The Best Refrigerators (Review) in 2020
Refrigerators are the beating heart of many kitchens – they keep fresh ingredients from going bad, and help you to maintain proper food hygiene. A good fridge can also offer an attractive focal point, not to mention extra features such as water and ice dispensers. Although you might be tempted to run an old fridge until it finally packs in, upgrading to a newer model may be more efficient in the long run. Refrigeration technology is improving all the time, and buying a new fridge could be a great way to reduce power consumption in the kitchen.
When it’s time to choose a new fridge for your home, the flood of choices can seem overwhelming. With so many brands, features, and sizes to choose from, you might be tempted to purchase one almost at random. That’s where we come in. We’ve scoured the internet to bring you 10 of the top rated refrigerators on the market right now. Whether you’re looking for a family fridge-freezer, a compact mini fridge, or something in between, we’ve got you covered. Read on for refrigerator reviews, maintenance advice, and more, all wrapped up in this handy buying guide.
4.5-cubic feet refrigerator
Full-width freezer with minus-4 degrees Fahrenheit operating temperature
Vegetable crisper, tall bottle storage, and adjustable glass shelves
Reversible door hinge and scratch-resistant worktop
28-cubic feet refrigerator with 10.93 cubic feet freezer
FreshFlow air filter technology
Innovative Accu-Chill temperature management technology
Elegant, fingerprint-resistant design
1.6 cubic feet refrigerator
32 to 35.6-degree Fahrenheit mechanical temperature adjustment range
Reversible door and adjustable legs
Two storage compartments and bottle storage
The Best Refrigerator
Kicking off our list is this compact fridge-freezer by Danby. Available in a variety of colors and capacities, it’s the perfect option for any small kitchen, office, or other modest space. Its true freezer section is large enough to house wider packaging, and reaches temperatures as low as -0.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The fridge is Energy Star rated, so you can rest assured its runs as efficiently as possible.
Thanks to its reversible door hinge, the fridge fits easily into any space. Inside, a bright LED help you see your items, saving you from rooting around in the dark, and minimising the time for which the door must be open. The fridge is a great option for salad lovers, featuring a vegetable crisper section that helps to preserve fresh produce. Unlike other mini fridges, the design offers integrated door storage, tall enough to house full-sized drink bottles. The device is easy to use, too, featuring an easy grip handle for smooth opening, and grippy feet to prevent it from sliding about on the floor or countertop. Users across the board agree it’s the perfect size for an office, making an efficient and reliable alternative to a fan-powered mini fridge. It’s simple to set up, and offers a surprisingly large capacity given its compact design.
Compact fridge-freezer, perfect for small kitchens and the office
Available in a variety of colors and capacities
True freezer section reaches temperatures of -0.4 degrees F
Energy Star rated for excellent efficiency
Features a vegetable crisper drawer
Integrated door storage included
LED interior light included
Easy grip handle for comfortable use
Anti-slip feet for easy installation
The next refrigerator to earn itself a spot on our list is this double door refrigerator by Haier. Much larger than the last option on our list, it’s the perfect solution for larger households. The bottom section houses a large freezer space, with two sliding drawers, and four sliding bins. This set-up makes for easy access to all of your frozen goods. Meanwhile, the refrigerator section houses three shelves, integrated door shelving, and a controlled humidity vegetable crisper.
The fridge is specifically sized to fit in with most countertops, lending it a built-in look at an affordable price point. It’s efficient too, featuring an Energy Star rating that guarantees relatively low energy usage. Thanks to its adjustable temperature settings, the fridge is suitable for storing almost anything. Once installed, it cools down to your desired temperature fast, using unique Quick Cool and Quick Freeze technology. Users love the fridge’s sleek, handle-free design, and were impressed with its easy set up and convenient compartmentalisation.
Fridge-freezer featuring a double door design
Counter sized for a sleek, integrated look
Large freezer section incorporates 4 sliding bins and 2 sliding drawers
Fridge section houses 3 shelves, a vegetable crisper, and door shelving
Energy Star approved
Adjustable temperature settings
Sleek, handle-free design blends well with the modern kitchen
Avanti have also earned a spot on our list, with this premium two door refrigerator. Its mid-range size is ideal for apartments, providing all the storage space you need without occupying valuable room in the kitchen. It’s designed for good efficiency, featuring an Energy Star rating that guarantees a relatively low power draw. Inside, adjustable shelves make it easy to set up the fridge in a way that works for you, while two sliding bins and integrated door shelvin help to maximise storage capacity. Its internal temperature is adjustable, too, allowing for optimal fresh food storage.
The compact freezer section is wide enough to house all your typical frozen items – from pizza boxes, to ice cream tubs, to tupperware containers. An interior LED light makes it easy to find the item you’re looking for, minimising the time during which the door must be open. Both doors on the fridge are reversible, allowing it to work with spaces of all shapes and sizes. Levelling feet also ensure that the fridge can accommodate uneven surfaces, for simple installation. Customers agree that this great value fridge is perfect for small apartments, offering tucking away a surprisingly high volume of food.
Compact fridge-freezer, ideal for apartment kitchens
Energy Star approved
Fridge section features adjustable shelves
Features 2 storage bins and integrated door storage
LED light for ease of use
Freezer section includes ice cube trays
Levelling feet can accommodate uneven surfaces
The next option to make it onto our list is this stainless steel refrigerator by Fisher. Its sleek, counter depth design allows it to fit in with almost any kitchen. Featuring ActiveSmart Foodcare technology, the clever fridge is carefully designed to adjust airflow when the door is open, helping to maintain a more consistent temperature, hence keeping food fresher for longer.
The device as a whole features EZKlean technology, keeping dirty fingerprints, and other stains at bay. This handy addition cuts back on cleaning time, and promotes better food hygiene. Inside, spill-safe glass shelves capture any drips, preventing contamination between sections. The fridge also features adjustable temperature and humidity controls, which allow you to create a separate microclimate in each of its sliding bins. Along with these nifty features, the fridge is also designed to be as efficient as possible, constantly monitoring its interior temperature, and only heating or cooling when necessary. To keep everything in one place, the unit includes a small bottom freezer, too. Users found that the handy fridge was easy to install, thanks to its levelling feet, and were impressed with its efficiently designed storage capacity.
Stainless steel countertop width fridge-freezer
Sleek, attractive design
ActiveSmart Foodcare helps maintain a consistent temperature, keeping food fresh for longer
EZKlean technology prevents stubborn fingerprint marks
Spill-safe shelves prevent leaks contaminating other fridge section
Adjustable temperature and humidity settings
Separate microclimates can be created in each fridge bin
Integrated freezer section housed in the bottom of the unit
Levelling feet for easy installation
Efficient design for minimal power usage
Midea have also found a place on our list, thanks to this efficient small refrigerator. Its compact, single door design is ideal for offices, dorm rooms, dens, and various small spaces. Thanks to adjustable temperature settings, the fridge can reach temperatures ranging from 32 to 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite its small size, the unit contains a surprising amount of storage space, thanks to deep shelves and integrated door storage.
For ease of use on a wide range of surfaces, the fridge features adjustable legs. Its door can also be hinged from either direction, allowing it to fit into many tight spots. Made to operate at a whisper quiet volume, you can rest assured the fridge won’t disturb you as you work or relax. It also features an energy efficient design, engineered to cool evenly, to keep food and drinks fresher for longer. Users say it’s the perfect mini fridge – thanks to its quiet efficiency, sleek design, and consistent operation. Each Midea refrigerator includes a full one year warranty, demonstrating the faith they have in their product.
Mini fridge, ideal for dorm rooms, the office, dens, and more
Adjustable temperature settings can reach 32 to 35.6 degrees F
Deep shelves and in-door storage maximise space usage
Whisper quiet operation
Door can be hinged on either side
Energy efficient design maintains a stable temperature
Full 1 year warranty included
If you’re looking for a large fridge-freezer combination, look no further than the Frigidaire Gallery upright unit. With a total capacity of 186 cubic feet, the fridge-freezer can store an impressive amount of food and drink. Its sleek design looks great in any large kitchen, and thanks to a smudge-proof coating, fingerprints and other greasy marks are kept at bay. Inside, a series of adjustable glass shelves make for convenient, personalised storage.
Because the unit provides an equal amount of fridge and freezer storage, it’s the perfect option for households where fresh and frozen food are kept around in equal measure. Made to a professional standard, this unit is also an ideal option for commercial kitchens. Inside, a full-width deli drawer make it easy to store meats and cheeses, while integrated door shelving provides plenty of space for beverages to be efficiently chilled. The fridge also features an adjustable thermostat, allowing users to select the perfect temperature for whatever they’re storing. Customers say that the unit is well priced, and looks great. Its full length doors and interior light make it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for in a heartbeat, minimising the length of time which the door is open, for improved efficiency.
Large fridge-freezer featuring a double door design
Ideal for large households or commercial kitchens
186 cubic feet capacity
Equal space dedicated to refrigerating and freezing
Integrated door storage for efficient space usage
Full width deli drawer included
Daewoo are well known name in the world of kitchen appliances, and for good reason. They’ve channeled their expertise towards this vintage style compact refrigerator. It’s the perfect option for smaller kitchens, offering all the storage features most homes need in a conveniently-sized format. Inside, the unit contains an ice box, two deep shelves, and a sliding drawer for fruit and veg. It also features an adjustable temperature control, allowing you to store virtually any food safely and effectively.
It’s efficient, too, having achieved Energy Star approval, so you can rest assured it’s designed to use as little power as possible. Inside, a small but bright LED light helps hungry users to find what they’re looking for immediately, minimising the length of time for which the door is open. For under $300, the unit represents excellent value for money, too. Available in five fun colors, the handy fridge blends in well in almost any kitchen. If you’re a fan of vintage designs, this could be the perfect option for your kitchen. Users agree this handy mid-size fridge is attractive, functional, and easy to use.
Compact fridge, perfect for smaller spaces
Vintage style available in 5 fun colors
Features an ice box, 2 shelves, integrated door storage, and fruit and veg drawer
Adjustable temperature gauge
Energy Star approved, for guaranteed efficiency
LED light inside
Excellent value for money
Easy to use
The next refrigerator to earn iself a spot on our list is by GE. The sleek design combines a double doored fridge section with a deep freezer drawer, allowing you to safely store both fresh and frozen food in kitchen. Its countertop-sized width makes it easy to fit in almost any kitchen, providing that ‘built-in’ look. Inside, the fridge compartment offers a host of handy features, including three adjustable shelves, integrated door storage, two sliding bins, one sliding drawer, and even a built-in water dispenser. The freezer drawer also houses a pre-installed icemaker, for easy access to ice cubes whenever required.
Opening either door activates a bright LED, guiding you to the item you need in no time. It’s easy to clean, too, thanks to a stainless steel exterior that can be wiped down in no time. Thanks to GE’s unique Turbo Cool setting, the unit can rapidly cool to a lower than average temperature for fast freezing when necessary. The entire unit’s temperature can be easily adjusted using a simple dial, helping to keep a huge array of foods fresher for longer. Finally, the unit is Energy Star Qualified, so you can rest in the knowledge that your new device can keep its cool without sending your power bill rocketing. Customers agree that this attractive fridge-freezer is durable, reliable, and fingerprint-proof to boot.
Large, double-door design fridge with lower freezer drawer
Adjustable temperature settings
Turbo Cool setting allows for rapid cooling and freezing when necessary
Fridge features: 3 adjustable shelves, 2 sliding bins, 1 sliding drawer, integrated door shelving, and a built-in water dispenser
Freezer drawer houses a built-in ice maker
Interior LED for easy item location
Energy Star Qualified
The penultimate fridge to earn its place on our list is this one door option by Atosa. Its unique design features four wheeled feet, making it easy to transport wherever required. Once in place, sturdy brakes ensure the unit stays put until it’s time to move again. This unusual feature makes the device a perfect option for catering, and other professional food environments.
Made from durable and rust-resistant stainless steel, the sturdy fridge can stand up to the wear and tear of both professional and domestic kitchen settings. Inside, three deep, adjustable shelves make it easy to store large quantities of fresh food. Its self-closing door helps ensure that heat is kept out, for improved efficiency and freshness. The unit is cooled by a highly heavy-duty, top mount compressor, designed to maintain a steady temperature for as long as required. It’s easy to keep an eye on this temperature, thanks to a Dixell digital display and temperature control system. Meanwhile, rounded corners and a recessed handle help prevent bumps and scrapes in the kitchen, while further streamlining the unit’s sleek design. Each Atosa refrigerator includes an industry-leading warranty: a two year parts and labor guarantee, and five year compressor guarantee. Users agree that this fridge is ideal for a commercial environment, providing a durable, portable, food storage solution.
Professional style single door refrigerator
Wheeled base for ease of transportation
Wheel brakes keep the fridge firmly in place when required
Made from durable stainless steel
Features 3 deep adjustable shelves
Self-closing door helps maintain a consistent cool temperature
Cooled by a heavy-duty, top mounted compressor (guaranteed for 5 years)
2 year parts and labor warranty included
Dixell digital display and temperature control included
Sleek design with rounded edges and a recessed handle
Last, but not least, comes this double-doored design by Whirlpool. With a total storage capacity of 28 cubic feet, it’s a perfect option for the mid-size household. Its asymmetrical design provides more refrigeration than freezing space, matching the needs of the modern home. Inside the fridge section, five adjustable shelves, two sliding bins, and one sliding deli drawer provide all the nooks and crannies you need to store most types of food. Meanwhile, five levels of integrated door storage help to maximise the space available. The fridge also features a FreshFlow air filter, helping to keep food fresher for longer by circulating and filtering the cool air inside.
On the other side of the unit, four adjustable shelves and two sliding bins constitute its freezer space. Three levels of door shelving further optimises the space inside while a handy ice maker provides constant access to ice cubes. These cubes can be accessed without even opening the freezer, helping to maintain a constant low temperature within. Outside, the unit boasts a sleek, stainless steel exterior, designed to look at home in almost any kitchen. Its smudge-proof surface helps keep fingerprints at bay, making for fast and easy cleaning. Users report that, despite its size, the unit operates very quietly, using less energy than you might expect. All this adds up to a hygienic and peaceful kitchen.
Double door design integrated fridge-freezer
Provides more refrigeration space than freezing space, reflecting the average need
Fridge contains: 5 adjustable shelves, 2 sliding bins, door storage, and a deli drawer
Freezer contains: 4 adjustable shelves, 2 sliding bins, door storage, and an ice maker
Features an ice dispenser on its exterior
Best Refrigerator Buying Guide & FAQ
These 10 refrigerators are some of the highest rated on the market, and we’re confident you’ll find the perfect option somewhere among the list. To help you work out which fridge will best fit your needs, we’ve compiled this handy buying guide.
Below, we discuss some factors to bear in mind when selecting a refrigerator, the types and brands you can expect to encounter, proper maintenance, and more. We hope this information helps you to make an informed decision, and get the most out of your new fridge.
Features to Look for When Buying a Refrigerator
When it’s time to select a new refrigerator, there are a few key factors to bear in mind:
- Intended Use
Before you make any fridge-related decisions, it’s important to consider the device’s intended use. If you need to store food in a professional kitchen, number nine on our list may be your best bet. If you require a convenient solution for your apartment, option number three will serve your needs better.
The capacity of your new fridge should be another important consideration. Today’s average refrigerator has around 20 cubic feet of storage space, which is enough for around six people. When working out the capacity you’ll need, a good rule of thumb is to allow 12 cubic feet for two people, and two more cubic feet for each additional household member.
- Extra Features
Many modern refrigerators have a range of extra features, such as ice makers, water dispensers, deli drawers, and vegetable crispers. Which features you require will depend upon which items you plan to store, and personal preference.
A refrigerator’s appearance can also influence your purchasing decision. Luckily, manufacturers know that we all have different tastes, and fridges come in a wide array of colors and styles. If in doubt, a white or silver fridge should blend into almost any kitchen - conveniently enough, these are two of the most common fridge colors.
Types of Refrigerators
When it’s time to choose a new refrigerator, you’ll have a few key types to select from:
Most home kitchens feature an integrated fridge-freezer. As the name suggests, these units house a refrigeration and freezing space within the same device, for a compact, convenient experience. Some split their space 50/50, while others feature a small ice box only.
- Mini Fridges
These small fridges are ideal for offices, dorm rooms, cabins, and other modest spaces. They use the same cooling system as a conventional fridge, but on a much smaller scale. If space is at a premium, but you still require storage space for fresh food, a mini fridge could be the perfect solution.
- Full size Fridges
Larger fridges are perfect for commercial kitchens and large households, in which a fridge-freezer would not provide enough storage space. The main drawback associated with this type of fridge is that you’ll need to purchase a separate freezer if you wish to keep frozen food on hand.
Best Refrigerator Brands
As our list makes evident, there plenty of brands to choose from when it’s time to select your fridge!
We believe the best brands are:
- Daewoo: For high quality refrigerators at a budget-friendly price point, Daewoo are a great choice
- Whirlpool: Known for their innovative designs and generous warranties, Whirlpool are a solid refrigerator brand
- Danby: Although Danby are a lesser-known brand (for now), they’ve impressed us with their combination of style and quality, all for an affordable price
- Fisher: Known for including nifty extra features, a Fisher fridge makes a great addition to any gadget-lover’s kitchen
Refrigerator Energy Savings Tips
Essential as they are, our freezers and refrigerators draw a fair amount of energy, largely due to the fact that they must be constantly switched on to work properly.
Fortunately, there are plenty of simple steps that anyone can take to reduce the amount of energy their fridge or freezer consumes:
- Invest in a new refrigerator: Refrigeration technology has advanced leaps and bounds in recent years, and despite the upfront cost, a new fridge will consume far less electricity than an older model.
- Location, location, location: When placing your refrigerator, be sure to avoid spots next to a heat source, such as a radiator, oven, or stovetop.
- Close the door: Whenever you need to access your fridge or freezer, be careful to leave the door open for as short a stretch of time as possible. This simple action can add up to huge energy savings.
- Cold food only: Placing warm food in the refrigerator can raise its internal temperature more than you might expect, resulting in additional energy use and less hygienic conditions. It’s simple to remedy this fact by waiting for leftover food to cool down totally before storing it in the fridge.
- Defrost the freezer: Whether you have a separate or integrated freezer compartment, it’s important to remove any layers of ice regularly. It might seem counterintuitive, but this ice actually acts as an insulating layer, making it more difficult for the freezer to reach its intended temperature.
- Defrost food in the fridge: When it’s time to defrost some food, place it in the refrigerator, rather than in the sink or on the countertop. This not only helps the food to defrost more gradually, it also gives the fridge a cooling boost, easing the stain on its compressor.
- Check the door seals: Think rubber seals around a fridge or freezer door help to insulate against exterior heat. If these seals become damaged, the unit will require a lot more energy to reach its intended temperature. Replacing a damaged seal is one easy way to save energy - hence money - in the kitchen.
Best Refrigerator FAQ:
Q: Should I invest in a smart refrigerator?
A: Although we haven’t included any smart refrigerators on our list, they’re a piece of technology we believe is worth mentioning.
Smart refrigerators differ from their conventional counterparts in a few key ways:
- They usually feature a touch screen interface
- They are connected to the internet via your home’s wi-fi
- Many feature interior cameras
- They can often be controlled from afar via smart device
Smart refrigerators can bring about a number of benefits, such as:
- Allowing you to look up recipes online, and display them on the screen
- Creating smartphone-synced shopping lists
- Casting TV or movies from another room onto the touch screen
- Adjusting temperature settings from afar
- Viewing the contents of the fridge from elsewhere via a smartphone app
- Providing a spot where the household schedule can be easily displayed
Every household has individual needs, and whether or not you could benefit from a smart refrigerator will depend very much upon personal preference. If you find it difficult to keep track of shopping lists and expiration dates, or enjoy using online recipes, this smart device could be worthwhile investment.
However, since a smart refrigerator could set you back $3,000 or more, it’s a good idea to think carefully before committing to the idea.
Q: How cold should my refrigerator be?
A: To maintain proper hygiene, food needs to be stored at a proper temperature:
- Refrigerators: Should be kept at a temperature between 37 - 40℉ (3 - 5℃)
- Freezers: Should be kept at a temperature of 0℉ (-18℃)
Q: Does my refrigerator need annual maintenance?
A: As long as you properly maintain your refrigerator, it should require very little maintenance, and won’t need an annual checkup in the same way that your car might.
To help maintain a safe and effective fridge, it’s a good idea to:
- Clean off its condenser coils a couple of times each year - these are the large, radiator-like metal coils on the back of the fridge, responsible for conducting heat away. They can be cleaned fairly easily using a long-handled bristle brush and vacuum
- Clean rubber seals every now and again, and be sure to replace them if they become damaged. This helps the fridge to run more efficiently, and last for longer.
- Defrost your freezer on a regular basis, by unplugging it and allowing the ice to fully melt, before thoroughly drying.
- Clean the interior of your fridge on a regular basis - ideally every week - by wiping down the shelves and bins with a damp cloth and anti-bacterial cleaner.
Q: How do I level my refrigerator?
A: A properly levelled refrigerator not only looks great, it also helps the device to function correctly. When properly levelled, a fridge’s front legs should be slightly higher than its back legs, since this improves cooling efficiency.
You can level your own refrigerator by following these steps:
- Reveal the Legs
Before you get started, you may need to reveal your fridge’s legs by removing a grill. The grill can often be simply pulled away, but it may also be held in place by clips or screws.
- Examine the Legs
Before making any adjustments, take a moment to work out how the legs can be adjusted. Some can be rotated freely, while others may require a wrench or screwdriver (GE fridges tend to require one of these tools for levelling).
Most of the time, turning the legs to the right will lower the fridge, while turning them to the left will elevate it. This rotation can usually be performed by turning the legs themselves using pliers, or turning a screw housed in a slot at the top of each leg.
Rotate each leg until they are the same height, aiming for a small backward slope. Manufacturers recommend that the front of a fridge should rest between 0.25 and 0.5 inches off the ground.
- Measure and Adjust
Next, take a spirit level and place it on top of the refrigerator, just behind the door. From left to right, the fridge should be totally level. If it isn’t, adjust the height of one of the legs to rectify the issue.
Once the fridge is level from left to right, double check that the font legs are still between 0.25 and 0.5 inches off the ground, resulting in that desired slight backwards slope.
- Replace the Grill
Finally, replace the front grill if one was fitted. In many cases, the grill can simply be pushed back into place, but you may also need to reattach some clips or screws.
Some units feature rollers rather than feet. Their height should be adjusted to the same specification, using pliers or a ⅜ inch wrench. Each roller will be attached to a screw: turn the screw clockwise to raise the legs, and counter clockwise to lower them.
Q: How often should I replace my fridge's water filters?
A: This will vary depending on the type of filter you purchase, and the quality of the water you have access to. However, as a rule of thumb, you should aim to replace your fridge’s water system every six months or so.
Our Top Pick
For us, the best refrigerator on the market right now has to be this compact design by Danby. Their diverse fridge-freezer can be had in a variety of capacities and colors, making it the perfect option for any small kitchen, office, or other modestly sized space. Despite its compact size, the device includes everything you’d expect from a standard, larger model. It houses a vegetable crisper, integrated door storage, and an interior LED light. For ease of installation and use, the fridge also features an easy grip handle and non-slip feet. The door can be attached to open for either side, making it simple to set up no matter the shape of your room.
It’s efficient, too, having an Energy Star rating. Once switched on, it runs quietly, and easily keeps produce fresh. Unlike other mini fridges, Danby’s device also features an integrated freezer section, which can reach temperatures as low as -0.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The section is large enough to store all your frozen goodies, from ice cream tubs to pizza boxes. Overall, Danby have produced a compact, versatile, and efficient product that’s at home in a wide array of spaces.