, and another small refrigerator, and a wine cooler…

I guess all this provides backup if one breaks, but it must be less efficient than a single regular-sized one.

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Hopefully more efficient than a divorce!


I love our counter depth French door frig. Never considered anything else because I really don’t like how much regular frigs stick out into the room and a built in was just too expensive. It’s just DH and me, and I’ve never wanted more room. Everything is organized, fits, and stays clean. We do have wine and beer frigs in the bar, and don’t drink soda so we don’t use space for cans. Freezer has a great ice maker, and definitely no water/ice in the door.


Is that your kitchen? Nice!
Husband is also researching a hotly contested move in 5-7 years, and is bribing me with kichens and gardens.

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Yup, our kitchen. It’s a great kitchen to cook in.

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Curious, what is his argument for wanting one?

It looks nice. He is into things that look nice. Like me! :roll_eyes:

@shrinkrap, I’d be delighted to have your problem with H wanting to upgrade; we have a Fischer Paykal fridge less than 4 years old, but would upgrade to a Miele in a hot minute. Mine isn’t bad, but think there’s better out there…

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Aesthetics is a rather good argument, he is lucky to have you.
For the fridge, is it possible to get a wider one to offset?

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold