The difference between domestic and commercial fridges

Dan Jones
2 min readNov 24, 2018


Commercial Fridges

Two questions I frequently see asked are: what is the difference between a domestic and commercial fridge? And can you use a domestic fridge for commercial purposes?

This article is intended to answer both of those questions thoroughly, but first, so that we have a clear understanding of each. Here are what both categories of fridge actually mean…

What is a Commercial Fridge?

A commercial fridge is a refrigerator used as cold storage for businesses such as caterers, restaurants, hotels, pubs and more.

What is a Domestic Fridge?

A domestic fridge is the type of refrigeration unit you will commonly find in most households.

So put simply, both a domestic and commercial fridge will do the exact same job, but what are the differences?

The difference between domestic and commercial fridges

The main difference between domestic and commercial fridges is in the way in which they are designed to be used.

Busy caterers for example will need to open and close the fridge doors multiple times per hour and so the refrigerator needs to be designed specifically to be able to handle the frequent change in temperature. Because of this, commercial fridges are built with super powerful compressors, which can quickly reduce the temperature inside the fridge.

Another thing that is worth pointing out is that all of the best commercial upright fridges will be fan assisted, which allows the fridge to move cold around all around the contents of the fridge, ensuring everything placed inside it is at the optimal temperature. This does make them noisier than the standard domestic fridge, but in a busy working environment, a little bit of noise is to be expected.

Commercial fridges will also have doors that are designed to be opened and closed many times per day. The constant opening and closing of the doors would create serious wear and tear on a domestic fridge, and so commercial fridges are made with that in mind.

Can you use a domestic fridge for commercial purposes?

Although it does depend heavily on the situation, it is most commonly advised that if you are going to be buying a fridge for commercial purposes (business), you should be buying a fridge that has been specifically designed for commercial use.

As stated in the points above, the doors on a commercial fridge are going to be built for frequent use and the fridge is going to adjust better to the sudden changes in temperature.

Thank you for reading.