Inspiring Ideas for Modern Home

How to Choose a Refrigerator: A Buyer’s Guide

Keeping your drinks chilled, your fruits and vegetables fresh, your meats frozen, and your water ice cold are only some of the benefits refrigerators offer.

How to Choose a Refrigerator

However, buying one isn't as simple as grabbing the first one you see. You must consider their power, cost, size, type, design, storage space, and more.

Choosing the best refrigerator for your needs can be a daunting task. Allows us to help you with a full buyer's guide on how to choose a refrigerator for your needs.

A Refrigerator Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best One

A Refrigerator Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best One
© Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt

To buy the most high-quality, reliable, usable, and durable fridge for your kitchen, you must consider various factors to ensure you find the one that fits your lifestyle and requirements.

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you choose the best one.

Step 1. What Are Things to Consider Before Buying a New Refrigerator?

The first step involves identifying your potential refrigerators' energy efficiency, kitchen space, and cost. Here are the reasons why they are essential for making your purchase decision:

Energy Efficiency

Choose a refrigerator with more efficient performance and lower energy use. With an energy-efficient refrigerator, you will surely have a cost-effective and eco-friendly home appliance.

To know if your refrigerator promotes energy-efficient use, look for the Energy Star label, which means that it has undergone third-party testing, displaying optimum performance while consuming less energy.

Kitchen Space

Also, take into account the amount of kitchen space you possess. This means accurately measuring the space in which you intend to place the fridge.

To do this, measure the width, length, and height of the space and the surrounding cabinets for seamless installation, especially for built-in refrigerators and undercounted refrigerators (designed to be incorporated with kitchen cabinets).


Then, consider the cost of the refrigerator. In doing this, you must first identify your intended budget. After that, choose from the appliances offered within that price range.

To gauge what you like, return to the abovementioned considerations: energy efficiency and space.

Step 2. What Are the Different Types of Refrigerators?

Next, identify the types of refrigerator that will suit your preference and your kitchen's overall design.

Here are the seven refrigerator types that have been dominating the market:

1. French Door Refrigerators

The French door refrigerators are unique as they have two French doors, which are vertical in orientation (not the usual horizontal separation).

You'll know it is one of the French door refrigerators if its freezer door is at the bottom.


If you want to know more about French door models, check out this best French door refrigerator article!

2. Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

Bottom freezer refrigerators are easy to identify because their name speaks for itself: the freezer drawer is created and designed to occupy the fridge's bottom part. Also, it has a larger freezer space that is more accessible than other types.

3. Top Freezer Refrigerators

Unlike bottom freezer refrigerators, top freezers separate the freezer and refrigerator compartments by having the freezer space on top of the machine.

4. Side-By-Side Refrigerators

We also have side-by-side refrigerators, characterized by two doors which are full-length and vertical. One of these narrow doors will bring you to the refrigerator compartments, and the other is the entry to the freezer.

5. Built-in Refrigerators

Built-in refrigerators are unique from the others in this list in terms of installation. This is mainly because built-in fridges are inserted between furniture or custom cabinetry.

6. Counter Depth Refrigerators

A counter-depth refrigerator is designed to have a similar depth to average countertops. It doesn't occupy as much space as protruding refrigerators.

The good thing about having this type is that it is created in different styles, such as:

  • Top freezer fridges
  • Bottom freezer fridges
  • French door fridges
  • Side-by-side refrigerator

Unlike larger refrigerators, the downside is that it does not have that much inner space.

7. Mini Refrigerators

Mini fridges are known for being compact, with average sizes of 30 to 35 inches. These are used as snack bars inside the room.

Step 3: How Much Fridge and Storage Capacity Do You Need?

Once you identify the type of refrigerator you want to buy when replacing your existing refrigerator, you can continue with the third step: determining how much fridge and storage space you need.

You need to be wary of the number of people in your home and the fresh food storage and freezer capacity you will need for the amount of food you consume.

The basic rule of thumb is you'll need at least five cubic feet of ample storage for each individual in the house.

Step 4: What Refrigerator Features Do You Need?

After accomplishing the first three steps, you must next recognize the features you need to cater to your fresh foods, beverages, and other kitchen needs.

Some of the prominent refrigerator features that you can choose from are the following:

  • Built-in ice maker
  • Craft ice feature
  • Water dispensers
  • Door shelves (refrigerator) configuration
  • Modifiable shelves
  • Air purifiers
  • Automatic temperature controls
  • Reversible doors
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Dual evaporators


You can also install your ice makers if your new fridge is configured to have one. Read this article on how to install an ice maker in a refrigerator!

Step 5: What Refrigerator Style and Design Do You Want?

After gathering your thoughts on what features you deem necessary for your refrigerators, continue with the last step: identifying the refrigerator's style and design.

With this step, you have to refresh your knowledge of the types of refrigerators found in step 2. In a nutshell, here are what you can choose from:

  • French door refrigerators
  • Bottom freezer models
  • Top freezer models
  • Side-by-side refrigerators
  • Built-in refrigerators
  • Counter depth refrigerators
  • Mini fridges

Aside from this, it would help if you also chose the color of your refrigerator. The most common finishes are silver stainless steel, white, black stainless steel, matte-finish, or pastels.

What Are Good Refrigerator Options for You to Get? [5 Best Models in 2023]

In the list of the best refrigerators in the market, we want to narrow your choices to the best possible options. Of course, you must consider energy efficiency, cost, space, type, capacity, features, and style.

Here are the top five best models in 2023!

1. KitchenAid 36" Multi-Door Freestanding Refrigerator with PrintShield™ Finish - Best Overall

Suppose you're looking for French door models that utilize sophisticated designs, practical refrigerator compartments, and sleek handles and are filled with state-of-the-art technology.

In that case, you can consider the KitchenAid 36" refrigerator.

This French-door refrigerator is equipped with a 5-door configuration that opens up every refrigerator compartment, including:

  • Two top doors feature for the main refrigerator shelves
  • Middle left door for temperature control
  • Middle right door holds the produce preserver, keeping fruits and vegetables fresh and crisp
  • Bottom for the fridge's freezer compartments

Additionally, this model has the following extra features:

  • SatinGlide crispers with rollers for soft and easy door opening
  • Preserva food care system with separate cooling systems
  • PrintShield for a smudge-proof and fingerprint-resistant finish

However, based on our firsthand experience, the ice dispenser slowly supplies small amounts of ice, which is not ideal for a $4599 French door refrigerator.

Installation Depth: Standard | Total capacity: 25.8 cu ft. | Depth: 34.5 in | Height To Top: 68.38 in | Type: French door

2. Whirlpool 30-inches wide Refrigerator with Accu-Chill™ System - Best Value for Money

Stylish, reliable, and more freezer storage capacity – if you want these characteristics for your refrigerator, the $1999 Whirlpool bottom freezer fridge style may suit you best.

It comes in black, monochromatic stainless steel, and white color options. With these choices, you get to mix and match what meets the aesthetics of your kitchen.

What we liked most about this refrigerator is its energy-efficient use, as highlighted by its Energy Star label and CEE tier 1 rating. The mentioned certifications hold the following values for a refrigerator:

  • Energy Star rating assures 15% lower energy use than other fridges while still performing above the standard.
  • Consortium of Energy Efficiency tier 1 rating means it's cost-effective and included in the top 25% of energy-efficient appliances.

Additionally, one of the refrigerator features that made us admire this Whirlpool model is its reversible door swing, where you can change the direction by fixing the hinge.

This makes it easier to plot where this Whirlpool brand appliance can go in your interior design.

This USA-assembled refrigerator is also equipped with the following much-needed fridge characteristics:

  • Ice dispenser for fresh ice
  • Accu-Chill temperature management system
  • SpillGuard glass shelves

However, it can sometimes produce unnecessary noise. But, the noise can still be offset by the features this Whirlpool model offers.

Installation depth: Standard | Total capacity: 18.7 cu ft. | Depth: 30.88 in | Height To Top: 67 in | Type: Bottom Freezer

3. Vissani MDTF10SS - Best Budget Option

When you are on a tight budget but still want a new fridge to keep your food fresh, beverages cold, and frozen food safe, the Vissani MDTF10SS model will give you fresh food storage, comfort, and style for $449.

The first of its long list of refrigerator features is the no-frost design, which provides little to no frost inside the refrigerator compartment. Given its price, it's one of the things we look out for the most, and found in this Vissani model.

The fridge's interior also uses light-emitting diode (LED) lights. Aside from seeing the products inside your fridge, you also get a more cost-effective and energy-efficient option.

Moreover, it has modifiable shelves for freezer and refrigerator compartments to help you maximize the space for big bottles and adequately arrange your food storage.

However, the adjustable glass shelves are not extraordinary in quality and appearance. Nevertheless, it still serves its purpose well, considering its price.

Installation depth: Standard | Total capacity: 10.1 cu ft. | Depth: 27.28 in | Height To Top: 59.92 in | Type: Top Freezer

4. Samsung Smart Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Family Hub - Best Smart Refrigerator

One of the vital factors consumers look at nowadays is home automation. If you are talking about technology, you should not leave the Samsung Smart refrigerator with a family hub for $2277 out of the conversation.

With a flat door design, this side-by-side model is offered in two colors: (1) stainless steel and (2) black stainless steel. 

The good thing about these color options is that they are fingerprint-resistant, so you don't have to worry about regularly cleaning sticky spills, smudges, or fingerprints all over your refrigerator.

What is fascinating is that it has a multi-vent technology that maintains the same level of coolness on each shelf.

The highlight of this Samsung smart refrigerator is the Samsung Family Hub. This feature lets you have a touchscreen with tablet-like detail on your fridge door/

This screen lets you stream music and videos, display camera pictures, and more.

The downside is that you'll have the family hub at the expense of ice and water dispensers because the latter are incompatible with this machine.

Installation depth: Standard | Total capacity: 27.3 cu ft. | Depth: 33.5 in | Height To Top: 68.63 in | Type: Side By Side

5. GE 36 Inch Refrigerator with LED Lighting - Best Side-by-side Fridge

In classic black-finish fashion, this GE 36-inch model has everything you need, from ice and water dispensers to the industry-famous temperature management system, for $2599.

As with most refrigerators nowadays, this GE model parades its factory-installed ice and water dispenser, bringing the comfort of quenching thirst right at your exterior refrigerator door.

It also has spill-proof shelves made of glass, which will help you attain instant and easy cleaning.

Most importantly, it has a door alarm which other side-by-side models don't have. The alarm works when this new refrigerator is left open for a specific time.

However, its LED lighting is limited to the top portion of the new refrigerator, and its lower parts are left with minimal lighting.

Installation depth: Counter depth | Total capacity: 21.9 cu ft. | Depth: 27 in | Height To Top: 69.25 in | Type: Side By Side

Quick Comparisons On How Do You Choose A Good Refrigerator

Top ModelsInstallation DepthTotal CapacityDepthHeight To TopType
KitchenAid Multi-Door Freestanding RefrigeratorStandard25.8 cu ft.34.5 in68.38 inFrench Door
Whirlpool Wide RefrigeratorStandard18.7 cu ft.30.88 in67 inBottom Freezer
Vissani MDTF10SSStandard10.1 cu ft.27.28 in59.92 inTop Freezer
Samsung Smart Side-by-Side RefrigeratorStandard27.3 cu ft.33.5 in68.63 inSide By Side
GE Refrigerator With LED LightingCounter21.9 cu ft.27 in69.25 inSide By Side

Choosing A Refrigerator FAQs

  • A buyer’s guide is incomplete without us answering some of your refrigerator-related FAQs.

  • How Do You Maintain a Refrigerator?

    In maintaining your refrigerator, here are the tips you need to always keep in mind:

    • Regularly check the door’s seal, and clean the coils and compartment
    • Defrost once or twice a year
    • Remove refrigerator odors
    • Set the fridge on an average of 37° F for efficient cooling and prevent food from spoiling
    • Always close the refrigerator doors every after use
    • Follow the manufacturer’s manual
  • What Size Fridge Is Best for a Family of 4?

    For a family of four, you can buy at least a 500-liter-sized fridge or 20 cubic feet based on the general rule, which is to allot at least five cubic feet of space per person.

  • What Style of Refrigerator Is Most Reliable?

    The most reliable style of refrigerator is a French door refrigerator because of the continuity and fluidity of the design, along with its ample space offered.

    However, it will still depend on your preference, kitchen space, budget, and food storage needs.

  • How to Choose a Refrigerator Conclusion
    © Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt

    A Refrigerator Buying Guide: Conclusion

    Now that you know the steps to choose the best refrigerator, the five best models, and the answer to some of your FAQs, you have everything you need to find the best fridge to keep your food cold and safe.

    Make sure to take the information from this refrigerator buying guide by heart, follow the steps, and always be mindful of the fridge types, quality, reliability, usability, and durability.