Keep It Cool: A Guide to the Best Drawer Refrigerators
Tired of rummaging through that giant refrigerator and still not being able to find what you need? It may be time to think outside the (ice)box and consider a drawer refrigerator for your kitchen or entertaining space.
Drawer refrigerators provide convenient compartmentalized storage in a compact footprint. They can be standalone units or installed under counters for a built-in look. With adjustable dividers, temperature controls, and capacities ranging from single wine bottles to over 30 cubic feet, drawer refrigerators offer flexible, organized refrigeration.
This guide will cover the best drawer refrigerator models on the market, key factors in choosing the right unit, and frequently asked questions about these innovative appliances. Learn how integrating drawer refrigeration can optimize your kitchen workflow, storage, and entertaining.
An Introduction to Drawer Refrigerators
Before diving into specific products, let’s look at what exactly drawer refrigerators are and their unique benefits:
- Compartmentalized storage: Drawers isolate different food items, drinks, and leftovers for easier access. No more digging through shelves!
- Flexible configurations: Adjustable dividers and bins allow custom organization. Optimize drawer space for beverages, produce, chilled snacks, and more.
- Compact footprint: Drawer units are narrower than typical refrigerators, fitting in tight spaces. Standalone or undercounter installation options maximize usable space.
- Precise temperature control: Individual drawers or zones feature independent temperature regulation to keep contents perfectly chilled.
- Ergonomic access: Drawers glide open smoothly, bringing items to you versus needing to bend down to hunt for them.
For kitchens with limited square footage, hosting frequent entertaining, or just needing better refrigerator organization, drawer-style refrigeration can be a game changer.
The Best 4 Drawer Refrigerators
Drawer refrigerators come in a range of configurations, sizes, and features. Here are four top-rated models spanning different design and storage needs:
This spacious French-door style drawer refrigerator provides ample flexible storage for the most discerning chef.
- 22 cubic feet capacity
- CoolSelect PantryTM with adjustable temperature
- FlexZoneTM customizable drawer divider system
- Twin cooling plusTM prevents flavor transfer
- Fingerprint resistant finish
Pros: Massive capacity, fully customizable storage, excellent temperature separation.
Cons: Expensive, large footprint.
Dimensions: 69.75” x 35.75” x 22.75”
Price Range: $3,000 – $3,500
This undercounter drawer model blends seamlessly into your cabinetry for hidden refrigeration power.
- 5.6 cubic feet capacity
- 3 tempered glass drawers with full extension slides
- Interior LED lighting
- Handleless push-to-open design
- Smooth telescoping drawers
Pros: Virtually invisible built-in design, bright interior lighting, space-saving shallow depth.
Cons: Limited capacity, fixed drawer configurations.
Dimensions: 33.9” x 22.8” x 22.5”
Price Range: $1,600 – $2,000
Fisher & Paykel RF135BDLX4
With its sturdy stainless steel exterior, this freestanding quad-drawer unit makes a sleek kitchen statement.
- 13.5 cubic feet capacity
- 4 full-extension drawers
- LED cabinet lighting
- Adjustable storage bins
- Alarm alerts for doors ajar or high temps
Pros: Generous capacity, commercial-grade stainless finish, flexible adjustable bins.
Cons: Expensive, drawers not see-through.
Dimensions: 32” x 23 1⁄2” x 69 3⁄4”
Price Range: $2,800 – $3,200
For a flexible French-door style drawer refrigerator on a budget, Kenmore provides solid quality and storage.
- 19.8 cubic feet capacity
- LED lighting in each drawer
- 2 adjustable glass shelves
- Spacious bottom freezer drawer
- Energy Star certified
Pros: Good storage capacity, adjustable shelving, affordable price point.
Cons: Basic functionality and style, some reliability complaints.
Dimensions: 33.5” x 29.5” x 66.5”
Price Range: $1,100 – $1,400
From built-in shallow models to massive premium chef’s refrigerators, drawers provide cooling versatility. Keep requirements and budget in mind as you evaluate options.
How to Select the Perfect Drawer Refrigerator
Beyond comparing individual models, consider these key criteria to select the best drawer refrigerator for your kitchen or entertaining space:
- Undercounter or Freestanding: Undercounter units blend into cabinetry for a built-in look. Freestanding models make a bolder style statement.
- Dimensions: Confirm drawer refrigerator sizes match your intended space, accounting for ventilation clearance.
- Configuration: Measure for width of single, double, triple, or quad drawer units. Identify any height restrictions.
- Number of Drawers: More drawers provide compartmental options but limit capacity of each. Choose based on types of foods or drinks to store.
- Adjustable Dividers: Removable bins allow custom organization as needs evolve. Not all models include this flexibility.
- Finish: From stainless steel to customized paneling, finish impacts overall kitchen style.
- Built-in vs Standalone: Integrated undercounter models maintain a streamlined look. Standalone units make a bold visual statement.
- Temperature Zones: Dual regulates drawers at different temps. FlexZoneTM offers adjustable zones.
- Fast Cooling: Learn how quickly each model can chill warm items to safe temp.
- Lighting: LED interior lighting makes contents easy to see.
- Tempered Glass: Durable, easy-to-clean glass fronts on some models.
- ENERGY STAR® Rating: Compare ratings to estimate annual energy costs.
- Certifications: Look for ENERGY STAR or CEE Tier 3 certification.
- Estimated Cost: Review average kWh/year and cost ranges.
- Standard warranties cover 1 year on parts and labor.
- Extended warranties provide added peace of mind for an additional cost.
- $1,000 – $3,000+ is typical for drawer refrigerators. Larger capacity and more features increase price.
Take time to consider which features will maximize utility and convenience for your needs and space.
Frequently Asked Questions About Drawer Refrigerators
Considering a drawer refrigerator for your kitchen? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about what makes these appliances special:
How do drawer refrigerators work?
Drawer refrigerators use standard compressor refrigeration. Each drawer operates as an independent refrigerated compartment, allowing you to set different temperatures.
What are the advantages of drawer refrigerators?
Benefits include compartmentalized storage, ergonomic access, compact footprints, temperature control, and flexible configurations. This makes drawer refrigerators great for small spaces and serious cooks.
What types of foods are best stored in drawer refrigerators?
Drawers are perfect for beverages, deli items, leftovers, produce, chilled breakfast items, and prepped ingredients. Adjustable bins accommodate diverse foods.
Are drawer refrigerators noisy?
Drawer refrigerators operate quietly thanks to insulation and vibration dampening mounts. Undercounter installation also helps minimize noise.
Do drawer refrigerators require special installation?
Undercounter models usually require custom cabinet cutouts. Allow for ventilation space. Freestanding units only need proper clearance from walls and cabinets.
How energy efficient are drawer refrigerators?
leading drawer refrigerators are ENERGY STAR® certified to reduce electricity costs. Features like LED lighting and vacation modes also boost efficiency.
Do drawer refrigerators offer temperature adjustability?
Many models allow adjusting each drawer’s temperature. Some offer preset zones, while others provide full manual temperature control.
What temperature ranges can drawer refrigerators maintain?
Expect ranges from high 30s°F to low 40s°F for chilled drawers. Specialized beverage and freezer drawers can get down to mid-20s°F.
Are there drawer refrigerators designed specifically for wine?
Yes, many undercounter models offer at least one wine drawer that can hold 6-40+ bottles and maintain optimal wine preservation temperatures.
How much can drawer refrigerators store in terms of volume?
Capacities range widely from 3.5 cubic feet for mini units to over 30 cubic feet for full-height models. Undercounters hold 4-10 cubic feet, free-standing models 10-30+ cubic feet.
How does storage capacity in drawer refrigerators compare to traditional refrigerators?
For the same width, drawer refrigerators provide 20-50% less cubic footage since compartments stack vertically. Multiple narrow drawers sacrifice some volume for better organization.
How expensive are drawer refrigerators compared to regular refrigerators?
Expect to pay $500-$1,000 more for a comparably sized quality drawer refrigerator. The customizable compartments and specialized preservation abilities merit the premium.
What are some design considerations for drawer refrigerators?
Look for full-extension slides, interior lighting, adjustable dividers, temperature adjustability, tempered glass fronts, and quiet performance. Also, choose finishes to match your kitchen decor.
What warranty coverage do drawer refrigerators come with?
Most quality drawer refrigerators come with 1 year limited warranties on parts and labor. Some offer extended warranty options for purchase up to 5 years.
What are the best brands for drawer refrigerators?
Top brands include Fisher & Paykel, GE Monogram, JennAir, KitchenAid, LG Signature, Marvel, Samsung, Sub-Zero, and Thermador. Look for leading kitchen appliance names.
Where can I buy drawer refrigerators?
Check at major appliance retailers, specialty kitchen stores, online appliance websites, or directly from brands. Sales staff can help you select the right size and features.
The Bottom Line on Drawer Refrigerators
Bringing refrigeration off static shelves and into smooth-gliding drawers revolutionizes kitchen organization and ergonomics. Whether you need undercounter refrigeration capacity in a small footprint or a full-sized chef’s dream fridge, drawer-style units provide the compartmentalized cooling today’s kitchens demand.
Focus first on available space, then storage needs and must-have features. Leading drawer refrigerator brands offer adjustable compartments, independent temperature zones, and customizable configurations to fit your foods while dazzling your guests. With drawer refrigeration, everything you need is just a glide away.