Project Guide

How to Measure a Refrigerator

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1
What is the Standard Size of a Refrigerator?
A stainless steel standard refrigerator fit into built-in cabinets.

Standard refrigerator dimensions vary depending on the type of refrigerator. Whether you are envisioning a bottom-freezer, top-freezer, side-by-side or French door model fridge, you can expect a standard fridge to have exterior measurements that range from 28 3/4-inches to 39 3/4-inches in width, 61 3/4-inches to 71 1/4-inches in height and 28 3/4-inches to 34 5/8-inches in depth. 


  • Standard-depth refrigerators extend about 6-inches past the front of the counters. Counter-depth refrigerators are meant to be flush with the front of the counters. 
  • Total interior volume, including the freezer, can range anywhere from 10-cubic feet to 25-cubic feet. If you are wondering how to measure the cubic feet of a refrigerator, measure the refrigerator’s interior width, height and depth and multiply all three numbers together. You may need to remove shelves and drawers to get the most accurate measurements. 
     

For more specific measurements for each refrigerator style, see our refrigerator size chart below. 

2
Refrigerator Size Chart
A diagram showing the standard dimensions of a bottom-freezer refrigerator, top-freezer refrigerator, side-by-side refrigerator and french door refrigerator.
  • Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators: 29 1/2- to 32 3/4-inches in width, 67- to 70-inches in height and 33 3/8-inches in depth 
  • Top-Freezer Refrigerators: 28 3/4- to 32 3/4-inches in width, 61 3/4- to 66 1/4-inches in height and 28 3/4- to 34 1/2-inches in depth 
  • Side-By-Side Refrigerators: 32 3/4- to 39 3/4-inches in width, 65 7/8- to 71 1/4-inches in height and 29 3/4- to 31 1/4-inches in depth 
  • French Door Refrigerators: 29 1/2- to 36-inches in width, 68 1/2- to 70 1/8-inches in height and 29 3/8- to 34 5/8-inches in depth 
3
Measure Your Kitchen Space
A kitchen with partially-installed cabinets and a large space where a refrigerator will be installed.

Since the size of a refrigerator will differ between models and brands, you should still know how to measure a refrigerator and carefully measure your kitchen space, even if you are familiar with the standard refrigerator dimensions. Knowing the standard height of a refrigerator, after all, won’t necessarily tell you if the refrigerator you want is too tall for your space. With tape measures and other measuring tools as needed, start gathering the following measurements. 


  • Measure the width of the space you plan to install the refrigerator at the upper cabinet, countertop and base levels. You want to measure the space at its narrowest points to ensure a good fit.  
  • Measure the height of the space from the floor to the lowest point on the upper cabinet. Make this measurement twice, first at the front of the space and then at the back of the space. These two measurements should be equal, but if they are not, work with the shorter of the two measurements. 
  • Measure the depth from the back wall to the front edge of your counters. 
  • If you have an island in your kitchen, measure the distance between the island and the counters adjacent to the refrigerator to ensure clearance during delivery. 
     

Tip: Always measure the space where you plan to place the new refrigerator. Never measure your old refrigerator. 

4
Measure the Ventilation Space
A built-in refrigerator with a couple inches of ventilation space between it and the upper cabinets.

Air must be able to circulate around the box to help the refrigerator run efficiently, avoid overheating and last its full life span. The refrigerator will need minimum clearances of 2-inches from the back wall, 1-inch from the upper cabinet and 1/8-inch on either side of the fridge.


  • Subtract the minimum clearance from initial space measurements to find the maximum dimensions of the refrigerator models you can consider. 
  • Always check the manufacturer's recommendations on breathing space for the model and adjust your measurements accordingly.
5
Measure the Refrigerator Door
A built-in french door refrigerator with one of its doors open.

When shopping for a new refrigerator, note the measurements of the model’s doors.  


  • Be sure to take the angle of the door outswing and the drawer path in a bottom-freezer refrigerator into account. You'll need to be sure there is enough room in front of the fridge to accommodate the unit when it is open. 
  • Notice your body position as you open and close the door or freezer drawer of your current refrigerator. Is there enough space for you to stand in front of the unit with the door open? 
  • If there is an island in your kitchen, make sure it won't obstruct the doors when open. 
  • Be sure the doors will clear the cabinet on either side. 
  • Door hinges add height - up to an inch or more - above the fridge. Can the hinge operate without scraping the wall or cabinet? You may need to pull the unit farther out from the wall to be sure the hinges have clearance. 
6
Measure the Delivery Path
Two delivery men transporting a french door refrigerator on a dolly.

Before you finalize a purchase, map out the best path from where it will be unloaded from the truck outside to the spot where the new refrigerator will be installed.


  • Try to find the most direct route, avoiding obstacles like stairs, tight turns or doorways whenever possible. A longer route with the fewest obstructions is preferable to a shortcut with a lot to work around. 
  • Measure any doorways the fridge will need to clear from jamb to jamb. Doors may need to be removed to bring the refrigerator in. Check with the delivery service to be see if they are responsible for this step. 
  • Measure the width of any hallways along the path to ensure the refrigerator can pass through safely. Be prepared to remove furniture, decor and rugs to make the hall more easily passable and prevent damage. 
     

Tip: When moving a refrigerator, find at least one helper to assist you using an appliance dolly and lifting straps. Always transport the fridge in an upright position. Alternatively, you can leave delivery and installation to the professionals when you order a new appliance from The Home Depot.

Purchasing and installing a new refrigerator requires first taking precise, accurate measurements of various points within your kitchen and home. Although learning how to measure a fridge requires more than just measuring the appliance, once you have completed all the above steps, installation will be simple and stress-free.