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3 36" Refrigerators Experts Recommend

by Spencer's TV & Appliance

modern kitchen with 36" bosch refrigerator

At a Glance:

How Refrigerators Are Measured

Top 36” Refrigerators

Understanding Your Refrigerator Design Options


Why Trust Us

Your refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home. These silent sentinels work tirelessly to keep our food fresh, our beverages chilled, and our leftovers ready for reheating. Think about how many times you open your refrigerator each day – along with the number of times your family members also use it. Most families couldn’t go more than a few hours without this appliance.

If you are ready to upgrade your refrigerator, there are multiple factors to consider in your purchase. While modern fridges have smart technology and come in a variety of colors, you need to put your size needs first. Here are three top options for 36” refrigerator models that would be perfect in your home.

Explore 36" Refrigerators

Looking for a 36" refrigerator for your kitchen? Discover French door, column, side-by-side options, and more at Spencer's TV & Appliance!

See 36" Refrigerators

How Refrigerators Are Measured

There are two factors to consider if you want to upgrade your refrigerator: the width and the storage. The width you choose will depend on your home. If you already have cabinets built into your space, then your size might be restricted. You might have to choose a 36” refrigerator otherwise you have a six-inch gap. If the space is small, you might be limited to a 30” model.

Once you measure the space you have for your refrigerator, you can decide on the amount of storage you need. Refrigerator storage is based on the amount of food you need to preserve. A family with five kids will likely need a large refrigerator because there are a lot of mouths to feed. Someone who lives alone or with a partner usually won’t need as much space.

A medium refrigerator will have about 18-22 cubic feet of storage. A large-capacity refrigerator can hold up to 28 cubic feet of storage.

What does this mean for your shopping experience? Width isn’t everything. You might find a 36” refrigerator that you like but that doesn’t mean it will meet your storage needs. If you want a large refrigerator that holds a lot of food, focus on the internal storage capacity.

Learn more: Our Favorite 30" Refrigerators for Small Kitchens

Top 36” Refrigerators

There are plenty of 36” refrigerators on the market. Set a budget for what you want to spend and identify the key features that you want. This will help you find the best ones. Here are three top options if you want to add a 36” refrigerator to your home.

Bosch 500 Series 21.6 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator

Bosch 500 Series 21.6 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator

Shop this Bosch Refrigerator

Bosch is a great place to start in any appliance search. It offers several quality refrigerator types that match a variety of sizes, needs, and styles. This 36” counter-depth refrigerator comes with two French doors on the top and a pull-out drawer on the bottom. The ice maker is placed on the outside of the refrigerator so you don’t need to open the door (and waste energy) just to get a cool glass of water.

This model comes with the VitaFresh Plus™ system which balances the temperature across the entire appliance while effectively controlling the humidity levels. This is perfect for preserving fruits and vegetables – which are delicious but delicate.

The UltraClarityPro® water filter also removes 99.9% of impurities which creates a better drinking experience. You might find that your coffee, tea, pasta, and rice all taste better because you are using cleaner water. The QuickIce Pro System™ also produces ice quickly so you won’t have to wait for your drinks to chill.

This is a highly-rated refrigerator with several positive customer reviews. Learn what others have to say about this model and why they love it.

Café™ 20.2 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Built-In Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

Café™ 20.2 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Built In Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

Shop this Café™ Refrigerator

Café offers a three-door 36” wide refrigerator but it might not be the style you expect. Instead of incorporating French doors for this appliance, there are three different sections for storing groceries. The top section is for the refrigerator, the bottom section is for the freezer, and the middle drawer is for whatever you need to store.

The middle section can be customized to your specific needs – whether you want a built-in wine cooler or an extra vegetable crisper. This drawer is also perfect if you frequently entertain because you can keep a charcuterie board on hand for your guests. There are four settings to choose from and you can even use the middle drawer as a second freezer.

Café sets itself apart by offering stylish options to customers. You can choose from six different hardware options to enhance your kitchen or match your existing designs. For example, you can add bronze accents to your handle that match your cabinet knobs.

This is a built-in refrigerator that is meant to line up with your cabinets. You won’t have to worry about the appliance sticking out from the rest of your kitchen design.

Thermador® Freedom® 19.4 Cu. Ft. Panel Ready Built-In French Door Refrigerator

Thermador® Freedom® 19.4 Cu. Ft. Panel Ready Built-In French Door Refrigerator

Shop this Thermador® Refrigerator

Rounding out the list of the best 36” refrigerator models is this unit by Thermador. The brand produces commercial-grade products for residential homes, which means you can feel like your kitchen belongs in a Michelin-star restaurant. This is a standard French-door refrigerator model with three doors (two on the top and a pull-out option on the bottom).

The ice maker in this refrigerator is unique to the Thermador brand. Twist tray technology dispenses diamond-shaped ice that can elevate your drinks and impress your guests. The ice is also easy to access in the freezer.

You don’t have to worry about this appliance if you frequently forget ingredients. The Cool Air Flow technology ensures a stable temperature no matter how often you open the refrigerator door. Your groceries will be safe and the humidity levels will remain stable.

While you can access the refrigerator by pulling on the handle (like most standard models) you can also use the open-door assist system and push the door open. This is easier for some homeowners – especially cooks who have their hands full.

Understanding Your Refrigerator Design Options

As you explore different 36” refrigerator models, you might come across different terms to describe these appliances. What is the difference between a built-in and a counter-depth refrigerator? Here is what you need to know.

  • Freestanding: these units can be placed anywhere in your home. They can line up between your cabinets or sit at the end of them. The sides are able to be displayed.
  • Built-in: these models are meant to be placed within your cabinetry. They might not have finished sides because they aren’t meant to be displayed.
  • Counter-depth: these are appliances that are built to the exact depth of standard cabinets (24 inches). This means the refrigerator doesn’t stick out from your cabinets.
  • Panel ready: these appliances are meant to be covered. You can attach a cabinet panel to the front so they aren’t visible. This is a great way to hide stainless steel appliances in your home.

If you are replacing an existing refrigerator, check to see if your current model has a counter-depth or built-in design. This will determine which units you look at to upgrade your appliance.


What are standard refrigerator sizes?

Most refrigerators range between 20 to 40 inches in width. A 30-inch refrigerator is considered standard but it is also possible to find 36-inch models. Remember, the external size is only one way to measure your refrigerator. Check the storage capacity (in cubic feet) to better understand how much food it can hold.

What are the benefits of buying a large refrigerator?

A large refrigerator can hold more food, which can make your life more convenient. The more you can store, the less you will need to go grocery shopping. Upgrading to a larger refrigerator could save you a few hours each week because you won’t have to go to the store.

Are there any drawbacks to buying a large refrigerator?

Large refrigerators can be essential to big families; however, they aren’t for everyone. These appliances use more power, which can drive up your electric bills. If you don’t need a large refrigerator and aren’t investing in one to grow your resale value, consider choosing a smaller model for your home.

Learn more: Why is My Ice Maker Not Working?

Why Trust Spencer’s TV & Appliance?

Since 1973, Spencer’s TV & Appliance has grown to 10 locations throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The secret to our longevity is simple: personal service. Customer satisfaction has always been the focus of our business, and throughout the years, we have been able to work hard with our suppliers to bring you the best prices. After all, getting customers the best price and personal attention is how we compete with big-box stores, day in and day out.

Not only do we offer top-rated appliances, name-brand electronics, and the best mattresses on the market but we also provide water treatment solutions and perform kitchen design services. Stop by your nearest Spencer’s and see what you’re missing!

Shop Refrigerators at Spencer’s

At Spencer’s TV & Appliance, we provide high-quality, name-brand products at great prices — check out our catalog to shop refrigerators online today. Your friends in the business are always happy to help you find the perfect 36” refrigerator for your kitchen. Call us, or better yet, stop by at one of our locations in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale regions. Visit us today!

Learn more: Frigidaire Gallery Refrigerator vs. Frigidaire Professional: Which is Best?