6 Best Panel Ready Refrigerators (2023 Reviews and Buying Guide)

Thinking about remodeling your kitchen design? Then you may want to consider investing in a panel-ready refrigerator. If you are bored with how your kitchen looks, this is a great idea to give it a new feel and make it visually appealing. This is the reason why today, we’ll be sharing with you our favorite panel-ready refrigerator options.

Make your kitchen decor stand out with a panel-ready refrigerator. Overlay or panel-ready describes an appliance with a cabinet panel installed over the appliance to match the rest of your kitchen design. Adding panels helps streamline the look of your kitchen and gives the space a homey feel.

As you can see, a panel-ready refrigerator can totally give you the kitchen makeover you’ve wished for.
However, if you are new to panel-ready refrigerators and find yourself searching for the best possible option for you and your needs, things may seem a bit overwhelming. But do not worry because we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know. Check out below our favorite panel-ready refrigerators.

Panel Ready Refrigerator FAQs

What is a paneled refrigerator?

“Panel ready” is the manufacturers’ term for fridges with doors designed to be fitted with custom kitchen cabinet panels. You might also see it called a “cabinet refrigerator,” “custom refrigerator,” or “integrated refrigerator.”
Most panel-ready refrigerators are a type of built-in refrigerator. These models are shallower than most refrigerators so that they are either totally flush with your cabinetry or only the doors stick out. They are designed to be surrounded on either side with cabinets or a custom opening. A carpenter or other professional creates custom panels to match your kitchen that is then attached to the face of the refrigerator.

What does Panel Ready mean for a fridge?

A panel-ready appliance allows a custom panel to be installed on the face front of the appliance that matches the rest of your cabinetry. This is often seen on refrigerators and dishwashers to create a consistent and streamlined look across the whole kitchen.

How much do Panel Ready refrigerators cost?

Generally speaking, expect to spend $4,000 to $10,000 or more. Like other styles of refrigerators, panel-ready fridges range in price depending on the design and features you choose. You also need to factor in the cost of cabinetry and hardware.

Can you panel a regular fridge?

Refrigerator panels allow your fridge to look like part of the cabinets. There are kits available for most models, and if your model doesn’t offer them, you can have a cabinetmaker make one for you. It only takes a few minutes to transform your refrigerator into an integrated part of your kitchen.

Are panel-ready refrigerators out of style?

With appliance finishes often going in and out of style in less than a few years, panel-ready options provide a classic look that will continue to look refined for years to come. With the industrial trend of stainless steel appliances fading, many homeowners opt for a more timeless feel.

Why are integrated fridges so expensive?

First up, integrated appliances cost more from the outset, and this is especially the case when they are paired with the cost of a new kitchen. It is more expensive to service integrated appliances due to access issues, and they are also more difficult to replace should the need arise.

How can I hide my fridge?

Recessing the refrigerator into the wall is often the easiest solution. Still, others include building the cabinets on the same wall as the refrigerator, so they’re in the same depth, positioning the fridge on its wall, and building it into a larger cabinet unit.

How much does a custom fridge cost?

Built-in fridges typically start in the $5,000 range and go up from there. For example, KitchenAid built-in options can be $7,000 to $9,000. Yet you can get a top-of-the-line freestanding version for around $2,000.

Can you put wood panels on a refrigerator?

Installing wood paneling on the front of your refrigerator is a visually appealing way to streamline your kitchen design. It’s also a great way to extend the decor of your kitchen to your refrigerator, which helps to streamline your overall design scheme.

What are the panel-ready refrigerator presentations?

  • Overlay refrigerator: This means the same thing as “panel ready.”
  • Integrated refrigerator: Designed so that the refrigerator doors will be completely flush with the cabinetry. They use particular hinges and other features to allow this. Some are panel-ready, while others come with finished doors. Of course, the professional making the panels need to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on panel thickness to achieve this look.
  • Flush inset: Another term for integrated refrigerators.
  • Counter-depth refrigerator: These are typically freestanding models rather than built-in. The doors will stick out past your cabinets but not as much as a full-depth refrigerator. Unlike a built-in refrigerator, the hinges do not pull the door edge inward as the door is opened, so if you tried to install a counter depth model “flush” with your cabinetry, the doors would get stuck on the cabinetry. You wouldn’t be able to open them fully.

What is the panel refrigerator size?

No kitchen or family is identical, so there are many options for your cabinet refrigerator. Some of the most popular widths are 24, 30, 36, 42, and 48 inches, but you’ll find others that can fit your needs if you have a nonstandard space. Wondering about the type of bulbs for these fridges? Discover all the different types of refrigerators bulbs.

Why choose a panel ready refrigerator?

  • A panel-ready fridge can be a significant visual upgrade, but it doesn’t have to be a significant additional expense. Often, they can be purchased for less than a great stainless steel built-in fridge.
  • Maybe you don’t want a big stainless steel box to be the first thing your eyes get drawn to when you walk into your kitchen. You might think that it feels too industrial or too much like a restaurant. A paneled fridge won’t make the same kind of statement since it hides behind the cabinets and hardware.
  • Panel-ready refrigerators can eliminate harsh lines and improve foot traffic by sitting flush with your counter space and cabinets.

Panel Ready Refrigerator

1. Cafe CWE19SP4NW2 18.6 cu. ft

This sleek and smart General Electric refrigerator feature unique style is found in every detail. So, why do appliances all look the same? It’s time to redefine your space with appliances that deliever superior performance and can truly express your personal style.

  • Counter-Depth Design: Create a built-in look with counter-depth design that fits flush with surrounding cabinetry
  • Internal Water Dispenser: Enjoy a cleaner appliance appearance with internal water dispenser
  • WiFi Connect: Use your voice or smart device to preheat water from your refrigerator while you relax in another part of the house
  • Factory-Installed Icemaker: Always have plenty of ice ready whenever you need it with a factory-installed icemaker

Find space for all your groceries with this 48-inch Sub-Zero counter-depth side-by-side refrigerator. Wi-Fi connectivity enables remote control, while the dual refrigeration system enhances cooling conditions for various foods.

What Our Testers Say

33” Counter depth refrigerator ordered in June and delivered yesterday. We wanted to hold out for release of a newer model with signature LED package but how long can a girl wait? Loving how cute it is with our matching dishwasher and range and it’s very quiet. Drawers are too flimsy for what we paid and the ice drawer bangs on open.

Although the CA P65W warning was not a welcome surprise, HCHO .11 (not above acceptable workplace levels) seem responsive to our PH04. It’s just me and hubby so overall satisfied with the size and he’s happy not to have to make runs to the store just for water. Would likely need to have nearly empty to accommodate a decent dinner party but worth the splurge for our first home.

Nothing about your personal style is standard. So why should your appliances be. Created for those who want to reflect their true style in every room of their home, Cafe is distinct by design. Choose between two bold collections. The Customizable Professional Collection boasts a distinct line of hardware options, and the Modern Glass Collection features a seamless, contemporary design. Backed by showstopping features, every Cafe appliance gives you the form and the function you’ve been craving.

What We Like

  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Air purification system
  • The magnetic door seal system
  • Beautiful color with Elegant Brass Handles
  • Fingerprint Resistant.

What We Don’t Like

  • A Bit Noisy.
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2. Fisher & Paykel RS36A72J1N

Proving that you can have a luxury panel-ready refrigerator without breaking the bank, this 36-inch counter-depth French door refrigerator offers plenty of value with a refrigerator capacity of 11.7 cu. ft. and a freezer capacity of 5.1 cu. ft.

Besides the price, its most attractive feature would be the exclusive ActiveSmart Foodcare technology which monitors and learns how you use your fridge, adjusting temperature, airflow, and humidity to help keep food at its freshest.

What Our Testers Say

I have owned this fridge for 6 months now. It has been trouble free and does it job, quietly. I can’t ask for more the that. The space is well laid out. I can’t find anything about it that I find irritating. That says a lot.

Your fridge adapts to daily use by cooling and defrosting only when needed. This means your fridge uses the energy it needs without compromising food care.

What We Like

  • ActiveSmart Foodcare
  • Adjustable Shelves
  • Fast Freeze

What We Don’t Like

  • Third Drawer is a bit Small.
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3. SAMSUNG RF23A9675AP 23 Cu. Ft. Panel Ready Smart Bespoke

K1803VI The Energy Star-rated Miele built-in refrigerator is loaded with features that contribute to effective and convenient storage options.

The spill-proof shelves and drop-and-lock door bins ensure every item in your refrigerator is properly stored and easily accessible.

What Our Testers Say

Really cool fridge that adds tons of character to your kitchen. Storage is very good and I really like the beverage station, however, it’s not always super easy to scoop up ice from the two drawers. Overall, very happy.

The FullView storage drawers pull out completely for convenient loading. Using proprietary wireless local network (WLAN) technology and application software developed by Miele for its Independence Series, enabled products will be connected to Miele’s monitoring center.

What We Like

  • Beverage Center
  • Dual Auto Ice Maker
  • FlexZone
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity

What We Don’t Like

  • The doors opening wider than the fridge body so the footprint of the fridge needs a wider opening
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4. Liebherr MRB3000 Refrigerator

This Monolith refrigerator column by Liebherr offers the wonder of German engineering that takes food preservation to a whole new level. They feature SuperQuiet noise level, BioFesh technology,

SmartDeviceBox, InfinitySwipe, InfinityLight, SuperCool option, and SoftSystem hinge technology. Simply quick chill just-bought groceries to preserve optimum food freshness while sealing in flavors and maintaining essential vitamins and minerals.

What Our Testers Say

I always read reviews and the comments that consumers leave online. Thus, I came back to leave a review and let you know that this refrigerator is one of the best product I have invested on. It still amazes how can one product have so many features that are capable of amusing me. Overall, this product works perfectly fine and I highly recommend it to anyone.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this Liebherr refrigerator is hands down the best appliance I’ve ever purchased.

Noise levels are minimal thanks to virtually silent, speed-controlled, and sound-absorbing compressors.

What We Like

  • SuperQuiet
  • SuperCool
  • BioFresh-Plus

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive.
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5. Bosch Benchmark B36IT800NP

The Bosch Benchmark 16.8 Cu. Ft. Total Capacity freezer features dual evaporators, where refrigerator and freezer compartments are kept entirely separate, so the environments of each remain unsullied by the other, and there’s no flavor and odor transfer.

Another interesting features include

  • Remotely Monitor And Control Your Refrigerator With The Home Control App
  • Bright LED Lighting
  • Optiflex Hinge Reversible Hinge
  • Custom Panel Sold Separately

What Our Testers Say

This is a perfect size refrigerator! I was so happy to find stylish and functional product. I would recommend it to anyone.

LOVE all the fabulous perks this fridge has to offer. Best of all I love the Open Door Alarm, Sabbath Mode feature and that this is an energy star fridge!! What more can you ask for. I would recommend to everyone and anyone!

New food freezes faster, and the unit returns to normal operation once the normal temperature is reached.

What We Like

  • All LED sidewall and theater lighting
  • Full-height Door true Cabinet Integration without exposed venting grille
  • OptiFlex hinge
  • Accepts custom or stainless steel panels
  • Energy star qualified for energy efficiency
  • Home connect brings smart technology to your Bosch refrigerator
  • MultiAirFlow cooling system boosts air circulation for even temperature throughout
  • Benchmark
  • Remotely monitor and control your refrigerator with the home connect app
  • Custom panel single door refrigerator

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive

With these models, you should check out our article on Refrigerator Water Line Kits.

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6. Summit FF1532BIF 15″ Compact Refrigerator 

According to their website, the Summit Com pact Refrigerator features:

  • Just under 15″ wide for an easy fit, with a flush back design to save space
  • Flexible design allows built-in or freestanding use under counters
  • Digital thermostat offers precise and convenient temperature control
  • Integrated door frame accepts overlay panels for a customized look
  • Matching frost-free freezer available to create a side-by-side or stackable set

What Our Testers Say

The uniquely sized 15″ compact refrigerator is designed for a slim fit and user-friendly convenience. The front-breathing system allows built-in installation, while the fully finished cabinet also allows freestading use.

The adjustable glass shelves, and the door storage ensure versatile storage in the unit – the two door shelves are perfect for storing beverages and condiments, while the floor is specially designed to hold wine bottles. Available at AppliancesConnection

The three-tier pull-out freezer drawer provides the space you need for snacks and meats, and the height-adjustable cantilever shelves in the refrigerator allow you to customize your storage.

What We Like

  • Door with  integrated stainless steel frame.
  • Lovely Color
  • Frost-free all-refrigerator

What We Don’t Like

  •  Undercounter Refrigeration.
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Worried this type of fridge may cause some damage to your electricity bill, why not get a  propane fridge, do you know How Does a Propane Refrigerator Work.


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Tom Mason is a refrigerator enthusiast who has spent years researching and testing various methods for maintaining, organizing, and optimizing the use of a fridge. He lives in a small town in the Midwest and works as a freelance writer and handyman. Tom has a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, which has helped him better understand the complex workings of the refrigerator.
Photo of author
Tom Mason is a refrigerator enthusiast who has spent years researching and testing various methods for maintaining, organizing, and optimizing the use of a fridge. He lives in a small town in the Midwest and works as a freelance writer and handyman. Tom has a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, which has helped him better understand the complex workings of the refrigerator.