French Door Refrigerator Review
Why Buy a French Door Refrigerator?
The top performers in our review are the LG LFX31945ST, the Gold Award winner; the Kenmore Elite 74033, the Silver Award winner; and the Samsung RF323TEDBSR, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a product to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 products.
French door refrigerators are sleek, multi-purpose refrigerators that are gaining in popularity due to their superior food storage capacity and great flexibility for cooling and humidifying different types of food. In addition, they are stylish, well designed and blend in nicely with nearly any kitchen decor.
Our top three French door refrigerators present exceptional storage capacity and healthy levels of storage flexibility. To learn more about these products, check out our articles about French door refrigerators.
A French door refrigerator is comprised of two side-by-side doors that that can be opened independently, or at the same time, revealing a spacious interior that keeps food cold and fresh. This refrigerator is designed to make it easy for you to easily grab the items you are most likely to use on a daily basis. Unlike the single-door refrigerator, the French door variety typically is divided into a number of different sections for different types of food. If you are the neat-and-tidy type who wants a place for everything and everything in its place, this layout is ideal.
On the bottom of the refrigerator is a freezer compartment that typically pulls out via a convenient drawer or drawers that can store more foodstuffs overall and support greater weight than traditional bottom-freezer refrigerators.
If you like many of the French door refrigerator's attributes but want frozen foods to be more accessible, you might prefer a side-by-side refrigerator that offers a slender upright freezer compartment on one side and a larger refrigerator section on the other.
French Door Refrigerators: What We Assessed, What We Found
In seeking out the best refrigerator brands, we paid close attention to overall storage capacity since this is a key factor for people who love cooking, prefer fresh ingredients and often feed plenty of people. We also examined energy use and efficiency since this plays a significant part in operating costs and is intertwined with capacity. Within our reviews, we included estimated yearly and monthly operating costs.
We sought out French door refrigerators with measurably generous interiors. Usually, bigger is better. However, there can be a trade-off in terms of energy efficiency and use since a bigger refrigerator may use more electricity overall. One of the most energy efficient French door refrigerators we found was the Kitchen Architect Series III KFXS25RYMS. One of the very best values is the LG LFX31945ST.
In addition, if aesthetics or limited kitchen space are substantial concerns, then cabinet-depth refrigerators might be a more suitable choice. They typically are 25 inches deep and stand flush against your cabinets. This imparts a uniform look to your kitchen and avoids issues with doors that would otherwise swing open too far. However, cabinet-depth refrigerators generally have less interior space. All the French door refrigerators presented here are deeper than the average countertop depth. The old-fashioned single-door refrigerator offers an average 18–21 cubic feet of space, including the freezer area. However, the top-brand French door refrigerators we examined ranged from 24 cubic feet to more than 30 cubic feet of space, with most leaning toward the higher numbers. In the refrigerator world, one cubic foot of space equals a standard bag of groceries so just a few extra feet gives you far greater capacity.
Another drawback to the single-door refrigerator is the fact that it offers little in the way of storage flexibility if you love to keep things organized. With single-door refrigerators, you can raise or lower shelves and perhaps have access to two crisper bins instead of one.
With French door refrigerators, we looked for measurable storage flexibility features since these are useful for the adventurous and well-organized cook who puts a high value on keeping ingredients fresh. We also looked at the overall number of shelf-adjustment options and crisper bins, which typically come with humidity controls that keep different types of foods at peak quality. Top-quality French door refrigerators frequently offer spill-proof shelves, can accommodate tall or unusually shaped containers and include humidity controls.
Certain French door refrigerators give you the added bonus of a door-within-a-door compartment. With this feature, you simply open one layer of a double-compartment door and grab that bottle of juice. This feature not only affords you extra storage space, but it also prevents cold air from escaping from the entire refrigerator. When this occurs, it takes extra energy to normalize temperature levels in refrigerator.
We also checked the size and configuration of the freezer compartments, which are accessible through a pullout drawer. The best refrigerators have more than two layers of bins that let you easily see what you have on hand.
What Else is Important in Selecting a French Door Refrigerator?
There are several things to evaluate when shopping for this type of refrigerator. Here are a number of other worthwhile features that might tip the balance as you consider which one to purchase.
The best French door refrigerators have a control panel on the outside that operates with either a touch screen or electronic touch controls. Electronic touch controls need just a touch rather than pressure to make them work. You can customize temperature settings from the control panel.
Water & Ice Dispenser
For many consumers, an icemaker is welcome feature, and its location is important. Although refrigerator icemakers have a reputation for being finicky and needing repairs, their quality has improved in recent years. The best are found in the door rather than the refrigerated compartment because that saves space and cuts down on freezing issues. If you use plenty of ice all the time, you no doubt would appreciate a refrigerator with dual icemakers. All the refrigerators we reviewed make both cubed and crushed ice.
Warranties & Support
All refrigerators come with some kind of warranty, but the best French door refrigerators include reasonably long coverage for the moving and sealed parts of the appliance. Often a manufacturer will also cover labor costs for repairs or replace defective parts.
A top-rated French door refrigerator comes with a diagnostic tool that makes it easier for a technician to identify any problems. Some refrigerators use a fault code, while the best use a tonal signal that can be transmitted over the phone to a customer service agent. These diagnostic tools save time because you can find out whether you can fix a problem yourself or if you need a technician. You also should have access to a user manual as well as different ways to contact the manufacturer such as email, phone and chat.
French Door Refrigerators: Our Verdict and Recommendations
Our top-rated French door refrigerators are stylish and spacious. We have chosen the best French door refrigerators based on capacity, storage utility and additional features.
Armed with the right information, you can find a French door refrigerator that works for your household and looks great in your kitchen. Check our reviews and you can choose the refrigerator that has the appearance and features you want.