Why You Should Trust Us
We mainly base our advice on two huge fact-finding programs that we carried out to obtain feedback from users of refrigerators. Then, we quantify and analyze the feedback. While we did not test all refrigerators in this guide, our research revealed important trends that were impossible to find with just testing.
Wirecutter readers completed a survey, which resulted in more than 5K responses. This was our first major research endeavor. 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.
However, this survey is not 100% representative. For instance, top-freezer refrigerators are significantly less popular in our sample (11%) than they were in the US (41% of all fridges in 2020), according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers statistics. We also collected data statistically significant on just seven brands, out of many. We are confident the results of the survey will reveal more about this category, especially among top-selling brands and styles. Wirecutter user research leader Raquel Hamid, who conducted our survey and converted the data to usable figures, deserves a huge thank you. The other major source of information was an analysis of 28,000 customer reviews on Home Depot’s site, across 34 different refrigerator models from all the major brands and spanning door types and prices, conducted with the aid of an artificial-intelligence-driven tool called FindOurView . Though this analysis looked at only a small fraction of all the fridges that are available, it gave us loads of detail about the features that owners appreciate most, as well as some idea of the things that specific models do particularly well or poorly. (For example, the platform helped us quickly figure out which LG fridges are especially prone to problems with their cooling systems.) Other refrigerator reviews, information about reliability, as well guides on picking and installing refrigerators were all available. For older versions of the guide, we talked with several industry professionals including brands representatives, repair technicians, and dealers.
Let’s be clear, we have not done our own refrigerator testing. It’s mostly because logistics, pandemic protocols, or because hands-on experience isn’t possible to draw much objectively. The majority of refrigerators mentioned in this guide have been touched at the appliance showrooms. We have loosened the shelves and pulled on the handles.
However, this guide is not complete. It is not possible to do as thorough research into specific topics as built-in fridges. We will continue to explore some of the topics further in future. We hope that this research will help many others find good refrigerators.
Senior staff writer Liam McCabe has covered home appliances since 2011, including a stint at Reviewed , and has worked on versions of this Wirecutter guide since 2014.
Why We Don’T Have Refrigerator “Picks”
No specific model recommendations have been made by Wirecutter. If this were a typical Wirecutter guide, we’d highlight a handful of the “best” refrigerators that, based on our research and testing, would make the most people the happiest. It wasn’t the ideal way of approaching the topic in the past versions. We decided to try something else.
In this guide we still point you toward brands and general styles that stood out in our research, and we link to examples of specific models (and we may still earn a commission if readers end up making a purchase through those links, which is standard for Wirecutter ). But for now we aren’t calling anything a “pick” or “the best.” This approach feels appropriate for a few reasons. One, fridges come in so many sizes that it would be difficult to compile a comprehensive list on one page. The older version of this guide attempted to solve that issue by listing only the most commonly used sizes and types. We heard back from those who were unable or unwilling to use them and feeling left out. For perspective: As of late August 2021, the 10 best-selling models on Home Depot’s website included three different widths, four different door styles, three different finishes, and a variety of heights, depths, and ice-dispenser designs.
The category is subjective, so people may come up with very different opinions about many features. French-door or side-by-side? It’s difficult to find a reliable performance indicator that can distinguish good from poor fridges. There is also not sufficient data on reliability and longevity for good predictions.
So you can use this guide to find a fridge in a couple of different ways. One option is to choose one of our models, while another alternative is to use the filtered search feature on a retailer’s site: Lowe’s or Home Depot.
How To Pick A Fridge
Find the perfect size first. This topic is covered in tons of places online. However, this Home Depot video can be especially useful. Below is some advice from us, including a few points that you may not find in other guides.
Take multiple measurements of your space (rather than the existing fridge) to find the maximum width, depth, and height. If your floors are crooked, make sure you take multiple measurements. Be sure to measure trim and baseboards.
Build in some buffer space for ventilation. Make it about 1 inch on the top and sides and at least 2 inches at the back. If you jam your fridge in tighter, the fridge’s heat exchange might have to work harder than it was designed to. That can hurt its ability to hold the proper temperatures and might wear out the cooling system faster than its intended lifespan (usually 10 years, according to most manufacturers we’ve talked to).
Take into consideration the layout of the other rooms in your kitchen. Also, consider how your kitchen layout will look. If you have a kitchen island, measure the distance from the wall to the edge of that counter to account for the door swing. A counter-depth or half-width door (such as a French-door, side-by-side, or French-door) may be the best options. When your fridge is close to a wall consider whether or not the door can be opened wide enough to let you access crisper drawers as well as deli trays. Single-door fridges (such as top-freezers and bottom-freezers) with the hinge located on the opposite wall side might be the best choice.
Take measurements of your doors. For a little extra, take off the doors from the fridge. But there are fridges you cannot fit inside certain kitchens.
As long as a fridge fits your space, there’s no wrong size. In a huge cutout for an expensive French-door, a smaller, top-freezer fridge can fit in. It might look a little odd, but it’ll work fine. Based on customer feedback and reader surveys, bigger fridges tend to be more pleasant than smaller. People tend to buy the largest fridge they can afford (often 36inches) as well as one with a deep shelf (34inches or more).
You can choose the desired depth. Even though larger fridges seem to be more pleasant than smaller, some customers report that their benefits are only around 20 cubic yards. This corresponds roughly with a fridge 36 inches in diameter but slightly less than average, commonly known as counter depth. So, even if a deeper, standard-depth fridge fits your space, we think a counter-depth refrigerator is worth considering. Our research of customer reviews has shown that people who own counter depth fridges (most models anyway) generally find the refrigerators to have plenty of space and are equally satisfied overall.
11 Best Refrigerators To Buy In 2021, According To Kitchen Appliance Experts
At every price point, top refrigerator brands
The fridge is the heart of the family’s universe. The refrigerator is at the heart of all things, from family breakfasts to healthy lunches to dinners shared around the table. It’s no surprise that buying a refrigerator replacement is so important. There are tons of factors to consider everything from configuration and dimensions to finishes and special features. The price is a fact that cannot be ignored. You’re looking for a trusted brand you can trust to last for many years.
Each year, The Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab tests all sorts of kitchen appliances. These range from blenders and gas ranges to ovens and toasters. Our fridge ratings are determined by their ability to keep food fresh and cold, such as lettuce, deli meat, or frozen meals, at the ideal temperature. Each model is scored for the consistency of temperature between shelves in both freezer and refrigerator compartments. We also score variations in temperatures in one area over time. In order to test refrigerators’ moisture retention on fridge shelves as well in crisper drawers, we also check their ability keep it moist. Each refrigerator is assessed for ease of operation, such as the helpfulness of the manual, ease and type of controls, and comfort in grasping the doors handles.
Interior features are rated according to the number of shelves on the fridge cavity and doors as well as the ease of opening the freezer drawer or baskets. We also consider the availability of humidity control crispers and whether or not there is a meat keeper. Wi-Fi connectivity and all other notable features were taken into consideration, but they weren’t rated.
Our top Lab pick was the GE Profile Series French-D oor Refrigerator, with a Keurig K-Cup brewing system. Our Lab experts loved its unique design and high scores in temperature maintenance and uniformity tests. Wi-Fi connectivity allows it to be adjusted, heated water for coffee and other functions via the included app. We’ve compiled a list with the most recommended refrigerators, based on our testing.
A Two-Step Option with Special Features
Best Buy Samsung 21.1 cu. ft. Top-Freezer Refrigerator
Total Capacity: 21.1 cu. ft.
Samsung 21.1 cu. It is a Samsung 21.1 cu. FlexZone is the first feature. It allows your fridge to transform freezer space into additional fridge space. If you always find yourself needing an extra shelf of storage in your fridge, this feature was made for you. Twin cooling, which keeps your fruits and vegetables fresher for longer periods of time while also keeping your freezer dry to prevent freezer burns from ruining frozen foods, is also a special feature.
Removable glass shelves are included, as is gallon door storage. Humidity-controlled crispers and slide-and-reach pantries allow for quick access to favorite foods. Automatic ice makers can be found in the freezer. They are capable of producing up to 3.75 pounds per day. Your food will be visible through the LED lighting. The fridge is available in stainless steel and black stainless.
The fridge is the most likely to break. Not only is it one of the most expensive home appliances to replace, but it houses another big expense: your food! The consistency of your ice cream is an indicator that the refrigerator has gone too far. The freezer takes longer for dairy products to fully freeze than meals frozen or the ice machine. If your pint of ice cream is runny, it’s time to replace it. To upgrade your refrigerator, you do not have to wait for it to stop working. The new fridge could add to the home’s worth if it’s on the market or you just moved in. Even if you don’t plan on moving, you might have saved up enough to buy the stainless-steel French door refrigerator. Shopping for a fridge can seem overwhelming, no matter what reason. There is a wide range of features available, from sizes to materials and specifications. You need it to look great and work for you. We’ve got you covered. Our ultimate buyer’s list includes all the options, from top-of-the-line models to bottom freezers to intelligent refrigerators with wifi. The list includes every price range, including the most expensive third and fourth! drawer fridge to a fan-favorite budget pick under $640 with free delivery. Below are our top picks. Find the perfect fridge for your kitchen.
Image credit to Shutterstock. The top refrigerators can do so much more than just keeping food cold. You should be able to make maximum use of your space. It should also distribute the temperature evenly and maintain a consistent temperature without fluctuations. When you shut the door and open it, it will quickly return to its original temperature.
Energy efficiency is an essential consideration in buying a fridge. Energy Star Certified refrigerators are the best. You should also check the freezer compartment. Most modern freezers are frost-free, which saves you from worrying about how to defrost a freezer . Make sure you have enough freezer space. You shouldn’t fill it up. Next there’s the latest features to consider; do you want a fridge with smart connectivity? Some even come with touch screen displays and glass doors. All of these features can make it difficult to pick a refrigerator. We’ve done extensive research to compile a list.
What is the Best Refrigerator?
We searched the internet for hours, and took our personal experience into account. The GE Profile 28KYNFS French-door refrigerator was the winner overall. The GE Profile PFE28KYNFS French door refrigerator offers everything: temperature control, large shelves, and an elegant design. Whirlpool WRF535SMHZ might be worth your consideration if budget is tight. It will get the job done, but it is missing an ice or water dispenser.
The LG LSXS26366S is a side-byside refrigerator that allows you to access frozen and chilled goods. It features a unique hidden compartment in the fridge, so you don’t need to open the whole thing to quickly grab a snack.
The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator, RF28R7551SR is a great investment if you are interested in the most recent tech. The large touch screen of the refrigerator’s door measures 21 inches and can be used as a memo board, calendar or TV. Hidden cameras within the unit allow you to see if you have any milk left and can also check your grocery shopping receipts.
Our Picks For The Best Fridges Available Today.
Reviewed Recommendations have been independently selected by Reviewed editors. We may receive a commission if you purchase through one of our links.
A home improvement shop may be overwhelming when you are looking for a refrigerator. There will likely be rows upon rows of identical fridges. It’s easy to panic and just pick one at random, so you can escape before your eyes totally glass over.
We can help you here. Reviewed has hundreds of French door refrigerators that have been tested in our laboratories.
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Good fridges should be consistent in temperature, have good storage, and are easy to use. The refrigerator that offers the most value for money is usually the one with the highest price.
Frigidaire Gallery’s FG4H2272UF fridge was our favourite. This refrigerator is affordable and offers plenty of space. The 21.8-cubic foot frigidaire gallery FG4H2272UF is a great fridge that maintains optimum temperature levels, allowing food to be preserved safely and effectively. It even comes with a drawer that can convert into additional freezer or refrigerator space.
We have many other suggestions that can work in your kitchen, regardless of what budget you are working with.
You have probably seen appliances perform best under certain temperatures. Appliances are made of a variety of electronic and mechanical parts that all work together. Therefore, your air can affect the performance of certain components, particularly in hot or very cold climates.
The ambient conditions can make refrigerators very sensitive. Refrigerators take in air, cool it to a temperature that is cold enough to prevent bacteria growth and preserve food. Hot weather causes the cooling coils to have to work harder. When it is cold, your fridge will not work properly. You might have noticed, however, that the fridge’s temperature may drop if it is stored in a colder area than your kitchen refrigerator.
We test every refrigerator in special laboratories that condition the air at a temperature of 72 degF +/-5degF. Also, each fridge is subject to relative humidity (roughly, room temperature) of 50% RH +/-15 15% RH. This way, each fridge can get the chance to perform at its best, and doesn’t get inadvertently penalized for having to deal with warmer or colder air than its competitors experienced.
Over the course of a week (including a day for calibration), we put each refrigerator through its paces. We measure each fridge’s temperature and humidity.
* Temperature 37 degF is the ideal setting for fridges and freezers, while 0 degF is the optimal. If fridge temperatures exceed 37 degrees F, bacteria growth can be a concern. 40 degreeF marks the beginning of the “danger zone”. Temperatures above 0degF indicate that your food is not frozen. Once we set each fridge to those temperatures, we collect temperature data throughout the week’s testing that tells us not only how close the temperature in the fridge and freezer are to 37degF and 0degF, respectively, but how close the air temperature stayed to those ideal values.
* Humidity loss For this test we will focus on the fridge’s vegetable crisper. First, add water to the flower foam ball. Next, track how much water has evaporated each day. You need to know the humidity loss rate because leafy greens that are stored in a crisper will quickly dry out if it is too dry. Fruits will turn brown if they are kept too dry. Fridges that can strike a balance between these two extremes will help you to preserve your fruits and veggies for as long as possible.
* Freezing Times Once the fridge has been connected to the power supply, it is measured how long the freezer takes to cool from room temperature down to 32degF. (The freezing point of water). This measure shows how fast your freezer and fridge can cool down foods or drinks that are just being placed in the refrigerator.
What Refrigerator Brand is Best?
- LG. Life’s Good, as LG says, has been the company’s motto since it has was launched.
- Whirlpool. Many consider Whirlpool to be the top-of-the-line home appliance in its class.
What Is The Most Reliable Refrigerator In 2021?
#1 LG 26.2-Cubic-Foot Smart French Door LFXS26973 Refrigerator.#2 Samsung 27.7-Cubic-Foot Four-Door RF28R7551 Refrigerator.#3 Whirlpool 25.2-Cubic-Foot French Door WRF535SMH Refrigerator.#3 Cafe 27.8-Cubic-Foot Smart Four-Door CVE28D Refrigerator.Oct 8, 2021