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A person opens a door to a stainless steel refrigerator Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Best Refrigerators of 2022

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A person opens a door to a stainless steel refrigerator Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

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Reviewed's mission is to help you buy the best stuff and get the most out of what you already own. Our team of product experts thoroughly vet every product we recommend to help you cut through the clutter and find what you need.

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Editor's Choice Product image of Bosch B36FD50SNS
Best Overall

Bosch B36FD50SNS

The Bosch B36FD50SNS French-door is nearly perfect. Temperatures in both the fridge and freezer are right on the mark, and it has a lot of storage. Read More

Pros

  • Solid temperatures
  • Lots of fridge storage
  • Through-the-door dispenser

Cons

  • Its shelves only have a spill-capture lip on their front
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Editor's Choice Product image of Bosch B36CD50SNS

Bosch B36CD50SNS

This French-door stunner aced our tests, maintaining unwavering temperatures. It also boasts a through-the-door dispenser and smart connectivity. Read More

Pros

  • Near-perfect temperatures
  • Through-the-door dispenser
  • Smart connectivity

Cons

  • Less storage space than average
3
Editor's Choice Product image of Cafe CVE28DM5NS5

Cafe CVE28DM5NS5

The GE Café is a statement piece with so many outstanding features, including a gorgeous platinum glass finish, a brightly backlit LED panel, and rose gold accents on every piece of interior shelving. Read More

Pros

  • Consistent temperatures
  • Backlit interior
  • Custom-temp drawer

Cons

  • Smaller capacity
4
Editor's Choice Product image of Samsung Bespoke RF29BB86004MAA

Samsung Bespoke RF29BB86004MAA

The Samsung Bespoke RF29BB8600 is one of the better Bespoke fridges we've tested, with solid temperatures, excellent extras, and a custom look. Read More

Pros

  • Solid fridge temperatures
  • Flexible-temperature drawer
  • Customizable aesthetic

Cons

  • The custom-color panels are a separate purchase
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Product image of Samsung Bespoke RF23A9675AP

Samsung Bespoke RF23A9675AP

The absolute beauty of this fridge is marred only by its performance and ability to produce consistent temperatures. Read More

Pros

  • Sleek and modern look
  • Incredible attention to detail
  • Flexible compartment that can be fridge or freezer

Cons

  • Inconsistent temperatures
  • Ice separate from the beverage center

When you’re shopping for a fridge, a stroll through a home improvement store can be overwhelming. Surrounded by rows and rows of nearly identical-looking appliances, it can be difficult to find the best refrigerator for your kitchen.

That’s why our experts have tested hundreds of refrigerators of all shapes, styles, and designs to determine which of these appliances are worth the purchase, and which fridges failed to impress.

During testing, we consider temperature consistency, storage capacity, and ease of use to be the most important aspects of a good fridge. Our favorite fridge is the Bosch B36FD50SNS (available at Best Buy for $2,499.99) . This French door is nearly perfect, offering top-notch temperature consistency and tons of storage space for a reasonable price.

For those with a different budget, style, and feature preferences, we have plenty of other recommendations that will work in your kitchen.

Editor's Note

Due to supply chain challenges and soaring demand, there is widespread unavailability of home appliances and long wait times for delivery of backordered models. If you're shopping for a refrigerator, here are the best places to buy in-stock appliances right now.

The Bosch B36FD50SNS outside of our fridge testing lab.
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan
Best Overall
Bosch B36FD50SNS
  • Dimensions: 70" x 35.63" x 32.13" (H x W x D)
  • Measured usable space: 12.71-cubic-foot refrigerator, 4.92-cubic-foot freezer
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Through-the-door ice and water
  • Finish: Stainless steel

The Bosch B36FD50SNS is nearly perfect. Temperatures in both the fridge and freezer are exactly where they should be and don’t waver. Its fridge and freezer offer more storage than most other French doors. Its crispers hang on to humidity. It has a through-the-door water and ice dispenser. It also features a sleek, stainless steel finish.

In fact, the only point we can find to critique is that its spill-capture shelves only have lips in the front, not sides or back.

While this fridge costs more than the average French-door fridge, between its excellent performance, features, and Bosch’s excellent warranty, we think it’s worth its purchase price.

Pros

  • Solid temperatures

  • Lots of fridge storage

  • Through-the-door dispenser

Cons

  • Its shelves only have a spill-capture lip on their front


Other Refrigerators We Tested

Product image of Bosch B36CD50SNS
Bosch B36CD50SNS
  • Dimensions: 69.5 x 35.63 x 31.13
  • Measured usable space: 10.68 cubic feet in fridge, 3.82 cubic feet in freezer
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Exterior water and ice
  • Finish: Stainless steel, black stainless steel

A near-perfect performance is what the Bosch B36CD50SNS offers, so devotees of the high-end, German-engineered brand can now add this fridge to their top-tier kitchen layouts, alongside Bosch's excellent dishwashers.

This stunner aced all of our tests, maintaining unwavering temperatures in both the fridge and freezer.

It also boasts useful features, including smart connectivity that allows for remote operation and notifications. Despite a couple of inconsequential flaws—lack of a shelf spill capture, slightly less-than-average storage capacity—the B36CD50SNS is still one of our top-rated fridges of all time.

Pros

  • Near-perfect temperatures

  • Through-the-door dispenser

  • Smart connectivity

Cons

  • Less storage space than average

Product image of Cafe CVE28DM5NS5
GE Café CVE28DM5NS5
  • Dimensions: 69.875 x 35.63 x 34.25 inches
  • Measured usable space: 10.83 cubic feet in fridge; 4.75 cubic feet in freezer
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Exterior water and ice
  • Finishes: Stainless steel with recessed handles, black with stainless steel door handles, white with brushed bronze door handles, platinum glass with recessed handles

The GE Café CVE28DM5NS5 is a French-door refrigerator that doubles as a statement piece. With its shiny platinum glass finish, shelves with rose gold accents, and beautiful backlit LED wall in the fridge’s interior, you may start to think that this fridge emphasizes function over form—but you’d be wrong.

It has spot-on temperature control, a highly effective crisper drawer, and a wide variety of flexible and adjustable storage options. For those of you who spend a lot of time hosting parties, you’ll appreciate the extra temperature-controlled drawer (with both freezer and fridge settings) and the extra rack in the freezer that’s perfect for flat foods like pizzas.

Another great feature is Autofill, the water dispenser that automatically senses the height of your water vessel, fills it up without overflowing, and reports how much water was dispensed. Yes, this fridge is expensive, but if you have a big budget, you’ll appreciate the looks and the utility of the GE CVE28DM5NS5.

Pros

  • Consistent temperatures

  • Backlit interior

  • Custom-temp drawer

Cons

  • Smaller capacity

Product image of Samsung Bespoke RF29BB86004MAA
Samsung Bespoke RF29BB86004MAA
  • Dimensions: 70 x 35.75 x 34.25 inches
  • Measured usable space: 10.61-cubic-foot refrigerator, 5.28-cubic-foot freezer
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Internal ice and water
  • Finishes: White glass, charcoal glass, matte gray glass, Morning Blue glass, clementine glass, pink glass, Sunrise Yellow glass, stainless steel, matte black steel, navy steel, Tuscan steel, emerald green steel

While it’s pricier than some of its peers, the Samsung Bespoke RF29BB8600AP brings great performance and unique looks that you just can’t find elsewhere.

In our testing we found its fridge has excellent temperature performance and its freezer was no slouch either. The fridge has an internal ice and water dispenser, a door-in-door design that provides easy access to your door bins and prevents cold air from escaping, and a flex drawer for adaptable storage.

Of course, the main reason to buy a Bespoke appliance is the slew of customization options available. There is an ever-growing list of finishes to choose from, in either glass or steel, ensuring the perfect look for any kitchen. Also, while this fridge may be expensive compared to its less-customizable counterparts, it’s actually one of the cheaper ways to get this kind of custom look into your kitchen.

Pros

  • Solid fridge temperatures

  • Flexible-temperature drawer

  • Customizable aesthetic

Cons

  • The custom-color panels are a separate purchase

Product image of Samsung Bespoke RF23A9675AP
Samsung Bespoke RF23A9675AP
  • Dimensions: 73 x 35.875 x 28.75 inches
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Door-in-door water; internal dual ice maker
  • Finishes: Matte black steel, navy glass, white, custom

The Samsung Bespoke RF23A9675AP is a gorgeous refrigerator. Its clean lines, modern look, and customization options will help this French-door fit into any kitchen.

While the RF23A9675AP excels when it comes to usability and presentation, it does lag behind other French-doors on temperature consistency, a trait it shares with other high-end models. That being said, it's definitely not a dealbreaker issue: With regular food turnover, most users will do just fine with their RF23A9675AP.

Pros

  • Sleek and modern look

  • Incredible attention to detail

  • Flexible compartment that can be fridge or freezer

Cons

  • Inconsistent temperatures

  • Ice separate from the beverage center

Product image of Hisense HRB171N6ASE
Hisense HRB171N6ASE
  • Dimensions: 69.1 x 31.1 x 29.1 inches
  • Measured usable space: 8.75 cubic feet in fridge, 2.87 cubic feet in freezer
  • Style: Bottom freezer
  • Dispensers: None
  • Finishes: White, black metallic steel, stainless steel

The Hisense HRB171N6ASE is a high-value, low-cost refrigerator. It has remarkable temperature consistency for its price range and has notable energy efficiency, even compared to other counter-depth models.

However, this refrigerator isn’t without issues. We recommend everyone make sure their HRB171N6ASE is properly calibrated out of the box, as the unit we received ran a bit too warm. Additionally, there is only one crisper drawer, so those who are looking to store lots of fruits and vegetables might find a better option elsewhere.

That said, we think this refrigerator offers impressive performance for its purchase price. If you’re looking to pick up a counter-depth fridge on a budget, the HRB171N6ASE is a solid bet.

Pros

  • Steady temperatures in both fridge and freezer

  • Great value

Cons

  • Fridge needs to be calibrated before use

  • Only one crisper

Product image of GE Profile PVD28BYNFS
GE Profile PVD28BYNFS
  • Dimensions: 69.875 x 35.63 x 36.75 inches
  • Measured usable space: 10.2 cubic feet in fridge, 4.11 cubic feet in freezer
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Exterior water and ice
  • Finishes: Stainless steel

For those of you who have a high-end kitchen, the GE Profile PVD28BYNFS French-door refrigerator will fit right in. It hits all the right notes when it comes to form and function, thanks to its brushed, fingerprint-resistant stainless-steel finish, door-in-door storage, flexible shelving options, extra temperature-controlled drawer, auto-sensing water dispenser, and backlit fridge cavity.

It performed well in our temperature tests, and the crisper drawers are some of the best we’ve ever tested. Because the crispers do a great job of maintaining ambient humidity conditions, you’ll be able to keep your fruits and veggies fresh for longer. If you have a larger budget, the GE PVD28BYNFS is well worth the money.

Pros

  • Backlit interior

  • Flexible drawer with custom temp

  • Through-the-door ice and water

Cons

Product image of KitchenAid KRFC704FBS
KitchenAid KRFC704FBS
  • Dimensions: 71.875 x 35.63 x 31.5 inches
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Exterior water and ice
  • Finishes: Stainless steel, black stainless steel

The KitchenAid KRFC704FBS French-door fridge has plenty of style. From its finish to the wood and metal trim on the interior shelves and drawers, this fridge metaphorically struts down the runway and says, "Look at me!" And we're happy to say that this refrigerator is definitely worth a look.

Even better, it also has spot-on temperatures for food preservation, a retractable middle shelf that makes room for taller items, soft-close drawers, and a control panel above the ice/water dispenser that is easy to understand and operate. For those of you out there that have some extra cash on hand and who want something more interesting than white plastic inside your refrigerator, you'll love the KitchenAid KRFC704FBS.

Pros

  • Maintains consistent temperatures

  • Interior wood finish

  • Through-door dispensers

Cons

  • Drawers feel rickety

Product image of GE GNE25JMKES
GE GNE25JMKES
  • Dimensions: 69.875 x 32.75 x 37.5
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Internal water; internal ice maker
  • Finishes: High gloss black, slate, stainless steel, high gloss white

The GE GNE25JMKES refrigerator is a well-sized, well-priced French door fridge. Its clean lines and sleek exterior really draw the eye, but it's what's inside that really impressed us. This fridge really blew us away with its precision temperature control and its energy efficiency.

While this fridge doesn't have through-door ice or water dispensers, it does have some retractable shelves, crisper bins with separate humidity controls, a temperature-controlled deli drawer, a discreet internal water dispenser, and an ice maker in the freezer. We like the GE GNE25JMKES because it looks like a stripped down French door refrigerator, but it still has some of the most convenient features that you find on more expensive models.

Pros

  • Maintains consistent temperatures

  • Temperature-controlled drawer

  • Retractable shelves

Cons

  • Lacks through-door dispensers

Product image of Bosch B36CT80SNS
Bosch B36CT80SNS
  • Dimensions: 72 x 36 x 27.81 inches
  • Measured usable space: 13.6 cubic feet in fridge, 2.5 cubic feet in freezer
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Internal water and ice
  • Finishes: Stainless steel, black stainless steel

The Bosch’s 800 Series B36CT80SNS passed all of our temperature tests with room to spare, maintaining cold, even temperatures in both the fridge and freezer. We also like its smart capabilities via Home Connect, crispers with customizable temperatures, and a fridge compartment with tons of storage.

The only downside? Its freezer, though well-organized, is small—almost half as big as you’d typically see on a French-door.

Pros

  • Excellent temperature control

  • Large fridge compartment

  • Internal dispensers

Cons

  • Small freezer

Product image of Hotpoint HPS16BTNRWW
Hotpoint HPS16BTNRWW
  • Dimensions: 61.75 x 28 x 30.5 inches
  • Measured usable space: 9.68 cubic feet in fridge, 3.98 cubic feet in freezer
  • Style: Top freezer
  • Dispensers: None
  • Finishes: White, black

If you’re not looking to spend thousands on a new fridge, the Hotpoint HPS16BTNRWW is a good bet. Unlike most lower-cost fridges, this Hotpoint doesn’t skimp on temperature performance. In fact, its fridge and freezer temperatures are remarkably consistent, straying by less than 2°F in total.

What you won’t get in this fridge is features—to be expected based on its price tag. Also, its freezer runs a bit warm before calibration, which is an easy fix.

If you’re looking for a fridge in this price range, it’s going to require compromises. In this case, we think those compromises are tiny in comparison to the value you’re getting for its performance at this price.

Pros

  • Stable temperatures

  • Great value

Cons

  • Freezer temps need calibration

  • Wire racks don't handle spills well

Product image of Electrolux ERMC2295AS
Electrolux ERMC2295AS
  • Dimensions: 70 x 35.875 x 29.13 inches
  • Measured usable space: 9.70 cubic feet in fridge, 4.71 cubic feet in freezer
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Through-the-door water and ice
  • Finish: Stainless steel

If you’re looking for a high-end, counter-depth French-door with a clean look and excellent extras, the Electrolux ERMC2295AS is a solid pick.

This fridge has consistent temperatures, a through-the-door dispenser with a tall pocket to accommodate thermoses and large reusable bottles, a flex drawer that can quickly adapt to your storage needs, and crispers that’ll keep your veggies from wilting too quickly.

The ERMC2295AS’s small footprint also means it might be one of the few fridges that can actually fit into a particularly small space. While a fridge this small can be a boon for those with limited space, the resulting reduced capacity is definitely a downside.

Pros

  • Solid fridge temperature performance

  • Efficient crispers

  • Excellent extras

Cons

  • Temperatures in the freezer weren't consistent

  • Poor value

Product image of GE Profile PYE22PYNFS
GE Profile PYE22PYNFS
  • Dimensions: 69.875 x 35.75 x 31.25 inches
  • Measured usable space: 7.73 cubic feet in fridge, 3.79 cubic feet in freezer
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Through-the-door water (cold and hot), ice, and Kuerig K-Cup coffee maker
  • Finish: Stainless steel, black stainless steel

The GE Profile PYE22PYNFS is made for people who put an emphasis on food. It offers luxe features like an in-the-door Keurig K-cup brewing system, flexible storage options, and smart integration that lets you schedule hot water in advance of needing it.

When it comes to food preservation, this refrigerator won’t let you down with its steady, safe temperatures that remain consistent. It held extremely steady at 38.76°F—well within the safe zone—and did not waiver, despite the door being opened frequently over 72 hours. In fact, its temperature consistency score during testing was almost perfect. The freezer performed even better than the fridge.

It has one freezer compartment with two full-width storage baskets, which allows spacious room for storing frozen foods compared to other French-door models, despite being the more shallow, counter-depth style.

Tiny flaws—like coffee splatter and a wobbly freezer drawer—don’t knock it too much.

Pros

  • In-the-door Keurig coffee brewing system

  • Excellent temperature consistency

  • Humid crispers

Cons

  • Low on storage

Product image of GE GFE28GYNFS
GE GFE28GYNFS
  • Dimensions: 69.875 x 35.75 x 36.25 inches
  • Measured usable space: 9.56 cubic feet in fridge, 4.26 cubic feet in freezer
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Through-the-door water and ice
  • Finish: Black slate, slate, stainless steel

For consumers looking to fill a French-door footprint in their kitchen, the GE GFE28GYNFS refrigerator is worth considering, thanks to its through-the-door dispenser, stable temperatures, and excellent storage options.

While it does have downsides, those were relatively minor: It needs to be calibrated a little cool to hit ideal temperatures, and it’s slightly smaller than the average French-door, as its many bins and drawers aren’t as space efficient as shelves. Of course, the bins and drawers provide better options for organization.

Pros

  • Steady temperatures

  • Highly-customizable storage

  • Effective crispers

Cons

  • Lower-than-average capacity

Product image of Samsung RF28R7351SG
Samsung RF28R7351SG
  • Dimensions: 70 x 35.75 x 36.5 inches
  • Measured usable space: 10.3 cubic feet in fridge, 4.99 cubic feet in freezer
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Through-the-door water and ice
  • Finishes: Stainless steel, black stainless steel, Tuscan stainless steel

For the Samsung RF28R7351SG, flexibility is the name of the game. Not only does it have door-in-door storage with removable bins, but it also has crispers with adjustable humidity settings, a retractable shelf, a temperature-controlled drawer with four temperature settings, and an adjustable storage organizer in the freezer.

If you have any interest in the IoT, this fridge is also wi-fi and Bixby enabled. Another bonus is the built-in water pitcher that automatically refills.

Even better, this fridge did a great job at maintaining consistent temperatures, and it is relatively energy-efficient, even with its numerous extra features. For a versatile fridge that can meet your ever-changing needs, check out the Samsung RF28R7351SG.

Pros

  • Smart connectivity

  • Temperature-controlled drawer

  • Consistent temperatures

Cons

Product image of Whirlpool WRX735SDHZ
Whirlpool WRX735SDHZ
  • Dimensions: 70.13 x 35.63 x 34.63 inches
  • Measured usable space: 10.33 cubic feet in fridge, 3.68 cubic feet in freezer
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Exterior water and ice
  • Finishes: Black, white, stainless steel, black stainless steel

It's hard to complain about the Whirlpool WRX735SDHZ. This refrigerator looks sleek, features ice and water dispensers, has a temperature-controlled exterior drawer, and it maintains cool and stable temperatures.

Though it’s not the biggest French door we’ve tested, it should have plenty of room for most users. A really solid fridge, it has the key features and great performance. As long as you’re not specifically in the market for a fridge that's loaded up with the latest smart features, this Whirlpool will almost certainly suit your needs.

Pros

  • Cold, steady temperatures

  • Ice/water dispenser

  • Exterior drawer

Cons

  • Low storage capacity

Product image of LG LRFDC2406S
LG LRFDC2406S
  • Dimensions: 70.3 x 35.8 x 30.8 inches
  • Measured usable space: 8.52 cubic feet in fridge, 4.03 cubic feet in freezer
  • Style: French door
  • Dispensers: Exterior water and ice
  • Finish: Stainless steel, black stainless steel

The LG LRFDC2406S is the second LG Craft Ice-enhanced refrigerator we've tested so far, and it has only solidified our obsession with spherical ice.

From a more practical standpoint, the LRFDC2406S actually outperforms its more feature-rich—and expensive—sibling, the LRMVS3006S. Its temperatures are spot on and barely waver. It also has a ton of options for customizing its storage space, including additional bins.

While the LRFDC2406S does cost more than most, its price point isn't uncommon for an appliance that offers a technology that's completely new in the product space. Just be aware that a decent chunk of its purchase price is going to its spherical ice maker, so if you aren’t particularly interested in this feature, this fridge likely isn’t a great value.

Pros

  • Spherical ice

  • Internal drawer with custom temp

  • Solid temperature performance

Cons

  • None that we could find

Product image of Samsung RS27T5200SR
Samsung RS27T5200SR
  • Dimensions: 70.06 x 35.88 x 33.5 inches
  • Measured usable space: 12.7 cubic feet in fridge, 5.7 cubic feet in freezer
  • Style: Side-by-side
  • Dispensers: Exterior water and ice
  • Finishes: Stainless steel, black stainless steel, white

The Samsung RS27T5200SR uses a multi-vent system to keep temperatures more evenly distributed throughout the unit, and our tests confirm that this design works as intended: Temperatures were remarkably solid throughout the fridge cavity. It also has more storage space than the average side-by-side fridge.

While "very even temperatures" and "extra space" might not be as flashy as some other features on this list, these are two areas where side-by-sides often have difficulty.

The RS27T5200SR is one of the better side-by-sides to come through our labs. If you're interested in a fridge with this design, it’s a great option.

How We Test Refrigerators

Reviewed's appliance testing team has spent years testing major appliances, including washers, dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers.

We have plenty of experience testing these products in the lab, but we've also used them as normal people would in the course of their daily lives, which means that we have a great sense for what appliances are bargains at their price points, and which appliances have really useful extra features.

We test each fridge from two perspectives—first, from a data-driven, objective point of view, and second, as a regular person trying to get at the leftover Chinese food. The combination of these two types of experiences allows us to recommend the best fridge for you at any price point.

To avoid extreme temperatures that negatively impact fridge performance, we test each refrigerator in a lab that conditions the air temperature to 72°F +/- 5°F (basically, room temperature), and relative humidity to 50% RH +/- 15% RH. This way, each fridge can perform at its best, and doesn’t get penalized by dealing with warmer or colder air than its competitors.

We spend a week putting each refrigerator through its paces. After packing the fridge with water filled containers (since fridges operate better when there’s less empty space), we measure the fridge’s temperature, humidity loss, freezing time, usable space, and energy use.

Temperature

Our ideal temperature settings for the fridge and the freezer are 37°F and 0°F, respectively. With fridge temperatures higher than 37°F, you may have to start worrying about bacteria growth, as 40°F is the start of the bacteria “danger zone”. Food isn’t properly frozen at freezer temperatures above 0°F. 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 37°F and 0°F, respectively, but how close the air temperature stayed to those ideal values.

Humidity Loss

For this test, we focus on the refrigerator’s veggie crisper. We add water to a floral foam ball, and measure how quickly it dries. Humidity matters because if the crisper is too dry, your leafy greens will quickly dry out. If the crisper is too humid, your fruits will rot. Fridges that strike a balance between the extremes will preserve your fruits and veggies for longer.

Freezing Time

Once the fridge is plugged in, we measure the time it takes for the freezer to cool down from room temperature to 32°F (the freezing temperature of water). This is a good measure of how quickly your fridge and freezer can cool down food or beverages that have just been placed inside the refrigerator.

Usable Space

Most manufacturers measure the interior of a fridge by essentially flooding it with water and accounting for every empty inch inside the fridge. While it makes a kind of sense, we don’t use these measurements for our testing, because they don’t cleanly translate into a usable datapoint. The way we measure the interior of a fridge is to get the measurements of each shelf, bin, or other storage location—the places you can actually put food—and add those together. That way we’re only accounting for the usable storage inside the fridge, and different models’ capacities are more cross-comparable.

Energy Use

Using an electric meter, we measure the fridge’s energy usage (in Watt-hours) over the week of testing. The less energy used, the more efficient that fridge is, and the more money it’ll save you on utility bills in the future.

We also use each fridge in a more casual sense so we can answer usability questions about the fridge’s specs and features, like the doors, shelves, controls, water/ice dispenser, and extras like smart connectivity, door-in-door or flexible storage options, etc. If a refrigerator keeps the temperature at a perfect 37°F, but it’s very difficult to open the doors and the control panel makes no sense, we’re going to penalize that fridge with respect to its ease of use.

Checkout one of our in-depth refrigerator reviews below:


What You Should Know About Buying Refrigerators

A new fridge is one of the biggest investments you make in your kitchen. Here are some things you should know before purchasing your new appliance.

Styles of Refrigerators

A refrigerator can say a lot about the person who owns it. It’s one of the first things that people see when they come into your kitchen. Here are the four main types of refrigerators and some of the benefits and drawbacks of each:

  • French door: With a modern look, these refrigerators have grown in popularity. While they often come with higher price tags—premium models can run $3,000 or more—there are models that don't cost as much but retain features such as in-door water and ice dispensers. French-door refrigerators have wide shelves for food items, such as trays, but freezer space is often smaller. They come in a range of sizes and finishes, and with many feature options.
  • Side-by-side: These fridges save space by placing the freezer next to the fridge compartment while keeping food at eye level. Typically, these refrigerators are less expensive than French-door models. While narrow shelf space in the fridge may present problems for pizza boxes and baking trays, overall freezer space is larger.
  • Top freezer: These refrigerators are efficient and inexpensive, but they tend not to have many features and are somewhat lacking in the aesthetics department. With this style of refrigerator, food in the freezer is at eye level, but people will have to bend over to get to lower shelves in the fridge.
  • Bottom freezer: These fridges are the reverse of a top-freezer, but the freezer pulls out like a drawer rather than a swinging door. There may be more storage space in the freezer, but you’ll have to bend over to access it.

Usable Space vs. Total Capacity

One of the most common refrigerator specs is the total capacity, or the volume inside the fridge, in cubic feet. You’d think that a higher capacity means more storage, but that’s not always the case as shelves, drawers, and ice makers can eat into that capacity. In our testing, we prefer usable space—how much empty space is actually available in the fridge’s interior to store your food and drinks.

How to Measure Kitchen Space for a Refrigerator

If you’re looking to fit your new fridge into an existing enclosure, then getting the right measurements is crucial. The old adage about measuring twice can be applied to refrigerators, because you definitely don’t want to do any cutting to make your new fridge fit your kitchen space.

The measurement people generally get tripped up by is the door: If the front of your fridge is flush with your cabinetry, you won’t be able to open the door properly. Fortunately, this is an easy fix: just make sure enough of your fridge is sticking out past your cabinetry so the door can swing freely.

How Does a Refrigerator Work?

Refrigerators pull in air and cool it down to temperatures cold enough (usually around 37°F) to preserve food and limit bacterial growth. This cooling method means that fridges are very sensitive to air conditions.

In hot weather, the condenser and cooling coils have to work harder to cool the warmer air. In cold weather, it may get so cold that the fridge condenser doesn’t turn on. This is why, if you happen to have a second fridge in your sweltering hot or freezing cold garage, you may have noticed that the air inside that fridge is not as cold as the air inside your kitchen fridge.

What Temperature Should a Refrigerator Be?

Ideally, your fridge should be exactly 37°F and your freezer should be 0°F.

These temperatures are important because food needs to be kept within a very narrow band of temperatures to maximize its shelf life. If your fridge, for example, were to drop to 32°F—just 5°F below the ideal temperature—some food in your refrigerator will start to freeze. On the other end of the spectrum, temperatures of 40°F and higher are dangerous, because that's the temperature at which bacteria really start to proliferate quickly.

If your freezer gets warmer than 0°F, it means your food isn't being truly frozen. Furthermore, if temperatures in your freezer bounce around, that will greatly exacerbate the build-up of freezer burn.

How Long Do Refrigerators Last?

While the lifespan of any appliance can vary wildly due to several factors, you should expect your fridge to last for about 10 years.

Most manufacturers will at least cover the first year in their refrigerator warranty, but some companies will offer more robust programs that will cover specific parts up to five years, 10 years, or for the lifetime of the product.

Meet the testers

Mark Brezinski

Mark Brezinski

Senior Writer

@markbrezinski

Mark Brezinski is a senior writer with over ten years of experience reviewing consumer tech and home appliances.

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Jonathan Chan

Jonathan Chan

Senior Manager of Lab Operations

@Jonfromthelab1

Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.

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Julia MacDougall

Julia MacDougall

Senior Scientist

@reviewed

Julia is the Senior Scientist at Reviewed, which means that she oversees (and continually updates) the testing of products in Reviewed's core categories such as televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, and more. She also determines the testing methods and standards for Reviewed's "The Best Right Now" articles.

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