top of page

Refrigerator Sizing & Buying Guide

At our Clearance Center, truckloads of appliances arrive weekly! You'll find factory blemish items, scratch & dent products, and even brand-new in-box appliances. Of course, choosing the right refrigerator is an essential decision for any homeowner to make. And with so many different styles and sizes available, it can be difficult to know where to start!

In this buying guide, we'll discuss everything you need to know about refrigerator sizing, measuring for a new refrigerator, the different types of refrigerators, and the most commonly found refrigerator features.

Refrigerator Sizes:

Refrigerators come in a variety of sizes, ranging from compact models that are perfect for small spaces to larger family-sized units. The specific style of a refrigerator will also impact its typical sizing dimensions. When selecting the right size for your needs, consider the number of people living in your household, if you host often, storage needs, and overall lifestyle. Here are the most common refrigerator sizes available:

  • Compact: Compact refrigerators are around 1 to 3 cubic feet. This size is typically used as a mini or additional refrigerator to store refreshments or snacks for entertaining.

  • Midsize: Midsize refrigerators are around 4 to 10 cubic feet. This size is great for smaller spaces such as apartments or narrow kitchens.

  • Full-size: Full-size refrigerators are around 10 to 25 cubic feet. This is the standard and most common refrigerator size.

  • Large: Large refrigerators are around 25 to 35 cubic feet. This size offers the most storage and is a great option for large households.

Measuring For A New Refrigerator:

Before purchasing a new refrigerator, it's important to measure the depth and space where it will be installed to ensure it properly fits. Here are a few expert tips to keep in mind when taking refrigerator measurements:

  • Measure the space where your new fridge will be placed. This includes measuring the width, height, and depth of the overall space.

  • Make sure to consider extra space for ventilation and door swing if your new unit will be installed in an area surrounded by cabinetry.

  • Factor in how far your refrigerator will stick out from the wall or cabinets to get a better idea of the overall desired fit. Specific types of refrigerator styles such as built-in or counter-depth options will provide more kitchen space than others.

  • Lastly, keep your refrigerator’s dimensions on hand and measure any doorways or entryways that your fridge needs to pass through in order to reach its final destination.

Types of Refrigerators:

Let’s dive into the different types of refrigerators available to help you determine which style is the perfect fit for your kitchen needs. While they are all great options, some styles are likely to be a better fit for your than others as they each offer their own unique design, features, and benefits. Here are the most common types of refrigerators:

French Door Refrigerators

What They Are: French door refrigerators have two fresh food storage compartments that open from the center, with a freezer drawer on the bottom of the unit. The refrigerator compartment is usually wider than other styles of refrigerators, allowing for easier storage of larger items and ample space for bulk buying fresh groceries.


  • Wide shelves and compartments

  • Larger fresh food storage

  • Narrower refrigerator doors

  • Easy eye-level access to fresh food

Side-by-Side Refrigerators

What They Are: Side-by-side refrigerators open from the center and have two separate evenly divided storage compartments. A freezer compartment is featured on one side and a refrigerator compartment on the other. The doors run uninterruptibly from top to bottom and open vertically providing easy access to both fresh and frozen foods. These tend to be wider than other refrigerator types and have plenty of door storage space. Benefits:

  • Large freezer capacity

  • Vertical storage

  • Narrower refrigerator doors

  • Lower price points

Built-in Refrigerators

What They Are: Built-in refrigerators are designed to fit seamlessly into kitchen cabinetry and have a custom high-end look. They are often wider and taller than standard refrigerators, with a depth built to perfectly match surrounding cabinets. Although a rare find at our Clearance Center, these models are also known for their luxurious look and for providing better temperature controls.


  • Seamless high-end appearance

  • Panel-ready options to match cabinetry

  • Takes up less kitchen space

  • Multiple sizing options

  • Built with high-quality materials

Counter-Depth Refrigerators

What They Are: Counter-depth refrigerators are designed to be flush with the countertops for a sleek, built-in look. They are typically narrower and shallower than other types of refrigerators which means they do have less storage capacity. This style tends to be a more affordable option for those looking to achieve the high-end built-in look without the price tag. Benefits:

  • More affordable

  • Sleek streamlined look

  • Saves kitchen space

  • Easy access to all compartments

Top Mount Refrigerators

What They Are: Top-mount refrigerators have a freezer compartment on top and a refrigerator compartment on the bottom. They are one of the most common and affordable types of refrigerators, coming in a variety of different sizes. They do not typically come with high-tech features but they do offer wide storage space for larger items. Benefits:

  • More affordable

  • Known for being energy efficient

  • Freezer items are at eye level

  • Good refrigeration storage capacity

Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

What They Are: Bottom freezer refrigerators have a freezer compartment on the bottom and a refrigerator compartment on top. They provide easy access to fresh food and often have wider shelves offering good storage space. Like top-mount refrigerators, this style tends to be more energy-efficient when compared to other styles. Benefits:

  • Minimizes overhead lifting

  • Fresh food is easily accessible

  • Great for small spaces

  • More freezer storage when compared to top-mount units

Specialty Refrigerators

What They Are: Specialty refrigerators include models designed for specific purposes, such as beverage coolers, wine refrigerators, and under-counter refrigerators. These are great choices for those who love to host and entertain in their home as they provide targeted storage for specific food or drink items.


  • Help save space in the main refrigerator

  • Provide optimal temperatures for specific beverage items such as wines

  • Conveniently store specific snacks and drinks for entertaining guests

  • Easily store food or drink items that are not used as often

Mini Refrigerators

What They Are: Mini refrigerators are designed to optimize convenience and practicality when it comes to small spaces. They're easily portable and fit comfortably in dorm rooms, office spaces, RVs, and other small spaces. Because of their small storage capacity, they are good for storing your favorite beverages and small snacks or meals.


  • Easily portable

  • Fits almost anywhere

  • Affordable

  • Consumes less energy

Common Refrigerator Features

In addition to size and type, you should consider prioritizing certain refrigerator features that best match your wants and needs. Here are some of the most common features found in refrigerators:

  • Adjustable shelves: Shelving options that can be moved up or down to rearrange your fridge and better accommodate or organize items.

  • Energy Efficiency: This is when the unit consumes less overall energy, look for refrigerators that are Energy Star Certified to get the best energy-saving models.

  • Door-in-Door Storage: These are compartments on the inside of a refrigerator door used for neatly storing smaller items little condiments, jars, and bottles. This feature allows you to access those items without needing to open the whole fridge which reduces energy costs.

  • Crisper Drawers: These are drawers that control humidity levels in order to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh longer.

  • Ice Maker: A feature that automatically makes ice cubes or crushed ice. There are even select units that provide craft ice makers that will instantly uplift any at-home cocktails or drinks.

  • Filtered Water & Ice Dispenser: This is a feature that dispenses chilled and filtered water or ice on demand.

  • Defrost: A feature that prevents ice build-up in the freezer compartment.

  • Wifi Enabled/Smart-Features: Internet-connected features that allow for remote monitoring and control of the refrigerator Through your smart device. Allows you access to recipes, voice commands, and other modern features.

  • Sabbath Mode: Allows you to open and close the refrigerator or freezer compartments without activating the interior lights or sounds.

  • LED Lighting: Energy-efficient lighting that is used to illuminate the interior of a refrigerator, making it easier to spot items in your fridge.

  • Door Alarm: An alarm that alerts you when the refrigerator door has been left open for too long.

  • Temperature Zones: Some refrigerators include additional drawers or compartments that allow you to independently control their temperature settings. This lets you set specific temperatures for optimal storage of certain food items.

The Perfect Refrigerator For You

Now it’s time to choose the refrigerator style and size that best fits your budget and lifestyle needs. Browse our great selection of refrigerators from top brands such as GE Appliances, LG Appliances, Whirlpool Appliances, and so much more. Want to know the best part? ALL appliances come with a full manufacturer warranty, and if you’re looking for extra coverage, there are options for extended warranties on your purchase.

Whether you're facing an unexpected refrigerator breakdown or just on a lil' shopping spree, our Sales Professional team is ready to help you 7 days a week! Feel free to give us a call or stop by our Sherman's Warehouse Clearance Center in Peoria Heights to discover your perfect refrigerator!

Didn’t find the answer to your question or looking for more information? Contact us or check out some of our other blog posts:


bottom of page