But let’s back up for a minute. Picking a fridge really boils down to personal taste; most fridges work well. Depending on your budget and the amount of space you have, you can choose from dozens of fridges with different features and styles. We can’t predict exactly what everyone wants in a fridge, but we can help you ask the right questions so no matter what you need, you’ll be able to find something that will make you happy.
That said, we’re still recommending a few specific refrigerators because our research shows that some size-style-price combinations are especially popular. These are the models that we would buy, informed by what most people seem to find important in a refrigerator and also our taste and preferences. If these picks suit you, fantastic. They’re all available at several national retailers near you.
The Whirlpool WRF535SMBM’s build is stripped-down but solid; it feels like it can turn in years of steady service without much fuss. With about 25 cubic feet of full-width, well-distributed capacity, it should hold enough food for a family of six with room left for drinks. Energy Star gives its efficiency a stamp of approval. Noise is not a common complaint among owners, either. No fancy features here, apart from an ice maker in the freezer, but that means there’s less that can break over time. And for what it’s worth, the stainless-look, French door design should keep your kitchen looking fresh and modern for years to come.
In a big kitchen with a flexible budget, we’d get the 36-inch-wide Samsung RF28HMEDBSR. That’s because we love the four-door look, which is a newly popular variant on the typical three-door French door design. We also love all its little design flourishes like blue-tinted LEDs and shelves with silver trim. Sure, the center drawer’s “flex” temperature settings are a little gimmicky, but we’d turn it up to the warmest setting and keep our fancy beers in there. The ice maker is slow and somewhat prone to jamming, but we could live with that.
Do we need to pay this much for a good refrigerator? Hell no. We just like this one, and if we’re going to use something every day for the next decade, we’re getting something we like. You should pick whatever suits your tastes, and there are plenty of great options. Our buying guide can point out the pros and cons with most of the designs and features.
On a budget, we’d get the GE GTS18GTHWW. This is the minimum viable fridge that most people should consider. It’s a 30-inch wide top freezer that costs less than $600. The GE has all the same features as similar models, and it’s less likely to have a factory defect or other reliability issues. At 17.5 cubic feet, it holds enough food for a family of four. This is also a solid pick if you’re looking for a second fridge to toss in the basement or garage, or if you need to provide for tenants.
For 33-inch spaces, Whirlpool makes a model that’s nearly identical to the wider Whirlpool we mention above. It’s called the WRF532SMBx (the last character is a “wild card” for different finishes), and the same pros and cons apply. One additional catch: 33-inch fridges aren’t as in-demand as 36-inch models, so prices tend to be higher even though they’re smaller.