Top 5 Refrigerator Styles Compared

A refrigerator is an essential part of every home kitchen. Keeping your food products adequately chilled to ensure safety and quality is important for you and your family. However, there are many different needs that should be considered when determining the type of refrigerator that will be the right fit for you, including space restrictions, lifestyle, and budget.

Read through the following guide for more information on the wide variety of fridge options and how they can be utilized in your home.

Refrigerator with Top Freezer

1. Top Freezer

The top-freezer refrigerator may be the most common and traditionally chosen kitchen appliance of them all. One reason that many people continue to choose a unit with the freezer on the top is the economical price point. This particular fridge style may have a starting price in the low 400’s, making them a great choice for those looking for an appliance that will fit their basic needs.

A disadvantage of a top-freezer fridge is that users have to bend down to get into the refrigerator portion of the unit. Chances are that most of the times when you will be opening the doors will be to grab something out of the fridge rather than the freezer. If you are short of stature, it can be difficult to reach items that are stored at the back of the freezer as well.

Despite some disadvantages, this type of fridge is such a popular choice and can be easy to fit in most kitchen spaces or be utilized as an extra fridge in your garage.

Refrigerator with Bottom Freezer

2. Bottom Freezer

Many of the same advantages that a top-freezer style boasts are present in a refrigerator that has the freezer on the bottom. Almost as popular and nearly as affordable, a bottom-freezer is a great choice for anyone who has a traditionally sized kitchen.

Some other advantages of this style include:

  • No hunching over required to access commonly used refrigerated items.
  • Drawer-style freezer door options.
  • Slightly larger size than top freezers.
  • Simple design.

Refrigerator & Freezer Side-by-Side

3. Side-by-Side

The side-by-side refrigerator style has become an increasingly popular choice for home owners, thanks to the many features that it boasts and the ability to get into your freezer and fridge section with equal ease.

The majority of these models are split right down the middle, often with a little bit more room given to the fridge size, since fresh food often takes up more space. In-door storage is often an impressive feature in a side-by-side, since the vertical design doesn’t always lend itself to excessive storage space.

Homes that have narrower kitchens can benefit from a side-by-side refrigerator, since the clearance area for the doors is much less than needed with a traditional refrigerator. Picking the widest model that will fit into your cabinet space will give you the most storage for your buck.

French Door Refrigerator

4. French Door

If you are looking for variety and a lot of fancy features, then a French-door style fridge may be the right choice for you. Combining the convenience of a bottom-freezer unit with the flexibility of a side-by-side, the French door has become an in-demand appliance, especially for those people who have plenty of kitchen space and spend a lot of time preparing food.

Some of the common features of this style include:

  • Multiple drawer freezers.
  • Ability to match kitchen cabinetry.
  • Energy efficient double doors.

One of the few disadvantages of the French-door style is the high price tag, since many models can be rather expensive to buy.

Compact / Mini Refrigerator

5. Mini / Compact

There are many instances where a full-size refrigerator will not fit into a kitchen space. Whether you live in a small apartment or are looking for something to fit in a bedroom, office or dorm room, a compact fridge is a great alternative.

Usually coming complete with a freezer inside, a compact refrigerator is a great space-saving option that can provide many of the same benefits of a traditional fridge at a fraction of the size.

The right fridge really depends upon the space you have available, your budget, and the features that you need. Take these factors into consideration the next time you shop for a refrigerator so that you can choose the best appliance for you and your home.

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Kara Zorn

About Author

Kara Zorn is a wife and working mom who loves life hacks that help her schedule allow for as much quality family time as possible. She enjoys cooking with locally sourced food and produce and recently took up brewing Kombucha.


  1. lia faase says

    the house I bought had a side by side in the kitchen. After using it for almost 1 month I did discover that for me it is not functional. I love to make caseroles and freeze them and they do not fit in the freezer. There is not enough space in the freezer at all. This one will be replaced soon.

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