At a Glance
You would think 42-inch refrigerators would be more popular in larger kitchens. They have more usable cubic footage than the standard 36-inch model.
A 36-inch professional refrigerator is about 22 cubic feet. A 42-inch pro refrigerator is almost 26 cubic feet in capacity. There is a considerable storage difference, especially if you are considering a side-by-side model.
However, 36 inches is the standard for refrigerators. Forty-two inches is far less common.
Once you remove tile and granite from a kitchen and look at its skeleton, cabinets are a series of standard measurements.
Stoves are 30 inches while dishwashers are 24 inches, so an uncommon dimension like 42 inches can throw off your entire kitchen layout.
You have to actively specify a 42-inch refrigerator when designing your kitchen or your cabinet shop, designer, and appliance store will automatically assume you only have 36 inches even in a larger space.
Professional Counter Depth Refrigerators at Yale Appliance in Hanover
In this article, you will learn the best brands and their features for 42-inch refrigeration. We will briefly look at side-by-side refrigerators versus French door refrigerators as well.
Lastly, we'll cover a few more options to fill a 42-inch space. Smaller integrated refrigeration columns have become much more popular over the last few years because you can customize your options and placement.
They also fit within a cabinet and become indistinguishable with the rest of your cabinets. You will have more brand choices shopping for integrated columns.
So, this article will be about all your refrigeration choices for your 42-inch space.
Let's get started.Short on time? Get our free Counter Depth Refrigerator Buying Guide
French Door Vs. Side-By-Side Professional Refrigerators
French doors are more popular because you have more lateral storage than a side by side and more refrigerator space.
Side -by-side refrigerators tend to be narrower in smaller sizes, but not at 42 inches. There is more freezer space in a 42 inch as well.
During the quarantine, people have looked at their freezer capacities more critically to store food.
Unfortunately, there were limited standalone freezers available, and side by side have again started to be trending better.
In 42 inch, side by side is a legitimate option because you have space, and you are not pulling a heavier freezer drawer like the bottom freezer of a French door.
I would recommend viewing both before buying.
Sub-Zero has the only 42-inch French door refrigerator on this list.
Best 42-Inch Professional Counter Depth Refrigerators For 2020
- Capacity – At 24.2 Cubic feet, this is the largest 42-inch built-in refrigerator on the market.
- Freshness – Sub-Zero was the first on the market with two separate cooling zones.
- This keeps dry, very cold air out of the refrigerator and keeps the warmer, humid air out of the freezer.
- It prevents freezer burn in the freezer and frozen, dried out food in the refrigerator, and eliminated the taste and odors from the refrigerator being trapped in the freezer.
- Air Purification – The "Pure Air" system scrubs the air every 20 minutes to keep foods as fresh as possible for as long as possible.
- Spoiling food emits ethylene gas. The air scrubber scrubs these gasses to preserve the food and eliminate cross-contamination with other foods.
- Crispers and Deli Drawers - Located near the evaporator, these bins are kept a little cooler than the rest of the refrigerator and are magnetically sealed for fruit and vegetable preservation.
- Microprocessor - Keeps temperature accuracy to within 1 degree for optimal freshness. Also, lets you control lighting, alarms, ice production, and monitors usage to defrost when you are the least likely to be using it.
- LED Lighting – Crisp LED lights are designed to be brighter than standard bulbs and don't add heat like other bulbs.
- The LED bulbs are energy-efficient and designed to last the lifetime of the refrigerator.
- Soft-Close Deli Drawer – A full-width, soft-close deli drawer allows for wide platters or small items that can be separated with the included dividers.
- Nanotechnology Shelving - Spills congeal and do not spread. If you have ever spilled juice in your fridge, you are cleaning semi harden juice residue seemingly forever.
- Nanotechnology helps solve that problem.
- The water dispenser is available on both.
Sub-Zero Refrigerator Feature Highlights:
This is the best 42-inch counter depth refrigerator on the market.
From the best food preservation system to capacity, adjustability, and overall longevity.
It starts with a vacuum seal to keep food out, to magnetic crispers to keep the air in the crisper, and two compressors, so warmer air does not blend with the colder, drier air.
Their food preservation system also scrubs the air of ethylene (the gas that fruits and veggies give off that make them go bad, quick), mold, bacteria, and viruses every 20 minutes keeping your food fresher and longer.
Sub-Zero Professional Refrigerator Air Purifier System
It's the most sophisticated on the market. Imagine an avocado lasting 2 to 4 weeks in a refrigerator – that's how well this system works.
The shelves are split and allow for many different configurations. Their nanotechnology coating does not allow the spills to spread.
SubZero is available in stainless and paneled options.
- 2 Compressors, 2 Evaporators:
- Customization: Colors and trims: This refrigerator can be customized with ten different base colors and six different trims for the hinges
- LCD Controls - Simple to use controls and crisp LCD display, the True 42 control panel offers professional performance.
- Ramp -Up Lighting – Beautiful LED lighting to showcase a beautiful all stainless steel interior – no plastic anywhere.
- Door Bins - Three adjustable, removable door bins are adjustable and made from pro-grade stainless steel for hygiene, cleaning, and overall longevity.
- Glass Shelving - Stainless steel trimmed glass shelves that are both adjustable and removable.
- Drawers - Soft-close glides and stainless steel for durability and ease of use.
- Freezer Baskets - Three polished stainless-steel wire baskets are easy to see and are also smooth-glide for a quiet, solid feel.
- Door Hinges - Solid stainless steel and designed to stay open at 120°, each high-grade hinge passes extreme testing and has a silent, soft close.
- Stainless Interior - Absorbs cold better and is the most hygenic
True Refrigerator Feature Highlights:
True is the one refrigerator company with the ability to out design Sub-Zero. In many ways, they are similar. Both are family-owned American companies manufacturing in the US.
However, True is a huge company. Chances are if you bought ice cream at your local supermarket, you pulled it out of a True freezer.
True Professional Refrigeration at Yale Appliance in Hanover
This unit reflects its commercial styling. However, you can customize this refrigerator with ten colors and another 6 for the hinges for a truly unique finish.
They have copied many of Sub-Zero's innovations with two compressors. They added a second evaporator as well.
Trues temperature can be controlled in 1-degree increments, also like a Sub-Zero.
Curiously, this refrigerator does not have an icemaker. According to True, it may never have one.
The repair was cited as the reason. They are correct.
Out of 35,256 service calls, Yale logged last year. The icemaker was the single biggest complaint.
You cannot panel the True 42-inch refrigerator.
- "Obsidian Interior"/LED Theater Lighting - Designed in conjunction with the LED lighting, the Obsidian interior and LEDs make anything in the refrigerator "pop" with color.
- Fully Flush, Fully Integrated Design - Fully flush design allows complete cabinet integration for a seamless look in a 25-inch deep cabinet.
- Panel Ready or Stainless Steel – Building on the fully integrated design, you can match surrounding cabinetry for a fully integrated look like pantry doors look – your guests will not even know that it is a refrigerator without opening the doors. Stainless steel door panels, sold separately, match the rest of the JennAir suite of appliances.
- TwinFresh™ Climate Control System - With two evaporators (the part of the motor that cools the air), the air in the refrigerator is kept separate from the freezer to avoid freezer burn and frozen/frosty vegetables.
- Light-Guided Capacitive Touch Controls - Easy to use and see intuitive touch controls.
- Soft-Close Crisper Drawers - Quiet, secure, and easy to use. Also has an ethylene gas absorbed to prevent fruits and vegetables from rotting too quickly.
- Elegance Shelving - Beautiful glass shelves add to the décor on the inside and easy to re-arrange for taller and wider items.
JennAir Refrigerator Feature Highlights:
JennAir is the least expensive brand on this list and has the best rebate program in addition. They also have the only model with water and ice on the door.
When the big innovation is an "Obsidian" or a black interior, it's a sign that JennAir has fallen a bit behind the market leaders for pro-style refrigeration
JennAir has instead focused on integrated refrigeration. We will see that in a second.
This unit has decent shelving and two evaporators to maintain temperature and humidity in the two compartments.
At 25 inches deep overall, including the doors, it is over 2 inches shallower than the Sub-Zero and over 3 inches shallower than the True.
Their pro refrigerator has similar measurements as their integrated without some of the features.
Some deeper items are harder to fit. It also does not have spill-proof shelves like the rest on this list.
Still, JennAir is a solid choice for value.
Your Best Alternative Option: Integrated Column Refrigeration Adding Up To 42 Inches
Integrated Column Refrigeration at Yale Appliance in Hanover
Integrated column refrigeration has become increasingly popular, as we mentioned at the beginning of this article.
It's seamless to the cabinets and allows you to customize your refrigerator and freezer for location and size.
Integrated fits within a cabinet, whereas the door of a pro refrigerator will protrude past your cabinets. However, that shallower depth decreases the internal cubic footage due to the shallower depth.
Professional Refrigerators at Yale Appliance in Hanover
The difference in cubic footage is over 10%. That Sub-Zero Pro is 24.2 cubic feet versus 21.3 for the integrated.
They offer two different looks in your kitchen. The Pro is noticeable, and the other is completely hidden.
More manufacturers produce the integrated type because it's easier to comply with energy laws with two smaller units than one larger refrigerator.
For 42 inches, you have to buy two units, a 24-inch refrigerator, and an 18-inch freezer. Industry term you may have heard is columns.
Best Integrated Column Refrigerators & Freezers
- Open Door Assist - This new system from Thermador allows you not to have to use a handle – just push on the door, and it automatically opens. You can set it to close if accidentally opened as well automatically.
- ThermaFresh - Automatic humidity and temperature control.
- Delicate Produce Bins - Soft close bins located on the door provide a safe space for delicate products that can bruised and be damaged easily.
- Theater Lighting - Light bars on both sides of the refrigerator and freezer, give the best view to every corner.
- TFT Display - Easy to use and intuitive touch screen controls everything in the refrigerator and freezer
- Cool Air Flow Technology – New energy-efficient system to optimize temperature accuracy and energy efficiency without sacrificing performance.
- Soft-Close Drawers - Quiet and easy to use. The produce bin also has an ethylene filter to keep fruits and vegetables fresher, longer.
- Freedom® Hinge - Allows for a fully flush install in a 25-inch deep cabinet
- Diamond Ice - Thermador's uniquely shaped ice designed to keep drinks colder, longer.
Thermador Column Refrigeration Feature Highlights:
Stunning would be the word to describe Thermador's new integrated refrigeration. Inside and out, the 18-inch freezer and 24-inch refrigerator columns make a gorgeous 42-inch pair.
From being able to use these without handles to the interior ramp-up, theater-style LED lighting. This series is well-conceived.
The display is the most intuitive as well as controlling many of the refrigerator functions.
You can also set the door to a "push to open" mode. If your hands are full, you can push the door, and it will open automatically.
Their air management system and bin storage keep food fresher as well.
However, at 25-inch total depth with doors, big items like roasts, pizza boxes, platters just do not fit.
Prepare for a backup fridge in the basement for those extra-large items.
Thermador has a great rebate program as well, with free dishwashers and hoods with qualified purchases.
JennAir 18-Inch Freezer Column ALOVE18FLC - Starting at $15,000
JennAir 24-Inch Refrigerator Column ALOVE24RRC - Starting at $15,000
- Burlesque Interior
- Ecliptic Lighting
- Emotive Controls
- Solid Glass and Metal
- Hushed Acoustics
- Remote Access
- Magnet-to-Metal Seal
- Smooth Close Drawers
- Prism Ice
- ENERGY STAR® Certified
- Shapeshifter Drawers (Freezer)
- DeepFreeze® Mode
- Vacation Mode (app only)
- Sabbath Mode
- Smart Integration
- Down-Low Airflow
- Adaptable Installation
- United Dual Toe-Kick
- Produce Preserver
- Water Filter Included
JennAir Column Refrigeration Feature Highlights:
JennAir has more features on its integrated column refrigerators than its pro. It is Wi-Fi enabled so that you can control the temperature from an App on your phone.
The interior is stainless, so it absorbs cold faster. The refrigerator has three controllable zones of temperature control and two in the freezer as well.
The bins are solid with nanotechnology on the shelves.
JennAir has decent integrated refrigerators and a similar rebate as the Thermador.
Sub-Zero 18-Inch Freezer Column IC-18FI - $7,135
Sub-Zero 24-Inch Refrigerator Column IC-24FI - $7,560
Sub-Zero Column Refrigeration Feature Highlights:
- Monitor and control remotely with Wi-Fi connectivity
- Accepts custom panels for an integrated look within cabinetry or stainless-steel accessory panels
- and handles to match other Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove products
- Preserves frozen foods with frigid, dry air
- Creates a seamless look with single door design in your kitchen
- Controls temperature within one degree of setpoint
- Locks in cold air with a magnetic door seal system
- Filters water and ice, removing contaminants, chlorine taste, and odor
- Yields ice automatically and "max ice" for additional production.
- Control brightness with soft-on LED lighting
Sub-Zero's freshness story of twin compressors, vacuum seal, magnetic crispers, and air scrubber was also designed into their integrated units.
Whereas they still have a good freshness story, the newer integrated units from JennAir and others have Wi-Fi and different cooling zones not available in a Sub-Zero.
Best 42-Inch Professional Counter Depth Refrigerators: Key Takeaways
Sub-Zero & Wolf Kitchen Featuring Professional and Integrated Refrigeration at Yale Appliance in Hanover
There certainly are some great choices for 42-inch refrigeration. Forty-two inches should be considered, especially when considering a side-by-side. You will have much better storage than a 36 inch.
What will help you decide between them is knowing your priorities.
If you are looking for a function, the Sub-Zero French door is a good choice.
True is interesting with the ability to customize and a new freshness story. JennAir is decent for the price, along with packages as well.
For that fully seamless look in your kitchen, Thermador, JennAir, and Sub-Zero are all good choices with many options as well.
Want to learn more about counter depth, professional and integrated refrigerators? Get the Yale Counter Depth Refrigerator Buyers Guide with features, specs and inside buying tips to all the brands. Well over 820,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.
Steve has also been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.
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