Bottom Freezer Refrigerators: Really Better?
Are bottom freezer refrigerators really better? Let’s briefly compare the three major refrigerator types.
Bottom Freezer Advantages
- Bottom freezer refrigerators place the most frequently used refrigerator space directly at eye level. This provides easy access and great convenience, especially for those who store a lot of fresh foods.
- The main compartment runs the full width of the appliance, making it easy to store large items like party trays.
- Some manufacturers add lift-out baskets and tiered shelving to the freezer compartments making it easier to reach frozen foods.
- Bottom Freezer refrigerators have been growing in popularity and are generally more energy efficient than their counterparts.
Bottom Freezer Disadvantages
- Fewer models of Bottom Freezer refrigerators than Side-by-Side and Top Freezer configurations.
- Most tend to have capacities ranging from about 18 to 22 cubic feet, so they are better suited for small to medium sized households.
- Generally, Bottom Freezer refrigerators will cost more. (You’ll probably recoup this added expense over the life of the appliance due to energy efficiency.)
Top Freezer Advantages
- The eye level position of the freezer provides easier access to frozen foods, minimizing the chance that items will be forgotten.
- Both refrigerator and freezer compartments are full-width, making it easier to accommodate oversized items.
Top Freezer Disadvantages
- People open their refrigerators about 10 times as often as their freezers. Since the refrigerator compartment is below the freezer, it requires constant stooping - perhaps one reason why low lying vegetable crispers go untouched for so long.
- While the capacity of the freezer section may be comparable with a bottom freezer, it’s not as easy to organize.
French Door (Side by Side) Advantages
- The most popular configuration, it is ideal for those who don't have a lot of space in their kitchen since the doors don't swing open as widely.
- The refrigerator section is at eye level and having two doors is a good organizational feature.
French Door Disadvantages
- Most people tend to open both doors several times making this configuration less energy efficient than a bottom mount refrigerator.
- Smaller interiors (due to door design) make it more difficult to store larger items in the refrigerator compartment.
- Many manufacturers offer an interior or through-the-door ice maker/water dispenser as an option on all side-by-sides. While a popular feature, it’s also the most frequent cause of repair for these models.