How to Choose the Right Refrigerator

Inundated by the options when looking for a new refrigerator? Our chart could help you decide.

Blue fridge
Photo: Jens Mortensen

Choosing a refrigerator calls for a combo of passion and practicality. You don't want to get your heart set on a style to discover it doesn't work with your specs. To help find the perfect match for you (and your family), we pressed industry pros for the cold, hard facts on the five main styles and their picks for each. Whichever one you choose, the latest models are sleek and streamlined, as well as energy-saving and space-enhancing—making the hub of your home an even happier place to hang.

Refrigerators 101

Options and Add-Ons

These five features aren't available for all models, but are worth considering (or just fantasizing about).

  1. Double-Door Action: Some models offer a shallow door set into the main fridge door. It lets you access frequently used items, like drinks and condiments, without dropping the temperature of the rest of the unit. LG's InstaView takes the concept a step further, with an opaque glass-front panel that lights up so you can peek inside without even opening the door.
  2. Barista Service: Get coffee right from the fridge or freezer door with a model like GE's Café Series, which has a built-in Keurig brewer.
  3. Custom Colding: Some French-door fridges come with two freezer compartments and allow you to change the temperature of one freezer section so it functions as a fridge when needed—giving you more room hen, say, you return from the farmers' market with a big haul or you're about to entertain and have a lot of beverages to chill.
  4. (Literal) Bells & Whistles: Refrigerators with smart capabilities, like the Kenmore Elite French Door Bottom-Mount, notify you when the door is ajar, tell you if the water filter needs to be replaced, and alert you when it's time to schedule a service call.
  5. Luxe Interior: Instead of the basic white backdrop, newer models from companies such as Whirlpool and KitchenAid come with a sleek black or platinum interior for a designy look.

Pros’ Picks

Top Freezer

Bottom Freezer

French Door

Side by Side

Kitchenaid Counter-depth side-by-side refrigerator with exterior ice and water (#KRSC503ESS)

LG Ultra-capacity side-by-side refrigerator with Door-in-Door (#LSXS26386D)


Our Experts

  • Joan Bigg, of Joan Bigg Design-Kitchen Choreography
  • Julia Burke, design expert at Whirlpool Corporation's Institute of Home Science
  • Devri Dixon, product marketing manager at Samsung Electronics America
  • Rick Hacket, senior product manager of refrigeration for Thermador
  • Benjamin Liebert, vice president of food preservation products at Electrolux
  • Melissa Maker, author of Clean My Space: The Secret to Cleaning Better, Faster, and Loving Your Home Every Day
  • Chris Mcgugan, vice president and general manager of innovation, Kenmore
  • Lenia Pilkonis, of Lenia Pilkonis Design
  • Becky Rapinchuk, cleaning expert and creator of
  • Christina Simon, president of CS Design Studio
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