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5 Top of the Line Built In Refrigerators

by Olly Mason

Woman washing dishes with a KitchenAid built in refrigerator in the background

At a Glance:

What is a Built In Refrigerator?

Are Built In Refrigerators Expensive?

Are Built In Refrigerators Worth It?

Prepping for Built In Refrigerator Installation

5 Built In Refrigerator Product Reviews 

FAQs

Why Trust Us?

Recent findings show that kitchens are the most common room renovation since the great home improvement movement in 2020, and homeowners are leaning toward clean kitchen designs more than ever. Freestanding refrigerators continue to be the popular choice for remodelers, but buyers desiring a cohesive kitchen with appliances that coexist with their surroundings have caught onto the appeal of the built in refrigerator.

But upgrading to one of these refrigerators will come at a price, so it’s important to know as much as possible about built in fridges before making a purchase. Make your search a little easier by following our guide, where we discuss pricing, styles, and reasons why built in refrigerators cost more than freestanding units. Then, get inspired as we provide five product reviews for the best built in refrigerators Pittsburgh and surrounding areas will find.

What is a Built In Refrigerator?

On the spectrum of refrigeration, built in refrigerators live on the far end of luxury, providing buyers who can afford these premium appliances with setups straight out of interior design magazines. The major appeal of this kind of refrigerator is customization and presentation. Unlike freestanding refrigerators—including counter depth models—integrated refrigerators are installed permanently into kitchen cabinetry, providing a clean look while saving square footage on the floor.

A white Thermador built in refrigerator displayed in a custom kitchen

Built in refrigerators often go by different names, which are sometimes used interchangeably, but each variation of built in refrigerator serves a specific purpose.

Type of Built In Refrigerator Description
Traditional Built In Refrigerators

• Are typically the most affordable

• Protrude slightly from cabinetry

• Usually have a metal finish

• Store the compressor at the top

Column Built In Refrigerators

• Are either all-freezer or all-refrigerator

• Usually more narrow

• Used for custom refrigeration systems

• Smaller capacities

Integrated Built In Refrigerators

• Are either all-freezer or all-refrigerator

• Usually more narrow

• Used for custom refrigeration systems

• Smaller capacities

Built In Refrigerators | Size & Capacity

One major consideration you should keep in mind before buying a built in refrigerator is how the storage works inside one of these appliances. Because they are shallower than freestanding models, they tend to run smaller in capacity. To account for the storage space lost by accommodating a shorter depth, built in refrigerators are also taller than their freestanding counterparts. Measurements will vary depending on the brand and model, but common built in refrigerator dimensions are:

  • 67” to 80” tall
  • 22” to 48” wide
  • 22” to 35” deep

At Don’s Appliances, we carry built in refrigerators as small as 8 cubic feet or as mammoth as 30 cubic feet and everything in between.

Are Built In Refrigerators Expensive?

While Don’s carries built in refrigerators as affordable as $1,400, prices spike quickly from there. Remember, these are custom refrigerators intended for kitchens conceptualized by builders and interior design experts. Additionally, there is a cost for installation on top of the ticket price, so if you do decide on a built in refrigerator, make sure to budget accordingly.

Are Built In Refrigerators Worth It?

Definitely! While you’ll pay more for one of these refrigerators, the payoff is more than worth it. Here are a few reasons why built in refrigeration is synonymous with luxury.

Better Materials

Built in refrigerators are forged in stainless steel, reinforced with heavy-duty hinges, and often feature durable and efficient compressors built to last for years. A great example is Sub-Zero. All of its luxury refrigerators are built to last at least 20 years.

Premium Features

Upgrading to a built in refrigerator also comes with features that aren’t available on lower-end models. Features will vary, but you can expect to find perks like magnetically closing doors, theater lighting, special evaporators, and state-of-the-art filtration. 

Seamless Installation

Only built in refrigerators can create a truly seamless look in a kitchen. You can choose to integrate your refrigerator as a statement piece or select a panel ready model that blends into the kitchen. Some models even feature push-to-open doors that have no handles for truly flush installation that is virtually unnoticeable.

Design Ownership  

Another reason interior design experts love built in refrigerators is because they liberate them from kitchen confinements. You can create a custom refrigeration system of a refrigerator and freezer that can exist separately from another and establish the workflow in your kitchen that you desire.

Prepping for Built In Refrigerator Installation

Unless you’re especially handy, it’s best to leave built in refrigerator installation to the pros. With that in mind, there are a few steps you can do to make the process seamless.

✓ Make sure your built in refrigerator cabinet cutout size fits the model you buy. If it’s too small, you may need to purchase a trim kit to bridge the gaps.

✓ If you plan to connect your built in refrigerator to a water line, make sure it’s working. In most cases, there’s an extra cost to install a refrigerator to a water line.

✓ Don’t forget about your old refrigerator. If you need it removed, that will also be an additional cost on top of installation.

On average, the cost to install a built in refrigerator will be between $2,900 and $6,130.

5 Built In Refrigerator Reviews 

Check out five examples of the best built in refrigerator brands on the market. In these reviews, we’ll highlight the key factors that make each model great.

Best 30” Built In Refrigerator: Signature Kitchen Suite 18.0 Cu. Ft. Panel Ready All Refrigerator

Front view of Signature Kitchen Suite SKSCR3001P built in column refrigerator

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The Signature Kitchen Suite SKSCR3001P column refrigerator is the largest all-refrigerator food system available on the market, providing 18 cubic feet of fresh food storage. Signature Kitchen Suite uses powerful cooling technology to keep two drawers, four bins, and three shelves at a one-degree temperature setpoint to protect ingredients from spoiling. This built in refrigerator measures 30” wide and can be paired with a Signature Kitchen Suite freezer column for over 30 cubic feet of food storage.

Best 36” Built In Refrigerator: Monogram® 20.8 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Built In French Door Refrigerator

Front view of Monogram ZIPS360NNSS 36” built in refrigerator

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Monogram ZIPS360NNSS Reviews

This 36” GE Monogram built in refrigerator ranks number one on our list for its stylish French door design and full-size capacity. You can easily stock nearly 21 cubic feet of groceries inside thanks to five pantry-wide shelves, six door bins, and two crispers. The interior is lined with stainless steel for extra durability, plus glass-front drawers for durability and luxury. This model’s only drawback is its standard finish, but buyers can still customize the design with two distinct handle choices.

Verified review from Suzanne: “This refrigerator is the very best.”

Best 42” Built In Refrigerator: JennAir® 25.0 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Built-In Side-By-Side Refrigerator

Front view of JennAir JS42PPDUDE 42” built in refrigerator

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JennAir JS42PPDUDE Reviews

Buyers who prioritize easy food organization and ample storage are recommended to explore this JennAir built in refrigerator. Its vertical layout makes it easy to find and store items in plain sight, and we especially appreciate the Obsidian black interior that contrasts against items to make them more noticeable. If your kitchen is on the smaller side, be aware that this built in refrigerator does take up more cabinet space than the typical refrigerator.

Verified buyer review from Col91: “Needed a replacement built in refrigerator, the Jennair was a perfect.”

Best French Door Built In Refrigerator: Fisher & Paykel Series 7 16.8 Cu. Ft. Panel Ready French Door Refrigerator

https://d12mivgeuoigbq.cloudfront.net/assets/blog/blog_appliances/dons-appliances-built-in-fridges-fp-RS36A72J1 N.webp

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Fisher & Paykel RS36A72J1 Reviews

This Fisher & Paykel refrigerator wins our best built in French door refrigerator slot for its panel ready front that allows for the most flexible installation. A panel ready front lets you create the look of your choice, and its integrated design sits completely parallel with cabinets for a seamless presentation. More capacity would be great, but with flexible storage and premium shelves, there’s still plenty of ways to organize food with ActiveSmart technology that keeps ingredients at optimum temperatures.

Verified buyer review from Jim and Patty: “Controls temperatures very well.”

Best Side by Side Built In Refrigerator: Monogram 29.56 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Smart Built In Side-by-Side Refrigerator

Front view of Monogram ZISS480NNSS 48” built in side by side refrigerator

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Monogram ZISS480NNSS Reviews

Large households and entertainers will get major use out of this best built in side by side refrigerator from Monogram. Nearly 30 cubic feet of freezer and refrigerator storage provide room for every item your family loves. A series of bins and shelves and the vertical configuration simplify organization, and the Multi-Shelf Air Tower feature makes sure no item goes unpreserved. If you like this built in refrigerator because it’s great for families, you’ll also enjoy its Wi-Fi compatibility for easy temperature management and troubleshooting you can monitor right from a smart device.

Verified buyer review from Cal Bear 1986: “perishables lasted much longer in the produce bin.”

They say variety is the spice of life, so with all the style possibilities and configurations built in refrigerators come in, investing in one of these appliances is sure to add zest to your kitchen.

Overall, the key points you should take away from this guide are that:

  • Built in refrigerators come with bigger price tags.
  • Built in fridges require professional installation.
  • It’s important to know the different types of built in refrigerators to find one that fits your needs and lifestyle.

FAQs

Learn more about built in refrigerators as we answer common questions from our buyers.

Do built in refrigerators last longer?

Compared to freestanding refrigerators, built in fridges are made of more durable materials and parts, which is why they have longer lifespans than their more affordable counterparts.

Can I remove a built in refrigerator?

Built in refrigerators are made to be permanent fixtures in kitchens. To remove one, professional help is required.

Can a built in fridge be freestanding?

Unfortunately, built in refrigerators cannot (and should not) be used in place of a freestanding refrigerator. Doing so can damage the appliance.

Why Trust Don’s Appliances?

Founded in 1971, Don’s Appliances is a family-owned, independent appliance retailer based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Don’s has since expanded to 10 locations selling, delivering, installing, and servicing all major appliance brands. Large enough to offer competitive pricing yet small enough to continue offering the “white glove” service we pride ourselves on, our focus is always on the customer experience — from the first step into a showroom to the purchase transaction to well after your new appliance has been installed.

When our customers are remodeling or building a new house, Don’s has all the expertise, product knowledge, inventory, brands, displays, and services to meet and exceed your needs. And in the event an appliance breaks, we are there, right on time and with the right product, delivery, installation, and service.

Shop Built In Refrigerators at Don’s

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today, and shop refrigerators online at Don’s Appliance. Our friendly experts are always happy to help you customize your kitchen with a built in refrigerator — whether you call us at 866-544-1711, email us, or use our online chat feature. Better yet, stop by any of our Don’s Appliances Pittsburgh, PA warehouse locations. Visit us today!

Learn More: JennAir Refrigerator Reviews