The refrigerator is an undoubtedly integral part of any kitchen’s dynamic, not to mention one of the most costly. All the more reason why choosing the right refrigerator for your family should not be taken lightly. 

There are a few things you should determine before you begin the actual shopping process: how much space you have available to designate to the appliance, (including width, height, and the width and swing-out of the doorways), and how much depth you’ll need. The latter should be determined based on the size of your family. Generally, around 20 cubic feet should suit a family of four, but this number varies from family to family.  

In addition to determining what size of fridge you’ll need, you should also consider things like finishes (stainless steel being the reigning option, in terms of look and easy maintenance), energy efficiency, (look out for the product’s  EPA Energy Star rating or refer to the EnergyGuide labels), and customization, (such as in-door storage options, and door-front ice and water dispensers).  

Top Freezer 

As its name suggests, this type of refrigerator is defined by the location of the freezer, located on top of the refrigerator section. This is the most common refrigerator design due to the spacious and easy access fridge interior, and to boot, it can be purchased at a relatively economical price point. 

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Bottom Freezer 

As its name suggests, this type of refrigerator is defined by the location of the freezer section as well – this time, the freezer is located below the refrigerator section. This model provides easier access to the freezer via a better vantage point (from above).  

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A side-by-side model of refrigerator features equal access to both the freezer and refrigerator, as they are placed directly next to each other. This design is preferred by those needing more freezer space than what is offered by a traditional model of refrigerator.  

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French Door 

Finally, the French door model, which has garnered wide-spread popularity in recent years, is defined by having two doors that swing out for the fridge portion and drawer(s) for the freezer portion. French door models are recommended for small kitchens, because of the narrower doors. This model of refrigerator is also among the most expensive.  

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Zakiya Kassam

Zakiya is a freelance writer/editor based out of Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter: @zakkassam

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