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Refrigerator buying guide
Find a fridge that fits your family's needs and budget.
Updated . What changed?
A refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home. It’s a huge investment that could last you more than 10 years, so you’ll want to weigh your options carefully before making a purchase.
Compare some of the best refrigerators
|Configuration||Capacity (cubic feet)||Dispenser?||Dimensions (inches)||Purchase|
||$1,620||French door||25.2||No||35.625 W x 70.123 H x 35.5 D||Buy now|
||$1,500||French door||24.8||No||33 W x 69.875 H x 37.5 D||Buy now|
|LG LTCS20120S||$800||Top mount||20||No||29.75 W x 66.125 H x 33.125 D||Buy now|
|Whirlpool WRX735SDHZ||$2,250||French door/four door||25||Yes||35.63 W x 68.63 H x 34.75 D||Buy now|
|GE GSS25GSHSS||$1,100||Side by side||25.3||Yes||35.75 W x 69.5 H x 35.25 D||Buy now|
|$1,300||Bottom mount||33||No||32.75 W x 69.875 H x 34.875 D||Buy now|
|Samsung RT18M6215SR||$750||Top mount||17.6||No||28.75 W x 66.75 H x 31.875 D||Buy now|
|Samsung RF22N9781SG||$3,600||Four door||22||Yes||35.75 W x 71.875 H x 28.875 D||Buy now|
Refrigerators come in a variety of setups, so consider your food-storage and size needs along with your budget when finding the best fit.
|Top-mount: Freezer on top||Smaller spaces||
|Bottom-mount: Freezer on bottom||Small- to medium-sized households||
|Side-by-side: Fridge next to freezer||Medium-sized households||
|French door: Bottom-mount with two-door fridge||Families, large kitchens, big budgets||
|Pigeon pair: Separate matching fridge and freezer||Small kitchens||
|Four-door: Two fridge doors and two freezer doors||Big families, entertainers with high budgets and large spaces||
|Built-in||Constructed as part of the kitchen unit||
|Wine fridge||Wine collectors, entertainers||
|Mini fridge||Offices, dorms, kitchenettes or overflowing fridge||
How to compare fridges
A refrigerator can cost you anywhere from under $500 to over $5,000, depending on the brand, model, volume and features.
Here are some other key features to consider:
Smaller fridges are typically less energy-efficient and will cost you more in the long run. If uncertain, opt for a larger fridge. Or, if you have a small kitchen, choose a fridge with adjustable shelving to optimize your storage space.
Allow for a minimum space of two inches on all sides, plus the top and rear of your fridge so there’s room for heat from the motor to escape. Without the space, your fridge will have to work harder to keep cool and cost you more.Check the fridge manufacturer’s recommended height and width clearances. Also, make sure that your fridge can fit through your front door and any hallways.
Check whether the door hinge position is on the left or the right of the fridge and whether it’s reversible. If your fridge is next to a wall, the hinge should probably be on the opposite side or reversible.
There are five main finish types to choose from: stainless steel, white, black, retro and glass.
Finish type Pros Cons Slate
- Latest finish option
- Smudge proof and fingerprint resistant
- May be more expensive
- Professional, neat look
- High-end models have an entirely flat front, instead of a fridge door’s typically curved design
- Fingerprints, marks and smudges tend to show up
- Costs more
- Easier to clean
- Fingerprints won’t be visible on this finish
- Classic design
- Not as trendy
- Modern design with charcoal and dark finishes available
- Fingerprints won’t show
- Can make your kitchen look darker
Bright colors and retro
- Bold, vintage design
- Gaining popularity as a statement piece
- The trend may pass quickly
- Modern aesthetic appeal
- Fingerprints don’t show up as much as stainless steel
- Has discrete controls, which are only visible when in use
- Not a magnetic surface
- May scratch more easily
- Typically costs more
Energy star rating.
The number of stars labelled on your fridge tells you how energy-efficient it is. Five stars means the most savings. Although larger appliances use more energy overall, the star rating considers the appliance’s relative energy efficiency.
You can calculate your fridge’s annual energy use with the following equation: daily energy consumption figure (kilowatt hours) x 365. Wattage isn’t typically given in kilowatt hours, so you may have to first divide your daily energy consumption by 1,000.
Here are some additional features to think about:
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Refrigerators are big purchases, so doing a little research can go a long way towards making sure you get all the features you want at a price you can afford.
How did we choose these products?
To choose our list of the best refrigerators, we conducted online research to compare various brands, configurations, sizes, prices and overall features. We also considered third-party product reviews.
Frequently asked questions
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