Refrigerator Buying Guide 2024 Leave a comment

There are some important things to consider before buying a fridge and we’ll cover these key aspects in this refrigerator buying guide.

One of the most cherished and much-loved home essentials is the refrigerator. Living without it seems nearly impossible.

That’s why it is crucial to find one that matches perfectly with your lifestyle, especially when you consider you might be using it for years to come.

There are several refrigerator brands on the market today including Samsung, Royal, Beko, etc., and each comes in different models so it can be quite tricky to make your pick.

If you’re intent on purchasing a new fridge, be sure to take note of the following considerations in this refrigerator buying guide:

  1. Kitchen space
  2. Refrigerator size
  3. Refrigerator type
  4. Key features
  5. Style and design
  6. Price
  7. Warranty

1. Kitchen space

Check your available space

Using a measuring tape, determine the width, depth, and height of the area where the refrigerator will sit. Keep in mind to leave a 25 mm gap around the top, back, and sides for the heat to dissipate during refrigeration.

Don’t forget to measure clearances like entryways and doorways. This ensures a smooth delivery, making sure the new fridge fits seamlessly into your home, while allowing for the safe removal of your old one (if any).

Hinges and reversible doors

Factor in the direction your refrigerator door swings, as cabinets and walls may obstruct its proper opening.

– Left-hinged fridges have hinges on the left side of the door when facing the unit, and the door opens from the right side.

– For right-hinged fridges, the hinges are on the right side of the door when facing the unit, and the door swings open from the left side.

Certain fridges offer reversible doors, allowing you to hinge the door on either the right or left, depending on your space requirements.

Keep in mind that some models might need a specific hinge-reversing kit – check the specifications. Reversible doors are especially convenient in kitchens with restricted space.

2. Refrigerator size

Choosing the right fridge size

Consider your kitchen layout as it may limit the size of your fridge. Rest assured, there’s a fridge to meet your requirements and offer ample space for everything. Even smaller units boast flexible interior designs to optimize capacity.

Once size is sorted, ponder on what you usually store: bottled drinks, veggies, leftovers, frozen goods, and the like. Let this influence your decision.

Refer to the chart below for the average dimensions of each fridge type:

Fridge Size Chart

Consider your lifestyle

Reflect on what you desire in a refrigerator. Are you keen on ample freezer space, smart features, or high energy efficiency? Your preferences will guide your selection.

Take into account the size of your family

The more folks in your home, the more capacity your fridge needs. Thus, align your family size with a fridge capacity that accommodates everyone.

When in doubt, we recommend you opt for a larger fridge. If space constraints limit a larger option, fridges with adjustable layouts and retractable shelving work wonders, making a compact fridge feel more spacious.

Recommended Fridge Size for Households

3. Refrigerator type

There are several types or models of refrigerators. They include;

  • Top mount refrigerator
  • Bottom mount refrigerator
  • Side-by-side refrigerator
  • French door refrigerator
  • Four-door refrigerator
  • Wine refrigerator
  • Bedside or bar refrigerator

Top mount refrigerator

Top mount refrigerators come fitted with a freezer on top. They are the most common type of fridges you will find in several homes. They’re cost-effective, dependable, typically more space-efficient, and offer a diverse range of options.

Perfect for smaller households with restricted kitchen space, top mount fridges make for an ideal choice.

Bottom mount refrigerator

Bottom mount refrigerators, featuring the freezer at the bottom, reign supreme in popularity. With their waist-high design and user-friendly layout, they offer easier access to frequently used items, eliminating the need for excessive bending down often associated with traditional top mount configurations.

Side-by-side refrigerator

You can consider side-by-side refrigerators for increased capacity within a compact footprint. This layout ensures effortless access to both the refrigerator and freezer with minimal hassle.

The smaller, centrally opening doors contribute to more kitchen space. Side-by-side fridges often feature conveniences like ice and water dispensers, advanced door technology, and touch control panels.

They’re just perfect for families seeking a stylish blend of fridge and freezer space.

French door refrigerator

French door refrigerators offer expansive shelving and ample storage boxes, making them a stellar choice for meticulous organization.

With three sections—two refrigeration sections at waist height and a sizable freezer section below—these fridges provide efficient storage. Certain models even incorporate a middle drawer for swift access to everyday items.

Available in various styles, French doors come equipped with handy features such as ice and water dispensers, adjustable shelving, and smart cooling. These luxury models are tailor-made for larger families with substantial grocery loads.

Four-door refrigerator

In terms of convenience, four-door refrigerators are widely acclaimed for their adaptable storage solutions.

Featuring two centrally opening doors at waist height and a complementary pair of freezer doors, some models even offer customizable freezer space.

With added perks like ice and water dispensers, adjustable shelving, and air purification, these fridges cater to modern needs.

This is another luxury model for expanding families who enjoy entertaining guests and hosting gatherings.

Wine refrigerator

If you’re a wine connoisseur, the wine refrigerator may be just what you need. These clever fridges are designed to create the ideal environment for your wine, keeping it at just the right temperature and humidity.

They even have special features to keep vibrations to a minimum, so your wine can rest undisturbed until you’re ready to enjoy it.

Two types of wine refrigerators exist;

Single-zone wine refrigerator: These wine fridges are perfect for those who like to keep things simple. With just one temperature setting, they’re ideal for storing a variety of wines at their perfect serving temperature.

Multi-zone wine refrigerator: The multi-zone wine refrigerator on the other hand, lets you create different temperature zones within the fridge. This means you can store reds and whites at their ideal temperatures, without having to worry about one type of wine affecting the other.

Bedside or bar refrigerator

Perfect for everyday essentials, bar or bedside refrigerators offer an affordable solution with essential features like a small freezer box, adjustable shelving, and temperature control.

They are ideal for hotels, offices, hostels, or as an additional fridge for overflow storage.

4. Key features

Below are some of the key features you will find in different refrigerator models:

Adjustable Shelves

Crafted from toughened glass or moulded plastic, refrigerator shelving is easy to remove and a breeze to clean. The raised plastic edges prevent spills from spreading.

Child-Safe Features

Many top refrigerators come equipped with child-proof settings on water and ice dispensers, drawer compartments, and temperature controls to ensure the safety of little ones.

Water & Ice Dispenser

You can enjoy the convenience of dispensers providing free-flowing water and ice at the touch of a button. Choose between plumbed and non-plumbed options to complement your kitchen design.

Temperature and Humidity Controls

Customize settings with separate controls for the fridge and freezer compartments. Some models even boast smart temperature sensors that automatically adjust settings for optimal performance.

Energy Star Rating

Many refrigerators carry an Energy Star Rating, ranging from one to six, indicating their efficiency. Compare Kilowatt usage for a true measure of efficiency – the lower, the better.

Sound

With a noise level of approximately 42 decibels (equivalent to a hushed conversation), the ideal refrigerator should operate quietly, ensuring minimal disruption in your kitchen.

Lighting

A well illuminated refrigerator makes for easy item retrievals, even in the dark. Opt for energy-efficient LED lighting as they emit less heat than traditional options. This reduces the risk of temperature fluctuations that can affect food quality in the cooling unit.

Air Deodorizers

Refrigerators that feature active carbon filters eliminate unpleasant odours from the air, keeping items fresh and hygienic. Some units even include anti-bacterial agents to prevent mould growth and harmful bacteria, ensuring an extra layer of cleanliness.

5. Style and design

Some major refrigerator styling and design you can find when you shop for fridges include;

Classic White Steel

Fridges sporting a classic white steel finish effortlessly blend into most kitchens and are notably resistant to marks and fingerprints, making cleaning a breeze.

Inox (Stainless Steel)

Stainless steel finishes exude a polished and professional appearance, thanks to their symmetrical structure and robust aesthetic. While fingerprints may be more visible, some fridges feature anti-fingerprint surfaces to eliminate their appearance.

Sophisticated Layered Steel

Fridges with layered steel boast the sleek stainless-steel aesthetic, enhanced by an additional external layer that aids in preventing marks and fingerprints.

Bold Black Steel

Black steel fridges command attention with their standout design, making them a favoured choice. Enjoy added protection with surfaces resistant to fingerprints.

Elegant Glass Finish

Experience richer and more vibrant colours with a glass finish. While glass refrigerators may be more prone to scratches than other styles, maintaining their pristine appearance is effortless – a simple wipe with a cloth will address most issues.

Retro Colours

Discover a variety of vintage-style fridges, often adorned with vibrant colours such as red or yellow. These serve as striking feature appliances, offering a plethora of hues to suit your taste.

6. Price

Lastly and most importantly, you’ll have to consider how much you are willing to spend on a refrigerator. The price of each fridge is dependent on its size, style, and features. Thus, some may be relatively more affordable for you than others.

7. Warranty

Fridges are usually built to be tough and as such, you will hardly encounter issues with your refrigerator once you start using it.

However, unforeseen issues may occur and you may want to get your appliance repaired. Thus, having a refrigerator that comes with warranty from your brand would be ideal.

So, consider this and the after-sales service before purchasing that particular brand you want. Typically, many refrigerator brands place warranty on a specific component of the appliance (usually the compressor).

Also, take note of how long the warranty is active. Generally, most brands would offer 12 months warranty on their products. However, if the brand you opt for offers more cover for your product, then by all means, go for it.

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