Shopping for a new refrigerator — certainly an investment no matter how you go about it — can feel overwhelming. Considering all the different sizes, styles and extra features, it’s hard to even know where to begin. But if you’re looking to buy a new refrigerator for the long haul, you generally want something that’s easy-to-use, quiet and — obviously — keeps the temperature consistent throughout the interior.
How to buy the best refrigerator for you
As you consider some of the best options below, here are some features and properties to keep in mind about the best refrigerator for you.
Refrigerators come in myriad widths and depths to fit different kitchens, so unless you’re remodeling your kitchen from scratch, you’ll want one that fits in your existing space. Most fridge widths fall between 30 inches and 33 inches.
There are compact models for smaller spaces, and they come in both shallower counter-depth or the larger standard depth. Pay close attention to the capacity, as well — which is measured in cubic feet — this lets you know how much food you can actually squeeze into the chamber.
- A standard two-door refrigerator gets you a refrigerator and a freezer, usually in a top-and-bottom or side-by-side configuration.
- More modern French door fridges sport a large freezer drawer on the bottom
- Four-door fridges separate storage even further, boasting a middle drawer that can be set to a different temperature than your main fridge.
Temperature consistency and controls
Some fridges have hot and cold spots, which is certainly less than ideal. High-quality models keep the temperature as consistent as possible throughout and let you adjust the temperature of each chamber easily. Some models even let you adjust it from your phone over Wi-Fi, though this is mostly a set-and-forget affair.
Refrigerator energy efficiency
To mitigate your environmental impact — and keep your electric bill reasonable — look for an Energy Star rating before you buy your fridge.
Refrigerator noise levels
Lower-cost or lower-quality fridges can be rather loud, which can be especially bothersome if you congregate in the kitchen or have an open-concept home.
Many brands have started to introduce unique features to help them stand out from the pack.
- LG’s insta-view, for example, lets you see through the main door of your fridge without opening it.
- Other models may have a door-in-door feature for easier access to in-door beverages.
- And, of course, there’s always the in-door ice maker, which is as finicky as it is convenient.
Make sure you get a fridge with a good warranty in case you experience issues.
Best refrigerators at different price points
It’s hard to narrow the field down to a few models, but the picks below are great choices at reasonable prices with the most common feature sets. If you want something a little higher-end or in a different size, there’s probably a sibling model that’ll fit your space, so look at related models from the same brand for one that fits your space.
Best refrigerator with a French door: Samsung
French door fridges have become popular lately and it’s easy to see why: Their easy-open style allows you to access your food without swinging open a massive door and splits your fridge into a few sections for easy organization. Samsung’s fridge clocks in at 25.5 cubic feet and occupies a sweet spot in between quality and affordability, with a bottom-drawer freezer that offers plenty of room for cold summer treats.
Best two-door refrigerator: LG
If you’re okay with a single-door fridge, you can get a bit more for your money with a standard two-door option like LG’s fridge. It holds 25.5 cubic feet, sports a bottom freezer and still has plenty of room for all your food, including an extra full-width drawer along the bottom.
Best full-featured, four-door refrigerator: Samsung
If you’re going for the gusto, four-door fridges offer a full-width drawer in between the standard fridge chamber and the freezer. Samsung calls this their “FlexZone” drawer since you can assign a different temperature in it than in the main fridge. Their model gives you 27.8 cubic feet and offers several other niceties, including an auto-filling water pitcher, ice maker, and a “food showcase” door for quick access to your in-door storage.
Best side-by-side refrigerator: GE
Not everyone’s a fan of the bottom freezer drawer. If you prefer the layout of a tall, skinny freezer, a more traditional side-by-side fridge is still a great choice. GE’s model, totaling 25.3 cubic feet, features adjustable door bins, three interior drawers and an external ice and water dispenser for easy access.
Best affordable refrigerator with a top freezer: Frigidaire
While a lot of fridges cost $1,000 or more, Frigidaire has you set for a reliable option that won’t break the bank. Their affordable model clocks in at 13.9 cubic feet — it doesn’t have as much space as the other options on this list, especially in its top-mounted freezer, but it'll do the job admirably for the price.