Standard refrigerator sizes vary by dimensions, style, and capacity.
Each adult requires 4 to 6 cubic feet of refrigerator space for groceries.
Standard-depth refrigerators offer more cubic space than counter-depth refrigerators.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, so when it comes time to replace your fridge, it’s worth putting the time and effort into choosing the right refrigerator size and style for your household. Believe it or not, there isn’t one standard refrigerator size; there are many different dimensions based on the type of refrigerator you choose. Whether you decide on a top or bottom freezer, french doors with a bottom freezer, or a side-by-side refrigerator, we’ll help you find the right size refrigerator for you.
What to Consider When Choosing a Refrigerator Size
When narrowing down a refrigerator size, consider two important factors: how the fridge will fit into your kitchen space and how much room you need to store food. Refrigerators come in various depths, widths, and heights to fit into your countertops and kitchen layout, squeeze into small spaces, or provide ample storage in large kitchens for dedicated home cooks. They also feature different cubic-feet capacities for a range of family sizes.
Standard Refrigerator Sizes by Dimensions
Let's start with the basics. Begin by considering whether you need a small, medium, or large refrigerator. We'll go more into each fridge size and its measurements below, but on a basic level, here's what you can expect from the three standard sizes.
Small refrigerators: These typically measure 24 inches wide, 60 to 75 inches high, and 29 to 33 inches deep. Their thin yet tall shape is ideal for apartments and kitchenettes.
Medium refrigerators: Medium fridges usually measure about 33 inches wide, 65 to 75 inches high, and 30 to 36 inches deep. You'll find a wider range of configurations for medium to large kitchens in these dimensions.
Large refrigerators: When you have plenty of space to play, opt for a wider fridge with a larger capacity. Larger fridges measure around 36 inches wide, 60 to 70 inches high, and 30 to 36 inches deep.
Standard Refrigerator Size by Number of People
In addition to considering the dimensions of refrigerators, it's useful to know the capacity of a new fridge in cubic feet—in other words, how much food it can hold. The rule of thumb is that adults need 4 to 6 cubic feet of refrigerator space. Depending on the size of your household, you’ll need:
1 to 2 people: 4–13 cubic feet
3 to 4 people: 14–24 cubic feet
5 or more people: 25 or more cubic feet
So, how do you choose a refrigerator size based on the number of people and cubic feet capacity? Here's how the numbers line up:
Small Refrigerators: Offer 11–13 cubic feet of space, ideal for 1 to 2 people.
Medium Refrigerators: Offer 18–22 cubic feet, ideal for a family of 3 or 4.
Large Refrigerators: Offer 22–28 cubic feet, ideal for a large family or active home chefs.
Special Considerations for Choosing Fridge Sizes
While researching new refrigerators for your home, you should take an in-depth look at the needs of your household and your size restrictions. Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you planning to grow your family in the near future?
Do you prefer standard-depth refrigerators for more space or counter-depth refrigerators for a built-in look?
Are you an aspiring chef that likes to cook and has a lot of food on hand?
Do you have the space for a large refrigerator?
How to Choose the Right Refrigerator Size and Type
Once you’ve measured your space (see the next section for how to do so) and considered important factors, such as household size and how much storage you need, you’ll have many options when searching for refrigerators by dimensions. Keep in mind that standard-depth refrigerators average 30 to 36 inches deep, and counter-depth averages 23 to 27 inches deep.
Top and Bottom Freezer Refrigerator Dimensions
Both top and bottom freezers fit the bill for those searching for a compact refrigerator. These models are perfect for one to two people. The average measurements are 65 to 69 inches high, 23 to 36 inches wide, and 24 to 33 inches deep.
French Door With Bottom Freezer Refrigerator Dimensions
If you’re looking for midsized capacity refrigerators, french doors with freezers on the bottom are a great option. Perfect for households consisting of one to four people, the average measurements are 67 to 70 inches high, 30 to 36 inches wide, and 29 to 35 inches deep.
Side-by-Side Refrigerator Dimensions
Finally, households of five or more people that require large-capacity storage options should choose a side-by-side refrigerator. Perfect for buying, cooking, and storing in bulk, the average measurements are 67 to 72 inches high, 30 to 36 inches wide, and 29 to 35 inches deep.
How to Measure Your Space for a New Refrigerator
When purchasing a new refrigerator, you’ll want to ensure that you measure the space within your kitchen correctly. If you’re unsure how to measure your space, you can hire a handyperson to help with this step. Follow these guidelines to get the most accurate measurements possible.
Measure the width: Start by measuring three points—the width of your refrigerator space at the countertop, the area beneath the upper cabinets, and the base of the cabinets. Leave at least 1/2 inch on each side for ventilation.
Measure the height: Measure from the floor to the lowest point under the upper set of cabinets. You’ll need at least 1 to 2 inches of overhead space for ventilation.
Measure the depth: Start at the back wall and measure to the front edge of your cabinets. You can also measure up to 6 inches past your cabinets for standard-depth models. Leave at least 1 to 2 inches of room at the back for proper ventilation.
Account for hinge and wall space: Whether you choose a standard-depth or counter-depth refrigerator, ensure that the hinges and doors won’t swing into cabinetry, islands, or walls when opening. Allow 2 inches of space between the hinge and the wall.
Adjust measurements for ventilation: As noted above, air must be able to circulate on each side of the refrigerator to keep it from overworking and thus overheating. To account for ventilation, add at least a 1/2 inch to the two sides of the fridge, 2 inches between the back of the fridge and the wall, and 1 to 2 inches between the top of the fridge and overhead storage or the ceiling.
Calculate capacity in cubic feet: Choose a model that includes enough storage space for your cooking habits and the number of people in your home. Again, 11 to 13 cubic feet is best for up to two people, 18 to 22 cubic feet is best for three to four people, and 22 to 28 cubic feet is best for five or more people.
Measure entry points: You’ll want to measure the height and width of any area the refrigerator needs to go through to get to your kitchen, including your entryways and hallways.
Pro tip: New refrigerators may require upgraded electrical outlets. When pulling out your old refrigerator, check to see if you should call an electrician near you to upgrade your outlet before installing your new refrigerator.
How to Install a New Refrigerator
While many homeowners choose to purchase a fridge directly from an appliance store, not every store offers a delivery service. Installing a new refrigerator requires a plan for removing and disposing of your old fridge, creating a pathway into your home for delivery of the new fridge, and following the instructions in the manual for proper hookup.
The cost to move a refrigerator typically ranges from $150 to $250, but this cost is sometimes reduced or rolled into the price of a new fridge. Here are the basic steps for installing a new refrigerator:
Disconnect your old fridge from the power and water line and let your freezer defrost.
Request the help of one or two extra people to move the fridge on a dolly after securing it with straps and protecting your floors and walls from damage. Dispose of the fridge properly based on your local waste laws.
Designate a clear path to roll in the new fridge through your home. Some manuals recommend removing the refrigerator doors to reduce extra weight. Secure the fridge to the dolly and protect it with blankets for a smooth transition.
With the help of your helpers, transfer the fridge carefully to its new spot without tipping it on its side.
Ensure that you place the fridge in an area that allows proper ventilation on each side.
Let the refrigerator sit between 12 and 24 hours before plugging it in to allow chemicals to shift back into place after earlier movement.
Follow the instructions on your new model to connect the water line or install new tubing. You’ll likely need to purchase a new water line kit for this step.
Follow the steps to ensure the line connects properly before plugging in the fridge and programming the settings.
If you need to remove the doors to bring your new refrigerator inside—or if the water line installation looks a bit beyond your DIY comfort level—you should consider hiring a local appliance installation pro to ensure a smooth installation. Your appliance pro will also confirm that your new fridge is running smoothly and is ready to store your groceries.