- 1 Guide to French Door Refrigerators
- 2 Reviews of The Best French Door Refrigerators in 2109
- 2.1 1. Whirlpool WRX735SDHZ French Door Refrigerator – Best to Buy
- 2.2 2. Samsung RF260BEAE French Door Refrigerator – Best Budget Value Without a Water Dispenser
- 2.3 3. Cafe CWE19SP2NS1 French Door Refrigerator – Best 33 Inch Counter Depth
- 2.4 4. Thor Kitchen HRF3602 French Door Refrigerator – Best 4 Door Counter Depth
- 2.5 5. LG LFXS26596S Door-in-Door Refrigerator – Best With an Ice-Maker
- 2.6 6. GE GFD28GELDS Door-in-Door Refrigerator – Best Bottom Freezer Door
- 2.7 7. Samsung RF28N9780SG Family Hub – Best High Tech Convertible
- 2.8 Comparison Chart of the Best French Door Refrigerators
- 3 Installing a Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator
Large kitchen appliances don’t come cheap, but nothing beats that feeling when you know you have the best refrigerator for your home. One of the most popular choices these days is a French door refrigerator. Apart from looking stylish and elegant, they store more food and it’s easy to reach inside. The best French door refrigerator for your kitchen depends on what you need in terms of storage space, adjustable shelving, through door water and ice dispensers, door-in-door access, or convertible freezer units in quad door refrigerators.
Guide to French Door Refrigerators
French door refrigerators may be gaining popularity, but are they the best choice for you? The starting price of a mid range model is around the $1 500 mark and a basic model around $1 000, so you might want to know the advantages of a French door refrigerator:
- Easier access: The width of the open doors is much less than a single door, so French doors are especially good for restricted spaces.
- Greater capacity: French door refrigerators can be up to 28 cubic feet. Side-by-side refrigerators come a close second, and only built-in refrigerators can be larger.
- Better use of space: They have more and varied door bin storage, while the larger interior allows for better space utilization.
- Water and ice dispensers: These are mostly found on French door and side-by-side refrigerators. Deluxe models may have K-cup coffee makers or dispense hot water too.
- Less energy wastage: Because you have the option of opening only half your refrigerator, this helps with long term energy savings. They also tend to have better performance features such as twin evaporators, multi airflow systems and turbo cooling.
Typical Sizes and Counter Depth French Door Refrigerators
Popular French door refrigerators are between 34 to 36 inches wide, and just less than 70 inches tall or a little over. With anything smaller, there’s not a lot to choose from. Most models are between 32 to 36.25 inches deep, so you need to think about how far your refrigerator will protrude in front of your counter. .
A counter depth refrigerator has less depth because it’s designed for a snug fit to standard cabinetry. They’re more expensive than standard depth models, although considerably cheaper than built-in ones. These refrigerators are around 28 to 31.25 inches deep from the back to the handles.
See the end of the reviews for more information on how to install a counter depth refrigerator.
How Much Space is Enough
Generally, 19 to 22 cubic feet in total is sufficient for a family of four, or roughly 4 cubic feet per adult. A consumer report investigation found that actual space can be up to 20% less when actual space is measured between shelves and within door bins, so 20 cubic feet or more is a good size for a family. Popular French door refrigerators are typically around 24 cubic feet.
French door refrigerators generally have less freezer space than side-by-side or bottom freezer refrigerators, so they suit people who buy a lot of dairy and fresh produce. Most freezer drawers are around 6 to 8 cubic feet, but a convertible quad door can give you more. For freezers, 1.5 cubic feet is recommended for each family member and 1 cubic foot can store at least 35 pounds or 15 kilograms of food.
Temperature Control and Freshness Features
Crisper drawers have independent controls to either raise or lower the humidity. There are usually two drawers for different kinds of produce. Foods that rot need lower humidity and foods that wilt need higher humidity.
A French pantry or deli drawer is usually situated below the crisper drawers, or is the extendable draw in a four door model. It has independent temperature settings for different kinds of foods such as dairy, cold cut meats, desserts and snacks— and the temperature range is usually from 29℉ to 42℉ (-1℃ to 5℃).
Dual evaporators or twin coolers maintain separate air circuits for both the refrigerator and the freezer. They help maintain higher humidity levels in the refrigerator and prevent freezer odors from migrating there.
Turbo cool and freeze allow you at the push of a button to speed up temperature stabilization after your refrigerator has been opened for loading or cleaning.
Multi airflow designs help distribute air more evenly across the shelves in order to maintain a uniform temperature, and they prevent odors from mixing.
Air purifiers eliminate bacteria and mold spores, but these are mostly found on high end models. Water purifiers are found either in the roof, the door, or in between the crisper boxes of the refrigerator. Refrigerator water replacement filters increase running costs.
Types of Doors
- Three door
- Four door
- Quad door
- Five door
Three door refrigerators are the most popular and have the most storage space . They have two independently functioning swing doors that open the main compartment above, and one pull out freezer drawer below. These start at around $1 000 or slightly less for basic models or models without dispensers, but generally they retail from around $1500.
Four door refrigerators may suit people who value storage organization over capacity. A smaller additional pull out drawer is situated between the main refrigeration unit and the bottom freezer. This drawer is usually a French pantry or deli drawer that can be set to a select range of temperatures. Four door refrigerators are generally over $1500.
The quad door is another type of four door refrigerator. The top two doors open up the main storage compartment, while the bottom two doors open up independent units. In more expensive models one unit can be set to cooler or freezer mode. These maximize refrigerator space, and give easier shelf access to frozen foods. Budget models can sell at around $1 000 or less, but convertible models are usually priced over $2000.
A five door refrigerator is similar to a standard four door type with a fully extendable drawer. It has two separate drawers instead of one, with one or both of them being a crisper drawer. There are not many models yet with five doors, and they cost over $3000
Door-in-Door refrigerators have a double hinged door on the right hand side. This gives easy access to bin shelves without having to open the main door completely, and they are a little more energy efficient. They can either be solid or with a see-through glass pain. They come as three door or four door refrigerators and cost at least $2000 and more.
Other features include how customizable the shelving is, or design variations in dispensers and ice makers.
- Refrigerators with just full length shelves cost less, but split shelves are more adaptable. Split shelves can be half length or a split third.
- A sliding or fold up shelf can make room for tall objects.
- Dispensers with separate levers for ice and water require less button pushing.
- Some dispensers dispense measured amounts or dispense automatically.
- A few high end models dispense hot water or have inbuilt K-cup coffee makers.
- Dispensers usually dispense both ice blocks and crushed ice. A few models have dual ice makers— one in the door or refrigeration compartment, and another in the freezer.
Installation Tips for French Door Refrigerators
French door refrigerators almost always require a piped connection to a water source. For this reason they require some degree of DIY skill or they may have to be installed by a skilled technician. Check the online manual before you make your purchase to see what installation parts are included, or tools you may need— or check your online retailer for installation options.
Reviews of The Best French Door Refrigerators in 2109
Our selection of the best French door refrigerators include our best to buy, two popular counter depth refrigerators, two door-in-door models, a French door without a water dispenser, and the latest in high tech innovations.
- Whirlpool WRX735SDHZ French Door Refrigerator – Best to Buy
- Samsung RF260BEAESG – Best Budget Value Without a Water Dispenser
- Cafe CWE19SP2NS1 French Door Refrigerator – Best 33 Inch Counter Depth
- Thor Kitchen HRF3602 – Best Four Door Counter Depth Refrigerator
- LG LFXS26596S Door-in-Door – Best Ice Maker
- GE GFD28GELDS Door-in-Door – Best Bottom Freezer Door
- Samsung RF28N9780SG Family Hub – Best High Tech Convertible
Here are our reviews for the best French Door Refrigerators in 2020:
1. Whirlpool WRX735SDHZ French Door Refrigerator – Best to Buy
This is a good all round family refrigerator. It has ample capacity and the space arrangement makes it really easy to separate different kinds of food. The bottom shelf is good for resting desserts or for leftovers, and the deli drawer is particularly easy and convenient for children, and so too is the through door water dispenser. The only drawback is the bulky ice maker.
One of the most commented features about this refrigerator is how spacious it is. It has 17.78 cubic feet of space including the middle deli drawer, which is sufficient for most families. The large ice maker is situated in the upper left corner, but this set up means you get more space for the freezer compartment, which is a good size at 6.73 cubic feet.
The adaptability of space is a welcomed feature in this Whirlpool. You have three adjustable half width shelves, and one adjustable partial width shelf to play around with. The right side door has three 1-gallon container drawers which you can move up or down to accommodate taller jars, jugs and bottles. Some people feel that the door container bins are a bit limited in their design.
It has the standard two crisper drawers for vegetables and fruits. The fully extendable middle drawer is temperature controlled for cold meat, fish, dairy, drinks, desserts or snacks. It has two adjustable sliders and the contents can also be viewed from above through the transparent bottom of the main unit. The deli drawer is the most appreciated feature, and many people use it as a snack draw for children because it’s lower down and easy to open.
Things That Are Cool and Not So Cool
The water dispenser can give out measured amounts which avoids spills and is convenient for baking and cooking. There are two separate dispensers for ice and water so you don’t have to select button options. It also has a turbo cooling option.
People love the filtered water which is easy for children to dispense, but the ice maker is rather loud and doesn’t dispense ice so nicely. The batch quantity of ice is not so great for the size and bulk of the ice maker.
2. Samsung RF260BEAE French Door Refrigerator – Best Budget Value Without a Water Dispenser
This Samsung French door refrigerator without a water dispenser has some of the best value your money can buy and it can retail around the $1000 price point. It’s an excellent choice for people looking for maximum refrigerator and freezer space on a budget. It also has twin evaporators, two crisper drawers and a temperature controlled deli drawer.
There are a number of reasons why people prefer not to have a water dispenser in the their refrigerator. Some feel external dispensers are unsightly and the attached ice makers takes up too much door and refrigerator. These two extras also increase energy use by 14–20%, and raise the purchase price by $75–$250. It is, however, rather difficult to get a French door refrigerator without an ice maker as well.
Without a dispenser, you also get all that extra space in the door. Each door has three adjustable 1-gallon bins, and the interior comes with 4 adjustable split shelves. The freezer is 8 cubic feet, the larger drawer has a divider and there’s an upper, fully extendable drawer. The ice caddy or box is also removable, so you can completely remove it, and switch off the ice maker if you need more storage space.
Things That Are Cool and Not So Cool
The coolest thing are all the performance and freshness features you get for a very affordable price, and with no dispenser, there’s no door space lost.
One drawback is that the bins are not so strong. At this price point you can expect less robust materials. Also, the ice maker is poor quality, but at least you can switch it off and take the caddy out if you need to.
3. Cafe CWE19SP2NS1 French Door Refrigerator – Best 33 Inch Counter Depth
The only advantage of a counter depth refrigerator is the aesthetic function of its built in look. The smooth, polished finish of this GE Cafe stays true to that aesthetic because there’s no external dispenser to break the contour. Instead, the filtered water dispenser is inside the door, and the ice maker is in the freezer unit. It also has an array of high spec features.
Counter depth models can sometimes be tight with space. The design of this GE Cafe, however, doesn’t waste an inch, especially with the door designs— each with 4 adjustable bins and one fixed. There are four split adjustable shelves and one sliding shelf with which to customize the main interior space.
Standard features include two independent humidity controlled crisper drawers, and a temperature controlled pantry drawer.
Other freshness and performance features include turbo cool for rapid stabilization of the temperature, and a multi flow air system that relies on sensors to maximum performance and energy efficiency.
This GE Cafe series is available in 3 colors— matte black, matt white and stainless— and you can also customize the handles with 4 different colors.
Things That Are Cool and Not So Cool
This GE Cafe also has WiFi Connect ability, so you can adjust the settings and get notifications like when the filter needs replacing, or the ice box is full.
Although this model has multi airflow technology, it doesn’t have a separate twin evaporator for the fridge and freezer units. The freezer box is not so large because the ice box takes up a fair bit of space, but it is sufficient.
The Cafe CWE23SP2MS1 is the 36 Inch model. It is more expensive and it has a twin evaporator.
4. Thor Kitchen HRF3602 French Door Refrigerator – Best 4 Door Counter Depth
Three door refrigerators are quite stereotypical in their appearance. Four door refrigerators, however, are a lot more refreshing. This Thor, with its inset handles and only 28.7 inches deep, blends seamlessly into any cabinet space. The extra door is a freezer box which also allows for more convenient freezer space management.
The shallower depth and inset handles of this Thor give the most built in look you can expect from a counter depth French door refrigerator. There aren’t a lot of fancy extras with this refrigerator, but it does well to maximize space. There are four adjustable split shelves, and each door has three 1-gallon bins, but they are not adjustable. The interior is a lot more spacious than other Thor models.
Some standard performance features include turbo cool and freeze and two crisper drawers, but the lower draw is not temperature controlled. The freezer is 6.5 cubic feet which includes the ice maker and with the adjustable sliders, it can quite easily take large boxes. The other available color is black.
Things That Are Cool and Not So Cool
The interior of this Thor is silver and not white, and this creates a nice contrast for better visibility. You also get a two year warranty, which is rare for the more popular brands such as Samsung, GE, LG, Cafe or Frigidaire.
Although this refrigerator is durable, with a great warranty and high reliability, it’s very basic in terms of its technology— there are no twin evaporators, or multi airflow system. Also, the shelves are made of plastic so they feel and look a little cheap.
Our reviewed model below— best French door with an ice box— and our final review— best high tech convertible— are both available in counter depth models.
5. LG LFXS26596S Door-in-Door Refrigerator – Best With an Ice-Maker
Ice makers are the top reason for refrigerator repair callouts, and for the hassle they don’t make a lot of ice and take up valuable space. This LG is a good choice for two reasons: It has two ice makers— an advanced compact maker in the door, and another ice maker in the freezer drawer. LG also has one of the highest reliability scores, and there are few reported issues with these dual ice makers.
There are not a lot of French door refrigerators that come with dual ice makers. Although a little pricier, LG is a lot more reliable with ice makers than its main rival Whirlpool. This refrigerator can make and store up to 6.5 lbs of ice— 4 lbs in the cooler and 2 lbs in the door. The in-door ice maker is very compact, so you don’t lose too much door space.
The ice is made from filtered water, and the door dispenser can take containers up to 12.6 inches high. The dispenser looks very professional and incorporates the digital controls. Just press the button for cubes, water or crushed ice and push the container against the level to get what you need. It also has a convenient child lock on the display.
There are the usual features you can expect at this price point, such as four adjustable split shelves, two humidity controlled crisper drawers, and three 1- gallon door bins. The pull out bottom drawer is, however, not temperature controlled. You don’t get twin evaporators, but that is not necessary because instead you have a multi airflow system with an additional air filter.
Things That Are Cool and Not So Cool
This model integrates into LG’s SmartThinQ smart appliance technology. This allows you to get push notifications on your smartphone when the filter needs replacing, the ice box is fully loaded, or when somebody has left the door open. It also works with Google and Alexa Voice commands. For the door-in-door, all you have to do is tap twice on the glass and the light will switch on, which is pretty cool.
Most users are really satisfied with this refrigerator. Some find that the ice dispensing is a little rough and others feel that the SmartThinQ technology doesn’t add much value for the extra cost. Customer service, however, is not very good, but hopefully you won’t be needing it.
This same model is also available as a counter depth refrigerator.
6. GE GFD28GELDS Door-in-Door Refrigerator – Best Bottom Freezer Door
This GE refrigerator not only has some of the best freezer real estate available, but it’s also affordable and has a compact, in-door ice maker. The freezer is 9.2 cu.ft. and has two fully extendable drawers. You also get advanced water filtration, a convenient door-in-door, twin evaporators, and it comes in five colors.
With an ice maker you have to give up food space either in the freezer box or the door, and there’s not much choice for French door refrigerators without an ice maker. This GE model has an extra deep freezer drawer, so you get an extra cubic foot of space. The compact ice maker is limited in how much ice it makes, but you still get three good sized bins in the left door.
In terms of general features, it has four adjustable shelves, two humidity controlled crisper drawers, turbo cool and freeze, twin evaporators and LED lighting. The right hand door has three 1-gallon bins and the bottom bin is attached to the door-in-door. The left side bins are not 1-gallons, but there are three of them so you get a lot more space than many other in-door ice maker models.
Things That Are Cool and Not So Cool
If you ever get tired of having so much freezer space, this model can take an optional second ice maker, but the IM5D kit for this is sold separately. Over 70% of the refrigerator is still made in the USA, after GE Appliances was purchased by the Chinese manufacturer Haier back in 2017.
Issues with this machine are typical of most French door refrigerators. The dispenser is messy, both the water dispenser and the ice compressor are pretty noisy, and sometimes the ice clogs up. Ice makers are generally a lose-lose situation.
7. Samsung RF28N9780SG Family Hub – Best High Tech Convertible
This Samsung Family Hub is the latest cool kid on the block. The four door convertible quad design is not so unique anymore, but Samsung has tried to up the game with their multifunctional tablet door display, including wonders such as voice recognition, three internal cameras, and scanning of nutritional information and food expiration dates.
Everybody needs a refrigerator, but having a refrigerator that is more than just a refrigerator is the next logical step in terms of innovation. Samsung can be congratulated on being the first to make this step. Forget about leaving memos, notes, or stickies on your refrigerator— because that’s all old school, although rather quaint.
A few things you can do with refrigerator include:
- Retrieve time stamped photos of refrigerator items and track food expiration dates.
- Surf the Internet, access recipe sites, or use the bundled recipe app.
- Create shopping lists and leave notes on the white board app.
- Stream music, watch TV, check the weather, and import calendars.
- Order food using the bundled apps, or your own web based grocer.
Although not without its flaws, this kind of technological integration is likely to become the future of refrigerator design.
Apart from the non-essential to refrigeration tech, this Samsung includes most features you can expect on their other high-end models. This includes four adjustable shelves, two crisper drawers and three 1-gallon door bins in the right hand door, but they are not adjustable.
The main advantages of this quad design are the triple evaporators, the choice to set the bottom right compartment to a fridge or a freezer, and easier space management compared to a pull out drawer. The freezer capacity is pretty good at 5.75 cu.ft. x2.
Things That Are Cool and Not So Cool
This Samsung Family Hub is the essence of cool, but that’s not to say that it’s the best refrigerator on the market even though it is the smartest.
For one, the ice maker is rather bulky and the main compartment space is kind of limited. These Samsung quad models have also been heavily criticized for problems with their ice makers, and there aren’t many technicians who can handle repairs on these machines.
One thing you cannot do is download your own apps, so you’re limited to what is bundled. Also, despite almost 1000 reviews on Google Play, the Family Hub app only has a 2.1 star rating with many people experiencing connection issues and data losses. Unfortunately, there isn’t an app that can fix an ice maker.
Comparison Chart of the Best French Door Refrigerators
|Whirlpool 4-Door||1 full fixed, 3 half split, 1 partial width3 gallon bins, 3 fixed bins||2 crispers, 1 deli drawer, water filter||Turbo cool, Energy Star|
|Samsung 3-Door||1 full fixed, 4 split, 6 gallon bins||2 crispers, 1 deli drawer, water filter||Twin evaporator, Energy Star|
|GE Cafe 3-Door Counter Depth||4 half split, 1 sliding, 8 bins, 6 adjustable||2 crispers, 1 deli drawer, water filter||Turbo cool, Energy Star|
|Thor 4-Door Counter Depth||6 split, 6 gallon bins||2 crispers, 2 freezer drawers||Turbo cool|
|LG Door-in-Door||1 full fixed, 4 split, 7 bins||2 crispers, air and water filter||Multi airflow, Energy Star|
|GE Door-in-Door||1 full fixed, 4 split, 3 gallon bins, 3 fixed||2 crispers||Twin evaporators, turbo cool|
|Samsung Family Hub Quad Door||1 full fixed, 4 split - 1 flip, 6 bins - 3 gallon, wine rack||2 crispers, water filter||Triple evaporators, Energy Star|
Installing a Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator
Before you choose your counter depth refrigerator, you will need to understand a few things about dimensions and standard measurements:
- Most French door refrigerators are around 36 inches wide, including counter depth models, but 33 inches are also fairly easily available.
- The standard countertop depth is 25 inches which includes the overhang, although some overhangs may add a little more.
- If there’s a built-in backsplash on the wall behind your refrigerator space, this could reduce the depth by up to an inch.
- Also, you will need to keep an inch or so at the back of your refrigerator free of air circulation, piping and cabling.
- Most counter depth models will range between 28 to 31.25 inches, and this is measured from the back to the front handles. With door dimensions excluded, the refrigerator is usually 24 to 25 inches deep.
Before you make your purchase, always check exactly how much depth you have from the back of your wall to the front of the adjoining counter overhang. Most online manuals or product spec sheets will list the various dimensions such as depth with handles, depth without handles and depth without door. The most important depth is the depth without the door, but you also need to factor in how much free space you need to have behind the refrigerator.
The doors will always need to stick out enough beyond the counter overhang in order for them to open properly. Some doors are sleeker than others, some have bigger handles, but inset door handles will give you the best built in look.
Our guide and reviews include the best French door refrigerator to buy, the two best counter depth refrigerators, and picks to suit various needs and preferences. If you have any comments, or if you’d like to ask a question, please use the comment feature below. We are always here for you.