Best side-by-side fridges of 2022

Easy access to the fresh food and freezer compartments give these top performers their appeal

By Daniel Wrocławski

When shopping for a new refrigerator, you’ll see a lot more French door models than side-by-side models.

It has not always been so. Side-by-sides were once America’s favorite style of refrigerator. But in the latest Consumer Reports survey results, 64% of new refrigerators purchased by CR members between the start of 2020 and the first half of 2021 were French-door models. Side-by-sides have the second largest share with just 20%. (Upper freezers, lower freezers and built-ins make up the rest of the pie with a total of 16%).

But there are still plenty of good reasons to consider a side-by-side, which has tall, narrow dedicated compartments for fresh and frozen foods:

  • Side-by-side refrigerators are generally less expensive than French-door models.

  • More and more side-by-side refrigerators have many of the high-end features typically found in French door refrigerators, such as door-in-door designs.

  • Narrow side-by-side doors are easier to open in narrow kitchens.

  • They often cost less to repair, with a median outlay of $209 compared to $250 for French door refrigerators, according to our 2021 survey.

“Side-by-sides allow you to put fresh food and frozen goods at eye level, which means you won’t have to bend over as much as you would with an upper or lower freezer,” says Larry Ciufo, who tests refrigerators at CR. “But the cramped compartments can make it difficult to store some items, like frozen pizza boxes.”

To test every refrigerator that comes into our labs, we fit it 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 food fresh longer. . We also consider survey data from thousands of CR members to judge brand trustworthiness and satisfaction. All of this data, and more, informs CR’s refrigerator rating charts and each model’s overall rating.

For more information on buying a fridge, read our free fridge buying guide. CR members with digital access can read ratings and reviews of six outstanding side-by-side refrigerators, in 33-inch and 36-inch widths, in ranked order. They include refrigerators made by Amana, GE and LG.

Best 33 inch wide side by side

Best side by side 36 inches wide

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Karl M. Bailey