Refrigerator Buying Guide
Choosing a refrigerator can be a complicated process with many manufacturers, designs and features to consider. There are other factors that also come into play in the decision making process, such as kitchen layout, number of people in the household and style. Please use this handy buyer's guide from Goedeker's to better educate yourself on all the different things to consider when purchasing a new refrigerator.
Refrigerators can be measured in multiple ways. First, there's capacity. Capacity is measured in cubic feet.
- Refrigerator Capacity: The volume of the fresh food storage compartment of the refrigerator.
- Freezer Capacity: The volume of the frozen food compartment of the refrigerator
- Total Capacity: The total storage volume of the entire refrigerator.
- Note: 8-12 cubic feet are needed for a two-person household. Add 1 cubic foot for each additional person.
- The width should be no wider than the available space. For a freestanding refrigerator, this is typically very easy, as the unit can be move slightly in any direction. For a built-in unit, however, these measurements are critical.
- The height of a refrigerator should never be higher than any object which may impede its placement or strike the refrigerator at any time (i.e. a ceiling fan blade). Consider any cabinets that will be above the refrigerator and measure your height accordingly.
- For a built-in look without the requirement of a built-in closet, consider a counter depth refrigerator. These units are only as deep as a standard counter and will not protrude farther from the edge like a normal depth refrigerator.
Types of Refrigerators
Top mount refrigerators place the freezer compartment at eye level, above the refrigerator compartment. Traditionally, this has been the best-selling type of refrigerator with styles to fit every budget. These refrigerators come in a variety of styles and designs with many optional features to fit every kitchen and budget.
Side-by-Side refrigerators move the freezer compartment and arrange it vertically next to the refrigerator compartment to allow easy access to both. The narrow doors are ideal for smaller kitchens because they use less room when opened. Interior space can be an issue, but many of these refrigerators come with adjustable shelving to help you maximize their capacity.
Bottom mount refrigerators place the freezer compartment underneath the refrigerator compartment. This type is great for energy efficiency and ideal for the household that uses the refrigerator compartment more frequently. These refrigerators come in a variety of styles and designs with many optional features to fit every kitchen and budget.
French door refrigerators place the freezer compartment underneath the side-by-side refrigerator compartment. This is a unique design that combines both styles with the freezer functioning as a drawer for ease of access. This is the newest option available and is becoming increasingly popular.
Counter depth refrigerators can extend several inches past the counter top or be flush to the counter for an elegant look and feel.
Freestanding refrigerators do not need to be placed within any existent cabinets or countertops. They can be situated anywhere in your kitchen.
Refrigerator Color Options
Stainless Steel vs. Stainless Look
Stainless steel has become an extremely popular finish with a modern look. Many manufacturers now offer a "stainless look" at a lower cost to mimic the higher priced models without sacrificing quality.
Aside from stainless steel, a couple of other popular refrigerator colors are black and white.
Refrigerators can be found in almost any color you could imagine. Some less common but still available choices include bisque, gray, platinum, slate, red, silver, blue, green, orange, pink, and cream.
Built-in & Trim Kits
Built-in refrigerators are only finished in the front and are designed to be built into the design of your kitchen. Custom panels and trim kits can be applied after installation to achieve that custom look and feel.
Other Features to Consider When Shopping
Ice and Water
- Ice maker
- Cubed or crushed ice
- Ice storage bin
- In-door water & ice dispenser
- Dispenser child locks
- Autofill feature
- Water filter
- Water filter indicator
Refrigerator Shelving & Bins
- Adjustable shelves
- Spill-proof shelves
- Slide-out shelves
- Slide-out compartments
- Extra wide shelves
- Door bins or pockets
- Humidity-controlled fruit and vegetable crispers
- Dairy bin
- Meat/fish compartments
- Egg container
- Cold drinks storage drawer
- Deli/snack storage drawer
- Wine rack or storage drawer
- Party dish storage drawer
- Condiment bin
- Other storage bins
Freezer Shelving & Bins
- Freezer baskets
- Freezer shelves
- Ice cream shelves
- Pizza shelves
- Temperature management
- Temperature failure alert
- Door ajar alarm
- Power failure alert
- Change air filter indicator light
- Child lock
- Deodorizer - New models can have a built-in air filter or deodorizer compartment, so no need for that box of baking powder taking up space.
- Power Freeze/Power Cool – With this feature, you can cool off or refreeze melting items quickly.
- Reversible Doors - Some models have the option of right- or left-handed access.
- Antibacterial – Advanced models may have special coating on interior surfaces to reduce germs and viruses.
- Lighting - Some models have advanced lighting options or freezer lighting.
- Thawing and Defrosting - Some models have advanced thawing and defrosting capabilities.
- Quiet Operation – Many models promise noise reduction with quieting systems.
- Sabbath Mode - This feature is available on select models and is in keeping with kosher practices during the Sabbath.
2013 Top Selling Refrigerators
What is Energy Star?
Energy Star is a program from the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency that certifies appliances as "energy efficient" and helps reduce environmental impact and utility bills. Refrigerator operating costs can be a sizable portion of your monthly energy bill, models with the Energy Star label are very efficient.
To learn more, visit our Energy Star page or the Energy Star website. Goedeker's offers a wide range of energy efficient ENERGYSTAR appliances. For a full list of ENERGYSTAR refrigerators, click here.