Fridge Recommendations (US)
May 27, 2022 7:00 AM   Subscribe

Looking for refrigerator recommendations.

Since my last appliance-related question, our kitchen flooded and we now have to replace every other appliance in it (and the floors, and the cabinets...). Next on the chopping block is our 15 year old fridge. It's a Whirlpool side-by-side and I hate it with my life. I'm sifting through appliance reviews and recommendations now, but I wanted to poll the group here and see if y'all had any recommendations, any killer features to look out for, and any models or manufacturers to avoid. Things I can say for sure about this my desires vis-a-vis this new fridge:

- It will not be a side-by-side. I get that drawer-style freezers can be annoying because everything gets piled up in them but for baking purposes we need a freezer that's wide enough to comfortably accommodate sheet pans.

- I am deeply ambivalent about "smart" features, and would prefer to avoid them.

- Water dispenser will probably see heavy use from two elementary aged children so needs to be reliable and not prone to shooting water on the floor.

- Will need to have a stainless steel finish to match other appliances in the kitchen.

- Fridge is standard width and depth. Kitchen is getting remodeled as part of this process though so we could potentially go for something slightly larger if you've got an amazing model in mind.

- Insurance is covering at least some of the cost of this replacement so, while we're not able to drop 10 grand on a new fridge, we can probably get away with spending more than we'd normally be comfortable with.

posted by saladin to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We have a new Frigidaire FFHB2740P -- french doors on top, drawer freezer on the bottom, ice and water on the left side door. Nothing too fancy but man oh man is it an upgrade from my side by side.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:08 AM on May 27, 2022

I don’t have a specific recommendation for you, but I’m here to say that refrigerators and washing machines are the two appliance purchases where a subscription to Consumer Reports makes sense. If you’re replacing every appliance in your home (oof! Sorry!) it definitely makes sense.

Also as far as I know “standard width” is not a thing for fridges in the same way it is for washers and dishwashers. You’ll need to share the width if you’re looking for specific recommendations.
posted by caek at 8:35 AM on May 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

Our fridge has the french doors/drawer freezer. Our water is inside though, which I much prefer to the water on the door. Also, ice is in the drawer freezer. Its a whirlpool of some sort. Ours died in April 2020 and we had to take what was in stock

But I don't think my freezer would hold sheet pans. There are 2 pull out baskets, and both have compartments. Definitely something to check.
posted by Ftsqg at 8:37 AM on May 27, 2022

Response by poster: as I know “standard width” is not a thing for fridges

Sorry, you're right, I'm talking specifically about a fridge that's designed to be installed within a bank of cabinets (but NOT "cabinet depth"), so it's 36 inches wide.
posted by saladin at 9:01 AM on May 27, 2022

We recently replaced our fridge. We spent a small fortune on a counter-depth Samsung because of some weird space constraints, but we didn't have to - and here's why

One thing that I've now read a few times on sites like Wirecutter and had confirmed by talking to basically everybody we know who's bought a fridge in the last decade is this:

Basically every fridge is fine. This doesn't mean they're all amazing or great, but with a given combination of features, there isn't a huge difference in reliability, and the basic "keep stuff cold" functionality is all good on all of them.

So you can start just shopping; go in person to an appliance store or start filtering online. Look at the size and features you want, and don't want, and see what that turns up, and... it's probably going to be perfectly fine.

You probably don't want exactly the one we got, a Samsung with French doors and a multi-use tray "flex space" and a (relatively) small freezer drawer at the bottom. We specifically use the flex drawer for leftovers and other ready-to-eat stuff, and we were really careful about size because our previous model jutted out way too far into the kitchen so we went with a counter-depth model - less space we didn't need.

But the real key here is that all things being equal, what you see is what you get from any of the major manufacturers, and you can focus on features, ergonomics, layout, etc, and not worry too much about "will it fail in two years" or "will it suddenly have a change of heart and become an oven."
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:02 AM on May 27, 2022

While you're considering things, I'd suggest perusing the Yale Appliance blog; while they are an appliance store they run a substantial repair/service operation and consequently have good data on product reliability, which they're willing to share pretty openly (as in, "4.3% of these require service in the first year, whereas 10.5% of those other ones require it, so unless you need feature X, buy the first one not the second")
posted by aramaic at 9:26 AM on May 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Consumer Reports may be available through your local library.

Please be aware (maybe you already are) - it is possible to purchase a "stainless steel" fridge that isn't magnetic. This is not to my liking because it is the perfect place to temporarily post picture by and of children.
posted by Gor-ella at 9:51 AM on May 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: N+2 for Samsung here-- got a similar one to Tomorrowful, and compared to our old GE model, it must be so much better at keeping a stable temp, everything lasts way longer. Over a couple of years, I'm pretty sure it's gonna pay for itself for just reduced waste of leafy salads not getting tossed.

I went for the one with the ice maker actually in the the freezer compartment and the 'beverage center' which I thought was gonna be a bit gimmicky, but the always cold, always full jug of water saves.. 10 seconds when filling a water bottle and makes me oddly content.
posted by Static Vagabond at 11:34 AM on May 27, 2022

We just bought our second Samsung, sticking with the brand in large part because of the flex drawer. My husband likes his drinks extra extra cold. Our specific model has a very very small ice bin, which is our biggest complaint so far. There’s a top drawerette inside the freezer drawer that, if kept clear, would probably be a comfortable place for your sheet pans (I can’t double check dimensions at the moment).
posted by Night_owl at 2:21 PM on May 27, 2022

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