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3 Reasons to ALMOST Never Buy a Counter-Depth Refrigerator

March 29th, 2023 | 8 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

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You are reading the most unpopular article I have ever written challenging the status quo.

People have defended their counter-depth refrigerators vigorously.

It's easy to see why many homeowners are drawn to counter-depth refrigerators - after all. They are the easiest way to enhance the overall look of your kitchen.

With a counter-depth refrigerator, you won't have to worry about unsightly textured sides sticking out from your cabinets.

Before making your final decision, it's important to consider some potential drawbacks of counter-depth refrigerators.

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In this article, you'll learn why you may want to think twice before purchasing a counter-depth refrigerator.

We'll also cover the benefits, especially given the new, larger counter-depth refrigerators that are now available.

These new refrigerators could put the standard vs. counter-depth argument to rest once and for all.

Let’s get started.


3 Reasons to Never Buy a Counter-Depth Refrigerator

1. Capacity

Bosch Counter Depth Refrigerator Interior

The first issue to consider regarding counter-depth refrigerators is their capacity.

I've noticed that many people are storing more food at home since the pandemic started, and counter-depth models simply don't have as much space since the depth is reduced.

Keep in mind that the cubic foot of a refrigerator is measured by its height, width, and depth. By reducing the depth, you are also reducing the internal capacity.

The most important dimension for a refrigerator is actually its width. Any larger freestanding refrigerator from every manufacturer will fit the most popular 36-inch cabinet.

As you know from our webinars, appliances follow cabinet sizes, not the other way around.

You won't find 37 or 38-inch cabinets because they simply don't exist.

Most regular-depth refrigerators are between 26 and 28 cubic feet, but you can also find models as large as 30 cubic feet by adding height up to 72 inches and a depth of about 35.5 inches.

In contrast, counter-depth refrigerators typically range from 20 to 23.8 cubic feet.

That's a significant difference, especially if you cook often or have a large family. While the height and width of standard and counter-depth refrigerators can be the same, the depth can differ by almost 8 inches.

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And when it comes to actual storage, the shelf depth is reduced from 17-20 inches in a standard refrigerator to just 13-14 inches in a counter-depth model.

This means that some larger pans and platters, which can be up to 16 inches deep, won't fit in a counter-depth refrigerator.

If you have any odd-shaped pans or dishes that you like to store in your refrigerator, I recommend bringing them to the store when you're shopping for a new one. This way, you can check whether they'll fit comfortably in the shallower shelves of a counter-depth model.

Overall, the reduced size of a counter-depth refrigerator can be a significant drawback for those who need more storage space.

2. Price

When it comes to pricing, you might assume that a counter-depth refrigerator with less capacity would be less expensive. But that's not always the case. In fact, you might end up paying more for less space.

Depending on the brand, the price difference between a standard and a counter-depth refrigerator can be as much as hundreds of dollars or more.

For example, GE offers a 26 cubic foot refrigerator for $2,499, while a 23 cubic foot counter-depth refrigerator from the same brand will set you back $3,029 - that's a difference of $530.

Samsung's signature four-door flex refrigerator is another prime example. The 22 cubic foot counter-depth version comes in at a whopping $3,999, while a much larger 29 cubic foot model is only $200 cheaper.


LG offers a more reasonable pricing option, with a 22 cubic foot counter-depth refrigerator priced at $2,699 - just $100 more than their 26 cubic foot model, but it's important to note that you'll be paying $100 more for four fewer cubic feet.

It's worth mentioning that if you're on a tight budget, you can always opt for a less expensive, full-depth refrigerator with fewer features.

However, with counter-depth refrigerators, you may not have the option to choose a more affordable model.

3. Features and Configurations

Every brand has more configurations and feature options in standard depth, making it easier for you to find a refrigerator that fits your needs.

For example, KitchenAid's signature five-door refrigerator (shown below) is only available in standard depth, not counter-depth.


When it comes to standard-depth refrigerators, you will find that in addition to larger cubic footage and lower prices, there are twice as many models available compared to counter-depth refrigerators.

This means you have a wider variety of options to choose from regarding features, finishes, and styles. Plus, with more models available, you are more likely to find a refrigerator that fits your budget.

On the other hand, with counter-depth refrigerators, you may have to compromise on features or pay a premium price for a smaller fridge with limited options.

The Largest Counter-Depth Refrigerator for Your Kitchen

LG-Counter-Depth-MAX-French-Door-Refrigerator-LRFL2706S-Kitchen--LG Counter-Depth MAX French Door Refrigerator

The LG Counter-Depth MAX French Door Refrigerator is a refrigerator that offers both size and style.

Its capacity of 26.5 cubic feet provides plenty of space for all your food items, while its depth of 24 inches plus the door and handles adds to its stylish appearance.

There are three models of the LG Counter-Depth MAX French Door Refrigerator to choose from:

LG-Smart-Counter-Depth-MAX-French-Door-RefrigeratorsLG LRFLC2706S | LG LRFOC2606S | LG LRFGC2706S

The least expensive model is the LG LRFL2706S, priced at $1,899, and comes with an internal water dispenser.

The LRFG2706S model, priced at $2,899, adds the InstaView window feature that allows you to look inside your refrigerator without opening the door.

Additionally, the glass panel can be kept dark if you prefer not to investigate the refrigerator like I would.

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For those who prefer an outside water dispenser, the LRFOC2606S model priced at $2,499 is a good option. This model also includes the InstaView window feature.

Note that prices for LG and other refrigerator manufacturers tend to be lower during promotional holidays, so it's worth waiting to buy one if you want to save between 10-35%.

Best Features of the LG Counter Depth MAX French Door Refrigerator

Temperature Control

The LG refrigerator is equipped with nine sensors that effectively monitor and regulate temperature throughout both the freezer and refrigerator compartments.

In comparison, other brands typically only use two sensors.

Door Cooling+

One of the most notable features of the LG refrigerator is Door Cooling+.

This feature utilizes strategically placed vents on top of the freezer and refrigerator compartments.

When the door is opened, cold air is blown from top to bottom, ensuring that the temperature remains consistent throughout the interior.

This function provides a refreshing blast of cool air, similar to the feeling of walking into a store with air conditioning on a hot day.

Cool Guard Interior

The LG refrigerator has a stainless steel interior or back wall that absorbs cold more effectively. This feature allows you to place items that require colder temperatures next to the stainless wall for optimal chilling.


Based on just under 40,000 service calls logged last year, LG was found to be the most reliable counter-depth refrigerator, with a service rate of only 8.2%.

Dual Icemakers

The LG refrigerator offers the convenience of both crushed and cubed ice in all three models, making it easy to cater to everyone's preference.

Possible Problems with the New LG Counter-Depth MAX Refrigerator

New Construction

LG has been recognized as the most reliable refrigerator brand since settling their lawsuits in 2019.

They have made notable improvements to their inverter compressors, which work with fewer parts and are less prone to problems than regular compressors.

However, LG's innovative design of larger capacity is achieved through thinner insulation.

While it is hoped that LG has thoroughly tested this new insulation, it is worth noting that many new appliance designs have failed in the past.

Additionally, the doors of the LG refrigerator may appear thicker, which may require careful consideration if the refrigerator is placed next to a doorway.

Single Compressor

The LG Counter-Depth MAX French Door Refrigerator features a single compressor, which differs from many refrigerators that have twin evaporators or compressors.

However, the LG Counter-Depth MAX French Door Refrigerator has nine sensors that effectively regulate temperature, making it superior to other models in terms of maintaining temperature consistency.

No Craft Ice

Craft ice is a sought-after feature in LG's high-end refrigerators, as it offers large, slow-dissolving ice that is ideal for drinks such as fine whiskey, as it doesn't dilute the drink as much.

However, the LG Counter-Depth MAX French Door Refrigerator does not offer this feature.

Only French Door

The LG Counter-Depth MAX French Door Refrigerator is exclusively available in the classic French door style, with no drawer, side-by-side, or four-door models available.

26.5 Cubic Capacity

The LG Counter-Depth MAX French Door Refrigerator has a capacity of 26.5 cubic feet, which should be sufficient for most households.

However, if you require a larger capacity, LG offers 30 cubic foot models in their standard depth line.

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Other Solutions

Refrigerators and Cabinet Depth

The main advantage of a counter-depth refrigerator is that it does not reveal the less attractive sides of the appliance.

counter-depth-vs-full-depth-refrigeration-1Counter-Depth vs. Standard Depth Refrigeration

To enhance the aesthetic appeal of a standard refrigerator, especially in new construction, you can build out the cabinet to match the added depth.

Typically, a normal refrigerator cabinet is 24 inches deep. By building out the cabinet to match the depth of a standard refrigerator, it creates the illusion of a counter-depth refrigerator.

In high-end kitchens, this technique is often used to make the counter-depth refrigerator appear even shallower, especially if an integrated refrigerator is desired.

Refrigerator Placement in Your Kitchen

When designing your kitchen, it's important to consider the placement of your appliances. If you have a larger kitchen, consider placing your refrigerator off to the side or in a pantry.

Although it may seem unconventional, refrigerators do not need to be central in your kitchen.

For example, my neighbor placed her standard depth refrigerator at the end of her kitchen and built a cabinet around it:


By doing so, she was able to create a more efficient layout for her most frequently used appliances, such as the sink, stovetop, and dishwasher, in the center of her kitchen.

Remember, you are only in your refrigerator a few times a day, whereas you may spend more time cooking on your stove. Thus, retrieving an item from your refrigerator is not as critical as stirring your food on a stove.

With this in mind, consider alternate places to store your refrigerator, as this can provide more space for storing food and other items.

Why Choose a Counter-Depth Refrigerator


Counter-Depth Refrigerators at Yale Appliance in Hanover

Counter-depth refrigerators are a popular choice for many reasons. Firstly, they seamlessly integrate with your existing kitchen cabinets and provide a sleek, streamlined look that enhances the overall appearance of your kitchen.

In addition, they are a great space-saving option for smaller kitchens, especially those with islands. Unlike standard refrigerators that protrude several inches, counter-depth models fit flush with your cabinets, allowing for easy maneuvering around your kitchen.

Looking for answers about Counter-Depth Refrigerators?

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Counter-depth refrigerators are also well-suited for kitchens with the refrigerator positioned in the middle.

They are available in a range of sizes, with the larger models offering up to 23.8 cubic feet of storage space. However, keep in mind that larger models can be quite expensive, ranging from $3,000 to $4,200.

Overall, if you're looking for a stylish, space-saving option that seamlessly blends into your kitchen, a counter-depth refrigerator may be the right choice for you.

Read More: How to Buy a Counter-Depth Refrigerator

Key Takeaways

The LG Counter-Depth MAX French Door Refrigerator is a game-changer in the standard vs. counter-depth debate. With a capacity of 26.5 cubic feet, it provides ample space for most households.

However, if you're starting a new kitchen, don't limit yourself to the traditional idea of where a refrigerator should go.

You can place it off to the side or in a pantry, and even emulate the counter-depth look by building out your cabinets for a standard-depth refrigerator.

The options are endless, and with the LG Counter-Depth MAX French Door Refrigerator, you have a versatile and reliable appliance that can fit into any kitchen design.

Additional Resources

Download the Yale Counter Depth Refrigerator Buying Guide with features, specs, and inside buying tips for regular, pro, and integrated counter-depth refrigerators. Well over 800,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

Related Articles

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including 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.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.