Side-by-Side Refrigerator Review

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Why Buy a Side-by-Side Refrigerator?

With all of the options for refrigerators on the market, it can be confusing to figure out what features and functions you want in one. There are various configurations, capacities, features and options. Side-by-side refrigerators have the advantage of a classic look and keep all of your food within reach. You don't have to bend over to get the frozen pizza or stretch to reach the juice concentrate at the back of your 7-foot freezer. You can organize your food to have commonly used items right within arm's reach or at eye level, whether they're frozen or fresh. Many side-by-side fridge and freezer combos provide the added convenience of an ice and filtered water dispenser in the freezer door, a feature less common in other refrigerator configurations.

We looked at side-by-side refrigerators from the most popular appliance manufacturers and identified the top models from each, including the Samsung RSG309AARS, Kenmore Elite 51173 and GE Profile PSHF9PGZSS. The models in our side-by-side refrigerator reviews include a variety of interior capacities, adaptable storage and filtered water dispensers, among other useful features. You can learn more about side-by-side refrigerators in our learning center articles.

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Side-by-Side Refrigerators: What to Look For

When considering side-by-side refrigerators, we looked for features and options that should be standard in every model, such as adjustable shelves and a water and ice dispenser. We also took into consideration some features that are nice bonuses, such as temperature-controlled drawers and space-saving icemakers. The following criteria explain the features the best side-by-side refrigerators should have.

Capacity
Side-by-side refrigerators come in a variety of capacities. The models we looked at for our reviews ranged from 20 cubic feet to 30 cubic feet of interior space. Standard-depth models provide average amounts of space, while counter-depth models naturally have smaller capacities. The refrigerated portion takes up the majority of the interior space. Smaller-capacity refrigerators generally use less energy than large side-by-side refrigerator and freezer combos.

Refrigerator Features
When considering which features are most important, we closely looked at the adaptability of interior storage. Adjustable shelves are important so you can accommodate large and tall containers. Spillproof shelves are great to help keep your refrigerator clean. Most models include humidity-controlled crisper drawers, and some include temperature-controlled drawers for additional preservation of your food. Many models also include a deli or snack drawer for smaller items, and a few models include a can or wine rack for beverages.

For in-door storage, all models include some combination of door bins. Some are gallon sized for large milk or juice jugs, while others are liter-sized bins, and most models include a dairy compartment at the top of the door. We also looked at whether a refrigerator includes a door-ajar alarm to warn you when the doors are left open and a quick-cool feature to pump extra cold air when needed.

Freezer Features
As with the refrigerator portion, we looked at the number of shelves, drawers and bins included in the freezer portion of the side-by-sides. All freezers include a mix of shelves and drawers made from plastic, glass or wire. Freezer doors generally include fixed bins, although some models have adjustable door bins.

The water and ice dispenser is a nice feature in side-by-sides. All the models in our lineup include one mounted on the exterior of the freezer door, providing crushed or cubed ice as well as filtered water. The icemaker may be mounted above the shelving area or in the door. The latter is preferable because it saves space for storage.

Energy & Warranty
Most new major appliances are Energy Star compliant, meaning they meet certain requirements that make them energy efficient. Energy efficiency means that they use less energy and cost less to operate. Not every model on our lineup is Energy Star compliant, and this may mean the difference of a few dollars on your energy bill. Large-capacity models generally use more energy than smaller ones do, and the ones that are not Energy Star compliant use more than similar-sized, energy-efficient models do.

All manufacturers offer a warranty on their appliances, but not all warranties are created equal. The bare minimum in warranties covers parts and labor for one year. Many manufacturers offer an additional warranty on the sealed system, including the compressor. Five or seven years is common, and a 10-year warranty on the sealed system is superior.

Help & Support
Refrigerators are not generally appliances you need much help with, but it is nice to know that the manufacturer offers support when you need it. Online access to a user guide and knowledgebase or FAQs page is helpful when you have questions. Every company has a telephone or email option so you can contact customer service, and some also have live text chat or even video chat options.

The convenient layout of side-by-side refrigerators keeps all of your food equally accessible, with the bonus of a water and ice dispenser. From there, you have a number of features and options to choose from to find the best side-by-side refrigerator to buy for your kitchen.

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Appliances » Kitchen » Side-by-Side Refrigerator Review
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Samsung RSG Kenmore Elite GE Profile Whirlpool WRS Electrolux with IQ-Touch LG LSC27 GE Electrolux with Wave-Touch Samsung with Food ShowCase Frigidaire Professional
Samsung RSG Kenmore Elite GE Profile Whirlpool WRS Electrolux with IQ-Touch LG LSC27 GE Electrolux with Wave-Touch Samsung with Food ShowCase Frigidaire Professional
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Ratings
9.88
9.38
9.15
8.90
8.73
8.68
8.65
8.63
8.38
8.25
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
10.00
10.00
8.75
10.00
10.00
9.38
9.38
8.75
6.25
10.00
8.75
8.75
8.75
8.07
10.00
7.50
9.38
7.50
8.75
8.13
8.75
9.38
9.38
8.13
8.75
7.50
9.38
9.38
9.38
8.13
9.38
8.75
8.75
8.13
8.75
7.50
9.38
8.75
9.38
9.38
5.63
10.00
6.88
10.00
8.13
7.50
9.38
8.13
7.50
 
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Capacity
Total Capacity (cubic feet) 30 29.7 29.1 29.8 25.9 26.5 25.9 26 28.5 26
Refrigerator Capacity (cubic feet) 18.1 17.5 17.97 17.53 16.5 16.4 16.1 16.5 18.4 16.5
Freezer Capacity (cubic feet) 11.5 12.2 11.12 12.24 9.4 10.2 9.8 9.5 10.1 9.5
Refrigerator Features
Adjustable Shelves
 
Spillproof Shelves
  
Quick Cool
 
  
 
 
Door Ajar Signal
Dairy Compartment
 
Snack/Deli Drawer
 
Humidity-controlled Crisper Drawers
 
Temperature-controlled Drawers
  
  
  
Bottle/Can Rack
    
  
Shelves 5 3 4 4 3 4 4 4 4 3
Drawers 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2
Door Bins 5 4 4 4 5 4 4 4 5 4
Color Options 4 5 6 3 1 3 4 1 1 1
Freezer Features
Defrost Systems
Ice Dispenser
Water Dispenser
In-door Icemaker
 
 
  
 
Quick Freeze
   
  
Water Filter Indicator
Water Filter Type HAF-CIN Kenmore Water Filter GE Water Filtration Pur PureAdvantage LG LT600P GE Water Filtration PureAdvantage HAF-CIN/EXP PureSource Ultra
Shelves & Baskets 7 5 5 4 5 6 5 4 6 3
Door Bins 3 3 3 3 4 3 4 3 3 4
Energy & Warranty
Energy Star Compliant
Estimated Yearly Energy Use (kWh) 621 627 616 627 509 590 583 582 741 582
Estimated Yearly Operating Costs $66 $67 $66 $67 $54 $63 $62 $62 $89 $62
Warranty (parts & labor) 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year
Additional Warranty (sealed system) 5 Years 5 Years 5 Years None 5 Years 7 Years 5 Years 5 Years 5 Years None
Help & Support
Online User Manual
Telephone
Email/Online Form
FAQs/Knowledgebase
 
Tutorials
 
 
Live Chat
  
 
 
 
Video Chat
         
Dimensions
Height (inches) 69.5 69 69.5 69.25 70 69.75 69.5 70 69.75 69.875
Width (inches) 35.75 35.5 35.75 35.75 36 35.75 35.75 36 35.875 36
Depth (inches) 36.75 35.63 36 36 36 35.25 34.75 33 35.188 33.375