Refrigerators are a staple need in everyday life. So much so that we do not give a second thought to the huge white box in our kitchens. That is until it stops working, or we need to upgrade the old unit.
Most of us buy a refrigerator only once in a lifetime. Although, a lot of people also keep changing or upgrading to different refrigerators every 5 years. That is why it is important that you take this decision with all the information at hand and after doing thorough research. There is a wide range of refrigerators available in the market these days and it can be overwhelming to step into the vortex.
It is obvious that not every type of refrigerator will serve the same functions. With the rise in technology, there is also a host of features with every unit and different sets are meant to serve different user base. For example, someone who loves to collect wines will not be happy with a regular refrigerator they’ll prefer specialized wine coolers that can control temperature and humidity to best serve your wine needs.
Similarly, students living in dorms or people with limited office spaces may prefer a mini-fridge over a regular fridge, in order to save space and energy. A bottom freezer fridge will be ideal for someone who has balance problems and spinal injury. French door or Side by Side refrigerators are perfect for people who do not have much clearance space in their kitchen, and commercial refrigerators are available for those of you who want to start a food business.
To help you get the most out of your refrigeration unit, we have compiled a comprehensive list of different kinds of refrigerators, along with their best features, pros, and cons, We’ve also added images to which can help you recognize them. So you can read on and find out exactly what you need before venturing out to buy a unit.
1. French Door Refrigerators
The French door style refrigerators are sleek and sophisticated machines. They optimize energy and look stylish while doing it. You can open both the doors, so the space inside the refrigerators is much more easily managed.
The freezer is usually at the bottom, so all your goods are at eye level. The shelves are more manageable, making it even more easy to store tall bottles in your refrigerator now.
There is a separate spice space right in the door, so you do not have to worry about your precious herbs getting lost at the back of the refrigerator. The freezers at the bottom are deep and spacious, plenty of storage room for your beers and ice creams. And because the freezers open separately, you do not have to worry about that ice cream melting.
Although functional in every way possible for anyone who wants a refrigerator, french door styled refrigerators are more attractive an option for those of you who want to fit a stylish machine in your home that will not look out of place in your chrome finish, modern kitchen. Because of their sophisticated looks, they are most commonly found in people who care about the appearance of their appliance.
Additionally, the fact that you can open both the doors means you need little clearance to open the refrigerator. So if you have just moved to a smaller space and do not want to compromise on the storage space inside it, while still maintaining a spacious kitchen, get a french door styled fridge.
It is ideal for those of you who are tech-savvy and need a machine that you can control at the tip of your fingers. Most of the french door styled models come with wi-fi connectivity and a touch screen panel to control settings like temperature and humidity. Get the best out of your fruits and veggies by storing them at exactly the right temperature.
This refrigerator-style has another advantage, It helps you save energy. Because you only have to open one side at a time, there is no loss of cooling from the other side. That makes these ones the most efficient types of refrigerators in this list. If you are struggling with electricity bills, it might be time to switch to a more competent model.
Lastly, because the freezer compartment is at the bottom, french door style refrigerators are perfect for those of you who have back problems and do not want to bend over and over to get your products out.
The Best Brands for French Door Refrigerator: LG, Frigidaire, Samsung, Thermadoor, and GE Profile series.
- Less energy consumption
- Less clearance required for opening the fridge
- More storage space
- Freezer at the bottom
- These fridges usually come in a larger size
- Can be more expensive than other types
2. Side by Side Refrigerators
The Side by side refrigerators have been in the market only for the last couple of years but they are slowly gaining popularity. And it is easy to see why. The refrigerators are split halfway or a little more than halfway through. It is one side and the freezer on the other. Most of them allocate more space to the refrigerator portion than the freezer, but you can easily find an equally divided model if you want.
They also tend to be more expensive than regular models and one can see why. Not only do you get more storage space, but the complete separation of the refrigerator and freezer also allows you to save more energy, as there is little to no loss of cooling when you open one or the other. Just like french door refrigerators, these appliances also require less clearance for opening the doors. That means more space in your kitchen.
If you have elderly people in your home or are buying a fridge for your parents, this may be the perfect fit for you. As you do not have to bend over to get to the freezer compartment, it is excellent for those of you who have a backache, spinal problems, or balance issues.
With extra freezer space, the appliance is perfect for those of you who survive on frozen delicacies and like to buy your produce in bulk. Feel free to freeze a week’s worth of fruits and veggies in this wide freezer compartment. These types of refrigerators also feature separate compartments for eggs and dairy, so you can keep them fresh without losing them.
The separate fruit boxes and customizable shelves allow the maximum utility of the refrigerator space without getting overstuffed. You can easily compartmentalize the space inside and designate a separate space for everything – perfect for large families that buy groceries in bulk. No longer will you be ruffling through your refrigerator looking for that one specific item. Now everything is exactly at its right place.
Moreover, the best side by side refrigerator models also come with an option to keep it running efficiently when you go on holiday. This is a very handy option for those of us who have to get away on impromptu office getaways. Don’t worry about emptying your fridge before leaving, the smart control will take care of all your fruits and vegetables.
Best Side by Side Refrigerator Brands: Haier, LG, Samsung, GE, KitchenAid, and Bosch.
- Energy efficent fridge
- Plenty of storage space for frozen items as well as fresh produce
- Less clearance space required
- Expensive, compared to other models
- Occupies more space in the kitchen
3. Bottom Freezer Refrigerators
If you are looking for a simple budget-friendly fridge that comes with a bottom freezer with none of the bells and whistles, consider this type.
This is your regular refrigerator with a freezer, except the freezer has been moved to the bottom. Gone are the days when you had to bend over and over and break your back to get to those fruits. These modern appliances are perfect for senior citizens and those with medical issues. Or even for those of us who are simply too lazy.
If you struggle with using your fresh produce before it gets rotten, this is the perfect appliance for you. With all your vegetables at the eye level, they will not be pushed to the back and forgotten. You will be able to plan your meals much more efficiently and without any wastage of food.
The bottom freezer refrigerators also come with more functionality and space than regular ones. Sure they will occupy more space, but if you have a large family, it will be worth it. No more stuffing the compartments with food. The shelves are customizable so you can store however much, in whatever way that suits you.
The crisper drawers fitted in a bottom freezer refrigerator will help your produce fresher for longer. It is a perfect system for those of you who buy your fruits and veggies in bulk. Just stuff them in the crisper drawers and forget about it until you decide to eat them.
The advanced cooling systems are another reason you should buy this kind of a fridge. Because the freezer is at the bottom, there is a lesser load on the compressor. Not only do you save more energy, but the compartments also cool easily and much faster than traditional models. This is an ideal system for those of you looking to save some dollars on electricity bills.
The bottom freezer systems also come with another cool feature – the auto defrost. Never again do you have to go through the hassle of losing precious freezer space to the ice for several days, followed by melting the ice manually. The auto defrost system prevents the formation of excessive ice automatically.
Most of these models also come equipped with a built-in ice machine. So the next time you host a party, simply pop open the freezer door and get some to cool down your beers and whiskeys. The water dispenser is another elegant feature. Forget the days of opening the fridge door to get some cold water in those scorching sunny days. The automatic water dispenser system is ideal for those who have small kids.
Best brands for bottom freezer type fridge: Samsung, Haier, LG, Bosch and Whirlpool.
- No more bending to get to vegetables and fruits
- More storage space
- Auto defrost
- Automatic water dispenser
- More expensive than top freezer models
- Requires more space in the kitchen
- Requires more clearance space
4. Top Freezer Refrigerators
The old and handy top freezer type models are still the most reliable and preferred by a majority of the population. The classic formula saves you thousands of dollars, while still providing the basic features in a neat little package.
A top-freezer fridge can be two types – double doors with separate compartments for fridge and freezer, or a single door on the outside with freezer compartment fitted in the fridge.
These appliances are generally smaller than the newer models with top freezer or side by side freezer. Therefore, they are a perfect solution for those of you looking for a small fridge to fit into your small home. If you are under the
Consider going for a traditional top freezer fridge if you are living alone and do not require a lot of freezer space. Not only will you save space for other furniture, but you will also save thousands of dollars that would otherwise go for bills. Also, these fridges are way cheaper than their newer models with fancy features. That’s more money in your pocket!
These models do not come with many bells and whistles. This is the perfect arrangement for your elderly parents who might get confused with the excess of features that come loaded in modern appliances. Just plug it in and you are done. No endless fiddling with the settings to get everything just right.
Since they are an old design, these fridges come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, not to mention colors. You can easily find one that perfectly fits your needs. Colour coordination with your kitchen and the rest of your furniture will be a breeze.
Due to their small size, the fridges are energy efficient. Not only will you be saving money
Best brands for top freezer type fridge: LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, GE, Haier
- Small in size
- Energy efficient
- Comes in a large number of sizes and colours
- You will have to bend over, again and again, to get to the produce compartment
- Ice machine and cold water dispenser not available
- A lot of features that are present in other types of fridges are missing
5. Freezer-less Refrigerators
Freezer-less fridges have only recently come into the public spotlight. As the name indicates, these units come without a freezer compartment. In recent years, there has been a deluge of demand for freezer-less units, owing to a rising student population and a decrease in the availability of real estate space.
The freezer-less fridges are perfect for those of us who live in tiny studio apartments and do not have much space to devote to a large fridge unit. It is also perfect for students who live in dormitories and student housing. There is no need to clear out a large area just to fit in your fridge in your kitchen. With a freezer-less unit, you can simply slide one in a corner and forget all about it. Additionally, the top of the fridge can be used as a countertop to store even more space.
The freezer-less appliances are perfect for those of you who cannot fork out a large amount of money for a fridge. These types of fridges cost significantly less money than the ones with a freezer. And they do all this without compromising on quality.
If you are looking to cut back on some of your monthly bills, consider getting a freezer-less fridge. Because they do not have to be kept running all day, you will save a lot of your hard-earned dollars with one of these.
Freezer-less fridges are a boon for those of you who prefer to eat fresh food on a daily basis. If you are not using the freezer compartment, why pay the money to keep it running. Get a freezer-less fridge that will have plenty to store your fruits and vegetables.
If you are looking to remodel your kitchen and do not want any extra appliances cluttering the space, get a freezer-less fridge. This way, you can move the extra storage space to the basement or another part of the house. Or simply get separate fridge and freezer units to give your kitchen a sleek and elegant look.
Best brands for freezer-less type fridge: Haier, Summit, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, Avanti.
- Less space required
- Energy efficient
- More space for storing produce and fresh food items
- Lack of a freezer
- No modern features
6. Mini Fridges
Mini fridges are all the rage in the market these days. There is a host of appliances available that range in size and storage capacity, price range, and functionality. They have taken the last decade by storm and their demand will continue to rise in the coming years.
One of the many customers of mini-fridges includes students who live in dorms, studio apartment owners and rich families who want an additional refrigerator in their bedrooms. The units do not cost an arm and a leg to buy, are easily portable from one place to another and do not cost thousands in electricity bills. They are the perfect solution for broke students who need a fridge to fit in a small space.
Mini fridges are also ideal for those of you who want to have a cold storage space in your office, recreation room, garage basement, etc. Store your beers easily in a fridge and keep them handy, whether you are working or throwing a party in your game room.
Mini refrigerators with lock systems are the perfect solution for those of you who want to keep your alcoholic beverages far away from the hands of kids and teenagers. Just stuff them in your mini-fridge, lock it and forget all about it.
Many of these mini-fridges come with freezer functions. If you already have a freezer-less unit, you can simply get the one with a wide temperature range and be done with it, instead of getting a whole new refrigerator.
If you are someone who moves a lot, consider getting this style instead of heavy units. They come in all sizes from 1 cubic meter to 5, making it effortless to transport them.
You can get an used mini refrigerator if you looking for a temporary solution to keep your food fresh until you get a permanent unit. Since they are cheap and multifunctional, you can get one now and use it for additional storage later on. They are also energy efficient which will help you cut down on monthly bills.
- Small in size, saves space
- Energy efficient
- Less costly
- Have to be kept running constantly
- Not enough storage space
7. Wine Coolers
So you have recently acquired a taste for wines and want to store them at home. Get a specialized fridge for your expensive beverages. The wine cooler is a cool appliance, no pun intended, specially created to provide optimum conditions for wines.
Regular refrigerators are not ideal for wine storage. The temperature cannot be controlled precisely, there is no humidity control. Certain types of wines are very sensitive to both these factors. Not to mention the sediments that would get disturbed every time you open your fridge. These factors can adversely affect the taste and odor of your wine.
You can go through my list of best wine coolers and end up buying the best ones according to me. However, what’s best for me won’t necessarily be the best for you. That’s why I’ve written a detailed wine cooler buying guide which can help you figure out things you should consider before buying one.
Although there are plenty of fridges that come with specialized compartments for storing wine, they often do not have the same range of features that a specialized wine cooler offers. They cannot be cooled enough and the humidity control is always sketchy.
If you are a beginner to wine collection, it might be a good idea to get a single zone cooling fridge that has limited temperature and humidity control. It is the perfect wine cooler for those of you who only like red or only white wines.
Dual-zone cooling wine coolers are for more sophisticated people. If you have been a collector for a while and want to upgrade your old unit, get one of these babies. You can store both red and white wines in these fridges, as they come with a whole range of temperature and humidity control features.
Most wine coolers come with an ultra-quiet feature which is an absolute necessity when it comes to wine storage. Excessive noise and humming can disturb the sediments of expensive wine and thus alter the taste.
Wine coolers also often come with a glass door. You can easily see what bottles you have left and do not have to open the fridge again and again. That will help in the least disturbance of the wine and maximum cooling. The wine coolers feature external temperature control, you can change the setting manually, exactly the way you require.
If you are the kind of person who likes everything color-coordinated, you will love built-in wine coolers. These fridges come with specialized ventilation so you easily get them integrated into your kitchen cabinets for a sleek and sophisticated finish.
Best brands for wine coolers: Whytner, Haier, Avanti, Edgestar, Westinghouse.
- Temperature and humidity control
- Silent running
- Best for wine collectors
- Can only be used for wine storage
8. Commercial Refrigerators
Commercial fridges are huge appliances typically seen in food courts and convenience stores. If you looking for one, you are likely thinking of opening a food business, or already have one and want to upgrade your current unit.
The world of commercial fridges can be a confusing one. There are too many types and too many features to choose from. How do you decide which one is best for you?
If you own a small food store and are looking for an inexpensive option, get a fridge that is not deep. The shelves should be reachable so you or the customers can grab food on the go. These fridges are usually upright and feature one or two glass doors, so the customers can have a look at the food they are buying.
Refrigerators that come with worktop are ideal for restaurants. They feature prep area and easily accessible fridge compartments to get your hands on those fresh vegetables while you are cooking.
Walk-in refrigerators are meant for large restaurants and hotels that need a huge pantry area to store their produce, dairy, and other food items. As the name indicates, you can walk in these refrigerators and have a look around at the stored foods.
When buying walk-in refrigerators, it is important to consider the ambiance of the area. High humidity areas may cause the potential for slipping on the floor. In such areas, proper insulation is required before installing the fridge.
Best brands for commercial refrigerators: Bosch, EdgeStar, Arctic Air,
- Large storage space
- Versatility in features and appearance
- Available in wide range of prices
- Require large space for placement
- More energy expenditure
Different types of refrigeration units are meant for different people. If you are under a crunch for space and want to buy something that spends less energy, it is suitable for a bedroom, dorm room, office, etc. You shall get a mini-fridge. These tiny appliances not only save money on bills, but they also cost much less than a regular refrigerator unit.
A bottom freezer refrigerator will be ideal for someone who has balance problems and spinal injury. The French door refrigerators are for people with less clearance space, The side by side refrigerator can be helpful for those who have high-storage requirements, and commercial fridges are suitable if you own a restaurant or want to start a food business.
They are also perfect appliances if you just want to store your alcoholic beverages and snacks for those times when your friends come over. Whether it is your rec room, office, or man cave – a mini-fridge is the perfect addition. Watch that game in your sacred space or play some video games with your friends, your handy mini fridge will be there to handle all your beverage needs.
If you are living in a trailer, going out camping, or simply taking a road trip, a 12-volt fridge is a perfect investment. These appliances do not take a ton of storage space, run on little battery and are easily portable with their ergonomic handle designs. All these features make them the perfect companion for all your travel needs.
Most of these fridges are fitted with a compressor. What that means is you can store meat and other frozen goods in these machines without worrying about them getting spoiled. Unlike other small fridges that are only good for storing beverages, this makes 12-volt fridges an ideal fit for people who travel a lot. Keep in mind though, they come with a DC charging port, so if you have an AC power supply in your car or trailer, get an AC cord.