Best refrigerators of 2022
CR experts round up the top performers from our tests, including French-door models and stylish side-by-sides from LG, Sub-Zero and Whirlpool
An engineer assesses the interior of a refrigerator in a CR testing lab.
By Daniel Wrocławski
Looking for a new refrigerator? You have come to the right place.
Consumer Reports’ refrigeration lab is a busy place. Our testers are constantly evaluating new models and adding them to our refrigerator ratings, which include refrigerators in all configurations: bottom-freezer, built-in, counter-depth, French door, side-by-side, and top-freezer.
However, the boundaries between these categories are blurring. Refrigerators today have more doors, and once-exclusive features carry over to more affordable styles, such as top freezers and side-by-side refrigerators. “We’ve even seen models that let you convert certain compartments from freezer to refrigerator and vice versa,” says Larry Ciufo, who oversees CR’s refrigerator testing.
During testing, we fit each refrigerator with thermocouples in a climate-controlled chamber and monitor it for a month, collecting more than 5.4 million temperature readings that identify hot and cold spots to determine which models will keep your food fresh longer. We also consider survey data from thousands of CR members to judge brand trustworthiness and satisfaction. All of this and more informs the CR fridge ratings and overall rating for each model.
To help you find the ideal refrigerator, we organize our notes according to the width of the appliance. After all, the best fridge in the world is useless if it doesn’t fit in the slot in your kitchen. You can see the best models by width in our comprehensive refrigerator rating charts.
Below, CR members can read ratings and reviews of the best fridge for each type we test. They include models in multiple widths from LG, Sub-Zero and Whirlpool.
Best French Door Fridge
CR’s opinion: The 36-inch-wide LG LRFXC2416S comes with the features we track and more – shelves that can be adjusted without moving food on them, air and water filters, and a second ice maker (in addition to the dispenser in the door) that molds elegantly curved, oversized cubes for cocktails. This model is similar to the CR-tested (and now discontinued) LG LRFXC2406S, and we expect it to perform identically. The tested model provided excellent performance almost at all levels. The only exception is energy efficiency, where its good score is in the bottom half of the pack. Its more expensive siblings – the LG LRFVC2406S and the sleeker and ever more expensive LG SRFVC2406S – have transparent door-in-door compartments.
For the top-rated narrower models, check out our roundup of the best French-door refrigerators in CR’s tests.
Best Side-by-Side Fridge
CR’s opinion: The LG LSXS26326S is a superb side-by-side model for the price. It gets excellent scores on almost all of our tests, with the only exception being a very good rating for power consumption. The overall model rating doesn’t quite reflect this performance, as our latest member surveys reveal that LG side-by-sides are only rated good for reliability and owner satisfaction (although the latter is at the top of the category). This 36-inch-wide model has a fairly typical array of features for a side-by-side, including a lockable external water/ice dispenser, built-in water filter, and gallon-sized storage bins. on the door.
Are you looking for a narrower model? Check out our Top Rated Side-by-Side Refrigerators report for a selection of the best performing 33-inch models.
Best Top Freezer Refrigerator
CR’s opinion: At just 24 inches wide, the Whirlpool WRT112CZJZ is one of the narrowest top freezers available, but it’s one of the best models in our rankings for its size. And thanks to its sub-$600 price tag, it’s also a CR Best Buy. The unit scores excellent marks for crucial cooling functions and for noise production, making it the quietest in its class, and scores very good for energy efficiency. Its poor convenience score is typical of top freezers, as is its lack of features, although this Whirlpool offers gallon storage on the doors. In member surveys, Whirlpool top freezers rated Excellent for predicted reliability, but Fair for owner satisfaction, a common combination among top freezer brands.
If you need a larger fridge model, check out our ranking of the best top-freezer fridges in our tests.
Best Bottom Freezer Refrigerator
CR’s opinion: The 33-inch-wide LG LRDCS2603S is excellent at controlling the temperature and making sure it’s even around the device, and very good at saving power. It gets high marks for noise and ease of use. The overall performance of this model is enhanced because in our latest surveys, CR members gave LG bottom freezers excellent marks for predicted reliability and very high marks for owner satisfaction. And compared to many lower freezers, this LG is feature-rich: it’s equipped with an ice maker, built-in water filter, splash-proof shelves, and gallon-sized bins on the doors.
If you have less space to work with, check out the best bottom-freezer fridges from our reviews.
Best built-in fridge
Sub-Zero IT-36RID Designer
CR’s opinion: The 36-inch-wide Sub-Zero Designer IT-36RID outperforms other top-performing integrated models in CR lab tests. It boasts top marks for thermostat control, temperature uniformity, and energy efficiency, while earning high marks for noise and ease of use. Sub-Zero owners really love their built-in devices — in our member surveys, the manufacturer’s models are rated Very Good on predicted reliability and Excellent on owner satisfaction. Although this fridge is relatively light on features, it offers WiFi connectivity for remote control via a smartphone app.
If you have more room to play, check out our deeper dive into the best built-in fridges for the top-rated 42-inch-wide models.
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