Roomy interior with nicely organized shelf system. Has ice and water dispenser on the door. Can store up to 4.2 lbs. of ice from the built-in ice maker. Has the brand's convenient Food Showcase section and CoolSelect Pantry drawer.
Some mechanical issues have been known to occur after several months or years, including problems with the compressor and ice maker.
Spacious from top to bottom. Grab-N-Go door allows you to conveniently store your favorite items. Has ice/water dispenser on the door. Ice maker has a small footprint, which means more interior space.
Compressor as a reputation for developing issues within a year or two, and attempting to schedule timely repairs can be frustrating. Some owners gripe about the drawers feeling flimsy and "cheap."
Convenient slide out drawers in freezer allow for easy organization. Counter depth means it fits in nicely with your kitchen. Energy efficient features.
Freezer space is a bit tight so don't expect to fit very large items in this area. Doesn't have an on-door ice or water dispenser.
A mid-sized counter-depth model that's ideal for smaller kitchens. Manufactured by a trusted brand. On-door ice and water dispenser. Versatile FlexZone capable of freezing or cooling. Finish resists fingerprints and smudges. Shelves are easy to adjust.
Ice maker tends to clog, resulting in failure to dispense. Compressor occasionally makes strange noises.
Has a streamlined design that doesn't take up too much space yet still has a roomy interior. SuperFreezing function freezes fast and helps prevent defrosting of food. Cools and freezes evenly, thanks to the Dual AirCool technology.
No ice or water dispenser on the door, and the ice maker has the tendency to malfunction. Pricey.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
A refrigerator is one of those essential home appliances that you probably don’t think too much about until it’s time for a new one. But not all refrigerators are created equally, and the design and layout of the compartments can make a big difference in how easy it is to organize your food and find it when you need it.
For many people, a French door refrigerator offers the practical, functional layout they prefer for organizing their cold food and beverages. What’s more, it lends an air of attractive elegance to the kitchen that traditional refrigerators just don’t have.
If you’re thinking about buying a new French door refrigerator, we can help. At Best Reviews, we draw upon objective research to take a closer look at the top products on the market. We conduct lab tests, interview experts, and talk with product owners to determine exactly what information you need to make good buying decisions.
Ready to buy a French door refrigerator? The matrix above features our top recommendations. For general information about French door refrigerators, continue reading this shopping guide.
A French door refrigerator features a refrigerator compartment on the top and a freezer compartment on the bottom. But unlike other bottom-freezer models, a French door refrigerator has side-by-side doors on top and a single door or drawer on the bottom.
French door refrigerators are usually wider than other double-door refrigerators, though the doors themselves are narrower.
Some French door refrigerators feature one or more drawers between the top and bottom compartments to better help organize your goods.
The layout of a French door refrigerator makes it much easier to see and reach all of the food inside than the layouts of other types of refrigerators.
Why do some people prefer a French door refrigerator over the other types that are available? Here are some of the benefits this appliance delivers.
Saved space: A French door refrigerator can save space in your kitchen because the narrow doors don’t require as much clearance. If you have a tight or confined floor plan, this could be ideal.
Easy reach: Because the refrigerator compartment is on top, it’s much easier to reach the foods you use most often in a French door refrigerator. What’s more, you don’t have to bend down quite as far to access your crisper drawers.
Energy savings: With a French door refrigerator, you open just one door to access a particular item, and cold air escapes from only half the refrigerator. As a result, you save a bit of energy, since the refrigerator needn’t work too hard to maintain its internal temperature.
Flexibility: A French door fridge usually offers more flexibility when it comes to food storage. The shelves can span the full width of the fridge, or they can be split down the middle for a different configuration.
While a French door refrigerator doesn’t offer as much freezer space as some refrigerators, it does provide more usable space at eye level. Depending on the foods your family eats most often, this configuration can actually be quite helpful.
You’ll have a much easier time selecting a new French door refrigerator if you know ahead of time what you want – and what you don’t want. If you’re considering a particular model, find out the answers to the following questions before making your decision.
Refrigerator capacity, or interior space, is measured in cubic feet. French door refrigerators range in capacity from 15 to 30 cubic feet.
In general, a refrigerator that provides 19 to 22 cubic feet of storage capacity is large enough to accomodate a household of four people.
If you shop for groceries in bulk, however, you may prefer an appliance with a capacity of 30 cubic feet.
Some French door refrigerators feature two drawers inside the bottom freezer compartment. The drawers make it very easy to organize your frozen foods.
French door refrigerators typically range in width from 30 to 36 inches. They average 69 inches in height and 26 inches in depth.
Use a tape measure to determine the width, height, and depth of the area where you plan to place the refrigerator to ensure that the model that you’re considering will fit.
When it comes to the depth, you may prefer a counter-depth or cabinet-depth French door refrigerator. This type of refrigerator has a shallow profile that won’t extend beyond the edge of your countertop or cabinets.
French door refrigerators typically come in one of three finishes: stainless steel, black, and white.
Stainless steel is a particularly popular option, and it works with a variety of kitchen color and design schemes. The one drawback to stainless steel appliances is that they tend to show fingerprints easily. If you want a stainless steel refrigerator, you may want to choose one with a smudge-free finish.
Black is an ideal finish if you have a modern kitchen, and white is compatible with a wide variety of kitchen décors.
In a French door refrigerator, the top shelves are often the best place to store leftovers. They’ll be at eye level, so you’ll see them right away when you open the appliance – and you won’t forget to finish that tasty leftover casserole.
While all French door refrigerators offer some type of temperature control, some offer more precision than others.
For the utmost in control, choose a refrigerator that allows you to select a specific temperature rather than a general setting.
You can also opt for a French door refrigerator that allows you to control the temperature in certain areas, such as the drawers. For example, you could lower the temperature to better preserve highly perishable foods like meat and fish.
You may also want to look for a model that provides humidity controls so you can keep produce from wilting.
Some French door refrigerators have one or more extra drawers between the top refrigerator compartment and bottom freezer compartment. These extra drawers can help boost your organization. What’s more, you can save a bit of energy by keeping frequently used foods in the drawer. That way, you don’t have to open the entire refrigerator compartment just to access a bottle of ketchup.
Because the doors on a French door refrigerator are narrower than those of side-by-side models, they aren’t as heavy. This can be helpful once they are loaded with food.
If you like the thought of customizing your refrigerator configuration, choose a model with adjustable shelving. You can opt for shelves that span the entire appliance, or you can create shelving that divides into sections on either side. You can also adjust shelf height to accommodate taller items, such as bottles of soda or juice.
Many French door refrigerators have a water and/or ice dispenser built into the door. This is convenient, as you can get ice and water without actually opening the door. Notably, the components can take up some storage space inside the refrigerator.
If you purchase a French door refrigerator with a water and ice dispenser, we suggest that you look for one with a built-in water filter.
Size and capacity are two of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a new refrigerator. You want to be sure the appliance would fit your kitchen and provide enough space for your food.
If you want a top-of-the-line French door refrigerator, you can find models that boast a variety of helpful features.
A refrigerator with door-in-door storage provides access to a special storage area within the door itself. It usually opens with the press of a button, so you can easily grab items like beverages, condiments, and other snacks without having to actually open the main refrigerator compartment.
If having a water and ice dispenser isn’t enough, you can also find French door refrigerators that have a single-serve pod coffee maker built into the door.
Some models have a built-in sparkling water dispenser, so you can get fresh seltzer from the fridge whenever you want it.
For the utmost in high-tech, you may want to consider a French door refrigerator that’s WiFi-enabled and/or features a TV built into the door. Through WiFi, you can control the refrigerator through an app on your smartphone or tablet and receive alerts when there are possible problems. You may also be able to create shopping lists and stream music through a WiFi-enabled refrigerator.
Does your French door refrigerator feature an extra-wide drawer in the center? This is an ideal spot to store all the fixings for sandwiches, such as bread, deli meat, and cheese. It’s also a good spot for keeping veggie trays, cheese plates, or party platters when you’re having large gatherings.
French door refrigerators vary in price based on their size and features, but you can typically expect to spend between $1,200 and $8,000 for a good one.
In this price range, you can find a small-capacity French door refrigerator without many extra features.
French door refrigerators in this price range are typically considered “medium-capacity” appliances and tend to have just a few extra features.
In this broad price range, you will find many large-capacity French door refrigerators with plenty of extra features.
For added versatility, look for a French door refrigerator with a middle drawer that allows you to adjust the temperature. You can make the drawer a refrigerator or a freezer depending on your needs.
Play around with the height and sectioning of your shelves. One of the main benefits of owning a French door refrigerator is how much adjustability you have.
Store condiments in the doors. Because the doors are the warmest part of a French door refrigerator, that area is a good place to store your ketchup, mustard, and other items that won’t be negatively affected by the slightly warmer temperature.
Store dairy products at the back of your French door refrigerator. Milk, yogurt, sour cream, and similar items will benefit from this location, which is the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Accessorize your refrigerator with storage bins and baskets. Because a French door refrigerator offers so much storage space, it’s a good idea to add bins and/or baskets to the shelves for even deeper organization. Frequently used foods are ideal candidates for the bins because you’ll be able to reach them easily.
Q. Isn’t a French door refrigerator the same thing as a side-by-side refrigerator?
A. Not quite. Both French door and side-by-side refrigerators have two doors. However, a French door refrigerator has a freezer compartment on the bottom of the appliance with a separate door or drawer. The doors of a side-by-side refrigerator span the entire appliance, with one door covering the refrigerator compartment and one door covering the freezer compartment.
Q. Can a French door refrigerator work in a small kitchen?
A. A French door refrigerator is usually wider than a side-by-side refrigerator; widths range between 30 and 36 inches. As such, this type of refrigerator won’t work in all kitchens. However, the doors don’t require as much clearance to swing open, which does allow them to fit in some tighter layouts.
Before you buy a new refrigerator, measure the area in your kitchen where it will go. Make sure the appliance you buy will fit your available dimensions.
Q. What is the benefit of a French door refrigerator with extra drawers in the middle?
A. Extra drawers provide extra storage space that allows you to further organize your groceries. The center of the refrigerator is an ideal spot to keep frequently used items. You won’t have to open the larger refrigerator compartment all the time, thereby saving a bit of energy.
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