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Product Vs. Product: Comparing Types of Refrigerator

by Albert Lee Appliance

Your refrigerator could be the most important appliance in your entire kitchen, so when it’s time to invest in a new one, it’s crucial that you know just what kind is right for you. It can be a bit overwhelming trying to choose between all the different types of refrigerators (French door, side-by-side, top freezer, bottom freezer, freezerless, built-in, and counter-depth), but we know that with a little guide from our experts at Albert Lee, you’ll be in the right position to make a decision. 

Learn all about each refrigerator product to ensure that you find the best match for your lifestyle and kitchen aesthetic. 

Top Freezer Refrigerator 

If you like to keep it traditional, the top freezer refrigerator is your jam. This type of refrigerator is named “top freezer” for obvious reasons and is the tried-and-true refrigerator for anyone wanting to stick with an old reliable. This budget-friendly option is also the most energy-efficient type of refrigerator! Due to the placement of the freezer being farther away from the compressor, there’s not a need for it to exert extra effort to keep the heat out. If you’re really looking to be eco-friendly, this Samsung top freezer refrigerator (RT18M6215SR) is Energy Star Certified, meaning it has met strict energy standards created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Price Range: $499 – $1,300 *MOST AFFORDABLE OPTION* 

Typical for: Traditionalists who adore simplicity, people looking for an affordable refrigerator, and those wanting to be more energy-efficient. 

Bottom Freezer Refrigerator 

Being able to scan the food on your shelves without having to bend over when peering in can be easy on the eyes and nice on your back. That’s why a bottom freezer refrigerator may be good for those who are more likely to get aches and pains or for those who just don’t use their freezer very often. 

Also, owning a bottom freezer can help boost your freezer organization. Unlike top freezer refrigerators, which seem to be just an empty space for your items, bottom freezers—like this Fisher Paykel fridge (RF170BRPX6)—generally have an effective system for storing all your frozen goods. 

Price Range: $1,029 – $10,300 

Typical for: People with back pain may benefit immensely from this type of refrigerator. 

French Door Refrigerator 

When luxury and space are two important factors in your life, having a French door refrigerator will add the convenience you were looking for. This type of refrigerator has two French doors sitting above a pull-out freezer—although, there are sometimes more unique setups like this Frigidaire four door refrigerator (FFBN1721TV), which ultimately prevents strain on your neck and back since your refrigerated food is all at eye level. Of course, when you need to do some freezer digging, you may have to squat to peruse the selection, just like a bottom freezer fridge. Fortunately, if you don’t mind bending over to look through the freezer and/or you don't do it very often, this could be a great fit for you.  

Comparing to other refrigerators, the French door tends to have more refrigerator capacity than other types which makes it ideal for large trays and party platters, pizzas, cakes, and other perishables that take up a wide space. This LG Signature refrigerator (URNTS3106N) may not be the most conventional-looking French door, but it’s the perfect example to show how much it can hold. With a total capacity of 30.80 cu. ft., this is one of the largest available in this category. 

Price Range: $989 – $18,800 

Typical for: People who thoroughly enjoy hosting or have large families who love to eat. 

Side-By-Side Refrigerator 

Sometimes, smaller is better and when it comes to a compact kitchen, you’re going to want a side-by-side refrigerator to make the most with your space. This refrigerator has two doors—usually, a freezer is on the left and a refrigerator is on the right—giving you less refrigerator space but more freezer room than a French door. 

Also, if you’re into good organization, side-by-sides have more convenient shelving over other types of refrigerators, which promote better management than a bottom or top freezer. This KitchenAid side-by-side refrigerator (KRSC703HPS) helps with organization by providing clear and removable door bins for easier access and visibility 

Price Range: $989 – $12,300 

Typical for: Households that have to work with a small kitchen, crave organization, and need lots of space for storing frozen foods. 


Sometimes, one fridge just isn’t enough. This is when a freezerless refrigerator is needed. Usually stored in the garage or basement as the backup fridge, these full refrigerators are also great for game rooms where groups like to pull out a drink or snack often.

Price Range: $1,199 – $8,200 

Typical for: People with large families and require extra storage for produce, drinks, and other perishables that won’t fit in their main refrigerator. 

Built-In Refrigerator 

Looking for a refrigerator with a smooth and seamless design? Built-in refrigerators can blend in or lay flush with your kitchen’s cabinetry for a very high-end look. This panel-ready Fisher Paykel French door refrigerator (RS36A72J1) gives you a good idea of how well built-in can fit into your kitchen. 

Price Range: $1,699 – $18,800 

Typical for: The person who likes a stylish and minimalist kitchen aesthetic. 

Counter-Depth Refrigerator 

Again, if you’re looking for a seamless look, the counter-depth refrigerator is another good option. While it may not be installed as deeply as a built-in refrigerator, this product is designed to align with your countertops so that only the door protrudes from the cabinets. Basically, if you’re wanting a similar sophisticated design as a built-in but would rather pass on the price, the counter-depth refrigerator is a less expensive option. 

Price Range: $499 – $12,300  

Typical for: Households looking for a built-in-esque style but on a budget.

Now that you know the differences between each type of refrigerator, it’s time for the fun part: getting to pick a style that fits you! When you’re ready to start looking for your next refrigerator, explore options through our online catalog. Of course, if you’re someone who prefers to see the product in person, we’re happy to help you there too! We are open all week and have multiple locations in the greater Seattle area to assist you. And if you just need a question answered, our experts are available by phone and live chat to help you determine the best products for your needs.