Types of Refrigerators and Their Benefits

April 15, 2020

We cover the four major types of refrigerators, French Door, Side by Side, Bottom Freezer, and Top Mount. Read now to learn the benefits of each type.

inside of a refrigerator with fresh food

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There seemed a time when everyone owned the same two refrigerators; it was either a white top freezer or a beige side-by-side. Anything outside of those two options appeared to be custom built-in units, unavailable to most people’s homes or wallets. Thankfully the types of refrigerators available today have become far more varied and accessible at multiple price points, so people can get the type of refrigerator that best fits their home, style, and needs.

Even so, refrigerators are serious purchases. These appliances will be used several times a day, every single day, for the next 10 years, so making the right choice is paramount. Smart refrigerators, door-in-door, water dispensers, the options keep coming, but the first, and most important, decision is choosing which of the types of refrigerators is best for you. Lucky for you, we’ve put together a quick guide of the most common types of refrigerators and their benefits.

opened Samsung refrigerator

  1. Top Freezer

Not only are top mount refrigerators the most common of all the types of refrigerators, but they might be the most universally found kitchen appliance of all. These units are what we think of when we picture a traditional refrigerator with two full swing doors, one for the freezer compartment on top and the other for the fridge. They have a very straightforward structure and a number of different color options and material types to suit any kitchen decor.

Top freezers are also the most budget-friendly option amongst all types of refrigerators. Understandably, given their often generous capacities, top-mount units typically offer the most space for their size, which is a fair trade for the lack of external ice and water dispensers or other features. However, they are generally more energy-efficient and fit well in small spaces, making this type of refrigerator a popular choice for those looking to fill their basic needs or who need an extra fridge in the garage.

  1. Bottom Freezer

Bottom freezer units feature many of the same benefits as the aforementioned top-mount but with the freezer compartment reversed. You can enjoy similar economical price points, for a unit that is energy-efficient and fits into just about any type of kitchen space.

One of the added benefits of these types of refrigerators is that instead of the less often used freezer compartment being at eye level, your refrigerator shelves are more easily viewable and accessible. Particularly the fresh food compartment is brought up to waist level, as opposed to shin level with traditional refrigerator units. The freezer units often feature a pull out drawer, so your frozen foods won’t fall to the back of the shelves and get lost.

Again these units are a great option for a second refrigerator for a garage, basement, or den due to their price point and overall design efficiency.

  1. Side-by-Side

The side-by-side is one of the fastest-growing types of refrigerators, thanks in large part to its growing list of features and the ability to peruse the freezer and refrigerator sections easily and simultaneously.

These models will often split the freezer and refrigerator sections down the middle but some options offer a 70-30 split to include larger fresh food sections at the expense of a narrow freezer compartment. This split means wider items are harder to accommodate but make the units small space-friendly since the doors require much less clearance to open than traditional refrigerator doors. Picking the widest model that will fit into your cabinet space will give you the most storage for your buck. The vast majority of these models feature an external ice machine and water dispenser for easy access to cold drinks.

  1. French Door

The French Door refrigerator is the most modern friendly and offers the most versatility of all types of refrigerators. If you value integrated tech options like InstaView™ or touchscreen embedded doors and other smart home connected features, you’ll find them most often on French door refrigerators.

What makes these units stand out from other types of refrigerators are the plentiful combinations of doors and drawers. The one prerequisite is the top refrigerator section has a split door. This gives you the ability to open only one refrigerator door at a time and minimize energy usage. This formation also allows for the storage of wide products like that pizza box you just couldn’t finish in one sitting. French Door units can include external ice and water dispensers but there are options with internal machines as well if you prefer the bare face aesthetic.

The mid and bottom sections of the refrigerator can vary wildly. Options include the common bottom drawer freezer with its spacious pullout drawer to multi-door and drawer units that can accommodate multiple food options and various temperature requirements. If you’re willing to spend a bit more we’re sure there is a French Door refrigerator that fits your needs and preferences, especially for those with plenty of kitchen space.

See Them For Yourself at Howard’s

We believe that the best thing to do is to get a feel for each of the types of refrigerators. It’s one thing to visualize it in your home but it’s another to open the doors and see just how deep the freezer is, or how low you have to bend to reach the bottom drawer.

Luckily, Howard’s has showrooms all across Southern California where you can browse all variations and types of refrigerators, from top manufactures like Frigidaire, Samsung, and more. Howard’s offers a 60-Day Price Match Guarantee on qualifying products so you can feel confident you’ve picked the right refrigerator at the right price.

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