Tips AU

What size fridge do you need?

By Peta Boyce

Updated: August 5th, 2019

Looking to upsize or downsize your fridge? Follow our buying guide to find your perfect fridge.

Making a checklist to find the right sized fridge is probably not top of your priority list. Regardless, it is important when you are about to outlay a pretty penny on installing a major appliance.

With the right fridge maintenance, new fridges have a lifespan of more than 10 years.

A suitable fridge will offer benefits such as:

  1. plenty of storage space
  2. designed so your favourite items are easy to lay your hands on
  3. promotes longevity of fresh food

Here are a few basic guidelines to find a fridge that will best suit your requirements

Measure the area

Fridge size

Fridges require air space around the sides, back and on top for proper ventilation. When measuring the area for a new fridge it is important to account for this free space. The space requirements will be determined by the type of model selected. If specifications are not adhered to you can risk voiding any new warranty.

Leave enough space for the fridge doors to swing open. Although obvious, it is surprising how often this is overlooked.

Fridge capacities

Fridge capacity is measured in litres – the bigger the household, the bigger the space needed. The following are minimum size recommendations for fridges based on household size:

  • 1 – 2 people: 200 to 400 litres
  • 3 – 4 people: 520 – 600 litres
  • 5+ people: 700 litres minimum

Lifestyle and eating habits

A smaller fridge would be suitable if your household dines out a lot or has dinner delivered frequently. On the contrary, if you are big on home entertaining then a larger-sized fridge will be needed to cater for the extra food and beverages.

Fresh foods like fruits, vegetables and meats require more storage area than prepared foods such as sliced meats and pre-chopped vegetables.

When shopping for a new fridge consider which grocery items are regularly purchased and in what quantities.

Frozen convenience meals take up more freezer space too

Energy efficiency

Different fridges have their pros and cons and energy efficiency is one that can hit hard on the hip pocket. Fridges come with energy ratings based out of a possible five stars – the more stars the better for electricity savings.

Most older model fridges are not as energy efficient as newer models. If you are contemplating a fridge repair instead of buying a new one, energy efficiency is something to factor in.

Fridges with built-in ice machines and water dispensers use about 100-150 kWh more per year. Check for energy saving eco settings in these models.

Fridge design and functionality

  1. Shelving: shelves impact storage space and location of items inside the fridge. Do you have a preference for interchangeable shelves, 3/4 shelves, etc.?
  2. Extra sections: bonus sections like diary compartments that open up separate to the rest of the fridge are handy choices, especially if you have kids who love a milk or two during the day.
  3. Crispers: promote longevity for fruits and vegetables. If you are a fan of fresh food ensure there is a good crisper compartment included.
  4. Child proofing: beneficial for families with small children. Some modern fridges include child lock settings on water dispensers, lockable medicine cabinet sections, and temperature controls.
  5. Water and ice dispensers: great to have but need to be plumbed in professionally and cost more to run. Look for settings like holiday mode which can be selected if you are not frequenting the dispensers.
  6. Colour: fridges come in all shapes, sizes and colours and are a prominent feature in your kitchen. Be selective on colour choice. From steel to black glass and everything in between, colour selections are plentiful and can dress up a kitchen design or ruin it completely.

When you have decided that a fridge repair just won’t cut it and it is time to move on, make yourself a checklist before hitting the shops.

Need help with your new appliance installation – simple, just hire an Airtasker.


Peta B

With a witty sense of humour, and an obsession for detail and nitty-gritty, Peta loves flexing her talents as a copywriter, marketer and event manager. She's put together some pretty impressive corporate shindigs in her time and now works across a variety of assignments as a freelancer, between being a full-time Mum.

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  1. Tracey Waller

    Very helpful information