Refrigerator sizes: A Guide to Measuring Fridge Dimensions [In 6 steps]

Last Updated on November 10, 2022 by E.Pery

Size is an essential factor to consider when you are purchasing a refrigerator. A fridge is not something you buy on a whim.

Buy the wrong one, and you might have to renovate your kitchen to fit it. The most significant limiting factor to the refrigerator you want is your kitchen size.

Before you upgrade your fridge to a modern model, measure your kitchen to see how much height, width, and depth you’ve got.

This article provides you with a guide to assessing your space and measuring for a fit.

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Refrigerator Sizes
Refrigerator Sizes – Pexel

How to get the best refrigerator dimensions for your home

The bigger is not always the better. It would help if you had the perfect fridge dimensions for your home to leave plenty of room for foot traffic. The recommended fridge space per person is 4-6 cubic feet. Most refrigerators have their cubic feet capacity specified under specs.

If you are not sure whether the refrigerator will fit in the space you’ve got, use a cubic foot calculator to measure out the base of the fridge’s width, height, and depth.

For a more detailed assessment of your space, get a tape measure, and follow this step-by-step guide.

How to measure fridge dimensions in 6 steps:

  1. Measure refrigerator depth
  2. Measure the width of the space
  3. Measure the height
  4. Review standard refrigerator sizes & dimensions
  5. Leave a little breathing room
  6. Map out a path to get the fridge indoors

1: Measure Refrigerator Depth

There are two kinds of refrigerator depth: Standard depth and counter depth. Counter-depth refrigerators flush with countertops while the standard depth refrigerators extend past them. Choose the refrigerator depth that best fits you, depending on your kitchen space.

If your kitchen is spacious, you can measure from the wall and extend a few inches past your cabinets. Standard depth refrigerators typically range between 28-34″ deep. If your kitchen’s real estate is not extravagant, go for the counter depth refrigerator and measure from the wall to the edge of the counter. Most counter-depth fridges are 23-27 inches in depth.

The major trade-off that comes along with reduced depth is that the fridge may have smaller drawers. But some brands have succeeded in offsetting the loss of space, so you need to find the one that has if you want a counter depth.

Counter-depth fridges are usually more costly than standard-depth fridges. But whichever depth you choose, get the measurement in front of the fridge’s edge to ensure that the door and drawers can open without crashing on other objects.

Recommended reading: Best Counter-Depth Refrigerator [Top 5 Reviews]

2: Measure the Width of the Space

Measure the space you have between counters or the counter and the wall depending on the layout of your kitchen. Measure the countertop rather than the cabinet base; they are a bit extended.

If the refrigerator will sit next to the wall of your kitchen, make sure to leave about 2″ to 3.5″ between the fridge and the wall to give it room for swinging the door open.

3: Measure the Height

If you have cabinets above the space where the refrigerator will be set, you need to measure the height from the floor to the base of the cabinets. You do not need to measure the height if there are no cabinets above the space unless the ceiling is really low.

4: Review Standard Refrigerator Sizes & Dimensions

The size of a refrigerator typically varies with type. The average dimensions of the refrigerator range from 28.75″ to 39.75”wide, 61.75 to 71.25 inches in height, and 28.75 to 34 inches in depth. However, you need to review the specific measurements of the fridge you are interested in.

Type and Refrigerator Sizes

Top Freezer

A refrigerator has a freezer in the upper compartment and a fridge in the lower compartment. Compared to other types, the top freezer refrigerator is the most compact. They also have wide shelves.

The average dimensions of a top freezer refrigerator are 28 ¾” – 32 ¾” wide,61 ¾” – 66 ¼” high, and 28 ¾” to 34 ½” deep.

Recommended reading: Best Top Freezer Refrigerator [Top 5 Reviews]
Bottom Freezer

The bottom freezer refrigerator has a freezer in the lower compartment. Although it is more energy-efficient, it experiences more need for repairs than top-freezer refrigerators.

The average dimensions of a bottom freezer refrigerator are 29 ½ to 32 ¾ inches in width, 67 to 70 inches in height, and 33 ⅜ inches in depth.

Recommended reading: Best Bottom Freezer Refrigerator [Top 5 Reviews]

The main compartment and freezer of the side-by-side refrigerator are right next to each other. The shelves are a bit narrow, but the top is wider at the start than the bottom and top-freezer refrigerators.

The side-by-side refrigerator has an average width of 32 ¾ to 39 ¾ inches, a height of 65 ⅞ to 71 ¼ inches, and a depth of 29 ¾ to 31 ⅛ inches.

Recommended reading: Best Side-by-Side Refrigerator [Top 5 Reviews]
French Door Refrigerators

The French door refrigerator has a wide bottom freezer and the main compartment that has side-by-side doors. A French-door refrigerator is narrower, but it has wider shelves.

The average size of the French door refrigerator is 29 ½ to 36 inches wide, 68 ½ to 70 ⅛ inches high, and 29 ⅜ to 34 ⅝ inches deep.

Recommended reading: Best French-Door Refrigerator [Top 5 Reviews]
Built-in Refrigerators

A built-in refrigerator is a fridge secured into cabinetry in a kitchen, giving it a high-end and modern appearance. A built-in refrigerator is either panel-ready or stainless steel and is covered by custom cabinet panels that blend seamlessly with your kitchen counters and cabinets.

Built-in refrigerators measure 24 inches deep and 48 inches high. This type of fridge has a compressor on the top rather than the bottom.

It is more flush with the counter fascia because the handle depth and the door are accounted for in the appliance’s overall depth measurement.

Column Refrigerators

Column refrigerators are all-freezer or all-refrigerator types of appliances that can be installed together or apart depending on one’s refrigeration needs and floor space. If you have a narrow delivery path, you could consider going for the column refrigerator because the columns are installed apart and shipped separately.

Column refrigerator is much easier to deliver because they are much smaller than large refrigerators. The column refrigerator measures 24″ in size, while the large refrigerators are about 48 inches.

A Custom Fridge

If you want to take your level of personalization a notch higher, a custom fridge is a perfect choice. This type of fridge is purchased for its high-end appearance. Unlike built-in and counter-depth refrigerators, it expresses more of your taste.

The cabinet paneling over your fridge is designed to match your kitchen’s cabinet. They are designed to fit the depth of your countertops as well. These custom features make this type of refrigerator quite costly compared to other refrigerator models.

5: Leave a Little Breathing Room

Refrigerators need plenty of ventilation room for optimum performance. After getting your measurements, ensure that you leave a few inches of space on all sides for ventilation. You can leave 0.5″ or more wiggle room all around the fridge.

Leaving little or no room for ventilation will overwork your refrigerator and reduce its life expectancy. Also, ensure that there is enough space in front of the doors and drawers, especially if you have a kitchen island.

6: Map out a Path to Get the Fridge Indoors

Your refrigerator may fit in your kitchen space, but can it fit in the door and all the spaces in between? That is why you need to map out a path through which the new unit will get to the designated place.

This is an important step that you should not overlook. Mapping out a path before you bring the refrigerator home will prevent unforeseen time-consuming hitches.

To map out a path:

  1. Start by getting the width of the door through which the refrigerator will pass.
  2. If your front door is narrow, measure the width of the back door and see whether it will fit through.
  3. If both doors are narrow, consider removing the door and choose which one you will remove to create a bit more leeway for the fridge.

If the fridge can fit through your door, go ahead and measure the width of all the hallways and other doors that the movers will need to navigate to the designated floor space.

If there are spaces through which the fridge won’t pass through, mapping out the path beforehand will help you figure out a plan to overcome the obstacles.


Why Is Size Important?

If you got a reliable refrigerator the last time you purchased one, it has probably given you ten-plus good years of service. Suppose you now wish to replace it with a modern refrigerator. Size is one of the most critical factors you need to consider before you purchase a new unit.
If you have a standard refrigerator that you wish to replace with a more modern model, then you have plenty of options to choose from. However, suppose you have a larger, smaller, or customized refrigerator.
In that case, you may have a little difficulty getting a fridge that will fit your kitchen space. In this case, your kitchen size could limit your available options.
Unless you are remodeling your kitchen, finding a refrigerator that is the same size as yours is the best option for you. In this case, you would have to remove the old fridge and install the new one in the same location.
Otherwise, purchasing a larger or smaller refrigerator than what you previously had needed to be accompanied by a vivid plan of accommodating it.

What Is A Medium-Size Refrigerator?

A medium-size refrigerator is typically a step up from mini-fridges. They have a freezer that is mostly located at the top. Some medium refrigerators have crisper drawers too. Today medium size fridges have been designed with modern features such as a water and ice dispenser, humidity-controlled drawers, and digital temperature displays, among other remarkable advanced technologies.
The capacity of a medium-size fridge ranges between 10 and 20 cubic feet. This fridge is typically narrow and short and hence is ideal for small kitchen spaces. They are also energy efficient and are more reliable than other types of refrigerators.

How Do You Know If A Fridge Will Fit?

If you want to know whether your fridge will fit into the available kitchen space, measure the space at its narrowest points. To do this, measure the front space and then measure the backspace. This will ensure that you get a perfect fit.

How Much Space Do You Need For A 36-Inch Refrigerator?

The space you need for a 36-inch refrigerator is determined by the type of refrigerator you want to get. So before you buy one, it’s important to measure the space in your kitchen and compare it to the dimensions of the 36-inch refrigerator of your choice.
So if the available space is 36″ and the fridge you want is 36.25″, it will be unlikely to fit, considering that the hinges and the handles also take up space.

Will A 36-Inch Refrigerator Fit Into A 36-Inch Opening?

It depends on whether the 36″ measurement is nominal. Most manufacturers label refrigerators 36 inches, but the actual sizes are often less. Some fridges are 35 to 35.50 inches or 35 to 35.75 inches wide.

What Do I Do If The Fridge Is Taller Than Space By Half An Inch?

If there is a cabinet above the fridge and it’s of face frame construction, you can trim the bottom rail of the cabinet. You can do this in two ways; You can pull the cabinet out and then trim it using a table saw.
Alternatively, you can get a router with a top-bearing flushing bit and use it to tack the side and the bottom rail at exactly the point you need to trim off.
Although this method needs detailed attention, it leaves your cabinet looking as good as it did before with a good vacuum cleaner. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Last update on 2024-03-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API