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Refrigerator Buying Guide

September 17, 2021

If you’re looking to purchase a new refrigerator, you may have found that it can be an overwhelming shopping experience. There are many things to consider when purchasing a fridge and making the right choice for your family. Is it worth investing in a high-end model or splurging for added features? Read below to decide what the right choice is for your household.

Kitchen lifestyle

Selecting Your Refrigerator Size

One of the most important things to consider is the size of the refrigerator that you will need to fit in your space. If you have limited space, you may not be able to purchase a wide refrigerator. Also, consider the space you have to open refrigerator doors. If you have limited space between the refrigerator and a nearby doorway or cabinets, a top mount or bottom freezer refrigerator may not be able to open completely in the space.

  • Wi-Fi Capability – Wi-Fi options can help you monitor your appliance’s health, troubleshoot issues, and more. They can also connect to other appliances in your home, including Ring doorbells, cameras, and more. Samsung’s Family Hub offers a great line of smart refrigerators that will keep your home connected.
  • Ice Maker - If you host parties on a regular basis or enjoy having iced beverages, ice makers can be a huge benefit. Although many refrigerators include ice makers, some basic models may not.
  • Water Dispenser - Again, filtered water can be an important convenience for those that entertain regularly or want to avoid purchasing bottled water.
  • Energy Efficiency - Going green is not only good for the environment, but can save you money on utility bills as well.
  • Finish Colors - If you want your appliances to match or are looking for a particular finish, keep this in mind. Oftentimes, similar finishes can vary between brands, so make sure the finish matches your other home appliances if that is important to you.
  • Fingerprint-Resistant Finish - Several refrigerators are available in fingerprint-resistant finishes, which is great for homes with children.
  • Adjustable Shelves - Adjustable shelves can be an added benefit and important if you often have uniquely-sized items in your refrigerator or freezer.

Choosing a Type of Refrigerator

The next decision to make in purchasing the right fridge for your home is choosing the right type. There are several styles of refrigerators available, including:

Consider your family’s needs and lifestyle before making your selection. Each type of refrigerator has its own benefits and feature options. Here are some of the pros and cons of each type:

Top Mount Fridge Pros and Cons

Top mount refrigerators are what most people think of when they imagine a standard refrigerator. In most cases, they are the most budget-friendly option.


  • Budget-friendly options are available
  • Frozen food is easy to see and kept at eye level
  • Often have wide shelves in the freezer and fridge allowing you to more easily store wide items


  • Not available with many added features (i.e. water dispensers, Wi-Fi capabilities, etc.)
  • Limited organization options for freezers

Bottom Freezer Fridge Pros and Cons

Bottom freezer refrigerators are ideal for homes that want to have fresh food at eye level. If your family uses refrigerated items more often than frozen foods, this is a great option.


  • Easily accessible refrigerator items
  • Often includes baskets and shelving to organize frozen items
  • Budget-friendly (though often slightly more expensive than top freezer models)


  • Can have limited freezer space as a result of organization baskets and drawers
  • Not available with many added features (i.e. water dispensers, Wi-Fi capabilities, etc.)

French Door Fridge Pros and Cons

French Door refrigerators are the most common refrigerators found in modern homes and offer more versatility than other types of refrigerators.


  • Available with countless added features, including Wi-Fi capability, touchscreens, ice makers, and much more
  • Split doors allow increased energy efficiency when only opening one side of the refrigerator
  • Refrigerated food is easily accessible at eye level


  • Not budget-friendly. Low-end models start just over $1,000 and high-end models with added features can be much more expensive
  • Often are wide and may not fit well in tight spaces

Side-by-Side Fridge Pros and Cons

Side-by-side refrigerators offer the option to have all of your food more easily accessible, but can sacrifice storage width.


  • Available with countless added features, including Wi-Fi capability, touchscreens, ice makers, and much more
  • Refrigerated and frozen items can all be kept at eye level


  • Shelf space is not as wide as other refrigerator options, making wide items difficult to store
  • Not budget-friendly. As with French Door refrigerators, low-end models of side-by-side refrigerators start just over $1,000.

Built-In Fridge Pros and Cons

Built-in refrigerators are the most customizable option. If you’re looking for a high-end refrigerator and want it to meet your family’s needs, built-in fridges are the perfect option. They are available in several widths and options.

Choosing a Brand

One of the most important factors in the decision-making process is choosing which brand you would like to purchase. There are several leading brands to choose from. Selecting the size and type of refrigerator you want first can narrow down your brand selection. We recommend choosing a major name brand refrigerator and ensuring you have a warranty on your appliance.

Some of the top brands we recommend include LG, Samsung, GE, Frigidaire, Maytag, and Whirlpool. Read more about the best refrigerator brands in our blog post by clicking here.

Looking to Finance?

Extend your budget and apply today for special promotional financing. Howard’s can work with you to find flexible financing and you can receive 18 months of no interest. Learn more about our financing options online today or contact us for more details.

Find Your Refrigerator at Howard’s

Howard’s has been in business for over 75 years and is Southern California’s largest and most trusted appliance retailer. We offer free next-day delivery on purchases over $399 within qualified ZIP Codes scheduled before 5 p.m. in the Southern California area. To make things easier for our customers, we also offer online chat, phone consultations, and online ordering. Shop one of our 13 locations or browse our selection online at

Frigidaire 22.3 Cu. Ft. 33 inch Standard Depth Side by Side Refrigerator

Frigidaire 22.3 Cu. Ft. 33" Standard Depth Side by Side Refrigerator

Samsung 23 cu. ft. Counter Depth 4-Door French Door Refrigerator in Stainless Steel

Samsung 23 cu. ft. Counter Depth 4-Door French Door Refrigerator in Stainless Steel

LG 26 cu. ft. Smart wi-fi Enabled Door-in-Door Refrigerator

LG 26 cu. ft. Smart wi-fi Enabled InstaView Door-in-Door® Refrigerator

Frigidaire Gallery 21.4 Cu. Ft. Counter-Depth 4-Door French Door Refrigerator

Frigidaire Gallery 21.4 Cu. Ft. Counter-Depth 4-Door French Door Refrigerator

GE Profile Series 22.1 Cu. Ft. Counter-Depth French-Door Refrigerator

GE Profile Series 22.1 Cu. Ft. Counter-Depth Fingerprint Resistant French-Door Refrigerator


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