The Best Side by Side Refrigerators

For years refrigerators were only available in one simple design: A smaller freezer section on top of the fresh food section. Today’s best fridges come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. A newly popular design is the side-by-side refrigerator. These models give you easy access to both the frozen and fresh food sections, but shouldn’t be confused with French door refrigerators.

If you’re looking to get a new side-by-side fridge, the market is full of different models with varying features and upgrades. To help make the process more straightforward for you, we’ve made a complete guide to everything you need to know about the best side-by-side refrigerators. Keep reading for in-depth product reviews and helpful purchasing tips.

Our Top Picks: Summary

The Best Side-by-Side Refrigerators: Our Top Picks

Best Overall: LG LSXS26396S
LG LSXS26396S 26 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Smart Refrigerator

This striking refrigerator includes an Instaview door with easy access.

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Why We Picked It

This smart fridge from LG will radically change the look of your kitchen with its eye-catching and practical design innovations. The most noticeable feature is the Instaview door, which uses three panes of tempered glass to let you see inside the fridge while the ColdSaver Panel keeps it cool. The door-in-door design allows you to access these items separately from the rest of your fresh food for energy conservation and quick access.

The freezer door features a water and ice dispenser with over a foot of clearance for tall glasses and bottles. A slim SpacePlus Ice System allows the inside of the door to have shelf space and large bins. This LG side-by-side refrigerator uses a Multi-Air Flow System that monitors food and circulates air to ensure your food items are kept at the perfect temperature and humidity. The Smart Cooling system maintains optimal conditions for your food items by automatically adjusting the temperature. The linear compressor that quickly reacts to temperature fluctuations is also backed by a 10-year warranty.

Keep in Mind

The LG LSXS26396S side-by-side fridge includes multiple smart technologies, which makes this one of the more expensive refrigerators.

In a Nutshell

  • Instaview door with ColdSaver Panel
  • SpacePlus Ice System
  • Smart Cooling system
Best Budget: Frigidaire Gallery
Frigidaire Gallery FGSS2635TF 25.6 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator

This side-by-side refrigerator is affordable without skimping on great features.

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Why We Picked It

The Frigidaire Gallery FGSS2635TF is a side-by-side refrigerator with 25.6 cubic feet of storage space. This stylish appliance has a smudge-resistant exterior that is available in either stainless steel or black stainless steel. This is the most affordable side-by-side fridge on our list, but Frigidaire still managed to pack it with premium features.

The outside of this fridge has a tall water and ice dispenser made to easily fill bottles and pitchers. The water is purified through a PureSource Ultra Water Filtration system. The Express-Select Control panel has an LED display and allows you to select between seven dispenser options and adjust the temperature. The Frigidaire also features Energy Saver Plus Technology that will put your fridge into an energy-saving mode if you haven’t opened it in 24 hours.

Keep in Mind

Some users have reported this fridge can be distractingly noisy at times.

In a Nutshell

  • Most affordable option
  • Tall Water and Ice Dispenser
  • Energy Saver Plus Technology
Best Counter Depth: LG LSXC22486S
LG LSXC22486S 21.7 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Smart Refrigerator

This counter-depth refrigerator sits flush with your countertops to save space in your kitchen.

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Why We Picked It

This stainless steel refrigerator is perfect for kitchens with limited space. The counter-depth design and side-by-side doors maximize the floor space in your room. One side features door-in-door storage, which gives you easy access to your favorite food and beverages without letting all the fridge’s cold air out. The other door has a large-sized water and ice dispenser.

The LG LSXC22486S Side-by-Side Smart Refrigerator uses a water and ice filter to reduce impurities and only needs to be replaced every six months (with regular use). The SpacePlus ice system located inside the door gives you extra storage space in your freezer. The exterior LED display allows you to select the interior temperatures, use the dispenser, and even has a child lock. This fridge also operates with LG’s LoDecibel, making it an amazing quiet appliance.

Keep in Mind

Counter-depth refrigerators tend to have less storage space, and this fridge only has 21.7 cubic feet inside.

In a Nutshell

  • Stylish counter-depth design
  • Door-in-door compartment
  • SpacePlus Ice System
Best Small: Whirlpool WRS331SDHM
Whirlpool WRS331SDHM 21 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator

This compact side-by-side model is perfect for smaller homes or apartments.

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Why We Picked It

With just 21 cubic feet of storage space, this little side-by-side refrigerator is the smallest appliance on our list. People who don’t have a lot of spare room in their kitchen might find that this model is the perfect fit. The Whirlpool can also match any kitchen style by offering three colors: black, white, and stainless steel. The fresh-water and ice dispenser has an optional night light feature so you can easily get a drink at night. The interior of the fridge has well placed LED lights that give this model the best food illumination.

To make up for the limited storage space, this refrigerator has wall-to-wall glass shelves that give you more storage flexibility. The door has adjustable bins to give you more control over your fridge’s layout. You can adjust the freezer and refrigerator temperatures while the door is closed with the up-front controls. The freezer has an adaptive defrost that monitors the environment and only runs when necessary.

Keep in Mind

Some users feel that the Whirlpool refrigerator is louder than other models.

In a Nutshell

  • Space saving all-to-wall shelves
  • Water dispenser night light
  • Compact design for small kitchens
Best Large: GE Profile
GE Profile PSS28KSHSS 28.4 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator

Large families will never run out of room with this spacious side-by-side fridge.

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Why We Picked It

The GE Profile PSS28KSHSS Side-by-Side Refrigerator has an astounding 28.4 cubic feet of storage space. This roomy model is perfect for big families, people who entertain, or those that buy in bulk. The doors feature extra-deep bins that can hold gallon-sized jugs to save shelf space. The spill-proof shelves are completely adjustable and slide out for easy cleaning. There are also two humidity-controlled crisper drawers.

The exterior has an oversized dispenser for water and ice that can handle any shaped container. The Arctica icemaker holds up to 10 pounds of ice at a time. The GE Profile uses an advanced water filtration with XWF replacement filters. An automatic temperature management system uses multiple sensors to control the dual-evaporation cooling operation and the multi-flow air system. The GE refrigerator also has an alarm in case the door is left partially open.

Keep in Mind

This fridge takes up the most space and is a more expensive model.

In a Nutshell

  • 28.4 cubic feet of storage space
  • Gallon-sized door bins
  • Icemaker with 10 pounds of ice

How We Chose the Best Side-by-Side Refrigerators

We’re here to help you find the best products, which means we also want to help you identify what characters match your individual needs. We pay close attention to every aspect of the products, from how it’s made, what it looks like, where your food will be able to fit. To give you some insight into a few of the key factors, we’ve expanded on our process below.

Usable Space

It’s essential for us to find you a refrigerator that can hold all the food items you need to store. We paid close attention to the overall size of each model, with the average storage size being between 22 and 25 cubic feet. It is also crucial that the shelf set up allows you to take full advantage of all the usable space. We preferred refrigerators with adjustable shelves and bins to ensure you can customize your layout. We included both large and smaller side-by-side options because every home will have different needs based on how many people live there and the amount of food you buy at once.

Energy Efficiency

Every side-by-side refrigerator on our list is certified by Energy Star. This organization works to make sure that appliances and other products meet strict energy efficiency criteria. While every new fridge is more efficient than outdated models, these products are in the top 25% of all refrigerators on the market today. We focused on energy conservation both to help the environment and to save you on energy costs in the long run.

Features

We want to find not just the coldest refrigerators, but the models that go above and beyond to add value to your product. Every fridge on our list has an exterior drink dispenser for quick access to freshwater. We also compared the filters, how much space the mechanism takes up, and whether or not you can fit a bottle under the spout. We also liked side-by-side fridges with unique storage options to save you space. This included door-in-door compartments, adjustable shelves, and humidity-controlled drawers. A lot of the refrigerators on our list also have Smart features to make your life easier. Automatic temperature controls adjust to the items you place in your fridge while SmartDiagnostics allows you to monitor your appliance’s performance from your phone.

Reliability & Customer Satisfaction

An incredibly useful tool we use while picking out the best refrigerators is reading user reviews. Past customers will share their experiences (particularly bad experiences) with a product or company. This allows us to weed out any unreliable products to save you the hassle of fixing broken parts. We also pay attention to how well a company works with customers in the event of a defect. The best models will be covered by long-lasting warranties.

Pros and Cons of a Side-by-Side Fridge

ProsCons
Narrow doors that don't need too much room to swing openNarrow sides make storing wide items (like a pizza) difficult
Both frozen and fresh foods can be stored at eye levelBoth sections have hard to reach back corners
Often have more interior space than other types of refrigerators Both sides require you to bend down to reach the bottom shelves
Flexible layouts and size options

What to Consider When Choosing a Side-by-Side Refrigerator

Regardless of how well a side-by-side refrigerator fits someone else’s lifestyle, you need a product that is perfect for you. That means first identifying your needs and preferences, and then finding an appliance that fits. To help find the best model, keep the points below in mind while you shop.

Design

A refrigerator is very noticeable in your kitchen, and the look of this appliance can completely change the whole room. That means it’s crucial to find one that matches your style. Some models offer multiple different colors and finishes to match your kitchen, with stainless steel being the most popular choice. The water dispenser and other exterior features can also have an impact on how your new appliance fits in.

Size

While the biggest refrigerators have the most storage space, they also eat up more room in your kitchen. The best thing to do is to figure out how much food you’ll typically be storing. Fridges with around 22 cubic feet of storage are pretty average, and can usually hold enough food for the whole family. If you have a lot of people living at home, more space might be necessary. However, if it’s just you at home, you could save money by opting for a smaller appliance.

Shelves and Drawers

Food storage is reliant on how the shelves and drawers of your fridge are set up. There are plenty of different methods for side-by-side refrigerators to set up interior space. Most models will include adjustable shelves and some stationery drawers. Others go the extra mile by giving you more door space, removable bins, and humidity-controlled compartments. Keep in mind that both the freezer and fresh food sections are only half the width of your fridge; this can impact the ability to store wider food items.

Ice and Water in Door

A drink dispenser on the door of your fridge is a convenient feature. It is vital to keep in mind how these impact your appliance. The ice maker takes up space from inside your freezer section. You’ll also have to routinely replace the filter and any maintenance costs over the years. If you’re on a tight budget, this feature can sometimes cause the price of a fridge to be higher.

Configuration

As mentioned above, flexibility is key to fitting all your food in the fridge. Adjustable shelves allow you to customize your layout for unusual food items. Most refrigerators have fixed door shelves, but some have adjustable bins and even extra-deep storage compartments. Pay attention to where the ice machine is set up, as it can take door space to shelf space away from your freezer.

Related Resources

For more refrigerator reviews and information on different styles, check out the links below.

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Bryan Long