There is a refrigerator design to match every family’s food storage needs and every kitchen décor. Refrigerators come in columns, chests, side-by-sides, and minis, affording storage for frozen foods, refrigerated foods, and wine at different temperatures. But careful measurement is a must for best use of space with your fridge.
Food preservation and storage had been around for quite some time now. It came hand-in-hand with agriculture and domestication of animals as the important factors at the start of our civilization. It enabled humans to leave the nomadic way of life and just stay in one place. We are no longer bound by the need to hunt and forage regularly. From that time, people had come up with a lot of different ways to preserve food and so, this resulted in the invention of the refrigerator.
Since the invention of refrigerators in the 1800s, it has continually evolved to better suit any type of home. And thus, the refrigerator has become one of the most essential appliances of any kitchen. It plays a vital role in our everyday modern lives. Civilization may have progressed a lot but the basic human need for food is still the same. The refrigerator stores food, prolongs their life, and keeps them healthy for the consumption of the family. This is why choosing a refrigerator can be difficult. There are a lot of factors to consider like dimensions, usage, size, storage capacity, and, of course, design, and aesthetics to fit the type of kitchen you have.
Let us walk you through these 16 types of refrigerator dimensions so you can have a better understanding of the refrigerator needs that would better suit your family and home.
Table of Contents
- 01. Four Drawer Refrigerator
- 02. Classic French Door Refrigerator
- 03. French Door Two-Drawer Refrigerator
- 04. Two Drawer Refrigerator
- 05. Two Drawer Glass Refrigerator
- 06. Bottom Mount Refrigerator
- 07. Top Mount Refrigerator
- 08. Over and Under Refrigerator
- 09. Overlay Panel Refrigerator
- 10. Side by Side Refrigerator
- 11. Upright/Column Refrigerator
- 12. Built-In Under-Counter Refrigerator
- 13. Chest Style Refrigerator
- 14. Minibar Compact Refrigerator
- 15. Minibar Drawer Refrigerator
- 16. Wine Storage Refrigerator
01. Four Drawer Refrigerator
If you need to see everything that is in your refrigerator at a glance, you can’t go wrong with a four drawer refrigerator. Separating storage into drawers means that nothing gets lost and goes to waste. And if sometimes you buy more products and sometimes you buy more frozen food, you need a flexible four-door refrigerator. One of the bottom doors can be used as either a refrigerator or as a freezer, depending on your family’s needs. You will need to make sure that children don’t get into the controls, but a four-door refrigerator can be extremely helpful with holiday meal preparation and with freezing seasonal produce.
02. Classic French Door Refrigerator
Refrigerators with French doors are extremely popular for a very good reason: They are designed so it is extremely easy to find food as soon as you open the door. You can search at a glance to find exactly what you want. This makes it easy to avoid wasting electricity while warming up your refrigerator.
Classic French door refrigerators have wider shelves, deeper freezer drawers, and adjustable top shelves. The adjustable top shelves make it a snap to store tall items. This makes it possible for you to organize all of your condiments they are easy to see, and you won’t be constantly shoving them farther and farther back in the refrigerator. And multiple freezer compartments make it easy to access commonly used items while storing long-term and bulk frozen goods in the lower bin.
03. French Door Two-Drawer Refrigerator
A French door refrigerator combines the convenience of a classic French door refrigerator with the ability to sort longer- and short-term cold storage items in separate drawers. You can keep the kinds of frozen goods you use all the time in the top drawer, and store bulkier or seldom-used items in the lower drawer. Another advantage of this model: You are opening only half the fridge when stashing smaller items. Just be sure that you measure carefully to make sure you have clearance for your lower drawers if you have a kitchen island or you are fitting your refrigerator into a narrow, galley space.
04. Two Drawer Refrigerator
Two-drawer refrigerators keep refrigerated food and beverages at eye level. There is no stooping and bending to get things you use all day long from a lower shelf. If you are making a sandwich or a salad, all the ingredients you need from the fridge will be right there. If you reach into the vegetable crisper more often than you grab things from the freezer, this refrigerator is a great choice. And if you like to keep your refrigerator organized without making organizing a full-time job, this design is a great choice.
Why wouldn’t you want a two-drawer refrigerator? They cost a little more than traditional models. They cost a little more to repair, and they are slightly more likely to break down than other designs. They are a little harder to fit in narrow kitchens. You’ll tend to place heavier items, like frozen turkeys, as far down as they will go, requiring more effort when you retrieve them. And your kids will have access to the freezer. They may drop heavy items and hurt themselves while trying to reach ice cream and other frozen treats.
05. Two Drawer Glass Refrigerator
Opening the refrigerator door and keeping it open while you look for what you want adds to your energy costs. Double-paned glass doors are energy efficient and help you locate what you want before you open the door, saving time and energy. And the multiple drawers in this model give you the flexibility to store cold drinks on one level and frozen foods on another. Two-drawer glass refrigerators are a great option for seniors and for the disabled.
What are the drawbacks to a two drawer glass refrigerator? Glass gets smudged, especially if there are children in your household. If “out of sight, out of mind” is your diet strategy, the glass door won’t help stick to your weight loss plan. And most food storage experts recommend solid doors for refrigerating raw foods, for the added safety factor.
06. Bottom Mount Refrigerator
A bottom mount refrigerator is as a column with two sections, a cooling compartment on top and a freezer on the bottom. Bottom mount refrigerators offer easier access to beverages and the fresh ingredients you are likely to use the most often. They usually have spacious freezers, considerably larger than top mount units. They are available in built-in and freestanding designs, making it easy to choose the right match for your kitchen design.
Bottom mount refrigerators are the ideal choice for many kitchens. However, they tend to be more expensive than top mount models, and you will need to bend down to access the freezer every time you retrieve frozen food.
07. Top Mount Refrigerator
This is the style of refrigerator most Americans grew up with. Also known as top-freezer refrigerators, top mount refrigerator is also a column with two sections, but with a freezer on top and a cooling compartment on the bottom. The big advantage of these traditionally designed refrigerators is their size. Most top mount refrigerators are between 30 and 33 inches wide. They have wider doors and wider interior storage areas than other designs. There is a comprehensive collection of styles, colors, designs, and sizes to fit your kitchen plan. Top mount refrigerators are also available as built-ins at extra expense, but if you are looking for an unquestionably affordable refrigerator, you are most likely to find it in a top mount model.
Just about the only downside to owning a top mount refrigerator is the need to stoop down every time you need something from the produce crisper. They are less than ideal for people who have back problems. Allow for a wide swing of the doors when you are choosing a top mount refrigerator.
08. Over and Under Refrigerator
Over and under refrigerators are a great choice for families who use lots of frozen foods. One door on the top of the refrigerator opens to a cooling compartment with a compact layout. There is no fumbling around finding food and beverages in this easy-to-organize space. Another door on the top of the refrigerator opens to a column of smaller frozen food containers, perfect for storing microwavable meals and ice cream. Placing the smaller freezer unit at this height ensures that it is out of reach of children. The larger freezer compartment at the bottom of the unit is perfect for storing bulkier foods and bulk purchases. The only disadvantage of an over and under the refrigerator is its slightly higher price, and difficulty fitting it into tight kitchen spaces. But because of the duplicate freezer compartments, when there is a breakdown, you may lose less food.
09. Overlay Panel Refrigerator
Panel-ready or overlay panel refrigerators are constructed so that it is easy to add a panel to match the rest of your kitchen design. The refrigerator will be identical to other units of the same design except for the addition of the overlay panels. Overlay panels are available from refrigerator manufacturers and from your cabinet maker.
Careful measurement is a must. Overlay panel refrigerators will protrude in front of your cabinets. If you want a refrigerator that is flush with your cabinets, you will need a built-in model.
10. Side by Side Refrigerator
Easy access to both frozen and fresh food gives side by side refrigerators their lasting appeal. Side by side refrigerators used to be the model most Americans aspired to own. They have been losing out in popularity to French door refrigerators for several years, but still, about 22 percent of all new refrigerators purchased are side by side.
Some of the features that draw consumers to the side by side refrigerators are:
- Better fit in small kitchens because less clearance is needed for opening the door.
- Sleek, stylish design, but less expensive than French door refrigerators.
- Lower repair costs than French door refrigerators.
But the most attractive feature in side by side refrigerators for most consumers is how easy it is to find things on easily organized, narrow shelves. If you have issues reaching or bending down, you may prefer another design, but most homeowners find side by side refrigerators extremely easy to use and organize.
11. Upright/Column Refrigerator
“Column” and “upright” are terms used loosely in the refrigerator. They refer to any refrigerator, freezer, or wine cooler standing upright, as a column, with a single door. You can pair a column with a column freezer, their doors opening in opposite directions, for a side by side look. If you want a wine cooler between your freezer and refrigerator, columns are the way to go.
Upright or column refrigerators are available in very a wide selection of colors and finishes. They are easy to install, easy to vent, and easy to take out for repair. The only major issues with upright or column refrigerators are the need to reach up or down for items on higher and lower shelves. If you use lots of refrigerated produce, or if you have trouble reaching the top shelf, you may want to consider other designs.
12. Built-In Under-Counter Refrigerator
Built-in, under the counter refrigerators, are great for extra storage space for produce and drinks. They can be built into your existing cabinetry as a sleek addition to your kitchen or entertainment room décor. They are also optimal for storing novelty items requiring different storage temperatures that you have to keep separated from the rest of the items in your refrigerator. Built-in under the counter refrigerators come with stainless steel or glass doors, and many units will accept overlay panels.
13. Chest Style Refrigerator
The big advantage of chest-style refrigerators is energy efficiency. Cold air continuously falls over the food, and you can see everything in the chest at a glance, so you don’t have to keep the lid open. Chest style refrigerators cost less to operate per cubic foot of storage space than any other refrigerator design.
Chests are great for storing specialty items. They are the perfect design to tuck away in a garage or a basement for additional frozen food storage. Many Korean families use a chest refrigerator just for storing kimchee. Hunters and fishermen often use a chest style refrigerator or freezer just for storing fish and game. And if you have to access your refrigerator from a wheelchair, a chest model may be just what you need.
Chest style refrigerators do not combine refrigeration with freezing. To get both functions, you will need to buy two chests.
14. Minibar Compact Refrigerator
Miniature refrigerators aren’t just for college dorm rooms anymore. Mini refrigerators give you a little more cold storage without the cost and commitment required for buying a full-sized refrigerator. A mini-fridge is a good fit with a man cave or a wet bar. They are easy to stock with snacks and drinks for playing cards and watching games with friends and family. If you need to keep certain foods or medications at an exact temperature, then you may want to invest in a mini-fridge, so you won’t have to worry about everything else in your refrigerator that affects temperature-sensitive items.
15. Minibar Drawer Refrigerator
Organize your wet bar with a minibar drawer refrigerator. You can set different drawers at different temperatures for the storage of fruit, and you can keep the items you use the most grouped together in their own drawer. There are minibar drawer refrigerators that accept overlay panels to match your kitchen, entertainment room, or man cave décor.
16. Wine Storage Refrigerator
Wine needs to be stored at cool temperatures. Your refrigerator may be too cool and not humid enough for the corks in wine bottles, and constant traffic in and out of the fridge causes temperature swings that can affect wine’s taste and nose. That’s why people who don’t have wine cellars often have wine refrigerators to store wine at the perfect temperature to preserve its quality. When you are buying a wine refrigerator, consider how much space you need to keep all of your bottles cool and how noisy the refrigerator will be. Wine refrigerators usually come with glass doors to make it easy to locate bottles you want to serve.
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