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11 Best Refrigerators to Buy in 2021, According to Kitchen Appliance Experts

Top fridge brands at every price point.

best fridges
wayfair, maytag

This article was updated in November 2021 to ensure all refrigerator recommendations based on testing by the Good Housekeeping Institute's Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab were in stock and up to date. Four new fridges were added based on new evaluations, including picks from LG, Maytag, Samsung and Bosch.

If the home is a family's universe, the refrigerator is the sun. Everything revolves around it, from breakfasts to-go, healthy lunches and dinners around the table. That's why getting a new refrigerator is kind of a big deal. There are tons of factors to consider — everything from configuration and dimensions to finishes and special features. Of course, there's no getting around the price: They're expensive. But if you want a top pick from a reliable brand that will stand steady in your family's orbit for years to come, you're in the right place.

The Good Housekeeping Institute's Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab evaluates all types of kitchen appliances yearly, from gas ranges to blenders to toaster ovens and beyond. We rate fridges on their ability to regulate the best temperatures for grocery list staples like lettuce, deli meat and frozen foods. For every model, we score for uniformity of temperatures from shelf to shelf in the refrigerator and freezer compartments, as well as for temperature variations in single areas over time. We test fridges' ability to maintain moisture on both refrigerator shelves and in crisper drawers. In addition, we evaluate each refrigerator's ease of use, including the helpfulness of the manual, the type and ease of use of the controls and the comfort of grasping the door handles.

We score interior features including the type of shelves in the refrigerator cavity and on the doors, the ease with which the freezer drawer and baskets could be opened, the presence or absence of crispers with humidity controls and the presence or absence of a meat keeper or deli drawer with temperature controls. All notable features including Wi-Fi connectivity were considered but not rated. Our top Lab pick is the GE Profile Series French-Door Refrigerator, complete with a Keurig K-Cup Brewing System. It scored highest on temperature maintenance and uniformity testing and wowed our Lab experts with its smart design features. It's also Wi-Fi enabled, so you can adjust settings, preheat water for coffee and more with the downloadable app.

Here's a list of the best refrigerators to buy, according to testing:

How to find the best refrigerator for you

When shopping for a new refrigerator online or in a store, these are the main things you want to consider. Once you make your pick, don't miss our Test Kitchen's ultimate guide to organizing your fridge.

✔️Configuration: The big players are side-by-sides, top-freezers and bottom-freezers. Side-by-sides require less space for the doors to swing open, but you need to bend down to find food at the base of the fridge and freezer. Bottom-freezers (like French-door models) put the most-used compartment at eye level. Top-freezer fridges cost less but require you to bend to get into the fridge.

✔️Dimensions: Your fridge typically has to fit between counter space, so you'll need to match the width to the layout of your kitchen. Built-ins and cabinet-depth models sit flush with counters and cabinets but may be more costly.

✔️Finishes: Stainless steel is the most popular because it has a sleek-yet-neutral look, but some prefer a white or black fridge (or the recently popular black stainless steel and even carbon fiber). Built-ins typically offer exterior paneling that matches your kitchen cabinets. Many modern finishes are fingerprint-resistant. At the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show this year, we saw a lot of customizable patterns, too; a trend to look out for!

✔️Features: Consider the shelving and internal drawers to see if they work for your family's eating habits. If you like to store a few bottles of wine in the fridge, make sure there's ample height and/or adjustable shelving; if you order pizza frequently, you'll probably want a fridge that can fit the box inside. Some fridges also offer humidity controls on crisper drawers, meat or deli drawers and other features for keeping foods at the ideal storage temp.

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Best Overall Refrigerator
Series French-Door Refrigerator
GE Profile wayfair.com

The GE Profile Series French-Door Refrigerator with a Keurig K-Cup Brewing System got top marks for temperature maintenance and uniformity. It also wowed our Kitchen Appliance Lab experts with its smart design features: You get a top-of-the-line fridge, plus a built-in Keurig coffeemaker in the door. It's Wi-Fi enabled, so after you download the app you can adjust settings, preheat water for coffee and get alerts if the door is open. It works with Amazon Echo, too.

More details:
• Dimensions: 36 x 36 x 70 inches
• Available finishes: slate, black slate, stainless steel, black stainless 
• Energy Star certified

  • Smart design features like a built-in coffeemaker
  • Wi-Fi enabled
Best Value Refrigerator
Wide French Door Refrigerator
home depot
Maytag maytag.com

For a solid fridge without a hefty price tag, this Maytag model is the one to beat. It has slide-out shelves and a built-in water and ice dispenser with filter. In our tests, fridge and freezer temps held steady and door shelves were cool enough to safely store dairy (which is a no-go on most fridges). Lettuce lasted five days in the crisper, but the controls were a little tricky to adjust so keep the manual handy.

More details:
• Dimensions: 36 x 70 x 35 inches
• Available finishes: fingerprint-resistant stainless steel, white, black
• Energy Star certified

  • Door shelves cool enough to store dairy
  • Steady fridge and freezer temps
Best Door-in-Door Refrigerator
InstaView Door-in-Door Refrigerator
LG Electronics lowes.com

You can depend on the LG InstaView Refrigerator to do an excellent job of keeping your food fresh, but what really distinguishes it is the unique door-in-door feature: The easy-access compartment lets you quickly grab a snack or beverage without having to open the full door. The InstaView technology lets you knock on the window of the see-through door to make the interior lights come on. We also recently tested this model from LG, which features the same door-in-door design but without the see-through pane, which some may consider sleeker. This model features a water filter, craft ice maker that makes clear, cocktail-sized ice balls and is Wi-Fi enabled. 

More details:
• Dimensions: 32 x 70 x 36 inches
• Available finishes: stainless steel
• Energy Star certified

  • Easy access compartment on door
Best Top Freezer Refrigerator
Top-Freezer Refrigerator
Maytag lowes.com

Though top freezers are slowly becoming a thing of the past, this fridge is as sleek and modern as any new-style fridge you'd find. It doesn't have protruding handles, which makes it easy to fit into snug spaces while still being able to open the door wide against a wall. (Its handles are indented into the top of the fridge door and bottom of the freezer door for easy access.) The interior is roomy and bright, with a slim yet spacious drawer that spans the width of the fridge and can be used to hold easy to access snacks. It has an adjustable shelf on the bottom portion and easy to access drawers with manual humidity controllers. The shelves on the door are plenty big and the bottom shelf can hold several bottles of wine in the upright position. The freezer has a single, removable shelf  that helps keep food of all sizes organized.

More details: 

  • Dimensions: 65.5 x 32.5 x 30.625 inches 
  • Available finishes: fingerprint resistant stainless steel and black

  • Sleek design
  • Bright interior
Best Bottom Freezer Refrigerator
Bottom Freezer Refrigerator
LG lowes.com

Much like the other top models on this list, LG's bottom freezer fridge had excellent temperature control and uniformity and the digital controls were easy to use during our testing. There is an ice maker that makes ice and stores it in the freezer, but no water dispenser. The shelves inside are designed to prevent spills, and there is a door open alarm. The freezer is equipped with a see through drawer, which helps organize the space and a divider for the bottom part to keep things tidy.

More details: 
• Dimensions: 69 x 33 x 33 inches 
• Available finishes: stainless steel 
• Energy Star certified

    • Excellent temperature control and uniformity
    • Has an ice maker
    • Freezer has a drawer to help keep food organized as well as a divider for the bottom portion
    Best Smart Refrigerator
    Family Hub French Door Refrigerator with Ice Maker
    Samsung lowes.com

    Think of Samsung's Family Hub Refrigerator as your family's kitchen command center. You can use the screen to draw, leave messages, share pictures, sync calendars and even check who's at your front door or adjust your thermometer with compatible smart devices. You can also use it to stream music or tv shows while you're cooking. When you're not home, you can peek inside to see what you need from the supermarket, or, while you are home, you can use it to browse recipes and even order the groceries you need right from the door. Plus, Alexa's built into it so you can operate many of the apps without touching the screen. Our littlest testers (ages five and under) confirmed that the screen is highly responsive and fun to draw on, while our previous tests confirmed that the brand is great at maintaining super steady temperatures, which is a must to keep foods fresh.  

    More details:

    • Dimensions: 36 x 70 x 36 inches
    • Available finishes: fingerprint-resistant stainless steel, fingerprint-resistant black stainless steel 
    • Energy star certified

      • Screen can be used for a wide assortment of entertainment and task-related projects
      • Good temperature control
      Best Side-by-Side Refrigerator
      Side-by-Side Refrigerator
      Whirlpool lowes.com

      Whirlpool's 36-inch side-by-side model has excellent temperature control and uniformity. Features include a built-in water filter, water dispenser and ice maker in the door. Minus the door open alarm (which is supposed to make noise!) the digital controls are very quiet. Stock its four door bins and slide out shelves full of your favorite foods. 

      More details: 
      • Dimensions: 69 x 36 x 33 inches
      • Available finishes: monochromatic stainless steel 
      • Energy Star certified

      • Great temperature control and uniformity
      Best Counter-Depth Refrigerator
      Café French-Door Refrigerator
      GE ajmadison.com

      GE's latest line of refrigerators stands out thanks to its extra elegant (and customizable) design. Select a matte white or black exterior, then choose between brushed bronze, copper, black, or stainless steel handles. This model's counter-depth, so it'll fit flush with your kitchen's cabinetry and you can match the bar handles to your cabinet pulls. The French-door Café model has an internal water dispenser and is Wi-Fi connected, too.

      More details:
      • Dimensions: 36 x 70 x 31 inches
      • Available finishes: matte white, matte black 
      • Energy Star certified

      • Can customize the handles to match your kitchen
      Best Double Freezer Refrigerator
      PerfectCool Series Refrigerator
      Miele ajmadison.com

      Miele's gleaming PerfectCool French door refrigerator elevates the look of your kitchen and adds resale value to your home. We love the double freezer drawers — no more digging through piles of frozen meat to find your ice cream — and soft-close doors.

      More details: 
      • Dimensions: 36 x 80 x 24 inches
      • Available Colors: Stainless Steel
      • Energy Star certified

      • Two freezers allow for better organization of food
      Best Refrigerator for Wine Storage
      800 Series French Door Bottom Mount Refrigerator
      Bosch ajmadison.com

      This stunning refrigerator from Bosch stopped us in our tracks the first time we saw it on display at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in 2020. It has a bright, roomy interior with an assortment of adjustable shelves in the main compartment as well as on the doors. It comes with an adaptable flex bar, which lives on the back wall and allows you organize extra accessories, like an egg holder, small condiment bin and bottle holder as you see fit. It also has a built in water dispenser that barely takes up any room and an ice maker that comes with a scoop for easy use. Our favorite part of this fridge, however, is the middle drawer that serves as a wine chiller with wooden slats that can hold up to 17 standard sized bottles of wine. Its temperature can also be programmed with the touch of a button to optimally store craft beer, wines and champagne. 

      • Adjustable shelves
      • Middle drawer is designed like a wine fridge and can hold up to 17 bottles of wine
      Best Smudge-Proof Refrigerator
      French Door Refrigerator
      Kenmore Elite americanfreight.com

      In addition to steady temps, Kenmore Elite's French door refrigerator is the king of compartments. It delivers tons of storage space, shelves you can adjust for tall items and two trays plus a drawer in the freezer. Useful climate-controlled bins help extend the life of produce, meat, poultry and fish (in the crisper drawer, lettuce stayed as crisp as the day it was purchased for a solid week). We especially love the smudge-proof black stainless steel exterior option — it'll resist fingerprints for days! 

      More details:
      •Dimensions: 36 x 70 x 36 inches
      • Available finishes: stainless steel, black stainless steel
      • Energy Star certified

      • Steady temps
      • Lots of storage

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