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The 10 Best Refrigerators

results are based on 20,826 reviews scanned

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Yellow first place 1 Danby Danby Danby DAR044A5BSLDD Compact Refrigerator, Spotless Steel Door, 4.4
1363 reviews
0.0
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Danby DAR044A5BSLDD Compact Refrigerator, Spotless Steel Door, 4.4 Review and Comparison New
Danby DAR044A5BSLDD Compact Refrigerator, Spotless Steel Door, 4.4 Review and Comparison Used
Danby DAR044A5BSLDD Compact Refrigerator, Spotless Steel Door, 4.4 Review and Comparison
Orange best value 2 Danby Danby Danby DAR033A6BSLDB Contemporary Classic Compact All Refrigerator, Spotless
305 reviews
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Danby DAR033A6BSLDB Contemporary Classic Compact All Refrigerator, Spotless Review and Comparison New
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Danby DAR033A6BSLDB Contemporary Classic Compact All Refrigerator, Spotless Review and Comparison
3 Hisense Hisense Hisense RR63D6ASE Refrigerator with Single Door and Freezer
126 reviews
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Hisense RR63D6ASE Refrigerator with Single Door and Freezer Review and Comparison
Hisense RR63D6ASE Refrigerator with Single Door and Freezer Review and Comparison
4 Avanti Avanti Avanti RA7316PST 2-Door Apartment Size Refrigerator, Black
228 reviews
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5 Danby Danby Danby DPF073C1WDB 24-Inch Top Freezer Refrigerator with 7.3
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6 Eurodib Eurodib Eurodib USF33D Single Section Dual Temperature Full Glass
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7 Small Refrigerator Dorm Fridge 4.5 cu ft Office
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8 Smad 1.0-1.8 cu ft Absorption Refrigerator Hotel Dorm
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9 Samsung Samsung Samsung model HAF-CIN/EXP Refrigerator Water Filter DA29-00020B
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10 Office Mini Fridge Compact Refrigerator Dorm Freezer Small
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Your Guide To Buying a Refrigerator

By Yehudah Posnick

If you have ever had the unpleasant experience of being without your refrigerator for even just a few hours--either because it broke, or if there was a power outage--you’ll quickly realize how much of a necessity a refrigerator has become. You’ll frantically look for somewhere to keep the perishables fresh. You’ll want a cold place for the frozen items. It stands to reason that you want a refrigerator that will do its job properly, with a minimum of repairs or maintenance.

You’ll also want a refrigerator with features to preserve your food, whether it’s fruit, vegetables, or leftovers that you cooked yesterday. You’ll also want something that lets you see and find your food conveniently. You don’t want to forget about some food for so long, you can’t tell what it is anymore (as in the famous George Carlin skit).

We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision when selecting a refrigerator. It'll help you:

  • Choose the right type of refrigerator,

  • See useful tips about that particular type of refrigerator,

  • Read reviews of different refrigerators, and what customers are saying,

  • Select the right brand of refrigerator, and

  • Compare prices and find the best deals.

Types of Refrigerators

There are four major types of refrigerators, as well as compact models, which are in a class by themselves.

  • Top Freezer: This is the most popular, where the lower compartment is the refrigerator, and the upper compartment contains the freezer. Having the freezer on the top is more energy-efficient, it that it cools off the refrigerator compartment more effectively, using 10-25% less energy. But the single wide door swings open into the kitchen area and takes a lot of space. Also, the bottom shelves may prove hard to reach.  Generally, it will have a separate door for the freezer and refrigerator section--you’ll occasionally see refrigerators with a single door, such as the Hisense RR63D6ASE Refrigerator.

Kenmore Top Freezer Refrigerator (Model No. 60505)--an example of a two-door refrigerator-freezer

Hisense Single-Door Refrigerator-Freezer

  • Bottom freezer: This model has the freezer in the bottom compartment. People like this design because it puts the food you need the most at eye-level, as exemplified by the Kenmore Elite Bottom Freezer (Model No. 79043).

Kenmore Elite Bottom Freezer (Model No. 79043)

  • French door: This employs four separate doors: two main doors, like a side-by-side model, and two slide-out drawers in the bottom. The bottom-most drawer is the freezer compartment, and the drawer on top of it is a storage space with adjustable temperature.

 

Smeta Counter-Depth French Door Refrigerator

  • Side-by-side: In this design, there are two compartments standing side by side. One side is the freezer compartment, and the other side is the refrigerator. This is better for a small kitchen since opening the door will not take up so much space. Since there are two doors, each door is smaller, so it doesn’t occupy as much space when you open it. Also, opening the door lets less cold air out of the refrigerator, so it runs more economically.

Bosch 300 Series Side-By-Side Refrigerator

  • Compact refrigerators: If you just need a refrigerator for a dorm room--with no freezer--you should consider a compact refrigerator, which has a much smaller capacity. The Danby Compact Refrigerator comes in 1.7, 2.6, 3.2, and 4.4 cubic feet. The 4.4 cubic feet model still has three shelves, a vegetable bin, and room on the door to accommodate plenty of drinks and bottles.

What Reviewers Say

  • Reversible door hinge: When you buy a fridge, it will usually have the hinge on the right. But what if your fridge is pushed against the wall, and you’d prefer it to open from the left? Many fridges are designed to have a reversible hinge, so that you have the option of having your fridge open from the side that is easier for you.

  • Lighting inside: Some refrigerators have some cool lighting ideas, so that you can see what’s inside your fridge. The Kenmore 60505 Top Freezer uses LED lights inside, that illuminate effectively without heating up the refrigerator’s interior.

  • Drawers and adjustable shelves: Fridges with adjustable shelves and removable vegetable bins make organizing the fridge much easier. They are also easier to clean. Don’t be afraid of glass shelves in today’s refrigerators. The glass is tempered, to be extra strong. They will preserve food better than the older wire shelves.

  • Allow for space in the back: You mustn’t push the back of the refrigerator against the wall. You need at least 2 inches of space for heat to dissipate from the back of the unit. It’s also recommended to have ⅛” from each side, and 1” from the top of the refrigerator and any cabinets or ceilings.

Important Features

  • Crisper drawers: You’ll notice that refrigerators are supplied with drawers. These drawers are not only to help you arrange foods in the fridge. They are called “crisper drawers”. Fruits remain fresher longer when in low humidity, and vegetables remain fresher in high humidity. Crisper drawers will help you keep each food at its optimal humidity. They have a window that you open or close, to adjust the amount of moisture in each drawer.

  • Capacity: For a family of four, you’ll need a refrigerator of somewhere around 22 cubic feet of capacity. The Kenmore Top Freezer has a 24.1 cubic feet overall interior, 4 shelves, and 3 drawers. You probably only use 80% of the actual volume of the fridge. French door fridges will have somewhere from 22-28 cubic feet of volume, while bottom freezers will have the least volume, with a capacity of 12-19 cubic feet.

  • Door space: Since warm air enters every time you open the door, expect the food on the door to be warmer than the rest of the refrigerator. The temperature of the food on the door can be 7 degrees higher than the rest of the refrigerator. Store drinks on the door. It will still be cool enough to keep drinks cold. But more perishable foods should be placed deeper into the fridge.

  • Defrosting: The freezer section of your refrigerator will accumulate ice over time. This is because warm, moist air enters the freezer every time you open it. The water vapor in that air condenses and freezes in the freezer. If you don’t defrost the fridge, that ice will accumulate until you can’t fit anything in your freezer anymore! Here are some defrosting options among refrigerator models:

    • Some models have an automatic defrost feature, which periodically warms up the freezer so that the ice melts. The Kenmore 61212 20.8 cu.ft. Top-Freezer Refrigerator has such an automatic defrost.  

    • Other fridges are semi-automatic: when you see that ice is accumulating, you press a button, and it defrosts the freezer. That should be done every three months, to keep the freezer and refrigerator working properly. The Hisense Refrigerator employs semi-automatic defrost.

    • If you have to defrost your fridge manually, there are several ways to speed up the process of getting the ice to melt. Some suggest putting a bowl of hot water in the fridge to melt the ice. Others use a fan, or even a snowblower, to blow on the ice--it actually makes it melt faster. A handheld steam cleaner will also do the trick.

Top-Rated Brands

  • HiSense--is a retailer of consumer electronics and home appliances, based in Midrand, Johannesburg. They sell televisions, smartphones, refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners. They make all models of refrigerators: French door, side-by-side, bottom mount, top mount, bar fridges, ice makers, chest freezers, and more.

  • Kenmore--was founded in 1913 in Chicago, Illinois, as a brand of household appliances, such as refrigerators, washers and dryers, ovens, ranges, cooktops, vacuums, air purifiers, and much more. They are a subsidiary of Sears Holdings.

  • Danby--started as a family-owned business in 1947 located in Montreal. They make a large assortment of appliances for the home and kitchen. Their appliances include ice makers, wine coolers, keg coolers, air conditioners and dehumidifiers, apartment-size and compact refrigerators and freezers, and more.  

  • Avanti--are manufacturers of compact, frost-free, and apartment-sized refrigerators, upright and chest freezers, beverage coolers, and other kitchen appliances. Their headquarters is located in Miami, Florida.

  • Koolatron--are makers of a wide range of refrigerators and freezers, as well as a number of household, outdoors, and pet care products. Koolatron was founded in 1983, and have grown to manufacture over 200 unique products in 30 countries. They have their headquarters in Brantford, Ontario, and major offices in Quebec and New York.

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