Beginners Guide to Buying a Refrigerator

Beginners Guide to Buying a Refrigerator

Refrigerators have come a long way from the wooden ice boxes of the 20s.They have become more varied in style, shape, size, design, color, power, and energy usage.

Whether you’re upgrading an outdated kitchen or moving into a new home for the first time, these tips will help you decide the best type of refrigerator for your lifestyle and your space.

Frigidaire Professional Double Electric Wall Oven

Types Of Refrigerators

From built-ins to fridge-only, there are many different types of refrigerators to choose from:

Top Freezer Refrigerators

Top Freezer Refrigerators

These are the more traditional types of fridges that most are familiar with. They boast a freezer compartment on top, with a single door refrigerator on the bottom. These are also considered by Energy Star to be the most energy-efficient option for freezer/refrigerator combinations. They are also frequently less expensive.

Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

Since refrigerators are usually used more often than freezers, these types of fridges are ideal for making a quick scan of the fridge without having to squat down.

French-Door Refrigerators

French-Door Refrigerators

Relatively new in design, these refrigerators feature two doors on top and a freezer at the bottom. With two doors, you save a little energy by only needing to open half the top to scan for what you’re looking for.

Side-by-Side Refrigerators

Side-by-Side Refrigerators

These designs are more likely to have ice and water dispensers on the doors. One side is the fridge, the other is the freezer. One drawback to these designs is the smaller space in the refrigerator side, with such a narrow design. If you have the space for it, you can get wider model side-by-sides.

Built-in Refrigerators

Built-In Refrigerators

These are the more expensive option, suitable for custom kitchens so they are flush with your cabinets and countertops.

Compact Refrigerators

Compact Refrigerators

Ideal for small spaces, compact refrigerators come in a variety of designs with some being just to chill, and others including a small freezer inside.

What To Consider When Buying a New Refrigerator

Every house is different and every person’s needs are unique. Things to consider when purchasing your first fridge include:


Determine the amount of space you have available. Take measurements of where the refrigerator will go before you head out to shop for one.


Is this going to be the main refrigerator in your kitchen, or a spare for your outdoor entertaining area or garage? For your kitchen, consider the size of your family and the amount of storage you will need.

Conversely, if you’re single or a student living in a small space, a compact fridge might be more ideal.


Refrigerators are investments, just like anything in your home. Try to budget for exactly what you want, even if it means waiting to save up enough for the perfect fridge.

Desired Features

From smart refrigerators to ice- and water-dispensers, today’s fridges come with a slew of options, some of which may be unnecessary for you and your family. Get to know available features, and determine those you must have, vs. those that may not be used.

Maintenance and Warranty

You could go to a big box store and possibly get a new fridge at a lower rate, but you will likely sacrifice quality maintenance and service and you may not get the best warranty. It’s more advisable to buy from a qualified dealer who can help you if anything goes wrong.


It’s exciting to start buying your first appliances, but it’s smart to take your time and do your homework, because household appliances are an important investment you dont’ want to waste your hard-earned money on, without researching the best options for you and your family.