Last updated: August 21, 2020

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Can you imagine life without electrical household appliances? There are still people alive who have known that era – a time when having them at home was either a luxury or simply impossible. Fortunately, most of us can now afford them today. The refrigerator is one of the most common and important appliances, allowing you to preserve food and enjoy cold drinks.

The average life cycle of fridges generally ranges between 10 and 12 years. So, has your one reached that age? Are you looking for a better model? Did you recently move into a new home? If you are in any of these cases, you will probably be happy to discover the best options available to you. Throughout our guide, we will help you pick the refrigerator you’ve always wanted.

Key Facts

  • It is essential that you keep specific foods in a fridge to extend their expiry date. In addition, it prevents meat and fish that you do not eat right away from putting your health at risk.
  • Finding the most suitable model is just as important as using it correctly. Otherwise, you will increase your energy consumption while preventing your food from being preserved in optimal conditions. In this article, you will discover our very own tips to make the most of your refrigerator.
  • What is the right capacity for your fridge? Would you like to find out what its climate class is? Or how you can get the most out of your purchase in the medium run? Check the final section of our guide to learn more about these different aspects.

Our Selection: The Best Refrigerators on the U.S. Market

Some people might think that buying a refrigerator is a fairly straightforward process. All you have to do is head to the store and pick a model based on its size and your budget. While we cannot deny that these two criteria matter, there are many others that you have to evaluate. To help you get to know them, we have selected some of the best refrigerators currently available on the American market. Who knows, you might even find the perfect model for your kitchen!

Best Refrigerator for Large Families

Kenmore is an American giant in the household appliance industry, with over 100 years of experience. So it is certainly no surprise to see this two-door refrigerator with such high ratings from past buyers. With a capacity of 25 cubic feet, it is ideal for large families who need to store a lot of food every week. It features an ice and water dispenser on the left door, which is particularly useful during those hot summer days.

Best Mini Refrigerator

What if you live alone and don’t need the capacity of the model above? Then you can turn to Amazon’s Choice in the category, a one-door mini-fridge by RCA. It offers a capacity of 3.2 cubic feet and has a reversible door, so you never have any problem placing it anywhere. It comes with a handy can and bottle holder and has a small freezer section. This compact fridge is available in 7 colors to match your kitchen design.

Best All-Round Refrigerator

This two-door refrigerator by Avanti is an excellent option if you want a well-rounded appliance that will satisfy the needs of most people. It has a capacity of 7.4 cubic feet, which is ideal for households of up to 4 people. This auto-defrost fridge also integrates reversible steel doors and an upper freezer section. It is ENERGY STAR rated and comes with an ice cube tray.

Best French-Door Refrigerator

While the price tag on this elegant high-tech fridge might seem a bit prohibitive at first, it is worth every penny. Past buyers have praised its incredibly low energy consumption, with an estimated yearly cost of $58. The French doors open to a refrigerator section of 15 cubic feet, while the bottom two freezer drawers offer ample space for anything you want to store for a few more weeks.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Refrigerators

Did you find the ideal refrigerator among our selection of products? Either way, we recommend that you keep reading our shopping guide until the end. In the following section, we will answer the most frequently asked questions regarding these household appliances to help you make a truly informed decision. Remember that this product will stay in your kitchen for years to come.

family choosing new fridge

The fridge-freezer is extremely popular in American households due to the capacity they offer for larger families.
(Source: Filimonov: 94664738/ 123rf.com)

What types of refrigerators are there?

This appliance is designed to produce cold and preserve food in the best possible conditions. More commonly called a fridge, the refrigerator can include a section with a freezer. There is a wide variety of models on the market, and you have to evaluate your personal needs to make the right purchase. You can compare the different types of refrigerators in the table below:

Type of fridge Position of doors Main functions To remember
One-door A single vertical door They work as a fridge only and have no freezer. They are handy if you already have a freezer.
Two-door Two vertical doors, one on top of the other The freezer is placed above the refrigerator. They are becoming less common.
Fridge-freezers Two vertical doors, one on top of the other The refrigerator is on top of the freezer This is the most popular type in the United States.
American Two vertical doors The freezer is on the left and the fridge on the right. They generally feature a water dispenser.
French door Two vertical doors The freezer is placed under the doors. The freezer can have a door or a drawer design.
Four-door It has two doors on top and two on the bottom. It is essentially a double fridge-freezer. People can mistake it for a French door refrigerator.

What is the ideal temperature for my refrigerator?

You have to check and adjust the temperature of your refrigerator regularly. Aim for around 40 degrees during winter, with a freezer at about 0 degrees. When the weather gets warmer, you should lower the temperature by a few degrees each, to 38 degrees for the fridge and -4 for the freezer. Although we do not recommend filling your appliance completely, you should lower the temperature by a couple of degrees if that is the case.

Refrigerator-2

You have to check and adjust the temperature of your refrigerator regularly.
(Source: Om: 25864226/ 123rf.com)

Where is the best place for my fridge?

Some kitchens don’t allow you to choose where to place your appliance since their design comes with a specific spot for it. If you have the opportunity to pick, however, we advise you to keep it away from any direct heat source, window, oven, or stove. The reason for this is quite simple: it will require more energy to remain cool. The same can happen if you stick it so close to the wall that it overheats.

Carrie SolomonChef, Food Photographer, and author of Inside Chefs’ Fridges

“A refrigerator is a good reflection of someone’s personality, and for many of the chefs, a good reflection of who they are as a chef. It’s a very intimate thing.”

How should I organize my refrigerator?

You have to place each food in its proper place if you want to get the most out of your fridge. Remember that not all have the same need for cold, and you should also avoid mixing tastes and smells. If you don’t arrange your food correctly, it may lose its properties and stay fresh for less time. Here is a list of tips you should keep in mind:

  • Door. This is the least cold place in the entire fridge. Keep it for your eggs, drinks, and sauces.
  • Top section. It is ideal for storing food leftovers and products that are opened and don’t need too much cold since you will eat them in the next few days.
  • Middle section. This is the second least cold part after the door. You can place products that don’t need such low temperatures – such as sausages, cheeses, and yogurts.
  • Bottom section. This is the coldest part of your fridge, and it is perfect for storing your meat and fish. You should not keep them raw for more than two days. This type of food has to be preserved in a container to prevent them from contaminating each other.
  • Drawers. They are intended for fruits and vegetables. Certain models feature special drawers for meat and fish, but you shouldn’t place vegetables in them. Remember that excessively low temperatures can damage fruits and vegetables.
  • Freezer. It can consist of shelves or drawers. Try to organize the food by type, placing the fish one drawer and ice cream in another, for instance. Don’t forget to label the freezing date.
Refrigerator-3

Don’t hesitate to adjust the temperature of your fridge if needed.
(Source: lightfieldstudios: 102323747/ 123rf.com)

What is a no-frost refrigerator?

Remember when you had to defrost your fridge continuously? Get ready to keep doing it if you opt for a model with a cycle system. Layers of ice will form in the freezer, and you will have to remove them yourself. The auto-defrost system creates a constant flow of cold air through the appliance, preventing the formation of frost.

Generally speaking, the no-frost system is the most efficient because it means that you don’t have to defrost your refrigerator. That being said, it does have certain drawbacks. You also have a third option if you choose a hybrid model, which basically combines the best of the two previous ones. You can compare these three types in the table below:

System Advantages Disadvantages
No-frost You won’t have to defrost the appliance, the freezing is faster and of higher quality. You have to pack the food well so that it doesn’t dry out.
Cycle defrost refrigerator The food doesn’t dry out like it can with the no-frost system. You have to defrost the freezer.
Hybrid The food doesn’t dry out, and ice doesn’t form. This type of refrigerator is rare on the market.

How can I get the most out of my fridge?

In addition to everything we have discussed so far, we want to give you a few tips so you can make the most of your refrigerator. Some of them will help you increase the life cycle of your appliance while saving time when you are grocery shopping.

  • Stainless steel. If you bet on a model made with this material, make sure it is anti-fingerprint, or you will spend your time cleaning it.
  • Ventilation. Remove dust from the ventilation grilles so that the appliance uses less energy.
  • Doors. Favor a model with reversible doors. This will allow you to adapt the fridge to your current home and change it if needed in the future.
  • Energy loss. Don’t leave the doors open too long. That way, it will not warm up and waste unnecessary energy.
  • Specific drawers. Try to have special temperature-controlled drawers for your meat and fish.

What are the advantages of refrigerators?

If you’re still unsure of the type of fridge you want to buy, don’t worry. There are still various criteria that you need to analyze before making your purchase. Before we delve into these factors, let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of refrigerators:

Advantages
  • They are essential in any kitchen.
  • You will always find a model tailored to your needs.
  • Some options can freeze quickly and efficiently.
Disadvantages
  • The most affordable models aren”t usually very complete.
  • Their size doesn”t always allow you to have the refrigerator you want.

Shopping Criteria

We are nearing the end of this shopping guide and want to introduce you to various key criteria before we’re done. They will allow you to choose the most suitable fridge. In fact, you will realize that changing your old appliance for a new one can help you save money in the medium or long term. Do you want to know how?

Capacity

The capacity of your refrigerator needs to be adequate for the number of people living in your household. Generally speaking, a model that is too big will waste unnecessary energy while not being full. If it’s too small, on the other hand, it will force you to go shopping more often, and you may have space problems.

Number of people Cubic feet
1-2 5 to 7
2-3 7 to 9
4 9 to 10.5
5 or more Over 10.5

Energy Consumption

There are seven energy efficiency ratings: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Appliances over 10 years old generally have a rating of D at best. An A+ model consumes 20% less than an A model, an A++ model 40% less, and an A+++ model 60% less.

While you should always pay attention to the energy consumption of your household appliances, this is absolutely essential for your refrigerator. In fact, it is widely recognized as the appliance that most consumes energy. This is because it is running at the same rate day and night. If you can, opt for an A+++ model to save in the long run.

ENERGY STARGovernment-backed Energy Efficiency Certifier

“An estimated 190 million refrigerators and refrigerator-freezers are currently in use in the United States. More than 69 million refrigerators are over 10 years old, costing consumers $4.9 billion a year in energy costs.”

Climate Class

This is another key criterion that you need to evaluate. It will determine the room temperature at which your refrigerator can operate at peak performance. While this isn’t necessarily the most well-known factor, it is very relevant. You can find all this information on the fact sheet of the product you buy. The following table can help you choose the most appropriate model:

Climatic class Room temperature
SN (subnormal) Between 50 and 90 degrees
N (normal) Between 61 and 90 degrees
ST (subtropical) Between 64 and 100 degrees
T (tropical) Between 64 and 109 degrees
SN-T (subnormal-tropical) Between 50 and 109 degrees

Size

Don’t make the mistake of overlooking the overall dimensions of the refrigerator you want to buy! Otherwise, you could end up with a model that doesn’t fit in the space designed for it. Think about the size of the doors, as well as whether they are reversible or not. Talking about doors: those you will need to pass with your fridge should also be large enough if you want to get your new appliance inside your home.

Summary

We have finally reached the end of our journey to help you find the best refrigerator on the market. You should know every aspect needed to analyze the models available out there. Don’t forget to evaluate the size of your kitchen, as well as the number of people in your household. Keep your fridge organized by following our tips.

We hope that we have introduced you to certain features that were unknown to you. You now know why the energy consumption and climate class are so important. If you keep in mind everything we have looked at together, we guarantee you will be on the right track to find the perfect model for your kitchen.

Did you find our guide on refrigerators helpful and informative? If so, feel free to leave us a message in the table below. You can also share this article on your social media!

(Featured Image Source: Dolgykh: 24963122/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Kyle Litvuck Gourmet Chef
Kyle runs a bar and studied gastronomy in college. He is a huge fan of coffee and spices and knows his way around the kitchen very well. He regularly travels to street food festivals with his own food truck to sell the delicious meals that come out of his kitchen.