Which side-by-side refrigerator is best?

Side-by-side refrigerators make it easy to organize and keep track of what’s in the fridge. If you frequently forget what’s in the back or throw away more food than you consume, this might be a good option for you. 

The Samsung Counter Depth Side-By-Side Refrigerator With Touch Screen Family Hub slides right in line with your counters for a sleek look that is unobtrusive. It’s packed with plenty of features for busy people, too.

What to know before you buy a side-by-side refrigerator

Fridge capacity

Side-by-side refrigerators are typically smaller than refrigerators with a freezer above or below the refrigerator. However, they still come in a variety of sizes ranging from right around 20 cubic feet to just over 27 cubic feet.  Larger households may need a more expansive solution for cold food storage, but keep in mind that good use of space is key. KitchenAid has versatile layouts for easy access and better organization.

Standard vs. counter depth

Standard side-by-side refrigerators break up the line of the countertop and can extend as many as 5-6 inches into the kitchen. If floor space is at a premium, a counter-depth fridge can help. These have the appearance of a built-in custom refrigerator without the expensive price tag. Keep in mind that you’ll sacrifice some interior space if you choose a counter depth KitchenAid side-by-side refrigerator.

Finish

Most people select a finish that matches the rest of their appliances. Many refrigerators come in standard black, white and stainless steel, but some also come in black stainless steel. This has a dark matte finish that can be paired with either black or other stainless steel appliances. 

What to look for in a quality side-by-side refrigerator

Doors that don’t slam

If you live in a household with children, you’ll want doors and drawers that don’t slam when you shut them. These soft-close mechanisms mean you’ll never hear condiments rattling when the fridge is slammed shut. 

Built-in ice and water

Many fridges come with the option of built-in ice and water in the door. This is not, of course, a requirement in a refrigerator, but it’s a convenience that certainly comes in handy. 

Smart screens

The new smart fridges do everything from making your shopping list to looking up ingredients and bookmarking recipes. Smart touch screens are easy to use and keep grocery reminders right where you need them. 

Adjustable doors, shelf and drawer storage

One of the best features of any side-by-side fridge is how customizable they are. With adjustable doors, shelf and drawer storage, plus multiple configurations for door storage, you can design the interior of your fridge to suit your busy household’s needs. 

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is on the top of everyone’s mind, and manufacturers have responded with money-saving features such as interior LED lights. Many are also built to optimize cooling to give your energy bill a break. 

Fingerprint-resistant finish

Some stainless steel and black stainless steel refrigerators have a fingerprint-resistant finish. While this may not catch every single smudge of dirt, it really cuts down on cleaning time. 

How much you can expect to spend on a side-by-side refrigerator

Side-by-side refrigerators are typically more expensive than traditional models, but there is a wide price range that depends on the finish, size and any additional features such as a smart touch screen. Expect to spend $1,000-$3,000-plus.

Side-by-side refrigerator FAQ

What are the downsides to a side-by-side refrigerator?

A. One of the biggest downsides is the narrow width of the freezer. This can make it tough to fit things such as frozen pizza or large items (e.g., your Thanksgiving turkey).

Additionally, the Achilles heel of many side-by-side refrigerators is the water line to the ice maker. This is also one of the most challenging repairs to make. 

How long do side-by-side refrigerators last? 

A. With regular maintenance and proper care, your side-by-side refrigerator should last a decade or more. Regular cleaning of the condenser coil can help prolong its life. Cleaning helps the coil release heat and function with less strain.

What’s the best side-by-side refrigerator to buy?

Top side-by-side refrigerator

Samsung Counter Depth Side-By-Side Refrigerator With Touch Screen Family Hub

Samsung Counter Depth Side-By-Side Refrigerator With Touch Screen Family Hub 

What you need to know: For busy households that prefer a sleek design, this counter-depth fridge melts into the background.

What you’ll love: Its 21.5 cubic feet of space is organized and fits most every kitchen and household design. The Family Hub lets you leave notes and create a list as you use things. Black stainless steel resists fingerprints. It’s available with exterior ice and water.

What you should consider: The ice maker is loud, and its capacity is small.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Top side-by-side refrigerator for the money

Samsung side by side in black stainless steel

Samsung Side-By-Side Refrigerator In Stainless Steel

What you need to know: Its modern design and large capacity are a hit with big households.

What you’ll love: There’s a lot of space in this 27.4-cubic-foot fridge. The shelves are tempered glass, and the stainless steel resists fingerprints. It comes in two other colors and has energy-efficient LED lighting.

What you should consider: The ice maker sometimes defrosts itself and forms one large block.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot 

Worth checking out

GE side by side stainless steel

GE Side-By-Side Refrigerator 

What you need to know: It has a large capacity and good interior organization.

What you’ll love: It has ample space at just over 25 cubic feet. The shelves are adjustable and slide out, as do the clear door bins. It comes with LED lighting and is designed to keep food fresh and available with different temperature zones.

What you should consider: Some users noted excessive condensation on the freezer door. 

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

 

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