The 10 Best Refrigerators of 2023 | ConsumersAdvocate.org (2023)

Consumer Advocacy

What you need to know

Refrigerators

  • Not every brand remains the same, check out who owns who.
  • Warranty is confusing, read what is covered after each time frame.
  • Simplicity is the way to reliability.
  • Everybody has specific needs, assess yours and look for a fitting refrigerator.

Our Approach

How we analyzed the best Refrigerators

Quality

Quality in a refrigerator goes beyond solid hinges or stainless steel, it’s also the compressor’s reliability, longevity and how it handles all the extra features.

Price

Price will vary among brands, but mostly, it’s the size and the extra features that will drive it up. Knowing exactly what you need and what you’re paying for is how you find the best value.

Warranty

Most warranties are similar, 1 year full parts with labor, an intermediate period for the sealed system with labor and 8-12 years without labor. It varies, though, sometimes within the same brand.

Features & Types

Water dispensers, smart capabilities, additional temperature-controlled zones; bottom-freezer or side-by-side Refrigerators are diverse and fit many needs, which are mostly up to the consumer.

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Our Top Picks: Refrigerators Reviews

Refrigeration has been a part of human life for way longer than you thought. The Chinese were harvesting ice thousands of years ago, and the Egyptians were inventing ways to actually cool down drinks in the middle of thedesert way back in 2700 BCE. We’re no strangers to wanting cold beverages or the convenience of keeping food for a long time without having to go hunting. This is why refrigerators have become indispensable in our households.

Our advice: when looking for yours, don’t let anybody sell you a refrigerator, but pick it out yourself. Here, we help you out by showing you what we found to be some of the better options in the market according to quality, price, warranty, and all their features. As you’ll see, sometimes you have to sacrifice things to get others, so look closely, but don’t let your demands waver either.

To give you an idea of whether they were worth the money, we also added a value score* to each one of the models featured. This score took into account the reliability, the price relative to the length of the warranty, its key features, and its energy consumption.

*The value score did not play a role in the selection of these models, they were chosen for their offerings in each specific category.

Samsung 4-Door French-Door with FlexZone Drawer review

Best smart option and best for foodies

(Value Score: 85/100)

The 10 Best Refrigerators of 2023 | ConsumersAdvocate.org (2)Screenshot samsung.com, February 2020.

Why for foodies?

Foodies have very specific needs when it comes to their refrigerators. Some might not be that picky, but even then, there are certain aspects they will definitely appreciate, such as a separate drawer for meats and cheese, and good organizational customization for their diverse and unpredictable repertoire of ingredients. It’s important for home chefs to keep their valuable ingredients in optimal conditions so through-the-door dispensers, open-door alarms, and that one exterior drawer to keep beers or condiments might come in very handy.

The Samsung 4-Door French-Door model with the FlexZone drawer delivers for them. There are size options, so they could go smaller or get the 30 cubic feet model if the cooking never stops. The fact that it’s a bottom-freezer is very important due to this size versatility, for one, and because food connoisseurs tend to favor fresh foods, which means that the refrigerator gets far more use than the freezer. Then there’s the extra drawer, the FlexZone, which will give foodies the ability to change the temperatures for specific foods, especially considering fresh meat. This model also offers versatility when it comes to organization, as there are different shelves that can move around, or even flip up to store tall bottles of wine, or flip them down when you need more surface space. At the end of the day, the Samsung 4-Door French-Door (and don’t forget the FlexZone drawer!) will accommodate most needs for food lovers.

Why the best smart refrigerator?

Smart refrigerators have taken the market by storm in the past years. What a smart refrigerator actually is, however, is still up for debate. One factor persists, though: everyone expects a touch screen. And no, not all smart refrigerators have a touch screen to stain with BBQ sauce and frying oil. Some will simply connect to your smartphone or work as an extra smart speaker for your home. However, the Samsung FamilyHub puts a big screen on the right panel of your french-door or side-by-side refrigerator.

Although the definition of what a smart refrigerator actually exactly still generatessome debate, the concept has taken the market by storm. Most smart refrigerators will connect to your smartphone so you can control the temperature, others will work as an extra smart speaker for your home; some, like the Samsung FamilyHub have a big screen right on the door, and this is what most people expect when they think “smart.”

Now, is the FamilyHub the epitome of smart appliance possibilities? No, we’ll talk about that. What it is at the moment, though, is the clearest look into the future of smart refrigerators. The basic concept, as the name implies, is to continue the tradition of the refrigerator being the center of the home. It allows you to display pictures, notes and calendars as the permanent background, just like when you put those Paris souvenirs with magnets on a regular fridge. You can set up each family member with a profile and they can interact with the FamiyHub through their phones. They can even send notes or voice messages directly to the fridge so that anyone who passes by it sees it, or surprise the rest of the family with a wholesome or funny picture that randomly pops up.

On a more food-related note, the FamilyHub provides full synchronization with Android, and every list you make right on your fridge by writing or talking to Bixby (Samsung’s smart assistant) will be available on your smartphone. Also, it has cameras inside so you can see what you have or not while at the supermarket. Now that’s something we’ve all dreamed about, isn’t it?

The flip side

Samsung has had some reliability issues due to their dual cooling system and the electronic-heavy construction. The more circuit boards an appliance has, the more likely it is to break down, and according to Dan K., owner of Atlanta Appliance Repair, the most common issue with refrigerators that stop cooling overall has to do with electronics, not the compressor itself.

For foodies that want a simpler, yet more reliable option, here’s an option you might want to look at: Whirlpool Pantry Style Counter Depth Refrigerator.

(Video) Top 5 BEST Refrigerators of [2023]

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General Electric Profile Series 27.7 cu. ft. French-Door Refrigerator review

Best for Big Families

(Value Score: 83/100)

The 10 Best Refrigerators of 2023 | ConsumersAdvocate.org (5)Screenshot geappliances.com, February 2020.

A big family needs a big refrigerator, there’s no doubt about that. Space and reliability should be the first requirements for any parents looking to get a new fridge. Other concerns might include keeping the important foods cool when everybody is opening the doors a thousand times a day looking for snacks. This makes through-the-door dispensers and a temperature-controlled pantry that much more important.

The GE Profile checks these boxes pretty well. First, they offer their French-Door model in a spacious 27.7 cubic feet, so you’ll be able to fit all of your family’s groceries and more. It has good organizational capabilities, with flexible shelves divided right in the center for adjustable height, including one with a push-back section for tall items that don’t require that much area. (As a bonus, three of those selves are spill-proof because, well, kids). It also has a pantry with separate temperature controls so that your cheese and fresh meat don’t have to suffer with the constant opening of doors. To top it off, the GE Profile has a Turbo Cool feature that lowers the temperature to make up for long or frequent searches for snacks and a through-the-door water and ice dispenser with hands-free autofill so that your kids don’t make a mess trying to hydrate after the game. All of these make the GE Profile Series a very good selection for a big family, delivering on thespace, organization, and temperature control they need. Also, Profile models have a five-year sealed refrigeration system coverage that other GE series do not, so you can feel a bit more at peace for longer.

It’s important to note that it is also American with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant with, so if anyone in your family has functional diversity and needs lower positioning, smoother door-hinge action, or accessible handles, this fridge is up to par.

The flip side:

The only flip side is that there is competition with more features, but not as much predicted reliability, and with some issues that might be a problem with children, like confusing door-in-door mechanisms. If you’re willing to put up with that and want a fully-featured refrigerator with even more space, check out the LG LMXS30776D 30 cu. ft. Door-in-Door French-Door Refrigerator.

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General Electric GLE12HSLSS 11.9 cu. ft. Bottom-Freezer review

Best for Small Spaces

(Value Score: 81/100)

The 10 Best Refrigerators of 2023 | ConsumersAdvocate.org (8)Screenshot geappliance.com, February 2020.

Small apartments aren’t just a student thing anymore. All types of people living in big cities tend to live in small spaces, and tiny houses are becoming more and more popular along with lifestyle philosophies like minimalism and frugality. A small but spacious refrigerator that delivers on reliability and features is important. The big brands have noticed and have started to produce stylish, feature-friendly models that don’t come with the excess of size.

Our pick, a GE bottom-freezer with 11.9 cubic feet of space and a 24-inch wide frame is not only a perfect size for tight spaces, but it’s also designed in the coveted stainless steel, and it has a bottom freezer for more refrigerator accessibility and better frozen-food organization. Organization is also present in the refrigerator, as it has flexible shelves that can be pushed back to accommodate long items. It also has a TempZone for which you can choose a separate temperature, ideal for different foods. And to control that temperature there is another cool, modern feature: an LCD display on the outside, where you can manage the temperature of all three sections without opening the doors.

The flip side

At this size, a bottom-freezer actually means less percentage of the space is usable than that of a top-freezer model. They are also more expensive, and a bit less reliable than the classic top-mounted refrigerators. Keep that in mind, and if you value these things more, search through 24-inch wide top-freezers, which also come in stainless steel.

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Whirlpool WRT549SZDM 30-inch 19 cu. ft. Top-Freezer review

Most Reliable Refrigerator

(Value Score: 66/100)

The 10 Best Refrigerators of 2023 | ConsumersAdvocate.org (11)Screenshot whirlpool.com, February 2020.

Let’s be honest, if you want reliability, you have to go for simplicity. The less parts any object has, the less parts that can break. Top-freezer refrigerators without a water dispenser or an icemaker fit this bill, although they don’t tend to be the most attractive for consumers.

(Video) 5 Best Refrigerators 2023 | Top French Door Refrigerator 2023

In this context, our choice was pretty simple to make. We looked for the simplest model from the most reputable brand in the business, according to most appliance repair surveys and websites. To this day, Whirlpool remains the less serviced brand out of the bunch. First, it’s a top-mounted model. Top-mounted freezers provide more reliability than other bottom-freezer models.

On top of that, the lack of an ice maker means the number of possible problems drastically decreases. (The most common issues with refrigerators usually involveice makers). The lack of electronics, separate compressors and separate temperature zones also helps with reliability. Electronics often fail more than the compressor itself, so any extra features that require more circuit boards will just make your appliance more vulnerable to failure. And finally, Whirlpool has a decent warranty service, covering parts and labor for the first year, and the sealed refrigeration system for five.

The flip side

With simplicity and reliability come almost zero bells and whistles. Also, the size selection is very small compared to other styles like french-door and bottom-freezers.

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Kenmore Elite 74405Smart French Door review

Most Efficient Refrigerator

(Value Score: 84.67/100)

The 10 Best Refrigerators of 2023 | ConsumersAdvocate.org (14)

Screenshot sears.com, February 2020.

An efficient refrigerator implies the best use of energy for your buck. There are certainly plenty of efficient fridges out there—as a matter of fact, every model featured here is EnergyStar Certified, which means they are all in the top 25% percent of their class in terms of efficiency. (There’s also a list provided by EnergyStar itself where you can find some of the least energy-consuming refrigerators in the market.)

With this said, our pick will not necessarily be at the very top of their list, as we also took into account extra features and space (which, naturally, take up more energy). The Kenmore Elite 74405 in 29.7 cubic feet consumes, on average, 741kWh yearly, which is far lower than most full-featured competition with comparable size. It beats some of its fiercest rivals by a hair while making better use of its space as well (no external divisions, for example). It has a through-the-door water and ice dispenser and adjustable inside shelving, like all modern refrigerators. It also has newer compressor technology, with a linear compressor (with a 10-year warranty) and dual evaporators for independent temperature control. It has two humidity-controlled crispers and a separate pantry drawer with its own settings. Oh, and last but not least, it’s Alexa-compatible, which means you can talk to it and make shopping lists or ask it to turn on the kitchen light. It’s not as smart or connected as our top smart pick, but it has the Kenmore Smart App to control the refrigerator from a distance.

Along with a one-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor, and a five-year sealed system warranty (without labor), this refrigerator delivers great features with great value.

The flip side

While very efficient, a refrigerator this big and with that many features will undoubtedly consume more than a simpler one would. If saving on your electric bill is your absolute priority, check out EnergyStar’s most efficient refrigerator list.

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Sub-Zero Refrigeration review

Best Built-in

(No value score)

The 10 Best Refrigerators of 2023 | ConsumersAdvocate.org (17)Screenshot subzero-wolf.com, February 2020.

When you finally design the kitchen of your dreams, one of the things you’ll want the most is to include a built-in refrigerator that merges smoothly with your cabinetry, whether it matches the wooden panels or provides a bit of an industrial look. These can get expensive, as they will have to be wider than usual to fit perfectly with your counter, and have special organization inside for optimal space usage. Whichever the case, you want control, you want options, and you want quality, especially with something stuck right in your wall. Most of them don’t disappoint, and when money is no issue, you can get the best of the best.

We believe the best of the best is Sub-Zero refrigeration. We can’t pick out a specific model, since that’s part of the charm: personality. Sub-Zero has the most diverse repertoire of options when it comes to building your dream fridge. You can match it to your cabinetry, you can separate the refrigerator and the freezer in different spots of the kitchen, you can even make independent refrigerated drawers that hide seamlessly next to the silverware drawer. Who wouldn’t want to impress their friends by pulling an ice-cold beer from below the sink?

Going back to separating the freezer and the fridge, Sub-Zero has a signature feature that helped them build the quality reputation they have today: dual compressors. Sub-Zero has two fully functional, independent compressors, one for the refrigerator and one for the freezer. This means that both temperatures are kept independently, don’t interfere with each other, and neither section has to share bacteria, flavors, or smells with the other. This also makes both compressors work more efficiently and, by consequence, last longer.

Other very important features that improve performance are:

  • A filter that cleans the air every 20 minutes to avoid cross-contamination and reduce spoilage

  • Nanotechnology shelving that prevents spills from spreading too far

  • 4-way vacuum seal to block outside air and keep humidity under control

  • Two years full warranty coverage, which is above the usual one year for other companies, as well as a five-year sealed system coverage and an industry-leading 12 years compressor warranty.

The flip side

Sure, prices range up to over $18,000 but, come on…

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The 10 Best Refrigerators of 2023 | ConsumersAdvocate.org (19)

Our Research

More insight into our methodology

Refrigerators—everyone has one, everyone needs one. They are the single most important appliance in a home, but with so many brands, styles and models it can get confusing really fast.

(Video) What's the BEST Fridge to Buy? The Truth Will SURPRISE You!

So, in order to narrow down our list, we considered a few things. First, we thought about your wallet and the environment: we only picked EnergyStar certified products that deliver on efficiency. Then, we focused on reliability, and so we looked at the most reliable brands in the business according to experiences and studies carried out by repair companies. After that, we broke it down into categories. To qualify, the model had to meet a set of requirements specific to each category.

Quality

Many things can affect your refrigerator’s performance. One of them is build quality, of course. We made sure our picks were not only assembled by reputable brands, but that the parts used were manufactured by trusted companies as well.

However, while the brand is important, quality also differs from model to model. Not all models are built with the same trusted parts, and not every style of refrigerator performs the same way.

This is all theory, though, and sometimes real life has other plans. To balance out this problem with theory, we checked statistics that showed what brands tend to ask for repair the most and looked seriously into what repair people see in the actual field. Nevertheless, reliability is never a sure thing, and it can come with a lot of sacrifices, which is why, depending on the categories, we had to give a lot of weight to other factors as well.

Price

Appliances are expensive, there’s no way around it. Sure, in recent years prices have gone down as demand has gone way up (essentially 100% of American households own a refrigerator) but getting a decent refrigerator of the appropriate size will still set you back at least $500. Top-freezers, as the simplest and most traditional, will cost the least. They are followed by bottom-freezers, side-by-sides, french-doors and, finally, built-in or custom-made models. However, you should know what features and what size ranges account for pricing so you can know if you’re getting a reasonable deal.

We looked at the price range for the different features, materials and size of each refrigerator, but we also analyzed prices specifically for each category, as they tend to fluctuate depending on the size and features. Small refrigerators for tiny spaces will normally be cheaper, smart refrigerators will tend to be more expensive (the Samsung model we chose $500 cheaper without the Hub, for example), and the more features, the more money you have to invest. Also, in case someone with big capital wants to design a full kitchen with a huge built-in fridge that takes up an entire wall, that’s another story: money is no object.

Finally, when it comes to cost, we understand that the money you pull out of your pocket that one day at the store is not the only fridge-related expense you will incur. There’s also power consumption. All of our options are EnergyStar Certified, meaning that they are among the top 25% most efficient refrigerators in their respective categories. We also chose a Most Efficient model, which uses minimal power even with a wide array of features.

Warranty

While we’re on the subject of additional costs, there’s another elephant in the room: maintenance and just how expensive repairing a fridge can be. A good warranty can help you get those repairs at no additional cost or at least at a fraction of the total price between parts and labor.

Most manufacturers have a 12-month limited warranty that includes parts and labor free of charge. Sub-Zero actually provides 24 months of coverage. After that, the waters get murkier. Some companies will give out an intermediary period of warranty that covers only the sealed refrigeration system, and then a longer period that will include the sealed system or the compressor by itself, but not labor. These intervals, on average will be one year, five years, and ten years (this one is not as common). It will vary from company to company and model to model, so we examined the different product lines of each company and the different parts used to make sure the warranty offered was not bare bones.

Features & Types

First, let’s explain the different types of refrigerators. There’s the classic top-freezer: a freezer at the top and a refrigerator at the bottom. They are the cheapest, most reliable and most loyal to their size claims (it uses over 80% of the claimed cubic feet, while others are close to 70%). There’s the side-by-side: refrigerator on one side, freezer on the other. These are the ones that first came with through-the-door ice and water dispensers. There’s the bottom-freezer: you guessed it, freezer at the bottom and refrigerator at the top. Then there’s the most popular and luxurious style in recent years, the French-Door refrigerator: it´s practically a bottom-freezer but the refrigerator on top has two doors.

All refrigerator types have pros and cons. We examined these pros and cons according to the requirements of each category. For smart refrigerators, we looked at exclusively smart models with wi-fi connectivity. For more space, we looked at bottom-freezer type refrigerators, especially French-Door models, because they’re the ones that go up to 32 cu. ft. and are also the style in which companies have started innovating the most, adding extra drawers or dividing the freezer in two. That’s why you’ll see a few of them in our top picks.

Helpful information about Refrigerators

What does reliability mean in fridge-land?

Why is reliability so important?

Simply put, reliability is the capacity of a product or a service to perform as advertised, for a long time, and without much or any servicing required. Reliability should be in everyone’s mind when buying a refrigerator, because when a refrigerator fails, all hell breaks loose. Well, not all hell, but a nice chunk of it. First, a refrigerator is an expensive appliance, one of the most expensive things you’ll buy when you first move in somewhere, and it’s arguably the most important. This big modern icebox will keep all your food safe to eat for a long time, saving you money and a lot of trips to the market or restaurant.

When it fails, you’ll have a couple of problems: 1) First, it’s the simple fact that you won’t be able to open it a lot, making it a big inconvenience for snacking, and worst, dinner; 2) you can’t open it because your food will melt, spoil or rot a lot faster if you do, so you’ll lose a big part of your grocery shopping, and that’s not even the worst part; 3) if you let your food spoil or rot, bacteria will make a party inside your freezer and refrigerator, making it a health hazard.

We asked Dr. Lynn McMullen, a specialist in Food Microbiology at the University of Alberta about some of the issues one might encounter when temperatures go up. Refrigerators should normally keep a temperature of 39-40 degrees Fahrenheit. “At temperatures above 4 degrees Celsius, some of the pathogens such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella can multiply rapidly” Dr. McMullen explained. When more vulnerable foods like meat or dairy start spoiling, it can affect other foods too by way of cross-contamination. “As an example, if you have raw meat in your refrigerator and you store vegetables that are to be eaten raw in contact with the raw meat, the organisms from the raw meat will transfer to the vegetables.” For this reason, McMullen recommends always storing your meat below other products, especially if they are exposed like vegetables or fruit.

So yeah, reliability is important, so keep in mind everything we mentioned about reliability in our methodology section and the Most Reliable category, so you can pick out a refrigerator that will serve you long and well, as it should. Refrigerators with top-mounted freezers, for example, tend to be more reliable because the compressor does not have to work as hard as a bottom-mounted one. Also, the less bells and whistles your fridge has, the less that can go wrong. The most common features, like ice makers, can present a lot of issues. Even when problems are independent from the rest of the appliance, they can disrupt your day-to-day use anyway due to leaking or making the compressor work harder than usual, harming it along the way.

Newer concepts like linear compressors or digital inverter compressors are supposed to be far more reliable on paper, since they modulate temperature instead of turning on and off constantly (similar to turning off your car at every red light instead of hitting the breaks, a practice that wouldn’t be very healthy for your car). Yet, these newer types of compressors have shown some issues during their time, and tried and tested companies like Whirlpool and General Electric still deliver on that front, so you gotta keep an eye out for innovation, because it doesn’t always equal reliability.

But other than simply choosing a good refrigerator, keeping yours running smoothly is in part up to you.

Here are some tips from Dan K., owner of Atlanta Appliance Repair:

  1. “Do not overload your fridge, you can block important areas like vents, and that reduces the life of the compressor because it starts working harder and harder.” So make sure you don’t stuff your freezer full of Hot Pockets boxes or too many leftovers during Thanksgiving weekend.

  2. “Second is definitely a simple cleaning. You don’t have to clean your fridge once a month, but maybe twice a year, remove stuff from the freezer and from the fresh food section. Some people actually unplug the fridge, take everything out and let the freezer melt. It takes a couple of hours but in the long run you will increase the life of the fridge.”

  3. “Some people can do a coil cleaning on their own, and you should do it once every two years, maybe. You could also call a professional to do it, but price will vary depending on the brand and the style. What you have to do, basically, is unscrew the panel and at the bottom you’ll find the coils, which look like some sort of grill. After years all the dust is accumulating in there and the coils are getting warmer and warmer because of that layer of dust, so the compressor has to work harder to cool everything down.”

Efficiency

Not the same as energy consumption

Efficiency is making the best use of energy possible while providing the best performance possible given the features it has.

Energy consumption, on the other hand, is simply how much energy it takes for a fridge to do the job it was designed to do. A 10 cu. ft. refrigerator with no freezer will consume far less than a French-Door 27.7 cu. ft. model, but both could be efficient in what they do. Ice makers, water dispensers, additional evaporators and the recently (and still in question by EnergyStar) included coffee makers all consume energy, so the more assets, the more energy your refrigerator consumes. This is why, according to an EnergyStar representative, there are several categories divided by style, size, and features to actually evaluate efficiency, not mere consumption. It is then amongst each category that the top 25% of products are given the EnergyStar certification.

This list is ever-changing. An EnergyStar representative explained that “EnergyStar most efficient levels are reviewed annually, and then revised as needed to make sure that we’re recognizing the best of the best.” They update their list every January after analyzing market data and raising the bar. This means that you’ll see some companies appear less over the yearson the EnergyStar list, like Samsung and LG. Also, be aware that some big companies like Whirlpool and General Electric are not featured in the list per their own decision, but they do have certified models.

What is important is that EnergyStar keeps making this push so that science and manufacturers keep innovating and making more efficient products for both the consumer and the environment.

To see the process behind giving the EnergyStar certification, click here.

Smart Refrigerators: Gimmick or Game-Changer?

Many people still have the basic question “What is a smart refrigerator?”. Smart fridges are still not fully integrated into our kitchens, much less our lives, so before we get into the what, let’s start with who and when.

The first smart refrigerator design went public in 1998, when two Japanese and Italian companies attempted to launch a smart kitchen campaign. Bigger companies like Electrolux, Samsung and LG followed suit, but that didn’t work out. Fast Forward some 10 years later and smart refrigerators started making a slow comeback through Whirlpool, that is until tech giants Samsung and LG took another shot at it. Now, smart refrigerators are all the rage in both the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and regular day-to-day shopping.

So what makes a fridge smart? The main feature smart fridges sharewas a connection to the internet. At this point in time, most smart refrigerators start with precisely that, a connection to the worldwide web, be it through the use of a smart assistant or through a touch screen on the door. Most of them simply work as that, an extra smart speaker for your kitchen from which you can call on Alexa or Google to update your shopping list. Others, however, include a dedicated cellphone app for you to wirelessly control the temperatures or even look inside thanks to the installed live cameras.

Some brands, like Samsung, take this further by putting a big touch screen in one of the front panels to provide far more cybernetic versatility. You can make your shopping lists directly on the screen and it will sync on your phone for when you’re at the dairy aisle, among other features.

At the moment, a lot of these features sound like gimmicks to some. Nevertheless, as smart ecosystems start to grow, the technology will expand to more important uses like troubleshooting and accurate diagnostics for whatever issues your refrigerator is having. Also, we’re getting closer and closer to refrigerators recognizing what they have inside, opening up many opportunities, like automated shopping, temperature regulation, and reminders. This year at CES, both LG and Samsung presented refrigerators with integrated Artificial Intelligence, claiming the inside cameras would recognize the products inside.

Smart refrigerators still seem like a gimmick to many people, but their potential is there to change the game and change the way we interact with them in the household and, hopefully, to optimize what is their most important function: food preservation.

What To Watch Out For With Refrigerators

Brand name recognition ain’t what it used to be

People trust certain brands since the days of old, and our grandparents have passed down that onto us, without taking into account how the market and manufacturing practices have evolved. In recent years, brands that have a longstanding reputation have been bought out by bigger conglomerates that have changed (albeit minimally sometimes) the way these refrigerators perform. Highly recognized name General Electric was bought out by the Chinese company Haier, for example. It’s also important to know that big names like Frigidaire and White-Westinghouse belong to Swedish multinational Electrolux, while the well-known KitchenAid and Maytag belong to Whirlpool. It’s important to keep this in mind whenever you feel like either glorifying or demonizing a brand, because things change.

The poster child for this is Kenmore. Kenmore is a brand, not a manufacturer, which means that itsrefrigerators are built by all the different brands in the market: Whirlpool, Electrolux, Bosch, LG, Samsung, and Haier. It’s important to look at the serial number to figure out who manufactured a specificmodel and see if what they offer will be up to your expectations of quality and performance.

Is repair readily available?

Each brand of appliances has different manufacturing processes, and some aspire to innovate consistently. LG and Samsung, for example, have their own style of compressors and plenty of electronic parts in their appliances. This means that not every appliance repairman is trained to deal with these types of products, as they require more specialization. Be sure that wherever you buy your refrigerator, specialized repairmen are available whether it be through the distributor themselves or through a third party nearby.

Always look at the warranty

As we mentioned before, warranty for household appliances is complicated. On average, you will be covered during the first 12 months on damaged parts and labor (as long as the damage is not user error). However, for most brands, coverage for laborusually stops after that first year, and for five years they will normally cover parts involving the sealed refrigeration system. After that time frame, some of them still cover the compressor. On brands like Samsung, it will also depend on which type of compressor your refrigerator has, whether it has a regular compressor (5 years) or an inverter compressor (10 years).

FAQs about Refrigerators

How do I get rid of my old fridge?

Most big distributors (like Best Buy, Sears or Home Depot) will haul away your old refrigerator when they deliver the new one for an additional fee. There are many different stores, so make sure to check the one you’re purchasing from to make sure. Other ways are to check with your local government or recycling organizations that do this type of work.

Were older refrigerators really better?

They did have more longevity, as you may have heard from your grandparents. This is because their mechanisms were simpler, and didn’t involve many electronics, which fail more often that compressors themselves. Also, nowadays there is a lot of innovation with inverter compressors, which have not been perfected yet. Were they better? That depends on what you want from your fridge.

What is the difference between side-by-sides, bottom-freezers and french-doors?

A side-by-side refrigerator has the refrigerator on one side and the freezer on the other; bottom-freezers have one door for the refrigerator on top, and one door for the freezer at the bottom, whereas the french-door refrigerators have two doors for the refrigerator itself, and one door (or two in more recent designs) for the freezer at the bottom.

Should I buy an extended warranty for my new refrigerator?

While many sellers will recommend that customers purchase an extended warranty, too often these protection plans don't cover a number of parts (especially the ones that are most prone to damage). Consumers can be much better off by simply putting some money away each month (roughly the equivalent to what a warranty would have cost), and finding a good, professional repairperson to rely on.

What should I look for in a refrigerator repair warranty?

Over the course of the ten to fifteen years of a refrigerator's average lifespan, it will probably break down more than once. While all fridges have their own warranties, these are usually limited to one year for parts and labor on the refrigerator itself, and then between one and seven years from the date of purchase for the sealed system (condenser, dryer, connecting tube, refrigerant and evaporator). Depending on the level of complexity of the model, it's worth noting that parts such as icemakers, beverage dispensers, door seals and gaskets aren't usually covered.

Can I install my own fridge, or should I hire a professional?

Refrigerator installation is usually quite simple, though this will depend on the type of fridge you purchased. Even if the model has a water line, installation usually consists of connecting the line, plugging in the cord and rolling it into place. However, many sellers offer complimentary delivery and installation, so this is generally not an issue.

How much does a good refrigerator cost?

The cost of a refrigerator depends on a number of factors, including its style, size, and level of technological sophistication. Top freezers, the simplest type, generally cost between $480 and $2,200. Bottom freezers are generally pricier ($900-$1,900), as are side-by-side models ($1,150-$3,100), and french door ($1,200 to $4,000). These prices are approximates, but consumers should be aware that the purchase of a new refrigerator or any other major appliance, will require a significant investment.

When should I buy a new refrigerator?

The best time to purchase a new refrigerator is during the spring months, when retailers are usually attempting to empty out inventory to make room for new models, and therefore generally offer good sales. Major holidays are also excellent times to buy a new fridge, since stores capitalize on consumers' day off and slash prices considerably.

Which refrigerators are made in the USA?

Many top appliance brands only manufacture some of their models in the United States, though most top freezers and side-by-side refrigerators are made outside of the U.S. Consumers who wish to purchase American-made products should do their homework and look at the individual models they're interested in. With the trend towards increased reshoring, the U.S. has become more competitive in these categories, so this task shouldn't be too arduous.

How do I know if I should change my refrigerator?

There are a few telltale warning signs that can be indicative of an imminent need to replace a refrigerator. These can include, but are not limited to, constant repairs, excessive condensation, constant noise coming from the motor, excessive frosting in the freezer, things taking longer to cool or spoiling too quickly, or the motor running hot. Side by side fridges tend to break down more quickly than bottom freezers, as well. Other reasons to buy a new fridge are wanting a more energy-efficient model, or because you've found a great deal on a new one.

How long does a refrigerator last?

Most modern refrigerators are made to last approximately ten to thirteen years, though some models can have a functional lifespan of as much as twenty years.

Which refrigerator brand is the best?

It can be hard to say which refrigerator brand is best, since any brand's reliability and performance will depend on the specific model being tested. One brand may manufacture excellent bottom-freezer fridges, for instance, but less dependable side by side models. In general, though, refrigerators with more sophisticated technology have higher chances of needing more repairs than more standard designs. Elements such as door water and ice dispensers are also prone to breakdowns. While this shouldn't put consumers off from purchasing fancy fridges with all the bells and whistles, it is something to keep in mind.

(Video) 5 Best Refrigerators in 2023

Our Refrigerators Review Summed Up

Company Name
Samsung 4-Door French-Door RefrigeratorsBest Smart Option & For Foodies
General Electric Profile Series French-Door RefrigeratorBest for Big Families
General Electric GLE12HSLSS RefrigeratorBest for Small Spaces
Whirlpool WRT549SZDM Top-Freezer RefrigeratorMost Reliable
Kenmore Elite 74405 Smart French Door RefrigeratorMost Efficient
Sub-Zero RefrigerationBest Built-In

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(Video) 5 Best Refrigerators 2023

FAQs

What brand of refrigerator has the best ratings? ›

These are our picks for best refrigerator brands of 2022:
  • Best overall refrigerator brand: LG.
  • Best budget refrigerator brand: Frigidaire.
  • Best high-end refrigerator brand: Sub-Zero.
  • Best smart refrigerator brand: Samsung.
  • Best energy-efficient refrigerator brand: Whirlpool.
  • Most reliable refrigerator brand: GE.
Nov 3, 2022

Which is the No 1 brand of refrigerator? ›

Whirlpool. It is a well-known American brand with a large selection of refrigerators, including french doors, side-by-side models, top freezer models, and many others. The premium design and unique features of the Whirlpool refrigerator set it apart from competing brands.

What is the best fridge to buy 2022? ›

Best Overall: GE Smart Appliances 36-Inch French Door Refrigerator. Best Budget French Door Refrigerator: Frigidaire 26.8-Cubic Feet French Door Refrigerator. Best Side-by-Side Refrigerator: LG 36-Inch Freestanding Side by Side Refrigerator. Best Budget Side-by-Side Refrigerator: Samsung 27.4 cu.

Which refrigerator lasts the longest? ›

French door refrigerators and side-by-side refrigerators tend to last longer than bottom-freezer and top-freezer refrigerators. How long should a refrigerator last? Refrigerators should generally last around 12 years.

What is the most reliable American made refrigerator? ›

Maybe you want to support American workers by buying American-made appliances, or perhaps you just want a high quality, well-made unit that will last for years.
...
Top 5 Refrigerator Brands Made in the USA
  1. Sub-Zero Refrigerators. ...
  2. Thermador Refrigerators. ...
  3. Viking Refrigerators. ...
  4. GE Refrigerators. ...
  5. Whirlpool Refrigerators.
Jul 1, 2018

Which refrigerator is best LG or Whirlpool? ›

The Verdict

For refrigerators with double doors, Whirlpool is the most effective. If you are looking for a single-door refrigerator, Whirlpool is the top choice. For triple-door refrigerators, Whirlpool is the top choice. For side-by-side models, LG is the ideal choice.

What month is the best time to buy a refrigerator? ›

“Usually the best time to buy a refrigerator would be the beginning of the year, say January through March, because that's when the companies come out with their new line.”

Is there a 5 Star refrigerator? ›

A 5 star refrigerator is an energy-efficient appliance that can help save on energy consumption and power bills. The compressor in the fridge is either an Intelli sense inverter, digital inverter, rotary, DC inverter, smart inverter, hygiene plus inverter or a reciprocatory type.

What are the least reliable refrigerator brands? ›

Least Reliable Refrigerators: Bosch and Frigidaire

Puls notes in its report that named Whirlpool and KitchenAid as the most reliable refrigerators, that Whirlpool ranked highly among repair technicians, in part, because of its brand reputation and because many of its appliances are easier to use and repair.

What is the biggest problem with LG refrigerators? ›

Unfortunately, many LG users have reported that they have had problems with their compressors. The most common culprit is a faulty seal, which can stop the compressor from being able to run. So, if your fridge is running but not cooling, then there is a good chance you have an issue with your compressor.

How many years should you keep a refrigerator? ›

Most refrigerators are designed to last between 10 and 20 years. If you're having any of the other problems on this list and the fridge is over ten years old, you'll probably save more money in the long run by simply replacing it. Otherwise, you could sink money into repairs for a fridge that's already on its way out.

Do high end refrigerators last longer? ›

Compared to their lower-cost counterparts, luxury appliances are built with superior materials for a higher quality performance meant to last a lifetime.

Who makes high quality refrigerators? ›

LG: The major brand with the highest satisfaction

Among refrigerators from the five major brands, LG fridges seem to make their owners the happiest.

Which brand of refrigerators are made in the United States? ›

Whirlpool Refrigerators

As the largest of all the American Appliance companies, the answer is yes. Based in Benton Charter Township, Michigan, with major manufacturing centers throughout North America, Whirlpool employs tens of thousands of American workers. The company has been making refrigerators since 1955.

Which French door refrigerator has the least problems? ›

Whirlpool is the top choice for a reliable French door refrigerator brand, according to the J.D. Power's report. KitchenAid and Samsung follow in second and third place, respectively. Another notable finding: The Puls report also named Whirlpool as the overall most reliable home-appliance brand.

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