The appliance retailers at Mr. Appliance estimate the average refrigerator lasts about 14 years with proper care and maintenance. Because these cool devices are so essential to the kitchen, manufacturers offer a wide range of types, ranging from built-in to budget-friendly. While only you can make the final call, industry professionals draw attention to some outstanding refrigerators in their respective classes.
Top to Bottom
In the top-freezer category, "Consumer Reports" recommends the value-priced Haier HT21TS45SW, a 32-inch-wide model with “solid temperature performance and exceptional energy efficiency” as well as roomy door storage. For the particularly eco-friendly, GoodGuide awards the Maytag 21-cubic-foot M1TXEMMWW, another top-freezer model, its highest 2014 rating in terms of environmental impact. For bottom-mounted freezers, "Today" calls the Kenmore 69002 one of the best budget refrigerators of 2013, praising the numerous adjustable interior options, humidity-controlled crispers and digital temperature controls.
Available at a budget-conscious price, the Whirlpool ED5KVEXVQ side-by-side refrigerator is given high marks by "Today" for its 25.1-cubic-foot interior, plentiful storage options and front-mounted ice and water dispenser, a rare feature for value-priced fridges. The professional product testers at Reviewed.com call the Frigidaire FPHS2399 the best side-by-side refrigerator of 2013, citing its convenient size and mid-range price.
Best of the Built-Ins
According to sales consultant Jessica Petrino of Yale Appliance, Gaggenau produces “some of the most high-quality, innovate products in the industry.” She recommends the manufacturer's RY492701, which features customizable exterior panels, a stainless-steel interior and a motorized shelving system. The Bosch Integra 800 Series B36BT830NS, which topped "Consumer Reports'" list of built-ins in 2013, undercuts Gaggenau's price. "Consumer Reports" praises this model for its temperature performance and dual evaporators, which help food stay fresh by balancing the appliance's humidity levels.
"Consumer Reports" 2013 list of the best refrigerators features the Samsung T9000 RF32FMQDBSR, the refrigerator industry's first four-door model. The reviewers liked this high-end fridge's energy efficiency, spacious interior and “superb” temperature control. "Consumer Reports" and Reviewed.com also give positive marks for the GE Cafe CFE29TSDSS, a French-door, bottom-freezer appliance with a water dispenser capable of dispensing hot water raging from tepid to very hot. Similarly, "Consumer Reports" recommends the Samsung RF31FMESBSR 36-inch refrigerator with a built-in SodaStream sparkling-water dispenser and temperature-controlled middle drawer.
- Consumer Reports: Consumer Reports' Best Refrigerators of 2013
- Today: Cheapism: Best Budget Refrigerators
- GoodGuide: Best Refrigerators and Freezers Ratings
- Consumer Reports: Bosch Beats Sub-Zero Among Built-In Refrigerators
- Yale Appliance: The Five Best Integrated Refrigerators (Reviews/Ratings/Prices)
- Mr. Appliance: Appliance Life Expectancy
- Photo Credit 97/iStock/Getty Images
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