There are many options on the market for refrigerators. You can find the perfect combination of storage space, looks and convenience that suits your needs. The best place to begin your search is to choose the right type of refrigerator to fit your kitchen layout and food storage requirements. This guide will show you how to compare different refrigerators and help you get started in finding the right one.
What are the different types of fridges?
Although refrigerator brands vary in their types, there are six main configurations and several different installation styles. There are six basic configurations of refrigerators: French door, top freezer, French door side-by-side and undercounter. Although most refrigerators can be found freestanding, you will also find counter depth and built-in refrigerators.
French door refrigerators
This refrigerator has a pantry-style layout. The refrigerator has two doors at the top that open to reveal one fridge compartment. A freezer drawer is located below. French door refrigerators are more spacious and have more features than other types of refrigerators. These refrigerators are a great choice for large families and those who want more advanced options.
The style of 4-door and quad-door refrigerators is similar to French door refrigerators. The refrigerator is located on the top and has two doors opening from the middle. There are two doors on the bottom freezer. Quad door refrigerators are ideal for keeping things organized and easily accessible. A 4-door refrigerator is not only functional but also has a unique, modern appearance that may appeal to your home’s design.
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Side-by-side refrigerators have two doors. One side has a freezer and the other has a refrigerator. You can organize your items from top to bottom by shelving. This allows you to keep important items (frozen and fresh) at eye level, while keeping less-used items closer to the bottom. Side-by-side refrigerators are similar to French doors in that they have a greater overall capacity, and more features than other refrigerators.
Top freezer refrigerators
This classic refrigerator style is sometimes called top-mount. It places the freezer above each refrigerator compartment, with one door per side. This refrigerator is easy to access and has large in-door storage. Top freezer refrigerators are often available at an entry-level price point since they lack more advanced features such as water and exterior ice.
Bottom freezer refrigerators
These refrigerators, also known as bottom-mount, are the opposite of top freezer designs. This type of fridge has the fresh food compartment on the top and the freezer below accessible via a pull-out drawer or side-opening door. This arrangement allows for a classic fridge look, while making it easier to access fresh items.
Brand undercounter refrigerators are smaller than full-sized fridges. They are a type of built-in refrigerator because they are located underneath the counter. Many models have one refrigerator cavity. Some models include a freezer zone. Wine cellars and beverage centers undercounter are designed to store wine bottles or cans at the ideal temperature.
Installation of refrigerator
When choosing the right refrigerator for you, another consideration is how you intend to install it. There are a few options when it comes to refrigerators.
This type of refrigerator can be installed in the space required by the unit, and any necessary hookups (power or water). You don’t need to install freestanding refrigerators in cabinets. However, you should measure the area where your refrigerator will be placed to make sure it fits. This type of refrigerator is the most popular and offers the greatest variety of features and configurations.
For a seamless look, built-in refrigerators can be attached to the wall and placed in cabinets. They are typically taller and have a wider range of widths. Some can reach 48 inches. Built-ins are 24 inches deep, so they can be flush with kitchen cabinets. This installation is more permanent and may cost you more. This may not be the best choice if you are planning to remodel or move soon.
Counter-depth refrigerators are a cost-effective and more space-efficient option to get a built in look. To fit flush with the kitchen cabinets, this type of refrigerator is usually 24 inches in depth. Although they are slightly wider than standard fridge heights, most counter-depth refrigerators can be positioned flush with kitchen cabinets. These fridges are freestanding, so they can be installed in a variety of ways.
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How can you compare refrigerator types?
Consider these factors when deciding which fridge type is right for you:
French door and side by side models offer greater capacities, while top or bottom freezer refrigerators offer smaller options. To learn more, visit our guide on refrigerator dimensions and sizes.
If you prefer a traditional look, a top freezer refrigerator is the best choice. A French door is a better option if you are looking for something modern. A built-in or counter-depth refrigerator will give you a more premium look.
3. Space/cubic feet
Side-by side refrigerators can offer more freezer storage than other fridges. French door refrigerators, as well as top and bottom freezer refrigerators, offer wide cavities. However you will need to decide if you prefer fresh food or frozen at your eye level.
4. Options for Organization
Consider the types of shelves, storage compartments, or bins that you will use most. You can customize the layout of your fridge with adjustable storage options. Help organizing your fridge will help you keep your food fresh.
An efficient set of features in a top freezer fridge can provide great cold storage. French door and side by side models offer additional features such as exterior ice, water, temperature zones, and spill-proof shelves.
Many refrigerators can be ordered in stainless steel, white or black. Black stainless steel offers a modern take on a traditional finish. Select models are also available in a fingerprint-resistant stainless finish that repels smudges.
How can I find the right refrigerator for my family?
You should consider your budget, family size and available space. Also, think about the food items you will need to store. Below are suggestions to help you with each of these factors, including some options from.
You can still find classic food storage options at a lower price point with top freezer and bottom refrigerators. These fridges offer additional features such as adjustable door bins and freezer temperature controls, as well as interior ice makers.
Select (r) French doors and side-by sides are great options for those who need more features to aid in food storage and meal preparation. There are features like exterior ice, water with Measured Fill, dual ice makers, and pizza or platter pockets.
2. Family size
For smaller families, top and bottom freezer options can be found in smaller sizes. For larger families or those who entertain often, French door and side-by-side models are better options. French door refrigerators with refrigerated exterior drawers are available for quick access to snacks, and can be adjusted to set the temperature and dividers according to what you store.
For large families, built-in refrigerators of larger dimensions are an option. You can also find undercounter refrigerators that offer extra storage space or a special place to store beverages. Find the right option for you and your entire house by learning more about large capacity refrigerators.
3. Kitchen space/layout
Compact appliances are available from for families with limited space, such as this 24-inch bottom freezer fridge. Find out more about apartment-sized refrigerators and how they can optimize your space. Side-by-side refrigerators have narrower doors that allow for more storage space.
4. Needs for food storage:
When deciding on a refrigerator, another important consideration is your family’s food storage requirements. If you store lots of fresh produce, you’ll want a refrigerator with enough drawers to maximize your produce storage. The FreshFlow(tm), Produce Preserver is available on select (r) bottom freezer refrigerators to keep your fruits and veggies in the best possible environment.
Different storage requirements apply to meat and dairy products. You will need to ensure that your refrigerator has enough space and drawers for these items when you shop for one.
You can customize the layout of your fridge with removable or adjustable shelves. You can store a whole turkey for holidays or more space for snacks throughout the week. If you need to be able to store different sizes of items, refrigerators made by brand with the FlexiSlide(tm); Bin are a great choice.
5. Fresh foods
Look for fridges that have specialized temperature zones and food storage areas if family meals often involve lots of fresh ingredients. To store food in the best environment, select (r) French-door refrigerators have humidity-controlled crispers and AccuChill(tm). Temperature Management System.
Consider models that have more freezer space for your family, and make it easier to access frozen foods.