Difference Between Built-in & Freestanding Refrigerators (2023)

It took the wind out of my sails when I found out I didn’t get the decision to buy something. For instance, it’s high time to change my existing refrigerator, which is not functioning well. You may face the same scenario. Otherwise, you may have to replace your refrigerator to get more storage options or experience a high-end one or for shifting your house, so wanna go for a new refrigerator and blah blah blah………..Well, which one should I choose between a built-in and a freestanding refrigerator? And why?

Before I knew it, choosing a refrigerator for my house was like two peas in a pod. You know built-in refrigerators are always more luxurious than freestanding ones. Besides, the built-in refrigerators’ elegant style and seamless designs give an outstanding kitchen outlook. Although integrated fridges are more expensive than stand-alone ones, it’s a bang for the buck. But what are the exact benefits that I can get from spending a fortune?

On the other hand, stand-alone or freestanding refrigerators are affordable and come with more varieties, several door styles, and storage options. Like Built-in refrigerators, it doesn’t need to install professionally. In addition, this type of refrigerator is designed for easy relocation so that you can place it wherever you feel comfortable. But what are the drawbacks while using the freestanding one?

Let’s clarify all your confusion by showing you the difference between freestanding and built-in refrigerators. In this article, we will explore both pros and cons. As a result, you can relate your exact requirements based on your budget.

Built-in Refrigerators VS Freestanding Refrigerators

Freestanding refrigerators are always a popular choice for many consumers of their price point. But who is going to renovate the kitchen making a significant investment this upcoming year, the premium design built-in refrigerator will be the best buy.

What is the difference between freestanding refrigerators and integrated refrigerators? Here, the complete breakdown of built-in vs standalone fridges, including advantages and disadvantages, is given.

Fact Built-in Refrigerator Freestanding Refrigerator
Design Exceptional, High-end & Seamless Design, Luxurious Mostly Common, Usual Design
Price Expensive (Start from $5000) Reasonable (Start around $400)
Mobility Almost Fixed Easily Movable
Installation Need to Install Professionally Easy Installation
Lifespan Longer Lifespan Shorter Lifespan
Height & Width Taller & Max Width 48″ Shorter & Max Width 36″
Depth Shallower Depth More Interior Depth
Cabinet Integration Flush with Cabinets Sticks out from Cabinets
Compressor Compressors on Top Compressors at Bottom
Type Bottom Freezer, Side by Side Top Freezer, Bottom Freezer, Side by Side, French Door, Counter Depth
Additional Options More Options like Wine Cabinets Not So
Pros Seamless Design & Integration, Super Height & Width, Last Longer Versatility, Easy Installation, Affordable Range, Mobility,
Cons Less Depth, Expensive, Professional Installation, Lack Mobility Shorter Lifespan, Limited Height & Widths, Lacks Seamless Integration
Top Pick

GE Profile PSB48YSNSS 48″

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Frigidaire FFSS2615TS 36″

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You know, a lot of refrigerator brands are available. Confused? Which refrigerator brand should you go for? According to the Statista report, GE and Frigidaire are the most popular refrigerator brand in the USA.

Most owned refrigerator brand in the usa

Source: Statista

What are Built-in Refrigerators?

Built-in refrigerators are high-end refrigerators that focus on luxury outlooks, premium designs, the latest features, and longevity. This type of refrigerator is expensive, but what you spend, you’ll get not less. It also offers a more seamless fit with the style of your current kitchen.

A built-in refrigerator is something, but you should know a few advantages and disadvantages before plunking down your credit card. Integrated refrigerators are normally offered in a bottom freezer and side-by-side layout.

Benefits of Built-in Fridges

Seamless Design & Integration

This kind of refrigerator will not only fit flat against your cabinets, but you can also add a panel to blend the appliance into the background by choosing a wood finish that matches your cabinets. Panel-ready alternatives and flush cabinet installation enable seamless kitchen integration.

Super Height & Width

Built-in designs provide broader and taller-size possibilities than freestanding refrigerators, although not as deep. You’ll get a 48” max width in the built-in refrigerator when the stand-alone fridge gives up to 36”.

Last Longer

Built-in refrigerators typically have a lengthier lifespan than freestanding ones, making them worth money.

Built-in Refrigerator’s Drawbacks

Less Depth

Typically, built-in refrigerators are narrower than standalone ones. How shallow? Typically six inches or so. Of course, a standalone counter-depth refrigerator would also have this problem. You know, built-in refrigerators are shallower, so they can sit flush with your cabinets.


Built-in refrigerators usually cost more than freestanding versions. Generally, an integrated refrigerator starts from $5000.

Professional Installation

Yes, built-in fridges need a customized implementation. Built-in designs are made to fit your current cabinets, so a carpenter and/or plumber’s skills are needed.

Not Being Mobile

A built-in refrigerator is a permanent fixture in your house because it cannot be removed once installed. You can only use it at your current house.

Best Built-in Refrigerators

We got two of best rated built-in refrigerators for your kitchen. Including the most popular brand in the USA, two different sizes, 42” and 48”, built-in fridges are chosen. You can go for any size based on your family member.

Best For Refrigerator Why Choose
Best 42″ Built-in Refrigerator

GE Profile PSB42YSNSS 42″

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High-end refrigerator with seamless design, the most popular brand in the USA.
Best 48″ Built-in Refrigerator

GE Profile PSB48YSNSS 48″

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High-end refrigerator with seamless design, More Storage Options, the most popular brand in the USA.

What are Freestanding Refrigerators?

Freestanding refrigerators are the most common appliance. The meaning of this type of refrigerator is just what it sounds like. It stands independently; you can set it freely anywhere and sometimes against the wall. You can also get freestanding high-end refrigerators which are also popular. For example, Bosch 800 series got high-end features. Check the review of the Bosch 800 series.

These fridges are less expensive and have different door options, depths, and widths. Typically, freestanding refrigerators are 24” in depth and 36” in width. Check also the best 33″ refrigerators and best outdoor refrigerators for outdoor kitchens. If you are fond of homey storage options, then the standalone refrigerator is better than a built-in refrigerator.

Benefits of Freestanding Refrigerators


There are several variations of freestanding refrigerators. You can choose a refrigerator with French doors and a bottom-mounted freezer, a freezer on top, a freezer on the bottom, the fridge and freezer side by side, or any other combination of these options. In addition, a counter-depth option is available, which is shallower and rests close to the cabinets.

Easy Installation

Installation is simple because freestanding freezers can be placed almost anywhere and don’t need to be specially installed.

Affordable Range

Compared to built-in designs, freestanding models are considerably less expensive. This type of refrigerator price starts from $400, and if you spend more, you obviously get more.


With freestanding versions, you can place your fridge inside your pantry if you have the room or tuck it away to the side if bulky appliances aren’t your favorite thing to look at. That thing can operate with just a few feet of an electrical outlet.

Besides, this is one of those investments in a home that, if you so choose, you can take with you. It only requires a simple rollout and packing.

Freestanding Fridge’s Drawbacks

Shorter Lifespan

Freestanding refrigerators typically have a shorter lifespan than built-in versions.

Limited Height & Widths 

Stand-alone refrigerators can only be 36 inches wide, while integrated refrigerator models have wider widths.

Lacks Seamless Integration

None of the models’ protruding handles nor the default full-depth choices enable a seamless transition to existing cabinetry.

Best Freestanding Refrigerators

As freestanding offers varieties of refrigerators, you may face a dilemma of which one will be the best choice for you. We have chosen two freestanding refrigerators, which are best reviewed. One of them is the french door with more storage options, and another is the counter depth stand-alone, which is shallower depth as built-in and perfectly fits your cabinet.

Best For Refrigerator Why Choose
Best Side by Side Freestanding Refrigerator

Frigidaire FFSS2615TS 36″

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Enough Storage Options, Big Sized family, Affordable budget, Full-Sized Side-by-Side, Most owned brand in the U.S.
Best Counter Depth Freestanding Refrigerator

Frigidaire FRSG1915AV 36”

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Less Storage Option, Small Sized Family Affordable budget, Counter Depth Side-by-Side, Most owned brand in the U.S.

Which One Should You Choose?

If cost is not a concern and you are looking for a long-lasting appliance with a seamless design, you should definitely consider a built-in refrigerator over a freestanding one. It might blend perfectly with the design decisions you’ve made for the remainder of your kitchen.

On the other hand, you’re more likely to be interested in a stand-alone model if a flush appearance is less of a concern for you. Instead, you want an appliance with more interior depth, can be moved easily and doesn’t require expert installation. Well, the counter-depth freestanding refrigerator can be a perfect choice if you have a minimum budget but consider the seamless integration with your cabinet.

However, if you are ready to spend a bang for your buck, break a leg for your built-in refrigerator purchase. Grab the GE Profile PSB48YSNSS 48″ built-in refrigerator.

  • Best built in refrigerator GE Profile PSB48YSNSS 48"
  • GE Profile PSB48YSNSS 48" interior design
  • Customer reviews of best bult in GE refrigerator

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