Let me paint you a picture, you have just signed a lease for a new apartment in a dreamy, downtown location. However, it's a "fixer-upper" (as all the best ones are) so you need to do a bit of DIY on the old school kitchen. Apartment-living is all about space-efficiency, particularly when it comes to the kitchen.
In smaller apartments, space is at a premium, so the right sized fridge is essential to be as space-efficient possible. It's important to get correct measurements to ensure the correct sized appliances are chosen.
So with this mind, what size is an apartment size refrigerator?
Apartment sized refrigerators tend to be slim but they still have most of the height and relative proportions of a full-sized refrigerator. Their measurements are usually around 23 5/8 in x 34 1/8 in x 23 3/4 in (width X height X depth).
In comparison, traditional full-sized fridges are about 32 in x 65 3/4 in x 34 in (width X height X depth)
Apartment sized refrigerators, which generally have the freezer at eye level and the fresh food compartment below, tend to be between 18” to 24” wide. Anything over 24” wide such as 27” and 30” models is considered not suitable for small spaces, these are generally regarded as not compact options.
The most common type of small fridge are top-mount refrigerators. They can range from about 23 to 36 inches in width. They usually will have an interior volume between 10 - 25 cubic feet.
The heights of small apartment fridges can vary, there are usually two types, counter height, and standard height refrigerators.
Counter height fridges are usually between 32-34" wide. Because of this, they can fit underneath most small apartment countertops.
There are far more variations in height for apartment fridges.
There are two main types of fridges, counter height and standard height fridges. Most fridges are counter depth, this means that their overall depth is around 24”.
Personally, I need all the space possible in my kitchen as its rather small. So I researched a little more on the different types of attributes for fridges that should be considered in a small apartment.
As a result, the home labs mini-fridge (affiliate link) ticked all the boxes for me, this is a compact, cheap and cheerful option. Read on to find out how I came to this conclusion.
How much does an apartment size refrigerator weigh?
If you find yourself in the situation of moving apartments, you might have some considerations when it comes to moving some of your heavier units like your refrigerator.
These size and weight specifications are important when trying to safely move your fridge. It also a consideration when it comes to moving services as the weight of the unit can add to the cost of the move.
I've tried to collect the averages weight stats for small apartment size fridges.
A standard fridge brand of 27 cubic feet will weigh around 352 pounds. While a smaller model top freezer can weigh just 199 pounds. As I researched more into the topic, it became clear that the average refrigerator weight can be exceedingly difficult to calculate.
If you find yourself in the position of moving a fridge it can be a difficult enough situation. The average apartment size refrigerator can weigh between 180-200 pounds.
I was able to found a list of helpful tips for moving a fridge safely and securely in this situation
- Remove all contents from inside the fridge prior to moving. An obvious one I know, just start emptying the contents as soon gradually a few days before its being moved. This one can get overlooked as the fridge will inevitably be unplugged and any remaining food might be let to expire during the move.
- Clean the inside of it thoroughly. When the fridge has been emptied, unplug it and start to clean the inside in preparation for the move.
- Remove the door of the fridge. This will also make the fridge lighter for move. Here is are some detailed instructions that I found to do so:
There are so many variations of refrigerators, some small, half-height models to side-mounted fridge-freezers. All these factors should be taken under considerations when trying to determine the weight of a refrigerator
Other factors include the age of the refrigerator, how heavy the internal engine is, whether or not it has a freezer.
How much space do you need to leave around a refrigerator?
Lets say you are trying to get a new fridge for your apartment. When analyzing the space available, you discover that you can exactly fit a 22 inch small counter depth unit.
But hold on, what about its cooling system? Surely, that requires its own space in order to function properly?
This is another potential concern when dealing with small spaces, so I wanted to research this further to see what how much space needs to be left around a refrigerator in this situation.
I found out that the main consideration for space around a fridge is to provide proper ventilation for its compressor.
The minimum space for ventilation around an apartment sized fridge should be around 2cm on either side and 5cm at the back and top.
Not only does this help with ventilation but this also ensures that you can pull the fridge out if need to any time. This will leave enough space for your fingers to pull the fridge out.
Giving enough clearance to open the fridge door at a 90° angle will assist when trying to remove shelves and drawers for cleaning.
With counter depth units, you still need the compressors to breathe from the bottom of the refrigerator.
If the refrigerator lacks sufficient space. the heat can seize the compressor. The heat will be unable to dissipate properly.
A feature that I consider crucial in my kitchen is that the counter runs over the fridge. This is very important for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is a way of maximizing your counter-top space.
You don't want to be placing your chopping board on the uneven surface top of the fridge when preparing your dinner. Secondly, it is visually appealing. The flow of the room will go better and "Pinterest" look is all about concealing your electronics.
Thirdly, it protects the fridge surface from heat, moisture and leaks. Lastly, this also works vice versa, the fridge mechanism relies on heat transfer (see post X) so partially insulating the fridge will improve its effectiveness.
Standard Depth vs Counter
Both standard depth and counter depth units are considered free standing units. This means that they don't require a cabinet box built around them to keep them secure. This is particularity handy when taking the size of a small apartment kitchen into consideration.
In my own personal setup, room in my kitchen is tight enough as it is. To have to add an additional thick layer of storage around my fridge would be even more inconvenience.
I also don't fancy taking apart my kitchen to wrap my fridge in a container. Ideally I want something as simplistic as possible that will slot into my kitchen. And any standard depth or counter depth units help to achieve this.
Standard depth allows refrigerators tend to be about 30” deep. Because of this depth, these units stick out a noticeable amount past a traditional tabletop or counter space.
For small apartments standard depth fridges tend to take up more floor space. Their purpose to maximize storage space. And while they are very useful for large amounts of storage, they probably shouldn't be considered when trying to efficiently manage small spaces
Counter depth units tend to be around 24” deep. Because of this reduction in depth, they are more aligned to kitchen counter tops.
I like my appliances to be aligned with the rest of kitchenware so the fact that counter depth fridges are visually consistent with the rest of kitchen is a big plus.
Nothing will protrude out of where the fridge is fitted, which assists the aesthetic of a small kitchen.
If you are looking for more information, I was able to get a great overview on the differences between these fridge types in this video:
Overall, trying to purchase a fridge for a small space can be difficult. A wrongly sized purchase can create inconsistencies in a kitchen. Because of this. trying to buy appliances that are small home friendly can require more research than usual. Hopefully this has saved you some time.