Best Built-In Refrigerators of 2022
CR’s exhaustive tests reveal the best models made by Café, Dacor, Jenn-Air, Sub-Zero, and Thermador
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.
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.