Good Refrigerator To Buy
Our first major research project was a survey of Wirecutter readers, with more than 5,000 completed responses, led by Wirecutter user research lead Raquel Hamias, who conducted the survey for us and crunched the results into usable numbers. This survey gave us solid data on overall satisfaction by brand and door style, an idea of the refrigerator features that make the most people the happiest, and some info about refrigerator reliability.
good refrigerator to buy
We also read a slew of other refrigerator reviews, info about reliability, and guides on how to pick and install fridges. For previous versions of this guide, we also spoke to several industry experts, including brand representatives, dealers, and repair technicians.
Among refrigerators from the five major brands, LG fridges seem to make their owners the happiest. In a Wirecutter reader survey, far more real-life LG owners said they were satisfied with their fridges than owners of other brands did, and fewer said they hated their fridges.
The big caveat with LG refrigerators is that some of its larger fridges are more likely than those of other brands to stop cooling, especially older models. It has been a big problem over the past decade, and although the company seems to have corrected the issue with most of its current models, there are still some side-by-side models with a really poor track record.
We did find that LG fridges were slightly less likely to break in minor ways that are annoying (though often tolerable). So with an LG refrigerator, you might be less likely to deal with nuisances like broken shelves, handles, doors, lights, ice makers, or water dispensers. Owners also cited temperature inconsistencies less often and were notably less likely to say that organizing the fridge and keeping track of items was difficult. Consumer Reports puts LG near the front of the pack for reliability, too.
R600a is a huge improvement over R134a, which is 1,430 times as strong a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide and was the most common refrigerant for household refrigerators through 2019 (some popular models still use it). R134a is a hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant, or HFC. (HFCs contain the chemical elements hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon.) The EPA told us that while they have not restricted the use of R134a yet, they are currently considering measures to limit all HFC refrigerants in refrigerators, as well as in air conditioners, aerosols, and foams.
Judging by this list, the most efficient style of fridge (in terms of energy use per cubic foot of storage) tends to be a large top-freezer model, which should have plenty of storage for a couple but might feel cramped for a household of four. But the list has plenty of other efficient models in other styles, as well. According to the EPA, a general rule of thumb is that the larger the refrigerator, the more energy it uses; the most energy-efficient models have a capacity of 16 to 20 cubic feet.
GE makes high-performing refrigerators. This GE Profile Series French-Door Refrigerator got top marks for temperature maintenance and uniformity. It also wowed our Kitchen Appliance Lab experts with its smart design features: You get a top-of-the-line fridge plus a built-in Keurig coffeemaker in the door. It's Wi-Fi enabled, so after you download the app you can adjust settings, preheat water for coffee and get alerts if the door is open. It works with Amazon Echo too.
LG makes well-thought-out and high-performing refrigerators. You can depend on this model to do an excellent job of keeping your food fresh, but what really distinguishes it is the unique door-in-door feature: The InstaView technology turns on the interior lights when you knock on the easy-access see-through door, and then you can quickly grab a snack without having to open the full door. We like the storage options, though some may find the door shelving a bit thin.
It's easy to stock its four-door bins and slide-out shelves with your favorite foods, and because it's a side-by-side, you can arrange it so that your most-used fresh and frozen ingredients are at eye level. Plus, the shelves have a smaller span than those in most French-door refrigerators, so it's harder to lose things in the back of the fridge or the freezer. That said, you do lose a little freezer shelf space to the in-door dispenser. We appreciate this model's transparent shelves and drawers that make it even easier to see all of your food without having to rummage through drawers.
GE's latest line of refrigerators stands out thanks to its extra elegant (and customizable) design. Select a matte white or black exterior, then choose between brushed bronze, copper, black or stainless steel handles. This model is counter-depth, so it'll fit flush with your kitchen's cabinetry and you can match the bar handles to your cabinet pulls.
This show-stopping refrigerator has a bright, roomy interior with an assortment of adjustable shelves in the main compartment as well as on the doors. It comes with an "adaptable flex bar," which lives on the interior back wall and allows you to organize extra accessories, like an egg holder, small condiment bin and bottle holder as you see fit. It also has a built-in water dispenser that barely takes up any room and an ice maker that comes with a scoop for easy use.
Counter-depth refrigerators are shallower than a typical full-size fridge. These models are designed to be the same depth as your countertops instead of sticking out, which can make this style a good choice if you have limited space in your kitchen or if you simply prefer the appearance of a refrigerator that looks built into your cabinets.
Of the 10 products in our Best Refrigerators of 2023, seven also place in our Best French Door Refrigerators of 2023. This is a popular refrigerator style with two side-by-side doors that open to the refrigerator on top and a pullout freezer on the bottom.
Nine of the 10 refrigerators in our rating are bottom-freezer refrigerators, including seven French door models. While all French door refrigerators have a bottom freezer, not every bottom-freezer refrigerator has a French door layout. For example, the LG LRDCS2603S has a single door on top rather than two split doors.
Single-door, bottom-freezer refrigerators tend to have fewer frills, making them a cheaper alternative to the French door style. For more information, see our rating of the Best Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators of 2023.
Refrigerator space: Refrigerators come with a variety of measurements, and it can be confusing trying to understand the difference between a 27-cubic-foot French door refrigerator and a 26-cubic-foot four-door refrigerator. Among the refrigerators in our ratings, total volumes range from 13.9 cubic feet to 27.9 cubic feet, with the average storage space coming to about 23.5. To help picture this, consider the fact that one grocery bag takes up about 1 cubic foot of space.
If you frequently buy tall items, like gallons of milk or bottles of wine, keep that in mind when looking at refrigerator shelves. Also, consider if you often need to store large items like cakes or serving platters.
Additional features: Aside from the basic functions, consider what other convenient features you would like in your refrigerator. Some high-end models in our rating offer modern amenities like through-the-door ice and water dispensers, door-in-door storage compartments, Wi-Fi connectivity that lets you control the appliance with your smartphone, and flexible temperature zones that serve as either a refrigerator or freezer space.
Warranties: Warranty periods for our top-rated refrigerators vary. Several companies offer a one-year warranty on the entire appliance, with specific components like the sealed system and linear compressors covered by longer warranty periods of five or 10 years. If you find a defect in your refrigerator that qualifies for repair under the warranty, the manufacturer may cover the cost of parts, labor, or both. Some home warranty plans may also include refrigerator coverage.
A French door refrigerator might appeal to those who require a lot of room to store groceries. With this style, the double-door refrigerated section sits on top of the freezer, which you can access via a pullout drawer. This gives the refrigerator more width, whereas a side-by-side model positions two narrower refrigerator and freezer sections next to each other. The refrigerator with the highest capacity in our rating, the GE Appliances 27.9-Cubic-Foot PVD28BYNFS Refrigerator, features a French door style.
Though the French door style places items in the refrigerator section at eye level, the placement of the freezer section at the bottom may make it less easily accessible. As a result, it may be harder for some to organize and sort through their frozen items.
Like the French door style, bottom-freezer refrigerators place the fridge on top of the freezer. The difference is that a bottom-freezer model uses a single refrigerator door rather than two split doors. This style could suit shoppers who want to easily view and find fresh foods but prefer to steer clear of the higher prices common among French door alternatives.
At the same time, you may have to sacrifice some convenient features, like water dispensers and smart technology. Also, if your kitchen space is tight, it may not provide enough clearance room for the door of this refrigerator to open fully.
A top-freezer refrigerator is the traditional style: a single storage area for frozen foods placed above a single storage area for fresh foods, each with one door. These doors are quite wide when open, which can be a nuisance in cramped kitchens. Top-freezer refrigerators also tend to lack a lot of the bells and whistles available in other types.
That said, the best models offer the basics any household can appreciate, such as gallon door bins, adjustable shelves, and bright LED lighting. If you need a simple refrigerator for a low price, you can't go wrong with a top-rated top-freezer fridge. 041b061a72