How to Calculate Refrigerator Capacity

Measuring a refrigerator’s volume is not anyone’s first choice activity, but it is crucial. It is an important part of your purchasing process because it will determine which appliance meets your needs.

Stocking up the fridge is a trend adopted by most people. However, you cannot plan your storage properly if you are not aware of the refrigerator’s capacity. 

Having an idea of how much your fridge can handle is important, especially if you plan to store the food for several weeks.

The best way to find the refrigerator-size is by considering the number of people who will be using it. Here is how you can calculate the fridge capacity before purchasing one.

Calculating the Refrigerator Capacity

How large is your family? Every fridge model comes in several capacities designed for various users. We recommend counting the average number of your family members then move on to the next step. 

Family Members

Recommended Capacity (Liters)

Probable Number of Doors

Bachelor (one)

50 – 80




One or two



One, two, or three

More Than 6




While at the store, you will realize that the volume ranges between 50 and about 500 liters. Of course, there is a limitation to how much food can be held in these fridges. Consider the table above to find out which model best fits your needs.

If you are leaving alone, then you won’t need an oversized refrigerator. For a bachelor, a capacity of between 50 liters and 80 liters is ideal, which is usually the single door refrigerator or mini-fridge

On the other hand, a family of about three people can use a volume of anywhere between 150 and 250 liters (double door refrigerators). If your family is double this number, then 330 liters is your best bet. 

A fridge measuring between 350  liters and 490 liters is designed for more than six people. However, finding such models can be quite tough because they are produced in large numbers like the rest. 

As you decide on the size, remember to check on the design of the doors too. The smaller ones usually come with single doors. However, if you are buying the larger fridges, double doors are the best. In fact, you can also find some with triple doors depending on the model. 

Differentiate Gross and Net Capacity

One mistake that some people make is confusing the two terms. This could end up impacting your refrigerator choice, and that can be quite frustrating.

Gross capacity is measured using the exterior dimensions. Therefore, it is the total volume of the refrigerator. On the other hand, net capacity refers to the internal space of your fridge.

As such, while calculating the size, consider the net and not gross capacity. This will give the amount of space available for you to store your food.


Purchasing the right size of the refrigerator is very crucial. The best way to find your ideal capacity is by considering the number of people in your family.

In the market, you will find a wide range of volumes, and each is designed for various family sizes. Every model has information about its volume whether on the manufacturer’s or supplier’s site. Remember to use the net capacity in your calculations to avoid any mistakes.

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