Best Side-by-Side Refrigerators of 2018

Noel Case ·
Updated
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We have been reviewing side-by-side refrigerators since 2011. In the last year, we spent more than 115 hours evaluating fridges. We considered about 30 refrigerators, which we narrowed to the best 10 for our comparison. The best side-by-side model we found was the Samsung RS25J500DSR/AA. It has all the essential features of a fridge at this price and plenty of storage space to store all kinds of food. 

Best Overall
Samsung RS25J500DSR/AA
The energy-efficient Samsung RS25J500DSR/AA is a well-designed side-by-side refrigerator with adjustable shelves and plenty of freezer space. This refrigerator offers all the storage space most people will need to keep plenty of food fresh and on hand for your family.
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Best Value
GE GSS23GKSS
The GE GSS23GKSS has four color options for various décor. It is energy efficient and offers spillproof slide-out shelves that are adjustable so you can customize them to your needs. This fridge has features you don’t normally see in a model this inexpensive.
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Largest Capacity
LG LSXC22386S
The LG LSXC22386S has well-distributed space with more refrigerator and freezer capacity than any side-by-side refrigerator we reviewed. It also has a decent feature package that includes adjustable shelves.
View on Home Depot
Product
Price
OVERALL RATING
Shelving & Capacity
Pricing
Conveniences
Efficiency & Warranty
Total Capacity
Refrigerator Capacity
Freezer Capacity
Drawers
Fridge Door Bins
Refrigerator Shelves
Adjustable Shelves
Slide-Out Shelves
Temperature-Controlled Drawer
Humidity-Controlled Crisper Drawer
Spill-Proof Shelves
Snack/Deli Drawer
Bottle/Can Rack
Freezer Shelves
Baskets/Drawers
Freezer Door Bins
Estimated Yearly Operating Costs
Color Options
Water & Ice Dispenser
Dispenser Child Lock
Door Alarm
Quick Cool
Quick Freeze
Estimated Yearly Electricity Use (kWh)
Energy Star Compliance
Parts & Labor Warranty
Sealed System Warranty
Height (inches)
Width (inches)
Depth (inches)
Depth with Door Open
$81 Wal-Mart
4.5 4.8 5 4.2
24.5
15.7
8.8
2
4
4
N/A
N/A
4
1
3
$93
Stainless Steel, Black, White
695
1 Year
5 Years
69 7/8
36 1/5
33 4/5
51
$1679.2 Compact Appliance
5 3.7 4.9 5
25.6
16.5
9.45
3
5
4
X
X
3
3
4
$78
Stainless Steel
647
1 Year Labor, 3 Years Parts
3 Years
70
36
28 7/8
50
$1092.9 Amazon
4.8 4.7 3.4 3.8
23.2
16.2
6.9
3
4
4
X
N/A
3
1
3
$81
Stainless Steel, White, Slate, Black
675
1 Year
5 Years
69
33 1/4
32 3/4
50 1/2
$1278 Discount Bandit
4.2 4.2 4.2 4.2
25.6
16.7
8.9
3
4
4
X
N/A
4
2
3
$85
Stainless Steel, Black, White
709
1 Year
10 Years
68 7/8
35 1/2
34 7/8
51 1/8
$1168 Home Depot
4.4 4.9 2.5 3.7
24.6
15.7
8.8
3
4
4
X
N/A
3
2
4
$84
Stainless Steel, Black, White
702
1 Year
5 Years
69 5/8
35 7/8
33 5/8
49 5/16
$1258 Home Depot
4 4.7 3.4 4
26.2
17
9.2
2
4
3
N/A
N/A
4
1
2
$86
Stainless Steel
716
1 Year
5 Years
69 3/8
35 7/9
34
51 1/8
$881 Electronicexpress
4.7 5 1.7 3.2
25.5
16.5
9
3
4
3
X
N/A
3
1
4
$85
Stainless Steel, Black, White, Black Stainless Steel
709
1 Year
1 Year
69 5/8
35 5/8
31 3/4
49 1/2
$2339.99 Best Buy
4.9 2.8 3.4 4.7
24.8
15.9
8.9
3
5
4
X
X
4
2
3
$73
Stainless Steel, Black, White
610
1 Year
5 Years
69
35 3/4
34
50 1/2
$899.99 Eco Sweet Home
4 5 2.4 3.3
24.6
15.5
9.11
2
4
4
N/A
N/A
3
1
4
$84
Stainless Steel
702
13 Months
13 Months
69 1/4
35 7/8
33 4/5
42 1/10
$898 Home Depot
3.8 4.9 2.4 3.3
24.6
15.5
9.11
2
4
4
N/A
N/A
3
1
4
$84
Stainless Steel
702
1 Year
1 Year
69 1/2
35 7/8
34 1/8
49 3/8
Best Overall
The Samsung RS25J500DSR/AA is one of the more affordable refrigerators in our lineup, and it’s easily one of the best that we evaluated. Its capacity is average when compared with other fridges we reviewed, but it has a nice distribution of freezer and refrigerator space.
One of the few complaints with this side-by-side refrigerator is it’s lacking in drawer space, both in the refrigerator and the freezer. There is no temperature control or snack/deli drawers in the fridge, but it does have a humidity-controlled crisper drawer. It’s shelf space, however, is impressive. Its shelves are adjustable, spillproof and slide-out, giving you all the features you need to customize the space to your needs and make the food easy to access. The freezer is slightly smaller than average, but it is well-designed space, and there is both a quick freeze and quick cool feature to keep food fresh and to firm up ice cream that has been left out for a bit too long. The freezer has three door bins and four shelves. There is only a single drawer in the freezer, which is not uncommon for freezers in this price range. The freezer has plenty of shelf space however, with room for all kinds of frozen food.
Pros
  • Has both quick cool and quick freeze features
  • Slide-out, adjustable shelves
  • Five-year sealed system warranty
Cons
  • No temperature control drawer
  • Limited drawer space
  • Capacity is average
$1,119.72 Amazon
Read the full review
Best Value
The GE GSS23GSKSS is an energy-efficient side-by-side refrigerator that is one of the more affordable models in our comparison and boasts some nice features, like spillproof shelves and three refrigerator drawers to store fruits, vegetables and snacks of all kinds.
The refrigerator capacity is slightly above average when compared with other units we reviewed, but the freezer has the lowest capacity of any side-by-side refrigerator we evaluated. The refrigerator’s space is well designed for food of all kinds and all sizes. It has two humidity-controlled crisper drawers, which are great for keeping fruits and vegetables fresh. There is also a snack/deli drawer to keep snacks separate and readily available. The freezer space consists of one basket in the bottom and three shelves. The basket has a lot of space for wide and tall items. For many people’s needs the freezer basket may even err on the side of too much space, not leaving quite enough space for other items on the shelves above. On the plus side, there are three door bins for frozen food you want quick access to. This is an energy-efficient fridge with low estimated yearly operation costs and electricity use. It also comes in four different colors to match your kitchen’s décor.
Pros
  • Affordable and energy efficient
  • Comes in four different colors
  • Plenty of fridge space
Cons
  • Freezer has a small capacity
  • No quick freeze and quick cool features
  • Freezer space is oddly laid out
$998.00 Amazon
Read the full review
Largest Capacity
The LG LSX26446S is a side-by-side refrigerator that has a lot of versatile storage space. Its total refrigerator and freezer space of 26.2 cubic feet is more than any unit in our lineup. The refrigerator’s capacity is 17 and the freezer is 9.2 cubic feet.
The fridge compartment has four adjustable shelves so you can create plenty of space for big items. It has two drawers, but neither of them is humidity or temperature controlled. When you combine the bins inside the refrigerator with the door-in-door storage, there are a total of nine bins, which gives you plenty of storage for items you want to access easily. This side-by-side refrigerator is one of only four models in our comparison that are Energy Star certified. It costs slightly more to run than most of the other models, due mostly to its large capacity, but it’s a miniscule amount. The freezer compartment’s clear drawers make it easy to see their contents. The freezer also has four shelves and three door bins. The icemaker is in the freezer door, making it easy to access. This refrigerator has touch controls that include a lockout feature so you can decide who can use the ice dispenser and when. You can set an alarm to let you know when the door has been left open. The fridge comes in three colors: stainless steel, black stainless steel and dark granite, to help you match your other appliances and decor. It comes with a standard one-year parts and labor warranty and five-year sealed system warranty. This refrigerator has a linear compressor that is insured for up to 10 years. This gives you something to fall back on if anything goes wrong with the cooling system in that time.
Pros
  • Largest capacity of any fridge we reviewed
  • Adjustable, slide-out shelves
  • 10-year linear compressor warranty
Cons
  • No humidity-controlled drawer
  • No temperature-controlled drawer
  • Few extras
$998.00Home Depot
Read the full review
Most Freezer Space
The Electrolux EI26SS30JS is one of the most feature-rich side-by-side refrigerators in our reviews. This energy-efficient unit is one of the few refrigerators in our lineup that is Energy Star compliant.
It has a vacation mode, which switches the fridge into energy-saving mode if it remains unopened for more than 24 hours. It has a Chill Zone drawer that vents chilled air directly into the draw to keep contents extra cold. It has one of the largest capacities of the refrigerators we looked at, with the single biggest freezer. It’s also varied and well-organized space. It has two oversized drawers you can use to keep large items separate and easily accessible and a small drawer above them. There is also plenty of shelf and door bin space for all kinds of items like frozen dinners, veggies and juice concentrate. It’s not the most expensive fridge we reviewed, but it’s on the pricey side and it lacks convenient slide-out shelves. It is an attractive, feature-rich fridge with loads of storage space for a big family.
Pros
  • It has a generous capacity with an abundance of freezer space.
Cons
  • It lacks slide-out shelves and adjustable shelves.
$1,709.10Home Depot
Read the full review
Most Energy Efficient
The KitchenAid KRSF505ESS is a nice-looking, efficient side-by-side refrigerator with all the necessary features and a few extras. It has three refrigerator drawers, two of which are temperature-controlled crispers for keeping veggies fresh.
It has a special bottle rack for storing wine or other bottles so they take up less space, thus freeing up space for other items. It comes in four colors to match different décor: black stainless, white, stainless steel and monochromatic stainless steel. While it’s not the largest capacity fridge in our lineup, it makes good use of its space and it feels bigger than it is. It is an energy-efficient fridge – one of just four in our lineup that are Energy Star compliant. It uses the least amount of energy of any other fridge in our reviews and costs less to run, even when compared with smaller capacity fridges. It lacks features like adjustable shelves and quick cool and freeze. We would have liked to see more extras for a fridge in this price range, but it’s still a great fridge.
Pros
  • It’s extremely energy efficient and makes good use of space.
Cons
  • It’s the most expensive side-by-side refrigerator in our reviews.
$2,339.10Home Depot
Read the full 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. Just in the last year and a half we spent more than 130 hours researching. We evaluated 30 refrigerators, which we narrowed down to the 10 best, in a predetermined price range, to include in our lineup. We did extensive online research, comparing product pages and looking for specific standout features in different models.

More expensive models, which we also evaluated in depth, 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. In our comparison we went with models priced to make them more accessible to a broader section of the population.

We went to stores to look at these models closely, test capacities and get store representatives’ opinions about the best models and best features. As questions arose during research we contacted manufacturers to get answers. We reached out to other professionals and industry insiders to broaden our perspective and understanding with their expertise. Our in-depth research is reflected in our comparison chart and detailed in our reviews to help you make an informed decision about the best side-by-side refrigerator for you.

How We Researched and Evaluated 

When considering side-by-side refrigerators, we looked for the standard features and options, such as adjustable shelves and a water and ice dispenser. We also examined some features that are useful bonuses, such as temperature- or humidity-controlled drawers and space-saving icemakers.

We also checked the flexibility that you get from the refrigerator's design and the adaptability of the interior space. Although there is always a set amount of space in each refrigerator, its capacity can be expanded in a sense if you get a number of adjustable shelves and different sizes of bins. Adjustable shelves are important so you can accommodate food and containers of all sizes. Many models include humidity-controlled crisper drawers, and some include temperature-controlled drawers. Some side-by-side refrigerators also include a deli or snack drawer for smaller items, and a few models include a can or wine rack for beverages.

Energy use was another important consideration in our evaluations since fridges operate night and day, seven days a week. The best side-by-side refrigerators are Energy Star compliant, which means they are about 9 percent more energy efficient than models that meet the minimum energy efficiency standard. The annual cost of running the fridges in our comparison ranges from $73 to $86.

Only four models in our lineup are Energy Star compliant, and this could make a difference in your electricity bill. This might seem small at first, but since you will probably keep a refrigerator for years, the  differences add up, and perhaps more importantly, Energy Star-compliant fridges have less of an impact on the environment. Some models offer a door-in-door feature that is nice for energy conservation since you can access common foods without opening the full door.

What Else Is Important to Look for in Side-by-Side Refrigerators

Certain less crucial items might seem like a luxury to one person but could be a deal-breaker for another. Among other things, we examined these features:

Conveniences

The water and ice dispenser is a helpful feature. All the models in our review include one mounted on the exterior of the freezer door, providing crushed or cubed ice as well as filtered water. On the inside, the icemaker may be mounted above the shelving area, which means it extends into the freezer compartment and uses up some of that storage space. Conversely, it could be contained in the door, which gives you more freezer storage space. In addition, we looked for such things as a door-ajar alarm to warn you if you forget to close the doors, a quick cool feature to pump extra cold air when it is needed, and spillproof shelves that are easy to clean.

Pricing
Side-by-side refrigerators are among the most expensive fridges. The least expensive fridge in our comparison is about $900 and the most expensive is $2,400. When we looked at top sellers from Home Depot, Lowes and other big retailers, the majority of these fridges stayed in this price range.

Warranty & Support

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 10-year warranty on the sealed system is excellent.

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.

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