How much does a refrigerator weigh? We’ve got the data

Written by David Lewis
6 Min read
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If you’ve ever moved house without the help of a removal company or decided to remodel your kitchen, then you’ll already know that fridges are very heavy!

But if you’re trying to calculate the average fridge weight in preparation for a work relocation or work out whether you can move a fridge around your kitchen without the use of a dolly, then you’ll need a little more specific information. After all, choosing the right method of fridge transportation relies heavily on this information.

The weight of the average refrigerator

The average, standard-sized refrigerator weighs between 250lb-300lb.

However, fridges come in a huge variety of sizes, colors, makes, and models which makes calculating the average weight difficult, to say the least.  From teeny tiny mini-fridges to super-sized double-door fridge-freezers, there’s a solution for every size of kitchen and family.

So, let’s take a deeper dive into the different types of refrigerators to find out a little more about each one and establish their average weights.

Different freezer types

The bottom freezer refrigerator

Bottom freezer refrigerators have become one of the most popular appliance choices over the past couple of decades and as the name suggests, they typically feature a large refrigerator unit at the top and a smaller freezer unit at the bottom.

Bottom freezers are available in both single and double-door options and are perfect for mid-sized families who use their refrigerator more than a freezer, with plenty of space and storage options for both chilled and frozen foods.

The average bottom freezer refrigerator weighs between 210-220 pounds.

The top freezer refrigerator

If you find yourself constantly having to bend down to the freezer and would prefer to have your frozen goods at eye level, then the top refrigerator is probably the best option for you.

These refrigerators tend to be slightly more cost-effective to operate and can be purchased relatively cheaply.  They’re great for smaller kitchens and small to medium-sized families.

On the negative side, the freezer unit is likely to feature fewer organizational options than a refrigerator with an alternative construction, but nonetheless is a budget-friendly choice for many people.

The average top freezer refrigerator weighs between 160-170 pounds.

The side-by-side refrigerator

Side-by-side refrigerators typically feature a chilled section on one side and a freezer section on the other, each side with its own door. The huge capacity allows larger families to shop for and keep their food fresh several days at a time, with a large freezer that makes batch cooking and bulk buying a breeze!

Compared to both top and bottom freezer refrigerators, a side-by-side model enables you to stack and store food items from the top to the bottom, meaning you can prioritize the items you use most frequently, positioning them at eye level for easy access. 

However, one of the biggest drawbacks of a side-by-side freezer is the sheer size – it’s definitely not a great option for kitchens where space is a major issue, and smaller families may find the size overwhelmingly vast.

The average side-by-side refrigerator weighs between 280-290 pounds.

The French door refrigerator

The French door refrigerator is one of the newer designs that is quickly gaining in popularity due to its modern lines and convenient storage options.

Taking the best parts from a freezer bottom refrigerator and a side-by-side refrigerator, the French door refrigerator features a large chilled top unit that is accessed via double doors, with a freezer mounted at the bottom. 

With the refrigerator situated at the top, your most used items can be easily organized and accessed, and just one or two large freezer drawers at the bottom make stashing (and finding) your frozen products quick and easy.

The average French door refrigerator weighs between 315-320 pounds.

The mini fridge

If all these super-sized refrigerators just aren’t for you, maybe a mini fridge is what you need?  Perfect for adding to a student bedroom or family snug, mini fridges are usually just big enough to add a few cans of your favorite soda along with a small selection of food items.

Completely portable, these well-proportioned appliances could be just what you need for your next camping trip.  If you’re fed up with trying to keep your milk fresh when on outdoor adventures, a mini fridge could be the answer to your prayers.

The average mini fridge weighs between 60-65 pounds.

How to move a heavy refrigerator

Now you have an idea about how much your refrigerator weighs, it’s probably a good time to walk through some pointers for helping you move one of your home’s biggest appliances to a different location:

  1. Make lighter work of the job in hand by taking everything out of the fridge and freezer units. Utilize cool boxes and freezer bags to keep your food as cool as possible during the transition and take this opportunity to get rid of any food or drink items that have passed their best.
  2. Measure the refrigerator and any doorways or openings you’re going to encounter during the move.  Measure the height, width, and depth of the appliance to make sure you’ll fit through doorways with enough clearance to maneuver around corners.
  3. If you only have to move the refrigerator a very short distance (for cleaning behind it, for example) you could perhaps ‘walk’ it there. Do this by pushing it slowly and carefully backward from the top corners until the front legs have lifted off the ground. Then, whilst pushing on one corner, simultaneously pull on the other side until you feel it swivel out very slightly. Repeat this process on the other side until the refrigerator is where you need it
  4. If you’re moving the refrigerator a longer distance, or it’s simply too heavy or tall for you, then make use of an appliance dolly. Tilt your fridge onto its side (ask someone else to help you with this if needed) before carefully sliding the dolly underneath the gap you have created. Once the refrigerator is on the dolly, secure it in place using moving straps and tighteners, remembering to secure the doors closed.
  5. Once on board the appliance dolly, tilt it at a 45-degree angle to move it – any more than this could cause an imbalance that will mean the refrigerator doesn’t work as effectively once in its new position

Can you lay a fridge down on its side?

When refrigerators are laid completely flat, cooling refrigerant from the compressor will escape into the coolant lines and potentially clog them up therefore it’s always best to transport them upright if at all possible.

However, sometimes this simply isn’t possible, but there are some steps you can take to minimize future issues:

  • Under no circumstances should a refrigerator be laid on its back as this could cause irreparable damage
  • Place the refrigerator on its side, but so that the compressor tube is facing upwards (on its left if the compressor tube runs out of the right side, and on its right if the tube runs out of the left)
  • Once in its new position, let the refrigerator sit plugged in for a few hours (or overnight) to let the cooling refrigerant settle back into place
  • Check the GE website to establish which refrigerator models can be laid on their sides, or check the product log book

FAQs

How heavy is an empty fridge?

With the very rare exception, all refrigerators are heavy even when completely empty. However, by way of a very general guide, the average weight of an empty fridge is around 300lb, with side-by-side and French door models weighing in even heavier than this, somewhere closer to 350-360lb.

Can a refrigerator be transported on its side?

You should always try to transport refrigerators in an upright position, if possible, to prevent issues with the refrigerant coolant fluid.  However, in some cases, it may be possible to store a fridge on its side during a move, but it is always best to check with the manufacturer before doing so.

How do you move a fridge without a dolly?

It may be possible to move a fridge a very short distance by ‘walking’ it – this means tipping it backward until the front legs have lifted off the ground and then very slowly and carefully tipping it first one way and then the other until you have ‘walked’ it into its new position.  If you need to travel further than a few feet, then you will need an appliance dolly or furniture sliders.  Mini fridges are designed to be portable and so can be moved easily without the use of a dolly.

How do you move a refrigerator down the stairs?

Refrigerators are super bulky and heavy appliances that need to be moved downstairs with care and caution. Ideally, this needs a couple of pairs of hands, so rope in a friend to help if at all possible.  Load the refrigerator onto an appliance dolly and tilt it back 45 degrees. Always move backward so the appliance is in front of you and keep your helper at the other side to help you keep it balanced and upright. Gently roll the dolly down each step until you reach the bottom.

Appliances made simple. 

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