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. They're pricey, though, and big, so if something else would better suit your needs, we also cover side-by-side refrigerators, top-freezer refrigerators, bottom-freezer refrigerators and counter-depth refrigerators elsewhere in this report.
The 29.9 cubic foot Kenmore Elite 72483 (Est. $3,300) , which comes in stainless steel, earns rave reviews from experts and equally good marks from users for its superb performance. At one professional testing organization it earns Excellent ratings for temperature performance, energy efficiency and noise, making it one of the top recommended French-door refrigerators. At Reviewed.com, Matthew Zahnzinger is equally complimentary, making the Kenmore 72483 one of the top-rated rated refrigerators in their lineup. Ry Crist at CNET joins the fan club, giving the Kenmore 72482 ($3,200) (which is identical to the 74283 except in white) an overall rating of 8.6 out of 10. Owners are also happy, giving this French-door fridge very good ratings, although there are fewer reviews for this Kenmore than others, since it's a newer model. This 72483 also comes in black as the Kenmore 72489 (Est. $3,200).
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.
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.
Our former Best Reviewed French-door fridge, the 27.8 cubic foot GE Café CFE28TSHSS (Est. $3,100) is still an excellent choice, only falling out of our top spot based upon more recent testing from additional experts that put the Kenmore on top. At Reviewed.com Matthew Zahnzinger opens his review of the CFE28TSHSS by saying that it's "still the best standalone refrigerator you can buy." It earns a perfect 10.0 score, Editors' Choice and Best of the Year awards, and is rated to be better than any refrigerator the site has ever tested.
Hundreds of users agree, giving the GE Café CFE28TSHSS high ratings across the board. Most praise its performance, attractive, stainless steel styling, and plethora of high-end features. 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 tests out to be impeccable in most regards. "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 degrees Fahrenheit 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: "If you turn down the thermostat, you shouldn't have any problems."
If there's an issue with either of the fridges 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) looks to be a top choice. It's rated a Best Buy by one independent testing organization, and gets good feedback from owners as well in hundreds of reviews. The LG LFC24770ST comes in stainless steel. You can save a little more by opting for the otherwise identical LG LFC24770SW (Est. $1,800), in white or the black 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.
Elsewhere in this report: