- 1 Guide to Bottom Freezer Refrigerators
- 2 Reviews For The Best Bottom Freezer Refrigerators in 2020
- 2.1 1. Kenmore Elite Bottom Freezer Refrigerator – Best to Buy
- 2.2 2. LG 33 Inch Bottom Freezer Refrigerator – Best Value With an Ice Maker
- 2.3 3. Whirlpool 33 Inch Bottom Freezer Refrigerator – Best Adaptable Shelving
- 2.4 4. Amana 30 Inch Bottom Freezer – Best Refrigerator Without an Ice Maker
- 2.5 5. Fisher Paykel 32 Inch Counter Depth – Best With a Dispenser
- 2.6 Comparison Table For The Best Bottom Freezer Refrigerators in 2020
- 2.7 Conclusion
Bottom freezer refrigerators offer a number of key advantages. The refrigerator is at a convenient height so fresh food is easy to see and reach. Their shelves are also wide enough for party platters or dessert preparations, and they cost considerably less than a French door refrigerator. They are, however, less energy efficient than top freezer refrigerators, but many of them carry Energy Star certification. If you’re undecided what is the best refrigerator for you, our in depth guide will help. And, our selection of the best bottom freezer refrigerators highlights technical and design details, as well as consumer ratings and user reviews.
Guide to Bottom Freezer Refrigerators
When purchasing a new refrigerator, you should know what to expect for the class of refrigerator you intend to buy.
Bottom freezer refrigerators usually come with crispers, gallon door bins and sometimes deli drawers. More high spec models often have split shelves, sliding shelves, or a fold up door bin. They typically don’t have luxuries such as water or ice dispensers, turbo cooling, twin evaporators, or air filters. Their price range is halfway between side-by-side refrigerators and French door refrigerators, but they are available in a wider range of sizes.
What Is The Best Size of Bottom Freezer Refrigerator?
The most popular size is 33 inches in width, unless restricted space requires you to go with a 30 inch model. For smaller kitchens or less storage requirements, you should consider a 24 inch, but many of these are counter depth, so check if this is what you want before you buy.
While French door and side-by-side refrigerators are easily available in large 36 inch sizes, for bottom freezer refrigerators, this size is the preserve of pro-range and built-in models. If this is the size you need, then have a look at our reviews of the best French Door refrigerators and the best side-by-side refrigerators.
Heights will vary somewhat between 66 to 70 inches, but if you’re putting your refrigerator into a space with an overhead cabinet, always check the maximum height including the top hinge because this is something people often forget to do.
How Much Space Do I Get?
Popular 30 inch bottom freezer refrigerators should have a total capacity of at least 20 cubic feet which includes both storage units. Most 33 inch models will have 22 cubic feet while some are able to manage up to 24 cubic feet. For a 24 inch, you can’t expect much more than 10 cubic feet.
The amount of cubic feet advertised, however, is not the usable capacity you get after factoring in space taken by shelves, drawers and bins. The actual space tends to be at least 20% less, but good shelving options and design can help you maximize what you have. A fairly general recommendation is 4-6 cubic feet of space per adult.
Counter depth refrigerators have shorter depths and less capacity, but they have a more built-in look. They’re well suited to small kitchens, narrow apartment spaces, and people who don’t need a lot of storage space.
Ice Makers and Water Dispensers: Are They Worth It?
Many popular bottom freezer refrigerators come with a factory installed automatic ice maker. Some people like this convenience, while others don’t. Automatic ice makers increase the price point and also energy costs, as well as being the biggest reason for repair call outs.
Automatic ice makers require a connection to a water source, so you also have to factor in these installation needs and possible extra costs. For these reasons, some people prefer just a manual ice maker with an attached tray. Bottom freezers don’t always come with a water filter for the ice maker, so check before you buy.
Very few bottom freezer refrigerators come with a through door ice and water dispenser, or an indoor water dispenser. For this convenience, you should consider getting a cheaper side-by-side refrigerator or a more expensive French door refrigerator, but our final product recommendation in the reviews section has a water dispenser.
Humidity controlled crisper drawers are pretty standard. There will usually be two of them, but sometimes there’s not a separate humidity controller for each drawer. Fruits and vegetables, however, need to be kept at slightly different humidity levels.
Temperature controlled deli drawers are something you can expect in more expensive models. These allow you to store meat and dairy at lower temperatures. More basic models often have a similar snack drawer with no difference in temperature.
Multi airflow systems are more efficient at circulating air, prevent odors from mixing, and help to maintain a more even and stable temperature.
Twin evaporators are found in more higher spec models and these keep separate cooling mechanisms and airflow for the freezer and the refrigerator.
Turbo cooling allows you to rapidly cool things and to stabilize the temperature after the door has been open for loading or cleaning. This feature is found in higher spec or pro range bottom freezers, on French doors and side-by-side refrigerators.
Air filters and not so common but they are a nice feature. They can help keep odors at bay and bacterias to a minimum thus increasing the shelf life of your food.
More adjustable shelving allows you to get the most out of usable space and also to adapt the space according to your changing needs.
Cheaper models will usually have two to three full length shelves, but you should always check how many shelf positions there are if adjustable. Half length shelves are better if you need all the space you can get, and they look much nicer too. Sliding and flip up shelves are usually found in premier models, as too are fold up door bins.
A lot of people like gallon door bins that can take large bottles, so these are the standard. Some people like more creativity with door space with half length bins, flip up bins and hatch boxes, other people prefer more space with just large, full length bins.
Reviews For The Best Bottom Freezer Refrigerators in 2020
Our selection includes two of the best rated bottom freezer refrigerators, a popular model with the best adaptable shelving, a small to medium sized refrigerator without an ice maker, and a premium counter depth with a water dispenser.
- Kenmore Elite Bottom Freezer Refrigerator – Best to Buy
- LG 33 Inch Bottom Freezer Refrigerator – Best Value With an Ice Maker
- Whirlpool 33 Inch Bottom Freezer Refrigerator – Best Adaptable Shelving
- Amana 30 Inch Bottom Freezer – Best Refrigerator Without an Ice Maker
- Fisher Paykel 32 Inch Counter Depth – Best Refrigerator With a Water Dispenser
Here are our top picks for the best bottom freezer refrigerators in 2020:
1. Kenmore Elite Bottom Freezer Refrigerator – Best to Buy
This Kenmore Elite series consistently comes out as the top best rated bottom freezer refrigerator. Its test ratings by independent consumer groups for temperature uniformity, thermostat control, noise and energy efficiency are excellent. It has a good balance of key features to affordability and this makes it a popular consumer choice.
This 30 inch refrigerator comes with all typical features you would expect such as glass spill proof shelves, two full length gallon door bins, two humidity controlled crispers, a deli drawer, as well as an Energy Star rating.
Apart from excellent performance, it differs in how it handles shelving. The bottom door bin under the large gallon bin is a smaller storage place for light snacks and drinks. This is really convenient for kids and saves having to stash too many small items in the deli drawer.
The gallon door bins have sliding dividers, so you don’t lose that extra space by having separate half length bins. One of the top bins is a hatch box, and the other is tilting flip up bin which can make room for taller bottles.
The full length deli or pantry drawer is quite large which makes it versatile and useful when entertaining, for birthdays, or for seasonal celebrations. Apart from the bottom shelf there’s one more adjustable full length shelf and two half length shelves— one of which is adjustable giving just the right amount of flexibility.
This is one of the top rated refrigerators by consumer organizations and it’s also well liked and reviewed by users. The price point is also very reasonable and often more competitive than very similar models. The equally well appraised 33 inch model has more adaptable shelving, but not the bottom snack bin.
2. LG 33 Inch Bottom Freezer Refrigerator – Best Value With an Ice Maker
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This LG 33 Inch is one of the highest ranking and best performing refrigerators after the Kenmore Elite. With 24 cubic feet of space, this is the largest capacity bottom freezer you can get. This model is particularly good if you buy a lot of fruit and fresh vegetables and appreciate the convenience of a full length deli drawer.
More popular refrigerators tend to have a lot of adjustable half length shelves and door bins. This LG has more basic shelving and is best for people who love lots of fresh produce because the crisper drawers are particularly large with two independent humidity controls.
For shelving, there are only two full length glass shelves, but one of them is a sliding split shelf to make height for tall objects. The door bin design is very similar to the Kenmore Elite reviewed above. There’s a small snack bin right at the bottom, two upper gallon bins with sliding dividers, a diary hatch box and a smaller fold up bin at the top.
The additional freshness feature is a multi airflow system for more stable and uniform temperature control. The freezer is the standard pull out drawers with an ice maker, but people find the ice maker is kind of loud when refilling the trays. LG, however, has one of the highest reliability ratings and their ice makers have relatively few issues.
This refrigerator is the best choice if you don’t require lots of adjustable shelving, but instead extra space for fresh produce, a deli drawer and versatile door bin storage. It also has 7.7 cu.ft for the freezer, a freezer light and a door a alarm.
3. Whirlpool 33 Inch Bottom Freezer Refrigerator – Best Adaptable Shelving
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This popular Whirlpool is a good choice if you want maximum control over how you utilize the inner space. The solid, attractive looking shelves and bins are mostly half length and adjustable, and you get one full length gallon door bin and two crisper drawers.
Apart from maximum versatility with four half length, spill proof glass shelves, there are also five half length door bins, four of which are adjustable. The freezer economizes by having two wire pull out trays, and the ice maker has relatively few reported issues.
There are two crisper drawers but many users find that they are rather flimsy, and don’t pull out so easily. On the other hand, the crispers have a special air absorbent filter that removes excess ethylene gas so the shelf life of fruit and some vegetables can be extended by up to four days.
Unfortunately there is no temperature controlled deli drawer, but there is a half length pull out drawer that can be used for snacks or dairy. People also find that the edges of the bottom gallon door bin are kind of low, so smaller snack items may fall out when opening the door. The overall height including the top hinge is exactly 70 inches, so this could be a tight fit for some spaces.
This Energy Star Whirlpool offers good value for the space and adaptable shelving that you get. People who are not used to pull-out freezer drawers find that the freezer space is a little less than expected, but it’s easy to see what’s inside.
4. Amana 30 Inch Bottom Freezer – Best Refrigerator Without an Ice Maker
In terms of popular consumer rankings for smaller refrigerators, this Amana ranks in second along with popular Kitchenaid models. The advantage of this small, 30 inch Amana is its simple and straightforward design. With no ice maker there’s also less installation hassle, and freezer space is maximized with a convenient shelf and a pull out basket.
Apart from being 30 inches in width, this refrigerator is 66 inches high and the total capacity comes to 18.67 cubic feet. It’s a good choice for limited storage needs or space restrictions without needing to be counter depth, and the best deal you can get for a medium to small sized refrigerator.
There are limitations to this refrigerator especially for the price point. The two crisper drawers are quite large, but there’s only one humidity controller. The two full length, spill proof shelves are, however, not adjustable. Two of the half length door bins are adjustable so you can make room for tall bottles in the door, and the bottom fixed full length bin is gallon sized.
This Amana gives you the best of both worlds with the freezer which makes up for what the refrigerator lacks. If a freezer has pull out drawers, you will inevitably lose some usable space, but here there’s an easy to see wire pull out basket, a shelf for convenient packing, and you get a door bin. If you really want an ice maker, this is optional.
This Amana is one of the best deals you can get for a small to medium sized 30 inch refrigerator. While the refrigerator is basic and sufficient in its design, this is a great choice if you need a smaller refrigerator but don’t want to compromise too much on freezer capacity.
5. Fisher Paykel 32 Inch Counter Depth – Best With a Dispenser
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Most bottom freezer refrigerators will have an ice maker in the freezer, but through door or indoor water dispensers are somewhat rare. Fisher Paykel is the most affordable choice for this luxury, and this premium model comes with some really nice features. It’s a counter depth refrigerator and it has a two year warranty.
Fisher Paykel’s premium bottom freezer refrigerators are mostly counter depth. There are a number of models with water dispensers and they differ only in width and refrigerator design. This RF170BRPUX6N 32 inch counter depth with pocket handles and right side concealed hinges has great aesthetic value, and you still get some decent space on the inside
This model is identical to our best to buy counter depth refrigerator, except that it has an ice maker and a chilled water dispenser. An extra feature on this more premium model is the ice boost function that will increase ice output by 30% on those really hot days.
The independently controlled crispers come as a third sized drawer and a two thirds drawer— which is ideal because most people will need more room for vegetables rather than fruits. Only their 36 inch model comes with a deli drawer, but this model has a pantry and a bottle chill drawer in the freezer, as well as a multi airflow system.
The shelving may appear basic with just four adjustable spill proof glass shelves, but these Fisher Paykels have the most rack slots you’ll find on any refrigerator. The shelves are also gliding stop shelves, so you can safely pull them out for loading and unloading. The freezer has a number of drawers, so it’s easy to organize and minimal energy is lost when you open up.
Fisher Paykel bottom freezer refrigerators are beautifully designed with premium freshness features and excellent thermostat and temperature control. For the extra price these counter depths will add some real class to your kitchen, and they have a two year warranty.
- 32 inch with pocket handles
- 32 inch with door handles and a pull out freezer drawer
- 31 inch with pocket handles
- 36 inch with door handles and a deli drawer
Comparison Table For The Best Bottom Freezer Refrigerators in 2020
|Product||Dimensions & Capacities||Key Features|
|Kenmore Elite||30 inch (&33 inch)14.8 + 7.3 cu.ft.||2 crispers, deli drawer, snack bin, fold up bin, 2 gallon bins|
|LG||33 inch 16.4 + 7.7 cu.ft||Deli drawer, multi airflow, large crispers, freezer light|
|Whirlpool||33 inch 15.62 + 6.45 cu.ft.||4 half shelves, 5 half door bins, ethylene filter, snack drawer|
|Amana||30 inch 12.94 + 5.73 cu.ft.||Spill proof shelves, dairy hatch box, crisper drawers|
|Fisher Paykel||32 inch (31 & 36 inch)12.3 + 5.2 cu.ft.||Pocket handles, gliding stop shelves, ice boost, bottle chill|
In our selection of the best bottom freezer refrigerators we carefully researched and detailed five of the top refrigerators from the best rated bottom freezer refrigerators to the most popular, and an affordable pro range bottom freezer refrigerator. If you have anything to add, or would like to ask a question, feel free to use the comment feature below. We are always here for you.