The 10 Top Freezer Refrigerators to Buy in 2017
Refrigerators have long been thought of as the boxy, boring behemoths of the kitchen, and buying one used to be as simple as choosing between eggshell and off-white. But times have changed, with manufacturers increasingly thinking outside of the box to try to redefine what the modern refrigerator is really capable of.
When it comes to refrigerators nowadays, options go far beyond simply getting a glass of ice water without having to open the door. With custom panels, you can get a built-in that exactly matches your kitchen cabinets. And forget four doors—some newer models have five or more. You can even pull out a refrigerated drawer and find it full of frosty sodas. Our fridge-by-fridge guide helps you choose the right type for your home, demystifies claimed vs. usable storage space, and helps you find the least noisy models—so you, and your groceries can chill out.
№1 – New Diamond Elite 19
There’s a lot to love about this stainless steel French door fridge. First of all, it comes with excellent features, including an external water/ice dispenser, spill-proof glass shelves, and triple cooling system. It’s freezer is at the bottom, making it easy for you to access the fridge and its contents. It has a capacity of 14.4 Cubic Foot Fridge Space – 4.7 Cubic Foot Freezer Space, which means that it has sufficient storage space for large families.
№2 – LG Stainless Look Counter Depth Top Freezer Refrigerator
This is another very stylish and innovative fried that has been manufactured to the highest quality available on the market today. It measures 24 x 26 x 68 inches and has a capacity of 12.8 cubic feet, making it a good option for singles and small-sized families. It being a counter depth bottom freezer means that you do not have the bend to get things in or out the fridge.
№3 – Frigidaire FGHT1846QF 30″ Top-Freezer Refrigerator
This counter depth refrigerator is a side by side fridge. It is energy star rated, meaning that it is quite efficient in saving energy. It features a LED display, adjustable shelf, metal cooling and ice/water dispenser. This fridge is quite spacious, measuring 30.4 x 30 x 65.4 inches and with a capacity of 18.1 cubic feet.
№4 – SAMSUNG RS27FDBTNSR Built-in Side by Side Refrigerator
This is a built-in side by side refrigerator from Samsung measuring 25.8 x 47.6 x 83.2 inches. It has a capacity of 17 cubic feet, making it ideal for small to mid-sized families. It comes with humidity controlled crispers, an ice and water dispenser, 8-inch LCD touch screen controls and twin cooling system.
№5 – Frigidaire DGHF2360PF – Gallery 22.6 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator
Besides being spacious, this stainless-steel French door fridge is energy efficient, making it an ideal option for large families. It measures 31 x 36 x 69.9 inches and has a capacity of 22.6 cubic feet. It comes with an external water/ice dispenser that allows for water/ice filtration. It’s freezer is at the bottom, which makes it easy for you to access the fridge.
№6 – LG LFC21776ST – 20.7 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator
This is a French door refrigerator measuring 35.8 x 69.8 x 30 inches, and has a capacity of 20.7 cubic feet. This capacity is big enough to suit mid-size to large families. Also featured are 4 split spill protector glass shelves, glide N’ serve drawer, linear compressor and LED interior lighting. It has a nice stainless steel finish which gives it initial good looks.
№7 – Liebherr RB1410 11.9 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Counter Depth Built-In All Refrigerator
Singles and small-sized families will love this stainless steel counter depth fridge. It has a capacity of 11.9 cubic feet, and it is tall and shallow. This makes retrieval of food and beverages easy. What’s more is that it is energy star rated, which means that it is efficient in conserving energy.
№8 – SAMSUNG RF18HFENBSR Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator
This stainless-steel French door refrigerator is an ideal choice for small to mid-size families. It measures 30.5 x 32.2 x 70.8 inches, and has a capacity of 17.5 cubic feet. It comes with tempered glass shelves, 2 gallon door bins, automatic filtered ice maker and LED lighting.
№9 – Summit FF1935PL Refrigerator, Platinum
One of the most notable aspects of the Summit Ingenious Series-counter depth top freezer-refrigerator is its advanced design that is complemented by a modern platinum finish. The 27 x 29.2 x 73 inches fridge is fairly spacious with a capacity of 18 cu ft that’s divided between 2 compartments.
№10 – Samsung Appliance RF23J9011SG 36″ Counter-Depth 4-Door Flex French Door Refrigerator
Those with spacious kitchens will find this Samsung 4-door French door refrigerator an ideal choice. It not only comes in a beautiful sleek design, but it also gives you lots of space with a 23 cu. ft. capacity. It also features a triple cooling system that is large enough for bulk foods and large platters. Also featured are an installed icemaker and the LED interior lighting that is bright enough, making it easier for you to see your favorite food.
How to buy a refrigerator in 2017
Refrigerators have long been thought of as the boxy, boring behemoths of the kitchen, and buying one used to be as simple as choosing between eggshell and off-white. But times have changed, with manufacturers increasingly thinking outside of the box to try to redefine what the modern refrigerator is really capable of.
As a result, today’s shopper will find an ever-increasing range of color and style options, cleverly designed units designed to disappear into your decor, and a wide variety of new smart features, including ones aimed at transforming your kitchen itself into an entertainment hub. It’s enough to make you wonder if the ol’ icebox might be going through a bit of an identity crisis.
This reinvention of the refrigerator comes with an overwhelming abundance of new models to choose from. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place — a handy overview designed to help you narrow down the countless options and come out confident that the refrigerator you’re buying will give you the most bang for your buck.
In the end, finding the right fridge is all about understanding your own needs and asking the right questions, so let’s get started with:
What type of fridge do I want?
Style-wise, you’ve got four options to choose from, and each comes with its own pros and cons. Figuring out which one is best for you is the first, most obvious step towards making a final buying decision.
When I say the word “fridge,” chances are good that this is the style that pops into your head. With the bottom two-thirds dedicated to fresh-food storage and the freezer unit sitting on top, most of us probably struggled to reach the Popsicles in a top freezer unit when we were kids, or maybe we used one in our first apartment.
Tastes have moved forward since then, so if you’re looking for something modern, high-end, and feature-rich, then a top-freezer model probably isn’t for you. If, however, style isn’t as much of a concern, then you’ll find that top freezers offer some of the best bargains on the market. Plus, there are still enough being made to offer a solid variety of choices.
- Price: $479 to $2,199
- Average dimensions: Width: 29 inches; Depth: 31 inches; Depth with door open 90 degrees: 58 inches; Height: 66 inches
- Best suited for: Bargain shoppers who aren’t looking for anything too flashy.
If you’re looking for something on the simpler side, and would enjoy slightly easier access to your fresh foods, then a bottom-freezer unit might be right for you. Bottom-freezer units aren’t much different from top-freezer units except for the fact that the freezer is located — you guessed it — on the bottom. This means that you won’t have to hunch over while rooting around for commonly used ingredients.
Of course, this also means that frozen foods will be located down around your ankles — though a majority of models now come with drawer-style freezer doors, which can make getting the ice cream out a little easier. Bottom-freezer units tend to be just slightly bigger than top freezers, but there’s also less variety of models to choose from.
- Price: $999 to $1,899
- Average dimensions: Width: 29 inches; Depth: 32 inches; Depth with door open 90 degrees: 59 inches; Height: 67 inches
- Best suited for: Home cooks who don’t mind bending over to get into the freezer.
Side-by-side units split your fridge right down the middle, offering you frozen foods on the left and fresh foods on the right. Some models offer equal real estate for both sections, but most allocate an extra couple of inches for the fridge. This can make for an especially narrow freezer section, so frozen-pizza aficionados might want to consider something a little less limiting.
Side-by-side units come in a wide variety of models and tend to showcase more features than their horizontally minded top and bottom freezer counterparts. Many of these features are aimed at saving space, especially when it comes to the shelving inside the doors. Side-by-side units also don’t need as much clearance to open the doors, making them ideal for narrow kitchens. Due to the vertical split, you’ll probably want to go with the widest model that will fit into your kitchen, and your budget.
- Price: $1,149 to $3,099
- Average dimensions: Width: 35 inches; Depth: 30 inches; Depth with door open 90 degrees: 45 inches; Height: 71 inches
- Best suited for: Space-conscious consumers who still want a feature-rich fridge.
Highly popular, French-door models combine the drawer-style freezer of a bottom-freezer unit with the low-clearance doors of a side-by-side unit. This means that you’ll have a full-width, double-door fridge with plenty of storage space. With your refrigerator door effectively split into two, it also means that you won’t be letting quite as much cold air out when you’re opening just one door to grab the milk.
With the high demand for French-door refrigerators, you’re sure to find a huge variety of options, including models with top-of-the-line smart features you won’t find with other styles. You can also upgrade the look of your fridge to match your kitchen or even camouflage itself entirely among your cabinets, but be aware that you’ll likely be tacking a few thousand dollars onto the already steep price tag.
- Price: $1,599 to $3,999 ($4,500 to $8,000 for a built-in cabinetry appearance)
- Average dimensions: Width: 35 inches; Depth: 29 inches; Depth with door open 90 degrees: 48 inches; Height: 68 inches
- Best suited for: Fashionable homeowners who want lots of space for groceries and the most advanced features available.
What size fridge do I need?
Unless your home is truly palatial your choice of a new fridge is likely to be restricted by your existing kitchen design, so you’ll want to do some measuring to find out what size fridge you can accommodate. And don’t just measure your fridge nook – if you’re up-sizing, take a tape measure to your front door and make sure you can actually get that shiny new fridge into your house!
What if you’re moving house and your existing fridge won’t fit into your new kitchen? In a pinch you might be able to get your kitchen modified to suit, though it will help if you know who built it in the first place. If you have an expensive fridge this may be a cheaper option.
Wriggle room dimension
Make sure your measurements allow for some room at the sides, top and rear of your new fridge so it’s got some space to vent heat from the motor. If you don’t allow for some wriggle room, you’ll spend more in the long run as the fridge will need to work harder to keep its cool. Manufacturers list recommended clearances in their manuals, so check there first if you’re not sure how much space to allow – we tend to allow for at least 5cm on all sides by default to allow for good circulation.
How big is your household?
Based on the number of people using the fridge, you can use the following as a rule of thumb when choosing fridge capacity:
- 1–2 people – 250–285L. ($499–$1199)
- 3–4 people – 342–450L. ($799–$2699)
- 5 or more – 450L+ ($1200–$3699) Add 28.5L for each additional family member, plus freezer space. If in doubt, get the bigger fridge.
If you think might need more freezer space than offered with a fridge, you might want to check out our buying guide for standalone freezers.
How reliable are new fridges?
Taking time off work to greet service people, having good food going bad, or trying to cook and eat a whole week’s worth of meat in one go – it doesn’t matter how chilled out you are, having to deal with a faulty fridge is seriously uncool! If you’re not sure which brand of fridge to choose, check out the CHOICE fridge reliability survey. The results are based on the real-world experiences of thousands of consumers, so you can see how they all stack up before you buy.
What type of fridge do I need?
Top mount fridge – freezer on top
If price, range, efficiency and value are your biggest concern then a top mount fridge is for you.
- Cheapest fridge type to purchase
- Cheapest fridge type to run
- Wide range to choose from
- you have to bend down to access the fridge, which is the most used compartment
- Bottom mount fridge – freezer on bottom
- Bottom mount fridges are all about convenience – and saving you from back pain.
Side-by-side fridge – fridge next to freezer
Plenty of space and extra features make side-by-side fridges great for entertainers or large families.
- Lots of features available, such as ice and water dispensers
- Good for galley kitchens, thoroughfares or areas where you can’t have a large swinging door
- Good storage capacity
- Best access for people in wheelchairs
- Ice makers and water chillers can take up a lot of freezer space
- Internal space is quite narrow and won’t always fit a pizza box or frozen turkey
- Large physical form takes up a lot of space and can’t fit in a tight corner
- Temperatures can be inconsistent between the top and bottom of the fridge
French door fridge – bottom mount freezer with a two door fridge
French door fridges combine the convenience of a bottom mount fridge with good capacity and extra features.
- Lots of features available like ice and water dispensers
- Good storage capacity
- Both fridge and freezer are wide enough for large platters and bulk foods
All the benefits of a bottom mount fridge
- Ice maker/water chiller can take up a lot of fridge space
- Large physical form takes up a lot of space and can’t fit in a tight corner
Costs more to buy
Pigeon pair fridge – separate, but matching upright fridge and freezer
A pigeon pair combines plenty of storage capacity with more flexibility when it comes to placement.
- Can be kept separate (with the freezer in another part of house like the laundry or garage) which is great for small kitchens
- Good storage capacity
- Takes up more space overall
- What does it cost to run a fridge?
- Cool running costs
Your fridge is the only appliance in your house that’s always running, on average making up 8% of your energy bill. It will be consuming electricity 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so it’s worth checking out the number on the energy label.
The lower the better
The lower the number on the energy label, the less it’s going to cost you on your bill. The star rating will let you know how the fridge performs based on its size, but the number gives you the raw figures, which are more useful. You can multiply this number by your energy cost to get an estimate of what it will cost you per year to run your fridge.
For example, your energy costs 30 cents/kWh. The fridge uses 400kWh per year. 0.30 X 400 = your fridge is going to cost you $120 a year to run.
Eighty-six the bar fridge
You should also think twice about your bar fridge. Keeping an old fridge in the garage stocked with beer and assorted questionable beverages is something of an Aussie tradition, but as you can see from the example above, switching it off will save you the equivalent of a couple of slabs each year in running costs – more if the fridge in question is old and inefficient. Even better: if you live in NSW or the ACT, then you may even get a little bit of cash in your pocket through the Fridge Buyback Scheme.
If the thought of being without cold beer leaves you in a cold sweat, consider whether a bigger fridge in your kitchen will give you the space you need for happy hour, without the energy price hangover.
What features should I look for in a fridge?
Look for two separate temperature controls. A single control sets both the freezer and the fresh-food compartment, so you can’t adjust one without affecting the other. Some electronic fridges have better independent controls.
Some fridges have a 24-hour memory that monitors door openings and precools the fridge before a period of heavy use – such as when the kids get home from school or you’re preparing dinner.And some fridges automatically manage defrosting to suit conditions.
Some fridges let out a warning beep if you leave the door open too long, or forget to close it properly.
Make sure the handles aren’t too high or too low and that the door opens in the right direction for your kitchen. Some models have reversible doors.
Also make sure you can open the fridge doors easily and comfortably. Remember, a display fridge in store that’s not plugged in will be easier to open than a fridge that’s turned on. Some fridges include lever-action door handles to help break the seal when opening.
If you or someone in your household find fridges frustrating then check out our guide to choosing an accessible fridge for people with disabilities, vision impairment or cognitive impairment.
Shelves ought to be easy to remove and replace for cleaning or adjustment. Does the range of shelf positions suit your needs? For example, can you stand soft-drink or wine bottles in the door shelves? Split shelves can be handy for this.
Shelves may be made from moulded plastic or safety glass. Some shelves feature raised lips or other features to help stop spilt milk or other liquids spreading throughout your whole fridge.
Rollers and adjustable feet
Rollers are useful for easy moving – when cleaning behind the fridge, for example. Four rollers are better than two, provided they have brakes or adjustable feet to secure the fridge and stop it from escaping. Adjustable feet (or rollers) are necessary for ensuring your fridge is level from left to right. The front being slightly elevated from the rear means your door will close more easily, saving you money.
Look for smooth, easy to clean surfaces with no awkward corners or dirt-trapping areas. Also check how easy it is to remove and replace crisper drawers and shelves for when they require cleaning.
This compartment stores meat, fish and poultry (fresh or cooked), at a safe temperature, which keeps it fresh for longer. The chiller’s temperature should be close to zero and ideally it should have a separate temperature control.
Located close to the cold-air outlets, this feature is handy for cooling drinks quickly. However, food left there too long may freeze.
A slightly warmer area of the fridge, convenient for keeping butter and hard cheeses slightly soft.
A good crisper saves you having to put your fruit and veggies in plastic bags. The compartment should be well sealed to keep vegetables fresh. It should also be easy to remove for cleaning. Check that the fridge’s air outlets don’t blow onto it, as this will dry your food out faster.
Water and ice dispenser
A dispenser located on the outside of the door saves you constantly opening and closing the fridge for cold drinks. Some water and ice dispensers need to be connected to a tap – an additional plumbing installation expense. With others, water can be dispensed from a container inside the door. This convenience has a trade-off though, and dispensers can take up almost 30% of your freezer space. Some water and ice dispensers also require replacement water filters – an additional periodic expense.
The Complete Refrigerator Buying Guide
Gone are the days of the simple top freezer refrigerator models. Today, not only are there many styles to choose from, but they also come with a variety of options and features.
Refrigerator styles range from the simple top or bottom freezer to more double sided doors and expensive built-in models. Then there is the choice of materials: stainless steel, traditional black or white, or even custom panels to match your kitchen.
Newer refrigerators are also expanding features beyond just the water and ice dispenser in the door, offering multiple freezer sections and even high tech options like built-in digital picture frames and docking stations for electronics.
So with all these options available, how can you pick a refrigerator that best suit your needs and preferences?
In this guide we will help you choose the right refrigerator by breaking down various types of refrigerator and things to consider when buying one.
Things to Consider When Buying a Refrigerator
Firstly, it is important to consider the space the refrigerator will be in. Before heading off to the store to purchase your new refrigerator, you should measure the dimensions of the area that the refrigerator will sit in, allowing a few inches above and behind for air circulation. You will also want consider space for the doors to swing open, and if searching for a top or bottom freezer model you will need to decided which direction the door should open.
Beyond just determining the space in which the refrigerator will be placed, you will also want to consider the size of the refrigerator itself. Refrigerators come in a variety of capacities measured by cubic feet, so you will want to choose one that best serves your needs. Most manufacturers recommend 19 to 22 cubic feet for a family of four, or a minimum of 4 to 6 cubic feet per adult.
Refrigerators come with a variety of storage configurations, so you will want to choose one that works best for you. Consider how you want the shelves and drawers to be arranged. You may want to look for one with adjustable glass shelves, which are easier to clean and can be customized to suit your needs. Pull out shelves or bins can also make it easier to access products.
Some refrigerators now also come with door-in-door storage, making it is easier to access more frequently used items without having to open the entire door. This can help to save energy for those who want something more energy efficient regriegrators.
You will need to consider what type of material you want your refrigerator to be as well. Stainless steel refrigerators are quite popular, but they also can easily show fingerprints and smudges. Manufacturers have come up with faux stainless steel finishes, which can help to control this problem.
There is also the option for more expensive custom panels, which can be made to match your kitchen cabinetry, or you can always go with the more basic black or white colored model.
Refrigerators now come with numerous built in features. Some options to consider are a water and ice dispenser in the door which are quite common now, but these often require the most repair. Some other important features are temperature controls and freshness.
The features that can help control the freshness of your food includes dual evaporators which can help maintain higher humidity levels in the refrigerator, while air purifiers can remove bacteria and mold spores. Additionally, vacuum-sealed drawers can help to keep your fruits and veggies fresher for a longer period of time.
Temperature controls can also allow you to choose the temperature of your fridge in different storage compartments. This means if you want to pick a drawer to keep colder than the rest of the fridge for items like meat, you are able to.
6. Energy Efficiency
Since you will likely have your refrigerator for a long time, you will want to consider its energy efficiency. This will have an effect in the long-term costs of running your refrigerator. Energy consumption can make a huge difference in the cost of operating your refrigerator over the course of its lifetime and buying an energy efficient refrigerator is a sensible choice for sure.
Single Door vs Double Door (Side-by-Side) Refrigerator, Which One is best?
The best model will largely depend on your priorities when choosing a refrigerator. The side-by-side models are easier to access for children or people who are unable to bend down. Side-by-side models might also be best for small kitchens, where space is at a premium, since doors do not swing open as widely.
However, the benefits of space and accessibility can mean there will be some compromise in capacity and energy efficiency.Single door models offer more usable storage capacity than side-by-side models do. Also these models tend to be a bit more energy efficient in comparison to the side-by-side model.
Which Refrigerator is Best for Home?
You will want to measure the dimensions of your kitchen space where the refrigerator will be placed. Refrigerators are designed to fit a range of sizes from 30” – 36” wide and 66” – 70” high. However you will want to remember to include a 1” clearance around both sides and the top of the fridge. This will help to accommodate the hinge cap at the top, as well as giving the needed space for air circulation. If the refrigerator is going to be placed next to a sidewall, it is important to consider clearance for the door handle when it swings open.
Next, you will want to consider the capacity you think you will need. 16 – 20 cubic feet is a good estimate for two people who cook a lot. Others recommend 19 – 22 cubic feet for a family of four. Consider that the stated capacity is not always all useable space, so open it up and check it out when you are shopping.
Also, you might want to keep in mind what your food buying habits are. Do you shop in bulk? Do you use a lot of frozen meals? Do you order out a lot? All of these will play a factor in what kind of space you will need. You might need more freezer space if you use a lot of frozen meals or buy in bulk. You might need more fridge space if you eat a lot of fresh food. If you are ordering a lot of pizza, you might want to consider something to accommodate those larger boxes.
What are some new and best features in refrigerators?
Refrigerators have come a long way in what they offer consumers. Many today now include adjustable and sliding shelving, as well as spill safe glass shelves. These can help improve access to products, as well as make cleaning easier. They also offer more storage solutions, such as convertible drawers or multiple freezer compartments. Refrigerators can also include beverage compartments and wine racks.
They also provide options and features that help to keep food fresh. Many feature fruit or vegetable crisper drawers, which having adjustable humidity settings. More models are starting to offer temperature-controlled compartments for meat and dairy products. Some are even capable of thawing and defrosting your food.
Are freshness and temperature control features really that important?
Freshness and temperature control can really help in prolonging the shelf life of your food. Settings for high and low humidity help to prolong the life of fruits and vegetables, while making temperatures colder can help to keep meat fresher for a longer amount of time.
Which Refrigerator is Most Energy Efficient?
Energy efficiency is a very important factor in choosing a refrigerator because they can use up to one-sixth of a home’s electricity. Environmental concerns aside, refrigerators can also be costly to run.
In the United States, the Energy Star label can help to inform consumers about a products’ energy efficiency. This label can give you an estimate of the model’s annual cost to operate, as well its yearly energy usage rates in comparison to other models.
The A+++ and A++ are rated as the best and most energy efficient refrigerators.
However, outside of this, there are a few rules of thumb to picking an energy efficient model. Side-by-side models tend to be the least energy efficient when compared to top and bottom freezers. Also you can choose features like door-in-door storage, which can help reduce energy consumption.
The Facts About Energy Efficiency
As of Sept. 15, 2014, both Energy Star and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) upped the ante on energy-efficiency requirements for refrigerators (standards set by the DOE are mandatory; Energy Star is a voluntary program).
DOE’s new minimum standards require top-freezer, bottom-freezer, and side-by-side refrigerators to be 20% to 30% more efficient than previous generations. The Appliance Standards Awareness Project, which champions improved standards for appliances and lighting, estimates the energy savings between 1990 and 2014 models this way:
- Top Freezer: $80 per year
- Bottom Freezer: $100 per year
- Side-by-side refrigerator: $130 per year
New refrigerators that meet the current standards set by Energy Star are 10% more efficient than their earlier counterparts. They also must be at least 9% more efficient than DOE standards.
FYI: The bigger the fridge, the more energy it may consume. The most energy-efficient models you can buy have 16 to 20 cubic feet of capacity, according to Energy Star. Compare that with the size recommended for a four-person household: 19 to 22 cubic feet.
Tip: Got a second fridge in your basement or garage? If it’s more than 10 years old, it could add as much as $100 to your yearly utility bill. You could cut that cost by 40% with a new Energy Star-certified model.
Want to Color Your World?
Refrigerators sold in big-box stores are available in staid shades like white, black, gray, and stainless. You’ll have to compromise on fridge type to get one in an eye-popping color like red, orange, or green. Jazzy units like these are typically available only in retro styles that mimic refrigerators from the 1950s and 1960s; you’ll find them through specialty retailers or appliance dealers.
A colorful 9.2-cubic-foot, single-door retro-style refrigerator costs about $2,000, while a 20.6-cubic-foot, two-door fridge can cost $3,000 and more.
Features and Functions You Should Have
Lots of storage compartments and flexible storage options. You can’t go wrong with storage features like gallon door bins that free up interior shelf space, split shelves that create room for tall bottles, adjustable shelves that make room for oversized things, and flexible bin dividers that make it easier to group items.
Humidity-controlled compartments. Leafy greens typically require a much higher humidity level than apples or figs. This feature allows you to store produce at the appropriate humidity levels so they stay fresh longer. A refrigerator with humidity-controlled compartments starts at about $1,200.
Enhanced lighting. Energy-efficient LED lights placed in corners and over bins make it easier to find what you need.
Door alarms. It’ll beep or chime when the fridge door isn’t fully shut, helping to prevent energy and food waste.
Tip: Once you’ve found the perfect fridge, don’t be afraid to haggle over the price. Doing so can save you up to $100.
Features and Functions You Shouldn’t Pay More For
Automatic water, beverage, and ice dispensers. Although features like these boost convenience, they increase yearly maintenance costs. On an annual basis, expect to pay about $20 or more for electricity and up to $100 for water filter replacements. Dispensers also raise the purchase price for a new refrigerator by as much as $250 while reducing storage space.
Fast-cooling compartments like a blast chiller. When activated, the feature chills lukewarm beverages. It takes about eight minutes to get two cans of soda or a single bottle of wine icy cold. Because using a fridge’s automatic ice dispenser can boost energy costs by up to 20%, we suspect that a feature like this can also increase electricity use especially if used on a daily or weekly basis.
Wi-Fi enabled. Although a touchscreen with apps or a TV sounds nice, the technology won’t enhance performance. They’re usually found on models that cost more than $3,000.
3 Step Guide to Get the Best Price
If you’ve decided that it’s time to replace your old refrigerator, you’re in for a few surprises. The average life of a fridge is around 12 years, and in the decade or so since you last looked at a new one, performance, design, and prices have all changed.
- If you want to get the best fridge at the best price, you need to quickly become familiar with the market, figure out what you need, and learn how to spot a deal.
- Step 1: Identify Your Needs
Refrigerators come in many different shapes and sizes to fit most budgets and most kitchens. Modern appliances come with a long list of available features, and while some may be very valuable to you, others will be almost worthless.
Before you start shopping, assess your basic wants and needs in these four areas:
You may decide to put your new refrigerator in a new spot in your kitchen, or you might just use the same space. Either way, you’ll need to take measurements to deduce whether you have room for a bigger fridge, or if you should take advantage of a compact model.
Measure the height, depth, and width, and take note of the free space available for opening the doors. Additionally, record the door and hallway clearance space so you can plan for delivery.
Are you single, a couple, or a family of five? Do you eat out a lot or frequently cater to large groups of guests? These are the kinds of factors that play into settling on the refrigerator you need. Think about your history with your current appliance and make a list of pros and cons. If you’ve frequently struggled with an over-stuffed freezer or have difficulty finding what you are looking for, you’ll want your new refrigerator to solve these problems.
3. Comforts and Desires
Maybe you’ve been wanting an ice and cold-water dispenser or a stainless steel finish. You’re probably going to keep this appliance for at least 10 years, so get the features you’re going to enjoy. Make a list of the extra options you want, and rank them in order of importance. Review your rankings and remember that there’s going to be an extra cost associated with each one.
The good news is that since you’ll have this appliance for a long time, you can justify a few splurges in the name of simple pleasures and worthwhile convenience.
Rather than settling on a fixed amount, come up with a comfortable price range. The most important number here is the highest one, as you never want to go over your ceiling. Be sure to factor in durability, performance, and energy efficiency when determining your long-term outlook on costs.
Step 2: Know Your Options
There was a time when refrigeration was little more than a box and a block of ice. Thankfully, technology has progressed. Options abound, and designs and features that used to be luxurious now seem like basic necessities. You will need to consider the five main types of refrigerators on the market, as well as the main brands and features available.
This is the design that most of us grew up with, now modernized to perform on a higher level. The classic look offers wide clearance for things like pizza boxes or cookie sheets, and a high rate of useable space.
The main detractors are that the crisper and veggie storage are often very low, while the freezer portion may be difficult for kids or shorter adults to reach, or even see. But if you don’t mind bending down from time to time to grab a tomato and have a step-stool handy for the kids, the top-freezer design is the most cost-effective option, leaving room in the budget for the stainless steel upgrade that may be at the top of your wish list.
Though it doesn’t have the history of the top-freezer design, the most popular design is currently the bottom-freezer refrigerator. This design has the desirable trait of allowing you to look upon your most commonly utilized items at eye-level. Yes, you do have to stoop for frozen items, but most people find it a worthwhile trade-off for making your fresh-food storage more accessible.
Because of the demand of this style – which skews slightly higher in price than the top-freezer model – more options are becoming available, from French doors to in-door ice and cold water dispensers. Just because this is the hot style now doesn’t mean you can’t score a deal on a new bottom-freezer refrigerator. With high production and an active marketplace, this just might be the best place to find a sale or closeout opportunity.
The side-by-side model design splits the freezer and fresh-food compartment vertically, allowing the unit to fit into tight places, especially if you don’t have a lot of room for door clearance. This convenient design is still visually appealing and commonly includes features including in-door ice-makers and temperature-controlled bins. Some, on the high-end, even include small TV screens!
The biggest downside is the difficulty you’ll find in storing wider items, especially on the freezer side. With narrower shelves, you’ll have some trouble locating and, more importantly, extracting items.
Built-in refrigerators are the top option for those who need customization to fit space requirements, personal needs, remodeled kitchens, or a particular interior design aesthetic. With a built-in you get a perfect fit, super-sleek look, and high quality. However, you also get a very high price tag. Shopping for a built-in fridge is a different ballgame, and with the high prices comes a little more room to negotiate or catch a deal on delivery and installation.
Additionally, when you consider your budget and the cost of a built-in, remember that built-ins often last longer, feature optimal performance (keeping food fresher longer), may help you save energy at home, and can boost the value of your home.
Additional Refrigerator Options
Beyond the four primary categories, you’ll also find cabinet-depth refrigerators and refrigerator drawers.
Cabinet-depth fridges utilize a shallower design that mimics the look of built-ins at a lower price. They come with a variety of functional and superficial options, but offer less space than less expensive standard-size models.
Refrigerator drawers are a neat option if you’re looking for even more room to keep your food fresh, or if you simply enjoy the idea of having items closer at hand. You can install them anywhere in your kitchen, such as beneath counters or into islands. These smaller units are costly and proportionally less energy-efficient.
Brand recognition plays a role in research and shopping, especially with large appliances like refrigerators. While your family may have previously owned only GE products, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not at least considering a newer label with a fine reputation, such as Electrolux.
By familiarizing yourself with the primary refrigerator manufacturers, you’ll gain valuable insight. LG, for example, is a brand that excels in the bottom-freezer market, while the less recognizable Amana is an economical line produced by Whirlpool.
Here’s the shortlist of top American refrigerator brands:
- Electrolux (Frigidaire)
- Whirlpool (Amana, Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, Maytag)
Some refrigerator “extras” aren’t much more than costly cosmetic changes, while others offer enhanced function, energy efficiency (which helps reduce your utility bills), and value. Here’s a list of my five favorite things to look for in a refrigerator:
Energy Star Rating
Refrigerators run continuously, so they use more electricity than all other kitchen appliances. They don’t sit idle, like a dishwasher, and you can’t unplug them, like a toaster. Energy efficiency, therefore, goes a long way. An Energy Star rating means that the appliance will run at least 20% more efficiently than government standards. That performance represents some serious savings over the years.
There’s nothing worse than wasting food. It wastes money and resources, and it just doesn’t feel right. Options that keep food fresher longer and protect the interior from bacteria and mold mean as much to your food budget as it does to your family’s health and safety.
Shelves and bins that slide out make your daily life in the kitchen so much easier. Ending the ritual of sticking your head into the freezer to find a long-lost roast is appealing.
Like many Americans, I love the sleek, clean look of a stainless-steel finish on my kitchen appliances. If you’re on a tight budget, you can explore the less expensive “faux steel” options that look similar to the real thing.
Eliminate the expense and endless waste of plastic water bottles by purchasing a refrigerator with a built-in filter. The water you cook with and drink will taste better and contain substantially less chlorine, heavy metals, and other harmful agents.
Perhaps the biggest change since the last time you researched refrigerators is how we as a society shop. While the occasional mom and pop store still survives, huge discount centers and the Internet have changed everything.
Utilize these four methods to find the best deal without sacrificing value or wasting time:
The first step toward saving is to leave yourself enough time to research and do comparison shopping. Be aware of your current refrigerator’s age, and approximate when you’ll need to replace it. By being prepared, you can avoid the costly situation where desperation supersedes savings.
Use the Internet to get a sense of the market. In just a few minutes you can view countless models of fridges and get a good idea of what you want, as well as what’s available. Some sites will even do the bargain hunting for you, listing the best refrigerator sales all in one place.
Trust Your Eyes
The major appliance stores carry a wide variety of refrigerators that you can examine in a single visit. Don’t hesitate to use a big store for a purely exploratory trip. There’s nothing like taking a hands-on approach in assessing the desirability and quality of a product, even if you’re still planning to buy elsewhere.
Timing Is Everything
Manufacturers typically roll out their new models at the beginning of summer, so late spring is usually the best time to score a great price at a clearance sale. Holiday weekends are also good, with President’s Day and Black Friday refrigerator deals being notoriously worthwhile as the best times to buy large appliances.
Again, the question is, “do you need any of this in your kitchen?” And, given that people have done just fine with dumb refrigerators for generations now, the answer is clearly “No.” None of these smart fridges come cheap, and none of the smart features are quite compelling enough on their own to justify the extra expense.
That said, most manufacturers are doing their best to tempt you by giving these fridges premium designs and filling them with additional features beyond the smarts — things like door-in-door compartments, temperature-adjustable drawers, and even see-through panels that let you peer inside without opening the door. You don’t need any of these fridges, but I certainly couldn’t blame you for wanting one — or buying one, for that matter.
Fortunately, you don’t need to spend thousands on a top-of-the-line fridge in order to feel like you’re getting an upgrade. With a growing diversity of options across a wide range of prices, there’s nothing stopping you from buying a refrigerator that you’ll love — provided you’re willing to put in a little bit of leg work, first. Do your homework and shop smart, and you’ll be happy with your fridge for years to come.
So, TOP10 of top freezer refrigerator:
- №1 — New Diamond Elite 19
- №2 — LG Stainless Look Counter Depth Top Freezer Refrigerator
- №3 — Frigidaire FGHT1846QF 30″ Top-Freezer Refrigerator
- №4 — SAMSUNG RS27FDBTNSR Built-in Side by Side Refrigerator
- №5 — Frigidaire DGHF2360PF – Gallery 22.6 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator
- №6 — LG LFC21776ST – 20.7 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator
- №7 — Liebherr RB1410 11.9 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Counter Depth Built-In All Refrigerator
- №8 — SAMSUNG RF18HFENBSR Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator
- №9 — Summit FF1935PL Refrigerator, Platinum
- №10 — Samsung Appliance RF23J9011SG 36″ Counter-Depth 4-Door Flex French Door Refrigerator
by Don Oliver | Last Updated September 1, 2017