Two women look inside a refrigerator.

When you’re shopping for a refrigerator on a budget, it can be difficult to find models that offer the right combination of performance, reliability, price, and features you need.

“If your budget is only $1,000, you should be able to find some worthwhile bottom-freezer and side-by-side models depending on the time of year, but top-freezers will give you the most variety,” says Nish Suvarnakar, Consumer Reports' market analyst for refrigerators. He says you won’t find any high-quality French-doors at that price, though.

At CR's labs, after a refrigerator gets wired up with thermocouples we monitor it for more than a month in a climate-controlled chamber to evaluate thermostat control and temperature uniformity. CR’s test engineers collect more than 5.4 million temperature readings for each model to detect warm and cold spots and to determine which refrigerators will keep your food fresh longer.

More on Refrigerators

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

Despite the limited choices for a $1,000 price, our refrigerator ratings feature a handful of models that offer a winning combination of solid performance, value, and reliability.

CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of six refrigerators from Frigidaire, Haier, Kenmore, LG, and Samsung with high scores. You won't find any side-by-sides on the list at the moment because prices have increased since the holiday sales, but we'll add them  when prices fall back under $1,000.

For even more affordable options, you can also filter our complete refrigerator ratings by price.

(Disclaimer: Prices fluctuate throughout the year, so depending on when you look, you might spot models here listed for more than $1,000.)

Best Top-Freezers for $1,000 or Less

Top Picks

1

Temperature uniformity
Thermostat control
Ease of use

2

Temperature uniformity
Thermostat control
Ease of use
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Best Bottom-Freezers for $1,000 or Less

Top Picks

1

Temperature uniformity
Thermostat control
Ease of use

2

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