How to find the best refrigerator for you
There are tons of factors to consider — everything from configuration and dimensions to finishes and special features. Of course, there’s no getting around the price: They’re expensive. But if you want a top pick from a reliable brand that will stand steady in your family’s orbit for years to come, you’re in the right place.
When shopping for a new refrigerator online or in a store, these are the main things you want to consider. Once you make your pick, don’t miss our Test Kitchen’s ultimate guide to organizing your fridge.
✔️Configuration: The big players are side-by-sides, top-freezers and bottom-freezers. Side-by-sides require less space for the doors to swing open, but you need to bend down to find food at the base of the fridge and freezer. Bottom-freezers (like French-door models) put the most-used compartment at eye level. Top-freezer fridges cost less but require you to bend to get into the fridge.
✔️Dimensions: Your fridge typically has to fit between counter space, so you’ll need to match the width to the layout of your kitchen. Built-ins and cabinet-depth models sit flush with counters and cabinets but may be more costly.
✔️Finishes: Stainless steel is the most popular because it has a sleek-yet-neutral look, but some prefer a white or black fridge (or the recently popular black stainless steel and even carbon fiber). Built-ins typically offer exterior paneling that matches your kitchen cabinets. Many modern finishes are fingerprint-resistant. At the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show this year, we saw a lot of customizable patterns, too; a trend to look out for!
✔️Features: Consider the shelving and internal drawers to see if they work for your family’s eating habits. If you like to store a few bottles of wine in the fridge, make sure there’s ample height and/or adjustable shelving; if you order pizza frequently, you’ll probably want a fridge that can fit the box inside. Some fridges also offer humidity controls on crisper drawers, meat or deli drawers and other features for keeping foods at the ideal storage temp.
We score interior features including the type of shelves in the refrigerator cavity and on the doors, the ease with which the freezer drawer and baskets could be opened, the presence or absence of crispers with humidity controls and the presence or absence of a meat keeper or deli drawer with temperature controls.
All notable features including Wi-Fi connectivity were considered but not rated. Our top Lab pick is the GE Profile Series French-Door Refrigerator, complete with a Keurig K-Cup Brewing System.
It scored highest on temperature maintenance and uniformity testing and wowed our Lab experts with its smart design features. It’s also Wi-Fi enabled, so you can adjust settings, preheat water for coffee and more with the downloadable app.