When it comes to buying a new fridge, the need to keep food fresh and cold is a given. So what should you consider when choosing a refrigerator? There’s a seemingly endless list of unique designs and new technologies that are incorporated into the latest appliances. With so many models and styles to choose from, it really comes down to personal preference in looks, helpful features, and storage capacity.

To help make the decision easier for you, we’ve compared the best-rated refrigerators against each other to give you our top picks. This guide will explain how the latest technologies can make life easier for you and what the difference is between different fridge configurations. Keep reading for an in-depth look at the best design features and everything you need to know about the best refrigerators.

Our Top Picks: Summary

The Best Refrigerators: Our Top Picks

Best Overall: LG Smart Refrigerator
LG French Door Smart Refrigerator

The LG French-Door Smart Refrigerator combines innovative technology with reliable performance.

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Why We Picked It

This fridge by LG is designed to accommodate anything a family can throw at it. The appliance is available in black stainless steel and LG’s PrintProof stainless steel, which is smudge resistant and easily wipes clean. The elegant french-door design features a bottom freezer, 26.2 cubic feet of space, and two humidity-controlled crisper drawers. The temperature is controlled by a Smart Cooling system, which uses sensors to adjust the climate with a fast-acting Linear Compressor.

There is an exterior water dispenser that features LG’s new pharmaceutical water filter; they are NSF certified to remove more contaminants. The ice dispenser has a slim SpacePlus design to save shelf room, and there are dual ice makers to ensure you never run out even on the hottest summer days. The LG Smart Refrigerator is Energy Star certified, uses SmartDiagnosis for troubleshooting, and is backed by a 10-year warranty.

Keep in Mind

It’s also available in a smaller counter depth size, for those wanting a sleeker look in their kitchen.

In a Nutshell

  • Smart Cooling system
  • NSF certified water filter
  • Space Plus ice maker design allows for more door storage
Best Budget: GE GTS18GTHWW Refrigerator
GE GTS18GTHWW Top Freezer Refrigerator

This reliable fridge is the best low-cost option available.

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Why We Picked It

The GE GTS18GTHWW model is a great low-cost refrigerator, whether you’re looking for a second fridge for your garage or just need a new one and don’t want to break the bank. This model has 17.5 cubic feet of space with adjustable, non-spill shelves. The door features customizable shelf layouts to suit any grocery needs. The temperature controls are also conveniently located up front for easy access.

There are two adjustable humidity drawers to organize fruits and vegetables and help prolong freshness. The 4 cubic-foot freezer has an adjustable wire rack and could easily accommodate the installation of an icemaker. You can get this model in white, black, or stainless steel.

Keep in Mind

This GE refrigerator doesn’t have any outstanding technologies or features (which isn’t surprising based on the price).

In a Nutshell

  • Most affordable option
  • Adjustable storage space
  • Durable and reliable product
Best Counter Depth: GE Profile Refrigerator
GE Profile French Door Refrigerator

The GE Profile fridge is perfect for someone looking for a built-in look.

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Why We Picked It

The GE Profile is designed to fit in with your kitchen counters while maintaining a 23 cubic foot interior. The 36-inch depth is perfect for sitting flush for a modern look, plus it has french doors and three stylish color options. The pullout freezer drawer is spacious and comes with an optional second ice maker. The Profile uses TwinChill evaporators for better climate separation between fresh food and freezer areas.

There is an ice and water dispenser inside the fridge that features a Hands-Free Autofill designed to perfectly fills containers by itself. The fridge has six door bins, a full-width deli drawer, and three spill-proof adjustable glass shelves. Energy-saving LED lighting is used throughout the interior, including in the doors, to spotlight food. There is also a door alarm that notifies you if it has not been closed all the way.

Keep in Mind

The GE Profile PWE23KSKSS model is one of the more expensive options.

In a Nutshell

  • Shallow counter depth design
  • Hands-free Autofill water dispenser
  • Partially-closed door alarm
Best French Door: GE French Door Refrigerator
GE Stainless Steel French Door Refrigerator

This GE fridge features an elegant french door design with a compact ice maker.

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Why We Picked It

French doors are an increasingly popular design in refrigerators, and this GE model is well designed and functional. An in-the-door ice maker frees up valuable shelf space inside the fridge. The color-matched external water and ice dispenser is tall enough to accommodate bottles and tall cups; the water dispenser also uses an advanced filtration with XWF filters to cleanse your drinking water.

The adjustable shelves are spill-proof, and this fridge features a quick-space shelf that easily slides to make room for taller items. A Turbo Cool system gives a boost of cold air to quickly restores the interior temperature after having the door open. This 25.6 cubic foot refrigerator also features an electronic temperature display, LED lighting, and full-width deli drawer.

Keep in Mind

While GE has a great track record, the limited one-year warranty is fairly short for a kitchen appliance.

In a Nutshell

  • French-door design
  • Hidden in-the-door icemaker
  • Tall exterior ice and water dispenser
Best Top Freezer: GE GIE18GSHSS Refrigerator
GE GIE18GSHSS Top Freezer Refrigerator

This traditional top freezer designed fridge is minimalist and functional.

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Why We Picked It

The GE GIE18GSHSS model has a simple design and comes at a relatively low price. This top-freezer fridge comes in five different colors and 17.5 cubic feet of storage space. The freezer features a factory-installed icemaker and seamless floor for easy cleanup.

Inside the refrigerator door are two gallon-sized shelves for larger food items and a can storage shelf for quick access to your favorite drinks. To adjustable-humidity drawers help keep food fresh while the up-front temperature controls give you easy access for any adjustments. There is also a convenient snack drawer and fresh food interior lighting.

Keep in Mind

At 17.5 cubic feet, the KitchenAid fridge has one of the smallest overall storage capacities.

In a Nutshell

  • Traditional top-freezer design
  • Lower-than-average price
  • Seamless freezer floor
Best Bottom Freezer: KitchenAid Refrigerator
KitchenAid Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

This refrigerator-over-freezer designed appliance uses ExtendFresh technology to circulate air.

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Why We Picked It

This KitchenAid is an unassuming high tech machine. The ExtendFresh Temperature Management System uses sensors in both the fridge and freezer to maintain the best climate for your food. For fruits and vegetables, the Produce Preserver absorbs ethanol gas given off by ripening fruits and vegetables to prolong freshness. This fridge also features two humidity-controlled crisper drawers.

The KitchenAid refrigerator has a customizable interior design. The spill-proof shelves are adjustable, and there is a full-width pantry drawer. There is also a removable metal wine rack for up to four bottles of wine or two containers. The freezer has upper and lower slide-out baskets for spacious frozen food storage. The KitchenAid fridge is Energy Star certified, and features LED interior lighting.

Keep in Mind

The KitchenAid fridge does not come with a water dispenser or ice maker.

In a Nutshell

  • Bottom freezer design
  • ExtendFresh Temperature Management System
  • Integrated technology keeps food fresh longer
Best Smart Fridge: LG Smart Refrigerator
LG InstaView Door Smart Refrigerator

This Smart Fridge has some of the most impressive features, including the InstaVeiw Door.

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Why We Picked It

The first thing you’ll notice on this refrigerator is the InstaView door-in-door design. Three panes of tempered glass allow you to see into the easy-access compartment while providing insulation. Knocking on the glass turns on the LED light for the easy-access shelf, which is a separate compartment so that frequently used items can be reached without letting out all the cold air in your fridge.

Other smart features in this appliance include SmartDiagnosis, CustomChill drawers, and smart cooling plus, which monitors and adjusts conditions to keep food fresh. A 3-layer filter pumps fresh air into the 30 cubic feet of storage space. Smart handles are used in the freezer drawers for easy access, and the LG still manages to be Energy Star certified.

Keep in Mind

All the tech features in the LG Smart Refrigerator come with a high price tag.

In a Nutshell

  • InstaView Door-in-Door design
  • Fresh air filter
  • SmartDiagnosis service

How We Chose the Best Refrigerators

When it comes to finding the best refrigerator for you, we consider all aspects of the design and usability of each product. It is important to us that the fridges we suggest not only work well, but also give you a good variety of options so you can find the one that fits with your lifestyle. To give you more information on how we judged each appliance, some of the most important factors are explained below.

Interior Space

Refrigerators come in all shapes and sizes, and the storage capacity follows suit. We compared the usable storage capacities to find the models that can fit the most food and the ones that did the best job of maximizing the space they had to work with. While more storage space is often preferred, we know that not everyone is looking for the largest appliance they can get. We wanted to make sure that smaller models have easy-to-access and versatile interior space for your food. Some of the smaller sizes have enough storage for homes with one or two people, while medium or large sizes tend to be better for families and bulk shoppers. Some features, like adjustable racks and built-in ice makers, also have an impact on usable space.

Features

Refrigerators with extra features add to the value and functionality of your appliance. We prioritized fridges with ice makers, which can function by themselves in smaller freezers or be a part of the drink dispenser. Water dispensers are a popular feature with a wide array of designs. We considered drink stations with extra benefits like a taller design to fit water bottles, having a built-in filter, or even a hands-free option. Door-in-door storage is a premium feature that can save you money in the long run. We like this feature because you don’t have to open the entire door, and you can quickly grab your most frequently used items. Other great features we focused on were temperature controls, crisper drawers, non-spill and adjustable shelves, and smart technologies like adaptive climate and SmartDiagnostics.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is crucial to us because it’s good for the planet and it’s good for your wallet. Every new refrigerator on the market is more efficient than decade-old appliances, but we wanted to ensure that you were getting the most energy-efficient products available today. Energy Star certifications were a must on every product we suggested. The organization has only certified about 25 percent of available fridges, and they work to make sure these products meet strict energy consumption guidelines.

Reliability & Customer Satisfaction

We take into account the experiences of other customers because they can help shed light on unique aspects of each product. If a refrigerator doesn’t live up to expectations, reviews will certainly reflect it; and people can even find beneficial qualities that don’t appear on the specs. It’s crucial for us to find fridges that are reliable and durable. These appliances are a big expense, and having performance issues can lead to costly repairs and disrupt your daily life. We focused on finding products with a great track record, a trustworthy manufacturer, and backed by a great warranty.

Refrigerator Styles

There are several different types of refrigerator configurations and each one has its respective pros and cons. The chart below gives you a little bit more information about how they compare.

StyleCubic FeetWidthDepthAdvantagesDrawbacks
Top Freezer10 to 23 cu. ft., with an average of 17 cu. ft.28 to 33 inches24 to 32 inchesGood for tight spaces, low cost, simpler design makes for fewer repairsLess space, fewer tech features, crouching to reach the bottom
Bottom Freezer15 to 30 cu. ft., with an average of 19 cu. ft.24 to 36 inches24 to 32 inchesFridge is more accessible, cheaper than other modelsBending over to reach the freezer, usually less space
Side-by-Side20 to 33 cu. ft., with an average of 26 cu. ft. 33 to 36 inches24 to 32 inchesLarger capacity, space-saving narrow doors, lets out less cold air with one doorNarrow storage, not as energy efficient, hard to reach back corners
French Door15 to 34 cu. ft., with an average of 22 cu. ft.28 to 36 inches24 to 32 inchesVersatile storage, space-saving narrow doors, keeping one side closed to useMore expensive than two-door refrigerators, bending over for the freezer drawer
Built-In20 to 36 cu. ft., with an average of 28 cu. ft.30 to 48 inches18 to 25 inchesSits flush with cabinets, stylish and sleek, large storage capacityExpensive models, and small freezer capacity

What to Look for in a Refrigerator

Picking out the biggest or most expensive model doesn’t guarantee it’s the right choice for you. To find the refrigerator that best fits your lifestyle, consider the factors below in mind while you’re shopping.

Configuration

As discussed above, there are a handful of different configuration options to choose from. While each one has it’s unique benefits, it’s important that you pick the one that is most useful for you. If an ice and water dispenser is must-have, then side-by-side and french door models will be a good choice. If you have limited space in your kitchen, top or bottom freezer layouts might be necessary since they tend to be smaller.

Style

Your refrigerator is a very prominent piece of your kitchen, so style makes a huge impact. Layout and configuration can change the overall appearance. While stainless steel is the most popular, fridges come in a large variety of colors and finishes; some stainless steel or slate models also include special smudge-resistant coatings. Door-in-door designs and windows in your new fridge will also have a huge impact on the appearance.

Size

You have to find the right balance between usable storage space and overall refrigerator size. Between 19 and 22 cubic feet of usable interior space should be enough for a family of four, although bulk shoppers and those who often have large events might need more space. If you already have dedicated a space cut out for your fridge, you might be limited in widths to choose from. Some models are designed to stand flush with your countertops, which saves space in your kitchen but cuts space from inside.

Doors

The door design of a refrigerator changes close to every aspect of the appliance. The interior storage can be shaped by the door layout, and freezer location can dictate what types of doors your fridge will come with. In some instances, full-width fridge doors can be better insulated than half-doors. Narrower doors, like those found on french door and side-by-side refrigerators, take up less space in your kitchen when open.

Price

Refrigerators are a big expense, and the price range is giant. The most important thing to do after figuring out your budget is identifying which features you find the most valuable. Drink dispensers and easy access doors are great features that tend to come with more expensive appliances. The storage space has a big impact on price, and those on a tight budget might find that smaller fridges with fewer features are worth the low price.

When is the Best Time to Buy a Refrigerator?

There is no denying that buying a new refrigerator is a big purchase. Premium models cost thousands of dollars, so trying to get the best deal you can is a good strategy. Timing can be key in getting the new fridge you want without paying the full price. Holiday seasons bring holiday savings, and new appliances have some of the most significant sales. Another great time to buy is before the latest models roll out. New models often hit the stores during the summer, so you can save money by taking advantage of stores clearing space for new product and getting yourself a slightly-less new version (usually in May).

Of course, you can always buy a lower-priced refrigerator. There aren’t any time restrictions, and you’ll still be getting a new, efficient appliance for your home.

Related Resources

For a deeper dive into the best refrigerators and how to pick the right one for you, check out the links below.

Bryan Long