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What's behind our refrigerator Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 379 models in refrigerators to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    This gives more weight to energy efficiency and temperature performance than to noise and ease of use. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
  • Thermostat control
    This assesses the ability of the refrigerator's thermostat to 1) achieve the desired initial set temperatures following manufacturer's recommendations 2) achieve optimum temperatures in both the fresh food and freezer sections simultaneously and 3) keep internal temperatures constant despite large changes in room temperature.
  • Temperature uniformity
    This performance test is based on how well a model minimizes warm and cold spots within its fresh food and freezer sections.
  • Energy efficiency
    This reflects electricity consumption (based on our tests) per cubic foot of measured usable storage space. For example, two refrigerators with the same energy cost per year may have different energy efficiencies -- the unit with more storage space being more efficient.
  • Noise
    Noise level was measured when the compressor started up and during steady running. Subjective judgments by a panel of listeners supplemented our noise-meter readings.
  • Ease of use
    This assesses features and design including layout, controls, and lighting.
  • Claimed capacity
    Capacity of refrigerator is as claimed by the manufacturer.

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Recommended refrigerators

Recommended refrigerators are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
When choosing a refrigerator, consider your space, the unit's capacity, and your budget. Stylish variations on top-freezer, bottom-freezer and side-by-side refrigerators are in the stores, including some refrigerators with French doors as well as refrigerator drawers. Because refrigerators are on 24-7, make sure the one you buy is energy efficient. If you're looking for information about refrigerator, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ refrigerator reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our refrigerator buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased ratings and refrigerator reviews to help you choose the best refrigerator for your needs.

Recently reviewed refrigerators

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IQ-Touch EI23BC82SS
This 22.1 cu.-ft. (claimed) three-door French-door cabinet-depth Electrolux IQ-Touch EI23BC82SS refrigerator has
  • digital controls on its front door that show actual temperature
  • a door open alarm
  • a built-in water filter
  • spillproof shelves

Refrigerator buying guide

Americans are buying more fresh food than ever, and that's changing the way refrigerators are designed. We're seeing more models with flexible drawers and compartments that allow you to create more fresh-food storage space as needed. Other features that claim to extend the life of your food include air filtration systems, sealed crisper drawers, and door-in-door compartments that limit how often you have to reach into the refrigerator's main compartment. These innovations are worth considering, but it's still the day-out performance that matters most. That's what our tests are designed to capture, measuring things like temperature control, noise, and energy efficiency. Our buying guide will help you zero on the best fridge for your needs and desires.

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