Fridge 101

Out of all of the appliances you can buy, choosing a fridge can be one of the most overwhelming. Not only is it a large investment, but it’s also one of the most important appliances in your kitchen. That’s why you need to pick a fridge that’s perfect for you and your home. You should choose a model that’s the best size and style for your kitchen, and pick a fridge that covers everything on your wishlist of features.

How do you go from just browsing for a new fridge to choosing one that’s perfect for you? Here’s a quick Fridge 101, with tips to help you choose.

Choose the right size fridge

When picking the right size of your new fridge, you need to consider the size you need and the space you have available for it. If you are replacing a fridge you already own, you will most likely be limited on what size you can get. On the other hand, you’ll have a lot of options for size if you’re completely renovating your kitchen.

When choosing a new fridge, the first determining factor will be how many people are in your family. Most refrigerators range from 18-24 cubic feet, and if you have a smaller family you can probably make an 18 cubic feet fridge work quite well. For a large family, you may want to choose a fridge with at least 26 cubic feet. 

One of the best ways to make sure the size of fridge you’d like will fit your kitchen is to measure the space, making sure you are considering the depth and width you need when the doors are open.

For specific instructions on measuring, look this article on how to measure for your new fridge.

Pick a style of fridge

There are four main styles of fridge: top-mount, bottom-mount, side-by-side and French door. There are no specific advantages or disadvantages to either style, so the type of fridge you choose will be based mostly on personal preference.

When choosing a style, it’s important to think about how you cook and what types of food you eat. If you tend to make food in bulk and freeze it, you may want to invest in a unit with a bigger freezer. If you eat primarily fresh fruit or vegetables, you may want to invest in a unit with a large fridge portion and spacious crisper drawers.

The top freezer refrigerator is the traditional refrigerator style, where the freezer sits on top of the fridge. A bottom freezer refrigerator is the opposite, with the freezer sitting on the bottom. This style has become more popular in recent years because it stores the food you frequently access at eye level. The freezer drawer, full of frozen foods you don’t access several times a day, is located below.

A side-by-side has the fridge and the freezer beside each other. This style of fridge makes both the fridge and freezer easy to access. Lastly, the French door design is the latest style of fridge to come onto the market. It gives you the best of both worlds, with a double door design and a freezer on the bottom.

Choose your favourite color or finish

black stainless steel

The colour or finish of the fridge you choose is based on personal preference and your kitchen space. If you have a smaller kitchen space, you may want to invest in a lighter colour fridge like white or stainless steel. If you have a more spacious kitchen space, you might like a darker finish like black stainless steel.

Worried you’ll make the wrong choice? No problem: if your style preference changes, you can always check out the different refrigerator covers offered in a variety of colours and finishes.

Choose your must-have fridge features

Because a new fridge is a big investment, it’s important to choose one with the features you really want. There are a lot of different features available on the latest fridges, and you can find specific details about many of the newest features in the refrigerator buying guide.

Maybe you’d like a water and ice dispenser, or maybe you’d love the flexibility of a lot of adjustable shelves.

You may even want a fridge with specialty drawers that allow you to adjust the humidity or use as a wine cooling compartment.

One feature people love on a fridge is Energy Star. Energy Star is a classification given to environmentally friendly appliances, and they’ll use about 40% less energy than a regular fridge. Using less energy can add up, saving you about $150 a year.

What brand of fridge do you like?

crisper drawers

Most people stick with brands they’re happy with. If you’ve had several appliances from a certain brand and you want to stay consistent, you can choose the same brand for your new fridge.

If you don’t mind mixing and matching, there are a lot of great brands of fridge that work in every kitchen. Whatever your preference may be, Best Buy has a large selection of refrigerators from a variety of brands including Samsung, LG, Whirlpool, and more.

Decide on your new fridge

Now that you’ve gone through all of the options and you know what type and size of fridge you’d like, the only thing left to do is choose one. Once you do, you’ll want to brush up on appliance delivery and, preparing for a major appliance delivery, your options for fridge installation.

Now that you’ve worked your way through Fridge 101, take a look at all of the great refrigerators available on or visit a Best Buy showroom to see your favourite fridge in person.

Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag


  1. I like the tip that you gave to choose a fridge with a finish that will match the rest of your home. My wife and I have been talking about finding a new fridge that will look better than our old one, and it would be important for us to know ahead of time that it will fit in with the rest of our appliances. If we choose to get a new fridge, I will be sure to look for one that will have a finish that will match the rest of our appliances.

  2. Thanks for the tips on how to pick a fridge. I like how you pointed out that if you have a smaller kitchen space you might want to think about getting a lighter colored fridge. I hadn’t thought of that before. My husband and I are considering getting a new fridge, and since we are in an apartment we’ll have to start looking at lighter colored fridges.

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