A refrigerator helps keep your ingredients fresh, your leftovers ready to be reinvented, and everything where you need it whenever creativity strikes. When it’s time to buy a new refrigerator, it’s important to find the right one. Use this refrigerator buying guide to brush up on the new technologies, features and styles to find a refrigerator that checks all the boxes.

What should I look for when buying a fridge? 

To find a fridge that enhances your workspace, pick a style with features that fit your kitchen and your process. When choosing a fridge, you might start by picking a configuration that works best for you. Here are the common refrigerator categories: top-freezer, bottom-freezer, side-by-side, french-door, counter-depth and built-in. 

The technologies and features used to help keep your food fresh are often shared between these different layouts. For example, you can find the Preserva® Food Care System and the Produce Preserver in all KitchenAid® refrigerator configurations. For this reason, it can be a good idea to start by choosing the best refrigerator configuration for you, then narrowing it down to a model with the right features.

BUYING THE RIGHT REFRIGERATOR CONFIGURATION

From space-saving bottom-mount freezer refrigerators to contemporary French door styles, each configuration offers something a little different. Make sure you know the difference and the benefits of each. Then choose the one that's best for the way you create.
 
Woman working at an island in front of a side-by-side refrigerator

Side-by-side refrigerators: easy-access to everything

Side-by-side refrigerators feature a full-height freezer compartment next to a full-height refrigerator compartment, allowing you to keep all the important freezer and fridge items at eye level, within easy reach. They often have more freezer space than other configurations, so may be a good choice if you like to stock up on frozen ingredients. Unlike top- and bottom-freezer models, many side-by-side refrigerators have in-door, or external ice and water dispensers, as well as other in-demand features such as adjustable shelves and door bins to help you keep everything organized.

EXPLORE SIDE-BY-SIDE REFRIGERATORS FROM KITCHENAID

KitchenAid offers a full line up of side-by-side refrigerators with features designed to keep your food organized and fresh. This 24.8 cu ft. Side-by-Side Refrigerator features the Preserva® Food Care System. Its two independent cooling systems help keep food fresh while the FreshFlow Air Filter minimizes odors, and the Produce Preserver delays over-ripening based on commonly purchased produce.

Black stainless steel refrigerator in a modern kitchen

French door refrigerators: high-end features

French door refrigerators have freezer space below and refrigerator space on top with two doors that open independently. This configuration is popular because of its pantry-like layout and specialized storage compartments that keep contents visible and help you quickly locate items. External ice and water dispensers are common, and sometimes you’ll find a second icemaker in the freezer. 

Compared to other configurations, French door refrigerators tend to feature more high-end features and innovations like independent, humidity-controlled drawers, advanced cooling systems and premium shelf and drawer finishes.

BROWSE KITCHENAID® FRENCH DOOR REFRIGERATORS

Experience an intuitive layout, premium touchpoints, and innovative features with French Door Refrigerators from KitchenAid. Select models feature ExtendFresh Temperature Management System which separately monitors the temperatures in the refrigerator and freezer. Or choose from models featuring 2- or 3-tier freezer drawers with storage dividers. Select from space-saving 30-inch width models or larger capacity 26.8 cu. ft. 36-inch width French Door styles, or opt for an industry-first 5-door configuration for breakthrough organization.

Black side-by-side counter depth refrigerator

Counter-depth refrigerators: clean lines in the kitchen

Available in side-by-side and french door configurations, counter-depth refrigerators shave off a few inches of depth so they are nearly flush with cabinetry. This style offers a built-in look and allows more room to move in your kitchen. This can result in slightly less interior capacity but is a good option if you have a smaller kitchen or just want a more open, streamlined workspace. Expect to pay a little more, since counter-depth refrigerators are considered more of a specialty item.

EXPLORE KITCHENAID® COUNTER-DEPTH REFRIGERATORS

KitchenAid® counter-depth designs give you the high-end look of built-in refrigerators while modes featuring PrintShield™ Finish resist fingerprints and smudges on the stainless exterior. This 22.6 cu. ft. Counter-Depth Side-by-Side Refrigerator is available in premium black stainless steel and features Preserva® Food Care System and a FreshFlow™ Air Filter that minimizes odors. Or choose a french door model that provides a pantry-style layout while freeing up space to move around your kitchen.
 
Black built-in refrigerator

Built-in refrigerators: custom design

Many built-in refrigerators can match the finish and style of surrounding cabinets with a panel-ready design and reduced depth that aligns with cabinetry. This look offers more creative possibilities with the opportunity to customize the exterior look of the refrigerator. It also enables seamless integration into surrounding cabinets. Built-in refrigerators are often wider than standard models to make up for space lost in depth, measuring up to around 48 inches wide. They are usually available in bottom-freezer, side-by-side and french door models. Keep in mind that professional installation is usually recommended for these high-end refrigerators that may require custom cabinetry.

BROWSE KITCHENAID® BUILT-IN REFRIGERATORS

Choose from stainless steel, black stainless steel, or panel-ready built-in refrigerators from KitchenAid. This 20.8 cu. ft. 36" Width Built-In Refrigerator offers a premium look inside and out with a glossy silver-colored Platinum Colored Interior that sets off the metallic accents of the shelves, crisper and baskets. For more capacity and a side-by-side layout, this 30.0 cu. ft. 48-Inch Width Built-In model provides plenty of space and features to help keep your ingredients fresh. Built-In refrigerators from KitchenAid also feature the Fit System Limited Guarantee to ensure a great installation fit.1
 
Bottom freezer refrigerator with the door open

Top-Freezer and bottom-freezer refrigerators: classic design

Refrigerators with a freezer on top or bottom are a classic design and have plenty of potential to enhance your creative process. They are usually more affordable than other configurations and can offer a streamlined set of features. Expect a little less space inside generally, but plenty of room for wide items compared to a side-by-side refrigerator. Some models feature interior water and ice dispensers but if an icemaker is not already included, one can usually be installed separately. If you’re working with limited space, small space refrigerators are usually top- or bottom-freezer models. 

Keep in mind that bottom-freezer refrigerators tend to offer a little more space and more features than top-freezer models. Since the refrigerator section often gets used more than the freezer, many people prefer to keep those items at eye level in a bottom-freezer refrigerator.

FIND A BOTTOM-FREEZER REFRIGERATOR FROM KITCHENAID

Add a bold blend of professionally-inspired styling, sleek touches, and a practical full-width pantry refrigerator layout to your kitchen. Bottom-freezer refrigerators from KitchenAid provide ample space up top so you can properly store everything from meats to produce while keeping frozen items in a convenient drawer below. Choose from a 19 cu. ft. 30-inch width model or a larger 22 cu. ft. 33-inch width model.


Man cooking next to a stainless-steel side-by-side refrigerator

Buying a refrigerator with features that match how you make

Dual Evaporators - These refrigerators have separate cooling systems for the freezer and refrigerator compartments that help maintain ideal temperature and humidity in these two unique environments. Check out the Preserva® Food Care System by KitchenAid, which also features the FreshFlow Air Filter to help minimize odors. 

Produce preservation - Some refrigerators have technology that absorbs ethylene gas emitted by many fruits and vegetables, causing them to over ripen. By removing ethylene, the produce preserver helps extend freshness based on commonly purchased produce. Browse KitchenAid® refrigerators with produce preservers. 

LED lighting - LED lighting uses less energy than incandescent bulbs and adds bright light for a premium feel. Multiple lights are placed throughout the refrigerator and freezer, making it easy to find items at a glance. Browse KitchenAid® refrigerators with LED lighting. 

Configurable shelves and drawers - With adjustable, customizable storage spaces, you can create a storage system unique to you and your creation process. Look for features like retractable or slide-away shelving, undershelf storage and prep zones, and soft-close drawers you can access from the outside of the fridge, like on this multi-door KitchenAid® refrigerator.


Woman walking in front of a french door refrigerator

How to choose a refrigerator that’s your style

For a fridge that’s your style outside and in, consider all the possibilities for both exterior and interior finishes. White, black and stainless steel are standard color options. You can also upgrade to a fingerprint-resistant exterior finish, which is available on most refrigerators today. Look for KitchenAid® refrigerators featuring PrintShield Finish for a smudge-resistant exterior that takes the worry out of keeping a working kitchen beautiful. For a seamless look, consider a built-in refrigerator that fits flush with cabinets and usually comes in a stainless steel, black stainless steel, or a panel-ready exterior that lets you customize it to match your kitchen cabinets.


Built-in stainless steel side-by-side refrigerator

Tips for buying a fridge that will fit in your kitchen

  • Take height, width and depth measurements of the cutout where the fridge will stand and compare them to the product's listed dimensions.

  • Make sure to leave space on all sides of the refrigerator to accommodate cords and hoses and provide adequate airflow: at least 1/2 inch on the sides and top of the refrigerator and at least 1 full inch behind. 

  • Pay attention to a refrigerator's depth measurements with the door closed and open to ensure space for a full door swing out without hitting cabinets, walls or an island. 

  • Measure the doorways and pathways that the refrigerator will travel on its way to the kitchen before installation.

Shop all KitchenAid® Refrigerators

KitchenAid offers a full lineup of refrigerators in all configurations with a range of innovative features to help keep your favorite ingredients fresh. Shop French door refrigerators with spacious interiors or get a customized look with built-in models. Fit what you need inside and keep it looking beautiful with adjustable spill resistant glass shelves or shop models with ExtendFresh™ Temperature Management System so all of your ingredients will be held at the optimum temperature to maximize their flavor and texture.

 

 

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1. See Fit System Limited Guarantee for complete details.