There’s a reason French door refrigerators are more popular than ever. Open one up, and you’ll find yourself oohing and ahhing at the incredible storage and easy access. Find out what the experts have to say about them, and get the scoop on our most popular models.
For many homeowners, New Years resolutions include improving or updating their homes, and kitchens are usually at the top of the list to renovate. Instead of taking on the job of decorating, a more popular, and often more affordable, option is replacing kitchen appliances.
One of the most important machines in your kitchen is probably also the largest: the refrigerator. We’ve noticed Viewpoints reviewers are particularly interested in French door refrigerators right now. So, we set out to determine the pros, cons and need-to-knows of investing in a new double-door fridge.
Is a French door refrigerator right for you?
Abt Electronics representative Chuck Lucous says he can understand the draw to refrigerators with two side doors. Abt is no a newcomer to refrigerator sales; it’s one of the largest retailers for major home appliances.
“One of the things [about French doors] that’s nice is that you don’t have to open the whole refrigerator to get to the milk, for example. [People] like having the flexibility of where to put their stuff,” Lucous says.
Many French door models now have two freezer drawers as well, one drawer for the food you need to access regularly, and a bottom drawer for items you rarely need access to. It’s an easy alternative for those who don’t have the room for an additional fridge or freezer for storage. However, Lucous says before you run out and buy one to first consider how it’s going to fit in your kitchen.
“The important thing to know is how big of an opening you’re putting it into since a lot of refrigerators are growing,” Lucous explains.”The important thing is to have the available space because [French door fridges] are going to be taller. You’ll probably be able to find the width you need.”
Reviewers agree that the double-doors on the Samsung French Door Refrigerator RFG297AAWP give it the unparalleled advantage of uninterrupted space. Coupled with movable, see-through shelves, there’s little that this fridge can’t hold.
“The best feature is that the refrigerator utilizes all of its space for food storage. Three shelves with the option to lift to make space for bigger objects like a pitcher. Six total shelves on in the doors to house every condiment possible. The freezer on the bottom is spacious with two shelves.” –mccrearph, Reviewer since 2009
While some people love the option of sliding shelves around to make space for tall items, others feel the fridge is built for shallower containers overall.
“The ice and water in the door takes up some space inside the fridge, which is part of the area used for tall items. This ends up being a larger negative, when you realize that there is very limited space for anything tall in the fridge. There’s a little room in the double doors. And there’s a sliding shelf that folds back in half. But otherwise, most of the shelves are shorter.” –mmhi, Reviewer since 2009
While Samsung is consistently the top brand for French door refrigerators, top kitchen appliance brand Whirlpool is another reviewer favorite comes. The Whirlpool Gold French Door Refrigerator GX5FHDXVY is the brand’s top-ranked model, and reviewers praise its low noise level, interior organization, temperature control, ease of cleaning and design.
“It’s well-lit on the inside with very nice glass shelving. Ledges on the shelving keeps spills contained instead of making a mess all over the inside. The shelves are also easily removable and adjustable so you can take them out to be cleaned as needed.” –lordkaosu, Reviewer since 2011
Unlike the Samsung model, though, reviewers are not as happy with the Whirlpool’s freezer section.
“The freezer section, although very convenient as it is a pull out drawer at the bottom, is pretty small for how much space it takes in the entire appliance…Because it is a horizontal drawer, it is harder to find things that may have been placed at the very bottom. Unlike traditional refrigerators, this makes it harder to see what you have in your freezer.” –nemnem, Reviewer since 2010
Whether you go with a Samsung, Whirlpool or another French door refrigerator brand, the modern double door design should provide quick access and increased storage space to hold plenty of leftovers, produce and Costco purchases for your family.
Keep in mind, though, that a different freezer style may not suit you. And, before you go and purchase an expensive appliance, make sure the space from your floor to the bottom of your cabinets is tall enough to accommodate the taller fridge.
Editor’s note: If you have professional experience with refrigerators, Viewpoints is recruiting experts in priority product categories to write for our blog. Check out this overview of the Viewpoints Category Expert Program, including qualifications, compensation and how to apply.