High To Low: 10 Small, Cool Apartment-Sized Refrigerators

High To Low: 10 Small, Cool Apartment-Sized Refrigerators

Faith Durand
Mar 5, 2010

This week we have been talking about refrigerators! Earlier this week we rounded up some models of the very popular French-door style of refrigerator. But a lot of you aren't looking for a 28 cubic foot refrigerator: You need something small and slim for a city kitchen. Some of you may even want an ultra-compact under-counter fridge. Here's a look at some of the most widely available and popular options for small refrigerators. Do you have a recommendation for another model? Jump in and add it!

Styles of Small Refrigerators

When it comes to small refrigerators, you have a few different options.

First up, and smallest, is the office-style cube fridge. These are tiny boxes, and you can't do much more than store cans of soda and a lunchbox. For the purpose of this roundup, we're skipping this sort.

Next there is the mid-size dorm-style mini-fridge. These are still quite small, but they are also relatively inexpensive. You can store a few days' worth of groceries in them, but freezer space is limited, and forget about refrigerating trays of prepared foods. One advantage of these mini-refrigerators is that they fit underneath the countertop. So you can maximize workspace by putting them underneath. If you sacrifice one more cupboard you can also add an undercounter freezer. One other option in this size category is a set of stand-alone refrigerator drawers.

Then there is the apartment-sized compact fridge. These are small and slim, but they have most of the height and relative proportions of a full-size refrigerator. They tend to be about 10-12 cubic feet, as opposed to the 20-25 cubic feet of full-sized refrigerators.

And finally, a category that overlaps with the apartment-sized fridge: Extra-narrow models of popular fridge brands. Some brands of refrigerators offer models in 24-inch or 28-inch widths (as opposed to the 32 to 36-inch widths of most standard-sized refrigerators. These seem to be the types of refrigerators many of you are looking for.

One final note, and then we'll get to the roundup. A question for apartment-dwellers is: Do you really need a freezer? Some of us cook in ways that would allow us to sacrifice a freezer altogether. Fridge-only refrigerators are less expensive, and also more durable, since they are only designed to do one thing.

If you have a little extra space you can also fit in a small chest freezer, or an under-counter freezer. Buying your fridge and freezer separately, depending on your space limitations, can actually be a great way to save a little money.

Small Refrigerators

A look at some apartment-sized and narrow refrigerators widely available in today's market. Prices vary pretty widely, depending on where you buy a fridge. We used a couple retailers here just for reference, but this doesn't necessarily mean that these are the best place to buy.

These models are all 24" wide, or less, and all are counter-depth.

1. Liebherr Freestanding 24", CS 1311 - About $2200, from various dealers. 13 cubic feet, 24" wide, 80" tall. This is a really popular model among our readers. You can see it in use in Art and Chel's kitchen.

2. Northland 24" Fridge - $4600 at AJ Madison. 15 cubic feet, 24" inches, 84" tall. Seriously pricey fridge! But it does offer extra space in a very slim profile. There are also a lot of options in creating a built-in look.

3. Fagor - $2000 at AJ Madison. 13 cubic feet. 24" wide, 79" tall. Another stylish option like the Liebherr, with a similar amount of storage and space. Main difference between Liebherr and Fagor, on the surface anyway, is the Liebherr is about 22" deep and the Fagor is 24" deep.

4. Summit Commercial Series CP171SS - $1016 at AJ Madison. 12 cubic feet, 24" wide, 80" tall. Previously marketed as the Conserv. A budget option, but the former high Energy Star rating may not apply to the latest version of this refrigerator. Check the specifications carefully. You can see this fridge in use in Jill's kitchen.

5. LG Cabinet-Depth Fridge - LRBP1031W, about $530 from AJ Madison. 10 cubic feet, 24" wide, 67" tall. Another good budget option. You can see this model of fridge in Sudie's pocket-sized renovation.

6. Whirlpool Top-Freezer Refrigerator - $459 at AJ Madison. 10 cubic feet, 24" wide, 60" tall. A true budget option, with a slightly smaller footprint and capacity.

7. RA752PST - Avanti Apartment Sized Refrigerator - $332 at Compact Appliance. 7.6 cubic feet, 22" wide, 57" tall. Small, slim, and very, very budget-friendly.

8. Marvel Built-In Undercounter Refrigerator - $1100 at Compact Appliance. 6.1 cubic feet, 24" wide, 34" tall. No freezer, just a fridge, and a good amount of storage in a small space.

9. Danby Under-Counter Fridge - $268 at Compact Appliance. 3.1 cubic feet, 18" wide, 34" tall. Very budget-friendly, and fits under the counter.

10. KitchenAid Stainless Steel Double-Drawer Refrigerator - $1890 at Sears. 5.1 cubic feet, 24" wide, 34" tall. A hefty price, but some might find these drawers the sleekest way to put a fridge into a tiny kitchen.

Overall, shopping for a refrigerator, especially one with tight constraints of size and budget, can be a very frustrating and overwhelming process. If you have won your way into a good purchase or some wisdom on shopping for a compact fridge, share it here!

Some Sources for Small Appliances
Compact Appliance (Marketplace listing)
AJ Madison

Related: French-Door Refrigerators: 10 Models From High to Low

(Images: Southern Living; refrigerator manufacturers and retailers)

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