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Refrigerator buying guide
Find a fridge that fits your family's needs and budget.
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|
|Whirlpool WRF535SMHZ||$1,620||French door||25.2||No||35.625 W x 70.123 H x 35.5 D||Buy now|
|GE GNE25JMKES||$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. When choosing a fridge, here are some key features to consider:
- Size. 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.
- Space clearance. 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. Also, make sure that your fridge can fit through your front door and any hallways.
- Door hinge. 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.
- Finish type. There are five main finish types to choose from: stainless steel, white, black, retro and glass.
- Noise level. Fridges typically run at around 42 decibels, which is the level of quiet conversation and normally shouldn’t be a problem. For those who live in studios or sleep close to the kitchen, you may want to consider a quiet fridge to minimize any noise disruption.
- Water and ice dispenser. Dispensers may require a tap connection that adds to plumbing installation costs or may need replacement water filters.
- Adjustable shelving. Pick a model with shelves that are easy to remove for quick cleaning and replacement. Some fridges include raised lips to prevent spilled liquids from leaking throughout the entire fridge.
Additional features to consider
Many fridges are now equipped with Smart features. For hi-tech lovers who can pay more, these additional features can be handy and help you to be more environmentally friendly.
- Wi-Fi and app connectivity, touchscreens and built-in speakers. Check the insides of your fridge remotely and receive expiry alerts on your phone, prompts to reorder groceries and even recipe suggestions.
- Communication. Receive instant notifications when you need to replace the water filter or there’s a power outage, and get help when a component isn’t functioning properly.
- Energy consumption tracker. For the environmentally conscious, a smart fridge can help you monitor your energy usage and adjust temperature controls when you’re out.
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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
How long is a refrigerator supposed to last?
Most refrigerators last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, depending on the brand, model and how well it is maintained.
When is the best time to buy a refrigerator?
Refrigerators are often marked down considerably for Memorial Day, Labor Day and Black Friday, making these great times to shop for a new appliance. You might also be able to score a deal at the end of the month, when stores are looking to meet sales quotas.
How do I dispose of my old fridge?
When you purchase a new fridge, some retailers may offer to remove your old fridge for you. Alternatively, if it’s still in working condition, you may be able to sell it secondhand. If it’s not functioning anymore, you could take it to scrap yard and get a few extra bucks.
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