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  • 11 Models Considered
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  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 131 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best freezerless refrigerators

    Last Updated April 2018

    Freezerless refrigerators make stocking up on fresh fruits and vegetables a cinch. If you have the space for a separate refrigerator, you’ll be able to keep several days’ worth of fresh produce organized and at your fingertips. But when it comes to making a big purchase, it can be hard to know where to start.

    That’s where we come in. At BestReviews, we’re always on the lookout for the best products on the market. We test products, consult experts, and assess consumer reviews to bring you the honest, unbiased opinions you need to make an informed decision. Rest assured that we don’t accept free manufacturer samples, so we’re testing the same products you purchase in stores or online.

    We’ve provided a shopping guide to give you an overview of the available features of freezerless refrigerators. Don’t forget to take a look at our top picks to see which models we recommend.

    Freestanding or built-in compact freezerless refrigerators work well to keep drinks and snacks cold in dorms, rec rooms, and entertainment spaces.

    Types of freezerless refrigerators


    Standard models do not have a freezer space but devote all cubic feet to refrigeration. These refrigerators also lack water dispensers or ice makers and have a single door. Some models have wire racks while others have glass shelves, drawers, and bins. Basic models usually only come in white, but some pricier models may offer a choice of white, black, or stainless steel.

    Models with an electronic keypad often have a stuck-key alarm. If you have kids, this alarm can alert you if someone’s playing with the buttons.

    Built-in two-drawer

    These models give you two large temperature- and humidity-controlled drawers for your refrigeration needs. Bins are used to organize the interior. Built-in two-drawer models come in stainless steel or an overlay panel exterior. These are some of the most expensive models on the market.

    Each drawer in a built-in two-drawer freezerless refrigerator can be adjusted to a different temperature.


    With a capacity of 3.5 to 11 cubic feet, these models work well in rec rooms, dorms, or any other space where you do light entertaining. They can keep a few drinks and snacks cold and ready to go.

    Freezerless refrigerator measurements

    Depth, width, and height

    It’s worth taking the extra time to measure your kitchen space more than once. Measure depth, width, and height from several points in case the floor or top cabinets are uneven. Measure the width from the wall and to the front of the space. Last, make sure to take into account any baseboard and/or chair rail when measuring.

    Door clearance

    Some freezerless refrigerators have drawers that aren’t accessible unless the door is fully open. Measure how far into your kitchen the door will open to be sure it won’t hit an island or other appliances or cabinets.

    Some models allow you to place the door on either the right or left side. Make sure you can fully open the door without hitting a wall, cupboard, or other appliance.


    Refrigerators need at least an inch of clearance above and behind for proper ventilation. If the unit is too close to the wall and overhead cabinets, it can take extra energy to cool and eventually wear out the motor and/or compressor.

    Doorways and hallways

    Before deciding on a model, measure any doorways or hallways through which your refrigerator will have to pass before it can be installed. The last thing you want to do is to buy a model that won’t even make it through the door.


    Levelers on the bottom of the refrigerator are useful if you have uneven floors. Keeping the fridge level is important for long-term operation because a tilt can damage the door or other features over time.

    Staff  | BestReviews

    Freezerless refrigerator features to consider


    Freezerless refrigerators vary in size. Compact models have a capacity of 3.3 to 11 cubic feet. Full-size models range from 16 to 18.8 cubic feet.

    Adjustable shelving

    Adjustable shelving lets you make room for the Thanksgiving turkey or other special dishes and platters. Some models have simple wire racks that can be moved to different levels. Others have glass shelves with drawers and bins that can be adjusted to meet your needs. High-end models often have drawers and bins designed to retain the freshness of meat or vegetables.

    High-end models often include bottle-holder door shelves to keep wine and other drinks upright.

    Door alarm

    Models with a built-in door alarm let you know when the door has been left open for a certain amount of time, usually five minutes. Some models continue to sound until the door is closed. Others will sound every two minutes until the door is closed.  

    Blackout alarm

    Blackout alarms sound during a power outage. A refrigerator with this feature is a good idea if you experience frequent outages in your area. This kind of alarm also comes in handy if you have sensitive breakers. If a breaker is tripped, the alarm will let you know before your food spoils.

    Warranties vary by manufacturer. Many models come with a one-year limited warranty, but some may be longer.

    Temperature alarm

    This alarm sounds if the temperature inside the refrigerator rises to an unsafe level for a specified amount of time.

    Exterior finish

    Freezerless refrigerators come in stainless steel, smudge proof, white, black, and wood panel. A few of the compact models come in a variety of colors with a metallic finish.

    Energy efficiency

    Energy Star-certified models use less energy and cost less to run over the long term. They must meet strict guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). To be certified, manufacturers must verify the appliance’s energy savings, test results, energy consumption, and performance.


    A freezerless refrigerator gives you the storage and organization space you need if you keep lots of fresh food on hand. Special drawers and bins control humidity, too.

    Staff  | BestReviews

    Freezerless refrigerator prices

    You can expect to pay from $350 to $2,000 and up for a freezerless refrigerator, depending on size and features.

    • Inexpensive: You can find small models with a capacity of 3.5 cubic feet for around $350. For less than $650, you can find a 17- to 18-cubic-foot freezerless refrigerator in white (other finishes cost more). It may have a few adjustable shelves, but it may not include drawers and bins.

    • Mid-Range: Between $650 and $1,000, you can find full-size models with a capacity of 16 to 17 cubic feet, as well as many compact models in stainless steel. The full-size models may not come in stainless steel, but many contain full-width drawers and a few adjustable shelves.

    • Expensive: Between $1,000 and $2,000, you can find full-size models with a capacity of 17 to 18 cubic feet in stainless steel with adjustable glass shelves, drawers, and bins. You’ll also see built-in two-drawer models in stainless steel. Models at this price often have door and blackout alarms.

    • Premium: For more than $2,000, you’ll find models with a capacity of 18.5 cubic feet or more, built-in drawer models with overlay panels, and commercial-grade models. These refrigerators have all the bells and whistles (and alarms), adjustable glass shelving, and a quiet-run feature.


    • Check your measurements at least twice before buying. You don’t want to get caught with a model that won’t fit in your kitchen or through the front door.

    • Match the finish of your refrigerator to the rest of your appliances. If you’re going to keep your freezerless refrigerator in a basement or garage, the finish isn’t that important, and plain white models usually cost a few hundred dollars less than stainless steel.

    • If your kitchen is big, match your freezerless refrigerator to your freezer. It will give your kitchen a sleek, professional look.
    When shopping, remember that you need about 1.5 cubic feet of refrigerator space per person.


    Q. Are freezerless refrigerators better at keeping food cold than freezer/refrigerator combos?
    Any appliance devoted to a single purpose, in this case, refrigeration, performs better than one that does double duty. That doesn’t mean a freezer/fridge combo won’t perform well. It just means a freezerless refrigerator only has to maintain one consistent temperature throughout the whole unit rather than two, which is easier to do.

    Q. Do freezerless refrigerators come fully assembled?
    Many models require some assembly, which usually includes attaching the door, installing the shelves and drawers, and attaching the door handle.

    Q. Are all freezerless refrigerator doors reversible?
    No. Some models have a door that can be reversed, but with others you’ll need to specify which way you’d like the door to open when you order the refrigerator.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Web Producer
    • Amy
    • Bronwyn
    • Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Stacey