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Fridges 101: What is the Right Fridge Capacity for You?

So you might have the refrigerator style or finish picked out, but now you have to decide on the right capacity. There are a few simple factors to keep in mind when deciding on how much space you require to hold all your food. For instance, always consider the number of people in your household and whether or not you prefer to shop frequently for fresh groceries.

It's typical to devote 4-6 cu. ft. of space per adult in your house. However, that's just a standard range. From there, you'll need to make a few judgment calls. Let's get into some common ranges and how they might apply to you.


Small Capacity: 12-16 cu. ft.

  • Singles or Couples - If it's just you or you and a significant other, then a small capacity model will provide plenty of space for all your favorite foods.
  • Just for the basics - Couples that don't like to cook a bunch won't need as much capacity. Don't over-invest in space that will ultimately go unused.

Medium Capacity: 17-20 cu. ft.

  • Small or medium families - Average-sized families should find a fridge with at least 20 cu. ft. of internal capacity. This will give you plenty of room for at least a week's worth of food.
  • Cooking with fresh food - If you enjoy cooking, then you'll want to look into models around 18 cu. ft. This will provide ample space to store essentials and fresh food.

Large Capacity: Over 20 cu. ft.

  • Big households - It's simple, large families will require a lot more space to hold enough food for the week. Homes with 4 or more people will want to make capacity a top priority.
  • Frequently entertaining - If you like to entertain often, you'll appreciate more capacity. The extra space can hold plenty of beverages, party platters and other large containers.
  • More freezer space - Frozen foods take up a considerable amount of room. Invest in a model with ample freezer space if your meals rely heavily on frozen items.