Guide to fridge sizes

June 23rd, 2014

Appliance Talk Fridges & Freezers

Need a new fridge?  Want a hand choosing the right size fridge to suit your family?


Here’s our guide to fridge measurements, as well as choosing the right fridge sizes to best suit different households:

Why should I worry about fridge size?

Because if you don’t get it right, it’ll cost you money, one way or another.

A fridge that’s too small for your needs can be a real hassle in the home.

pizza too big for fridge

You either keep running out of food and having to replace it, or you end up overfilling the fridge’s small space, resulting in uneven cooling, an overworked compressor, and increased running costs.

On the other hand, a fridge that’s too big for your needs can also be problematic.

fridge too big for hole

Big fridges often cost more to buy upfront, occupy more of your kitchen’s valuable real estate, and if you don’t put their large capacities to good use, you end up paying running costs for cooling you don’t need.

How is fridge size measured?

There are two ways in which a fridge’s size can be measured: its external dimensions, and its internal capacity or volume.

fridge dimensionsUse these sliders on Appliances Online to find a fridge that’ll fit in your home!

The dimensions of a fridge are the same ones your mathematics and/or woodwork teachers should have taught you in school – height, width and depth, each measured in centimetres.

Use these to determine if a fridge will fit into your kitchen’s available space, whether that’s a gap between kitchen benches, a section of kitchen floorspace, or a purpose-built cavity in your cabinetry.

ventilation gap

Remember to leave a little extra space at the sides and rear of your fridge for proper airflow and ventilation (about 5cm should do), and to make sure there’s also room for the door to freely open and close, without blocking off your kitchen’s high-traffic areas.

fridge volumeUse this slider on Appliances Online to find a fridge that’ll hold enough food for your family!

The capacity or volume of your fridge describes its total internal space with the shelves and other accoutrements removed, and is typically measured in litres.

This may sound a bit strange, as a fridge is neither a drink bottle nor a petrol tank, but think of it this way:


Imagine a container in the shape of a cube, measuring 10cm by 10cm by 10cm – that’s one litre.

A 200L fridge with the shelves removed could therefore hold 200 of these imaginary cubes. Or, for a more everyday example, 100 2L drink bottles.

tape measure

If you want to replace an old fridge with a new fridge of a similar capacity, but you don’t have the old fridge manufacturer’s volume measurements handy, open up the old fridge, remove the interior shelving, and use a tape measure to work out its internal dimensions (height/width/depth) in centimetres.

Multiply these dimensions together, then divide the resulting total by 1000, and you have your fridge’s approximate volume in litres!  This figure might not be exact, but it should serve as a good guideline for your next purchase.

How large a fridge capacity do I need?

There’s no hard and fast rule to answer this question, as it greatly depends on the unique needs of your particular household and how you plan to use your fridge.

But for a decent guideline, check out the following table comparing fridge capacity in litres to the number of people in your home:

fridge capacity

Remember to take your lifestyle into account when selecting your fridge.  For example, even if there’s only one or two people living in your home, if you regularly host parties or entertain guests, you may want to opt for a larger fridge for a family of four (say, 350L-530L) to accommodate for this extra use – 3 & 4 Door Fridges are especially handy for entertainers, due to their wide shelves that accommodate wide platters.

adjustable spillproof fridge shelvesColin shows off the adjustable spillproof shelving in the 430L Westinghouse Fridge WBM4300WBRH

Regardless of what size fridge you select, it’s always a good idea to look for a model that includes adjustable shelving – this can make a big difference when it comes to accommodating all of the food and drink for your household!

Need more help?

Contact the Appliances Online experts for answers to all of your questions regarding fridges and other household appliances.

We’re open 24/7, 365 days a year, and if you buy a fridge with us, we offer free delivery to metro areas and selected regional centres, and can even take your old fridge away as part of our award-winning service!

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

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