2016 Best of Year Refrigerator Awards
From fancy French-doors to affordable top-freezers, these are the fridges you should buy.
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Buying a refrigerator might not be exciting, but it does require some thought: Pick the wrong one, and it will waste your money—letting your produce wilt before its time, or ruining your frozen food before you can eat it.
But pick the right one, and it will make cooking your favorite meals even easier. That’s why, when we test fridges in our labs in Cambridge, MA, we don’t just look for proper cooling and food preservation. We also look for ease of storage, energy efficiency, and new features that we think consumers will find useful.
After evaluating the top-selling models on the market, we know that these are the best refrigerators you can buy.
Best Refrigerator of the Year: GE Café CFE28TSHSS
For four years in a row, a GE French door refrigerator has won our coveted Best Refrigerator award. This year, the award once again goes to the CFE28TSHSS, which is built in GE’s Appliance Park factory in Louisville, KY and features a built-in hot water dispenser.
In addition to its features, we’re fans of how well this fridge performed in our tests. We recorded consistent temperatures over time in both the fridge and freezer, which can help prevent fresh food from spoiling and frozen food from developing freezer burn. Though this GE is an upscale appliance, it earns its keep by cutting down on food waste. Read our full review
Best Fridge for Entertaining: Kenmore Elite 72483
Sometimes, four doors are better than three. There are a lot of four- and even five-door refrigerators on the market, but we think the Kenmore Elite 72483 is a good bet if you host a lot of parties.
That’s largely thanks to its full-width middle drawer. It can be set to a variety of temperatures for everything from chilling wine to keeping a cold cut tray fresh. In addition, the 72483’s AirTight crisper drawers did an exceptionally good job keeping produce fresh and crisp, and adjustable shelves made it easy to fit everything from large cakes to tall bottles. Read our full review
Best Fridge for the Money: Samsung RF260BEAESR
If you want the modern look and convenience of a stainless steel French door refrigerator but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, Samsung has an excellent option.
The RF260BEAESR is frequently on sale for just under $1,000—which is an exceptionally good deal. Its low price stands in contrast to its excellent performance: Samsung’s French door fridges have all done well in our lab tests, and this one also gets rave reviews from owners. Read our full review
Best Side-by-Side Refrigerator: Kenmore 51763
French door fridges have grown in popularity, but some consumers still prefer a side-by-side design for easy freezer access and a footprint that fits better in narrow kitchens. If you count yourself in that group, check out the Kenmore 51763. It impressed us with even cooling throughout the tall fridge compartment, along with excellent humidity control and a freezer designed for long-term storage. Read our full review
Best Basic Refrigerator: Frigidaire Gallery FGTR1845QF
Not everybody needs or wants a fancy refrigerator—but helpful features can really come in handy. Frigidaire’s entire lineup of top-freezer refrigerators did well in our tests, but we’re especially fans of the FGTR1845QF.
That’s because this 18.1 cu. ft. top-freezer has Frigidaire’s Custom-Flex system, which lets the user customize the fridge door with a variety of specific shelves and bins—including a can dispenser, shelves for gallon jugs, and full-width shelves for condiments. You can even buy extra shelves for a more personalized storage solution. Read our full review