The 8 Best Top-Freezer Refrigerators of 2021

A familiar design with plenty of storage space for your groceries

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks
"A good fit for many households, this fridge has a movable deli drawer and door shelves that can accommodate gallon containers."
"Though its low price means fewer features, this pick is quiet and an energy-saving option, resulting in a lower energy bill."
"In addition to top-notch storage compartments, this model also offers a sizable freezer for better, long-term food storage."
"This mini option has the feeling of a full-sized fridge in a size that's well suited for an office, basement, or small apartment."
"If you like the design of a top-freezer fridge and the space of a French door one, this massively spacious option is for you."
"Give your kitchen a sleek look, or preserve floor space in a cozy apartment, with this refrigerator that's shallow and organized."
"Keep your drinks cold with this option, which comes with a rare, built-in ice maker and storage compartment."
"To go the extra mile in energy efficiency, this pick allows you to convert the freezer into additional fridge space."

It doesn't get much more straightforward than a top-freezer refrigerator. The two-door design is both familiar and convenient for any household. The larger bottom compartment is where fresh produce, milk, eggs, and cheese are stored. A upper compartment then holds your frozen items and ice trays. For anyone who doesn't load their grocery cart to the brim, it's a valuable option, and typically provides an abundance of space.

Of course, there are newer styles, like a French door or side-by-side model that may provide extra capacity, too. If you're shopping for a basic fridge for your apartment, home, or office, though, a top-freezer refrigerator will get the job done and provide high-end amenities like an ice maker.

Here, the best top-freezer refrigerators for your space.

Best Overall: Whirlpool WRT518SZFM 18 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

Whirpool 18 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
What We Like
  • Comes in four finishes

  • Sliding deli drawer

  • Quality interior lighting

What We Don't Like
  • Average capacity

  • Freezer doesn't always close well

This top-freezer refrigerator from Whirlpool combines style and value, making it our top pick overall. Available in multiple exterior finishes, including a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel for easier cleaning, this fridge measures 28 inches wide and 32 inches deep. It has 17.6 cubic feet of interior space, which breaks down to just under 14 cubic feet of space in the refrigerator portion, and about 4 cubic feet in the freezer. While there are models that stretch these dimensions slightly, these are average dimensions for a full-size, top-freezer refrigerator. This build is also great for small families.

When it comes to the interior of this fridge, you’ll find two full-width shelves, two produce drawers, and a door that can accommodate gallon-sized containers, in addition to dairy like butter or cheese. An added amenity is a sliding deli drawer, which you can adjust to either side of the interior if you need to make space for taller items on the shelf below. The bright, crisp LED lighting is a plus for those who appreciate being able to see everything inside at a quick glance.

Best Budget: Frigidaire FFHT1425VW 13.9 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

Frigidaire 13.9 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Can add an ice maker

  • Operates quietly

What We Don't Like
  • Not as spacious as other models

  • Doesn't always cool evenly

For a basic refrigerator that won’t cost a small fortune, this model from Frigidaire is a good option to consider. It’s not the roomiest of top-freezer refrigerators, but it’s larger than the compact models you’ll frequently find in the budget category. It offers nearly 14 cubic feet of interior space—including 10 cubic feet dedicated to refrigeration, and about 4 cubic feet for the freezer. 

Despite a smaller price tag, you’ll find practical and useful features inside, such as full-width glass shelves that contain spills and are also easier to clean. Plus, the in-door shelving can hold gallon-size containers of milk or orange juice. The freezer accommodates an optional add-on ice maker, and the whole fridge can be described as quiet. All in all, this model is a great option, and lives up to the EnergyStar rating it's received. With an estimated yearly energy usage of about 332 kWh, it won't rack up any major bills.

Best Splurge: GE GTS22KSNRSS 21.9 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

GE 21.9 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
What We Like
  • Very spacious freezer

  • Tempered glass shelves

  • Garage-ready

What We Don't Like
  • On the expensive side

  • No recessed handles

If you’re looking for an expensive but sleek top-freezer refrigerator, consider this 21.9-cubic-foot model from GE. Equipped with plenty of space for both fresh and frozen foods, this top-freezer fridge is one of the most roomy and thoughtful ones on the market. The 15.25-cubic-foot fridge features two full-width tempered glass shelves, dual crisper drawers, and modular in-door storage compartments.

However, the supersized freezer is one of the best features of this splurge-worthy refrigerator. Many top-freezer fridges tap out around 4 or 5 cubic feet of capacity, but this model stretches the freezer to an impressive 6.68 cubic feet. Another full-width tempered glass shelf makes it easy to organize frozen foods. You can also install an optional ice maker if you want ice on demand.  

You can choose from five different finishes, including three fingerprint-resistant options that make cleaning the exterior of the fridge less of a chore.

Best Compact: Frigidaire FFET1022UV 10.1 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

The Frigidaire FFET1022UV 10.1 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator is a great, compact option.
What We Like
  • Plenty of storage options

  • Good for small living

  • Multiple produce crispers

What We Don't Like
  • No ice maker

  • Not as spacious as other models

This 10.1-cubic-foot fridge from Frigidaire is a quality option when it comes to compact, top-freezer refrigerators. Whether you have a tiny apartment kitchen, or need a small fridge for the garage or an office space, this model is big on efficiency, but small on space. 

Inside this top-freezer refrigerator, you’ll find two adjustable shelves and two produce crispers. Compared to some other compact fridges on the market with a single produce drawer, these are significant improvements that make this choice feel and function more like a full-size model. The refrigerator compartment has 7.4 cubic feet of space, while the freezer has the remaining 2.7 cubic feet of space. Just keep in mind that the freezer is not equipped with an ice maker, so you'll need to use standard ice cube trays to keep your drinks cool.

Best Large Capacity: LG Electronics LTCS24223W 23.8 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

LG 23.8 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
What We Like
  • Plenty of storage options

  • Supersized freezer

  • Factory-installed ice maker

What We Don't Like
  • Has a wide build

  • Only comes in two finishes

If you’re shopping for a top-freezer refrigerator that is big on space, you’ll find plenty in this 23.8-cubic-foot fridge from LG. Swing open the reversible door to the refrigerator, and you’ll find 17.6 cubic feet of room for perishables. Some of the organizational features include three tempered glass shelves, two produce crisper drawers, and deli and dairy bins.

The refrigerator compartment alone is equal or greater in size to the full capacity of many other models of top freezer refrigerators—and even some side-by-side fridges—on the market. But there’s more to this large capacity refrigerator, like a supersized 6.2-cubic-foot freezer compartment. This freezer is roomy enough to share precious space with a factory-installed ice maker, and store plenty of long-lasting food for your family. 

Despite its large size and capacity, this fridge is impressively energy efficient. Do keep in mind that this model is wider than most top freezer refrigerators, though, with a width of 33 inches. You'll need a bit more space in your kitchen to fit it.

Best Counter-Depth: LG Electronics LTNC11131V 11.1 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

LG Electronics 11.1 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
What We Like
  • Sits flush with countertops

  • Quality interior lighting

  • Operates quietly

What We Don't Like
  • Not very spacious

  • Only comes in one finish

Counter-depth refrigerators are designed to be flush with the edge of counters and cabinets—conserving floor space while also giving your kitchen a modern and sleek feel. While many fridges that fall into this category feature a French door design or bottom freezer, if you’re specifically looking for a counter-depth, top-freezer refrigerator, this model from LG is a perfect fit. 

With a depth of 26 inches and width of 24 inches, this fridge doesn't take up too much space while giving you 11.1 cubic feet of interior storage. The fridge portion is 8.49 cubic feet and the freezer is 2.62 cubic feet. While it’s not very roomy, it is well laid-out and functional. The two glass shelves, a sliding tray, and a produce crisper drawer contribute to the organized layout of this top-freezer refrigerator.

Best with Ice Maker: GE GIE18GSNRSS 17.5 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

GE 17.5 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
What We Like
  • Factory-installed ice maker

  • Comes in four finishes

  • Has reversible door hinges

What We Don't Like
  • On the expensive side

  • Average capacity

While not all top-freezer refrigerators are equipped with an automatic ice maker, you don’t have to forgo this convenience if you opt for this model from GE. The familiar freezer-on-top configuration allows for 13.49 cubic feet of space for fresh foods and about 4 cubic feet for frozen ones. The factory-installed ice maker sits inside the freezer compartment and churns out ice into the included storage bin.

In addition to cool functionality, this model from GE is available in four finishes, including a stylish slate option, if you want something different from well-loved stainless steel.

Best Energy-Efficient: Samsung RT18M6215WW 17.6 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator with FlexZone Freezer

Samsung 17.6 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
What We Like
  • Energy Star-certified

  • Flexible freezer compartment

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Average capacity

  • No door alarm

Refrigerators have an important task: keeping your fresh foods and frozen goods from becoming spoiled. To accomplish this, they must draw electricity regularly to power the cooling compressor. At the same time, how efficient and well-insulated a model is will determine its overall energy consumption. For an energy-efficient, top-freezer refrigerator, look for an Energy Star-certified model, like this one from Samsung. It has 17.6 cubic feet of total space.

Estimated to use about 448 kWh of energy per year, this fridge uses a moderate amount of energy for its size and does an impressive job of keeping an estimated 18 bags of groceries cool. One unique feature of this energy-efficient refrigerator is the option to convert the freezer space into another refrigerator compartment. This can be convenient for storing drinks and easy-to-reach snacks, and allows this model to conserve energy.

Final Verdict

When it comes to a top-freezer refrigerator, our top pick is the Whirlpool WRT518SZFM (view at Lowe's) because it marries style and value. It's a reliable option for a range of households, thanks to its sliding deli drawer, door shelves, and spacious interior. If you're looking to spend less, the Frigidaire FFHT1425VW (view at Home Depot) doesn't have as much interior space, but operates quietly and is very energy efficient.

What to Look for in a Top-Freezer Refrigerator

Capacity

The capacity of a top-freezer refrigerator includes both the fridge and freezer portions. It's measured in cubic feet, and can range from 10 cubic feet in compact and counter-depth units, to up to 24 cubic feet in high-capacity ones. The average top-freezer refrigerator has around 16 cubic feet of space for your groceries, with frozen storage taking up 4 cubic feet of this space. To add some perspective, this is enough for a small family or couple. If your household is larger, you'll want to shop for a model that's above this average.

Counter-depth vs. standard-depth

A refrigerator's depth impacts how much you can store inside of it, and how the model will look in your home. A counter-depth model sits flush with your counters and cabinets, and gives the fridge a built-in look and feel. The downside to this design is that it's not very spacious, so your food storage will be quite limited. In contrast, a standard-depth model is very spacious, but will be a bulky addition to your living space. Be sure that you have the footprint for this model, before purchasing it.

Ice maker

Many top-freezer refrigerators have a factory-installed ice maker, or are compatible with an ice maker kit. Although this amenity can dip into the capacity of your freezer, it can be useful for any home that frequently entertains, prepares drinks, or enjoys doing active activities. It eliminates the need for any separate ice trays, which can be a hassle to both fill up and keep organized on a shelf. If an ice maker sounds like a good fit for your household, you should ideally shop for a fridge with a factory-installed one, as it typically has less issues than one you install separately. Just know: the fridge may be more expensive upfront.

Standout Features

Flexible compartment

Some top-freezer refrigerators can be turned into entirely refrigerated units. Their freezer can be set to a lower temperature, and dubbed a "flexible compartment." To use this feature, simply adjust your freezer's internal temperature to 32 degrees Fahrenheit for fresh food, instead of 0 degrees for your frozen food. Give the freezer time to adjust, before filling it with trays, extra produce, or leftovers for the rest of your household. Typically, this feature is most suitable for homes with children or multiple people.

Deli drawer

While a deli drawer is a standard feature in many side-by-side and bottom-freezer refrigerators, it's not a guarantee in top-freezer ones. The standard design of a top freezer fridge can often leave out this feature, which is convenient for storing meats and cheeses at the proper temperature. In some models, the deli drawer slides to make organizing the rest of your fridge a breeze. Ultimately, it'll be most helpful for households who frequently buy deli meats and cheeses.

FAQs

Are top-freezer refrigerators more reliable?

While every appliance can have issues and require repairs, top-freezer refrigerators are usually the most reliable and durable. Their design is very straightforward, and doesn't include many additional features that could break over time, like an ice make or technology hub. Not to mention, they can be very energy efficient. If you care for yours properly, it can last up to 15 years.

How do you install an ice maker in a top-freezer refrigerator?

If you decide to install an ice maker in your top-freezer refrigerator, you'll first want to purchase the separate kit that's compatible with your model. Then, you'll want to unplug your unit and empty out the freezer, so you can easily access the parts you need. Find the spot where the water connection will go on the back of your fridge, and connect the wiring for the ice maker, water tubing, and wiring harness. For more, see the details in your user manual and our guide on installing an ice maker.

What should you do if your refrigerator is running, but not cooling?

There are several steps you can take if your refrigerator is running but not cooling, before you should deem it broken. First, you should make sure the temperature is set properly, and the controls weren't accidentally bumped at any time. Then, you should make sure the condenser coils are clean and that there is no items blocking the air's path. On the contrary, if your fridge isn't filled enough, then it may be having a hard time keeping cool because the air is flowing too freely. For more, you can check out our ultimate refrigerator repair guide.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was edited and updated by Marisa Casciano, who is the large appliance expert for The Spruce. Throughout her career, she's researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, cooktops, and more in the home and lifestyle space. She's lived in multiple apartments, and loves her current top freezer fridge, and its storage options and reliable operation.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.