Pros vs. Cons: Drawer Refrigerators
Ideas and Advice

Pros vs. Cons: Drawer Refrigerators

Drawer refrigerators are kitchen appliances designed to be placed amid your lower kitchen cabinetry. These pull out refrigerator types provide extra refrigerated or frozen food storage space without the need to purchase an additional full-sized unit. Refrigerator drawers and freezer drawers are available in a wide variety of styles and sizes. These varied options make it easy to install undercounter refrigerator drawers in most homes or industrial kitchens. Built to function independently, with an array of interior configuration options and adjustable temperature controls, drawer style refrigerators are desired by people who need extra cold storage space for many reasons.

Storage arrangement and temperature control options continue to evolve. There are even some under-counter refrigerator drawers being made for use in outdoor kitchens. Whether installed in a home to accommodate the needs of a large family, to store menu ingredients in a restaurant, or in a vacation cottage that lacks sufficient space for a full-size refrigerator, drawer fridges and drawer freezers are becoming increasingly popular appliances. Could this innovative solution solve your cold storage space problems? Let these commonly noted pros and cons of drawer refrigerators help you decide if you should have one or more installed in your kitchen. We’ve also included some expert-picked kitchen refrigerator drawers we think would be perfect for your home.

Pros of Drawer Refrigerators:

Drawer Refrigerator Open
  • Undercounter Refrigerator Drawers Have a Low-Profile Design: The built-in design of a drawer refrigerator is often supplemented by a panel ready exterior. This feature allows the drawer refrigeration to blend seamlessly with regular undercounter drawers.
  • Drawer Freezers and Refrigerators are Easy to Handle: Drawer refrigerators and freezers are built with telescopic rails. They enable smooth drawer opening and closing. Even children can safely slide out the drawers and serve themselves when they need a drink or a snack.
  • Gaining Supplement Storage is Easy with Fridge Drawers: These appliances help you store more food without buying an additional conventional refrigerator. They can be placed in game rooms, home offices, garages, outdoor kitchens, and more areas where they're needed. They prevent the necessity of heading to the kitchen when you need a snack, convenient access to lunch fixings from your workspace, or side dishes for a cookout when the steaks are done.

Summit ADRD24

ADRD24
ADRD24
ADRD24
ADRD24
ADRD24
ADRD24

One of the most customizable drawer refrigerators we have to offer is this 24-in. unit from Summit. Thanks to its 304 grade stainless steel construction, it's suitable for indoor or outdoor installation, and you can also use it as a freestanding refrigerator if built-in installation isn't right for you. This fridge offers completely frost-free operation, and the fully removable drawers include two adjustable dividers that make it easy to customize the 4.8 cu. ft. interior as well. With integrated temperature memory, this fridge automatically saves its temperature settings after the power goes out. And fan-forced cooling ensures even cooling in every corner.

KitchenAid KUDF204KPA

KUDF204KPA
KUDF204KPA
KUDF204KPA
KUDF204KPA
KUDF204KPA
KUDF204KPA
KUDF204KPA
KUDF204KPA
KUDF204KPA

Are you looking for a panel ready refrigerator/freezer drawer to perfectly coordinate with your kitchen? If so, this 24-in. one from KitchenAid is one of our favorites. With Max Cool rapid cooling, you can press a single button on the touch-sensitive backlit controls to set the fridge to its lowest setting for up to 24 hours, which is great for those times when you need to put a lot of things in the 4.2 cu. ft. cavity. The freezer drawer includes a luxury automatic ice maker. And the drawers are 11 in. deep, meaning that they can easily handle items as large as a gallon jug.

XO XOU24RDS

XOU24RDS
XOU24RDS
XOU24RDS
XOU24RDS
XOU24RDS
XOU24RDS

XO appliances provide state-of-the-art utility and style, and this built-in double drawer refrigerator is no exception. Its sleek, fingerprint resistant stainless steel construction will match many kitchen styles, and there's a panel ready model available as well. You even get to choose between regular and professional handle styles. Either way, you get a premium thermally efficient cabinet with 5.0 cu. ft. of capacity (which is enough to handle 108 soda cans). At 39 dBA operating noise, it's one of the quietest drawer refrigerators we offer. You can set the interior LED lighting to any of three colors (theater white, honey amber, or midnight blue). And the roller glide drawers ensure easy access every time: opening and closing your fridge is just as easy as opening a regular drawer.

Fisher & Paykel RB36S25MKIWN1

RB36S25MKIWN1
RB36S25MKIWN1
RB36S25MKIWN1
RB36S25MKIWN1
RB36S25MKIWN1
RB36S25MKIWN1
RB36S25MKIWN1
RB36S25MKIWN1

Fisher & Paykel is well known for its high-end kitchen appliances, and this 36-in. single drawer refrigerator is one of their best offerings. In its 3.1 cu. ft. capacity, it provides you with five storage functions (Freezer Mode, Chill Mode, Fridge Mode, Pantry Mode, and Wine Mode) for temperatures between 0° F and 59° F. The drawer's rapid cooling capability means that you can use it sooner than many others, even after changing its temperature settings. And those settings are simple to change, thanks to the unit's sleek glass touch control system. Two of the spill-proof, removable bins include humidity control settings, while the ADA compliant construction ensures that your entire family can access the fridge's contents. In addition, there's a door open alarm and a child-resistant door lock, so you don't have to worry about keeping your cool.

Cafe CDE06RP4NW2

CDE06RP4NW2
CDE06RP4NW2
CDE06RP4NW2
CDE06RP4NW2
CDE06RP4NW2
CDE06RP4NW2
CDE06RP4NW2
CDE06RP4NW2
CDE06RP4NW2
CDE06RP4NW2
CDE06RP4NW2

The most spacious drawer refrigerator on our list comes from Cafe's Customizable Professional Collection. It may be just 24 in. wide, but it boasts a capacity of 5.7 cu. ft., which lets it easily hold full-size wine bottles. The electronic temperature controls give you exact temperature options between 34° F and 45° F, which means you can effortlessly switch between holding craft beers, fresh vegetables, and fancy chocolates. Meanwhile, automatic defrosting means that you don't need to risk spoiling your perishables to maintain your fridge. And the soft-close doors are nearly silent, never slamming. (This also helps prevent closing the drawers on your fingers.) With the series of adjustable drawer dividers, you can effortlessly keep your food and beverages organized as well.

Cons of Drawer Refrigerators:

Cafe Drawer Refrigerators

Undercounter drawer refrigerators and freezers are the perfect storage solutions for many situations. In other cases, a conventional refrigerator could be a better option. The following points can help you determine if a drawer refrigerator meets your current needs.

  • Limited ADA-Compliant Options are Available for Drawer Refrigerators: Since you have to reach down into drawer refrigerators, access may be difficult or impossible for people with bad backs, or those who are physically disabled. Anyone with a physical limitation should test their ability to access the interior of an undercounter or drawer refrigerator by exploring one in person, and assessing placement options. Verify the height and planned positioning and ease of use of the model you're considering before making a purchase.
  • Fridge Drawers Have Low Storage Capacities: Drawer model refrigerators have less space than conventional refrigerators. They can't serve as a substitute for a full-size model. And many have dividers, but no shelving, so arrangement options for the contents are limited. But they're the perfect choice for creating supplemental storage space.
  • Drawer Refrigerators Don't Come with Ice Makers: Most drawer refrigerators don't have room for an ice maker, which means you’ll have to purchase a separate appliance if this is a necessity for you.

Related Questions

How many drawers do most undercounter refrigerators have?

Single drawer refrigerators are available. Many models include two drawers. Others feature three. The choices make it easy to find one that suits your needs.

How wide are drawer refrigerators, and how much interior space is available?

They come in widths ranging from 15 in. with 2 cu. ft. of drawer space to 36 in. with 6.6 cu. ft. of storage capacity.