A shallow-depth refrigerator, also known as a counter-depth refrigerator, does not stick out from the cabinets surrounding it. It blends in with the rest of the wall, keeping the user from having to see the sides. In kitchens with an island, this creates more kitchen space.
Shallow-depth refrigerators do have a couple of drawbacks. As of 2015, they tend to run between $200 and $500 more than their deeper counterparts, even though they have between 3 and 5 fewer cubic feet in terms of storage capacity. One important thing to remember before purchasing a shallow-depth refrigerator is that most of the openings in cabinets for refrigerators are 30 or 33 inches across. However, many of the shallow-depth refrigerators are 36 inches wide, often requiring custom cabinetry.
Even with the shallower refrigerator, the same amenities are still available, including water and ice dispensers and a variety of baskets, crispers and other interior storage options. Concealed hinges still provide for smooth movement of the doors without allowing the hinges to detract from the flush intersection of the cabinet and refrigerator. Some units come with stainless steel surfaces that are fingerprint proof, which is a major aesthetic bonus for families with small children.