We’re on pace to sell over twice as many french door refrigerators this year as we did last year. Sales in the category have improved at a lightning-quick pace, increasing every year since 2005 (according to our own sales reports).
French door refrigerators were introduced in the late 1990s, and have experienced a surge in popularity to become the most popular refrigerator design on the market today. As manufacturers have perfected the design, French door models have become more reliable, and the price point has dropped to the point that they can now legitimately compete with less expensive top-freezer models.
French door refrigerators have also caught up to top-freezer models in energy efficiency, the last frontier in which top freezer models had a definitive advantage (aside from price). Now, they’re about even.
Yes, you’ll still pay a premium for the french door design, but as the price gap shrinks, the upgrade becomes more and more worth it in our eyes. Here’s why.
French door refrigerators are intelligently designed.
If you’re like 99% of us, you open your refrigerator far more often than your freezer.
French door refrigerators are designed to solve for this. The refrigerator is centered at chest height, so everything in your fridge is at arm’s reach. You won’t need to strain your back bending over to get into your crisper drawers.
Meanwhile, the freezer door on the bottom features slide-out racks (which can be removed completely on some models). You might access your freezer less, but it won’t be any harder to organize.
|Half-width doors make it easier to navigate a tight kitchen when the doors are open.|
French door refrigerators save energy.
Every time you open your refrigerator, cold air escapes while you find the food you’re looking for. Your fridge churns through energy in an effort to cool itself back down to optimal temperature.
Opening just one door allows you to keep half of the refrigerator compartment closed while you grab a snack. This limits “cold air spill,” and as a result, your french door refrigerator will use less energy maintaining its internal temperature.
French door refrigerators save space.
Is your refrigerator located across from an island, in a hallway or another confined space? The narrow doors on a french door refrigerator take up less kitchen space when they’re open.
If you work with a tight space, cutting the clearance on your kitchen doors in half is a great way to improve mobility and make your kitchen feel larger. Many a tight floor plan has been saved by the low profile of half-width refrigerator doors – especially if you spring for the counter-depth configuration, which shrinks the depth of the fridge so it sits flush with your counters.
Full Width Shelves = More Flexible Storage
Need to store a serving platter you prepared for a party? What about the 3 extra pizza boxes left over from the party you threw for your kid’s soccer team (you amazing parent, you)? The full-width storage shelves in a french door refrigerator make it easier to store oversized items.
And plenty of refrigerators feature adjustable shelving, but only in french door units do those shelves split down the middle for maximum versatility. You can keep flat shelves across the unit, or split your fridge in half with offset shelves for more versatility.
Top-freezer units have full-width shelves, but poor freezer placement. Side-by-side refrigerators have more convenient ergonomics, but no full-width shelves. The french door design represents the best of both worlds.
French Door Refrigerators Just Look Good
When we make recommendations to our visitors, we place a premium on reliable, feature-rich products. If we sell it to you, we want it to work, and for a long time.
That said, we’d be crazy to ignore the fact that people are attracted to bold design, and a french door refrigerator looks damn good in your kitchen. It’s got that sleek, industrial look that has taken over professional kitchens in the past decade.
You look at your refrigerator every day, and the french door look makes for a very attractive centerpiece in your kitchen.
After about 15 years in existence, manufacturers have worked out the design kinks and brought french door refrigerator prices into more affordable territory.. The price gap has closed enough that we now consider the French door refrigerator to be a viable upgrade over standard top-freezer refrigerators, rather than a “luxury category” unto itself.