Any of the best side-by-side refrigerators will make organizing your food a piece of cake. Unlike French door models, these fridges are made up of a full-height or countertop refrigerator and freezer side by side, so everything is in one place. Satisfyingly neat, side-by-side refrigerators are typically more budget-friendly than their French door counterparts too, making them a popular pick for families and busy households prone to mess and extra spending.
The best side-by-side refrigerators come with a generous warranty and Energy Star certification, another chance to save precious pennies, this time on running costs. While you can usually expect flexible storage, with shelves you can reshuffle to your heart’s content, you may be pleasantly surprised to find more high-end features like energy-efficient LED lighting and multi-air systems in premium side-by-side refrigerators.
Meanwhile, humidity-controlled crisper drawers will make sure your vegetables stay fresh and crunchy longer, while nifty touch controls will let you control the temperature and humidity at the tap of a finger.
If you’re searching for a well-rounded refrigerator, we’ve assessed the best side-by-side refrigerators right now, including capacities over 27 cubic feet and more compact counter-height options, so you can be confident in your choice. If you value luxury a little more in your fridge, we also have a round-up of the best French Door refrigerators. And for more frozen food storage, our guide to the best freezers has you covered.
1. LG LSXS26366S: Best side-by-side refrigerator overall
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 budget side-by-side refrigerator
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 LRSES2706V: Best high-end side-by-side refrigerator
If you want a stunning side-by-side refrigerator that also has a unique door-in-door feature then the LG LRSES2706V is ideal for you. The clean lines and anti-fingerprint steel finish look stunning while the glass front makes this a rare beauty indeed. It's also useful, allowing you to open the door-in-door to quickly access regular items without letting all the cold out of the rest of the fridge. That means this is more energy-efficient and will keep food fresher for longer than the competition.
Of course all that means you pay a premium, but with all that storage at near 27 cubic feet, an auto ice maker, humidity controls, multi-air system and LED lighting, it certainly justifies the cost.
4. KitchenAid KRSF705HPS: Most reliable side-by-side refrigerator
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 RS27T5200SR: Best counter-depth side-by-side refrigerator
The Samsung RS27T5200SR somehow manages to remain counter depth in size yet offers a whopping 27.4 cubic feet of storage capacity. This is 10% bigger than the last model without changing the outer size. It also looks stunning, with that anti-fingerprint stainless steel finish and touch controls on the large space dispenser which offers chilled water, ice cubes or crushed ice at a touch.
Inside is an auto ice maker, lots of shelves, and large two-gallon capacity door bins, all lit with LED lighting. This is an expensive refrigerator but running costs are relatively low at $87 per year and the warranty is a year for labor and parts with up to 10 years for the compressor cover. All that means this comes with peace of mind as standard.
6. GE GSS25GSHSS: Best side-by-side refrigerator for families
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.
7. Maytag MSS25N4MKZ: Best side-by-side refrigerator without an ice maker
Offering great value for money, the Maytag MSS25N4MKZ is a solid choice for those that need plenty of storage space. It doesn’t have an ice dispenser but that actually means you’re gaining freezer capacity. A stylish finish is completed with a fingerprint-resistant coating and this long door handles - which can be removed if you need to squeeze it through a tight space to fit it.
This Maytag’s freezer has auto-defrost and the fridge compartment also has a crisper drawer for keeping your vegetables in the best condition possible. There are also wheels on the front of this refrigerator to make installation easier, and for added peace of mind, there’s an impressive 10-year warranty on the compressor.
While it’s not Energy Star certified, this refrigerator works quietly and is also fitted with efficient LED light bulbs.
- Read our Maytag MSS25N4MKZ review
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 do side-by-side refrigerators cost?
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.