Get the capacity, style and energy-efficiency to fit your family’s needs


Whether you’re replacing a broken fridge or upgrading to an energy-efficient model, The Home Depot offers a wide range of refrigerators to choose from.

This guide will help you identify the capacity and style of refrigerator to best suit your family’s needs.

Tip: Make sure to measure the space you have available. Determine how wide, tall and deep your new unit can be, and remember that you’ll need to leave enough space for the doors to swing freely. Also take into account the width of the doorways the refrigerator will have to pass through when being installed.

Capacity and Storage

Excluding freezer space, plan for a fridge with 18 to 20 cubic feet of space for a two-person household. Add around 4 cubic feet for each additional person.

Typically, 26 to 29 cubic feet of refrigerator space is typical for an average-sized family.

  • Empty refrigerators operate with less efficiency than fully stocked units.
  • Consider adding a second refrigerator in your garage or basement if you need a great deal of extra space.

Different styles of refrigerators offer interior storage options tailored to your specific needs.

  • Bins with adjustable heights can accommodate a wider range of food and beverage containers.
  • Sliding shelves make it easier to reach items placed toward the back of the fridge.
  • Deli tray shelves allow you to store large platters.
  • Built-in beverage holders keep canned or bottled beverages neat, orderly and easily accessible.

Refrigerator Types

Once you’ve determined your fridge capacity, choose from top freezer, bottom freezer, side-by-side, French door and mini refrigerators.

Type Description Features to Consider
Top freezer - Refrigerators

Top freezer

The freezer is located above the refrigerator section

  • Most common design
  • Provides a spacious interior
Bottom freezer - Refrigerators

Bottom freezer

The freezer is located underneath the refrigerator section

  • Makes food in refrigerator easier to reach without bending over
  • Items in freezer are easy to access
  • Freezer door may pull out or swing open
  • Refrigerator may feature a single door or two French doors
Side-by-side - Refrigerators


The freezer and refrigerator are placed directly next to each other

  • Puts both frozen and refrigerated food within easy reach
  • Side-by-side units are designed to accommodate larger plates and platters
Built-in - Refrigerators


Constructed to blend in with the rest of the kitchen cabinetry rather than being installed as a separate unit

  • Seamlessly integrates with kitchen décor
  • Often has less depth than freestanding units but may be wider to compensate
  • Generally has unfinished tops and sides
  • Custom-made panels provide stylish options
Compact Models - Refrigerators


Small units that can fit into tight spaces or underneath counters

  • Ideal for dorm rooms, bedrooms, home offices and home bars
  • Provide less capacity than standard units
  • Smaller units can be placed on countertops

Style and Finish

Select a model that will fit in with your changing tastes and continue to look great over time.

  • Stainless steel refrigerators cost more than other options, but they are timeless and easy to clean. Built-in units let you customize your kitchen’s appearance, while contoured doors and handles offer a sleek, sophisticated look.
  • Other common colors to choose from include black, bisque and white.
  • Trim kits help you give freestanding units the appearance of a built-in refrigerator.
  • Some refrigerators do not have magnetized front panels.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Star-rated refrigerators use at least 20 percent less energy than federal standards require. They reduce utility bills and are environmentally friendly.

Other tips to help improve energy efficiency:

  • Avoid placing your refrigerator next to a heat source, such as a stove or dishwasher.
  • Defrost it as soon as necessary if you purchase a manual-defrost model.
  • Don’t leave the door open for long periods of time.
  • Leave space around the unit to allow air to reach the condenser coils, preventing heat buildup.


Many refrigerators offer door or temperature alarms, child locks and even in-door televisions to meet your needs.

  • Door or temperature alarms alert you when the refrigerator has been left open for more than a few minutes.
  • Child locks help prevent little chefs from accidentally leaving the door open or getting at treats when they are not supposed to.
  • Quiet operation reduces the noise from your fridge and helps keep your kitchen quiet.
  • Built-in ice maker/water dispenser ensures that there’s always plenty of ice and cold water immediately available at the touch of a button. Look for icemakers and water dispensers with built-in filtration systems.
  • Fast-cooling compartments cool things down fast without freezing them.
  • In-door televisions: Compare notes with cooking shows or keep up-to-date on current news while you prepare dinner.
  • Extended warranties: It is highly recommended you purchase an extended warranty when you buy your refrigerator. However, you may purchase the warranty up to 90 days after your original date of purchase. Simply return to any store with your sales receipt to add the extended warranty.