Solid footprint, slides into counters and most spaces. Freezer section boasts 3 separate compartments accessed by a wide-swinging door. Refrigerator shelves slide smoothly on rolling hinges. Cools evenly with multi-venting.
Lacks ice maker and water dispenser. At 11.3 cubic feet, may be smaller than expected, especially in the refrigerator section.
Offers over 15 cubic feet of refrigerator space and almost 6.5 cubic feet of freezer. Multiple adjustable shelves adapt for storage and boast curved bumpers to protect against spills. Roomy door shelves. Double-tray freezer drawer.
Lacks water dispenser. Needs 72 hours to begin making ice. Some complaints about rust appearing on the door.
Spacious, offers almost 26 cubic feet of storage. Sports cooling and venting, especially for door. Filters water for better-tasting ice. Offers cooler tray for deli meats and cheeses. Multiple vents and sensors for consistent temperature.
Door shelving is not customizable. Shelf organization is less flexible than others.
Compact footprint fits smoothly into counters. Separate cooling drawer can store meat, deli, and drinks. Comes with a 4-bottle folding rack for wines and spirits. Adjustable door shelving. Boasts 2 freezer drawers and an extra tray.
At just under 12 cubic feet, won't hold a huge amount of food. Ice maker is only optional.
Compact, stylish, and understated. Fits well in small dwellings and storage areas. Eco-friendly light. Three interior shelves and 3 door shelves. Wide crisper for fresh fruits and vegetables. Digital adjustable freezer settings. ‘Sabbath mode’ cuts power in accordance with religious rites and holidays.
Less long-term freezer storage space than other models.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
A refrigerator is a necessary kitchen appliance and there are many types to choose from, making it easier than ever to find the perfect option for your home. Bottom freezer refrigerators have become popular because they offer several advantages over traditional fridges that can make them a more convenient, user-friendly option for your kitchen.
A bottom freezer refrigerator is just what it sounds like: a fridge that has the larger refrigerator compartment on top and the freezer compartment on the bottom, rather than the freezer on top or beside the refrigerator compartment. It’s designed to place at eye level the foods you reach for most often. That means you won’t need to bend as often to grab the items you need from the fridge. And most bottom freezer refrigerators have pull-out baskets or drawers, so you can still easily find the food you’re looking for in the freezer.
Feeling overwhelmed by all the options? Use our handy buying guide to help you choose the best bottom freezer refrigerator for your kitchen. We’ve even included several specific product recommendations to make shopping as easy as can be.
Width: Many bottom freezer refrigerators are smaller than units with the freezer top or side-by-side models. Typical refrigerators range from 19 to 36 inches wide. Typical bottom freezer fridges are 29 to 30 inches wide, but a narrower refrigerator can be a great option for a small kitchen that is tight on space.
Capacity: Because bottom freezer refrigerators are usually smaller than traditional fridges, their capacity is also smaller. The largest models offer 30 cubic feet of capacity, but some small models have as little as 4.5 cubic feet. A fridge with a small capacity can work if you only grocery shop for one or two people. For a family of four, you’ll typically want at least 19 to 24 cubic feet of space inside your fridge.
The reason why bottom freezer refrigerators place the refrigerated compartment on top is that people usually reach for refrigerated items more often than frozen foods. But when you do need to dig a frozen pizza or pint of ice cream out of your freezer, you want it to be as easy to find as possible. That’s why the type of freezer compartment is so important.
Drawer: Higher-end models have freezer drawers on the bottom. They pull out easily so you can see and remove items from your freezer without having to bend too much or kneel on the floor.
Door: Some more affordable models have a freezer compartment with a swing-out door, which is similar in design to the freezer compartment on refrigerators with the freezer on top. But with the freezer on the bottom, you might have to kneel or crouch on the floor to reach inside the freezer, which can be uncomfortable, particularly if you have trouble with your back or knees.
While the freezer compartment is always on the bottom, the refrigerator compartment is available in two different styles.
Single door: Many feature the traditional single-door design, so there’s one door to the refrigerated compartment.
French door: You can also find French door models, which have two doors that open in the center of the refrigerated compartment. Some homeowners prefer this style because the doors don’t swing open as wide as those on single-door models, so they work well in narrower spaces.
Some French door refrigerators feature a second drawer between the refrigerator compartment and freezer drawer. This may be a second freezer drawer or a refrigerated drawer that is excellent for storing party platters and other large food items.
Temperature: Some bottom freezer refrigerators offer variable temperature controls to allow for total customization of the various refrigerated areas of the appliance. If you opt for a French door model with an additional drawer, you can often set the drawer to a different temperature than the main refrigerated compartment and use it for specific food items.
Some bottom freezer fridges also allow you to set a different temperature for the crisper drawers to keep your vegetables and produce fresher longer. You can also set another drawer even colder to hold meat and fish.
Humidity: In addition to having separate temperature controls for the crisper drawer, you can find some bottom freezer fridges that allow you to control the humidity, too. Leafy greens usually need higher humidity than fruit and other produce, so it helps to be able to adjust the humidity in the drawers to keep your fruit, veggies, and greens fresh as long as possible.
In the refrigerated compartment of a bottom freezer fridge, you want to be able to customize the storage options to fit your needs. Many models offer adjustable shelves, so you can make room for larger items. Some refrigerators have split shelves to fit tall beverage bottles or space on the doors for gallon containers of milk to make more room on the shelves.
When it comes to the drawers or bins inside the refrigerated compartment, you may want to look for a model that includes flexible dividers, so you can organize your fruits, vegetables, and other foods by type.
Many homeowners enjoy the added convenience of having a refrigerator that dispenses water and ice. Many bottom freezer refrigerators have an internal ice maker, which collects the ice in a basket that you access in the freezer compartment. But some French door models feature an ice and water dispenser in one of the doors, so you don’t have to open the freezer to get ice or fill a glass with cold water. You can find some single-door models with a water dispenser in the door, too, but these models don’t typically feature an ice dispenser in the door.
Bottom freezer refrigerators vary in price based on capacity, style, and special features. Most models cost between $400 and $8,900.
Inexpensive: The most affordable bottom freezer refrigerators are small single-door models with less than 15 cubic feet in capacity. They don’t have many special features and may have a swing-out freezer door rather than a drawer. These typically range from $400 to $1,000.
Mid-range: These bottom freezer refrigerators usually offer between 15 and 23 cubic feet in capacity. They can have one door or French doors, freezer drawers, and offer some special features like variable temperature controls and humidity-controlled compartments. These fridges generally cost between $1,000 and $4,000.
Expensive: The most expensive bottom freezer refrigerators are large models that have 23 cubic feet or more of capacity. Most have French doors, but there are some single-door fridges in this category. They usually have plenty of special features, including variable temperature controls, humidity-controlled compartments, in-door water and ice dispenser, and smart home features. You can expect to pay between $4,000 and $8,900 for these.
There are plenty of bottom freezer refrigerators to choose from these days, so we couldn’t include all the worthwhile models on our short list. With its two freezer drawers, the Thor Kitchen French Door Refrigerator is an ideal option if you’re looking for a larger model. It also has a humidity-controlled crisper drawer, four adjustable shelves, and an interior ice maker for added convenience.
We also love the 1950s-style Smeg Bottom Freezer Refrigerator if you prefer a retro look. The bright red color gives instant style to any kitchen, and the adjustable glass shelves and bottle rack make organizing your food as easy as can be.
Q. Is a bottom freezer refrigerator better for a particular type of cook?
A. If you like to use fresh ingredients in your recipes, a bottom freezer fridge is the perfect option for your kitchen. You won’t have to bend or crouch to reach the items that you use most often.
Q. Is a bottom freezer refrigerator energy efficient?
A. In general, a bottom freezer refrigerator isn’t as energy efficient as a top freezer fridge. There’s some variation among models, depending on the size of the refrigerator, how it defrosts, and whether it has an in-door ice dispenser or not. If you’re concerned about the energy efficiency of a bottom freezer fridge, choose a model that’s earned the Energy Star rating, which is certified to use 10% less energy than the National Appliance Energy Conservation Acts (NAECA) maximum.
Q. Will a bottom freezer refrigerator work well for a family?
A. If you have a family, you probably have a pretty busy schedule that requires you to rely on frozen foods, both homemade and store bought, to get dinner on the table each night. A bottom freezer fridge offers more freezer space than top freezer models, so you’ll have plenty of room to store all the food you need for your family. If you’re worried about your kids sneaking into the easy-access bottom freezer to grab ice cream treats or other goodies they shouldn’t, choose a model with a lockable door.