So you're buying a refrigerator... now that can be daunting! Choosing the style, type, hinge direction, energy options, colour, size, dimensions, counter-depth, top-mount… it can be pretty overwhelming. That's why we've decided to break it down for you. We've started with the types of refrigerators, broken down below and things to consider when you're picking out your dream fridge.
This is the first of our Refrigerator Buying Guide Series, so be sure to visit us next month for the next article in our series!
TYPES OF REFRIGERATORS
A fridge, is a fridge, is a fridge, right? Wrong. There are more types of refrigerators in this world than there are hockey teams. Okay well maybe not, but there are many types of refrigerators you can choose from in order to fit your exact needs.
French-Door Refrigerators – You could call this style the ‘top trending’ refrigerator. There are two smaller doors at the top that both open outwards, with a freezer underneath. They’re great for smaller kitchens and energy conservation. Most brands make French-Door, so you can typically find one to fit any budget.
Side-by-Side Refrigerators – The name says it all, this refrigerator has a fridge on one side (top to bottom) and a freezer on the other (top to bottom). This style can be great for narrow kitchens, but for people who need a lot of storage space (think avid meal-preppers, big families, left-over keepers) and provides great aesthetics for the space, since they’re usually nicely balanced. Aim for the widest model that fits your space and budget.
Top Mount Refrigerators – To clarify, this means the freezer sits on top of the fridge area. Likely the most traditional and basic of the fridge models, this one is probably the least appealing aesthetically. It gets the job done for a good price and if you’re not vertically challenged or care about the look, top-mount refrigerators can be a great budget-friendly option.
Bottom Mount Refrigerators – These are the opposite of Top Mount. This fridge has the freezer on the bottom. It doesn’t differ much from Top Mount, but it can save you from always having to lean over to get your food from the fridge. The downside is, you typically have to dig through the freezer to get things, though some brands now make 2-3 drawer freezers, so you can be more organized.
Built-In Refrigerators – Ah the beautiful Built-In fridge. These refrigerators come in any style listed above (top mount, bottom mount, French door, even column..) and quite literally look like they’re built in to your cupboards, so they fit completely flush. They’re very customizable in terms of their look – you can make them blend into your décor completely. A big trend in 2018 was camouflaging your appliances so you couldn’t tell what was what. These are great if you have a more flexible budget and if your main focus is aesthetics.
Column Refrigerators – This style of refrigerator is also very customizable. Columns are basically one whole unit that’s a fridge and one whole unit that’s a freezer, completely independent of each other. You can set these up in any way you can imagine. Have them next to each other as built-ins, put them across the kitchen from each other, put a wine fridge in between… the options are endless. They usually require a larger kitchen and a larger budget.
Under Counter Refrigerators – Under counter refrigerators are exactly that; they fit under your counter. Sounds a bit weird, right? Maybe, but they’ve added another level of flexibility and customizability to kitchen design that fits any heart’s desire. You can have a fridge under the kitchen island, secretly store wine and beer or keep things cool in your outdoor kitchen AND you can customize the front so they look like regular drawers and blend in to the décor. There’s a ton of flexibility with these ones, but your budget has to be a bit flexible to.
Wine Refrigerators – The perfect fridge for the wine lover in your life. These fridges keep your wine collection expertly cooled and stored. You can buy them in various sizes (if you have a certain amount of bottles) they can also have dual temperatures, to keep red and white together but at their ideal temperatures simultaneously. You can have them as columns as well, which fit side by side with the column refrigerator or freezer. Depending on your needs, they vary in cost from reasonable to quite expensive.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Kitchen Size - On top of the variety of types of refrigerators that you can buy, there are some important things to consider before getting to that stage. The first of course, is the size of your kitchen. Is it tight even with one person? Can it fit a family of 30 on Thanksgiving Day? Understanding the maneuverability of your kitchen will help you narrow down your options. You don’t want a column fridge and freezer if your kitchen is too tight for you and your cat.
Style – Are building your dream kitchen or in desperate need to replace your 45 year old Maytag? Are you a freezer meal type of person, or do you have to feed a family of 6? Consider the pros and cons of the style of the refrigerators above; do you have trouble leaning over often, or need access to the freezer for each meal? Is the only thing in your freezer ice cream from your 1999 break-up? Consider a Top Mount. Do you have an endless budget, space and looking to redecorate? Consider Built-In. Think about your daily activities when considering style, outside of what looks good. You want to make sure your fridge is functional and works for you and your family.
Features – With technology moving as quickly as it does, you can get your appliances to do some pretty cool stuff these days. Some come with touch screens or have front glass panels. You can make ice, dispense hot and cold water and even flash freeze your food. All these options can be tempting, but consider that with the more features you have, the more things can break. Sometimes, simplicity is key.
Refrigerator Size – The size of your fridge goes hand and hand with the size of your kitchen. Do you need something to store a lot of food, or are you just feeding one person? Are you an organizational neat-freak? Do you want your fridge to fit in flush with your counter? There are many fridge size options these days like standard, counter depth and column, but remember to consider where it’s going and how you’ll use it.
-- Wanting more? Sign up for our e-newsletter and score the latest promotions, appliance trends, deals and exclusive access to sales BEOFRE they happen - right in your inbox!
Published by Sarah - Goemans Appliance Expert on Thursday, February 7th