The best refrigerators will maintain the ideal temperature for keeping your food chilled, whether the door is repeatedly opened or it’s full to capacity. A good refrigerator will be designed to make the most use of the available space, with dedicated zones for specific food types. All areas should be easily accessible and the temperature settings should be easy to adjust. Ideally, it should be energy efficient too.
Some of the latest refrigerators come with useful features as well, the most common being ice and water dispensers in the door. However, more unusual designs are being introduced as well, such as touch screen displays, glass doors and smart connectivity. But, which should you buy? We’ve done the research to find the best refrigerators out there, whether you’re looking for best value for money or want all of the bells and whistles.
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What are the best refrigerators?
After scouring the web for endless hours and taking our own experience into consideration, we found the best refrigerator overall to be the GE Profile PFE28KYNFS French door refrigerator. Its design essentially offers the whole package: excellent temperature control, spacious shelves and an elegant aesthetic. If you’re shopping on a budget, then the Whirlpool WRF535SMHZ is worth considering. It will get the job done, but it is missing an ice or water dispenser.
If you’re after a side-by-side design so you can easily access both chilled and frozen goods, then we recommend the LG LSXS26366S. It features a unique hidden compartment in the fridge, so you don’t need to open the whole thing to quickly grab a snack.
If the latest tech interests you, then the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator (RF28R7551SR) is worth your investment. It features a large 21-inch touch screen on its door which can double up as a calendar, memo board or even a TV! Hidden cameras inside also mean you can check whether you’re low on milk from your smartphone while shopping for groceries.
The best refrigerators you can buy today
The best refrigerator overall, the GE Profile PFE28KYNFS French door refrigerator is beautifully designed and has a smudge-proof stainless steel finish to keep it looking spiffy. In it you’ll find lots of features for organizing and protecting food. It has a full width shelf with temperature control; at the coldest setting it will keep meat fresh longer and on the warmer one it’s ideal for stashing party trays or a cake when you’re entertaining. One of the shelves slides under itself to make room for a tall item like a pineapple or a giant soda bottle. In the freezer there’s two baskets with dividers to keep food from getting lost in a giant bin.
When you place a glass in the water dispenser, it fills it automatically, so you don’t have to stand and press a button as it dispenses. This is one of the only refrigerators with an advanced water filter that removes pharmaceuticals such as ibuprofen, as well as chlorine and lead. The GE Profile also is available with a slate or black stainless-steel finish.
There's nothing overly flashy about the stainless steel Frigidaire FFHB2750TS, but what you get is solid performance at a great price. It does have an LED control panel and even has an ice and water dispenser in the door. However, even though it has a wide drawer for things like party platters or sheet cakes, the drawer isn’t temperature controlled. So you can’t turn it down very low to keep meat fresh for an extended period of time.
This is a counter depth model, so it won’t stick out and will give your kitchen a sleek, contemporary look. In the freezer, there are two baskets to help you keep frozen foods organized and easy to find. This Frigidaire is EnergyStar rated which means it’s among the models that are easiest on your electric bill.
On the LG LSXS26366S side-by-side refrigerator you’ll find a unique feature. In the refrigerator door, there’s a smaller door that opens to a special compartment. It’s a great place to stash things you grab often like fruit and drinks so you don’t expose the entire refrigerator to warm air. Inside, the LG has bright LED lights, and reviewers report that on lab tests, it maintained very even temperatures, a big plus for keeping food fresh.
The ice drawer is on the door, not on a freezer shelf so it leaves you more room for food but doesn’t hold as much ice as some. And while there are two produce bins, they don’t excel at keeping moisture in, which means don’t stock it with more lettuce than you can reasonably eat in a few days. This fridge comes in stainless steel and black stainless steel.
This LG LTCS24223S refrigerator has a combined 24 cubic feet of storage space, which gives you tons of room to store all your foodstuffs. However, there's no through- the-door ice and water dispenser, which is a reasonable trade-off at this price. There is an icemaker in the freezer. In the fridge there are two crispers with humidity controls as well as a large deli drawer that spans the width of the refrigerator; it’s great for organizing foods but it’s not temperature controlled. LEDs keep everything well lit in both compartments.
It's the best refrigerator to get if you want a top-freezer design. It's a nice-looking fridge for the price, too: It has recessed grooves instead of protruding handles and an attractive stainless-steel finish. If you’re worried about your electric bill, it’s one of the most efficient models that you can buy. If you prefer you can have it in white or black stainless steel.
If you need a small refrigerator, perhaps for an apartment, the no-frills GE GTE18GMHES is a nice-looking option. It has glass shelving and comes with an ice maker. For stashing cold cuts and cheeses, there’s a deli drawer that can be moved from one side to another to accommodate a tall item like a pitcher of lemonade. However, this GE lacks humidity controls for the crisper drawers and doesn't have independent controls for the fridge and freezer, so you'll have to pick between "colder" and coldest" for both.
It's the best refrigerator for smaller kitchens. While it's not huge by typical refrigerator standards, this model will give you more than enough room for a big grocery load. Unlike bigger, showier models it will barely make a dent in your electric bill. Three finishes are available: stainless steel, silver, and white.
Now in its third generation, Samsung's Family Hub smart refrigerator is instantly recognizable by its large 21-inch touch screen, which you can use to order groceries, play music, look up your calendar, watch TV, see who's at your front door and much more. Cameras inside the fridge let you see from your smartphone if you're running low on milk. While we're not high on Bixby, Samsung's voice assistant, it is built into the fridge, so you can ask it to control your smart home devices, such as lights, thermostats, robot vacuums and more.
The Family Hub is available in more than a dozen styles, including both counter and full-depth sizes; and three-door and four-door models (the FlexZone Drawer is a handy feature that helps you get to snacks and other frequently used items). In addition to a full-size freezer, the Family Hub is available in a "4 Door Flex" configuration, which lets you switch one compartment from freezer to fridge, depending on your needs.
Bottom-freezer refrigerators like the Amana ABB2224BRM make it easier to access items in the main compartment: so no more bending over to reach the apples in the crispers. But while there is an ice-maker in the freezer itself, there’s no ice and water dispenser in the door.
The Amana excels at keeping uniform temperatures so you don’t have to worry that something will be warmer on the top shelf or get icy on a bottom one. You’ll also be able to take advantage of a large pantry drawer for stashing deli items or large catering trays when you’re having company. Unfortunately the compartment isn’t temperature controlled so it can’t be set to a higher temp for a birthday cake and a lower one for meats. There are also two crispers that do a good job of keeping greens crisp. Down in the freezer, you’ll find gliding baskets to help you keep things organized so you won’t have to scrounge around in a big bin to find that bag of frozen peas.
If you’re looking for a counter-depth refrigerator, style is probably super important to you and the Bosch 800 Series B36CT80SNS French door model delivers in spades. It’s handsomely designed in a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel and is packed with special features. There’s no ice and water dispenser in the exterior to detract from its sleek appearance, but it has a dispenser inside the fridge door and an ice bin that you can pull out. The ice cubes are uniquely shaped in small pyramids so even they seem special.
Inside there’s a pantry drawer that’s both humidity and temperature controlled so if the two crispers don’t give you enough room for fresh produce, you have another compartment to keep fruits and vegetables crisp. The freezer has 3 bins to keep foods organized and minimize scrounging around to find that bag of peas you know is in there somewhere. By downloading the associated Bosh Home Connect app, you can control the Bosch remotely.
What’s really unique about the LG LRFV3006S is that it can make beautiful clear balls of ice for high balls or craft cocktails. But of course you get a lot more than that in a fridge that sells for big bucks. This is a French door model with a door in one of the doors that opens on a compartment that’s useful for stashing things your family grabs often like drinks, yogurt, or snacks. When you knock on the door twice, the window in the door lights up so you can see what’s in there before opening it, preventing cold air from escaping while you scrounge around. On the other door, there’s an ice and water dispenser that can accommodate your tallest water bottle or a pitcher and will fill it to a precise amount so you don’t have to stand and press the lever until your glass is full.
Inside there’s a drawer with temperature control for keeping meat icy cold or fruit at a pleasant eating temp as well as two crispers designed to keep produce longer. This is an EnergyStar certified refrigerator which means it will be relatively easy on your electric bill. Connect the LG to Wi-Fi and you can change the temperature from an app on your phone or troubleshoot problems before calling for a service technician.
How to choose the right refrigerator for you
There are four main types of refrigerators:
- French Door: This is the most popular model, with two doors that open the refrigerator compartment. This feature makes it easier to access the fridge, such as when a kitchen island might prevent you from fully opening a full-size door. These refrigerators also have the freezer section on the bottom.
- Side-by-side: These two-door refrigerators have the freezer compartment on the left side and the refrigerator compartment on the right. This style makes it easier to reach items in the freezer — you don't have to bend down — but makes it harder to fit in wider items, such as pizza boxes and sheet cakes.
- Top freezer: As the name suggests, the freezer is on the top, with a single door below for the refrigerator. These models make it easier to get to the freezer, at the expense of having to bend down to reach the lower drawers of the refrigerator.
- Bottom freezer: With the freezer on the bottom, this style of refrigerator makes everything in the main compartment at waist level or higher. It's better for those who don't use their freezer as often. Freezers which are located towards the bottom tend to be easier to defrost. If you're not sure how to do this, here's how to defrost a freezer.
Standard vs. counter depth
Many refrigerators come in two sizes: standard and counter depth. Counter-depth refrigerators are not as deep, so their front edge will be aligned with your countertop and kitchen cabinets. While more stylish, this makes them both smaller and more expensive than standard-size refrigerators.
Stainless steel is currently the most popular finish for all kitchen appliances — black stainless steel is even trendier — but you can also get refrigerators in more traditional white or black. Higher end models can also be outfitted with cabinet-like exteriors, so that they blend in with the rest of your kitchen's decor.
Is it magnetic? Keep in mind that many stainless steel models are not magnetic, so you'll have a harder time posting your kids' artwork and report cards, not to mention those takeout menus.
Will it fit?
There's nothing worse than ordering a fridge, only to find out it won't fit through your front door. Before buying a refrigerator, be sure to measure every opening it will have to go through. Since you can remove the doors from a refrigerator, you have a little more leeway. But, be sure that once it's installed, you'll be able to fully open its doors.
If you're replacing a refrigerator, measure your current model; you'll know that a fridge that size will fit.
When to replace a refrigerator
Most brands will offer a one year warranty with a refrigerator, although the National Association of Home Builders says the lifespan of this product should be around 13 years. Extended warranties are available, however we don’t recommend these because it tends to cost more than any potential repairs. If your repair costs more than half the value of a new refrigerator, we recommend simply replacing it.
The most common refrigerator fault is that it’s struggling to keep the food chilled. Don’t pick up the phone to call a repairman just yet, as this could be fixed easily. The first step is to give both the gasket and coils a quick clean. You should also take a look at what temperature the refrigerator is set to — you might be able to lower it from here. If, on the other hand, your refrigerator is too cold, you can check the internal temperature setting once again. Otherwise, you might have to call in a professional. This problem could be caused by a faulty ice and water dispenser, which you should repair if possible. If the condenser is the problem and your refrigerator isn’t new, then it might be best to replace it.
A refrigerator is constantly running, so it naturally uses up more energy than other appliances. Modern designs are much more energy efficient however, so if you replace an older model, you might notice a difference on your bills. If you’re shopping for a new refrigerator, it’s worth buying one which is Energy Star certified as these are roughly 9% more efficient, which will save you about $200 over its lifetime.
Features to look for
The latest refrigerators come with lots of design features to improve their efficiency and to make them more convenient.
Humidity-controlled bins: Some feature specific produce bins with humidity controls and drawers which can maintain colder temperatures. This will make your meat and vegetables last much longer as both can be stored at the ideal temperature.
Exterior doors: Other models come with small compartments or drawers which can be opened without opening the whole refrigerator. This is ideal for grabbing snacks and means the fridge can better maintain its temperature. Look out for compartments which can be switched from fridge to freezer too. Don't forget to rotate food and eat what's at the back though. This is one of our 3 reasons why you shouldn't overfill your freezer.
Water/ice dispensers: Some Water dispensers can automatically fill a glass and some ice dispensers can produce crushed or shaved ice. The possibilities are endless! Many more colors are available these days as well — you don’t have to have a stainless steel finish!
"Smart" features: Smart fridges are much more common too. These can be controlled from your smartphone and will let you know when they detect a fault. Some can even self-diagnose, so the serviceperson will arrive with the right parts.
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