Lifestyle image of Bosch refrigerator in a kitchen

So, you’re looking for a new refrigerator for your kitchen. A lot has changed over the years, with the latest refrigerators offering updated features, more modern aesthetics, and energy efficient designs. How do you choose the right one for your home and family?

Read through our detailed refrigerator buying guide for some help in choosing. This in-depth guide explains everything you need to know about the different refrigerator types, key features, and how to select the proper fridge. Here, we’ll highlight and reiterate some of the most important considerations to make sure the fridge fits not only within your home, but also with your lifestyle.

Types of refrigerators

As outlined in the aforementioned refrigerator buying guide, there are many different refrigerator types from which to choose. Here are the main types to consider and their pros and cons.

All-fridge refrigerator

LG all fridge refrigerator open with food

All-fridge refrigerators are, as the name implies, entirely for refrigerator space. They are designed for items like drinks, fresh meat, poultry, and fish, deli meat, eggs and cheese, fruits and vegetables, and more.

Pros – These tend to be thinner and thus can fit in smaller spaces. They are ideal if you cook often and have a large selection of fresh foods often. This might be particularly the case of vegans and vegetarians who focus on fresh fruit and vegetables and need the space to store all their perishable ingredients.

Cons – The obvious disadvantage is that they don’t have any freezer space. Thus, they are only ideal if you never have frozen foods or if you have a separate freezer elsewhere in the home.

Top freezer refrigerator

Insignia top freezer refrigerator

With top freezer refrigerators, the doors swing one way and the bottom two-thirds are for refrigerated items while the top third is a freezer section. These represent one of the most classic styles of refrigerators.

Pros – It’s easy to get to frozen items at eye level, great for families who might rely on frozen foods often and want to be able to access them easily.

Cons – You may need to bend down to get certain items from the bottom of the fridge, which can be cumbersome for those with mobility issues and the elderly. If you have kids, they might have trouble reaching the freezer to self-serve items.

Bottom freezer refrigerators

GE bottom freezer refrigerator

A more common design of late, bottom freezer refrigerators or drawer fridges have the main refrigeration compartment in the top two thirds of the design and a pull-out freezer drawer on the bottom.

Pros – This makes accessing refrigerated items easier at eye level: you won’t need to bend down to get anything: everything is at the perfect height. If you have kids, they can also more easily access frozen items, like ice cream, popsicles, or frozen dinners.

Cons – It’s more difficult to access frozen items, and bending over repeteadly if you use a lot of frozen food can do a number on your back.

Side-by-side refrigerators

Whirlpool side by side fridge

Offering the best of both worlds, side-by-side refrigerators have the refrigerated section occupying one half and the frozen section occupying the other. Thus, you can access everything equally, though you will need to store items in both towards the bottom of the fridge.

Pros – This is ideal for families that access fresh and frozen items equally since you can store the most used items near the top and the less frequently accessed items at the bottom. These fridges tend to be narrower as well so you can fit these in tighter spaces.

Cons – These have full-sized doors that open both ways, so you need a lot of clearance on both sides to accommodate them.

French door refrigerators

Samsung French door fridge open with food inside

One of the most popular types of refrigerators of late are French door refrigerators, which include two doors on either side at the top that open to reveal a refrigerated section. On the bottom is a freezer drawer that pulls out. Some French door refrigerators also have a middle drawer for frequently accessed items like juice boxes, deli meats, and more. Some divide this middle drawer into two. Ones with a door-in-door design has a thinner door within the door you can open for frequently used items like eggs and condiments without having to open the main interior.

Pros – These fridges are modern in design and can fit a lot of food. They are energy efficient and come in various designs to suit differing family needs. They often have adjustable interiors as well so you can fit larger items like sheet cakes and vegetables trays as well as taller items like wine bottles.

Cons – These tend to be bigger and open both ways, so you need space for them. They can also be more expensive.

Considerations to make when choosing the right refrigerator

Let’s look at some other considerations to make when choosing the right refrigerator for your lifestyle.

Kitchen size and available space

Frigidaire built-in fridge

The first thing to consider is how big your kitchen is. While a fridge will and should be the focal point of the kitchen, you don’t want it to overpower the space. The cleanest installation you can find is a built-in fridge, which is hidden behind cabinets. You won’t even realize a fridge is there until you open the door, finished to match your cabinets, to reveal the cool interior inside! These, however, are more expensive and are often only considered when you’re looking at a full kitchen remodel.

Another option is to find a counter-depth fridge that will fit flush in a dedicated spot and won’t protrude out farther than your counters. You still get a nice, seamless look. Coordinating this with other appliances like a built-in dishwasher and stove will provide a clean look in the kitchen with plenty of open space.

Whichever option you consider, make sure to measure not only the space where the fridge will go but also the entire kitchen. Consider that the fridge needs breathing room above and that you’ll want the door or doors (or drawers for a bottom-mounted freezer) to be able to open freely without obstructions in the way. This is especially so with awkwardly designed kitchens.

I, for example, live in a 100+ year old home. While the kitchen is a decent size, the fridge is positioned adjacent to a door that goes to the backyard. When the left side fridge door is open, it blocks that doorway. When we decide to remodel the kitchen, we may reposition the fridge for this very reason, moving the counter/cupboard space over and placing the refrigerator further away from that door to avoid the bottleneck we sometimes encounter.

Refrigerator size

There are larger, standard, and compact fridges to consider. If you need more interior space but have a small kitchen, you can consider a fridge that is designed to maximize space, like door-in-door fridges that have double doors on either side for storing more without adding any bulk. If you have more space in the basement, you might want to consider an all-fridge refrigerator to have more storage space for fresh and perishable food while using a second fridge or chest freezer in the basement for frozen items. Some fridges even have convertible drawers so you can switch one to freezer space when needed. This will accommodate items you didn’t get to and have to freeze to avoid spoilage.

Whirlpool French door fridge in kitchen.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is one of the top reasons to upgrade an old fridge. Most if not all the newest fridges boast the Energy Star label and run more efficiently, using less energy and thus resulting in reduced electricity bills.

Did you know that the refrigerator is one of the biggest energy hogs in the home, not only when it comes to appliances but overall? Switching to a more energy efficient fridge can result in savings over time, and it also helps you reduce your environmental impact.


Your lifestyle will play into the type of refrigerator you choose in more ways than you realize. The more people in your family, for example, the bigger fridge you’ll need. If you cook often, you’ll want more room for fresh storage whereas if you cook less often and tend to freeze more, an ample-sized freezer is useful. You may also want more freezer space if you tend to buy in bulk to save money.

Consider how often you entertain as well. If you like to have people over for gatherings, you may want to invest in a bigger fridge, or one with adjustable shelves to accommodate things like large sheet cakes and fruit trays or tall bottles. Speaking of which, if you love to indulge in a crisp glass of white wine every now and then, consider a fridge that has special compartments or door storage for a taller bottle.

Finally, factor in what you eat. Vegetarians and vegans might appreciate larger, temperature-controlled crispers for storing all their fresh fruits and vegetables. By contrast, meat lovers might like having a separate section for meat, poultry, and fish. If you consume a lot of deli meats and cheeses, a French door refrigerator with a fourth middle drawer you can adjust to accommodate these types of items temperature wise will be appreciated.

Smart features

Samsung Family Hub refrigerator touchscreen

The latest, most high-tech type of fridge is a smart refrigerator. These are neat in that you can connect them to your home’s Wi-Fi network and use a built-in touch screen, voice assistant, or both. But there are plenty of benefits beyond that convenience and “cool” factor. They can help with inventory management by storing grocery lists and features like internal cameras so you can see what’s inside while you’re at the grocery store. You can remotely troubleshoot issues and receive alerts. They integrate with the smart home so you can sync your daily calendar, for example, play music through built-in speakers, or even watch TV on the touchscreen or listen to music through built-in speakers. They are premium fridges with built-in family scheduling capabilities and Wi-Fi connectivity.


You may have pie in the sky ideas about the fridge you want, but you also need to take into account your budget. There are fridges of all types across all price points, so you will be able to find one that meets your needs in a palatable price range; and sales are happening all the time at Best Buy Online. Before opting for the most affordable option you can find, however, factor in the long-term energy and cost savings with the surface perception that you’re saving money by buying something cheaper. You may want to hold off for a few months to save up and get a fridge you’ll truly be happy with for decades to come.

Don’t discount, as well, the value in considering extended warranties and service plans. This will ensure you keep your fridge in tip-top working condition for years.

Special features

Whirlpool fridge water dispenser

There are a few extra features to consider as well.

Built-in water and ice dispensers – A popular feature of late is fridges that have built-in water and ice dispensers. You don’t have to worry about buying and storing bottled water, which also further reduces your impact on the planet by eliminating plastic, and accessing clean, filtered water is convenient. With ice, you can have an abundant supply at the ready, whether you want to store in bulk in the freezer or use on the fly when you need an ice, cold drink.

Adjustable shelves – These can really make a difference if you need to fit extra-large, wide, or tall items from time to time. It’s also great if you like to store leftovers since you can adjust to fit different sized Tupperware, or even a full pot you want to keep inside.

Humidity-controlled crispers and drawers – Ideal for storing fresh fruits and vegetables, humidity-controlled crisper drawers are useful if you find your produce goes bad sooner than you think it should. This will keep items at the optimal temperature, separated from other food in the fridge, and thus ensure they stay fresher, longer.

Aesthetics and design

Samsung Bespoke Hub refrigerator

The last but certainly not least consideration is aesthetics and design. Look at material and finish, from stainless steel to black stainless, traditional white, or even fridges with custom panels. You want the fridge to fit with the décor of the kitchen, including other appliances, as well as your personal style. Options like the Samsung Bespoke refrigerators have customizable panels so you can get a truly unique look and colour scheme. The best part is that if you remodel, move, or change other appliances, you can get new panels and swap them out for a completely different look.

Find the right refrigerator for you

Finding the right refrigerator for you will take some research, measuring, and budget decisions. But as you start narrowing down the options, the picture will become clearer as to which refrigerator model will suit both your kitchen and your lifestyle.

Find plenty of refrigerators in all sizes, styles, designs, and configurations, and with lots of different features, at Best Buy online. Use the handy search filters to drill down to models that meet your exact preferences.

Christine Persaud
With 20+ years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism, I have covered the tech space since before social media was a "thing" and the smartphone as we know it was even invented. Writing for various technology, lifestyle, and entertainment sites, I have covered and reviewed hundreds of tech products, from home appliances to wearables, fitness tech to headphones, TV entertainment products and services, and more. I'm also a passionate foodie who loves to cook and bake, a TV show fanatic (happy to give what to watch recommendations!), and proud mother to a 12-year-old son.


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