Woman opening a built-in side-by-side refrigerator in a kitchen with commercial-style appliances

Types of Refrigerators to Choose From for Your Kitchen

A refrigerator keeps your ingredients fresh and organized so they’re ready to use and easy to find whenever culinary inspiration strikes. And now, you have more options than ever before. But, which type of refrigerator is actually right for you? Discover the many different types of KitchenAid® refrigerators to find the right style and model for your kitchen and culinary needs.

How Many Refrigerator Types are There?

There are five common refrigerator configurations that differ by door design and interior layout. French door, side-by-side, top or bottom mount freezer and undercounter refrigerators or beverage centers are some of the most common styles of refrigerators. However, you can also choose from different depths, finishes and installation styles, making the different types of refrigerators numerous.

KitchenAid brand has a range of refrigerator types to choose from, so you can find a new refrigerator that matches the way you make.

Woman in pink sweater putting herbs in French door type of refrigerator Woman in pink sweater putting herbs in French door type of refrigerator

Refrigerator Type by STYLE


1. French Door Refrigerators

French door styles feature two upper doors that open to reveal a full-width refrigerator compartment and in-door storage—much like a pantry. The freezer is located in a pull-out drawer below. This type of fridge often comes with more features and high-end finishes compared to other configurations. 

French door refrigerators are popular for their expansive fresh food storage space up top, where you can easily organize and reach items. The wide compartments allow you to store large items like platters or oversized dishes. This refrigerator style has narrow doors, making KitchenAid® French Door Refrigerators a good choice for galley-style kitchens or placement behind an island.

French Door Refrigerator Features:

  • Full-width fresh and frozen storage

  • Easy access to fresh items kept at eye-level

  • Larger refrigerator compartment vs freezer

  • Narrow doors for placement near islands

  • Exterior ice and water dispensers are common

  • Offers some of the largest overall capacity options

  • Premium finishes and features frequently available

Browse KITCHENAID® french door refrigerators

French door refrigerators from KitchenAid offer an intuitive layout, premium touchpoints and innovative features. Keep food organized and at peak freshness with customizable interiors and temperatures for ingredients as varied as salmon and papaya.

Woman preparing food in front of side-by-side fridge type in modern kitchen Woman preparing food in front of side-by-side fridge type in modern kitchen

2. Side-by-Side Refrigerators

This style features side-by-side refrigerator and freezer compartments. The two vertical spaces create flexible storage options for both the refrigerator and freezer, letting you place the items you access most—fresh or frozen—at eye level. As with French door refrigerators, you’ll also often find larger capacities and higher-end features available.

Having a bit more freezer capacity than French door models makes this a good option if you frequently preserve seasonal favorites in the freezer. The sleek, streamlined exteriors of KitchenAid® side-by-side refrigerators feature two narrow doors that help free up space to move around your kitchen when accessing the fridge.

Learn more about side-by-side vs. french door refrigerators to see which one might be the best type of refrigerator for you.

Side-by-Side Refrigerator Features:

  • A bit more freezer capacity vs French door styles

  • Easy access to both fresh and frozen items

  • Adjustable shelves, door bins and more for customizable storage

  • Exterior ice and water dispensers are common

  • Two narrow doors—perfect for tight spaces

  • Large capacity options available

  • Higher-end finishes and features frequently available

shop KITCHENAID® side-by-side refrigerators

KitchenAid brand offers a full lineup of side-by-side refrigerators with features designed to keep your food organized and fresh. Select models feature the Preserva® Food Care System with three technologies that work in concert to help assure crisp produce and deliciously flavorful foods while helping to eliminate refrigerator odors.

Open bottom freezer refrigerator drawer with food inside Open bottom freezer refrigerator drawer with food inside

3. Bottom Mount Freezer Refrigerators

Bottom freezer refrigerators offer a traditional look with a contemporary setup. Reach fresh food easily in a full-width top refrigerator with a freezer below that is accessible by either a door or pull-out drawer. You may find more compact options in this style along with a more streamlined set of features.

These types of fridges offer the conveniences of an updated top-refrigerator setup with some lower-priced options. While bottom mount refrigerators are less likely to offer premium features, some KitchenAid® Bottom Freezer Refrigerator models are available with easy upgrades including optional ice maker kits.

Bottom Mount Freezer Refrigerator Features:

  • Easy access to fresh items

  • Larger refrigerator vs freezer compartment

  • Wide doors for continuous in-door storage

  • A traditional look with a contemporary setup

  • More streamlined set of features available

  • Large and compact refrigerator models available

shop KITCHENAID® bottom refrigerators

Find the best of contemporary conveniences with streamlined design in bottom mount refrigerators from KitchenAid. A wide pantry lets you properly store everything from meats to produce in a full width compartment. Select models feature the ExtendFresh™ Temperature Management System and Produce Preserver to help maintain the taste and texture of your fresh food.

4. Top Mount Freezer Refrigerators

This classic style of refrigerator features a freezer up top and refrigerator below. Frozen items are easy to access, but you may need to bend or stoop for fresh items in the lower refrigerator compartment. Top mount refrigerators are frequently available with a streamlined set of features and an entry price point. You’ll also find some of the smallest sizes in this style if you’re looking for a compact refrigerator.

Top Freezer Refrigerator Features:

  • A traditional look with freezer on top and refrigerator below

  • Easy access to frozen items

  • Wide doors with continuous storage

  • Wide selection of sizes including compact

  • Entry price point models with less features available

French door refrigerator in contemporary kitchen French door refrigerator in contemporary kitchen

Refrigerator Type by Installation


5. Freestanding Refrigerators

This is the most common type of refrigerator installation. Freestanding fridges can be placed just about anywhere with the necessary hookups—power and/or water, and the required clearances around it. Make sure you measure ahead of time to ensure it will fit your space. Freestanding models offer the most options in refrigerator types, sizes and finishes vs other types of fridge installations. You can usually find a freestanding model in any of the refrigerator styles discussed below.

Freestanding Refrigerator Features:

  • Easy to install

  • Fits easily into most kitchens as it does not require cabinet installation

  • Standard-depth and counter-depth options

  • Available in multiple configurations

shop KITCHENAID® freestanding refrigerators

Browse KitchenAid® freestanding refrigerators in French door, side-by-side and bottom freezer options that offer flexible installation with a bold blend of professionally-inspired design and sleek touches for your home.

Built-in refrigerator style installed in white cabinets in modern kitchen Built-in refrigerator style installed in white cabinets in modern kitchen

6. Built-In Refrigerators

Built-in refrigerators are affixed to the wall and installed inside cabinets, allowing for a seamless integration and a premium look. Some built-in refrigerators are even panel ready so you can match the exterior to your existing cabinets. It is more common to find French door and side-by-side refrigerators with built-in installation, though KitchenAid brand offers a range of built-in refrigerator styles. 

This refrigerator type is often taller with extra wide options available up to around 48 inches. The width can make up for some loss in depth since built-ins are often flush with cabinets at 24 inches deep. Because built-in refrigerators sometimes require custom cabinetry, they are considered more permanent than freestanding models.

Built-In Refrigerator Features:

  • Provides a seamless integration with cabinetry

  • Opens up kitchen space for more freedom to move around

  • Lends a premium look to your kitchen

shop KITCHENAID® built-in refrigerators

Learn more about how KitchenAid® built-in refrigerators combine design and functionality to complement your kitchen layout. With the FIT System, you’re guaranteed that your new refrigerator will fit seamlessly into your cabinetry, or KitchenAid brand will pay up to $300 to modify your cabinets.

Black stainless steel full-depth refrigerator style in kitchen Black stainless steel full-depth refrigerator style in kitchen

Refrigerator Type by depth


7. Standard-Depth Refrigerators

Standard-depth, or full-depth refrigerators, usually measure 35–36 inches from front to back. If you install this type of refrigerator between counters or cabinets, it will likely stick out past them by as much as half a foot or more. Considered full-sized fridges, KitchenAid® standard-depth, or full-depth refrigerators offer a few more inches of front to back storage than slimmer models.

Standard-Depth Refrigerator Features:

  • Larger size adds more storage for fresh ingredients

  • Selection of finish options to match any kitchen

  • A timeless look and size 

  • Exterior ice and water dispensers are common

shop KITCHENAID® standard-depth refrigerators

Explore standard-depth refrigerators from KitchenAid to find the model with the right size and style to match the way you create.

Stainless steel counter-depth refrigerator style in kitchen Stainless steel counter-depth refrigerator style in kitchen

8. Counter-Depth Refrigerators

This type of refrigerator is usually around 24 inches deep, matching the depth of cabinets and counters for a nearly flush installation. This helps create clean lines in your kitchen design, and can create a built-in look even with freestanding refrigerators. Counter-depth fridges are sometimes a little wider or taller than standard-sized fridges so you won’t lose much in capacity.

Counter-Depth Refrigerator Features:

  • Flush with cabinets and counters

  • Lends a sleek and built-in feel to a kitchen

  • Comes in a variety of door configurations to best suit your needs

  • Adjustable shelf options available

shop KITCHENAID® counter-depth refrigerators

KitchenAid offers a variety of counter-depth refrigerators to match the flow and design of your kitchen without sacrificing the storage space you need for all of your fresh ingredients.

Black stainless steel refrigerator style in dark, modern kitchen Black stainless steel refrigerator style in dark, modern kitchen

Refrigerator Type by Finish


9. Stainless Steel and Black Stainless Steel Refrigerators

Stainless steel is a durable, versatile finish that can bring a modern or industrial look to kitchens or serve as a contrasting focal point for more traditional styles. Classic stainless steel is a popular choice offered by most brands in many configurations. Some brands now offer black stainless steel refrigerators for an updated twist that lends a rich depth to this kitchen favorite. 

Stainless Steel and Black Stainless Steel Refrigerator Features:

  • Sleek and modern style can blend with a range of kitchen aesthetics

  • PrintShield finish options available that resists smudges and fingerprints

  • Durable finish that is easy to clean

shop KITCHENAID® stainless steep refrigerators

Look for select KitchenAid® stainless steel and black stainless steel refrigerators with PrintShield™ finish for an exterior that resists smudges and fingerprints. The specialized coating for stainless steel is easy to clean with just water and a soft cloth, so you can spend more time cooking and less time cleaning up.

Black stainless refrigerator style in modern kitchen Black stainless refrigerator style in modern kitchen

10. Black and White Refrigerators

Black or white refrigerators are a classic choice and can pair well with a range of styles. You may find entry price points for this type of refrigerator finish, depending on the model. Neutral black refrigerators can help ground colorful kitchens while white adds a bright touch of freshness.

Black and White Refrigerator Features:

  • Pairs with a wide variety of kitchen styles

  • Lends a timeless feel to your kitchen

shop KITCHENAID® black & white refrigerators

KitchenAid brand offers a selection of white refrigerators with premium design touchpoints that may have you seeing this traditional color in a new light.

Minimal kitchen with gray cabinets and panel-ready refrigerator Minimal kitchen with gray cabinets and panel-ready refrigerator

11. Panel-Ready Refrigerators

For a completely seamless integration, opt for a panel-ready refrigerator. This type of fridge allows you to affix your own custom panel on the exterior to match your cabinets. From off-white farmhouse cabinets to minimal modern designs, even a large appliance like a refrigerator can blend in.

Panel-Ready Refrigerator Features:

  • Can be customized to match your cabinetry

  • Seamless and modern look

  • Panel-ready finishes camouflage appliances to keep the flow of your kitchen design uninterrupted

shop KITCHENAID® panel-ready refrigerators

Shop KitchenAid® panel-ready refrigerators in French door, side-by-side and even undercounter styles to seamlessly integrate the refrigerator of your choice into your kitchen, rec room and more.

Undercounter refrigerators with food and drinks inside Undercounter refrigerators with food and drinks inside

12. Other Refrigerator Types

Open undercounter refrigerator with appetizers and drinks inside


Undercounter refrigerators can be installed in a kitchen island or other kitchen cabinets for extra storage of your favorite ingredients. Or, add one to your entertainment space to keep beverages and appetizers on hand. Shop KitchenAid® undercounter refrigerators for a range of finishes or panel-ready models that blend into surrounding cabinets so you can entertain in style.

Undercounter Refrigerator Features:

  • Compact size allows you to install the refrigerator in any location in your home

  • Adds extra food storage for homes with large families

  • Provides easy access to beverages and snacks for entertaining

Open beverage center type of fridge with wine bottles and drinks


What sets this type of undercounter refrigerator apart is dual temperature zones that allow you to store multiple types of beverages or foods at their ideal temperature. Select KitchenAid® beverage centers feature metal or wood-front racks to hold up to 14 wine bottles below with room for drinks and food on the full-width shelves above.

Beverage Center Features:

  • Combination of shelves and bottle racks can store a wide variety of beverages

  • Many models offer Two Temperature-Controlled Zones

  • Stainless steel and panel-ready finish options

Open wine cellar style of refrigerator full of red and white wine


This type of refrigerator is dedicated solely to wine bottle storage. Wine enthusiasts will appreciate multiple temperature zones in some wine cellars that allow them to preserve white or red wine in optimal conditions. Select KitchenAid® wine cellars hold up to 46 standard Bordeaux-size bottles and temperature monitoring systems for added peace of mind. Learn more about these appliances with our wine refrigerator buying guide.

Wine Cellar Features:

  • Horizontal racks for ideal wine storage

  • Some models offer Two Temperature-Controlled Zones 

  • Wood-front and metal rack options

shop KITCHENAID® undercounter refrigerators

Explore all styles of undercounter refrigerators from KitchenAid to help you add storage space to your kitchen and entertain with ease.

What Style of Refrigerator is Most Efficient?

Refrigerators that are ENERGY STAR® certified, like this KitchenAid® Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Exterior Ice and Water, are about 9 percent more energy efficient than standard models, regardless of the configuration of the refrigerator. If you are looking for the most energy efficient refrigerators, choose which configuration fits your making and your kitchen best, then look for ENERGY STAR® certified models in that style.

What Type of Refrigerator is Best for Your Kitchen?

The best type of refrigerator for you will fit effortlessly into your kitchen, your design aesthetic and the way you make. 

When shopping for a new refrigerator, consider the following:

  • Your kitchen’s design aesthetic can help you determine which configuration is right for you. If you prefer a premium and integrated look, a built-in refrigerator may be the best choice. If you have a narrow kitchen, consider a counterdepth model for a more seamless look.

  • Which ingredients do you use the most? If you find yourself over-packing the refrigeration section of your appliance, a french door model may be the upgrade your kitchen needs, or review our large capacity refrigerators options.

  • Consider which color or finish will best elevate the look of your kitchen. Stainless steel adds sleek flair to modern kitchens, while black or white finishes can offer a more traditional aesthetic.

shop POPULAR KITCHENAID® refrigerators


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