The Best Refrigerators for Every Kitchen and Budget

Check out our picks for the best refrigerators, including our favorite model: the LG Smart InstaView French Door Refrigerator.

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Best Refrigerators
Photo: Best Buy

Since the first home electric refrigerator was invented in 1913, we've been able to safely store perishable goods, freeze foods for long-term storage, and enjoy refreshingly chilled drinks and perfectly firm ice cream.

When it comes to buying a new fridge, the vast amount of options can be quite overwhelming. You can choose from a variety of door configurations, heights, and depths, and opt for a variety of features. And of course, you can select a finish that suits your kitchen design.

To determine the best refrigerator, we evaluated the top brands and models, taking into consideration design, features, storage configuration, and performance. The standout model for us is LG's InstaView French Door Refrigerator that's loaded with features, ranging from Wi-Fi connectivity to a tinted glass panel that reveals its contents with a knock on the door. Read on for our full list of the best refrigerators on the market.

Our Favorites

Best Overall: LG Smart Wi-Fi Enabled InstaView French Door Refrigerator

Best Refrigerators
The Home Depot

Also available at Best Buy and Home Depot.

Why It's Great

  • Innovative technology
  • Fingerprint-resistant exterior
  • Middle drawer has five temperature settings
  • Features a dual ice maker

Grain of Salt

  • Pricey

This refrigerator won our best overall award because it has so many of the best elements of other models on our list packed into one sleek design. Drawer compartment that can go from a fridge to a freezer to a wine chiller? Check. Wi-Fi enabled for support with issues? Check. Door-in-door design for grab-and-go items without opening the whole fridge? Check. Plus, by knocking twice on the glass panel, the fridge's InstaView feature illuminates the right door, so you can easily see what's inside. This unique function is especially helpful when you're making grocery lists in a rush.

This model takes ice making to a whole new level with a separate freezer ice maker that churns out slow-melting, cocktail-style ice balls, and an exterior water dispenser that gives you a choice of cubed or crushed ice. The water dispenser also has four presets for releasing precise amounts of water, handy for mixing drinks and cooking (it's too bad you must hold the lever while it fills). Its extra-tall clearance will even fit pitchers and sports bottles.

This fridge also has some of the organizational features we liked about our counter depth winner, also an LG, including a retractable shelf to store items behind milk cartons and wine bottles, as well as a second drawer in the freezer that helps with organizing.

The Details: Measures 31.75 x 70.25 x 34.75 inches; exterior water/ice dispenser and craft ice ball maker in freezer; available in stainless steel and black stainless steel finishes

Best Value: Samsung Side-by-Side Refrigerator

Best Refrigerators

Also available at Home Depot, Lowe's, and Best Buy.

Why It's Great

  • Tall water dispenser
  • Door bin fits two gallon-sized jugs
  • Ice maker built into door

Grain of Salt

  • Ice maker can be slow

It's hard to find a refrigerator with all the bells and whistles for under $2,000, but we managed to unearth one that we recommend wholeheartedly. This Samsung model has a generous amount of space, especially for a side-by-side design, as well as an in-door ice maker and water dispenser.

With a stainless steel finish and a handleless design, this model has a modern look and is a space-saving option for a small or narrow kitchen. Yet, the interior on both sides is spacious and has plenty of well-designed shelves, drawers, and bins to keep everything organized. We always like to make sure the freezer will hold a frozen pizza, and this one is just wide enough. The ice maker is built into the door and dispenses into a small hopper, also on the door, which frees up inside freezer space. The ice maker doesn't produce as much ice as some of the pricier models, but it's suitable for most families' daily use.

We also love how well-lit the interior is, with LED lights just inside the doors on both the fridge and the freezer side that illuminate the entire column. Plus, multiple vents throughout the refrigerator produce uniform temperatures from top to bottom, front to back.

The Details: Measures 33.5 x 70.06 x 35.88 inches; exterior water/ice dispenser; available in stainless steel and black stainless finishes

Best High End: Café Energy Star Smart Quad-Door Refrigerator

Best Refrigerators
Best Buy

Also available at Home Depot.

Why It's Great

  • Unique glassy exterior finish
  • LED lights across the entire back wall
  • Hands-free water dispenser
  • Convertible zone

Grain of Salt

  • Handleless design might be tricky for some
  • Expensive

A beautifully designed kitchen demands equally beautiful appliances, and this refrigerator from GE's Café line is a great option for a luxe look. The unusual finish has the look of brushed stainless steel but is actually glass. It doesn't show fingerprints, is easy to clean, and contributes to a sleek look, plus, the bronze-colored trim inside sets this model apart aesthetically.

We love the convertible compartment that has three temperature settings—42, 37, and zero degrees—which means you can use it as a refrigerator, chiller, and freezer. The best part? There's even an included wine rack shelf that makes this compartment look like a true wine refrigerator.

Two other praise-worthy features: The entire back wall of the refrigerator has an LED panel, illuminating the entire fridge. And the autofill feature on the water dispenser does away with the need to hold the glass against a lever until it's full.

The Details: Measures 34.25 x 69.88 x 35.63 inches; exterior water/ice dispenser; available in platinum glass finish

Related: We Fired up the Best Pizza Ovens for a Test—Here Are Our Favorites

Best French Door: Samsung Smart 4-Door Flex Refrigerator

Best Refrigerators

Also available at Lowe's and Home Depot.

Why It's Great

  • Internal water dispenser
  • Customizable compartment
  • Bacteria-reducing filter
  • Sleek design

Grain of Salt

  • Ice drawers can overflow

This refrigerator has lots to love behind its four French-style doors. We were impressed by the door-in-door design of the beverage center, which includes a spigot for filling a glass, a pitcher that refills with filtered water automatically, and a bonus compartment to infuse with tea or fruit. Racks above the water dispensers store bottles and cans, so you can quickly grab a drink without opening the entire fridge. The ice maker inside the freezer fills bins with two kinds of ice, including cubes and tiny "ice bites" designed to cool drinks more quickly, though the bins could be designed better so cubes don't overflow when it gets too full.

The bottom doors open to two compartments: One's a standard freezer, while the other is a flex zone with five temperature settings. We like how the shelves and the bins keep everything organized and within view, and how the shelves pull out so you can quickly access foods that have migrated to the very back. You might sacrifice a little space with the freezer area being split into two compartments, but it's still wide enough for a frozen pizza box.

This model is also available as part of Samsung's BESPOKE collection, where, for an extra charge, you can customize the front panels with different colors and finishes.

The Details: Measures 33.88 x 71.88 x 35.88 inches; door-in-door water dispenser and two ice makers in freezer; available in black stainless and stainless steel finishes

Best Top Freezer: Whirlpool Top-Freezer Refrigerator

Best Refrigerators

Also available at Home Depot and Best Buy.

Why It's Great

  • Good for smaller kitchens
  • Flexible shelf and bin options
  • LED lights in both fridge and freezer
  • Costs very little to operate annually

Grain of Salt

  • No ice maker unless you pay extra for the kit

Top-freezer style refrigerators remain the most popular refrigerator style, accounting for roughly half of all refrigerator purchases, according to Jill Notini, spokesperson for The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). It's no secret why: They're more affordable, last longer, and are more energy-efficient than other styles.

This Whirlpool model is one that kitchen designer Susan Serra recommends, for a number of reasons. For one, it's Energy Star certified, costing only about $48 a year to operate. For another, although it has a smaller capacity than others on this list (just over 21 cubic feet), it is easy to organize. It features a hanging drawer that slides back and forth as needed to store taller goods below and two different sizes of humidity-controlled crisper bins, so longer items like celery or large salad bags can be easily stored.

Those who like the old-school style of top-freezer refrigerators will appreciate the updated design of this freezer, which includes an LED light and a shelf plus door bins to keep everything in order.

The Details: Measures 34 x 66.25 x 32.75 inches; ice maker kit available for purchase; available in white, black, monochromatic stainless steel, and fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finishes

Related: We Tested the Best Air Fryers—Here Are the Ones Worth Buying

Best Side-By-Side: Frigidaire Gallery Side-by-Side Refrigerator

Best Refrigerators
Best Buy

Also available at AjMadison.

Why It's Great

  • Compact ice maker
  • Keeps produce fresher
  • Constantly circulates cold air

Grain of Salt

  • Plastic drawers feel slightly flimsy

Many people like the look and design of side-by-side refrigerators because they offer lots of shelves and drawers for organization, require less clearance for doors, and are functional for narrow galley kitchens. What's more, appliance repair experts say ice makers in the freezer are more reliable than those in the door of French door refrigerators.

Serra is a big fan of this refrigerator model for its crispers, which have a seal to prevent dry air from entering and a filter that absorbs the gases that cause produce to over-ripen. She also likes the technology of the compressor because it operates at variable speeds to account for temperature changes and circulates cold air throughout the fridge and freezer to maintain an even temperature and prevent freezer burn.

We appreciate the slim design of the ice maker, as doesn't take up much space, yet somehow holds an amazing amount of ice. And while many side-by-side freezers won't hold a pizza box, this model has a tall compartment alongside the ice maker that stores pizza boxes and other flat items on their sides—genius!

The Details: Measures 35.88 x 69.88 x 36.13 inches; exterior water and crushed and cubed ice dispenser; available in stainless steel and black stainless steel finishes

Best Counter Depth: LG Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Counter Depth Refrigerator

Best Refrigerators

Also available at Best Buy and AjMadison.

Why It's Great

  • Provides a streamlined look
  • Produces three kinds of ice
  • Superior air circulation

Grain of Salt

  • Some of the drawers don't pull out fully

When my old refrigerator conked out, this was the replacement I chose, after much research. And I haven't looked back. If you're thinking of going from a full-sized fridge to a counter depth one, this refrigerator has a well-designed interior that truly maximizes the capacity of 24 cubic feet.

The interior of this model has two adjustable sets of shelves that can be positioned independently at different heights, a bottom fixed level over two crisper drawers, and a shallow drawer the entire width of the fridge. My favorite feature is that one of the shelves retracts to be half as deep. It offers a little extra storage behind milk cartons and wine bottles.

The freezer is designed to prevent the inevitable black hole that a bottom freezer can become. It has a divided deep compartment and two upper shelves, with the shallow one offering the perfect amount of space for chilling a baking sheet of cookies or storing small items like popsicles or frozen burritos.

Another winning feature is the second ice maker in the freezer that produces craft cocktail ice: large spheres that melt slowly in your cocktail. These ice cubes are not only good for chilling a Manhattan but also for wide-mouthed water bottles.

The Details: Measures 30.75 x 68.88 x 35.75 inches; exterior water/ice dispenser and craft ice ball maker in freezer; available in stainless steel finish

Best for Garages: Beko Top-Freezer Refrigerator

Best Refrigerators
AJ Madison

Why It's Great

  • Costs only $39/year to operate
  • Features two cooling systems
  • Compact design

Grain of Salt

  • No water dispenser or ice maker

You might be surprised at how affordable having a secondary refrigerator can be. This refrigerator, from a European brand that's a relative newcomer to the American market, is the most energy-efficient model on our list, costing only $39 annually to operate, and is well under $1,000.

It's one that Serra suggests to her clients looking for an extra fridge for the garage because it tolerates the lower temperatures of a garage better than other refrigerators, and it has a vacation mode that can save energy (the manufacturer recommends this for times when the fridge is empty of food).

The produce drawer is equipped with blue LED light that mimics natural lighting conditions, which will encourage photosynthesis within fruits and vegetables, keeping them fresher for longer and preserving nutrients. The company's IonGuard technology, meanwhile, reduces odors and flavor transfer between foods. Plus, two cooling and air-circulating systems help balance humidity and cut down on frost buildup.

The Details: Measures 26.38 x 67.69 x 27.56 inches; no water/ice dispenser; available in white and stainless steel finishes

Best Wine Refrigerator: Wine Enthusiast Dual Zone MAX Compressor Wine Cooler

Best Refrigerators

Also available at Wine Enthusiast.

Why It's Great

  • User-friendly touchscreen
  • Can set two different temperatures
  • Not affected by external temperature fluctuations
  • Bottom display shelf to highlight special bottles

Grain of Salt

  • Not suitable for larger bottles

If you have a small collection of wines you're aging, but also want to keep a handful of white wines at perfect quaffing temperature, consider adding this 32-bottle wine cooler to your home. We like the unit's streamlined, compact design that provides stainless steel racks to hold 30 bottles, as well as a bottom rack where a couple of bottles can be on display, perfect for showing off special or prestigious vintages. The shelves pull out to make it easy to find what you're looking for.

Each compartment can be set independently between 41 and 64 degrees or to the same temperature. It's easy to adjust and view the temperature via the LED digital display on the front. Finally, the compressor and insulation of this unit are designed to minimize temperature fluctuations as long as the ambient temperature doesn't rise above 90 degrees or drop below 61 degrees, making it a good choice for even drafty older houses or warmer climates.

The Details: Measures 16.9 x 33.4 x 19.5 inches; available in black finish

Related: 8 Insulated Wine Tumblers Guaranteed to Keep Your Drinks Cold and Hands Dry

Our Takeaway

After evaluating dozens of refrigerators, the LG Smart Wi-Fi Enabled InstaView Counter Depth Refrigerator rose above the rest for its thoughtful design and outstanding features, including its illuminating tinted-glass panel and door-in-door access to frequently needed foods, not to mention the craft ice that its second ice maker produces. The Samsung Smart 4-Door Flex Refrigerator was another standout for its innovative beverage center and flexible temperature compartment.

How to Pick the Right Refrigerator


First and foremost, "You really want to get the right size," says Susan Serra, CKD, who has been a kitchen designer for over 25 years. This doesn't just mean finding a fridge with dimensions that fit your space—though that's essential too, of course—but choosing an appropriate capacity for your household and an interior shelf configuration that works for your organizational needs. "If you overfill a refrigerator, that wastes energy, but you don't want to underfill it either," says Serra. "Anticipate your lifestyle and analyze how you're cooking and using fresh foods."

Kerrie Kelly, the global connect advisor for the National Kitchen and Bath Association and CEO and Creative Director for Kerrie Kelly Design Lab says, "if you have kids, you might want to choose something that is easy for them to open and grab from," such as a model with an exterior drawer. "If you're a baker, you'll want to make sure your baking sheets fit," she adds."

Door Style

Second, you'll need to choose the door configuration you want. An old-school top-freezer model typically uses less energy and lasts longer than bottom-freezer models. But a refrigerator with a freezer on the bottom is often more ergonomic because the shelves are at eye levels and within easy reach without having to stoop. French doors are often better for tight fit, while some folks prefer a side-by-side refrigerator.


You'll also want to weigh your options when it comes to the bells and whistles that can drive up the cost but also offer undeniable conveniences, such as an ice maker that produces different kinds of ice, see-through panels to take stock of what's inside without wasting energy, and even a smart screen that can serve as a household's tech hub.

For smart features, Notini suggests shoppers ask themselves, "What do you want your refrigerator to do?" Some connected technology might be helpful for the user, such as a phone alert if a door is left open or the ability to connect with the manufacturer to diagnose issues, while others, like a screen that can communicate messages or play videos, might seem like overkill.

About Our Research

In our research, we opened doors, pulled out drawers, slid pizza boxes into freezers, and polled experts and home cooks alike on what they liked and disliked about their fridges. We also scoured photos of real-life fridge owners to see how well an average household's groceries fit into various models.

Finally, we considered the whole package of each fridge that made it onto our list, weighing the price, design, capacity, and features to determine if it were a product we could recommend without hesitation.

When researching the best refrigerators, we considered the following metrics:

  • Design: How will the unit fit into a kitchen, both visually and from a space and layout standpoint? Are handles easy to access? Are features like water dispensers easy to access and operate?
  • Features: Does the refrigerator have a water dispenser or ice maker? Does it have Wi-Fi connectivity for service issues? Does it include any innovations like a flex zone?
  • Interior Configuration: How well are the shelves, bins, and drawers configured? Are they laid out in a way that maximizes space and offers flexibility or adjustability?
  • Energy Efficiency: How much does the refrigerator cost to operate annually? Is the compressor and airflow designed so the refrigerator will cool efficiently and uniformly?

Common Questions

What temperature should a refrigerator be?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a refrigerator should be set at or slightly below 40 degrees. Bacteria grows most rapidly at temperatures above 40 degrees and could double in as little as 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the freezer should be set at or below zero degrees, a temperature that will safely preserve food and prevent bacteria from growing.

When is the best time to buy a refrigerator?

While it used to be that major appliance retailers would predictably have annual sales at certain times of the year, "a lot of that has gone out of the window with the pandemic," says Jill Notini, spokesperson for AHAM. With retailers still dealing with supply-chain issues and other challenges, the big promotions or pop-up sales that were common pre-pandemic have gone by the wayside.

If you notice your refrigerator is having certain issues, such as not maintaining the proper temperature, or the compressor is louder, and an appliance expert says that a repair isn't possible or would be very expensive, it might be time to start shopping for a new fridge. It's better to replace your refrigerator before it fails completely, so you have time to research exactly what you want, and so shipping delays don't leave you with a refrigerator full of spoiled food.

How long should a refrigerator last?

According to AHAM, the average lifespan of a refrigerator is 12 years or more. This has not changed much since 2010 when data showed refrigerators lasted 13 years or longer. A traditional top-freezer refrigerator lasts longer than other models, about 14 years on average.

The lifespan of your refrigerator also depends on how well it's been maintained (periodically vacuuming underneath and at the back will remove dust that could clog the ventilation system), and that it's properly installed with a couple of inches of room around the sides and back for airflow.

Which brand is best for a refrigerator?

There are a number of brands on the market that will offer quality, value, and innovative features at different price points. Frigidaire, which is owned by Electrolux, is a longtime player in the appliance market and has a strong reputation for high-quality, well-made products. LG claims to have the largest capacity on the market, plus flexible, easy-to-organize storage options and a drawer that can convert to five different temperatures. If you're looking for connectivity and cutting-edge innovation, Samsung is pioneering smart features such as its Family Hub touchscreen. The company's Bespoke line, meanwhile, offers customizable colored and patterned front panels. If your budget allows, Bosch, Sub Zero, KitchenAid, and GE Café or GE Profile offer luxe finishes and special features.

Why Take Our Word for It?

This piece was written by Jessica Harlan, a cookbook author, cooking equipment expert, and graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. Jessica uses her decades of experience developing recipes, testing cooking equipment, and teaching cooking classes to help inform her product evaluations and recommendations.

For this piece, we also consulted several kitchen appliance experts. Jill Notini is a spokesperson for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, a trade association that promotes home appliances in the U.S. and Canada. Susan Serra, CKD, is an award-winning kitchen designer who has helped homeowners navigate kitchen design projects for more than 25 years. And Kerrie Kelly is the Global Connect Advisor for the National Kitchen and Bath Association, a trade association for professionals involved in the kitchen and bath industry, as well as the CEO and Creative Director for Kerrie Kelly Design Lab.

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