If you’re in the market for a new refrigerator, there are many great brands to consider. From affordable options by Maytag, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, and GE to high-end options by Electrolux, LG, and Sub-Zero, shopping around can get a bit confusing. Since the life of a refrigerator can be as long as 15-20 years, it’s important to love the product that you purchase. Here’s how to decide on a refrigerator that will work best for you.
How to Decide on a Refrigerator
Set a Price Point: It’s important to decide how much you can spend before you even start looking for a refrigerator. We say this because there are A LOT of really fancy refrigerators on the market, and it may be difficult to settle for one in your price range once you start browsing the high-end models. Determine the max you can spend, and don’t forget to include sales tax (where applicable), delivery charges, and disposal of your existing refrigerator. You’ll want to add anywhere from $70 – $500 to your budget to cover these expenses.
Measure Your Space: Now that you know how much you can spend, determine how much refrigerator your kitchen can handle. Again, do this before you start shopping. Refrigerators come in a variety of shapes and sizes from 24″ to 42″ width. If you get your heart set on a 42″ counter depth refrigerator, but only have space for a 24″ top freezer, this can make the shopping experience a bit frustrating. Even worse if the delivery guy shows up with a refrigerator that won’t fit!!
Decide on Style: Refrigerators come in a variety of configurations, including French Door, Side-By-Side, Top Freezer, Single Door, and Under-Counter. Your price point and available space will help narrow down your options.
- Less than $1,000 to spend: Look for top freezer designs, as these are typically the most affordable.
- Around $1,000 – $2,500: Look for standard top freezer, side-by-side, or french door designs.
- Around $2,500 – $5,000: Any of the above, plus consider counter-depth designs and special features (like the LG Door-in-Door).
- $5,000-$8,000: Shop high-end designs (but not built-in) by KitchenAid, Samsung, LG, Electrolux. This price range includes counter depth & specialty refrigerators.
- $8,000+: Shop built-in refrigerators by Electrolux, KitchenAid, Sub-Zero, and Viking. At this price range, you’ll want your refrigerator to be the best of the best.
Narrow Down Your Favorite Features: Now, just because you can afford the $5,000+ refrigerator doesn’t mean that a more expensive refrigerator is the best for you. Sometimes less is more! For example, if the layout of your kitchen doesn’t work well with a high-priced counter-depth or built-in design, buy a less expensive model and use the extra money to purchase in a wine cooler or beverage center!
Some of the most popular features of new refrigerators include:
- Ice and Water Dispenser (Adds about $800 to purchase price)
- 3 or 4 Door Designs (When compared to a standard side-by-side, adds $2,000 to purchase price)
- Stainless Steel (Adds $100 to purchase price)
- Specialty Cooling like Samsung’s 4-Door Flex (Adds $1,000+ to purchase price)
If you follow these basic tips for how to decide on a refrigerator, you’ll at least find yourself with a small enough list to work through. Whatever decision you make, be sure to take the time to do your research. This refrigerator will be with you for years to come.