Best refrigerator: our top picks and what to know before you buy

The best refrigerators work for your style, your lifestyle, and your budget. Here are seven top picks to consider.

best refrigerator in a grey kitchen
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(Image credit: Whirlpool)

Whether you’re replacing an old and broken fridge or buying one for a new home, choosing the best refrigerator for your kitchen is a big decision. In addition to being a hefty expense, your fridge is an appliance you use every day, and one you plan on keeping for many years. Because there are so many considerations, you’ll want to research this purchase carefully. 

We’re doing some of the work for you by sharing our top picks for a variety of fridge categories, such as French door, side-by-side, and smart fridges, plus our top bargain buy. We looked carefully at buyer reviews, features, price points, and brand reputations, to show you the best of the best. 

Keep scrolling to find our what models made our short list. Looking for other new appliances for your home? Head over to our roundup of the best washing machines

Best refrigerators 2020

Whirlpool refrigerator

(Image credit: Whirlpool)

1. Whirlpool 24.5-cu ft. 4 Door 36-in French Door Refrigerator

Best French door refrigerator

Specifications
Total capacity: 24.5 cu. ft.
Refrigerator width: 36 in.
Height to top of door hinge: 70.125 in.
Installation depth: standard depth
Height to top of refrigerator: 68.625 in.
Reasons to buy
+Handy exterior drawer+Easy-to-clean and –use touch controls+Adjustable gallon door bins
Reasons to avoid
-The ice maker makes a little bit of noise, and may need to make some shelf adjustment to fit taller items.

Why you'll like it

If your family lives a grab-n-go lifestyle, it’s hard to beat the convenience of this refrigerator’s middle refrigerated drawer. And when every second counts, you can even have the water dispenser fill to the exact measurement you need and automatically shut off when it’s done. Uber-organized Enneagram Type 1’s: Buy this fridge and live your best life (in the kitchen, at least).  

Things to note

If you're prefer American-made products, you'll be happy to know that this refrigerator is designed, engineered, and assembled in the USA.

best refrigerator

(Image credit: GE)

2. GE Profile 28.4 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator

Best side-by-side refrigerator

Specifications
Total capacity: 28.4 cu. ft.
Refrigerator width: 35.75 in.
Height to top of door hinge: 69.5 in.
Installation depth: Standard depth
Height to top of refrigerator: 69 in.
Reasons to buy
+LED Lighting+Adjustable slide-out, spill-proof glass shelves+Multilevel drawers for flexible storage
Reasons to avoid
-The stainless steel finish isn’t smudge-proof, and you may get drips when using the water dispenser. 

Why you'll like it

This energy-efficient refrigerator is a hard-to-beat combination of stylish design and state-of-the art technology. The interior is super spacious, and the bright lights make it easy to see everything inside. Nothing’s getting lost or forgotten in the back of this fridge! Buyers rave about the amount of ice it makes—plenty for parties—as well as how quickly it makes it. 

Things to note

This refrigerator has a door alarm that alerts you if the fridge isn’t completely shut. 

samsung refrigerator

(Image credit: Samsung)

3. Samsung Family Hub Wi-Fi Enabled Refrigerator

Best splurge-worthy refrigerator

Specifications
Total capacity: 22 cu. ft.
Refrigerator width: 36 in.
Height to top of door hinge: 71.875 in.
Installation depth: counter depth
Height to top of refrigerator: 70.75 in.
Reasons to buy
+See inside your fridge from anywhere+Stream your favorite music+Mirror movies or live sports
Reasons to avoid
-This refrigerator is pricey, and all the tech features mean more potential malfunctions

Why you'll like it

If your kitchen is the heart of your home, and you’re always looking for ways technology can make your life easier, this refrigerator will help you do it all. It’s part of Samsung’s suite of smart appliances that sync with your personal devices through their “Family Hub.” You can manage a variety of tasks, such as knowing when your laundry is complete, adjusting the thermostat, create and share shopping lists, set expiration dates, and more. If you’re already a big fan of Alexa, Google Home, and smart plugs, this fridge will make you feel like you’re truly living in the future. Technology aside, this is a fantastic fridge with all the features shoppers love, such as even cooling, a divided drawer with flexible temp settings, and built-in auto-fill water pitcher.  

Things to note

Even though this is a Samsung appliance, the Family Hub app is compatible with any mobile device. 

Frigidaire refrigerator top freezer

(Image credit: Frigidaire)

4. Frigidaire 18.3 cu. ft. Top-Freezer Refrigerator

Best top freezer refrigerator

Specifications
Total capacity: 18.3 cu. ft
Refrigerator width: 30 in.
Height to top of door hinge: 66.375 in.
Installation depth: standard depth
Height to top of refrigerator: 65.875 in
Reasons to buy
+Consistent cooling airflow+Auto-close doors+Ice-maker ready
Reasons to avoid
-The auto-close feature may be a bit finicky, and there’s no water dispenser if that’s a must-have for you. 

Why you'll like it

When it comes to quality, Frigidaire is an appliance brand with a reliable reputation, and this refrigerator proves it by passing a 42-point inspection. Although it’s fairly simple in design, it has some upgrades, like a glass shelf in the freezer, that make it feel it little nicer. It also features a handle-free design, which is a sleek look at a great price point. 

Things to note

Because this refrigerator doesn’t have a protruding handle, it saves you an inch or two on the depth. In tight spaces, that can make a big difference. Also, without handles or a bottom freezer drawer, this may be one of the more toddler-proof fridges on the market!

Kitchenaid refrigerator

(Image credit: Kitchenaid)

5. KitchenAid 18.7 cu. ft. Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator

Best bottom freezer refrigerator

Specifications
Total capacity: 18.67 cu. ft.
Refrigerator width: 29.75 in.
Height to top of door hinge: 67 in.
Installation depth: standard depth
Height to top of refrigerator: 65.5 in.
Reasons to buy
+Temperature- and humidity-controls keep food fresh longer+Metal wine rack+Flexible door storage
Reasons to avoid
-The stainless steel finish isn’t fingerprint-resistant, and the drawers could be a bit sturdier. 

Why you'll like it

For shoppers looking for narrower refrigerator, without skimping on storage, this is the fridge for you. With designated spaces for your yogurt and cheese, gallons of milk, and wine bottles, this fridge makes it easy to stay neat and tidy. A common complaint of some bottom freezers is that items get lost, but with two slide-out freezer baskets, it’s easy-peasy to keep your frozen veggies separate from your ice cream. 

Things to note: 

This refrigerator is ready for an icemaker, but it’s not included. You can purchase an optional kit if that’s a feature you desire. 

best garage refrigerator

(Image credit: Home Depot)

6. Whirlpool 20.5 cu. ft. Top-Freezer Refrigerator

Best garage refrigerator

Specifications
Total capacity: 20.5 cu. ft.
Refrigerator width: 32.75 in.
Height to top of door hinge: 66.25 in.
Installation depth: standard depth
Height to top of refrigerator: 65.5 in.
Reasons to buy
+Frameless glass shelves+LED interior lighting+Humidity-controlled crisper drawers+
Reasons to avoid
-There’s neither an icemaker, nor a light in the freezer. 

Why you'll like it

It’s hard to beat the value of this refrigerator when you look at size and price. True, it doesn’t come with a bunch of bells and whistles, but for a secondary space, such as a garage or basement, it’s a winner! People who own this fridge are frequently amazed at how much it holds. When the primary purpose is holding beer, bulk frozen foods, or party trays, what more could you want? 

Things to note

This refrigerator falls just short of Energy Star certification, but buying a new, basic fridge is a much more energy efficient choice than using an old, leftover, or hand-me-down fridge in your garage or basement.  

best insignia refrigerator- black

(Image credit: Insignia)

7. Insignia 18.1 cu. ft. Top-Freezer Refrigerator

Best refrigerator on a budget

Specifications
Total capacity: 18.1 cu. ft.
Refrigerator width: 29.5 in.
Height to top of door hinge: 66.6 in
Installation depth: standard depth
Height to top of refrigerator: 64.9 in.
Reasons to buy
+Generous storage+Ice-maker ready+Frost-free maintenance means no need to defrost
Reasons to avoid
-This fridge is on the smaller side, and has wire (vs. glass) shelves. 

Why you'll like it

When you’re on a tight budget and looking for a refrigerator with solid reviews, this fridge is an outstanding option. It has adjustable shelves, convenient door storage, and a price that’s hard to beat. Consider this fridge if you’re shopping for a refrigerator for a smaller home or apartment.  Available in black or white, it’s a solid choice if you’re pinching pennies and don’t care about fancy features. Reviewers promise it’s a great fridge for the price. 

Things to note:

If you're unfamiliar with the brand “Insignia," it's Best Buy’s house brand.

Before you buy a refrigerator

Prior to clicking the buy button for your new fridge, there are a few things you should do to narrow down your selections. Here’s where to start:

Measure your space for the fit

Look carefully at where your refrigerator will be placed, and measure to ensure the dimensions will fit properly. Consider walls and counters that will affect how much room you have for doors and drawers to open. Also note where the necessary outlets are, and, if you want a fridge with a water dispenser or icemaker, where it can connect to your water line. Imagine standing in front of the fridge, look where the openings to your room are, and which way you want the door to swing. All of these factors may limit the style of fridge that will work for your space.

Prioritize the features

Think about your family’s needs and what refrigerator features are most important to you. Just because something is an option doesn’t mean you need or want it, and deciding what’s a must-have is a great way to narrow down your options and hone your budget. Some in-demand features are icemakers, water dispensers, counter depth size, door-in-door designs, and fingerprint-resistant finishes. 

Make a plan 

Decide when and how you want to actually acquire your new fridge. If this is an urgent need, you’ll want to purchase something that’s in stock. Do you have a vehicle in which you can bring it home, or do you need it delivered?  If this is an upgrade, you may be more willing to wait (and pay delivery) for the perfect model. You’ll also want to see what installation entails. If you have an old fridge, decide what’s going to happen to it. Will you be keeping your old fridge as a second fridge for your basement or garage? Are you going to try to sell it or give it to someone in need? If you’re ready to get rid of it completely, see if the people delivering your new fridge will take the old appliance, and if you’re responsible for unhooking it. 

Main types of refrigerators

Here’s a brief explanation of the most popular fridge styles, as well as when and where they work best.

French door refrigerators: This fridge design has two half-width doors on the top, and a bottom freezer drawer. They typically have a high capacity, making them a winning choice for families with big appetites.

Side-by-side refrigerators: These fridges are split vertically with the freezer on one side and the fridge on the other. Because the doors are smaller in width, they take up less room when they swing open, a smart choice in tight kitchens.

Bottom freezer refrigerators: This fridge style has a freezer mounted at the bottom of the fridge. It keeps the main refrigerator section at eye-level.

Top freezer refrigerators: These fridges have a two-door design with a freezer mounted on the top. With a slightly lower interior capacity than other styles, they’re a good choice for smaller spaces.

Stock your kitchen with the best!