Bottom-freezer refrigerators get more recommendations than top-freezers, primarily due to their more convenient layout. However, their popularity is giving way to French door fridges that are more convenient still -- replacing the sometimes massive one-piece door design with two piece doors that can be more easily accommodated in tighter kitchens. We cover French door refrigerators in their own section elsewhere in this report.
Our top-rated model in the bottom freezer category is the 23.8- cu. ft. LG LDC24370ST (Est. $1,500). This refrigerator measures just under 33 inches wide (32.75) and comes in a stainless-steel finish. It is also available in smooth white as the LG LDC24370SW (Est. $1,500).
The LG LDC24370ST earns a Recommended label in one independent test. Reviewers there note that temperature stability is a strength. They also note that this LG fridge is the strong but silent type with a top score in noise performance.
The feature list is decent, though not overwhelming. One very nice touch is an alarm that can alert you if the door is accidentally left ajar. There's also an interior ice maker. The glass shelves are adjustable and attractive. Door storage is designed to accommodate a variety of items of different shapes, heights and sizes, from a child's juice carton to a full gallon of milk. There are two crisper compartments and a full-width compartment for storing party platters, beverages, or what have you. Two drawers in the freezer compartment help you access items more easily.
User reviews, though not overwhelming in numbers, are overwhelmingly positive. HomeDepot.com hosts nearly 40 for the stainless-steel version, which earns a 4.8-star score, and no rating is below 4-stars. Roughly 97 percent of owners say they would recommend the fridge. One holdout complains that the door is difficult to open and the rubber seal squeaks, yet rates it 4-stars anyway. While HomeDepot.com's user review tally includes those that originate at LG's website, the user reviews at BestBuy.com all come from its own customers, and hence are unique. There are just over 30 reports there and satisfaction is nearly identical -- 4.6 stars. Again, roughly 97 percent would recommend the LG LDC24370ST.
The Whirlpool WRB322DMBM (Est. $1,400) is a little smaller, a little noisier, and a little cheaper than the LG LDC24370ST, but is still very much worth considering for those on slightly tighter budgets. Like the LG LDC24370ST, the WRB322DMBM has a stainless steel finish. However, if you don't want, need or can afford something that snazzy, you can get the same model in a more basic white, as the Whirlpool WRB322DMBW (Est. $1,300), or black, as the Whirlpool WRB322DMBB (Est. $1,300), and save around $100. Whichever option you choose, you get a solid performing, 22.1 cu. ft. workhorse that, according to reviews pleases experts and users.
The WRB322DMBM earns a Recommended label in one large comparative review. Temperature performance and energy efficiency earns kudos. However, the noise level is rated as no better than average. User reviews are ample and strong. At HomeDepot.com it earns a 4.5-star rating with 95 percent of those weighing in saying that they would recommend this bottom-freezer model to a friend.
This refrigerator is designed to fit into a 33-inch space (its width with the doors closed is 32.75 inches). It's not as feature rich as the LG LDC24370ST, but you'll find spill proof glass shelves, two slide-out baskets in the freezer, digital temperature controls and an ice maker.
For those looking for a bottom freezer on a an even tighter budget, the Kenmore 69313 (Est. $1,000) gets some consideration. It's rated a Best Buy among conventional bottom freezer refrigerators in one comparative review. It has a lower capacity (19 cu. ft.) and is narrower (just under 30 inches with the door closed) than the two bottom freezers above. That's terrific for those looking for a fridge that will fit well in a kitchen where space is tight, but it's not so hot for those with larger families. The Kenmore 69313 has a stainless-steel finish. You can save about $100 by opting for the white Kenmore 69312 (Est. $900) or black Kenmore 69319 (Est. $900) instead.
Features are very limited. There are glass shelves in the fridge, but the freezer lacks even an ice maker (though one can be purchased as an option). Still, if its dimensions and capacity are a match for your needs, testing reveals a silent but strong performer, in the Kenmore. Noise, the ability to maintain steady temperatures and energy efficiency all draw the highest ratings. User reviews are limited, and found only at Sears.com. Most are happy, and this Kenmore bottom freezer draws roughly 4-star feedback across its various color versions. The score is dragged down a little by a couple of reviews that clearly involve different Kenmore models.
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