• Frigidaire Gallery FG4H2272UF

  • How We Tested

  • What To Look For When Buying A Refrigerator

  • Other Refrigerators We Tested

  • More Articles You May Enjoy

Frigidaire Gallery FG4H2277UF
Credit: Frigidaire

How We Tested

The Testers

Hi there! We're Reviewed's appliance testing team. Between the three of us (Jon Chan, Kyle Hamilton, and Julia MacDougall), we've spent many years testing major appliances including washers, dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, and robot vacuum cleaners.

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 (as opposed to the kitchen-sink approach to features).

With all this in mind, you can feel confident that when we recommend a product, we're giving it our Reviewed stamp of approval, which means two things: firstly, this appliance performs well, and secondly, this appliance is easy to use. We're always reviewing new products, so stay tuned for our reviews and roundups of the latest products in laundry, refrigerators, dishwashers, and vacuum cleaners.
At first glance, most refrigerators don't look like anything special. All they have to do is keep your food and beverages from going bad, right? It turns out that there's a lot more to these big, heavy, cold boxes than meets the eye, and between our specially calibrated refrigerator lab and our rigorous testing standards, the testers and writers at Reviewed can recommend specific fridge models, and back up those recommendations with hard data and personal experience.

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The Tests

Fridge_chamber
Credit: Reviewed.com/ Julia MacDougall

Just by living in the real world, you've probably noticed that appliances operate best in certain temperature conditions. Because an appliance involves a number of electronic and mechanical parts working together in harmony, the air in your home can inhibit certain parts from working at their best, especially in extremely hot or cold climates.

Refrigerators, in particular, can be very sensitive to ambient air conditions. Refrigerators pull in air and cool it down to temperatures cold enough (usually around 37°F) to preserve food and inhibit bacteria growth. In hot weather, the condenser and cooling coils have to work harder to cool the warmer air. In cold weather, the fridge struggles to operate in general. 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.

To mitigate these possible temperature effects, we test each refrigerator in a special lab that conditions the air to a temperature of 72°F +/- 5°F, and a relative humidity of 50% RH +/- 15% RH (basically, room temperature). 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.

Fridge Temperature Data
Credit: Reviewed

Over the course of a week (including a day for calibration), we put each refrigerator through its paces. After filling the fridge up with water ballast (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 might have to start worrying about bacteria growth, as 40°F is the start of the bacteria "danger zone". Freezer temperatures warmer than 0°F means that the food isn't being truly 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 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 then record how much of the water is evaporated away each day. Humidity loss rates are important because if the crisper is too dry, your leafy greens will dry out very quickly. If the crisper is too humid, your fruits will rot. 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 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 — One of the most common refrigerator specs is the storage capacity, or the volume of the inside of the fridge, in cubic feet. You'd think that a higher capacity means that you can fit more in that fridge, but that's not always the case. We measure the usable space, which is how much empty space is actually available in the fridge's interior. Any number of things can reduce the usable space in a fridge—the ice bucket and/or ice maker, a water filter, air filters, shelf arrangement, etc. The closer the usable space value is to the fridge's stated storage capacity, the more food you can fit in your refrigerator.
  • 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 that 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.

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.


What To Look For When Buying A Refrigerator

If your refrigerator just died, chances are that you're in a hurry to replace it. When looking for a new or replacement refrigerator, consider the following topics carefully before buy.

Food Preservation

No one wants to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a refrigerator that can't keep your food cold. Preserving your food (especially frozen foods) is the most important facet of our refrigerator testing methodology; we gather temperature data in the fridge and freezer, and humidity data from the veggie bin to make sure every fridge can hit and maintain temperatures and humidity values best suited for keeping your food fresh. If you're out shopping for a refrigerator at a store, be sure to ask the sales associate about the refrigerator's cooling abilities and humidity controls. Additionally, you can look through our refrigerator reviews and our refrigerator roundups to see which refrigerators did the best when it comes to maintaining the right environment for your cold foods and beverages.

Your Refrigerator Cutout

If you're replacing a fridge with a very specific cutout (usually surrounded by countertops and/or cabinetry), measure your cutout carefully—it's not unheard of for consumers to buy a beautiful new fridge, only to have to return it because it's too large for the cutout. Measure the height, width, and depth of the cutout multiple times, then be sure to leave at least one to two inches between the top of the fridge and above-fridge cabinetry, as well as a couple inches between the back of the fridge and the wall. Leaving those extra inches behind the refrigerator is especially helpful for the fridge's air circulation.

Lastly, when looking at the depth of your cutout, be sure to account for the depths of the fridge doors. If the distance your fridge sticks out from your cabinetry is not as wide as the thickness of the refrigerator doors, then you might not be able to open the fridge doors all the way.

Your Preferred Refrigerator Style

There are four major styles of refrigerator: top-freezers, bottom freezers, French doors, and side-by-sides. Top and bottom freezer refrigerators have freezers located on the top or bottom of the unit, respectively; the fridge door pulls open to the side, and the freezer door may pull to the side or the front. French door fridges have the refrigerator on top, and have two doors that open from the center to reveal that fridge space; the freezer door below typically pulls out. Side-by-side fridges have the freezer on the left, the refrigerator on the right, and each side has its own door.

Counter-Depth vs. Not Counter-Depth

The term "counter-depth" refers to the depth of your fridge—specifically, how much it sticks out past your cabinetry. The standard depth for a regular, full-sized fridge is typically about 30 inches. If your fridge is surrounded by cabinets, it probably sticks out anywhere from four to six inches. This doesn't bother most people, but if you have space restrictions or stylistic preferences that tend towards a refrigerator with a shallower profile, you might want to take a look at counter-depth fridges.

While there's no standard depth measurement for counter-depth fridges (it largely depends on the manufacturer), they can be as much as six inches shallower than their non-counter-depth counterparts. However, you lose interior storage space as a result of the shallower fridge profile. Before you buy a counter-depth fridge, be sure that the width of your fridge cutout is actually wide enough to support full opening of the doors; when refrigerators have a shallower depth, there's an increased likelihood that the back of the refrigerator door(s) will hit the cabinetry before it can fully open.

One more thing to consider: A counter-depth fridge may cost more than its non-counter-depth counterpart because the manufacturer may have to do some creative rearrangement of the interior compartments and storage units.

Through-Door Water and Ice Dispensers

When looking for through-door ice and water dispensers, be sure to check out the number of ice types available in that fridge—if you're an ice connoisseur, then you may want more than just cubed ice. Other ice options include crushed ice and cylindrical ice. Additionally, some of the more expensive refrigerators have additional dispensing options, such as hot water dispensers or a built-in Keurig pod coffee maker.

In lieu of through-door water dispensing, some fridges offer built-in water pitchers that fill automatically or interior water dispensers, in addition to interior ice makers.

Storage Options

The most basic storage options include built-in shelves in the fridge, one or two crisper bins, and some shelving options on the fridge's doors. When it comes to extra storage, though, the possibilities are endless. In addition to moving shelves to different heights in the refrigerator, some shelves can flip up or retract; some door bins can slide and expand to optimize storage for the full width of the fridge.

Some fridges have door-in-door storage, which allows you to access popular fridge items without opening the whole refrigerator door. French door models often have the most extra storage options, including an extra drawer, temperature-controlled deli/pantry drawers that can be set for specific fridge temperatures, pocket storage at the bottom of the refrigerator that make for easy access for kids, or a fourth compartment/drawer that can be set to fridge or freezer temperatures.

Efficiency

If the prospect of using less water and energy is appealing to you, consider the Energy Star rating for a refrigerator for an idea of what your utility bills might look like. Typically, the more complicated your fridge (in features and design), the more energy it uses. In our experience, it's not a lot more than your more basic fridges, but it can add up over time. Only you can decide if the added convenience is worth the increase in running costs.

Fit and Finish

While black and white refrigerators finishes are still available, most refrigerators these days come in some variation of stainless steel options. You should be able to find a refrigerator that matches your kitchen setup and your other appliances, but be ready to pay more money for any finish more sophisticated than black, white, or basic stainless steel.

Price

Don't worry: Whether you're on a budget or have a blank check, you can find a fridge that will keep your food and beverages at the right temperature. Mostly, the price difference between high-end refrigerators and more affordable fridges is usually down to the number of available features, storage options, and finishes.


Other Refrigerators We Tested

Kenmore Elite 72483

In addition to sleek design, ergonomic layout, adjustable shelves, and excellent food preservation performance, the 29.9 cu.-ft. Kenmore Elite 72483 adds a separate temperature-controlled center drawer for storing everything from snacks and deli meats to wine. Though it has an external water and ice dispenser, the fridge hides all of its controls behind the door, which gives the 72483 a streamlined and contemporary look.

With a wide variety of additional storage options (including recessed pockets at the bottom of the fridge and multiple sliding drawers in the freezer), the Kenmore Elite 72483 will be a boon to large families or anyone who prefers a packed fridge.

Pros

  • Can maintain consistent temperatures

  • Deli drawer

  • Through-door ice and water dispensers

Cons

  • Nothing we could find

Cafe CVE28DM5NS5

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—and you’d be wrong.

This fridge 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 (in ounces) how much water was dispensed. Yes, this fridge costs three to four times what you’d pay for a more basic fridge, 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

  • Less capacity than we'd expect

LG LSXS26366S

If you want a fridge that is capable of both high-quality food preservation and of being a conversation starter, look no further than the LG LSXS26366S three-door, side-by-side refrigerator. Yes, you read that correctly—it has three doors.

With a press of a button, you can access the door-in-door storage on the upper right side of the fridge, which allows you to easily grab the items you need frequently without disrupting the cooling of the rest of the fridge. If you don't press the button, the fridge opens normally. Between this very useful storage feature and food preservation that just won't quit, we'd highly recommend the LG LSXS26366S to anyone, especially if you're looking for a compromise between a side-by-side fridge and a french-door fridge.

Pros

  • Unique three-door design

  • Can maintain consistent temperatures

  • Door-in-door storage

Cons

  • Nothing we could find

Samsung RF263BEAESG

The Samsung RF263BEAESG french door refrigerator is designed with a large family in mind. Not only does it have a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finish, but its deep door bins have room for more than one gallon of milk. Furthermore, the adjustable shelving makes it easy to store tall or large items without losing a lot of existing fridge real estate. If you’re worried about people constantly opening the fridge doors, the crispers have been designed so that you can open one by only opening one door, which cuts down on the cold air lost every time the refrigerator is opened.

In our tests, we found that the fridge temperatures run a little cool; you can bump up the temperature a bit, but make sure you check the temperature with a fridge thermometer so that you’re not getting too close to the bacteria danger zone (which starts at 40°F). Otherwise, we were impressed with how well the crisper drawers maintained humidity, and how energy-efficient this fridge is. If your fridge is going to be visited frequently, we think the Samsung RF263BEAESG will serve you well.

Pros

  • Comes in a black stainless steel finish

  • Has a retractable shelf and a folding shelf

  • Adjustable temperature fridge drawer

Cons

  • Fridge temperatures run colder than normal

Samsung RF23J9011SR

The Samsung RF23J9011SR French door fridge is all about customizability. Its unique four-door design is bound to be a great conversation piece when guests enter your kitchen. The upper two doors open to reveal the usual shelf configuration that comes with a French door refrigerator, but the bottom two doors are more reminiscent of a side-by-side fridge, with separate compartments for each door. The bottom left door is a freezer, and depending on your food preservation needs, the bottom right section can be either a fridge or a freezer.

In addition to those useful features, this refrigerator also runs efficiently and can maintain cool temperatures when and where you need them. Between its intriguing looks and solid performance, you won't regret buying the Samsung RF23J9011SR.

Pros

  • Unique four-door design

  • Flexible temperature area

Cons

  • Limited freezer space

Haier HRF15N3AGS

Do you love the look and functionality of French-door refrigerators, but don't have the space to actually fit one in your kitchen? We have just the fridge for you: the Haier HRF15N3AGS. This fridge with LED lighting is considerably narrower and shallower than most French-door fridges; while that means you'll be able to fit it in a smaller kitchen, that also means you'll be able to fit less food in the fridge in the first place.

Because it's compact, the fridge itself is pretty bare-bones. There's no ice maker or water dispenser, and the shelves aren't very adjustable. The cooling on this fridge is top-notch, though, and it easily maintained fridge and freezer temperatures of 37°F and 0°F throughout our week of testing. If you don't need a lot of extra features and want to make the most of a relatively small kitchen, the Haier HRF15N3AGS compact French-door fridge is a great pick.

Pros

  • Slimmer profile for non-standard cutouts

  • Consistent fridge temperatures

Cons

  • No through-door ice or water dispensers

  • Limited shelf adjustability

GE Profile PVD28BYNFS

For those of you who have a high-end kitchen, the GE Profile PVD28BYNFS French door refrigerator will fit right in. This fridge 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.

This fridge 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 and edible for a longer period of time. 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

  • Expensive

KitchenAid KRFC704FBS

The KitchenAid KRFC704FBS french-door fridge is all about style. From its black stainless 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 fridge 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

  • Can maintain consistent temperatures

  • Wood finish in fridge interior

  • Through-door ice and water dispensers

Cons

  • Drawers feel rickety

GE GNE25JMKES

The slate finished 24.8-cubic-foot 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 interior water dispenser, and an ice maker in the freezer. We like the GE GNE25JMKES because looks like a stripped down French door refrigerator, but it still has some of the most convenient features that you find on more expensive French door options.

Pros

  • Can maintain consistent temperatures

  • Temperature-controlled drawer

  • Retractable shelves

Cons

  • No through-door ice or water dispenser

Samsung RF28R7351SG

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

  • Wi-fi capabilities

  • Temperature-controlled drawer

  • Great consistent fridge/freezer temperature

Cons

  • None that we could find

Insignia NS-RTM18WH7

Only available at Best Buy, the Insignia NS–RTM18WH7 refrigerator has one big thing going for it: a low, low sale price, which means it's cheaper than almost any other full-size fridge you can buy.

The 18-cu.-ft. top-freezer had a tough time with some of our tests. Namely, it ran a little hot, with temperatures well above our preferred value of 37°F. Bumping the temperature down to the lowest setting will ensure that your food is being safely preserved. On the other hand, this fridge was one of the most efficient fridges (in terms of electricity usage) that's ever come through our labs. There's also plenty of storage space, with no hidden extras (like water filters or air filters) to take up valuable real estate that you need for a pizza box or a Thanksgiving turkey. Long story short, we think the Insignia NS-RTM18WH7 is worth a look if you need a second fridge, or if your budget is tight.

Pros

  • Energy efficient

Cons

  • Fridge temperatures can run a little warm

Whirlpool WRX735SDHZ

It's hard to complain about the Whirlpool WRX735SDHZ. This French-door 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—just maybe consider another option if storage space is your primary concern. Otherwise, This is just 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 tech, this Whirlpool will almost certainly suit your needs.

Pros

  • Cold, steady temperatures

  • Ice/water dispenser

  • Exterior drawer

Cons

  • Low storage capacity

  • Expensive

Whirlpool WRV986FDEM

If you want tons of storage options in your next refrigerator, look no further than the Whirlpool WRV986FDEM french door refrigerator. With its three crisper drawers, recessed snack compartments, and two separate temperature-controlled drawers, you'll be spoiled for choice when it comes storing more delicate foods, or foods that you want kids to be able to access more readily. The through-door water and ice maker makes filling up water bottles a breeze.

While both the fridge and the freezer run a bit warm, you can easily bump the temperature down on the display panel. Because the crispers in the fridge cavity are not sealed, they tend to lose moisture quickly; however, you can definitely store any more finicky fruits and veggies in the extra independently-operated temperature drawers. For a refrigerator with a unique configuration and lots of useful nooks and crannies, you'll love the Whirlpool WRV986FDEM.

Pros

  • Two extra temperature drawers

  • Snack compartments

Cons

  • Crispers lose moisture relatively quickly

  • Less energy-efficient than other french door fridges

Bosch B21CL81SNS

If you love Bosch dishwashers, then you'll definitely want to check out the Bosch B21CL81SNS, one of the fridges in the Bosch 800 series of refrigerators. While you might miss the through-door water and ice dispensers, some customers will prefer the looks of this fridge's sleek, uninterrupted exterior. With its extra temperature drawer, two crispers, and extra snack/deli drawer, you'll have plenty of places to store all of your favorite foods and beverages.

While the fridge temperatures ran a little bit warm, you can easily adjust the temperature to a colder setting to make sure that your food stays cold and fresh. We didn't observe any large temperature swings in either the fridge or the freezer cavity, so Bosch nails it on that score. The crisper tended to lose moisture a bit faster than we preferred, but with the extra temperature drawer, you should be able to store fruits and veggies without worrying about them spoiling in a couple of days. While we were more impressed with the Bosch dishwashers, this Bosch fridge will still be a great addition to your kitchen.

Pros

  • Can maintain consistent temperatures

  • Counter-depth

  • Temperature-controlled drawer

Cons

  • Crisper has trouble maintaining humidity

Samsung RT18M6215SG

The Samsung RT18M6215SG is truly a unique top-freezer refrigerator. This 18-cubic foot fridge has a sleek black stainless-steel exterior and temperatures that are spot-on for food preservation. Surprisingly, the most boring part of a typical refrigerator—the freezer— is where this fridge is truly innovative.

The freezer can either be a normal freezer, or, with a few button presses, you can convert it into a second refrigerator zone. This could be a great choice for a small kitchen, a vacation home, or a garage or basement refrigerator. We think that with its versatility and good looks, the Samsung RT18M6215SG a better-than-average value.

Pros

  • Can maintain consistent temperatures

  • Flexible temperature zone

  • Black stainless steel finish

Cons

  • Have to stoop to access crispers

  • Not much in the way of storage

Meet the testers

Kyle Hamilton

Kyle Hamilton

Product Tester

Kyle Hamilton is a product tester at Reviewed, specializing in home appliances and technology.

See all of Kyle Hamilton's reviews
Jonathan Chan

Jonathan Chan

Lab Manager

@ReviewedHome

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.

See all of Jonathan Chan's reviews
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.

See all of Julia MacDougall's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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