Best Refrigerators Reviewed and Rated in 2018
Technology is making its way into every aspect of our everyday lives, making it difficult for us to choose between devices because of the infinite options we have.
When it comes to refrigerators, it is not the same as it was twenty years ago. Now, we don’t only choose a refrigerator that can freeze our food and our water, we want one that matches with our kitchen appearance and offers the most modern features available.
But with millions of options on the market it’s hard to make the right choice. That’s why we wrote a useful buying guide that includes our top 10 refrigerators in 2018 (skip to see our top 10 now) as well as what makes a top rated refrigerator and which are the best refrigerator brands.
Types of Refrigerators – Which One Will Be The Best Fridge For You?
Refrigerators have a variety of models and types. Here are the standard six types:
- Top Freezer: These are the traditional fridges we all know. They tend to have a lot of storage in the bottom part and offer some space at the top for freezing. They are typically 30-inches wide and can store lots of products inside, but it all depends on the particular brand.
- Bottom Freezer: These are often less spacious than the top freezer type; however, it all can vary by model and brand. Bottom freezers are usually more user friendly because you can access the freezing shelves more easily.
- French Doors: This type is similar to a bottom freezer, the only difference being that these types tend to have double doors, with two storage compartments on each side. These refrigerators usually offer more space than top- or bottom-freezer models and often have water and ice dispensers on their doors.
- Side-By-Side: This kind of refrigerator also has two doors, with the fridge on one side and the freezer on the other. It is very typical that the freezer side is almost always smaller; however, this can be a problem if the user is in need of storing larger quantities of food. It’s important to note that these options are not too energy efficient.
- Built-In: Often very large and spacious, with lots of cabinets, counters and different features that can vary among models and brands. Can be French doors or even have up to four doors. They are almost always sizable appliances with up to 25 cubic feet capacity and a variety of freezer sytles.
- Mini or Compact: These are the perfect option for small houses, apartments or dorm rooms. You see them work well in offices and of course, in nicer hotel rooms. They work best as secondary fridges more than everyday ones. One issue is they can sometimes have temperature regulation problems, which can lead generating bacteria or mold inside. They are always less than half the price of a basic, regular sized refrigerator. Only some models have a freezer but it tends to be really small.
When you’re looking for a refrigerator to fit with your necessities and desires, it is always a good action to compare refrigerator brands. This will help you in understanding better models, the one which offers the best features from storage capacity, temperature control and efficiency.
However, it is not an easy task to choose the perfect refrigerator, that’s why we have taken our time to take a look at the best brands and point out what the best feature of every refrigerator is by its type and reliability.
It is always important to know that everything depends on the model – some brands have great top-freezers and others produce amazing French door type models.
- Best French-Door Refrigerator Brands
This is one of the most common and popular refrigerator types. Among the best brands from this type of refrigerators is KitchenAid, Whirlpool and Maytag, Kenmore and even Samsung. However, the brand that steals the show is the GE, with its GE Profile PYE22KSKSS which is one of the best fridges to buy for its price and features.
- Best Side-by-Sides Refrigerator Brands
Around 15% of people who buy refrigerators, tend to choose this type thanks to the greater storage space and the really ample vertical freezer. In this category we would recommend the Whirlpool WRS321CDBM, which has great features and comes at a decent price.
- Best Top-Freezers Refrigerator Brands
One of the most used by customers with a very simple and traditional style plus basic features that don’t break the bank, these are less and less popular. Even so, that doesn’t mean they don’t offer top-notch quality and great features. That’s why we have chosen the best of its kind, and the top refrigerators of this type would be the Avanti RA7316PST which is an Apartment-Size refrigerator with cutting-edge technology, and the Danby DFF100C1BSLDB which offers the best Top-Freezer features on the market and is really energy efficient.
- Best Bottom-Freezers Refrigerator Brands
These kind of refrigerator are one of the most used by customers around the world, however, they tend to be really simple and sometimes can have little storage capacity. Among the best brands and models we find the KitchenAid KBLS19KCMS that offers great features and comes at an affordable price.
- Best Compact and Mini Refrigerator Brands
When we talk about compact and mini refrigerators, we mean that kind of refrigerator that are specially made for small spaces, however, there are hundreds of models and the best kinds come from two brands. These are the Haier HC40SG42SB which offers great features like 4 cubic feet storage space and a small freezer, the other one being the Frigidaire FFFH21F4QT that is a little bigger than the Haier one but doesn’t come with a freezer.
- Best Built-In Refrigerator Brands
These refrigerators are often used in big kitchens or spaces and are specially made to storage a big amount of food and items. They have little energy efficient technology but offer great temperature measures and at the same time, keep all food fresh and stored efficiently. Among the best brands we find the Frigidaire Gallery Series FGRU19F6QF which offer sgreat temperature features and big storage spaces.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Fridge
If you want to buy a new fridge for your home or your workplace, you’ll want to follow and analyze the following features on every refrigerator.
- Size: The size of a fridge will not only tell you if it fits where you want to use it, it also tells you what kind of door mechanics it has and how much storage space it can have. It is recommended to choose the most complete and spacious appliance, with cubic feet ranging from 30 to 33.
- Freezing Capabilities: It refers to the amount of time a refrigerator takes to decrease to -0 degrees Celsius or 32 Degrees Fahrenheit. The faster the fridge does that, the better chance that it will maintain all your food fresh and in great condition overall.
- Temperature Range, Value, and Capabilities: It is always important that a refrigerator has a good temperature range. The temperature must be consistent the whole day without any interruption in order to maintain all the food inside the fridge keeping it fresh and consistent. This is one of the most important features because a refrigerator needs to be capaable of maintaining a temperature between 37 and 0 Degrees Fahrenheit in order to always keep food properly fresh. It is Important to take into account that a refrigerator shouldn’t have temperature swings unless it loses its power for a long period of time.
- Humidity While Working: This factor refers to the amount of freshness and consistency the appliance has while freezing and maintaining the temperature of the whole device. The more humid the refrigerator can stay without exceeding the limits of normal humidity, the better your food will preserve its taste, nutrients and freshenss.
- Energy Efficiency: This refers to the amount of power the appliance uses over time. It is really important to choose a refrigerator that uses little energy because they are always on, so the less energy they consume, the better.
- Storage Space: The storage space of a refrigerator means the amount of space and features it has to store more and more stuff. A lot of these products have drawers, shelves, deep storages to save different food, and water storage.
- Usability: Also, another important thing to take a look into is, if the shelves and drawers are customizable and can be adjusted when it comes to their position, length, and width.
10 Best Refrigerators
1. Frigidaire FFFH21F6QW
It has a Frost Free feature that lets the food inside stay frozen for longer periods of time, very useful in case your power is turned off for some reason. A great refrigerator for anyone in search of space and high performance.
SpaceWise(R) Organization System: allows for customization
Adjustable baskets and color coordinated clips
Frost free option
Not many compartmentsi n the door
2. Haier HC40SG42SB
Its performance is so good that it can freeze any kind of product that fits into the freezer in just 2 hours, something that not many refrigerators do, especially small ones.
Ice cube tray
Accommodates tall bottles
Can be noisy
3. Avanti RA7316PST
However, the only problem many users face with this refrigerator is its design and the materials it was made with. Many users say its interior design doesn’t work too good, as the freezer ice can sometimes get to the bottom part of the fridge and form water deposits that can be really annoying.
However, a great and affordable option for the average user.
See through crisper
Good temperature control range
Water can form on the inside back
4. Danby DFF100C1BSLDB
Its top freezer does a great job at freezing products, its temperature can be modified to fit your needs. Has electronic controls and an indication display to change everything from temperature to the way it cools. It has shelves that can be adjusted and removed if desired.
Frost free operation
Separate controls for freezer and fridge
Can be noisy
5. Frigidaire FGRU19F6QF
The best feature about is the easiness of organization it provides; this refrigerator is so well designed that it won’t let you have disorganized products inside. Also, it comes with fabulous LED lights that will let you find anything.
Top choice for larger families and bigger kitchens.
Made of smudge proof material
It's large, so it is not a good choice for smaller kitchens
6. LG LFXS24566S
The best thing about this refrigerator is its design, made of stainless steel and wonderful LED light inside; offers super storage, is extremely quite and allows for very good food organization thanks to the way he shelves are placed.
Spill protector shelves
9 door baskets
Water and ice dispenser
Ice maker known to fail
7. Arctic King 2.6 cu
The best thing about this mini refrigerator is that you have a great temperature consistency. This makes it a really great choice for someone in search of a compact refrigerator to fulfill all his needs.
Separate chilling compartment
Excellent for small spaces
Does not have a freezer
8. GE PYE22KSKSS
The best feature is its water dispenser and ice maker. It's a self-reload feature that is easy to use and pretty efficient.
With great temperatures and great additional features like the ice maker and water dispenser, this refrigerator is a good choice; unless you think that power saving is actually more important.
Hands free auto fill dispenser
Consumes a lot of energy
9. Whirlpool WRS321CDBM
Space won’t be a problem with this refrigerator, as it has an exterior dispenser for water and ice and internal shelves and drawers that can be modified to allow for more storage space.
Doesn’t make much noise unless its compressor is working, but even in that case, the noise won’t be tedious. However, the performance is so great that you won’t believe how fast it can freeze or cool your products.
Pur water filtration system
External water and ice dispenser
Produces noises when compressor is on
10. KitchenAid KBLS19KCMS
It doesn’t make too much noise when used.
When it comes storage space, there’s nothing bad to say about it. Shelves are organised well and can be modified and the freezer features pull-out baskets for easier use and access.
Produce preserver feature
Good temperature management system
It's great efficiency when it comes to regulating temperatures may result in more energy consumption
Tips to Avoid Bacteria Spread in Your Fridge
Many people now-a-days assume that when we store food in the refrigerator that it is the best way to keep it safe from bacterial contamination. However, this simply is not true. There are so many types of bacteria that can grow in cold temperatures that we are not aware of. Even though most bacteria grow best in hot temperatures, there are still some that flourish in cold environments. These types of bacteria are called psychrophilic and are known to grow in temperatures ranging from 14º Fahrenheit to 68º Fahrenheit.
These bacteria can grow in these low temperatures because they have an enzyme that enables them to. Psychrophilic bacteria are identified as Pseudomonas, Listeria, Vibrio, and Coliform; all of which are very harmful bacteria and can potentially cause serious illnesses. These serious illnesses include dysentery, diarrhea, meningitis, sepsis, food poisoning, urinary tract infections, and gastrointestinal infections.
In this section, we will discuss different ways to help you prevent the spread of bacteria in your refrigerator.
Keeping a Bacteria Free Fridge
The refrigerator is fundamentally one of the main storages we use for our food. The fridge also helps prevent and slow down spoilage. However, there are still some types of bacteria that are capable of flourishing inside the refrigerator. Below you will find a list of great tips on how to keep a bacteria free refrigerator!
1. Cleaning Your Fridge
One of the most crucial things you can do is constantly clean your refrigerator because this guarantees that it is safe and bacteria free for storing foods. If you accidentally spill some food in your fridge, immediately wipe it up to avoid any growth or spread of bacteria. It is also important to use anti-bacterial cleaners or bleach to clean the surfaces of your fridge. Another tip to cleaning your fridge is to use hot soapy water to clean and rinse it thoroughly.
2. Throw Out Old Food
It is important that you throw away old and spoiled foods. These foods can cause growth and spread bacteria, as well as molds, which has the potential to contaminate other foods.
3. Refrigerate Foods with Safety in Mind
Your foods should be stored in a tightly-sealed container. This guarantees that your food preserves its moisture and prevents any bacteria from spreading to other foods that is housing in your fridge.
4. Mixing Foods
You should NEVER mix raw foods with cooked ones. Raw meat, poultry, and fish contain several bacteria. Raw meat can cause anything from food poisoning to salmonella poisoning. To prevent any contamination, make it a common habit to place any raw meat on the bottom shelf of your fridge. By doing this, you are ensuring that your meats avoid any juices from dripping into other foods, causing contamination.
Another useful tip when keeping a bacteria free refrigerator is by making sure that it is set at 40º Fahrenheit or lower. This is the perfect temperature to prevent and/or slow down the growth of most harmful bacteria. There are a few refrigerators on the market that come with a built in thermometer, so you always know what your refrigerator’s temperature is. However, if you do not have one, you can purchase an appliance thermometer.
6. Doors Shut
Always make sure that your refrigerator doors are properly closed tightly. You also want to make sure that you do not open the doors more times than necessary because when hot air enters the cold storage of your fridge, you are supporting the increase of bacteria growth.
Harmful bacteria can live and grow in cold places, especially your refrigerator. It is important to know what causes this bacteria and how to prevent it from growing to ensure your family and your own safety. This bacterium, known as psychrophilic bacteria, is also known as pseudomonas, listeria, vibrio, and coliform. This type of bacteria is capable of causing many serious illnesses such as dysentery, diarrhea, meningitis, sepsis, food poisoning, urinary tract infections, and gastrointestinal infections. In order to greatly reduce the risk of contamination, it is important to keep your refrigerator clean and sanitized.
Cleaning your refrigerator with anti-bacterial cleaners or bleach will definitely help reduce the bacteria from growing and spreading in your refrigerator. It is also imperative that you throw away all old or spoiled foods because these foods grow bacteria as well as spread mold. Always make sure that you keep raw meats away from any other food in your fridge. You can do this by placing raw meat, poultry, and fish on the bottom shelf in order to prevent any juices contaminating your other foods. Always make sure to store foods in tightly-sealed containers in your fridge to ensure it keeps its moisture and prevent bacteria from spreading to other foods.
Along with these useful tips, you will find that keeping the refrigerator doors closed will also help reduce the spread and growth of this bacterium. You will also want to try and avoid opening the door more than necessary because the hot air that enters aids in the growth of the bacteria. The best temperature range for your refrigerator is 40º F or lower because it helps slow down and prevent the growth of the most harmful bacterium.
Overall, it is important to keep your refrigerator clean and keep everything organized. When you keep your refrigerator organized you are also preventing contamination. It is also crucial that you wipe up any spills from any of your foods immediately.
Contamination is a serious issue that can be very harmful to you or a loved one’s health. Women who are pregnant, children, and people with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly, can even die from this bacterium. So remember, clean and sanitize your refrigerator on a regular basis, discard old and spoiled food, store everything away in a tightly-sealed container, and always check those expiration dates! If you follow all of these helpful tips, you will surely have a bacteria free refrigerator.
Criteria for Evaluation
Now-a-days, there are many refrigerators on the market that include many features and functions, but how do you know which ones are important for your lifestyle? Below, you will find the crucial features and functions a refrigerator should provide. Bear in mind that when selecting the options to include in our top 10 list, we took into consideration the criteria below and made sure each of our top rated options offered suitable storage space, freezing, temperature range and features that would satisfy an average consumer as well as a more demanding one.
As stated at the beginning, refrigerators come in four basic styles:
Top Freezer – This refrigerator has the freezer on top and the fridge below.
Bottom Freezer – This refrigerator has the fridge on top, while the freezer is below.
Side-by-Side – This type of fridge has two doors that open outward. The freezer and the fridge are positioned side-by-side.
French Doors – This refrigerator has two doors that open outward, while the freezer is placed on the bottom.
Measure Your Space
Before purchasing a refrigerator, it is imperative to figure out the dimensions of the space you will have house your fridge. This way while you are out shopping, you will know what height, width, and depth unit you will need to consider. It is also important to allow a few inches above and behind the appliance in order for it to circulate air.
In order to make sure that you choose the best refrigerator for your needs, it is important for you to take into consideration the types of food you eat, how often you eat, and in what quantities. For example, if you are a person who purchases a lot of produce, then it would be wise for you to consider a model with multiple drawers. If you are someone who mainly eats frozen dinners, then you should consider something that will give you more freezer space such as a refrigerator with a big bottom freezer or a double door model that is half fridge, half freezer. Another thing to consider is if you are someone who drinks a lot of milk, juices, or sodas. Then you may want to look for a double door unit with adjustable shelf sizes. This enables you to fit any sized beverage into any compartment.
A unit’s freezing capability is the amount of time a refrigerator takes to decrease to a 0º Celsius or 32 º Fahrenheit temperatures. When you are looking at refrigerators, it is best to keep in mind that the faster and better consistency a fridge has with this factor, then the better chances the appliance has at keeping all of your food fresh and in great states overall.
Temperature Range and Value
Every refrigerator must be able to accept different measures of temperature. The fridge also must be able to keep that temperature consistently 24/7 to ensure that all of the food inside will always remain fresh.
This function concerns the refrigerator’s ability to keep foods fresh as well as the consistency of the unit while freezing and sustaining the temperature of the whole appliance. If the refrigerator is capable of keeping the interior more humid without surpassing the bounds of normal humidity, you will find that your food will be preserved better and stay healthy longer.
It is very important to take into account the materials that your refrigerator uses because this will help you determine whether you are willing to take extra time cleaning the unit and so on. Generally, refrigerators shelves mostly come in two types; wire or smooth. The wire shelves are just rows of thin metal bars while the smooth shelves are usually made from glass or a hard plastic material. Smooth shelves are the easiest to clean because you simply wipe the shelf down and you are done. Some units allow you to take the shelves out in order to hand wash some particularly stubborn stains, stickiness, etc. Wire shelving can be more complex to clean because it takes a little longer to do and requires a more detailed cleaning.
The outside material is also important to consider. For example, if you simply cannot stand smudges, then you will want to stay away from stainless steel models. However, you may want to consider a unit that has a white exterior or comes with a smudge-free finish.
You definitely want to make sure that the refrigerator that you are considering provides easiness and compatibility with our everyday lives. For example, can you move the shelves around to accommodate certain foods or beverages? Are there ways to store items differently or modified in the fridge?
Features and Functions to Have
Many storage compartments is a must as well as modification storage options
This feature is a great asset to have in your refrigerator. These storage features include flexible bin dividers, adjustable shelves for oversized items, split shelves which can make room for tall items (such as bottles), and gallon door containers which frees up room in your fridge.
Humidity controlled compartments
This feature is great to have because it allows you to store produce at suitable humidity levels to ensure that they stay fresh longer.
Enhanced lighting includes energy-efficient LED lights that are located over containers and in corners to make it easier for you to find what you need.
This feature is very useful because if the door does not shut all the way, then the door will either beep or chime. This helps prevent food and energy waste.
Features and Functions to Opt Out Of
Automatic water, beverage, and ice dispenser
Even though these features are very useful to have, they can become a nuisance when it comes to maintenance, as they boost yearly maintenance costs. These features also make the fridge less energy efficient. The dispenser can significantly increase the cost of the refrigerator and also reduces storage space.
Fast-cooling compartments; i.e. a blast chiller
This feature is capable of chilling two lukewarm cans of soda or one bottle of wine within eight minutes. However, this can cause your electric bill to increase.
This feature does nothing to help the performance of your refrigerator. The idea to have a television or a touchscreen with apps may sound interesting, but this feature really has nothing to do with how well your fridge will work.
Going for an extended warranty can be a waste because appliances rarely break within the warranty time period. But if you still feel better purchasing it, then there is no harm in being cautious.
Q: Which refrigerator styles are best for children?
Side-by-side refrigerators are a great choice for children because the child is able to easily reach items in the fridge and freezer. This option prevents them from needing to stand on something, like a chair, to reach their desired food, and the high risk of falling.
Q: Do compartment temperature and humidity controls really work?
These controls have been tested and proven to work. A temperature control for the compartment to store the meat is capable of keeping the food fresh for longer. Settings for high and low humidity help extend the life of fruits and vegetables.
Q: Are a water dispenser and an ice maker important?
These are very useful features to have and are known to help out in the kitchen a lot. However, these features are also known to require a lot more repairs and make your unit far more less energy efficient.
Q: How can you tell which models are better at conserving energy?
When you are considering a refrigerator, but do not know its energy efficiency, it is best to search for the federal government’s Energy Star Label. Appliances can receive this rating from the U. S. Department of Energy if the unit is significantly more efficient than the minimum government standard. You can also consult the Energy Guide label which tells you the model’s annual cost of operation at different utility rates. This label will also give you a quick estimate of yearly energy costs compared to other models.
Q: Does “better performance” mean a “better refrigerator?”
This question is difficult to answer because it depends on so many factors, and none more crucial than the appliance’s energy efficiency. Some models that have a great performance can actually have poor efficiency.
Q: How cold should my refrigerator/freezer be?
The thermostat for your refrigerator should always be set anywhere from 36º Fahrenheit to 38º Fahrenheit (around 2º Celsius). The freezer thermostat should be set anywhere from 0º Fahrenheit to 5º Fahrenheit (-18º Celsius).
Q: How much room do I need to leave behind my refrigerator/freezer?
This depends on what type of refrigerator you have. If the fridge you are installing has condenser coils, which can look like a large black grid or even radiator-like coils, that are located on the back of the appliance, then you should leave at the very minimum about one inch (2 ½ cm) between the appliance and the wall. However, if your refrigerator has the coils locate beneath the appliance, then you can push it up against the wall if you would like.
Q: What is the average life expectancy for a refrigerator before it needs to be replaced?
A refrigerator has an average life of fourteen to seventeen years. Although, there have been some fridges that have lasted many more years while others did not meet the average life time of the counterparts. One way to ensure the longest lifespan for your refrigerator is proper maintenance.
Q: Why does my food taste bad? What is the odor that is coming from my refrigerator?
The reason foods and ice can have a bad taste or odor is mostly due to the fact that ice and uncovered foods can pick up odor or taste from strongly scented foods in the refrigerator or freezer. To prevent this from occurring, make sure to cover foods tightly and discard any old ice.
However, if your ice tastes like plastic this is caused by plastic water lines. In order to get rid of this smell and taste, be sure to use the ice maker one to two times and making sure to use the entire ice container. This will surely get rid of the plastic water line releasing odors and/or tastes.
After this, make sure to discard the initial container of ice after installing.
Q: What is wrong with my ice maker?
The answer to this question depends on what sounds the maker is or is not making as well as what the machine is or is not doing. For example, if the ice maker is not making any ice. This can be caused from the freezer not being cold enough, the water supply valve can be blocked or restricted, the water valve may not be open, or the wire arm that controls ice production could be in the on position. Another problem that you could face would be the icemaker not turning off. If this is the case, before you call for service, make sure that there is not a piece of ice stuck on the wire arm control that is preventing the ice maker from turning off. If you have already tried this and have taken out the ice container and inspected the whole machine, but still have not found the cause, then you may want to consider calling a repairman for service.
Q: Does my refrigerator need annual maintenance?
The short answer is yes. Your manufacturer should have included a product manual that includes maintenance tips.
Q: What are the best buying tips for purchasing?
One thing to keep in mind is that refrigerators with an upper freezer compartment consume less energy. Another useful tip to remember while shopping is that refrigerators that have features like an ice and water dispenser consume too much energy. Lastly, always make sure that the refrigerator you are considering has an Energy Star sticker because this means that this unit surpasses the minimum government standard.
Q: How are refrigerators rated?
When looking for a refrigerator, make sure to look for Energy Star models and make sure to pay attention to the Energy Labels. It is crucial that you compare the information on the labels and take into account the kilowatt hours per year consumption for different models. You will find that the qualified appliances use 70% or less of electricity than most other models that are not qualified.
Decision Time – Which Refrigerator Is The Right Option?
When we talk about refrigerators, we have to make a great decision, as these appliances can improve our daily life or just make it worse. However, there a few things to take into consideration before making the model choice, for example:
- Price: The price says a lot about the efficiency and performance a refrigerator can guarantee. But the most important thing is to know if the price of a refrigerator os consistent with its features and size.
- Features: The features of a refrigerator are not only its design and additional add-ons like the water dispenser or ice maker. If you want to choose a great refrigerator you’ll have to look further into its storage capacity and the amount of energy it needs to function properly.
- Temperature Controls: This is one of the most crucial features to take a look at. If a refrigerator doesn’t offer enough temperature control, it can mean that it doesn’t offer great performance.
To eventually choose the best refrigerator you’ll have to make a comparison between price and performance, plus storage space and design. The more time you put into weighing the value of these features, the more likely you are to choose the right option for you.