What Is The Average Volume Of A Standard Fridge?

If you’re a first-time homebuyer or looking to renovate an outdated kitchen, you may have wondered what the average volume of a standard refrigerator is. We’ve done the research for you to determine the average refrigerator volume.

The average refrigerator’s volume is between 14 to 20 cubic feet.  It might surprise you to know that refrigerators don’t have a standard or default size as it depends on the manufacturer, model, style, and the purchaser’s customized preferences.  

While the overall size can vary, it can be beneficial to plan your new fridge capacity based on volume. We've compiled some helpful tips in finding the right sized refrigerator for you and your family’s fresh grocery and food storage needs. Please, read on to learn more!

Big kitchen in a modern home with refrigerator and cabinets, What Is The Average Volume Of A Standard Fridge?

Determining Average Fridge Volume

Close up shot of woman taking container with frozen mixed vegetables from refrigerator while looking at camera

Based on the top retailers in the United States, a household refrigerator's average volume is between 14 to 20 cubic feet. This average consists of internal volume, excluding any racks, storage space, or specialized add-ons. A calculated mean of refrigerator volume can be obtained by determining each vendor's volume by multiplying the height, length, and internal depth. Taking these volume specifications into account, we were able to find the typical volume of a household refrigerator.

If you wish to determine the volume of your current refrigerator, there should be a sticker located on the inside of the refrigerator that will give you a serial number to use to determine the volume from the manufacturer’s website. It’s important to note that your average volume can change slightly depending on the refrigerator's make and style.  Orientation can affect the volume, whether the refrigerator is a bottom or top freezer, has a French door, or is a side-by-side unit. Diving a little deeper into what this value means as a homeowner or kitchen renovator, let’s see where these values come from and what it could mean for your next project or kitchen purchase moving forward.

Check out "How Do You Measure Refrigerator Liters?"

How is Refrigerator Capacity measured?

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Refrigerator volume specifications provided by manufacturers are very strictly mandated. By law per the Code of Federal Regulations, refrigerator capacities are reported in cubic feet and must be provided to the nearest 1/10-cubic-foot to the consumer. Calculate the volume by multiplying the fridge's internal length, width, and depth in inches; then, convert inches to cubic inches and finally cubic feet by dividing by 1728.

For a more accurate method, manufacturers can directly determine the volume using specifications incorporated when machining. With this in mind, your best bet is to look at your refrigerator’s information if accuracy matters for sizing.

How do you choose Refrigerator Capacity?

Preference for refrigerator size is usually tied to the size of the family. The suggested value is two to four cubic feet of refrigerator space per person in the household. Note that this measurement refers to the inside dimensions of the refrigerator and not the external dimensions, which will vary greatly depending on the model. Additionally, there are trade-offs with the size that can hinge upon your freezer selection. Always keep in mind that you are working with a finite space for your upgrade, with a wide variety of choices available.

How can I find out which refrigerator I have?

Big kitchen in a modern home with refrigerator and cabinets, What Is The Average Volume Of A Standard Fridge?

In order to get these accurate specifications, you will need to locate your refrigerator’s model and serial number.  You can find the model number and serial number on a sticker on the internal side of your refrigerator. The serial number label can be found in various places and is typically on a white, adhesive printout.

You can potentially find the serial number label:

  • behind the lower crisper drawer,
  • on the upper left or right-side wall of your freezer or refrigerator,
  • or behind the lower toe kick-plate.

Once you have located the label, you can then search the serial numbers on the manufacturer’s website and get the exact dimensions for your potential upgrade, renovation, or move.

Where is the best place to buy a Refrigerator?

Finding the right market for your refrigeration needs can be overwhelming, but with online and onsite options available, there are many selections to pick from. The best suggestion would be to start first with your basic requirements by asking:

  • What is the space you have?
  • How big of a freezer would you accept in tandem with a refrigerator?

Once you have outlined your needs, take your list of requirements to a marketplace that sells a large variety of refrigerators so you can filter down to the choices available to you. Once you have found a good set of matches, the next step is to go online or in-store. Both shopping methods have their advantages. Online shopping tends to offer more competitive prices; however, local stores can offer direct purchases and installation. Check out "Where To Buy A Refrigerator? [Top 25 Online Stores]."

What size Refrigerator Do You Need For A Family of 4?

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While most manufacturers advise a refrigerator ranging from 19-22 cubic feet for a family of four, external needs and personal preferences can greatly impact the range. For example, the space available per cubic foot may not meet a bulk shopper's needs or a family that freezes food in mass quantities. The amount of functional space is impacted based on the frequency of grocery shopping. Keeping your refrigerator stocked with a full week of groceries could mean that a refrigerator increased in size to 30 to 33 cubic feet would be a better option.

Final Thoughts

While it might seem like a mystery at first, the average volume of a standard fridge is between 14 to 20 cubic feet without any special additions. A refrigerator’s volume is calculated by both machinery and a set manufacturing formula. The right choice depends on the consumer's needs and can vary based on the number of individuals in the house.

To find the ideal size for your family, evaluate your long-term needs, shopping frequency, and what additions you would prefer included in your refrigerator. By searching at either an online retailer or your local hardware store, you can find a refrigerator customized to meet your and your family’s culinary needs.  With these tips in mind, you’ll have the perfect refrigerator to store all your favorite dishes.

Start your search today, and read our article "Best Refrigerator Brands On The Market."

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