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3 Reasons to Never Buy a Counter-Depth Refrigerator

February 22nd, 2024 | 8 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

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3 Reasons to Never Buy a Counter-Depth Refrigerator

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

People have defended their counter-depth refrigerators vigorously.

I was just trying to make you think differently about how you design and optimize your kitchen.

Counter depths 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 protruding from your cabinets.

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

Then again, you will also learn about the new larger counter-depth refrigerators, making this argument virtually obsolete with better aesthetics and a larger size.

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, and counter-depth models simply don't have as much space since the depth is reduced.

Remember that a refrigerator's cubic foot 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 its width.

Any larger freestanding refrigerator from every manufacturer will fit the most popular 36-inch cabinet.

Cabinet Sizes

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 25 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, most 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.

For 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 some larger pans and platters at 16 inches deep won't fit in a counter-depth refrigerator.

Expert tip: Bring any odd-shaped dishes to see if they fit into a refrigerator or dishwasher. Better to find out in a store than when delivered to your house.

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

2. Price


You might assume a counter-depth refrigerator with less capacity would be less expensive.

But that's not always the case.

In fact, you will pay 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 28 cubic foot refrigerator for $1,999, while a 22.1 cubic foot counter-depth refrigerator from the same brand will cost $2,332.

That's a difference of $333 for six cubic feet less.

If you're on a tight budget, you can always opt for a less expensive, full-depth refrigerator, but it may have fewer features.

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.


For 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


Now for the refrigerators making this argument obsolete (sort of).

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

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

It has an additional four cubic feet of space compared to typical counter-depth refrigerators.

LG Counter-Depth MAX French Door Refrigerator Models

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


Starting at $1,799, the LG LRFLC2706S offers you an internal water dispenser for easy access to fresh water.

For just $200 more, you can upgrade to the LRFXC2606S. This model adds an external ice and water dispenser and dual ice makers in both the refrigerator and freezer sections.

If you're looking for convenience and style, the LRFOC2606S introduces an external water dispenser and the innovative InstaView window.

A simple double knock lets you peek inside without opening the door, and another two knocks darken the view.

LG recently introduced some new additions to the Counter-Depth MAX refrigerators.

The LRYXC2606S now delivers four ice cube styles, including traditional cubed and crushed, smaller cubes perfect for soft drinks, and Craft Ice - a slow-melting sphere ideal for drinks where you want minimal dilution from ice.


The LRYKC2606S steps up with the Smart Mirror, an enhanced version of the InstaView Panel. It also has the new UVnano Ice & Water Dispenser, which uses UV light to clean the dispenser automatically.


Also, under the LG Studio line, the Counter-Depth MAX SRFB27S3 is available at $2,799.

It mirrors the features of the standard Counter-Depth MAX model you can find for $1,799, combining premium design with exceptional functionality.

Note: 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


The average 23 cubic foot counter depth refrigerator is roughly $2,300-$3,500. The Counter Depth Max starts at $1,799 on promotion.

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.

The 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, like 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 over 37,000 service calls logged last year, LG was found to be the most reliable counter-depth refrigerator, with a service rate of only 8.8%.

Dual Icemakers

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

You also have their slower dissolving Craft Ice in their better models.

Possible Problems with the LG Counter-Depth MAX Refrigerator

New Construction

LG has been recognized as the most reliable refrigerator brand since settling their lawsuits in 2019 from refrigerators manufactured in 2014-2017.

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

Door Depth

Additionally, the doors of the LG refrigerator are 1 inch deeper, 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.

Most better refrigerators will have two evaporators to keep the air separate between the refrigerator and freezer.

So, the air stays in the refrigerator and freezer for less defrosting and better overall temperature management.

The odors and tastes also don't transfer, so your food, especially in the freezer, should taste better.

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.

Counter-Depth vs. Standard Depth Refrigeration

counter-depth-vs-full-depth-refrigeration-1The main advantage of a counter-depth refrigerator is that it does not reveal the less attractive sides of the appliance.

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 are a popular choice for many reasons.

They seamlessly integrate with your existing kitchen cabinets and provide a sleek, streamlined look, enhancing 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.

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 26.5 cubic feet of storage space.

However, keep in mind that a traditional counter depth will cost more.

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 at lower prices and larger cubic feet.

The options are endless, but that's the fun part.


Counter-Depth Refrigerators


Answers to the most commonly asked questions about counter-depth refrigerators. 

What is a Counter Depth Refrigerator?

What are the Main Differences Between Counter Depth and Standard Depth Refrigerators?

Are Counter Depth Refrigerators More Expensive?

What are the Benefits of a Counter Depth Refrigerator?

How Do I Choose the Right Counter Depth Refrigerator?


Additional Resources

Stop the endless search for reliable refrigerator advice. With our Free Counter Depth Refrigerator Buying Guide, you get straightforward insights on features, specs, and the truth about brand reliability from actual service calls.

This is your chance to make an informed decision with confidence. Download your guide today - because smart choices lead to the best kitchens. 

Over 1 million people have read and trusted a Yale Guide.  

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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.