The best refrigerator is more than just an appliance that keeps your food cold. It's where you post your child's artwork, where you leave notes for family members, and where you put magnets and photos from trips you took.
It's important you choose a fridge that fits your family's needs a budget. For instance, some refrigerators have easy-access drawers where you can store items you need to grab quickly. Or maybe you need a fridge with a large freezer compartment.
Based on our research, these are the 10 best refrigerators for families and homes of all types. However, there are a number of new models on the way for 2020.
Samsung is adding some new features to its Family Hub refrigerators, including the ability to pre-heat Samsung connected ovens, mirror and control Samsung TVs and smartphones, watch YouTube, Prime Video, and Hulu, and answer calls via Bluetooth. The Family Hub will also be available in Tuscan stainless steel.
New JennAir smart refrigerators work with an app that allows you to adjust refrigerator temperatures from the car or the supermarket; if you’ve just bought a load of perishables, you can lower the fridge temp before you get home. The app also allows you to contact the JennAir call center to diagnose problems or arrange for service calls.
GE's Café Modern Glass Collection 4-door refrigerator ($4,199) has a glass front with platinum underneath that shines through and “pocket” handles. Inside, the back wall, LED lights provide excellent visibility.
The best refrigerators you can buy today
1. Samsung RF28R7351SR
Best refrigerator overall
Size (with hinges, handles and doors): 70 x 35.8 x 36.5 inches | Refrigerator Capacity: 15.7 cu ft. | Freezer Capacity: 8.3 cu ft. | Ice/Water dispenser: Yes/Yes | Energy Consumption: 755 kWh/year
The best refrigerator overall, the Samsung RF28R7351SR/AA Showcase refrigerator has a double door on the upper right that allows quick access to frequently used items, such as condiments and bottles, which saves you from having to fully open the refrigerator. However, reviewers were mixed about the usefulness of this feature.
There was general agreement that the FlexZone drawer was very handy for keeping select items at a temperature that's different from the one in the main refrigerator compartment. The fridge also uses large metal plates to keep things cool, and it looks like they do their job well — it consistently held temperatures in lab tests. It's available in both black stainless and regular, fingerprint-resistant stainless steel.
2. Samsung RF28R7201SR
Best French door refrigerator under $2,000
Size (with hinges, handles and doors): 70 x 35.8 x 36.1 | Refrigerator Capacity: 15.9 cu ft. | Freezer Capacity: 8.35 cu ft. | Ice/Water dispenser: Yes/Yes | Energy Consumption: 755 kWh/year
The best refrigerator under $2,000, this is essentially the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator without the big touch screen. The Samsung RF28R7201SR/AA has tempered-glass shelves, gallon door bins and an exterior water/ice maker. It's available in fingerprint resistant stainless steel and black stainless steel as well as the new Tuscan stainless steel which has a touch of brown. This refrigerator has a FlexZone drawer. If you prefer a model that looks built in, it is also available in counter depth.
3. GE GIE18GSNRSS
Best refrigerator for budget shoppers
Size (with hinges, handles and doors): 67.4 x 28 x 32.5 inches | Refrigerator Capacity: 13.5 cu ft. | Freezer Capacity: 4 cu ft. | Ice/Water dispenser: No/No | Energy Consumption: 443 kWh/year
The best refrigerator for those on a smaller budget — or who simply don't need a larger, fancier refrigerator — the no-frills GE GTE18GMHES is a good option. It has glass shelving and a sliding deli drawer and comes with an ice maker. However, this refrigerator 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.
While it's not huge by typical refrigerator standards, this model will have more than enough room for most bulky items. Starting at around $839, it's available in four finishes (stainless steel, bisque, silver, and white). Opting for stainless steel will increase the price by about $150.
4. LG LSXS26366S
Best side-by-side refrigerator
Size (with hinges, handles and doors): 70.3 x 35.8 x 35.8 | Refrigerator Capacity: 16.9 cu ft. | Freezer Capacity: 9.2 cu ft. | Ice/Water dispenser: Yes/Yes | Energy Consumption: 715 kWh/year
Looks-wise, LG's LSXS26366S side-by-side refrigerator doesn't really stand out from its peers, but it hides a clever trick: A door-in-door lets you quickly access the upper two-thirds of the refrigerator section, which better helps everything else inside stay cool. Inside, it has bright LED lights, and on lab tests, it maintained temperatures very well, keeping everything cold. The ice drawer is on the small side, but that does leave more room for freezer storage.
If you don't care for the door-in-door feature, the LG LSXS26326s costs about $300 less but is otherwise the same.
5. Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator (RF28R7551SR)
The best smart refrigerator
(starting)Size (with hinges, handles and doors): 70 x 35.75 x 36.5 | Refrigerator Capacity: 15.6 cu ft. | Freezer Capacity: 8.3 cu ft. | Ice/Water dispenser: Yes/Yes | Energy Consumption: 755 kWh/year
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.
6. Samsung RF263BEAESR
An excellent midrange French door refrigerator
Size (with hinges, handles and doors): 70 x 35.75 x 35.75 | Refrigerator Capacity: 16.6 cu ft. | Freezer Capacity: 8 cu ft. | Ice/Water dispenser: Yes/Yes | Energy Consumption: 637 kWh/year
A good midrange refrigerator, the Samsung RF263BEAESR French door refrigerator performed well on several reviewers' tests. While it doesn't have a huge amount of storage space, one shelf can fold up and out of the way for taller items, while another can slide out. A CoolSelect pantry lets you choose between one of three temperature presets, and it has two crispers. While reviewers noted that nothing really stands out with this fridge, it's a strong performer for the price, though some had issues with the ice maker, and others did not like the flimsy feel of the drawers. It's available in stainless steel, black stainless steel and white.
7. LG LMXS30776S
Stylish looks, great features, but high price
Size (with hinges, handles and doors): 70.3 x 35.8 x 35.3 | Refrigerator Capacity: 17.1 cu ft. | Freezer Capacity: 8.8 cu ft. | Ice/Water dispenser: Yes/Yes | Energy Consumption: 739 kWh/year
LG's premium refrigerator has a special door-in-door feature, which gives you easy access to often-used items without your having to open the entire refrigerator. Even the door itself has a small shelf where you can store small bottles and items.
A CustomChill drawer below the main refrigerator compartment lets you keep items at a different temperature; you can choose from four temperature settings, and it spans the width of the refrigerator, making it good for wide items like cakes and pizza.
In lab tests, reviewers found that the LG held temperatures cool and steady, with the exception of the door in door, which ran a little warm. Still, they praised its overall construction and design.
8. Whirlpool WRF535SMHZ
Spacious, but no exterior water maker
Size (with hinges, handles and doors): 70.1 x 35.6 x 35.3 | Refrigerator Capacity: 17.8 cu ft. | Freezer Capacity: 7.8 cu ft. | Ice/Water dispenser: Yes/No | Energy Consumption: 615 kWh/year
This French door-style refrigerator lacks an external ice/water dispenser (there's an ice maker in the freezer section), but in return, you get a relatively spacious refrigerator compartment with a full-width, temperature-controlled drawer. However, the temperature settings range from zero to 7; that's hardly definitive. Still, it held those temperatures consistently on tests. There's nothing overly flashy about this refrigerator, but what you get is solid performance at a good price.
9. LG LTCS24223S
Best top-freezer refrigerator
Size (with hinges, handles and doors): 70.3 x 35.8 x 35.8 | Refrigerator Capacity: 16.9 cu ft. | Freezer Capacity: 9.2 cu ft. | Ice/Water dispenser: Yes/No | Energy Consumption: 501 kWh/year
This spacious 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 water dispenser, which is a reasonable trade-off at this price. A large deli drawer spans the width of the refrigerator, and LEDs keep everything lit nicely.
It's a nice-looking fridge for the price, too: It has recessed grooves instead of protruding handles and an attractive stainless steel finish but isn't magnetic. Other review sites noted that door temperatures were on the warm side on their lab tests, but weren't bad when compared with others in its class. If you're looking for a top-freezer refrigerator with tons of space, this is the model to get.
10. LG LDCS24223S
Best bottom-freezer refrigerator
Size (with hinges, handles and doors): 69.9 x 32.75 x 34.9 | Refrigerator Capacity: 16.4 cu ft. | Freezer Capacity: 7.5 cu ft. | Ice/Water dispenser: Yes/No | Energy Consumption: 608 kWh/year
Bottom-freezer refrigerators make it easier to access items in the main compartment: no more stooping over to reach the bottom shelf. While reviewers weren't overwhelmingly positive about this model, they did like its large interior, smooth drawers and spill-proof shelves.
While this LG refrigerator was good at holding temperatures steady, it tended to run warmer than expected in lab tests, so if you pick it up, be sure to lower the fridge's thermostat to the lowest setting.
The stainless steel model tends to pick up fingerprints, but this refrigerator is also available in black or white, which will save you $100.
How we picked
To come up with a list of the best refrigerators, we looked at the top picks from CNET, Wirecutter, Reviewed.com and other sites, as well as the top-selling models at Best Buy, Lowe's and Home Depot. From there, we narrowed the list down to 10 models based on features, price design and other factors.
Refrigerator buying tips: Four things to look for
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.
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. 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.