Refrigerators have become an essential part of our busy life. We cannot think of buying and storing meat, fish, vegetables and fruits for a long time except having a refrigerator. Kitchen seems to be incomplete without a refrigerator. That’s why we have made this refrigerator buying guide 2023 to help you to choose the best and fittest one for your kitchen.
Nowadays, a refrigerator is not only a cold storage of raw and cooked food but also a home appliance. It plays the role of centerpiece of your kitchen. Besides, it is not a daily basis purchase. Therefore, you must make the decision of buying a refrigerator smartly.
Factors to Consider When Buying a New Refrigerator
If you already have a buying guideline, it will take less time to make a decision to purchase. So, let’s check the factors that you should consider when buying a refrigerator.
Common Types of Refrigerators
Today a refrigerator is not just a cool storage box. A lot of refrigerator specifications are available according to your choice, need, space and so on. Here some common types of refrigerators you can buy-
Top Freezer Refrigerator
It is a classic style refrigerator. The freezer compartment is situated at the top of the fresh food compartment. Both have separate doors with the same side hinge. The freezer compartment is smaller than the fresh food compartment. Average capacity of a top freezer refrigerator is 20 cubic feet. Top freezer refrigerators are frost free in nature. If you need more space in the fresh food compartment, it would be a good choice.
Bottom Freezer Refrigerator
Bottom freezer refrigerator is almost the same as the top freezer refrigerator in nature, capacity and features. The difference is the freezer is situated at the bottom of the fresh food compartment in this refrigerator. It provides you the eye-level fridge and more spaced freezer facilities.
Side by Side Refrigerator
It splits into two side by side units with separate doors, one for freezer and another for fresh food compartment. It offers you to keep both compartments at your eye level. This refrigerator is also frost free in nature. Usual capacity of a side by side refrigerator is 22 to 31 cubic feet. It can be a good choice if you have 6-7 household members. Though this refrigerator needs less space for door opening, according to width, it might take more space for placing. It also provides water and ice dispensers, toughened glass shelves features. It is a little bit more costly than any double door refrigerator.
French Door Refrigerator
If you are a fancy and luxurious person and have a wide space in your kitchen, a modern French door refrigerator will be the best choice for you. It has a top mounted fresh food compartment with two half-width doors and a drawer system freezer at the bottom. Full width stylish shelves allow you to keep larger size dishes and containers such as pizza boxes, large baking sheets, full-size turkeys and so on. It provides a water and ice dispenser, door bins and flexible compartment features. A French door refrigerator capacity usually ranges between 20 to 28 cubic feet.
Freezer less Refrigerator
This refrigerator only comes with the fresh food part. There is no freezer compartment in it. If you already have a freezer or a fridge with freezer or you need a spacious refrigerator just to store food and beverage for a short time, a freezer less refrigerator might be a good secondary choice for you. It is more affordable, simple, easy to clean and energy efficient than most other refrigerators.
It is a unique type of refrigerator. It provides a smaller refrigeration unit with a single door usually used for individual purposes. If you need a refrigerator as backup or for individual use to store ready food and beverage or for your office room, you can buy a compact refrigerator. You can set this tiny refrigerator anywhere you want. Besides, it is the most affordable, easy to use, portable and energy saving refrigerator.
Comparison Among Different Types of Refrigerators
|Top Freezer Refrigerator||10 to 24 cubic feet||Frost free|
Generous fresh food compartment
Eye level freezer
|Bottom Freezer Refrigerator||12 to 27cubic feet||Frost free|
Comparatively Spacious freezer
Eye level fresh food compartment
|Side by Side Refrigerator||21 to 28 cubic feet||Frost free|
Side by side double door
Toughened glass shelves
Water and Ice dispenser
Perfect for small kitchens
Easy for grabbing items quickly
|French Door Refrigerator||20 to 28 cubic feet||Energy-efficient|
small door swing space
Top mounted fresh food compartment
Two half width refrigerator’s door
Drawer system bottom freezer
Full width stylish shelves
Water and Ice dispenser
|Freezer less Refrigerator||12 to 19 cubic feet||Single door|
Best secondary option
More fridge space
|Compact Refrigerator||1.7 to 4.5 cubic feet||Single door|
Only fresh food compartment
Ideal for one person, dorm rooms, shared apartments and offices
How to Select the Perfect Size for You
You should purchase a fridge considering the space you have and your required capacity.
Measure the space
(i) Measure the opening: Measure the height, width and depth of the feasible place of your refrigerator thoroughly. Keep at least one inch gap for each side from the walls or other appliances for proper ventilation and easy moving of the refrigerator.
(ii) Measure for door opening and hinge space: Keep enough space at the front side of the refrigerator to open the door easily to 90 degrees. Keep an extra two inch gap between the wall and refrigerator hinges for clearance.
(iii) Check your doorways: Measure all the doorways of your home including door jambs, hallway, staircases or elevator in the way of bringing the refrigerator inside. Sometimes, ignoring doorways measures might cause hassle and damage to your refrigerator due to short space.
Determine the Proper Capacity for Your Home
As a general rule of thumb, a four member household needs a minimum 18 cubic feet refrigerator devoting 4-6 cubic feet space for each person. You may need to add 2 cubic feet space for each additional person. If you have a big family you can choose a 24 cubic feet refrigerator. In case of being alone you may choose a compact refrigerator. Measurement standards differ manufacturer to manufacturer.
A Refrigerator Must Have these Features
These are the important features that a refrigerator must have. But the features can vary on price.
Door Locks and Alarms
Door locks are given to assure safety of your kids. It resists them from opening the refrigerator. if you leave your refrigerator doors open or not fully shut, door alarm starts beeping.
It allows you to remove or adjust shelves for making enough room and keeping foods according to your wish. Flexible shelves make it easy to clean the inside of your refrigerator.
Easy to Access Drawers
Drawers are used for easy to access and store sensitive foods without damaging. Those are ideal for organizing vegetables, fruits, boxes, and sauce bottles. Transparent drawer lets you see the inside without opening it.
Modern refrigerators provide air purifying facilities to remove germs, bacteria, mold, gas and odor from your refrigerator to ensure stored food quality and safety.
Nowadays, refrigerator companies provide the WiFi oriented LED touch display feature for smart operations. It allows you to adjust the refrigerator temperature, leave notes, display photos, organize interior, stream music and many other facilities.
Ice and Water Dispenser
This feature allows you to have cool water or ice with one press without opening the refrigerator’s door. Water Dispenser collects water from the main waterline, filters it, forms the water into ice or chilled water and refills automatically.
Electric Temperature Controls
The temperature of the refrigerator is measured and controlled electronically in this system. As the measuring is more accurate, it assures you long term freshness of your stored contents.
Energy Star Compliance
Energy star certified refrigerators provide the same facilities as the standard models using at least 9 percent less energy. It helps you reduce your energy cost and overall impact on the environment.
Aesthetic Features That You May Also Consider
- Counter depth models have less depth than usual refrigerators matched with the counters and cabinets of your kitchen.
- Reversible door model refrigerators allow you to hinge refrigerator doors both right and left side while usual refrigerator provides one side hinge facility.
- You can choose any finish and color for the refrigerator from a variety of colors, matte and stainless finishes according to your kitchen interior design. Some unique finishes are described here:
- Fingerprint resistant finishing hides smudges and fingerprints and gives a newer looking. If you have little kids and unaware households, you can choose this finishing.
- Active finish stainless steel can hold magnets unlike traditional lack magnetizing stainless steel. It allows you to post calendars, recipes, children’s artwork, notes, diet charts on your refrigerator. It is smudge resistant and easy to clean.
- Black Stainless Steel finishing provides you a shiny, smudge and fingerprint resistant refrigerator. It is an outstanding combination of classic black color and traditional stainless steel.
With a full coverage warranty, the manufacturer is bound to repair or replace any faulty part of your refrigerator during warranty period. Most refrigerator brands provide a limited warranty period. It is wise to check the warranty before making any purchase and go for the brand that offers extra warranty than others. Some popular brands offer extended warranty with an additional cost. If your refrigerator is expensive and the repair cost is excessive, you should go for a paid warranty
Whirlpool, GE, Frigidaire, LG, Maytag, Samsung, Café, Danby etc. are the most popular and reliable refrigerator brands. But reliability on a particular company would be differ for different types of refrigerators. Let’s say Whirlpool is best for its French door and side by side refrigerator, Frigidaire is best for its compact refrigerator, Samsung is best for its counter depth refrigerator and the rest.
The capacity of the fridge may be measured in litre. You have to consider your family size to understand your needs. If you have a family of three with one child, a 150 to 250 litres refrigerator is sufficient. Similarly, 250 to 330 litres and 350 to 490 litres refrigerators are sufficient for the family of 5 and 6 in order. You may go for the 50 to 80 litres compact refrigerator if you are living alone.
Firstly, you should check your needs, budget and available space of your kitchen to install a refrigerator. Secondly, you should check for the capacity, available features and the warranty of a refrigerator. Finally, consider your kitchen’s interior design and color before buying a refrigerator.
The average lifespan of a refrigerator is about 14 years. It varies depending on different brands, provided parts and features standards, using and taking care of refrigerators etc.
It is depending on which part of your refrigerator needs repairing. If the damaged part is repairable and not much cost worthy, you may repair it. If one of the main parts is faulty and the cost of repairing is more than half of the buying price of your refrigerator, replacing is a better choice. In these cases, usually repaired refrigerators cannot provide the same service as before and won’t be worthy for the long run.
You will get a variety of refrigerators with colors, styles, types, and features. Choosing the right one from the vast ocean is the real game. Hopefully, our refrigerator buying guide will help you. Wishing you best of luck in buying the most suitable refrigerator for your kitchen.