Cooling appliances is a very vague phrase that covers a wide range of products. In this guide, we’ll talk specifically about refrigerating units. If your search for the overall best refrigerator has left you scratching your head, your worries are over. Below, you’ll find our picks of the best, most trustworthy, longest-lasting refrigerators ever.
Refrigerator Buying Guide
Even though we’ve shown you what we think are the best overall refrigerators on the market, those particular models may not be accessible to you. Instead, if you need to shop on your own, you can use the following guide to find the best model for your home or apartment.
When Should You Replace Your Refrigerator?
Here’s something many of you may not be aware of. It’s a lot cheaper to replace the refrigerator you inherited from your grandparents than it is to pay its electricity bill. Older models—those over ten years old—use ancient-civilization technology that do not meet the energy efficiency demands of today’s market.
Even if your refrigerator keeps your food cold and your ice cubes frozen, if it still dons the 1970’s pink or sea-blue hue, it’s time to upgrade. At the decade mark, you need to consider upgrading to a more recent model.
How Long Do Refrigerators Last?
Refrigerators generally have a lifespan of about ten years, though they certainly can last longer (see the previous section).
If you purchased your current refrigerator some time within the last decade, you may not need to replace it at all. If it doesn’t work as well as it did when you first bought it, you may be able to salvage it by getting it professionally checked and repaired.
However, it certainly doesn’t hurt to invest in a new refrigerator; especially one that’s ENERGY STAR certified. We’ll talk about energy-saving features later on.
Types of Refrigerators
One of the most confusing factors when choosing a refrigerator is the type. There are five types to choose from, each with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. In this section, we’ll explain in detail what each type is and why you might consider choosing it.
The most traditional type refrigerator is the top-freezer version. Odds are that your current refrigerator is a top-freezer or that you’ve come across this type more than the others.
Top-freezer refrigerators are those with low-level cooling units on the bottom and a freezer for meats and other spoilable foods on top. This tried-and-true type of refrigerator is popular for a reason: they’re the most affordable.
Taller folks may have issues bending way, way down to see whatever food is in the refrigerator portion, but it’s definitely not a deal-breaker, especially since these units come in a variety of sizes.
You also have the option to choose a refrigerator where the chilling and freezing units have swapped places. These refrigerators also have larger freezer units relative to its overall size compared to top-freezers.
Since the refrigerating unit, which is the more accessed part of any refrigerator-freezer combo, is at eye-level, there’s not a lot of strain on your back or neck from leaning over. This design also lets you find what you need more quickly than top-freezer versions, though this is a very-minor advantage if we’re being honest.
A side-by-side refrigerator has a refrigerating unit on one side and a freezing unit on the other. Due to its design, you might not be able to store wide items in either unit, which can be a problem if you plan on heating a box of pizza on the following day.
They’re also less energy-efficient than top-freezer models, though their price tags are very similar. One huge advantage is that you don’t need wide clearance to swing either door wide open. Also, their unique design makes them the center of attention in the kitchen.
French door refrigerators are, by far, the most appealing type of refrigerator out there. The freezing unit is found at the bottom, similar to a bottom-freezer fridge, and the chilling unit is accessible by swinging two short doors open.
Or, if you know what you’re looking for, you can open one door, leaving the other shut in order to limit the amount of chilled air that escapes. This energy-saving feature is a tremendous upside that more than pays for its higher upfront cost.
If your dorm room, bedroom, or office unit needs a refrigerator, this is the most cost-effective and space-efficient type. Mini fridges have smaller footprints, use less energy, and may even come with a slight gap for making ice cubs or freezing small items.
The tradeoff for its space-saving design is its storage capacity. These refrigerators will keep two or three 6-packs cool throughout the day with very little room for anything else. However, as a college student, that doesn’t exactly sound like a problem.
Factors to Consider when Shopping for a Refrigerator
Here are the most crucial factors to take into account when shopping for a refrigerator.
Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise! The size of your refrigerator is one of the most important aspects to take into account.
You can look at the size of the refrigerator by checking its storage capacity, typically measured in cubic feet. The higher the figure, the more food it stores, and the more you should spend on your weekly grocery shopping trip to fill your fridge to capacity.
Also, you need to be aware of the fridge’s footprint or how much space it takes. A certain model may draw your eye, but if you need to renovate your kitchen to accommodate its bulkiness, then you’ve got a whole set of new problems on your hands.
Also, make sure that your kitchen has