sc425

36 inch SxS Counter-Depth Refrigerator

sc425
November 8, 2019

Looking for a unicorn here: Which side by side counter-depth refrigerator (36 in) is going to give me the best value? Looking at mid-range, low-luxury brands (not subzero, thermador, monogram). The KitchenAid KRSC703HPS seems ok as do some LGs... but not finding a lot of options with side by sides.

Remodeling my kitchen with GE Cafe range, wall oven, mw, etc. but can't get myself to commit to the GE Cafe fridge since it doesn't have 2 evaporators / feels like a basic GE fridge. Thanks for your help!

Comments (22)

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    IMO a 36” sxs fridge freezer is too small for either one of the uses or do you mean a all fridge/ all freezer combo

  • sc425

    Looking for one unit with the freezer on one side, fridge on the other- all within 36 inches

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  • mackdolan

    Look for a French door. You need something wider than a single takeout container.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Counter depth needs a 2 door '/ bottom freezer . It's there you will find the selection. Forget side by side:(

    Thats a fading fast category in luxury brands even at 42/48 width

  • hermothersdaughter M

    Look at LG or Samsung French door. Look carefully at the dimensions to make sure you know what you’re getting. “Counter depth” may describe a fridge where the body is counter depth, but the doors protrude beyond the counter. “Built-in” is what we lay people think of as counter depth - the front of the fridge is flush with the counter.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    IMo built ins are over priced for no real ROIn but you need in a 36” to have a bottom freezer it is the only way to have enough fridge space.

  • Fori

    A 36" side-by-side is plenty large, even in counter depth. The appliance side of the forum might have advice on what brands are good these days. People will still tell you that a side-by-side is a terrible idea. I'm not sure why so much hate, but this forum sure dislikes the SxS! :)


    I can't advise you on what is good in new stuff because I'm still using a 20 year-old side-by-side. It won't be replaced with a French door fridge when the time comes.

  • sc425

    Thanks for everyone’s opinions! Just personal preference, and I know I want a counter depth - not built-in - SxS.

    The Blomberg looks great but there aren’t a lot of reviews and I know so little about this brand. How does is stack up against the KA, LGs or GE Cafe?

    I don’t see any recent forum comments anywhere on this, but will try searching again. Please do let me know if you know of a great fridge in this category!

  • chispa

    I got rid of a 48" side by side when I remodeled and couldn't imagine having to work with the tighter dimensions of a 36" SxS.

  • Shannon_WI

    @chispa - can you please expand on your comment? I have a 36" sxs, and do not like it because it is too narrow, especially at Thanksgiving, it is very difficult. If I could have a second fridge in a garage or basement, the sxs would be fine, but I can't. I would have thought though that a 48" sxs would have plenty of room, being an entire foot wider. Are you saying it still isn't wide enough, or were there other issues you had with the 48" sxs?

    To the OP - in that mid-range of GE, Kitchenaid, Samsung, LG, it's a crapshoot, sadly. Lots of unhappy people, and also lots of happy people. I would try to get the configuration you like best, regardless of brand, and buy an extended warranty. I will say though, the Samsungs and LGs have a reputation for not breaking as much as the Whirlpool family (KA, Whirlpool, Amana, Maytag, Jenn-Aire), but when they do, it is near impossible to get parts, so you are out a refrigerator while waiting for parts for weeks. It won't matter if you have an extended warranty or not, if the parts just aren't easily obtained.

  • PRO
    Anglophilia

    I have a 36" side-by-side KA counter-depth refrigerator. Will it work for you and your family? It depends on how often you shop and what you buy! I live alone but do tend to shop for the entire week and have a lot of "staples" in my refrigerator. I love a s x s as I don't like a freezer on the bottom. I'd buy the same again in a heartbeat if KA still made the one I have. I don't like dispensers in the door and that's all they make these days.

  • wdccruise

    FYI: Consumer Reports predicted reliability for Whirlpool side-by-side refrigerators is "Very Good", the highest for this style of refrigerator. KitchenAid's is "Fair".

    • Whirlpool WRSA71CIHZ 36" 21 cu. ft. Side by Side Refrigerator in Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel, Counter Depth ($1298)
    • Whirlpool WRS571CIHZ 36" 21 cu. ft. Side By Side Refrigerator in Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel, Counter Depth ($1298)
  • daki

    We were actually looking at this same Kitchenaid model today. We went back to a local appliance store to take a second look at the Fisher Paykel flush 36" french door fridge. I really like that fridge, but the interior is a bit small, even for us. Then we looked at Kitchenaid again. The SxS actually seemed practical for our needs (household of 2). With the French door, I do like having the flexibility of a wide fridge section, but am not very fond of the freezer bin drawers.

    I like the thinner depth doors in the Kitchenaid SxS and the door hinge design lets you recess it slightly further into the cabinet area. I don't like the grey plastic grill on the bottom. It looks unfinished.

    So, I'm still waffling, but the KitchenAid SxS is what I would buy for a SxS.

    I currently have a Samsung 4 door counter depth that is only about 2.5 years old. It has been reliable and is great except for the horrible icemaker. The ice maker has a horrible design flaw where the gasket design allows the warmer fridge air to leak into the icemaker area, causing the ice to partially melt and jam up the icemaker. We have to chip out the ice about once a week or so and it is getting tiresome (reviews seem to indicate getting it repaired it doesn't fix the issue long term).


  • Twosit4me

    I had a 36”. SS when we built this house. I despised it from the very first night in the house when we realized we couldn’t fit a pizza box in the fridge.
    We had the same problem that you describe with the Samsung ice maker. I think we had it repaired under a recall. Knock on wood it has worked for 8 years now.

  • sc425

    Thanks for all the great suggestions, everyone! I agree that it’s starting to look like a crapshoot, and thanks for the suggestion on an extended warranty. The whirlpool refrigerators recommended by CR actually look just like the KA which makes sense since Whirlpool owns KA. The Samsung 4 door looks great too but sad to hear about the ice machine. @Daki- Curious to hear what you go with next.

    I think I’m going to stick with either the KRSC703HPS or KRSC700HPS. Still wondering about GE Cafe’s CZS22MSKSS though and if there’s a clear reason I should stick with it or avoid it.

  • mabeldingeldine

    I like my Samsung sxs with showcase door. My primary complaint with it is the veggie drawers don't stay humid enough, but I garden and live near a grocer so it isn't a problem for me. I have never wanted a box pizza, and I have a second freezer, so the size is perfect for us. We liked it so much when we moved we purchased the same fridge in the new house.


    The Whirlpool sxs I purchased for a rental property had a leak due to spray insulation blocking a drain line. 3 days of use and it damaged my new hardwood floor. I was NOT happy and haven't considered a whirlpool appliance since.

  • chispa

    Shannon, yes correct, I still found the 48" SxS too narrow for both the fridge and freezer sides. It also didn't help that the 48" SxS was placed too close to a corner which didn't allow the fridge door to open fully. We have always been able to keep an old regular fridge in the garage for the platters and overflow.

    When I remodeled I moved the fridge out of the corner and got Sub-zero 36" column fridge and 24" column freezer. I love this setup and haven't needed the extra capacity of the garage fridge, except for the frozen dog food I buy in quantity.

    Working on a new house and I plan on going with the SZ 42" French door model and still having an old fridge in the garage.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    So 36” your fridge can be 24” and the freezer 12 “ is this honestly what you want I don’t think so and remember the 36” is the outside measure not the actual storage space inside.

  • sc425

    Yup, believe it or not, this is what I want :-) It’s a small kitchen plus I really like the freezer shelves.

  • Design Girl

    Have you looked at the Bosch? - I have been doing a ton of research, and although I am getting a built in Subzero 48 inch side by side, I have heard wonderful things about the Bosch Counter Depth. It has an extra evaporator like the Subzero to keep things fresher longer. I know you said you preferred side by side, but options are limited. By daughter has a 36 inch french door because there was not enough fridge space in the side by side. She opted to put a small cheap freezer in her basement for extra space. I haven't heard great things about LG, or Kitchen Aid. Of the three you mentioned above, I'd chose the GE Cafe - but do take a look at the Bosch.

  • Deb T

    I love my Bosch B36ET71SNS. Built in flush with cabinets- 36” French doors, bottom freezer. 7-years with only one minor issue.

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