If you're in the market for a new refrigerator, you know there's an overwhelming number of choices out there. Here at Reviewed, our experts have tested hundreds of fridges, examining everything from food preservation to fit and finish. We're confident we can help you make the right choice.
(If you're trying to balance style and budget, be sure to check out our article about the Best Stainless Steel Fridges Under $2000.)
These fridges are the best we've ever tested. Most of them don't come cheap, but they all have plenty of room for your food, can keep everything inside it fresh, and will look great in your kitchen. Some even come with a few surprising extras and innovative designs that could change the way you store your perishables.
Our long-standing favorite fridge is the GE Café CFE28TSHSS (available at Home Depot for $3,086.10), which has superior temperature-maintaining abilities and an amazing variety of neat features. For more information on a specific fridge, click the link to read the full review.
Updated January 17, 2019
GE Café CFE28TSHSS
GE Café CFE28TSHSSBest Overall
There are many reasons why we love GE Café CFE28TSHSS. Its 28.6 cu. ft. interior is easy to organize, it has an adjustable-temperature deli drawer, and it did a great job preserving fresh and frozen food in our lab tests.
It can even dispense hot water on demand, with the touch of a button! Another neat feature is the built-in USB port that allows you to upload photos to the fridge's tiny screen.
Whether you’ve got a big family or just want the best fridge out there, the American-made CFE28TSHSS has everything you’re looking for—and more. Read the full review.
How We Test
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.
The Refrigerator Test Lab
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 the ambient air conditions. To make a long story short, 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 burning 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.
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 mean 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, then 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 safe 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 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.
GE Café CYE22UELDS
Where To Buy$3,149.10 Home Depot Buy
GE Café CYE22UELDS
Like the GE Café CFE28TSHSS, the GE Café CYE22UELDS also dispenses hot water, but an added feature kicks it up a notch. This fridge a can either give you hot water for your Ramen noodles, or, after popping in a K-cup, it can brew your morning coffee. Between its black slate finish and the fact that it's a counter-depth fridge, this fridge will make your kitchen look like something out of a magazine.
This fridge checks all of our boxes when it comes to performance: it has great temperature control, freezes items quickly, will keep your fruits and veggies fresh for a long time, and is pretty efficient energy-wise. As for features, it's WiFi enabled, you can use an app to control it, and it takes directions from Alexa. Yes, it's expensive, but between the solid cooling and fun extras, we think it's worth the price tag. Read the full review.
Kenmore Elite 72483
Where To Buy$2,399.99 Sears Buy
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. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$2,695.10 AppliancesConnection Buy
Side-by-side fridges might not be as popular as french-door models, but we think the stainless steel Samsung RH29H9000SR, our highest-scoring side-by-side refrigerator, is still worth a look. A unique full-length Food Showcase door-in-door storage compartment makes for easy organization, and a sleek exterior blends with either a traditional or modern kitchen.
Best of all, the fridge really hit its temperature mark, and rarely strayed from the ideal value of 37°F. Even better, the freezer's temperature stayed below 0ºF during our tests, so you won't have to worry about freezer burn. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$1,294.70 AppliancesConnection Buy $1,297.80 Home Depot Buy $1,299.00 Abt Buy $1,299.99 Best Buy Buy
The Samsung RF260BEAESR is a french-door refrigerator that is really punching outside its weight class. This 25.5 cu. ft. fridge impressed us because it's comparable in almost every way to fridges that cost twice as much.
Behind its sleek, refined exterior lies a fridge with stellar food preservation capabilities and a handful of useful features—including an internal ice maker and an enclosed drawer with three settings: "Deli" for deli meats, "Fresh" for fruits and veggies, and "Chilled" for your favorite cold beverages.
If you're looking to remodel, and want to be able to have your refrigerator-themed cake and eat it too, check out the Samsung RF260BEAESR. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$2,245.10 AppliancesConnection Buy $1,548.00 Home Depot Buy $1,549.00 Abt Buy $1,549.99 Best Buy Buy
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. Read the full review.
There's a lot to like about the Samsung RF28JBEDBSG french-door refrigerator. On the outside, this particular model has a black stainless finish that looks elegant and futuristic, and also disguises smudged fingerprints better than a normal stainless steel finish.
On the inside, in addition to meeting our high expectations when it comes to food preservation, this fridge also gives you tons of flexible storage options. The door-in-door storage on the right-hand door also comes with a slide-out shelf that makes getting the milk even easier. The FlexDrawer, or the pull-out drawer between the fridge and the bottom freezer, has four self-explanatory settings: "Wine/Party Dishes", "Deli/Snacks", "Cold Drinks", and "Meat/Fish". If you have a busy, food-related social life and/or a big family, you won't regret buying the Samsung RF28JBEDBSG. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$3,094.70 AppliancesConnection Buy $3,097.80 Home Depot Buy $3,099.00 Abt Buy $3,099.99 Best Buy Buy
As you can probably tell, we really love door-in-door storage options when they're done right. The LG LFXS30796D takes the idea of door-in-door storage to the next level by making it visible on the outside of the fridge. LG's InstaView window takes up the whole right-hand door of this french-door fridge, and when you knock on the tinted glass, it becomes transparent.
On the one hand, this is a really cool feature because it allows you to see what's in your fridge without having to open it. On the other hand, it may require you to keep your fridge looking a little neater just in case you have company over, and then want to try out the window.
In addition to the InstaView window, the LG LFXS30796D also has a extra crisper drawer and a Glide n' Serve drawer, which is great for snacks or adult beverages. We did find that the fridge temperatures can run a little hot, but you can easily offset that by setting the temperature a degree or two lower than your preferred level of cooling. For a unique combination of features and function, be sure to check out the LG LFSX30796D. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$2,795.00 AppliancesConnection Buy $3,059.10 Home Depot Buy $3,059.00 Abt Buy $3,059.99 Best Buy Buy
With refrigerators, accessibility is really the name of the game. Your fridge can be huge, but if you can't actually get at any of the food quickly, then the refrigerator isn't doing its job. The LG LMXS30776S french-door refrigerator is definitely doing its job, and doing it well.
With three crisper drawers, two recessed storage pockets at the bottom of the fridge, door-in-door shelves on the right door panel that can be accessed from either side of the door, and the CustomChill middle drawer (which has four settings: "Meat & Seafood", "Cold Drink", "Deli Snack", and "Chilled Wine"), this flexible, easily-customizable fridge should be able to deal with anything you can (metaphorically) throw at it. Like some of the other LG french-door fridges we've tested, the LG LMXS30776S also runs a bit hot temperature-wise, but it's pretty easy to offset that fact by bumping the fridge temperature down by a degree or so. The amazing number of storage options in the LG LMXS30776S should serve a large family well, as well as tidier people who have strong preferences about what foodstuffs should go where. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$1,049.40 Home Depot Buy $1,044.40 Abt Buy $1,049.99 Best Buy Buy $1,167.49 Walmart Buy
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 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. Read the full review.