What every best Refrigerators has:
- A flexible layout.
- Convenient features.
- A well-lit interior.
We found more recommendations in our sources for French-door refrigerators than for any other type. They are the best overall performers in professional tests, and users love their convenient layout, useful features and stylish looks. However, they're also more expensive, so if you find the price of a French-door model chilling, we also cover side-by-side, bottom-freezer and top-freezer refrigerators elsewhere in this report.
The 27.8-cu. ft. GE Café CFE28TSHSS (Est. $3,100) is an easy choice for our top pick. At Reviewed.com Matthew Zahnzinger opens his discussion of the CFE28TSHSS by saying that it's "the best standalone refrigerator you can buy." It earns a perfect 10 score, Editors' Choice and Best of Year awards. And, although it was first tested in 2014, he puts it at the top of his "Best Right Now" roundup for 2017.
Owners are similarly happy, saying that this French-door fridge hits all the sweet spots for them. Most agree that the GE Café CFE28TSHSS is attractive, feature-rich, a top performer and has excellent organization options. We spotted a few durability complaints, but no more than we see with any large appliance. The only consistent complaint we saw was that it's noisy.
There are a lot of bells and whistles on the CFE28TSHSS, but the scene stealer is the unique ability to dispense hot water in addition to cold. Of course, the refrigerator can also dispense ice and cold water though the door. Rather than a mundane LED display, you get a small touch screen for things like setting temperature. You can personalize the display by uploading photos from a USB thumb drive to play back slide-show style. Inside, you'll find twin crispers and a full-width slide out bin that can be set to different temperatures for storing different types of perishables. The spill proof glass shelves are adjustable, and there's tons of on-door storage. This fridge is offered only in stainless steel. The cabinet measures 35.75 inches wide and 36.25 inches deep.
Performance on the GE CFE28TSHSS is excellent. "There simply aren't any major flaws in this fridge," says Zahnzinger. There is a minor one however. Items stored at the bottom of the freezer crept to just above zero in Reviewed.com's tests. Though the freezer's excellent temperature stability minimizes the risk that that could give rise to freezer burn in items stored long term. The fix is simple though: turn down the thermostat. ConsumerReports.org rates thermostat control on the CFE28TSHSS to be Excellent; Very Good for temperature uniformity.
If you need something larger, the 29.9 cubic foot Kenmore Elite 72483 (Est. $4,200) earns expert ratings that are close to that of the GE CFE28TSHSS. At ConsumerReports.org it earns Excellent ratings for thermostat control, Very Good for temperature uniformity. At Reviewed.com, Matthew Zahnzinger is equally complimentary, giving the Kenmore 72483 a score of 9.8, just below the GE. Ry Crist at CNET joins the fan club, giving the Kenmore 72482 ($4,000) (which is identical to the 74283 except in white) an overall rating of 8.6 out of 10. This refrigerator also comes in black as the Kenmore 72489 (Est. $4,000).
As you would expect, performance is a big strength with the Kenmore Elite 72483, with testers struggling to find any flaws. At CNET, Crist found some variation in temperatures in various sections of the fridge over 72 hours of testing, but not enough to ding it in that area. Zahnzinger reserves his highest praise for the "Airtight Crisper" system, which he say works very well to keep greens fresh, an area where even high-end refrigerators can lag.
Owners don't seem to be as pleased as the experts are with the Kenmore 72483, but there's probably a reasonable explanation for the relatively low ratings we saw. Kenmore appliances get very, very few reviews, often only a handful compared to other brands that may get hundreds. Also, higher-priced items tend to draw less feedback overall, and people are much more apt to leave a review when they're unhappy than when they're happy. The combination of these two phenomena brings down the overall user ratings for the 72483.
The Kenmore Elite 72483 is well-featured, but not loaded to the nines. However, one feature users love is the "Ultra Ice" setting that speeds up ice production for 24 hours. In addition to that handy feature, the 72483 has a through-the-door water and ice dispenser, and the ice can be cubes or crushed. The full-width pull out drawer has five different temperate settings that can be independently set to specifically accommodate drinks -- including chilling wine -- meats and seafood, snacks and deli items. There are also the most standard features, such as twin crispers, easy-to-use temperature controls, a door-open alarm and LED interior lighting. A lock feature enables you to keep little ones from playing with the water dispenser when your back is turned.
If there's an issue with either of the refrigerators above, it's that they are a little on the pricey side. If you want a solid-performing French door refrigerator that leaves out some bells and whistles, but also leaves some dollars in your wallet, the LG LFC24770ST (Est. $1,900) is a great choice. It's both Recommended and rated a Best Buy at ConsumerReports.org, and gets good feedback from owners as well in hundreds of reviews. The LG LFC24770ST is stainless steel, but it also comes in in white as the LG LFC24770SW (Est. $1,800) and black as the LG LFC24770SB (Est. $1,800).
Experts give the LG LFC24770ST top grades when it comes to maintaining temperatures, energy efficiency and low noise. This is a 24 cubic foot fridge, smaller than the French door fridges above but still big enough to fill the needs of most families. It's also still fairly large, at 35.5 inches deep (including the door handles) and 32.75 inches wide. It has a fairly basic array of features, including an open-door alert, a full-sized drawer in addition to two crisper drawers, and a lot of adjustability in the storage options. The only real complaint that we saw was that the shelving and drawers feel like flimsy plastic, but, for the price, relatively few care.