Trade Resources Market View Four Main Refrigerator Types We Recommend After Consumer Reports' Refrigerator Tests

Four Main Refrigerator Types We Recommend After Consumer Reports' Refrigerator Tests

Manufacturers often roll out new refrigerators in June, making now a great time to shop, whether you're remodeling the kitchen or your old fridge is on the fritz. You can either take advantage of the latest features in a new model or get a great deal on an older one that's being cleared out. Consumer Reports' refrigerator tests now feature more than 300 models, so whichever way you go we've got many great recommendations. Here are some of our faves, arranged around the four main refrigerator types.

Bottom freezers

This has been the fastest-growing configuration, thanks to the popularity of French-door fridges. If you're looking for the latest and greatest (not to mention largest), consider the new Kenmore Elite 72093, $3,400, or the LG LFX33975ST, $3,000, both of which boast an industry-leading 33 cubic feet of claimed storage capacity. We also like GE's new Cafe CFE29TSDSS, $3,000, French-door refrigerator, the only model on the market that dispenses hot water.

For a tried and true model that may come with a discount, take a look at the Samsung RFG298HD[RS], originally $2,800, or any if its similar models in our Ratings. They offer superb temperature control aided by dual evaporators, which help maintain optimal humidity levels in the fresh-food section. Or go with a conventional bottom-freezer, such as the well-priced Amana ABB2224WE for $1,350 or the even less expensive Maytag MBF1958XE for $1,150.

Top freezers

This configuration is all about value, both in terms of what you spend up front and in the low operating costs thanks to their often excellent energy efficiency. Two new recommended models from Haier—the Haier HT21TS77SP and the Haier HT18TS77SP—take that value to new heights, costing just $600, while still delivering very good temperature control and the convenience of spillproof shelves.

Our highest-rated top-freezer for the moment is one that's been around a while—the GE Profile PTS22LHS[WW]. At $1,400, it's pricey for a top-freezer, but you may find it for less. And it delivers superb temperature performance as well as an internal water filter with built-in filtration.


None of the newest side-by-sides we've tested make our recommended list. That could be due to the fact that some manufacturers are focusing on other fridge configurations. But if you really want a side-by-side, maybe for its accessible freezer storage or the narrow door swing suited to small, galley-style kitchens, we have more than a dozen recommended models to choose from. Among the longest-standing models are the Bosch Linea 800 B22CS80SN for $2,700 and the DCS RX215PJX1 for $2,500. The DCS has better temperature control, though it's missing a through-the-door ice and water dispenser, which a lot of consumers expect in a side-by-side.


Built-in refrigerators are the most expensive, so don't expect too many discounts. But we've tested several very impressive new models, starting with the top-rated Thermador Freedom Collection T36BB820SS, $7,400. This is a very impressive bottom-freezer, with outstanding temperature performance enhanced by dual evaporators and dual compressors. Like most built-ins, it can receive custom-integrated panels that coordinate with your surrounding cabinetry or you can go with stainless steel. Among older built-ins, we still really like the Sub-Zero BI42S[S], $8,000, and the Miele KF1901Vi, $7,200.

Sales promos should continue at least through the Fourth of July, and we can't say which models will see the deepest discounts. So if there's a refrigerator you like in our Ratings, it's worth signing up for e-mail alerts with retailers and manufacturers alike and keeping tabs on the newspaper circulars.

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