Best Counter-Depth Fridges of 2019By Cindy Bailen, Jonathan Chan, Julia MacDougall, and Matthew Zahnzinger, February 04, 2019
There are plenty of ways to give your kitchen a more upscale look, but one of the simplest is to buy a fridge that sits flush with your cabinetry and countertops. Counter-depth fridges are a particularly great fit in small-yet-upscale apartments and condos. Think San Francisco and Manhattan, where space is at a premium.
You'll have to be willing to sacrifice a little storage in exchange for those good looks (since they're typically shallower than their full-sized fridge counterparts, but for the right buyer, it's a relatively painless tradeoff. On the plus side, a counter-depth unit opens up more floor space, so you won't be bumping into things when you're prepping dinner or hosting a party. Our current favorite counter-depth fridge is the Haier HRF15N3AGS (available at Home Depot for $1,214.10) french-door refrigerator, which combines great temperature control, sleek looks, and a relatively low price. To find out more about our recommendations for the best counter-depth fridges, read on.
Here are our picks for the best counter-depth fridges on the market today, in order.
- Haier HRF15N3AGS
- Samsung RF23J9011SR
- Kenmore Pro 79993
- Samsung RF23HTEDBSR
- KitchenAid KRFC704FBS
- Bosch B21CL81SNS
- Electrolux EI23BC82SS
- Haier HRQ16N3BGS
- Frigidaire Gallery FGSC2335TF
- Frigidaire Professional FPBC2277RF
Updated February 05, 2019
Where To Buy$1,214.10 Home Depot Buy $1,227.40 Abt Buy $1,214.99 Best Buy Buy $1,167.49 Walmart Buy
Haier HRF15N3AGSBest Overall
Do you love the look and functionality of french-door refrigerators, but don't have the space to actually fit one in your kitchen? We have just the fridge for you: the Haier HRF15N3AGS. As a counter-depth fridge, this model is considerably narrower and shallower than most french-door fridges; while that means you'll be able to fit it in a smaller kitchen, that also means you'll be able to fit less food in the fridge in the first place.
Because it's compact, the fridge itself is pretty bare-bones. There's no ice maker or water dispenser, and the shelves aren't very adjustable. The cooling on this fridge is top notch, though, and it easily maintained fridge and freezer temperatures of 37°F and 0°F throughout our week of testing. If you don't need a lot of extra features, and want to make the most of a relatively small kitchen, the Haier HRF15N3AGS compact french-door fridge is a great pick.
How We Test
At first glance, most refrigerators don't look like anything special. All they have to do is keep your food and beverages from going bad, right? It turns out that there's a lot more to these big, heavy, cold boxes than meets the eye, and between our specially-calibrated refrigerator lab and our rigorous testing standards, the testers and writers at Reviewed can recommend specific fridge models, and back up those recommendations with hard data and personal experience.
The Refrigerator Test Lab
Just by living in the real world, you've probably noticed that appliances operate best in certain temperature conditions. Because an appliance involves a number of electronic and mechanical parts working together in harmony, the air in your home can inhibit certain parts from working at their best, especially in extremely hot or cold climates.
Refrigerators in particular can be very sensitive to the ambient air conditions. To make a long story short, refrigerators pull in air and cool it down to temperatures cold enough (usually around 37°F) to preserve food and inhibit bacteria growth. In hot weather, the condenser and cooling coils have to work harder to cool the warmer air. In cold weather, the fridge struggles to operate in general. This is why, if you happen to have a second fridge in your burning hot or freezing cold garage, you may have noticed that the air inside that fridge is not as cold as the air inside your kitchen fridge.
To mitigate these possible temperature effects, we test each refrigerator in a special lab that conditions the air to a temperature of 72°F +/- 5°F, and a relative humidity of 50% RH +/- 15% RH (basically, room temperature). This way, each fridge can get the chance to perform at its best, and doesn't get inadvertently penalized for having to deal with warmer or colder air than its competitors experienced.
Over the course of a week (including a day for calibration), we put each refrigerator through its paces. After filling the fridge up with water ballast (since fridges operate better when there's less empty space, we measure the fridge's temperature, humidity loss, freezing time, usable space, and energy use.
• Temperature — Our ideal temperature settings for the fridge and the freezer are 37°F and 0°F, respectively. With fridge temperatures higher than 37°F, you might have to start worrying about bacteria growth, as 40°F is the start of the bacteria "danger zone". Freezer temperatures warmer than 0°F mean that the food isn't being truly frozen. Once we set each fridge to those temperatures, we collect temperature data throughout the week's testing that tells us not only how close the temperature in the fridge and freezer are to 37°F and 0°F, respectively, but how close the air temperature stayed to those ideal values.
• Humidity Loss — For this test, we focus on the refrigerator's veggie crisper. We add water to a floral foam ball, and then record how much of the water is evaporated away each day. Humidity loss rates are important because if the crisper is too dry, your leafy greens will dry out very quickly. If the crisper is too humid, then your fruits will rot. Fridges that can strike a balance between these two extremes will help you to preserve your fruits and veggies for as long as possible.
• Freezing Time — Once the fridge is plugged in, we measure the time it takes for the freezer to cool down from room temperature to 32°F (the freezing temperature of water). This is a good measure of how quickly your fridge and freezer can cool down food or beverages that have just been placed inside the refrigerator.
• Usable Space — One of the most common refrigerator specs is the storage capacity, or the volume of the inside of the fridge, in cubic feet. You'd think that a higher capacity means that you can fit more in that fridge, but that's not always the case. We measure the usable space, which is how much empty space is actually available in the fridge's interior. Any number of things can reduce the usable space in a fridge—the ice bucket and/or ice maker, a water filter, air filters, shelf arrangement, etc. The closer the usable space value is to the fridge's stated storage capacity, the more food you can fit in your refrigerator.
• Energy Use — Using an electric meter, we measure the fridge's energy usage (in Watt hours) over the week of testing. The less energy used, the more efficient that fridge is, and the more money it'll safe you on utility bills in the future.
We also use each fridge in a more casual sense so that we can answer usability questions about the fridge's specs and features, like the doors, shelves, controls, water/ice dispenser, and extras like smart connectivity, door-in-door or flexible storage options, etc. If a refrigerator keeps the the temperature at a perfect 37°F, but it's very difficult to open the doors and the control panel makes no sense, we're going to penalize that fridge with respect to its ease of use.
We test each fridge from two perspectives—first, from a data-driven objective point of view, and second, as a regular person trying to get at the leftover Chinese food. The combination of these two types of experiences allows us to recommend the best fridge for you at any price point.
Where To Buy$3,094.70 AppliancesConnection Buy $3,098.70 Home Depot Buy $3,599.00 Abt Buy $3,099.99 Best Buy Buy
The Samsung RF23J9011SR french-door fridge is all about customizability. Its unique four-door design is bound to be a great conversation piece when guests enter your kitchen. The upper two doors open to reveal the usual shelf configuration that comes with a french-door refrigerator, but the bottom two doors are more reminiscent of a side-by-side fridge, with separate compartments for each door. The bottom left door is a freezer, and depending on your food preservation needs, the bottom right section can be either a fridge or a freezer.
In additional to those useful features, this refrigerator also runs efficiently, and can maintain cool temperatures when and where you need them. Between its intriguing looks and solid performance, you won't regret buying the Samsung RF23J9011SR.
Kenmore Pro 79993
Where To Buy$2,699.99 Sears Buy
Kenmore Pro 79993
Kenmore products with the "Pro" designation usually have a few luxury touches on top of an already solid design, and the Kenmore Pro 79993 french-door refrigerator is no different. This fridge has one of the best crispers we've ever seen; it easily maintains humidity levels that will preserve both leafy greens and fruits/veggies. The temperature in the fridge can run a bit warm at times, but that's easy enough to fix—just bump the temperature controls (located on the inside of the top of the fridge) down a couple degrees.
As for those other luxury touches, this fridge also comes with an additional temperature-controlled drawer that has three settings (for meat, deli, or produce), a wine rack, and rubber liners for the door shelves that make for easy clean-up after a spill. With its classy stainless steel finish, outstanding crisper, and clever extra features, we're happy to recommend the Kenmore Pro 79993 french-door refrigerator.
We're on the record as loving most of Samsung's refrigerators with with door-in-door storage, and the Samsung RF23HTEDBSR is no different. This french-door refrigerator has door-in-door storage with sliding shelves on the right side door; this allows you to pull out the stuff you need most frequently without disrupting the cooling that goes on in the rest of the fridge.
In addition to that cleverly-designed storage option, this fridge is also right on target when it comes to temperature control. While the crisper wasn't the best one we'd ever tested, the third temperature-controlled drawer option was very handy and easy to use. If you want the benefits of door-in-door storage without having a full-sized refrigerator, be sure to check out the Samsung RF23HTEDBSR.
The KitchenAid KRFC704FBS french-door fridge is all about style. From its black stainless finish to the wood and metal trim on the interior shelves and drawers, this fridge metaphorically struts down the runway and says "Look at me!", and we're happy to say that this fridge is definitely worth a look.
Even better, it also has spot-on temperatures for food preservation, a retractable middle shelf that makes room for taller items, soft-close drawers, and a control panel above the ice/water dispenser that is easy to understand and operate. For those of you out there that have some extra cash on hand and who want something more interesting than white plastic inside your refrigerator, you'll love the KitchenAid KRFC704FBS.
Where To Buy$2,604.10 AppliancesConnection Buy $2,609.10 Home Depot Buy $2,609.00 Abt Buy $2,609.99 Best Buy Buy
Did you know that Bosch, the manufacturer of some of the world's quietest dishwashers, also makes refrigerators? The Bosch B21LC81SNS is a counter-depth french-door fridge that looks like it belongs on the cover of a design magazine. While it doesn't have a through-door water dispenser, that actually makes gives it a cleaner, more streamlined look that would otherwise be broken up by the presence of said water dispenser.
Similar to their dishwashers, Bosch doesn't skimp when it comes to this fridge's capabilities. It did very well reaching and maintaining our preferred fridge and freezer temperatures of 37°F and 0°F, respectively. While the crisper wasn't the best one that's ever come through our labs, beneath the crisper lies an extra temperature-controlled drawer that can be used for a variety of foodstuffs. Whether you buy this fridge as part of a package of Bosch 800 series appliances or by itself, you'll appreciate its looks and its cooling.
Electrolux, like Bosch, is an appliance company whose products tend to straddle the line between luxury and high-end, and the Electrolux EI23BC82SS counter-depth french-door fridge is no different. One feature that really sets it apart from its competitors is the additional drawer with a temperature that you can dial in, rather than having to pick from two or three preset temperature options. This added storage flexibility can be a real boon if you have no real estate left in your crisper.
As for performance, this fridge's temperature hit its marks in the fridge, but had less success in the freezer. We noticed that the temperature swings above and below 0°F were large enough that to avoid freezer burn, we'd recommend setting the freezer temperature a couple of degrees below zero. Like the Bosch B21LC81SNS, the Electrolux EI23BC82SS is also usually part of an appliance package, but it can also be purchased by itself.
Where To Buy$1,388.00 AppliancesConnection Buy $1,394.10 Home Depot Buy $1,427.40 Abt Buy $1,394.99 Best Buy Buy
Haier knocks it out of the park again with the Haier HRQ16N3BGS, a unique french-door fridge with four doors. When it comes to temperature, this fridge does pretty well—the fridge can run a little warm at times, so be sure to bump down the temperature settings by a couple of degrees, but the freezer does just fine.
As for its fun, four-door design, the top two doors open to reveal the refrigerator, and the bottom two doors are for two separate freezer compartments. The freezer only has drawers, rather than shelves, so you won't be able to fit a frozen pizza box in here, but most smaller items and prepackaged meals should be fine. Because of this freezer limitation, though, we think that the Haier HRQ16N3BGS is best for homes with smaller families and/or a very organized person who does the grocery shopping.
Where To Buy$1,523.10 AppliancesConnection Buy $1,529.10 Home Depot Buy $1,529.00 Abt Buy $1,529.99 Best Buy Buy
With the Frigidaire FGSC2335TF, you're getting a lot of bang for your buck. While it may look like a normal counter-depth side-by-side fridge with a smudge-proof stainless steel finish and through-door water and ice dispensing out the outside, on the inside, there are a few neat features that really add to the overall value of the fridge.
Once you open the door, the clever design touches become apparent: there's a third cold drawer (in addition to two crispers) with adjustable temperature settings, multiple lights throughout the refrigerator, and wine/bottle holders on the bottom of the refrigerator door. While both the fridge and the freezer run a little hot, you can easily bump the temperature down on the control panel to compensate. With this pleasantly surprising feature set and low price, the Frigidaire FGSC2335TF is an easy choice to make.