Types of Refrigerators to Choose From for Your Kitchen
A refrigerator keeps your ingredients fresh and organized so they’re ready to use and easy to find whenever culinary inspiration strikes. And now, you have more options than ever before. But, which type of refrigerator is actually right for you? Discover the many different types of KitchenAid® refrigerators to find the right style and model for your kitchen and culinary needs.
How Many Refrigerator Types are There?
There are five common refrigerator configurations that differ by door design and interior layout. French door, side-by-side, top or bottom mount freezer and undercounter refrigerators or beverage centers are some of the most common styles of refrigerators. However, you can also choose from different depths, finishes and installation styles, making the different types of refrigerators numerous.
KitchenAid brand has a range of refrigerator types to choose from, so you can find a new refrigerator that matches the way you make.
Refrigerator Type by STYLE
1. French Door Refrigerators
French door styles feature two upper doors that open to reveal a full-width refrigerator compartment and in-door storage—much like a pantry. The freezer is located in a pull-out drawer below. This type of fridge often comes with more features and high-end finishes compared to other configurations.
French door refrigerators are popular for their expansive fresh food storage space up top, where you can easily organize and reach items. The wide compartments allow you to store large items like platters or oversized dishes. This refrigerator style has narrow doors, making KitchenAid® French Door Refrigerators a good choice for galley-style kitchens or placement behind an island.
French Door Refrigerator Features:
Full-width fresh and frozen storage
Easy access to fresh items kept at eye-level
Larger refrigerator compartment vs freezer
Narrow doors for placement near islands
Exterior ice and water dispensers are common
Offers some of the largest overall capacity options
- Premium finishes and features frequently available
Browse KITCHENAID® french door refrigerators
French door refrigerators from KitchenAid offer an intuitive layout, premium touchpoints and innovative features. Keep food organized and at peak freshness with customizable interiors and temperatures for ingredients as varied as salmon and papaya.
2. Side-by-Side Refrigerators
This style features side-by-side refrigerator and freezer compartments. The two vertical spaces create flexible storage options for both the refrigerator and freezer, letting you place the items you access most—fresh or frozen—at eye level. As with French door refrigerators, you’ll also often find larger capacities and higher-end features available.
Having a bit more freezer capacity than French door models makes this a good option if you frequently preserve seasonal favorites in the freezer. The sleek, streamlined exteriors of KitchenAid® side-by-side refrigerators feature two narrow doors that help free up space to move around your kitchen when accessing the fridge.
Learn more about side-by-side vs. french door refrigerators to see which one might be the best type of refrigerator for you.
Side-by-Side Refrigerator Features:
A bit more freezer capacity vs French door styles
Easy access to both fresh and frozen items
Adjustable shelves, door bins and more for customizable storage
Exterior ice and water dispensers are common
Two narrow doors—perfect for tight spaces
Large capacity options available
Higher-end finishes and features frequently available
shop KITCHENAID® side-by-side refrigerators
KitchenAid brand offers a full lineup of side-by-side refrigerators with features designed to keep your food organized and fresh. Select models feature the Preserva® Food Care System with three technologies that work in concert to help assure crisp produce and deliciously flavorful foods while helping to eliminate refrigerator odors.
3. Bottom Mount Freezer Refrigerators
Bottom freezer refrigerators offer a traditional look with a contemporary setup. Reach fresh food easily in a full-width top refrigerator with a freezer below that is accessible by either a door or pull-out drawer. You may find more compact options in this style along with a more streamlined set of features.
These types of fridges offer the conveniences of an updated top-refrigerator setup with some lower-priced options. While bottom mount refrigerators are less likely to offer premium features, some KitchenAid® Bottom Freezer Refrigerator models are available with easy upgrades including optional ice maker kits.
Bottom Mount Freezer Refrigerator Features:
Easy access to fresh items
Larger refrigerator vs freezer compartment
Wide doors for continuous in-door storage
A traditional look with a contemporary setup
More streamlined set of features available
Large and compact refrigerator models available
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Find the best of contemporary conveniences with streamlined design in bottom mount refrigerators from KitchenAid. A wide pantry lets you properly store everything from meats to produce in a full width compartment. Select models feature the ExtendFresh™ Temperature Management System and Produce Preserver to help maintain the taste and texture of your fresh food.
4. Top Mount Freezer Refrigerators
This classic style of refrigerator features a freezer up top and refrigerator below. Frozen items are easy to access, but you may need to bend or stoop for fresh items in the lower refrigerator compartment. Top mount refrigerators are frequently available with a streamlined set of features and an entry price point. You’ll also find some of the smallest sizes in this style if you’re looking for a compact refrigerator.
Top Freezer Refrigerator Features:
A traditional look with freezer on top and refrigerator below
Easy access to frozen items
Wide doors with continuous storage
Wide selection of sizes including compact
Entry price point models with less features available
Refrigerator Type by Installation
5. Freestanding Refrigerators
This is the most common type of refrigerator installation. Freestanding fridges can be placed just about anywhere with the necessary hookups—power and/or water, and the required clearances around it. Make sure you measure ahead of time to ensure it will fit your space. Freestanding models offer the most options in refrigerator types, sizes and finishes vs other types of fridge installations. You can usually find a freestanding model in any of the refrigerator styles discussed below.
Freestanding Refrigerator Features:
Easy to install
Fits easily into most kitchens as it does not require cabinet installation
Standard-depth and counter-depth options
Available in multiple configurations
shop KITCHENAID® freestanding refrigerators
Browse KitchenAid® freestanding refrigerators in French door, side-by-side and bottom freezer options that offer flexible installation with a bold blend of professionally-inspired design and sleek touches for your home.
6. Built-In Refrigerators
Built-in refrigerators are affixed to the wall and installed inside cabinets, allowing for a seamless integration and a premium look. Some built-in refrigerators are even panel ready so you can match the exterior to your existing cabinets. It is more common to find French door and side-by-side refrigerators with built-in installation, though KitchenAid brand offers a range of built-in refrigerator styles.
This refrigerator type is often taller with extra wide options available up to around 48 inches. The width can make up for some loss in depth since built-ins are often flush with cabinets at 24 inches deep. Because built-in refrigerators sometimes require custom cabinetry, they are considered more permanent than freestanding models.
Built-In Refrigerator Features:
Provides a seamless integration with cabinetry
Opens up kitchen space for more freedom to move around
Lends a premium look to your kitchen
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Learn more about how KitchenAid® built-in refrigerators combine design and functionality to complement your kitchen layout. With the FIT System, you’re guaranteed that your new refrigerator will fit seamlessly into your cabinetry, or KitchenAid brand will pay up to $300 to modify your cabinets.
Refrigerator Type by depth
7. Standard-Depth Refrigerators
Standard-depth, or full-depth refrigerators, usually measure 35–36 inches from front to back. If you install this type of refrigerator between counters or cabinets, it will likely stick out past them by as much as half a foot or more. Considered full-sized fridges, KitchenAid® standard-depth, or full-depth refrigerators offer a few more inches of front to back storage than slimmer models.
Standard-Depth Refrigerator Features:
Larger size adds more storage for fresh ingredients
Selection of finish options to match any kitchen
A timeless look and size
Exterior ice and water dispensers are common
shop KITCHENAID® standard-depth refrigerators
Explore standard-depth refrigerators from KitchenAid to find the model with the right size and style to match the way you create.
8. Counter-Depth Refrigerators
This type of refrigerator is usually around 24 inches deep, matching the depth of cabinets and counters for a nearly flush installation. This helps create clean lines in your kitchen design, and can create a built-in look even with freestanding refrigerators. Counter-depth fridges are sometimes a little wider or taller than standard-sized fridges so you won’t lose much in capacity.
Counter-Depth Refrigerator Features:
Flush with cabinets and counters
Lends a sleek and built-in feel to a kitchen
Comes in a variety of door configurations to best suit your needs
Adjustable shelf options available
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KitchenAid offers a variety of counter-depth refrigerators to match the flow and design of your kitchen without sacrificing the storage space you need for all of your fresh ingredients.
Refrigerator Type by Finish
9. Stainless Steel and Black Stainless Steel Refrigerators
Stainless steel is a durable, versatile finish that can bring a modern or industrial look to kitchens or serve as a contrasting focal point for more traditional styles. Classic stainless steel is a popular choice offered by most brands in many configurations. Some brands now offer black stainless steel refrigerators for an updated twist that lends a rich depth to this kitchen favorite.
Stainless Steel and Black Stainless Steel Refrigerator Features:
Sleek and modern style can blend with a range of kitchen aesthetics
PrintShield™ finish options available that resists smudges and fingerprints
Durable finish that is easy to clean
shop KITCHENAID® stainless steep refrigerators
Look for select KitchenAid® stainless steel and black stainless steel refrigerators with PrintShield™ finish for an exterior that resists smudges and fingerprints. The specialized coating for stainless steel is easy to clean with just water and a soft cloth, so you can spend more time cooking and less time cleaning up.
10. Black and White Refrigerators
Black or white refrigerators are a classic choice and can pair well with a range of styles. You may find entry price points for this type of refrigerator finish, depending on the model. Neutral black refrigerators can help ground colorful kitchens while white adds a bright touch of freshness.
Black and White Refrigerator Features:
Pairs with a wide variety of kitchen styles
Lends a timeless feel to your kitchen
shop KITCHENAID® black & white refrigerators
KitchenAid brand offers a selection of white refrigerators with premium design touchpoints that may have you seeing this traditional color in a new light.
11. Panel-Ready Refrigerators
For a completely seamless integration, opt for a panel-ready refrigerator. This type of fridge allows you to affix your own custom panel on the exterior to match your cabinets. From off-white farmhouse cabinets to minimal modern designs, even a large appliance like a refrigerator can blend in.
Panel-Ready Refrigerator Features:
Can be customized to match your cabinetry
Seamless and modern look
Panel-ready finishes camouflage appliances to keep the flow of your kitchen design uninterrupted
shop KITCHENAID® panel-ready refrigerators
Shop KitchenAid® panel-ready refrigerators in French door, side-by-side and even undercounter styles to seamlessly integrate the refrigerator of your choice into your kitchen, rec room and more.
12. Other Refrigerator Types
Undercounter refrigerators can be installed in a kitchen island or other kitchen cabinets for extra storage of your favorite ingredients. Or, add one to your entertainment space to keep beverages and appetizers on hand. Shop KitchenAid® undercounter refrigerators for a range of finishes or panel-ready models that blend into surrounding cabinets so you can entertain in style.
Undercounter Refrigerator Features:
Compact size allows you to install the refrigerator in any location in your home
Adds extra food storage for homes with large families
Provides easy access to beverages and snacks for entertaining
What sets this type of undercounter refrigerator apart is dual temperature zones that allow you to store multiple types of beverages or foods at their ideal temperature. Select KitchenAid® beverage centers feature metal or wood-front racks to hold up to 14 wine bottles below with room for drinks and food on the full-width shelves above.
Beverage Center Features:
Combination of shelves and bottle racks can store a wide variety of beverages
Many models offer Two Temperature-Controlled Zones
Stainless steel and panel-ready finish options
This type of refrigerator is dedicated solely to wine bottle storage. Wine enthusiasts will appreciate multiple temperature zones in some wine cellars that allow them to preserve white or red wine in optimal conditions. Select KitchenAid® wine cellars hold up to 46 standard Bordeaux-size bottles and temperature monitoring systems for added peace of mind. Learn more about these appliances with our wine refrigerator buying guide.
Wine Cellar Features:
Horizontal racks for ideal wine storage
Some models offer Two Temperature-Controlled Zones
Wood-front and metal rack options
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Explore all styles of undercounter refrigerators from KitchenAid to help you add storage space to your kitchen and entertain with ease.
What Style of Refrigerator is Most Efficient?
Refrigerators that are ENERGY STAR® certified, like this KitchenAid® Side-by-Side Refrigerator with Exterior Ice and Water, are about 9 percent more energy efficient than standard models, regardless of the configuration of the refrigerator. If you are looking for the most energy efficient refrigerators, choose which configuration fits your making and your kitchen best, then look for ENERGY STAR® certified models in that style.
What Type of Refrigerator is Best for Your Kitchen?
The best type of refrigerator for you will fit effortlessly into your kitchen, your design aesthetic and the way you make.
When shopping for a new refrigerator, consider the following:
Your kitchen’s design aesthetic can help you determine which configuration is right for you. If you prefer a premium and integrated look, a built-in refrigerator may be the best choice. If you have a narrow kitchen, consider a counterdepth model for a more seamless look.
Which ingredients do you use the most? If you find yourself over-packing the refrigeration section of your appliance, a french door model may be the upgrade your kitchen needs, or review our large capacity refrigerators options.
Consider which color or finish will best elevate the look of your kitchen. Stainless steel adds sleek flair to modern kitchens, while black or white finishes can offer a more traditional aesthetic.
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More help finding the right cooking appliances
How to Organize a Refrigerator in 13 Quick Steps Organizing your refrigerator does not have to be a daunting task. Follow these steps to learn how to organize a refrigerator to make it easier to keep your food fresh.
French Door vs. Side by Side: Which Refrigerator is Best? French door refrigerators have fridge space on top and a freezer below. Side by side fridges have a top-to-bottom refrigerator style. Learn more about both fridge layouts.
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