How to Choose a Refrigerator

Written by: Erica Spangler

Design Specialist
Through the years, the refrigerator has improved in both style and in function, and here’s what to know when shopping for one.

Find the perfect fridge by following the steps listed in this guide.


  • Add a 1 inch gap on all sides to prevent overheating
  • Poor ventilation diminishes performance
  • Refrigerator insulation may expand the walls up to a 1/2 inch

  • Consider any walls that may block opening of the refrigerator doors
  • Other considerations include kitchen counters, islands, and drawers
  • Make sure to measure every doorway the fridge will travel towards installation

Food Storage
  • Consider the total amount of food you would have any one time
  • Calculate 8 cubic feet per person for “family size” fridges
  • Produce bins are on the bottom, so reaching for veggies may be a challenge

Door Configuration

Top Freezer

  • Features wide shelves for plenty of storage space
  • Typically the best priced option

Shop Top Freezer Fridges

Bottom Freezer

  • Very popular style
  • Food at eye level is convenient
  • Freezers with baskets make access easier
Shop Bottom Freezer Fridges

French Door
  • Wider interior space than a side-by-side
  • Great for larger fridge items and food organization
  • Lacks in energy efficiency
Shop French Door Fridges

  • Narrow doors are great for small spaces
  • Energy efficient
  • May lack in accessibility
Shop Side-by-Side Fridges


Finish is an extremely important decision when choosing a fridge or any appliance. In fact, a stainless steel finish may actually add value to the home because the look is timeless.

Other Considerations


  • US Department of Energy's stamp of approval
  • Certified to save energy and money

Shop ENERGY STAR Fridges

Humidity Controlled

  • Maintains consistent humidity
  • Keeps crisper drawers fresh

Shop Humidity Controled Fridges

Water and Ice

  • Feature widely available
  • Often at little or no extra cost

Shop Fridges with Water and Ice