These days, everyone's a foodie, and people are staying in and cooking at home as much as they're going out to eat. The demand for fresh ingredients has never been higher, and whether you live solo or have a big family to feed, you need a place to store your perishable foods. That's where a quality refrigerator comes in, and the latest designs definitely cater to all the fresh produce people are buying with features like crisper drawers and dual evaporators, which have become... standard fare in many units.
Other models are all about convenience, offering door-in-door compartments that allow you to grab drinks and condiments without opening the refrigerator’s main area. And if you're partial to a certain drink, like seltzer, coffee or tea, there are now machines that have built-in beverage dispensers for on-demand brewing or bubbles. Perhaps the only thing more impressive are the smart fridges on the market that can use wi-fi connectivity to alert you when it's time to change filters or even buy milk.
One thing’s for sure, fridge and freezer combos have come a long way since the original ice boxes, but features and prices really do run the gamut. You can get a full-sized basic fridge that does its job for somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 to $700, or pay thousands for one with snazzy, smart features. No matter the cost, you’ll have to make a decision on configuration—top-freezer, bottom-freezer, side-by-side, or French-doors—and each has its pros and cons. Whatever you ultimately choose, consult this guide for the coolest refrigerators on the market.
01 of 07
There's plenty of room for all your faves in this 25 cubic foot French door model with wall-to-wall frameless glass shelves, humidity-controlled crispers, and adjustable gallon-size door bins. The full-width pantry will have you party-ready at all times, as it accommodates oversized meat and cheese platters, sheet cakes, and sandwich trays like a champ.
Upfront interior electronic controls make it easy to adjust the temperature without having to move stored items out of the way, and sensors... ensure that the compressor kicks into high gear only when necessary. The freezer is no slouch either, with its ice maker, sliding basket storage compartment and respectable 7 ½-cubic-foot capacity. This Energy Star-qualified design doesn't include a water dispenser, but for the price, you're still getting a lot of bang for your buck.
02 of 07
Most apartment dwellers don’t really need a huge, fancy refrigerator – and most landlords certainly don’t want to pay for one. A basic unit that keeps food cold just fine, the GE GTS18GTHWW is a 17.5 cubic foot top-freezer model that can also squeeze into tight kitchens at just 30 inches wide. It comes in white, stainless steel and black.
The GTS18GTHWW caught the eye of experts at TheSweethome.com, mainly because it attracts less reliability complaints than similar models. There are few bells... and whistles to speak of, though buyers will be glad to know there are adjustable spill-proof glass shelves, easy-to-use temperature controls, and two adjustable-humidity drawers for produce and other special items. There are also deep bins along the door and easy-access storage space for cans. Some owners do complain about noise, which is a common issue among basic budget refrigerators. No icemaker is included, but one can be installed. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.
03 of 07
This 28-cubic-foot capacity Samsung refrigerator has a sleek designer look and plenty of impressive features to back it up, including an external water and ice dispenser, two crispers for fresh produce, and a special “showcase” compartment with an inner case for larger items and an outer case that lets you grab drinks and condiments quickly without opening the main door. Metal cooling technology helps maintain consistent temperatures throughout, while the “CoolSelect Pantry” allows for three... separate temperature controls (deli, fresh, and chilled) so you can thaw or chill your food to the perfect temperature for parties and more.
The ice maker is a major bonus for anyone who entertains; it makes up to 10 pounds of ice per day and can store more than four pounds at a time. The fridge also has a door alarm, and it's Energy Star compliant, so you should see some savings there after your initial investment.
04 of 07
You’ll have plenty of storage in the 28.4 cubic foot GE Profile PSS28KSHSS, which experts praise for its temperature performance and uniformity, energy efficiency and ease of use. Bonus: This stainless-steel refrigerator is also one of the quietest side-by-sides you can buy, tests reveal.
The GE Profile is packed with features, including LED lighting, an extra-tall ice and water dispenser, advanced water filtration, easy-to-reach temperature controls, spill-proof glass shelves, and a convenient... door alarm that will make sure you don’t walk away while the refrigerator door is still open. There are several humidity-controlled bins and in-door storage shelves, too. Reviewers say they have plenty of space – not always the case with side-by-side fridges – and they say the lighting is bright and plentiful. A few say some food placed in a certain spot in the refrigerator may freeze, though. This fridge is backed by a one-year warranty and is Energy Star-rated for efficiency.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
If you’re just after a basic refrigerator that will go easy on the wallet, reviewers say it’s hard to go wrong with the Hotpoint HPS18BTHWW. One reason is the size – at 17.6 cubic feet, this fridge is roomier than most others at its price point. It’s available in basic white and black, so if you want a sleek stainless-steel model, you’ll need to upgrade.
This Hotpoint fridge offers the basics only: Buyers will get adjustable wire shelving, two sealed drawers with a glass cover for produce,... in-door shelves that are wide enough to hold gallons of milk and narrow enough for cans. The fresh-food drawers have incandescent lighting. Owners are pleased with this fridge, especially for the price – they say it keeps food at the right temperature and that’s all they need. Many use it in garages, workshops or rentals as a supplement to a main refrigerator. There is no ice maker, but that’s an easy addition. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.
06 of 07
This pint-sized Haier offers 1.7 cubic feet of cooling in a super compact footprint: At just under 19 inches high, it's small enough to slip under a desk or bed on risers. It has a full-width interior shelf that slides out for easy access to the items you can't live without, plus door shelves for extra storage. There's even a 2-liter bottle storage area on the door so you can keep full-sized juice or soda on hand.
If cold drinks are your jam, there's room for an ice tray in the... half-width freezer, which is the perfect size for also stashing a container of ice cream or a frozen entree or two. You're not getting any fancy features here, but for the price, it's a great solution for small spaces.
07 of 07
Want a refrigerator that's truly revolutionary? If price is no object, give the Samsung Family Hub 4-Door a look. It turns the kitchen into the center of the home, with the built-in wi-fi-enabled touchscreen as its focal point. From this tablet-like interface, you can leave messages for your family members, coordinate schedules, look up recipes, watch TV, view vacation photos, and even order groceries. Three built-in cameras take photos of the fridge’s interior every time the door closes so... you can monitor what you need and access these photos from your smartphone when you're at the store shopping. The unit can also notify you when food is about to expire.
With a 22-cubic-foot capacity, this Energy Star model is generously-sized with tempered glass shelves, two crispers, gallon door bins, plus a built-in drink and water dispenser. A triple cooling system with three evaporators promises to keep your favorite foods fresher longer, while the ice maker produces up to five pounds of ice per day. The draw here is definitely the entertaining features and fancy touchscreen display, but the machine doesn't compromise on cooling or storage space for the sake of the smart home wow-factor.
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