Many of us usually forgot how expensive of a refrigerator until it’s time to replace a new one.
And you know it’s an important choice.
It decides whether that brand-new refrigerator will be with you in a lifetime or again, replaced with another one in the next 5 years.
Getting to know a thing or two about how many types of refrigerators available on the market and the difference among them will help you get a better idea of which to choose. And let’s get started!
The Big Four
Start with the most popular type – side-by-side refrigerators.
They’re split in half, featuring a freezer on one side and a fridge on the other side with the doors opening from the center. And that means of less clearance required to open the doors as well as little to no loss of cool air to help you save more energy.
A signature feature of this type is the well-organized compartments for different foods to keep them last longer - such as for eggs and dairy or vegetables and fruits.
It also saves you from overstuffing.
- Feature a big capacity splitting in half with a bigger freezer section than any top or bottom-freezer models
- Save clearance and energy
- Come in multiple separate compartments for better management and organizing, therefore, helps you avoid overstuffing efficiently
- High price
- Less space for fresh foods compared to the top or bottom freezers
- Not suit large items
- Large houses to the narrower with a small kitchen
- Big families
- Particularly ideal for your parents or the elderly with balance issues, spinal problems, or backache
- The extra freezing section is best for people who survive on frozen delicacies or usually freeze leftover in high volume
This is possibly the most versatile type of refrigerator.
It combines the flexibility of a side-by-side freezer and the convenience of a bottom freezer with multiple drawers and shelves.
There is commonly a two-door fresh-food compartment opening in the center for the fridge section and a single door
or two for the bottom freezer.
Many people particularly love the sophisticated look of French-door refrigerators. It can fit nicely in your home without looking out of place in the finish, modern kitchen.
- Let less cool air out to save more energy and retain the freshness of your foods longer
- Require less clearance between it and other kitchen devices
- Give multiple shelves and drawers at eye level for better organizing and managing
- Stylish look
- One of the most expensive
- Large to small house owners who want the best of both worlds - a big-capacity refrigerator and a spacious kitchen
- People who also care about the appearance of their household appliances
- Elderly or people with back issues who don’t prefer to bend over to get their food
Top Freezer Refrigerators
They come in two styles – a single door on the outside with a freezer section fitted in the refrigerator or double doors with separate sections for the freezer and fresh foods.
Compared to the side-by-side freezers, this type is generally smaller, especially the freezer section.
It doesn’t provide many bells and whistles but with minimal settings, all you have to do is plugging it in and done.
As top freezer refrigerators are the oldest design, it comes in a lot of sizes and shapes (and even colors) that you can easily find the right one for your preference.
- Access to the freezer section more easily
- Due to its compact silhouette, it helps save space for other kitchen furniture and also, save more on the monthly electricity bills
- More affordable
- Easy to set up
- Come in various sizes, shapes, and colors to choose from
- Don’t have a cold water dispenser or ice machine
- You will have to bend over to get to the produce compartment
- If that’s a fully-swing-open design, it takes up lots of space
- People who live alone, in a small house, don’t require much freezer space and are looking for a small refrigerator
- Low-tech people who want to avoid complicated settings
The construction of this type is a contrast to the top-freezer refrigerators, with the freezer section now is moved to the bottom.
By keeping your fresh foods at eye level and in customizable shelves, the unit comes with more space and functionalities than ordinary ones.
Its advanced cooling systems are another bonus.
Because of the bottom-located freezer section, its compressor loads much lesser, which not only helps you save more energy but also cools up the compartments faster and more easily than the traditional ones.
- Access to the fresh food compartment more easily
- Have a built-in ice machine and water dispenser
- Give a lesser load on the compressor to cool the compartments faster while saving more energy
- Auto-defrost to avoid the formation of excess ice
- Economical price range
- Simple design to easily use
- Doors must be fully swung – more space required
- Not flexible configuration
- A large family, especially with kids
- Traditional-sized kitchens
- People who usually buy fruits or veggies in bulk
- Senior citizen or people with medical issues
This is the biggest type out of a bunch, usually found in convenience stores, food courts, or other food businesses.
They come in multiple options of sizes and shapes specifically designed for specific needs.
For example, an inexpensive option with reachable shelves and less depth is ideal for a small food store while the ones with worktop would work best in medium restaurants.
There are also walk-in refrigerators for larger restaurants and hotels that you can walk in and look around.
- Come in various sizes and styles to fit different needs
- Super-large capacity to accommodate more foods
- The price range is vast for multiple budgets
- In general, commercial refrigerators are bulky and pricey
- Eat up more energy
- Food businesses, such as food courts, convenience stores, food stores, and restaurants.
As its name defines, this is a smaller version of standard-sized refrigerators but it comes in a wide range of styles. Such as:
- Mini refrigerators with freezer functions
- Mini refrigerators with lock systems
In general, they come in sizes from 1 to 5 cubic meters.
- Space and energy saving efficiently
- Flexibly used in anywhere
- Easy to transport
- Limited capacity
- Rich families who need an extra refrigerator in their bedroom, studio apartment owners, or students who live in dorms
- People who move a lot
- Those who want to keep their alcohol beverages far away from their kids
- Office workers who need a cold storage space
This is a specialty type of refrigerators designed to provide optimum conditions for wine storage or other alcoholic beverages.
While a regular refrigerator doesn’t come with humidity control and its temperature can’t be managed precisely, this type has both the factors in addition to the sediments to not be disturbed when it’s opened.
For wine lovers, you’ll know that these three features are key to effect on the wine’s taste and color so it’s important to choose the right wine cooler.
- Give a better storage space to keep the wine in the best conditions, retaining its taste and color
- Specifically organized to fit bottles of wine with well-organizing and easy access
- Provide a wide range of sizes to fit specific space available
- Silent running
- Just store wine or other alcoholic beverages, not versatile
- People who want to leverage the storage conditions for their precious wine bottles
What Type Of Fridge Is Right For Me?
In a nutshell, there are several factors you should keep in mind to pick the right type of refrigerators for yourself:
- What do you intend to use it for? (to store leftover, fresh food, or wine?)
- How many people are there who will use it? (It’s just you, your parents, or a big family)
- Are there any other needs? (For example, energy efficiency, space-saving, medical issues, and appearance)
- The available space for a refrigerator
- Your budget
While choosing, remember to find if it also comes with a good warranty and if you have more free time, don’t regret spending some to make comparisons between different desired models and read customers’ reviews.
There you have it! I hope this short yet informative guide has helped you find out the right type of refrigerator for your needs. Thanks for reading and good luck!