The average family of four has a refrigerator that offers between 18 and 25 cubic feet of storage space. Larger families often think about getting a bigger unit, while a couple that's just starting out may prefer a standard-sized refrigerator.
In addition to family size, some other lifestyle variables often contribute to the decision about which refrigerator to purchase. For example, if a couple has no children but likes to host large dinner parties that offer multiple courses, then a larger refrigerator might be the right choice for them. On the other hand, a large family that eats dinners out three or four nights a week might not need or want as much storage space and may prefer a standard unit. Personal preferences about style and the layout of the kitchen also play a role.
Usually, the dimensions in which a family has to fit a refrigerator play a significant role. If the existing cabinetry only permits a refrigerator of a particular size or height, a large unit may not be an option. Most refrigerators vary between 30 and 36 inches in width, so measuring the available space before heading to the appliance store is a wise step, regardless of family size.