When it comes to buying a refrigerator, there are many options and configurations available. For this reason, it’s helpful to do a little research into which type is best for you. You’ll need to consider door layout, special features, finish, size, and performance.
Of course, you’ll want to start by carefully measuring the space where the fridge will go. Once you have your ideal width in mind, you can consider the various styles. These styles are primarily categorised by the location of the fridge freezer.
French door refrigerators have two doors on top that open from the centre out. The freezer is a drawer below. Sometimes, there are two drawers, with the one directly below the French doors being a smaller, temperature-customisable “flex” zone. This type of fridge is a good option if you want the benefit of only needing to open one door to access small items.
Side-by-side models have a fridge on one side and a freezer on the other. These are best if you have a small kitchen, but keep in mind that often, the doors don’t open wide enough to fit larger items.
Refrigerators with the freezer on top have the tried-and-true, traditional configuration. They offer more food storage area than many other configurations, and the doors swing out widely.
Built-in refrigerators are ones that are customised to your space. They’re generally flush with your cabinets and countertops and can be as wide as your kitchen allows. Built-ins come in all three popular styles described above.
To ensure the freshness of both refrigerated and frozen foods, look for units that have dual evaporators or other methods of keeping freezer odours from leaking into the fridge areas. This system is often worth the extra energy, as it can also help regulate humidity levels in such a way that fruits and vegetables stay fresher longer.
Regardless of your chosen door layout and location of the freezer, you’ll also have the opportunity to choose some additional features. For example, the door-in-door access feature allow you to grab certain items — such as drinks or condiments — without opening the whole door. This can save on energy use and is also very convenient.
Some brands, especially ones with four-door or two-drawer layouts, have a zone designated for temperature customisation. This means that you can select the temperature you want for that area depending on your needs — from chilling wine to freezing ice cream and everything in between.
Through-the-door ice and water dispensers are extremely popular among consumers shopping for their home kitchen, but consider your needs before automatically deciding on this feature. It uses more energy and can require maintenance that some people find inconvenient. Some units lack a dispenser but do have an ice maker in the freezer area that can be useful.
There’s little disagreement that some features, like WiFi, are more luxury than necessary. However, with former add-ons becoming standard — and more and more affordable — you may find such perks desirable for your situation.
Finally, you’ll typically have a couple colour and finish options. Stainless steel, black, and white are all popular. Some brands have more vibrant panels to select from. Look for fingerprint-resistant finishes, especially if you decide against door handles.
Keeping all these options in mind can help you make an informed decision when purchasing a fridge for your home or corporate space. While all refrigerators on the market adequately cool or freeze your items, choosing a specific model that meets your size, capacity, and configuration needs will keep your family members or employees happy — and well-fed.