What Refrigerator Size Is Right for Your Family?

family in kitchen with refrigerator

hhgregg’s Guide to Refrigerator Capacity

Wondering what size refrigerator is best for your family? With a wide range of styles and sizes available from a variety of manufacturers, you may not know where to start. Our refrigerator buying guide can help you determine the ideal size based on your family size, lifestyle and eating habits.

Questions to ask before selecting your refrigerator size

Before you get started, you’ll need to take a look at your eating and shopping habits, as well as the size of your kitchen. Consider the following to get an idea of your needed freezer and fridge size:

  • How big is the space your refrigerator will occupy?
  • How often do you cook?
  • How often do you grocery shop?
  • Do you buy more fresh or frozen groceries?

As a general rule, you’ll typically want 4 to 6 cubic feet of refrigerator space for each adult in the house. Remember that these numbers may vary depending on how you answered above!

Compare the different refrigerator models available

There are several styles of refrigerators available. While your eye may be drawn to one particular style over another, you’ll want to keep in mind the difference in storage for the various types. To help you understand fridge size in terms of your shopping habits, a bag of groceries is roughly equivalent to one cubic foot. The four main styles of refrigerators (and their capacities) include:

Top Freezer

A top freezer fridge has a freezer on top and a fridge on the bottom. Best for a single adult or small family, the top freezer model is generally one of the best bargains on the market if you aren’t looking for a lot of features and add-ons.

Available capacity range: 11 to 24 cubic feet

Bottom Freezer

This refrigerator model is essentially the same as the top freezer, in reverse. The freezer sits on the bottom, and the refrigerator section is on top. With this type of fridge, you can reach the things you use more frequently (milk, fruit, yogurt, cheese, etc.) without bending over. It works best for a growing family of three to four.

Available capacity range: 19 to 25 cubic feet

French Door

For larger families or those that like to cook often, the French door style of refrigerator is a great option. Plus, it is both functional and stylish. In a French door model, the freezer sits on the bottom and the refrigerator top opens with two side-by-side doors.

Available capacity range: 19 to 34 cubic feet


Also great for people that entertain frequently or have a large family, the side-by-side splits right down the middle, with fresh foods on the right and frozen goods on the left. A bit of a sleeker look than the top or bottom freezer models, side-by-side refrigerators tend to offer more features. They also fit well into narrow kitchens. However, for those that like to keep bigger items in their freezer – frozen pizza boxes, for example – this may not be the best choice for you.

Available capacity range: 20 to 30 cubic feet

Additional refrigerator size considerations

Now that you’ve learned about the different fridge models available and the typical capacities of each, it can help guide you in your journey for choosing a new fridge. While it may make sense based on your family size to buy one model, you may need to choose something smaller based on specific refrigerator dimensions if space is limited. Or, perhaps you want certain fridge features that are only available in a larger model. If you still aren’t sure about which refrigerator is right for your family, read our refrigerator buying guide or stop into your local hhgregg store where our experts can help you choose the best option.

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