Best Refrigerator: Top 9 Fridges of 2021

Best Refrigerator: Top 9 Fridges of 2021

Have you ever noticed just how many refrigerator brands are available? Do you ever stop to wonder what makes each one so unique – from features and design to price and reliability?

Selecting the best refrigerator for your home is about finding the perfect balance between all of these factors. From size and design to special features and reliability, you want to be sure you’re making the right choice. After all, the average refrigerator lasts about 7-14 years, so you want to find a model you’re going to love. That’s where we come in!

We’ve put together a list of the nine best refrigerators on the market in order to make your search a little easier. We’ll also walk you through what makes each refrigerator unique, as well as the different features you can expect to find in each one.

Best Refrigerator Brands in 2021

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Fridge

There are a lot of factors to take into account when shopping for the best fridge for your home. After all – your refrigerator is one of the most noticeable aspects of your kitchen. You’ll want to find a model that blends in with the rest of your space without sacrificing special features and reliability. Here are the most important factors and kitchen design ideas to take into consideration while shopping:

Know Your Dimensions

Before we dive into the different features and refrigerator styles available, we have to talk about the most important aspect of shopping for a new refrigerator – determining the dimensions. Before you do anything else, you must measure your available space. This will help you to decide which size of the refrigerator will work best in your home.

And after all – hiring a carpenter to alter your cabinets can be pricey. That’s why you’ll want a refrigerator that fits into your existing space.

Additionally, you’ll want to take the door’s swing into consideration. Do you want the door to open to the right or to the left? These details may seem small, but they’re incredibly important in ensuring your fridge fits into your kitchen’s design.

Based on personal experience, the number one thing our customers forget to account for is the fridge’s depth. One size does not fit all when it comes to refrigerators. That’s why you have two options for the depth of your refrigerator: counter depth and standard depth. Before you start shopping, it’s important to measure your existing space to determine which fridge type would fit well in your kitchen.

Counter Depth Refrigerators: The depth of a counter depth box (meaning the fridge without the door and the handle) range from 24 to 25 1/2-inches. This leaves enough room for the door to open and you will not see the unfinished sides of your refrigerator hanging off your cabinets.

Most people like this clean and more streamlined look although they lose some interior volume. If you’re on a strict budget, the one downside to counter-depth refrigerators is that they come in at a higher price tag.

Refrigerator Dimensions
Refrigerators Dimensions

Standard-Depth Refrigerators: Most refrigerators you encounter will be standard-depth. These models range in depth from 30 to 34 inches. Although this extra depth gives you more space for groceries, it also means the fridge takes up more space in your kitchen.

Additionally, these fridges won’t provide you the same flush look achieved with counter-depth refrigerators.


Many Looks of Refrigerators

Because your refrigerator is a big part of your overall kitchen design, you want to choose a model you’re going to love, both functionally and aesthetically. There are six main refrigerator styles to choose from: top freezer, french door, bottom freezer, side-by-side, built-ins, and columns.

Please keep in mind that different manufacturers have additional design options under each style.

refrigerator styles
Different Looks of Refrigerators

Climate Control is More Than Cold Air

Did you know that a fridge is more than an “ice box”? Cold temperature is not enough to keep your food safe from spoiling. In addition to temperature, climate control encompasses three other important factors – humidity, air circulation, and air filtration. Together, each of these factors helps to determine how long your food will last inside your fridge.

Temperature: According to Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) the ideal temperature inside your fridge should be below 40 F (we recommend between 35 to 38 F in modern fridges) and the freezer should be set to 0 F. As a rule of thumb, your fridge’s internal temperature should never fluctuate more than one degree from the temperature you set.

Entry-level and older models feature simple dial controls, which allow you to adjust the temperature with a dial that ranges between 1 and 5. In these models, 1 is the warmest setting, and 5 is the coldest.

However, many new models now feature more precise temperature controls with digital readings. We recommend in investing in an independent fridge thermometer to be sure about the safety of your food.

Fridge Thermometer

Humidity: Humid air helps preserve your food for longer periods of time. However, vegetables require more humid air than other products in your fridge. That’s why choosing a fridge with humidity adjustable crisper drawers is important.

Some brands like Bosch and Samsung even have a sealed drawer (marketed as a 4th door) where you can adjust both the temperature and humidity based on the food you’re looking to store inside.

Air Circulation and Filtration: A good refrigerator should have sufficient airflow and filtration. For example, ethylene gas is the main culprit of your spoiled or over-ripened fruits. If your fridge is able to filter out this gas effectively, your food will stay fresh longer.

All in all, climate control used to be an exclusive differentiator for Sub Zero and other luxury brands. These days most credible manufacturers have advanced food preservation systems.


9 Best Refrigerator Brands of 2021

1) Best Smart Features: Samsung RF22N9781SR

Feature Rating Feature Rating
Temp. Consistency 🟢 Interior Layout 🟢
Energy Eff. 🟢 Noise 🟢
Ice Maker Perf. 🟠 Wifi & Apps. 🟢
Samsung RF22N9781SR

Samsung refrigerator might just lay claim to the title of smartest fridge on the market. It’s no wonder that a brand that made its name in smartphones and other high-tech devices has integrated technology into their refrigerators so effectively.

The RF22N9781SR packs more than just hyper-connected gimmicks. If you are in the supermarket, you can check and see if there is milk in the fridge thanks to the built in interior cameras. You can even see what’s in your refrigerator without opening the door on the Family Hub screen attached to the right side door.

The Family Hub is essentially a giant electronic board where you can leave messages to family members, make a shopping list, order food via your favorite service, and the list goes on. Say your hands are wet, you can just give voice commands via Bixby. In essence, the entire functionality of your tablet is now on your fridge door.

samsung-fridge-cameras

The Samsung RF22N9781SR is counter depth and comes in fingerprint resistant stainless steel or black stainless steel colors. Its sister product RF28N9780SR has a full depth and a large capacity at 28 cu. ft. The interior of RF22N9781SR is layed out in a functional manner. LED lights are luxurious. Shelves and drawers are high quality and feel substantial.

An interesting feature of RF22N9781SR is its freezer. One of the freezer components can turn into a fridge with a touch of a button to give you more refrigerator space. Samsung calls this a “FlexZone”.

A Samsung refrigerator has the durability, stylish design, and capacity to serve well as a dependable workhorse at the center of your kitchen.

There is a Samsung fridge for all budgets. Top freezer refrigerators start at under $800. Their French door refrigerator selection is vast starting from well under $1,249. Samsung’s side by side selection now includes Family hub screen.

Samsung Refrigerators
Samsung RF28T5001SR

Best Features
Samsung refrigerators are at the absolute cutting edge of what an appliance is capable of, including massive built-in touch screens (a.k.a. Family Hub) that really act as the centerpiece of your smart home system. Samsung makes the best counter depth refrigerator in the market today with style ranging from 3-door models to various 4-door designs..

The “Food Showcase Door” is Samsung’s name for door-in-door feature. Over the years Samsung bolstered the design with metal interior door to better preserve the cold air.

Metal-inside-door-to-keep-cold-air

Samsung RF23A9671SR

Why You Should Buy
If you can’t stand to have anything less than the absolute latest in technology, Samsung is the choice for you. That said, Samsung doesn’t skimp on the other vitally important aspects of a refrigerator such as smart design, excellent storage capacity, durable construction, and reliable operation that you can count on for years to come.

Success Comes at a Cost to Samsung
In the past 10 years, starting from zero, Samsung became the top selling brand in home appliances. This rapid success came at a price. With several different models on the marketplace, normal service issues seemed inflated. As an example, particular models experienced extensive icing in the dispenser module causing a bit of customer backlash. The good news is that Samsung stands behind all of its products and offers a great factory warranty.


2) Best Overall: LG LRMDS3006S

Feature Rating Feature Rating
Temp. Consistency 🟢 Interior Layout 🟢
Energy Eff. 🟡 Noise 🟢
Ice Maker Perf. 🟢 Wifi & Apps. 🟡
LG LRMDS3006S

The LG LRMDS3006S is one of the most feature-rich and reliable refrigerators on the market. You will notice its most striking feature when you open its door. Door-in-door design stops many arguments in the family on who keeps the fridge door open the longest. You can now easily access most frequently used items.

The interior layout of this refrigerator is well-thought-out. LED lights are bright, the ice maker on the door is slim making more room for ths shelves. The top drawer over the freezer is called the “Customchill drawer”. You can adjust the temperature setting on this drawer to 4 different settings depending on the food and beverage type. Also, the partitions inside the drawer are adjustable.

LRMDS3006S gets high marks on keeping the interior temperature consistent. Humidity controls and air filtration are all controlled electronically via multiple advanced sensors. LG makes a big deal about its inverter compressor and backs it up with a 10-year warranty. The compressor does indeed deserve kudos as it is energy efficient and respond rapidly to temperature changes.

Innovative LG refrigerators
LG LTCS24223S

LG refrigerators may not be one of the oldest brand name, but the company has already come a long way in producing some of the sleekest, most modern fridges available. As an example, the door within the door design we have come to see in many refrigerators was commercialized by LG and soon after copied by Samsung and GE.

If you’ve tried other LG appliances and have been pleased, an LG fridge may be worth considering. LG offers a full styles of designs from French door, side-by-side, top freezer, to bottom freezer fridges. Most of LG’s catalog features door-in-door models and counter depth as well as regular depth refrigerators. Our favorite LG style is the French door refrigerator. There are plenty of styles to choose from to match exactly what you need for your unique preferences.

Best Features
LG refrigerators have an impressive record of reliability and energy efficiency. InstaView is a great feature where you can gently knock on the dark glass door of the refrigerators to illuminate the interior.

LG-Instaview-Door

Dual-ice maker models featuring “Craft Ice” guarantees that you’ll always have ice on demand. LG’s newest feature creates crushed ice, cubed ice and a slow-melting round ice that’s perfect at taking your craft drinks, iced coffees and teas and special cocktails to the next level.

Why You Should Buy
If you want a modern, stylish fridge that’s also going to help you cut down on the cost of repairs and energy bills, LG may be right for you. They also boast a range of smart refrigerators complete with touch screens, so they make a perfect choice for tech heads who love their connected devices.

What is Missing?
Top refrigerators from the LG catalog are still missing purposeful wifi enabled applications and interior cameras.


3) Most Reliable: GE Profile PFE28KYNFS

Feature Rating Feature Rating
Temp. Consistency 🟢 Interior Layout 🟡
Energy Eff. 🟢 Noise 🟢
Ice Maker Perf. 🟢 Wifi & Apps. 🔴
GE Profile PFE28KYNFS

GE PFE28 series refrigerators have been serving US households since 2016. The GE Profile PFE28KYNFS is the latest incarnation with fingerprint resistant finish, better energy consumption and showcase LED lights.

Thanks to the Twinchill system PFE28KYNFS performs its most important functions – keeping your food cool under optimum conditions – very well. Interior temperature is consistent and the fridge is Energy Star rated. It is not noisy. The door mounted ice/water dispenser is convenient. You can even add a second ice maker in the freezer using a plug and play part. The interior layout of this GE refrigerator is acceptable with plenty of door storage and crisper drawers.

The only downside to GE Profile PFE28KYNFS is its wifi connectivity. This fridge is designed for app contols which will alert you if interior temperature is too high, when the door is left open, or when the water filter needs to be replaced. However, GE sells an extra wifi card to be able to access these features. We hope their next upgrade with smooth out these minor annoyances.

GE is one of the largest and most established appliance brands on the market, but does the quality of their refrigerators match up to their reputation? As a matter of fact, yes— the GE refrigerator is dependable, well-designed and uses innovative technology to care for your food and make your kitchen experience better than ever before.

GE is also the parent company of the GE Profile and GE Cafe brand refrigerators. GE Profile and Cafe are the lineup of high-end fridges that will bring world-class luxury to your kitchen at an affordable price.

GE, Profile, and Cafe Refrigerator Types
GE Profile Refrigerator PYE22PYNFS

Best Features
One of the best features of shopping with GE is the sheer selection they have to offer, providing everything from entry-level models for budget shoppers to the highest of high-end refrigerators under the Cafe series. Our favorite feature is the hot water and even the Keurig coffee dispenser found in Profile and Cafe series fridges.

Water-Ice-Dispenser

Meanwhile, GE’s Cafe brand is the only manufacturer that allows you to select a custom style of handles to match your kitchen design.

Why You Should Buy
Excellent food storage capacity, a range of installation styles and door orientations, and a massive selection of dozens of models all make GE a worthwhile brand to consider for your next refrigerator purchase.


4) Best Interior Layout: Whirlpool WRX735SDHZ

Feature Rating Feature Rating
Temp. Consistency 🟢 Interior Layout 🟢
Energy Eff. 🟢 Noise 🟡
Ice Maker Perf. 🟢 Wifi & Apps. 🔴
Whirlpool Refrigerator WRX735SDHZ

Whirlpool has been a leader in the world of appliances for over a century, and the Whirlpool refrigerator lineup is no different. What they lack in some of the cutting-edge technology and ultra-sleek designs of competitors they make up for in dependability, quality construction, and range of product styles, affordable price ranges, and finishes.

The 4-Door Whirlpool WRX735SDHZ has probably the most reliable external water/ice dispenser on the market. Its most striking feature is the double drawer design. Most people ask us if the upper drawer is a freezer. The answer is no. It is an additional refrigerator compartment. However, it has its own temperature controls so you can fine tune the setting based on your storage needs (e.g. colder for beverages, 40 F for cold cuts).

Whirlpool updates WRX735 models periodically. The latest version incorporates fingerprint resistant coating and LED lights. Interior design of WRX735SDHZ ideal for large families. Gallon door storage, easy to reach spaces, humidity controlled crispers, spill proof glass shelves, and the list goes on. All in all, WRX735SDHZ provides a great value for the price point.

Whirlpool Refrigerator WRB322DMBB

The Whirlpool WRB322DMBB in black is a good example of a refrigerator that is both functional and has an amazing price point which is well below $1,399. The sibling products of WRB322DMBB have color options ranging from stainless steel to white and black stainless steel. At 32 3/4-inches in width, 33 3/8-inches in depth, and 70-inches in height, the Whirlpool WRB322DMBB has plenty of interior capacity at 21.9 cu. ft. Without flashy bells and whistles, this refrigerator is built to do just one thing – to protect and preserve your food.

Whirlpool refrigerators have long been committed to backing up the quality of their products with robust warranties and support programs. You can rest assured that you will not be left in the dark in the event of malfunctioning parts or other issues.

Best Features
Whirlpool has maintained its 100-year reputation thanks to the quality construction of their products. Even when it comes to their most bare-bones and budget-friendly refrigerator models, you can at least count on them to operate as designed without giving you major problems. Other brands that produce budget refrigerators often can’t say the same. Meanwhile, they also produce some excellent mid-range and high-end refrigerators that offer even more for your kitchen.

Whirlpool refrigerator’s MicroEdge glass shelves do not have the metal frames. This helps prevent spilled liquids and crumbs from accumulating on the edges of the shelves. The patented glass design contains minor spills, all in an effort to save time cleaning up.

Why You Should Buy
If you want a brand that’s spent decades upon decades mastering their manufacturing process, the Whirlpool refrigerator is for you. They’re dependable, proven, and dedicated to making sure that every customer loves every refrigerator they manufacture.


5) Best for Budget: Frigidaire FRSS2623AS

Feature Rating Feature Rating
Temp. Consistency 🟡 Interior Layout 🟢
Energy Eff. 🟢 Noise 🟡
Ice Maker Perf. 🟢 Wifi & Apps. 🔴
Frigidaire FRSS2623AS

There was a time when Frigidaire was essentially synonymous with ‘refrigerator.’ The brand was so popular in the early days of electric-powered refrigeration that many people called their fridges Frigidaires even if they were manufactured by another brand.

Frigidaire isn’t quite as ubiquitous today as in its heyday, but they still produce reliable, energy-efficient, and durable fridges such as the FRSS2623AS that you can count on. They also offer models and lineups across the full range of price points, giving you more options to consider than some other brands that only offer high-end models.

Frigidaire FRSS2623AS offers plenty of food storage capacity at 25.5 cu. ft.. It comes at a value price point on or around $999 depending on seasonal promotions. This model has been around for many years. As a result, we noticed a whopping 6,900 actual customer reviews (more than 80% positive) on popular appliance websites.

Best Features
The Frigidaire refrigerator is often viewed as the workhorse among its competitors, and for good reason. They get the job done and can be counted on to be low-maintenance, dependable, and effectively climate controlled for keeping your food fresh day in and day out. Frigidaire makes the most affordable best side by side refrigerators.

Why You Should Buy
Are you looking for a dependable, stylish but basic refrigerator that will get the job done and look good doing it? Frigidaire refrigerators are affordable. If you are on a strict budget, Frigidaire might be the brand to consider.


6) Best Temperature Control: Bosch B36CL80ENS

Feature Rating Feature Rating
Temp. Consistency 🟢 Interior Layout 🟢
Energy Eff. 🟢 Noise 🟢
Ice Maker Perf. 🟢 Wifi & Apps. 🔴
Bosch Refrigerator B36CL80ENS

There’s a lot of fanfare about the quality of German engineering, and nowhere is it put into practice more effectively than in Bosch appliances. This German brand crafts some of the best, most dependable appliances in the world, and the Bosch refrigerator lineup is no exception.

Using 2 compressors (a feature that is reserved for luxury brands) Bosch separates the cold air, humidity, and air filtration between the fridge and the freezer. This design brings a distinct advantage to you, as you will notice better food preservation. We were so excited about this fridge that my co-founder, John, outfitted our display fridges with multiple sensors and tested them for several weeks. He also made a great video with many visuals to explain benefits of Bosch refrigerators.

Our Exclusive Bosch Refrigerator Review with Great Visuals

Quality comes with a price tag to match— you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Bosch refrigerator that anyone would call ‘entry level’ under $2,000. However, if you are considering Bosch for other appliances, the company offers lucrative savings for package purchases.

Best Features
It’s hard to pin down a best feature of a Bosch refrigerator. Each one combines effortless style, world-class design and construction quality, and innovative refrigeration features that make other fridges pale in comparison. Features like recessed LED lights, built-in touch control panels, smart connectivity, remote control and monitoring, and more all add up to an exceptional refrigerator.

In late 2019 Bosch refrigerators spared no expense and introduced dual-compressor models in its line-up. As a result, you can now store your groceries for an extended amount of time in a Bosch fridge.

Why You Should Buy
If you want the best of the best when it comes to quality construction and design, Germany’s greatest appliance export has you covered. Whether you’re looking for built-in, counter depth or world-class freestanding products Bosch is the way to go.


7) Best High End Refrigerator: Miele KF2982SF

Feature Rating Feature Rating
Temp. Consistency 🟢 Interior Layout 🟡
Energy Eff. 🟢 Noise 🟢
Ice Maker Perf. 🟢 Wifi & Apps. 🔴
Miele KF2982SF

Another high-end appliance brand out of Germany, Miele, shares many of the same qualities as Bosch — attention to detail, sophisticated designs in well-constructed packages, and a premium look that comes with a premium price. If you’re looking for an entry-level or even mid-range option for your next fridge, Miele refrigerator may not be the right choice for you. But if you’re looking for the best of the best, this brand should absolutely be a part of your search.

Best Features
Miele is constantly trying to push refrigerator technology forward, and that results in some pretty incredible innovations. One of these is the Miele MasterCool and SmartFresh system, which turns your refrigerator into a series of smaller climates and zones where you can dial in the perfect settings for a range of food types. This helps keep food fresh and unspoiled for longer than ever before—as much as three times more than many of their competitors. Giving your veggies, fruits, dairy, and meat items the perfect climate they need is possible thanks to Miele.

Why You Should Buy
Beautiful designs, durable construction, and thoughtful, boundary-pushing features—what’s not to like? If you heard the name Miele before, chances are you are familiar with its best in class vacuum cleaners. Also, the Miele dishwashers are considered as best in the world.


8) Best Savings in a Kitchen Package: Thermador Refrigerator

Thermador Refrigerator Colum Paired with Freezer and Wine Fridge
Feature Rating Feature Rating
Temp. Consistency 🟢 Interior Layout 🟡
Energy Eff. 🟢 Noise 🟢
Ice Maker Perf. 🟢 Wifi & Apps. 🔴
Thermador T30BB925SS

You might not be as familiar with Thermador as some other brands with bigger name recognition, but that’s not because Thermador hasn’t earned their spot in the appliance market. They pioneered the first wall oven and the first cooktop, and they’re also among the very first brands to have introduced stainless steel into appliance design. Their history of innovation continues with their lineup of refrigerators, which is mainly comprised of high-end and costly appliances that deliver incredible design, impressive visual profiles, and more amazing features than you can count.

Best Features
In the past, Thermador refrigerator received some low marks from consumers for having issues with reliability—and costly repair premiums. But they’ve overhauled their design approach and now produce some of the most reliable refrigerators and appliances on the market, making them a great choice for those who like to know that their fridge is going to keep ticking for years to come.

Why You Should Buy
Thermador has been innovating appliance design for over a century, and today they produce some of the most dependable refrigerators on the market.

Thermador runs an attractive rebate program called “1-2-Free” which offers savings just shy of $10,000 in a kitchen package purchase. If that sounds right up your alley, considering browsing the Thermador refrigerator lineup.


9) Best Premium Refrigerator: Sub Zero BI48

Feature Rating Feature Rating
Temp. Consistency 🟢 Interior Layout 🟢
Energy Eff. 🟢 Noise 🟡
Ice Maker Perf. 🟢 Wifi & Apps. 🔴
Sub Zero BI48SSTH

Sub Zero is the gold-standard of refrigerators ever since they pioneered the concept of built in refrigerators that are installed flush with cabinets. Since then, Sub Zero refrigerators continued to break ground with some of the most visually striking traditional as well as ultra-modern designs. The company tends to focus much of their efforts in the high-end range of the price spectrum.

Best Features
When it comes to sheer visual beauty, no one does it quite like Sub-Zero refrigerators. Their stunning, minimalist refrigerators look like pieces of modern art. Every single detail is carefully designed by their team, then executed to perfection in every refrigerator. Sub-Zero refrigerators are also dependable, well-built, and great at storing a large amount of food, but when you see one in person it’s easy to forget about all that as you sit in awe of just how good-looking they are.

Additionally, Sub Zero makes the best wine fridges in the US market. Therefore, the company earned a prominent spot on our rankings.

Watch our exclusive video on Sub Zero fridges

Why You Should Buy
If you’re considering the best appliance for your money, the Sub-Zero refrigerator is your best bet. As part of their comprehensive warranty, this premium brand cares so much about customer service that it’s just one phone call away for any issues and that’s for a full 12 years from the day of installation.

Sub Zero offers a range of styles, from cabinet-matching front facades to sleek stainless steel, as well as side-by-side, French door, and top-bottom arrangements. If you want true refrigeration greatness, you can’t go wrong with Sub-Zero including the Sub-Zero wine fridge.

Meanwhile, not too many of us have an endless budget for a new fridge. If you are replacing an old built-in refrigerator, here is a guide to help you find an affordable option.


Final Word

While this list certainly doesn’t include every refrigerator brand on the market, you can’t go wrong beginning your search with any one of these brands— or all of them. Have more questions about buying your next refrigerator? Contact one of our Designer Appliances experts to learn more. We are always happy to help.


Additional Resources and Research References

  1. Energy Efficiency of a Refrigerator by the Pennstate University.
  2. Energy Star and energy efficiancy by EnergyStar
  3. The Proof is in the Pudding: How Refrigerator Standards Have Saved Consumers Billions
  4. Keep Food Fresh for Longer With an Organised Fridge from Miele UK
  5. Refrigerator Best Practices by EnergyStar
  6. Samsung Unveils New Category of Innovative Lifestyle Home Appliances from CES2020

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SIDENOTE. This post was last modified on October 13, 2021. However, we regularly update our content as we test more products and new models are released. We also listen to the feedback of our customers and make changes to our product recommendations based on their experiences. So don’t be surprised if you see some old comments below! Since reader comments contribute to the topic, we have decided not to delete them.

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