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Top Freezer vs Bottom Freezer Refrigerators | Pros and Cons

by Albert Lee Appliance

Frigidaire top freezer refrigerator in a typical American kitchen with other stainless steel appliances

At a Glance:

Top Freezer vs Bottom Freezer Refrigerator Comparison Chart

Top Freezer Refrigerators: Pros and Cons

Bottom Freezer Refrigerators: Pros and Cons

Top Freezer vs Bottom Freezer Buying Considerations

FAQ: Top Freezer vs Bottom Freezer

Why Trust Albert Lee?

When it comes to refrigerator shopping, there are plenty of decisions to weigh. The size of the appliance and the price tag that goes with it are typically the first items to consider, while energy efficiency and finish options follow immediately after. However, an even more crucial facet is the refrigerator’s configuration or freezer placement. While it isn’t the most glamorous aspect to choose from, top freezer vs bottom freezer refrigerator may determine how you use and organize your refrigerator each day.

If you’re torn between the two, read on as the experts at Albert Lee will help you examine the differences between both fridge types so you make a confident and well-informed purchase.

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Top Freezer vs Bottom Freezer Refrigerator Comparison Chart

The chart below donates key appliance features and which refrigerator type is more competitive for those features.

Product Attributes Top Freezer Fridge Bottom Freezer Fridge
 
Energy Efficiency X
Cheaper to Operate  X
Most Fridge Storage X
Most Freezer Storage X
More Smart Features X
Easier to Access (eye-level) X
Best for Small Spaces X
Best for Families  X
Greater Organization X
Impactful Design X

Top Freezer Refrigerators: Pros and Cons

Pros

✅ A more energy-efficient option (cheaper to operate)

✅ Affordable price point

✅ Plenty of usable refrigerator storage

✅ The freezer compartment is easy to access

✅ Good for small spaces

Cons

❌ Fewer organization options

❌ No pull-out freezer drawer

❌ Doesn’t always suit a modern kitchen design

❌ No water or ice dispenser options available

A top freezer refrigerator won’t add much in terms of visual appeal, but this timeless fridge model will act as a dependable food preservation system in any kitchen. If you live in a single household, have a smaller kitchen, or prefer to allocate more of your budget toward other appliances, then a top freezer fridge is a great pick.

They are a more affordable option compared to bottom freezer fridges and they use less energy, making them much cheaper to operate. There is plenty of storage space in the refrigerator compartment, and the top rack will typically be at an easily accessible height, so you can quickly reach for all your favorite foods.

If you don’t require much freezer capacity or many high-end features, a top freezer fridge is a sought-after appliance for anyone looking for an affordable product to handle their refrigeration needs.

➝ Related: 5 Top Rated Refrigerators for Small Living Spaces

Our Top Freezer Fridge Pick: Frigidaire Stainless Steel Top Freezer Refrigerator (FFTR1821TS)

Frigidaire top freezer fridge

Click here for the best price: Frigidaire Stainless Steel Top Freezer Refrigerator (FFTR1821TS)

This top freezer fridge from Frigidaire features an 18 cubic feet capacity for efficient storage. Humidity-controlled crisper drawers help keep fruits and veggies fresh, and the Store-More Gallon Door Shelf allows for larger items like juice and milk jugs to be stored easily. The full-width Wire Freezer Shelf in the upper compartment provides a sturdy space to organize items in your freezer so you can find food quickly.

Additional features include:

  • A reversible door that can be installed to open to the left or right
  • The Clear Dairy Bin keeps foods like butter, cheese, and yogurt fresh and organized
  • Half-Width Deli Drawer adds another convenient storage option to access deli meats and cheeses.

➝ Learn More: The Best Top Freezer Refrigerators

Bottom Freezer Refrigerators: Pros and Cons

Pros

✅ Greater freezer storage and organization options

✅ Good for small to average size families

✅ Modern design

✅ Food is easily accessible (eye/shoulder level fridge)

✅ Option to stack food in the freezer

Cons

❌ The more expensive price point

❌ Uses more energy to operate

❌ Food can be misplaced or lost at the bottom of the freezer

❌ Bending required to access the freezer drawer

Bottom freezer refrigerators have become one of the most popular fridge models in recent years. You'll find French door fridges with this bottom freezer construction, but if you’re looking for a single-door unit, there are excellent options.

The spacious design is ideal for families and bulk purchases, refrigerated items are always in sight, and a wealth of organization options in both the fridge and freezer sections allow for efficient storage.

Bottom freezer units cost slightly more upfront compared to top freezer units and sometimes require more energy to operate; however, the increased capacity allows you to maximize your storage space and reduce the number of trips to the grocery store.

If you typically lose items in the back of the freezer, stock up on larger frozen items like cuts of meat, or you prefer the design of a freezer drawer compared to a door-swing freezer, then a bottom freezer fridge is a fine solution to organize your food and retain a stylish appeal in your kitchen design.

Our Top Bottom Freezer Pick: Whirlpool Gold Bottom Freezer Refrigerator (WRB322DMBM)

Whirlpool bottom freezer

Click here for the best price: Whirlpool Gold Bottom Freezer Refrigerator (WRB322DMBM)

Conveniently store your family's essentials with this bottom mount refrigerator from Whirlpool. Purposeful spaces like the Deli Drawer and FreshFlow produce preserver store everyday items in their ideal environment, while SpillGuard glass shelves simplify cleanup and prevent liquids from leaking onto shelves below. Plus, interior LED lights keep food looking as good as it tastes.

The Accu-Chill Temperature Management System cools food quickly with a built-in technology that senses and adapts to different temperatures to create a specialized climate for your food, and Adaptive Defrost automatically monitors the freezer environment to account for door openings and only defrosts when necessary.

Additional features include:

➝ Learn More: The 8 Best Bottom Freezer Refrigerators for Your Home

Top Freezer vs Bottom Freezer Buying Considerations

Now that you’ve read about top freezer vs bottom freezer refrigerators, let’s further examine a few key features that may help you narrow your decision:

Storage Capabilities: More often, bottom freezer models have greater storage options. They offer larger sizes with more organizational features. You may find a greater number of shelves, pull-out baskets, and even exterior doors. If you have a big family or like to keep a large supply of frozen treats on hand for the summer, a bottom freezer fridge unit is your best bet.

Energy Efficiency: One of the most important aspects of any fridge model, top freezer refrigerators are commonly more energy-efficient than bottom freezer models. The reason being, the top-mounted compressor is further away from the refrigeration compartment, so your appliance doesn’t have to work harder to keep the contents inside cool. The compressor is much closer on a bottom freezer unit, so it can be harder to keep heat out.

As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, top freezers use about 10 to 25 percent less energy than bottom freezers, which helps reduce your energy bill, electricity consumption, and carbon footprint.

Color and Finish Options: If you want your home to exude a traditional design, then a top freezer model is exactly that. You'll find plenty of fridge models in a timeless white or black finish to complement your kitchen space. If you want your kitchen to be an HGTV-worthy experience, then a bottom freezer fridge will make for a better display. Modern fridge units provide more chic finish alternatives such as stainless steel, black stainless steel, slate, and even panel-ready finish options.

➝ Related: Comparing Refrigerator Brands: Samsung, LG and Bosch

Retro grey top freezer refrigerator

FAQ: Top Freezer vs Bottom Freezer

Q: What is the main difference between a top freezer and a bottom freezer refrigerator?

A: The main difference lies in the placement of the freezer compartment. In a top freezer refrigerator, the freezer is located at the top, while in a bottom freezer refrigerator, the freezer is located at the bottom.

Q: Which type of refrigerator offers more convenience in terms of storage?

A: Both top freezer and bottom freezer refrigerators offer convenience, but it depends on your personal preferences and usage patterns. Top freezer models generally provide easier access to the refrigerator compartment, while bottom freezer models offer easier access to the fresh food items stored at eye level.

Q: Are there any differences in energy efficiency between top freezer and bottom freezer refrigerators?

A: Energy efficiency can vary between models and brands rather than being solely dependent on the freezer's location. However, bottom freezer refrigerators tend to be slightly more energy-efficient because the refrigerator compartment is opened more frequently than the freezer, reducing the escape of cold air.

Q: Which type of refrigerator typically offers more storage space?

A: In terms of total capacity, bottom freezer refrigerators usually offer more storage space than top freezer models. This is because the freezer compartment in a bottom freezer refrigerator is often wider and deeper, providing more room for frozen goods.

Q: Are there any specific considerations regarding the placement of a top freezer or bottom freezer refrigerator in a kitchen?

A: Top freezer refrigerators are generally designed for kitchens with overhead cabinets, as the refrigerator door needs to open fully. On the other hand, bottom freezer refrigerators require more floor space, and the refrigerator door needs to clear any countertops or objects placed above it when opening.

Q: Are there any differences in price between top freezer and bottom freezer refrigerators?

A: Prices for both top freezer and bottom freezer refrigerators can vary depending on the brand, features, and capacity. Generally, top freezer models tend to be more affordable, while bottom freezer models may be slightly more expensive due to their larger size and additional features.

Q: Can I expect different temperature performance from top freezer and bottom freezer refrigerators?

A: Both top freezer and bottom freezer refrigerators are designed to maintain proper temperature levels in both compartments. However, bottom freezer models may have more consistent temperature control due to the cold air sinking naturally, helping to keep the freezer colder.

Q: Which type of refrigerator is easier to clean and maintain?

A: Cleaning and maintenance procedures are similar for both types of refrigerators. However, some people find that top freezer models are easier to clean due to the refrigerator compartment being at eye level, making it more accessible for organizing and wiping down shelves.

What’s the Verdict?

Top freezer vs bottom freezer — which is best? There isn’t necessarily a definitive answer, but rather, it truly depends on your refrigeration needs, your shopping habits, available kitchen space, and how often you cook.

Top freezer refrigerators are an affordable product with storage solutions for kitchens of any size, and bottom freezers provide the most organization options with a design best suited for a modern kitchen layout. In the end, it may come down to energy efficiency and ergonomics, so consider which area you value more in your kitchen design.

We can’t make up your mind for you, but we can answer any questions you may have and help you find the right refrigerator for your home. If you would like more information on any of our refrigeration appliances, don’t hesitate to visit any one of our six Albert Lee locations throughout the Pacific Northwest, shop our digital catalog online, or give us a call at your store of choice.

Why Trust Albert Lee? 

Since 1939, Albert Lee Appliance, a three-generation, family-owned business, continues to grow and serve the greater Seattle area with quality you can count on and service you can trust. We are proud to have served this community for so long and wouldn’t be here without our loyal customers. There is a reason why we are Washington’s largest independent appliance dealer, and it’s not a secret. Simply put: We have the experience. We are the original appliance experts for over eight decades (and counting).

Shop Refrigerators at Albert Lee 

At Albert Lee Appliance, we provide quality name-brand appliances for great prices. Shop refrigerators online or visit us today at one of our six locations in Puget Sound, WA. In the meantime, browse our website to shop Albert Lee appliance sales and check out Albert Lee appliance reviews online to ensure every purchase is an informed one. More available than ever, our experts at Albert Lee Appliance are always happy to help you decide on a top freezer or bottom freezer refrigerator, whether you call us or use our online chat feature. Contact us today!

Learn More: What’s the Difference Between Counter-Depth and Standard-Depth Refrigerators?