Wine Coolers: Freestanding vs Integrated

Integrated Fisher & Paykel wine cooler

Should you get an integrated or a freestanding wine cooler?

The biggest choice you will have to make is whether you want to opt for a freestanding wine cooler, or an integrated wine cooler. Here we discuss both options, and why each of them can be a great choice. We can’t tell you which style is best for you, but with the information below you will be able to determine which style fits your needs the most.

What is the Difference Between Integrated and Freestanding Wine Coolers?

What is a freestanding wine cooler?

A freestanding Dunavox wine cooler DAUF1758DB

A freestanding wine cooler stands freely from other units and appliances in your room. Freestanding wine coolers are most commonly found in larger rooms, such as big kitchens and garages.


  • Easier installation
  • Less expensive on average
  • Easily accessible
  • Easy to move around
  • More flexibility for placement


  • Tend to be bulkier
  • Harder to integrate into existing designs

What is an integrated wine cooler?

An integrated Caple wine cooler built into a light wood cabinet

An integrated wine cooler is a built-in model. They can be discreetly built into existing cabinets and under counters. They work well for modern room designs, or smaller rooms.


  • Blends into existing design and aesthetic
  • Looks modern and stylish
  • Many options for choosing power source
  • Often take up less space
  • Sleek and compact


  • Tend to be more expensive on average
  • Limited bottle capacity compared to freestanding
  • Difficult to move once installed
  • Some wine coolers are designed so that they can be freestanding or semi-integrated. These work by allowing integration into a vented kick board. These wine coolers can be found under Freestanding Wine Coolers.
  • Related Topic: Wine Storage: Temperature Guide

Wine Cooler Capacity

Wine cooler capacity is measured in how many average sized Bordeaux bottles fit inside. The approximate capacities of each sized model for different styles of wine coolers are outlined below.


Undercounter wine coolers are available in both freestanding and integrated styles.

  • The 15cm model offers a seven-bottle capacity
  • The 30cm model provides a 19-bottle capacity.
  • The 50cm unit affords you a 33-bottle capacity.
  • The 60cm size provides a 46-bottle capacity.
Glasses of red wine, white wine and champagne


Upright wine coolers are available only in freestanding styles.

60cm models offer the following capacities:

  • 127 bottles
  • 132 bottles
  • 144 bottles
  • 200 bottles

70cm models offer the following capacities:

  • 178 bottles
  • 201 bottles
  • 211 bottles
  • 253 bottles

In Column

In Column wine coolers are available only in integrated styles.

  • The 45cm model holds 24 bottles.
  • The 88cm model offers space for 55 bottles.
  • The 179cm unit can hold up to 89 bottles.
Red, White and Champagne Bottles

These figures are the approximate bottle capacity per size only.

Each model is unique and may hold more or less than average. So, always check the specified bottle capacity of your chosen model before purchasing to ensure it meets your needs.

Freestanding Wine Coolers

Freestanding Wine Cooler Designs

The most common design found with freestanding wine coolers is a glass door style with internal shelves. The main difference across different models is how many shelves the unit has. Tall wine fridges are some of the best wine coolers because they have so much storage potential. Some offer three or four shelves in order to allow the bottles to stand up upright, and others offer over ten shelves to maximise their storage capability. A tall wine fridge is great for storage.

The freestanding model is also available in both upright and under-counter variations, which makes it perfect for those with available floor space and those without.

Other available design styles for freestanding models include a wine cooler with refrigerator drawers. This allows for the cooling of more permanent items that don’t require shelf space, and models with opaque doors as opposed to the standard transparent glass.

Where do you put a freestanding wine cooler?

Being able to position your wine cooler where you like is one of the defining features of a freestanding model. This style of cooler is often located within alcoves to provide a discreet look. However, if you redecorate or redesign your kitchen, utility room, or garage then you can simply relocate your wine cooler wherever it looks best. A great perk of having a freestanding model.

It is possible for a freestanding wine cooler to be built in between various other cabinets and appliances. Some can even be semi-integrated with a vented kick board. This is a great choice if you want to have your model in a subtle location, but would like to have the option to move it in the future. A small wine fridge often gives you more than enough storage space, as most people’s wine collections don’t warrant a 200-bottle capacity fridge. Therefore, a slimline wine fridge that’s placed inside your cabinets is a great option.

Being able to reposition your cooler allows it to be easily transferred between rooms. This gives you the freedom to position it in your garage to create space, move it to the kitchen for parties, or place it in the utility room with other appliances. The choice is yours!

Freestanding Dunavox wine cooler semi-integrated into wooden cabinetry


Maintain the perfect temperature of your wine to the last drop with a Kaelo wine server. These wine servers offer an ideal environment for your wine bottle as you drink. They maintain a stable temperature and optimal humidity so there’s no condensation drips, or negative impacts on taste.

Kaelo Wine Server

Integrated Wine Coolers

A Caple integrated wine cooler

Integrated Wine Cooler Designs

This is one factor in which the integrated model vastly differs from the freestanding model. Being an integrated model allows you to disguise the cooler behind a cabinet door that matches your existing cabinet and room style. This is a great option if you have the available space to accommodate the integrated wine cooler of your choice within your cabinets. The actual wine cooler itself can be found available with a glass door as well as an opaque door.

In terms of the model itself; there are many different options available. One of these is a wine cooler with an attached cabinet door. This allows it to be built in without having to match the exact cabinet doors used elsewhere in the kitchen. And a built in wine fridge offers many positives. You only have to consider whether the style fits what you require. If you’re not sure how to install an under counter wine cooler or how to install it in a cabinet, be sure to consult a professional.

Where do you put an integrated wine cooler?

The integrated model is a great option for positioning under counters. Integrated wine coolers can also be placed in column for a larger wine storage capacity. However, it is far more difficult to reposition this model should you need to. Although, if you are seeking a model to blend into a large cabinet structure, which is common within many kitchens, or undercounter within a garage (or office) space, then the integrated option is a great choice.

If you’re clever about where you built-in your wine cooler, having an integrated model shouldn’t matter at all.

Liebherr integrated wine cooler


  • Are wine coolers expensive to run?

As of 2024, a wine cooler can cost on average between £30-£100 per year to run. Because wine coolers need to keep your wine at a stable temperature, they need to run 24/7. How expensive they are will depend on the model. Larger wine coolers with dual zones will be more expensive to run than those that are smaller with a single zone. We would recommend looking for a wine cooler with a good energy rating to keep costs down.

  • Why use a wine cooler instead of a fridge?

Wine coolers are better at keeping your wine at a constant temperature. This is because the temperature won’t be affected by people opening the door for food, and has specialised humidity control. A fridge will also be too cold to store wine. This can leave your wine tasting bland. Furthermore, the cork often dries out when left in the fridge, which allows air into the bottle. This will impact the quality of your wine. We would therefore not recommend storing your wine in the fridge, especially if you have an expensive bottle!

  • Can you put regular drinks in a wine cooler?

Yes, a wine cooler can enhance the storage of many drinks. For example, you could store fizzy drinks, bottled water, sparkling water, juice, energy drinks, beer, cider, or anything really. Just remember that a wine cooler warmer than a fridge, and so any dairy-based drinks must be kept in the fridge.

  • Can you use a mini fridge as a wine cooler?

A mini fridge will be too cold to be used as a wine cooler. They are not designed for wine storage, and so will not be equipped to provide an optimal environment. For example, the humidity levels are likely to be too low, and the vibration of the motor is likely to be too much.

Choosing The Right Wine Cooler

It can be difficult choosing the perfect wine cooler for your needs. However, the more models you see, the more ideas you get. Soon you will have a checklist for features that your perfect wine cooler must have. Make sure that you measure your available space, note down what you want your model to have, and allow yourself to be inspired!

On our website, you’ll find a vast array of wine coolers within our Refrigeration section. There, you’ll find Wine Coolers in different designs, styles, colours and sizes. We’ve got some excellent units from the market-leading and Nottinghamshire-based CDA, as well as top brands like AEG, Dunavox, Liebherr, Miele, and many more.

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