How To Shop for a Refrigerator
Find the Best Price Possible!

You'll want to know how to shop for a refrigerator when that horrible day comes and your old, beat up fridge finally conks out

There are so many options to choose from these days.  Which refrigerator brand should you buy?  What refrigerator style do you need?  What refrigerator size do you need?   Do you need a smart refrigerator?   And most importantly, how much to spend?

We'll go through all the particulars below to help you find the best refrigerator model at the very best price with the features you want and need.

How To Shop for a Refrigerator
Consider Your Budget

How to Shop for a Refrigerator - Piggy Bank

When you look up how to buy a refrigerator, the first thing you'll need to consider is just how much you can afford.

Refrigerators come in a wide variety of price ranges and quality and features can vary widely within those ranges.

But once you have a monetary figure in mind, it'll make it easier for you to determine which features are most important.   Assuming you likely don't have unlimited funds, you'll need to decide on a number and work backward from that.

If you're looking between the $2000-$5000 range, you're going to find that vast majority of refrigerators in this group.  Most family sized refrigerators like French Door Refrigerators and Side by Side Refrigerators are in this range and brands such as LG, Samsung, GE and Whirlpool dominate.

If you can only afford $1000 or less, you'll find a number of high quality Top Freezer Refrigerators in this range.  

Above $5000, you're looking at the more premiere brands such as Viking, Liebher, and Subzero. You'll not only be able to demand a higher quality unit, but also more customizable options and feature sets.

How to Shop for a Refrigerator
Make Sure You Size it Right!

How to Shop for a Refrigerator - Tape Measure

Refrigerators come in a wide variety of sizes and capacities.  You'll want to be sure you take you available space into consideration before you make your purchase.

Trust us when we say there's no worse feeling than getting your new fridge home only to find out it's a half inch shy of fitting where you need it to go.  

That said, grab a measuring take and mark your height, width AND depth.  Seems like a no brainer, but you'd hardly be surprised if we told you most people don't bother with this step and end up back at the appliance store.  

To help minimize this, we recommend purchasing a refrigerator thermometer. 

You'll also want to pay close attention to the amount of space you'll need to accommodate both a swinging door AND pull out drawers.

Again, something few people take into consideration.  

French Door Refrigerators have two side by side doors that will open straight out (as will Side by Side Refrigerators) but you'll also want to take into account just how far out the bottom freezer drawer will come out.

Lastly, if you're in the market for a Top Freezer Refrigerator, know that you have the ability to change which side the door swings out on.

How to Shop For a Refrigerator
Choosing a Style

How to Shop for a Refrigerator - French Door Refrigerator

When you're shopping for a refrigerator, you'll want to take the Refrigerator Styleinto consideration.  There are a few to choose from:

1) French Door Refrigerators:  These refrigerators have two side by side doors along with a pull out freezer drawer.  

These refrigerators have tremendous capacity and are often the best choice for families. 

Some of the drawbacks are the freezer drawer can be a bit cumbersome and with an ice maker, it limits capacity.

How To Shop for a Refrigerator - Side by Side Refrigerator

2) Side by Side Refrigerators: 

These refrigerators have a refrigerator on one side and a freezer on the other. 

Again, these have the second best capacity and are good choices for a family. 

Some of the issues are narrow refrigerator and freezer space and limited door capacity. 

Also, the water and ice dispenser can really steal a good amount of freezer capacity.

How to Shop for a Refrigerator

3)  Top Freezer and Bottom Freezer Refrigerators.

Top Freezer Refrigerators are often the most economical refrigerators on the market.  

Many might refer to them as "starter refrigerators."  Their capacity and feature set is somewhat limited, but their price is very reasonable.  

French Door Refrigerators can be considered Bottom Freezer Refrigerators, but in this case we're looking at single door refrigerators with a separate freezer unit below. 

This type of model is more custom and seen more in Europe and Asia than here in the states.  

How to Shop for a Refrigerator

4)  Counter Depth Refrigerators

Counter Depth Refrigerators means exactly what you think.  The refrigerator is as deep as the counter.    

These are a perfect choice for those who might be looking for a more finished look. 

These units are flush with the countertop and give your kitchen a very modern and sleek look.  Counter Depth refrigerators are available in all the styles mentioned above.

How to Shop for a Refrigerator
Choosing Refrigerator Features

How to Shop for a Refrigerator - Samsung Ice Maker

Before we go through a list of potential features, start to think about those features that are absolute essentials.

One of the biggest considerations when you learn how to shop for a refrigerator is that the more features you choose, the more you'll have to pay.  Also, there's more potential for things to break down.

Some believe in keeping it simple considering the more bells and whistles, the more that can go wrong. 

That said, some of today's refrigerator features are fantastic.  Many features come standard depending on which Refrigerator Style you've chosen. 

Take into consideration what you'll actually use and what you really need:

Will you be entertaining a lot? -- You might want a large capacity refrigerator with dual ice machines.

Do you have a large family? - Again, you'll want a large capacity refrigerator with multiple shelving options to store a wide variety of foods and beverages.

Are you (or members of your family) looky-loos?  (Opening the fridge and taking forever to make a decision?) - You might consider one of the Door-in-Door options from Samsung or LG.

Are you home a lot (or not)? - A Smart Refrigerator might be your best choice to help manage the inventory of your refrigerator along with being able to program temperature settings remotely.

Are you more concerned with outside appearance than capacity?  You might consider a more custom made refrigerator.  One that can be adjusted to best suit your particular design choices.

Are you someone who eats more produce than meat?  You might want to consider buying a refrigerator with a Linear Compressor.  Where a normal compressor is on all the time and blasts cold air at 100% or 0% while a Linear Compressor adjusts the temp level and air flow as conditions require.

This type of unit will help keep your vegetables and fruits fresher longer.

How Much Can I Expect to Pay?

When you look at how to shop for a refrigerator, you'll want to have a rough idea of the range of prices you might have to consider.  Here's a quick handy reference below.  

This is not definitive by any level, but this will give you a rough range that most model will fall under.



French Door


Side by Side






How To Shop for a Refrigerator

When you're considering how to shop for a refrigerator, you'll want to keep the following in mind as you do:

Know Your Budget --  When you learn how to shop for a refrigerator, you'll first want to know your budget.  Refrigerator prices have quite the range so know what you can afford before you fall in love with something you can't.

Measure Twice, Buy Once -- Again, know the space you have alotted for your refrigerator before you set your delivery.

Choose Your Style - Depending on your capacity needs and the style of your kitchen, you'll want to know the style of your refrigerator before you start shopping.

That's pretty much it!  Keep these tips in mind when you shop and you'll soon realize you know how to shop for a refrigerator better than anyone!

COVID-19 Update

With Covid-19 ravaging our world, we thought it was important to update this article a bit.

Realize that as of this writing there are still chip shortages, steel shortages and even freon shortages.  The model you want may not be available for quite some time.

Have patience and understanding as much as possible during this challenging time.

You might consider purchasing a spare refrigerator or even a chest freezer if you can't find the refrigerator you want in the short term.

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