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.
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
LED interior light included
Easy grip handle for comfortable use
Anti-slip feet for easy installation
- Weight59.5 pounds
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
Sleek, handle-free design blends well with the modern kitchen
- Weight300 pounds
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
LED light for ease of use
Freezer section includes ice cube trays
Levelling feet can accommodate uneven surfaces
- Weight92 pounds
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
- BrandFisher & Paykel
- Weight201 pounds
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
A door can be hinged on either side
Energy efficient design maintains a stable temperature
Full 1 year warranty included
- Weight35.3 pounds
For smaller kitchens as well as offices, student dorm or communal spaces where size matters, this compact refrigerator is spacious enough for all your cold food essentials – plus a few more. The Costway Compact has a decent 3.4 cu. ft capacity yet is small enough to fit in tighter spaces. And you get a sizeable main compartment plus a smaller top freezer as well as a good-sized crisper. It may not have the total freezer power or larger refrigerators, but it knows how to keep its cool, thanks to the easy to adjust thermostat that gives you a temperature range of -13°F to 50°F. You also get three internal glass shelves that are quick and easy to wipe clean and enough versatile door shelving to arrange your bottles and cartons. Bringing it all together, this is a well-designed compact fridge that has all your core cold store needs taken care of without taking up too much space in your room.
Compact design with reversible door
Easy access top freezer box
Recessed handle for smaller spaces
Can dispenser rack
Ideal for smaller spaces
- Weight61 pounds
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 icebox, 2 shelves, and fruit and veg drawer
Adjustable temperature gauge
Energy Star approved, for guaranteed efficiency
LED light inside
Excellent value for money
Easy to use
- Weight61.5 pounds
With its sleek design, the Frigidaire side by side refrigerator is certainly and eye-catcher and is the ideal double fridge for smaller spaces. Made from a stunning brushed stainless-steel outer, you get the recognizable double-door styling, with long, easy grip door handles and cool ice and water dispenser. But it is when you open the doors do you realize just how spacious and versatile this refrigerator is. All the shelving is removable and can be reconfigured – in fact you get around 100 different ways to set up the interior for optimum storage space. The door shelving is robust, and you get some seriously deep door units for those larger bottled items. As well as a good mix of glass and wire shelving, the double body of the refrigerator also provides a designated ‘deli drawer’ for packed lunches as well as a generous crisper. Add in features such as easy to use LCD controls and an effective water filter system, including a time to change alert, and you have a smart side by side refrigerator in more ways than one.
Stylish double door refrigerator
25.5 cu. ft. capacity
Durable stainless-steel outer
Ice maker and water dispenser
Deep shelving in doors
Deli drawer and crisper
Water filter change alert
- Weight293 pounds
When you don’t need a large refrigerator but still need to keep food chilled or frozen, then this two-door compact from Rovsun should easily fit the bill. Well designed and smart, this small refrigerator fits neatly under kitchen counters and will also tuck into corner of a dorm, office or small apartment room for quick and easy access. You get 3.2 cu ft of space – 2.2 cu ft in the main food chiller plus a 1 cu ft top freezer box for those iced essentials. Add in an adjustable thermostat, two removable glass shelves, a decent sizes salad crisper and enough door space for your milk, juice and beer and this is a flexible smaller fridge which you also reconfigure to your liking. It is also super-quiet too, which makes it ideal for communal or small space living and the recessed handles and flush back means it is easy to fit, giving you a modern, sleek look to work with your home style.
Compact two door refrigerator
Combined 3.2 cu ft capacity
Adjustable thermostat and quiet running
Features a cooling compressor
Removable glass shelving
Crisper and door compartments
Recessed door handles
Flush back design
Unit Dimension: 19.1″ x 20″ x 33.5″
- Weight53 pounds
Best Refrigerators 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.