Best Side by Side Refrigerators

Last updated: November 02, 2019
BEST VALUE
Value for Money, Great Interior Space
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PREMIUM PICK
Advanced Features, Digital Controls
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MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT
One of the Cheapest, Advanced Features
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Your guide

You may think that side-by-side refrigerators haven’t changed much since their debut more than half a century ago. However, companies like Samsung, LG, and Whirlpool have been at the forefront of innovation in design, features, and performance.

The current crop of new home appliances offers some of the best side by side refrigerators available on the market today. They range from smart appliances that can be network-connected as part of your Smart Home setup to just beyond basic side-by-side with features that are designed to make your life a little easier while saving energy.

With a side-by-side model, you may give up a small percentage of fresh food storage, but you’ll have a freezer compartment that’s better organized and makes it easier to access what you need. No more wasting energy standing in front of an open freezer door while you dig around for tonight’s dinner or your favorite ice cream. You’ll also get more interior freezer storage space.

Do You Need a New Refrigerator?

You don’t have to wait until your chicken legs thaw out and your ice cubes are melted to know that your fridge is on the fritz. Although that’s a definite sign that you need a repair or a whole, new unit, there are other symptoms that your refrigerator is on its way out.

Woman picking up some fruits and veggies from the fridge

Excessive condensation

Are there water droplets all over the inside of your fridge or pooling on top of shelves and food? This means that your unit isn’t cooling properly. You might also see signs of moisture or mildew on the door gasket.

Hot motor

All electric motors are a little warm during operation, but if you notice that the motor or sides of your fridge are hot, it a sign that the motor may be getting ready to go.

Food spoilage

If food is going bad much sooner than it should, it’s a signal that your fridge isn’t maintaining the correct food storage temperature. Make sure to check that the thermostat is set properly before you call a repairman.

Excessive frost

Does your freezer look like a winter wonderland? These are symptoms of a larger problem, especially when frost-free models are the exception.

Obvious signs of wear and tear

These can range from loose seals to obvious dents or other damage that can affect performance and energy consumption.

It’s more than 10 years old

Most models are designed to last for up to 17 years with regular maintenance. But, if yours is more than 10 years old, it may be time to start shopping for a new refrigerator.

Repair costs are racking up

If you’re constantly calling repair service because your refrigerator is on the fritz, you may find it cheaper to just buy a new one.

Noisy operation

Modern appliances are designed for quiet, efficient operation. If your refrigerator is humming, buzzing, or making other unusual noises, it may be getting ready to break down.

Our Roundup of the Best Side by Side Refrigerators

Refrigerators are a big-ticket item that constitutes a modest investment to many families in the market for a new appliance. Even a new economy model can run close to $1,000. In order to make sure families like yours are getting the most for their money, we’ve carefully evaluated the top brands available at Best Buy for price, features, roominess, and performance.

There are approximately 100 brands and models of refrigerators on the market. Each of the models we reviewed features two full-length doors and through-the-door ice and water dispensers. That’s where most of the similarities end. Without further ado, here are our picks for the five best side-by-side fridges.

1. Best Choice - Samsung 24.5 Cu. Ft.

Features:

  • Easy access water filter
  • Through the door ice and water dispenser
  • Four adjustable, slide-out shelves
  • Four-door bins
  • Separate dairy compartment
  • Four each adjustable freezer shelves and door bins
  • Undershelf freezer drawer
  • Programmable door alarm
  • Dispenser child lock
  • Power Cool and Power Freeze modes
  • Energy Star certified
  • 7 cu feet of refrigerator space and 8.8 in the freezer compartment, for a total of 24.5 cubic feet of space
  • One-year warranty on parts and labor, five-year warranty on sealed system

Samsung 24.5 Cu. Ft. Review

Samsung makes more than great phones, as this 24.5 cubic foot refrigerator will prove. From its stainless steel finish to the energy-saving LED interior light, this unit says clean and modern from top to bottom; it’s all available in black or white.

The through the door ice and water dispenser has a built-in filtration system, and you can have your ice cubed or crushed in mere seconds.

You’ll enjoy more convenience in the easy-access water filter that can go for up to six months before it needs changing. There are even a dispenser child lock and programmable door alarm.

Inside, you’ll note desirable features like spill-proof tempered glass shelving, two vegetable crisper bins with humidity control, and four additional storage bins. The LED light provides a clear view of the contents without emitting a lot of heat or driving up your energy bill.

Other innovative features include Power Freeze and Power Cool modes that let you speed up the chilling or freezing process at the touch of a button. No more waiting for your favorite beverages to cool after you return from the supermarket, and frozen treats will be ready to enjoy in no time. Measures 70″h x 35 3/4″w x 36″d.

Pros
  • Large capacity
  • Humidity controls to keep veggies fresher
  • Lots of built-in convenience features
Cons
  • Water/ice dispenser eats into freezer space
  • No snack drawer

2. Best Value - Frigidaire 25.6 Cu. Ft.

Are you looking for a great refrigerator for under $1,000? Consider the FFSS2615TS side-by-side model from the folks at Frigidaire. It’s comparable in size and features to more expensive brands on our list at a lower price. Best of all, you’ll get the kind of performance you’d expect from a trusted brand like Frigidaire.

On the outside, you’ll find a crisp, stainless finish. sleek, elongated handles, and a water/ice dispenser with digital controls. Temperature control inside the fresh food compartment is right up front and handy, and you can see clearly with the energy-saving LED bulb.

Open the doors, and you’ll see expanded storage with three frameless, spill-resistant glass shelving, dedicated dairy compartments, humidity-controlled produce bins, and wide in-door packets that can even fit gallon jugs.

Want to keep the munchies handy? you’ll really enjoy the handy snack drawer. The freezer compartment features a lidless bin that can accommodate over-sized items, wire shelves for better air circulation, a flip-out shelf, and 9 cubic feet of space. Measures 69 7/8″h x 35 7/8″w x 34 1/2″d.

Features:

  • Humidity controlled vegetable crisper, snack drawer, and deli drawer
  • Dedicated dairy compartment
  • Three side-to-side, spill-resistant glass shelves
  • Open wire freezer bin and shelves
  • Flip-out freezer drawer
  • 5 cu ft refrigerator compartment, 9.1 cu ft of freezer space, for a total of 25.6 cubic feet
  • Four adjustable freezer door bins
  • Digital temperature controls
  • One-year warranty

Frigidaire 25.6 Cu. Ft. Review

Open the doors, and you’ll see expanded storage with three frameless, spill-resistant glass shelving, dedicated dairy compartments, humidity controlled produce bins, and wide in-door packets that can even fit gallon jugs.

Want to keep the munchies handy? you’ll really enjoy the handy snack drawer. The freezer compartment features a lidless bin that can accommodate over-sized items, wire shelves for better air circulation, a flip-out shelf, and 9 cubic feet of space. Measures 69 7/8″h x 35 7/8″w x 34 1/2″d.

Pros
  • Lots of interior storage space
  • Under $1,000
  • Wire freezer shelving and open-top basket
Cons
  • Not a lot of extra features
  • No child lockout feature
  • No extended warranty available
  • Not Energy Star certified

3. Premium Pick - LG 26.0 Cu. Ft.

Features:

  • 8 cu ft of fresh food storage, 9.2 cu ft in the freezer, for a total of 26 cubic feet
  • Compatible with Google Assistant
  • Extra tall water/ice dispenser with slide-out tray to accommodate larger containers and tall glasses
  • Digital temperature controls
  • Spill-safe glass shelves; Four fixed shelves and three adjustable shelves
  • SmartDiagnosis™ app
  • Humidity controlled produce bins
  • Door-in-Door quick access features
  • Dairy and deli drawers
  • LED lighting
  • Energy Star certified
  • Multi-Air Flow system
  • Smart Cooling®, Slim SpacePlus® ice maker, and ColdSaver™ panel
  • One-year warranty on parts and labor, seven-year warranty on sealed system, and 10-year warranty on compressor

LG 26.0 Cu. Ft. Review

A smart refrigerator for under $2,000? Yes, please! This model from LG offers advanced technology and all of the other things you’re looking for in a quality home food refrigeration system.

It’s compatible with Google assistant and integrates with other Smart Home components. You can even use the SmartDiagnosis™ app to troubleshoot potential issues from your smartphone. The black stainless finish will add elegance to any kitchen.

This model also gives you innovations in storage like the patented Door-in-Door® design that gives you fast access to your favorite food and beverage items without opening the main compartment, and it offers additional energy savings with the built-in ColdSaver™.

Although the ColdSaver feature is great, it does make accessing some items awkward when you want to get door shelved items from the main compartment the top dairy compartment is completely blocked from inside, and other items can only be reached by opening a small door or reaching through an interior window.

There is a tall water/ice dispenser with digital controls that fit almost any glass size and Slim SpacePlus® ice maker that conserves interior storage space in the freezer.

Take a peek inside this model, and you’ll enjoy bright LED lighting, Smart Cooling® temperature monitoring and control, and a Multi-Air Flow system to support longer food freshness. The two vegetable crispers are also designed to limit humidity and keep the product fresh

There are four roomy shelves and three wide bin that can adjust to hold gallon-size containers in addition to the Door-in-Door compartment located at the top. The freezer compartment features two open-top bins, four more shelves, and three side storage pockets. Measures 70 1/4″h x 35 7/8″w x 36 5/16″d.

Pros
  • Lots of advanced features
  • Extra-large capacity
  • One of the cheapest models to offer the black stainless finish
Cons
  • Door-in-Door plastic barrier blocks off some interior door shelves
  • Door-in-Door compartment can get too warm
  • Too wide for cramped kitchens or narrow spaces

4. Best Features - Whirlpool 24.6 Cu. Ft.

This Whirlpool side-by-side eliminates one problem with stainless steel finishes: fingerprints. That’s right, you get a contemporary look of stainless without all the smudges and constant polishing. But, that’s not all Whirlpool has in store for shoppers looking for a new refrigerator.

On the outside, you’ll enjoy dual-pad external ice and water dispenser with EveryDrop filtration and a seamless finish due to hidden hinges.

Features:

  • Interior LED light
  • Adjustable door bins
  • In-door can caddy
  • Two humidity-controlled produce crispers
  • Factory-installed icemaker
  • EveryDrop water filtration system
  • Digital temperature touch panel
  • Three frameless glass shelves
  • Deli drawer
  • Dual-pad water dispenser
  • Adaptive defrost
  • 4 cu ft refrigerator capacity, 9.1 cu ft freezer, for a total capacity of 24.55 cubic feet
  • One-year warranty on parts and labor

Whirlpool 24.6 Cu. Ft. Review

Once you open the doors, you’ll find plenty of space, organization aids, and intelligent controls to reign in humidity. This includes an adaptive defrost feature and frameless glass shelves for increased storage availability. The adjustable door bins can accommodate gallon-size containers, and the vegetable bins will keep your produce fresher longer.

Organization is effortless with the handy in-door can caddy. Keep your sandwich meats and cheeses in one place with the convenient deli drawer. Measures 69 5/8″h x 35 7/8″w x 33 5/8″d. Also available in white, black, and black stainless; prices on alternate colors may vary.

Pros
  • Roomy interior with frameless shelving
  • Fingerprint-proof finish
  • Hidden hinges
  • Freezes is super cold, and it freezes items quickly without damage or freezer burn; definitely the best feature
Cons
  • Ice maker takes up a lot of freezer space
  • Fresh food compartment doesn’t feel cold enough, even at proper settings
  • Temperature controls don’t display degrees
  • Crisper didn’t control humidity very well
  • Not Energy Star certified

5. Most Energy Efficient - GE 25.4 Cu. Ft.

Features:

  • Three adjustable spill-proof shelves and one fixed shelf
  • Two storage drawers
  • Frost free freezer
  • Digital temperature controls
  • Separate access door for ice maker
  • LED interior light
  • MWF water filtration system
  • Integrated shelf support
  • 7 cu ft fresh food compartment and 9.7 cu ft freezer compartment, for a total of 25.4 cubic feet
  • Energy Star certified
  • One-year limited warranty on parts and labor

GE 25.4 Cu. Ft. Review

through-the-door ice and water have a lot going for it. It’s Energy Star certified and has an average expected energy cost of only $77 dollars per year.

The Arctica ice maker has a special access door that puts ice within easy reach, and the MWF water filtration system makes sure that you have clear clean drinking water and cubes without harmful contaminants.

On the inside, the GE side-by-side re-imagines what food storage looks like. It features glass freezer shelves, slide-out, spill-proof fresh food storage shelves, an integrated shelf support system, and multi-level drawers.

You’ll also find clear storage bins that are adjustable to customize your food storage. The long-life LED lighting ensures that you’ll always find what you want. Measures 69 1/2″h x 35 3/4″w x 34 3/4″d.

Pros
  • Under $1,000
  • Lots of storage options
  • Great for smaller spaces
  • Energy efficient
  • Larger freezer than most side-by-side models
Cons
  • Ice and water dispenses slow
  • Fewer shelves than other models
  • Only one-year limited warranty available

Frequently Asked Questions: Best Side by Side Refrigerator

What are side by side refrigerators?

They’re refrigerators that typically have the freezer section segmented on the left side of the unit, with the fresh food storage on the right.

This is a tweak on the classic design that puts the freezer in a smaller compartment at the top or bottom of the unit, with the fresh food storage taking up the majority of the remaining space.

They tend to be slightly wider than traditional units, although there are some space-saver models on the market.

How long does a side by side refrigerator last?

The life expectancy depends on the size of the unit and how well it’s maintained. Compact models are designed to last for at least 14 years, while standard of large-capacity units that are maintained on the manufacturer’s recommended schedule can work great for 17 years or more.

Do side by side models have more freezer space?

When you’re looking at overall capacity, side-by-side designs offer more freezer space overall. However, the area is narrower and segmented. That may make storing bulky, wide, or long items more difficult than with a top or bottom oriented freezer design.

Best Side by Side Refrigerators — EHome