Do you hate refrigerators that stick out from kitchen countertops? And do you want easy access to your food and drinks?
Well, counter-depth french door refrigerators were designed for homeowners like yourself.
These refrigerators have that expensive built-in look, but without all of the extra cost.
And the french style doors make it easy to reach into the freezer since it is typically a drawer on the bottom.
You may also want to read our guide on the top french door fridges with water dispensers here. In this HomeInspectorSecrets.com guide, I will go over...
- Our overall #1 top pick for the best counter-depth french style fridge
- Why you should carefully measure the width and door clearance
- Choosing between fridges based on shelf and drawer flexibility
- Factoring in the smaller storage capacity of double-door fridges (total cubic feet)
Check out our top picks below, and keep reading for the complete buyer's guide on shallow counter-depth french fridges!
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
- 36-inch wide counter depth french-door style for a built-in look
- InstaView 'window' that becomes transparent when you knock
- Door-in-Door feature for quick access to drinks & snacks
- Dual ice maker
Our overall top pick for counter-depth refrigerators goes to LG. This sleek french style fridge has InstaView which makes the door transparent when you knock. There is a dual ice maker that dispenses ice on the door and in a freezer bin. And there is also a Door-in-Door feature so you can quickly open the door without losing a lot of cold air.
What Is A Cabinet Depth French-Door Refrigerator?
A counter-depth french door refrigerator combines two desirable fridge styles into one. Here is a bit of information on each style:
Cabinet-depth fridges have a narrower depth so that they line up with your countertop and don't stick out like a sore thumb.
These shallow refrigerators are attractive because they have an expensive built-in appliance look, but without the extra costs of typical built-in fridges.
A common downside to these low-profile fridges is that since they have a smaller depth, they simply have less storage than traditional fridges. If you have a large family, you may need to get a secondary stand-alone freezer.
French Door Style
Double door refrigerators are related not to depth but with the configuration of the fridge and freezer.
With french-style fridges, the freezer is located at the bottom and the fridge is at the top. The top fridge typically has two equally spaced doors that swing outward. The freezer is usually a drawer that is pulled out, but sometimes the freezer can also be two doors that swing out (called 4-door french-style).
People love french-style fridges because it is easier to retrieve food and drinks in the fridge as well as frozen foods in the drawer-style freezer.
One possible issue with french-style fridges is that since both fridge doors swing out, you need to be certain that you have enough clearance for the fridge, and take careful measurements.
How To Pick The Best Counter-Depth Double Door Refrigerator?
There are so many new features and technologies with these modern fridges that it is impossible to list them all, but here are a few top factors to consider:
1. Ice Maker
The ice maker (like the water dispenser) can be an important feature for some buyers. The ice maker will usually have an exterior dispenser that is in the same compartment as the water dispenser.
However, some fridges have dual ice makers with an exterior and interior dispenser. The interior dispenser is usually a large removable bin that gets filled with ice.
2. Water Dispenser (And Filtration)
In addition to the ice maker, the water dispenser is crucial for some homeowners. With modern french door refrigerators, the water dispenser can have a lot of options.
Some fridges have hot water dispensers in addition to the normal cold water dispenser.
And similar to ice makers, there can be a either an internal or external dispenser. If it is internal, it is usually on the inside of the door. Some fridges also have very large internal dispensers that can fill large bottles.
You may also want to factor in the water filtration quality of the fridge as well as the cost of replacement filters.
3. Drawer & Bin Flexibility
Modern counter-depth fridges have huge functionality in regards to the bins and drawers.
Some fridges have easily movable storage and you can move the compartments around (or change the height) for maximum flexibility.
Other fridges are more rigid with the storage and you can't adjust the shelves very much.
4. Total Storage Capacity
Typical low profile fridges have less storage than side-by-side fridges, but you should at least factor in the fridge and freezer capacity measured in cubic feet.
Some cabinet-depth french style refrigerators have a design that gives it more storage than their competitors.
5. Advanced Technology & WiFi Control
And again, modern fridges have such a wide variety of new technology it is impossible to cover it all. But one feature that more fridges have is WiFi control and monitoring.
With an app on your phone, you will be able to adjust temperature and humidity.
You can also monitor the condition of the fridge or get an alarm if the door was left open.
6. Temperature & Humidity Control
New french door refrigerators sometimes have specific drawers called crispers that have digitally controlled temperature and humidity.
This is useful for keeping fruits and vegetables fresh longer by giving them a higher humidity level than the rest of the refrigerator.
In addition, modern fridges sometimes have digital control over temperature for the rest of the fridge and freezer as well as WiFi monitoring of temps. It is a good idea to always keep the fridge temperature below 40-degrees F. in order to reduce foodborne illness such as listeriosis, and WiFi monitoring helps with that.
How To Install A Counter-Depth French Fridge?
Installing a counter-depth french style fridge isn't really rocket science, and these refrigerators are simply plugged into a standard 3-pronged outlet. But here are a few installation considerations:
- Measurements: The basic installation requirement is to make sure that the fridge will fit. Carefully measure the width of your current fridge space. Also, factor in that the actual width of a fridge is usually a bit less than the advertised width.
It is essential to verify that the doors have enough room to operate in your kitchen. Since it is a french style fridge, the doors will swing outwards and you need to be sure that it won't hit anything.
- Electrical Circuit: Even though it isn't usually required by building code for the fridge to be on a dedicated circuit, we recommend it.
There is a reduced probability of the breaker tripping if the fridge is on it's own circuit with a dedicated breaker. It is also important that the fridge isn't put on a GFCI circuit by accident (or foolishness). You want to minimize the chance for the fridge to lose power and for your food to spoil.
- Level the Fridge: One of the first things you do when installing a fridge is to level it by adjusting the front legs. If the fridge isn't properly leveled, it can make a lot of noise, and make the compressor work harder.
Our Reviews of the Best Shallow French Door Refrigerators
Our overall top pick goes to LG which makes some of the most advanced appliances in the U.S., and this 36" french style counter-depth fridge is no exception (21.9 cu Ft. total capacity).
Probably the biggest feature of this LG fridge is the InstaView door window. You just knock on the right door, and it goes transparent so you can see what's in the fridge (without opening the door). And the Door-in-Door feature allows you to quickly open the door without losing a lot of cold air.
This LG french door fridge also has a dual ice maker which dispenses on the door and into a freezer bin. It is also designed to operate with low noise and features its patented LoDecibal technology.
This Bosch 800 Series is an excellent choice for a counter-depth french fridge made out of stainless steel.
It is 36-inches wide, and since it is cabinet-depth, it will blend into your kitchen with that desired built-in look.
It has a total storage capacity of 20.5-cu. Ft. and has an internal ice maker and water dispenser.
One nice feature is the flexible storage options with Bosch's patented FlexBar so you can move around the shelving with a lot of flexibility. There is also VitaFreshPro which is a smart feature that automatically optimizes temperature and humidity to keep your foods fresh longer than your average refrigerator.
Frigidaire is a leading appliance manufacturer and this counter-depth french style refrigerator (Model #FRQG1721AV) is a top pick for a sweet minimalistic design.
It is a 4-door french style fridge where all the doors swing out from the middle. The width is 33-inches and the storage capacity is about 17.4-cu Ft.
This is a perfect fridge if you don't want extra features like a water and ice dispenser but prefer a minimalistic shallow design.
Since the bottom freezer doors swing out, it makes it even easier to access your frozen goods. And the freezer is organized with 4 pull-out bins and drawers, making food selection simple. There are also two evaporators with this fridge called TwinTech which help preserve your frozen and refrigerated foods longer.
Cafe appliances are known for their stylish looks, and this Cafe counter-depth french door fridge is no exception—our top pick for best looks.
This Cafe low profile fridge is 36-inches wide with a total storage capacity of 22.2-cu Ft.
One cool highlight of the fridge is that it includes a hot water dispenser that has precise temperature (and volume) control.
And since this Cafe fridge is WiFi-enabled (with remote monitoring), you can even program it to have the hot water ready each morning at a precise time. The LED lighting is fantastic, and it includes a digital temperature-controlled drawer for precision storage.
GE is one of the top appliance brands in the world, and this counter-depth french style fridge is a great option.
It is 36-inches wide and has two swing-out fridge doors, and a pull-out freezer. The freezer has two levels of pull-out baskets for easier food access.
The fridge has two humidity and temperature controlled drawers to keep your fruits/vegetables fresh longer.
One cool feature is the turbo cool and turbo freeze settings which enable your fridge to have an extra dose of cold air to get it back to optimal temps (after opening the door). And the water dispenser is extra tall to accommodate large bottles and pitchers.
Our Top Pick: LG
Our overall top rated pick for the best cabinet-depth french door refrigerator goes to this LG model. Here's our top reasons:
The InstaView feature is something unique to LG that comes in handy. All you have to do is knock on the door, and it instantly becomes transparent so you can see what's in the fridge without opening it.
The Door-in-Door feature is also great for preserving the fridge efficiency. It allows you to quickly gain access to your drinks and snacks while minimizing air loss.
3. Dual Ice Makers
Never run out of ice again with LG's dual ice makers. It dispenses ice to the external door side, and it also dispenses ice to a freezer storage bin.