Built In Vs Freestanding Refrigerator 2023: What Is The Best For You

Built In Vs Freestanding Refrigerator 2023 What Is The Best For You
  • Paul Kahan

Which refrigerator should you buy – Built In Vs Freestanding Refrigerator? There are pros and cons to each type of appliance. The best choice for your needs will depend on your lifestyle and space requirements.

This blog post reviews the differences between these two appliances so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

Which refrigerator should I buy, a built-in or a free-standing model? Learn about the differences between these two models so that you can choose the one that’s right for your needs!

Free-standing Refrigerators

Free-standing Refrigerators

Free-standing refrigerators are built with a bottom mount compressor. This makes them more energy efficient because it reduces the time that the fridge has to run, reducing the amount of power consumption needed to keep your food at the desired temperature.

Free-standing refrigerators do not include other built-in appliances such as ovens or dishwashers and are built with wider doors for easier access and visibility. They work great in spaces where built-ins aren’t an option or if you have limited space.

These refrigerators tend to be slightly taller since cabinets would cover parts of the fridge otherwise, resulting in a higher price than built-in models.

Built-in Refrigerators

Built-in refrigerators include ovens, dishwashers, and trash compactors. These built-ins are usually built into the cabinetry or counter space and can be as large as a few hundred square feet or as small as a single drawer.

The main advantage is that it will give your kitchen an added touch of style that cannot be achieved with free-standing refrigerators.

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It also creates a seamless appearance between the appliances that match other pieces. Built-in models run the same price range but may cost more due to customization options like finish, color, and size.

These built-in matches cabinets are right up to the refrigerator, which means you need less space on your countertop since the built-in models are built into the entire cabinetry. Built-ins are also made with a bottom mount compressor, saving you money by using less energy to keep your food cold.

The Difference Between a Built In Vs Freestanding Refrigerator Revealed

The Difference Between a Built-In and Freestanding Refrigerators Revealed


While built-in refrigerators do have style built into them, free-standing refrigerators have more room for creativity. Most built-in refrigerators are designed to match the other built-ins in your kitchen and are made into the cabinetry limits you to specific colors and sizes.

Free-standing refrigerator designs are usually built by a third party, whereas refrigerators can be custom-made by an expert technician. So when it comes to choosing what looks best, free-standing gives you a lot of options.


You will find that most models, due to the limited space they have available, require fewer frills or features than your average free-standing refrigerator.

You will also notice that built-in refrigerators usually do not have a lot of available room for storage which can be a problem if you don’t have another refrigerator or an entire cabinet to store food.


Built-in refrigerators, because they are built into cabinets and built specifically for your kitchen, cannot be easily replaced if something goes wrong. This means that you will need to buy an entirely new unit if the built-in breaks down instead of just buying a part and replacing it with free-standing models.

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If you choose built-ins, make sure they are made by high-quality companies such as Dacor, Litton, or Sub Zero. The excellent news is built-ins tend to be more energy-efficient than free-standing models but will eat up more space.


Most refrigerators are built to match other built-in appliances, such as ovens or dishwashers. This can increase the price because you will need to buy everything under one brand name and pay extra for customization options like finish, cabinet color, and size.

Free-standing models tend to be simpler and require fewer parts, so they are usually cheaper than built-ins. Maintenance is also easier on free-standing models because the compressor is mounted on the bottom, whereas built-in models are built with most of the weight at the top, making them harder to move when something goes wrong.

Which Is Right For You?

If you want your refrigerator to match all the built-ins in your kitchen, built-in models are probably better for you. If you need extra space and don’t have cabinets built in already, a free-standing model is a way to go.

Built-in refrigerators built right into cabinetry or countertops add style and design to any room. They also provide enough storage space for most people’s needs. Free-standing refrigerators can be relocated from one room to another, making them easy to place anywhere in your home.

With smaller frills, built-in models tend not to provide as many options as a free-standing refrigerator does but are usually larger than free-standing models, which might make up for that.

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Some built-in models are built with a bottom mount compressor to save energy, but free-standing models have energy-saving features, too, so it comes down to personal choice.

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Build-in refrigerators:


  • Built into cabinetry/countertop provides style and design
  • Compressor saves money on utility bills


  • Built-in parts can cause problems for any mid-sized or larger refrigerator
  • The fridge is expensive due to hiring an expert technician to customize the unit

Free-standing refrigerators:


  • Free-standing; easy to move from one room to another if there is a problem plus you don’t have cabinets built in already that match your built-in refrigerator
  • Free-standing models are built with energy-saving features


Can be challenging to find replacement parts for more complicated refrigerators. This list is only a guide, and there are many other factors to consider when choosing which type of refrigerator is best for your household. Still, hopefully, this will help you make an informed decision about whether built-in or free-standing is proper for you.


Why are built-in appliances so expensive?

It can add up because built-in refrigerators aren’t built for the general public and are built specifically to go into an already made kitchen. To install built-in appliances, you need to have an expert measure your cabinetry and countertops to ensure they will fit correctly before ordering.

Plus, even if you sell your home with built-in appliances, it won’t be easy to move along with the rest of your furnishings unless you take them out first. This means that if you drive from one home to another or sell your house quickly, built-ins aren’t always what’s best for you.

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Can a free-standing wine cooler be installed under the counter?

Yes, but not without some additional work. The options are more limited than a free-standing model. It may be easier to find room for an under-counter wine cooler in a fridge as well because built-in models have the compressor built into them and tend to be larger than their free-standing counterparts.

What are the disadvantages of refrigerators?

It is not necessarily built to last forever like your standard freezer or microwave, and built-in refrigerators usually cost more than a regular refrigerator does and may cause problems with any cabinetry you have built that matches it.

Even if you sell your home with built-in appliances, it won’t be easy to move along with the rest of your furnishings unless you take them first.

If built-in doesn’t sound right for you, keep these advantages of free-standing refrigerators in mind: They are built with energy-saving features and can be moved from one room to another without causing damage to the rest of your cabinetry or countertops.

Most free-standing models cost less than built-in models do, and it may be easier to find replacement parts for a more complicated refrigerator.

How long do built-in fridges last?

Built-in refrigerators are built to last, but the parts they are made with may not be. Depending on where you get your fridge from and what kind of issues you’ve had with it, refrigerators can cost a small fortune to repair.

Even if built-in appliances aren’t built for life or have an extremely long life span, there is usually a considerable warranty period included, which will help with the replacement costs if there are any problems.

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Publican Anker hopes you’ve found this post informative and helpful. Shopping for a new refrigerator can be overwhelming. Still, our list of the best refrigerators on the market should make it easier to decide which is suitable for your needs and budget.

So take some time to browse through all of our recommendations here at Publican Anker before leaving us! And don’t forget that we also have guides about everything from how much food will fit in different fridge sizes to what features are most important if you’re deciding between two models – so check those out too!

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