A man walking past a side-by-side refrigerators.

When you’re shopping for a new refrigerator, you’ll see far more French-door models than side-by-sides.

It wasn’t always that way. Side-by-sides were once the refrigerator style Americans aspired to own. But they have lost market share over the years, dropping from 32 percent in 2007 to 20 percent in 2017. In Consumer Reports’ latest survey results, 62 percent of new refrigerators bought by CR members were French-door models, compared with just 22 percent for side-by-sides.

But there are still plenty of good reasons to consider a side-by-side, which have two dedicated compartments—one for fresh food and one for frozen:

• Side-by-side refrigerators are typically less expensive than French-door models and still plenty stylish.
• Their narrow doors are easier to open in tight kitchens.
• They often cost less to repair, with a median repair price of $148 vs. $173 for French-door fridges, according to our 2018 survey.

More on Refrigerators

“I still prefer side-by-sides over French-door models,” says Joseph Pacella, who oversees Consumer Reports’ refrigerator tests and has a side-by-side at home. “I think they have better organization and make it easier to find what you want in each compartment.”

To test each refrigerator that enters our labs, we outfit it 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 charts and each model’s Overall Score.

For more information on shopping for a refrigerator, read our refrigerator buying guide. CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of six standout side-by-side refrigerators, in both 33-inch and 36-inch widths, arranged in order of Overall Score. They include fridges made by Frigidaire, GE, Kenmore, and LG. 

Best 33-Inch-Wide Side-by-Sides

Top Picks

1

Temperature uniformity
Thermostat control
Ease of use

2

Temperature uniformity
Thermostat control
Ease of use
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Best 36-Inch-Wide Side-by-Sides

Top Picks

1

Temperature uniformity
Thermostat control
Ease of use

2

Temperature uniformity
Thermostat control
Ease of use
Unlock Refrigerator Ratings
Become a Member or Sign in