refrigerator buying guide

Today’s refrigerators are technologically advanced, energy-efficient and feature-loaded. But if you’re like most people, you haven’t shopped for a new fridge in quite some time. The newest configurations, capacity limits and finish options may just surprise you. 


That’s why we created our ultimate refrigerator buying guide, where we break down the most popular and reliable brands and types of refrigerators available today. This guide will help you determine how to choose a refrigerator that best meets your unique needs. Using the information you’ll get here, you’re sure to find the most reliable refrigerator on the market, that’s ideal for your space, style, budget and other needs. 


In this article, we’ll cover:


Types and Styles of Refrigerators

2022 refrigerators are available in various types, sizes and styles. The best refrigerator style really depends on personal preference and budget. You can find built-in, counter-depth, under-counter, French door, side-by-side, top-mounted or even bottom-mounted fridges. Looking closely at each of the refrigerator styles available can help you decide which is best for your space. 


Built-in Refrigerators

Built-in Fridges

Built-in refrigerators are installed flush with your cabinetry to add a fluent, distinct look. These high-end appliances are typically wider and taller than freestanding refrigerators, but not as deep. Built-in units can be fitted with customized door panels to match your existing kitchen cabinetry, but they may cost you more. 


Counter-Depth Refrigerators

How deep is a counter depth refrigerator? Like built-in units, counter-depth refrigerators are designed to be flush with existing countertops. The best counter depth refrigerator will blend in well and require less space than standard refrigerators. This type of refrigerator is more economical than built-in refrigerators, yet still offers a wide range of features.


Under counter Fridges

Under Counter

Under counter refrigerators, or “mini fridges,” are smaller than full-sized fridges, meaning capacity is quite limited. Technically, they’re a type of built-in refrigerator because they’re fitted on the bottom side of counters. They feature reversible doors and are installed to fit seamlessly with existing cabinetry. Specialty under counter beer and wine fridges are also available.


French Door Refrigerators

French Door

French door refrigerators feature two doors that open to reveal a singular cooling space in a pantry-style design. The freezer door slides out on the bottom, giving you a top-down view of its contents. This type of fridge generally offers more capacity and optional features than others. These units are well-suited for large families and those looking for high-end optional features.

Side-by-Side Fridges

Side-by-side Fridges

Like French door fridges, side-by-side refrigerators feature two separate doors. However, in this case, one of the doors houses a freezer, and the other reveals the refrigerator space. Both sides offer shelving that can be custom-fitted to your wants and space needs. Each compartment allows you to place more important items at eye level for easy access. These units typically offer more capacity and high-end touchpoints than some other types of refrigerators.

Top Mount vs Bottom Mount

Top or Bottom Mount

“Top mount” and “bottom mount” are references to where the freezer is located on the unit. Classic refrigerators once placed freezers on the top of the appliance, providing easy access to frozen foods. A bottom-mount unit retains the classic look of traditional refrigerators while placing frozen goods down low and bringing some refrigerated items up to eye level.


How to Measure a Refrigerator?

Size is very important when considering what type of refrigerator you’ll purchase. There's more than the width, height and depth to think about and measure to determine if a refrigerator will be a good fit in your kitchen. You’ll also need to consider:


  • Refrigerator door opening space
  • Clearance space for kitchen islands or other decor
  • Space required for proper ventilation
  • Space needed to accommodate door hinges

Note that the space required for proper ventilation and door hinges can vary between models and brands. You can typically find detailed information in the product manual.


You’ll also want to measure any door openings on the path to the kitchen to ensure that the refrigerator will fit. When measuring, be mindful of any baseboard or chair rails that jut out from the wall that could create inaccurate measurements. Think about how the refrigerator will fit the room with its doors completely open. Measure to ensure the doors opening won’t interfere with islands, cupboards, pull-out drawers or counters.


What Finishes and Colours Do Fridges Come In?

2022 refrigerators are available in numerous styles, configurations, colours and finishes to match existing decor schemes.


    • Panel-Ready: Panel-ready refrigerators feature custom possible coverings and finishes to match your existing cabinetry. These units integrate seamlessly into your kitchen space, creating a streamlined, fluent appearance.
    • Stainless: Metallic stainless steel and black stainless refrigerators add a distinct appearance of efficient sophistication to any kitchen space.  
    • Black: Sleek matte black and black stainless steel refrigerators are much more resistant to fingerprints, smudges and water spots than metallic stainless steel appliances are.
    • White: The clean, traditional look of a white refrigerator can brighten any kitchen atmosphere. Choose from top manufacturers and the most desired design features.
  • Others: Some less common but fun, modern fridge colours include platinum, slate, grey, red and silver. Explore all of our fresh and exciting options!
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    Which Are the Best Refrigerator Brands?


    What is the best refrigerator brand? It’s tough to say, since the best fridge for your needs might not be the best one for your neighbour! To help you find the best one for you, we have a wide selection of supply top-quality refrigerators from the world’s leading appliance manufacturers, producing the highest-performing, most energy-efficient refrigerators on the market.  


    We don’t have a favourite, but a few of the top-selling brands among our customers are LG, Samsung, Frigidaire, Bosh, GE and the Whirlpool brands. Let’s look into 4 of them:


    LG

    LG fridges are consistently some of the highest-rated refrigerators on the market. Their smart technology puts them in a class of their own. The brand has become known for the exciting, unique features their appliances offer, like door cooling and Instaview. 



    Samsung

    Samsung fridges are highly rated by service technicians who repair refrigerators every day. In 2020, Samsung even ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction in the J.D. Powers Awards for kitchen appliances. Regardless of the price range, you can count on Samsung refrigerators for long-lasting dependability.


     

    GE

    Like Whirlpool and Samsung, General Electric (GE) is one of the highest-ranked appliance manufacturers in the world. The company introduced the first refrigerator with adjustable shelving in 1933. GE refrigerators are reliable and provide excellent control of airflow, filtration and humidity.

    Whirlpool

    Consistently top-rated refrigerators, known for their durability, dependability and design-feature options. High quality appliances from Whirlpool have been loved and sought after for more than a century. The brand continuously earns high marks in the customer service category, too, so on the rare occasion your fridge does need service, you’ll be thrilled with the qualified, experienced service technicians who come to your home. 



    Which Fridge is Best for Me?

    Now that you have a good understanding of the brands, types and styles of refrigerators available, let’s consider how to determine which is the best refrigerator for you. There are several important variables to consider before purchasing a new fridge, including:

    Space

    It’s important to know if the refrigerator you’re thinking about purchasing will physically fit into your kitchen space without the need for remodeling. Remember to include room behind and above the unit for proper airflow and enough free space to fully open the doors. And don’t forget to consider your water hookup!


    Shopping Habits

    Looking for shopping tips on how to choose a refrigerator? Some important considerations when purchasing a new refrigerator include:


    • How many people will the refrigerator typically store food for?
    • Is the average refrigerator size enough to meet your needs?
    • Do you prefer a unit with a lot of door storage space?
    • Do you buy more fresh or frozen foods?
    • Do you require extra tall shelving?

    The more details you consider while shopping for a new fridge, the better suited you’ll be to choose one that fits your unique needs. Once you’ve made all the decisions about features and brands, and you have a price budget in mind, you’re ready to start shopping. Whether you begin your refrigerator search online, or you head into the store to shop in person, you have everything you need to make the best decision possible and pick the perfect refrigerator for your exact needs. 


    Other Fridge Features

    Modern refrigerators can be equipped with loads of different customization options. Let’s look at some of the optional features you’ll want to consider while shopping for the most reliable refrigerator:

    • Ice Dispenser: An ice maker in your fridge can be a big plus and it’s an affordable option. Everyone loves freshly crushed ice for their beverages at the push of a lever!
    • Energy Star Qualified: Energy Star Qualified refrigerators help you maximize your savings while minimizing the energy needed to keep your fridge running optimally. Energy Star Rated appliances can save you hundreds of dollars annually on power bills.
    • Fruit and Vegetable Crisper: Separate fruit and vegetable crisper drawers allow you to store your produce at temperatures and humidity levels that you prefer.
    • Pantry Drawer: A temperature-controlled pantry drawer allows convenient storage of deli trays, pizzas and other large or bulky items.
    • Water Dispenser: It’s always nice to have a cold water supply conveniently located on your refrigerator door. Remember that you’ll need a water service line for this, and a purification system would also be excellent.
    • Reversible Doors: Reversible doors open up various options for the placement of your new refrigerator. This is especially useful in small apartments and homes.
    • Adjustable Door Bins: Relocate your adjustable refrigerator storage bins to best suit your needs and increase your loading flexibility.
    • Wifi Connectivity: Depending on the refrigerator you purchase, this feature can allow you to see what’s inside your fridge on your smartphone without opening the doors, or to receive texts and calendar messages on your fridge door. Some models even allow you to get a message if you accidentally leave the door open.
    • App-Enabled: Smart refrigerators incorporate Wi-Fi connectivity to allow features like Alexa voice control, automatic grocery inventory and reordering, open door alerts and system diagnostics that let you know when maintenance is needed.

    Knowing about the many available features refrigerators offer today means you’ll make sure that you’re getting the best fridge for your lifestyle and needs. If you need more assistance understanding the features, knowing what to expect in regards to your new refrigerator cost or deciding which type of refrigerator is best for you, reach out to our friendly and helpful team! If our refrigerator buying guide doesn’t give you the answers you need, we will! Browse our full selection of refrigerators today.

    Refrigerator FAQs

    How to increase my refrigerator’s life?

    To maximize the life and function of your refrigerator, you should keep it clean, keep some - but not too much - food in it, position it away from heat sources, keep the top clear and regularly check for any signs of malfunction. Cleaning the coils is a common maintenance need that will prolong the life of your new appliance. 


    How to store food in a fridge?

    How you store your food is important for proper fridge function. Store fruits and vegetables on the bottom shelves, meats on the next shelf up, ready-to-eat foods like cooked meats and cake on the next shelf up, and dairy products like yogurt and cream on the top shelf.


    What are the best refrigerator brands?

    The appliance experts at Coast Appliances have been assisting valued customers for more than 40 years and we only carry the most reliable and quality products. Here are some of the refrigerator brands that are popular with our customers:


     

    The information on this article is not a promise of service. While we present the most accurate information we can, customers must check each brand and model for the manufacturers' information. Each model has their individual care and maintenance guidelines, normal expected use and lifespan with proper maintenance and care. Customers are responsible for checking information for their appliance, the user manual, manufacturer guidelines as well as using professional services.