Best French door refrigerators 2019: style and functionality

French door fridge
(Image credit: iStock)

We've spent roughly 400 hours looking for the best French door refrigerators since we first made a comparison chart ten years ago to determine which French door refrigerators have the most comprehensive and best features. 

Editor's Choice: LG LFXS28968S

The LG LFXS28968S manages to pack in a lot of great features that really add convenience, including bright LED lighting and folding shelves, without going outside of most budgets.VIEW DEAL ON Sears

We have used various versions of that to help us rank the top French door refrigerators and make recommendations every year since, adding and subtracting features as customer interest in them increases or decreases. 

Capacity and price are among the important things we evaluate. Getting the most food storage possible is important, especially if you have a large family and need to stay within a certain budget. The best appliances in our comparison offer lots of storage options. 

You should be able to rearrange shelves and bins to accommodate extra-large containers of all different types. We also gave higher scores to the units with features like spill-proof shelves and humidity-controlled bins that can help food stay fresher longer.We've been researching French door refrigerators since 2010 and have spent hundreds of hours determining which features are most important. 

We have compared products from popular and lesser-known brands to find the best French door refrigerators. 

ProductPriceOverall RatingCapacity & EfficiencyPriceRefrigerator Storage & ControlsWarranties & DimensionsTotal Capacity (cubic feet)Refrigerator Capacity (cubic feet)Freezer Capacity (cubic feet)Estimated Yearly Electricity Use (kWH)Energy Star CompliantEstimated Yearly Operating CostTotal ShelvesTotal BinsAdaptable ShelvingColor OptionsHumidity Controlled Crisper DrawersFull-Length DrawerSpill-Proof ShelvesControl Panel TypeDisplay TypeDispenser Lockout & Door AlarmWi-Fi ControlsNumber of TiersTotal Freezer BinsBin ConstructionAmount of Stored (pounds)Tall Ice DispenserTotal BinsGallon-Sized BinsDairy CompartmentDoor-in-doorParts & Labor WarrantySealed System WarrantyOther Warranties Height (inches)Width (inches)Depth (inches)Weight (pounds)
LG LFXS28968SView Deal4.5/54.54.55527.918.69.37268843FoldingStainless Steel, Black Stainless Steel2Electronic Touch ControlsLED22Plastic3.8321 Year5 Years5 Years for Compressor68.37535.7529.875305
Maytag MFI2570FEZ4/53.554.5524.7186.76858253FoldingBlack, White, Stainless Steel2Electronic Touch ControlsLED23Plastic3331 Year10 Years for Compressor70.12535.62535.25350
GE PYE22PMKES 4/53.54.554.522.315.17.26658053SlidingBlack Slate, Stainless Steel, Slate, Black Stainless2Electronic Touch ControlsLED32Plastic1331 Year5 Years30 Days for Water Filter 69.87535.7531.25333
Whirlpool WRX735SDHZView Deal4/53.554.54.52517.96.726838254FoldingStainless Steel, Black, White, Black Stainless Steel2Electronic Touch ControlsLED23Wire & Plastic3431 Year70.12534.62535.625352
Samsung RF23HCEDBSR/AA View Deal4/53.54.54.5622.515.76.86998453Folding, SlidingStainless Steel, Black, White, Black Stainless Steel2Electronic Touch ControlsLED22Plastic2.7321 Year5 Years10 Years for Compressor7035.7528.5297
Frigidaire FGHD2368TF4/53.54.54.54.521.714.96.86607953Folding, SlidingStainless Steel, Black Stainless Steel2Electronic Touch ControlsLED23Wire & Plastic4311 Year69.8753628.5332
Kenmore Elite 74033View Deal4/5533.5529.619.510.17479053SlidingBlack, White, Stainless Steel1Electronic Touch ControlsLCD 33Plastic1311 Year5 Years10 Years for Compressor6935.7536.25386
Amana AF12539ERMView Deal4/5354.5324.7186.77529053Stainless steel, Black, White2Electronic Touch ControlsLED22Wire & Plastic1331 Year70.12535.87535.25321
KitchenAid KRFF707ESSView Deal4/53.53.54.5526.819.037.87789353Folding, SlidingStainless Steel2Electronic Touch ControlsLED36Plastic3331 Year5 Years10 Years for Compressor70.7536.62536.625352

Best Overall

LG LFXS28968S

Reasons to Buy
The contoured doors and hidden hinges give a classy look.
Having the ice maker in the door means more shelving real estate.
The tall water dispenser is nice for bigger bottles.
Reasons to Avoid
This was one of the less energy-efficient options we considered.
The 28 cubic feet of storage may be a little excessive for some households.
It only comes in two colors.

The LG LFXS28968S has a collection of convenient features to manage your home's food storage. The ice maker is one example: It has been moved to the door on this model – a wonderful bonus because a lot of the ice makers on French door refrigerators take up the top shelf on one side.

This one is tucked out of the way so you have access to the entire top shelf. The ice maker feeds into a door dispenser that is nice and tall. You won't have to use another container to fill taller bottles separately; you can just put them right under the flow of water and ice in the door.

The quality and quantity of shelving also is excellent with this appliance. Most modern refrigerators have spill-proof shelves to keep liquids from running off the edge, but this model also has one folding shelf that can collapse to fit tall items. Designers also managed to squeeze in a little extra shelving on the face of the ice maker. Every little bit helps, especially if it gives you the opportunity to store smaller items out of the way rather than having them get lost in the vast central shelving. Other nice features on this model are included on the outside, with hidden hinges and contoured doors, and the price is pretty reasonable when you consider all of the square footage and the smart capabilities on the LG LFX28968ST.

Read the full review

Best Value

Amana AFI2539ERM

Reasons to Buy
The speed-cooling feature is nice for quickly chilling drinks.
A full-width pantry door will be helpful for storing party platters.
Gallon-size bins give you lots of room for soda, juice and milk jugs.
Reasons to Avoid
The water dispenser does not accommodate tall bottles.
Other units were more energy-efficient than this one.
The freezer section is comparatively small at only 7 cubic feet.

If you would like to stay below the $2,000 mark, the Amana AFI2539ERM deserves consideration. This unit is just a bit more pared down than more expensive models, but it still has a smart layout that French door refrigerator fans will love, including full-width storage on most shelves and a full-width drawer great for storing platters, pizza boxes and other wide items.

There are three gallon-size bins for holding milk and other large items. At the press of a button you can temporarily boost cooling capabilities, which can be great for chilling beverages or quickly getting groceries back to refrigerator temps after they've been in the car. The freezer section is small when compared with the other models we reviewed, but not everyone needs that much freezer real estate. There is water and ice in the door, but the dispenser is not the tall kind that accommodates your workout bottle. This also is not the best model for energy efficiency, with an estimated yearly operating cost of $90. In general, the Amana AFI2539ERM is a little more basic than the ones that cost hundreds more, but it is still likely a big step up from the one you are replacing.

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Most Energy Efficient

Frigidaire FGHD2368TF

Reasons to Buy
This has the lowest estimated yearly operating cost of any French door refrigerator we compared.
Retractable shelving is great for storing taller items.
A second ice maker adds capacity that makes hosting easier.
Reasons to Avoid
This is one of the smallest units we reviewed so it might not work for large households.
The ice maker in the top compartment takes up some valuable shelving real estate.
The water and ice opening is relatively short.

Top-freezer models are the most energy-efficient refrigerators, but the Frigidaire Gallery FGHD2368TF does pretty well for a French door model. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a top-freezer refrigerator costs about $45 to run a year, and the Frigidaire Gallery costs about $79, which is less than the other French door units we compared.

If you have a large family this is probably not the best bet, since this model sacrifices some square footage. It only holds about 22 cubic feet. Since cubic feet generally translate into bags of groceries, that is still a lot of room – enough for 22 bags – unless you have a pretty large household. This also is not our very favorite layout when we compare it to other French door refrigerators. Part of the top shelf is usurped by an ice maker, which means you really only get two full-width shelves. Since the full-width shelf is one of the nicest things about the French door units, that is kind of a bummer. There is a full-width drawer, though, and that is nice for platters and pizzas. The Frigidaire Gallery does have a retractable shelf that is great for accommodating tall items. You also have the option of a second ice machine that can be incorporated into the freezer drawer. That gives you capacity beyond what the ice maker up top can offer, which can be nice when you have company.

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Largest Capacity

Kenmore Elite 74033

Reasons to Buy
Large freezer capacity
Reasons to Avoid
Lacks spill proof shelves

The Kenmore Elite 74033 is our choice for big families who need a lot of storage space.

It has the biggest storage capacity we saw – 29.6 cubic feet combined between the freezer and fridge sections. Further, at 10.5 cubic feet, the Kenmore Elite has one of the largest freezers we saw. This makes it a good fridge if you like to do meal prep. There are downsides to having a fridge so large. It costs more to run than most of the fridges we evaluated, at about $90 a year, but it is still energy efficient and costs less per cubic foot than most of the fridges in our lineup. While the overall feature package is good, it does lack some fairly common features like spill proof shelves and a dispenser lockout and alarm door.

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Most Diversified Space

KitchenAid KRFF707ESS

Reasons to Buy
It has a large capacity and customizable shelf space.
Reasons to Avoid
It’s one of the pricier fridges in our lineup.

If price isn’t an object, the KitchenAid KRFF707ESS has some nice extras and shelves that let you customize the space in a way that works best for your family’s needs. This fridge has two cooling systems to minimize odors and keep food fresh longer.

The shelves in the door and in the main refrigerator compartment are all adjustable to fit the kinds of foods and beverages you keep on hand. Some of the shelves slide back or fold up to accommodate tall items. This fridge has undershelf lighting, so you can see much better than a fridge with one overhead light. The fridge has three drawers: two crisper drawers to keep fruits and vegetables fresh and a full-length drawer along the bottom for big items like party platters. The freezer space is also diversified with three tiers of generous bin space for more flexibility in organizing different types of freezer food.

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We reached out to manufacturers of brands like Maytag and Whirlpool and repair professionals asking questions about key features – and to find ways to get the best use out of your fridge for as long as possible. We also read dozens of customer reviews, scoured blogs and conducted other online research to find information like repair tips, the best time to buy refrigerators and how to find the best deals so we could pass that information on to you. We were in touch with Elise Barsch, the Social Media Manager for iFixit. She provided valuable information about current refrigerator trends with links to timely articles, blogs and forums. This gave us a better understanding of what is happening in the industry. Look for quotes from Barsch and other experts in the sections below. 

How We Researched

We've looked at professional and amateur reviews for information about how these units fit into a household. We've spoken with appliance experts and watched YouTube videos. We've scoured user manuals to understand how the important features work. We have contacted manufacturers to see how quickly and politely they respond to customers.

How Much Does a French Door Refrigerator Cost?

French door refrigerators are not cheap. The models in our lineup range between about $1,500 and $3,000. This is typical of the majority of the models on the market. Our best overall pick, the LG LFX28968ST is right in the middle of the pack in terms of pricing. So you can get a quality refrigerator at a mid-range price. You can also buy a quality refrigerator with a solid feature package, including a full-length pantry draw and exterior ice and water dispenser, at a low-end price.

A refrigerator can cost more than $10,000 if you have it customized for your kitchen, or less than $100 for a small dorm-appropriate model, but we kept our focus on fridges that have at least 20 cubic feet of storage and don't cost more than about $3,000. Within those parameters in mind, we looked for models with the best storage options, energy efficiency and customer support. 

Standout Features on GE French Door Refrigerators

GE has recently released models with standout features. We feature one such model in our side-by-side comparison. The GE PYE22PMKES is a reasonably priced refrigerator with a coffee maker in the door next to the water dispenser. GE partnered with Keurig to offer this innovative feature which will brew coffee, cocoa or hot water. It can take up to six minutes to heat the water, so you have to be patient, but it does the work for you. Inside the fridge, the capacity is not huge at 22.3 cubic feet, but it makes good use of space with three tiers of shelves for all types of groceries. The crisper drawers let you set the temperature at different temperatures for fruits or vegetables. The bottom drawer lets you customize the temperature to 32 degrees for meat, 34 degrees for beverages or 36 degrees for deli meats.

If you’re interested in a larger capacity GE model, the GE GFE26JEMDS is a good option. For a French door fridge in this price range, its 25.6 cubic feet of interior space is quite generous. The top shelf in the refrigerator easily slides in allowing for extra space to store a pitcher or bottles on the shelf below it. The freezer section occupies 8.1 cubic feet of the total space. It’s nicely sectioned off into four compartments and two levels, allowing you to organize the food in a way that suits your family. The overall feature package is somewhat more basic than the GE PYE22PMKES, but its capacity makes it a good economic choice for big families. 

Finding the Best Refrigerator Style for You

French door refrigerators have a functional layout that suits most people, and they tend to work well for big families. They fit in most kitchens and give you a lot of refrigerator space that you can organize to suit your family. French door refrigerators have more door space than any other style of fridge, giving you easy access to snacks, drinks and other frequently accessed foods. The main compartment of the fridge along with the door and drawer space all reside at eye level. You don’t have to bend over or, in extreme situations, get down on your hands and knees to find something in the deep recesses of your fridge. For this reason, French door refrigerators are less inclined to harbor expired fugitives that smell up your fridge and even taint the taste of fresher food if they go undetected too long.

For many people the open, out-of-the-way freezer space French door refrigerators provide works because you only have to access the freezer from time to time, and there is plenty of space for frozen food when you need it. But if you are someone who stockpiles frozen food items and needs well organized freezer space, a side-by-side refrigerator might be a better choice for you. Side-by-side refrigerators have a lot of door and drawer storage space, both in the fridge and freezer. The fridge often includes crisper drawers to keep fruits and vegetables fresh, but the space is not quite as easy to reach. Many models of side-by-side and French door refrigerators have in-door ice and water dispensers, which is a convenient feature, especially when you have thirsty kids around – a water dispenser may encourage them to drink more water and less soda.

The other, more traditional, design includes a small freezer box above or below the refrigerator space. The one advantage (or for some people disadvantage) of this design compared to a side-by-side or French door refrigerator is you get more refrigerator space and less freezer space. If you tend to keep more fresh food on hand and have less of a need for large amounts of frozen food, this style may be a valid option for you.

Which Refrigerator Brand Is Most Reliable?

The answer is all of them and none of them. In other words, no brand is necessarily more reliable than another. However, specific models and refrigerator types are more reliable. Some people swear by specific refrigerator lines like the GE Profile or Kenmore Elite.

Simplicity can also be an indicator of reliability. Special features like water and ice dispensers are a nice convenience, but they also mean extra parts that can wear out. A fridge with simple functionality is often the best choice.

Elise Barsch of iFixit said, “All modern refrigerators generally function the same way and have similar levels of energy efficiency. Reliability – aka repairability – depends on the number of extra features: ice makers, water dispensers, smart panels. So those premium, and especially smart, models from any brand are going to be the least reliable.”

Barsch said with ice maker replacement costs ranging between about $60 and $200, it is up to the individual whether it is worth replacing. If the issue is a software problem you may not be able to fix it at all, she said.

When is the Best Time to Buy a Refrigerator?

Since new refrigerator models come out in the summer, it is one of the best times to buy a brand new model or to find good deals on last year’s models. Many stores may even be willing to negotiate a price below clearance if they’re anxious to move old stock. Holidays are also good times to buy all kinds of products, including fridges. Black Friday is the most obvious example of good holiday deals, but it’s certainly not the only one.

Vaughn Johnson, brand manager at Maytag, confirmed that manufacturers sometimes lower the prices of older models when they introduce new refrigerators to the market. And annual holidays like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Veterans Day are typically the best times to find good deals on fridges, he said. Vaughn also pointed out that May is Maytag Month, so if you’re specifically interested in a Maytag model, that’s a good time to buy.

However, you can’t always wait for the perfect time. If your old fridge dies, you need to replace it. In that case, you can check local eCommerce sites, such as Shopify, for good deals on gently used models. You may be surprised by what you can find. Newspaper circulars and retailers’ marketing emails are also good places to look.

French door refrigerators look stylish and have easy-to-organize layouts and large capacities, which makes them perfect for families. They also have all the door space of a side-by-side refrigerator, but since the doors are smaller, French door fridges are handy for tight spots. Pizza boxes and other large, odd-shape items fit easily inside, since shelves stretch the full width of the refrigerator. Newer models come with in-door water and ice dispensers – a great feature for families that can encourage kids to drink more water. 

Vaughn Johnson, brand manager at Maytag, feels French door refrigerators are popular in part because they make it easy to organize food. Also, since the freezer is out of the way, popular food is within easy reach. “French door refrigerators are sleek and stylish and boast wide and deep shelving. They have an industrial look that’s been well received by homeowners since their introduction into the market,” he said. 

In addition, the freezer layout allows you to store a lot of frozen food in a small space. Many models have tiers in their freezers, which let you organize the food better than you can in other types of fridges. However, the food in the freezer section of a French door refrigerator is not as easy to access as it is in a side-by-side refrigerator. Still, since you don’t access frozen food as often as fresh food, this is usually not a deal breaker.

French door refrigerators are energy efficient. To access many items, you only have to open one side of the refrigerator, letting out less cold air and thus conserving energy. They cost more to run than some other types of fridges, but given their large capacities, they are at least as efficient as most other styles.

How Long Should a Refrigerator Last?

There is no general agreement on the lifespan of a refrigerator. Nachi.org lists the lifespan of refrigerators between nine and 13 years. There is no differentiation between different types of fridges, like French door or side-by-side. They should all have comparable lifespans, and some sources estimate the lifespan at up to 15 years.

Elise Barsch, Social Media Manager for iFixit, said a study done in Europe, and published on ScienceDirect, suggests that the lifespan of refrigerators has decreased over the past couple decades, down from an average lifespan of about 20 years in 2000 to about 14 years for the refrigerators sold now. While they don’t last as long, they are more energy efficient than they used to be, Barsch said. “Fortunately, legislators in Europe are working to make sure refrigerators are not only more energy efficient while in use, but also more repairable over the course of their entire lifespan,” Barsch said. She was referring to a set of legislative proposals European member states voted on that were designed to make refrigerators more repairable and therefore less impactful on the environment. Future legislation will focus on washing machines and other products.

J. D. Power and the American Customer Satisfaction Index have conducted studies to show which brands have the best customer satisfaction. But that is not necessarily a reflection of longevity. J. D. Power’s study breaks down brand satisfaction for different categories like ease of use, features and warranty, and ACSI provides a general percentage score for different brands. Brands tend to be less consistent than specific models when it comes to customer satisfaction. Often fridges with simple functionality have the most longevity. Once you decide on the fridge that is best for you, it is a good idea to consider buying an extended warranty, which is discussed more in our Warranty section below.

What Regular Maintenance Does Your Refrigerator Need?

You don’t have to be a professional repair person to keep your refrigerator running well for many years. Elise Barsch of iFixit pointed us to few things you can do regularly to keep your refrigerator running smoothly and prevent serious repair issues:

  • If you notice ice or frost build-up inside your refrigerator, make sure your evaporator coils are clean. The evaporator can be accessed behind a panel inside your fridge.
  • Routinely clean dust and dirt from the condenser, which is usually located underneath your fridge.
  • Don’t overstuff your fridge or block any cooling vents so air can circulate properly, as detailed in on the Home & Garden website.

Barsch also recommends accessing forums that will help you troubleshoot specific problems.

Counter-Depth Refrigerators

If you have limited kitchen space or are concerned about aesthetics, you should consider a cabinet depth French door refrigerator. Counter depth refrigerators are typically 25 inches deep and stand flush against your cabinets. They have the advantage of giving a uniform look to your kitchen and eliminating the problem of the refrigerator door swinging open too wide and potentially interfering with other appliances. One problem is this type of fridge tends to have less interior space. Most of the French door fridges in our comparison are deeper than the average counter depth refrigerator. The Samsung RF23HCEDBSR is one exception.

The average top freezer refrigerator offers between 18 and 21 cubic feet of space, including the freezer. These single door refrigerators are more commonly flush with cabinet space. In contrast, French door refrigerators range from about 22 to 30 cubic feet of space. One cubic foot of space would roughly fit about one bag of groceries, so a few cubic feet can make a lot of difference. French door refrigerators do offer uniquely arranged space that is well suited for families, so if you are in the market for a cabinet depth French door refrigerator, there are plenty out there to choose from. 

Storage

The best refrigerators are designed to let you use every square inch of interior real estate to store food in a logical and convenient way. For example, families commonly need plenty of door space for gallon bottles, since this frees up room in the main compartments for food.

Also, the more organized the drawer space, the better. Temperature-controlled crisper drawers not only give you designated space for fruits and vegetables, but they also preserve produce for longer. Fridges with adjustable shelves and bins let you customize the space so it fits the foods you keep on hand. Some of the fridges we reviewed have shelves you can retract to fit tall items like pitchers, and most French door refrigerators have removable shelves, which make it easy to customize the space to fit bulky items like coolers and blenders. Since French door refrigerators have a more open freezer space than other types of fridges, it’s nice when it has two or three tiers of compartments to keep it organized. 

Vaughn Johnson, brand manager at Maytag, said there are many innovations underway focused on improving food storage. He said a couple new features on the Maytag MFT2772HEZ model are the Store-N-Door ice dispenser and a durable, full-length, metal slide-out shelf. The ice dispenser frees up space in the fridge for food storage, and the slide-out shelf gives you quick access to your favorite foods.

Energy Efficiency

Even if you are not especially concerned with the environmental impact of your appliance, you are likely to welcome a lower energy bill. While French door refrigerators don’t have a reputation for superb energy efficiency, some are better than others.

French door refrigerators cost more to run than other types, with the exception of side-by-side refrigerators, which cost even more. This is partly because French door refrigerators tend to have a larger capacity than other types. However, all types of fridges are much more energy efficient than they used to be, as estimated by this Energy Star calculator. Prior to 1980 a 24.5-cubic-foot French door refrigerator cost close to $450 per year to run. Today a French door refrigerator of that capacity costs around $80 a year to run.

The information about energy use is easy to find on most of these units, whether you’re looking online or in a store. Look for the label that lists the estimated cost to run the refrigerator annually. The LG LFXS28968S, the top refrigerator in our side-by-side comparison, has a capacity of nearly 28 cubic feet and it only costs $88 a year to run, making it one of the most energy efficient models in our lineup. 

Warranties

Most French door refrigerators come with a few different layers of warranty – an overall warranty, which is usually only a year, and different coverage for the compressor, water filter and other elements of the unit. Since refrigerators represent a major purchase for most people, it is worth searching out a company that offers good warranty coverage and other forms of customer support.

While extended warranties are not always the best idea for many products and services, refrigerator extended warranties with the right company can work in your favor. Most issues you encounter with refrigerators tend to happen in the first few years, so an extended warranty can get you through that stretch. Stores like Home Depot and Lowes offer useful extended warranties. For example, a three-year extended warranty at Lowe’s costs $120 and a five-year extended warranty is $210. If you don’t use the extended warranty at all, you get a 30 percent reimbursement. You also get up to $300 food spoilage reimbursement for food that goes bad while the fridge is being repaired. You get up to 50 percent reimbursement on replacement filters during the extended warranty period. Home Depot’s warranty offers similar coverage. 

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