Best Built-In Refrigerators of 2022

CR’s exhaustive tests reveal the best models made by Café, Dacor, Jenn-Air, Sub-Zero, and Thermador

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Jenn-Air built-in refrigerator, model # JF42NXFXDE, seen in a kitchen.
The 42-inch-wide Jenn-Air JF42NXFXDE, one of our highly rated built-in French-door refrigerators.
Photo: Jenn-Air

In the most refined kitchens, built-in refrigerators take center stage, even if you don’t spot them immediately.

Unlike stand-alone refrigerators that stick out past cabinets and counters by as much as 10 inches, built-ins sit flush with the cabinetry. Minimalism is the rule here, in aesthetics if not price. Clean lines, flat surfaces, and right angles are the hallmarks of built-ins. They’re typically finished in stainless steel or not at all—in which case, they’re panel-ready, meaning your cabinet builder can fabricate panels to attach to the front of the fridge so that it blends into your cabinetry.

But there’s a trade-off. “With a built-in, what you’re really paying for is the style and premium finishes,” says Larry Ciufo, who oversees CR’s refrigerator testing. “Compared with stand-alone fridges, built-ins cost a lot more but actually offer less interior storage space.” And features are a mixed bag. Every built-in currently in our ratings has a freezer light, digital controls, and an icemaker. Most have spillproof shelves and air filters. But water dispensers are rare, and shelves that can be adjusted without clearing them first are absent altogether.

Built-ins are made chiefly by high-end manufacturers such as Dacor, Miele, Thermador, Sub-Zero, and Viking, and range in price from around $5,000 to well over $10,000.

Like freestanding refrigerators, built-ins come in different configurations, including bottom-freezer, French-door, and side-by-side. But because of their shallow depth—only 24 inches—some built-ins go as wide as 42 inches to maximize storage space. (By contrast, the largest stand-alone fridges are 36 inches wide.) Alternatively, some manufacturers offer built-in column refrigerators and freezers, which are separate appliances that you can place either next to each other or in different areas of your kitchen.

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More on Refrigerators

To test refrigerators, we outfit each model with thermocouples in a climate-controlled chamber and monitor it for a month, collecting more than 5.4 million temperature readings that identify warm and cold spots to determine which models will keep your food fresh longer.

We also factor in survey data from thousands of CR members to judge brand reliability and satisfaction. All that data—and then some—informs CR’s refrigerator ratings and each model’s Overall Score.

Below, CR members will find ratings and reviews of the 10 best built-in refrigerators from our tests. The list includes models from Café, Dacor, Jenn-Air, Sub-Zero, and Thermador in the bottom-freezer, column, French-door, and side-by-side configurations. For additional highly rated built-ins, see our built-in refrigerator ratings. And for advice as you shop, check out our refrigerator buying guide.

Best Built-In Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators

Best Built-In Column Refrigerators

Best Built-In French-Door Refrigerators

Best Built-In Side-by-Side Refrigerator

Correction: On May 31, 2022, this story was updated to reflect the correct overall scores for the products listed. A prior version included overall scores that inadvertently drew on older predicted reliability and owner satisfaction data.

Home Content Creator Daniel Wroclawski

Daniel Wroclawski

I'm obsessed with smart home tech and channel my obsession into new stories for Consumer Reports. When I'm not writing about products, I spend time either outside hiking and skiing or up in the air in small airplanes. For my latest obsessions, follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@danwroc).