Built-in vs Freestanding Refrigerators: Which is better?

Image credit: Flickr

Whether you are building a new house or remodeling it, furnishing your refrigerator is one of the most important decisions that you will have to make. Among these decisions, which refrigerator to buy is probably the biggest one. You can either go for a built-in refrigerator or a freestanding refrigerator. Both types of refrigerators have their advantages and disadvantages but, the final decision will be based on your personal preferences. We are here to help you decide which is better for you between Built-in vs Freestanding refrigerators. 

Built-in Refrigerators

Image credit: Flickr

The built-in refrigerators are taller than their counterparts with a cabinet depth of 24”. These are the most preferred for high-end designer kitchens with a seamless installation process. These refrigerators can be as wide as 48” and as tall as 84”. Mostly the built-in refrigerators have their compressor on the top side, are attached to the wall, and are advised to be compulsorily installed by professionals only. 


  1. They have a longer lifespan than freestanding refrigerators.
  2. They can be installed at the same depth as the kitchen cabinets.
  3. These can be wider than 36” (wider than the freestanding refrigerators).


  1. Built-in refrigerators are expensive in comparison to their counterparts.
  2. These are difficult to move and must be installed by a professional.

Some bestselling refrigerators recommended for you:

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Freestanding Refrigerators

The most common type of refrigerator found in homes is the freestanding refrigerator. They come in two models which are the full-depth model and 24” depth models. The full-depth models protrude past the kitchen cabinets while the 24” depth models are restricted up to the depth of the cabinets. The freestanding refrigerators come in a variety of design and door style options, making them even more appealing. These refrigerators can be installed without any professional help and can also be easily moved around if required. 


  1. These are less expensive than built-in refrigerators.
  2. These are easy to move around.
  3. They come with an option regarding the depth: full-depth models and 24” models.


  1. The maximum width of these refrigerators can be 36”.
  2. These have a shorter lifespan than built-in refrigerators.
  3. There are very few models that can be installed at the same depth as the kitchen cabinets. 

Which one is better?

All the types of refrigerators have their pros and cons that make them perfect for some homeowners and not suitable for others. Deciding between Built-in vs Freestanding refrigerators depends on your personal preferences. If you want your refrigerator to have a long lifespan, seamless design, and in coordination with your kitchen design and furnishing, without any cost restrictions, built-in refrigerators are your best option. But in case, you are more focused on the interior depth of the refrigerator than its appearance, go for freestanding refrigerators. Also, if you prefer your refrigerator to be easily movable, not in need of a professional for installation, and you also have a limited cost estimation, freestanding refrigerators are your best option. 
Make sure to go through all the types of refrigerators available in the market before making your decision. Also, consider all the features, benefits, and disadvantages of the refrigerator and follow the refrigerator buying guide to get the best refrigerator for your home.

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