Buying a fridge freezer is a big investment, so the best side-by-side refrigerators need to be reliable and designed to fit your budget and needs. The best side-by-side fridge freezers often feature ice-makers, adjustable shelving, and other convenience features, and they don’t need to cost a lot, either. We’ve reviewed the side-by-side fridges from top brands such as GE, LG, Samsung, and KitchenAid to bring you a roundup of the best refrigerators for your family size and budget.
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If it’s smart tech you’re after, some of the best premium side-by-side refrigerators feature cool, modern technology such as app compatibility and door-in-door functionality. Although these touches can often cost more up-front, they’re designed with energy efficiency in mind. Running costs and energy efficiency were big factors in reviewing the best side-by-side refrigerators. Often it’s the less expensive side-by-side refrigerators that come without Energy Star certification, which means that running costs may be slightly higher than certified models. It’s down to you if you can justify the often higher cost of Energy Star models for their lower running costs in the long term.
Another feature we looked out for is capacity. Many people want a counter-depth model when hunting for the best side-by-side refrigerators. Counter-depth refrigerators are designed to sit flush against kitchen counters for a sleek and less invasive finish, but they come at the expense of a smaller capacity. The best side-by-side fridge freezer will usually come between 20 and 29 cubic feet (cu.ft.). In our guide of the best side-by-side refrigerators we’ve included larger capacity models which aren’t counter-depth, as well as smaller models, so whether you’re limited on space or looking for a family-sized side-by-side refrigerator, we’ve got the right model for you and your needs.
Not sure if it’s side-by-side you’re after? We've written a guide to help you decide which type of refrigerator is right for your kitchen. Check out our roundup to the best french door refrigerators and best freezers, or read up on the 6 things to consider when buying a new refrigerator.
1. LG LSXS26366S: Best side-by-side refrigerator overall
With door-in-door technology and high customer satisfaction, this fridge is our top pick
Capacity : 26cu. ft. | Counter Depth?: No : | Energy Star? : No
This is the ultimate all-rounder of side-by-side fridges. We love door-in-door technology for convenience and energy efficiency, but it's hard to get this feature for a reasonable price. The LG LSXS26366S offers this along with a Slim SpacePlus ice maker, impressive 26cu. ft. storage and energy-efficient LED lighting, all for a mid-range price. LG gets the balance right between modern features and high performance at a somewhat affordable price in the LSXS26366S. Perfect for bigger families and boasting the J.D. Power Award for highest customer satisfaction in side-by-side fridges, this model also has an impressive five year sealed system warranty. The only hangup? It's not Energy Star certified.
2. Samsung RS25J500DSR/AA: Best side-by-side refrigerator on a budget
It lacks some of the fancy elements of more expensive fridges, but the Samsung RS25J500DSR/AA delivers on value
Capacity : 24.5cu. ft. | Counter Depth?: No : | Energy Star? : No
The Samsung RS25J500DSR/AA is a well-sized side-by-side refrigerator. It's one of the more affordable models in our comparison and boasts some nice features, like power freeze and cooling, LED lights and humidity-controlled crisper drawers to store fruits and vegetables at optimum conditions.
Some have complained that the ice and water dispenser has no lighting which makes it hard to operate, but with lower-priced side-by-side refrigerators you often get less of these convenient add-ons. There's a five year sealed system warranty and energy costs are estimated to be around $82 per year. It's not Energy Star certified despite its many energy-saving features.
3. LG LSXC22396D: Best high-end side-by-side refrigerator
This is the future of side-by-side refrigerators, but it doesn't come cheap
Capacity : 21.7cu. ft. | Counter Depth?: Yes : | Energy Star? : Yes
If you're looking for the most modern and stylish side-by-side refrigerator on the market, this is the one for you. The LG LSXC22396D features door-in-door and InstaView technology, meaning you can see the contents of your fridge just by knocking on the door. There's also app and smart home compatibility, meaning you can receive notifications if the door is left open or give your fridge a cooling boost in advance of a big shop to keep food extra fresh.
The LG LSXC22396D is an expensive model. However, it's not the most expensive model we reviewed and has Energy Star certification to save you money on electricity in the long-run. The capacity is a bit on the small side at 21.7cu. ft. but you'll often find yourself compromising on capacity for a sleek, counter-depth design. If you're looking for side-by-side refrigerator jam-packed with all the extras, this is our pick.
4. KitchenAid KRSF705HPS: Most reliable side-by-side refrigerator
If you're after a reliable refrigerator with a great warranty, this is the one for you
Capacity : 25cu. ft. | Counter Depth?: No : | Energy Star? : Yes
This is an expensive side-by-side refrigerator, but it's definitely a trustworthy investment which may save you in the long-term. The KitchenAid KRSF705HPS doesn't come with the fancy extras we've seen in the some of LG's top-of-the-range models, but it's a reliable and well-made fridge for families who want a decent-sized fridge with a long warranty.
The KitchenAid KRSF705HPS is one of the most expensive fridge-freezers we've seen. However, it comes with the high-quality and 25cu. ft. capacity you'd expect for this price. Thoughtfully designed with adjustable shelving and a wine rack placed out of kids' reach, this fridge prioritizes reliability and keeping your food fresh. Preserva dual temperature management, humidity-controlled drawers and FreshFlow air filter will keep your food and fridge fresh and minimize cleaning and spills.
With Energy Star certification to keep energy costs low and a ten year warranty on the sealed system, the KitchenAid KRSF705HPS is a the side-by-side refrigerator for those looking to make an investment.
5. Samsung RH22H9010SG: Best counter-depth side-by-side refrigerator
With a host of great features and stylish design, this modern refrigerator will add flair to your kitchen
Capacity : 21.5cu. ft. | Counter Depth?: Yes : | Energy Star? : Yes
Counter-depth side-by-side refrigerators will give a built-in, seamless look and are perfect for kitchens limited on space or set on a specific sleek design. The Samsung RH22H9010SG features an external food showcase which helps to divide items and easily access your essential fresh produce. There's adjustable shelving and a compact ice-maker to help you make the most of the lower-capacity 21.5cu. ft. design, and stainless steel paneling locks in cold to keep food fresher for longer.
This is a great side-by-side for energy efficiency, with LED lighting on the interior and ice and water dispenser. The Samsung RH22H9010SG exceeded Energy Star requirements in testing, making it a great fridge for low electricity costs. Even so, at £2,500 this is a very expensive side-by-side refrigerator. If you're willing to pay more for sleek, modern design and counter-depth friendly models, this is our pick.
6. GE GSS25GSHSS: Best side-by-side refrigerator for families
A good no-nonsense model with a large capacity at a reasonable price
Capacity : 25cu. ft. | Counter Depth?: No : | Energy Star? : No
The GE Electronics GSS25GSHSS covers all the bases for side-by-side refrigerators and is a great family-friendly model. There's adjustable interior features to maximise the already-generous 25cu. ft. of space and an above-average size freezer, making easy weekday dinners accessible.
This side-by-side fridge has a child-lockable ice and water dispenser and sturdy spillproof shelving to avoid mishaps and mess. The GE Electronics GSS25GSHSS's large capacity is perfect for a big family on a mid-to-low budget. This is a reasonably priced side-by-side refrigerator. However, some have found that the design and appearance reflects this, with a few customers complaining that the interior is surprisingly bulky. It doesn't have an Energy Star certification, which is to be expected from a refrigerator of this size, but LED lighting helps lower electricity usage and an annual estimated electricity cost of $85 is about standard for a refrigerator of this size.
Why trust us?
Since we started reviewing side-by-side refrigerators in 2011, we have done a lot of research to find the best units available. We know that buying a fridge is one of the most important purchases you can make, so we've poured hours into research to give you informed advice. We evaluated refrigerators with a variety of features, capacities and price points to make sure those with a variety of needs and budgets will find out reviews useful. We conducted extensive online research, comparing product pages and looking for specific standout features in different models.
More expensive models often have some extra features, like door-in-door access that lets you quickly access snacks and save energy by limiting the amount of cold air that escapes. Smart features, which allow you do things like check the temperature from your smartphone, are also understandably more common on those more expensive models. Whilst this technology is nifty, it's not needed to get a great side-by-side refrigerator - especially if you're on a budget or have specific measurement and capacity needs. We also reviewed some more no-frills side-by-side fridge freezers for people who'd rather spend their money on reliable and carefully crafted models without fancy extras.
How long should a refrigerator last?
We asked experts this question, namely Vaughn Johnson, brand manager for Maytag, and Elise Barsch, social media manager and copywriter for iFixit. Johnson didn’t give a specific number of years, but said the expected life of a refrigerator will depend on usage, environmental conditions and other factors. Johnson suggested people should always check and follow your appliance and product use and care instructions.
Barsch cited Wirecutter and other sources in estimating that refrigerators should generally last 10 to 15 years. “Research done in Europe suggests that refrigerator lifespan has decreased over the past couple decades – down from an average lifespan of 20 years in 2000,” Barsch said. She said that while refrigerators don’t last as long as they used to, they are more energy efficient. “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 added.
What are the most important things consider when buying a side-by-side refrigerator?
Certain less crucial items might seem like a luxury to one person but could be a deal-breaker for another. In our reviews we took into account energy efficiency and whether or not refrigerators were Energy Star certified. We also considered dimensions - some people prefer a counter-depth model whilst others prioritize size.
The best side-by-side fridge-freezers will set you back between $1000 and $2500, but in our reviews we took price into account alongside other features to see if pricing was justified. It can make sense to splash out on a sturdy refrigerator if it's meant to last you 10+ years, but we also considered warranties for peace-of-mind when buying.
Refrigerators come in a variety of capacities, but side-by-side refrigerators are some of the larger units you can buy. That being said, they do have to account for frozen and fresh produce, so we took the spread of capacities into account when reviewing.
How much should I pay for a side-by-side refrigerator?
This really depends on your budget, the size of your family and how much electricity costs matter to you. The best side-by-side refrigerators will cost you anything between $1000 and $2500. However, it's hard to get a good side-by-side for less than $1000.
Energy Star certified refrigerators will, on average, cost less to run on an annual basis. However, the engineering and strict specifications required to gain this certification means you will often paying significantly more for a refrigerator with this rating.
We took into account estimated annual electricity use and energy costs in our reviews so you can weigh up your options. After all, paying $1000 more for an Energy Star certified refrigerator if it only saves you $10 annually might not make sense for you. The environmentally-conscious will want to consider that, regardless of expense, these models are better for the environment by not wasting electricity needlessly. After all, refrigerators are typically switched on all year round.
What is the best size for a side-by-side refrigerator?
This really depends what your needs are. Side-by-side refrigerators typically come between 20 and 28 cubic feet (cu. ft.) in capacity. You'll roughly be able to fit one bag of groceries per cubic foot (depending on how skilled you are at fridge tetris), which sounds like a lot, but can really add up when you consider frozen goods and essentials which you keep stocked up on year-round.
The best side-by-side refrigerators for big families will be around 25+ cu. ft. in capacity, with models around the 25cu. ft. mark comfortably fitting food for a family of four. The best side-by-side fridges for single people or couples will be smaller, with a capacity of between 20 and 25cu. ft. giving plenty of space for smaller shops and less fresh produce.
Consider the shelving in your fridge of choice when thinking about refrigerator size. Adjustable shelving will enable a greater capacity and create more room for bigger items, whereas even larger fridges may not have the best space-saving designs to make the most of your fridge capacity.
What features can I get in a side-by-side refrigerator?
There was a time that thru-the-door ice and water dispensers were rare and exciting features in side-by-side refrigerators. These days, they seem to come as standard. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a fridge without one. All the refrigerators we reviewed had this ice and water dispensing function, but if that isn't essential to you we suggest getting a compact ice-maker to make the most of your freezer space.
Adjustable shelving is increasingly common in side-by-side refrigerators. This allows you to create space and fit in bulky items. Nifty features like spillproof shelving and child locks create family-safe fridges that can cater to a growing family.
LED lighting is a standard feature of side-by-side refrigerators. This reduces the energy used by older lighting methods by avoiding the heat often created by traditional bulbs, therefore keeping food fresh and minimising the need to consistently boost your refrigeration settings.
More modern developments have seen the introduction of door-in-door, food showcase and InstaView functions. These are particularly touted by LG and Samsung fridges, and add sleek and smart touches to your kitchen. Some side-by-side fridges even come with Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility and an app to control your refrigerator from your phone.
What is a counter-depth refrigerator?
Counter-depth refrigerators are between 25 and 30 inches in depth, meaning they sit at the same depth as your kitchen counters for a sleek and built-in feel. However, this shallower depth inevitably compromises on fridge space, so if you're looking for a large capacity you might need to pick substance over style. The best side-by-side counter-depth refrigerators will come in at about 22cu.ft, whereas larger standard-depth models will go up to around 28cu. ft., but will stick out from the counter.
Door-in-door refrigerators minimize energy-loss by letting out less cold from your refrigerator each time you want to access your fresh-food staples. These smaller, easy-access fridge compartments let you store essentials like milk and butter in a separate compartment, which means less rummaging each time you want to find a commonly-used item and less temperature fluctuation to your regular refrigerator compartment, where you can store larger or less-used items such as meat and vegetables.
Newest developments in side-by-side fridges introduce the 'InstaView' panel to these door-in-door compartments, meaning you can simply knock on the fridge door to see the contents of your door-in-door illuminated. No need to open your refrigerator to see how much milk is left, which means yet more energy-saving solutions for the tech-savvy and environmentally-conscious.
What's the best warranty for a side-by-side refrigerator?
The best side-by-side fridge-freezers will have a good warranty for peace of mind. All manufacturers offer a warranty on their appliances, but not all warranties are created equal. The bare minimum in warranties covers parts and labor for one year. Many manufacturers offer an additional warranty on the sealed system, including the compressor. Five- to seven-year warranties are common, and a teb-year warranty on the sealed system is excellent. The only model we reviewed with had this warranty was the KichenAid, which is partly why it came out as our pick for reliability.
Refrigerators are not generally appliances you need much help with, but it is good to know that the manufacturer offers support when you need it. Online access to a user guide and knowledgebase or FAQs page is helpful when you have questions. Every company has a telephone or email option so you can contact customer service, and some have live text chat.