The Top-Freezer Refrigerator Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Perfect Fridge for Your Kitchen
Is it time to say goodbye to your outdated, failing fridge and welcome a shiny new top-freezer model into your kitchen? Top-freezer refrigerators keep foods fresh while maximizing shelf space and providing convenient access to frozen essentials up top.
In this guide, we’ll cover the best top-freezer refrigerators to consider, provide key factors to choosing the perfect top-freezer refrigerator for your needs, and answer common questions to help you make the right selection. Let’s get started!
The Best Top-Freezer Refrigerators
With a stellar lineup of top-freezer fridges, brands like Whirlpool, GE, Frigidaire, and LG have options for any kitchen. Here are four great models to consider:
Whirlpool 18 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
- Dimensions: 66″ H x 32″ W x 30″ D
- Capacity: 14.4 cu. ft. fridge, 3.6 cu. ft. freezer
- LED interior lighting
- Humidity controlled produce drawers
- Spillproof, adjustable glass shelves
- Gallon door storage
- Clear dairy and meat compartments
Best for: Budget-friendly fridge loaded with interior features perfect for most households. Whirlpool is a trusted brand.
GE 15.7 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
- Dimensions: 60” H x 28” W x 29” D
- Capacity: 11.6 cu. ft. fridge, 4.1 cu. ft. freezer
- Optional ice maker kit available
- Adjustable slide-out spillproof shelves
- Snack drawer
- Door storage with gallon bottles holders
- Bright interior lighting
Best for: Reliable fridge for smaller kitchens with the right dimensions to fit tight spaces.
LG 20 cu. ft. Smart wi-fi Enabled Top-Freezer
- Dimensions: 67 3/4″ H x 29 3/4″ W x 28 1/2″ D
- Capacity: 13.4 cu. ft. fridge, 6.6 cu. ft. freezer
- SmartThinQ app connectivity
- Internal filtered water and ice dispenser
- Auto pull-out freezer drawer
- LED lighting and door alarm
Best for: Smart kitchen lovers. Wi-fi enabled for app controls and alerts. Loaded with conveniences.
Frigidaire 18 cu. ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator
- Dimensions: 66 1/4” H x 31 1/8” W x 28 1/2″ D
- Capacity: 12.8 cu. ft. fridge, 5.1 cu. ft. freezer
- Effortless Glide crispers
- Full-width deli drawer
- Store-more humidity controlled drawer
- Interior lighting and door storage
Best for: Generous fresh food storage flexible for large grocery hauls thanks to humidity drawer and crispers.
Now that we’ve covered some excellent top-freezer options, let’s go over how to select the perfect fridge for your kitchen and lifestyle…
How to Choose the Best Top-Freezer Refrigerator
With countless refrigerator options on the market, keep these key factors in mind when choosing a top-freezer model:
Measure Available Space
First, carefully measure the space you have available for your new fridge – height, width, and depth. This ensures you get a properly sized model for your kitchen layout. Account for required clearance space too.
Think about refrigerator and freezer capacity needed for your household. Larger families generally require 20+ cubic feet capacity. There should be ample room for groceries and frozen foods.
Look for refrigerators with spillproof glass shelves that can be adjusted to accommodate various heights of items. This makes organizing the fridge interior easy.
Humidity Controlled Drawers
Seek out designated crisper drawers with humidity controls to keep fruits and vegetables fresher longer. Some units also have bonus humidity drawers.
A fast freeze setting quickly drops freezer temps to freeze new groceries rapidly. Automatic ice makers dispense cubed or crushed ice inside.
Compare Energy Star certified models that operate efficiently to potentially save hundreds on utility bills over time compared to less efficient units.
Ensure temperature controls are easy to adjust and allow customization for optimum food storage. Most operate between 34° to 40°F.
Handy extras like interior lighting, door alarms that notify you when the door is ajar, and filters to remove odors are useful to have.
Top freezer models are typically quieter than their bottom freezer counterparts, but look for compressors and fans noted for quiet operation.
Most refrigerators come with 1 year limited warranties. For added peace of mind, consider models with 2-5 years of warranty coverage.
Stick with refrigerator brands that are proven reliable performers like GE, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, LG, Samsung, etc. when making your selection.
Consider both the upfront price along with estimated longterm energy costs for the most affordable options that still meet your storage needs.
Read reviews on retail sites and elsewhere to uncover recurring issues experienced by real owners like failing ice makers or temperature control problems.
Frequently Asked Questions About Top-Freezer Refrigerators
To get the full scoop on what to look for when shopping for a top-freezer refrigerator, here are answers to some common questions:
What are the benefits of a top vs bottom freezer model?
Top freezer models provide easier access to frequently used fresh foods. Their smaller freezer sections tend to be more energy efficient. They generally cost less than bottom freezer styles too.
What are the best top-freezer refrigerator brands?
Top brands for reliable top-freezer refrigerators include Frigidaire, GE, Whirlpool, LG, Samsung, Kenmore, Haier, and Bosch. You have many options from reputable companies.
What temperature should the freezer be set to?
Maintaining a 0°F temperature ensures frozen goods stay frozen solid. Adjust slightly warmer to 1° to 3°F if items are freezing too solid.
How much electricity does a typical top-freezer refrigerator use?
On average, an Energy Star certified 18 cubic foot top-freezer refrigerator will use around 300-400 kWh per year costing $30-40 annually to run. Larger and older models use more.
What are common problems with top-freezer refrigerators?
Some complaints to watch for are failing ice makers, temperature control issues, noisy operation, doors not closing properly, broken control panels, and leaking water dispensers if equipped.
How long can I expect a new top-freezer refrigerator to last?
You can expect an average lifespan of 10-12 years for a new top-freezer refrigerator with proper maintenance and care. Some may last up to 15-20 years before requiring replacement.
How can I troubleshoot ice maker issues?
If ice production suddenly stops, check that the water line is turned on and properly connected. Make sure the freezer temp is cold enough and give the unit a gentle tap to dislodge any frozen ice clogs.
Should I keep my old refrigerator for use in the garage?
Only keep an extra older refrigerator if it is still running efficiently. Otherwise, the energy costs may outweigh any convenience. Also ensure garages are properly cooled.
How often should I defrost a manual defrost freezer?
Expect to defrost a manual defrost freezer about once every 3-6 months when frost buildup is 1⁄4 inch thick. Unplug the unit and allow frost to thaw before removing accumulated ice.
How can I clean the inside of a top-freezer refrigerator?
Use a baking soda and water solution to wipe down shelves and drawers. For the freezer, allow frost to thaw before cleaning. Unplug the fridge, then wash with a mild detergent and soft cloth.
Bring Home the Perfect Top Freezer Fridge
With an amazing selection of storage-savvy, budget-friendly top-freezer refrigerators on the market, you can refresh your kitchen with a brand new model designed to suit your lifestyle. Focus on the right capacity, convenient features like humidity drawers and interior organization, and energy ratings to get the best bang for your buck.
Incorporate the tips provided in this guide during your refrigerator research process. Before you know it, you’ll have chilled drinks, crisper produce, and frosty ice cream thanks to your new, ultra-efficient fridge! Your inner chef will be prepped for easy meal making.