Reader Poll: Refrigerators

We’re in the market for a new refrigerator. Would love to know your thoughts on:

  1. Freezer: bottom or side by side French doors?
  2. Drink dispenser: internal or external?
  3. Ice machine: top, bottom or inside door?
  4. Other features you love (or hate) about your fridge.

Thanks friends!

 

 

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58 Comments

  1. Abbie HAwks
    August 22, 2018 / 12:16 pm

    1 – Love the french door, bottom freezer! I feel like there is more room in both the fridge and freezer compared to the regular freezer on top. With the french doors too you don’t have to worry about opening the whole thing everytime.
    2 – We got the external drink dispenser and ice machine because my husband insisted!!!!!!! Guess who does NOT use it?! I use it because it is super convenient however, the ice cubes are a bit smaller than ice from the ice tray in the freezer. You do have to bend down to get ice from the freezer if you opt out for an external ice maker.
    3 – See above 🙂 And, if you do have an ice maker on the door, you will lose that much door space on the inside of your fridge!! This is frustrating for condiment lovers like us!!
    4- Make sure that you have several adjustable shelves. I wish we would have taken into consideration exactly what we would be putting where (for the most part) and this would have swayed our decision a little more. Also, as I stated above, the door ice maker takes up door storage so we have our overflow items on the shelves.

    Good luck on your search!!

  2. Berrin Ammons
    August 22, 2018 / 12:43 pm

    french doors/side by side all the way. Don’t want to bend over every time to get something out of drawer freezer. Ice+water on the outside. More convenient & easier with company! Good luck 🙂

  3. Elizabeth
    August 22, 2018 / 12:44 pm

    Also a fan of French door/bottom freezer. I love the capacity, huge drawers, and space for big platters, etc. They are great if you do a lot of entertaining. Since we tend to use the fridge (vs freezer) most frequently in a normal day, I like not having to bend down to the lowest shelves constantly–everything we use is essentially on eye level. We have a Samsung and have been very happy.

    We have the ice/water dispenser in the exterior door, and I generally like it–convenient when you’re trying to quickly fill glasses during dinner prep or a party. My one annoyance–and it’s definitely a FWP–is that (on our particular model, anyway) it’s inoperable when either fridge door is open. So typically one of us is rummaging for stuff to take to the dinner table, and the other is trying to fill glasses but has to wait, or vice versa. With that said, I wouldn’t do it differently. I don’t want to have to open the fridge just to get ice/water, and my husband and I are both tall so we didn’t want to have to bend down for ice.

    My children just love getting into the ice at my parents’ (who have the ice maker down below) so that is something I’m glad is not an option at our house, ha. Might want to consider that since you have small children, too.

    New appliances are always exciting–guess that’s how you know you’re officially an adult 😛 Good luck!

    • Cassandra
      August 22, 2018 / 3:35 pm

      I have this same Samsung model and after my last two side/side units, I would never go back.

  4. Jen
    August 22, 2018 / 1:00 pm

    We had the side-by-side at our old house and a bottom freezer at the new house and I WAY prefer the side-by-side. Especially as a short girl, I feel like so much of my fridge now is high up. I also find it a lot harder to organize the bottom freezer than the side-by-side with shelves.

    Ice/water on the outside, makes it easier for the kids to access as they get holder.

  5. Samantha Gilbert
    August 22, 2018 / 1:20 pm

    Ha, I’m the opposite! We had the side-by-side at our old house and a bottom freezer at the new house and I much prefer the bottom freezer and french doors. There’s so much more room in the fridge now, and if I need to, I can slide a whole baking sheet in, whereas I could barely fit a cake pan in the side-by-side. I’m a big ice-water person, so I like the external and top ice maker since I use it a lot.
    We have a smart fridge, and it connects to your phone to tell you when the door has been left open for too long, which is useful, if slightly annoying when trying to load in groceries.

  6. Nan
    August 22, 2018 / 1:27 pm

    I spent gobs of time researching this last year when we moved and bought a new fridge. I have had both side by side and French door and way prefer French door. We had ice/water on the door with side by side and it annoyed me because it was messy and drips showed up and were hard to get out of the stainless. We now have ice in the bottom and nothing on the front! I love it. I use ice a lot and it doesn’t bother me to get it out.

    My vote: French door, no ice on door!

  7. Carrie P
    August 22, 2018 / 1:30 pm

    We have had every configuration and the french doors on top of a pull out fridge drawer on top of a pull out freezer is my favorite. That pull out fridge drawer, which I thought was silly, is a GODSEND. Think platters, pizza boxes and ALL the big things.I didn’t like the single fridge door over the pull out freezer because you lose a lot of space on the actual door if you go with ice/water.

    • Christina
      Author
      August 22, 2018 / 2:58 pm

      this sounds dreamy…I love drawers. haha

    • August 23, 2018 / 7:10 am

      We have this same type and I store all the kids’ food/drinks in the pull out fridge drawer. We love it!

  8. Sara
    August 22, 2018 / 1:37 pm

    I definitely think you’ll get more space with a French door/freezer on the bottom situation. As far as an ice maker, we have a separate ice maker that I’m OBSESSED with. It’s a separate appliance, if you have room, maybe consider that!

    • Christina
      Author
      August 22, 2018 / 2:59 pm

      Which ice maker did you go with? Where do you store it? Garage or built in somewhere in the kitchen?

  9. Merritt
    August 22, 2018 / 1:48 pm

    Take a few items with you when shopping that you use frequently – I took a wine bottle 😉 Helps to see how you might organize the space and what can fit where. Love our french door over bottom freezer drawer w/ ice machine in door and water/ice dispenser on outside.

    • Christina
      Author
      August 22, 2018 / 3:00 pm

      This is the best idea ever. I guess I should bring a case of kid smoothies, several wine bottles and 34543 Tupperware containers. 🙂

      • Merritt
        August 23, 2018 / 1:53 pm

        Ha! Go for it 🙂

  10. Peasnips
    August 22, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    We have the French doors with bottom freezer and ice/water dispenser. Love the style but do not like the manufacturer- ELECTROLUX. We have their high end model. It is 7 years old and the back panel is rusting out and NOT fixable. At the same time we bought their range which we had to replace last month because the electronic boards failed and it we less money to buy another than fix the ELECTROLUX. My urgent advise to you and anyone else reading this is DO NOT BUY ELECTROLUX appliances.

    • Christina
      Author
      August 22, 2018 / 3:12 pm

      OMG! Noted for sure!

  11. August 22, 2018 / 3:46 pm

    We had side by side with water and ice in the front and I much prefer that to French door with water in fridge and Ice in drawer because: freezer is harder to keep organized and has less space, we have to double check freezer and fridge to make sure they’re both closed all the way and have had both left open a crack unknowingly resulting in lots of waste. Also it’s a pain to fill a water bottle or anything large from in the fridge because you need both hands (one to hold glass one to press button) – very hard to do while holding a kid!

  12. Breanna
    August 22, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    Side by side is great! My biggest suggestion is to go with a fingerprint resistant finish!

  13. Mrs.M in MI
    August 22, 2018 / 6:51 pm

    My only advice in buying a new fridge is to talk to your favorite appliance repair person before you buy. When we bought a new range this year ours gave us a list of brands he hates so much he will not touch, and a few that he doesn’t see very often.

  14. Jenny
    August 22, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    Definitely love the advice about talking to your repair man before buying! All these great new features are so cool until they can’t be replaced. Our ice/water dispenser stopped working after 3 years and it can’t be fixed. And my friends at GE Appliances didn’t care!!! My repair guy says simpler is better. He always recommends fridgidaire because they are easy to repair. I would also make sure to get every extended warranty they offer. Our repair man says fridges only last 5-7 years now!

  15. Robbin
    August 22, 2018 / 9:45 pm

    Random tidbit: my dad bought his new refrigerator on Amazon about a month ago and had a tremendously positive experience. He couldn’t find exactly what he wanted in the big box stores, found it on Amazon, and had it in his house a few days later. Shipping/installation/haul away were included via a local business, and my dad was incredibly happy (a feat!). Just a thought in case you’re shopping around 😊

  16. Breanne
    August 22, 2018 / 9:55 pm

    French door bottom freezer all the way. We bought one almost 4 years ago and I love it. I have in door water and ice. My ice maker is small and has small capacity, so if I needed ice for a cooler/Party I’d just have to buy it. I also have a second deep freezer in my garage for long term storage.

  17. mFw
    August 22, 2018 / 10:17 pm

    Super random take … but my mom has a new lab puppy and has said so many times she’s thrilled the frig is on top whereas the freezer is on the bottom that you don’t use as much. The puppy is fascinsted by the freezer but at least it’s nit open as much!! I would do French doors/freezer on the bottom!

    • Ann Stokes
      August 23, 2018 / 8:39 am

      Haha totally agree with the french doors/bottom freezer configuration. We had it at our old house and I miss it terribly. Also the minute we would open the freezer drawer the dogs would come running for an ice cube! I wonder what it is about that bottom drawer for dogs?!

  18. Lesley
    August 22, 2018 / 10:34 pm

    We just had this debate at our house and ended up replacing our old side by side with a new side by side. Its only a few weeks old, but we are in love with the measured fill water dispenser 😍.

    We use a ton of water bottles and it’s super nice to be able to program the amount of water you’d like, walk away, then come back to a perfectly filled bottle. My 3 1/2 year old is obsessed too!

  19. Christina W.
    August 22, 2018 / 10:37 pm

    French door/freezer on bottom. Internal water was a choice I’ve never regretted…our kids would have made HUGE messes with the external. We also have a chest freezer in our basement to make up for the smaller kitchen freezer space. Another thing to look for…metal shelf brackets (plastic can break), and easy to remove shelves for cleaning. Our KitchenAid is 5 years old and we haven’t had an issue.

  20. Liz
    August 22, 2018 / 11:18 pm

    Our repairman said the same thing – simple is better!

    So, we started buying fridges without any dispensers/buttons/screens/fancy hinges on the outside (nothing that might break or require maintenance), and it’s been a game changer.

    He also suggested American-based companies, purely because the parts are faster and easier to get when something does need to be repaired.

    On a semi-related note, he told us that American companies have fewer energy and environmental restrictions on appliances that use heat and water (like dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers) so they tend to be more powerful than their imported counterparts. Depending on your preferences and concerns, I think that info can go either way, but it was something helpful to think about when we were appliance shopping.

    Good luck!!

  21. August 22, 2018 / 11:21 pm

    We have a Samsung French door/freezer on bottom refrigerator with external ice and water and overall I love it! So much space and yes to all the comments above about fitting platters and cookie sheets. It’s amazing. I will say that Samsung doesn’t have the greatest track record and our ice maker freezes up a lot, which is apparently a common Samsung fridge issue! Maybe check out some other brands too just to see what’s out there 🙂

    • Meaghan
      August 23, 2018 / 2:54 pm

      Yes to the ice maker freezing up! Our Samsung does this too and it is so frustrating when you just want ice. I’m not sure that we will buy another Samsung. For the record, I do love the french door fridge with freezer on the bottom. We had a side by side in our old house and I felt like there wasn’t much room for things, especially the freezer space.

    • Sarah
      August 23, 2018 / 9:36 pm

      We have a samsung French door with a separate drawer and freezer on the bottom. We have so many problems with the ice freezing up in the ice maker which is housed inside the fridge. It is also leaking in the fridge! I would never buy Samsung again. Maybe the key would be water in the door and ice in the bottom drawer freezer? Also something spilled in the fridge section and it took us an hour and three you tube videos to take the shelves apart to clean it all. (We are educated individuals.) Our local appliance repairman said no LG or Samsung. It’s hard to get parts to fix them.

      In other words, I love a French door and the separate drawer where we can keep all the kids snacks but not a fan of Samsung!

  22. Andrea Mueller
    August 23, 2018 / 4:08 am

    Switched from a regular on door fridge to a French door with two freezer drawers below (both have another drawer inside it)… overall very happy with freezer drawers, best thing ever. However not happy about the French doors… for me “two half” doors are too small as there is less space then with a single large door… somehow it’s arranged differently. However one thing I totally looove about my fridge that it has a long LED in the back of fridge so everything is illuminated, rather than just a single small light somewhere in the corner (unless that is already standard in the US, it’s rather seldom over here, so I def don’t wanna live without that) good luck finding something that works for you

  23. Vesta
    August 23, 2018 / 6:38 am

    I second Brittany’s response above about Samsung’s ice maker freezing up. We have a French door on top freeborn bottom Samsung which we bought in 2015 and have already had the ice maker freeze up twice. The second time I resigned myself to just buying bags of ice because we really do not use much. However, the freer issue eventually caused the fridge side to not cool properly so it had to be fixed which was not cheap. Also, our repair guy said that he has seen many cases where the issue was not fixable. I do not think I will ever buy a Samsung fridge again.

    • Laura
      August 23, 2018 / 8:22 am

      My sister has a Samsung and hates it. The refrigerator was already in place when she bought the house. The ice dispenser spits the ice out. More on floor than in cup. She and her husband bought a Samsung television and had problems with it as well. She will never purchase Samsung products again.

      • Ana
        August 23, 2018 / 8:36 am

        This! Stay away from Samsung fridges. Ours keeps breaking and the parts are never sold individually – they are “conveniently” bundled so every repair is multiple parts $$$ and more labor $$$. Even our repairman said to stay away (it came in our house and is staying when we sell.).

      • Toni :0)
        August 23, 2018 / 8:42 am

        I agree about Samsung. My TV crapped out and so I now have a Vizio, my fridge is okay after seven years I think but my Samsung oven/stove is bad news. The display is gone so you have to be careful to press the correct temp buttons to heat up oven and I’ve been told it’s not easy to replace the panel to bring display back. 😡

  24. Katie Brooks
    August 23, 2018 / 6:53 am

    French door. Freezer drawer on bottom. Water and ice maker on outside with both a water AND ice button. So annoying to get water and then having to hit the button to switch over to ice. We have an additional ice maker in the freezer and love it for holidays and parties. You will loose some of fridge space having icemaker in the fridge/door, but it doesn’t seem to bother us. Still fits plenty of wine, milk for kids, pizza box, LOTS of Tupperware and fruit!

  25. Natalie
    August 23, 2018 / 7:02 am

    So we just bought a Samsung French Door/Bottom Freezer/ Ice maker on the outside about a year ago! NOTHING but problems…fortunately we bought the 5 year warranty. It has been serviced twice with the ice maker being completely replaced. One more issue and they will replace the entire fridge…fine by me. While I like the idea of the fridge..I would definitely not get an ice maker on the outside next time. The internal water system sounds glorious and I would do that. But I definitely don’t recommend Samsung. On a slightly different note..we did buy a Whirlpool side by side refrigerator/freezer (no ice machine) for our garage and it is AMAZING! Good luck!

  26. Laura
    August 23, 2018 / 7:26 am

    We have a Maytag French door without the external ice/water. My experience is that he external ice maker will always have to be repaired… also I love that my fridge beeps if one of the doors is open too long. (You can turn off that feature if you like )

  27. Stephanie
    August 23, 2018 / 8:08 am

    We’ve had our Samsung fridge with bottom freezer for 10 years. We had bought the 5yr extended warranty when we purchased it. That did come in handy because the ice maker had problems at least 3 times. But, since the warranty has expired, we have not had one issue with our fridge. I love the space it has compared to a side by side.

  28. Ashley
    August 23, 2018 / 8:23 am

    First thing, DO NOT GET A SAMSUNG! We’ve had ours for just over 5 years and should have immediately returned it. And of all the people I know that have them, they don’t like them. With that being said, I do like the way it looks. Anyways, on to your questions.

    I would get the French door style. No matter what we get next, it will be French door, I love it.

    I would get a drink dispenser and we got it outside because we wanted it to have ice too. Inside doesn’t dispense the ice.

    I would get the ice maker up top. I’ve heard of issues having them in the drawer but obviously haven’t experienced them myself.

    Good luck!

  29. August 23, 2018 / 8:37 am

    Side by side French door. I hate the freezer on the bottom. There is not nearly enough room in those for us. I refuse to have another one.

  30. Natalie
    August 23, 2018 / 8:45 am

    My mother in law just got a whirlpool one with French doors and freezer with external drink dispenser. She loves hers and raves about it. She had a Samsung that she just got rid of because after 3 years she got s problem with temperature control on her freezer. The technician told her it would cost a lot to repair and says this is the case with a lot of samsung fridges because of th expensive technology

  31. Beth
    August 23, 2018 / 9:00 am

    I agree with all the other posters – Do not buy a Samsung. The external ice maker always freezes over and we’ve had it serviced twice in less than 2 years. Luckily we did buy the extended warranty.

    I do love the French doors over the freezer drawer. Definitely more room in the refrigerator and perfect for entertaining.

  32. Brandy
    August 23, 2018 / 12:30 pm

    We have a bottom freezer (french doors on top) with the ice maker inside the drawer. I will say the drawer on the bottom holds a LOT more than our old side by side (and way easier for larger items like frozen pizza), but its easier to get disorganized since things get buried on the bottom. I hate having the ice maker in the drawer, and wish we had a dispenser, but it is nice when you need to fill a cooler since you can remove the whole ice bin.

  33. August 23, 2018 / 12:55 pm

    Love having a bottom freezer and french doors on top, but I’m SO sad that the fridge isn’t magnetic, because my little gal loves to play with magnets

  34. Abbey
    August 23, 2018 / 1:09 pm

    We have a Samsung – side by side with water/ice dispenser on the outside and ice on the door. we LOVE it.

  35. Kate
    August 23, 2018 / 2:24 pm

    Our fridge is super simple: counter-depth with freezer on bottom and no French doors or drink dispenser. I LOVE IT. French doors are really awkward for me, they’re always flapping shut when I’m trying to use the fridge, and I have seen too many water dispensers break to want one!

    • Kate
      August 23, 2018 / 2:27 pm

      I should add that it’s a freezer drawer which I find has a lot more room!

  36. Alexis
    August 23, 2018 / 3:03 pm

    We just bought a new fridge and I’m obsessed! I totally lost my patience with our old fridge and went straight to Lowe’s and bought a French door with the extra pull out drawer in between the fridge and freezer. It’s amazing! So much space in the fridge and I keep all my sons food in the pull out drawer. We have the ice maker on the outside because my mom had a French with it in the bottom and hated it. It does take up some shelf space which is annoying since my husband had nine million condiments but we make due. Good luck on your search!

  37. Gini
    August 23, 2018 / 3:49 pm

    The bottom freezer just doesn’t work for me. Everything falls into never never land. Plus if you want to make a frozen pie, don’t even try. I would gladly give up my subzero with the freezer on the bottom for my old kenmore with the freezer on the top.

  38. Laura Wigen
    August 23, 2018 / 4:54 pm

    After replacing our ice maker 3 times – my only suggestion is to have your ice in the freezer. I love my french door (with freezer on the bottom) and we also have a deep freezer in the garage for larger items. I picked up some plastic freezer storage containers from TJ Maxx so nothing every goes missing.
    We have an external water/ice dispenser and our repair man said to NEVER get an ice maker in the fridge – that’s his #1 repair on refrigerators. If I could do it again, I’d get the french door with bonus drawer above the freezer. We have a drawer inside the doors and it hold all our snacks (baby-bels, string cheese, gogurt, etc).

  39. Susanne Beckett
    August 23, 2018 / 7:23 pm

    I personally have never had a problem with our Samsung, and it’s over 9 years old. Our only issue is that we’ve had ice build up in the bottom of the fridge, which is right above the freezer drawer. Other than that, I recommend the Samsung. I would stick with the French door. The side by side never has enough room.

  40. Andrea Graddy
    August 24, 2018 / 2:17 pm

    First and foremost, do you have an extra fridge/freezer in your garage or another area of your home? If you do, no need to consider extra space for beer/wine/soda or large casserole dishes, holiday parties, etc. Go with a refrigerator that can suit your everyday needs.

    As a mom, I totally value the water and ice dispenser in the door, externally. Kiddos can help themselves to a drink. I love that, and it is my top reason for loving a french door style fridge!

  41. Melissa Battles
    August 27, 2018 / 7:53 am

    I’m late to this post but we recently bought a new fridge so maybe this is helpful. We got a french door on top, freezer on bottom. I love the top section because the fridge is super roomy. However, there’s not nearly enough freezer room and it’s really hard to organize. It’s basically a giant bin with a shallow shelf on top. I’m always digging for stuff and never have enough room. I do love that we went with the water on the inside of the fridge. I hated how the water/ice dispenser area on the outside of our last fridge always look dirty/water marked no matter how often i scrubbed – I love the clean front on our new fridge. And it keeps the kids out of the water dispenser. Most importantly though, I’d ask your repair company what brands they recommend (and repair). Ours had strong recommendations (and warnings what to steer clear from) and wont touch some brands. Their best advice was avoid anything with fancy gadgets/electronic panels on the front. They’ll break long before your fridge and may or may not be able to be repaired.

  42. Emily King
    August 27, 2018 / 12:53 pm

    We have a subzero that we inherited and I wouldn’t recommend it. Looks good but when it breaks it’s $2k to fix it. At the beach my aunt has one that has one large door with freezer below and the fridge has an internal water dispenser only. You open the fridge door and it’s right on the side so you can fill up water but you don’t lose the space that the ice dispenser would take up. You have to reach down for ice but since the water coming out of the fridge is cold, you’re good except in July and August. If I had a choice, I’d choose that.

  43. LindsayInNYC
    August 27, 2018 / 3:32 pm

    We recently got a new fridge… I don’t *love* bottom drawers for organizational reasons. BUT the plus with that style is that the fridge can hold larger items like baking sheets/casserole dishes/etc. and they don’t easily fit in a side-by-side, if at all.

  44. nikki
    August 28, 2018 / 10:23 am

    My vote is for french door on top/freezer on bottom. I also LOVE the ice in the freezer and not in the fridge/door and interior water dispenser. I had this at our last house but we recently moved and while we have the french top/freezer bottom, we also have the exterior dispenser with the ice in the door. I also hate that you can’t dispense while anything is open and the look with the interior just looks cleaner/more simplified!

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