Why Buy a French Door Refrigerator?
The top performers in our review are the LG LFX28968ST, the Gold Award winner; the Electrolux EW28BS85KS, the Silver Award winner; and the Kenmore Elite 74033, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a french door refrigerator to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 products.
French door refrigerators are sleek, multipurpose refrigerators that are gaining in popularity thanks to their superior food storage capacities and great flexibility for cooling and humidifying different types of food. In addition, they are stylish and well designed, blending in nicely with nearly any kitchen decor.
Our top three french door refrigerators present exceptional capacity and healthy levels of storage flexibility. To learn more about these products, check out our articles about french door refrigerators.
A french door refrigerator has two side-by-side doors that can be opened independently or at the same time, revealing a spacious interior that keeps food cold and fresh. This refrigerator is designed to make it easy for you to grab the items you are most likely to use on a daily basis. Unlike the single-door refrigerator, the french door variety typically is divided into a number of different sections for different types of food. If you are the neat-and-tidy type who wants a place for everything and everything in its place, this layout is ideal.
On the bottom of the refrigerator is a freezer compartment that typically pulls out via a convenient drawer or drawers that can store more foodstuffs overall and support greater weight than traditional bottom-freezer refrigerators. If you like many of the french door refrigerator's attributes but want frozen foods to be more accessible, you might prefer a side-by-side refrigerator that offers a slender upright freezer compartment on one side and a larger refrigerator section on the other.
French Door Refrigerators: What We Assessed, What We Found
In seeking out the best refrigerator brands, we paid close attention to overall storage capacity, since this is a key factor for people who love cooking, prefer fresh ingredients and often feed plenty of people. We also examined energy use and efficiency, which plays a significant part in operating costs and is intertwined with capacity. Within our reviews, we included estimated yearly and monthly operating costs.
We sought out french door refrigerators with measurably generous interiors. Usually, bigger is better. However, there can be a trade-off in terms of energy efficiency and use, since a bigger refrigerator may use more electricity overall. One of the most energy-efficient french door refrigerators we found is the Frigidaire FGHF2366PF. One of the very best values is the LG LFX28968ST, our top ranked French door refrigerator on our review.
If aesthetics or limited kitchen space are substantial concerns, then cabinet-depth refrigerators might be the best choice. They typically are 25 inches deep and stand flush against your cabinets. This imparts a uniform look to your kitchen and avoids issues with doors that would otherwise swing open too far. However, cabinet-depth refrigerators generally have less interior space. All the french door refrigerators in our review are deeper than the average countertop depth. The old-fashioned single-door refrigerator offers an average 18-21 cubic feet of space, including the freezer area. However, the top-brand french door refrigerators we examined ranged from 24 cubic feet to more than 30 cubic feet of space, with most leaning toward the higher numbers. In the refrigerator world, 1 cubic foot of space equals a standard bag of groceries, so just a few extra feet gives you far greater capacity.
Another drawback to the single-door refrigerator is that it offers little in the way of storage flexibility if you love to keep things organized. With single-door refrigerators, you can raise or lower shelves and perhaps have access to two crisper bins instead of one.
With french door refrigerators, we looked for measurable storage flexibility features, since these are useful for the adventurous and well-organized cook who puts a high value on keeping ingredients fresh. We also looked at the overall number of shelf-adjustment options and crisper bins, which typically come with humidity controls that keep different types of foods at peak quality. Top-quality french door refrigerators frequently offer spill-proof shelves, can accommodate tall or unusually shaped containers, and include humidity controls.
Certain french door refrigerators give you the bonus of a door-within-a-door compartment. With this feature, you simply open one layer of a double-compartment door and grab that bottle of juice. This feature not only affords you extra storage space, but it also prevents cold air from escaping from the entire refrigerator. When this occurs, it takes extra energy to normalize temperature levels in the refrigerator.
We also checked the size and configuration of the freezer compartments, which are accessible through a pullout drawer. The best refrigerators have more than two layers of bins that let you easily see what you have on hand.
What Else Is Important in Selecting a French Door Refrigerator?
There are several things to evaluate when shopping for this type of refrigerator. Here are a number of other worthwhile features that might tip the balance as you consider which one to purchase.
The best french door refrigerators have a control panel on the outside that you operate with either a touchscreen or electronic touch controls. Electronic touch controls need just a touch rather than pressure to make them work. You can customize temperature settings from the control panel.
Water & Ice Dispenser
For many consumers, an icemaker is welcome feature, and its location is important. Although refrigerator icemakers have a reputation for being finicky and needing repairs, their quality has improved in recent years. The best are found in the door rather than the refrigerated compartment, because that saves space and cuts down on freezing issues. If you use plenty of ice all the time, you no doubt would appreciate a refrigerator with dual icemakers. All the refrigerators we reviewed make both cubed and crushed ice.
Warranties & Support
All refrigerators come with some kind of warranty, but the best french door refrigerators include reasonably long coverage for the moving and sealed parts of the appliance. Often, a manufacturer will also cover labor costs for repairs or replace defective parts.
Our top-rated french door refrigerators come with a diagnostic tool that makes it easier for a technician to identify any problems. Some refrigerators use a fault code, while the best use a tonal signal that can be transmitted over the phone to a customer service agent. These diagnostic tools save time, because you can find out whether you can fix a problem yourself or if you need a technician. You also have access to a user manual as well as different ways to contact the manufacturer, such as email, phone and chat.
French Door Refrigerators: Our Verdict & Recommendations
Our top-rated french door refrigerators are stylish and spacious. We have chosen the best french door refrigerators based on capacity, storage utility and additional features. Armed with the right information, you can find a french door refrigerator that works for your household and looks great in your kitchen.
The LG LFX28968ST is Energy Star certified with 27 cubic feet for storage space in the refrigerator and freezer combined. The slim ice dispenser design provides more storage space in the door sections than most other french door refrigerators, though this also cuts into the overall amount of ice the bin will hold. The sleek design is very modern to complement trendy appliance and kitchen styles.
Another of our top french door fridges, the Electrolux EW28BS85KS, also has a large capacity. It is also the most energy-efficient fridge in our review, using a mere $2.15 per cubic foot each year for a yearly estimated cost of about $60. While some units have a lower yearly cost, these fridges overall tend to use more energy to cool a smaller space than you get with the Electrolux EW28BS85KS.
The Kenmore Elite 74033 is another large-capacity french door refrigerator that includes a door-in-door design. This allows you to place frequently grabbed items, such as milk and condiments, in a smaller door that you can open without letting more energy escape by opening the larger door. This is also a great place for storing quick-grab snacks so you can avoid keeping the door open for a long time while you look for something to satisfy you.
Contributing Reviewer: Renee Shipley