8 best refrigerators to upgrade your kitchen

Kelsey Chapman
Monday 04 January 2021 19:02
Wishlist
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Choosing a new refrigerator is a huge deal. There are plenty of options to consider, each depending on the size of your kitchen space, the look you’d love to achieve, internal storage space, and energy-saving qualities, just to name a few. Keeping those in mind, we looked at a cross section of the top-rated models at Best Buy and Home Depot (two common retailers with great prices and delivery options), and chose some from across the enormous pricing chasms to bring you what we feel are the best options out there.

The standard white boxy fridge is represented here, but you’ll find some more fun and modern options spread throughout. Whether you’re a sucker for a stainless finish or want a bit of vintage kitsch to add character to your kitchen, check out our picks below and see if any are the upgrade your home needs.

For the inside of your new fridge, check out our list of the best filtered and non-filtered water pitchers so you always have a cool beverage on hand. We also rounded up the best mini fridges, in case you’re looking to cool drinks in small spaces.

Read on to find out more about what you can incorporate into your next game night at home, and as always, you can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Insignia 13.8 Cu. Ft. Upright Convertible Freezer/Refrigerator - Stainless steel

This modern beauty is a favorite among Best Buy customers for not only providing a beautiful, updated look to any kitchen where it resides but also doing so at an incredible affordable price. While not the biggest option on the market, it can still hold plenty of perishables for a smaller family.

“Small but mighty,” one buyer calls it in their review. “The upright design is definitely the way to go. Shelves are spaced just the right amount to store larger items or stack smaller. The door shelves are deep enough to store and organize loose items. For longevity I freeze almost all my baking items and the bottom drawer is perfect for that.” They also note they’re storing some food for elderly neighbors who ran out of room in their own fridge during the quarantine, and while maxed out on capacity, it was still able to hold both households’ excess food temporarily.

LG 29.7 cu. ft. Smart French Door Refrigerator, InstaView Door-In-Door, Dual Ice w/ Craft Ice in PrintProof Stainless Steel

If the stainless look entices you but you’ve got a much bigger budget with which to play, consider the LG 29.7 Cu. Ft. 4-Door French InstaView Door-in-Door Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Refrigerator in Black stainless steel. Reviews are near-unanimously fabulousa and credit this machine’s enormous capacity, gorgeous design, and intricate features for their excellent feedback.

“This refrigerator is a thing of beauty and for a very large appliance it looks amazing and not like a chunk of metal sitting in a kitchen,” one thrilled buyer reports, while others raves about the door-in-door feature that lets you grab a beverage quickly without opening the entire fridge, thus saving energy. Another upside is its apparent ability to make fantastic ice cubes–great for those with particular sensibilities about which shape should cool their beverages.

Insignia 10.5 Cu. Ft. Top-Freezer Refrigerator - Black

Insignia shows up again in the top-rated section on Best Buy’s website with another smaller model, this time in black. The less common color is certainly a welcome change from the standard white units that seem so ubiquitous, and the small size makes it great for fitting into lean spaces like city apartment kitchenettes.

One user points out its use as a secondary unit as well, as they report they “Needed a basement fridge since I was trying to cut down trips to grocery store during pandemic. Didn’t have room for a full size and was worried this wouldn’t hold much food. Pleasantly surprised how much it holds and is so quiet!” It could also be a great beverage refrigerator for entertainment spaces or other spots where you don’t need tons of storage but a bit of extra would be helpful.

Whirlpool 22 cu. ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator in Stainless Steel with Spill Guard Glass Shelves

At 22.1 cubic feet, this refrigerator hits the sweet spot in the middle between great storage and taking up just the right amount of space in standard kitchens. Energy Star qualifications and a CEE Tier I rating make this optimal for energy savings, and extras like “spill guard” technology make it easy to clean when the inevitable messes happen. 95% of Home Depot customers would purchased this would recommend buying it, with pros like space, adjustable shelves, and overall design listed frequently throughout the reviews.

Samsung 27.7 cu. ft. Family Hub 4-Door French Door Smart Refrigerator in Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel

Another entry in the “smart fridge” category is this Samsung unit that comes with useful features like the patented FlexZoneDrawers containing four different temperature settings, metal cooling locks to reign in the fresh, cool air, and an Ice Max storage unit that holds more than four pounds of ice at a time–highly useful if you like to entertain.

It’s also a Family Hub, which lets you manage family calendars, play music via Spotify, share pictures, and “stay connected to your refrigerator,” in essence creating a central machine through which family planning can happen. It’s also fingerprint resistant, surely a bonus for any neat freaks out there who hate a marred surface. It may be one o the more expensive units, but there are hardly options out there who will perform better in your home.

Bosch 800 Series 36 in. 21 cu. ft. French 4 Door Refrigerator in Stainless Steel with Dual Compressor, Counter-Depth

For this price tag, you expect something fancy and something fancy you get: the trademark FarmFresh System keeps produce and other foods fresher longer, and a FlexBar promises to organize your fridge “like never before!” The internal water system lets you get a cool drink of h20 whenever you want via the drip-free spout. Pyramid shaped ice spits out of the built-in dispenser, which is a great party trick for anyone looking to really wow their guests. Users praise the excellent quality of this fridge, and one encourages the investment, telling buyers: “It’s worth the extra money and it’s quite beautiful.”

KitchenAid 25 cu. ft. Built-In Side by Side Refrigerator in Stainless Steel

Big spenders rejoice, as we’ve found your ideal choice. This KitchenAid beast is a top-of-the-line side by side option with 25 cubic feet of storage, state of the art crispers for your produce, external water and ice dispensers that can be programmed to dispense accurate amounts in ounces, spill-resistant shelves that are easy to clean and don’t let spills seep down to further levels.

One reviewer who loves the “sophisticated look” of the unit writes, “We've had this refrigerator for just over a week and love it. Had friends over for the Super Bowl and everyone loved it, everyone had to keep opening it and looking inside,” adding that “everything is easily accessible compared to our last fridge.”

Unique Retro 21.6 in. 9 cu. ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator in Candy Red

Anyone looking to spice up the kitchen with a refrigerator that’s a bit off the beaten path will be happy to know there are colorful options that provide a retro flair in a bright color that complements many fun or even loud color schemes.

Like the retro vibe it puts off, this Unique brand appliance holds only nine cubic feet of storage so is best for smaller households, but six color options and Energy Star certification bring it into the modern realm. So far only a handful of folks have reviewed the product but among those, it is unanimously recommended.

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